Five Farms: Hopi

The Pecusas’ cornfield, Hopi Reservation, Arizona.

The Pecusas’ cornfield, Hopi Reservation, Arizona. Photograph by Andrew Lewis.

Five Farms: Stories From American Farm Families
Hopi Reservation, Arizona
Photographs by Andrew Lewis


Five Farms is a new radio series, multimedia Web site, and exhibition at CDS. Listen to the radio documentaries and view the related photo essays on the Five Farms Web site.

CDS Porch will feature excerpts from each of the five farm locations weekly, beginning with the Pecusa family.

The Pecusa family is Hopi and Pima from the village of Bacavi on the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona. Their immediate family has been farming in their area for at least four generations. Before them, ancestral people farmed their land intermittently for nearly a thousand years. The Pecusa family farms in a largely traditional manner, using little farm machinery and employing ancient dry land farming practices that allow them to grow corn in an arid environment that receives only 8-12 inches of rain per year. When not farming, Davis Pecusa also serves on the Hopi Tribal Council. The Hopi Tribe recognized Davis recently as “Farmer of the Year.” His son, David, has studied under him for as long as he can remember and recently has begun to study western organic and permaculture farming practices. He also has a strong interest in the growing and preservation of heirloom native seeds from the Southwest. David recently left his job as kitchen manager at Hotevilla Bacavi Day School so that he can pursue his farming interest full-time. His dream is to teach and introduce younger generations to farming and sustainable living practices.

Alma Pecusa husking corn outside the family home, village of Bacavi, Hopi Reservation, Arizona.

Alma Pecusa husking corn outside the family home, village of Bacavi, Hopi Reservation, Arizona. Photograph by Andrew Lewis.

Desert soil that has caked and dried after a heavy monsoon rain, Hopi Reservation, Arizona.

Desert soil that has caked and dried after a heavy monsoon rain, Hopi Reservation, Arizona. Photograph by Andrew Lewis.

David Pecusa with an Acoma pumpkin squash, Hopi Reservation, Arizona.

David Pecusa with an Acoma pumpkin squash, Hopi Reservation, Arizona. Photograph by Andrew Lewis.

Davis Pecusa and his brother-in-law, Willard Enos, planting corn, Hopi Reservation, Arizona.

Davis Pecusa and his brother-in-law, Willard Enos, planting corn, Hopi Reservation, Arizona. Photograph by Andrew Lewis.

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    4 Responses to “Five Farms: Hopi”

    1. Airan Skye says:

      15 years ago, I had a dream and I published a book of that dream, The Exodus, the shongopovi hopi village is part of that dream…i am not rich from the book…i just want to know if i show up on foot will i be welcomed in the community…will i be allowed to stay on the mesa and find this message…i just know I am to go…i am 3/4 Cherokee…have myspace page for Leonard Peltier (Perryville, AR) and myself…i also have facebook to make arkansans aware of Leonard…i am a hard worker…raised many children alone…they are grown and i know it is time for me to follow the vision quest given me…last year a man calling himself Heyoka came to me and said he was sent to shake my core…that i was chosen ten thousand years ago…he sat me upon a red road that i knew was coming but did know what his coming would do to me…i am known somewhat on the internet by wanbli tate (wichacala/gordon), ben carnes, grandfather martin and many other native peoples…now i need to know me…will i be welcomed or shunned?

    2. Ian Marsh says:

      Lovely photos! I really enjoyed this beautiful post.

    3. […] Five Farms: Hopi –Apr 30, 2009 … Photograph by Andrew Lewis. Five Farms: Stories From American Farm Families Hopi Reservation, Arizona Photographs by Andrew Lewis … […]

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