The Hill brothers are twins, but their work is totally different: Jonah is a silversmith; Greg is known for his toys, especially wooden tops, colored in vibrant colors.
This richly colored example has a shapely form, carved from cottonwood, as is traditional for the Hopi.
Greg says, “A top is one of the few toys that have the same method of play around the world,” and is something that brings people together.
He adds, “I’m making joy.” Certainly, we all smile at the sight of the gorgeous colors on this finely carved top.
The green, red, purple, and blue are linked with some white, and some accents of black.
The designs are not random, but traditional to the Hopi: stepped rain symbols, parallel lines referring to rainfall, and at the top row, black and white stylized eagle feathers.
Eagle feathers are signs of hopes and prayers (for rain, so crops will grow) soaring up to the heavens.
Fun to play with, lovely to look at, and serious in its designs, this top can be played with, or just admired – that’s up to you.