Hopi Katsina Songs

Hopi Katsina Songs

Hopi Katsina Songs

Hopi Katsina Songs

Synopsis

Emory Sekaquaptewa dedicated most of his life to promoting Hopi literacy and creating written materials to strengthen the language and lifeway of his people. He understood how intimately cultural ideas are embedded in language, and by transcribing and translating early recordings of katsina songs he helped strengthen the continuity of Hopi religious thought and cultural practices. Sekaquaptewa believed that the advice contained in the katsina songs, some of which were recorded over a century ago, could be used by future generations as guideposts for navigating contemporary life.
Hopi Katsina Songs contains Hopi transcriptions, English translations, and detailed commentaries of 150 katsina songs, recorded throughout the twentieth century from all three Hopi mesas, as well as twenty-five recorded by Sekaquaptewa himself. To further continue the creative process of the Hopi legacy, Sekaquaptewa included song fragments with the hope that readers would remember the songs and complete them. These features make his collection an invaluable resource for preserving and teaching Hopi language and culture.

Excerpt

This volume contains Hopi transcriptions, English translations, and explanatory commentaries of 150 Hopi katsina songs. One hundred twenty-five are from recordings made throughout the twentieth century from singers from all three Hopi mesas; the other twenty-five are songs contributed by the late Emory Sekaquaptewa. the volume contains the katsina songs in the recorded collections archived at the Library of Congress and the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music. These recordings, with a very few exceptions, had not been transcribed or translated.

This presentation represents one of Emory Sekaquaptewa’s many efforts to provide a written record of portions of the Hopi patrimony. Because he understood how intimately cultural ideas are embedded in language, he devoted much of his lifetime to promoting literacy in Hopi and to creating written materials that would strengthen the language and, in so doing, the lifeway of his people. Similarly, he felt that preparing transcriptions and translations of early recordings of katsina songs would serve to demonstrate the vital continuity of Hopi religious thought and cultural practice since some songs included here were recorded over 100 years ago. in fact, he wanted to include song fragments in the hope that Hopi readers would remember the songs and be able to complete them and, in this way, to continue the creative process of perpetuating the Hopi legacy. As well, he felt that these songs would also be texts that future generations could return to again and again as guideposts while navigating the ups and downs of contemporary life.

In addition to the goal of providing written texts of the songs in Hopi, Emory was concerned that the younger generations were not sufficiently conversant with the ways in which these principles of life, presented as advice from the katsinas, were metaphorically encoded. For this reason he felt that some explication of this material was important for the continued vitality of Hopi religious beliefs and practices. in the spirit of the best anthropological tradition, where the fieldworker takes the role of listener and observer, we chose to listen to Emory, accepting his understanding and interpretation of Hopi concepts. in our view, to have interrupted this flow of ideas and experiences and the referential and metaphoric ways he explained the songs would have been tantamount to questioning his authority on the subject. in this light, this work is neither . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.