As told by Dan Katchongva
Sun Clan (ca. 1865-1972)
Translated by Danaqyumptewa
Originally published in 1972
Committee for Traditional Indian Land and Life
Los Angeles, California.
Dan Katchongva, the late Sun Clan leader of Hotevilla, spent more
than a century in this life, in the course of which he was
privileged to witness the battle between the ancient world and the
modern world, in which he saw many old prophecies fulfilled. He
experienced the whole spectrum, from peaceful village life to the
most forceful interference the Hopi have known since the end of the
In a talk recorded on January 29, 1970, Dan told the story of the
People of Peace, from the dawn of time to the attacks which led to
the founding of Hotvela in 1906, the school, money and police
systems which threaten to end the Hopi Way within this generation,
and the consequences for America and the world.
The thought of publishing his talk grew from the recognition that
those causing this tragedy, and the millions who support them, could
not persist, had they but a glimpse of the purpose behind Hopi
resistance to foreign control.
Dan agreed to the publication of this booklet on condition that it
never be sold, insisting that to sell Hopi teachings would be like
selling his own mother.
He selected the portions to be published, and the accuracy of the
translation was carefully established through his interpreter,
Danaqyumptewa, with emphasis given to the original wording.
In addition to the prophecies fulfilled during his lifetime, Dan was
told by his father that he would live to see the beginning of the
final event of this era, the Great Day of Purification. Dan Katchongva died in 1972.
“All I have is my planting stick and my corn.
If you are willing to
live as I do, you may live here with me.”
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THE BEGINNING OF LIFE
Somewhere down in the underworld we were created by the Great
Spirit, the Creator. We were created first one, then two, then
three. We were created equal, of oneness, living in a spiritual way,
where the life is everlasting. We were happy and at peace with our
fellow men. All things were plentiful, provided by our Mother Earth
upon which we were placed. We did not need to plant or work to get
food. Illness and troubles were unknown. For many years we lived
happily and increased to great numbers.
When the Great Spirit created us, he also gave us instructions or
laws to live by. We promised to live by his laws so that we would
remain peaceful, using them as a guideline for living happily upon
that land where he created and placed us. But from the beginning he
warned us that we must not be tempted by certain things by which we
might lose this perfect way of life.
Of course we had advantage of many good things in this life, so by
and by we broke the Creator’s command by doing what he told us not
to do. So he punished us by making us as we are now, with both soul
“From now on you will have to go on your own. You
will get sick, and the length of your life will be limited.”
He made our bodies of two principles, good and evil. The left side
is good for it contains the heart. The right side is evil for it has
no heart. The left side is awkward but wise. The right side is
clever and strong, but it lacks wisdom. There would be a constant
struggle between the two sides, and by our actions we would have to
decide which was stronger, the evil or the good.
We lived in good ways for many years, but eventually evil proved to
be stronger. Some of the people forgot or ignored the Great spirit’s
laws and once again began to do things that went against his
instructions. They became materialistic, inventing many things for
their own gain, and not sharing things as they had in the past. This
resulted in a great division, for some still wanted to follow the
original instructions and live simply.
The inventive ones, clever but lacking wisdom, made many destructive
things by which their lives were disrupted, and which threatened to
destroy all the people. Many of the things we see today are known to
have existed at that time. Finally, immorality flourished.
of the people became corrupted with social and sexual license which
swiftly involved the Kikmongwi’s (chief’s) wife and daughters, who
rarely came home to take care of their household duties. Not only
the Kikmongwi but also the high religious leaders were having the
same problem. Soon the leaders and others with good hearts were
worried that the life of the people was getting out of control.
The Kikmongwi gathered the high priests. They smoked and prayed for
guidance toward a way to solve the corruption. Many times they
gathered, until finally someone suggested that they move, find a new
place, and start a new life.
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EMERGENCE INTO THE PRESENT WORLD
Now they had often heard certain thumping sounds coming from above,
so they knew that someone might be living there. It was decided that
this must be investigated. I will describe this briefly, for the
whole story would take much space.
Being gifted with wisdom, they created birds for this purpose. I
will name three. Two which are known for their strength and
swiftness are the kisa (hawk) and the pavowkaya (swallow) The third
was a moochnee (related to the mockingbird). His flight is awkward,
but he is known to be wise.
They were each created at separate times
by magic songs, tobacco smoke and prayers, from dirt and saliva,
covered by a white cap (ova). Each was welcomed
respectfully and given instructions for his mission, should he
succeed. The first two failed to reach the top side of the sky, but
the third one, moochnee, came through the opening into this world.
The new world was beautiful. The earth was green and in bloom. The
bird observed all his instructions. His sense of wisdom guided him
to the being he was instructed to seek. When he found him it was
high noon, for the being, Maasau’u, the Great Spirit, was preparing
his noon day meal. Ears of corn lay beside the fire. He flew down
and landed on top of his kisi (shady house) and sounded his arrival.
Maasau’u was not surprised by the visitor, for by his wisdom and
sense of smell he already knew someone was coming. Respectfully he
welcomed him and invited him to sit down.
The interview was brief
and to the point.
“Why are you here? Could it be important?”
said Moochnee, “I was sent here by the underworld people. They wish
to come to your land and live with you, for their ways have become
corrupted. With your permission they wish to move here with you and
start a new life. This is why I have come.”
bluntly, but with respect, “They may come.”
With this message the bird returned to the underworld. While he was
gone the Kikmongwi and the leaders had continued to pray and wait
for his successful return. Upon his return with the good news of the
new world and Maasau’u’s permission for them to come, they were
Now the question was how they were to get to the top, so again they
smoked and prayed for guidance. At last they agreed to plant a tree
that would grow to the top and serve as a pathway. They planted the
seed of a shalavee (spruce tree), then they prayed and sang magic
songs. The tree grew and grew until it reached the sky, but its
branches were so soft and so many that it bent under the heavy earth
pressure from the top, so it did not pierce the sky.
another seed, this one to be a lougu (pine). It grew as they sang
their magic songs. This tree was stout and strong. “Surely this one
will get through,” they thought. But it was unsuccessful, for its
branches also bent upon contact with the solid object. Again they
planted a seed. This time it was a pakave (reed). Since it had a
pointed end it pierced the sky up into the new world.
Meanwhile all of this had been kept secret. Only proper, righteous,
and one-hearted people were informed of the plans to leave the
corrupt world. They were prepared to move out, so as soon as they
knew it was successful they started to come up on the inside of the
plant, resting between the joints as they worked their way up to the
When they got to this world, everything was beautiful and peaceful.
The land was virgin, unmolested. They were very happy. They sang and
danced with joy, but their joy was short-lived, for that night the
chief’s daughter died suddenly. Everyone was sad and worried. People
looked at one another suspiciously. An evil spell had been enacted.
This caused great concern that a witch or two-hearted person might
be among them.
Now the Kikmongwi had great power which he must use to settle the
concern of his people. He made a small ball out of cornmeal which he
tossed up above the group of people. The one upon whose head it
landed would be the guilty one. It landed upon the head of a girl. A
quick decision was made to throw her back through the opening into
the underworld. The wickedness must be gotten rid of, for they
wished to live peacefully in this new land.
But the witch girl cried
out for mercy, telling them that on their long journey they would
face many obstacles and dangers of every description, and that her
services would become useful, for she had power to fight evil. She
invited the Kikmongwi to look back down into the underworld. He
looked and saw his child playing happily with the other children in
the underworld, where upon death we will all return. She was spared,
but they left her there alone, perhaps hoping that she would perish
by some unknown cause.
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THE FIRST MEETING WITH THE GREAT SPIRIT IN
It was here that the Great Spirit first appeared to them on this
earth, to give them the instructions by which they were to live and
travel. They divided into groups, each with its selected leader.
Before them he laid ears of corn of various lengths. They were each
instructed to pick one ear of corn to take with them on their
journey, for their subsistence and their livelihood.
One by one they
greedily picked out the longest and most perfect-looking ears until
only the shortest was left. They did not realize that this was a
test of wisdom. The shortest ear was picked by the humblest leader.
Then the Great Spirit gave them their names and the languages by
which they would be recognized. The last picker of short corn was
HOPI means not only to be peaceful, but to obey and have faith in
the instructions of the Great Spirit, and not to distort any of his
teachings for influence or power, or in any way to corrupt the Hopi
way of life. Otherwise, the name will be taken away.
He than gave them instructions according to which they were to
migrate for a certain purpose to the four corners of the new land,
leaving many footprints, rock writings and ruins, for in time many
would forget that they were all one, united by a single purpose in
coming up through the reed.
Now that we were on top, we were each to follow our own leaders, but
so long as we did not forget the instructions of the Great Spirit we
would be able to survive. We were now bound by a vow to live by
these instructions and to complete our pattern of migration.
Maasau’u told us that whoever would be the first to find him would
be the leader of those who were to follow, then he disappeared.
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AN ACT OF PROPHETIC CONSEQUENCE
We migrated for many years to every corner of this continent,
marking our claim as we travelled, as these markings clearly testify
up to the present day. On our way we stopped for rest near the great
river now known as the Colorado. We had travelled far and gained a
great deal of knowledge, not forgetting our instructions. The group
leader was of the Bow Clan, a great chief with wisdom. But it was
here that this great chief disappeared into the dark night.
putting his family to sleep he left in search of the Earth Center,
where clever, ingenious people from all nations meet to plan the
future. By some means he found the place, and was welcomed with
respect. It was a beautiful place with all manner of good things.
Good food was laid before him by most beautiful girls. It was all
Until today we did not know the significance of this action. It had
to do with the future. By this action he caused a change to occur in
the pattern of life as we near the end of the life cycle of this
world, such that many of us would seek the materialistic world,
trying to enjoy all the good things it has to offer before
destroying ourselves. Those gifted with the knowledge of the sacred
instructions will then live cautiously, for they will remember and
have faith in these instructions, and it will be on their shoulders
that the fate of the world will rest.
The people will corrupt the
good ways of life, bringing about the same life as that from which
we fled in the underworld. The sacred body of the female will no
longer be hidden, for the shield of protection will be uplifted, an
act of temptation toward sexual license, which will also be enjoyed.
Most of us will be lost in all the confusion. An awareness that
something extraordinary is happening will develop in most of the
people, for even their leaders will be confused into polluting
themselves. It will be difficult to decide whom to follow.
The Hopi knew all this would come about. All these aspects of
today’s life pattern were planned. So today we must stand firmly on
our belief in order to survive. The only course is to follow the
instructions of the Great Spirit himself.
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THE MISSION OF THE TWO BROTHERS
This Bow Clan chief had two grown sons. When they learned of their
father’s misdeed they were very sad. Their knowledge of the
teachings which they had received from him was all in order. Now
they were left alone to lead their people, for the very next day
their father died.
They asked their mother to permit them to carry out the order of
their instructions for an event of this nature. She replied that it
was up to them, for their knowledge was complete. Upon agreement,
the younger brother was to continue in search of Maasau’u, and to
settle where he found him. There he would await the return of this
older brother, who was to travel eastward toward the rising sun,
where he would rest briefly.
While resting, he must listen for the
voice of his younger brother, who would expect him to come to his
aid, for the change in the life pattern will have disrupted the way
of life of his people. Under the pressure of a new ruler they will
surely be wiped off the face of the earth unless he comes.
So today we are still standing firmly on the Great Spirit’s
instructions. We will continue to look and pray toward the East for
his prompt return.
The younger brother warned the elder that the land and the people
“But do not let your heart be troubled,” he said, “for
you will find us. Many will turn away from the life plan of Maasau’u, but a few of us who are true to his teachings will remain
in our dwellings. The ancient character of our heads, the shape of
our houses, the layout of our villages, and the type of land upon
which our village stands, and our way of life. All will be in order,
by which you will find us.”
Before the first people had begun their migrations the people named
Hopi were given a set of stone tablets. Into these tablets the
Spirit inscribed the laws by which the Hopi were to travel and live
the good way of life, the peaceful way. They also contain a warning
that the Hopi must beware, for in time they would be influenced by
wicked people to forsake the life plan of Maasau’u.
It would not be
easy to stand up against this, for it would involve many good things
that would tempt many good people to forsake these laws. The Hopi
would be led into a most difficult position. The stones contain
instructions to be followed in such a case.
The older brother was to take one of the stone tablets with him to
the rising sun, and bring it back with him when he hears the
desperate call for aid. His brother will be in a state of
hopelessness and despair. His people may have forsaken the
teachings, no longer respecting their elders, and even turning upon
their elders to destroy their way of life. The stone tablets will be
the final acknowledgment of their true identity and brotherhood.
Their mother is Sun Clan. They are the children of the sun.
So it must be a Hopi who travelled from here to the rising sun and
is waiting someplace. Therefore it is only the Hopi that still have
this world rotating properly, and it is the Hopi who must be
purified if this world is to be saved. No other person anyplace will
The older brother had to travel fast on his journey for there was
not much time, so the horse was created for him. The younger brother
and his people continued on in search of Maasau’u.
On their way they came to a land that looked fertile and warm. Here
they marked their clan symbols on the rock to claim the land. This
was done by the Fire Clan, the Spider Clan, and the Snake Clan.
This place is know called Moencopi. They did not settle there at
While the people were migrating, Maasau’u was waiting for the first
ones to arrive. In those days he used to take walks near the place
where he lived, carrying a bunch of violet flowers (du-kyam-see) in
his belt. One day he lost them along the way. When he went to look
for them he found that they had been picked up by the Hornytoad
Woman. When he asked her for the flowers she refused to give them
back, but instead gave him her promise that she would help him in
time of need.
“I too have a metal helmet,” she told him, (possibly
meaning that certain people with metal helmets would help the Hopi
when they get into difficulty).
Often Maasau’u would walk about a half mile north of his
du-pa-cha (a type of temporary house) to a place where there lay a long rock
which formed a natural shelter, which he must have picked as the
place where he and the first people would find each other. While
waiting there he would amuse himself by playing a game to test his
skill, the name of which (Nadu-won-pi-kya), was to play an important
part later on in the life of the Hopi, for it was here that the
knowledge and wisdom of the first people was to be tested.
recent times children used to play a similar game there, something
like “hide-and-seek.” One person would hide, then signal by tapping
on the rock, which would transmit the sound in a peculiar way so
that the others could not tell exactly where the tapping was coming
from. (Some years ago this rock was destroyed by government road
builders.) It was here that they found Maasau’u waiting.
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THE MEETING WITH MAASAU’U NEAR ORAIBI
Before the migrations began Maasau’u had let it be known, though
perhaps not by direct instructions, that whoever would find him
first would be the leader there. Later it became clear that this was
a procedure by which their true character would be specified.
When they found him, the people gathered and sat down with him to
talk. The first thing they wanted to know was where he lived. He
replied that he lived just north of there at a place called Oraibi.
For a certain reason he did not name it fully. The full name is
Sip-Oraibi, meaning something that has been solidified, referring to
the fact that this is the place where the earth was made solid.
They asked permission to live there with him. He did not answer
directly, for within them he saw evil.
“It is up to you,” he said.
“I have nothing here. My life is simple. All I have is my planting
stick and my corn. If you are willing to live as I do, and follow my
instructions, the life plan which I shall give you, you may live
here with me, and take care of the land. Then you may have a long,
happy, fruitful life.”
Then they asked him whether he would be their leader, thinking that
thus they would be assured a peaceful life.
“No,” he replied, “the
one who led you here will be the leader until you fulfill your
pattern of life,” (for he saw into their hearts and knew that they
still had many selfish desires).
“After that I will be the leader,
but not before, for I am the first and I shall be the last.”
left all the instructions with them, he disappeared.
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THE FOUNDING OF ORAIBI VILLAGE
The village of Oraibi was settled and built in accordance with the
instructions of the Great Spirit. The Bow Clan chief was the father
of the ceremonial order. They remained under the leadership of the
Bow Clan for some time, perhaps until corruptions set in. As you
recall, the Bow Clan chief of the past had contaminated his standing
by taking part in the changing of the life pattern.
Later the Bear Clan took over. This might have been because the bear
is strong and mighty. There may have been other reasons too, such as
a prophecy which told that a bear, sleeping somewhere in the
northern part of what is now called Europe, would awaken at a
certain time where he would wait. This group is called Bear Clan
because they came across a dead bear at the place of the shield
symbol. Most of the important people claimed to be of the Bear Clan,
including the Bluebird and Spider Clan people.
The vow which we made with the Great Spirit obligated us to follow
His way of life. He gave the land to us to use and care for through
our ceremonial duties. He instructed us and showed us the road plan
by which we must govern our lives. We wrote this pattern on a rock
so that we would always be reminded to follow the straight road. The
Hopi must not drift away from this road or He will take this land
away from us. This is the warning given to us by Maasau’u.
Oraibi village was settled firmly. Migrating people were now
gathering there and asking to be admitted into the village. The Kikmongwi and the high priests would always consider their request
and base their judgment upon their character and wisdom. Those who
showed signs of boastfulness were turned away and told to go to the
south mesas where their kind of people lived. Only good people,
humble and sincere in their prayers, were admitted.
One of these groups was the Coyote Clan, They were coming from
Sh-got-kee (Si-aht-ki), close to Walpi. There were several reasons
they were pointed out as bad people, but they were clever in a way.
At first they were not allowed to join the village.
But when they
made their fourth request they were accepted according to the
custom, and they were admitted with the agreement that they act as a
protection, and that in time of troubles they had to support and
help the spokesman. But they were warned to be cautious. Although,
the devout never torture to the end. And that is the way we had it
with all the clans, because on the way most of us want to cheat or
deceive the leaders to get glory or fame; which leads us to the
point of polluting our way and to shake our beliefs.
The last group that was admitted to Oraibi was the Grey Eagle Clan.
As they finished their migration, they first settled in what today
is called New Mexico. Because they were people who like to make
wars, and trouble makers they were, they were chased away by the
Pueblo Indians there. As they came to this area, they settled at
Mishongovi on Second Mesa, with the condition that they would not
start a quarrel or conflict. If they break this promise, they should
leave without resistance. So, they started another conflict and they
left as promised.
After that they came to Oraibi and asked to be
admitted there. After several attempts they were allowed to come in
under the same promise that they had to give to the other village,
that they would move voluntarily if they started restlessness or
broke their promise. In accordance with this agreement, the leader
of the Village Mishongovi would consider re-accepting them on Second
Mesa, or to send them back to New Mexico where the Pueblo Indians
could do with them what they think is right.
Later, as we were forced to leave the Village Oraibi, and we started
to settle in Hotvela, they came with us, with the same agreement.
That is still in effect today. Again they started restlessness and
they are now obligated to leave. They are the seed of all the
destruction in our village.
They betrayed the Hopi Nation because
they bow before the ones that come with nice words, and through that
they get benefits and advantages. For them, there are just two ways:
the way of the Great Spirit or the way of Bahanna. They are
obligated to go to Mishongovi as agreed. The people over there wait
for them, but they don’t have the courage to do what they promised.
And they hide themselves cowardly behind the man-made law of Bahanna.
Among the ceremonies of each group the prayer for rain was important
in order for the crops to grow and produce an abundance of food. The
people depended on this for their livelihood. Boastful people were
not admitted so that the prayers would not be polluted.
Oraibi was now firmly established. The pattern of the religious
order was established. Cycle by cycle we paid respect to our Mother
Earth, our Father Sun, the Great Spirit, and all things through our
ceremonies. We were happy for we were united as one.
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THE ARRIVAL OF ANOTHER RACE FORETOLD
Time passed on, people passed on, and the prophecies of things to
come were passed from mouth to mouth. The stone tablets and the
writing of the life plan were often reviewed by the elders.
Fearfully they waited as they retold the prophecy that one day
another race of people would appear in their midst and claim our
land as his own.
He would try to change our pattern of life. He
would have a “sweet tongue” or a “fork tongue,” and many good things
by which we would be tempted. He would use force in an attempt to
trap us into using weapons, but we must not fall for this trick, for
then we ourselves would be brought to our knees, from which we might
not be able to rise. Nor must we ever raise our hand against any
We now call these people Bahanna.
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THE FORCES OF PURIFICATION
We have teachings and prophecies informing us that we must be alert
for the signs and omens which will come about to give us courage and
strength to stand on our beliefs. Blood will flow. Our hair and our
clothing will be scattered upon the earth. Nature will speak to us
with its mighty breath of wind.
There will be earthquakes, floods,
and strange fires in different places causing great disasters,
changes in the seasons, and in the weather, disappearance of
wildlife, and famine in different forms. There will be gradual
corruption and confusion among the leaders and the people all over
the world, and wars will come about like powerful winds. All of this
has been planned from the beginning of creation.
We will have three people standing behind us, ready to fulfill our
prophecies when we get into hopeless difficulties: the Meha Symbol
(which refers to a plant that has a long root, milky sap, grows back
when cut off, and has a flower shaped like a swastika, symbolizing
the four great forces of nature in motion), the Sun Symbol, and the
Bahanna’s intrusion into the Hopi way of life will set
the Meha Symbol in motion, so that certain people will work for the
four great forces of nature (the four directions, the controlling
forces, the original force) which will rock the world into war. When
this happens we will know that our prophecies are coming true. We
will gather strength and stand firm.
This great movement will fall, but because its subsistence is milk,
and because it is controlled by the four forces of nature, it will
rise again to put the world in motion, creating another war, in
which both the Meha and the Sun Symbol will be at work. Then it will
rest in order to rise a third time. Our prophecy foretells that the
third event will be the decisive one. Our road plan foretells the
This sacred writing speaks the word of the Great Spirit. It could
mean the mysterious life seed with two principles of tomorrow,
indicating one, inside of which is two. The third and last, which
will it bring forth, purification or destruction?
This third event will depend upon the Red Symbol, which will take
command, setting the four forces of nature (Meha) in motion for the
benefit of the Sun. When he sets these forces in motion the whole
world will shake and turn red and turn against the people who are
hindering the Hopi cultural life.
To all these people Purification
Day will come. Humble people will run to him in search of a new
world, and the equality that has been denied them. He will come
unmercifully. His people will cover the Earth like red ants. We must
not go outside to watch. We must stay in our houses. He will come
and gather the wicked people who are hindering the red people who
were here first. He will be looking for someone whom he will
recognize by his way of life, or by his head (the special Hopi
haircut), or by the shape of his village and his dwellings. He is
the only one who will purify us.
The Purifier, commanded by the Red Symbol, with the help of the Sun
and the Meha, will weed out the wicked who have disturbed the way of
life of the Hopi, the true way of life on Earth. The wicked will be
beheaded and will speak no more. This will be the Purification for
all righteous people, the Earth, and all living things on the Earth.
The ills of the Earth will be cured. Mother Earth will bloom again
and all people will unite into peace and harmony for a long time to
But if this does not materialize, the Hopi traditional identity will
vanish due to pressure from Bahanna. Through the white man’s
influence, his religions, and the disappearance of our sacred land,
the Hopi will be doomed. This is the Universal Plan, speaking
through the Great Spirit since the dawn of time.
With this in mind, I as a Hopi do not make wars against any country,
because if I do, the Purifier will find out and punish me for
fighting. And since I am Hopi, I am not sending my children across
the ocean to fight. If they want to that’s up to them, but they will
no longer be Hopi if they do.
Since I am Sun Clan, and the Sun is the father of all living things,
I love my children. If they realize what I am talking about they
must help me save this world.
The Hopi have been placed on this side of the Earth to take care of
the land through their ceremonial duties, just as other races of
people have been placed elsewhere around the Earth to take care of
Her in their own ways. Together we hold the world in balance,
revolving properly. If the Hopi nation vanishes the motion of the
Earth will become eccentric, the water will swallow the land, the
people will perish, and the ants will inherit the earth. Only a
brother and a sister may be left to start a new life.
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THE FAITHFUL HOPI MEET THEIR TEST
Bahanna came with great ambition and generosity, eagerly offering
his hand to help “improve” our way of life, establishing schools to
teach us the “better ways” of his life. He offered us his medicine
and health practices, saying that this would help us live longer. He
offered to help us mark our boundary, claiming that in that way we
would have more land. In all the villages we rejected his offer. He
tried many ways to induce us, but failed to make us submit to his
wishes, for we were all one unity at that time, believers in the
instructions of Maasau’u.
His next attempt was fear. He formed a police force consisting
partly of certain people who had been tempted by his offers and
given weapons. He threatened to arrest us and put us in prison, but
we still stood firm. The threats of arrest and imprisonment were put
into action. Villages panicked and weaker people began to submit. In
Oraibi, our village leadership fell when Loloma (Bear Clan) made an
agreement with the United States government.
We who still had faith in Maasau’u, including the main priests of
the religious orders, gathered together, rejecting the Kikmongwi’s
request to submit. We sat down together and smoked and prayed that
we would be brave enough to take our stand. We took out our stone
tablet and studied it in every detail. We carefully reviewed the
road plan written on the rock near our village.
This is the plan we
must always follow, for it is in order and complete. We recognized
that the Fire Clan (meaning my father, Yukiuma) must lead, for his
symbol, Maasau’u, stands to the right of the reed as he faces out.
We also interpreted that since our way of life had been corrupted we
must move to a new place where we would be able to follow the road
without interference and continue our ceremonial duties for all
We smoked and prayed again and reconsidered that this village,
Oraibi, is our mother village. All our sacred shrines are rooted
here and must not be left unattended. We knew that the road would be
hard with many obstacles. We knew that we would still be troubled by
the newcomer, and that we must still face all the tests of weakness,
so we agreed to stay.
The trouble commenced its course. The government wanted all of the
Hopi children to be put into schools. They said it would do us good,
but we knew that this “good” would only be on the surface, and that
what was under it would destroy the Hopi cultural life.
thought that with an education the children might be able to help
the old people, but we knew this would not be so, because they would
learn to think as white men, so they would never help the old
people. Instead they would be indoctrinated and encouraged to turn
against us, as they are actually doing today. So in order to be good
according to the Great Spirit’s instructions we refused to put our
children into the schools.
So almost every week they would send policemen, many of them. They
would surround the village and hunt for the children of school age.
We could not be happy because we were expecting trouble every day.
Fathers who refused to cooperate were arrested and imprisoned.
Inhuman acts were imposed upon us, starvation, insults and
humiliation, to force us into submission.
Still, over half of the
clan leaders and religious society leaders refused to accept
anything from the government. Because of this we were mocked and
treated as outcasts by those who had already submitted. Finally they
decided to do something about us because we were keeping them from
getting certain favors from the government.
This was when Loloma’s successor,
Tewaquaptewa, became chief of Oraibi. It was under his leadership
that the sad event, the eviction of the faithful Hopi from Oraibi,
was touched off. Since we “Hostiles,” as we were called by the
missionaries and government workers refused to follow his wishes and
accept the white man’s way of life, he decided to evict us bodily.
He figured that without our interference he would be able to take
advantage of the good things offered by Bahanna.
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THE FAITHFUL HOPI EVICTED FROM ORAIBI
On September 7, 1906, his followers, commanded by chief Tewaquaptewa
himself, entered the house where we were discussing prophesies and
threw us out. We did not resist until rifles and other weapons were
shown and they began beating us. Then we resisted only to the extent
of defending ourselves from injury. I was “killed,” and bleeding, my
blood flowed into Mother Earth, a prophetic sign that the Purifier
was coming in seven days and that we should move out of Oraibi.
I came back to life, all my people were gathered to go. My father,
Yukiuma, was selected to be the leader. The women and children, with
a few belongings on their backs, a little food, and no shoes, were
prepared to leave. Some tried to go back to their houses to get
their valuables and some extra food, but they were turned back. (In
Book of the Hopi, it is said we were allowed to go back and get some
belongings, but this is not true. That book is not accurate.)
we had left, we learned that our houses had been looted and that
horses had been turned loose in our fields and had eaten our crops,
which were just ready for harvest.
Thus we had to migrate once again to find a new home, leaving behind
a corrupt world of confusion. We sought to start a new life, carry
on our ceremonial cycles, and preserve our way of life without
interference, but now we know that this was a dead dream, for the
interference has continued right up to the present day.
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THE FOUNDING OF HOTVELA VILLAGE
The village of Hotvela was settled for one purpose, to stand firmly
on the Great Spirit’s instructions and fulfill the prophecies to the
end. It was established by good people, one-hearted people who were
actually living these instructions.
Water was plentiful, and so was
wood, from which we built temporary shelters in which we were to
survive the cold winter with very few blankets. Food was scarce, but
we managed to live from the land by hunting game and picking greens.
We were united into oneness, but it would again be split into two
due to extreme pressure from the outside.
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Hardly had our footprints faded away in Oraibi, when early one
morning we found ourselves surrounded by government troops. All the
people, including the children, were ordered to march six miles to a
place below Oraibi. From there all the men were marched over forty
miles to the U.S. government agency at Keams Canyon, where they were
imprisoned for about a year and a half for not accepting the
generous offer of education for our children, among other things.
The first thing they ordered us to do was to sign papers. We
refused. Then they locked us inside a building without food and with
very little water for several days until we were very hungry. Again
they tried to induce us to sign papers, promising to feed us and let
us go, but again we refused.
They tried other tricks to make us
sign, but each time we refused. Finally they took us to a blacksmith
shop, where they riveted chains to our legs with loops and hooks,
and fastened us together in pairs. In this way we were forced to
work on a road gang for long hours everyday, working dangerously
with dynamite on the steep rocky cliffs near the agency. That road
is now the foundation of a highway still in use today.
At night we were fastened together in groups of six by means of long
chains. To add to our torture, soap was added to our food, which
made us very sick. When one man had to go the outhouse, all six had
to go. All this time the possibility of signing certain papers was
left open to those who might weaken. During this period my father,
Yukiuma, was being held somewhere else so I was acting as leader.
While we were in prison, only the women and children, and maybe a
few old men, were left out here. They had very little food, but as
if by a miracle, there happened to be a lot of rabbits and other
wild game that winter, so on that meat diet they were able to
survive the hard weather. It was very hard while the men were away.
The old people used to talk about it. The women had to gather the
My mother used to tell me how they would form
hunting parties and get the dogs to help. We had a small flock of
sheep which they tended while we were away. During the growing
season they planted the crops, took care of the fields, and did all
the work that the men would normally do, in order to survive.
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THE DISRUPTION CONTINUES TODAY
During this period a group under the leadership of Kawonumptewa
(Sand Clan), fearing even worse pressure from the government,
returned to Oraibi to follow Tewaquaptewa and accept the white man’s
way, but they were rejected and driven out. They settled about two
miles from Hotvela, where they founded the village of Bacobi. Unable
to make out independently, they asked the government agency for
The agency happily obliged with such things as housing
materials. Now they almost entirely accept the white man’s way,
along with his religion. According to the Great Spirit’s law they
are now landless. Their only assets are their dwellings. But it is
through them that the agency obtained token permission to build a
school on Hotvela land, and with the agency’s backing they have
committed land grabs against the Hotvela people. It is also through
them that the government has built a water tower on Hotvela land,
which supplies running water to the school and to Bacobi village,
while depleting the natural water supply of the Hotvela people.
of the people in Hotvela refuse to use the water from this tower.
Much of the trouble caused by the Bacobi people still exists today.
I can recall much more that I hope will come to light.
At the present time we face the danger that we might lose our land
entirely. Through the influence of the United States government,
some people of Hopi ancestry have organized what they call the Hopi
Tribal Council, patterned according to a plan devised by the
government, for the purpose of negotiating directly with the
government and with private businesses.
They claim to act in the
interests of the Hopi people, despite the fact that they ignore the
existing traditional leaders, and represent only a small minority of
the people of Hopi blood. Large areas of our land have been leased,
and this group is now accepting compensation from the Indian Claims
Commission for the use of 44,000,000 acres of Hopi land. We have
protested all these moves, but to no avail.
Now this Tribal Council was formed illegally, even according to
white man’s laws. We traditional leaders have disapproved and
protested form the start. In spite of this they have been organized
and recognized by the United States government for the purpose of
disguising its wrongdoings to the outside world. We do not have
representatives in this organization, nor are we legally subject to
their regulations and programs.
We Hopi are an independent sovereign
nation, by the law of the Great Spirit, but the United States
government does not want to recognize the aboriginal leaders of this
land. Instead, he recognizes only what he himself has created out of
today’s children in order to carry out his scheme to claim all of
Because of this, we now face the greatest threat of all, the actual
loss of our cornfields and gardens, our animals and wild game, and
our natural water supply, which would put an end to the Hopi way of
life. At the urging of the Department of the Interior of the United
States, the Tribal Council has signed several leases with an outside
private enterprise, the Peabody Coal Company, allowing them to
explore our land for coal deposits, and to strip-mine the sacred
mesas, selling the coal to several large power plants.
This is part
of a project intended to bring heavy industry into our area against
our wishes. We know that this will pollute the fields and grazing
lands and drive out the wildlife. Great quantities of water will be
pumped from beneath our desert land and used to push coal through a
pipe to a power plant in another state (Nevada). The loss of this
water will affect our farms as well as the grazing areas of the
animals. It also threatens our sacred springs, our only natural
source of water, which we have depended upon for centuries.
We Hopi knew all this would come about, because this is the
Universal Plan. It was planned by the Great Spirit and the Creator
that when the white man came he would offer us many things. If we
were to accept those offers from his government, that would be the
doom of the Hopi nation.
Hopi is the bloodline of this continent, as
others are the bloodline of other continents. So if Hopi is doomed,
the whole world will be destroyed. This we know, because this same
thing happened in the other world. So if we want to survive, we
should go back to the way we lived in the beginning, the peaceful
way, and accept everything the Creator has provided for us to
White man’s laws are many, but mine is one. White man’s laws are all
stacked up. So many people have made the rules, and many of them are
made every day. But my law is only the Creator’s, just one. And no
man-made law must I follow, because it is ever-changing, and will
doom my people.
We know that when the time comes, the Hopi will be reduced to maybe
one person, two person, three persons. If he can withstand the
pressure from the people who are against the tradition, the world
might survive from destruction We are at the stage where I must
stand alone, free from impure elements. I must continue to lead my
people on the road the Great Spirit made for us to travel. I do not
All who are faithful and confident in the Great
Spirit’s way are at liberty to follow the same road. We will meet
many obstacles along the way. The peaceful way of life can be
accomplished only by people with strong courage, and by the
purification of all living things. Mother Earth’s ills must be
As we say, the Hopi are the first people created. They must cure the
ills of their own bloodline so everything will become peaceful
naturally, by the will of the Creator. He will cure the world. But
right now Hopi is being hurt. To us this is a sign that the world is
in trouble. All over the world the confused people have been
fighting, and it will get worse. It is only purification of the Hopi
that will settle the problems here on this Earth. We didn’t suffer
all this hardship and punishment for nothing. We live by these
prophecies and teachings, and no matter what happens, we will not
buckle down under any pressure from anybody.
We know certain people are commissioned to bring about the
Purification. It is the Universal Plan from the beginning of
creation, and we are looking up to them to bring purification to us.
It is in the rock writings throughout the world, on different
continents. We will come together if people all over the world know
about it. So we urge you to spread this word around so people will
know about it, and the appointed ones will hurry up with their task,
to purify the Hopi and get rid of those who are hindering our way of
I have spoken. I wish this message to travel to all corners of this
land and across the great waters, where people of understanding may
consider these words of wisdom and knowledge. This I want. For
people may have different opinions about some things, but because of
the nature of the beliefs upon which the Hopi life is based, I
expect that at least one will agree, maybe even two. If three agree
it will be worth many fold.
I am forever looking and praying eastward to the rising sun for my
true white brother to come and purify the Hopi. My father, Yukiuma,
used to tell me that I would be the one to take over as leader at
this time, because I belong to the Sun Clan, the father of all the
people on the Earth. I was told that I must not give in, because I
am the first. The Sun is the father of all living things from the
first creation. And if I am done, the Sun Clan, then there will be
no living thing left on the Earth. So I have stood fast. I hope you
will understand what I am trying to tell you.
I am the Sun, the father. With my warmth all things are created. You
are my children, and I am very concerned about you. I hold you to
protect you from harm, but my heart is sad to see you leaving my
protecting arms and destroying yourselves. From the breast of your
mother, the Earth, you receive your nourishment, but She is to
dangerously ill to give you pure food. What will it be? Will you
lift your father’s heart? Will you cure your mother’s ills? Or will
you forsake us and leave us with sadness, to be weathered away?
don’t want this world to be destroyed. If this world is saved, you
all will be saved, and whoever has stood fast will complete this
plan with us, so that we will all be happy in the Peaceful Way.
People everywhere must give Hopi their most serious consideration,
our prophecies, our
teachings, and our ceremonial duties, for if Hopi fails, it will
trigger the destruction
of the world and all mankind. I have spoken through the mouth of the
Great Spirit guide you on the right path.
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