Gerald Dawavendewa (Hopi & Cherokee)
A blue corn plant rises from a rich mound of soil laden with plant seeds. A migration or journey spiral symbol runs through the corn plant representing the Hopi people and the plant's journey together in this world. Surrounding the plant are dragonflies and butterflies depicted as flowers fluttering across the sky symbolizing the promise of rain. A rain cloud and migration design are etched in a distant mountainside.
The Hopi have lived in what is now northern Arizona for time immemorial. An agricultural society, the Hopi have developed unique crops that thrive in a dry desert. One crop, corn plays a vital role, not only as a food but also a symbol of life itself. With its deep-rooted commitment to their traditions, ceremonies, and stewardship to the land, the Hopi continue to live as symbolized in the blue corn; a challenging but enduring life.
Corn originated in Mesoamerica and was domesticated over ten thousand years. In what is now the American southwest, the earliest corn cultivation is around 2100 BCE. For many indigenous cultures in the southwest, corn is not only an important food source, but it also defines many aspects of indigenous ceremonies, tradition, and art.