Itam Hopi yu’a’atotani! Let’s Speak Hopi! is an educational DVD intended for children who are learning the Hopi language. Like all languages, Hopi is most effectively grasped when learned at a young age. Hopi language is linked to cultural activities such as dancing, singing, planting crops and preparing foods, which makes it easier to learn. As children dance and sing, they begin to comprehend the deeper meaning of what they are enacting.
All music written and performed by Ferrell Secakuku & Anita Poleahla.
Hopi and English lyrics accompany the DVD recording.
Three volumes now included on this one DVD!
Volume 1: Nu’ wunimangwu: I Dance
Ferrell Secakuku originally composed the song Nu’ wunimangwu in 2005 for the CD entitled Learning Through Hopi Songs. Nu’ wunimangwu is a social dance song rooted in traditional Hopi teachings about farming and food. Hopi children begin participating in social dances at about two to three years of age and continue into adulthood. Men can dance any time. Girls, not women, participate in social dances. Nu’ wunimangwu features Sikyavensi, a young Hopi girl from walpi on First Mesa. She is Aaswungwa, a member of the Tansy Mustard Clan.
Volume 2: Nu’ wuuyoktiqe’e: I Have Grown Up
Nu’ wuuyoktiqe’e: I Have Grown Up follows Ciyunsi Ishii, a young woman from Sitsom’ovi, through the steps of her girl’s puberty ceremony. Ciyunsi is Pipwungwa, a member of the Tobacco Clan. Ciyunsi’s puberty rite involved
several days of grinding corn.
Volume 3: Koona: Hopi Chipmunk
Hopi oral history teaches us that at the beginning of life in this Fourth Experience, Maasawu’ allowed us to live on HIS land provided that we take care of it for HIM. He provided us with a bag of seeds, a planting stick and a
gourd of water. From that time, Hopi people became farmers and stewards of this land. Growing food is our primary purpose and from it, we received the life sustaining nourishment for spiritual, mental and physical strength. For this reason, all of our songs talk about corn, beans, melons, squash, prayers and getting up before the sun rises.
Hopi people also sing about the environment: the rains, clouds, snow and vegetation. We learn that the animals and insects have the same power as we do. We include them in our expressions as we sing. The locust, cidada and buffalo also sing for the rains. Another animal that we sing about is Koona, the Hopi chipmunk. He is a symbol of Hopi life on the mesas. When we sing about Koona, we envision the value that the animals possess. They provide sensitivity and respect and teach us about life and its importance.