Hopi - History and Cultural Relations

Hopi culture as known from the time of first contact came out of long tradition of Pueblo and pre-Pueblo culture, known archaeologically as Anasazi. Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's expedition in 1540 brought them their first contact with the Spanish. After a few other brief contacts, three missions were established, the first in 1629. These were destroyed in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680; after that date, there was little effort toward resuming contact and the Hopi were left alone. Contact with Americans began in the early nineteenth century and became intensive after 1850. An agency under the Department of the Army was established at Keams Canyon, near First Mesa, in 1873, and a reservation was set up in 1882. The first school was opened in 1887, and schooling became a central issue in the early factions of "Hostiles" and "Friendlies," or those opposed to or favorable toward accommodation with the Americans. Oraibi, the largest Hopi village, split in 1906 with much acrimony over this and other issues. A tribal constitution was adopted in 1936, providing for a tribal council with elected representatives from each village.


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