Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running | Heard Museum

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Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running

Join us for this special learning opportunity. We are fortunate to learn from Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (Hopi) about Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running. Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert is Professor and Head of the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. He is an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe from the village of Upper Munqapi. Centering his research and teaching on Native American history and the history of the American West, he examines the history of American Indian education, the Indian boarding school experience, and American Indians and sport.

In January 1907, Louis Tewanima, from the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona, enrolled at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. While at Carlisle, Tewanima joined the school’s cross-country team. He won numerous races and earned the opportunity to compete in the 1908 and 1912Summer Olympic Games. Tewanima’s story represents his ability to redefine Hopi running in the twentieth century and shows how he maneuvered within American and European perceptions of Natives and sports. His participation in running events recalls a time when white Americans situated indigenous people at Indian boarding schools on the fringes of U.S. society but embraced them when they brought honors to the country by representing the nation in athletic competitions at home and abroad. Furthermore, Tewanima’s involvement in marathons and Olympic races demonstrates the ways Americans used his success to further the ideals of U.S. nationalism, as he simultaneously continued the long tradition of running among his people.

Matthew S Glibert

Event Details

Saturday, February 22
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Cost: Free

Monte Vista Room

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