Samantha Fladd

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Washington State U.

Grant number

Gr. 10556

Approve Date

September 29, 2023

Project Title

Fladd, Samantha (Washington State U.) "Accumulating Identity in “Trash:” Spatial Modification and Spiritual Stewardship in Ancestral Hopi Villages"

Accumulating Identity in “Trash:” Spatial Modification and Spiritual Stewardship in Ancestral Hopi Villages examines how Ancestral Pueblo people used spatial modifications, including the placement of “trash” in unoccupied rooms, to express social identities and enduring memories. Hopi worldviews see rooms as living members of communities who undergo life cycles of their own, and Hopi communities remain strongly connected to ancestral sites as part of their contemporary identities. Through an examination of the treatment of rooms at the Ancestral Hopi villages of the Homol’ovi Settlement Cluster in northeastern Arizona, I reorient discussions of the archaeological record to incorporate Hopi perspectives through holistic room biographies that treat these spaces as embodied members of the community. I underscore the importance of considering the contents and contexts often dismissed as “trash” in the archaeological record and highlight the issues with the application of a Western ontology/epistemology to studies of the past. Considering the Homol’ovi villages using a biographical methodology, this project demonstrates the importance of incorporating Indigenous ontologies and epistemologies by exploring evidence for spatial manifestations of identities, such as gender, and challenging common archaeological assumptions about the past.