Acacia Artisans is Native American artistry in silver, shell, quill and bead work. Southwest home decor. Hand cast and hand painted decorative wall plaques, clocks, ceramics. Other unusual handmade and hand crafted folk-art. Southwest artisanal foods and candies.

Stories & Facts

PIKI

Piki is a special bread made by the Hopi of their blue corn. It is several thicknesses of transparently thin flat bread 15 or 16 inches in diameter, rolled into a scroll; the best is so light it is almost weightless. It is crisp and delicious with the delicate but distinctive blue corn flavor. The next paragraph is a description of the traditional method of making piki, as told by Carol Locust of the Native American Research and Training Center of the University of Arizona.

"I remember seeing her on her knees in the piki house, a small outside building of ancient blocks, and watching her test the large, flat, piki stone for its heat. The blue corn meal in the bowl beside her had been ground to powder, mixed with a small amount of finely sifted ashes, and blended with fresh spring water until thick and smooth as cream. Kneeling in front of the piki stone, Ellie was hardly visible, but she became a whirlwind of activity when the stone was hot enough. Her hands moved like lightning. Deftly she dipped one hand into the bowl of piki mixture, scooping a certain amount on the outside of her palm, and swiftly -- very swiftly -- swept her hand and the mixture across the hot stone. As quickly Ellie's other hand lifted the parchment and placed it to the side, while another scoop of mixture was already being swept across the stone. The two transparent sheets were rolled together, and a third and fourth added, and a fifth and sixth, until Ellie was satisfied and the rolled transparent sheets became a piki bread. Ellie worked tirelessly and, it seemed, effortlessly."

Excerpt from The Piki Maker: Disabled American Indians, Cultural Beliefs, and Traditional Behaviors, a monograph by Carol Locust, Ph.D., published by Native American Research and Training Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.