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ERIC Number: EJ912996
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
Language, Epistemology, and Cultural Identity: "Hopiqatsit Aw Unangvakiwyungwa" ("They Have Their Heart in the Hopi Way of Life")
Nicholas, Sheilah E.
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v34 n2 p125-144 2010
Daniel Nettle and Suzanne Romaine in "Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages" state that indigenous peoples represent about 4 percent of the world's population but speak at least 60 percent of the world's languages. They point out the reality of an ominous linguistic crisis of global proportions--languages die and continue to die, but the "trickle of extinction of the last few centuries is now turning into a flood." Within the US context, they state, "Of an estimated 300 [aboriginal] languages spoken in the area of the present-day US when Columbus arrived in 1492, only 175 are spoken today, most [are]... possibly only one generation away from extinction." Recognizing that the statistics can tell neither the "whole" story nor "all" of the stories of the world's languages, this article offers the linguistic story of the "smaller language" population of Hopi, a historically oral communal society that resides on the high plateau lands of the southwestern United States. Hopi society has not escaped the consequences of modernity increasingly evident in the declining use and functions of the Hopi language in all domains of contemporary Hopi life. The Hopi case contributes the perspective of a society whose cultural values, encoded in myriad cultural traditions that remain largely intact and continue to be practiced, mark a distinct identity. More importantly, what is revealed is that the Hopi youth have developed a strong allegiance to the Hopi way of life; they "have their heart in the Hopi way of life," or "Hopiqatsit aw unangvakiwyungwa." (Contains 2 figures and 34 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A