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It was indicated on the stone tablets of the Hopis that the first brothers and sisters would come back to them as turtles across the land. They would be human beings, but they would come as turtles. So when the time came close the Hopis were at a special village to welcome the turtles that would come across the land and they got up in the morning and looked out at the sunrise. They looked out across the desert and they saw the Spanish Conquistadores coming, covered in armor, just like turtles across the land.
So this was the turtles coming toward them across the land. So they went out to the Spanish men and they extended their hand, hoping for the handshake but into the hand the Spanish man dropped a trinket. And so word spread throughout North America that there was going to be a hard time, that maybe some of the brothers and sisters had forgotten the sacredness of all things and all the human beings were going to suffer for this on the earth.
There were two buildings, one for initiates and one for ceremonial purposes. The ceremonial building was four stories high, terraced like the pueblos we see today. The main door opened to the east, and there were two smaller doors facing north and south.
On the first or ground floor the kachina people taught initiates the history and meaning of the three previous worlds and the purpose of this Fourth World to which man had emerged.
On the second floor they taught the structure and functions of the human body and that the highest function of the mind was to understand how the one great spirit worked within man. The spirit or kachina people taught this so that the people would not become evil again and this Fourth World be destroyed like the first three.
In the third story initiates were taught the workings of nature and the uses of all kinds of plant life.
The fourth story was smaller than the three below, making the ceremonial building resemble a pyramid.
To this top level were admitted only initiates of great conscience who had acquired a deep knowledge of the laws of nature.
Here they were taught the workings of the planetary system, how the stars affected the climate, the crops, and man himself.
Here too they learned about the "open door" on top of their heads, how to keep it open, and so converse with their Creator
The Hopi have a total of nine mystery plays which are connected both with the position of the sun in relation to the earth and with the origin of the earth and the universe. The first, Wuwuchim, takes place around November. It is a preparation for the birth of the new year and also reflects the first invisible preparations for a universe in dark space.
Soyal, the second initiation ceremony held at the winter solstice, relates to the great birth of light or bright space. It symbolizes not only the birth of light but also the laying down of patterns at the birth of the cosmos and, on a smaller scale, of the patterns for developments during the coming year.
Orion is planted in the Underworld at the same time as all the various types of corn, thereby assuring their germination and quickening growth during the lengthening days of the year. During this part of the seasonal cycle a minor agricultural rite of planting is performed in the fields. This is actually a sort of native Passion play involving Masau’u, the Hopi god of earth, death and the Underworld.
Then did Tawa and Spider Woman have the Great Thought, they would make the Earth to be between the Above and the Below. As Tawa thought the features of the Earth, Spider women formed them from clay.
Then did Tawa think of animals and beasts and plants, all the while Spider Woman formed them from the clay. At last they decided they had enough, then they made great magic and breathed life into their creatures. Now Tawa decided they should make creatures in their image to lord over all the rest. Spider Woman again formed them from clay. Again the Two breathed life into their creations. Spider Woman called all the people so created to follow where she led.
Through all the Four Great Caverns of the Underworld she led them, until they finally came to an opening, a sipapu, which led to the earth above."
The White People had taken with them the Spider which was very skillful, so that when they had traveled some distance the Spider rubbed some scales from her skin, and from these created burros. These the White Men afterwards used for carrying their burdens. So they got along faster and reached the place where the sun rises first. When they arrived there a star arose in the south, which told the other migrating people that some one had arrived at the sunrise.
Thereupon all people were to settle wherever they happened to be at that time, there to remain until the elder brother returned. The Hopi settled in the area now known as Four Corners, where the state lines of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado meet.
They lived in humble simplicity and the land produced abundant crops. This area is the heart of Turtle Island (the U.S.) and of Mother Earth, and it is the microcosmic image of the macrocosm of the entire planet. Each Hopi clan perpetuates a unique ceremony, and the ceremonies together maintain the balance of natural forces of sunlight, rain and winds, and reaffirm the Hopi respect for all life and trust in the Great Spirit."
The tribes then continued on all the way to the North Pole, which was the "back door" that Masaw had specifically forbidden them to cross. Spider Woman, however, was the one to disobey this time, and urged the people to use their powers to clear the way past the snow and ice.
However, they were unable to, and Sotuknang himself appeared and admonished them for their attempt, saying that had they succeeded in melting their way through the snow and ice, the Fourth World would have been flooded and wrecked. As a punishment, Sotuknang then ordained that Spider Woman's thread would run out, and she would not die, but grow old and ugly. Moreover, her clan, the Spider clan, would from thenceforth bring forth nothing but evil
"The elder brother was told to go immediately to the east, toward the rising sun, and upon reaching his destination to start back immediately to look for his younger brother, who remained on Turtle Island (the Continental United States of America).
His mission was to help his younger brother to bring about the Purification Day, at which time all evildoers would be punished or destroyed, after which real peace, brotherhood, and everlasting life would be established. The elder brother would restore all land to his younger brother, from whom the Evil one among the white men had taken it.
The elder brother [of the shining light] also would come to look for the Tiponi tablets and fulfill the mission given him by the Great Spirit. The younger brother was instructed to travel throughout the land and mark his footsteps as he went about. Both brothers were told that a great white star would appear in the sky; when that happened, all people would know that the elder brother had reached his destination.
The True White Brother will bring with him two great, intelligent and powerful helpers, one of whom will have a sign of a swastika , and the sign of the sun. The second great helper will have the sign of a cross with red lines between the arms of the cross.
The first people in the San Juan Basin were hunter-gatherers: the Archaic–Early Basketmaker people. These small bands descended from nomadic Clovis big-game hunters who arrived in the Southwest around 10,000 BC. More than 70 campsites from this period, carbon-dated to the period 7000–1500 BC and mostly consisting of stone chips and other leavings, were found in Atlatl Cave and elsewhere within Chaco Canyon
Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancient Pueblo Peoples.Chacoans quarried sandstone blocks and hauled timber from great distances, assembling fifteen major complexes that remained the largest buildings in North America until the 19th century
There was a chief, and he had a fine-looking girl. There was a painted turtle, and he fell in love with the chief's daughter. But he could not come to see her or get to speak to her, because neither the girl nor her parents paid any attention to him.
He kept thinking, "How can I win that girl?" And day after day he came, but still they did not notice him. Finally he thought, "If I would paint up, they would notice it and ask me why I painted." He painted up and went to the chief's lodge and the girl fell in love with him as soon as she saw him. So he told her to follow him and started off and went to a big river. When she first saw the turtle, she thought it was a human being, but when they got to the water and she saw that it was a turtle instead of a man, she said, "I cannot go any farther with you." He said, "Come and follow me. You will turn into a turtle the same as I am." When she went in, she turned into a turtle, but a different kind, a soft shell. Sometimes they name women after this turtle.
(As told by an unidentified Peoria informant to Truman Michelson, 1916; after Knoepfle 1993)
Following his instructions, Spider Woman took some earth, mixed it with saliva, and molded it into two beings. Then she covered them with the white cloak of the creative wisdom itself, and sang the Creation Song over them. When she uncovered them the twin beings sat up and asked, "Who are we? Why are we here?"
To the one on the right Spider Woman said, "You are Poqanghoya and you are to help keep this world in order when life is put upon it. This is your duty now: go about all the world and put your hands upon the earth so that it will become fully solidified...
Spider Woman then said to the twin on the left, "You are Palongawhoya and you are to help keep this world in order when life is put upon it. This is your duty now: go about all the world and send out sound so that it may be heard throughout all the land. When this is heard you will also be known as Echo, for all sound echoes the Creator."...
All the vibratory centers along earth's axis from pole to pole resounded his call; the whole earth trembled; the universe quivered in tune. Thus he made the whole world an instrument of sound, and sound an instrument for carrying messages, resounding praise to the Creator...
When they had accomplished their duties, Poqanghoya was sent to the north pole of the world axis and Palongawhoya to the south pole, where they were jointly commanded to keep the world properly rotating. Poqanghoya was also given the power to keep the solidify and crystallize the earth. Palongawhoya was given the power to keep the air in gentle ordered movement, and instructed to send out his call for good or for warning through the vibratory centers of the earth.
At any rate, in order to help them find their proper places in this new world, Masaw gave the chosen people clear directions, even writing instructions on tablets so that they would always have a reference and a remembrance to guide them. Interestingly, their journey was not merely to the four corners of the Earth, but in a swastika pattern. Each of the four tribes was to follow their stars towards the four cardinal directions, then turn right, their paths forming a giant swastika across the Americas.
ll their routes formed a great cross whose center, Tuwanasavi [Center of the Universe], lay in what is now the Hopi country in the southwestern part of the United States, and whose arms reached to the four directional pasos. As they turned at each of these extremities they formed of this great cross a swastika, either clockwise or counter-clockwise, corresponding to the movement of the earth or of the sun. And then when their migration slowed as they reached their permanent home, they formed spirals and circles, ever growing smaller. All these patterns formed by their four migrations are the basic motifs of the symbols still found today in their pottery and basketware, on their kachina rattles and altar boards
Delightful Kantzveldt, but couldn't the story of the 'turtles being the Spanish' be a post contact re-imagining of an older myth - to make it fit into their present reality?
FIELD COLUMBIAN MUSEUM
ANTHROPOLOGICAL SERIES VOL. VIII
THE TRADITIONS OF THE HOPI
H. R. VOTH
THE STANLEY McCORMICK HOPI EXPEDITION
GEORGE A. DORSEY
Curator, Department of Anthropology
CHICAGO, U. S. A.
THE WANDERINGS OF THE SPIDER CLAN (KOHK'ANG-ÑAMU). 3
In the under-world many people became very bad. They had many contentions, and began to kill the people and also killed the chief's son; so the chief concluded that they would move away from there. But the question was, how to get out?' So he sent the Mótsni to find a place where they could get out. He flew up and found an opening, and came back and reported the same to the chief. So the Village Chief (Kík-mongwi) and the Crier Chief (Chaák-mongwi) planted a pine (calávi), which grew up very fast, but did not quite reach the opening. They then planted a reed (bákavi) which also grew up fast and reached through the opening. On this reed they climbed till, first the Horn people (Áaltu), who then stood outside and held the protruding part of the reed or ladder. Many people then followed.
The Mocking-bird (Yáhpa) was sitting outside and distributed the languages to the People. As they were climbing up one of them dropped one of his moccasins. Below the Hopi had pretty moccasins, but as this moccasin was dropped and the man had to make another one, and could not make it as nicely as the other one had been, the Hopi now have not very nice moccasins. The people had not yet all come out when the chief stopped them and closed up the opening, but one of the sorcerers (Pópwaktu) had also come out.
From here the people now started on different routes, the White Man taking the most southern route. All the other people took different routes further north. The 'Hopi brought with them Mû'yingwu, whose body consisted entirely of corn, his feet being ears of corn, so that he could not move very fast. The Hopi were to have the horse, but as they tried to ride him they could not do so, as they did not put any bridle on him; so the Navaho, wearing a band around their head, tried it and they could ride him. The two matched together better for that reason because they also bridled the pony, probably with yucca leaves.
They had not gone very far when the chief's son took sick and died. They thought that the sorcerer who was with them had killed him, but the latter said: "Nobody has died, he is not dead; just go and look down into the opening through which we came. He is down there." So the chief went and looked down there, and beheld his child walking about in the other world. So they took the Powáku with them. He said that hereafter no one would be really dead, but the people who would die would simply go back to the lower world. After they had travelled for some time, just how long tradition does not say, the Coyote who had carried the stars in his hand, and was traveling with the Hopi people, threw the stars into the sky so that from that time it was somewhat light during the night.
The White People had taken with them the Spider which was very skillful, so that when they had traveled some distance the Spider rubbed some scales from her skin, and from these created burros. These the White Men afterwards used for carrying their burdens. So they got along faster and reached the place where the sun rises first. When they arrived there a star arose in the south, which told the other migrating people that some one had arrived at the sunrise. This was a signal that they had agreed upon before starting. This star is said to have influence over the animals, and the old people say that whoever wants to own a horse, cattle, sheep, etc., should pray to this star, which the Hopi are doing to this day.
So the people traveled on. All at once one party came upon a
bear that had died there. They were called the Bear (Hónawu) clan. Right after them came another party, who cut straps from the skin of the bear and were called Piqósha clan, the name given by the Hopi to this peculiar strap. Another party followed and found the cadaver covered with spider web, from which they were called Spider (Kóhk'ang) clan. A fourth party found blue-birds sitting on the cadaver and they were called the Blue-bird (Chóro) clan. A fifth party found that maggots had eaten out the eyes, leaving the cavities bare with a little fat still attached to the bone. From this they were called Fat Cavity clan (Wíkorzh-ñamu). A sixth migrating party came upon the scene and found that a mole had dug his way up under the place where the cadaver had been lying, and hence they were called Mole (Mû'yi) clan. 1 Here the parties who had thus received their clan names soon separated, and the Spider clan after this wandered about and stopped at various places for a long time. The other clans did the same, living shorter or longer periods at one place, which accounts for the many smaller and larger ruins with which the country is covered.
Finally the Spider clan arrived at a spring (about four miles north of the present village sites of Mishóngnovi and Shupaúlavi) called Homìqöpu. Here they remained for some time, there still being ruins at that place. From here this clan moved to a place about a mile northeast of Shupaúlavi, called Chûkúvi. At the foot of the mesa on which this village was situated was a very large spring. The Squash (Batánga) clan then ruled in this village, the chief belonging to that clan. The Sand (Tûwá) clan was also one of the clans being numerous in the village at that time. The inhabitants of the different villages were often harassed by enemies, among them the Utes and Apache. It seems that even the inhabitants of the different villages often made raids on each other. For this reason the inhabitants of Chûkúvi and those of old Mishóngnovi, which was situated, however, west of its present location, way down the mesa, moved on the mesa and built the present village of Mishóngnovi.
In Mishóngnovi the Blue-bird clan was then in charge of the village, the chief belonging to that clan, but it seems that this clan, shared the chieftainship with the following clans, which furnished the Kík-mongwi, the Village Chief, in the order named, for four year,
a new chief being elected every four years: After the Blue-bird clan followed the Bear clan, then the Bátki clan, and lastly, the Squash clan, The Sand clan, having lived in the village of Chukúvi, is said to have moved to Oraíbi, east of which village they had had fields while they were still living at Chukúvi. At the time when the people lived at Chukúvi, Shúpaúlavi was also inhabited, but it seems that the people then, too, lived farther down, probably at the so-called First Ledge, but when Mishóngnovi was built the people of Shupaúlavi also moved on to the top of the mesa.