Issue Number 9
The Harvest Season
We are now into Harvest Season. Our youngsters and adults take it just like any other season--it has some important meaning. It changes the life pattern of all land and life. We Hopi look at ourselves as we are.
The amount and quality we harvest reflect our ways of life in the past years. If the harvest is good, our mind power was strong and clear--in harmony with nature and spirit through prayers. This is faithfulness and happiness. If the harvest is poor, our power of mind strayed because it was not clear--the prayers did not connect to accomplish the desire. This is sadness and worry.
This season is also a harvest of unknown mystery. Only nature and spirit know what kind of life we did harvest, what they store away for us for the coming year, what most of us will see.
Let us restep back to our past, before our way of life was disturbed. Our life was of happiness, our activities, entertainments, and ceremonial patters were complete. Let's take a glimpse of one of the ancient ones.
Long ago, when the first Hopi met Massau, or Great Spirit, they asked for his permission to live with him in Old Oraibi. Massau would watch activities from his house top.
Perhaps, for some reason, he thought of the idea of getting the people together to make them happy during the Harvest Season. He gathered the leaders and explained what he had in mind. He made a request that was announced from the house top, that during four days the people would harvest for him, women would prepare the meal, while girls, boys, and men, together would harvest his cornfields.
On the fourth day, they gathered and went below the mesa. There, they formed two groups at one fourth of a mile from each side of the field. At a signal they ran towards the field while shouting and whoping. Boys and girls worked side by side, shy at first until they began to laugh and talk. They had great fun and took advantage of this occasion, for, at that time, girls were respected so that one could not talk to a girl just anywhere or at anytime.
Suddenly, Massau would pop out of the cornpile and start chasing the men around. Everybody would be laughing, hollering, and, at the same time, fearful of him, for his face looked ugly, horrible and bloody with he look of death. This ended the harvesting, and they returned home.
After the meal, Massau entered the plaza, where men were dressed in different costumes to tease and challenge him. Finally, he would knock out one of his victims with his weapon, a drumstick. He acted like a clown and would strip his victims, who pretended to be dead. He would then dress up himself with that costume in the opposite manner of him who he stripped. Dressed like that, Massau would chase the men around, and everyone would laugh and have a good time. It would end with them killing him with a hot torch to the mouth. Then he was carried to the outskirts of the village, where he was dumped. But he came alive when they hollered and shouted.
Those were days when men communicated openly and verbally with spirit beings, animals, birds, and men could talk and understand each other. At that time there were no "animals of burden."
Then, Massau was part of the ceremonial cycle until he hid himself from men. Later, he was impersonated. Finally, not long ago, this was discontinued. Is it possible that this has meaning, the Great Spirit himself has drawn up?
Traditional Hopi Meeting--October 10, 1976
As dawn appeared over the horizon in Hopiland one would dimly notice movements of dark figures against the Eastern sky. There was an air of extra awareness and feelings for those who were up at that hour. One could almost feel the movements of the Mother Earth getting ready to care for her children and even jogging feet of Guardian Massau returning home after an all-night vigil over Man. Dogs were barking, cocks and mockingbirds were sounding the arrival of dawn. Before long, Father Sun would take over the task he does everyday.
One by one, bowed darkened figures would whisper and breather their prayers upon the cornmeal that their hand held: "Our Father Sun, all the Unseen Living, help us this day with your Supreme Power. Echo your voices into the ears of men so that they may hear and understand our purpose here this day. Protect and guide us in the right way. May our body, mind, and spirit be wholesome this day. I humbly ask Thee."
Yes, today is an extraordinary day. It may turn out historical. From the house top, the village-crier will announce of the gathering not only to people, but to all directions and unseen spirits, for Hopi desires support in spirit and prayers.
The setting is old Oraibi, the Mother Village. This "issue" is "Tribal Council," the "New Establishment." Since borned, not very long ago, they go out of control and began to corrupt: dealings with the "U.S. Government" and the "BIA," and other "progressive interests," leasing land, fencing lands for their own use, housing and church projects, plumbing, electricity, and pavement for our Ancient Villages, strip-mining and electrical power plants, "industries," and "programs for economical and cultural development," destruction of our Sacred Shrines, etc., which Traditionals oppose for obvious reasons. The "Tribal Council Members" no longer respect the advice of the Old Leaders and, thereby, violate their own "Constitution."
Reliable sources alerted the Kikmongwis (Traditional Leaders) that if we Traditionals or they, the "Tribal Council Members," accept the "big money offer" ($5,000,000) from "Land Claims Commission," we will lose control of all our land.
Shortly after morning meal, the leaders from several Hopi Villages arrived, each a Village Leader or Representative Speaker. Two former "Council Members" also attended the gathering to inform about the dealings and conduct of the "Tribal Council." The discussion lasted all day. The two former "Council Members" opposed the move the dissolve the "Tribal Council."
A solution was proposed: Kikmongwis, or leaders of each village, should withdraw or refuse endorsement of "Tribal Council Members" as "Representatives" of Kikmongwis and Traditional Hopi people. Words of Walpi and Mushongnuvi were favorable to this decision. On them this hinged, for they have "Representatives" in the "Council."
So the meeting ended. Each man parted with different thoughts, for there are ways of stopping this very important move, such as bribery, blackmail, or fear of being exposed. Will it materialize?
Meeting with Tribal Council
This is the Hopi Traditionals' View of the statements and interpretations of the "Land Claim Settlement" by the so-called "Chairman of the Hopi Tribe," Abbott Sekaquaptewa, when they met with him in their last desperate effort to voice that the "vote" and "move" of the "Puppet Council" and their "followers" to accept five million dollars ($5,000,000) is ILLEGAL and improper. "Council" says is not.
The question is, by accepting the "Money," does it mean "selling out" or not? The "Puppet Council" says that it is only a matter of "payment for wrongs done by the U.S. Government," the lands taken away from Hopi; that there is no passage in the "document" indicating that the Land is being sold; also that it would be the beginning of recovering our Aboriginal Hopi Land; that later, as "progress" increases, suits for "money" will be filed against the Navajo Tribe and White Settlers. They also assured that from the five million dollars there will be no offsets for "helpful-aid-expenses" for the Hopi from the beginning of the takeover to 1951, or for 10 percent payment to "Attorneys." Because, Sekaquaptewa explained, the "Settlement" was done by what he termed "friendly ways" ("Negotiation-Settlement") instead of by ways of "Land Claims Ruling," and therefore, will have the greater advantage of not being "billed" as other Tribes.
We Traditionals conclude that there is nothing new, that we already know about all "greater future promises" for the Tribe; all boil down to "no strings attached, all clear Money." But, unless there is a "ruling" in Washington, "Attorneys" will receive their fees. They say whatever the "fine print" reads. So, we know that we will lose control of our Land, for there are no bona-fide sayings that include the Traditional Hopi, or saying that Land is given back to Hopi for their exclusive use. It says that "Money" will be paid for what the Government has taken, or did "wrong."
We Traditionals think that what they really said is: "my conscience has bothered me all these years for taking your lands like a thief. What I really want is the wealth underneath, so here are five million dollars. Now that I paid you, I will explore the Land without a guilty conscience. And, now and then, I will throw you a few crumbs to put on your table."
The "Puppet Tribal Council" spat their remark, "what we're doing is proof that we are fighting for our Land. Now, we ask you, what have you got to show to prove to the People that you are trying to save them the Land. What have you got?"
We Traditionals said, "the Great Spirit gave us the Land to take care of it. Now, who gave you the Land to sell?" Perhaps, you too believe in who has given you the Land.
"Council Chairman" replied by saying that he does not affiliate with any church or belief.
For once we agreed with the "Chairman" in that we would never unite, for our thought and beliefs are different. We say it is because "they" are people of different product, taught from birth to think and act only in "Bahanna's Patterns." "Bahanna Society" impressed them upon the parents, who in turn, impressed them upon their children. And, together, they conditioned "today's generation" to reject the advice of the Elders.
Now, the question is, who has the Basic Principle to the Right of the Land?
We conclude by saying, what if "they live long enough to have grandchildren, and they grow up to ask, 'What were you doing grandpa when all this could have been stopped?'" What will be "their" answer to the children's questions?
From our long experience, "big promises," even when in writing, notarized, and recorded, are not worth the breath that utters them.
As "Doomsday" approaches, "Tribal Council" keeps silent. Then suddenly "Puppet Press" comes forth with the notice of a "Meeting" signed by "BIA Supt." Alph Secakuku, a report by "Claims Attorney" to Hopi people to "council" and "vote" ont he "proposed settlement": the Aboriginal Land Title, or $5,000,000 "big money offer."
Hopi were surprised. The villages had not heard of this important matter from their representatives. Some of us had heard of the "Land Claim," but we expected the "proposal" to be explained and debated to better understand it. So a few days before the deadline, most village people discussed the "Issue," but no doubt, most people did not understand it in such a short time. Many people think this notice is too sudden.
On October 30, 229 out of 8,000 Hopi voted "yes" to accept the $5,000,000. This "settlement" was presented as payment for wrong doings done to Hopi," but we "Indians" know that "big money offers" mean "business"--taking away land and life from us Hopi.
"Big money offer"? What is "the catch"? Who gives away "money" for "wrong doings" or for nothing? If we "Indians" were to be paid for "wrong doings" committed against us by our "Uncle," the U.S. might go broke. Is our "Uncle" becoming generous?
In spite of Traditional Leaders disapproving and intervening to request more time to consider the "proposal," the "Puppet Council" feels that they have accomplished something and proudly wave for the conquest they just "won": "We still have one thing," they shouted. "We have the land, or what is left of it. We will be rewarded. Though we are sad that so few voted to decide such an important issue, what we did is proper and legal." After all, all "leadership" in the entire world is composed of only 5 percent, and this 5 percent "leads" the other 95 percent by their noses. But true Hopi knows that our Mother Earth is sacred and that this kind of "deals" and "leadership" is not Hopi way.
Hopi Independent Nation
Second Mesa, Via, Arizona 86043
October 19, 1976
Mr. Alph Secakuku
Keams Canyon, Arizona
Mr. Abbott Sekaquaptewa
Chairman, Tribal Council
Mr. Secakuku and Mr. Sekaquaptewa:
Several meetings were held in Oraibi, Shungopavy and Mushongnovi Pueblos where representatives from all Traditional Pueblos including members of One-Horn and Two-Horn Society Religious Leaders and Clan Members whose religious duties are to protect Hopiland, way of life and religion.
Kikmongwis from Walpi, First Mesa, Shungopavy on Second Mesa, and Oraibi on Third Mesa were present and after hearing the illegal and dictatorial manner in which the so-called Tribal Council and the Hopi Supt. has been operating on Hopiland and the Hopi Supt. has been operating on Hopiland and since the presentation by Mormon Lawyer, John S. Boyden, his proposed settlement of Indian Claims Commission Docket No. 196 to the so-called Hopi Tribal Council in which John S. Boyden and United States Government is now offering Hopi people for the land they said took away but never pay anything to the Hopi people to the amount of $5,000,000.
Since this will involve all Hopi people, our sacred homeland, way of life and religion it has become very necessary that these Hopi Initiated Traditional Headmen and Kikmongwis meet with you along with our People to look into this very vital issue. We as Hopi will never sell our Mother Earth and we have been saying this for a long time. The so-called Hopi Tribal Council and Hopi Supt. of the Bureau of Indian Affairs were supposed to protect all Hopiland and life but who is responsible for this present critical problem? This must be investigated by our Hopi people,so we want to hear from each so-called Hopi Tribal Member, Hopi Supt., and Tribal Council Chairman individually now.
We have set a date for Sunday, October 24, 1976, at 1:00 p.m. in Kyakotsmovi Community Hall where Hopi people will meet with Abbott Sekaquaptewa and Hopi Supt. Alph Secakuku, therefore, you are now invited to come to this meeting, without fail. We will not argue on personal matters but look into this issue of why we have to accept the $5,000,000 or to reject it.
KIKMONGWI OF SHUNGOPAVY __________________________________________________
KIKMONGWI OF ORAIBI __________________________________________________
KIKMONGWI OF WALPI _________________________________________________
Advice to Our Friends
The Hopi Traditionals and Elders are in the process of trying to stop the land settlement, Indian Claims Commission Docket 196, from being approved by the House Committee on Appropriations. Thus far, 1,000 Hopi signatures have been added to a petition opposing the Land Settlement and forwarded to the Attorney General Office. The request from the Traditional Leaders and from their interpreters is that supporters do what ever possible to stop the Land Settlement from being approved by Congress.
Letters asking that the Land Claim not be paid should be addressed to the:
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Clair Burgener (R) 7860 Mission Center Ct., San Diego 92108
Yvonne Braithwaite Burke (D) One Manchester Boulevard, Inglewood 90301
John J. McFall, (D) 146 North Grant Avenue, Manteca 95366
Edward R. Royball, (D) 300 North Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles 90012
Burt L. Talcott (R) 100 West Alisal Street, Salinas 93901
It has also been suggested that letters be sent to the following:
1) Sen Henry Jackson, (D) Washington
Interior and Insular Affairs Committee
2) Sen Dennis DeConcini
3) Senate Judiciary Committee
4) Sen James Aborezk
O' Great Spirit
whose Voice I hear in the Winds
and whose Breath gives Life to all the World
I am small and weak. I need your
Strength and Wisdom
Let me walk in Beauty, and make my eyes
ever hold the Red and Purple Sunset
Make my Hands respect the Things You have made
and my Ears sharp to Hear Your Voice
Make me Wise so that I may Understand the
Things You have taught my People
Let me Learn the Lessons You have Hidden
in every Leaf and Rock
I seek Strength
not to be greater than my Brother,
but to Understand my greatest Enemy--myself
Make me always ready to come to you with
Clean Hands and Straight Eyes
So when Life fades, as the fading Sunset,
my Spirit may come to You
HOPI DO NOT WANT TO BE PAID FOR THE U.S. GOVERNMENT'S WRONG DOINGS--THE HOPI WANT THE WRONG DOINGS CORRECTED. MONEY DOES NOT BRING JUSTICE, IN THIS CASE THE WRONG DOING CAN BE CORRECTED--BY ALLOWING HOPI TO MAINTAIN THEIR ABORIGINAL LAND CLAIM.
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."