DECEMBER 31, 2013

AAS-DFC Jan. 8 meeting features speakers Lance and Eric Polingyouma

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CAVE CREEK – Imagine life without our modern means of communication (smart phone, Internet, television, or printed media). Next, remove written language as a further means of communication and the impact on culture/society is rather dramatic. Under such circumstances, oral stories and experiences fill a large void in one’s existence and becomes a foundation for traditions or creating cultural norms. The evolution of these oral histories often teaches people to become respectful, value nature’s yields, admire hard work and other standards that we may recall from renditions about earlier pioneer times in America. These types of values still exist today as the strong foundation for the Hopi way of life.

Eric Polingyouma, and eventually Lance Polingyouma, carry a heavy burden of responsibility. Eric is the last of the highly respected “Blue Bird” clan. He is responsible for carrying on Hopi oral histories and an evolving migration story. Eric does this task during a time with modern communication distractions realizing simply writing a story makes a story not flexible over time.
Eric is director of the Hopi Migration Project, a program that brings the oral tradition of the Hopi to a general audience. By providing a context for continuity, Eric hopes to share the idea that prehistoric traditions are in fact modern modes utilized by contemporary people. Eric served on the Crow Canyon Native American Advisory Group for many years as well as many other advisory capacities as a consultant.

Lance Polingyouma is the project recorder for the Hopi Migration Project. One of his tasks is translating oral histories into a more tangible format. Lance’s involvement with this project extends 20 years. He is a member of the Hopi Sun clan. Lance attended University of Massachusetts at Amherst for Anthropology and Arizona State for Archaeology. He currently works in the Heard museum. While the Hopi are a people in northeast Arizona, it is also a religion and Lance hopes to join one of the Hopi religions and carry on the oral histories.
Eric and Lance have an objective of sharing the rich cultural aspects and traditions of the Hopi with a focus on Mesoamerican origins derived from petroglyphs and oral records of the southwest.

The general public may attend an Arizona Archaeology Society – Desert Foothills Chapter meeting at no charge, except for the holiday party in December. The AAS-DFC meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month, September through May.

The meetings are held in the community room at The Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek (near the Dairy Queen). Refreshments are offered at 7 p.m. and the meeting begins at 7:30 p.m., usually ending prior to 9 p.m.