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14_pic.jpg Burials at WupatkiThumbnailsMidden (Trash)

The open plaza area may have been the hub of village life and work. Ethnographic evidence suggests most activities were gender specific, and everyone contributed. Children learned by watching, listening, then doing. Surely there were no idle hands. Women worked clay into necessary utensils. They mortared the pueblo, knowing clay as they did. As the herbalists, gatherers, and protectors of stored crops and seeds, women were vital to the community. Men hunted and farmed. The entire growing season may have been spent away from home tending fields. Winter brought with it time to weave. Fine cotton textiles and abundant tools suggest weaving was an important, highly developed skill at Wupatki.

"...the man cultivates the field, but he renders its harvests into the woman's keeping." -A Hopi view of the community, 1894

"No woman ever sat at the Hopi looms. The men were expert weavers; they wove diligently all winter long in the various kivas. Hopi woven items were known far and wide, and people of other tribes came to barter for them." -Helen Sekaquaptewa, from "Me and Mine"

Meghann M. Vance, Northern Arizona University Anthropology Laboratories
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