Obituary: Michael Kabotie

In 1973, Kabotie was a founding member of Artist Hopid, a group of painters experimenting in fresh interpretations of traditional Hopi art forms. This group of five artists worked together for more than five years. He also wrote a book of poetry, “Migration Tears,” published in 1987 by UCLA.

Kabotie lectured and gave presentations across America, and in New Zealand, Germany and Switzerland. His paintings and jewelry can be seen in museums around the world, from the Heard Museum in Phoenix to the British Museum of Mankind in London and the Gallery Calumet-Neuzzinger in Germany.

Both Michael and his father, Fred Kabotie (ISOMATA faculty 1976-78), were innovators in the Native American Fine Arts Movement, creating paintings that reflect traditional Hopi life in contemporary media. Michael created many public works of art including the murals at Sunset Crater and the Museum of Northern Arizona (with Delbridge Honanie), as well as a gate he designed in the style of his jewelry at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

Kabotie was actively engaged in cross-cultural and cross-discipline projects and collaborations. These collaborations included extensive work on paintings with a Celtic artist. He also participated in archaeological and art historical research and conferences. He was a mentor and guide, making presentations and working with tribal AA groups around the country.

Michael Kabotie is survived by his older sister, Hattie Lomayesva; his children, Paul Kabotie, Wendell Sakiestewa, Claire Chavarria, Ed Kabotie, Meg Adakai and Max Kabotie; his partner, Ruth Ann Border; 14 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; his Hopi clan and blood relatives; and his many friends from all over the world.

A private burial took place on Oct. 24 at the village of Shungopavi, Ariz. On Oct. 25, a public celebration of his life was held in Flagstaff, Ariz.

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