"I CANNOT TELL A LIE, I DID ALL THIS WITH MY OWN LITTLE HANDS"
Issue Number 36
THE CHERRY TREE STORY
Our greetings: We wish you all good health and happiness for the coming year. We pray a solution will come about for peace, also a solution to resolve the disputed problems among mankind so we all will be happy once again.
Herein, in honor of George Washington's birthday anniversary, we wish to fill in about the famous cherry tree story and the by-words "I cannot tell a lie." We first heard this and learned about it in our primary school days from our teachers years ago. Each year we were reminded of Washington, the first president, on his birthday. We were told he was nice and honest; so when he chopped his father's cherry tree he admitted it and said, "I cannot tell a lie." We were always encouraged to be like him and always tell our parents and teachers the truth. We would do this for a few days then forget. We did not know the rest of this story existed. So here is the rest of the story:
ESSENCE OF HOPI WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE
After reviewing the Cherry Tree story we find the content very interesting. It clearly confirms the prophecy of the Hopi about the newcomers arriving in our land. Hopi called them "Bahanna," (the white race). It wa prophesied that they will come in large numbers. They will be cunning and sly wit forked tongue and sweet tongue. By deceit and fraud they will take over the land of the Native people. They will be ambitious in many ways and disturb the lives of the first inhabitants, disturb even the land and Nature. If we protest they can seize the land through superior force of weapons and will attempt to annihilate all Native people. But a remnant of these people will survive to carry on for the future.
Bahanna will not end their conquests until the last Native disappears, this will be their goal. But if we are fortunate the Bahanna Government will have mercy and refine their policies to softer methods in inducing the natives to give up their land. Their conquest will linger on without bloodshed and death. It will be in such a way that before we know it, we will be caught in their web. Therefore we must be cautious and beware of getting fouled by their tricky words and fall into their pitfalls and traps.
Just as predicted, the Bahanna Government came to Hopi land with good intentions. Armed with a proposal of education for the children, with promises of many good things for the Hopi and for their children's future. After meeting over it, leaders from all the villages rejected the education, saying: Bahanna school is not good. It will not fit into their needs or blend with their religious ceremonials. That they will teach their children their own ways, as in the past.
The religious leaders foresaw it as trickery devised to destroy the minds of children. They foresaw the danger that the children would lose their traditional culture and identity. Lose even their language and become the tool of the Government. They foresaw that they would destroy themselves and lose the Hopi way of life.
The Bahanna persisted but failed for a time. Then finally all the village leaders bowed to the inevitable only when threats of prison were used.
Among the Hopi this created great division and friction. Discord erupted between those who yielded to the powers of the Bahanna Government and those who chose to keep their position as Hopi. Knowing they could not live side by side, the devoted Hopi decided to escape to a better world of life so the traditional culture and their religion would not die. Thus the village of Hotevilla was founded and was firmly established to symbolize the protection of all life and land. It is important to understand the sacred wall of defence is erected toward off the wicked in their attempts to annihilate the last remnants of the first native people. That those who dare venture to disturb the sacred barricade will cause a great misfortune to befall us all.
Above is a summary of native people, their past history on this land and the program of the Bahanna Government. A scheme by which to achieve their goal in taking over the land of the Indians.
Once upon a time the Indians could settle their own problems without outside interference, but in these changing times this system became impossible because we allowed ourselves to become sucked into western ways of resolving the problems, believing that only courts can give decisions or judgments and that it is not a matter of free choice. So we ended up with every man for himself.
When one day George Washington's father came home from a hard day collecting rents on his Rappahannock estates, he saw the fallen cherry tree and asked his wife what happened. She told him. After dinner George's father, Augustine Washington, summoned George to the fireplace for a talk.
"George, your mother tells me you chopped down the cherry tree. Is that true?"
"Yes, father, I cannot tell a lie," said George, "I did it!"
"Now George, do you know what's worse than chopping down your father's prize cherry tree?"
"No George, admitting it!"
"I don't understand father."
"George have you ever heard the saying,' The road to hell is paved with good intentions?'"
"No I haven't father!"
"Well, that saying is quite true," said Augustine taking his pipe and lighting it with a twig from the hearth. "But equally true is the saying, 'The road to failure is paved with the truth.'"
"Gee, father," said George wide-eyed. "That's not what mother has told me."
"Your mother is a dear woman, George, but she knows nothing of the world of commerce and politics. In here next to the fire it is warm and comfortable, but out there it is cold and bitter. A man must use his wits and his wiles to survive. If I had managed my estates in the light of truth we would be living on a patch of weeds in the backwaters of the river. The truth is a poor man's shackle, George. It is something we of the elite (superior group) must demand from the lowly in order to keep them where they are. Truth is the enemy of a good bargain."
George scratched his head, not fully understanding his father. He turned toward his mother who was weaving beside a row of candles. She was shaking her head from side to side, her lips were taut but she said nothing.
"Father, do you mean I should not have chopped down the cherry tree, but having done so I should have blamed it on little Tommy Jefferson?"
"No," replied his father, "I mean you should not have chopped down the cherry tree, but having done so, you should have professed ignorance as to how it happened. Let me make myself perfectly clear, George. The tree was mine. It made me angry to see my lawn so defoliated. Consequently I would have sought out the culprit for punishment. I must now punish you, an act which will grieve me, and leave your backside raw. There is no profit for either of us."
"As you go through life and rise to higher positions you may find it to your advantage to defoliate someone else's land. Go ahead and do it son, but be sure you have a cock and bull story ready to face the allegations. I have great expectations for you George, and I hate to see them dashed on the rocks of veracity. I would rather let you soar to the heights on the wings of duplicity."
"I don't understand a lot of those words, father."
"Don't worry about them now, son," replied Augustine Washington, "you'll gather their meaning in time. Now, out to the woodshed."
The idlers say we will have little chance of winning through the courts and they are still reluctant to do so. Putting the land case into court is dangerous, they say, because if the decision is not in our favor we will lose all claim to the land. That would be the end of Hopi.
The wisdom of Hopi tells us that we are like a string of beads, all united. As time passes people will begin to unstring themselves from this true life line. When they see or hear temptations of pleasure and gain the beads on the string will decrease in numbers. The string will become shorter until only a few with strong wills will be left hanging onto the life line to pursue their destiny as laid out by Massau, the Great Spirit. There will be a great joy if they achieve this goal. This will purify the land to peaceful ways of life. But if they fail it will be up to the Great Creator through nature to do to us what we deserve.
Three people were named who were to help the Hopi when we reached the crisis of no return. The Paiute Indian was to help according to his wisdom, but if he is unable the Navajo Indian will help also, according to his wisdom. If their efforts fail then Bahanna will come to aid. This is where we are now.
The time has now arrived to do something for the Traditional Hopi of Hotevilla. Why only Hotevilla? Our answer now is that it is time.
Now we stand alone according to our prophecy. We can only say if you are interested in helping our cause in preserving our Traditional Hopi culture, please write to your Congressmen and Senators to look into the so-called Joint Use Area between the Hopi and Navajo reservations. To support Sen. Cranston's Bill S-2545, calling for a moratorium on funding for the relocation of Navajo. Including both Traditional Hopi and Navajo in their discussions in order to keep their voices separate from the Tribal Councils or both tribes. Tribal Councils whose views are western concepts.
On December 26, 1986, Traditional Hopi elders of Hotevilla filed a complaint with the UN Commission for Human Rights in Geneva. It would help our cause if you write letters of support for our complaint. We ask you to write letters of support for our complaint. We ask you to write to Mr. Jacob Moller, Center for Human Rights, Communication Unit, Palais des Nation 1211 Geneva 10. Express your support for the preservation of our aboriginal culture. Thank you.
PONDER FOR VALUE
After pondering over the cherry tree story we hop no one is offended. We don't claim to know everything, but we do know deceit and fraud come hand in hand with truthfulness and honesty. People in high places down to the lowest casts use them in everyday life in many ways. It is natural to tell little white lies. It is something within us that will not go away. Why? Perhaps we will tell you about it one day. As a whole they help make the world turn. Good day.