Lesson Plan

Lesson 3: Hopi Traditional Dance and Song

Hopi Corn Dance.
Photo caption

Hopi Corn Dance.

Hopi culture is deeply rooted in the arid landscapes of northern Arizona and the practice of dry-land corn farming. Hopi corn farmers depend upon natural precipitation and experienced, gentle, hands to grow corn. “Corn is life” and “corn are our children” are common metaphors used to explain the culture’s historic, physical, and spiritual commitment to farming corn in such a challenging environment. Hopi songs and traditional dance, including the symbolic costumes the dancers wear, demonstrate the importance of corn and the environment to the Hopi people.

Guiding Questions

How is symbolism used in Hopi dances and songs?

How do Hopi dances and songs reflect values and culture?

Why is corn central to Hopi culture?

Learning Objectives

Understand the concept of “symbol” as displayed in seasonal cultural celebrations.

Examine examples of Hopi traditional dance and song to understand the symbolic nature of corn.

Analyze examples of Hopi songs for repetition, rhythm and meter, imagery, and figurative language.