Ongtupqa - Hopi Music Inspired by Grand Canyon Comes to PGM

With the Desert View Watchtower perched on the edge of one of the world’s most renowned cultural and geographic landscapes, a trio of musicians with a strong connection to the Grand Canyon recently recorded music inside the Watchtower to share with the world. Experience this unique musical performance at Pueblo Grande Museum, with a special viewing of the documentary film sharing Hopi cultural connections to Grand Canyon, on November 16 at 6 p.m.

Ongtupqa (the Hopi name for the Grand Canyon that translates to “Salt Canyon”) celebrates the Grand Canyon through music and video, recorded on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon where Hopi emerged from the Third World into the Fourth World long ago. Through traditional Hopi vocals, the ancient sounds of the Hopi long flute and clay pot percussion, Ongtupqa features the oldest instruments from this corner of the world through original compositions inspired by the canyon. Clark Tenakhongva, Gary Stroutsos and Matthew Nelson use their mastery of voice, flute and percussion to bring the acoustics within the Watchtower to life.

This music was created on-site with reverence for the space that could never be replicated in a music studio far from the views and spirit of Grand Canyon. Ongtupqa was made with no studio enhancements or effects and captures the raw beauty of Hopi music and culture. Select pieces will be performed live by Stroutsos and Nelson following the showing of the Ongtupqa video, as well as insight into what makes this project significant for everyone with an interest in Grand Canyon, Arizona and native culture.

“My only hope is the music we offer will resonate with the world,” said Tenakhongva, who was elected as Vice Chairman of the Hopi Tribe one month after recording Ongtupqa. “As Hopi we were born from the Sipaapuni within Grand Canyon, and when we are done we return to the womb of our mother to rejuvenate life of a new beginning. This is the cycle. This is the Hopi way. And these are songs about that sacred place – Ongtupqa.”

This special fundraising presentation was made possible through the Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary. Tickets are $10 for general public, and $5 for Museum Members. Available online at or in the Museum Store. Copies of the video and music will be available for purchase after the presentation. Copies of the CD and DVD will be available for purchase after the presentation. A portion of proceeds from the sale of Ongtupqa product benefits the restoration of the Desert View Watchtower and the continuation of traditional music and culture among youth on the Hopi Mesas. To learn more and to listen to sample songs, please visit

Event Details:

Date: Friday, November 16

Time: 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10 regular admission; $5 Member admission



Nov 16, 2018


Pueblo Grande Museum
4619 East Washington St
Phoenix, AZ 85034


6 pm


$10 regular admission; $5 Member admission

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