Hopi Running

 

Overview

            This lesson provides an introduction to the role of running in Hopi history and culture. It also includes a running activity that can be team-taught with a physical education teacher.

 

Objectives

 

      To understand the importance of running in Hopi culture.

      To emphasize the significance of running for the sake of health.

      To compare and contrast the historical and current traditions/ goals of running.

      To utilize map skills, recognizing locations and latitude and longitude coordinates.

           

Grade Level/Subject Area

 

      4-8

      Arizona/Hopi History

      U.S. History

      Social Studies

      Physical Education

Materials

      Student Activity Sheets

      Readings

      Maps of Arizona and New Mexico

      Paper for messengers

 

Time-Frame

 

      2-3 days

 

Background

            Hopis are well-known for running great distances at record speed. In Native- American history and culture, the tradition of running can be traced to mythic folklores. It was believed that ancestors and animals showed Indian men and women how to run, and that mythic races helped to organize the world. In Hopi culture, running has practical as well as ceremonial reasons. Several centuries ago, Hopis did not own cattle, sheep or burros, and they had to rely upon game-capturing, which required them to cultivate the practice of running. Besides running for gaming purposes, Hopis also ran in search of food. When there were no horses for transportation, running helped to cover great distances.

 

            Moreover, running races were organized between neighboring villages. There were occasions when runners from villages such as, Oraibi and Walpi would challenge one another to run races. In such cases, runners participated in the races to prove their fortitude and fleetness of feet. As far as the health aspect of running is concerned, Hopis believe that running banishes unhappiness, strengthens the body, and rejuvenates a persons energy. Further, according to oral traditions, young boys as well as men from Oraibi would assemble at a common place in the morning and run to Moenkopi in order to work in their gardens. In addition, Hopi runners also played an important part in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.   

 

            During the time of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, Pueblo messengers ran to the nearby pueblos to prepare the people for the attack against the Spaniards. Hopi messengers were celebrated for their promptness in delivering messages. In 1903, George Wharton James gave a dollar to Charlie Talawepi of Oraibi to take a message to Keams Canyon. Talawepi ran the distance of seventy-two miles and brought back a reply in thirty-six hours.

 

In times of warfare against the Navajos, Hopis runners used to run to Navajo country in order to look for salvia, hair combings, and food in the enemys hogans. The runners brought back those elements, buried them as bait and ignited a fire above the buried elements so that the Navajo would be weakened before the approaching battle. In such instances, running had a supernatural purpose to it.

 

Hopi running also occurred in conjunction with several ceremonial events. While praying as a group for rain and prosperity during ceremonies like the Snake and Basket dances, running races served as significant ceremonial events. Even today, Hopis still practice ceremonial running. Hence, Hopi running games are religious as well as secular in nature. Such games were played to bring rains and cultivate crops.

 

            Thus, in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, Hopi running focused more on spiritual and practical purposes. From the beginning of the twentieth

century, Hopi running became linked more with physical fitness and sports. One of the most famous Hopi runners was Louis Tewanima who won the silver medal in the 1912 Olympics held in Sweden. Another Hopi runner, Nicholas Quamawahu, won the Long Beach New York Marathon in 1927.

 

 

Pre-activity:

 

Have students talk to family members/relatives and gather information or listen to stories on the history of Hopi running.

     

Opening Discussion

           

  1. Do you like running? For what reasons do you like running?
  2. Have you participated in running races?
  3. Were these races conducted in your school in conjunction with village dances or celebrations?
  4. What kinds of activities are associated with running?
  5. Why is running important in Hopi culture?
  6. Have students share the folklores/stories they heard from their family/parents about Hopi running. 

 

 

 

Introduction:

 

            Hopi Running History:

 

  1. Instruct the students about the Hopi history of running, using information from above.
  2. Answer the following questions, either orally or on paper, after learning about the messenger system.

 

a.       Why did Hopis cultivate the practice of running? What were the various reasons for running?

b.      What are the reasons behind contemporary running?

c.       What do you know about Hopi runners during the time of the Pueblo Revolt?

d.      Are there any fast runners in your family? Who are they and what kind of running races do they participate in?

e.       What were the differences between the traditions of running in the past when compared with the present time? Has the significance of running changed now? If yes, explain your answer.

f.        Why do people run in contemporary times? What kinds of activities are associated with contemporary running races?

 

 

 

 

Activity 3: (this lesson may be team taught with a physical education teacher)

 

Hopi Messengers: Running during the Pueblo Revolt 

 

Students will role play messengers during the revolt, acting as both message writers and runners.

 

  1. Review the history of Hopi messengers during the Pueblo Revolt of  1680.
  2. Divide the class into groups:  message writers and runners. Depending on the number of students in your class, you can divide them further into separate competitive teams.
  3. The groups can switch for the second part of the activity, so that all students have a chance to write and run.

 

*Accommodations* These groups depend on the variability of your class.  For students who are not able (or prefer not to) run, they can be the writers.

 

  1. Student Handout:

 

Message Writers:

 

Runners:

 

Assessment:  You will be graded on the accuracy of your message:  Are your locations correct?  Latitude and longitude correct? Creativity of message and/or secret code (remember, a secret code must have the key so it can be graded). 

 

5.  Alternative Assessment:  A physical education teacher may grade according to running speed and team sportsmanship.

 

 

Extensions:   

      Students can form a running club and organize traditional Hopi running games. 

      Have students read  Charlie Talawepis stories, such as The Coyote and the Little Antelope, and The Coyote and the Butterfly. Ask students to discuss issues relevant to running in the context of Hopi history and culture.

      Read the following story about Louis Tewanima.

 

Have students read the following biographical sketch and answer the questions that follow.

 

Tewanima-Hopi Runner:

             . . . [A] young Hopi Indian from northern Arizona enrolled in the Carlisle Indian School. His name was Louis Tewanima, and he was destined to become one of the greatest long distance runners of all time. But when young Tewanima asked to be placed on the track team he weighed only one hundred and ten pounds. Glenn Pop Warner, the famous coach, shook his head. Im sorry, Louis. Youre just not big enough for an athlete. Me run fast good! the Hopi Indian insisted. All my people run fast good.

            Pop Warner was impressed. He let Tewanima join the track team, and the wiry Indian soon proved he could indeed run fast good. Two other Indians gave Tewanima a helping hand. They were Frank Mount Pleasant and Jim Thorpe. Jim, as most sport fans know, became one of Americas greatest football players.

             . . . Jim Thorpe and Louis Tewanima became such excellent athletes that they were selected for the United States Olympic Team without having to take the usual qualifying tests.

In 1908, Tewanima finished ninth in the twenty-six mile run at London. This was only the start for the fleet Hopi. Four years later, in the 10,000 mater race at Stockholm, Sweden, Tewanima came in second to the famous Flying Finn, Kannes Kolehmainen.     

            - from Me Run Fast Good: American Indian Biographies. Billings, MT: Council for Indian Education, 1983. pp. 3-5.

 

 


Questions

           

  1. Who was Louis Tewanima?
  2. Why is he well-known?
  3. What did Glenn Pop Warner say when Tewanima wanted to join the track team?
  4. How did Louis Tewanima prove his running skill?
  5. What races did he participate in and what awards did he win?

 

 

 

Evaluation/Assessment

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

 

      Identify the reasons why Hopis cultivated the practice of running such as, health, delivering messages, defeating Navajos in battles, and for ceremonial events.

 

      Share the folklores/stories they heard from their family/parents about Hopi running. 

 

      Use maps for identifying latitude and longitude; recognize regional place names and locations.

 

      Explain the events of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, and identify the importance of Hopi messengers.

 

 

Further Information for Teachers

 

Teacher can refer to the following books/ websites for further information:

 

            Bloom, John. To Show What an Indian Can Do: Sports at Native American Boarding Schools. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000.

 

Coolidge, Mary Roberts. The Rain-Makers: Indians of Arizona and New Mexico. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, The Riverside Press, 1929.

 

Courlander, Harold. Hopi Voices : Recollections, Traditions, and Narratives of the Hopi Indians. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1982.

 

Hough, Walter. The Hopi Indians. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: The Torch Press, 1915.

 

            Nabokov, Peter. Indian Running: Native American History and Tradition. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Ancient City Press, 1981.

 

            Native American Sports Council

 

            Stephen, Alexander M. Ed. Parsons, Elsie Clews. Hopi Journal of Alexander M. Stephen: Part I. New York: Columbia University Press, 1930.

 

            Stephen, Alexander M. Ed. Parsons, Elsie Clews. Hopi Journal of Alexander M. Stephen: Part II. New York: Columbia University Press, 1930.

 

The Great American Foot Race

           

Titiev, Mischa. The Hopi Indians of Old Oraibi: Change and Continuity. Ann Arbor: the University of Michigan Press, 1972.

 

 

 

References

            Bloom, John. To Show What an Indian Can Do: Sports at Native American Boarding Schools. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000.

 

Courlander, Harold. Hopi Voices: Recollections, Traditions, and Narratives of the Hopi Indians. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1982.

 

Hough, Walter. The Hopi Indians. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: The Torch Press, 1915.

 

            Nabokov, Peter. Indian Running: Native American History and Tradition. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Ancient City Press, 1981.

 

            Native American Sports Council

 

The Great American Foot Race

 

                       

           

This lesson correlates with the following Arizona Social Studies Standards:

 

PO 1. recognizing a sequence of events

PO 1. using primary source materials, including photographs, artifacts, interviews, and documents to trace the history of a family from long ago

PO 1. contributions from past events and cultures

PO 2. examples of individual action, character, and values

PO 3. descriptions of daily life in past time and different places, including the various roles of men, women, and children

PO 1. characteristics of hunter-gatherer and agriculturally-based societies, including their development of tools and adaptation to environment.