is a fundamental part of Pueblo identityone that is integrated
into every aspect of traditional Pueblo culture.
Pueblo leaders are concerned with preserving knowledge about
farming and ensuring that this knowledge is transmitted to younger
generations. Crow Canyon researchers and educators are interested
in learning about traditional agriculture in order to better understand
ancient farming practicesand to gain a deeper appreciation
for the role of corn in Pueblo society, past and present. The Pueblo
Farming Project is a collaborative effort that addresses the interests
of both groups.
Since 2006, the Crow Canyon staff has worked with traditional
Pueblo farmers from Hopi, Arizona, to document their farming practices
and the cultural context in which they take place. Every year, Hopi
farmers have visited Crow Canyon in the spring and fall to teach
the Center's researchers and educators about Pueblo Indian farming,
food storage, and food preparation. Together, farmers and staff
have planted and harvested several experimental gardens on Crow
Canyon's campus, testing farming techniques and varieties of seeds
used by the Pueblo farmers in their own fields.
Documentation for the project includes still photography, video
and audio recordings of planting and harvesting, and a variety of
written records, including detailed measurements of plants at different
stages of growth, daily temperature and precipitation values, crop
yields, and preliminary results of corn DNA analysis. Data generated
as part of the Pueblo Farming Project have already proven useful
in broader research. For example, Village Ecodynamics Project scientists
have compared the results of their computer simulations with corn
harvest yields from the Pueblo Farming Project to better understand
ancient environmental conditions and agricultural productivityand
the effects of both on human settlement patterns.
In addition, the knowledge generated by the Pueblo Farming Projectincluding
an appreciation for the importance of corn in Pueblo culturewill
be incorporated into lessons used by Crow Canyon and Hopi educators.
A documentary film about the project is scheduled for completion
in late 2015; it will be available for both classroom and general
Crow Canyon thanks the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office and
Hopi Cultural Resources Advisory Team for their collaboration on
this project. Components of the Pueblo Farming Project have been
funded by The Christensen Fund, History ColoradoState Historical
Fund, the National Geographic Society Genographic Legacy Fund, the
National Science Foundation, and the Qwest Foundation.