Native American Tribes Nations and Confederacies: Hopi

The Hopi are a group of the Pueblo tribe, formerly called Moki, or Moqui. They speak the Hopi language, which belongs to the Uto-Aztecan branch of the Aztec-Tanoan linguistic stock, and occupy several mesa villages in Northern Arizona.

In 1540, they were visited by some of Francisco Coronado's men under Pedro de Tovar, but because of their geographical isolation they remained more independent of the European influence than other Pueblo groups. The Spanish began to establish missions in 1629 at the Hopi pueblos of Awatobi, Oraibi, and Shongopovi. These were destroyed in the revolt of 1680, and when the residents of Awatobi invited the missionaries to return, the other Hopi destroyed their village. After the revolt, pueblos in the foothills were abandoned and new villages were built on the mesas for defense against possible attacks by the Spanish. The pueblo of Hano was built by the Tewa, who had fled from the area of the Rio Grande valley that the Spanish re-conquered.

During the 18th and 19th century, the Hopi were subjected to frequent raids by the neighboring Navajo. The region was pacified by the U.S. army in the late 19th century, and a Hopi reservation was established in 1882, but the ambiguous status of much of the reservation enabled The Navajo to encroach on traditional Hopi lands. By the 1960's and 70's, Navajo expansion on lands set aside for joint use provoked court action and led to a partition of the disputed land. Amid bitter conflict, over 10,000 Navajo and fewer than 100 Hopi were relocated from the partitioned lands.

The Hopi are sedentary farmers, mainly dependent on corn, beans, and squash, however they also raise wheat, cotton, and tobacco, and herd sheep. Each village is divided into clans and is governed by a chief, who is also the spiritual leader and political and religious duties revolve around the clans. A Hopi tribal council and constitution were established in 1936, but internal dissension has limited tribal unity.

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