Iva Honyestewa

Iva Honyestewa's Whirlwind (Bringer of Rain) pootsaya basket shown at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, 2017

Iva Honyestewa (née Casuse; also Iva Lee Honyestewa; born 1964) is an American artist, craftswoman, social activist, and preserver of Hopi culture. A Native American, Honyestewa is best known for her traditional and innovative woven baskets and figures. Honyestewa's most important breakthrough was the development of the pootsaya basket, called "a rare innovation in Hopi basketry".[1] She developed the pootsaya during her 2014 residency at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico, having been awarded the Eric and Barbara Dookin Artist Fellowship.[2]


Honyestewa was born in Gallup, New Mexico to parents Richard Casuse (Navajo) and Shirley Casuse (née Mansfield; Sun Clan, Hopi). Honyestewa is Sun (Taawa) Clan from the village of Songoopavi, Second Mesa, Arizona, and her Hopi name is Honwynum (Female Bear Walking).[3]

Honyestewa began in 1992 as a silversmith and jewelry maker and has received advanced training from her father Richard Casuse (Navajo), Leonard James Hawk (Yakama), Roy Talahaftewa (Hopi), and Charles Supplee (Hopi). She has worked with many techniques including Hopi overlay, lapidary, lost-wax casting, and tufa casting.[4][5] She is included in the definitive guide to Native American jewelry makers by Dr. Gregory Schaaf of the Center for Indigenous Arts & Cultures.[6]

Honyestewa is expert at traditional Hopi basket weaving, both the coiled basket (poota) and the sifter basket (tutsaya). She was taught to make her first coil basket by her grandmother Esther Honanie when she was ten years old. Honyestewa would not revisit basket weaving until 1996 when she began lessons with her first cousin, Beth Dawahongnewa. Over the next ten years, Honyestewa perfected her craft making baskets for ceremonial purposes and began to introduce what would become her signature innovations; her confidence grew, finally blossoming in 2006 as she began to enter art exhibitions and contests.[2][7][4]

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