Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Clinton B. Allison

Committee Members

Charles H. Faulkner, Kermit J. Blank, A. Van Fleet


This dissertation is a historical study of education among the Hopi Indians of Arizona. The basic premise of the study is that schooling was imposed on the Indian. Those who brought schooling, whether Spanish priest or American agent, were committed to changing the Hopi into a new cultural being. The years from 1540 to the 1920s reflect a period when cultural intolerance, imposed through schooling, was most intense. When educators tried to destroy Hopi culture they were less successful than when they tried to accommodate it. The Hopi were committed to their own way of life which was transmitted and maintained through a cultural pattern known as the Hopi Way.

The Spanish program of education failed because of harsh policies and extreme intolerance. Mormon settlers tried to convert and educate the Hopi, but the Hopi resisted. Various United States agents tried to force schooling and American culture on the Indians, but they were met with equal opposition. Educators soon realized that there were limits to education by imposition. After the 1920s, government officials recognized the need to accommodate native culture in the schooling process.

A number of models to explain schooling by imposition are examined. Colonialism fits the Spanish educational program. A model better suited to United States policies on schooling is cultural paternalism. A unique model for viewing the Hopi experience with schooling is symbol allegiance. Hopi allegiance to their own cultural symbols defined the limits of schooling by imposition.

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