Issue Number 40
HAPPY AND SAD EVENTS
Our Greetings. We apologize for the delay in getting our message to you of how we are getting along here in Hopi land. Lately we have had our doubts in writing this issue. It is not always an easy task for us.
Sometimes our emotions are swollen by depressing problems. There is not much one can do about this. But the next best thing is to take to the field and sing with Nature among the plants. This is often a sure cure in forgetting our problems. However, we have not much choice, because of our age we become feeble. Besides there is not much help from the educated Hopi who have left for greener pastures. So please don't be disappointed if you don't hear from us.
We like to hear about other people and events amidst the confused world. We, the Hopi people, are in the same boat. We are trying to create a better world for our coming children.
Like any people, our life is not all dark, there is a bright side. We had several good rains during the summer growing season. Our crops are fairly good because we had less pests to deal with. So we had plenty of fresh things to eat, besides sitting in the plaza, enjoying the Kachina Ceremonial dances with our relatives and friends from distant places.
The harvest was good. It is now stored away from winter use, such as for weddings and ceremonials, and of course for eating. All these things have created happiness for us. We give our thanks to Unseen Spirit for help in producing the food.
Long before Bahanna (white man) came upon our land, when Massau, the Great Spirit, still walked among us, he gave Hopi knowledge. He gave instructions and prophecies that along the way many things would come to pass. He pointed a path, a way to travel, like the narrow edge of a knife.
Along the way we would face many evil obstacles. Obstacles which would lessen our spiritual energies and the will to go on, causing us to stray off the path. But, if we reached the end of the path without weakening, we would be rewarded with a good, peaceful and everlasting life. Then Massau, the Great Spirit, would be our leader, for He is the First and will be the Last. This is the path our village, Hotevilla, the last remnant of traditional Hopi, have chosen to follow to this day. Please read on.
Many years ago our life was good and beautiful. We had much rain, the earth bloomed, there was plenty of food. The Ceremonial Cycles were in order according to the months. Natural forces with our earth mother were in harmony and balance. AT that time we were one in heart and did our prayers in the proper way in reaching the spirits. So that we were in peace with one another according to the divine laws of our Great Creator.
Upon the arrival of Bahanna in our land our minds became distorted by their activities. They changed our life pattern by exploring our ways of life and the sacred Ceremonials. Then they began to bend our children's minds by educating them into Bahanna ways of thinking.
This was a clear sign of danger. In earlier times initiation was important for a child to become a member of the religious society, to learn a deeper knowledge of life, its meaning and function. Many of these things are secrets that only members may know, not the public. These secrets are strictly guarded. Now in this age, the educated and ambitious Hopi, along with anthropologists, have stolen and sold to collectors and museums religious objects such as altars and other important things. These to be shown before the public, which will be meaningless to them. This was forbidden for this will break down the religious order.
Because of this a number of earlier ceremonials were ended which were of importance because of the coming of the white race. Also today's educated, ambitious Hopi are using religious concepts and knowledge in improper ways for their own gain and for power in conflicts. Our knowledge is not for that purpose. The basis of our religion is for good things, food, health and happiness. Not for weapons.
Sadly, because of Bahanna and the carelessness of our own people in creating corruption in our society, like we did in our previous worlds, we have forsaken Massau, straying from our commitments to live in His ways. Living in simple and peaceful ways. We have forgotten those promises. There may be no other choice for us but to follow His instructions, to face out our Sacred Ceremonials. We are unhappy, these are our ways and we live by them.
IN SIGHT OF THE U.N.
In our last issue we informed you of the complaint we filed against the US Gov't. for wrongs done with the UN in New York. This led us to a Geneva hearing for indigenous people. There we were not recognized to speak. During this time we received no response from any official member of the UN. Since this situation lies within the guidelines Hopi received from Massau, we gave this our careful attention. We completed four trips there to speak to the General Assembly, all failures. On reaching this point we became aware there is little hope we will ever fulfill the prophecy concerning the UN. (An old Hopi leader wished to fulfill his duty, what he had to do concerning the UN. He passed on shortly after.) So the religious leaders decided that what they have to do to fulfill the prophecy, actually the final instruction, is to throw their case behind them. Hopefully it will help us in reaching our goal. From here on Hopi will rely on three people behind them, the Great Creator and natural forces. One of these could complete the purification according to His plan.
Now, let us explore the hall of the so-called Hopi Tribal Council, or is it the Hopi Puppet or Progressive Tribal Council, and see what their plans are for the future. We hope it is not Doomsday for the Hopi Nation. Announcements were posted throughout the villages that the census system will change its title or name to "Hopi Tribal Membership Enrollment." As we have known for some years this census system has been used, each Hopi is given an identity number. That he is counted as a Hopi in Hopi land.
If we understand it rightly this Tribal Enrollment will cause problems. This because they say only those who sign the Tribal Roll will be entitled to benefits from the Medi-Care Service in Indian Hospitals. Those who ar not on the Tribal Roll will not be served by the Hospital, meaning one has to pay from his own pocket.
We all know for years the Gov't pampered Indians with free Medi-Care services and we knew this would end along the way and we would be treated just like any citizen. Of course this caused much alarm among those who have not yet reached retirement age.
We look at this as a silly trick, a dirty way of inducing Hopi people into their fold. The question is, why do we have to sign in their roll in order to be Hopi? We are concerned. How many of us, the true traditionalists, will survive? This is the situation we are facing today.
As we look on sadly at what is unfolding, what is to come as our traditional values are being lost at great speed? Much of our way of life is being lost as Hopi religious elders pass on. How sad. What can be done to save the last remnants of the Hopi? No matter, we will stand firm to the last man.