Hopi artist Michael Kabotie died Oct. 23 in Flagstaff, Ariz., from
complications due to the H1N1 flu. He was 67. According to his daughter,
Meg Adakai, Kabotie had been ill weeks prior to his death.
Kabotie has been an active participant at the Museum of Indian Arts
& Culture's Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival for the past
five years," stated Shelby Tisdale, director of MIAC. "His
wide range of work, from silver jewelry and kachina carvings to
his large-scale colorful paintings, draw on the Hopi traditions
he grew up with ... I will always remember his warm smile, his subtle
way of teasing, his contagious sense of humor, and his gentle way
of teaching the world about Hopi art and culture."
of artist Fred Kabotie (1900-1986), who was self-taught and among
the very first students at the Santa Fe Indian School during the
1920s, Michael Kabotie was multi-talented in sculpture, painting,
printmaking, and metalwork, as well as a writer and poet. In 1979,
his book of poems, Migration Tears: Poems About Transitions, was
published by the University of California/American Indian Studies.
was a founding member of Artists Hopid (1973-1978), an organization
dedicated to innovative interpretations of traditional Hopi art
forms. In 2003, he was cited as an Arizona Living Treasure by the
Arizona Indian Living Treasures Awards, Inc.; and just this year,
he was the featured artist for the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair
& Market in Phoenix.
was a quiet man, with a deep respect for the traditions of his Hopi
culture," said Heard Museum director Frank Goodyear, Jr. in
a statement. "He made powerful images drawn from Hopi artistic
traditions that are testimonies to his own creative excellence.
His death leaves us deeply saddened."
was born on the Second Mesa on the Hopi Reservation and was raised
in the village of Shungopavi. He graduated from Haskell Indian School
in Lawrence, Kan.
1967, according to his Web site, he underwent his Hopi manhood initiation
into the Wuwutsim Society and was given his Hopi name, Lomawywesa,
or Walking in Harmony.
work is represented in many public and private collections, including
the Heard Museum, Museum of Humankind (London), and the Gallery