Issue Number 1

Introducing Techqua Ikachi...

This newsletter is the first of its kind. It is a periodical which speaks from the viewpoint of the Traditional Hopi. It is printed for thinking people, especially those concerned about the future and fate of the Hopi in today's world, and as an educational help for the young people of the Hopi and all other native nations.

We shall attempt to set straight the things that have been said and printed about the Traditional Hopi by people who oppose the Hopi way of life, and are working hard to modify the ageless Hopi teachings. We hope this will bring more insight into Hopi life and help the children of today to understand their elders and not to hate them. We shall not attempt to indoctrinate, but merely to bring out the teachings that have enabled the Hopi to survive for centuries, and organize their minds for full efficiency.

There are many questions that must be clarified. To most people this will all sound rather foolish. The Hopi do not force people to take everything literally. There are limits to everything, and very few things can be taken to extremes. But one may learn something from it.

Why Are There Factions in Hopi?

Let us look into our immediate surroundings. AT one time, the Hopi were stable and united. Why are they now continually breaking up into factions? We may refer to three sets of factions: The Traditional Hopi, the Progressive Hopi, and the On-the-Fence Hopi.

The Progressives consist of people who have accepted various sects of white-man's religion, and are usually more educated. Some lean more or less on tradition and religion, and some do not participate in ceremonies at all. They frequently hold higher level offices of a non-traditional nature, tend to be domineering, and in some way reject Hopi teachings. On-the-Fence Hopi still practice Hopi religion and tradition, are members, sometimes officers, in ceremonies, believe in adjustment through acculturation, and support the Progressives. Some are members of the so-called Hopi Tribal Council. Both recognize a certain Progressive as a super-commander over all Hopi villages, and over the entire Hopi nation. They likewise recognize an elected, law-making body which has courts, and jails, and judges, and lawyers to make decisions under the advice and influence of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) of the United State Government.

The Tradition Hopi are those who strongly adhere to their aboriginal law, which they believe the Creator, or Great Spirit, laid out for them. As they see it, this is the most important thing. To stray from this pattern would be to stray from life itself. The Hopi believe that life and nature are of the same body, and that we must keep harmony with each other and keep the earth in balance. It is essential and vital that we care for the earth and all its unseen forces in order to keep a healthy environment. This is accomplished through religious ceremonial duties which required profoundest concentration, and can only be done rightfully without interruption and by remaining free from evil elements.

Because of this the Traditional Hopi oppose all development programs, both cultural and environmental, and any encroachment by outside interests, such as the Progressives are promoting, without approval from the rightful Hopi leaders. This stand is based firmly upon the premise that the Hopi laid claim to this land through the Great Spirit before any other race set foot here, and that they were placed here to protect the land. Thus the Traditionals refuse to recognize the progressive Tribal Council, and reject the idea of being dominated by any other government, especially through this new system of leadership.

Traditional representation on the U.S. Government-sponsored Hopi Tribal Council has never materialized, for it has actually never been endorsed by the people or their leaders, with the exception of those self-elected for personal gain. These self-elected persons for obvious reasons frown upon the traditional ways.

Now who would want to interrupt the Hopi way of life, and why? The white race want to civilize the "Indians" because they see them as savages. They either kill them or christianize them because they want what the "Indians" have. They didn't get all of it, so they formed the BIA through which they manage the native people and their natural resources. Still there stood another obstacle: the Traditionals, stubborn, but peaceful. Even too stubborn to take up arms! So the attack took the form of forced assimilation under threat of punishment. One result of this was the eviction of the Traditionals from Oraibi in 1906. Still they would not yield. But the high officials did not have to scratch their heads for very long for a new idea: simply form a government within the tribe, one more easily manipulated. The time was ripe, for by now there were enough educated Hopi, and the prophecies foretold that one day Hopi children with short hair or bald heads would be the ears and mouth for the elders, and in time become the leaders. So the Hope Tribal Council was formed.

Still there was resistance. There was no support from the Traditionals, so this effort died. The U.S. Government saw that they needed something that would revive the Tribal Council, so the lawmakers came up with the Indian Reorganization Act. This woke up the dead Tribal Council. Under new leadership the whole tribe was to benefit. Anything asked would be done with honor, for all to enjoy, no strings attached, so they said. Still the old Hopi shook their heads - no confidence. Again the promoters of the Council were at their wits end.

Again they put their heads together. This time they organized "The Hopi Tribe," and said that all "Hopi" must register to vote in an election of new leaders. Perhaps those who did not join would not be recognized as Hopi. The old Hopi still shook their heads - "Why elect new leaders? We already have leaders." So the Progressives decided to attract a following by creating jobs. Eventually hordes of young people were attracted. No questions were asked, and the job seekers automatically became members of "The Hopi Tribe" without knowing. This is the stage we are in now.

So we know who started it. But who among the Hopi is to blame, the Traditionals, the Progressives, or the On-the-Fence Hopi? We shall try to bring this out in our next issue.

Why Is There A Land Dispute?

The United States Congress has made several attempts to "solve" what certain vested interests have claimed is a "land dispute" between Hopi and the Navajo. They do this at a great distance from the people whom their decisions affect. Their ideas of "ownership" and "jurisdiction" are alien to the way we live.

Public law 93-531 is a recent attempt which proposes negotiations between the "Tribal Councils" of the two nations. If the negotiations fail, which is almost certain, being based upon ideas alien to both, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior will be given control of the matter, which involves a plan to declare a boundary, and fence the Hopi and the Navajo off from each other.

It is clearly evident that the so called "Hopi Tribe" is the thorn hurting the establishment's progress in solving the land problem. In the past, many attempts have been made through its press to distort the meaning of the traditionals' actions, including the Hopi and Navajo unity movement whom they oppose in their fight to "regain" Hopi land through white man's law. They wonder why the traditionals want to keep relations with the Navajo who were once their enemy. They also claim that there is no such thing as a true Hopi leader who can think for his people. They say it is a pity that the traditional leaders take it upon themselves to solve the land problem, ignoring the labors of the Tribal Council governments of the Navajo and Hopi. "Look!" say the Bahanna Council, "I am the Supreme Chief of the Hopi Nation. You must obey what I say. I create jobs for you so you can make lots of money, and get cars, television, and everything that the white man has, courts and jails where you get justice." This sounds glorious, but they don't talk about the disadvantages.

The whole problem could have been avoided if the Tribal Councils of the Hopi and Navajo had sat down together to consider what their traditional leaders want. They must cease exploiting the traditionals and grabbing after the land. They should liberate those who want to live their original lives instead of downgrading them. Most of the people wish to live a simple life and keep their cultural heritage. This is the most important element which the Bahanna Council fails to see. Perhaps the U.S. Government has foreseen that if the leaders of both Tribal Councils persist, their struggle will end in blood shed.

It is in the prophecies of the Hopi that in a case like this the Navajo may help our cause. Also the Bahannas or the Piute Tribe may help. We doubt that the U.S. Government will easily concede our sovereignty. If possible both Hopi and Navajo traditionals would like separation from those who want to be assimilated. Both tribes could thereby retain their identity and lay the foundation for a self respecting community.

The Hopi were established long before the White Race came to this continent. Their leadership is deeply rooted in their culture and traditions, and most important, in the Creator's law, which is everlasting. Every race in the world began this way including the Bahannas. Therefore the traditional Hopi do not base their authority upon majority rule. Instead, they stand upon the oneness of man's tradition throughout the world. even the Bahanna Hopi still practice their ceremonies despite the fact that they spit upon their tradition. They must not have enough faith in their new leadership (Mormons and others) to follow them into Hades. The whole thing looks like a satirical comedy! Yes, our heritage is powerful. One cannot erase by law a peoples' traditions and religious history that has been nurtured by centuries, and lies at the base of every phase of their lives.

As an example of this, one day Emery Sekaquaptewa came to a group of us near Hotevvilla and announced that he and his wife were quitting the Hopi way, that he and his wife could not stand living under its system and were converting themselves and their children to the Mormon Church and relocating. But in spite of what he said, Grandma Sekaquaptewa was seen making piki bread and other traditional foods for the traditional wedding. A traditional wedding robe was made for the daughter. Just the other day Grandma Sekaquaptewa was seen watching traditional ceremonial dances and her son Emery is making a lot of money teaching traditional Hopi culture and language to the white folks. We have heard that he wants traditional school children to speak Hopi and learn the traditional ways.

What does tradition mean? We have concluded that it is power. To the Hopi it is a barrier protecting their independence against Bahannas' destructive efforts. The so-called Tribal Council has not seen the importance of this so they have gone on a march for progress leasing our land, making money, and paving the way for encroachment. Perhaps their most childish act was a gift of a million dollars to their Mormon lawyer for Christmas. As if in rebellion they mock and downgrade the Traditionals a primitives who must not use white man's clothing, or anything else made by the white man, and go back to G-strings and donkeys. We feel sad when such words are thrown at us, but we know they are foolish. They will come back crawling under the cloak of tradition when they come up against the stone wall. We shall not retaliate by stripping them of all traditional.

Now as the so-called "Hopi Tribe" tackles the land problem they find they can't go over the hump without the image of being "real" Hopi. So the chickens come home to roost. Hopi awareness programs now flourish throughout the schools. Hopi children are encouraged to speak their language and learn traditional dances and customs, which are a "must" for special programs and activities. But even though the Council now leans heavily on tradition, they have nothing to do with the original Hopi. In fact they diminish them and force them into extinction. They replace them with a law to protect dead ruins, and restore ceremonial kivas. While this is going on their chairman and lawyers are busy scheming at ways to lick "the opposition" in order to exploit the people and their natural resources. Are they really interested in saving the ceremonies? We wonder, for they are Bahanna Christians. To them the ceremonies, kivas, and shrines are taboo, the work of devils practiced only by heathens. But they are willing to go along where there is money to be made.

They have lured in some "Traditionalists" whom we shall call "Bahanna Traditionalists," some of whom hold office in traditional Hopi society, allowing a great deal of insight into traditional knowledge with little understanding of the Bahanna political system. Some cannot read, yet they are allowed to hold a seat and make decisions and laws. Since the Council works through a one party system, the voice vote is often "Ayes" and seldom "Nays," perhaps according to how much sugar coating a proposition has. The means by which they are elected are in most cases questionable. In the case of Oraibi, the representative is self appointed with no support from the people of the village. All Council officers are paid. The Bahanna Traditionalists are useful in creating an image to the outside world, though they may hold only inferior offices or none at all in the traditional system. To the true Hopi their function is to give false advice and serve as a front while the Council tells the outside world that they are a different kind of Hopi, the "true" Hopi, which helps to keep a low opinion of the actual traditional leaders. But such a person's authority is null and void according to Hopi tradition. Before entering the Bahanna world he inherited the original Hopi wisdom and knowledge from his Great Chief Uncles with all the instructions as to what to avoid at this stage. He is supposed to be of strong character and deeply devoted to the Creator's law and instructions. Sacred vows are fixed to his office by which to protect his power and authority to lead his people until death. To disregard these vows is to become a traitor to the Great Spirit, His religion and His people.

The traditional Hopi leader does not accept money for his office. He is more strongly and deeply devoted for the original Hopi came into this world together, and their instructions and teachings have remained the same to this day. He is therefore willing to follow the path set out for him and fulfill the prophecies no matter what the consequences. He knows what help will come as planned by the Creator. If no help materializes from other people it will come in the form of destruction by nature. If none of this materializes then Hopi is wrong. This much we know.

The Fence Must Come Down, Say the Villagers

Recently, attempts have been made to fence certain Hopi fields against the wishes of the traditional authority. The true issue may not be apparent to the casual observer, and is not adequately explained in the so-called Hopi tribal news media. Actually, the faction behind the fencing can be traced back to the founding of the first government agency on Hopi land in the late 1800's. It was born out of a fierce and overpowering period of forced assimilation into the ways of the whiteman, or Bahanna, amounting to a police state.

At first all villages refused to cooperate with the agency, but as the pressure mounted, they began to weaken, one by one. In order to avoid further threats, chiefs from several villages went to Washington D.C. to compromise. A written agreement was signed, promising them many things in exchange for accepting Bahanna's culture and allowing education of the children. At this point the split became serious between the Bear Clan and the Fire Clan, and their followers.

To Yukiuma, the Fire Clan chief, and his followers, this act was seen as a violation of the law of the Creator, the Highest, which ended the power of the Bear Clan chief, Lololma, to lead his people. (The reason for this will be explained elsewhere.) Yet Loloma refused to yield his power up to the time of his death. Tawaquaptiwa, his successor, not only refused to yield his rule, but took advantage of the agency's police power to try and force Yukiuma and his followers into Bahanna's culture. Since Yukiuma refused to give up the Creator's way of lie, he spent years in jail at the agency.

In 1906 Tawaquaptiwa finally evicted the Fire Clan from the village, and in so doing, yielded part of his power to Yukiuma. Tawaquaptiwa chose isolation, his power, and land extending no further than the outskirts of the village. Yukiuma was to have full power over the rest of the land. Tawaquaptiwa then had to live up to his obligation to Washington, uniting with the agency which forcibly put all the children into Bahanna's school, and introduced whiteman's materials and whiteman's religion.

Yukiuma and his followers settled what is now called Hotevilla. Their aim was to continue to live according to Creator's law, free from outside interference. Some years later, the relationship with Oraibi was renewed, but the problem continues through a new settlement below Oraibi known as New Oraibi, and Bacabi village. These were settled by wayward people, including some who were driven out of Oraibi with the Hotevilla people, but who tried to return and were refused. The Bacabi people settled near Hotevilla under the leadership of Kawaneptiwa of the Sand Clan. he did what Tawaquaptiwa did. He isolated himself and permitted a church and a school to be built on Hotevilla land by forging Yukiuma's name.

The traditional Hopi would have been able to continue in peace, however the United State Congress passed the Indian Reorganization Act, through which the so-called "Hopi Tribe" was formed upon man-made law. It was given a structure designed by the U.S. Government and police power with which to enforce its decisions regardless of whether they be wise or just. They have used every approach to find the weakest point without much success.

Today there is the argument whether the Hotevilla fields should be fenced, or whether grazing cattle belong to the so-called "Hopi Tribe" should be moved out. The Hotevilla people argue that the land belongs to them and that they will not allow it to be fenced. The so-called "Hopi Tribe" says that it will solve the problem and keep the cattle out of the fields. The traditional people say, "No! Once you fence that off you will keep that land as your own. You move your cattle elsewhere, where you can be happy with them."

The so-called "Hopi Tribe" insist that it will only be temporary, but the traditional people see the fence as a show of force, a wrongful claim of jurisdiction over their land, which the "Hopi Tribe" will not regard as temporary.

At a meeting many things were brought out to create a better understanding for the benefit of the opposition, but it was useless, for they were of a different mind. Finally out of anger and frustration the Agency superintendent rose to leave, announcing that the fence will go up, whether they like it or not, and that he will be responsible for the consequences.

The question is whether he did right by making that decision on the spot, without consulting his advisers and council members, and without approval from the traditional leaders. Or perhaps the decision was already made, and there was really no desire to get involved with the facts.

So the meeting came to an end. The signal was given that the offensive will roll without respect to any people or any laws. The Hopi will be encircled with no place to run, but we will stand to the last, whichever way they drag us out, feet or head first. The Traditionals put in their last word, "We will tear the fence down, we are ready."

* * * * * * * * * * ULTIMATUM * * * * * * * * * *

The following ultimatum was issued to Superintendent Alph Secakuku, Hopi Indian Agency, Keams Canyon, Arizona, on June 30, 1975.

Dear Sir,

You, as the representative of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, claimed responsibility for the present disturbance to the Hopi ways of life. The so-called Tribal Council associated with your office again disregarded our rejections to the fencing of our land. You have encroached by force, and without our approval, put the fence up, thereby once again violating the exclusive land use of Traditional Hopi people.

How many times more must we reject this proposal? It seems to us that our past statements of explanation are quit sufficient for you to understand and respect our wishes and not create the confrontation.

Giving this our fullest consideration, this hasty, one-man decision is unjust. We denounce your action on the grounds that you are not a member and representative of this village, and therefore have no business interfering with our village government.

Your action seems to indicate that your office and your associate, the so-called Tribal Council end your negotiation with us, the lowly Hopi Traditionals.

Therefore, since you are responsible, we want you to remove the fence. We have no confidence in your word, "Temporary." So we want it done by the month of August. If you fail to do so we will remove the fence in plan sight, not slyly. We will inform you and people of this country and the world the day we will make this move.


Traditional and Religious leaders of Hotevilla Independent Village: David Monongye, Paul Sewemanewa, Amos Howesa, Lewis Naha.

Copies of this letter were sent to Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D.C., Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C., Hopi Tribal Council, Oraibi, Arizona, and interested people.

Great Spirit's Peace, or Government Police?

For thousands of years we Hopi have lived in villages by a pattern established by the Great Spirit, whose teachings go all the way back to the dawn of time. All the prophecies are being fulfilled, including the period of great trial in which the world will be engulfed by efforts to force one's will upon others. As predicted, these efforts have grown so great that mankind has reached the brink of self-destruction.

But some people are too fearful or impatient to deal with others face to face, with the truth. Instead they force their will through a police state and gladly reap the temporary rewards. Selfish people find this very tempting. They think they have found an easy solution for life's problems, but they fail to see the harm they cause to their fellow men, to future generations, and even to themselves. And they are not aware that, by falling for this temptation they place themselves at the service of a worldly power greater than themselves, which is at least as selfish, and which intends to gain at their expense.

Are they blind? Or are they just afraid to look? No true Hopi could ever agree to follow such a foolish way of life!

Respect Requires Good Example

A look at an editorial in Qua'toqti, April 24, 1975.

It is true that respect requires good example, but who is following the example set by countless generations of Hopi ancestors to whom we owe our life? They struggled long and hard to follow the life plan of the Great Spirit so that today's Hopi might have a chance to survive the destructive pressures of the modern world rather than yield to them totally. If those who so criticize their elders were still following that example, the land would still be paradise. With the shape the world is in now, surely it is not being followed.

The first paragraph, " if it has all happened before..." seems to indicate boredom with their own tradition, hatred, and frustration. It is so childish for them to characterize their own elders as lowly and stupid because of their "bowed heads." In our opinion the bowed head indicates wisdom and knowledge. The greatest men on this earth still practice such behavior to increase their concentration, for it is said, "Mind is the greatest lever of all things, human thought is the process by which human ends are ultimately answered."

Although the meeting written about was on the issue of cattle and corn fields, nothing about this issue appears in the editorial. We think the Hopi people might want the issue analyzed for the benefit of their understanding, not covered up with a petty attack against those who raise it. It was only said that no one intended to come to terms with the opposing forces. Perhaps that statement would more accurately describe the article itself.

It was said that the young people just "sat impatiently listening and waiting for something to happen, which they knew would not." Why are they so blind to the happenings they witness at this very moment which are the fulfillment of the prophecy about which these elders have been so concerned?

We agree with the statement that the Hopi philosophy is beautiful and always in the same pattern. It is so beautiful that the Hopi have lived by that pattern since the dawn of time. The survival of all people, their land and life, depends upon that pattern. We hope it will continue to be beautiful, but that will happen only when people stop opposing it.

The editorial failed to analyze the subject that was not agreed upon, and why. What the Traditionals were trying to make clear has, as the article said, been explained in the same pattern many times. They oppose the fencing of the land because the plan appears crafty, and they know that the path of such so-called progress has been marked with thoughtless destruction of land and life. the land grants, and the changes within, are often imposed against the will of the native inhabitant, and once imposed, persist, despite opposition.

Yes, we agree with the "glorious" Hopi doctrine and philosophy laid out by the Creator Himself. Each Hopi has been born into it, grown up with it, believes it is sacred, and a part of himself with which it would be wrong to part. Respect for elders would exist today if the world leaders would conform to their teachings, constitutions, and laws by which they intend to lead people We know that the Tribal Council often do not conform to their own written laws, in order to gain what they want. This is illegal by whiteman's law. They argue that the old Hopi teachings are dead, and that the U.S. Constitution is often good to lean on, or hide behind.

Meanwhile the Traditional Hopi wants simply to live his way of life without expense to anyone.

It has been argued, "Let these young ones experiment with gentle things that would be good for their future, that will not hurt anyone, and can be easily cancelled." But unfortunately the immature actions of the Tribal Council prove difficult, if not impossible to reverse. The Progressives cry that the old Hopi hobble them, but we think this cold attitude is good, for it makes a person think deeply before his next step.

We agree that the Hopi world is changing rapidly. So is the Earth and all its people. Each person has a right to change, and no one can control that. This is up to each individual. It is also right not to change when one has found the right way. But this editorial seems to imply that the Hopi way is extinct. ON the contrary, it is very much alive. It's not the resistance of the Traditional Hopi that puts the pressure on the young people, but rather the Tribal Council has led them into a circle where they are vulnerable to unemployment and economic conditions. Personal assets for most Hopi workers have dwindled in recent years. Overdue bills cause pressure, and dead-end jobs drive them to drink. It's clear now where Bahanna's culture, with its money system, is leading. It is up to the Council to help them out of the circle into which the hopi foresaw and chose to avoid by holding on to their way of life. No doubt the glorious material promises they put out will win many followers, but we can assure that it's not all a path of roses.

If leadership is measured by the number of people willing to follow, as the article says, and if people will follow a real leader to Hades, then we must have some real ones indeed, for we followed them out of Old Oraibi village into Hades, which is Hotevilla. We have that much trust in them. And though we hope it won't be into Hades, we shall follow them even further, for their path is much wiser than that which Bahanna would force us to follow. This takes guts as well as trust. The followers of the Tribal Council also hope that they won't be led to Hades either.

But the Tribal Council and their followers try to turn the young against their elders by building an image of doubt. They create division, whereas the elders would have unity. They misrepresent themselves to the outside world as the leaders or "Chiefs" of the Hopi nation, while twisting what the Traditional leaders say. For example, the Traditionals' complaint that the Council acts in the fashion of a dictator is misrepresented in the article.

If we use the word "dictatorial" to refer to an uncompromising attitude of leadership, we think it is a necessary thing. It is found not only in the traditional Hopi leadership, but in the leadership of all nations. But the Traditionals use that word to refer to the way in which the Tribal Council forces its will, or rather the U.S. Government's will, upon the people, dividing and misusing their land, without consulting them. Even though the Council represents themselves as the supreme leadership of the Hopi, they are not. But they act the part of a dictatorship very well

It is true, as the article says, that it would be wrong to use a priesthood office in a Hopi ceremonial society for political purposes, but this is not what the Traditionals are doing. It is actually the fulfillment of their offices to uphold the prophecies, teachings, and instructions of the Great Spirit as they do. They defend land and life as we all must do in order to live. They hold to the Hopi Way because it is deeply rooted and stable. They do not see this as politics, but as the means by which the Hopi have survived from the beginning of time. Other nations around the world have their own vow to protect the earth. The Hopi are obligated to not break theirs. The same is true of Bahanna. But Bahanna has now obligated himself to a man-made law. If by this he neglects his original vow, it will mean not only his downfall, but damage to the earth as well.

It is so strange for the editorial to claim that the loss of the green valleys and fertile fields we once had is due to teachings they are not receiving. These teachings are what the Traditionals are offering in their meeting, but the article itself covers them up! If they wish to serve the Hopi people fairly, the Qua'toqti editors should clarify their words for the sake of those less educated. This loss reflects not upon the priesthood, but upon the new leadership who act against the Traditional Hopi. They dim the spiritual minds of the leaders and the people, so there is no rain. The pressures they create interfere with the natural way of life.

So indeed people have gone astray. Many have left the Hopi way and joined foreign religious sects. Participants in ceremonials often use intoxicants, won't work in the fields, and don't speak Hopi or think like Hopi. In plain sight they are not Hopi, yet they claim to be. What are they?

We are struggling for survival in the name of "Hopi." It's only a four-letter word, so we never have time to really look up its meanings. Perhaps its meaning will become clear after the true Hopi have vanished.

Since a share in something great always arouses envy, there are those who would rob the humble and meek of their great possession. They seek to rob Hopi, or destroy its meaning. But their enmity is in vain, its richness is assured in its own positive achievements, which no one can take away.


TECHQUA IKACHI, land and life, is published by traditional leaders in the village of Hotevilla, in the Hopi Independent Nation. Questions and comments are welcome. Since all people of the world are one in their traditional roots, we gladly consider articles and message from other villages and nations on issues concerning the continuation of the traditional way of life, and world peace.

STAFF: D. Monongye, J. Pongayesva, P. Sewemanewa, D. Evehema, A. Howesa

This publication is made possible through voluntary contributions. Send us your name and address for future editions. Subscriptions may become available at a later date.


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