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20698
Utah

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.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20698RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
2,199
Utah

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.
Length
7 days
Starts at
2,199
Program No. 20698 RJ
climate
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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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7 days
6 nights
17 meals
6 B 5 L 6 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Salt Lake City, UT
D
Plaza Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:45 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to our assigned Road Scholar conference room (check with the hotel front desk for location) to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In the hotel restaurant, we’ll have a choice of soup and salad bar buffet or ordering plated meals from the menu with beverage choices of lemonade, soft drinks, milk, coffee, tea, water.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Pottery making sessions will involve activities that can get clothing wet, dirty, stained, and smelly, so wear old clothing for these sessions. Before handling clay, make sure your fingernails are cut so they do not dig/scratch into clay while molding, sanding, polishing and painting your pottery. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
2
Fremont Indian State Park & Museum, Travel to Torrey
Capitol Reef National Park
B,L,D
Broken Spur Inn & Steakhouse

Activity note: Getting in/out of vans. Walking up to 1/2 mile inside and out; climbing up/down ladder; paved pathway, uneven terrain. There is a 1/4 mile optional walk, on a flat sidewalk at Fremont Indian State Park, if a participant wants to see Indian writings carved into the sandstone walls.

Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant, choose what you like from the breakfast buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel and loading our luggage on the van, we will ride to the Fremont Indian State Park and Museum near Sevier. When I-70 was being constructed in 1984, earth removal from a ridge uncovered a Fremont culture village from more than a thousand years ago. There were more than 100 structures, and while much was destroyed, much was saved and preserved. During our self-directed exploration, we will be able to explore the museum and see exhibits revealing daily life in the long-gone village. We know from artifacts that the Fremont culture was an advanced society of people who cultivated crops like corn, squash, and beans. They built comfortable homes that could withstand Utah’s harsh environment. The Fremont people expressed themselves through art and play. The museum displays include everything from agricultural and hunting tools to pottery and smoking pipes, and a model of a Fremont woman that was made based on her skeletal remains. Outside, what is called the Parade of Rock Art trail loops behind the museum along a paved pathway. This interpretive trail passes by numerous petroglyphs made by the Fremont people.

Lunch: At Big Rock Café near the famous Big Rock Candy Mountain, we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of lemonade, soft drinks, milk, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. After the Burl Ives recording of “Big Rock Candy Mountain” became famous in the 1950s, some enterprising locals put up a sign at the bottom of a local mountain proclaiming it as the real place from the song. The colors — shades of yellow, orange, red, and white — are a result of volcanic activity and mineralization over millions of years.

Afternoon: We’ll ride on to Torrey, near Capitol Reef National Park, and check in to our hotel with some time to freshen up. We’ll then meet our expert Hopi teacher and potter, Alice Dashee, and learn about Hopi traditions of pottery making. We’ll also get an overview of the pottery making project throughout the rest of the program.

Dinner: In the hotel restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of lemonade, soft drinks, milk, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: All the molding, sanding, polishing, and painting of our pottery will take place in our conference room at the hotel. There, we’ll learn from our Hopi teacher and expert where our clay was gathered on Hopi lands and the number of filtering and drying processes it has gone through over many days to get it to the point where we can now work with it. We’ll see sample designs and various artistic samples of things we may choose to make.

DAY
3
Pottery Project
Capitol Reef National Park
B,L,D
Broken Spur Inn & Steakhouse

Activity note: Walking to/from restaurant. Standing and walking during projects. Expect to get clay on hands and clothing.

Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant, have what you like from the breakfast buffet with beverage choices of milk, juices, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will receive our clay and start coiling our first pottery projects under Alice Dashee’s expert supervision as we learn and put into practice traditional Hopi ways of making pottery. Alice feels she has been blessed with this beautiful talent for which she is grateful, and she loves to share her talent with those who want to know more. As Alice explains: “Working with the clay becomes very spiritual, because you are taking a part of Mother Earth in every process of the pottery making, from collecting the clay, straining, molding, sanding, polishing, painting, and the final process of firing. Only natural materials are used throughout the process. The pottery is formed through hand coil upon hand coil, formed and molded into various shapes and sizes. The pottery must be completely dry. It is then scraped, sanded to a smooth surface using white sand stones, which gives the pottery its final shape. It is polished to a nice smooth and polished shine, using small river rock. Then it is designed and painted, using natural dye made from local plants and natural clay rocks of various colors, utilizing small brushes made from the narrow slender leaf of the Yucca plant. The designs come from various Hopi clans such as the Sun, Eagle, Water, etc., and much by inspiration. Sheep manure is used in the final phase of firing. Fire clouds are considered beautiful and have spiritual significance with the uneven heat.”

Lunch: In the hotel restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of lemonade, soft drinks, milk, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll begin our second pottery project and spend the afternoon working on both projects.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: We’ll continue working on our projects and complete the molding process by the end of the evening. We will also view a DVD presentation on the fascinating 275-million-year-old geologic history of Capitol Reef National Park.

DAY
4
Capitol Reef Field Trip, Gifford Homestead
Capitol Reef National Park
B,L,D
Broken Spur Inn & Steakhouse

Activity note: Getting on/off a van. Walking and standing at field trip sites. There’s an optional “Grand Wash” Walk in Capitol Reef National Park, approx. 2- miles over uneven dirt and rock surfaces, approx. 2 hours, Sunny conditions, some shade and wind. Wear solid footwear for hiking, bring water bottle, snacks, etc.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll set out in the van on a field trip to the Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center. From the National Park Service (NPS): “Located in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles.” A Park Ranger will tell us how geologic forces created this amazing place. As the NPS also explains, “The area of Capitol Reef has been a homeland to people for thousands of years. Archaic hunters and gatherers migrated through the canyons. Fremont Culture solidified around 500 CE, from food foraging groups, to farmers of corn, beans and squash. Petroglyphs etched in rock walls and painted pictographs remain as sacred remnants of the ancient Indians' saga. Explorers, Mormon pioneers and others arrived in the 1800s, settling in what is now the Fruita Rural Historic District. They planted and nurtured orchards of apples, pears, and peaches. The National Park Service preserves the stories of those who came before.” We will visit the old one-room Fruita school house and the Griffin Gifford Homestead in the heart of the Fruita Valley.

Lunch: At a picnic area, we’ll have boxed lunches.

Afternoon: We’ll drive through the Waterpocket Fold with photo stops along the way. This buckle in the earth’s surface is the park’s major geologic feature. We’ll then set out on an optional elective hike in the “Grand Wash,” a deep gorge in the upper part of the Waterpocket Fold with cliffs reaching as high as 500 feet. We will stop frequently to rest and drink water, eat snacks, and take photos. Those who choose to not go hiking will be shuttled to the other side of the trail and meet/visit with Alice Dashee and others. After everyone is back together, we will have a Hopi ceremony and receive a gift from Alice. We’ll then return to the hotel and start sanding our pottery if it has dried properly.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: We will continue sanding our pottery projects in preparation for polishing and painting tomorrow.

DAY
5
Designing Pottery
Capitol Reef National Park
B,L,D
Broken Spur Inn & Steakhouse

Activity note: Walking to/from restaurant. Standing and walking during projects. Expect to get paint on clothing.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Under our expert’s supervision, we will polish our pottery with ancient river stones passed from generation to generation in Hopi clans. We’ll learn the intricacies of obtaining just the right polish using the right amount of pressure, friction, and proper techniques.

Lunch: Hotel plated meal.

Afternoon: We’ll learn how minerals and plants such as wild spinach are used to make traditional Hopi paint and how long it takes to make just a small jar of paint. Our expert will also teach us symbols and Hopi clan designs used on pottery for many generations. We’ll then make our own paintbrush using a yucca leaf and chewing on the end to make the brush hairs. Then, with our yucca brush (and a modern paintbrush), we’ll begin painting our pottery.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: We’ll finish designing and painting our pottery pieces. Next, we’ll learn about Hopi corn and its importance in Hopi culture for centuries including the present day. Our expert instructor will demonstrate the process of making the traditional bread called piki that begins as a batter made of blue cornmeal, ash, and water greased with animal fat or sunflower oil. It is baked on stones heated by burning pinyon or juniper wood. The same batter can be rolled into balls and cooked in boiling water to make a breakfast dish called bivilviki or monokviki. Hopi people wrap corn husks around dough made by combining sugar-sweetened blue cornmeal with ash. The dough bundle is then boiled. We’ll then taste all three Hopi dishes.

DAY
6
Pottery Firing, Katsinas
Capitol Reef National Park
B,L,D
Broken Spur Inn & Steakhouse

Activity note: The Hopi firing process uses dried sheep manure. Expect to get odors in clothing.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: As we prepare for the first pottery firing, we’ll see the importance of the traditional Hopi process that uses dried sheep manure for fuel and how it gives pottery a beautiful tan color when finished. We’ll then begin firing our pieces. While our pottery is firing — about a three-hour process — we will learn about the Hopi Katsina (termed Kachina by non-Hopi people). From the Hopi Tribe website (https://www.hopi-nsn.gov/): “Katsinam are Hopi spirit messengers who send prayers for rain, bountiful harvests, and a prosperous, healthy life for humankind. They are our friends and visitors who bring gifts and food, as well as messages to teach appropriate behavior and the consequences of unacceptable behavior. Katsinam, of which there are over two hundred and fifty different types, represent various beings, from animals to clouds.” We will see paintings of Katsinas and learn from our expert instructor the purpose each plays in Hopi life traditionally and today.

Lunch: Hotel plated meal.

Afternoon: As soon as the coals have died down from the first firing, we will prepare for and complete the second firing. While this batch of pottery is firing, we will continue to learn about the Hopi people and culture from our expert instructor. When the firing process is complete, we will uncover our final projects and admire each other’s completed Hopi-style pottery.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: We will clean up and pack supplies we used during the pottery making process, then prepare our pottery pieces for shipping or wrap them for the trip home. Boxes, bubble wrap, and tape will be provided. Then prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
7
Transfer to Salt Lake City, Program Concludes
Salt Lake City, UT
B

Activity note: 9:00 a.m. van transfer; approximately 1:00 p.m. airport arrival.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will check out of the hotel, load our luggage on the van, and say goodbye to our expert Hopi instructor and potter, Alice Dashee. We’ll then begin the four-hour drive back to Salt Lake City.

Lunch: You will be able to get what you want for lunch after arrival at the airport.

Afternoon: We expect to arrive at Salt Lake City International Airport by approximately 1:00 p.m. If you are flying out Saturday afternoon, do not book departing flights until 3:00 PM or after! If you’re not able to get a flight home Saturday afternoon, book another night at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel for Saturday night and book your flight home Sunday morning. In this case, we will take you back to the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel after dropping others off at the Salt Lake Airport. The first Plaza Hotel Shuttle to the airport (which is free), begins at 6:30 AM. Do not book a flight home until 8:30 AM or after. Sign up at the hotel’s front desk when you need to be shuttled to the airport. Shuttles run regularly or when needed. He airport is 5 miles or 10 minutes from the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel. For earlier flights departing before 8:30 AM, you will need to take a taxi, Lyft, or Uber from the Plaza Hotel to the airport. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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