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 Fred Kabotie  (1900 - 1986)

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Lived/Active: Arizona      Known for: Indian ceremonial dance and figure painting, murals

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Ad Code: 3
Fred Kabotie
from Auction House Records.
Mastof K
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Shungopovi, Second Mesa, Arizona, Fred Kabotie became a prominent painter, illustrator, silversmith, teacher and writer of Hopi Indian life. He continued to live at Second Mesa, and his Indian name was "Nakayoma," meaning Day After Day.

In 1906, his family and other Hopis founded Hotevilla, an organization to preserve Hopi traditions. In 1913, the children were forced to go to government school, and for discipline he was sent to Santa Fe Indian School. There he became an accomplished artist and set a new style of modeling in color with some shadows rather than just flat colors. He did additional studies with Olaf Nordmark.

In 1920, he became a book illustrator and was commissioned to paint Hopi life and customs. In the 1930s, he was commissioned by the Peabody Museum to reproduce Awatovi prehistoric murals in their original size. He also painted a mural inside the Watchtower on the east rim of the Grand Canyon.

From 1937, he taught in Hopi high school, had a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1945, and in 1949 helped establish the Hopi Silvercraft Guild. In 1960, he was a goodwill envoy to India for the United States government. He was also instrumental in establishing the Hopi Cultural Center and served as the first president.

Sources include:
Patrick Lester, "Biographical Dictionary of Native American Painters"
Jeanne O Snodgrass, "American Indian Painters"

Biography from Savvy Collector:
Fred Kabotie was born Naqavoy'ma (translated Day after Day) in 1900 at Shungopovi, Second Mesa, in northern Arizona. In 1915, Naqavoy'ma was sent to Santa Fe Indian Boarding School where he was given the name Fred Kabotie. Like many of his classmates, he painted images of home to ease his loneliness.

He graduated in 1925 from Santa Fe High School. He was employed by the School of American Research in Santa Fe to depict his people’s customs and traditions, along with Awa Tsireh and Velino Shije Herrera.

Kabotie returned home to Shungopovi on Second Mesa in 1930. He taught at Hopi High School in Old Oraibi from 1937-1959. He helped establish the Hopi Silvercraft Guild in 1949 and later, the Hopi Cultural Center. A teacher, lecturer, craftsman and painter, he was referred to as the 'dean of Native-American painting'.

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