In April, I visited the Hopi people of Arizona. The above petroglyph is not from Arizona. It's from just outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. You are not allowed to take photographs in the villages of the Hopi, and seeing as that is where I was, I did not take any pictures. But this petroglyph is Hopi, it's just very old Hopi. It designates that the Parrot Clan passed through here on their migrations.
The migration story is what first drew me into the Hopi story many years ago. The Hopi have the longest continually occupied villages in North America. Their villages are spread out over and below the three mesas. They came to settle in these villages after an incredible journey to the four corners of the Americas thousands of years ago.
I went to the Hopi to request permission to use their language as the time travel codes in Terra Tempo Two. I followed the rules and protocol of the Office of Cultural Preservation and I set up a meeting to present the book. The OCP said "no". I could not use the Hopi language in my book. The big no-no was the scene where the kids open a portal in the Grand Canyon. This was too close to a sensitive aspect of the Hopi religion. In the Hopi story the sipapuni, or point of emergence into this world from the previous world was in the Grand Canyon.
I was invited to check out the villages, be respectful, and talk to as many other people as I could. And talk I did. Most of my trip was spent talking or listening to different people. I learned a few different things on this trip.
I learned that Hopi is a concept, an ideal to strive towards. Peace, respect, and connection to the land are Hopi ideals. They value sharing over competition. The Hopi are a friendly, humble people.
I learned that the elders are the Hopi heros. This is very different from our culture, in which our heros are the youth. Athletes and entertainers are our stars. The Hopi stars are the grandmothers and grandfathers that share the stories and the ways of doing things. As we grow in life, we must become the heros to the next generations. When we finally get as old as our grandparents and we have lived a life of sharing and teaching, then we may attain wisdom.
I learned the Hopi are in trouble when it comes to their water rights. I was invited to sit in on a long discussion (mostly in the Hopi language) about the situation of S.2109, the Senate Bill introduced by Senator Jon Kyle and sponsored by Senator John McCain. This bill requires the Hopi to give up their aboriginal and federal reserve water rights to the Little Colorado River.
The bill also requires the Hopi to waive claims for damage to water rights and water quality done to the N Aquifer by Peabody Western Coal Company and the Navajo Generating Station.
The bill does not give much in return. It promises a small municipal water system to some villages, but the funding to operate this system is not guaranteed. Families that do not pay for water now, will be required to pay for water brought in by this system.
The villages are the heart of the Hopi society. The Hopi are very connected to their families and extended families, called clans. The Hopi are an intensely spiritual people whose calendar of planting and harvesting corn is aligned to the calendar of dances and ceremonies. Each village hosts different dances throughout the year.
I drove around those mesas listening to the Hopi radio, listening to the Hopi language when I could, and admiring the Hopi landscape. I love the fact that you can not take pictures there. I hope they hold onto that prohibition forever. There is no place like that anywhere else in North America. A place free of digital capturing. A place free of image interpretation.
I saw Prophesy Rock with Nick Santa. He's a guide and a shop owner with an amazing collection of Katsina dolls. I've known of Prophesy Rock since I was in high-school in 1995. Finally seeing it was a great marker on the trail of my personal history. I'm not going to talk about the Hopi prophesies. I think it is better if you find Frank Water's, "Book of the Hopi" and read it cover to cover in order to get a better idea of the totality of Hopi thought on the subject.
I was there to put the final touches on Terra Tempo Two, The Four Corners of Time. The time travel codes have been entered on the maps and the final touches of color are being put on the panels. I love TT2. It is a big book and it took way to long to make and it went a wee bit over budget to create, but it is epic and worth it all.
I look forward to returning to Hopi land. There was a lot of interest in Craigmore Creations. I hope we can make a trip down there next April and do our assembly for the schools.
Thank you Hopi people! I now have the language of time travel for Terra Tempo Two. It's not Hopi, though. I made up my own time travel codes based upon the sound of Hopi.