When Several Are Baked, She Folds
Them Over And Over Until They Are About The Size Of An Elongated Shredded
Hopi Women as Builders.
It is a reversal of our conception of things to see
the "gentler sex " engaged in building a house, as is often the case in
Hopiland. Yet to the Hopi there is nothing strange in this scene, for the
woman, and not the man, is the owner of the house. Hence, the Hopi reasons,
why should she not build it? It is hers, so let her make it; and she does.
She uses no spirit-level, no plumb line, no square, no saw, and yet she
makes a creditable house, fairly square and plumb, warm and cosy in winter,
and cool and comfortable in summer. The mud of the winter's watercourses is
used as mortar, and the pieces of disintegrated sandstone, that abound on
the mesa tops, form the building material.
Men Who Weave and Knit. In accordance with Hopi logic, the antithesis of
the woman house-builders is to be seen daily in the men who are engaged in
weaving the women's garments; men, also, knit the stockings, and follow
other so-called feminine occupations. There is nothing incongruous in these
things to them. They are part of "the way of the old," handed down to them
by their forefathers.
Hopi Method of Weaving. To watch a weaver at work is to acquire a new
respect for Indians. As one sees the crude, home-made appliances, and then
watches the yarn climb up, thread by thread, battened down by hand so that
the garment will hold water, until the article is finished, artistically
designed, and perfectly fitted for its required purpose, he comes to the
conclusion that the Hopi weaver, at least, is a skilled artificer.
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