MODELING ANCESTRAL HOPI AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES: APPLYING ETHNOGRAPHY TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATIONS

MODELING ANCESTRAL HOPI AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES: APPLYING ETHNOGRAPHY TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATIONS
MODELING ANCESTRAL HOPI AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES:
APPLYING ETHNOGRAPHY TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATIONS
by
Elisabeth Melitta Cutright-Smith
_______________________
Copyright Elisabeth Melitta Cutright-Smith 2007
A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the
DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
For the Degree of
MASTER OF ARTS
In the Graduate College
THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
2007
2
STATEMENT BY AUTHOR
This thesis has been submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for an
advanced degree at the University of Arizona and is deposited in the University Library
to be made available to borrowers under rules of the Library.
Brief quotations from this thesis are allowable without special permission,
provided that accurate acknowledgment of source is made. Requests for permission for
extended quotation from or reproduction of this manuscript in whole or in part may be
granted by the copyright holder.
SIGNED: Elisabeth M. Cutright-Smith
APPROVAL BY THESIS DIRECTOR
This thesis has been approved on the date shown below:
____________________________
E. Charles Adams
Professor of Anthropology
18 April 2007___
Date
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
First and foremost I would like to thank my thesis advisor, Chuck Adams, for his
enduring patience as I worked my way toward this thesis and his constant willingness to
provide invaluable advice, encouragement, and subtle prods when needed. You have
been a great mentor over the past two years. Thanks also to Jeff Reid, without whose
guidance I might still not have a thesis topic. Had it not been for your support, this
process would have been much more than a “speed bump—slowing folks down in
upscale neighborhoods.” Thank you, Nieves Zedeño, for your wealth of knowledge and
insurmountable energy. A special thank you also to Rich Lange, who was ready to
answer any question I threw at him, and who provided valuable input on all things
Homol’ovi.
Thanks also to Lauren Jelinek, Kelly Jenks, Melanie Dedecker and Rachel Diaz
de Valdes for keeping me sane, dragging me to The Hut, sharing a little cherry limeade,
and supporting my procrastination to the fullest extent possible. You guys are awesome.
Thank you to Kanoe, Josue, J.P. and Bonnie. Sorry about all those missed calls. You
gave me something to look forward to when the blinking cursor got me down.
Thank you, Ansel. You are my rock. I appreciate you more than I can ever
express. And finally, thank you to my mom and dad. You guys have supported me
through everything. I couldn’t have gotten here without you. I love you.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF FIGURES……………………………………………………………………….8
ABSTRACT…………………………………………………………………………….…9
CHAPTER
1. DEVELOPING A HOPI LANDSCAPE THEORY…………………...…...…….10
Intellectual Foundations of Landscape Theory In the Social Sciences……….11
Implications of Landscape Theory for the Archaeologist………………..…...14
Ethnographic Contributions to Landscape Theory……………………………16
Contributions of Behavioral (Materialist) Theory to the Study of
Archaeological Landscapes…………………………………………………...18
Archaeological Landscape Applications in the Greater Southwest…….….…20
Applications of Archaeological Landscape Theory to Hopi-Affiliated
Remains…………………………………………………………………..…...26
Evaluating the Use of Ethnography by the Archeologist…………………..…29
Evaluating the Use of Oral Traditions by the Archeologist…………..………31
Ethnographic Documentation of Hopi Agricultural Land Use………….……33
2. THE PHYSICAL DIMENSION OF HOPI AGRICULTURAL LAND USE…....35
Location of Use...……………………………………………………………..37
Scheduling of Use………………………………………………………….....47
Methods of Use………………………………………………………..……...50
Material Correlates of Use……………………………………………..……..53
Other Hopi Cultivars………………………………………………..…….…..56
Semi-cultivated Plants………………………………………….……………..58
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TABLE OF CONTENTS — CONTINUED
3. THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONAL DIMENSION OF HOPI AGRICULTURAL
LAND USE………………………………………………………………. ..……59
The Effects of Supravillage Organization on Hopi Agricultural Land Use…..60
Hope “Clan Land”—The Traditional View………………………………..…61
Criticisms of the Traditional Clan Land Tenure Model…………………..…..64
Material Correlates………………………………………………………..…..69
4. THE RITUAL/CEREMONIAL DIMENSION OF HOPI AGRICULTURAL
LAND USE………………………………………………………………...……..71
Functional Explanations of Hopi Ceremonies…………………………...……72
General Characteristics of Hopi Ceremonies………………………………....74
Hopi Ceremonial Calendar………………………………………………..…..76
Agricultural Symbolism in Hopi Ceremonies……………………………..….77
Material Correlates of Hopi Ceremonies…………………………………..….78
Specific Hopi Ceremonies—Soyal…………………………………………....81
Specific Hopi Ceremonies—Powamu…………………………………..…….84
Specific Hopi Ceremonies—Niman……………………………………..……85
Hopi Individual and Group Ritual and its Connection To Agricultural Land
Use………………………………………………………………………….....86
5. THE TRADITIONAL HISTORY DIMENSION OF HOPI AGRICULTURAL
LAND USE…………………………………………………………………….....89
Hopi Migration Traditions—General Outline…………………………..…….90
Ancestral Hopi Migrations through Homol’ovi……………………………....93
Hopi Cultural Landscapes………………………………………………..…...94
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TABLE OF CONTENTS — CONTINUED
Order of Clan Arrival at the Hopi Mesas..…………………………………....96
Ceremonial Ownership and Land Tenure…………………………….………97
6. CONFOUNDING VARIABLES IN THE APPLICATION OF ETHNOGRAPHIC
MODELS TO PREHISTORIC DATA………………………………………….103
Revisiting the Use of Traditional Histories in Archaeological Interpretation.103
Revisiting the Use of Ethnography for the Development of Archaeological
Models……………………………………………………………………….104
Issues of Time Depth in Ethnographic Models……………...………………105
Modeling the Hopi as a Tribe………………………………………………..107
The Hopi Ethnographic Present and the Effects of Historical Processes……108
7. HOMOL’OVI ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA……………………………….…112
Physical Comparisons between Homol’ovi and the Hopi Region…………..113
Characteristics of the Middle Little Colorado River………………………...115
Agricultural Loci………………………………………………………...…..117
Spatial Distribution of Loci—General Characteristics…………………...…119
Spatial Distribution of Loci through Time………………………………......120
Social Organizational Implications of the Spatial Extension of Agricultural
Loci through Time………………………………………………………...…123
Correlates of Agricultural Land Tenure in the HSC………………………...125
Indications of Ancestral Clan Migrations in Homol’ovi Rock Art……...…..128
The Role of Homol’ovi III as a Landmark in The Homol’ovi Agricultural
Landscape………………………………………………………………...….130
Conclusions from the HRSP Survey Data…………………………...………132
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TABLE OF CONTENTS — CONTINUED
8. CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………...…..135
APPENDIX
HOPI AGRICULTURAL LAND USE MATRIX……………………...………….138
REFERENCES……………………………………………………………………....…142
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LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE 1. Villages of the Hopi region. (after Bradfield 1971: Figure 1)……………..38
FIGURE 2. Cultivated fields in the Hopi region in 1937. Fields are shaded black. (after
Hack 1942: Figure 13)………………………………………………………..………….40
FIGURE 3. Walpi horizon calendar. (after Forde 1929: Figure 6A).…………………..48
FIGURE 4. Oraibi clan lands, 1944. (after Titiev 1944: Figure 5)……………………..62
FIGURE 5. Clan symbols identified on boundary stones. (after Forde 1929: Figure
3)……………………………………………………………………………………..…..69
FIGURE 6. Hopi shrines photographed by Fewkes. (after Fewkes 1906: Plate XXVI)..79
FIGURE 7. Hopi field shrine. (after Forde 1929: Figure 10)…………………………..87
FIGURE 8. Petroglyphic clan symbols. (after Bernardini 2005: Figure 4.2)……..…..101
FIGURE 9. Homol’ovi Settlement Cluster, Arizona. (after Adams 2002: Figure 1.2).112
FIGURE 10. Physiography of the Homol’ovi region. (after Lange 1998: Figure 3.3)..114
FIGURE 11. Distribution of agricultural and miscellaneous features. (after Lange 1998:
Figure 6.3)………………………………………………………………………………118
FIGURE 12. Homol’ovi shrine HP 90 East/West. (after Walker 1993)………………126
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ABSTRACT
In this thesis, historic Hopi ethnographic data are employed to model ancestral
Hopi agricultural land use through the lens of archaeological landscape theory.
Emphasizing the interconnectedness of landmarks—loci of discrete interactions between
humans and the land—within networked cultural landscapes, archaeological landscape
theory provides a unique perspective from which to examine overlapping planes of
historic and prehistoric land use.
Drawing on ethnographic accounts, a model is constructed that integrates the
physical, social organizational, ritual/ceremonial, and traditional history dimensions of
historic Hopi agricultural land use. Durable material correlates of agricultural land use
are proposed on the basis of ethnographic documentation. This holistic model is applied
to archaeological data from the Homol’ovi Ruins State Park (HRSP), northeastern
Arizona. The integrative model produced herein allows for the interpretation of
relationships between archaeological features representing different land use behaviors
and the conceptualization of linkages between landmarks in the ancestral Hopi
agricultural landscape.
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CHAPTER 1
DEVELOPING A HOPI LANDSCAPE THEORY
The notion of landscape, currently en vogue in archaeology and allied social
science fields, marks a dramatic departure from the concept of landscape that permeates
traditional Western thought. Implicit in colloquial notions of landscape is the act of
seeing or observing—the landscape is something that the subject beholds before her.
“Landscape” is thus commonly used interchangeably with terms communicating the act
of viewing—terms such as “scenery” or “vista.” The landscape in this usage is a singular
and bounded entity such that one beholds the landscape and, moreover, the entire
landscape.
Far from simply linguistic convention, several scholars have argued that
this notion of landscape is a Western intellectual phenomenon. In one respect, posits
Hirsch (1995), landscape as visual representation is a product of Cartesian ontology,
which represents the world as discrete regions by plotting features against a uniform
backdrop (Hirsch 1995:17). Other positions on the historical development of the term
reference landscape painting and suggest that painted depictions of landscape create a
dichotomy between subject (the viewer) and object (the landscape) that persists in
conventional and academic concepts of landscape (Cosgrove 1998:26).
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Intellectual Foundations of Landscape Theory
In the Social Sciences
In recent times, and influenced generally by postmodern thought, social science
disciplines have adopted a theory of landscape that recognizes human agency and the
interrelationship between humans and the environment in the production of landscapes.
This new landscape perspective first gained traction within humanistic (or cultural)
geography, and has since been appropriated to suit the theoretical needs of other social
science disciplines, among them anthropology. Anthropological landscape theory hinges
on a suite of recurrent themes. These themes are: the active landscape, landscape as
process, landscape as performance, landscape as memory and identity, and landscape as
power. Each theme is briefly considered below.
According to anthropological theory, because the landscape is the product of the
relationship between humans and the environment, landscape is by definition active.
Humans engage with the landscape (Bender 1993:3; Cosgrove 1998:13) at all times and
through all life events. Tilley proposes that, rather than considering landscape as “space”
or “container,” the landscape is the locus of action and involvement between humans and
the environment (Tilley 1994:10). The landscape is never neutral or unresponsive to the
actions of humans (Tilley 1994:9). Instead, it is interwoven with the fabric of society and
culture. In this way, the landscape is not strictly natural—it cannot be parsed from the
humans that inhabit and perceive it (Ingold 1993:154).
The social production of the landscape that results from the active engagement of
humans with the environment has a temporal component, meaning that the landscape is
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continually constructed and reinterpreted according to its social and historical context
(Bender 1993:2; Ingold 1993:162). Landscapes are processual—social and historical
processes at work within society mediate the forms the landscape takes while also
reproducing them (Cosgrove 1998:11). This dynamism mirrors the dynamism inherent in
the societies and individuals with whom landscapes engage. Landscapes and their
features are cognitively fused with the life histories of people dwelling within them.
They are contingent on the human actors and societies that constitute them and on the
activities that lead to their incorporation into conceptual and ideological frameworks.
By virtue of their incorporation into individual and societal systems of meaning,
landscapes are fundamentally performative. The landscape is a record of the life histories
of those who have dwelt within it (Ingold 1993:152). Through the act of dwelling within
the landscape, humans carry out cultural and cognitive landscape construction. It is thus
the action of humans that brings coherence and structure to the landscape (Gosden and
Head 1994:114). Human performance of the landscape frequently results in the
attachment of meaning to the loci of human actions. These loci are instilled with
meaning by virtue of being consciously experienced (Stoffle et al. 2001:143). Bodily
action and movement are literal performative components of landscape construction,
maintenance, and reinterpretation. As Tilley describes, the act of journeying along a path
(for example) is a “paradigmatic cultural act” (Tilley 1994:31), and he further notes that
through kinetic activity one continually reorients one’s perception and experience of the
landscape (Tilley 1994:13).
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The encapsulation of memory and the act of remembering stimulated by
experiencing the landscape are inextricably tied to its historicity. By virtue of the
familiarity resultant from one’s repeated interaction with landscape features, memories
become engrained in the landscape and are available to be engaged with and reified
(Ingold 1993:152, 154). Through their enduring nature and the memories congealed
within them, landscapes play a fundamental role in the mediation of social and individual
identity. The maintenance of landscapes structures individual and social concepts of the
world and reinforces social identity by reference to meaningful places and spaces (Tilley
1994:40).
Finally, as the venue for, and an agent of, the transformation of worldview and
concepts of identity, the landscape is invested with power. While there is an active
interplay between the landscape and humans dwelling within it, the landscape may also
be manipulated by humans as an instrument of social or political legitimization because
the daily interaction of humans and societies with the landscape leads to the inscription of
structures of power within it (Tilley 1994:26). Alternatively, the landscape may be coopted as the means of contesting social or political organization via its physical or
cultural transformation (Whittlesey 1998:22).
Thus, the concept of landscape as used in anthropological discourse is strongly
reactionary to Western traditional and colloquial notions of the landscape as backdrop for
human action and social processes. Harnessing momentum from other social science
disciplines, anthropological landscape theory incorporates postmodern theories of agency
and cultural ontologies to depict landscape as a holistic and organic social product.
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For the archaeologist, theoretical notions of performance, agency, and the social
constitution of reality are dense concepts that do not lend themselves easily to pragmatic
interpretation of the past material record. The timeless critique of archaeological theory
is rooted in the fact that it is primarily derivative of theory developed in other social
sciences. Archaeological landscape theory, however, is dramatically shaped by the very
real constraints of forming interpretations based on a biased and limited material record
(see Schiffer 1987) that cannot “talk back” to the archaeologist. Thus, archaeologists
have applied landscape theory in distinct ways that, while responsive to broader trends in
anthropology and allied social sciences, are conditioned by the material nature of the
archaeological record.
Implications of Landscape Theory for the Archaeologist
As Binford (1983) notes, the excavated site has traditionally been the unit of
archaeological research. In privileging the site over other units of analysis, however,
archaeologists have failed to examine what they consider to be the true arena for a
society’s economic, social, and ideological activities—the landscape (Binford 1983:109).
As archaeologists have conceived them, past landscapes may be modeled because of their
material component. It is this component that allows the archaeologist to formulate
conjecture about past cultural systems (Whittlesey 1998:23). The material aspect of
archaeological landscapes is the product of the patterned behaviors of past occupants,
which are traceable in patterns of artifactual remains that can be spatially analyzed to
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reveal aspects of their interconnectedness and relationships between cultural and natural
features (Anschuetz et al. 2001:159; Whittlesey 1998:25).
These patterned behaviors transform the natural environment in a variety of ways.
The structuring of space to serve different societal functions—the networking of places
via trail systems, the segregation of space for specific cultural activities (among them
agriculture and ritual), etc.—creates a built environment that may be analyzed by the
archaeologist. This built environment constitutes a physical modification of the
landscape that is visible and lends itself to archaeological interpretation (Anscheutz et al.
2001:182; Knapp and Ashmore 1999:10). What is meaningful for the archaeologist is the
definition of parameters that spatially and temporally structured this modification of the
landscape (Anscheutz et al. 2001:189). To the extent that these parameters are physical
or environmental, reconstruction of past environments or extrapolation from the present
environment enables the archaeologist to hypothesize about the relationship between land
use and natural features. Cultural determinants of land use and conceptualizations of
place and space are much more difficult to access and their interpretation, in the absence
of living cultural representatives, requires reference to the body of cultural data contained
within ethnographic analyses of descendant groups.
Thus, for archaeologists the world over, and particularly for Southwestern
archaeologists, archaeological landscape studies derive their analytical power from two
sources—ethnographic research elucidating the significance and meaning of place and
the interconnection of places in indigenous moral, cosmological, and ritual systems (e.g.
Basso 1996; Carmichael 1997; Carroll et al. 2004; Ferguson and Anyon 2001; Ferguson
16
and Hart 1985; Franklin and Bunte 1997; Kelley and Francis 1993, 1994; Toupal et al.
2000; Stoffle et al. 1997; Stoffle et al. 2000); and materialist studies of the correlates of
human-land interactions, including land use and territory formation (Zedeño 1997, 2000,
in press; Zedeño et al. 1997). Relevant aspects of these two component sources are
discussed below, and both are incorporated in order to interpret and model ancestral Hopi
agricultural land use patterns and the nature of the ancestral Hopi agricultural landscape.
Ethnographic Contributions to Landscape Theory
The work of Keith Basso (1993, 1996) with the Western Apache provides an ideal
model on which to base the use of ethnographic data for understanding the structure and
construction of indigenous cultural landscapes. Basso’s work is unique in the level of
attention paid to information derived from Apache cultural consultants and the
empiricism with which this information is synthesized to produce an overarching model
of the Western Apache sense of place. Basso draws on Western Apache linguistic
conventions and storytelling traditions in order to interpret the role of place in Apache
society and the maintenance of cultural norms. From a theoretical standpoint, he
concludes that the act of sensing place reinforces the complex linkages between the actor
and the physical world. Thus, by sensing places, “The physical landscape becomes
wedded to the landscape of the mind” (Basso 1996:55). As discussed above, by sensing
place, actors participate in a cultural activity that reinforces their social and cultural
identity, for places are sensed and attached with meaning in accordance with cultural and
social ideological frameworks (Basso 1996:83-85).
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Basso’s consultations reveal that Western Apaches perceive place in a distinct and
culturally-mediated manner. Through storytelling, Western Apaches refer to named
features on the landscape as a means of identifying an individual’s immoral behavior
(Basso 1996:61). Moral teachings are encoded on the landscape through stories that
incorporate specific, named natural features. Therefore, places where events recounted in
Apache stories occur receive as much emphasis as the events themselves or how they
unfold chronologically, and the substance of Apache stories is bracketed at the beginning
and end by a reference to the place where it occurred (Basso 1993:45, 51). The use of
elaborate and highly descriptive place names is crucial in this process, for it allows the
individual at which the story is directed to develop a mental image of the location of the
event that facilitates its recall when the place is perceived during daily life.
This attachment between story and place is very important culturally, for it
concretizes the knowledge acquired through stories in features that may be revisited. In
this way, “‘wisdom sits in places’” (Basso 1996:70), for the experiencing of meaningful
places by Apache individuals enables them to recall and apply moral lessons. Thus,
individuals are “stalked” (Basso 1993:57) by places as a result of their incorporation into
stories that are aimed at amending improper behavior.
The cultural perception of place that Basso examines is unique to the Western
Apache, yet it demonstrates the capacity for ethnographic analysis to reveal structures of
meaning in indigenous cultural landscapes and elucidate the significance of place and
how it articulates with cultural systems of meaning. This model may fruitfully be applied
to non-Apache contexts, for Basso does not simply conclude that places are “important”
18
to the Western Apache, but rather considers the social mechanisms that render them
“important” and the meaning this importance has for individuals. Of particular utility for
the archaeologist, it also suggests that, when the benefits of applying ethnographic data
from contemporary populations to a set of past material remains may be convincingly
demonstrated, ethnography may allow the archaeologist to formulate plausible
hypotheses about how specific places were meaningfully networked to produce a cultural
landscape. As will be argued below, the vast body of Hopi ethnographic data allows the
archaeologist to suggest plausible interpretations of the structure of the ancestral Hopi
agricultural landscape and present hypotheses as to how places were incorporated into
this landscape along varying dimensions and on varying levels of meaning.
Contributions of Behavioral (Materialist) Theory to the Study of
Archaeological Landscapes
Ethnographic data may provide insight into the way in which places are invested
with meaning and how these places are conceptually connected according to culture and
ideology. The true contribution of archaeological data toward understanding landscapes
lies in the identification and interpretation of the material remains of places. As
discussed above, individuals transform natural features (places or resources) through
repeated interaction with them. As a result, these features are converted into material
culture. Zedeño and colleagues (Zedeño et al. 1997; Zedeño 2000) label this category of
material culture—the product of concrete interactions between humans and the material
world—a landmark.
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Landmarks have several behavioral properties that are observable to the
archaeologist and provide information on which interpretations of meaning and
relationships between landmarks are based. In one respect, each landmark has a set of
performance characteristics that dictated why actors in the past selected a particular
location for use. These performance characteristics may be natural (i.e. topography,
proximity to resources, local climate, etc.) or cultural (i.e. prior modification through
human use—see Schlanger [1992] for a discussion of the role of prior use in structuring
prehistoric land use behavior in the Mesa Verde region) (Zedeño 2000:108; Zedeño in
press). Each landmark also has a unique life history. The history of human-land
interactions at a particular locus may be reconstructed archaeologically and may reveal
temporal variability suggesting the changing nature of the landmark and its relationship
to other landmarks through time (Zedeño 2000:109; Zedeño in press).
Landmarks are interconnected through a network of relationships that produces
the landscape. Thus, the landscape defines the temporal and spatial extent of discrete
human-land interactions by a particular group (Zedeño et al. 1997:4). Landscapes are
mapped by identifying landmarks and their associated properties and expanding outward
to examine the dimensions along which they are linked. Such links may be formal and
defined by the performance characteristics outlined above; they may be relational and
defined by behavioral, social, or cognitive processes that determine how they related
within the living cultural system; or they may be historical—landscapes may incorporate
landmarks used asynchronously but cumulatively linked via experience (Zedeño et al.
1997:4; Zedeño 2000:109; Zedeño in press).
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In all analyses of archaeological landscapes, characteristics of landmarks and the
links between landmarks must be described and measured by the archaeologist (Zedeño
et al. 1997:4). As demonstrated above, it is not sufficient simply to acknowledge the
presence of features on the landscape and conclude that they are interrelated in a uniform
and predictable manner. Rather, the unique characteristics of each feature must be
examined in their own right before determinations can be made of the basis by which
features are linked.
Archaeological analysis provides the tools to examine many durable aspects of
landmarks; however, the archaeologist must conclude that meaningful aspects of the
cultural contexts of landmarks—their scheduling of use, cultural factors relating to
decision-making about use, etc.—are lost in the archaeological record. It is the
contention of this paper that ethnography provides a body of data that may be analyzed in
order to recover—albeit with very real limitations—some of the contextual information
that can inform how past landscapes were constructed and used. Before examining
methodological implications of applying ethnography to prehistoric archaeological
remains, this paper will briefly review some of the literature that tackles archaeological
landscape interpretation in the greater Southwest (including parts of Nevada) in general,
and then specifically with affiliated Hopi remains.
Archaeological Landscape Applications
In the Greater Southwest
The identification and description of prehistoric land tenure systems is one
prominent research focus of materialist archaeological landscape studies in the greater
21
Southwest. In his work in the Mesa Verde region, Johnson (2003) applies materialist
landscape theory to the temporal distribution of tower features. Construction of towers
increased during the Pueblo III Period (Johnson 2003:324). Johnson correlates this
increase with a transition from dispersed settlements of the Pueblo II Period, which
allowed for the exploitation of a variety of resource areas, to more nucleated settlements
during the Pueblo III Period when resource areas became circumscribed (Johnson
2003:328). Because of the consistent association between towers and landscape variables
characterizing productive agricultural land, Johnson concludes that towers monitored this
farmland (Johnson 2003:327, 336). His research demonstrates that a component of the
prehistoric landscape—the construction and distribution of towers in the Mesa Verde
region—was structured by prehistoric social processes marking land ownership.
Adler (1993, 1996), also working in the Mesa Verde region, expands on
Johnson’s study of the processes by which prehistoric communities negotiated resource
access. He posits that the social mediation of land tenure, reflected in settlement
organization, is a response to the relative availability of resources (Adler 1996:339).
Therefore land tenure systems transform resource uncertainty into calculable risk (Adler
1996:345).
His land tenure model supposes that, as resources become restricted, agricultural
intensification increases and consequently the size of the primary resource access
group—individuals with direct access to resources (Adler 1993:85)—increases in a
curvilinear fashion, with moderate agricultural investment corresponding to the largest
access group size, while extreme investment corresponds to decreasing access group size
22
(Adler 1993:87, 89). Archaeologically, aggregation and increased site size are proxies
for the increase in resource access group size. Adler reports that, contemporaneous with
environmental variability and regionally extensive resource stress, settlements become
larger and more aggregated in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries (Adler 1996:358). He
suggests that the social processes underlying the mediation of land tenure under
conditions of moderate agricultural investment define the cultural landscape as a response
to resource uncertainty (Adler 1996:347). Therefore, the cultural landscape, which is
produced through this mediation, can be analyzed via the archaeological settlement
patterns.
Several recent studies of indigenous cultural landscapes in the greater Southwest
have placed more explicit emphasis on the incorporation of ethnographic data from
descendant populations and involvement of tribal cultural advisors in archaeological
interpretation. Songs and oral traditions are strong ordering components of indigenous
landscapes and receive particular attention in the literature. These studies have combined
analysis of the material signature of cultural landscapes with data that speak to structures
of meaning within this material signature. Toupal et al. (2001) interviewed native
peoples in Nevada in order to describe recurrent formal attributes of important places,
their cultural meanings, and the themes that connect them. Recurring site types and
associations included: shamanism, rain-making, hunting rituals and activities, millenary
rituals, curing rituals, and coming of age ceremonies (Toupal et al. 2001:175). Many of
these sites were associated with rock art and resource patches. The themes
interconnecting sites involved natural features (mountains, rivers, etc.), ceremonies,
23
history, and songs (Toupal et al. 2001:176). These attributes allowed the researchers to
delineate clusters of sites and connections between sites forming recurrent nodes in the
larger cultural landscape (Toupal et al. 2001:177). Therefore, researchers found that oral
tradition and the history of ritual, customary activities, and resources are structural
components of contemporary cultural landscapes.
Several studies of Numic cultural landscapes—particularly those conducted with
the Southern Paiute—echo Basso (1993, 1996) in emphasizing the relationship between
specific places and resources represented in the Numic myths and songs from which they
derive meaning (Carroll et al. 2004:134; Franklin and Bunte 1997:250). Among the
Southern Paiute and other Numic groups, places where rituals are (and were) performed,
sites where resources used in rituals are procured, and sites where ritual paraphernalia are
discarded all constitute important places that compose the ritual landscape (Carroll et al.
2004; Franklin and Bunte 1997; Stoffle et al. 2000). Rock art and ancient or formerly
occupied sites are the most ubiquitous material correlates of these landscapes.
More nebulous depictions of prehistoric “ideology” are also called upon by
archaeologists to interpret the underlying structure of the prehistoric landscape. Snead
(2004) invokes an ideological explanation for changes in the distribution and function of
sites in the western Galisteo Basin during the Coalition and Classic periods. He reports
that, in the Pindi Phase, settlements within the Burnt Corn community were clustered,
nucleated, and distributed according to topography (Snead 2004:248). These settlements,
which contained monumental plazas, were spatially defined via petroglyphs (Snead
2004:255). However, remains of later, Classic Period settlements within the community
24
landscape consist solely of ceramic scatters along secondary ridges forming the periphery
of the Burnt Corn area (Snead 2004: 251). No evidence exists for the occupation of the
center of the area—the site of Pindi Phase pueblos—during the Classic Period.
Outside the vicinity of the Burnt Corn community, the Classic Period is
represented by extensive, networked, and intensive land use, particularly for agricultural
purposes (Snead 2004: 254). Snead suggests that the robustness of prehistoric Pueblo
subsistence strategies would have rendered these productive areas within the Burnt Corn
Community at least marginally useful (Snead 2004:258). Therefore, he implicates the
mythical system of the prehistoric Puebloans in their avoidance of the ruins of earlier
habitations. In this way, the Burnt Corn community landscape is conceptualized with
reference to ideological and historical processes that affect its form and structure.
Snead and Preucel (1999) also addressed ideological landscapes in the Puebloan
Southwest in their analysis of Keres landscape organization. Ethnographic data suggest
that the spatial component of the Keres ideological landscape is defined by the extent of
present villages and meaningful natural features (Snead and Preucel 1999:176). Natural
features are incorporated and replicated as constructions within the village. Notably, the
cardinal directions—a foundational ordering principle of the Keres ideological
landscape—are symbolically replicated in shrines constructed on village boundaries
(Snead and Preucel 1999:178). Manipulation of constructed features at the site of Kotyiti
underscores how ideology, and as a result identity, can be manipulated through built
components of the landscape. The construction of directional and plaza shrines at this
25
Spanish Period site symbolize the revitalization of Keres ideology and identity and
contestation of Spanish influence (Snead and Preucel 1999:189).
Potter (2004), discussing gendered landscapes, suggests that individual structuring
components of larger ideational systems are inscribed on the landscape. He elucidates
the ethnographic connection between hunting, knowledge and interaction with the
landscape, its resources and symbolic ancestral ties, and the production of masculinity
(Potter 2004:326-328). Analyzing the distribution of dense clusters of rock art imagery
depicting animal forms, anthropomorphic forms, and hunting practices, Potter locates
places, such as Inscription Canyon in east-central Arizona, where cyclical hunting rituals
have constructed an exclusive gendered and naturalized landscape (Potter 2004:333-335).
This prehistoric Puebloan landscape is ritually produced through gender ideology, the
material correlate of which is rock art imagery and its spatial distribution.
Finally, prehistoric trails and road systems are important and recurrent material
mechanisms through which ideological landscapes are produced and encoded.
Ethnography suggests that by being traversed, trails connect places and spaces in
meaningful relationships and integrate the landscape (Stoffle et al. 2001:150). Trails are
the means through which linkages between places are established (Snead 2002:758).
Snead documents prehistoric trail networks on the Pajarito Plateau, noting that pecked
hand and toe holds, overly constructed steps, and braiding are all components of trail
structure in the area (Snead 2002:760).
These trail features are increasingly formalized at junctions between the main trail
system and community houses. Formalization is achieved through ritual cycles of
26
renewal that produce braiding and construct the trail as a gateway to the community
house (Snead 2002:763). The central placement of community houses within the
ideological system is thus cemented through the trail network and given permanence
through its inscription on the land (Snead 2002:764). This is also evident in the Chaco
system, in which networks of roads functioned as part of a ritual complex in order to
integrate the Canyon and outliers and, therefore, the Chacoan ideational system as a
whole (Roney 1992:129-130).
As evidenced by the research outlined above, archaeological landscape theory has
been widely applied throughout the greater Southwest in a variety of forms and to a
variety of contexts. Commonalities between these applications lie foremost in the
identification of material correlates of landmarks (often with the aid of ethnographic data
in order to locate and identify important places on the landscape) and the use of this
material data to understand the distribution of human-environment interaction loci. From
this stage, ethnographic data are applied (with varying degrees of thoroughness) to the
distribution of archaeological remains in order to formulate conclusions about the means
by which landmarks were integrated into an organic whole.
Applications of Archaeological Landscape Theory to
Hopi-Affiliated Remains
While many of the studies discussed above make explicit reference to Puebloan
ideological systems and the construction of Puebloan cultural landscapes, several
analyses have been conducted on identifiably Hopi and ancestral Hopi remains. These
studies define and interpret Hopi cultural landscapes at various points and through
27
various periods of Hopi history. As above, emphasis rests first on identifying material
correlates of landscape use, in some cases identifying indicators of landscape use that
allow material remains to be affiliated with the modern Hopi Tribe, and finally on
integrating ethnographic data with archaeological data to get at parameters of Hopi
cultural landscapes. Because the formation of the Hopi Tribe is modeled as a “gathering
of the clans” (Bernardini 2005; Ferguson and Lomaomvaya 1999), clan migration
traditions play a particularly important role in defining Hopi cultural landscapes in these
studies.
Zedeño (1997, 2000, in press) develops a theoretical framework for the analysis
of indigenous territorial formation and applies it to an archaeological and ethnographic
study of the Hopi. Archaeological and ethnographic data underscore structural
differences between Western and indigenous concepts of “territory.” Contrary to
Western legal definitions of territory, indigenous territory is best understood as the
aggregate of land tenures, use of land and resources, and production of material objects
left on the landscape (Zedeño 1997:71-2; Zedeño in press). In the Hopi example, Zedeño
defines overlapping dimensions of human-land interaction that structure Hopi territory—
food production, procurement, and ritual/ceremonial activities (Zedeño 1997:77-78). Her
findings suggest that Hopi territory, as documented historically, reached its current extent
in the fifteenth century (Zedeño 1997:82). During this period, ritual space was
reorganized according to the dictates of katsina ceremonialism, irrigation technologies
intensified for cotton production, and migrants’ ancestral lands incorporated into the Hopi
28
ritual landscape (Zedeño 1997:82). Thus, cross-cutting planes of interaction with the
land and its resources define the boundaries of Hopi cultural landscapes.
As stated previously, clan migration traditions are fundamental to the formation of
Hopi territory and traditional cultural landscapes (Dongoske et al. 1992; Ferguson and
Anyon 2001; Ferguson and Lomaomvaya 1999). According to Hopi oral tradition as well
as archaeological research, ancestral clan migrations are documented in Anasazi,
Mogollon, Hohokam, Salado, Cohonina, Fremont, and Mimbres archaeological remains
(Dongoske et al. 1997:603). Today, Hopi people recognize strong cultural connections
with regions as far south as the San Pedro (Ferguson and Colwell-Chanthaphonh 2006).
As a result, Hopi cultural landscapes encapsulate broad regions of the American
Southwest in which ancestors lived, died, and were buried (Ferguson and Anyon
2001:107). Shrines and resources contained within these regions remain actively in use,
particularly for ritual performance (Ferguson and Anyon 2001; Lange 1998). Thus,
ancestral Hopi sites, in conjunction with oral traditions, provide the structure for models
of Hopi landscapes. These landscapes extend far beyond the contemporary boundaries of
the Hopi reservation and are the result of social processes that govern concepts of
affiliation and descent.
Prior studies of Hopi cultural landscapes emphasize two structural dimensions—
discrete human-land interactions for subsistence, resource procurement, or
ritual/ceremonial purposes; and the incorporation of the ancestral homelands of Hopi
clans into the shared concept of the Hopi cultural landscape. Below, evidence for these
two landscape dimensions is evaluated on the basis of Hopi ethnographic data. Then the
29
model derived from ethnography is applied to archaeological data compiled during
survey of ancestral Hopi remains in Homol’ovi Ruins State Park, northeastern Arizona.
Evaluating the Use of Ethnography by the Archaeologist
The impetus for employing ethnographic data to construct a model of Hopi
agricultural land use arises from Jorgenson’s (2005) recent review of several prominent
archaeological papers in which he presents the criticism that archaeologists do not attend
to the ethnographic record to the extent that they should. The more complete integration
of ethnography and archaeology, he argues, can strengthen archaeological interpretation
and provide archaeologists with more diverse—and likely more accurate—testable
models of prehistoric cultural systems.
The use of ethnographic data to inform archaeological interpretations has
historically been the subject of vigorous debate (i.e. Cordell and Plog 1979; Graves 1987;
Reid 1999; Reid et al. 1989; Reid and Whittlesey 2005; Upham and Plog 1986). In
articulating their positions, several prominent Southwestern archaeologists have
suggested that the use of historic Puebloan ethnography to interpret prehistoric remains
on the Colorado Plateau obscures complexity in prehistoric societies and imposes
normative social models on archaeological data (Cordell and Plog 1979; Upham and Plog
1986). However, it is the position of this paper that current traditions within archaeology
as a whole argue strongly for the importance of integrating ethnographic and
archaeological research.
30
Ethnographic data are particularly useful for archaeologists who construct and
empirically test models of sociological processes in prehistoric societies (Jorgenson
2005:661). These models, which examine the social dimensions of archaeological data,
require analogy to living societies because archaeological data are inherently limited and
mask the complexity and variation in prehistoric social systems. Such data are not
preserved in the material record and are lost to the archaeologist lacking access to testable
hypotheses based on living populations (Jorgenson 2005; Parsons 1940; Stanislawski
1972).
In particular, while patterned behaviors often leave behind identifiable
archaeological signatures (as discussed above), the social, conceptual, and cognitive
concepts that create and structure such patterning largely do not. As a result,
archaeological interpretations based on the “logic” of such remains artificially impose
patterns and structure (Jorgenson 2005; Stanislawski 1972) on the data.
As emphasized in the discussion of archaeological landscape theory as applied in
this paper, cultural systems of meaning and ideological frameworks actively structure
how the landscape is conceptualized and how humans interact with distinct loci on the
land. Ethnographic data, in spite of limitations (discussed below), are the most fruitful
source of information pertaining to indigenous ideology and cultural processes within
which to contextualize archaeological data. Thus, this analysis of Hopi agricultural land
use is grounded in ethnographic data, which provide plausible models not only for
physical use of the landscape for agricultural purposes, but also cultural dimensions that
structure the location and timing of this use. Ethnographic data provide insight into Hopi
31
interactions with the landscape in less archaeologically visible ways (i.e. for
ritual/ceremonial purposes) and suggest potential material correlates of these activities
that may be tested against the archaeological record.
Evaluating the Use of Oral Traditions by the Archaeologist
As alluded to above, Hopi oral traditions are a potent source of cultural
knowledge about processes and events in the past that have dramatically impacted how
Hopi people today view the landscape and their connection to it. Unique to the oral
traditions of the Hopi is the complexity and vastness of clan migration traditions, which
record movement of ancestral Hopi clans over much of the Southwestern landscape. This
knowledge, as well as traditions explaining facets of the Hopi agricultural system, is
particularly useful in reconstructing and modeling the conceptual dimensions of Hopi
agricultural land use. This paper incorporates much of this data into the model presented
here.
Trends in the application of traditional knowledge to archaeological interpretation
to a certain extent mirror trends in the development and use of archaeological landscape
theory, for other researchers (e.g. Basso 1996; Carmichael 1997; Carroll et al. 2004;
Ferguson and Anyon 2001; Franklin and Bunte 1997; Kelley and Francis 1993, 1994;
Toupal et al. 2000; Stoffle et al. 1997; Stoffle et al. 2000) have emphasized—to greater or
lesser degrees—the role of oral tradition in structuring cultural landscapes. The use of
traditional knowledge is also of fundamental importance in establishing the cultural
affiliation of archaeological remains, as dictated by the language of NAGPRA (Dongoske
32
et al. 1997). Thus, a large body of research justifies the use of oral traditions as a source
of data for archaeological interpretation. A few of the theoretical discussions of this use
are reviewed here.
Recurrent in discussions of the utility of oral traditions for archaeological
interpretation is the idea that oral traditions and archaeology employ two alternate, but
potentially overlapping, ways of “knowing” the past (Anyon et al. 1997; Ferguson and
Colwell-Chanthaphonh 2006). As is clear from statements that follow this assertion,
traditional ways of knowing the past are fundamentally different from archaeological
explanations in that they incorporate cultural knowledge and cultural meanings into their
histories (Anyon et al. 1997; Echo-Hawk 2000; Mason 2000). Therefore, oral traditions
are important instruments for preserving and reaffirming cultural values and social and
cultural identities.
From the perspective of the researcher intending to reconstruct chronology and
historical processes, this cultural and ideational component of oral traditions renders the
history contained within them subject to modern reinterpretation and idealization (EchoHawk 2000; Mason 2000; Vansina 1985). Oral traditions are refigured according to the
individual and cultural agendas of the teller. While this complicates the use of oral
traditions as a source of historical knowledge on par with Western historiography (Mason
2000), traditional knowledge is a vast repository for data that are uniquely applicable to
archaeological landscape studies. In particular, themes such as past migrations and land
use patterns are encoded in oral traditions (Anyon et al. 1997:80). Additionally, oral
traditions provide invaluable insight into cultural values and beliefs concerning particular
33
places, resources, natural features, and landscapes—including place names, the
significance and use of shrines, access to and use of resources, etc.—that augment
archaeological data that locate and describe these features (Anyon et al. 1997:84; EchoHawk 2000:249). Like traditional histories as a whole, indigenous cultural landscapes
evolve and are conceptually restructured through time and as a result of action and
processes of individual and social memory. Cultural landscapes therefore reflect modern
circumstances as well as landscapes of the past (Zedeño in press). However, insight into
cultural landscapes provided by descendant communities is the most direct and
parsimonious source of data concerning past landscape construction. Thus, while there
are real limitations to the contexts within which oral traditions may be conservatively
integrated with archaeological data, landscape and land use studies benefit greatly from
the cultural insight that may only be drawn from traditional knowledge. This paper will
incorporate relevant oral traditions into a model of ancestral Hopi agricultural land use.
Ethnographic Documentation of Hopi Agricultural Land Use
In this model, Hopi agricultural land use is considered along four dimensions: 1)
the physical dimension of use; 2) the social organizational dimension of use; 3) the
ceremonial/ritual dimension of use; and 4) the traditional history dimension of use.
While these dimensions are interdependent and reciprocally affect one another to a large
extent, each is considered separately in order to provide a basic structure for the model
produced herein. Of particular interest to the archaeologist, these dimensions of
34
agricultural land use have unique material correlates that allow for their reconstruction on
the landscape. Each dimension is considered below.
35
CHAPTER 2
THE PHYSICAL DIMENSION OF HOPI AGRICULTURAL LAND USE
Many researchers have modeled prehistoric Puebloan agricultural practices
according to the material correlates of land use behaviors that are visible in the
archaeological record. Across Puebloan sites as a whole, the most commonly
documented indicators of the physical dimension of agricultural intensification include:
reservoirs, waffle gardens, rock piles, terraces, irrigation systems, and linear borders
(Dean et al. 1985:548; Hart 1995:11; Rushforth and Upham 1992:35; Vivian 1974:96-97;
Woodbury 1961:11-13, 36). These features are often found in combination with sets of
field houses that functioned prehistorically for either temporary residential or storage
purposes during the agricultural season (Rushforth and Upham 1992:35; Woodbury
1961:14). Floodwater irrigation techniques also commonly required the construction of
check dams, spreaders, or diversionary dams in order to direct run-off water to cleared
fields (Gregory 1916:104; Hack 1942; Hart 1995:10; Vivian 1974:97, 103-104).
Evidence for agricultural land use is also frequently assumed at loci containing
surface artifact scatters either in association with structures interpreted as field houses, or
simply in local settings that are agriculturally productive in modern times (Rushforth and
Upham 1992:57). Distinctions between these diverse agricultural features and the precise
definitions of each vary by researcher and region. Therefore they are somewhat
problematic for classificatory purposes. However, in a general sense agricultural
36
strategies in the prehistoric Puebloan Southwest all responded to region-wide high
frequency environmental variation, which dictated to a large extent how the landscape
was utilized for agricultural purposes (Dean 1988; Dean et al. 1985:538; Gregory
1916:50).
High frequency environmental variation is considered in this analysis as one of a
suite of variables impacting the physical dimension of Hopi agricultural land use. As
conceived herein, the physical dimension of agricultural land use incorporates four main
components (see Appendix). The first, the location of use, includes larger-scale variables
such as topography, availability of water, and the basic classifications of fields utilized;
and more local variables such as soil and vegetation types in specific patches of the
agricultural landscape. The second component of agricultural land use is the scheduling
of use, which takes into account the timing of field clearing, planting, and harvesting with
respect to yearly trends in frost and rainfall. The third component of agricultural land use
is the methods of use, which include the tools used to clear and plant fields, the unique
methods by which Hopi fields are planted and the organization of crops within the fields.
Finally, the fourth component of agricultural land use considered here is the material
correlates of land use. These correlates are derived from ethnographic accounts and
include both non-durable and durable correlates of use. The implications of these
correlates for the archaeologist are discussed at the end of this section.
This section specifically emphasizes the use of land for the cultivation of corn—
the most ubiquitous Hopi cultivar (Bradfield 1971; Forde 1929; Hack 1942; Whiting
1950). However, beans and squash were also ethnographically important components of
37
the Hopi subsistence system, and agricultural land use specifically for the cultivation of
these crops is discussed separately. The physical dimensions of cotton cultivation, an
important component of Hopi ritual, are briefly considered here as well, although cotton
was not grown by the Hopi historically (Page 1940:79). Thus, data on land use
specifically for growing cotton are less prolific than for cultivated food crops. Finally,
Whiting (1950) delineates several plants as components of “embryonic [Hopi]
agriculture” (Whiting 1950:16). Such plants were used by the Hopi ethnographically, but
were wild, or “semi-cultivated.” The physical dimensions of this pattern of semicultivation are discussed at the close of this section.
Location of Use
The physiography of the Hopi region is an important factor in the success of Hopi
agricultural strategies. The Hopi villages are situated on three southwesterly-projecting
spurs of Black Mesa in northeastern Arizona (Figure 1). The highest elevation in the
Hopi region is at the northern end of Black Mesa along the face of the Chinle valley,
where elevations exceeding 8000 feet extend for approximately 40 miles to a point
between Yale Point and Lolomai Point. The entire mesa slopes south and southwestward
and loses more than 2000 feet in altitude (Gregory 1916:40; Hack 1942:3). The modern
Hopi villages of Walpi and Sichomovi and the Tewa village of Hano are situated on First
Mesa—a spur between the Wepo and Polacca valleys. The villages of Shipaulovi,
Mishongnovi, and Shungopavi are situated on Second Mesa—a spur between the Oraibi
38
and Wepo valleys; and the villages of Old Oraibi, Bacavi, and Hotevilla are situated on
Third Mesa—a spur between the Dinnebito and Oraibi valleys (Bradfield 1971:2).
Figure 1. Villages of the Hopi region. (after Bradfield 1971: Figure 1)
The Hopi region as a whole is uniquely characterized by wide valleys that are
frequently flooded during summer rains and that contain unusually large quantities of
wind-blown sand (Gregory 1916:69; Hack 1942:5, 25). The accumulation of wind-blown
39
sand in the region is fundamentally important to maintaining soil moisture and lowering
run-off after rainstorms. Sand dunes function as particularly well-suited intake areas for
surface water and rainfall (Bradfield 1971; Forde 1929; Gregory 1916; Hack 1942).
The Hopi region also contains a large number of ephemeral streams in
comparison to outlying regions (Forde 1929; Hack 1942: xix, 5). Black Mesa is wellwatered and provides a large catchment area channeling water southward and into the
Tusayan washes, which traverse the valley bottoms between the three spurs and channel
water into the Little Colorado River (Forde 1929:360; Gregory 1916:38). Additionally,
the geology of Black Mesa results in the formation of a line of springs or seeps fringing
the spurs that is a valuable source of water for Hopi agriculture.
The uppermost geologic layer of Black Mesa is southward-dipping moderately
permeable Mesa Verde sandstone, which functions as an excellent intake area and
conducts surface water downward into the mesa. This permeable layer is underlaid by
impermeable Mancos shale into which groundwater does not penetrate. Thus, once
soaked in through the upper sandstone layer, water is conducted along this plane of
contact and exits the mesa, forming springs and seeps along the mesa walls (Forde
1929:360-361; Gregory 1916:132-137; Page 1940:64). These two water sources—
ephemeral streams carrying run-off from the upper portions of Black Mesa and springs
and seeps along mesa walls—are critical to the success of Hopi agriculture
Regional physiography largely dictates the types of fields that may be planted in
the Hopi region (Figure 2). Field types, which are dependent on the amount of surface
40
flow and groundwater they receive, may be broadly broken down into four categories
according to Hack’s (1942:26) classification scheme.
Figure 2. Cultivated fields in the Hopi region in 1937. Fields are shaded black. (after
Hack 1942: Figure 13)
Hack’s four field types are:
1) surface run-off fields—including ak chin (arroyo mouth) fields, fields on the
floodplains of large streams, fields on the flood terraces of large arroyos,
41
fields in the bottoms of small arroyos, trinchera fields, and fields watered by
hillside wash (which he suggests are not found in the Hopi region);
2) rainfall-watered fields—including sand dune fields and fields planted in
alluvial and other soils (found primarily in the upper elevations of
northeastern Arizona);
3) fields watered by underground seepage—including fields planted on dune
sand, fields planted on colluvial soils, and fields planted in dune hollows; and
4) irrigated fields—including fields watered by diversion of permanent streams,
and fields irrigated from springs
Of these field types, Hack determined that 73% of Hopi fields cultivated ethnographically
were floodwater (surface run-off) fields, while the remaining 27% of fields were almost
entirely sand dune (rainfall-watered) fields, with a very small proportion of seepage and
irrigated fields (Hack 1942:26).
As indicated above, floodwater farming, the most important component of Hopi
agriculture documented ethnographically, requires that the rainfall received by cultivated
areas be supplemented by run-off from catchment areas at higher elevations (Bryan
1929:445). This run-off must be of sufficient volume and velocity to completely cover
the cultivated area without washing out planted crops (Bryan 1929:445; Forde 1929:362).
Floodwater fields are typically located on valley floors that are inundated with sheet
floods following summer rains. Two types of valley floor floodwater fields are most
common—fields located at the mouths of arroyos, and those bordering streams that
overflow their banks following heavy rains (Bryan 1929:445). Of these field types,
42
arroyo mouths (or ak chin fields) where water emerges from the arroyo channel and
spreads out along the valley floor are the ideal locations for field sites (Bryan 1929:449).
Surface run-off carries with it silt and colloidal material, which in excessive quantities
may damage planted crops, but which is beneficial to the farmer because it replenishes
the soil of fields through the repeated deposition of silt and sand. It also stabilizes the
location of fields by creating a ridge of sand at the lower end of the field that facilitates
water retention (Bradfield 1971:18; Bryan 1929:452; Hack 1942:28; Page 1940:57).
In the vicinity of the Hopi Mesas, the areas most amenable to cultivation
ethnographically were found in the middle of the valleys down which ephemeral washes
flow, particularly along the floodplain of the main washes, on the alluvial plain at the
mouth of these washes, and on the alluvial fans of small tributary washes; and along the
foot of the mesas, where a lateral water supply irrigates the soil (Forde 1929:362; Levy
1992:23; Page 1940:54). In the Oraibi valley, fields located along fans of tributaries were
referred to as pisavasa, or sand fields, and fields located in the floodplain of the main
wash were referred to as nayavasa, or good fields (Levy 1992:34), indicating a
preference for the placement of fields along the floodplain (prior to dissection of the
wash, discussed below).
Successful floodwater agriculture requires detailed knowledge of the behavior of
washes over time in order to gauge trends in the flow of surface water and precisely
locate prime areas for cultivation. As discussed above, the survival of crops in
floodwater fields is directly related to the velocity and volume of run-off flow, such that
excessive flow has the capacity to wash out crops, while flow that is too slow may
43
smother crops with silt (Forde 1929:362). Furthermore, ephemeral streams may change
course from one flood cycle to the next, changing the shape of floodwater fields and
influencing the locations where crops may be planted (Hack 1942:26).
As observed by Hack (1942) and Whiting (1950), Hopi corn fields were also
frequently situated in shallow sand dunes (Hack 1942:33; Whiting 1950:14). These sand
dunes, as briefly discussed above, are the products of the repeated and sustained action of
water and wind, which leads to the accumulation of large quantities of sand, particularly
at the foot and around the edges of the mesas in the Hopi region. Available sand is
transported from areas devoid of vegetation and deposited according to the direction of
the prevailing winds. Because winds in the Hopi region generally arise in the southwest,
this dictates the shape of the sand dunes available for cultivation (see Hack [1942] for a
detailed discussion of ancient and modern sand dunes and their morphology). Sand dune
fields are also found in smaller patches on mesa tops (Hack 1942:25). Sand dune fields
as a whole occupy a proportion of cultivated land that is second in area only to
floodwater fields.
Accumulations of sand facilitate the growth of corn plants, for the sand acts as
mulch and prevents evaporation from the less porous sandy-clay loam that underlies it.
While moisture evaporates from the sandy top layer, it is retained in the more clayey
under layer (Bradfield 1971:5; Page 1940:53). A major drawback to the cultivation of
sand dune fields is that they are not constantly replenished with fresh sediment, as are
floodwater fields. Thus, the nutrients in sand dune fields are eventually depleted and new
field locations must be established (Bradfield 1971:18).
44
As indicated above, seepage fields occupy a very small proportion of cultivated
land in the Hopi region. Forde (1929) reports that gardens are found along the mesa
walls up to the height corresponding to the junction between Mesa Verde sandstone and
Mancos shale. These gardens, which are watered by seepage from within the mesa, are
utilized for the cultivation of fruits historically (Page 1940:54), and their prevalence
around the Hopi Mesas suggests that they also supported the cultivation of aboriginal
crops prehistorically. While Hack (1942) asserts that springs emerging from the mesa
edges along the junction of permeable and impermeable geologic strata were the primary
source of ground water in the early 20th century (Hack 1942:11), Bradfield (1971)
emphasizes that no evidence for seepage fields or any dependence on seeps for
agricultural purposes could be found in the Oraibi valley (Bradfield 1971:9).
Finally, irrigation fields also occupy a very small proportion of the cultivated
landscape. In the Hopi region, irrigation was possible perennially only at Moenkopi,
where the alluvial floor of Moenkopi canyon was irrigated ethnographically with water
from Moenkopi Wash (Bradfield 1971:34; Gregory 1916:88; Nagata 1970:126-136).
There is some evidence that Wepo Spring on First Mesa was also diverted to provide
water for 11 acres of cultivated land. This land was used for the cultivation of delicacies,
which historically are almost entirely European introductions (Bradfield 1971:36).
However, prehistorically this land was likely utilized for ceremonial plantings (Stephen
1936).
While the factors considered above influence the types of locations in which
fields were established in a general sense, more local variables, such as vegetation and
45
soil patterns, dictated more specifically where Hopi farmers placed their fields
historically. Bradfield (1971) enumerates seven vegetation communities in the
immediate vicinity of the Hopi Mesas. These vegetation communities are: sagebrush
community of the mesa top, sagebrush community of the talus slopes, black-sage
community, bushmint community, snakeweed community, rabbit-brush community, and
greasewood community (Bradfield 1971:13-15). Of these vegetation communities,
snakeweed has the widest range and is found in physiographic locations ranging from the
mesa tops to the terminal fans of tributary washes. Greasewood, by contrast, is found
mainly on the alluvial flats of the valley bottoms (Bradfield 1971:14-15).
The distribution of vegetation communities around the mesas was important for
the Hopi farmer because these communities were proxies for the type of soil found in
each vegetation patch. For instance, sands were typically found to support the bush-mint
community and occasionally the black-sage community. Sandy loams were found to
support the sagebrush community of the mesa top, the black-sage community, the
snakeweed community, and the rabbit-brush community. Clays were found to support
the sagebrush community of the talus slopes and the greasewood community on the
alluvial flats of the valley bottom (Bradfield 1971:16).
Both vegetation communities and soil types are important indicators of the
potential for agricultural land use on a local level. For instance, land supporting the
sagebrush community and most land supporting the snakeweed community were
unsuitable for agriculture. Land supporting the bushmint community and black-sage
community were potentially cultivable ethnographically for fruit trees (European
46
introductions) and sweet corn and other vegetables when supplied with run-off water.
The bulk of the cultivated land was home to the rabbit-brush community, while land
supporting the greasewood community was potentially cultivable with a dependable
supply of run-off (Bradfield 1971:16-17). Thus, while physiography and proximity to
run-off and groundwater strongly dictated the types of locations available for agricultural
land use, the vegetation patches and soil types found within these locations dictated the
placement of fields on a much more local level.
As a response to the high frequency environmental variability discussed above,
flexibility in the location of agricultural land use was also necessary to ensure productive
harvests on a yearly basis. Fields were generally dispersed over a number of sites in
order to reduce the risk of total crop failure (Forde 1929:369; Hack 1942; Hegmon
1989:98). This strategy was advantageous, for excessive flooding generally did not occur
along multiple washes in historic times. Furthermore, environmental variability
differentially affected field types. In particularly wet periods, floodwater fields were
threatened with extreme flooding, but sand dune fields generally benefited from increased
precipitation. In times of drought, the reverse was generally true (Forde 1929; Hegmon
1989; Van West 1996). The dispersal of fields and shifting field boundaries served as a
buffering mechanism for the effects of predictable high frequency environmental
variability.
Thus, the location of agricultural land use documented ethnographically depended
on variables operating at a regional and local scale. These variables constrained potential
47
field sites and necessitated a flexible system of land use that responded to changes in the
availability and volume of water reaching cultivated fields.
Scheduling of Use
In the Hopi region, precipitation and growing season—two determinants of
agricultural productivity—vary inversely with elevation. Optimizing the location of
agricultural cultivation required a delicate balance between these two factors. For the
Hopi, this necessitated precision in the timing of planting and harvest in order to avoid
the effects of the late and early frosts bracketing the growing season. Therefore,
agricultural land use had a temporal component structured according to yearly climate
trends
Hopi fields were cleared toward the end of winter (typically February)—well
prior to the last Spring killing frost (Titiev 1944:183). From this point in the agricultural
calendar, the timing of spring frost was the most important factor scheduling land use, for
while early autumn frosts could reduce the season’s yield, late spring frosts had the
potential to destroy an entire crop (Bradfield 1971:6). Planting dates were determined
according to the “horizon calendar” for each village (Figure 3). Important dates in the
agricultural calendar were marked by notches and protuberances on the landscape visible
against the eastern horizon corresponding to the planting and harvesting of different crops
(Bradfield 1971:6; Forde 1929:384). The first corn planting at each mesa served in the
Niman ceremony in the third week of April (discussed in detail below). This corn was
generally planted in dune fields close to the mesas (Forde 1929:385; Kennard 1979:556;
48
Page 1940:69). Following the Niman corn planting, squash was planted in the first week
of May. At First Mesa, this planting was signaled by the sunrise behind the
neverktcomo—a marker in the “horizon calendar” (Forde 1929:385).
Figure 3. Walpi horizon calendar. (after Forde 1929: Figure 6A)
In order to avoid late spring frosts, the main corn planting was postponed until
mid-May. At First Mesa the beginning of this planting, signaled by the sunrise behind
kwitcala in the third week of May, was announced by the town crier. Planting season
49
frequently extended well into June and could continue until the summer solstice if
necessary. At this point, the end of the planting season was announced at First Mesa
when the sun reached its home at lohalin (Forde 1929:385; Hack 1942:13, 20; Kennard
1979:556). Hegmon (1989) suggests that the flexibility in the length of the planting
season was another buffering mechanism that allowed Hopi farmers to reduce risk by
varying the timing and duration of planting according to yearly environmental factors
(Hegmon 1989:97). Thus Hopi farmers commonly staggered the timing of their plantings
according to individual assessments of field location and yearly growing season
(Bradfield 1971:7).
After the initial planting, the June dry season was the critical period of plant
survival (Gregory 1916:62; Hack 1942:22). During this initial growth period, young
plants were subject to the destructive capabilities of wind, insects, drought, and the late
arrival of rain. Following this period, the amount and distribution of rainfall during July
and August were the final factors influencing the size of the yield available for harvesting
(Bradfield 1971:7).
In order to harvest all of the crop prior to the first killing fall frost, Bradfield
(1971) estimates that the fall harvest had to begin at least six weeks prior to this date
(Bradfield 1971:22). Typically, the main harvest began in late September and extended
into the first weeks of October. During this time, sweet corn was baked in roasting pits in
the fields in order to facilitate storage throughout the winter (Hack 1942:20; Forde
1929:393; Kennard 1979: 556; Page 1940:75).
50
Thus, the Hopi agricultural calendar as documented ethnographically was both
flexible in the duration of planting and harvesting periods, yet also precisely timed with
respect to the “horizon calendar” and the late spring and early fall frosts. This flexibility
allowed Hopi farmers to control for variation in temperature and rainfall from year to
year in order to minimize the risk associated with high frequency environmental
fluctuations. At the same time, through the “horizon calendar,” a cyclical pattern of
agricultural land use was established that responded to the necessities of the marginal
environment of the Hopi region. The scheduling of land use was structured according to
these physical environmental factors. Furthermore, the landforms composing the
“horizon calendar” for each mesa became incorporated into the Hopi agricultural
landscape, for they were also important structuring components of land use—influencing,
in conjunction with communal experience, the beginning and ending of planting and
harvesting cycles. Thus, even the physical dimension of Hopi agricultural land use
integrated not only the field systems and associated agricultural themselves, but also the
horizon markers that dictated the use of these field systems (Forde 1929; Titiev 1944).
Methods of Use
Hopi agricultural land use was also strongly influenced by the agricultural
techniques involved in clearing the land and planting crops. The techniques employed by
Hopi farmers were largely responses to physical factors constraining the use of the land
for agricultural purposes.
51
Ethnographically, the Hopi corn plant itself was a variety that was uniquely
adapted to patterns of moisture in the agricultural soils. Because the upper layer of Hopi
fields was formed by several inches of sand overlying an under layer of moistureretaining clay, the mesocotyl of Hopi corn plants was greatly elongated in order to reach
below the dry sand. In place of a number of seminal roots, a deeply thrusting radicle also
facilitated the absorption of moisture by the plant (Bradfield 1971:5).
Hopi corn fields were cleared using a hoe to trample down and remove weeds
(Titiev 1944:183). During planting, seeds were planted in rows separated by
approximately three paces. Individual “hills” in each row were separated by a distance of
approximately 3-4 paces (Bradfield 1971:5). Rows were typically staggered in this way
in order to distribute available moisture among the plantings (Page 1940:52). They were
also guided by the remains of the previous years’ crops, which were not cleared from the
fields. The staggered rows eliminated the need for crop rotation within the fields, for
seeds were not planted in the same locations from year to year (Forde 1929:391).
According to the yearly behavior of ephemeral streams and the migration of sand dunes
as a result of wind action, farmers typically shifted planted rows leeward in order to take
advantage of areas still overlaid with sandy soil (Page 1940:59).
Corn seeds were planted using a digging stick that was manipulated to expose the
clayey soil to a depth of 10-12 inches, and 6-12 seeds were placed in each hole. As
discussed above, this deep planting facilitated moisture absorption by the individual
plants. It also allowed the plants to be warmed by the soil and stimulated germination
(Bradfield 1971:5; Forde 1929:390; Hack 1942:20; Page 1940:49, 52; Whiting 1950:14).
52
By placing multiple seeds in each hole, corn plants grew together in clumps or “hills” and
protected each other from cutworms, field mice, direct sunlight, and violent winds (Page
1940:60; Forde 1929:390).
Typically, Hopi corn plots were approximately an acre in size, corresponding to
dimensions of about 50 paces wide by 70-100 paces long (Forde 1929:390; Page
1940:69). Scarecrows of sheep scapulae, tin cans, and other materials were frequently
scattered throughout the corn fields (Whiting 1950:14). Several features were also
commonly constructed to provide protection from the wind and channel run-off, and to
retain water in the fields. Branches were embedded in the ground along the borders of
fields to act as a windbreak and shelter plants within the fields. Stones or brush barriers
were sometimes placed in front of individual plants in order to block the wind, and tin
cans with the ends punched out could be placed over individual plants as well. Earthen
dikes were mounded up to divert run-off and also to subdivide fields. Dams designed to
manage the force of run-off were constructed of wood or earth, and stone rows were
erected perpendicular to the direction of washes to direct flow during floods (Page
1940:56-57, 62; Vivian 1974:97, 103-104; see also Woodbury [1961] for a discussion of
the construction of terraces, linear borders, and grid borders at Point of Pines to control
run-off and soil erosion). All of these modifications facilitated cultivation of the fields by
augmenting the flow of water to crops as well as managing the violence of floods and
winds. Important for the discussion below, such modifications also resulted in
identifiable material correlates of agricultural land use behaviors.
53
Thus, Hopi agricultural land use as documented ethnographically required unique
techniques for planting and managing fields. These techniques structured how crops
were planted, where plants were located within field systems, and how the landscape was
modified in order to promote agricultural productivity. In this way, the specific methods
employed ethnographically by Hopi farmers also impacted the use of the landscape and
the discrete interactions between humans and the land according to the physical
dimensions of Hopi agriculture.
Material Correlates of Use
Although exhaustive analyses of Hopi agriculture are widely available to the
archaeologist, accounts of the material correlates of agricultural land use are few and far
between. This section presents the limited data about the material indicators of
agriculture extracted from these analyses. These correlates are both perishable and
durable in nature. While perishable correlates are discussed in addition to durable
correlates, the reader must bear in mind that only durable (if any) material correlates of
agricultural land use may reasonably be expected to survive in the archaeological record.
As outlined above, Page’s (1940) account of the use of windbreaks as well as
brush, earthen, and stone diversionary dams provides a range of potential material
correlates of agricultural land use. While differences in soil, topography, and available
water sources between the central Arizona highlands and the Hopi area resulted in the use
of somewhat different water and soil management features at Point of Points than those
recorded historically at Hopi, Woodbury (1961) reports the widespread appearance of
54
stone terraces, linear borders of parallel or concentric lines of stones, and grid borders of
transversely intersecting lines of stone comprising late prehistoric field systems in the
Point of Pines area (Woodbury 1961:11-13, 36-38). Analogous stone agricultural
correlates tailored specifically to the physiography of the Hopi area, as well as stone
diversionary dams, and perhaps stone windbreaks, may reasonably be expected to survive
archaeologically. Similarly, in the Kayenta region of northern Arizona, evidence of
small-scale prehistoric stone check dams and ditch-contour terrace-bordered garden
systems have been identified (Vivian 1974:97). Brush and earthen windbreaks and
diversionary dams would undoubted deteriorate due to the destructive effects of wind and
water. Furthermore, tin cans are a historic artifact, and would not have been found
prehistorically. Forde (1929) notes that, when fields were cultivated at significant
distances from Hopi villages, temporary structures were erected in the fields in order to
provide shade and shelter for the farmer (Forde 1929:391). To the extent that these
shelters were constructed of adobe or masonry, or the postholes of wooden support beams
were not obscured by future agricultural use, these shelters would be archaeologicallyvisible indicators of agricultural land use. It is also probable that domestic trash was
disposed of in the vicinity of these structures, and artifact scatters, particularly of utility
ware jar sherds, and stone hoes (Lange 1998; Woodbury 1961) would be expected near
these loci. As discussed at the beginning of this section, these features are often
interpreted as indicators of agricultural land use throughout the Puebloan Southwest.
Despite the potential material correlates of the physical dimension of Hopi
agricultural land use proposed above, Hack (1942) contends that sand dune fields were
55
the only field type that left behind a distinct archaeological signature (Hack 1942:32). He
suggests that the position of prehistoric floodwater fields may be approximated by
reconstructing the history of ephemeral streams in the region (Hack 1942:70). This
environmental reconstruction would allow the archaeologist to estimate the most suitable
locations for ak chin and floodplain fields. Sand dune fields, by contrast, should be
identifiable archaeologically by the elaborate stone work constructed to protect fields
from blowing sand. Stone lines corresponding to prehistoric agricultural land use were
visible to him along the edges of the Hopi mesas, and corresponded closely with sites
where coal was mined and pottery was fired (Hack 1942:33, 70-71). Finally, the natural
landforms corresponding to markers in the Hopi “horizon calendar” are durable correlates
of land use, yet in the absence of data identifying their use and location, this component
of the agricultural landscape would be very difficult to recover archaeologically (at least
in the absence of rock art or shrines, which will be discussed as part of the
ceremonial/ritual dimension of agricultural land use).
Thus, while vast stores of data are available about the position of fields
ethnographically and the mechanisms by which Hopi farmers coped with the physical
constraints of cultivation, few correlates of the physical dimension of Hopi agricultural
land use—the discrete location of use and the timing and methods of use—are suggested
by these reports. This is potentially problematic for the archaeologist seeking to model
prehistoric Hopi agricultural land use and the agricultural landscape as a whole.
However, the application of archaeological data from prehistoric agricultural systems in
the Kayenta region to the north and northeast of Hopi as well as from the area around
56
Point of Pines in central Arizona suggests plausible archaeological correlates of
prehistoric agricultural features in the Hopi region (Vivian 1974: Woodbury 1961).
Other Hopi Cultivars
Up to this point, the discussion of the physical dimension of Hopi agricultural
land use has emphasized land use for the cultivation of corn. As corn is the most
ubiquitous Hopi cultivar (Forde 1929; Levy 1992; Page 1949; Titiev 1944), the focus on
corn is an artifact of virtually all studies of Hopi subsistence and ritual. Beans, squash,
cotton, and several other less ubiquitous crops are aboriginal crops that were also
cultivated prehistorically, and which required different patterns of land use from those
required by corn.
While beans were occasionally planted in rows interspersed with corn in the main
corn fields, they were customarily planted in separate, smaller plots on the mesa tops or
on sloping patches near the feet of the mesas (Forde 1929:369, 390; Page 1940:71; Titiev
1944:184; Whiting 1950:13). While Hack (1942) argues that beans were the most
important sand dune crop (Hack 1942:33), this contention is not explicitly supported by
other researchers who discuss the cultivation of beans only in passing. Squash was
primarily planted separately in small sloping plots close to the villages, although it too
was occasionally planted in circumscribed areas in the corners of corn or bean fields.
Like corn, squash was planted in alternating rows; however, greater space was left
between rows of plants in these plots (Forde 1929:369, 390; Page 1940:71).
57
Page (1940) reports that prehistorically corn, various kinds of beans (Aztec,
tepary, kidney, lima), sunflower, squash, and cotton were likely garden crops (Page
1940:66). This distinction is important because gardens were typically located
ethnographically in areas of permeable sandstone outcrops near the Hopi villages (Page
1940:54). Furthermore, Whiting (1950) suggests that gardens are indicators of
“horticulture,” as opposed to dispersed fields, which indicate “agriculture” (Whiting
1950:14). While the terminology behind the difference between these two types of
human-plant interactions may be of little significance for the archaeologist, across the
Puebloan Southwest gardens, which tend to be located next to residential sites, are
utilized for the cultivation of specialty plants, require constant tending, whereas fields are
generally monocropped and located much farther from residential sites, and are much
more areally extensive (Maxwell and Anscheutz 1993:39). These recurrent
characteristics of gardens and fields render them distinguishable in the archaeological
record.
Finally, cotton was also cultivated prehistorically by the Hopi. As will be
discussed later, cotton was an important component of Hopi ritual practice such that its
cultivation influenced settlement along the Little Colorado River. Unfortunately, the
Hopi had essentially ceased cotton cultivation by the twentieth century, and little is
documented ethnographically about its role in agricultural land use. It is clear; however,
that cotton was grown without irrigation and relied entirely on extensive natural flooding
(Forde 1929:394).
58
Thus, the cultivation of crops other than corn also structured ethnographic Hopi
agricultural land use. To a large extent, beans, squash, cotton, and garden crops were
grown in separate fields that were often much more proximate to Hopi villages than corn
fields. These crops influenced the location of agricultural land use by requiring the
cultivation of specific portions of agricultural land devoted solely to their use.
Furthermore, it is suggested that garden crops require more vigilant tending than field
crops. Thus, the cultivation of these crops likely also influenced the scheduling of
agricultural land use. More frequent interaction with the land for the cultivation of these
crops structured the timing of agricultural land use differently than for the cultivation of
corn.
Semi-cultivated Plants
Whiting (1950) identifies tobacco and “devil’s claw” as two plants that were
“semi-cultivated” by the Hopi. Tobacco, when grown aboriginally, was planted by
simply depositing a handful of seeds in a favorable spot. “Devil’s claw,” by contrast, is a
weed that was deliberately allowed to grow between rows in corn fields. As discussed
below, these crops were ethnographically important components of Hopi ceremony
(Whiting 1950:16). Thus, these “semi-cultivated” plants represent a final component of
the physical dimension of Hopi land use. While not subject to the same precise positional
influences as corn, and to a certain extent beans and squash, the growth of these plants
also structures patterns of Hopi agricultural land use.
59
CHAPTER 3
THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONAL DIMENSION OF
HOPI AGRICULTURAL LAND USE
As discussed above, the physical dimension of Hopi agricultural land use
structured and constrained the locations amenable to cultivation, dictated the timing of
agricultural land use with respect to spring and fall frosts, and impacted the methods
utilized to plant fields in the unforgiving environment of the Hopi region. Material
correlates of agricultural land use are the archaeologically-visible markers of these
discrete human-land interactions.
While the physical dimension of agricultural land use defined the locations within
which fields were situated, ethnographic accounts indicate that the Hopi land tenure
system and usufruct rights to land largely structured access to cultivable land on a village,
clan, lineage, and individual level. However, deviations from this pattern demonstrate
that non-kin social organization was also important in dictating spatial patterns of
agricultural land use. The land tenure system (both ideal and real) and usufruct rights
were components of the larger Hopi social organization, and through these systems of use
and ownership, the sociological importance of segments of the Hopi social structure was
reified and concretized on the land (Titiev 1944:200). As a result, Hopi social
organization was reflected in a complex arrangement of trusteeship and use rights that
were transferred along social organizational (both kinship and non-kinship) lines.
Through this process, social organization shaped Hopi agricultural land use and the
60
agricultural landscape during ethnographic times by governing the location of use by
different social units.
The discussion below begins with a review of Hopi supravillage social
organization, followed by a brief outline of the Hopi kinship system, which ethnographic
dogma suggests was the most important structural component of Hopi society. An
analysis of the traditional, dogmatic depiction of the role of Hopi clans in the land tenure
system is then presented. Criticisms of this traditional view are considered, and evidence
for the role of the subclan kinship segment—the lineage—in structuring land tenure, the
cultivation of land outside of clan boundaries, non-clan land ownership, and violations of
the clan land tenure system and inheritance patterns are utilized to support these
criticisms. Finally, the material correlates of the social organizational dimension of Hopi
agricultural land use are proposed and discussed. It is important to note that the term
“clan lands” in this discussion refers exclusively to fields devoted to corn (and to certain
extent cotton). Plots for other crops followed very different ownership and inheritance
patterns. This distinction is expanded on below.
The Effects of Supravillage Organization on
Hopi Agricultural Land Use
There is general agreement among Hopi ethnographers (e.g. Ferguson and
Lomaomvaya [1999]; Kennard [1979]; Titiev [1944]; Whiteley [1988]) that while the
“Hopi Tribe” exists as a modern political entity, ethnographically the Hopi villages were
socially and politically autonomous units. As a result, individual villages and mesas
maintained separate, yet often contiguous, territories in the valleys between the mesas.
61
Village territories were spatially separated through boundaries consisting of sight lines
and natural eminences that projected southward from the mesas and down the length of
the valley bottoms (Forde 1929:367; Kennard 1979:554). As territorial boundaries, these
physical features became incorporated into the Hopi agricultural landscape in the same
way that protuberances in the “horizon calendar” were incorporated. Thus, from this
supravillage perspective, the political and social organizational autonomy of villages and
the mesas on which they were situated resulted in the division of cultivable land in the
valley bottoms and around the feet of the mesas among the villages. On this broad scale,
the absence of an integrated supravillage organizational system dictated the locations of
village access to and use of agricultural land.
Hopi “Clan Land”—The Traditional View
At the subvillage level, the traditional ethnographic view asserts that kinship was
the most important element in Hopi social structure (Eggan 1950:19). Hopi kinship was
arranged vertically into nested segments, with individual households composing lineages
that were organized into clans. Clans were linked with other clans to form phratries
(Eggan 1950:22). In theory, Hopi clans consisted entirely of individuals who were
genealogically related through the female line. Therefore, the clan was viewed as the
fundamental unit of social solidarity and each kinship segment functioned as a building
block in the overall Hopi social structure. In practice, however, genealogical connections
between individual lineages within clans were difficult, if not impossible, for
62
ethnographers to ascertain (Eggan 1950:27, 107). This casts doubt on the clan-ashomogenous-social-unit model. These criticisms are addressed below.
The clan was considered as the primary unit of Hopi social structure in large part
because it was interpreted to be a corporate land-holding entity (Eggan 1950:62, 109;
Schlegel 1992:382). This contrasts markedly with the phratry, which was not found to
serve any economic function. According to this model, all of the cultivable land
available to the village was divided into clan allotments, which varied in size from a few
hundred square yards to a square mile or more (Forde 1929:367) (Figure 4).
Figure 4. Oraibi clan lands, 1944. (after Titiev 1944: Figure 5)
63
Consistent with the practicalities of maintaining dispersed field systems
(discussed above), clans generally maintained lands in at least two cultivable locations
within village territories and, at First Mesa, clans commonly maintained lands on both
sides of the mesa (Forde 1929:368). Boundaries between clan lands were fixed and
traditionally observed (Fewkes 1922:274). The mechanisms by which this was achieved
are discussed in the context of material correlates below.
In this traditional system of “clan lands,” while land ownership inhered in the
clan, trusteeship of “clan lands” was held by women in the clan, who maintained usufruct
rights to the land and had the power—subject to veto—to dispose of “clan lands” (Eggan
1950:114; Forde 1929:371; Kennard 1979:554). Inheritance of these trusteeships
followed the female line; however, the land itself was worked by the men of each
household (Kennard 1979:554)—many of whom, as a result of the matrilineal kinship
system, were not actually clan members. This pattern of clan ownership and female
trusteeship was replicated throughout Hopi society, and is seen in proprietary rights to
eagle nests, eaglets, and adult eagles, and also to springs, houses, and other possessions
(Fewkes 1900:693). Ethnographically, gardens on First Mesa were also managed
according to this system (Page 1940:66).
As Hegmon (1989) asserts, clans were important mechanisms of agricultural risk
management for, in times of crisis, restricted sharing within the clan was practiced, and
individual households within the clan could be lost without affecting its overall structure
(Hegmon 1989:116). In this traditional ethnographic interpretation of the Hopi land
tenure system, clans are depicted as equivalent social units that own patches of land
64
within each village territory. On this basis, the clan is presented as the fundamental
economic unit of Hopi society, and the principle around which Hopi life and the location
of agricultural land use are structured. More recently, however, this view has been
criticized as an idealized and overly simplistic interpretation that masks intraclan and
interclan variability in ownership patterns, as well as violations of these patterns and the
economic role of entities other than the clan.
Criticisms of the Traditional Clan Land Tenure Model
Critiques of the model of clan land tenure presented above coalesce around four
major foci. First, Hopi clans were not (and are not) equivalent social units. Significant
economic inequality existed between clans at every village. Second, the clan as a whole
was not the social entity controlling the use of agricultural land. Significant inequality
existed within clans themselves and this impacted land ownership and use rights. Third,
a significant proportion of agricultural land was “non-clan” land. This land was owned
and cultivated by individuals, suggesting a parallel system of land tenure to the traditional
clan-based system. And fourth, ethnographic accounts document frequent violations of
the clan land tenure system that have led to the significant restructuring of agricultural
land ownership and use. Each criticism is considered in turn.
Hopi clans, as documented ethnographically, were not uniform in size, and could
be represented at each village by several individual lineages or a single surviving
household. As mentioned above, while clan lands varied in size from a few hundred
square yards to a square mile or more, the total area allotted to each clan did not vary as a
65
function of the number of individuals in each clan (Forde 1929:368). Between-clan
variation in agricultural land ownership was so significant that some low-ranking clans
possessed no agricultural land, while high-ranking clans owned extensive patches in the
most fertile portions of the valleys (Schlegel 1992:381; Whiteley 1986:71). As a result,
individual clan members did not enjoy the same access and use-rights to agricultural land
as members of other clans. On the basis of the unequal apportionment of land between
clans, Whiteley (1985, 1986) contends that Hopi clans cannot be viewed as equivalent
social units, for the extent of their corporate ownership varied between clans, and some
clans did not own any land corporately. As a result, land tenure and usufruct rights did
not operate uniformly across all Hopi clans, and the locations of agricultural land use
were directly affected by clan rank.
In addition to the variation inherent in the extent of land ownership between clans,
individual clans themselves where not unitary owning bodies (Whiteley 1986:70).
Rather, all individuals within clans did not enjoy equal access to agricultural land (Levy
1992:24). The model of the clan as the primary Hopi corporate unit obscures the reality
that ownership of land (and other possessions) was not vested in the clans themselves, but
rather in subclan lineages (Eggan 1950:58). It was through the lineage that ownership of
land, rights of disposal, and usufruct rights were actually transmitted (Whiteley 1986:70;
Eggan 1950:109). Thus, trusteeship of agricultural land was not vested in all females in
the clan, but rather the senior female in each matrilineage, or clan “mother” (Bradfield
1971:20; Forde 1929:373).
66
Lineages also maintained unequal rights to land ownership and use, for most
agricultural property was vested in the “prime” lineage. High-ranking lineages controlled
the most productive agricultural land (Bernardini 2005:31-33; Forde 1929:373). As a
function of their relative wealth and power within the clan, “prime” lineages maintained
the most stable identity throughout Hopi history. In times of economic hardship, lowerranked lineages often cleaved off of clans because they were denied access to sufficient
agricultural land. This is evidenced historically in the “Oraibi split,” during which time
lineage control of land was an important factor in defining which social groups migrated
out of Oraibi (Levy 1992:99).
Thus, clans were unequal economic components of the Hopi social structure while
lineages within clans were similarly unequal components. While the traditional view of
Hopi agricultural land tenure depicts clans as corporate entities in which all individuals
farmed plots within “clan lands,” in reality access to portions of “clan land” was highly
stratified, and the “prime” lineage within each clan controlled the preponderance of “clan
land” regardless of the number of members. As a result, agricultural land use was
structured not by the dogmatic “clan land” system, but rather by clan and lineage
hierarchies that dictated the amount of land available to the individual farmer.
However, “clan lands” did not comprise the totality of cultivable land in the Hopi
region. A significant proportion of “non-clan” or “free land” was available for
cultivation by members of clans with insufficient land to support their members. Such
plots of “free land” near Oraibi were not assigned to particular clans and were available
for cultivation by any village resident with the consent of the village chief (Titiev
67
1944:63, 181). Generally these plots were not assigned to clans because they were of
poor agricultural quality, yet they functioned as a leveling mechanism, enabling the
survival of clans that would otherwise be unable to meet their subsistence needs (Levy
1992:24). In addition to plots proximate to the village, agricultural lands beyond the
boundaries of clan lands were available for cultivation by enterprising farmers (Levy
1992:24).
The historic village of Moenkopi was founded in this “outland,” which was freely
utilized by residents of Oraibi for agriculture and resource procurement purposes prior to
the establishment of reservation boundaries that institutionally alienated features
contained within the Navajo and Hopi reservations (Nagata 1970:99-100). Furthermore,
certain agricultural plots were customarily owned by individuals, as opposed to clan
segments. Typically, these plots supported beans, squash, gourds and other “garden”
crops. As they were not used for the cultivation of corn or cotton, these plots were not
considered “clan land” and were, therefore, property of the individual. Inheritance
patterns of these plots varied through time and among villages (Levy 1992:23; Whiteley
1985:371).
Finally, despite the social structural conventions embedded in the Hopi system of
agricultural land tenure and usufruct rights to land, traditional patterns of ownership, use,
and inheritance were often violated. A common social process that required the
restructuring of land ownership and inheritance patterns involved the merging of clans
upon the decline in membership of an individual clan. In such situations, lands
maintained by the declining clan were eventually absorbed into the lands of the other clan
68
(Forde 1929:375). As a result, the merged clan maintained ownership over the lands
formerly individually owned by each clan, and transferred trusteeship of these lands
along lineages refigured to incorporate new clan members. At other times, specific fields
were divorced of clan ownership because the men tending the fields acquired ownership
and transferred this ownership to their daughters or sons (Forde 1929:379). In such
instances, these parcels of land were either individually owned and inherited or they
eventually became property of the children’s clan. At Moenkopi, the effects of internal
political tensions at Oraibi coupled with the institution of the allotment system contingent
on the continued cultivation of land, as well as frequent reclamations and abandonments
of land parcels resulted in “’male individual ownership`” of many agricultural plots and
the right of individual disposal of these plots (Nagata 1970:108-113). Thus, violations of
well-defined clan and lineage ownership, trusteeship, and inheritance patterns were
commonly noted ethnographically and may reflect prehistoric patterns. This is
particularly true with regard to the ownership of land for the cultivation of crops other
than corn. This will be expanded on below in the context of agricultural land tenure in
the HSC.
As a result of all of these processes, the traditional Hopi land tenure system that
was documented ethnographically followed highly stratified patterns of ownership and
inheritance and was situationally refigured. This resulted in a certain amount of
flexibility in the location of agricultural land use at the clan, lineage, and individual
levels. However, it remains true that the general Hopi social organizational framework
69
constrained this flexibility and constrained where agricultural land was used and by
whom.
Material Correlates
While the social organizational dimension of agricultural land use is
understandably complex and incorporates not only traditional patterns of land ownership,
trusteeship, and usufruct rights, but also synchronic, diachronic, and situational flexibility
in these systems, few material correlates of this dimension of land use have been
proposed in the ethnography. This mirrors the paucity of correlates of the physical
dimension of land use discussed above. However, Forde (1929) reports that,
ethnographically, clan lands were defined by boundary stones placed at the corners and
junction points of individual allotments (Forde 1929:367) (Figure 5).
Figure 5. Clan symbols identified on boundary stones. (after Forde 1929: Figure 3)
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If these stones occurred in sufficient quantity and with sufficient spatial regularity, it is
possible that they might be identified in the archaeological record. Woodbury (1961)
identifies potential vertical slab boundary stones within grid border systems as well as
isolated on the landscape and associated with one site in the Point of Pines region
(Woodbury 1961:13). Additionally, Titiev (1944) indicates that upright slabs marked
with clan symbols were also placed in the fields as markers of ownership (Titiev
1944:62). If such slabs were of sufficient size to be documented on archaeological
surveys, they could potentially provide the archaeologist with linkages between modern
clans and past agricultural land use systems, although clan synonymy and other factors
would likely interfere with the archaeologist’s ability to connect modern and prehistoric
clans.
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CHAPTER 4
THE RITUAL/CEREMONIAL DIMENSION OF
HOPI AGRICULTURAL LAND USE
Until this point, these discussions of Hopi agricultural land use have focused
explicitly on discrete interactions between Hopi farmers and their agricultural lands and
have explored the physical and social variables structuring where, when, and by whom
these discrete interactions were carried out during ethnographic times. However, even
basic texts on the Hopi emphasize the complex interpenetration of Hopi religious life and
agricultural pursuits, and suggest that one aspect of Hopi society is not rightly considered
without the other. While this integration of religion and agriculture in Hopi society has
been documented ethnographically primarily in the context of the appearance of
agricultural symbols in Hopi ceremonies and the functional basis for Hopi ceremonies,
Hopi religious practices have not as yet been discussed as fundamental influences on
general patterns of agricultural land use or on the timing of agricultural land use.
Furthermore, when modeling Hopi agricultural land use, the arenas of ceremonial and
ritual practice have not been conceptually incorporated into the Hopi agricultural
landscape in spite of the enduring connections between the use of space and the land for
ceremonial purposes and the use of the land for agricultural purposes.
In this section the relationship between the Hopi ceremonial cycle and agricultural
practices is considered primarily on the basis of functional ethnographic analyses of the
connection between religion and agriculture in Hopi society. General characteristics of
Hopi ceremonial life, the timing of ceremonies and the impact that this timing had on
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agricultural land use (and vice versa), the appearance of agricultural symbolism within
Hopi ceremonies, and aspects of two broad classes of ceremonial material correlates—
altars and shrines—are then considered. Following this, more in-depth analyses of three
Hopi ceremonies that were explicitly performed in order to foster agricultural
productivity—Soyal, Powamu, and Niman—are presented, and the use of the landscape
for the performance of these ceremonies is discussed as a component of Hopi agricultural
land use as a whole.
Finally, aspects of personal and group rituals that affected patterns of agricultural
land use are analyzed. For the purposes of this model, a distinction is drawn between
“ceremony”—restricted to elaborate, yearly performances incorporating distinct segments
of Hopi society and centering primarily around plazas and kivas as the loci of activity;
and “ritual”—generally carried out by the individual, although also referring to certain
group activities, that are not as institutionalized as ceremonies and which take place
largely in the fields or in less formal settings and not in explicitly religious structures like
kivas.
Functional Explanations of Hopi Ceremonies
Several ethnographers (e.g. Connelly 1979; Ferguson and Lomaomvaya 1999;
Forde 1929; Hegmon 1989; Page 1940, 1954; Titiev 1944) have formulated functional
models to explain specific Hopi ceremonies and the basis for the Hopi ceremonial cycle.
These functional explanations focus largely on the hostile environment of the Hopi region
and see Hopi ceremonial life as a means of negotiating physical constraints on agriculture
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while promoting a sense of social agency in spite of the harsh conditions under which
agriculture was practiced ethnographically by the Hopi.
The underlying motivations for Hopi ceremonialism are variously described, yet
one recurrent theme across ethnographic works is the role of ceremonial performances in
promoting rain, fertility, and abundant crops during the agricultural year (Ferguson and
Lomaomvaya 1999: 27; Forde 1929:399; Stephen 1936). The role of ensuring rain is a
particularly important aspect of Hopi ceremonies, and, as Ferguson and Lomaomvaya
(1999) suggest, the concept of reciprocity fundamental to Hopi religious beliefs dictates
the centrality of prayers and offerings in these ceremonies. As they explain, prayers and
offerings are intended for the “Cloud People,” whose reciprocation is experienced by the
Hopi in the blessing of rain—the most basic agricultural need in the Hopi region
(Ferguson and Lomaomvaya 1999:29). The desire to stimulate rain-making via the
“Cloud People” accounts in large part for the ubiquitous and extensively distributed
offerings and shrines that dot the Hopi region. In a basic way, such offerings are a
component of the Hopi agricultural landscape, for, as a facet of Hopi ceremonial
behavior, they facilitate the use of agricultural lands through the provision of rain for
crops.
In a more general way, anxieties about agricultural sustainability and the
sustainability of Hopi society as a whole are borne out in Hopi ceremonial practices
(Ferguson and Lomaomvaya 1999:222; Forde 1929:399). Through ceremonies, Hopi
people commission the assistance of supernatural forces to mediate on their behalf and
provide blessings needed for the growth of crops. As a result, Connelly (1979) describes
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Hopi ceremonies as a form of “supernatural management” (Connelly 1979:540) that
ensures the survival of the Hopi in their environment through the benevolence of
supernatural forces.
General Characteristics of Hopi Ceremonies
Specific Hopi ceremonies with strong ties to agriculture are discussed in greater
detail below; however, some general comments can be made on land use patterns
resulting from practices that are common to many Hopi ceremonies. As Fewkes (1906)
reports in his analysis of Hopi shrines at First Mesa, during certain Hopi ceremonies,
priests customarily deposit prayer sticks as offerings for rain at temporary shrines erected
on the periphery of the pueblo. At the opening of ceremonies, these temporary shrines
may be removed from the center of the pueblo by as much as five miles, and throughout
the length of the ceremony the distance between shrine and pueblo steadily decreases
(Fewkes 1906:361).
In this way, the ceremonial landscape defined by these directional shrines
becomes increasingly restricted as the ceremony goes on, and the focus of ceremonial
land use is retracted in toward the pueblo. Such directional shrines are important features
in the Hopi ceremonial landscape, for they are the loci of discrete interactions between
Hopi priests and the land, and through these interactions, communication between Hopi
people and the supernatural world is achieved. Because the desired result of these
ceremonial practices is the production of rain—a necessity that allows for the use and
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cultivation of agricultural lands—such shrines may also be viewed as components of the
Hopi agricultural landscape.
Similarly, Hough (1915) records that during some Hopi ceremonies, messengers
are dispatched bearing plume-prayers to the nature gods. The messengers encircle the
fields of the entire pueblo in a symbolic act intended to focus the blessings of the gods on
the fields and nourish them with rain (Hough 1915:37). In this act, the messengers define
the extent of the pueblo’s agricultural land to be blessed with rain from the gods. This
ceremonial practice fosters the use of the land for agriculture by ensuring sufficient rain
to support the cultivation of crops in the ceremonially delineated areas. Thus, the circuit
performed by the messengers is another form of land use for agricultural purposes, and is
a symbolic and integrative social act that reinforces the agricultural use of village lands.
Finally, the practice of planting of corn (and also beans) explicitly for use in
ceremonies has been alluded to above and will be discussed to greater detail below.
However, Levy (1992) notes that between mid-April and mid-May, nine plantings of corn
are dispersed among sacred places on the landscape (Levy 1992:27) and harvested for
ceremonial purposes. While these plantings are specifically ceremonial in nature, the use
of corn from these plantings in ceremony concretizes the relationship between ceremony
and agriculture, tying ceremonial acts to specific sacred places on the land from which
these crops were harvested, and channeling spiritual blessings to agricultural land. Thus,
these general comments on Hopi ceremonialism underscore the dynamic relationship
between the performance of ceremony and the performance of agriculture. Because the
Hopi believe that the success of their crops depends on the success of their ceremonies,
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ceremonial use of the landscape may also be interpreted as agricultural use, and features
on the landscape that are incorporated into Hopi ceremonies must be featured as
components of the broader Hopi agricultural landscape.
Hopi Ceremonial Calendar
The Hopi ceremonial calendar and its relationship to the agricultural season
provide further evidence of the intimate connection between Hopi ceremonies and
agriculture. Nearly every ethnographic analysis of Hopi ceremonialism and/or
agriculture underscores the complementarities between the ceremonial and agricultural
cycles. Since the Hopi katsina ceremonial year falls between the Winter and Summer
Solstices, the performance of these ceremonies does not compete with agricultural duties,
and thus Hopi farmers are free to participate in ceremonial performances. From the
perspective of agricultural land use, this in turn means that all of the ceremonial acts
necessary for ensuring successful crops and sufficient rainfall have been completed by
the time the corn is planted and is prepared to benefit from ceremonial offerings to the
gods (Ferguson and Lomaomvaya 1999:28; Levy 1992:26; Titiev 1944:129).
Ceremonial time is kept according to the same “horizon calendar” that marks
important dates for agriculture. As discussed above, the position of the sunrise with
respect to natural features on the horizon visible from each mesa—in combination with
the lunar cycle—marks the dates of major ceremonies (Forde 1929:384-385; Frigout
1979:565). However, Forde (1929) emphasizes that the ceremonial cycle is flexible in
part to accommodate yearly fluctuations in temperature and rainfall that influence when
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crops are planted and the requisite length of the planting season. The ceremonial
calendar may be shortened or extended by shifting the dates of major ceremonies that in
turn shortens or extends the agricultural calendar as needed (Forde 1929:399). Thus, the
timing of agricultural land use is directly related to the ceremonial calendar, and the
ceremonial calendar reacts to the necessities of the agricultural season.
Agricultural Symbolism in Hopi Ceremonies
The specific contexts in which agricultural symbols appear in Hopi ceremonies
are discussed more fully below, yet it is generally true that corn is the most prevalent
symbol in Hopi ceremonies (Whiteley 1988:138). Corn symbols appear in virtually
every Hopi ceremony, and are displayed in a variety of media, including as clay or wood
fetishes and in paintings that are displayed prominently during the ceremony (Hough
1915; Whiting 1950:43). Both Whiteley (1988) and Hegmon (1989) attribute the
ubiquity of corn symbolism in Hopi ceremonies to its fundamental importance in the
Hopi subsistence system. Its economic importance is, therefore, culturally encoded by
virtue of its appearance in ceremony as the preeminent religious symbol (Hegmon
1989:96; Whiteley 1988:163). The corn plant itself is used in a variety of contexts,
including as a paste to decorate the skin of performers and also through the sprinkling of
cornmeal on the ground in lines emanating from offerings, shrines, or other ceremonial
features and pointing toward the cardinal directions (Ferguson and Lomaomvaya 1999;
Fewkes 1906; Hough 1915; Levy 1992; Page 1940, 1954; Parsons 1936; Titiev 1937,
1944; Voth 1905).
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Other agricultural crops, such as cotton and tobacco, are also recurrent symbols in
Hopi ceremonies. Tobacco is utilized primarily in ritual smoking, which is designed to
produce a “cloud” signaling the gods to produce rain (Whiting 1950:39). Cotton, by
contrast, is reported ethnographically as an important component of offerings, for which
it is utilized in the construction of pahos (Page 1940:77). Tobacco and cotton are
ceremonially important as agricultural crops, yet their prevalence does not compare with
that of corn, perhaps because these crops are not immediately required as sustenance and
thus their abundance is not directly related to the survival of Hopi people.
Agricultural crops and their images are relied upon as prominent components of
Hopi ceremonies. To a certain extent, this affects patterns of agricultural land use by
requiring the cultivation and harvesting of plants to be provided in ceremonies. Specific
plots were laid out explicitly for ceremonial plantings. In a more abstract way, however,
plant symbolism reinforces links between agricultural land use and the performance of
ceremonies. Manipulation of agricultural imagery and dramatizations utilizing this
imagery in appeals to the gods or as offerings underscores the necessity of ceremonies for
fostering agricultural productivity.
Material Correlates of Hopi Ceremonies
Two broad categories of landscape modification—shrines and altars—that result
from the conduct of ceremonies and rituals are considered as part of this analysis. These
features are the tangible material correlates of Hopi religious behavior that are observable
on the landscape and may be mapped in order to visually represent the aerial extent of
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Hopi ceremonial and ritual practice. The extent to which these material correlates are
likely to be durable and, therefore, visible in the archaeological record is discussed
below. These correlates are particularly useful in grounding abstract ceremonial behavior
to specific, locatable loci on the land that provide structure to the Hopi ceremonial
landscape, and thus the agricultural landscape, which incorporates ceremonial arenas
utilized to foster agricultural abundance.
Fewkes (1906) provides the most detailed analysis of form and function in his
discussion of the shrines of East (First) Mesa (Figure 6).
Figure 6. Hopi shrines photographed by Fewkes. (after Fewkes 1906: Plate XXVI)
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Unfortunately, his descriptions are necessarily ambiguous, for Hopi shrines assume a
range of construction techniques and vary from the highly elaborate to the expedient.
The purpose and mechanisms by which shrines are incorporated into ceremonial systems
also varies significantly. This is evidenced by the functional differences between field
shrines and the myriad shrines situated along the Salt Trail between the Hopi villages and
the Grand Canyon region (Titiev 1937). As a result, Fewkes suggests that any enclosure
in which ceremonial paraphernalia are housed or deposited during ceremonies and rituals
may be considered a shrine. These enclosures may be natural—recesses in cliffs,
caverns, crevices, etc.—or they may be deliberately constructed of stones or other
materials (Fewkes 1906:349). The simplest constructed shrines generally consist of a
stone ring or pile that forms an enclosure for prayer offerings (Fewkes 1906:349).
Although variable in form and appearance, shrines are identifiable as concretions
of stone, frequently oddly shaped, and housing foreign objects composed of a variety of
forms, colors and materials. Common offerings are prayer sticks, clay images, miniature
bowls, and quantities of foodstuffs (Fewkes 1906:349-350). While the use of these
materials in offerings is documented ethnographically, it is unlikely that food items in
particular and also prayer sticks would preserve archaeologically. Further, unless fired,
clay totems and miniature bowls are also likely to disintegrate prior to their incorporation
in the archaeological record. As a result, shrines are largely identified archaeologically
solely on the basis of unusual and apparently deliberately constructed rock formations (or
associations with rock art).
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Although more ephemeral than shrines, which remain actively in use as part of the
ceremonial landscape even after the abandonment of habitation and agricultural features,
altars used in Hopi ceremonies are more diagnostic than shrines and have been discussed
in several ethnographic accounts. Altars consist of two components—vertical stone
slabs, and associated objects and images that are specific to the ceremony being
performed. Associated with the upright slabs, which are often attached to a wooden
frame, are symbolic paintings of agricultural images, clouds, sacred animals, or cult
heroes, and objects such as fetishes, offerings of cornmeal, and individual corn plants
(Frigout 1979:570; Titiev 1944:105). While these altars are dismantled at the conclusion
of every ceremony, they function—like shrines—as tangible features of the Hopi
ceremonial landscape. They are the sites of discrete interactions between performers and
the land, and because of the intimate connection between Hopi ceremonies and
agriculture, these loci are also components of agricultural land use, for they provide for
the agricultural use of the land and ensure the continuance of land use for agricultural
purposes.
Specific Hopi Ceremonies—Soyal
The first major ceremony in the Hopi cycle is Soyal—the Winter Solstice
ceremony—which is seen by the Hopi as the preeminent agricultural ceremony in the
yearly calendar (Levy 1992:40). The Soyal ceremony is bound up with many political
and organizational aspects of Hopi society and is sponsored by the Soyal fraternity. It is
unique among Hopi ceremonies in incorporating the entire village into a series of
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performances that reinforce village inclusiveness and provide for the mutual agricultural
benefit of all individuals in the village (Titiev 1944:144).
While Soyal incorporates kiva performances and the distribution of prayer sticks
for a variety of motives, several aspects of the ceremony are closely related to the
promotion of agriculture. First, on the eighth day of the ceremony, katsinas travel among
houses in the village, collecting ears of corn from each house to be placed beside the altar
in the ceremonial (or Chief) kiva. Through the rites of the ceremony, this corn is
consecrated and redistributed to the villagers to be planted with the rest of the crop and to
ensure agricultural abundance through blessings bestowed on the corn during the
ceremony (Hough 1915:138; Titiev 1944:143-144).
Next, before dawn on the ninth day of the ceremony, a screen bearing the
depiction of Muyingwa into which seeds have been affixed is brought into the ceremonial
kiva and before it is erected the pile of corn collected from the villagers as well as an
assortment of corn fetishes. During the kiva performance, the Soyal chief ritually
scrapes the seeds from the screen into a tray to symbolize the germination of crops.
Through this ceremonial act, good crops and an abundant harvest are ensured (Hough
1915:137; Titiev 1944:144-145).
Finally, the most critical aspect of Soyal occurs later on the ninth day of the
ceremony, when a performer dramatizes the progress of the sun through its yearly cycle.
The performative aspects of this dramatization vary between villages, yet ethnographers
have concluded that this component of Soyal is intended to induce the sun to progress
northward and toward its summer home. This brings the warmth necessary for the
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planting of crops and enables the use of agricultural land by Hopi farmers (Ferguson and
Lomaomvaya 1999:136; Levy 1992:27; Parsons 1936:4; Titiev 1944:145; Whiteley
1988:58).
Throughout the entire Soyal ceremony, prayer offerings dedicated to a multitude
of causes are widely distributed throughout village shrines (Ferguson and Lomaomvaya
1999:136; Titiev 1944:145). These shrines define the extent of ceremonial land use
during Soyal and define a component of the Hopi agricultural landscape through
ceremonial acts aimed at fostering agricultural abundance and facilitating the use and
cultivation of agricultural land.
In this way, Soyal contributes to patterns of ethnographic Hopi agricultural land
use first by incorporating the arena of Soyal rituals—the Chief kiva and the wide
distribution of shrines at which prayer offerings for good crops were deposited—into the
agricultural landscape by virtue of the ceremonial dependence of agricultural productivity
on the success of the Soyal rituals. Agricultural land use was further ceremonially
sanctioned through the mimetic act of crop germination achieved by the scraping of seeds
from the screen by the Soyal chief. Finally, the sun dramatization impacted the timing of
agricultural land use by ceremonially inducing the northward progress of the sun and
hastening the warm weather necessary for the planting of crops and their successful
growth. Therefore, scheduling of agricultural land use was defined by the performance
of this ceremony.
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Specific Hopi Ceremonies—Powamu
Prior to the Powamu ceremony, which was performed in February during
ethnographic times, the Powamu chief presented prayer feathers to the chief of each
village kiva as a signal to begin planting ceremonial beans inside the kiva. Bean seeds
were planted in basins or boxes full of earth—into which the prayer feathers were
deposited—and placed within the kiva. From the time of planting until the Powamu
performance, a fire was maintained within the kiva to facilitate the germination of these
ceremonial crops. Powamu officers also planted ceremonial corn plots either in the home
of kinswomen or within the kiva (Titiev 1944:114; Whiting 1950:40-41).
These artificially sprouted crops were closely tended, for their success was
believed to foreshadow the success of the year’s harvest and also indicate the good
intentions of the planter (Hough 1915:139; Titiev 1944:115; Whiting 1950:41). The
beans and corn were harvested before dawn on the ninth day of the Powamu ceremony
(Titiev 1944:117). Successful germination of ceremonial crops within the kivas was
believed to cleanse and prepare the fields for planting and promote crop germination and
fertility. Thus, the growth of these plants ritually purified the agricultural land, protected
it from the hazards of the Hopi region (i.e. windstorms, ants, etc.), and enabled Hopi
farmers to cultivate their crops (Ferguson and Lomaomvaya 1999:27; Hough 1915:139;
Levy 1992:27; Parsons 1936:156). In this way, agricultural land was made ceremonially
usable through the performance of the Powamu ceremony, which introduced the village
kivas and the locations of the ceremonial plots into the Hopi agricultural landscape and
also allowed for use of the agricultural landscape through the success of the ceremony.
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Specific Hopi Ceremonies—Niman
Finally, the Niman ceremony signified the closing of the katsina ceremonial
calendar and, according to ethnographic accounts, was closely tied to the beginning of
summer rains and, therefore, held yearly around the time of the summer solstice. It
commemorated the “homecoming” or “farewell” of the katsinas, who ritually returned to
the underworld, by depositing offerings into a hollow shrine and covering the lid to
symbolize the closing of the ceremonial cycle (Titiev 1944:128, 235).
Prior to this ceremonial conclusion, elaborate kiva rites and public dances were
held, in which costumed katsina impersonators carried planting sticks, hoes, and other
agricultural paraphernalia, and brought with them corn, melons, beans, and peaches for
the young attendees. Two successive rounds of katsina dances were held, following
which the procession moved to the shrine outside the pueblo to close the ceremonial
cycle (Hough 1915:146).
At the shrine, a farewell speech was delivered to the katsina impersonators by
their ceremonial fathers. In this speech, the fathers implored the katsinas to return home
to their families and induce them to come and bring rain to the Hopi fields. This rain,
they were told, would allow the meager crops to flourish and eventually produce an
abundant yield by harvest time (Titiev 1944:233). Thus, in the Niman ceremony, the
katsinas were ceremonially dispatched and entrusted to provide for the Hopi crops by
bringing rain to the fields. Their departure into the underworld corresponded to the end
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of the planting season and the beginning of a critical period of growth for the crops
(Frigout 1979:564).
By celebrating the homecoming of the katsinas and enlisting their assistance in
cultivating the agricultural lands, the Hopi ceremonially provided for the fertility of their
fields via the Niman ceremony. Thus, as in the Soyal and Powamu ceremonies, through
the Niman ceremony, the Hopi incorporated the kivas, communal areas, and shrines
utilized in the ceremony into the agricultural landscape by virtue of the connection
between the performance of the ceremony and the capacity for agricultural land use.
They also ceremonially enabled the use of allotted agricultural land, by ensuring rain for
the crops through the commands given the departing katsinas.
Hopi Individual and Group Ritual and its Connection
To Agricultural Land Use
As elaborated on above, Hopi “ritual” practice is distinct from “ceremonial”
practice both in the identities of the practitioners and in the loci at which rituals are
carried out. In spite of these differences, many rituals function in ways very similar to
ceremonies and are designed specifically to promote agricultural land use and foster
agricultural productivity. As such, several pertinent Hopi rituals and their footprint on
the landscape are considered herein.
Contrary to the argument presented here, Titiev (1944) asserts that, “There is very
little personal ritual associated with actual labors in the field” (Titiev 1944:187). He
does, however, acknowledge that prior to the time of his writing it was traditional for
Hopi farmers to erect simple stone slabs as shrines when clearing fields in the winter and
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to deposit at these shrines prayer sticks and other offerings in order to promote the
fertility of the field (Figure 7). Forde (1929) elaborates on this custom, noting that on a
yearly basis Hopi farmers deposited uniquely-shaped pahos along the eastern face of the
stone slab shrines.
Figure 7. Hopi field shrine. (after Forde 1929: Figure 10)
These pahos were distinct from those deposited at springs and other shrines in that they
were wooden twigs two feet in length and adorned with the feathers of eagles and other
bird taxa. Such pahos were intended to promote the fertility of the plots (Forde
1929:395). Additionally, Forde explains that it was common for farmers to douse
themselves with water before embarking for the first day of planting in the fields. This
ritual was designed to ensure that fields received sufficient moisture during the
agricultural season to produce a plentiful crop (Forde 1929:399).
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Finally, two group rituals were also carried out ethnographically in the fields to
stimulate agricultural productivity. Early in the calendar year, Hopi boys played a ritual
ball game using a buckskin ball filled with seeds. This game was extended over a four
day period, during which time the ball was supposed to break open, spilling seeds onto
the fields and thereby ensuring a plentiful yield during the agricultural season (Forde
1929:396). Similarly, on the first day of planting, Hopi work parties traditionally ran a
foot race in the fields. The speed of the runners during this race was believed to translate
into the speed of plant germination and growth. Therefore, runners in this ritual
facilitated the growth of the crops that they subsequently planted (Forde 1929:396).
Thus, while less elaborate and smaller in scale than Hopi katsina ceremonies,
personal and group rituals also structured patterns of agricultural land use by providing
for the successful planting and harvesting of crops in the fields. As in katsina
ceremonies, these rituals impacted the success and timing of agricultural land use rather
than the actual ownership or selection of agricultural areas. However, because of the
dependence of agriculture on ceremonial performance in Hopi cosmology, these rituals
and ceremonies defined agricultural land use in ways that were just as substantive as the
physical and social determinants of land use. The material correlates of the ceremonial
dimension of agricultural land use are shrines and altars—the loci of interaction between
performers and the landscape for ceremonial purposes. This network of landmarks is
incorporated into the totality of the Hopi agricultural landscape.
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CHAPTER 5
THE TRADITIONAL HISTORY DIMENSION OF
HOPI AGRICULTURAL LAND USE
As discussed above, indigenous oral traditions/traditional histories play a
fundamental role in how a culture maintains itself, represents itself as a collectivity, and
justifies contemporary social organization and land claims by reference to ancestral
conditions, or “the way things have always been.” Hopi traditional history functions in
this way to substantiate Hopi rights to land and resources, to define the extent of the Hopi
ancestral landscape, and to provide a traditional basis for social prestige and withinvillage land ownership. To a large degree, these functions of Hopi traditional history are
closely tied to ceremonial aspects of Hopi society. Therefore, connections between
traditional history and the legitimation of ceremonial and social order as structural
components of Hopi agricultural land use are elaborated on below.
In this section, the relationship between migration traditions—perhaps the most
prominent and uniquely Hopi aspect of Hopi traditional history—and ethnographically
documented land tenure is explored. Intermediate between these cultural phenomena are
the structure and trusteeship of Hopi ceremonies, which provide the basis for social
ranking and prestige (thus discrediting the oft stated notion that Hopi society is
fundamentally egalitarian). This ranking translates into ownership of and usufruct rights
to land and the power to distribute land among ceremonial performers. Ceremonial
performers in turn materially benefit from participation in ceremonies through the
acquisition and use of agricultural land. Causal relationships are drawn below between
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Hopi migration traditions, which reinforce social hierarchies and ceremonial ownership,
and trusteeship and use of specific agricultural allotments that result from hierarchical
interclan relationships and ceremonial participation. In this way, it is argued that the
location of Hopi agricultural land use and the identity of social units with access to and
use of agricultural land is legitimized through Hopi migration traditions and the social
organization legitimated by these traditions.
Hopi Migration Traditions—General Outline
General outlines of Hopi migration traditions assume a variety of forms and
emphasize details and chronological relationships differently, according to the individual
speaker and his social identity (see Vansina [1985] for a discussion of processes of
chronological and social refiguring in oral traditions). However, several recurrent themes
emerge from all versions of Hopi migration traditions. In this discussion, the explicit
focus of analysis is on Hopi migration traditions in large scale. Migrations are not
considered at the level of clan or subclan units with the exception of those specifically
recorded to have migrated through Homol’ovi. Most between-version variability occurs
at this fine scale and requires a much more exhaustive examination of the literature than
is relevant to this study.
Emergence stories are perhaps the most basic element in Hopi traditional history.
These traditions record that the Hopi clans emerged into this, the Fourth World, through
the Sipapuni—a shrine variously attributed to locations in the Grand Canyon, at the
confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers and—in less traditional versions—
in Central Mexico. Upon emerging into this upper world, the Hopi people encountered
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Ma’saw, the guardian of the earth, who instructed them to leave “footprints” across a vast
geographical area until spiritually directed toward Tuuwanasavi (Earth Center), which
they found at what is today the Hopi Mesas. By virtue of fulfilling this pact with
Ma’saw, the clans were to become Ma’saw’s people—the Hopi.
The footprints left by the migration of Hopi clans from their place of emergence
today take the form of springs, sacred trails, ruins, rock art sites, shrines, and other
constructed features. These landscape modifications indicate Hopi cultivation and
stewardship of the land—the requirement for the Hopi clans to earn the right to
permanently settle on land owned by Ma’saw. Hopi clans were directed to reside at
stopping points along their migration pathways for a maximum of sixteen years before
migrating farther toward Tuuwanasavi. This residential mobility accounts for the vast
distribution of archaeological remains that are today attributed to ancestral Hopi people
and that form the infrastructure of Hopi cultural landscapes (Dongoske et al. 1992:27;
Ferguson and Lomaomvaya 1999:70-76; Kuwanwisiwma 2000:161-163; Voth 1905:2122).
The pact forged between the Hopi clans and Ma’saw was reenacted in part in
ethnographic times during communal planting and harvest ceremonies. During planting
ceremonies, a Hopi farmer traditionally impersonated Ma’saw and in this visage worked
as part of the communal planting party. This ceremonial act emphasized Ma’saw’s
ultimate ownership of the crops being planted. Similarly, during yearly harvest
ceremonies, a Ma’saw impersonator was again present, this time running toward piles of
harvested corn and patting them with his palm to symbolize ownership of the entire crop
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(Titiev 1944:184-186). Therefore, Ma’saw was seen ethnographically by the Hopi as the
ultimate owner of the earth who gifted the Hopi with trusteeship of their lands in return
for acts of stewardship.
The actual Hopi migration pathways recorded in traditional history, which have
been retraced through consultation between ethnographers and Hopi elders, are difficult
to differentiate and accurately follow for a number of reasons. First, while migrations are
traditionally discussed at the clan level, clans did not always travel as whole units.
Instead, migrations typically occurred at the level of the fetish-holding maternal family
(Parsons 1922:289). As discussed above in the context of clan land ownership,
depictions of social action operating at the level of the clan obscure variation and
behavioral patterns within clans that have profound effects on patterns of Hopi
agricultural land use. Furthermore, it is well documented that clans frequently fissioned,
merged, recombined, and intersected along their migration pathways. As a result, clan
migration traditions and the historically-based identities of different clans and clan
segments differ widely through time and among villages (Bernardini 2005: 27-30;
Ferguson and Lomaomvaya 1999:70).
Fewkes (1897) reconstructs one version of the migration of Hopi clans from three
distinct geographical regions, and identifies specific clans that resided in and migrated
from these regions. Tokonabi, in southern Utah near Navajo Mountain, was home
ancestrally to the Snake and Horn clans; Palatkwapi, in southern Arizona, and the Little
Colorado River, were the ancestral home of the Squash, Flute, Cloud, Lizard, Tobacco,
Sand, and Rabbit clans; and Muiobi, in the Rio Grande valley, and the New Mexican
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pueblos, was the point of origin for the Bear, Firewood, Reed, Tansy-mustard, Butterfly,
and Badger clans (Fewkes 1897:582). These origin points were defined according to
reports from informants at Walpi, and may reflect migration traditions specific to this
village and the clan affiliations of the informants. In spite of the problems inherent in
identifying specific migration pathways and attributing them to ethnographically visible
clans, Fewkes wrote prolifically on the topic and has informed a large proportion of
subsequent ethnographic and archaeological work.
Ancestral Hopi Migrations through Homol’ovi
Sites in what is recognized today as the Homol’ovi Settlement Cluster (HSC) are
specifically mentioned in many traditional accounts of Hopi ancestral migrations.
Chevelon Pueblo and other Homol’ovi sites are traditionally recorded as stopping points
in the migration pathways of clans from Palatkwapi northward to the Hopi Mesas
(Ferguson and Lomaomvaya 1999:109). Several ancestral sites in the Hopi Buttes area
and the prehistoric site of Awatovi succeed Homol’ovi in migration traditions that
culminated at modern Hopi villages on the Mesas
Fewkes’s (1897, 1900, 1906) early writings suggest that several Patki clans,
including the Lizard, Sand, Rabbit, Tobacco, and Rain-cloud clans, inhabited a site on the
Little Colorado near modern Winslow, Arizona, and practiced a religion of southern
origins brought with them from their original home at Palatkwapi. In addition, the
Tobacco, Rabbit, and Hare clans were reported to have previously settled at a site on the
Little Colorado River near the mouth of Chevelon Creek—a site that may be Chevelon
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Pueblo. Today, the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office officially recognizes the ancestral
migrations of 11 contemporary Hopi clans through Homol’ovi (Walker 1996).
These ancestral migration pathways were encoded ethnographically in proprietary claims
to eagle nests located in regions formerly occupied by specific Hopi clans and interpreted
to be part of their ancestral territories (Fewkes 1987:596-601; Fewkes 1900:697-699;
Fewkes 1906:348).
As a counterpoint to these traditional accounts, Lyons’s (2003) ceramic and
architectural data indicate that the Homol’ovi sites were founded by migrations from the
north, and likely from the Hopi Mesas. He reconciles this archaeological data with Hopi
traditional history by suggesting that migration traditions have been chronologically
refigured through time and reflect the relative proximity of Homol’ovi to the Hopi Mesas.
He also suggests that the temporal resolution of remains on the Hopi Mesas is not
sufficient to reconstruct probable population movements from Homol’ovi back to the
Mesas (Lyons 2003:39).
Hopi Cultural Landscapes
As considered above in the discussion of the formation and conception of
indigenous cultural landscapes, migration traditions play an important role in defining the
extent of cultural landscapes and suggest ancestral sites that are archaeologically
identifiable loci within these landscapes. Because Hopi traditional history is
conceptualized as a “gathering of the clans” and an amalgamation of the ancestral
homeland of each migrating clan into composite Hopi cultural landscapes, migration
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pathways and ancestral sites are fundamental structural components of these cultural
landscapes (Kuwanwisiwma 2000:163). Hopi cultural landscapes remained ritually and
pragmatically in use ethnographically through the visits by individuals and priests to
ancestral sites in order to worship at ancestral shrines and procure water from ancient
springs for altar rites (Dongoske et al. 1992:27; Fewkes 1987:592). At Homol’ovi, ruins
of habitation sites were still considered as clan property and shrines and springs were still
visited for ceremonial purposes during ethnographic times (Fewkes 1906:348). Other
ceremonial plant and animal resources, and subsistence resources like aquatic birds and
fish, were also procured ethnographically by the Hopi in the Homol’ovi area (Lyons
2003:41, 97).
In this way, the ancestral homelands of the Hopi clans recorded in traditional
history, and the Homol’ovi region specifically, became incorporated into the Hopi ritual
landscape by virtue of the connection between these regions and the ancestral migrations
of Hopi clans. While no longer actively inhabited, these regions remained ritually in use
and components of the larger ritual landscape both conceptually and literally through the
procurement of resources for ceremonial purposes. In one respect, through the use of
resources and the larger ancestral homelands within which they were situated, the Hopi
ritual landscape, and—following the reasoning presented above—the agricultural
landscape were expanded outward from the Hopi Mesas to incorporate vast regions
inhabited by Hopi ancestors. In another respect, Hopi concepts of migration and the
gathering of the clans from their ancestral homelands are bound up in notions of clan
prestige and ranking that ethnographically determined ceremonial ownership and
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ultimately the trusteeship and use of agricultural land. Bernardini (2005) supports this
assertion, stating that, “Migration accounts are frequently preserved in oral tradition
because they justify land tenure and social status” (Bernardini 2005:21).
Order of Clan Arrival at the Hopi Mesas
The relationship between Hopi migration traditions and agricultural land
ownership and use involves two components, the first of which is the traditional order of
arrival of clans at the Mesas. In a general sense, the order of arrival of clans at the Mesas
determined clan land ownership and ceremonial rank (Bernardini 2005:27; Schlegel
1992:388). Clan status resulted from the order of entry into the village, with the earliest
arrivals accorded the highest status (Connelly 1979:549). Causal relationships between
the mythical order of arrival and ceremonial rank will be expanded upon below. Hopi
traditional history sheds light on these linkages by recounting specific episodes of clan
entry into the modern villages. Interestingly, like traditional history as a whole, the
traditional order of clan arrival is mutable and has been restructured to legitimize
contemporary political arrangements (Bernardini 2005:24; Eggan 1950:117; Schlegel
1992:381, 393; Titiev 1944:61). As recorded by Voth (1905), upon arriving at the foot of
Third Mesa, immigrant clans were asked by the Oraibi chief to utilize their unique
ceremonial knowledge and demonstrate the power to produce rain and good crops
through a ceremonial performance. Successfully completing this task earned clans entry
into Oraibi and ownership of Oraibi fields.
According to tradition, the Bow clan arrived early at Third Mesa and through their
ceremony filled the surrounding washes with water. In return for this demonstration, the
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clan was granted ownership of a large tract of unclaimed land (Voth 1905:24). In this
way, the Oraibi chief—a member of Bear clan—distributed agricultural parcels among
incoming clans until the final entry of the Sun clan, who ethnographically cultivated
fields on the periphery of the village agricultural allotments (Page 1954:9).
Thus, the order of clan entry into villages on the Mesas was particularly important
for determining the size and location of clan agricultural allotments. Early arrivals at the
villages received choice parcels proximate to the village, and land gradually expanded
outward to accommodate an increasing number of clans and village population. In this
way, the location of clan agricultural land and the right to use this land was strongly
influenced by the mythical order of clan arrival at each village.
Ceremonial Ownership and Land Tenure
Clan ownership of, and participation in, ceremonies played an even more
profound role in ethnographic patterns of land tenure and use than did mythical accounts
of clan arrival. Critiques of ethnographic depictions of the basic unit of ceremonial
ownership in Hopi society parallel the critiques of models of corporate land-owning
groups presented above. In the traditional view, each Hopi ceremony was owned
ethnographically by an individual clan, which operated as a corporate ownership body,
sponsoring ceremonial performance and maintaining custody of ceremonial paraphernalia
and ceremonial knowledge. According to Hopi traditional history, the allotment of
ceremonies to specific clans was carried out by the gods following the emergence of
clans through the Sipapuni (Eggan 1950:62; Frigout 1979:576; Titiev 1944:90, 110).
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In practice, however, ceremonial ownership always rested in prime lineages, with
senior females acting as trustees who inherited custodianship of ritual objects and were
directly involved in carrying out ceremonial performances (Bernardini 2005:33;
Bradfield 1971:20; Forde 1929:373; Whiteley 1985:370). Therefore, ceremonial
ownership was more complex than depicted in traditional ethnographic accounts as well
as in Hopi traditional history, which express an egalitarian ethos.
While ownership of ceremonies by a clan segment conferred social status to this
segment and/or the clan as a whole and this was an end in itself (Levy [1992] formulates
a clan ranking system based on ownership of a ceremony, ceremonial office, or common
kiva), ceremonial ownership was fundamentally important to the structure of agricultural
land use, for the custodianship of ceremonies also conferred ownership of, and usufruct
rights to, tracts of agricultural land associated with each ceremony. According to Hopi
traditional history, clans were granted use of agricultural fields on the basis of their
control of the ceremony for which specific land was devoted (Forde 1929:375; Whiteley
1985:370). Therefore, use of specific portions of “clan land” was predicated on
ownership of appropriate ceremonies. The relationship between clans (or more
appropriately clan segments) as fundamental ranked social groups, ceremony as the
underlying structural component of Hopi society, and agricultural lands as the means of
sustaining Hopi society was reified and legitimated in this arrangement (Titiev
1944:118).
For example, at each Soyal ceremony on Third Mesa, a sacred stone was
produced on which was represented the Oraibi domain with the six Soyal officers
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depicted in postures indicating that they are “claiming” land within their portion of the
stone. The appearance of this stone during the ceremony and its incorporation into the
performances reinscribed the ceremonial basis for land use by the Soyal officers and
solidified their claim to specific agricultural lands (Titiev 1944:61).
As was true of non-clan land holdings discussed above in the context of the
social organizational dimension of Hopi agricultural land use, provisions were made
within Hopi society to accommodate clans or lineages within clans that did not enjoy
custodianship of ceremonies and, therefore, did not possess associated clan lands.
Performance in ceremonies put on by other clans or lineages could earn officers and other
individuals’ usufruct rights to clan lands. The degree of participation in ceremonies and
in preparations for ceremonies largely dictated the size of the lands distributed among
these individuals (Titiev 1944:63, 181). Interestingly, these patches of land were granted
to men, and not women—the traditional trustees of agricultural land.
While discussed above as a social organizational dimension of agricultural land
use, it is clear that the basis for apportioning “clan land” was rooted ethnographically in
the larger Hopi ritual structure, and not simply in Hopi social organization (Whiteley
1985:368). This analysis of traditional history indicates that the connections traditionally
drawn between clan migrations and ceremonial ownership/participation structured
custodianship and usufruct rights to clan land. This is evident in modern times at the
village of Bacavi, which was founded largely as a reaction to the demise of the Hopi
ritual system and therefore does not maintain the traditional Hopi ceremonial cycle.
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At Bacavi, because the ritual structure underlying “clan land” is absent,
agricultural land ownership does not inhere in clans or clan segments, but rather in
individuals, and follows variable inheritance patterns (Whiteley 1988:151). While Hopi
traditional history depicts ceremonial ownership as fixed in specific clans, ethnographic
accounts document the movement of ceremonies between clans as a result of extinction,
merging, cleavage, and other social phenomena. Therefore, agricultural land passes
between clans as a result of these fluctuations, which provide the opportunity for
interclan competition for ceremonial ownership and ceremonial office (Schlegel
1992:381, 393).
It is evident from this discussion that Hopi migration traditions and rights of
ceremonial ownership associated with these traditions were prominent structural
components of agricultural land tenure. Through Hopi traditional history, specific clans
(or clan segments) become associated with ceremonies that conferred rights to portions of
agricultural land or to grant agricultural land to non-clan participants in ceremonies. As a
result, the portions of agricultural land that were utilized by Hopi farmers, and the
identity of the farmers possessing usufruct rights to the land, were structured by Hopi
tradition and ceremony. Material correlates of the traditional history dimension of
agricultural land use are the same as the correlates of land tenure and ceremonial land use
discussed above. Hopi traditional history, however, defines linkages between these
landmarks in unique ways that differ profoundly from Hopi social or ceremonial
organization.
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Extrapolating from ethnographic descriptions of features utilized to indicate land
tenure in the Hopi region, Bernardini (2005) postulates that rock art designs—particularly
petroglyph images—also communicated the prehistoric presence of “clans” on the
landscape. He suggests that a narrow subset of rock art motifs may be defined as “clan
symbols,” which were utilized to communicate group identity and residence at specific
archaeological sites (Bernardini 2005:96). This subset of petroglyphic motifs is
characterized by close association with 14th century residential sites, suggesting that
residents of these sites produced the motifs; exhibits style consistent with Pueblo IV rock
art in the study area; and contains identifiable similarities with historically documented
clan symbols (Bernardini 2005:99) (Figure 8).
Figure 8. Petroglyphic clan symbols. (after Bernardini 2005: Figure 4.2)
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Based on an analysis of rock art distribution at pueblos representing several
settlement clusters in northern and central Arizona, Bernardini concludes that specific
symbols dominating rock art distributions at Pueblo IV sites likely signaled group
identity and residence. These symbols are isolated with respect to other petroglyphs,
feature “spare, conventionalized style,” are characterized by a range of motifs largely
restricted to images of plants and animals that were ubiquitous in the prehistoric
Southwest, and are replicated in the vicinity of the pueblo under study (Bernardini
2005:100).
The results of Bernardini’s analysis of rock art in the Homol’ovi Settlement
Cluster are discussed further below. His research clearly indicates that petroglyph
images represent a class of material culture that may be interpreted to uniquely reflect the
traditional history dimension of Hopi agricultural land use. Given the ubiquity of rock art
in the archaeological record, the distribution of petroglyphic clan symbols has the
potential to provide a large body of data about the role of traditional history in structuring
the ancestral Hopi agricultural landscape.
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CHAPTER 6
CONFOUNDING VARIABLES IN THE APPLICATION OF
ETHNOGRAPHIC MODELS TO PREHISTORIC DATA
As stressed throughout this paper, this model of prehistoric Hopi agricultural land
use relies on historic analyses of Hopi agricultural practices, social structure, ceremonial
performances, and traditional histories. The data for this model are synthesized from late
nineteenth through twentieth century Hopi ethnographies and traditional histories
documented by Hopi ethnographers. Some of the sources that inform this study are the
product of collaboration between archaeologists and Hopi consultants. The vast majority
of sources, however, present interpretations by non-Hopi of contemporary Hopi society at
the time of their writing. As a result, several confounding variables influence the
applicability of an ethnographic model of Hopi agricultural land use to interpretations of
prehistoric archaeological data. Some of these variables have been discussed in previous
sections and are revisited below, while additional confounding variables are also
proposed.
Revisiting the Use of Traditional Histories in
Archaeological Interpretation
Factors complicating the use of indigenous traditional histories in archaeological
interpretation are discussed explicitly in the beginning of this paper. Revisiting this topic
briefly, traditional histories are potentially valuable, yet problematic sources of data for
the archaeologist, for they reflect not only components of indigenous history, but also
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intervening cultural processes, and frequently include commentaries on or legitimizations
of contemporary social situations. As a result, traditional histories are not only oral
records of past events and conditions, but also instruments of cultural heritage
preservation. Furthermore, they communicate the individual and group motives of the
consultant. Thus, traditional histories are potentially fallible sources of cultural
information about the past and, in integrating traditional histories with archaeological
data, the archaeologist also integrates the cultural baggage associated with these histories.
Revisiting the Use of Ethnography for the Development of
Archaeological Models
A significant proportion of the data presented in Hopi ethnographies is derived
from interviews with tribal elders about cultural beliefs, traditions, and practices. These
consultants may adopt very different positions as a result of their social affiliations and
present material to the ethnographer in divergent ways. Particularly troubling is the
tendency for ethnography to present idealized depictions of “traditional” practices that do
not accurately reflect contemporary realties. Like traditional histories, ethnographic data
are influenced by the motivations of consultants, situational aspects of data collection,
and also the conscious and unconscious biases of the ethnographer, whose interpretations
may be colored by ethnocentric conclusions or simply cultural misunderstandings. These
factors combine to affect the validity of ethnographic ontologies at the time of their
writing.
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Issues of Time Depth in Ethnographic Models
The landmark and landscape model of indigenous land use utilized in this
analysis incorporates three dimensions of landmarks and landscapes—formal properties
of landmarks, life histories of landmarks, and the integration of networked landmarks into
holistic landscapes. Of these properties, the historical dimension of landmarks is the
most difficult to access through ethnographic accounts. In her behavioral cartography,
Zedeño (2000) suggests that the first step in analyzing landmarks is to identify evidence
of interactions between humans and the land at specific loci. From here, the historical
trajectory of these interactions must be traced in order to understand the palimpsest of
land use behaviors recorded at each landmark (Zedeño 2000:109). These historical
trajectories are responsible for the diachronic integration of landmarks into landscapes
and are necessary for the reconstruction of the structural dimensions of indigenous
landscapes. They are also responsible for the formation of aboriginal territories, which
consist of aggregates of land tenures through time (Zedeño et al. 1997:3).
Interpretations of prehistoric land use based on the material record, however,
focus primarily on synchronic land use patterns and ignore diachronic patterns and
processes of land use reorganization in response to cultural and natural processes (Zedeño
1997:68, 73). Schlanger (1992) specifically emphasizes such diachronic land use
patterns in her study of Anasazi settlement systems and identifies “persistent places” on
the landscape that link very different patterns of residential and seasonal land use through
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time. Material correlates of these land use behaviors are superimposed on the landscape
and thus require temporal control in order to reveal diachronic changes and the
organization of land use at specific times in prehistory. Furthermore, Maxwell and
Anscheutz (1993) assert that the articulation of different components of prehistoric
agricultural land use likely varied from year to year. These dynamics are obscured by
archaeological interpretations that assume the synchronicity of agricultural features. This
assumption is the product of the limitations of ethnographic data, for ethnography does
not provide information on changes in agricultural land use behaviors through time or the
conditions affecting these changes (Maxwell and Anscheutz 1993:51-52, 67). To some
degree, this may result from the accounts of individual Hopi farmers, who collapse time
in their explanations and present land use behaviors as synchronic despite evidence for
diachronic change recorded archaeologically.
As a result of the lack of time depth in the ethnographic record and the inattention
to processes of culture change in these accounts, archaeologists impose static, synchronic
interpretations of agricultural land use on the material record, or must interpret change in
agricultural land use independent of ethnographic data. Because the model developed
here is dependent on ethnographic data, the potentiality of change in patterns of
prehistoric agricultural land use at a given site is not incorporated into the analysis, and
no mechanism for interpreting such change is proposed. This is a significant drawback to
the use of ethnographic data to construct models of prehistoric cultural practices.
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Modeling the Hopi as a Tribe
The prominence of migration traditions in Hopi cultural identity and the
“gathering of the clans” model of village formation suggest certain difficulties inherent in
modeling “Hopi” agricultural land use and projecting this model onto ancestral Hopi
remains. Ferguson and Lomaomvaya’s (1999) findings demonstrate that neither the
political entity called the “Hopi Tribe” nor the “Hopi” archaeological culture are
important components of how contemporary Hopi people conceptualize themselves or
their history. Instead, Hopi culture is syncretic and incorporates the traditions of
individual social groups that migrated to the Hopi Mesas at different times and settled as
clans at different Hopi villages (Ferguson and Lomaomvaya 1999:70). As a result, the
different patterns of clan incorporation at each village profoundly impacted social,
economic, and ceremonial organization and fostered organizational differences among
villages (Bernardini 2005:36).
The incidence of organizational and cultural variability among contemporaneous
Hopi villages casts doubt on the degree to which the modern Hopi may be modeled as a
unitary whole. Modeling the Hopi as a homogenous culture by subsuming data from
individual villages obscures significant cultural variation. In a more profound way,
applying a holistic Hopi ethnographic model to prehistoric archaeological data is fraught
with even more methodological uncertainty. Prehistoric remains may not resemble
ethnographic patterns because the constitution of clans at prehistoric sites may have
differed significantly from the constitution of clans at contemporary villages (Ferguson
and Lomaomvaya 1999:70). Clans present at villages ethnographically may not have
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been present at ancestral sites along migration pathways to the Hopi Mesas, and thus
cultural traditions unique to these clans may not be reflected at these sites. As a result,
ethnographic models do not necessarily reflect the true synthesis of clan traditions at
ancestral sites and may incorporate cultural components not correlated with
archaeological data.
The Hopi Ethnographic Present and the Effects of
Historical Processes
While the archaeological remains interpreted through the lens of the model
developed here are the product of ceramic period occupations, the Hopi ethnographic
present is frozen in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Rushforth and
Upham 1992:37). Historic processes in the intervening six centuries between cultural
deposition and ethnographic documentation have led to the restructuring of Hopi culture
as a whole and land use practices in specific.
Contact between the Hopi and Spanish explorers and missionaries, while less
intense or sustained than elsewhere in the Southwest (E. C. Adams 1989), resulted in the
transition from prehistoric to historic patterns of agricultural land use. In particular, the
Spanish introduced European domesticates, including peaches, chilis, and watermelons,
which were incorporated into the Hopi subsistence agriculture program (Whiting 1950:9).
These crops required unique patterns of agricultural land use and methods of cultivation
that impacted overall Hopi agricultural land use behaviors as documented
ethnographically. The Spanish introduction of domestic herbivores and the impact of
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grazing on soil, vegetation, and moisture patterns in the Hopi region also dramatically
influenced agricultural land use (Bradfield 1971; Hack 1942; Page 1940).
Concurrently, contact with Athapaskan groups—particularly the Navajo—also
profoundly impacted the structure of Hopi agricultural land use in the historic period.
The Navajos, employing a more land extensive pastoral subsistence system, settled large
portions of Hopi aboriginal territory, thereby restricting Hopi access to shrines, resource
areas, and agricultural lands away from aggregated Hopi villages (Page 1940:24-27).
Navajo settlements and herding practices constrained and necessitated the restructuring of
Hopi agricultural land use during the historic period. The end product of this
restructuring (in addition to a variety of other intervening historical processes) is
documented in ethnographic accounts.
Finally, historical processes from the mid-nineteenth century to the present have
impacted the structure of Hopi agricultural land use in profound ways that have still not
been sufficiently studied by ethnographers or archaeologists. In one respect, this impact
has been environmental. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the Hopi
region are marked by falling water tables and severe arroyo entrenchment. There is no
doubt that the incidence of arroyo dissection is linked to decreases in vegetation cover as
a result of overgrazing (Gregory 1916; Hack 1942), yet some studies suggest that trends
in arroyo down-cutting are at least partially due to natural environmental cycles
(Bradfield 1971). Regardless of the cause of this arroyo cutting, the effect has been the
severe reduction of cultivable agricultural land. Water in arroyos is no longer accessible
to fields formerly irrigated by run-off. Thus, fertile agricultural fields have dried up and
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been rendered unproductive. At the same time, dissected arroyos now cut through former
fields, and arroyo banks continually erode, further decreasing the area of land available
for cultivation. Major social upheavals, including the “Oraibi split,” have been attributed
at least in part to the retraction of Hopi agricultural lands as a result of environmental
deterioration (Bradfield 1971; Bryan 1929; Hack 1942; Forde 1929:363; Page 1940:31).
Sociocultural change and increasing contact with non-Hopi society have also
drastically impacted patterns of Hopi agricultural land use. Rushforth and Upham (1992)
observe that the modern Hopi farm much less extensively as well as much less intensively
than did their prehistoric ancestors (Rushforth and Upham 1992:36). While the
discussion above demonstrates that this refiguring of agricultural land use is in part the
result of environmental phenomena, sociocultural processes are also at work in the
transition away from dependence on subsistence agriculture.
The introduction of horses, wagons, automobiles and tractors, as well as processes
of mechanization, have greatly impacted how agricultural land is used by the Hopi. In
marked contrast to prehistoric land use patterns, modern Hopi farmers utilize much larger
agricultural fields located at much greater distances from villages (Forde 1929:363).
Furthermore, the twentieth century has seen a dramatic shrinkage in the area of Hopi
“clan land” (Page 1940:9). As indicated at various points above, this is largely the result
of a retreat from traditional ceremonial and ritual practices that precipitated historical
events like the “Oraibi split” and the founding of Bacavi and Hotevilla, and which
threaten the preservation of Hopi cultural heritage in modern times. While katsina
ceremonies, still practiced at Hopi villages, symbolize the retention of a fundamental
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component of Hopi cultural identity, and the necessity of their performance for cultural
sustenance is more apparent than ever, the agricultural function of these ceremonies is no
longer understood (Levy 1992; Whiteley 1988). Additionally, the commodification of
land resulting from the imposition of Western land tenure systems has greatly
restructured patterns of ownership and use of agricultural plots.
Thus, the Hopi ethnographic present diverges dramatically from prehistory along
physical/environmental, social organizational, ritual/ceremonial, and traditional historical
dimensions. This divergence poses serious methodological and theoretical problems for
the application of models of agricultural land use derived from ethnographic data to
prehistoric archaeological remains, and suggests a potentially fertile area of future
research. However, the cultural data encoded in ethnographic accounts are the most
promising supplement to prehistoric material culture available to the archaeologist. As a
result, the ethnographic model of Hopi agricultural land use developed here is utilized in
order to interpret prehistoric archaeological remains, bearing in mind the inherent
limitations and biases in this data. In this way, the potential of ethnographic data for
informing archaeological interpretation is evaluated alongside patterns of prehistoric
Hopi agricultural land use.
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CHAPTER 7
HOMOL’OVI ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA
The prehistoric archaeological data to which the ethnographic Hopi agricultural
land use model developed here is applied are derived from a survey of the Homol’ovi
Ruins State Park (HRSP) under the direction of Richard Lange from 1985-1989 (Figure
9).
Figure 9. Homol’ovi Settlement Cluster, Arizona. (after Adams 2002: Figure 1.2)
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Data derived from these five field seasons are described in detail by Lange (1998). The
100% coverage pedestrian survey was conducted over an area from the confluence of the
Little Colorado River and Chevelon Creek to a point 6-8 miles downstream (Lange
1998:1). In total, an area approximately 33 mi2 was surveyed, including all of the HRSP
as well as 13 mi2 of adjacent private land. The survey identified and recorded more than
500 prehistoric loci. Criteria for defining loci as well as a discussion of survey methods
are presented in Lange’s (1998) monograph.
The archaeological survey of the HRSP identified several major periods of
prehistoric occupation, indicating long-term use of the region by prehistoric populations.
Sparse Basketmaker II occupations incorporating the use of maize are succeeded by three
ceramic period occupations, beginning with the establishment of pithouse habitations
around AD 600-700. Seven major pueblos (Homol’ovis I-IV, Chevelon, Jackrabbit, and
Cottonwood Creek) comprise the Homol’ovi Settlement Cluster (HSC), an interacting set
of pueblos and activity sites. As evidenced by the lengthy occupations of these pueblos,
the Homol’ovi area supported aggregated population from approximately AD 12601400—a time when large regions of the northern Southwest were being depopulated due
to widespread drought (E. C. Adams 2002; Lange 1998; Van West 1996).
Physical Comparisons between Homol’ovi and the Hopi Region
Lange’s (1998) analysis of the environment of, and land use in, the Homol’ovi
area indicates several significant differences from the region around the Hopi Mesas on
which the physical dimension of Hopi agricultural land use is modeled (Figure 10). In
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particular, unlike the Hopi region, which is characterized by a vast, southward sloping
mesa (Black Mesa) and interbedded geologic layers that produce springs and seeps at the
junctions of individual strata (see above), the mesas and buttes in the Homol’ovi area are
much smaller than Black Mesa and lack its geologic variability. Lange (1998) notes that a
single spring was identified in the Homol’ovi survey area (Lange 1998:1).
Figure 10. Physiography of the Homol’ovi region. (after Lange 1998: Figure 3.3)
The mesas and buttes in the Homol’ovi area also represent much smaller catchment areas
than does Black Mesa, and thus a greatly reduced volume of run-off water is supplied to
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washes in this area. Washes that have been identified generally traverse clays of the
Chinle Formation, which does not support agriculture due it its alkalinity. Furthermore,
the proportion of sand dune cover around Homol’ovi is relatively less than in the Hopi
region, although both active and ancient sand dunes are present, generally as the upper
stratum of terraces and ridges along north- and east-facing valley slopes and ridge
systems (Lange 1998:4, 134, 141). As arroyo mouths and sand dune formations provide
the two most heavily utilized settings for agriculture in the Hopi region (Bradfield 1971;
Forde 1931; Hack 1942; Page 1940), their relative absence in the Homol’ovi area has
important implications for the physical dimension of agriculture in this region.
The Homol’ovi area receives less precipitation, yet enjoys a longer growing
season as compared to the Hopi region (Lange 1998:132). However, extreme variability
in the timing of late spring and early fall frosts in the Homol’ovi area strongly impacts
the success of agriculture in the region (Lange 1998:8). The effects of these factors are
largely mitigated by the presence of the most important resource in the area—a feature
that lacks comparison in the Hopi region—the Little Colorado River (Lange 1998:8).
Characteristics of the Middle Little Colorado River
The Homol’ovi area is focused around the middle Little Colorado River. It is
situated at a unique point in the river, where a shelf of Moenkopi Formation bedrock is
exposed. Consequently, the floodplain is at its broadest (approximately four kilometers)
and the water table is particularly high in the area (Lange 1998:4). The majority of
tributaries flowing into the Little Colorado River enter upstream from Homol’ovi and
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drain the well-watered highlands along the Mogollon Rim (Lange 1998:3-4, 134). As a
result, stream flow volume in the river is particularly high in the Homol’ovi area and
Homol’ovi is the last point along the river that receives regular surface flow (Lange
1998:136).
These factors combine to make the Little Colorado a potentially harvestable, yet
also dangerous resource. Consequently it is the margins of the floodplain that are the
most amenable to agriculture (Lange 1998:136). Van West (1996) suggests that the Little
Colorado River was the major pull factor in population aggregation in the Homol’ovi
area during times of drought, assuming that the floodplain was a particularly attractive
area for agricultural intensification (Van West 1996:15). During such dry periods, fields
were likely cultivable in the floodplain at various distances from the river (E. C. Adams
2002:57).
The presence of the Little Colorado River, in combination with relatively smaller
sand dune areas and the absence of an extensive network of arroyos distributing run-off
water from uplands onto valley bottoms, defines a physical environment at Homol’ovi
that differs significantly from the Hopi region. The result is a restructuring of
agricultural emphases as compared to the Hopi region, with large areas along the river
supporting agriculture and lacking a Hopi analogue. This will be discussed more fully
below, and is a source of friction between the ethnographic model of Hopi agricultural
land use constructed here and the variability of identified prehistoric agricultural features.
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Agricultural Loci
Three distinct locus types—agricultural feature, field house and scatter, and
miscellaneous feature and scatter—are interpreted in this analysis as associated with
agriculture. These loci, the material correlates of prehistoric agricultural land use,
represent discrete interactions between prehistoric people and the landscape. As defined
by Lange (1998), agricultural features are those loci at which “check dam(s), gridded or
bordered field(s), artificial terrace(s), or canal(s) [are] present with or without a scatter of
various artifacts;” field houses and scatters characterized by “a structure, usually one or
two rooms, interpreted to be agriculturally related due to its location and associated
artifacts, with or without a scatter of various artifacts;” and miscellaneous features and
scatters including “features such as cists, rock-lined pits, [and] rock slab scatters, with or
without a scatter of various artifacts” (Lange 1998:15). While it is likely that many nonagriculturally related features are labeled miscellaneous in this report, the explicit
discussion of shrines as a category of miscellaneous features (Lange 1998:127) renders
them important for this analysis.
Only three agricultural features and scatters were noted in the HRSP survey, in
addition to fifteen field houses and scatters and forty-eight miscellaneous features and
scatters associated with agricultural land use (Lange 1998:16) (Figure 11). In
comparison with the total number of loci recorded in the Homol’ovi area, 12.86% of loci
are associated with agriculture. Explicitly agricultural features have indications either of
check dams or field systems, and are focused around Homol’ovi II (Lange 1998:126).
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Field houses and scatters are located in the vicinities of Homol’ovis I and II, and as a
result are hypothesized to be markers of land tenure (Lange 1998:125).
In addition to these locus types, the distribution of stone hoes is considered as a
proxy for agricultural land use. These stone artifacts are interpreted as hoes on the basis
of noted correspondences with hoes documented ethnographically at Walpi (J. L. Adams
1979:11-13; Lange 1998:115-116).
Figure 11. Distribution of agricultural and miscellaneous features. (after Lange 1998:
Figure 6.3)
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As compared to the Wupatki survey, which found only 37 hoes, 122 were identified at
Homol’ovi (Anderson 1990; Lange 1998:115).
It is also noted that jars, with respect to bowls, predominate at non-habitation loci
in the Homol’ovi area. While the spatial distribution of ceramic scatters containing
elevated frequencies of jar sherds is not examined in the survey report, it is suggested that
preference for this vessel form may indicate hand watering of crops in sand dune plots
(Lange 1998:124).
Finally, the presence and distribution of features affectionately labeled
“lithoflectors” were noted by the survey. These features are overturned (although
probably upright prehistorically) stone slabs that may have functioned similarly to the
stone, brush, and tin can barriers reported in the ethnographic literature (see discussion
above) as barriers protecting individual plants from wind and blowing sand (Lange
1998:138). Lithoflectors are interpreted as yet another material correlate of agricultural
land use in the Homol’ovi area.
Spatial Distribution of Loci—General Characteristics
The HRSP survey identified definite spatial trends in the distribution of all loci, as
well as explicitly agricultural loci, in the Homol’ovi area. These spatial trends are
reported largely with respect to the position of the river as well as the location of major
pueblos. In general, 24.4 loci per mi2 were documented north and east of the Little
Colorado, while only 14.8 loci per mi2 were documented to the south and west of the
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river. While the distribution of locus types is roughly equal on both sides of the river, the
higher density to the north and east is generally attributed to the larger areas of
agricultural land available on this side of the river (Lange 1998:124).
Furthermore, field houses and scatters cluster primarily north and east of the river
in three general locations: the southeast portion of “Hoe Valley,” discussed in more detail
below; the mesa and ridge system between Homol’ovis I and II; and in an area
immediately proximate to Homol’ovi II. These three locations are characterized by
extensive sand dunes as well as small drainages transporting run-off from higher
elevations (Lange 1998:125). Thus, Lange (1998) concludes that agricultural loci, as
well as artifact scatters in general, are structured according to the arrangement of
cultivable land in the Homol’ovi area (Lange 1998:127).
Spatial Distribution of Loci through Time
Van West’s (1996) expectations for temporal and spatial trends in loci distribution
and agricultural land use at Homol’ovi suggest that during periods of drought across the
northern Southwest, the floodplain of the Little Colorado was an attractive agricultural
resource. Thus, land use was concentrated in this area with population condensed along
the river. By contrast, during wet periods, the potential for flooding would have made the
floodplain inimical to agricultural use, while the upland sand dune areas could have
continued to support agriculture. In particularly wet periods, short-term depopulation of
the region and movement to the highlands to the north and south of Homol’ovi was likely
favored (Van West 1996:16, 27-28).
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Supporting these hypotheses, the distribution and dating of loci suggests that
portions of all occupations at Homol’ovi overlap with periods of drought in the region
(Van West 1996:30). Problematic for spatial analyses of agricultural features in the
vicinity of the Little Colorado River, fluctuations in the position of the river channel
through time coupled with continual aggradation and degradation of the floodplain
obscure most archaeological deposits in the floodplain (E. C. Adams 2002:229). During
the Early Period ceramic occupation (AD 720-890), agricultural correlates are found
primarily along the northern and eastern edges of Hoe Valley—located in a side drainage
on the east side of the Little Colorado River; and in an area north and west of Homol’ovi
II. The presence of loci in the vicinity of Homol’ovi II indicates exploitation of the
floodplain for agricultural purposes, while the agricultural importance of Hoe Valley
becomes especially clear during later occupational periods (Lange 1998:130).
During the Middle Period ceramic occupation (AD 1000-1225), the density of
agricultural loci in Hoe Valley and the upland basin to the east increases in conjunction
with increased land use around Homol’ovi II. In addition, non-habitation loci are focused
along the terraces at the south end of the park and at the watershed between Homol’ovis I
and II during this period. In a general sense, land use across the survey area increases in
the Middle Period, as evidenced by an increase in locus density and the extensiveness of
distribution (Lange 1998:131-132).
Finally, the Late Period ceramic occupation (AD 1260-1400) is the phase of most
intensive and areally extensive use of the survey area. Lange (1998) notes that four areas
are particularly emphasized during this period: “1) around Homol’ovi II, including the
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floodplain to the west/northwest and valley areas on the east/southeast; 2) the ridge
systems and upland areas southeast of Homol’ovi II, at the watershed between
Homol’ovis I and II; 3) the floor of Hoe Valley; and 4) the upland basin east of Hoe
Valley” (Lange 1998:132). Thus, the predominance of these areas of land use indicates
the expansion of agriculture into the upland areas in the eastern portion of the survey area
in addition to intensification of agricultural use of the floodplain, particularly focused
around Homol’ovi II.
As alluded to above, the distribution of stone hoes in the survey area is almost
totally confined to “Hoe Valley” (and is therefore the source of its name)—70% of all
hoes documented during the survey were recorded in the side drainage in which Hoe
Valley is situated. These hoes date to the Middle and Late Periods, and indicate, as
presented above, the expansion of agricultural land use away from the floodplain and into
the upland regions to the east during this time (Lange 1998:116).
With respect to the floodplain vs. sand dune field dichotomy presented above, it is
clear from the survey data that both regions were exploited for agricultural purposes
during all ceramic occupations (Lange 1998:132). In general, a greater density of loci is
found along the floodplain, particularly during the Early Period. This trend continues in
the Middle and Late Periods, during which time the density of loci increases
dramatically, signaling increasingly intensive agricultural use of the landscape. In
addition, the availability of construction materials of this region renders it particularly
suitable as a site for pueblo construction. Thus habitation loci, both pithouses and
pueblos, are concentrated near the floodplain (Lange 1998:124). As discussed above,
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sand dune areas are also utilized during all occupational periods, although significant
expansion and intensification of use in these areas is witnessed in the Late Period (Lange
1998:136).
It is during the Late Period that regional water tables become severely depressed,
making the Homol’ovi area, with its dependable water source and diversity of
topographic locations amenable to agriculture, especially attractive to immigrants (Van
West 1996:34). Also, while miscellaneous features and clusters are distributed widely
within the survey area, shrine features are found in the vicinity of Homol’ovi II and at the
watershed between Homol’ovis I and II—two large Late Period pueblos (E. C. Adams
2002; Lange 1998:127).
Social Organizational Implications of the Spatial Extension of
Agricultural Loci through Time
As discussed above, the analysis of survey data demonstrates an expansion of
agricultural loci into the uplands, away from the floodplain, during the Late Period of
occupation at Homol’ovi. This spatial shift is interpreted to indicate the differentiation of
agricultural land use at Homol’ovi beginning in the mid-1300s with the founding of
Homol’ovi II. In one respect, the significant increase in population resulting from the
establishment of Homol’ovi II introduced subsistence requirements that likely
necessitated the cultivation of additional farmland beyond that already in use along the
floodplain (E. C. Adams 2002:57). Given that residents of Homol’ovi I undoubtedly
controlled floodplain land in the vicinity of the eventual site of Homol’ovi II prior to its
inception, access to sufficiently large tracts of land in this area by residents of Homol’ovi
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II may have been restricted (E. C. Adams 2002:188). The expansion of agricultural land
use into areas away from the floodplain may, therefore, have been required in order to
support the burgeoning population of Homol’ovi II.
This extension of agricultural loci away from the floodplain during the 1300s
probably also reflects the role of the Homol’ovi villages vis-à-vis Hopi. The prevailing
model proposes that agricultural land use was expanded into the uplands in order to
facilitate the specialized use of the floodplain for cotton production. While the growth of
cotton requires quantities of water available only along the floodplain, the uplands
provided a suitable location for the cultivation of corn, and check dams and diversion
dams were constructed in order to augment the flow of run-off to this area (E. C. Adams
2002:57, 115, 162, 118, 190). Agricultural land was therefore dichotomized as upland
plots became the primary loci for the cultivation of subsistence crops and floodplain plots
were devoted primarily to cotton production (E. C. Adams 2002:162).
Temporal trends in the ubiquity of cotton in Homol’ovi deposits provide strong
support for this model of the restructuring and expansion of agricultural land use in the
14th century by residents of Homol’ovi II. The ubiquity of cotton in flotation samples
increases through time at all Homol’ovi pueblos, while on an intersite level the highest
ubiquity figures are reported from the two latest pueblos—Homol’ovis I and II (E. C.
Adams 2002:57, 118, 121).
At Homol’ovi II, the establishment of which is correlated with the restructuring of
agricultural land use to promote cotton cultivation, 57% of flotation samples yielded
cotton seeds upon analysis (Miksicek 1991:98). The abundance of cotton at Homol’ovi II
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is comparable only to the most ubiquitous cotton deposits in the Hohokam area, where
extensive canal networks could have facilitated productive specialization on a large scale
(Miksicek 1991:98). These figures suggest that Homol’ovi residents were specializing in
the production of cotton for regional exchange outside of the HSC (E. C. Adams
2002:57). The Hopi villages were likely the terminus of the Homol’ovi cotton exchange.
Increasing populations at Hopi (as well as at Homol’ovi), coupled with the prominence of
cotton in katsina ceremonialism, likely accounted for the high demand and converted
cotton into a valued economic resource (E. C. Adams 2002; Miksicek 1991).
Correlates of Agricultural Land Tenure in the HSC
As noted above, the founding of Homol’ovi II resulted in the contraction of land
holdings by residents of Homol’ovi I and the establishment of adjacent agricultural lands
along the floodplain controlled by Homol’ovis I and II. Because of the economic and
ceremonial importance of cotton, which could only be grown along the well-watered
floodplain, this agricultural land was particularly valuable. As a result, land ownership
and use became highly formalized with the increasing specialization of cotton production.
This transition is expressed archaeologically through material correlates of land tenure,
which expanded in importance during the 14th century. While the floodplain was the
locus of the most economically valuable land as defined by the regional cotton exchange
system, competition between Homol’ovis I and II over land in the uplands resulted in the
formal demarcation of ownership in this area as well (E. C. Adams 2002:115, 123, 163,
234).
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Shrines and field houses are the durable material correlates of land ownership by
residents of Homol’ovis I and II during this period (E. C. Adams 2002:121, 123). These
features are concentrated around Homol’ovi II, indicating tight control of agricultural
land in this contested area (E. C. Adams 2002:163, 236). The formal bounding of
agricultural land controlled by Homol’ovis I and II is also expressed via the presence of
two shrines along the ridge north of Hoe Valley (E. C. Adams 2002:236).
The results of Walker’s (1993) testing of shrines in Homol’ovi Ruins State Park
and adjacent private land indicates a pattern of rectangular slab-lined cists containing
shaped sandstone slabs and quartzite river pebbles scattered across several loci proximate
to Homol’ovi pueblos (Figure 12).
Figure 12. Homol’ovi shrine HP 90 East/West. (after Walker 1993)
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In total, the testing project identified or inferred 8 rectangular cists composed of vertical
sandstone slabs and a shaped capstone. The sandstone slab-quartzite pebble artifact
assemblage was replicated within these cists. Where provenience information is recorded
for these features—identified as shrines on the basis of shared characteristics with shrines
documented ethnographically—they indicate an association with the large late pueblos of
Homol’ovi II and Cottonwood (Walker 1993).
As indicated by the distribution of 14th century shrines and field houses in the
vicinity of Homol’ovi II and Cottonwood and in the upland areas, the system of
agricultural land tenure in the HSC became elaborated and highly formalized during this
period. The construction of shrines and field houses correlates temporally with the
postulated expansion of cotton cultivation along the floodplain of the Little Colorado
River as well as with the dramatic increase in cotton ubiquity in pueblo deposits—also a
function of increasingly specialized cotton production. Because of the economic and
ceremonial value attached to cotton cultivation, these features are the inferred material
correlates of agricultural land tenure during this period. Adams (2002) suggests that
specialized cotton production both supported and legitimized the differential distribution
of power within Homol’ovi villages (E. C. Adams 2002:162).
The models presented above draw their interpretive strength from ethnographic
documentation of the social organization dimensions of Hopi agricultural land use.
These ethnographic accounts provide valuable comparative data with which to analyze
the structure of ancestral Hopi agricultural land tenure as well as the material correlates
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of land ownership. The Homol’ovi analysis departs from the integrative ethnographic
model developed earlier in interpreting shrine features as a correlate of the social
organization of land tenure rather than the ritual dimension of agricultural land use.
However, as articulated above, traditional history legitimates Hopi social organization via
ceremonial participation and custodianship. Thus, shrines may be interpreted as
mechanisms of social organizational, as well as ceremonial, agricultural land use.
Indications of Ancestral Clan Migrations in
Homol’ovi Rock Art
As described above, Bernardini (2005) draws on ethnographic documentation of
the use of clan symbols on boundary markers defining agricultural land holdings in order
to propose an association of specific clan motifs in prehistoric rock art with “clan”
residence at Pueblo IV villages. On the basis of this association, the processes of clan
migration and residence as well as differential clan migration pathways may be modeled.
Bernardini applies this interpretive framework to an inventory of petroglyphs
from the Homol’ovi Ruins State Park. As noted previously by Cole (1992), rock art in
the HSC is composed exclusively of petroglyphs executed using stones or other hard
substances to peck, grind, incise, or abrade the surface of sandstone slabs (Cole 1992:7).
These petroglyphs are associated with Homol’ovi II, Homol’ovi IV, and Cottonwood
pueblos and are generally sited on the faces of mesas and buttes below or adjacent to the
pueblos (Bernardini 2005:100, 102; Cole 1992:1). Bernardini notes a significant drop-off
in the density of petroglyphs at distances greater than 200 meters from these (and other)
Pueblo IV sites. Petroglyphs are notably absent proximate to Homol’ovi I and
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Homol’ovi III, which lie in the floodplain and away from large rock outcrops (Cole
1992:64).
Because individual villages along Hopi migration pathways incorporate unique
combinations of clans, each of which is characterized by specific migration histories
(including the merging and splitting of clans, etc.), Bernardini predicts that these villages,
regardless of their spatial and social associations with other villages in the same or
adjacent settlement clusters, should exhibit unique combinations of clan symbol motifs
(Bernardini 2005:108). This expectation is substantiated by his results, which indicate
that at the Homol’ovi sites examined in his analysis—as well as at other Pueblo IV sites
in neighboring settlement clusters—a distinctive set of 2-4 recurrent rock art motifs could
be identified as probable clan symbols (Bernardini 2005:116). While the constituents of
this set varied on an intervillage level, Bernardini’s results suggest that a modal number
of 2-4 archaeologically identifiable clans resided at Pueblo IV villages along their
migration routes to the Hopi Mesas.
Thus, the distribution of rock art motifs at Homol’ovi sites implies the movement
of unique sets of clans through Homol’ovi and toward Hopi. At the sites under study, an
average of 2-4 clans may be identified on the basis of associated rock art symbols that are
inferred markers of clan identity. These data lend themselves to further analysis of the
social organization of land tenure within and between Homol’ovi pueblos. Because clan
differentiation is evident at Homol’ovi sites, future research may reveal connections
between these archaeologically identified clans and the material correlates of land tenure
(i.e. shrines and field houses) described above.
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The Role of Homol’ovi III as a Landmark in
The Homol’ovi Agricultural Landscape
The physical location of the Homol’ovi pueblos relative to local topography and
geology, the Little Colorado River and its tributaries, and each other also played a
fundamental role in structuring agricultural land use in the HSC. While the location of
the large, late pueblos (Homol’ovis I and II and Chevelon) has profound implications for
the management, diversion, and control of water from the Little Colorado (see E. C.
Adams [2002]), the role of Homol’ovi III as a component of the larger Homol’ovi
agricultural system through time provides the most abundant data with which to analyze
specific landmarks in the Homol’ovi agricultural landscape.
Established as a pueblo hamlet within the Little Colorado River floodplain
between approximately AD 1276-1290, paleoenvironmental reconstruction and the
presence of flood deposits in the Homol’ovi III stratigraphic sequence indicate that yearround occupation of the pueblo ceased at approximately AD 1300 due to dramatic
increases in river discharge that rendered the floodplain uninhabitable (E. C. Adams
2001). It is this initial, sedentary occupation that is considered the “Early Phase” of
Homol’ovi III occupation. Following the abandonment of Homol’ovi III to year-round
occupation, substantial evidence indicates that the pueblo was reused over a period
beginning at approximately AD 1325-1330 as an agricultural field house (E. C. Adams
2001:40). This “Middle Phase” occupation of Homol’ovi III was characterized by use of
the site for brief periods during the growing season, likely correlated with the most
intensive phases of land use during the agricultural season (i.e. hoeing, planting, etc.).
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Because of the brevity of use and occupation of the site, storage features dating to
the “Middle Phase” have not been identified (E. C. Adams 2001:42-44). It is postulated
that this seasonal reuse of Homol’ovi III as an agricultural field house was carried out by
the descendants of the indigenous Homol’ovi III occupants who now resided at
Homol’ovi I and likely maintained rights to land formerly controlled by Homol’ovi III
(E. C. Adams 2001:337).
Through this reuse it is evident that, in spite of the forced abandonment by
residents of Homol’ovi III to year-round occupation and migration away from the village
due to flooding on the Little Colorado River, specific performance characteristics were
maintained at the pueblo that rendered it important through time within the larger
agricultural landscape. Because of the proximity of Homol’ovi III to highly productive
agricultural land along the floodplain of the Little Colorado, in years characterized by
manageable stream flow, Homol’ovi III presented an advantageous base from which to
conduct seasonal agricultural activities. Furthermore, the maintenance of land tenure in
the vicinity of Homol’ovi III by descendants of former residents structured the location of
agricultural land use along a social organization dimension and enabled use-rights to be
asserted and negotiated.
Following the “Middle Phase” of occupation of Homol’ovi III, Adams (2001) has
identified a more intensive “Late Phase” beginning around AD 1340, during which
Homol’ovi III functioned analogously to a historic Hopi farming village and supported
permanent occupation during the growing season (E.C. Adams 2001:44, 338). Evidence
of large-scale storage facilities is absent during this period as well, although exterior
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cooking features have been identified in relative abundance and a small kiva excavated.
Near the kiva a burial consisting of one human, two macaws and two turkeys was
uncovered. This burial post-dates the use of the kiva (E. C. Adams 2001:43, 338). This
more intensive farming occupation again emphasizes the continued prominence of
Homol’ovi III as a component of agricultural land use in the HSC. The presence of three
burials of individuals exhibiting characteristics of the inherited disorder Klippel-Feil
Syndrome may also indicate that Homol’ovi III served during the “Late Phase”
occupation as a marker of agricultural land tenure by a specific kinship group (Adams
2001:44). In this way, its continued function as a correlate of the social organizational
dimension of agricultural land use—and a landmark in the larger Homol’ovi agricultural
landscape (albeit in a markedly different manner from that proposed for the “Middle
Phase”)—is suggested.
Conclusions from the HRSP Survey Data
In the analysis of archaeological survey data from the Homol’ovi Ruins State
Park, temporal and spatial patterns of land use in the Homol’ovi area have been modeled
largely relative to areas of cultivable agricultural land. It is clear that these agricultural
areas and field types correspond well with those discussed in Hopi ethnography, despite
the fact that ak chin field systems are generally absent at Homol’ovi as a result of
insufficient topographic relief and geologic variability, and the presence of unfarmable
soil types in areas drained by run-off; and the emphasis on floodplain agriculture in the
Homol’ovi area. Thus, although physiographic and climatic (as measured via the length
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of growing season and precipitation) differences impact the applicability of the Hopi
ethnographic land use model to Homol’ovi data, general trends at Homol’ovi are
informed by practices documented at Hopi.
One result of the analytical approach taken in the survey report is that the physical
dimension of agricultural land use was exclusively examined using HRSP survey data.
This dimension was analyzed primarily on the basis of the association of “agricultural”
correlates—agricultural features and scatters; field houses and scatters; miscellaneous
features and scatters; and stone hoes—with topography and soil types in the Homol’ovi
area. In focusing on these features exclusively, potential correlates of the social
organizational, ritual/ceremonial, and traditional history dimensions of agricultural land
use are neglected.
However, supplementary data exist to support interpretations of the social
organizational and traditional history dimensions of agricultural land use in the region.
By integrating physical dimension data—both locational and temporal—derived from
archaeological survey with data highlighting the prominence of cotton production in
exchange relationships between Homol’ovi and the Hopi Mesas, strong conclusions may
be drawn about the linkages between cotton cultivation and the restructuring and
differentiation of agricultural land use through time in the HSC.
This process of land use restructuring is accompanied by an expansion in the use
of features marking agricultural land tenure in the HSC. The shrine and field house
features identified throughout the course of archaeological investigation in HRSP and
adjacent areas are the durable material correlates of such systems of land tenure.
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Homol’ovi III is another persistent feature in the Homol’ovi agricultural landscape that
reflects patterns in the social organizational dimension of agricultural land use.
Furthermore, the analysis of rock art motifs in areas proximate to Homol’ovi
pueblos suggests that ancestral Hopi migrations through Homol’ovi may be modeled on a
“clan” level. Bernardini’s (2005) study indicates that distinct patterns of clan residence
may be identified at Homol’ovi sites through the study of rock art motif distributions.
Future research may expand on these results to relate clan residence at Pueblo IV sites to
agricultural land tenure.
Finally, the resolution of data at Homol’ovi, the quantity of data on agricultural
land use, and the range of correlates identified during survey indicate the limitations of
the archaeological record (the archaeological context) with respect to the ethnographic
record (the systemic context). Many of the material correlates of agricultural land use
expected by the ethnographic model were not identified in the survey area. This is most
likely due to the perishable nature of many correlates (discussed above), as well as
intervening site formation processes, which render them invisible in the archaeological
record. As a result, the archaeological data indicating prehistoric agricultural land use in
the Homol’ovi area are thin in comparison to the wealth of available ethnographic data.
This property of the archaeological record is intrinsic to archaeological fieldwork and
may be expected in any analysis.
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CHAPTER 8
CONCLUSION
In this study, archaeological landscape theory has been utilized in order to inform
traditional ethnographic accounts of patterns of Hopi agricultural land use. As argued
above, archaeological landscape theory is a powerful analytical tool with which to
interpret land use patterns in the archaeological record. The emphasis placed on
examining the material correlates of discrete interactions between humans and features
on the landscape taps into the unique ability of archaeological inquiry to locate, describe,
and interpret the material signature of past behavioral systems. At the same time,
archaeological landscape theory expands traditional land use studies by encouraging the
analysis and mapping of networks by which material correlates of landscape interaction
are and were integrated and incorporated into functioning cultural landscapes.
The Hopi are perhaps the most studied indigenous group in the American
Southwest, and the product of these studies is a wealth of ethnographic data that is
potentially harvestable by the archaeologist. In response to recent critiques of
archaeological practice in the Southwest, which contend that ethnographic data sources
are not sufficiently utilized by archaeologists in order to supply models of prehistoric
behavioral systems that are testable with archaeological data, this study explicitly relies
on Hopi ethnographies as the source for analogues of components of ancestral Hopi
agricultural land use.
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Several landmark papers produced by ethnographers, archaeologists, and
geologists have extensively studied the environment and climate of the Hopi region and
linked these physical variables to the parameters of agricultural land use by ethnographic
Hopi farmers. Similarly, detailed descriptions and analyses of Hopi social organization
(particularly Hopi kinship); katsina ceremonies and associated ritual practice; and
variation in and significance of Hopi migration traditions have been produced over the
past century. Despite the degree of attention that these dimensions of Hopi society have
received, a coherent and cohesive integration of these cultural variables and discussion of
their collective impact on patterns of Hopi agricultural land use has not been presented in
the literature.
This paper marks an attempt to integrate the four dimensions of Hopi agricultural
land use defined above—as documented ethnographically—into a model that may be
applied to ancestral Hopi archaeological remains. Several important limitations for the
use of an ethnographically-derived model of Hopi agricultural land use to interpret
prehistoric ancestral Hopi remains are discussed in detail. These limitations constrain the
range of variation in ethnographic data derived from descendant populations that may be
meaningfully correlated with archaeological data.
In order to assess the utility of the ethnographic model of ancestral Hopi
agricultural land use constructed herein, this model was preliminarily applied to
archaeological survey and (limited) excavation data from the Homol’ovi Ruins State
Park—an area fertile with archaeological evidence of extensive, intensive, and lengthy
prehistoric occupations by ancestral Hopi populations. Although the Homol’ovi area
137
does not exactly replicate the Hopi region in a variety of respects, it is clear from the
analysis presented above that the archaeological data closely follow the ethnographic
model along the physical dimension of Hopi agricultural land use. Archaeologicallyvisible material correlates of the social organizational dimension of agricultural land use
have been identified as larger components of social processes affecting land tenure within
the HSC as well as vis-à-vis the HSC and Hopi. Ancestral Hopi migration pathways are
also suggested through the distribution of rock art motifs marking clan residence at
Pueblo IV Homol’ovi sites and may in future studies by employed to inform patterns of
agricultural land use along the traditional history dimension.
Preliminary analysis of the interconnection of physical, social organizational,
ritual/ceremonial, and traditional history correlates of agricultural land use utilizing an
extant archaeological data set is attempted here. However, future research emphasizing
the total integration of this data and more complex spatial analyses using Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) technology may extend the applicability of this ethnographic
model and foster greater understanding of the structuring principles of ancestral Hopi
agricultural land use.
138
APPENDIX
HOPI AGRICULTURAL LAND USE MATRIX
DIMENSION
COMPONENT
PERFORMANCE
CHARACTERISTIC
Wide valleys that flood
frequently
Large accumulations of
windblown sand into dunes
LAND USE PATTERNS
Floodwater farming--ak
chin and floodplain
ARCHAEOLOGICAL
CORRELATES
Brush/earthen/stone
diversionary dams
Brush/earthen/stone/ti
n can windbreaks
Sand dune farming
Ephemeral streams with
large catchment areas
Stone check dams
Seepage fields/gardens
Ditches
Physical
Location of use
Interbedded geologic layers
that produce seeps and
springs
Irrigation fields
(primarily along
Moenkopi Wash)
Distribution of vegetation
communities--proxy for
underlying soil types
Land supporting rabbitbrush community most
heavily cultivated
Distribution of soil types-reflected in vegetation
communities
Dispersed field systems
incorporating multiple
field types
High frequency
environmental variation
Stone contour terraces
Field shelters/field
houses
Stone borders
Utility ware jar sherds
Stone hoes
Natural landforms
composing “horizon
calendar”
139
DIMENSION
COMPONENT
PERFORMANCE
CHARACTERISTIC
Timing of spring frost
Scheduling of
use
Timing of fall frost
LAND USE PATTERNS
Main corn planting: mid-May
through mid-June
Length and timing of planting
Brush/earthen/stone/tin
variable based on yearly climate can windbreaks
Main harvest: late September
through early October
Soil moisture retained
in clayey layer
underlying sandy
surface soil
Physical
Methods of use
Courses of ephemeral
streams change
seasonally
Sand dunes migrate as a
result of wind action
Strong winds from the
southwest
ARCHAEOLOGICAL
CORRELATES
Brush/earthen/stone
diversionary dams
Stone check dams
Ditches
Seeds planted to depths of 6-12
inches below surface
Planted rows staggered yearly
to maintain soil fertility
Stone contour terraces
Field shelters/field
houses
Stone borders
Planted rows shifted leeward
and with respect to stream flow
Several corn seeds planted
together to create "hills"
Utility ware jar sherds
Stone hoes
Natural landforms
composing “horizon
calendar”
140
DIMENSION
COMPONENT
Supravillage
organization
PERFORMANCE
CHARACTERISTIC
Politically autonomous
villages
Unequal between-clan status
Social
organizational
Unequal within-clan status
Clan structure
“Non-clan” land ownership
Situational violations of land
ownership
Successful ceremonial
performance promotes
purifies land and promotes
rain, fertility and abundant
crops
Ritual/ceremonial Ceremony
Tied to agricultural cycle
Flexible to accommodate
yearly variability in
agricultural cycle
Use of agricultural symbols in
ceremony
LAND USE PATTERNS
ARCHAEOLOGICAL
CORRELATES
Separate village
agricultural territories
“Clan land” of unequal
size and quality
“Clan land” owned by
prime lineage
“Non-clan” land
individually owned
Natural landforms
defining village
boundaries
Boundary stones—with
or without clan symbols
Variable land inheritance
patterns
Ritual offerings deposited
at shrines
Ritual plantings utilized
in ceremony
Ubiquitous corn
symbolism used
Shrines – variable in
form and associated
artifacts
Altars
141
DIMENSION
COMPONENT
PERFORMANCE
CHARACTERISTIC
LAND USE PATTERNS
Farmers douse themselves
with water prior to
planting
Ritual/
ceremonial
Individual and
group ritual
Ensures successful plantings
and harvests
Races and ball games
carried out in fields
Defined by pathways of
clans from emergence along
migrations toward Hopi
Mesas
Migration
traditions
Traditional
history
Order of clan arrival
Ceremonial ownership
Cultural
landscapes
Defined by migration
pathways--incorporates all
territory where ancestors
lived, died, or were buried
ARCHAEOLOGICAL
CORRELATES
Shrines – variable in
form and associated
artifacts
Altars
Clans established
settlements, shrines, etc.
in order to demonstrate
stewardship of the land
Quality of land cultivated
based on mythical order of
clan arrival
Ownership of specific
land parcels associated
with ceremonial
ownership
Petroglyphic clan
symbols associated
with ancestral sites
142
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