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Traditional Hopi on Global Instability

March 28, 2006 by  
Filed under Voices from the Land

Traditional Hopi, Keeper of the Sacred Stone Tablets: “Sovereignty Dishonored and Global Instability Evolving”

Hotevilla Pueblo, Hopi Independent Nation (via Arizona, USA), March 25, 2006. One of the last original and traditional Hopi Kwimongwi wanted to speak to the world despite the lack of any media attention. Martin Gashweseoma walks into his neighbor’s stone house with a canvas bag which is full of papers as he takes his place next to two young Swedish ladies who were gathering material for a radio program.

Martin is 83 years old but he has the spirit of a 40 year old. His eyes gleam with alertness and excitement as he says, “I must tell our Hopi story in a proper way.” He pulls out sheets of pages which show hieroglyphic interpretations of Hopi ancient journeys or migrations and the experiences of lessons learned throughout time. “It is amazing too,” Martin mentioned, “that the Mayan records and prophecies are the same as the Hopis’.” Martin struggles with his English since he never had any American schooling but he gets his information across with the broken English.

He refers to his life dedication to Hopi well-being and survival as his “career.” In the foregoing experts, I will share excerpts to convey his messages about the traditional Hopi perspectives about the coal mining at Black Mesa, the effects of the so-called “Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute,” and the state of the world. I will provide a slightly edited version but still keep Martin’s words original. Note also that, when you ask traditional Dineh or Hopis questions about U.S. anti-Indian or anti-environment policies, their answers will be explanations of their ancient natural-order-of-life. Why? Well, because they can’t read English and America is still foreign to them. This supreme order-of-life they feel is being violated and destroyed, and it is an order so important that everyone of this modern world must hear about.

Martin Gashweseoma:

“Throughout my career, I have made prayers everyday to the east direction and sometimes, I get up at midnight to pray to Great Spirit. Then at times, I might walk around this whole village because I wanted my Hopi relatives to have a peaceful life, have plenty of crops and water, have good health, and that they all remain on the Hopi path.” (Hopi means People of Peace.)

“On a few occasions, I would go down to the sacred spring below here in the early mornings to splash the cold water all over me. I have done that during the winter time, even, and steam would come off my skin. This was a ritual to make my heart ‘bigger.’

“In recent years, certain Hopis started talking about me that I might be doing something bad like evil things. These suspicions kept growing among some village folks. So, I decided to stop carrying out my career. I finally told some of the people, ‘it must be time for the suspicious ones to start making the prayers and we like to see how they will make it better for Hopi.’

“I used to drive my truck to my cornfield and sheep corral, also. Then one time I got stopped by a Hopi police. He told me that I can only drive with a special license and if I don’t have that then I must stop driving. I asked the police, ‘since when have the Hopis made such an agreement?’ I asked because I am from sovereign Hopi nation. The police had no answer. I went to court and asked the judge the same question –no answer. Later, the judge told me my case was referred to the Arizona’s highway police agency. Maybe they will refer it to Washington capital. Maybe I will just be arrested someday. Now, I have stopped driving and just walk or get a ride.

“I used to have about 200 sheep. Those got stolen and some got confiscated by the Rangers. So, I sold the remaining sheep herd because of all this and because I can’t drive to the corral anymore.

“Today, many of my fellow Hopis mistrust me because I believe old ways. I am so much hated for my career that I have practiced. Now, I only speak to those who want to listen to Hopi Way. I only give the original Hopi information to those who want to help their people live in a natural ways. Sometime my dream tells me about visitors coming and I meet them. The information I share is Not for Sale! It is free so that the world may understand and start praying to save their relations and family. Perhaps, we can stop the on-ward motion to a destructive future. So, don’t sell this information for money.

“It has been recorded in Hopi history about past times when societies went astray and at times the outcomes were disastrous. We have learned from those times of punishment and so Hopi path has been kept, always. There had been reoccurring events and figures that have brought atrocities like the Spaniards and Columbus. Today’s world power is the reoccurrence of Christopher Columbus, –the Sergeant of Arms. That is why on the hieroglyphs it has many teeth because it is, now, eating its own soldiers.

“The modern world has experienced two major wars. World War I was to have war over world regions. World War II was for establishing world power. What is beginning now is the Third World War and if you compare this to the Nazi regime of World War II, this time it could be way more destructive and could be fought everywhere. The hieroglyphs show this executioner holding three arrows which represents the world wars. The figure being bounded is Us. We, who are powerless today, are represented here bound and cover in blood, and the executioner is covered with blood, too. You see?

“The traditional Hopi Kwimongwis have tried to say, ‘We are at the last stage.’ So, in the past and when society went astray, they only took one destructive path. Today, world societies are taking four destructive paths: there is the use of religious crusades, forced welfare dependencies, pollution of our water and foods, and there are followers of the supreme Sergeant of Arms. The Sergeant of Arms will bring the computers –a machine, and these machines will be the judges –judging Us. Also, they will make marshall law of unimaginable portions just like if we are seeing talking like this, we will all be arrested. This is what the current evolving war could be like if it is allowed to continue onward.

“This kind of prophecy was known among the traditional elders. It is not only us who can foretell of the future. Animals can also tell or try to speak to us. On this portion of the hieroglyphs, here, it shows the mountain and the serpent next to it. The snake speaks like a human telling about bad things to come. It is just like the story that you told me about the people at Big Mountain seeing rattle snakes. The rattle snakes are already coming out and it is not even hot, yet! [Naturally, rattle snakes come out of hibernation at a constant daily temperature of 70? F and not at 56? F.]

“The section back here, on the hieroglyph shows, the Sun and Earth. This is saying climate will not be normal. One day it will be snowing and cold, and the next day it might be hot. Weather will change from one extreme to another extreme so fast. So, the rattle snake on the Mountain you speak about is saying: ‘Be very careful on your journeys! Don’t travel by yourselves. Or else make prayers because something bad is about to happen…’

“The Hopis during the times when the Navajos were put in the death camps (1862-1868), my ancestors used special but prohibited ceremonies to help free the Navajos from that hell. Now, Black Mesa Navajos are trying but they must not allow coal mining to continue. If the Navajos defeat themselves and allow coal mining to continue, we Hopis will begin to vanish away. It is the Navajos’ turn to save the Hopis from hell! There is still hope that they might, but I am just waiting. Navajos must do something so the Hopis can still have medicines, water, game, and wood of Black Mesa. If coal mining takes it all, we will have no place to get our water or medicines.

“What are my hopes for the future you asked? There is none. We are at the end. It is time for Us all to decide how we make the relationship with our Mother Earth. That has to be decided. Her water is polluted as well as Her air. Thus, our crops don’t get the rains nor snow anymore. The crops just die. The future? There is no more Hopi (People of Peace). We are under the control of the federal government.

“But lets not put our (ancient) religion aside. Keep praying in whatever way you can. This is all the information I want to send out. Maybe, you can share this with your people back in your country. Thank you.”

[End of Excerpts.]

Myself, I belong to the Dineh (Navajos) of Big Mountain. The Hopi elders have always been my teachers as well as my inspiration. They continue to be –the few that are left. With this awareness, I have never heard of a “Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute.” I have only heard about it from Peabody Coal Company and its federally recognized, tribal councils.

Furthermore, the hatred towards and the attacks on traditional wisdom has become rampant. You hear of elder abuses on the rez. I have even seen it: the disrespect and abuses of traditional elders. Elders are no longer seen as the wise directors of spiritual events. Today’s modern Indians are using concepts of “being Indian” by taking shortcuts to a self-proclaimed identity known as, heritage. This heritage encompasses U.S. military endeavors or service, the ‘american’ Indian, and the indulgences of being seen only as the romanticized Indian image. The gap has widened between the land-based/aboriginal traditions and the contemporary neo-traditions.

Thank you for listening and for your support.

To All Our Relations.


Sheep_Dog_Nations Rocks, formerly Unpopular Activist Page, March 2006

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