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Chief Joseph Secakuku Collection,

Identifier: MSS -624-SC

Scope and Content

This small collection contains correspondence, 1922-1925, pertaining to the making of a commercial stereoscopic motion picture at the Grand Canyon, which included scenes from Hopi life. Most of the correspondence is between Stereoscopic Productions and Chief Joseph Secakuku. There are also a few letters written by other Hopi chiefs (1935), expressing their displeasure about the commercialization of sacred elements of Hopi culture. Additionally, the collection includes Chief Joe Secakukus registration with the Boy Scouts of America, certificates relating to Bobby Joe Secakukus service in the armed forces, and two Arizona travel brochures.

An addition to the collection contains photocopies of pages from a scrapbook of Chizomana Black. Black, a niece of Joseph Secakuku, is an artist who works in tapestry. She loaned her original scrapbook to the CSWR for reproduction.

A later addition to the collection (June 1999) contains copies of 2 flyers relating to the tapestries of Chizomana Black, as well as the partial translation of a novel, Lolomai, by Vendla von Langenn. The translation, by Karen Friedmann, describes various aspects of Hopi culture, including the Snake Dance. The novel is a love story, purportedly between Von Langenn and Joseph Secakuku.


  • 1922-1974 (bulk 1922-1937)

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

Joseph (Joe) Secakuku was a Hopi Indian from Shipaulovi, Second Mesa. He opened his first trading post at Canyon Diablo (now Two Guns, Arizona) by 1926. He later moved his store to Holbrook, and with his brother Hale opened two large stores at Second Mesa. He also had a store in Winslow, Arizona. Secakuku was chief of the Snake Society. In the 1960's, he retired from the trading business when he became chief of Shipaulovis Bear Clan. Secakuku was in his 80's when he died of cancer in 1969.


1 envelope

Separated Material

Photographs have been transferred to the Chief Joseph Secakuku Trading Post Pictorial Collection.
Finding Aid of the Chief Joseph Secakuku Collection, 1922-1974 (bulk 1922-1937)
For Approval
Processed by B. Silbergleit
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 624 SC::Chief Joseph Secakuku Collection)//EN" "nmu1mss624sc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131