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Fools and Jesters in Literature, Art, and History: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

By Vicki K. Janik; Emmanuel S. Nelson | Go to book overview

songs (hence his name) and dances with them. The Kipok Koyemsi, or Warrior Mudhead, is a fighter, not a clown.


Piptuyakyamu

The Piptuyakyamu are nonsacred and "do not follow a prescribed routine when they come nor do they have a traditional appearance, other than a tendency to whiten their bodies and faces" ( Wright 100). Costumes vary with the skit being performed and usually caricature whatever person or group is being satirized. The Piptuyakyamu usually accomplish this satire in the most obscene fashion possible. Some of the lampooned groups include Navajos, white schoolteachers, white storekeepers, Plains Indians, and Anglo photographers. These buffoons dress accordingly, exaggerating actions for a humorous effect. The short skits are usually based on some current incident affecting the pueblo and involve the use of clowns as "straight men."


CRITICAL RECEPTION

Noted anthropologists such as Elsie Clews Parsons, J. Walter Fewkes, and Adolph Bandelier did early studies of the Pueblo Indians and took note of their clown societies. These Anglos, however, were often horrified by the obscene and vulgar displays inherent in clowning at some pueblos.

The number and variety of clown kachina dolls carved by Pueblo Indians demonstrate growing public interest in this subject. These dolls represent all types of Pueblo clowns and can be found in gift shops and museum collections throughout the country. The beauty and intricate detail of these clown kachina dolls, and the history behind them, help give Hopi clowns importance and attention not only in Pueblo culture, but now in Anglo society as well.


SELECTED BIBILIOGRAPHY

Bandelier Adolph F. A. The Delight Makers. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1890.

Hieb Louis Albert. "The Hopi Ritual Clown: Life As It Should Not Be." Ph.D. diss, Princeton U, 1972.

Ortiz, Alfonso, ed. Handbook of Native American Indians. (Vol. 9). Southwest. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1979.

Steward, Julian Haynes. The Clown in Native North America. Ph.D. diss., U of California, 1929. New York: Garland, 1991.

Tedlock, Dennis, and Barbara Tedlock. Teaching from the American Earth: Indian Religion and Philosophy. New York: Liveright, 1975.

Wright, Barton. Clowns of the Hopi: Tradition Keepers and Delight Makers. Flagstaff, AZ: Northland, 1994.

-253-

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