Gerald Dawavendewa (Hopi & Cherokee)
Hahay'i’iwùuti represents the best qualities a Hopi aspires to. The tihu or doll represents Grandmother katsina. It is the first doll a child receives the first year of life during a ceremony named Powamuya. She is a reminder to the child that one of their greatest achievements is becoming an elder. As an elder, they lived a long life, gathering wisdom, knowledge, and have generations of family before them.
In Hopi culture, many of the leadership roles are only held by elders. The tihu is placed upon a plaque made of plant fibers woven into a sunflower design - a source of food, the seeds promise a continuation of life. Tied to the plaque are bundles of bean sprouts that represent the coming of a new growing season. Children will give these sprouts to their mothers who make soup to be enjoyed by all.