Recording toponyms to document the endangered Hopi language

Saul L. Hedquist, Stewart B. Koyiyumptewa, Peter M. Whiteley, Leigh J. Kuwanwisiwma, Kenneth C. Hill, T. J. Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The toponyms of Hopitutskwa ("Hopi land") explicate Hopi history and culture. Place-names mark sacred locations, landforms associated with deities and historical events, springs, trails, and "footprints" of ancestral villages, petroglyphs, and other archaeological sites. The National Science Foundation funded a collaborative project to document the Hopi language by recording toponyms and associated narratives. Interviews with 15 Hopi individuals produced linguistic and ethnocartographic records of 282 place-names. Audio and video recordings preserve the vocalization of place-names pronounced in Hopi as well as their use in a larger Hopi language contextualization. The variety and distribution of toponyms discussed during interviews demonstrates how Hopis remember, interact with, and honor their land.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-331
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Hopi
  • Hopi language
  • Hopitutskwa
  • Landscape
  • Toponyms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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