Issue Number 14
PREVIOUS WORLDS, PRESENT TIMES, AND DECISIONS FOR THE FUTURE
The beginning of Human history has always been a disputed question. So it has been with the origin of the Hopi. It is a question we need not dispute, for it might bring confusion, knowing that other cultures are closely related to what our ancient fathers passed down to us long ago.
We believe their testimonies are clearly explained, for their knowledge and wisdom describes the origin of time, a time when man made his first mistake in the previous worlds. We look upon our ancient teachings as a guideline used in order to avoid a downfall for our mistakes. We have learned that through our conduct we can accomplish good and bad deeds. The old ones say that we have gone through at least three world catastrophes and each world was destroyed by the same error in man.
Suppose a catastrophe happened today or tomorrow, what would you do or say?
The story we are about to tell may only be a legendary tale, but one does not have to look very far to find that this story is real. In the past our ancient ones lived at a time when people were at a highly civilized stage, greed and corruption were at their peak of controlling the so-called "lesser grade of man." Leaders and priests were branded with a disgusting evil, it was a time when people disregarded the Great Laws. People did as they pleased, they ignored the advice of their leaders. This was a time of sorrow and frustration, for the leaders loved and cared for the people as children. They warned them of the danger and tried many times to guide them on to the right road and repent. There were many violent signs in the sky and earth given by nature. This was ignored with laughter and answered that these things were only seen by lunatics who wanted to create an obstacle of fear for those seeking pleasure and wealth .
Immorality and the greed for material gain continued to flourish, disrupting life for those who wished to live in peace according to the laws of the Creator.
The Great Spirit had been watching the hearts of all Humans. Failed by His warning to the people, He too was frustrated, sad, and felt betrayed, for His laws and instructions had been forsaken. It hurt Him to think that His own creation had turned against Him. He called together His servants of God, the controllers of the Earth and Universe. "What will it be?" cried the Creator sadly. "My children on Earth have betrayed the sacred vows they made with us. They now live beyond all bounds, ignoring all advice from their leader to correct themselves and get on the rightful path." The Gods were grieved, their hearts filled with sorrow and compassion for the wickedness of man, but they could only admit to the wrongs committed by the people.
"The time has come! We will punish them and re-people the Earth with Humans of good hearts!" They cried and cried. The Great Judgment began, the sky darkened the great wind began to howl, birds and animals were first to sense the danger of truth. All creatures fled in search of refuge, to the mountains and even to the cities. The people laughed in wonder at the strange behavior of the animals. The Earth and sky grew darker, the wind grew stronger and the God of lightning lit the sky, sounding a loud thunder call. The twin warrior Gods at each of the Earth's axis released the great water serpents, and cracked the Earth releasing the fires beneath the crust. Lightning, thunder, wind, and hail struck the people, and in awe they watched the stone of their houses and great temples crumble, falling on top of them. People panicked through the ruined streets, some ran to the priests, begging, "Oh, great ones--please help save us, we will reform!"
"We have warned you many times," they replied loudly, "Nothing can be done now, the time has come for you to depart, but you all deserve one last thing: take your riches and your wealth and go down!"
The scenes of the catastrophe were full of a frightening terror. The streets were strewn with ruin, corpses killed by falling debris or fear. It was not over--Nature opened up with its full force and the Earth swallowed everything in its wake.
The catastrophe ended. The Creator's plan had been fulfilled. Spider-Woman, God of Wisdom and Knowledge, had withdrawn all her power. Those still alive had lost all reasoning and senselessly crept on all fours over hills and valleys. Some stumbled into cracks in the Earth, though still alive, their spirit was dead. They attacked each other and ate each other like animals. After many moons the water cooled and reseeded the Earth. The brightness returned and the Earth was re-peopled with righteous ones who were saved for the purpose of carrying on the Creator's plan.
This story is a glimpse into the past. The future? What do you think? Do you want to be banished from the Earth, by the same patterns as our ancient ones? We hope not, but we are now at that time period related...maybe there is a way of correcting our faults. There must be a way!!!
HOPI IDENTITY--A SACRED SYMBOL
We here in Hopiland always find ways to keep ourselves occupied throughout the year. The seasons have their own way of keeping us busy and happy with Ceremonials, field labor, crafts and much more.
All this continues, in spite of the never-ceasing encroachment of white-man's culture, the ever growing restrictions of their mind-bending laws which have begun to grind down the Hopi traditionals' strength and morale. The New Movement of the New Age no longer respect true leadership; they rule and do what they see fit without the consent and guidance of their head leaders. To the people of the New Movement, we're considered trouble-makers, dividers of people and obstacles of progress.
We must carry on our purpose to protect the laws of nature and spirit which is our highest priority. Perhaps some of the New Age people understand our position but others think that what they're doing is harmless. We think they are destroying the link between Nature and Man. The signs of warning are evident in many parts of the world. They had better consider the signs of this summer, if it means anything to them.
The harvest, we fear, will be very small, for we have had very little rain all summer long, the land and crops are weary as we are. We can only watch what winter brings. The spring will be drier if it doesn't snow. At the same time, the feed will be scarce for the livestock and wild animals in the coming winter months.
There are always things of concern and we must look upon these with open minds and hearts. Unless your focus is on personal enjoyment and the persistence to kill the Golden Goose, ignore the laughter and lack of care of others, and place your attention on why we are concerned and down-hearted. First, all things are rooted to the Earth spiritually. While on our migrations we rooted our shrines into the Earth. Our villages, people and surroundings are all rooted with shrines and have been since we decided to settle permanently, in accordance with the instructions of the Great Spirit. These markings are our claim and guardianship over this land for the first inhabitants placed here long before Columbus "discovered America." The truth is that he was merely one of the first Bahannas who saw the shores of our land. All things have an identity, it is important for man. To Hopi, identity is a sacred symbol, an emblem. by which we know who we are, our proud possession for the survival of our future generations. That identity must not and will not fade away.
Our identity can be recognized several ways around the world depending on the race and the tribe. Hopi is recognized by his language, customs and culture. Even the style of our hair and construction of our houses is important. Changing these ways would dim our survival, for our long lost white Brother might decide not to return.
Sadly most of us here have forgotten or lack this knowledge, so gradually our villages are being destroyed by the construction of white-man styled houses. The construction of these houses has been prompted by the Tribal Council under false claims that the Hopis are in grave poverty. We deny the claim and reject the project. As usual the boastful and the super rich take no heed but do know how to scramble with their bureaucracy to take advantage. This thing is wrong! No doubt this story will be looked upon as a great step forward, or it could be seen as a great step backward -- a fading of our identity and independence, by ignoring the wisdom of our head leaders.
Our readers can compare our present situation with the ancient ones, our chances for survival are not yet gone. There is always a group of people who survive to carry on. The difference lies in that the ancients did not know about nuclear warfare, and today's big powers have more powerful weapons and have exploited many secrets of nature and used them wrongly. The Gods do not allow the secrets to be known unless for the benefit of all living things. When the end is near we will see a halo of mist around the heavenly bodies, four times it will appear around the sun as a warning that we must reform and that all men of all colors must unite and arise for survival, to uncover the cause of our dilemma.
Peace will then come, unless man-made weapons strike first. We must remember that in all of man's history Peace has never been accomplished through battle.
WE TOLD YOU SO
Not long ago there were many natural springs running through Hopiland. Hopis knew all their locations, so they could drink on long journeys. Hopis always had water, enough for themselves and even some springs supplied flocks of sheep and other animals. As usual, a Bahana from a government agency was sent to Hopi to make a proposal. This time it was to develop our humble springs. He told us enthusiastically that by his methods we could produce more water. The religious leaders shook their heads saying that it is not good, for it would disturb the great water serpents who would then stop the water from flowing. "How foolish" thought the agent, and persisted to seek other Hopis more willing to cooperate. He explained his ideas and soon he had converted enough people to allow the development of the spring to take place. Many years later we find our springs drying up and others giving less water.
Time passed and yet another agent was sent, this time with a proposal for windmills. He assured the people he would pump the water from deep drilling made inside the earth, and that they would never run out of it. The leaders once again shook their heads, "No good," they said, "drilling will pierce the great water serpents and cause them anger, thus drying up more springs." Again the agent thought "How foolish they are," and thinking very hard, an idea came to him that he would ask the Hopi stock owners, seeing that they had money tied up in their animals and would not refuse.
So the windmills went up and more springs went dry.
It was about this time when a new government was being formed, the so-called "Hopi Tribal Council." They were ready to tackle the world. The Peabody Coal Company's stripminers came and introduced themselves with a proposal to stripmine the Black Mesa.
In their youthful folly, the Puppet Council readily agreed to the proposal and the money involved. No one bothered to seek the blessings of their elders.
Deep wells were drilled and hundreds of thousands of gallons of water went into use daily to transport the coal to distant places. There were many protests by the chiefs but all in vain. The Council and Peabody Coal Co. affirmed that the drilling would not hinder any environment. The chiefs shook their heads sadly and said "The mother Earth is being raped. You are destroying the sacred shrines and the great water serpents. What will they do?"
"Why fuss? Your claims are a hoax," replied the Puppet Council, "The old ways are long gone. This is the New Age.''
On this day 3,456,000 gallons are still being pumped daily. Years later some of the windmills and springs began to go dry. The water shortage became a problem, especially in the modernized homes of the Tribal Council, Kykotsmovi. In their outrage they made attempts to stop and gain control over the Peabody Coal Mining Company's continuous use of their water. Laundromats are hurt and the new latrines must wait until every member of the family has use of it to flush. Behind bushes and boulders could be less painful, and cheaper, but the Health Dept. won't allow it. O.K., so the Tribal Council are still figuring out what to do about Peabody Coal. And so we write: We told you so...
PETITIONS CALL FOR REMOVAL OF SO-CALLED HOPI LEADER FROM OFFICE
Winslow, Az., Thursday, October 12, 1978
Petitions calling for the removal of Abbott Sekaquaptewa as Chairman of the Hopi tribe are being circulated throughout the reservation. The chairman was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona on September 19 after police vice squad officers said he offered an undercover policewoman $40 to have sexual relations. Chairman Sekaquaptewa, 48, of Oraibi was charged with soliciting an act of prostitution.
The petition, which has apparently been signed by many residents of First Mesa, reads: "We, the undersigned members of the Hopi tribe including Kikmongwis and other religious and village leaders, do hereby demand that Abbott Sekaquaptewa be fired and permanently removed as tribal chairman of the Hopi tribe because of the extreme disgrace and embarrassment he has brought upon the Hopi people. His conduct in Phoenix, Arizona on or about the 20th day of September, 1978, has resulted in the filing of criminal charges against him by the Phoenix police. His conduct is absolutely contrary to that high standard which must be followed by a person who seeks to represent the great Hopi tribe. He is therefore unfit to hold any office."
Many residents of First Mesa, including a spokesman, Ned Nayatewa, chief Of the village, and four representatives to the Tribal Council, are calling for the removal of Sekaquaptewa. Oswald Frederick, the Governor of New Oraibi, and three representatives from that village are apparently in agreement. The representatives from First Mesa and New Oraibi number seven to the total of 12 Tribal Council members. There can be no quorum if two delegates boycott the Council and continue their stand against the tribal chairman.
Hopi Tribal Council law states that a two-thirds vote of the Council is needed to remove the Chairman from office. A press conference was held at First Mesa in regard to the petition.
In addition to the petitions being circulated on the Reservation, others are being circulated to Hopi people living off the Reservation, in Phoenix, Parker and Albuquerque.
WILL THE PROBLEMS BE RESOLVED BETWEEN
TRADITIONAL HOPI AND PROGRESSIVE HOPI?
The situation with Abbott Sekaquaptewa remains to be settled after his case is through. Many questions will arise and even some demands will be made to meet with the people's satisfaction. The Tribal Council can reform to a certain degree, but many problems will linger on, because the government and Bureau of Indian Affairs will still be directing business with the Puppet Council. The Traditionals claim that what the Council has been doing has not been in accord with their Constitution and there have been many shades of dishonesty involving monies and true authority. The long-awaited interest to uncover the books and records kept by the Council can now be challenged by the Traditionals. No doubt some Councilmen will defend the records from being exposed, especially if they have become involved with dishonest dealings. There will surely be much political coverup.
Traditionals want the Tribal Council to dissolve, while the Progressives want to keep it intact because of its source of economy. We like to think of ourselves as an independent sovereign nation, but we are gradually losing our independence because of the handouts from federal and state governments. We hide behind what our elders say, that it is no sin to make your livelihood from the sweat of your brows. But we seem to forget that one is just as guilty of this claim if using the oppressor's way of life to make one's livelihood. Defeat is sure to come in this way.
Sovereignty means that the Great Spirit has given us authority to care for and control our own land and resources, practice our own religion and cultural belief, govern ourselves in accordance with the great laws without outside influences, and to conduct our own affairs within our community and social structure.
Sadly we are forgetting the aspects of our purpose by depending more on white man's system of economy. Working our land for our nourishment is becoming secondary. It's no wonder our ways or life are getting off balance and our independence is waning. Are we forsaking our highest laws or are we fooling ourselves not to carry on for the future of our children yet unborn? Our founding fathers have suffered much so that our sovereignty will remain.
News briefs for our readers to think about:
Committee on Progress here in Hopiland are inducing Hopis with sweet promise to install all of Bahana's modern "conveniences" into Hopi's homes for free or at a very low cost... with "no string attached"? The fine print between the lines are kept secret to divert the Hopi, driving them into the debt of materialism.
On August 11, 1978, President Carter signed into law the "American Indian Religious Freedom Act; 5J-res-102." No doubt many of our sisters and brothers are rejoicing because the resolution is well written; however, traditional Hopi see some vital passages are excluded to maintain our lasting survival.
The shield symbol with its four
circles in four quadrants means:
"Together with all nations we
protect both land and life, and
hold the world in balance."