Patsy introduced our guest speaker, Carolyn O'Bagy-Davis. Ms Davis is here from Tucson and is the author of several books. She is an anthropologist by training and has been studying and chronicling the traditions of Hopi quilting for over thirty years. During that time she has collected and extensively documented over one hundred of the Hopi quilts. Ms Davis' quilts are being donated to the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The presentation described how missionaries introduced quilting to the Hopi women. Their quilts are used in baby naming ceremonies , funeral shrouds, going away quilts as well as other ceremonial quilts.
The quilts are primarily hand pieced and hand quilted using whatever fabric was available. Many have a patchwork design, many are scrappy quilts and some feature a star, bird, or butterfly design. The quilts may also be hand painted and tied.
There are three mesas on the reservation and each one has their own distinct style. Quilts from the 2nd Mesa are influenced by their basket weaving tradition while quilts from the 1st Mesa are influenced by their pottery designs.
Carolyn said if you would like to visit the Hope reservation you should go to the 2nd Mesa Hotel and stop in at their Hotel shop. Mentioning that you are a quilter is a good conversation starter and, by all means, bring along some fabric to give to any Hopi quilter you meet. At the end of the presentation, there were original Hopi quilts, Hopi hand painted blocks, and many of Carolyn's books.
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