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Title: Hopi Storytelling

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief description of Hopi storytelling practices.

In Hopi, a good storyteller is described as a tuwut’smoki. This word means something like “story bag”—someone who collects and remembers stories from a long and rich oral tradition. Hopi storytellers often begin their stories by saying ...

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Title: Zuni-Land in 1882

Source(s): Harper’s Magazine; WPA New Mexico Collections

Author(s): Sylvester Baxter (Author); B. W. Kenney (WPA Field Writer)

Traveler Sylvester Baxter describes the pueblo of Zuni as it appeared in 1882.

We finally reached Zuni at noon. The pueblo lies at the foot of the majestic Thunder Mountain. Close by flows the Zuni River. It is but a trickling stream in the dry season, but becomes a torrent in the rainy seasons. Because of flooding, the pueblo ...

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Title: The Flaming Arrow Katsina

Source(s): Flaming Arrow's People by an Acoma Indian

Author(s): James Paytiamo (Author)

James Paytiamo tells the story of the katsina whose name he bears.

This is the story of the Katsina for whom I was named. It happened that the Sun had a boy born on the earth. The life of this boy came to his mother by the Sun’s rays shining through the gypsum rock window, and when the boy grew up he looked sha...

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Title: Holding Up the Cliff

Source(s): Hopi Voices: Recollections, Traditions, and Narratives of the Hopi Indians

Author(s): Abbott Sekaquaptewa (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

How Grasshopper outwits the hungry Coyote.

Coyote was living out there south of Oraibi, and one day he was going around looking for something to eat when he saw a grasshopper clinging to the base of a cliff. Coyote thought the grasshopper looked very peculiar, with its legs against the cliff ...

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Title: Coyote and the Stars

Source(s): Hopi Voices: Recollections, Traditions, and Narratives of the Hopi Indians

Author(s): Uwaikwiota (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

The animals were [in this world] first. They were fixing up this earth the way they wanted it. So they put the trees here, they put the mountains here, and the forests here, and so on. They had fixed the stars the way they wanted them to be [but they...

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Title: Calling the Sun to Rise

Source(s): Hopi Voices: Recollections, Traditions, and Narratives of the Hopi Indians

Author(s): Louis Numkena, Sr. (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

The people were living over there at Old Oraibi, a long time ago, before there was any New Oraibi. North of Oraibi a couple of miles are some ruins, and Coyote was living there when this story happened. He was out hunting very early one morning befor...

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Title: How the Hopis Got Fire

Source(s): Hopi Animal Stories

Author(s): Ekkehart Malotki (Author); Michael Lomatuway'ma, Lorena Lomatuway'ma, and Sidney Namingha (narrators) (Performer)

Aliksa’i. Long ago when the Hopis first arrived in this area, it used to get very cold at night and they were freezing and miserable. In the mornings, as they looked east, they would see smoke rising in the air. There had to be fire somewhere, so t...

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Title: Coyote Gets Rich Off the White Men

Source(s): American Indian Myths and Legends

Author(s): Traditional; Richard Erdoes (Editor); Alfonso Ortiz (Editor)

Coyote plays a trick on some white men.

Once when Coyote was visiting various camps, he and Bobcat heard about a white man who was making some whisky. They went together to the man’s house and managed to steal some, and after they had run a short distance with it, they stopped to drink. ...

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Title: Palöngawhoya Soy Niina (How Palöngawhoya Killed His Grandmother)

Source(s): Hopitutuwutsi Hopi Tales: A Bilingual Collection of Hopi Indian Stories

Author(s): Herschel Talashoma (Author); Ekkehart Malotki (Author)

Aliksa’i. They were living at Pöqangwwawarpi. The Pöqangwhoya twins had their house there. The brothers were little boys. Pöqangwhoya was the older’s name; the younger was called Palöngawhoya. They had only their grandmother to live with, and a...

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Title: Saquavicha, The Fox-Girl

Source(s): The Indian Leader, March 3, 1911, Native American Women’s Writing c. 1800-1924, an Anthology

Author(s): Clara Talavenska Keshoitewa, Hopi (Author); Karen L. Kilcup (Editor)

Two girls, in love with the same boy, change each other into animals. Spider woman helps sort things out.

Once upon a time there lived at Oraibi, two young girls who were in love with a handsome boy that lived near them. The girl Saquavicha, who lived to the east of his home, married him, and when Palavicha heard of it she was jealous. While Saquavich...

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