Hopi Indian Foods

native american image by Joy Fera from Fotolia.com

The Hopi Indian tribe is descended from the Anasazi empire, which may have been related to the ancient Aztecs of Mexico. They arrived in the southwestern United States more than 5,000 years ago. The Hopi tribe currently lives on a 1.5 million-acre reservation in the northeastern part of Arizona. Hopi food, centering mostly around corn, has been praised for its health benefits over the traditional American diet.

Piki Bread

Piki bread is a paper-thin bread made from ash and corn. The bread is used in some tribal ceremonies, including Hopi weddings. Piki bread is somewhat like the Hopi version of the tortilla, and it takes several days to make from scratch.


Noqkwivi is a food that was found to be a favorite among local Hopi during a study conducted by the University of Arizona. Noqkwivi is a stew that mixes hominy, lamb and spices. The delicacy can be served with piki bread and chilis.

Poovol Piki

The second-favorite dish of the University of Arizona study was poovol piki. Related to piki bread, this corn-based dish consists of corn meal dumplings that are referred to as blue marbles. Once the corn meal is ground, the poovol piki are relatively easy to make.


Paatupsuki is a Hopi soup that consists mostly of beans, corn and hominy. This dish is optimum for health when meat is not available. The combination of beans and corn leads to a complete spectrum of amino acids, which can keep the body’s protein needs fulfilled. Like the other Hopi dishes, this takes a long time to make from scratch but is extremely wholesome.


Bison was one of the main animals hunted by the Hopi. While used for food, they were used very efficiently for their other attributes, like their warm fur. Recipes for how the bison were cooked are not as available today as the other foods, since most Hopi ceased hunting bison long ago. It can be assumed that bison was eaten with the corn-based breads mentioned above.