Little Hopi: Hopihoya
Little Hopi is made up of comical tales about the young Peeni and his experiences growing up. They include the story of Peeni receiving his bow and arrow from the katsinas, the mischievous “little warriors” shooting up the watermelon patch, and Peeni and his uncle going on a rabbit hunt. The stories provided bilingual reading material for children in Hopi schools at the time. For the purpose of language instruction, they serve the children then and now well by presenting traditional Hopi life accurately in the Hopi language. The book describes many of the activities Hopi youth was engaged in at that time. After World War II the emphasis on bilingual, bicultural education shifted from cultural awareness back to assimilation. It would be decades before the idea of using bilingual picture books to teach children literacy in their own language would be revived. Little Hopi was a collaboration in the early forties between the BIA’s Indian language specialist Edward A. Kennard, a Hopi Tewa interpreter Albert Yava and the artist Charles Loloma. Although a painter, potter and sculptor, Loloma became best known later on in life for his jewelry, which has been exhibited at museums and galleries around the world. Kennard collected Hopi oral traditions from Albert Yava, translated them into English, and then with Yava translated them back into written Hopi.