Issue Number 2
Greetings from our Second Issue!
We apologize for being so late, but September was a very busy month, considering all the disturbances we have had to deal with.
We were hoping to bring some pleasant news. Visitors often ask us about our weather, crops, health, and daily life. It would be wonderful to say, "Yes, we are happy because it rains often and our fruit, corn, melons and beans are growing well, there will be plenty of grass for the animals, and the U.S. Government and the "Tribal Council" which they set up have recognized our sovereignty and agreed to let us live our way of life without interference.
We regret that these happy words are impossible. Today we are not happy because we did not have much rain. Some rainfall this summer was not good. The grass and our crops did not respond and are poor. Our planting season was delayed by a late spring. The enemies to our crops are many and strong. The value of our prayers is waning because of our lack of oneness and disturbances of every sort.
Our troubles come mainly from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the so called Hopi Tribal Council. Everyday their propaganda machine is grinding away to belittle our tradition and indoctrinate our children into Bahanna's material laws while erasing the spiritual laws of the Hopi. This is a fact we must face everyday.
Despite all this some of what the followers of the Hopi tribal Council offer has its bright side which is very appealing to the followers of the original Hopi prophecies. A certain suggestion arises each time there is friction. We forget it because we know it is intended as mockery and foolishness, but at this stage the idea arouses our interest. Perhaps we should explore its value for it might resolve the Hopi problem.
They propose that any Hopi who wish to continue their tradition should return totally to the primitive life. Living entirely in the old way without whiteman's clothing or food. Housing must not be made of whiteman's building materials. We must remove all our children from school and all those who earn their livelihood from Government and Tribal Council employment must resign. Drinking and cooking with water from Bahanna's wells should be forbidden. We should not drive cars. We should use nothing made by Bahanna. (Don't forget all Bahanna things are made of material stolen by Bahanna from our land.)
This means separation. This might actually be the means by which to fulfil the sacred mission for which we have lived and struggled all these centuries for it can only be accomplished so long as our life is based upon the original Hopi system, even at this stage. Those who like Bahanna's system should move into that society where they will be happy under his laws. This must be done voluntarily. This way we can remain related and still be happy. If such a plan fails to materialize, then it is up to the Hopi Tribal Council or Washington, D.C. to heal the pain by correcting their own wrongdoings according to their own system. Otherwise, our grievances must go to the United Nations or to the World Court for a decision. Beyond this we still have three people standing behind us who are to come and purify us if this fails. After that nature will have to take over.
At this moment we are being overrun by the invading forces of our own blood brothers and sisters who are trying to deliver coup de grace to our village government backed by the BIA and the so-called Tribal Council who dominate through police power, which is an absolute violation of the Hopi way of life.
As a people we have always avoided such methods for our ancient legends as well as our prophecies clearly warn us of the disastrous results. It does not take much common sense to see that this will destroy the very life of our culture.
Only within the past month there have been three incidents concerning the installation of water and sewage systems into our village without our approval. The first two were repelled with violence. The clashes provoked by the puppet Hopi and supported by the puppet Hopi police. The Hotevilla "Bahanna Traditionalists," as we call them, finally won their round with the installation of a pipeline though no arrests were made.
For the time being the installation of electricity was stalled but this does not mean it will stop. All it takes is a little ignorance plus a police force to carry out your will (really the will of Washington, D.C.) and selfishness will overshadow the meaning of the traditional way.
If such people have their way they will persist until the Traditional Hopi is no more or until his throat is cut to keep him silent.
Why Do Traditional Villages Refuse Modern Conveniences?
Now as always the question arises--why traditional Hopi refuse to have Bahanna conveniences. Perhaps his has never been clearly understood by those who live in Bahanna's system or by people living in other countries. We Hopi are simply a group of people with similar languages living in villages which are actually independent from each other. The leaders in each village perform their part in the whole pattern of life through the cycle of their ceremonies which take place according to the sun and the moon. Through this cycle all land and life is complete. Since we are placed upon this land by the Creator for a purpose, like all races of people around the earth, we are able to relate ourselves deeply to our environment, the waterless desert, rocks, woods, plants, animals, birds, and other creatures which modern man has forgotten, surely to his great loss. If we allow our ways to be changed into the ways of modern society by strong-arm tactics used to force us to accept foreign leadership, as is being done today through the so-called Hopi Tribal Council, we would be doomed and lost in the midst of unfamiliar surroundings. We would be forced into partitioning our land, paying taxes and bills we cannot afford unless we give up our lives for whiteman jobs, in which case it would still be very difficult to adapt ourselves to the new environment.
Civilization can have many meanings. To some it means a lot of gadgets and comforts. People who visit Hopiland agree we have good ways of life and a great possession. The true value of our own civilization lies in our peace with little or no war or crime, no jails or courts and law and order, all of which tend to lead to confinement, craftiness and bribery. We are able to live without polluting the atmosphere or the water or destroying the environment in any other way.
All this would still be true today if the encroachment by outside interests, the law and order, and the Progressive promoters were absent. Yet the true Hopi way is not a thing of the past, the struggle continues today. We hope we are not wrong in denying ourselves and our children the good things that are offered, but we believe our way of life to be the best that man can achieve and that once lost cannot be regained or purchased with any amount of money.
The Water Dispute is Nothing New!
"Water dispute erupts in Hotevilla" cried the eagle puppet press September 25, 1975. People who have recently arrived from the Bahanna world might think this is a new issue, but it is nothing new to the Hopi people nor to the outside world.
Recently new people have settled into Hotevilla village. Perhaps they wish to escape the monster of Bahanna society or have found it impossible to fit into the environment of "a high standard of living." Could it be that their conquest of the white man's world has failed? Perhaps hey see a richer harvest to be made right at home by concentrating their wits on the humble and meek, while nourished by the words of those who say that nothing can be fruitful unless it is pulled up, or built up. They seem to have no pity for the original settlers of the village and the newcomers involved show no respect for the elders of a different tribe.
Mary Ann Felter, a full Hopi, born in Hotevilla, was married to Mr. Felter without approval from her parents. Both are employed by the Puppet Council. To quote her: "Thinking back on the others who have water, I don't know of any one of those who have any kind of problem like this. I knew there would be trouble when we started work."
Without regard for the rest of the village the installation of a water pipe was requested. Before the project could be complete there were many clashes. The Tribal Council police intervened to protect the puppet Hopi so they could complete their job.
The traditional Hopi, attempting to protect the independence of their village, were threatened with arrest. While at the same time these policemen failed to follow up on their own law and order which would have required them to arrest the puppet Hopi who were obviously fortified with alcohol, which is a violation on the reservation land, according to the Government. Admittedly the police have no jurisdiction on Hotevilla land. Why are they here?
Mary Ann Felter went on to say "I hope that's the end of it. There are a lot of people who want water in their houses, and my advice to them is to keep at it, but I may be wrong and I admit that I don't know much about the old Hopi ways. But I think I am doing right. When I am old I may say I should have listened to Katherine, but I am young and I want things." We all have our weaknesses! As the Bahannas say, "It's not good to bite the hand that feeds you." Unfortunately it will be too late to change things when Mary ann is older but wiser.
Our readers who are new to the problem will be interested to know that over the past years there have been several similar occasions. We have explained to those who want water and other utilities why this village must oppose such things, but we were never heeded. We have had to dig up or remove pipes at least four times in order to make our point. Still, it has not been understood. Mrs. Felter has said that the people who have water have had no problem like this one. False! It is not so. Usually the problem is avoided by connecting the utilities under cover of darkness or when we are all asleep or when we are at our ceremonial duties, at which time we must never allow such actions to dilute our humble prayers for mankind.
So we learn that it is not what we say but how we act that determines who we really are. It was only a few weeks ago that some puppet Hopi tried to terrorize Hopi elders and visitors at a meeting. One Hopi elder was held at gunpoint and kicked around. One round was fired but no one was hurt. The drunken gunslinger was not apprehended by the police. Is this a conspiracy? We wondered.
We would like to know what our readers think about all this. What are we really? And whose base is stable? Those who settled the village, or those who are newly involved in disrupting it?
Progressive Press Welcomes Traditional Newsletter
Qua'toqti, the puppet press, has welcomed our newsletter Techqua Ikachi with open arms describing it as "political and religious," as well as "radical." Though they say our writing "sounds like something from the 1960's underground paper" they admit that they recognize a familiar Traditional Hopi "song." We all know that the trouble we face goes back much farther than 1960! and we're sorry but the needle got stuck in the groove? Our song will continue to be the same beautiful pattern. The tone of truth cannot be printed by Qua'toqti, this we know.
We wonder why they sent a Bahanna reporter to inquire about our publication. We would have preferred a Hopi. It's a little comical to see this "establishment" oriented newspaper grasping at straws speculating about the "influence of young Bahanna writers" in our traditional newsletter.
Most of the September 18th Qua'toqti editorial "New Voice Old Message" is not worth analyzing as it is only a defensive reaction, but we agree with their statement "when are we going to learn that it is not what we say but how we act that determines what we really are?" Though they say they "have the greatest respect for Hopi philosophy" we shall leave it to the readers of Qua'toqti and Techqua Ikachi to decide for themselves whether this is true. We welcome outside opinions.
WHO REALLY RESPECTS HOPI PHILOSOPHY?
Please consider this brief outline of Hopi values and decide for yourself: To begin with the Traditional Hopi desires to live peacefully and uphold his name. He desires to live his own way of life according to his own laws as given by the Great Spirit without the influence of modern laws made by men.
As Traditional people we would not have become involved in our current conflicts were we not provoked by what we sense will overcome us and destroy our chosen way of life. We must react strongly to defend our land and life, just as all forms of life on earth and in the universe have the sense to move in their own defense when they sense violence.
While the defensive reactions of the Progressive Hopi seem to be on the same level of reasoning, he desires to live under modern materialistic laws while at the same time practicing some of his tradition. Since he can not get what he wants under the traditional system his alternative is to join the more forceful society with its jails and police. To accomplish this he must move with force disregarding traditional doctrine.
Compare this to the Traditional who must act to defend himself and his way of life from the real threats of violence presented by the Progressive.
We hope all people involved will consider this and determine for themselves what we really are by our actions. It should be easy to see whose fault it is that there is unrest within the Hopi nation, as described in our first newsletter. Perhaps we are wrong by going the way of our Maker and not accepting the blind schemes of men. What do you think?
YES, THE CORRAL GATE IS OPEN!
The editorial went on to say that the essence of Techqua Ikachi's message is "We are chiefs. We demand that you respect us." A Hopi does not demand. He merely teaches hoping that people who have ears to hear will respect the ways of the Great Spirit for a long healthy life. He hopes simply that others will let him remain within his own environment whereas Bahanna demands respect by law and order and forces people into his environment. The Hopi is not a prophet of doom, he merely respects the words that come through the mouth of the Great Spirit and clearly warn us what will happen if we do not wake up and correct ourselves.
Yes, as the editorial says "some shepherd has left the corral gate open." It has always been open!
So far, three editions of Qua'toqti have been devoted to a guessing game that looks more like a smear campaign, about the true origin of our paper. Perhaps their Bahanna reporter, unfamiliar with our ways, has jumped to certain conclusions about our staff, and their editor has snapped at the bait.
In our next issue we'll explain more about how we operate, but for now, just one clue: all their guesses are wrong! We're definitely Hopi! Now we hope they will become as curious about the real issues!
Uncle Sam Sends a Puppet to the Queen
We were informed that the Hopi Tribal Council Chairman, Abbott Sekaquaptewa visited the Queen of England draped in Hopi traditional finery and Mon-go-ho and posing as the greatest chief of the Hopi Nation while back home he had just finished threatening to have his police "put the screws to" her countrymen, the ATV film crew, presumably to "protect" Hopi Tradition. We wonder what makes him so nervous! Maybe he has a monkey on his back nagging him not to reveal his guilty conscience. He must be worried that news of his own role in the attempted materialistic conquest of the Traditional Hopi might reach the Queen's ears. At a later date we hope to bring you what he actually said to her.
He traveled as part of a U.S. delegation to London September 15th for the opening of the United States Bicentennial Exhibition. Perhaps it is appropriate that he, rather than a true religious leader should help represent the United States in a propaganda stunt.
The joke is on him. To us leadership is something religious. As with all religious things the genuine article should never be used in a commercial venture!
Traditional Leaders Welcome British Film Crew
A crew of four film makers from England visited Hopi this spring. Their visit was the culmination of a plan which started about two years ago. Members of the group had read about our way of life and thought it would make an interesting subject for a film. They have filmed native people in other parts of the world, and are under a contract with ATV Television, London, to produce a certain number of high quality documentaries each year.
But they were in for a real shock! Greatly respecting our tradition, they desired to work only through our proper leaders. But coming from a foreign land, and knowing us mostly from books, they walked right into the office of the puppet "Hopi Tribal Council." Patiently they sat through long meetings and waited, growing suspicious and greatly disappointed. These were not the spiritual people they had heard about! Where were they!
After two weeks all they had to show for their effort was a contract offer form the Council, demanding absolute censorship of the entire film! "Even Marlon Brando doesn't get that!" they told us. When they sent the contract back to London the ATV staff just laughed at it, and said they would frame it and hang it on the wall as a joke.
It was clear that the puppet government and their lawyers had something to hide. They seemed just as shocked that news of their wrongdoings might leak out to the world.
The crew were so discouraged that they were ready to give up and call it quits. Perhaps there were no real Hopi left! But somehow they came across a little booklet by Dan Katchongva called "From the Beginning of Life to the Day of Purification." "It was Katchongva's words that turned us around and made everything clear," they told us. Through the booklet they finally found out that the Tribal Council and the traditional leadership are not the same. They decided to seek out the Traditionals.
English crew filming the harvest
They met John and Mina Lansa, Thomas Banyacya, and David Monongye, and began to work through them. Feeling encouraged, they spent two more weeks filming the spring planting, and other neutral subjects which would not offend anyone, then left promising to return for the harvest.
In September they returned for four more weeks. This time they decided just to work with individual people, with the cooperation and approval of the traditional leaders.
They showed two films by their director Michael Pearce, which were very well received by the traditional people. One of the films showed a South Sea Island tribe whose way of life was being destroyed by outside influences which were supposed to help them.
Once when Mr. Pearce was checking his mail in Kykotsmovi, the Tribal Council Chairman, Abbott Sekaquaptewa, had him picked up by a policeman and taken to his office.
According to Mr. Pearce, Sekaquaptewa claimed he had received complaints that the crew had been filming in Oraibi Village. Pearce denied this, and pointed out that since the Tribal Council had offered them an impossible contract the group had decided simply to work with individuals. Sekaquaptewa threatened to confiscate their film and equipment if he heard any more "complaints." He refused to identify the alleged complainant. A police officer threatened to "cause trouble" with the crew's visas. Pearce later expressed amazement at finding such a "police state" on the sacred Hopi land.
Sekaquaptewa's claim that his actions toward the crew were intended to protect Hopi tradition proved false when several Traditional leaders instantly rallied to their support. The leaders signed an agreement which Pearce later presented to the Chairman who could then make no argument but still threatened, "If we hear any complaints we're going to put the screws to you!"
Though no equipment was officially confiscated the crew had a very difficult time getting back a camera they had lent to a Council employee who had offered to take some shots for them.
Pearce explained that it was not the crew's intention to side with the Traditionals, but only to produce a good movie. To him, this means showing everything as it is. He thought it unfortunate that the Tribal Council officials acted in such a "devious" and "threatening" manner.
The difference between the two styles of government left the Englishmen with an impression they are not likely to forget. They became firmly convinced that the traditional people had a lot to tell, and that the U.S. Government sponsored Council had a lot to hide. They grew more determined than ever to show both sides exactly as they are.
They left at the end of the month, thankful for the cooperation they had received from the people, and pleased that they had completed almost everything that they had planned. They expect the film to be released internationally early next year.
Letters From Our Readers
"As an anglo living in Hotevilla, surrounded by a tradition so pervasive that the land is a source and expression of it, I can only be a transient in the landscape, with few landmarks but those manifest within me and those shown me. Although the Qua'toqti representation and the sample insertion of the first page of your newsletter cast Bahannas with only negative aspects, I trust your awareness of the unity of all peoples through 'their traditional roots' (whether fully realized or not) would precipitate a generosity of nature preceding cultural boundaries and enabling a free flow and sharing of thought."
"I read Techqua Ikachi very careful and after reading and thinking and reading again, I will have to tell you: it seems to me excellent indeed! I hope you will continue this newsletter. In contrast with other white-, red-, and underground papers, it is written without hate, violence, and sensation. The authors have done a very good job. They only tried to explain their view, without trying to tell other people that they are complete out of their minds if they have not exactly the same thoughts and feelings. So, Techqua Ikachi came to me as an honest, polished, and well cultivated newsletter, written with an intention of generosity and concern for all mankind. It has to make a deep impression to the outside people. My congratulations!"
* * * * *We've received more...see our next issue!