Iva Honyestewa

Iva Honyestewa
Whirlwind pootsaya by Iva Honyestewa.jpg
Iva Honyestewa's Whirlwind (Bringer of Rain) pootsaya basket shown at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, 2017
BornIva Lee Casuse
1964 (age 53–54)
Gallup, New Mexico
NationalityHopi Tribe, American
MovementHopi basketry

Iva Honyestewa (née Casuse; also Iva Lee Honyestewa; born 1964) is a Hopi/Navajo artist, social activist, and cultural practitioner. A Native American, Honyestewa is best known for her woven baskets and figurative sculpture. 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]


Iva 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 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 Gregory Schaaf of the Center for Indigenous Arts & Cultures.[6]

Honyestewa is expert at customary Hopi basket making, both the coiled basket (poota) and the sifter basket (tutsaya). Her grandmother Esther Honanie taught Honyestewa to make her first coiled basket when she was ten years old. Honyestewa did 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 by 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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