A Hopi Girl Learns to Pick Piñon Nuts

Where is the Piñon Nut?

The fall equinox marks a turning back of Tawa, Father Sun towards the southern house on the horizon. It is time to get on the road to go to a favorite juniper piñon picking spot in the high country.  This Hopi human activity is called “tu va po’ pong töh”. 

This year there is a bumper crop. In the old days, when travel was by wagon, families could not go too far from the Hopi villages. Today, we can get to places like the Grand Canyon in a couple of hours where the picking is better.

This weekend was special as it is the first time that my granddaughter will experience piñon picking. She is almost four years old and anxiously packed lunch in her “pack-pack” to go to the “big tum bak’ (canyon)”.

Mother Nature’s Gift

A childhood memory of gathering green juniper piñon cones, baking and removing piñon nuts from the cones was a family affair. Several families traveled by wagon to the high country. Once a good site was found, the men would set up the camp tents and the women would set up the cooking stoves. A campfire provided light and warmth in the camps.

Early the next morning, canvas tarps would be spread under the trees and the men would climb the trees. After much shaking and beating of the branches with sticks, the green cones would fall on the tarp. The women would gather the cones in bags. It was sticky business, as the piñon tree pitch would get on your skin, clothes and hair. Everyone was black by the end of the day!

Raining Piñons!

After a couple of days many bags of cones were gathered. Then the men would start digging a deep pit. Everyone gathered wood and a fire was made in the pit. After a few hours the pit was hot enough and the bags of green cones was dumped into the pit and covered up with branches, tarp and sand. The cones slowly cooked in the pit overnight.

On the third day, after the pit cooled, the green cones split open to reveal the piñon nuts inside the cone. The women would only have to hit the cones to remove the piñon nuts. By the fourth day, a few bags of cooked piñon nuts would be ready to take back home. Everything was packed in the wagons and the families started back home to the village with filled stomachs and healthy, nutritious piñon nuts.

Today, we still use the piñon nuts as a staple food source to prepare Hopi dishes, grease the piki stone, and as payment to the storyteller to tell us a good Hopi story in the winter months.  Each piñon nut is special because you can only pick one at a time and it takes many hours to fill a small bucket. Woe is one who picks last year’s piñons that are empty of seed meat.

Here at the Grand Canyon, the tourists whiz by and wonder what those Indians are doing on the side of the road. There are many tribal people here today, patiently searching under the juniper trees for the dark colored piñon nuts that fall hourly from the cones high in the trees. This human activity has been practiced by native peoples in this place since time immemorial. 

Öng tup ka

When you go to the store and get sticker shock at the price of piñon or pine nuts, just remember that someone picked each nut by hand, one by one while being poked with cacti, tree branches, sticky with piñon pitch and all other discomforts of working on all fours on the ground for hours!

Just eat the piñon nuts and savor the taste. We only get the privilege of gathering and eating piñon nuts when Mother Nature decides that we deserve her gift of natural food from the land, once again. 

My granddaughter ate more piñons than she picked but a new memory is now fixed in her mind. Try piñon picking with your family this year. There is plenty for everyone.

Hopi Girl Finds the BIG Canyon

*This story may be used by teachers in the classroom. Webmaster MFredericks, 9/30/2020

A Hopi Kernel of Truth

Orayvi Warrior, by B.Stewart

Every good Hopi story starts with a kernel of truth. A burro, a Hopi maiden and slave traders are kernels in this story.

The dates of this story are fluid. It could have been 1846 or 1866. In Hopi memory, it was only yesterday so other facts are more important. Here are three versions.

Historic Orayvi Village, Third Mesa

The Slave Traders

In the Hopi ceremonial calendar time of Soyal (the Prayer Feather Making Time) in the month of December, a New Mexico military militia camped outside of Orayvi on their return from the north. The Hopis were wary of this bunch and shared their food to hurry them along. The next day as the ceremonial priests were entering the kiva, the New Mexicans fired on, killed four Hopi men and seized a number of children and a mature, married woman.

Imagining an Indian Child, Artist unknown

The Hopi Maiden

Qa ö mana, Corn Maiden of the Paaqapngyam (Bamboo) Clan lived in the Hopi village or “Oriva” (Orayvi).  In life, she bore a U shaped scar on her face from the kick of a burro that she was tied to when New Mexican slave traders stole her as a child. Her life was determined when the government took unprecedented action to find and return Corn Maiden and eleven other Hopi captive children to their parents.

The Burro

The mode of travel for the New Mexicans were burros that were tied together in a pack train. One burro was ornery and had a hard kick. Especially with a squirming human on its back.

The pack train Burro

A Historian’s Version

Robert J. Torrez, a former New Mexico State Historian reports his research on the  “predatory band” of a militia company who acted “without authority” to raid the Hopi Village of Orayvi in 1866.  A.B. Norton, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for New Mexico reported that an informant Antonio Sierra provided the names of twenty-one men who carried out the raid. They were from El Rito, Abiquiu’, Conejos, Arroyo Seco, Ojo Caliente, Pueblo of Taos, Rincon and Chama. Many questions remain today. Who were these men? What are their names?  Who are their descendents? Who were their slaves? Hopi Tutuveni, August 5, 2020 edition, “The 1866 Attack on Oraibi”.

Edmond Nequatewa’s Version

Wikvaya, the captive woman’s husband and Badger Clan relatives met in the Badger Clan (Honan) kiva to ceremonially plan an undertaking to rescue the Hopi captives. Armed with ceremonial war medicine and three Rio Grande guides, Wikvaya and other Hopi men travelled on foot to Santa Fe to meet with the acting Governor, W.F.M. Arny who issued an Executive Order to all Sheriffs in the territory to assist Special Agent John Ward to recover the children. Masavema told an eyewitness account to Nequatewa, as he was one of the children that was stolen. The family that he was sold to named him “Juan”. He died in 1939. “Hopi History”, Museum of Northern Arizona, January 1951.

Robert J. Torrez reports that the slave raiders found a ready market for their captives and they were scattered in many directions to Tierra Amarilla, Ojo Caliente, El Rito, Arroyo Seco and Conejos in Colorado. All the captives were recovered and returned back into the arms of their Hopi parents.

My Clan Version

Our Clan uncle, Edwin Qotskuyva’s grandmother was the young captive, Qaömana, Corn Maiden. The Paaqapngyam (Bamboo) Clan matriarchs are three sisters: Corn Maiden, Snake Maiden and Poyayumka who form the three branches of our clan relatives living on Third Mesa today. Corn Maiden’s distinctive scar on her face was a visible reminder of the harshness of life in the 1800s as the Hopi strived to maintain their culture, traditions and ceremonies in spite of racial injustices and genocide of the time.

Today, racial injustice is still being practiced by the dominant society against Native American women who are victims of violence, murdered or missing and continue to be part of human trafficking in the U.S., Canada and South America. Many parents are searching for their children. https://nyti.ms/2EPhav7

Masavema said that Qaömana does not like to tell this story. She said, “I have no use for kustila (Mexicans) and she meant it.” Despite her hardship, “she was a good hearted woman and was always ready to give you something to eat.” The surprise is that Qaömana later married Masavema, two children whose parents used all their wits, prayers and magic to save them. Usqwali, Thank You to the government agents who went beyond the call of duty to assist the Hopi people.

Both of these Hopi clan relatives became kernels in a sad but interesting Hopi story of survival.

May not be reprinted without permission. By Webmaster, MFredericks

A Promise Kept…

A Sacred Landscape

“It made me cry. A powerful moment. It was just a promise kept. I still get chills thinking about it.” said Jason Salsman following a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding Indigenous Treaty Rights. New York Times

Where ever you are in the Americas, you are on Indian Land.” wrote Sakiestewa-Gilbert (Hopi) in his blog, Beyond The Mesas. I would like to play forward this truth and U.S. history that was upheld by the highest Court of “the Land”.

Look. What do you see – cars, houses, businesses, churches, casinos, skyscrapers, freeways and people of all races, coming and going.

Little reminds us that there were those who lived here before us since time immemorial.

A Hopi Village

Long ago, my ancestors, The People, walked this land, lived and built a civilization on the Colorado Plateau.

How do I know this? I know, because I see the petroglyphs, pictographs and ancestral sites that remind me of the long forgotten memory of The Land.

Hopi Clan Identity Markings

Here, among the Hopi mesas, springs, cottonwood trees and butterflies, the ancestors lived a life that gave them meaning and purpose.

When something special in our life is destroyed or taken away, we mourn the loss. Loss may be when we neglect or forget a special person, place or thing. It can return to us as a remembering. A re-membering of the memories. 

This Land has a memory. Are you willing to listen to what the Land is saying to us now?

The Sentinels

Listen.

Many of you were born here on this sacred land and will pass on here. Some of you came from other places and now have a life here. Some of you are briefly stopping off here and will move on to other lands.

This place or space is a Shelter, a safe place to raise a family, to grow crops, to build a community, and to celebrate a spiritual center. The land is sacred.  You, make it sacred with your memories.

Listen. It has been a mere blink of an eye that this continent was settled. As you walk this land you find an arrowhead, a pottery sherd, a rock cairn, a pictograph that tells you, Someone was here before you.

T-Door Portal to Life

Where did they live. What did they eat. How did they travel.  What did they fear. What dangers did they face. Who was this person who left this piece of the past.

Look. As you walk, you are not alone. You are moving with your twin brother or sister. You clearly see that this is so. Memories at your feet, in front of you, behind you.

As you walk, you drink in the fresh, cool air, the spring water, the songs of the bird people, see the tracks of the animal people, the shooting stars and maybe, hear absolute silence.  

This is Harmony. Like an ancient yucca rope, the harmonization of The People to The Land are parallel narratives to be braided together for a continuous pathway, creating special memories on the land. 

Whatever hat you wear today, we are only visitors to this special place. How can you do your part in the remembering. To preserve and protect the memory of The Land. To create new memories for your children, grandchildren and future generations.

The Land. 

Our Earth Mother. 

SHE is under Our Watch now. 

You are Her Caretaker. 

Listen.

Solstice in a Hopi Village

Tawa, Hopi Solar Spirit

Tawa, Our Father, Star at the Center of the Solar System, peeked out through a notch on a mountain of Black Mesa in the eastern horizon of Bacavi Village. First came his forehead. Then a fan headdress of light formed over his head. As his face slowly emerged, the light beams streamed below the disc and spread out over the land to my feet. 

Tawa has again reached his house in the NE and now turns back on his journey to his house in the SE. We are blessed.

At the same time, in the Southern Hemisphere, Tawa is going home, setting in the world below and the people and life of the ancestors are beginning a new day.

I stood in awe at the edge of the cliff face above Bacavi Village, watching this new day of our human existence unfold. We are blessed.

Then a slide down the trail to the Paaqavi spring. A drinking pool for the birds. Carved stone steps. Well trod trails. Quiet.

A small terrace garden. Corn, tomatoes, chilies. A prayer for rain.

Water Dripping…

A Hopi Solstice Blessing for You, our friends. Usqwalli.

A Hopi Letter to A President of the United States

Badge of the Hopi Nation

If in anyway you decide that this does not agree with your ways, you must not drive yourself to doing it. I want you to be happy doing, in return, I will be happy” Dan Katchongva, Hopi

August 4, 1970

Dear Mr. President:

We, the True and Traditional religious leaders, recognized as such by the Hopi People, maintain full authority over all land and life contained within the Western Hemisphere. We are granted our stewardship by virtue of our instruction as to the meaning of Nature, Peace and Harmony, as spoken to our People by Him, known to us as Maasau’u, the Great Spirit, who long ago provided for us the sacred stone tablets which we preserve to this day. For many generations before the coming of the white man, for many generations before the coming of the Navajo, the Hopi People have lived in that sacred place known to you as the Southwest, and known to us to be the spiritual center of our continent. Those of us the Hopi Nation who have followed the path of the Great Spirit without compromise, have a message which we are committed, through our prophecy, to convey to you.

Maasau’u

The white man, through his insensitivity to the way of Nature, has desecrated the face of Mother Earth. The white man’s advance technological capacity has occurred as a result of his lack of regard for the spiritual path and for the way of all living things. The white man’s desire for material possession and power has blinded him to the pain he has caused Mother Earth by his quest for what he calls natural resources. All over the country, the waters have been tainted, the soil broken and defiled, and the air polluted. Living creatures die from poisons left because of industry. And the path of the Great Spirit has become difficult to see by almost all men, even by many Indians, who have chosen instead to follow the path of the white men.

We have accepted the responsibility designated by our prophecy to tell you that almost all life will stop unless men come to know that everyone must live in Peace and in Harmony with Nature. Only those people who know the secrets of Nature, the Mother of us all, can overcome the possible destruction of all land and life.

Hopi Footprints

Today, the sacred lands where the Hopi live are being desecrated by men who seek coal and water from our soil that they may create more power for the white man’s cities. This must not be allowed to continue, for if it does, Mother Nature will react in such a way that almost all men will suffer the end of life as they now know it. The Great Spirit said not to allow this to happen even as it was prophecied to our ancestors. The Great Spirit said not to take from the Earth – not to destroy living things. The Great Spirit, Maasu’u, said that man was to live in Harmony and maintain a good clean land for all children to come. All Hopi People and other Indian brothers are standing on this religious principle, and the Traditional Spiritual Unity Movement today is endeavoring to reawaken the spiritual nature in the Indian people throughout this land. Your government has almost destroyed our basic religion which actually is a way of life for all our people in this land of the Great Spirit. We feel that to survive the coming Purification Day, we must return to the basic religious principles and to meet together on this basis as leaders of our people.

Today, almost all the prophecies have come to pass. Great roads like rivers pass along the landscape; man talks to man through the cobwebs of his telephone lines; man travels along the roads in the sky in his airplane; two great wars have been waged by those bearing the swastika or the rising sun, man is tampering with the Moon and the Stars. Most men have strayed from the path shown us by the Great Spirit. For Maasau’u alone is great enough to portray the correct way back to Him.

It is said by the Great Spirit that if a gourd of ashes is dropped upon the Earth, that many men will die and that the end of this way of life is near at hand. We interpret this as the dropping of the atomic boom on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We do not want to see this happen to any place or any nation again, but instead we should turn all this energy for peaceful purpose and not for war.

Mysteries of the Land

We, the religious leaders and rightful spokesmen for the Hopi Independent Nation, have been instructed by the Great Spirit to express the invitation to the President of the United States and all spiritual leaders everywhere to meet with us and discuss the welfare of mankind so that Peace, Unity and Brotherhood will become part of men everywhere. 

Sincerely, 

Hopi Traditional Village Leaders

Mrs. Mina Lansa, Oraibi

Claude Kawangyawma, Sungopavy

Starlie Lomayaktewa, Mushongnovi

Dan Katchongva, Hotevilla

For a full understanding of the Hopi concepts of Life expressed in this letter, read “HOPI, A Message For All People: by Dan Katchongva, printed by AKWESASNE NOTES, Mohawk Nation of Rooselveltown, N. Y. 13683, 1973, 1973 editions.

“I da’ muy uu ma hep num ya – We are the ones you have been looking for” a Hopi saying.

KoKoPehLö Procession Petroglyph Panel

KoKoPehLö Procession Panel

What is “Art”, if not something that tugs at your heart and soul?

I am home sheltering at our small family house in Bacavi Village on the Hopi Reservation. It is quiet, and the dogs come to visit for a treat. The Cloud People have been visiting us for the last few days so it is cool and shady on and off during the day. I took advantage of the diffuse light to take a hike to my favorite petroglyph site nearby.

Dawa Park or “Tawaki, the House of the Sun” is the Hopi Place name of a U shaped canyon on the Hopi Reservation. It is said that Tawaki is one of the largest rock art sites in the Southwest. There are hundreds of rock images in this canyon. The rock images reflect a span of linear time of thousands of years in what modern researchers call Archaic, Basket Maker and Ancestral Puebloan cultures.

This natural amphitheatre is shaped like a horseshoe. It opens to the Southeast. It is a place of “gatherings”, a place where “events of life take place” wrote S. Momaday.

Stand quietly and allow the placing into your breath, vision and body. Turn Left to the East Summer Solstice Marker, Turn Right to the West Winter Solstice Marker. At the lower end see celestial events of past times as the Star Blowers breathe the stars and planets into creation. Behind you are two rock sentinels, one seeming to resemble a female with breasts and pregnant middle.

Of the hundreds of images that you will find here is the familiar “kokopehlö”.  Most people have been mislead by the commercialization of this image to call the image “flute player”.  For Hopi, it is an insect-like spirit, “Maa hu” similar to a Locust or Cicada that embodies sound making capabilities. Theories about this image is that it emerged around 800 C.E. and might represent “Puchteca” an Aztec or Toltec trader from Central America. It is here at Tawaki that one is visually treated to many different styles of kokopehlö.

My intention was to look for a procession of kokopehlö that my sister found in an area outside of the U. I bushwhacked my way through the nettles and scanned the rock faces with my binoculars. A hawk, screeched above me, scolding me for the intrusion. I found several kokopehlö images, two with the butterfly whorl hairdos. Finally, I climbed up a shelf of stone and right before my eyes was what I was looking for!

#2 in procession

#3 in procession

#4 in procession

In a hidden V shape nook of the cliff face, is an exquisite procession of eight kokopehlö. It took my breath away as I visually absorbed the images and the meaning of their existence in the Hopi Lifeways.

#5 in procession

I climbed higher and greedily examined each kokopehlö individually. The fifth image, about 12 inches high, was interesting as it was evident that there was continued grinding or smoothing of the backside on this image, leaving an indentation or depression in the rock face. I sat and breathed in stories and songs, meaning flooded my eyes, ears and heart.

Black on grey pottery

There were pieces of black on grey pottery below this petroglyph panel.

There are many breath taking images to see at Tawaki and the brain is easily overloaded but if you take your time and focus on just a few, to enjoy the hidden meaning and know that time is not past, but present.

Run!

Catch Me!

This little couple is my personal favorite. They appear to be male and female. One is on one face of a rock and the other is just inches on the opposite side of the rock face. The male is chasing the female. She is pretending to hide, waiting to be caught. This is a never-ending male-female dance of the ages. Is what I think…

Fellow Visitor

As a visitor, one can only visit Tawaki with a permitted Hopi guide. All of the Hopi Reservation is closed to visitors in this time of Covid-19 virus pandemic. Sharing my visit to the Kokopehlö Procession Panel will bring us much closer in understanding.

© Please do not republish or copy without the express permission of Paaqavi Inc. Webmaster.

A Time of Great Sickness

Hopi Katsina Point

Today, on Third Mesa it is quiet. No cars are sounding on Highway 264. One has to wait in line to go into the only store, Kykotsmovi Village Store and buy up to a limit. Is the delivery truck going to make the one run this week to Hopi to bring essentials like toilet paper, potatoes, flour, beans and diapers? Only the sand whirling in the plaza knows.

Like every small rural community in Northern Arizona we are impacted by the Shelter-In-Place orders by the Hopi and Navajo Tribal Governments. Someone we know or the next-door community is rumored to have a positive Covid-19 test. We don’t really know, only what is passed by word of mouth.

Family members continually remind each other to “stay put”! Wash your hands. Leave the letters from your mailbox outside for a day or so. Designate one person to drive into Flagstaff to buy groceries. We forget and resort back to our bad habits. So self-quarantine is hit and miss.

Hopi Maidenhood

My family history is shaped by the other Pandemic of 1918. During this time, communications was by wagon and horseback. Children who were in boarding schools were in quarantine from their parents and were spared. The population in many of the Hopi villages was halved in number. My mother was six months old and breast-feeding when her mother fell sick from the sickness in Moencopi village. Relatives in another village sixty miles away received word from a traveler of their sister’s death. The oral story of how two sisters and a brother travelled to Moencopi Village to rescue my infant mother is a heart-breaking story. However, my mother survived and grew up on goat milk from the church owned goat.

A Helping Hand

This is not a sob story that I tell today. I want to let all of our readers know that the Hopi Non-Profits are stepping in and “doing” our part in extending a helping hand to our villages. I want to ask each of you to think about how you can help in a real way to the Hopi People in this time of need.

There is an official protocol for accepting donations to the Hopi communities. The official designated organization to accept monetary and physical donations is the Hopi Foundation. Other online donation sites with the name “Hopi” on the internet are not Hopi sanctioned donation sites at this time.

 MONETARY DONATIONS 

1. For outside organizations who wish to send monetary donations directly to the Hopi Tribal Government you may send the donations to the Office of the Hopi Tribal Treasurer, P.O. Box 123, Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039 or inquire by calling (928) 734-3122. 

2. For those organizations who wish to donate to the Hopi Tribe, but are restricted only to donate to a non-profit organization, send to The Hopi Foundation, P.O. Box 301, Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039 or by calling (928) 734-2380 or visiting http://www.hopifoundation.org

At this time of the year Hopi women are out in the wetlands foraging for annual greens. The males are in the cornfields preparing the soil for planting. Katsina ceremonies planned in the spring are in preparations. The kivas are being warmed up. Hopi village clean up activities are being planned in time for the Easter egg hunts by children. The Hopi Language Class for pre-schoolers is starting in May. And  so on…  All these human activities have been halted. 

Paaqavi Incorporated will be a part of extending a helping hand in a “Hopi way” based on what our communities tell us they are willing to accept. We hope you will play a part as well.

Plant a Seed Today. Eat a Meal Together Tomorrow. Usqwali

Kya muya – Resting Moon

Hopi Homeland

We are again blessed to see the light of the Resting Moon. It marks the completion of yet another Hopi life cycle. This is a time to find a quiet place, to reflect, to tell stories, to seek mindfulness and slow down.

During this moon phase, Hopi Elders tell stories to the little ones to teach them the Hopi world view and how to live with the land. We are all children, learning as we move through the phases of life. Here is a message from Hopi…

Standing with Time

“Hopi do not have a word for Wilderness and setting aside land for wilderness is not practiced. All Land should be respected and all land is used only for Survival, whether it be physical, spiritual or mental. Our religion does not teach us to subdue the Earth. Our religion teaches us to take care of the Earth in a spiritual way as Stewards of the Land.”

Ancestral Home

“Hopis do not view cultural resources as ruins, as abandoned or artifacts of the past. To the Hopi, these villages were left, as is when people were given a sign to move on. These homes, kivas, storehouses, and everything else that makes a community, were left exactly as they were because it is our belief the Hopi will someday return. Our people are still there.” 

A woman’s hand

“Today the Hopi designate these ruins as a symbol of their sovereign flag. Potsherds are left in abundance, usually broken into small pieces with the trademarks showing. These are the footprints of the occupants. Hopis believe that ruins should remain untouched because when anything is taken it breaks down the value of holding the village in place.”

“Hopi prophecy recognizes these cultural resources as part of today’s living culture. They indeed should be protected for the future of our people. Most of the time the way white men view protection, interpretation, and education seems not to be the Hopi Way. For Hopis, protection is based purely upon the honor system, upon respect and trust. Sometimes Hopis feel that the things they believe – honor, respect, and trust – are not compatible with other societies but we continue to think it should be the Hopi Way.”

Following the sound of Time

“The Hopi Way of measuring the value of cultural resources and other so-called artifacts is not in terms of money. Rather it is their importance for life today and their future destiny. The future of the Hopi is a great burden to them because we believe we must live a life of spiritual meditation and humbleness to take this corrupt world, which will get worse, into the better world.”

Shrine of the Land

“Yes, we believe in the fifth world and our spiritual integrity must be strong to keep our ruined villages alive. Our houses, kivas and our shrines at the ruined village perimeters must be kept warm and active. We rely on our spiritual ancestors who passed this way and are still there to receive the messages.”

Ferrell Secakuku, Hopi, Sipaulovi Village, AZ

 Excerpted from an article that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Inter-Agency Wilderness Conference, held in Tucson, AZ May 17-21, 1993

A Knotted Yucca Cord

Pre-Historic Symbol of a Corded Rope

August 10, 1680. On this day, the sound of hard breathing, padding of moccasin feet and an intention of great changes came from the East Horizon, in the form of a fast but tired runner who held a rope of twined yucca cord with knots of significance. His was a secret mission.

August 10, 1680, is the Native American version of Independence Day.   On this day, all the Pueblos of New Mexico and Hopi Villages overthrew the yoke of Spanish rule in North America. Enough was Enough!

As part of the cleansing of all things Spanish, a decree went out throughout the Pueblo World. I learned of this ritual decree as a child listening to the stories, life and history of the Village of Orayvi from my 100-year-old grandmother.

Her version goes like this. Unknown to the common people, the religious leaders were envisioning, intending and preparing for the overthrow of the Spanish priests, soldiers and devout converts with the People of the East. These meetings were held in secret in canyons and cliffs.

Pre-Historic Yucca Cord made by the Basketmaker People

The sacred knotted cord was read, it’s significance received by the religious leaders. So began a new life plan for the “Hopi Senom”, Hopi People. The warrior katsinas made an appearance in the plaza and directed the removal of Spanish influence, tyranny and slave making.

Shield Bearer, Symbol of Protection

I was reminded of this sacred decree when I informed my grandmother that I was learning Spanish in High School. She quietly reminded me, “Do not speak the language of the “To da tsi”, the Dictator. We must remember the instructions of our religious leaders: Do Not Speak the Spanish Language, Do Not Worship the Spanish Gods, Do Not Build Spanish Churches, Do Not Wear Spanish Clothing, Do Not Eat or Grow Spanish Food. Erase This Person From Our Memory”.

So it remains today, August 10, 2019. You will not see fire works, bands, parades or merry making on our Day of Independence. It was a painful experience that our ancestors lived during the time of the foreigner on our lands that we knew as the Spanish Conquistador and their Spanish Priests.

Ancestral Lunar Sentinels

As I sit in the cool morning breeze, listening to the Morning Dove, I ponder what this decree means in today’s Hopi world. It is like being between a rock and a hard place. Successive Hopi generations may forget or not understand how harsh life as slaves was in the past for our ancestors. Time is relative. The domination by any foreign religion was never our Life Plan. Today, the Katsina Spirits have returned Home and the Hopi can return to their lives as an agrarian society to live on our humble but sacred Homelands, with our own chosen Life Plan. Usqwali.

MFredericks, Webmaster

Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces

American Indian Code Talkers List, National Museum of American Indian

“We serve this country because it is ours. We have a sacred purpose to protect this place”. Jeffrey Begay, Dine’

In the cool, summer pines of Flagstaff, Arizona, there is a quiet remembering taking place. The National Museum of the American Indian “Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces” exhibit, is traveling throughout the U.S. and is now on display at the Fort Tuthill Military Museum from June 28 – July 21, 2019.

I visited the exhibit today and experienced powerful images, words and saw traditional icons of Native American soldiers throughout the decades dating from the Civil War to present. I felt chills in my heart as I struggled to understand this history.

Native Americans have served disproportionately in U.S. military conflicts throughout history. This exhibit provides stark facts on the number of men and women who have served this country.

1830 – Civil War, 20,000 American Indians served in the Union Army or Confederacy

1917 – WWI, 3,000-6,000 enlisted, 6,500 drafted

1950 – Korea, 10,000 American Indians

1941- WWII, 44,000 active duty, 800 women

1964-75, Vietnam – 42,000, 90% were volunteers

The exhibit focuses on specific individuals and their service to provide a personal look behind the person. Did you know Native America has our own Private Ryan soldier? John Emhoolah, a Kiowa was one of five brothers who served in the Korean conflict.

Native American Code Talkers are recognized as unique communicators who used their native skills and knowledge to write, draw, listen and talk in their own tribal languages and served as fast runners to deliver these messages as an unbreakable military strategy.

Hopi Code Talkers, Arizona, WWII

The full story remains to be told. The Pima language was also part of the code that the Alamo Scouts used. In 1988 the Gila River Alamo Scouts were inducted into the Special Forces Regiment and awarded the Special Forces Tab.

“People ask me, ‘Why did you go? Look at all the mistreatment the government has done to your people’. Somebody’s got to go. Somebody’s got to defend this country. This is the reason why I went”. Chester Nez, Dine’

Please take time to visit this outstanding military exhibit in your area and you will learn so much about Native  American history that is not found in the textbooks of U.S History. For more information: See forttuthill.org

By MFredericks, webmaster

A Rebirth of Hopi Voices

 

Mother Corn

U’yis muyaw, the planting moon marks the lunar cycle for the new Hopi planting season. The indigenous, drought resistant Mother Corn is reverently selected and cleaned by the women for planting by the Hopi males. A new beginning of an ancient life plan of the Americas begins anew.

Paaqavi Incorporated, a 501 C, 3 Non-Profit is refreshing our digital footprint for the interested reader. We thank those of you who have signed on as followers to our site. We ask for your patience and hope that you will stay with this site for information from the Hopi villages and people.

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Usqwali!  Thank You. MFredericks, Webmaster