Techqua Ikachi, Land – mein Leben

Techqua Ikachi, Land – My Life
According the mythology of the Hopi, the deity Maasau requires that this Indigenous nation pledge to lead a simple life upon entering the fourth world, which is our world of today. This life is based on agriculture, mainly the cultivation of corn. Techqua Ikachi, Land – My Life is a document of self-determination and the upholding of traditions within the Hopi community, who have been based in Hotevilla, Arizona since the beginning of the 20th century. It shows the life of the community in simple, clear images. They are split in terms of their stance towards white US government policy, primarily the question of whether Hopi children should go to the “white” schools of their “enemies” in Hotevilla or their “friends” in nearby Oraibi, which has been continually inhabited since the 11th century. Over 20 years, James Danaqyumptewa filmed and documented ceremonies and protests at the behest of the village elder. This Super-8 footage forms the basis of the film, which was made with the help of filmmaker Anka Schmid and artist Agnes Barmettler. From this footage, historical photos and Barmettler’s images, the film forms a mosaic of the life of the Hopi.
by Anka Schmid, Agnes Barmettler, James Danaqyumptewa
with Qomahoyngma, Sewemunewa, Qomayumptewa, Quavayma, Dawangyawma
Federal Republic of Germany / Switzerland 1989 Hopi, Subtitles: English 102' Colour Documentary form


  • Qomahoyngma
  • Sewemunewa
  • Qomayumptewa
  • Quavayma
  • Dawangyawma
  • Samimano
  • Kuwanheynem
  • Danaqyumptewa


DirectorsAnka Schmid, James Danaqyumptewa, Agnes Barmettler
ScreenplayJames Danaqyumptewa, Anka Schmid, Agnes Barmettler
CinematographyAnka Schmid, Jürg Walther
EditingInge Schneider
MusicHopi traditionelle Musik
Sound DesignMartin Steyer
SoundAlbert Gasser, Ciro Cappellari
ProducerRachel Schmid
Executive ProducerRachel Schmid

Produced by

Mano Film

Zürich, Switzerland

Additional information

The digital restoration was made possible through the film heritage support programme (FFE) financed by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the states of Germany, and the German Federal Film Board (FFA).

Verleih / Distribution
Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V.
Gesa Knolle, Carsten Zimmer
+49 30 269 551 50

Anka Schmid

Born in Zurich in 1961. Studied at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB) from 1984 until 1990. Moved back to Zurich in 1998. Works as a filmmaker, video artist and media teacher. Has won numerous prizes and screened her films at festivals including Locarno, Berlinale, San Francisco, Chicago, Nyon and Sundance.

Filmography (selection)

1986 Herzens-Freude; short film · Habibi – Ein Liebesbrief; short documentary 1989 Techqua Ikachi, Land – Mein Leben (Techqua Ikachi, Land – My Life); documentary 1991 Hinter verschlossenen Türen 1995 Magic Matterhorn; documentary 2000 Das Engadiner Wunder; short film 2011 Mit dem Bauch durch die Wand; documentary 2014 Fe-Male; short film 2015 Wild Women – Gentle Beasts; documentary 2016 La Dada – König Hirsch; experimental film 2017 Haarig; animation 2021 Wie die Kunst auf den Hund und die Katze kam; short documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024

Agnes Barmettler

Born in 1945 in Stans, Switzerland. She is a visual artist focusing on painting and labyrinth installations in public spaces. Her work has been exhibited internationally. She has received numerous awards and art prizes. Since 1979, several stays in the Hopiland.


1989 Techqua Ikachi, Land – Mein Leben (Techqua Ikachi, Land – My Life); documentary 1997 Labyrinth-Projektionen; co-directed by Anka Schmid, short film

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024

James Danaqyumptewa

Born in 1916 in Hotevilla, Hopiland (USA). Initiated priest, traditional Hopi farmer, Super 8-filmmaker, editor of the Hopi magazine “TECHQUA IKACHI” (1967–90), fighter for the independence of the Hopi. He represented his people at the Russel Tribunal in Rotterdam, at the UNO in Geneva and at the International Court of Justice in Den Haag. He died in 1996.


1989 Techqua Ikachi, Land – Mein Leben (Techqua Ikachi, Land – My Life); documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024


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