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Hopi creation myths

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posted on Mar, 6 2006 @ 01:01 PM
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I've been reading a lot about the the southwestern Indian tribes, and their creation story piqued my interest. Apparently they came from an "underworld", through something called a "sipapu", which is said to be located in the Grand Canyon.
Can anyone tell me anything more about this story? Is there any truth to it, and did these peoples emerge from a tunnel system in the Grand Canyon? Has anyone been there?




posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by wannabe
I've been reading a lot about the the southwestern Indian tribes, and their creation story piqued my interest. Apparently they came from an "underworld", through something called a "sipapu", which is said to be located in the Grand Canyon.
Can anyone tell me anything more about this story? Is there any truth to it, and did these peoples emerge from a tunnel system in the Grand Canyon? Has anyone been there?


I've read a lot of Hopi myth, and I'm pretty familiar with their creation story. It's a really good one.

To answer some of your questions/comments, first, they don't believe that they came from an underworld. The Hopi believe that all of us came through successive worlds until we got this one (and I don’t use the word “underworld,” as it has connotations for most Abrahamic religions that it doesn’t really have for the Hopi).

The short version is this (and forgive me if I misspell some of the names): People once lived in the first world. Except, at that point, they were not like people at all. They were really like insects. The first world was dark and crowded, and the inhabitants spent much of their time fighting with each other. Some have suggested that it was a cave, deep within the earth. Whatever the case, to the Hopi, it was a world, not just a cave.

Then, Tawa (or Dawa)—most probably the sun spirit, and creator of the first world—became disappointed with the insect-like creatures, because they didn’t understand the meaning of life. So, he sent Gogyeng Sowuhti—a.k.a. Spider Grandmother—to prepare them for a journey.

They journeyed up into another world high above the first one (some would say another cave). In this world, they were transformed into animal-like creatures, and were much happier. But, again, they did not understand the meaning of life, and eventually turned on each other again.

So again, Gogyeng Sowuhti told them to make ready, and brought them to the third world, far above the second. This world was brighter, and their bodies changed again. Now they were people. They began to establish the trappings of civilization (planting, building, hunting).

Then, they were given the knowledge of fire by Maasawu, the owner of fire, the ruler of the upper world, and the keeper of the land of the dead (interesting, isn’t it, that the ruler of the UPPER world is the keeper of the land of the dead).

Anyway, the people had a new problem now, powakas (more or less sorcerers/witches). They worked evil, and the people didn’t know what to do. At a great council, it was decided to try to leave the third world. The people had heard footsteps in the sky, so they decided to try to go where the footsteps came from.

Long story short, they grew a tall plant, it reached through a doorway in the sky (called the sipapuni, and the people climbed through to the fourth world, leaving the evil powakas behind.

Of course, some powakas escaped into the fourth world too, which explains why there are evil people.

Is it a true story? Well, I don’t see why not. It’s as good a story as any other, and one could even take it as an interesting, “primitive” understanding of evolution (that is, the transformation of bodies and growth of “understanding). Who am I to say if it is true or not. I rather like the Hopi stories.

I don’t particularly think they came through a tunnel system. They are quite clear that it was a hole. And, I see no reason to view the Hopi people as stupid (although anyone familiar with their myth would have to wonder how many times a kikmongwi has to destroy his own village before they stop gambling in the kivas). That said, if they wanted to say tunnel, I’m sure they knew what a tunnel was and would have just said tunnel. Instead, they said doorway in the sky. Big difference to me. It’s almost suggestive of the hollow earth theories some folks love. Almost

As to whether the sipapuni is in the Grand Canyon, there are some who believe it exists still, covered in water as a disguise. I’m not 100% sure where, because I’m at work and don’t have my books handy. But I would ask you this. Why do you want to know. Are you (like many others) interested in trying to get a glimpse at the third world? If so, why? If you believe it exists, then you must believe we left it behind us for a reason. So, my advice would be to remember the third world and why it was left. Don’t go searching for a way back in.

Finally, if you have any other questions about the Hopi emergence story or other Hopi myths/stories, I’ll do my best. I love their myth sets and have read them a lot. I would strongly suggest you read them for yourself, though. Try The Fourth World of the Hopi by Harold Courlander. It is an excellent collection of Hopi stories, straight from Hopi people. And, if you’re really interested, you might compare it to the similar myth sets of a nearby people, namely, Diné bahane`, which is the Navajo creation story. You can find them both on Amazon for like $10 each. I have, and it was great reading.

Keep the questions coming if you got ‘em.



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 06:37 PM
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heres a page about thier supposed ancient graqnd canyon civilization.

www.crystalinks.com...



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 08:57 PM
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Thank you, Hamburgler!

I did some reading on these myths, and you did a wonderful job of summarizing everything and hitting the key points. As you said, they came not from a cave, but from a series of worlds. It's somewhat similar to other Amerind myths.

Here is the story from the website of the Hopi tribe itself:
www.hopi.nsn.us...



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by Hamburglar

Originally posted by wannabe
I've been reading a lot about the the southwestern Indian tribes, and their creation story piqued my interest. Apparently they came from an "underworld", through something called a "sipapu", which is said to be located in the Grand Canyon.
Can anyone tell me anything more about this story? Is there any truth to it, and did these peoples emerge from a tunnel system in the Grand Canyon? Has anyone been there?




Anyway, the people had a new problem now, powakas (more or less sorcerers/witches). They worked evil, and the people didn’t know what to do. At a great council, it was decided to try to leave the third world. The people had heard footsteps in the sky, so they decided to try to go where the footsteps came from.



Does this image somehow represent this part of the Hopi Legend?



weber.ucsd.edu...

This Olmec bas-relief is found at Chalcatzingo which is south of Puebla. The monument is titled "El Ray", for the ruler figure sitting in the cave.

Notice the footsteps leading into the three clouds. Are these the footsteps the Hopi followed into the sky? Could the bullseye patterns and the star-fire pattern represent the evil beings disturbing the people?



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 01:04 AM
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Originally posted by lostinspaceDoes this image somehow represent this part of the Hopi Legend?

No, but it's identified as Quetzalcoatl because of some of the symbolic elements on the figure. There's other bas reliefs in the area that support this figure being Quetzalcoatl and that this image refers to him and not to any of the Hopi divine beings.

The Hopi are the descendants of the Anasazi ( www.desertusa.com... ) -- and some of their creation stories may have been handed down from these long-vanished people.

The Hopi and the Mayan/Aztecs (and a lot of other tribes) sprang from one large group of people that arrived in the Americas some 5,000 years ago: www.nvtc.gov...

There are some very interesting relationships in myths and gods there (Tlaloc and Quetzalcoatl appear to be the oldest) but the tribes are so separated in space and time that they share few if any symbols and stories.



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 10:59 AM
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this underworld hopi story is one of many different versions. I know Hopi people and as they say try to see the tree not each leaf.

The underworld was the third world that turned evil. The third world was more technological advanced that this one, and for awhile people used thier powers for good, but then after awhile mankind started warring. they also did nothing else but gamble and scoff at spiritual principles.

the creator sent a flood and a few chosen poor groups of peoples from all four races of man were allowed to survive. Now we are in the fourth world and the timeline for this world is running out. Unless people remember we are like beads on a string (all related) we are probably not going to make it.

Our fourth world is polluted with the sins of manking from the three previous worlds (forgetting our way, turning our back on the Earth, gambling, technology, sex, greed, forgetting our life plans the creator gave us.)

That Olmec symbol is interesting note the sacred corn...Aztecs oldest writings indicated they were not the original inhabitants of turtle island. Aztecs overthrew the Olmecs.

but be careful, the Aztec, and southern later Incan people were survivors of the flood who arrived later then the Hopi and the peoples that were with them. They were not there with the Hopi migrations, and they soon returned to evil as did the Middle East and then Greece, Rome, then Europe.

anyone should at surf the net for Hopi speeches to the United Nations, and read the book of the Hopi b4 really speaking about what they say. As for me im a beleiver and consider them the historians of all mankind. I am glad everyday that they continue to grow their sacred corn and when the road in the sky is complete and their true brother returns that will be a good day...



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 12:50 PM
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Thanks for the replies, you're right, I had an incomplete understanding of the hopi stories. I have read 2 collections of hopi writings, so I have a basic picture of what you're talking about, Hamburglar.

My interest in the hopi creation story is for the same reason I study any other ancient cultures - I want to know what goes on inside the earth. The last Hopi book that I read described the entrance to the 4th world as being in the Grand Canyon, so I assumed their people had emerged from the earth, as some other cultures describe.
THere are so many manmade tunnels, and so many that have not been explored......where do they go? What do they contain?

I live in san diego, there aren't any tunnels here that I can spelunk, so all I can do is read for now.



posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 05:12 PM
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Basically the vine "underworld" 4th world story is one that is told in the wintertime to un-intiated (non-one and two horn society) Hopi youth. It was one of many stories to generate behavior in Hopi children to mainatin their culture and life plan given to them by the Creator. By birthrite then some Hopi children were then initiated into the whole reed boat flood version of the emergence into the 4th world.

Now the Hopi people just tell the flood version because they were instructed to do so in these end times, and not just to their kids anymore but to anyone who will listen. Although not to many people are listening. I encourage you to read all you can about the Hopi. They have a lot to say. I lived in New Mexico for quite a few years all my friends down there were were Hopi, Navajo, etc.. most of the tribes down there had differences in the details but their stories were basically the same. They Hopi though are very unique. And they have thier clay tablets.

As far as I know the Hopi know their point of emergence is right where they are at currently (Hopi rez) in Arizona. How that ties into the real tunnels that run all over the us southwest as well as South America I have no idea, because the Hopi say in their "extended version" they arrived here on reed rafts after the flood. So I quess maybe the ancestors of the other Pueblo groups may have made them in ancient times (Zuni, Apache etc...)

Most of the other Pueblo groups also have thier own version of emerging from undergound into this 4th world. I have some pictures of artifacts discovered in an old Ecuadorian tunnel system that ran for over 600 miles made with such precision it could not be dupllicated even today. Whoever made it left a library of metal sheets with carvings all over them,and statues like a museum of sorts....

How far is San Diego from LA? There is an area outside the LA hills somewhere that has ancient stonework (above ground) similiar to the Markawski plateau in Peru you may enjoy seeing. Ive seen pictures but never been there, and there are supposedly tunnels in Mt Shasta in northern Cali connected to former inhabitants of Lemuria (who knows though) somwhere but be careful going in any tunnels ive heard bad things. Really bad things however a few good, many people report going deep into a regular cave while hunting or exploring or whatever, only to go thru a crack somewhere and end up in an ancient manmade tunnel system. Green hue and sound of running water/ and smooth tunnel walls are the common elements in witness accounts.



[edit on 12-3-2006 by mosca]



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