Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

October 21, 2014

Tribute to 19 Hopi Imprisoned for Resisting Boarding Schools


Hopi Prisoners at Alcatraz, January 1895
Back Row (left to right): unidentified; Polingyawma; Heevi'ima; Masatiwa; unidentified. Middle Row: Qötsventiwa; Piphongva; unidentified; Lomahongewma; unidentified; Lomayestiwa; Yukiwma. Front Row: Tuvehoyiwma; unidentified; Patupha; Qötsyawma; unidentified; Sikyakeptiwa; unidentified.

Hopi arrested in Arizona, 1894
#57, Mennonite Library and Archives, Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas

Censored News remembers the 19 Hopi imprisoned at Alcatraz who refused to allow their children to be indoctrinated in US boarding schools.

By Censored News

The Hopi Cultural Preservation Office said: "John Martini described the prisoner's cells at Alcatraz as 'tiny wooden cells, worlds removed from the western desert and plains.' Indeed, a description of Alcatraz in 1902, just seven years after the Hopi prisoners were jailed there, suggests that the cells were in poor condition: 'The old cell blocks were `rotten and unsafe; the sanitary condition very dangerous to health. They are dark and damp, and are fire traps of the most approved (sic) kind.'"
"In a series of letters between H.R. Voth, a Mennonite missionary at Orayvi, and Guruther, the Commanding Officer at Alcatraz, family members at Hopi were extremely worried about the prisoners. There were rumors that some of them had died. In August, Voth wrote to the Guruther that the pictures of the prisoners were 'very much appreciated by relatives and friends/ because rumors had circulated that they were "poorly fed, clothed, worked hard, some had died, etc. were perhaps killed.
"In September, Voth wrote to Lomahongiwma to report on the prisoners' families and the crops. These reports must have caused considerable anguish among the prisoners, especially those who were separated from their families during important ceremonies and planting and harvesting. In addition, two of the prisoners' wives gave birth to children who died while the men were at Alcatraz." -- Hopi Cultural Preservation Office
In Memory of the 19 Hopi who resisted and were imprisoned at Alcatraz:
Aqawsi (Kwaa/Eagle)
Heevi'yma (Kookop/Fire)
Kuywisa (Kookop/Fire)
Lomahongiwma (Kookyangw/Spider)
Lomayawma (Is/Coyote)
Lomayestiwa (Kookyangw/Spider)
Masaatiwa (Kuukuts or Tep/Lizard or Greasewood)
Nasingayniwa (Kwaa/Eagle) Patupha(Kookop/Fire)
Piphongva (Masihonan/Grey Badger)
Polingyawma (Kyar/Parrot)
Qotsventiwa (Aawat/Bow)
Qotsyawma (Paa'is/Water Coyote)
Sikyaheptiwa (Piikyas or Patki/Young Corn or Water)
Talangayniwa (Kookop/Fire)
Talasyawma (Masihonan/Grey Badger)
Tawaletstiwa (Tasaphonan/Navajo Badger)
Tuvehoyiwma (Hon/Bear)
Yukiwma (Kookop/Fire)

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