The Shifting Nature of Food and Water on the Hopi Indian Reservation
AuthorJohnson, Tai Elizabeth
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 9-May-2019
AbstractOn the southern escarpment of Black Mesa lie the longest continually inhabited settlements in North America. In a land where water is scarce and fierce winds move shifting dunes of sand, the Hopi people continue to dry farm fields of blue corn, irrigate terrace gardens, and tend livestock in one of the world's most biologically diverse food systems. Rooted in an intimate knowledge of local resources and ecology, Hopis produced the majority of food consumed in their communities well into the 1930s. Over the course of the twentieth century a cataclysm of social, economic, and environmental forces reshaped Hopi food and water systems, shifting the use and management of Hopi resources including labor, crops, livestock, and water. As Hopi relationships with these resources changed, so too did the production and consumption of Hopi foods. Farming, ranching, and gardening declined, as did agrobiodiversity. Food from the grocery store replaced food from the fields, contributing to rates of diabetes and obesity significantly higher than the national average. At the same time domestic and industrial development of Hopi ground and surface water transformed Hopi water systems. Today Hopi agriculturalists report declines in the water resources upon which agricultural success depends. These declines are limiting the decision and ability of Hopis to continue traditional agricultural practices. The persistent and long-term ecological observations of farmers, gardeners, and ranchers who continue to interact with these specific resources and the local environment through their agricultural practices are valuable in understanding ecological change over time, including how natural resource development and climate change are affecting traditional subsistence practices.
Degree ProgramGraduate College