PEACE the Hopi Way An interview with Orlan Tewa
Spokesperson for the Religious Leader of Mishongnovi Village, Second Mesa
by Lee Perry
Within this nation called the United States are many native nations – including the Hopi – that were established here thousands of years before the white man came to this continent. The Hopi Nation is made up of 12 independent villages within which there are about 30 clans. Mishongnovi village on Second Mesa is considered one of the traditional villages. The Hopi nation exists under divine law and does not recognize a separation of “church” and “state,” therefore, their religious leaders are the tribal leaders. Derived from an interview conducted shortly before Harmonic Convergence, Orlan Tewa shares a message from the religious leaders of Mishongnovi. As Orlan explained that the Hopi consider nuclear holocaust inevitable, his manner was a living expression of peace.
At the beginning of our interview, Orkin said to me, “I need to ask you some questions, so I can gear my answers so you can better understand them. We do interviews with a lot of magazines and other sources. Sometimes the interviewers sit there as though they’re understanding and when they walk away it’s a complete blank.” After finding out my racial background, basic religious upbringing and spiritual beliefs –including an interest in crystals — we proceeded on a more familiar basis.
In two previous issues of Meditation Magazine, references to Hopi beliefs had appeared. John Price said that “according to the teachings of the Hopi Indians ‘one thousand sundanced enlightened teachers’ will totally awaken in their dream/mind bodies. On August 17, 1987, the winged wheels will begin to turn to dance once again, and when they do, the rainbow lights will be seen in dreams all over the world. Those rainbow-light dreams will awaken the rest of humanity” [December 31st, ’86 Winter’87] In connection with the dates for Harmonic Convergence, Jose Arguelles relayed that “there seems to be an increasing understanding that this date obviously coincides with the Hopi prophecies of the purification. There is a new final dispensation of the Hopi prophecy that is now going out and will be delivered to the United Nations before August. This is the point in the Hopi prophecies where we are now going to be passing from what the Hopi’s refer to as the Fourth World to the Fifth World. That’s described as a passage through the sipapu, which is like the interdimensional axis that connects the worlds. Passing through this sipapu is what will be occurring on August 16-17.” [Earth Speaks, Summer’87] I was eager to ask Orlan about these intriguing tidbits and to get more information.
ORLAN TEWA: This information is completely foreign to me. With what little they know about the Hopi, a lot of articles like this have gotten us in trouble. To become a true Hopi is a two-fold process. There’s a spiritual initiation into the first level which is kind of universal, every Hopi is supposed to go over that. Then there are higher religious fraternities and societies that you must belong to in order to attain the goal of becoming a true Hopi – you have the right to call yourself a Hopi in the Hopi world. Whether you can sit down and scientifically state biologically that you are a full-blooded Hopi, you still cannot call yourself Hopi until you go through those two processes. I say this loosely because I haven’t attained that second phase. Unless the second level talks about these things, they’re completely foreign to me.
Quite a few people think that Hopi is something mysterious. They would like to know more about Hopi, but we have to share with those outside our world step-by-step. The religious leaders have to deal with this and with this Convergence. It’s a let down for people when they find out we’re not a part of the Convergence. We’re with these people spiritually, that’s all we can say.
To the Hopi, every day is a spiritual convergence, we have prayed like this every day all through these years. We do have our ceremonial calendar; it’s much synchronized with your calendar year. We have our dance days, all those are special – just as with the Convergence. There’s a season set aside for Kachinas, there are certain months that are set aside for the religious leaders to do pilgrimages and offerings. And there are certain periods set aside just for women to do their things, because they have their own religious societies also. So, even though we live this on a day-to-day basis, certain times of the year are more intensified.
The religious leaders certainly feel that it is time to share some of the knowledge that we have held for thousands of years, that is part of the reason why the office [The Hopi Epicentre for International Outreach] went up several months ago. We are in that period of time where they have begun sharing this knowledge with the outside world. I could share what I know, but the information that’s taught from that priesthood level, I couldn’t say a word to you at all about that because I don’t know that level. Only the people who have reached that level and have become Hopi could talk about that. I’m glad to share with you any information that I know.
The word Hopi means peace, but it doesn’t mean just peace. It means spiritualness; it means consciousness; it means a universal well-being, balance, all the cosmos, a totality of everything. Everything that you can think of that surrounds us everyday, that’s what Hopi means. Back to universal balance: we’re here to keep that balance and the harmony – among humanity and animal life.
A lot of the Hopi world evolves around the nuclear holocaust. The Hopi knew of it even before Einstein, or whatever his name was, split the atom. The Hopis speak of the Gourd of Ashes. Today, now that we’re this far into the 20th century, almost the 21st, and everything around us evolves at a high-tech rate of speed, we have come to know now, over the past 40 or 50 years, that it was symbolic of the atomic bomb. Because of all the nuclear reactors all around the world, nuclear holocaust is very much a hazard and maybe someday because of a simple accident we could be facing that. If the holocaust does ever happen, it’s right in line with our Day of Purification. I’ve studied this and talked to certain elders and they all agree, that a nuclear holocaust could be one of our ways of purifying mankind.
By Purification is meant both the physical and spiritual point of revelation. Our creator looks at each individual – how we have performed in this mortal world – and separates the good from the bad. It corresponds to the Christian Judgment Day. This takes in everything we have just been talking about. We hear from the leaders that we are on the eve of the Day of Purification. Personally, I think we started that maybe in the 30s or 40s. They say we’re just waiting for that to happen.
In your heart
if you’re at peace with yourself,
you don’t have anything to really worry about
or be scared about.
There are plenty of alternatives to war. But, and I say this with a very firm understanding, the Hopi has done its share as far as trying to get the message out worldwide – internationally. We’ve gone over that point now… to where peace can never be attained. If we can accomplish peace and international brotherhood, that’s going to take an act of war. Think about that. In order to gain peace, sometimes there has to be war. If you’ve ever studied the civilizations in the past, that’s basically true. The Hopi sit down and try to think about these things a lot. Limited information is given to us from the religious leaders; a lot we work out in our own hearts and minds. Even now in our ceremonies, our leaders speak of this.
Our leaders claim the whole earth and the people on it – all animal life, birds, plants, the biological bacteria world, everything. They place themselves in guardianship over these things. As far as our human civilization is concerned, they claim that all the peoples of the world are their children. They have studied this since, I don’t know how long, so when they sit down and talk about it during ceremonial get-togethers, they know how the world is evolving. I’ve heard some elders and leaders say, “We’ll sit down, let’s wait for the coming.” By that they mean either natural catastrophes will take over, the Gourd of Ashes, or whatever. Man is too far evolved at what they’re doing to step back. Even though people have begun a conscious movement of healing the earth – we’re too far into this way to come back and do it again. The convergence will help – if you place certain people at certain points all over the world. We may all go through a process of self-revelation, but that’s it. Because, you know yourself what you are capable of, you know you attain your spirituality at a certain point. Certain people can see far beyond what most people can.
In your heart if you’re at peace with yourself, you don’t have anything to really worry about or be scared about. We talk about the holocaust. What if it should happen today? They say you don’t feel the pain during a nuclear blast, especially if you’re at ground zero.
Part of our Navoti, our prophecy, says the Hopi will become a place of sanctuary, we will then hold the upper hand as far as not just resources, but the controlling factor for all the people on this continent or this hemisphere. It will be the Hopi people who will be the people in power. This is all intertwined with Purification. After we become purified, then interracial marriages can take place. We about will all be as one. That’s what we talk about as being part of the Fifth World.
When people vanished off the world that was destroyed by flood, the Hopi people were supposedly taken underground. They lived with the ants. A lot of our background is hard to believe, but this actually, supposedly, happened. We took refuge there until the waters receded and the Hopi people came out to populate Earth again. This Fourth World came up through the sipapu [which is shaped like a large anthill – ed.].
When we started the Fourth World, there was one evil person who came up with our people. At that time, the leaders were going to send him back down, but they said, “No, let’s not do that. There may be a time in the future when we may be backed up against the wall with nothing to fight with, we may lose our spirituality. And maybe because of that person, he will make us see the light, even though he is evil.” But because of that one person that came up, the evilness has multiplied, a trillion times over. That’s why we talk of the people with 2 hearts, the evil amongst us. I think the Fifth World will be just like this, but people will have more powers.
When the Hopi came into the Fourth World, they made a spiritual pact with the Great Spirit, a spiritual covenant.
We asked him to be our leader at that time. He said, “No.” He could see right through us. “The reason I say ‘no’ is because you people have just come here, and you’ve come here with a lot of ideas that you want to put into motion.” When he said that he was already aware that one of the evil people had come up. And when he said that he was speaking of all the scientific developments. As we go forward, as we try to expand, enhance and advance the human civilization, there will come a time again when we will ask him the same question. Maybe then he will say, “Yes” – but not now.
All Hopi clans are matrilineal; I belong to the Reed Clan. We are in charge of keeping all the grasses and foliage and bamboo that grow along the water’s edge. It was through this one certain bamboo that the Hopi people migrated from the underworld into this Fourth World. At all the places that they rested along the way, those bamboo plants grow. My clan is in charge of that responsibility. The bamboo is important to all the religious societies of the Hopi. They use them in practically every ceremony – especially for smoking purposes. The pipes are made of a reed stuck into the bowl.
According to my uncle, we very much hold a place in that circle of priests that form the nucleus of Hopi religion and culture and structure. We play a major part in that. I’ve grown on and off the Reservation, so I’ve gotten information thrown at me here and there, but the latest that I’ve heard is that the people of our clan stand as a scapegoat for all the sins that are committed in this world. People who do wrong, who do not have a sacrificial lamb to kill, that’s where we step in to take the blame and take the iniquity off their shoulders. That is our responsibility in this world. And unless we fulfill that we are doing wrong, not just to ourselves but to the future and our children to come. So hopefully when we do reach this Purification or redeeming day, I hope they will look favorably at us. I’ve learned that, so I’ve tried to gear my life in that manner. It hurts, But I used to be a police officer, and the greatest hurt you can do to a person besides inflicting physical pain is going up to a person and telling him that you’re going to take his life. I know you can’t go any lower than that. I’ve had that thrown at me several times. So, I’ve gone through the gutter as far as that is concerned. I try to tell this to my brothers and sisters who will listen. If somebody’s out there who feels that he’s not guilty, by all means take the blame for him – that’s the job of the Reed Clan. There are about 30 other clans that have specific roles in the Hopi world.
The world is made up of proponents that go into the make up of the planet as a whole. Hopi is very much an ingredient in this make up. The Hopi claims to be from this area. Our migrations have taken us from Cape Hope to the Arctic. We have even been in the European capitals. A lot of the dynasties and great cultures in China are remnants of Hopi. We have brothers that are on the other side of the ocean.
The Fifth World will be just like this world, but our pace as far as technological advancements will probably be very synchronized or very highly tuned to – well, our minds cannot even begin to realize what events or what kind of technology will be in that Fifth World. The Bible also says we have gone through four worlds. There are a lot of correspondences with the Bible and our Navoti. They say that we will be going up into the Fifth World. The Fifth World will be just like this, but it will be promulgated by people who are more deserving.
People ask me how, when even the word Hopi means peace, we can predict the end of the world. In your world you give labels to things like genocide, inhumanity, things like this. But you can-not turn your cheek and say that this does not exist, because it does. Remember I said, in order to achieve peace there has to be war. You have to really think about that, to dwell on it. That’s how it is. We used to say our creator, the Great Spirit, is a very uncaring and unforgiving god. We’ve had to take that back. He is caring; He spares us. If we need help, we pray – somewhere, somehow, sometime it shows itself. That’s why I say it is a fierce god, but then it is a very humble god. If we had a tribal motto, I think it would be humbleness. They tell us, too, it is with great humility that we are able to move mountains. That is the concept Hopi is really about: humbleness. Of course, some of our people have lost it over the time. I’ve lost part of it; I’m trying to get it back. I think that just by putting on that yoke of the human violations and wrong-doings throughout the world, gradually I will get back to where I am supposed to be.
There are times… one time I can remember I went six days without sleep just by weighing everything and putting that on my shoulders. We’ve learned to separate the things that we should care about from the things more important. We’ve learned from the elders what is essential, pertinent, what we really need to focus on. All the rest is nothing to really worry about. We’ve been able to do that in our heart and mind – other-wise everything is thrown in our faces. The greatest obstacle is yet to come. The leaders tell us to just wait for what is to come.
Humbleness is our method of going within. You take all humiliation on yourself and humble yourself to the simplest form. That way you will be able to receive what you want, whether it be spiritual guidance, peace of mind, happiness, hope, prayers for another person or another being. Humble yourself like a pebble, or one little grain on the beach. You have to belittle yourself, humble yourself. Then you can see through rocks, see through buildings. It’s worked for me. It’s worked for our ancestors. It’s basically how the Hopi has been able to cope all these years. It is just as strong as it was back then. The flavor has not gone – it’s just the people, our young people, have not been taught. Some of the elders, not the spiritual leaders, but some of the elders have failed to pass that on to their nephews. In our system, in a family, the father is not a central figure as far as authority. The uncle – a direct brother or a clan brother of the mother – takes the place of the father as a disciplinarian, he is faced with the task of conveying or teaching his nieces and nephews all of what Hopi is about.
If you’re happy at what you do – do it. We tell this to the outside people: just begin. I touched on being at peace in your mind and peace at heart – you have to have those feelings. Who has to answer to what you do is yourself, you’re accountable to yourself, you’re responsible for yourself. Just because other people are doing something„ don’t feel that you have to do. it. The Hopi direction is for all humankind, but we can’t give you chants, we can’t give you prayers, we can’t tell you how to meditate. Being humble does not take preparation; everybody is endowed with that, being able to humble yourself. If you can reach that point, that level, you can do just about anything. I know a lot of people that are into sorcery and witchcraft, there are a lot of powerful people out there. Witchcraft is not all cruel and evil. In our world, the Hopi world, we’re very much aware of the evilness that surrounds us, but we also know that not all witchcraft is evil.
There are people with two hearts. Let’s say two people may want to harm a person with two hearts. One person may be all out to harm that person; the other may say, let’s give the guy a chance, let’s don’t be too severe. Even though this person is said to be evil he will go to your defense at times. I’ve been hurt by that. Maybe someone spoke in my behalf sometime. I wasn’t even supposed to be here today or in this world. I give thanks; we always give thanks, it’s an ongoing thing.
When I say that the Hopi does not deal with crystal, we do use crystals and stones such as turquoise, but not everyone uses crystals. You won’t find our religious leaders using crystals, other than our medicine people, our healers. Anytime they have a session with patients, they use them.
In your world, your lawyers and doc-tors take an oath, our people do the same thing. It’s privileged information between the healer and the patient. I don’t think you find anyone, any Hopi anywhere, who will know what he or she does – the healers, the medicine men. If you look at the negative and positive energies throughout the world, and the goodness and the evilness that surrounds all of us, that is here with us right now, a lot of the crystals are connected with black magic, cults and that sort of thing. So, our people have a tendency to more or less shy away from them.
Fetishes are used by healers and by the heads of certain religious societies. These fetishes have really become popular in recent years. We’ve always felt that not everybody can use them. I’ve never had any. Marilyn Harris [another of the spokespersons for the Religious Leaders] has some fetishes in her house that are about 3 or 4 hundred years old. That’s clan ownership; the fetishes belong to that certain clan. It represents the animal kingdom, according to their clan instructions. They’re using it and they’re not, but they are protectors of it.
The Hopi Epicentre office does not stand for peace, we’re not trying to spread the word of peace. We have two projects we are working with. One is to get the President out here by working through the United Nations. The other is very political – which we don’t like to talk about because of what the office stands for. But we have to get political because it is your kind of world that has brought this, and we cannot fight it with spiritualism – our own way. We have to fight it through the court system. We have to learn their ways to fight them. That is also part of our instructions from the elders. But that’s very much in our prophecy. The international community is more adhesive to our needs and what we need to communicate —they know the Hopi more than our neighbors.
There is a craft in certain villages where the womenfolk make these coiled baskets that get bigger and bigger. The Anglo concept is that the vortex is where the momentum increases and gets stronger. The Hopi idea or principle is exactly the reverse. You go to the outside, you work from the outside, that is where the power is. That is the idea behind the office. The epicenter: the eye of the hurricane where it’s like a vacuum, it’s so tranquil, and on the outside – that’s where the tremendous force is. And so we need to get on the outside with the international communities and start working in. Part of that is going to take political involvement. We hate to do this. The Hopi has never been political in the usual sense.
The only allegiance our forefathers have taken is to the Creator. So when we come down this far, 400 years ago, when the Spanish crown took dominance over the Hopi people, sure we were dominated, they already had the explosive, fire power, metal, which we didn’t have. But at the same time, they already saw the Hopi’s autonomy, their sovereignty, aboriginal lands. What the Hopi people really call their home base extends from Texas up into Oregon. Where the Hopi people are situated right now, the Mesas, they refer to their back yard or plaza. When Mexico and Spain had their revolution and we came under Mexican rule, they too recognized the Hopi sovereignty and their lands. And finally we came to the United States under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. In the “Book of the Hopi” it says that the Spanish Crown, the Republic of Mexico, the United States and the Hopi people sat down once and signed an affidavit. The facts show, though, that the Hopis weren’t involved.
This all relates to getting the President out here. Even though the United States government framed the Constitution, wrote up the Preamble, the By-Laws and the Declaration of Independence, the Hopi never recognized them. We cannot get involved with their political system – there’s no in the world we will ever touch that. They signed name that they would honor the Hopi people, its land, its religion; but they haven’t. Of course, the United States government is famous for their broken treaties. The Hopis do not claim ever to have become part of the melting pot. The principle “manifesto density” and eminent domain” – we were never made a part of that, we’ve never made a part of that. So any public laws, legislative mandates, executive orders, to us they are piece of paper. The constitution is a man-made law compared with our divine law, or spiritual, our natural law that we’ve existed under since approximately about 50,000 years before Christ, since we’ve been in this area. Seismic testing has shown that.
In the prophecies they speak a pile of papers and that last page underneath that pile of papers is the salvation for the Hopi people. Since we have been researching that, we think that there is a line or words in that Guadalupe Treaty that will get us back our rightful sovereignty – they will give it to us. We’ve had it, we’ve never lost it. That’s what the Hopi Epicenter is trying to do. I don’t know how far we’ll get. If we could get the President in our kivas we would ask, “Where do you get the right to have all the states in the union situated in this area?” In a legal sense and a moral sense, there’s not an answer to that – only man-made laws. Not even the Supreme Court has ever adjudicated that question .The prophecies indicate that it will be Ronald Reagan that will come to Hopi land. We could be wrong. If we ‘re wrong, we hope we’re wrong, we have that little space again to breath a sigh of relief. The religious leaders keep telling us that we are very close. And when you look around to the other people that are into their own studies of nature, cosmic/planetary/ constellations all the heavenly bodies lining up, the Ninth Hell [per the Mayan Calendar, or Harmonic Convergence – ed.] – we can’t all be wrong. Everybody who is on a spiritual plane realizes we are getting closer and closer; time is running out.
I think the religious leaders still have aces up their sleeves that they won’t say until they actually sit down with the President. But that is the main question that will be asked. “Might is right” is a foreign concept. You can’t bring that to a new land where people have lived for 50,000 years. Carbon dating has placed the Hopi on Second Mesa 10,000 years before Christ. To have a government come in 400 years ago tell us that we are savages, I can’t see that.
There is a Hopi saying, “The white man came only yesterday.” ◊
The HOPI EPICENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH was founded in January 1987. Its purpose is to educate the national and international communities about Hopi culture, history and spirituality. The present office is situated in a private home. It is a goal of the Epicentre to secure a professional office space along the paid directors and administrative positions and to purchase the necessary office equipment and furniture to operate the office effectively. The Executive Director/Consultant is Marilyn Harris. The resource Coordinator is Susan Green. For further information or to reach Orlan Tewa write or call the Hopi Epicentre for International Outreach: 22 S. San Francisco St. Suite 211. Flagstaff, AZ. 86001. (602) 774-2644. You may contact Carol Brawley. Washington liaison for the Epicentre at 241 8th St N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 546-2524.
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