STAR School Navajo+Hopi Peacemaking, Costume and Mask Making

the STAR School near Flagstaff, AZ

"Earthaware joins STAR Charter School and the children of Navajo and Hopi Nations to bring deep cultural traditions of Navajo Peacemaking into form as a bridge for solving a global increase in Human vs. Earth conflicts using found, local materials in costume and mask making inspired by reference to the ancient Hopi practice of Kachina making. The costumes and masks made will allow the children to teach Peacemaking through narrative, song and dance in ceremonies they write."


From mid-May to mid-June 2013 Earthaware founder Owen William Fritts will lead three separate 3-Day workshops exploring the traditional Navaho and Hopi Peacemaking process. The age-old Navajo peacemaking process includes both sides of the conflict first practicing Respect, then understanding the Relationship between the sides and finally taking Responsibility for ones part in the conflict.  The amazing, cutting-edge STAR School operates on these Peacemaking principles with an additional one added value: Reasoning. These constitute the Four R's. The STAR School sees almost zero fighting or bullying in its 110 students.

videos and pictures created by STAR School kids explaining the Four R's

We all know that harmony with Mother Earth has been interrupted through human activity. With the platform of the Four R's our workshops endeavor to form strategies to end the conflicts between Humans and the Earth. We will be referencing the ancient Hopi ceremonial methodology of Kachina making in our costume and mask making "vehicle" to activating the childrens' ideas for Earth Peacemaking. We will be working with over 100 K-8th grade kids of predominantly Navajo ancestry, in the communities on the Navajo and Hopi Nation Reservations of Northeast Arizona and on a camping excursion to Zion National Park in southern Utah. As with many global Earthaware projects the focus is on elementary and middle school aged children as their young minds expand and show us ways of doing things that adults often have forgotten. The program steps the kids through a basic framework where their ideas and voices become the content for an EarthPeace ceremony to be shared with all people of Earth.

We will listen to local Elders, to tribal leaders and learn the processes of ancient ceremonies invoking Great Spirits for the proper narratives to follow in our desire for Human and Earth harmony. Hopi Kachinas, or representative "Spirit Figures" are a perfect inspiration for the kids to create masks and costumes from. What we make will be used in our storytelling, our honoring and our ceremonies for EarthPeace.

traditional Navajo ceremony acted out by little ones with masks and costumes - provided by STAR School

We will scour the local desert landscape for pliable organic materials and safe-to-use discarded materials such as plastics, wire, string and fabrics. We will clean and sort our findings then set about constructing our costumes to tell our Peacemaking stories. Working as teams we will assemble life size and greater than life representations. As we create over the course of the three days per workshop we will reflect on the meanings and the day to day applications of the stories we are working with: "how do we make peace with the earth every day, how can we teach others?". The survival and harmony achieved by both the Navajo and Hopi tribes forced onto shared land is much accredited to their ways of Peacemaking.


At two of the workshops we will orchestrate a presentation for the honorable storytellers, those that shared their knowledge with us, the local community and the parents. The kids will present back what was learned while acting out their strategies for repairing the conflicts between Humans and Mother Earth using voices, dance and the newly made costumes and masks and who knows what else!

Please help us continue with this important cultural and educational work by donating to Earthaware today.