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Book of the Hopi

Product no.: 0-14-004527-9
The tenets of this book are as sacred to the Hopis as the Judeo-Christian Bible is to other peoples. Its spokesmen are some thirty elders of the Hopi Indian tribe in northern Arizona.

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Publisher's Synopsis

In this strange and wonderful book, some thirty elders of the ancient Hopi tribe of Northern Arizona freely reveal for the first time in written form the Hopi world-view of life. The Hopis have kept this view a secret for countless generations and this book was made possible only as a result of their desire to record for future generations the principles of their Road of Life.

The breaking of the Hopi silence is significant and fascinating because for the first time anthropologists, ethnologists and anyone interested in the field of Indian study have been given rich material showing the Hopi legends, the meaning of their religious rituals and ceremonies, and the beauty of a conception of life within the natural world that is completely untouched by materialistic worlds.

"This great cooperative effort could not have been obtained before, nor could it be obtained now; already some of the older spokesmen have died. Their traditions come to us by the dictate of fate we call fortuitous chance, at the time when we, as they, most need them.

That these Hopi have revealed their conceptual pattern of life to us now, for the first time, imparts to their gift a strangeness unique in our national experience... They reassert a rhythm of life we have disastrously tried to ignore. They remind us we must attune ourselves to the need for inner change if we are to avert a cataclysmic rupture between our own minds and hearts."    ~Frank Waters

Reviews

"With paintings, drawings, photographs, and reproductions of petroglyphs from other parts of the Southwest, the authors have attempted to confirm the Hopi origin myths and their legends of subsequent wanderings, through successive worlds, guided and helped by supernatural heroes, to their present home in the high desert of northcentral Arizona.

The Hopi villages are situated more than a mile high, looking out from mesa peaks and points over the light-changing landscape. There are 12 villages. The oldest, Oraibi, has been established by tree-ring dating to have been built on its present site on the Third Hopi Mesa not later than A.D. 900. Oraibi regards itself as the parent of all other Hopi villages, some of them established and named within the present century.

Oraibi clans and Oraibi ceremonialism are thought of by the authors as ancestral to similar traits in the other 11 villages. Interestingly, each new village was the result of a split between occupants of an older one. The People of Peace, as the Hopis call themselves, adjusted their inner difficulties by moving away from their causations. Theirs was no mode of life to permit warring between brothers."      ~American Anthropologist

Excerpt
"These are the Signs that great destruction is coming. The world shall rock to and fro. The white man will battle against other people in other lands - with those who possessed the first light of wisdom. There will be many columns of smoke and fire such as White Feather has seen the white man make in the deserts not far from here. Only those which come will cause disease and a great dying. Many of my people, understanding the prophecies, shall be safe. Those who stay and live in the places of my people also shall be safe. Then there will be much to rebuild. And soon - very soon afterward - Pahana will return. He shall bring with him the dawn of the Fifth World. He shall plant the seeds of his wisdom in their hearts. Even now the seeds are being planted. These shall smooth the way to the Emergence into the Fifth World."

Author Waters, Frank
Translator Bear, White
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 345 pp.
Publisher Penguin Books 1977
Gold Medal

Gold Medal

 
 

  Gold Medal Essential Reading

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