January 8: Archaeological Society Hosts Hopi History Lecture
Imagine life without our modern means of communication: no Smartphones, Internet, television or printed media. Next, remove written language as a further means of communication. The impact on culture and society is rather dramatic. The oral traditions developed prior to modern communication and held closely by the Hopi tribe are still important today, and their legacy continues.
Eric Polingyouma carries a heavy burden of responsibility. As the last of the highly respected Blue Bird clan, he is responsible for carrying on Hopi oral histories and an evolving migration story. Eric does this task during a time with modern communication distractions, realizing that simply writing a story makes a story inflexible over time.
He spent a large portion of his life examining and discovering migration paths from areas near or around Guatemala and Oaxaca, seeking shared symbolic traditions or possible Hopi clan symbols during his travels. Eric is director of the Hopi Migration Project, a program that brings the oral tradition of the Hopi to a general audience. His son Lance will one day be responsible for carrying on his mission.
Lance Polingyouma is the project recorder for the Hopi Migration Project. One of his tasks is translating oral histories into a more tangible format. Lance’s involvement with this project extends 20 years. A member of the Hopi Sun clan, Lance studied anthropology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and archaeology at Arizona State University. He currently works at the Heard Museum.
Eric and Lance will present some of this oral history at the Arizona Archaeology Society of Desert Foothills chapter meeting Jan. 8. The meeting is open to the public, and there is no charge. Refreshments will be served at 7 p.m., and the meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. It will be held in the community room at Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 Cave Creek Rd. in Cave Creek.