Arizona's Hopi culture, poetry, images, rock art, drawings, photos, fall day on First Mesa observations, essay

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Hopi Poetry, First Mesa Essay, and Images


Faron Sulu, Namingha is his Hopi name (which means Little Corn), is of Tewa descent living at First Mesa on Hopi lands. He enjoys sharing his reflections on Hopi and life.


There is the distant drum
Echoing along the mesa edge.
The dancer will be coming.
The life of the Hopi;
with their prayer and their songs.

Along comes "Namingha."
A part of way that Hopi is.
In the kiva the dancers line,
their heart beat-beating
in time with the drums.

"Namingha" comes with songs.
No question - no answers.
Only my rhythm that plays
along with the darkness and the "stars" in the night.
Tomorrow still holds another day
that only time and God can unfold.


Across I stand and see
Faces of mesa cliffs
Each face has their own song
They sing in turn
Loloma* they sing
Qua-qua* they sing
All is one.

*loloma means good
*qua-qua is male way of saying thank you


Run my daughter
Run my son
Go and run across the vastness of Mother Earth
run beneath the vastness of Mother Earth
Go and bless Her and Him

For another new day
Be one with you
Be one with Yours

Old One

At dawn he makes way down mesa cliffs
At dusk he makes way up mesa step
Morning take him to his destination
We children frolic along mesa tops
Evening brings him up mesa steps
Loloma he sings
Qua-Qua he sings
It's good to be alive


Not flesh of my flesh
Nor bone of my bone
But still miracuously my own
Never forget for a single minute
You didn't grow under my heart
But in it.

clifftop Walpi, built around 1300


paintingpencil drawing of Hummingbird Katsina
on top of a kiva


otherworldy looking rock art photographed
by Sandra Cosentino at prehistoric Hopi ancestor site


buffalo dancer



Fall View from First Mesa

By Sandra Cosentino

A sun shimmering day stretches before me in the vastness of high desert that is Hopi land.  More than 80 miles away, yet clearly dominating the horizon at almost 13,000 feet in height, are the San Franciso Peaks which the Hopi call Nukatakaovi.  This is the sacred homeland of their helper spirits, the Katsinas.  The deep blue basalt flow of Mt. Eldon, a companion peak reaching 10,000 feet, represents an ear of corn laying down next to the high Holy Peaks.  Floating mirage-like, distant,  they compell the eyes to notice.

Dust devil, swirling track of wind, ripples the calm surface of this sandy xeriscape with its tan color dotted with scattered green splotches of the small, scraggly shrubs and widely spaced junipers.  A harsh landscape--most people would observe--with no flowing water,  yet a promised land to the devout Hopis still growing corn here in the sand after more than 1,000 years.

Cloud shadows sporadically dot the land--cumulus stair steps of precious moisture hang scattered over the Hopi buttes and mesas.  Birthed from the distant sacred peaks now covered with a moist umbrella breathing out white clouds that seem to wing out from the center.

A flat-topped line of mesas rise above the desert plain etched with sheer cliff edges.  Wind, cooled now by fall, presses against my skin, carrying bits of sand, cools the hot glare of sun on rocky cliff. Soaring ravens are a constant companion of these mesa tops; they startle you as pop up over the edge seemingly out of nowhere. Wind-riding masters and master tricksters, ravens love letting us humans know they are observing us (or is it mocking us?).

I look out toward old Walpi sitting on a sheer edged peninsula of white sandstone across its narrow neck of a land bridge and feel a quiet so deep.  Mud plastered buildings rise up and seem to be formed from the cliff itself.  They speak of a long ago time.  I too feel an inner quiet that seems to connect me to a sense of a life way that allows its inhabitants time to be in the flow of each moment.  So unlike our disjointed modern world life way with our body in one place, our mind cranking forward, nerves on alert waiting to breath.  No time.

But today for me is timeless, yet another gift of being here in this land of the Hopi.

Written Feb. 22, 2006 based on notes from previous fall I made while quietly sitting alone deeply observing and just being.  As I sat there, Faron came by and gifted me with his poems to share with you. Asquali (female way to say thank you.)

Hopi corn field, photo by Sandra Cosentino
This is as tall as the heirloom, ancestral seed, dry-farmed plants grow.


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posted Feb., 22, 2006
updated March 3, 2008

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