Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Techqua Ikachi# 19: Looking to the Past

Oraibi, 1898

Issue Number 19


Hello, we are here after our long absence. Want to go on a journey through the Hopi world?

Remember in our past issues we took you through the period just before and after bahanna came to our land? You were still a child, still free to roam the mesa tops and the valleys with the cornfields which nourish your people. Sadly this freedom ended when you became a captive of the bahanna and were sent far away to school. Your Hopi pattern of life was put aside while you had to follow the rules of bahanna. There you forgot the rules and pattern of life set forth for you by the Great Creator.

As the times passed in captivity, you grew to young manhood and learned many things the way white people do them. You were taught a "trade" by which your captors said you would tackle the world and earn your living. After five years you were released, free to go home to your people. You now have great plans for your future; you will work for bahanna and make lots of money. With that you can get what bahanna has, all the beautiful things you see in the stores, may even buy a lot and build a house on it like the bahanna.

On your return to the village your family receives you with joy, admiring how you have grown. Now you can help with the fields and stock. Now you can participate in the ceremonials.

You notice many things have changed in your absence. People seem older and there are new additions in the family. The most obvious change is that you have arrived in a different village, different surroundings. You are told that they had to move to the new place while you were gone and start out a new life after their old village had become corrupted. They did this in order to keep to their Hopi ways of life and not adopt the bahanna ways.

You are dumbfounded, confused, as though the world has fallen on your future plans. You stay and help your family, but there are always nagging thoughts. Working the land, herding, the rituals, slowly drift from your mind for they have no value like money. It is the money that buys nice things. Your life seems empty. After a year you make a decision to leave for the white man's world. Your family resents this but permits you to go with some warnings and advice. You are grown now and it feels good to be on your own.

Before dawn you leave with some food, a jug of water and a few of your belongings. Your father and uncle have also given you a few dollars. Being a good runner, you reach the nearest town by sundown.

It is a good feeling to get away from the old dead village. By contrast the town is filled with excitement and the promise of the life you have been longing to live, an opportunity to make lots of money. You treat yourself to a big hunk of ice cream and the cookies you missed so much. You learned to like them very much during your captivity and they were not part of village life.

You now look for work and find it is not so easy in this small town so you decide to go to a larger city. You hop the freight and after two days travel find yourself in the biggest city you have ever seen. Being a beginner, you don't know what to do and are lost. During the day you look for work, willing to accept anything. The first thing you realize is that what you were taught in the bahanna trade school has no value. The money you had is gone so you sleep in parks and alleys. Soon you get so hungry that you start to depend on picking scraps from the slop cans.

You are too timid to ask anyone for help and no one comes forward to help you. It was not possible for you to know that this was the depression, that everyone was looking only for their own survival.

One morning you are picked up by the police for sleeping in someone's hallway. Scared and confused, you are asked many questions. You are taken to a place you later find out is the Salvation Army. There you are bathed and given clean clothing and the first hot meal since you hit the big city. There they arrange for you to help on the farm.

On the farm you meet people like yourself, without jobs, without skills. There you work picking vegetables and fruit. It is hard work, but at least you have something to eat. Those you work with are very nice and live together in shacks nearby. Together you pool what little money you earn to get food. The vegetables and fruit are free to eat. This is where you learn many things you were not taught in school. Among other things, you are introduced to alcohol and "women of profession." You are having such fun that you forget about your goal of making lots of money.

Before long, this life loses its attraction and you begin to feel self pity for your failure. You want to return to your people but you are too ashamed and embarrassed to face them. One day you just pack up and leave. Once again you hop a freight and in a couple of days you find yourself in the small town you left behind over a year ago.

The frustration and depression drop from you, it is a good feeling, now you are near your home land. The land you know now is rightfully where you belong. You have learned a valuable lesson with your own experience. Bahanna's world has false values, what you learned in school and elsewhere did not help you to make lots of money or fulfill your dreams.

Back in the village you are accepted without question despite your unsuccessful adventure. Within a year you are initiated into a higher order. You now realize the elders were right in advising you to learn inner wisdom and the knowledge of nature and man. It is true, it is important to protect what the Great Creator has given to us.

* * *

Thank you for coming with us on this journey and seeing through the eyes of a Hopi. Perhaps you will realize the feeling of despair and uselessness in our hearts while our ways are being threatened. Thank you - with our blessings.

Yukiuma, founder of Hotevilla--prisoner of 5th Cavalry, U.S.
(Standing to right of uniformed man in center of back row.)


On September fourth, fifth, and sixth a commemoration was held in the Traditional Community of Hotevilla Village, honoring the late Chief Yukiuma who founded Hotevilla September sixth, 1906. His stand was unique, based on his belief and instruction from the Great Spirit, the Great Creator.

Against great odds he stood against the power of the U.S. Government and its military might. His strength was the sacred stone tablet received from the Great Spirit. No amount of imprisonment, suffering, bribes, or flattery by the great American Nation could topple him from his beliefs to the end of his life. The spirit of His concept is still alive within Hotevilla Village.

People from four directions completed the commemoration and made it a success. The main speaker was from old Mexico, who presented the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo between the United States and Mexico. A Study was made of the important passages which affect the Hopi people. The findings were very impressive and will be presented to the Geneva Conference, September fourteenth through the sixteenth of this year by the Hopi. Then we will learn the result, the essence of the treaty.


NOTE: We promised to report on the meeting between the Village Water Committee and the Traditional Religious Leaders. We feel the meeting is not worth reporting. It turns out that our words and efforts were useless. They refused to listen to our level of talk. Our resistance against the water line project is based upon the belief-bond between man and Creator and upon the religious position on which Hotevilla Village was founded.

Why the big hassle over a little old water pipe line into the village? Some of our people ask this question as do many of the outsiders. This may sound like a small matter, however, to us it is of great importance. We will explain briefly:

This project was introduced without the approval of the Traditional leaders. We think it is a shame that these self-proclaimed Village Committee members take it into their own hands to assume control of the village leadership and village affairs. And to commit the whole village and its people to the white man's system without consulting the traditional leaders or the people. By their mindless action they are breaking the commitments made to the Great Spirit, the Creator, by us and by their own ancestors. Commitments to live in simple and humble ways made by people who have suffered and are now suffering terrifying ordeals at the hands of the Government in order that our children and their children to come may walk on the path of the Great Spirit, side by side.

It was foretold that this portion of Hopi land must be protected and was to be a shelter for mankind. That it must not be harmed by man.

We wonder, do they read or hear the newscasts each day about widespread natural disasters, conflicts and wars? Have they totally forsaken the spirit of our ancestors and our Creator?

We feel it is of the greatest importance to carefully calculate our actions and restore harmony and balance or we all will perish. Since no one can tell what the next day will bring, suppose a natural or man made disaster strikes today, what will happen? You know all the water and electric mains will be knocked out first. Many of the dependent multitude of people in big cities will perish. On the other hand, our village will still be standing with no broken water mains, no lost electric service. Our wells and springs will still be usable unless the super-powerful gourd of ashes falls from the sky and the earth and all life will be burned to amber.

At this time we are very desperate. At any time our children will push us beyond the brink. Then we will be done, our original way of life will close forever. Our worries and tensions mount daily. Our children have come so far and it seems almost impossible to back away. Hopi believe we are to be the last victims of the great white forces. It is said if purification does not come, our Great Creator will take the land back because we do not care for the land and we don't deserve to be on it. The above subject, to our children, is soundless and has no meaning.

Back to the Water Committee, a little tid bit for you to sleep on. Our joy was short lived. After all the time and expense, we thought the water project was deactivated. We spoke too soon. Within a month it soon became active again.

At least Sally Big Pond was forced to resign, or was fired, for being careless in her habit of writing nasty letters to Hopi Leaders and to total strangers in Europe who support the Traditionals. She created a situation so unique that it became an international issue which tarnished the Water Committee and most likely the Government whom she follows. Her co-worker, M. Lomahaftewa C.D.S. resigned in shame.

The Water Committee made replacements which lasted only a few days. Both were fired for deceitfulness. The project continues to roll, perhaps leaderless. In the eyes of the Hopi people, the Water Committee is not fit to lead and serve the village community, as a whole they must fold. Our misgivings must be considered by all people.


Greetings: Thank you for your patience, we apologize for the delay of our publication and wish to explain the delay to our readers. Those who have been here will understand the situation.

We are experiencing great strain from the pressures of outside forces, feeling discouraged and weary while we carry out our sacred duties.

Like many others, we depend on outside help and encouragement which gives us the strength to continue. We find that we cannot communicate without funds and technology and we would like to thank all you good people who have given us your helping hands. In addition to the communications we do many other things which are just as important. We must continue our ceremonials and tend our fields.

We face difficulties when it comes to writing, handicapped by illiteracy and a lack of knowledge of grammar. Therefore our message does not reach you as fast as we would like it to. We regret that often we cannot respond to everyone who seeks information. We place all the names and addresses of those who write to us on our mailing list, please write yours clearly.

In spite of all the obstacles we are satisfied that we are able to, in a small way, inform the outside world with our message. We do not in any way compare with other publications. Consider that we are in a remote area and barely manage to hang on. We have heard that "Qua'Toqti," the puppet press, has folded. It will be a great loss to the progressives. They depended much on this press as a tool to put forth their politics and undermine the Traditional leadership.

We hope that with your help "Techqua Ikachi" will survive and continue to bring the traditional Hopi message to the outside world.

We thank you.


The conclusions of the IV Russell Tribunal report in Rotterdam, Netherlands will be available soon. 72 pages of documented presentations of South-Central and North American Natives. Since the postal rate has increased, please enclose money for mailing costs if you are interested.


Once again the so-called Hopi Tribal Council is oppressing one of our members to come to their terms. This may look innocent while it is directed at only one person, but we believe this trend will create many difficulties and affect our Village Traditional government and our ways in later times.

This is Hopi Tribal Council ordinance No. 17 which requires members of the Hopi Tribe to obtain a license to do business on Hopi land for a fee of ten dollars. If there is failure to comply with the ordinance within thirty days the Tribal Council lawyers will take legal action. The accused will be subject to both civil and criminal penalties. Which means closing down the business and denying the person his rights on his own property and his own land. What's this, intimidation in order to have their own way and destroy village autonomy forever?

We recommended to the trader involved not to weaken on the basis that Hotevilla Village was founded under the condition of complete independence. That is to say we moved here to escape bahanna system of government and to preserve our own traditional government. In order to avoid involvement with the bahanna system we have refused to endorse any of our members to represent Hotevilla Village in their establishment, therefore in no way place ourselves under their domain. Furthermore, we are not subject to their ordinances.

We fear that if we once yield to their terms, other demands will follow. We see this clearly. Since this case needs immediate attention, let those who support the traditional Hopi write letters of support to Chairman, Abbot Sekaquaptewa and Chief Revenue Officer, Joann Masaquaptewa. P. 0. Box 123, Oraibi, Arizona 86039-0123 Phone (602) 734-2441

The person accused under this ordinance is Silas Hoyungwa, General Delivery, Hotevilla, Arizona 86030. If possible send copies of your letter of support to all three individuals or call the above number.

A copy of the letter and application is available for your information by writing to Techqua Ikachi. This could help you gain a better understanding of what the puppet council is doing. Write for it if interested.

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  • 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."

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