Kyle “Hokona” Kootswatewa


GRANTEE: Kyle “Hokona” Kootswatewa
LOCATION: Mungapi Village
AWARD: 2023 LIFT– Early Career Support for Native Artists 
DISCIPLINE: Traditional Arts

Kyle “Hokona” Kootswatewa is a traditional artist and culture bearer of Hopi descent, coming from the Kachina clan in Mungapi, Arizona. A weaver, potter, and practitioner of Traditional Ecological Knowledge, he learned how to work with the Earth through his maternal clan grandparents and mothers and uncle. The processes of foraging, creating, cooking, and building has allowed him to become well versed in the traditional sciences of agriculture, botany, nutrition, permaculture, geology, and the chemistry that brings all these natural sources into action within his community.

Kootswatewa earned a Bachelor of Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and utilizes his academic training and traditional ecological knowledge towards fortifying earth stewardship and to help preserve Hopi basketry and pottery. Within the community, he has mentored numerous relatives and friends, to engage and guide their interest in working with natural fibers and clay. He is the recipient of a Southwest Folklife Alliance Mentor-Apprentice Artist Award and has exhibited his work at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Garland’s in Sedona, AZ, and The Hopi House in the Grand Canyon.

My vision is to re-learn the intricate methods of my ancestors and broaden its usage into a present-day context, exploring new forms while sharing the work with yucca weaving communities.”

– Kyle “Hokona” Kootswatewa (Hopi)


Kootswatewa’s LIFT Project will revitalize the ancestral Puebloan technique of yucca cordage weaving. This weaving technique was practiced all over the greater Four Corner regions and well beyond into California and Mexico; however, this technique has gone dormant with only a few practitioners living today. His primary goal is to research and create a twine woven piece using this technique. He will utilize natural materials and dyes, as well as incorporate Hopi symbolism into the work. Kootswatewa will thoroughly document his process with video and share it with Indigenous weaving communities through virtual and in person demonstrations.