Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Techqua Ikachi #3 Harvest Thoughts

Issue Number 3

Harvest Thoughts

This is the season of happiness and joy, abundance of food, and no lack of appetite. There is hard work for men and women, as well as children old enough to help their parents. Each boy also helps his uncle who will in turn help him when he is old enough to become a man. Each girl helps her clan relations and aunts with the same hope for the time she enters marriage.

First peaches must be brought in, split and dried on the housetops or on rocky places. Some people even build small sheds of stone where they stay to look after their fruit in case it rains. Men bring muskmelons and watermelons on their backs or on donkeys and nowadays on wagons. Beans are gathered, winnowed, and cleaned.

Navajos come to the villages with mutton for trade and the Hopi go into Navajo country to trade for mutton or even live sheep. Three or four melons will get a head, including free fresh mutton roasts at every hogan they visit. Everyone has a good time, happy to share their harvest again. Corn harvesting begins, with many people living by their fields until it is finished. Some will bring their corn on donkeys and wagons and even on their backs for many miles. When everything is gathered the housetops and yards look colorful beyond description, outer walls covered with drying food such as roasted sweet corn, muskmelon, and beans, even jerky meat from the Navajos, for use during winter. These are just a few glimpses of yesteryear, when our thoughts were one.

"That's past, why talk about it! Today is today!" the younger set would reply with a frown." "Yes," we agree "but we are only humans like anybody else. Memories often drift back of the beautiful things as well as bad experiences of the past. Perhaps we would still walk in beauty if we had not made mistakes."

We don't have to look far to find it within us. It might not be too late. Beauty and happiness can be renewed when we find our way and abide as closely as possible to the Great Creator's laws. Harvest time is very sacred. There is not only food for thought, but a blessing for the coming year. What we harvest is also a spiritual matter. Will we reap obstacles in the coming year, or perhaps some advantage by which to survive? No one knows but the Creator. Let us all pray that today's harvest is good health and happiness to all people on earth.

Hotevilla land threatened

What has been done for us with good intentions in the past has often aroused envy. We should not have to question something given to us with an inner feeling of free will. But, things given to us over the rough ground of the past we know are likely to backfire and must be approached cautiously.

On this basis we oppose the proposed housing program on Hotevilla land. The promoters could be none other than the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Hopi Tribal Council. Such a project has been completed in First Mesa, the one in Second Mesa has been started but stalled, and Third Mesa, including Hotevilla, has been surveyed to begin soon. The housing units are to benefit the adjoining village of Bacabi and have been approved by the governor of that village, backed by the BIA and Council.

We oppose the housing project because it will be on our land. Two attempts to meet with the people of Bacabi have failed, stalled by various excuses. Our concern is that this move was decided upon without common consent. For we claim this land by an order of sacred movement, according to the laws and instructions initiated and documented between the Bear Clan and Fire Clan long before the coming of the whiteman, which have since been commemorated often until corruption in Oraibi led to the split in 1906 (through which Hotevilla village was founded). It is in the form of a deed inscribed on each of their stone tablets. It was agreed that should one of them weaken to the invading forces, whoever is still strong will inherit the power and the land. Thus when Yukiuma was forced out of Oraibi, he drew a line on the ground (still visible today) and made the statement: "Thank you, now from this point all the land is mine," whereupon he moved on to Hotevilla where he settled a new village in order to fulfill his mission in accordance with the laws of the Creator.

Bacabi village was established much later (two or three years) under the leadership of Kawonuptewa of the Sand Clan, with a group of people who had returned to Oraibi on their signature that they yield to the new ruler. They had to move out again becuase of the cool reception they received from Chief Tawaquaptewa of Oraibi, thus Bacabi was settled.

Before Kawonuptewa died he admitted his wrongdoings. In his testimony he admitted that he had no land. He claimed only the outskirts of his village. He said, in part, "To survive I have chosen the Bahanna way, his religion and the laws of his system. But in order to feed my people I have taken part of the land from the Hotevilla people by force. In order to make them suffer more I did it in the form of oppression, but I made a big mistake that will hurt my people when I am gone. I did not accomplish what I promised, I have deceived those who promised to follow me all the way. Instead I have reawakened the ceremonialism of the Hopi. Not once did I enter the church that is built in my village, which I approved and ordered. I can say again, I am wicked. I did not record any document or deed for my people. It is also under my approval that the Hotevilla School was built under the name I stole, Yukiuma."

On this ground we in Hotevilla will not permit any housing in the area surveyed. Right now the Bacabi people are happy with all the conveniences of Bahanna. We would not have this trouble if they would avoid expanding into our land.

Old Story True Today

Recalling some of the memories and experiences of one of our elders, the feelings and views of yesterday and today as he tells it, will show us some facts which concern every Hopi today, reflecting on what Bahanna has sowed since he claimed dominion over the Hopi and other nations.

Thus he begins..."I often think back through the years to the times of my youth, when we were one people in our mother village in Oraibi. Our ceremonial pattern was still in order. The duties of the rightful clan leaders were being carried on as they were years ago. As if by magic the rain would come, there was abundance of fresh corn and other crops, the land was green to feed the animals. I took it this wonderful life would go on forever without interruption.

"The elders would tell stories of the past, the prophecies of things to come were told and retold. But at this young age my inner mind was not fully developed. I was confused with what seemed like meaningless and idle talk because the things of which they spoke did not yet exist. But as I grew older it was a sad fact to experience the things they talked about. As I relate my story I am sure someone will accuse me of lies and dreams of the past which cannot be lived again and prophecies that cannot materialize. Though many of the things that were foretold have come to pass, the stage we are now experiencing is still part of their prophecies. Since the dimensions in time and space vary in accordance with the conduct of man and nature, there are certain confirmations by which we can acknowledge the stage we are in. One such prophecy foretells that one day our land will be taken over for development. So today the housing projects are beginning. To some people it seems good, but to people of knowledge it is not good, rather it is just another case of Bahanna's system of laws lessening our hold on the land. It is the instruction of the Creator's law that we must not yield, for that would break up our way of life, and put the Hopi and other nations out of existence. For we are waiting for our white brother to help us, and he might come and find us having forsaken the sacred laws and instructions, and whip us without mercy, or nature herself will take over, for we shall have proved ourselves too weak to deserve what was given to us by the Creator.

"We knew that one day a strange people would appear in our midst, who would create man in his own image. Given his language and his knowledge, our own people will become the instrument by which he will try to rule over us and carve the rest of us into his image. His creation will be of our own people. Since they will be his tools he will make certain they do a good job.

"But if we are strong and firmly rooted we will not be deformed, whereas they will slump for they will be rootless. So we must have strength to preserve ourselves.

"As time goes by, people will struggle for power to rule for self-gain. But it will be in vain, for whoever leads must allow equal value to the land and all life placed there by the Creator.

"Each race will have a different system to go by when their leadership becomes distorted by mistakes or destructive ways. For the Hopi the lines of leadership are firmly drawn, for we know that along the way rightful leaders and people may forsake and stray from their sacred duties, and eventually use their ceremonials the wrong way for influence, or commercialize them. Thus the most important function must be discontinued until we find our way again and respect it rightly.

"Although the leadership will function normally without the Kikmongwi (Chief) since the religious leaders will have the same power and authority to lead their people through the pattern of the life cycle bestowed on them and all mankind, it will often be asked, "Who will carry on the power and authority when all religious leaders die?"

"It will pass on to any person clinging to the Creator's great laws; a strong and stable person ignoring the lingering pressure of destruction, and willing to die in honor of the Great Spirit. For this stand is not for himself but for all people, land and life. The people of the destroyer will use the word, leaderless, as a weapon to bring the humble to their knees. In spite of this we must stand firm.

"I was fortunate to witness and share in gatherings with the great leaders often held in Oraibi before the division among our people caused by the intervention of Bahanna, to review the instructions and prophecies. At that time the theme of the gatherings was one and we all spoke in the same terms. The Bear Clan and the Fire Clan and the Spider Clan occupied the authoritative seats before them. Pipes were smoked and exchanged as a sign of brotherhood, symbolizing the understanding of one for another. The talk of the Bear Clan leader would be resumed by the Fire Clan leader, the Spider Clan correcting the mistakes. It would last into the night. At this young age my understanding was not fully developed, and I wondered why they always talked along the same pattern. As I grew older I began to understand the purpose. Along the way as we follow the pattern of life, our lifestyle might change and even fall to the opposing forces with their materialistic advantages. But there will be resistance from those who adhere to the great laws.

"Authoritative leaders will die out. People of bad intentions will seek out leaders with which they can deal for their own ends. People with good intentions will also seek for the right leaders to help them regain what was rightfully theirs from the beginning.

"Since both the Bear Clan and the Fire Clan have authority by their stone tablets, they exchanged vows by which their power would be surrendered, should they make a weakening mistake, to the next person in line; or any person still traveling on the rightful path, should all three authorities fail.

"I have come to understand now that this doctrine has to be followed once again, as it has been followed since the dawn of time by people in power and authority. We can now look back and see our fallen brothers. In many cases we will fight for power leaning on our clan hereditary value, but if one makes a mistake it is all in vain.

"As far as I can remember no words replacing the great laws were ever spoken. To forget or change them would be to lose the life they hold for all mankind.

"I speak here of the doctrine followed in Oraibi, where we Hotevilla people came from. We have several mesas on which are situated many villages, each of which is independently governed. Perhaps they have their own system or pattern to follow in order to preserve themselves when faced with distorting or destructive influences.

"Yes, I see, and I am aware of many things which were foretold. It was foretold that man's clothing would be taken over by women. Also skirts have been raised above the knee, as predicted, devaluing the sacred body of the female, indicating that many things will be devalued from the original. The lack of peace in our own spiritual being could trigger the revolution. So when the Hopi sees this his remark is simple: 'We are now at the beginning of something!' Our character and conduct have changed. Respect we once had for each other is gone. We have forgotten how to greet, appreciate, and share with each other, and have become greedy to the point of competition. We are becoming militant against the weak, some resorting to Bahanna law here in our village, for their own self gain, without respect for the rightful leaders. Strong arm tactics are employed. Our ceremonial dances and songs are waning spiritually. There are other signs too numerous to mention.

"I need not look further. The landscape is dry. It has rained some but the plants and grass have not responded to it. Something is wrong. Let's look within ourselves. Perhaps we still have time to correct ourselves, for better or worse we must try.

"For example, I put a question to a young man who seems to be serious and always participates in ceremonial dances: 'Why do you sing and dance?' He answered, 'Because I'm Hopi and I enjoy dancing.' 'Do you know there are meanings in the songs and movements, that we hope will link our thoughts with the unseen forces so it will rain and grow our plants and we will have plenty to eat?' He looked at me with a smile and answered, 'Yeah, I know, but I have no field where I can plant. I dance to entertain so women and girls will enjoy my dancing.' 'Good thoughts!' 'They also produce very wet moisture when handled kindly.'

Hospitality is a Hopi Tradition

The progressive newspaper, Qua'toqti, has criticized the efforts of friendly Bahannas who have opposed outside interference in Hopi culture. These friends tried to alert Arizona Public Service that traditional authority had been violated by the signing of contracts with the so-called Hopi Tribal Council, allowing the installation of power lines into Hopi villages. An editorial of October 2 tries to imply that this is an interference in itself.

From our viewpoint, it seems that Qua'toqti is almost in tears with concern for the new establishment, and seeks to hobble outsiders who might interfere with the misdeeds of that establishment. We defend the efforts of our Bahanna friends, and once again repeat, as foretold, that the Paiute or the Navajo or even the Bahanna who has an open mind, may make an effort to help us when we are at the last step, about the vanish from existence. This brings to mind that we were taught not to turn anyone away from our door. Humble or rich, we should feed them even if water is all we have left. For someday we might be rewarded as the Great Spirit allows us to get what we deserve. Most of us forget that this is the most powerful element.

Perhaps Qua'toqti distorts this fact. Sometimes it is not easy, but it is said that even if your house is gleaming with beauty and good food but not shared with kindness, it is empty, without spirit, and not worth anyone's envy. Likewise, the humble home that is shared is beautiful.

Riley Sunrise Case is Revealing

We thank Qua'toqti for recalling the incident with CORE in the early 1960's, in which Harry Chaca was supposedly stabbed with a railroad spike and the Agency Superintendent "manhandled." As we recall the incident, Guy Kotschaptewa, an eighty year old leader, was charged with assault because he challenged the Superintendent. Guy had made a move to lead the Superintendent out peacefully, with which the Superintendent cooperated, but Guy was then jumped by the police. Lewis Naha ran to his aid but was beaten severely. A man named Riley Sunrise responded but was arrested, so he put up a fight and was overcome and beaten. Both men were thrown in jail. Old man Kotshaptewa was charged with assault for touching the untouchable Superintendent.

Charges against Mr. Naha and Mr. Kotshaptewa were made but later dropped. Riley Sunrise was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, but was acquitted in Federal Court in Phoenix. The railroad spike proved to be a plant to make the case stronger against the traditional Hopi who were only trying to defend their land against oil prospecting leases negotiated without their consent, which was the reason for the meeting with the Superintendent.

The friendly Bahannas were objecting to outside interference in Hopi affairs on the part of oil companies operating through the Tribal Council's Mormon lawyer, John Boyden. The Superintendent's testimony in the Phoenix trial revealed an unethical conflict of interest on the part of Boyden, who represented the oil companies, and the Tribal Council with whom they were dealing, at the same time.

We also recall something comical that happened at the trial. The witnesses for the defendant were uneducated Hopi with long hair and beads, yet they were able to make a statement in blunt English to the judge and jury, though they could have used their interpreter. The prosecution witnesses, however, educated with short hair, white shirts, and ties, were too shy to speak English, and had to borrow the traditional interpreter for their statements. But we won in the end because we spoke the truth.

What then was really behind this incident? Why did the police chief Tipling and tribal judge Sekaquaptewa need to hire heavily armed deputies to guard a couple of helpless Hopi? We later heard they were afraid the radical Hopi and CORE might attack them. As for COPE, they were a non-violent organization called in to help the Hopi as observers to see that the traditionals would have a fair hearing. After all, the traditionals are uneducated.

There have been many incidents against the Hopi that can be told someday, such as the time government workers stripped the Hopi women and girls an threw them into sheep dip, or the enforcement of U.S. Government livestock regulations in our sovereign territory by which many Hopi were imprisoned because they refused to allow their livestock to be confiscated, a recurring issue. We are sure these events are on record, should anyone doubt what we say.

Chairman Opposes Tradition

Regarding recent efforts of visiting Bahannas (white folks) to protect Hotevilla from the forced installation of utilities without regard for the wishes of the village leaders, or for the reason the village was founded, Abbott Sekaquaptewa, the chairman of the so-called Hopi Tribal council, made the following statement, which we feel should be set straight (Qua'toqti, Oct. 2, '75):

"The traditionalists claim they want to live their own way and not the whiteman's way. Yet, they have adopted, without hesitation, one of the whiteman's least desirable ways--resorting to political propaganda pressure through the use of partisan letter writing campaigns and media releases, without the support of the majority of the community members. There is not one Hopi soul who has not adopted the whiteman's way in one form or another, and there is no use in throwing that accusation back and forth. It will not stick to anyone."

It seems the chairman has forgotten that he was born in Hotevilla, as were his brothers and sisters. He must also have forgotten that his blood relations were among the first who settled the village in order to preserve our way of life. They shared our burden of sadness and compelling pressure to bring us to our knees. They shared our imprisonment for simply refusing the offers of the government.

When the government failed to break us, other methods were used. We were induced into using the money system to get food, clothing, tools, etc. But we knew that this would not hinder our stand so long as the money was earned through our own hard work, and not by becoming the tool of the ruling establishment. We knew as well that the money system would become a weapon in the hands of our own people, by which our culture could be destroyed. This is the stage we are in now.

In making his statement the chairman is using a psychological trick to get our children to think we have already taken the bait. He wants us to stop squirming and think we are licked. But we must disregard his argument, for it has no basis.

If he disapproves of our use of whiteman's materials while we defend our right to self-government by the Great Spirit's law, why doesn't he make a law against our using those things?

Of course he should then meet us halfway by relocating the people who want to live under the whiteman's government. Perhaps a good place would be the Hopi Industrial Park, with its ill-fated underwear factory! Then these people could have the conveniences of the city, and we would be happy with our corn and beans, free from outside interference.

Two kinds of law...

We alert all our Bahanna friends to be aware of Hopi "law-and-order" in case they should visit us. Anyone with long hair, beard and beads, or in any way looking like a hippy, could be stopped for any excuse. Even short-haired people can be stopped if they hang around the traditionals too long. The progressive government knows that they can lose by being exposed, so they regard friendly outsiders as a danger to their stronghold.

There have even been laws passed which go deeply against our tradition, such as the shameful "Anti-Hippy" law, which may still be in effect, so far as we know. We present it here as an example of one of the many ways the puppet Council violates the spirit of Hopi life:

"Whereas, the Hopi Tribal Council has been informed that a group of California people known as "Hippies" is likely to visit the Hopi reservation in the near future, and

"Whereas this group is known to have radical ideas and practices which are incompatible with Hopi Culture,

"Now, therefore be it resolved by the Hopi Tribal Council that this group is declared undesirable and all members of the "Hippie" group shall not be allowed on the reservation.

"Be it further resolved that (the) Superintendent is hereby requested and authorized to employ whatever means necessary to remove individuals or group of "Hippies" from the reservation at his own discretion.

"Certification: I hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was regularly adopted by the Hopi Tribal Council on the 1 day of June, 1967, by a vote of 9 in favor and 0 opposed, the chairman not voting, after full and free discussion on the merits. (

(signed) Logan Koopee, Hopi Tribal Council."

Chief Katchongva of Hotevilla Village issued an immediate response which read, in part, "Your attitude toward people is wrong and wicked. Removing people from my village by force is very wrong for the Hopi. I hereby reject...resolution no.H-9-67.

"On the grounds that this resolution was acted upon without my approval, nor none of the information concerning this resolution ever come to my attention, that the village of Hotevilla will be subject to it.

"Now for years I have retold my reasons to the people of the Agency as to why the village of Hotevilla refuses to accept all your programs. That is by high reasons, the Hotevilla Village was settled by traditional way from the beginning, and will continue to be. All your law enforcements must discontinue within the Village, during the ceremonials and at all times...."

This was the chief's way of telling them, "You have violated the highest law of the land, the Great Spirit, by breaking the great link between men, the power of harmony, the very element by which mankind has survived. My village will not be bound by such inhuman law. Those who enter with a good mind are accepted. Stop interfering through your police force. Our ways have worked for centuries to this day. Thus I protect the Great Spirit's honor, as I have vowed to do."

Message From a Blue-Eyed Hopi

As one of several friends who help the traditional Hopi produce Techqua Ikachi, I wish to correct certain false rumors circulated against this newsletter by Qua'toqti, a progressive paper.

Techqua Ikachi was started by a traditional Hopi in Hotevilla, after consultation with his elders. The names of those whose viewpoint would be represented were suggested by David Monongye, who also reviewed the material for the first issue. HE did not see the finished product before release, being out of the village at the time. Since copies were released as soon as they were ready, some reached Qua'toqti before T-I's staff got theirs.

When Qua'toqti's white reporter showed a copy to a staff member, he naturally did not recognize it. And when David, who is nearly blind, returned, he too had not yet seen it. Qua'toqti jumped at the chance to ridicule the newsletter as the work of outsiders, but they jumped too soon, for the staff have approved it as expressing their views, and want it to continue as presently organized. And it is written by a Hopi after all, though the quality of writing confused Qua'toqti, since friends had helped with the grammar.

Contrary to accusations, we who help do not express our personal views, and we have nothing to gain. Our help is purely technical. We support no faction, only the teachings of the Great Spirit, which are simple and clear.

The followers of the Great Spirit have been imprisoned, silenced, and ridiculed, and we know why. The truth they speak is the enemy of those who get rich from Hopi, and gain by turning the Hopi against their own leaders. We know who are really involved in outside interference, and why they use tricks to try to silence Hopi leaders and create disunity.

For those who think it wrong to give voice to the followers of the Great Spirit, we offer the words of a respected leader, Dan Katchongva:

"We know that when the time comes, the Hopi will be reduced to maybe one person, two persons, three persons. If he can withstand the pressure from the people who are against the tradition, the world might survive from destruction...I must continue to lead my people on the road the Great Spirit made for us to travel. I do not disregard anyone. All who are faithful and confident in the Great Spirit's way are at liberty to follow the same road." (signed: a "Blue-eyed Hopi")

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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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