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Lobby Mural by Duane Koyawena, Hopi/Tewa, www.dkoyawenaarts.com

Hopi Qatsi - Hopi Life, 2021

 

Titled Hopi Life, this mural conveys important elements of our lives as Hopi people. Together, these representations share a look in to the deeply held values and traditional practices and teachings that tie us together as Hopi.

 

In the center is the representation of the sun, Our Father, Tawa. We pray to Tawa for strength and look to him as a guiding force within our lives. The stars in the background depict the outer world and the greater galaxy. Stars play a significant part of our lives as it relates to the passage of time.

 

Below, the bands of color represent the male and the female while the white dashes represent moisture.

 

The black and white designs at the bottom are a representation of Paalölöqang. Paalölöqang is the water serpent that keeps our world in balance. In Hopi, Qatsi this is the way of life we strive for. It is said that if people do not take care of the earth, it will get mad and shake the earth to its core.

 

The deities to the left are Angaktsinam, longhair katsinam. As rain messengers, they are associated with moisture and rain. As clouds themselves, they are also depicted to the right as tall cumulus clouds with black and white vertical lines signifying rain. The lightning (talwiipiki), in both yellow and red, is representative of the way it is described in traditional songs.

 

Moisture is essential for life. Representations of this are found throughout, such as the clouds, lighting and dragonflies. It sustains our crops, natwani, like the squash and corn that are shown. Interconnected, as stewards of the land, our life way is dependent on our dedication to traditional farming. The fruits of this important duty, in turn, allow us to provide for our people.

 

Duane Koyawena is a self taught artist. He has been doing art since childhood. Duane draws artistic inspiration from his traditional Hopi culture and his everyday life. His experiences, including overcoming past struggles with alcohol addiction, shape who he is as an artist, father, exhibit curator, motivational speaker, and Mental Health Technician at Flagstaff Medical Center. His artwork has been showcased nationally, most recently at the Museum of Northern Arizona and the Center of Southwest Studies where he served as co-curator for the PIVOT Exhibit

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