The Museum of Northern Arizona will be brimming with all things Hopi this weekend during its 77th annual Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture, including an engaging exhibit that highlights NAU’s Hopi Footprints project.

Hopi Footprints addresses the tribe’s challenging task of retaining its distinct cultural identity while preparing its youth for a fast-paced world of modern lifestyles and different cultures.

Archaeology, elder knowledge and tribal traditions provide the foundation for the project’s youth exhibit on the core values of Hopi culture. The exhibit, called “Following in the Footprints of Our Ancestors,” presents the Hopi youths’ voices on how they maintain their core values amidst threats and challenges to their deeply rooted traditions. It will feature presentations and video screenings that tell the story of Hopi cultural continuity and the challenges for sustaining these traditions.

Working with Flagstaff spray artist Anthony Esparza, the youths will lead the community in the creation of a collage that explores the future of young Hopis.

The exhibit also includes panel discussions at 2:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with Hopi youths and elders, facilitated by Wolf Gumerman, director of the university’s Honors Program, and Joelle Clark, who directs the project.

The Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 3-4 at the Museum of Northern Arizona and will feature 75 of the top Hopi artists, speakers, demonstrators, and seasoned performers of music and dance.

For festival information, visit http://musnaz.org/hp/hopi_fest_2010.shtml.