Native American Life

Hopi Maidens, c.1906

The Hopi - Hopituh Shi-nu-mu, or ‘Peaceful People’ - are a Native American tribe who have long inhabited a large area of America traditionally spanning from Arizona to New Mexico and into Colorado.

The Hopi teenagers sitting upon the rooftop are distinguished by both the white, red and black Atu’u maiden’s manta and the distinctive squash blossom whorl - a symbol of fertility achieved by wrapping their hair around moulds on each side of the head. All maidens of the Hopi would keep their Atu’u until they married, before the manta was handed down to another female member of the family. 

The tribe is one of the Pueblo peoples, who inhabit multi-storied apartments constructed from stone, mud and adobe. The usage of ladders to access the dwellings were a form of security, preventing burglaries and other undesired guests as they had to be lowered down from the inside.

Color Reconstruction Jordan Lloyd
Words Jordan Lloyd

Original Photograph by Edward S. Curtis
Format Photographic Print
Date c.1906
Location Unknown Pueblo, c. New Mexico, USA
Source The Library of Congress, Edward S. Curtis Collection