Practicing Living and Being Hopi: Language and Cultural Practices of Contemporary Hopi Youth

  • Sheilah E. Nicholas
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities book series (PSMLC)


The epistemological origins of the Hopi way of life remain as the most reliable resource for cultural survival and persistence amid significant cultural and linguistic change. This chapter examines the life histories of three focal Hopi youth and their parents to illuminate the changes and maintenance of cultural and linguistic practices among Hopi families. The divergent ways each family adheres to cultivating and nurturing a Hopi identity for their children, manifested in the differing linguistic abilities of each youth, highlight the role of Western schools/schooling in the transitions from home to school and school to home. The ancestral Hopi culture model continues to compel as well as guide the Hopi people in practicing living and being Hopi in the contemporary context of change and continuity.


Hopi Language as cultural practice Family language practices Language maintenance and shift United States 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheilah E. Nicholas
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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