Issue Number 29
The spring is here. Summer is just around the corner. This is a good time to pass on our greetings to our loved ones with thoughts of good health and happiness. It is a time which gives us good feelings of strength so we hustle around readying our gardens and fields for planting. With our blessings the seeds are put into the soil, the womb of our Mother Earth. She too feels the warmth of our Father Sun. She begins to stir, with the power of her kindness she commences her duty of glorifying the land with a green coating of meadows and flowers. Let us be in harmony, for we are one. We have called to Mother Nature with our prayers. "May your Creations come up strong and healthy so there will be abundance of food and beauty for all."
Some of us like to raise our own food. It gives one great pride just to see the seed you put into the soil which comes up. 'Miracle,' you whisper to yourself. Then you feel even more delighted when you get a meal from it.
Often we receive letters regarding the Hopi farming methods of raising Hopi corn. There are no ready answers as to how it is done. The Traditional way we do our planting is very complicated. Much of it is connected to the concepts of spiritual bases and our ceremonials. This we feel would not be understandable to non-Hopi. However, we can say freely that corn can be grown almost anywhere that the climate and soil is right. Since Hopi land is arid, we neither irrigate or fertilize our fields. The fact is that Hopi land is like anywhere else. There are soil differences, but by long experience the Hopi are able to find fertile land which can best be suited to each crop.
Since not all Hopis know the traditional ways of growing things, especially younger Hopi, it is now up to the elders to teach them some wisdom in growing corn and other crops. Herein is a brief view. The elders would say that growing things is important and sacred. It holds the significance of many things, that without food there would be no life. Someone must provide food so that all life will continue on with good health and happiness. One must be willing and put his heart into it. That way, one will gradually blend with the fields so that he will work in harmony. When planting one must be in a good humor, no anger or sad thoughts. One must sing and talk to the seeds, encourage them to come to the surface with joy. When they surface thank them and encourage them to keep strong. As they grow you thank them and also the unseen spirits who helped make it possible for the harvest which will provide food. These are a few sides of the wisdom for growing crops.
The Traditional way of planting is unique. The environment and Natural Order must be considered. Seeds are planted in rows, at least four or five steps apart. The same distance apart for corn and melons, two steps for beans and other crops.
Since no source of water is available for irrigation this method lets moisture in the soil equalize to reach each plant for growing and rooting deeper until the rain comes. A planting stick of wild desert oak is used in making the holes by hand for the seed. A large field is finished in a week or more. At least eight to twelve kernels are planted so that the ly will surface with strong energy. Later they will be thinned to four or five stalks depending on whether pests are more or less bothersome. The task can be easier if it is a wet spring, the moist soil is near the top. A foot or more down is dug during a dry spring. The pests, wind, and drought are considered for protection of the plants. Our prayers and ceremonials are important in helping our plants to grow.
FOLLOWING THE SUN OR TIME OF PLANTING
Here is another subject often asked about. When is the right time for Hopi to plant? Now days most people plant by a calendar or almanac. Hopi use their own system, a wisdom that all things are activated and stir to life through space and time upon times of their own. IT is a knowledge to be aware of, a sign will show when Natural Order is out of balance.
As spring approaches, the time markers are closely watched which can be any landmark which is stationary. As the sun travels along to his summer house (summer solstice), the sun will rise from a certain landmark that means the beginning of spring. Hopi then begin to plant. Sweet corn first, which is fast growing for special purposes. Next come the slower plants such as lima beans and melons. From there on the other crops are planted. The main crop of corn follows in bigger fields. Then once again the sweet corn is planted. This closes the planting season. By this time the sun will reach his summer home.
Hopi also watch and observe the flowering of certain desert plants which bloom according to their own timetable. By giving attention to all these the Hopi know the earth is still stable and in balance. They say each market represents where certain things will occur or begin to show itself according to the timing of nature. Knowing this we know if the clock is ticking awkwardly. Our ceremonial cycle also serves other purposes. Sadly it is waning. This may mean something.
Why all this hocus-pocus raising our corn? Our concepts may not mean much of value to most people. But Hopi are proud to have a spiritual guide to lead them on.
HOTEVILLA VILLAGE BECAME INDEPENDENT
When the Village of Hotevilla made the bold move to become a fully Independent Nation (as it always has been since founded) we waited for the reaction when the Village became listed on the National Register by the National Park Service. The impact was as if the world came to a stand still. There was no opposition, people and the press were silent, even our well wishers were silent. But we ,now and feel people are concerned, that this new turn stirs the people who have open minds.
Note, no thumb print appears on the document listing Hotevila Village on the National Register. If this document serves to destroy us, likewise the document will be destroyed by our own will. A provision of the agreement is no tourist visitation.
Old Prophets predicted that there will be another split as there was in 1906ce when there was no solution for both factions to live side by side when one side forsakes the Divine Law and our religious leaders for cultural change away from Hopi ways. This will lead to what they term, "One will pay and one will not." Meaning one is Bahanna way and one is Hopi way. This choice will be up to each of us, to choose either of the paths freely. There will be no pulling or pushing to get one to join the others. If this prophecy is fulfilled we will all live in harmony once again. That is if no one intervenes.
There has long been a misunderstanding of the Hopi, how he works and thinks. People who come to learn about Hopi often leave disappointed. The Hopi is modest and keeps his own values reserved. He is sensitive not to be boastful of his deeds or performance or the capacity he holds in the community. He believes humbleness is important in his ceremonies and prayers, even in his politics in order to achieve his goals and rewards.
The Hopi is sensitive and always cautious of the dangers of seeming benefits coming mainly through foreign Government sources which would erode his own knowledge and wisdom until he finds loopholes in prophecy which would allow him to accept any new proposal. So to this day Hotevilla is still a village standing by itself, holding to traditional wisdom in making the effort to follow the pattern of the Great Spirit's plans.
This may interest you. All matters of knowledge and wisdom based on Archaeological aspects are respected by the Hopi. In this case the voice of the multitude is not important in making decisions. Anyone with a strong spirit and strength who is unafraid of reaching the goal of destiny for the good of the earth and all life can undertake the task. There is a saying, "If one or two be strong, three or four will be greater under the banner of our Great Creator."
We hope you have enjoyed reading our free paper and hope you have learned a bit about Hopi and support us in the cause we are struggling for. That is in preserving Hopi culture for coming generations. If you can, give generously to Techqua Ikachi so that it will continue reaching your home and help us closer to you. Thank you with all our blessings. Good day.