Monday, March 2, 2009

Navajo-Hopi “Land Dispute.” What Dispute?! A Revisit to the Old Hopi Voice.

[Note by Sheep Dog Nation: Following are excerpts from the late, traditional Hopi elder, and I first heard about him when I attended a long meeting in Kykotsmovi in the late 1970s. The traditionals at that time were part of the Navajo-Hopi Unity Committee and were trying to stop the (modern) Hopi council from accepting a Land Claims payment. This Claim would affect the Dineh in combination with the Peabody occupation. I was there not only because Kii Shey (Big Mtn. Leader & member of the N-HUC) asked me to attend but also because a couple of the Hopi elders invited me. One elder from Hotevilla brought in a little film projector that evening and mounted on a tiny reel of film strip.

It was on a silent 8mm film that I saw Dan leading a group of mostly women who were jumping into a long ditch with pipes and machinery nearby. There were a good number of police and officials with haircuts and suits that were observing or addressing the crowd. Another scene showed Chief Dan overseeing people and mostly women again with shovels digging at tall telephone poles. A pole falls into the sandy ground and the film shows the women with big smiles and jumping in celebration. The elders later told me that that was from 1964 when the new and modern Hopi council tried to bring water, sewer lines, and electricity into Hotevilla. Also this was the first time (I hadn’t be expose too much to “civilization,” yet) that I heard the elders mention a Hopi way of resistance: non-violent and civil disobedience.

For some strange reason today in the early 21st century, we don’t hear much from the traditional Hopis. Not much about how they may feel about their neighbor Dineh being relocated and threatened. So, here are parts of Chief Dan’s message from around 1970 when he was about 105 years old. –Sheep Dog Nation, 2009]

Hopi Peoples’ History & Prophecies: (Excerpts of Dan Katchongva’s Message.)

By Dan Katchongva, Sun Clan (Ca. 1865-1972) Translated by Danaqyumptewa


Time passed on, people passed on and prophecies of things to come were passed from mouth to mouth. The stone tablets and the rock 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 "sweet-tongue" or a "fork-tongue," and many good things by which we would be tempted. He would us e 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 nation. We now call these people Bahanna.


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 here first. He will be looking for someone whom recognize by his way of life or by his head (the special Hopi hair cut), or the by 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 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 come.

But if this does not materialize, the Hopi traditional identity will vanish due to pressure from Bahanna. Through the whiteman'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.


On September 7, 1906 his followers, commanded by chief Tewaquaptewa himself, entered the house where discussing prophesies and us threw 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 knocked unconscious. When I came to, all my people were gathered to go. My father, Yukiuma, was selected to be the leader. The women and children, 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 no accurate.) After 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 discontinued right up to the present day.


The village of Hotevilla 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.


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. This is in error, for we laid our aboriginal claim to all of this land long before the newcomers ever set foot upon it. We do not recognize man-made boundaries. We true Hopi are obligated to the Great Spirit never to cut up our land, nor to sell it. For this reason we have never signed any treaty or other document releasing this land. We have protested all these moves, but to no avail.

Now this Tribal Council was formed illegally, even according to whiteman's laws. We traditional leaders have disapproved and protested from the start. In spite of this they have been organized and recognized by the United States Government for the purpose of disguising its wrong-doings 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 the what he himself has created out of today's children in order to carry out his scheme to claim all of our land.

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 powerplants. 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 powerplant 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 whiteman 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 follow.

Whiteman's laws are many, but mine is one. Whiteman'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 manmade 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 persons, 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 continue to lead my people on the road the Great Spirit made for us to travel. I do not disregard anyone. 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 cured.

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 they have been fighting, and it will get worse. Only purification of the Hopi from disruptive elements 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 life.

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 this Hopi life is based, I expect that at least one will agree, maybe even two. If three agree it will be worth manyfold.

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 this Hopi life is based, I expect that at least one will agree, maybe even two. If three agree it will be worth manyfold.

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