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Climate Change Threatens Hopi Corn and Way of Life in American West

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Climate Change Threatens Hopi Corn and Way of Life in American West
Hopi blue corn is being affected by climate change. Abrahami / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

Climate change is making ancient Hopi farming nearly impossible, threatening not just the Tribe's staple food source, but a pillar of its culture and religion, the Arizona Republic reports.


A two decades-long "megadrought" across the American West as severe as any in the last 1,200 years, has made Hopi lands even dryer than the arid environment in which they have lived for centuries, and heat waves made worse by climate change intensify evaporation, robbing the corn of even more precious water.

Beatrice Norton, 69, is a member of the matrilineal Young Corn Clan responsible for the tribe's food.

"This is our way of life. We are dependent on this corn for our ceremonies, our way of life, to be complete," she said.

"But eventually, if this is the way and the direction that this is going to go, our weather and then the environment, global heating and no rain, sooner or later we're going to be missing a big piece of what is a part of our life as Hopi."

For a deeper dive:

Arizona Republic; Climate Signals background: Drought

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