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Hands-On Hopi Pottery at Capitol Reef National Park

Come witness the ancient rock art and inspiring landscapes of Capitol Reef National Park and learn the values of the Hopi people as you create traditional pottery.
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Program No. 20698RJ
7 days
Starts at

Hands-On Hopi Pottery at Capitol Reef National Park

Come witness the ancient rock art and inspiring landscapes of Capitol Reef National Park and learn the values of the Hopi people as you create traditional pottery.
7 days
Starts at
Program No. 20698 RJ
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7 days
6 nights
17 meals
6B 5L 6D
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At a Glance

Deep in the desert, beneath the open sky, lives a Native American tribe with traditions as rich as the sand stone cliffs that surround them. Hopituh Shi-nu-mu, or Hopi for short, translates to "The Peaceful People," and they are known for their total reverence and respect for all things. In this educational adventure, experience the Hopi culture as you learn to create beautiful pottery with Hopi pottery instructors. Using only natural materials, take a piece of Mother Earth through every process of clay-making from molding to polishing with smooth river stones to painting with plant dyes. Discover the importance of Hopi Kachina dolls as you learn about their religious values, and enjoy traditional dishes. As your pottery dries between each phase, immerse yourself in the Hopi history and connect with the Southwest Natives who have called this land home for centuries.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore Fremont Indian State Park and discover rock art of Native peoples who inhabited the area until 1200 and have lunch at Big Rock Candy Mountain.
  • With an expert in Hopi pottery making, experience the spiritual element of crafting pottery from natural materials provided solely by the earth.
  • Delve into the unique features of Capitol Reef National Park and its 275-million-year-old geologic history.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Book of the Hopi
by Frank Waters
ISBN-10: 0140045279, ISBN-13: 978-0140045277 In this strange and wonderful book, thirty elders of the ancient Hopi tribe of Northern Arizona--a people who regard themselves as the first inhabitants of America--freely reveal the Hopi worldview for the first time in written form. The Hopi kept this view a secret for countless centuries, and anthropologists have long struggled to understand it. Now they record their myths and legends, and the meaning of their religious rituals and ceremonies, as a gift to future generations. Here is a reassertion of a rhythm of life we have tragically repressed; and a reminder that we must attune ourselves to the need for inner change if we are to avert a cataclysmic rupture between our minds and hearts. 384 pages About the Author: Frank Waters was born on July 25, 1902, in Colorado Springs, Colorado to May Ione Dozier Waters and Frank Jonathon Waters. His father, who was part Cheyenne, was a key influence in Water's interest in the Native American experience. Frank Jonathon Waters took his son on trips to the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico in 1911, described by Frank in his book The Colorado. Frank's interest in his Indian roots was partially a reaction to his father's death on December 20, 1914, when young Frank was twelve years old. Waters continued his education at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Waters worked on his first novel, Fever Pitch (1930) and a series of autobiographical novels beginning with The Wild Earth's Nobility (1935). When World War II broke out, Waters moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Office of Inter-American Affairs. There, he performed the duties of a propaganda analyst and chief content officer and, although he was released from the army in 1943, he continued to work for the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. In 1953, Waters was awarded the Taos Artists Award for Notable Achievement in the Art of Writing. Frank Waters died at home in Arroyo Seco on June 3,1995.
The Hopi Child
by Wayne Dennis
"...In presenting an account of the behavioral development of the child in an Indian pueblo, we shall divide our material into two main divisions. Our first task will be to picture the world which surrounds the individual who is born into Hopi society. Later we shall try to show how the Hopi child behaves as he faces his cultural milieu. This is an arbitrary and practical division, since environment and response interact at every point. Child-rearing practices and child behavior bear an intimate relationship. It is scarcely possible to describe the methods of treating the child without mentioning the behavior with which they are designed to cope, nor is it easy to deal with responses apart from the situations in which they develop..." 236 pages
When Clay Sings
by Byrd Baylor
ISBN 10: 0684188295 / 0-684-18829-5, ISBN 13: 9780684188294 Pieces of broken pots are scattered over the desert hillsides of the Southwest. The Indians there treat them with respect -- "Every piece of clay is a piece of someone's life," they say. And the children try to imagine those lives that took place in the desert they think of as their own. Clay has its own small voice, and sings. Its song has lasted for thousands of years. And Byrd Baylor's prose-poem as simple and powerful as the clay pots sings too. About the Author: Byrd Baylor has always lived in the Southwest, mainly in Southern Arizona near the Mexican border. She is at home with the southwestern desert cliffs and mesas, rocks and open skies. She is comforted by desert storms. The Tohono O’odham people, previously known as the Papagos, are her neighbors and close friends. She has focused many of her writings on the region’s landscape, peoples, and values. Through her books of rhythmic prose poetry, written primarily for children, she celebrates the beauty of nature and her own feelings of rapport with it. Her books have been honored with many prestigious awards, including the Caldecott Award and the Texas Bluebonnet Award. All of her books are full of the places and the peoples that she knows. She thinks of these books as her own kind of private love songs to the place she calls home. Baylor lives and writes in Arizona, presenting images of the Southwest and an intense connection between the land and the people. Her prose illustrates vividly the value of simplicity, the natural world, and the balance of life within it.
Culture in Crisis: A Study of the Hopi Indians
by Laura Thompson
"...The pueblos of the Southwestern United States are the most representative survivors of pre-Columbian Indian civilization. They are such through the complexity of their life, its many-sidedness and its extraordinary balance, its religious profundity, its man-nature world view, and its weight and radiance of symbolism. None other of the complex Indian civilizations was allowed to hold its own through the centuries after white conquest. The pueblos held their own...This book searches to its roots and to its core the Hopi society as the conserver of an immense past and as the builder of souls; and it searches to its roots the nature of the crisis which has come upon this society and upon its personalities. In this search, the book deals, in terms valid for all the continents, with one of the major conditions of humanity today...For our world is in crisis as stern and as obscure as that of the Hopi Indian tribe, and an aspect of that crisis is the dissolution of the human bonds and the sinking of faiths and values which are from of old..." 276 pages
No Turning Back: A True Account of a Hopi Indian Girl's Struggle to Bridge the Gap between the World of Her People and the World of the White Man
by Polingaysi Qoyawayma
A True Account of a Hopi Indian Girl's Struggle to Bridge the Gap between the World of Her People and the World of the White Man. 196 pages
Talking with the Clay: The Art of Pueblo Pottery in the 21st Century
by Stephen Trimble
ISBN-13: 9780933452183, ISBN: 0933452187 When you hold a Pueblo pot in your hands, you feel a tactile connection through the clay to the potter and to centuries of tradition. You will find no better guide to this feeling than Talking with the Clay. Stephen Trimble's photographs capture the spirit of Pueblo pottery in its stunning variety, from the glittering micaceous jars of Taos Pueblo to the famous black ware of San Ildefonso Pueblo, from the bold black-on-white designs of Acoma Pueblo to the rich red and gold polychromes of the Hopi villages. His portraits of potters communicate the elegance and warmth of these artists, for this is the potters' book. Revealed through dozens of conversations, their stories and dreams span seven generations and more than a century, revealing how pottery making helps bridge the gap between worlds, between humans and clay, springing from old ways but embracing change. In this revised, expanded, and redesigned edition, Trimble brings his classic into the twenty-first century with interviews and photographs from a new generation of potters working to preserve the miraculous balance between tradition and innovation. 150 pages About the Author Stephen Trimble has become a primary narrator of the story of the Southwestern Indians through his books Our Voices, Our Land; The People: Indians of the American Southwest; The Village of Blue Stone; and an annual calendar based on the People. He has lived in the Four Corners states all his life and makes his home in Salt Lake City with his wife and two children.
Designs on Prehistoric Hopi Pottery
by Jesse Walter Fewkes
ISBN-13: 9780486229591, ISBN: 0486229599 One of richest sources of pre-Columbian design from Sikyatki site: on vases, bowls, plates. Hundreds catalogued and analyzed: birds, animals, clouds, lightning, and demon motifs. It is a source of rich and powerful designs. This book contains 564 illustrations, with excellent interpretative text. 288 pages About the Author Jesse Walter Fewkes (1850–1930) was an American anthropologist, archaeologist, writer and naturalist. He was born in Newton, Massachusetts, and initially trained as a zoologist at Harvard University. He later turned to ethnological studies of the native tribes in the American Southwest. In 1889, with the resignation of noted ethnologist Frank Hamilton Cushing, Fewkes became leader of the Hemenway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition. While with this project, Fewkes documented the existing lifestyle and rituals of the Zuni and Hopi tribes. He made the first phonograph recordings of Zuni songs. Fewkes joined the Smithsonian's Bureau of American Ethnology in 1895, becoming its director in 1918. Fewkes surveyed the ruins of a number of cultures in the American Southwest, and wrote many well received articles and books. He supervised the excavation of the Casa Grande ruins in southern Arizona, a Hohokam site, and the Mesa Verde ruins in southern Colorado, an Ancient Pueblo site. He particularly focused on the variants and styles of prehistoric Southwest Indian pottery, producing a number of volumes with carefully drawn illustrations. His work on the Mimbres and Sikyátki pottery styles eventually led to the reproduction of many of these traditional forms and images. The Hopi potter Nampeyo became his friend and reproduced the newly documented traditional designs in her own work. Fewkes was one of the first voices for government preservation of ancient sites in the American Southwest.

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