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1st Retreat, Hopi Grand Father Stories
You need to read this creation story and write a report on it with enough detail that I know that you really read it.
The Hopi myth of creation begins with the creator and endless space. Like many other religious and
scientific views of the emergence of earth and man, the Hopi belief of creation began with the
Taiowa created Sotuknang first followed by Spider Woman, then a set of twins. These first people created
by the creator were in tune with the creator in a way which modern day people are not. The first Hopi
people were committed to their creator and only wished to do as the creator commanded them.
The Hopi believe that the human race has passed through three different worlds and life ways since the
beginning. At the end of each prior world, human life has been purified or punished by the Great Spirit
due mainly to corruption, greed and turning away from the Great Spirit's teachings. The last great
destruction was the flood which destroyed all but a few faithful ones who asked and received a permission
from the Great Spirit to live with Him in this new land. The Great Spirit said, "It is up to you, if you
are willing to live my poor, humble and simple life way. It is hard but if you agree to live according
to my teachings and instructions, if you never lose faith in the life I shall give you, you may come and
live with me." The Hopi and all who were saved from the great flood made a sacred covenant with the
Great Spirit at that time. We Hopi made an oath that we will never turn away from Him. For us the
Creators laws never change or break down.
The first of these three worlds gave the Hopi people a simple life with the animals. The second world
produced further developments such as crafts, homes and villages. The third world proved to be a great
world with mass multiplication, advances in society such as big cities, countries and a higher form of
civilization. This proved to be too difficult a barrier to carry on the wishes and plan of the creator.
The more advanced a society became, the more the people became preoccupied with their own earthly
plans. Those who remained close to the creator and his plan recognized that the more advanced society
became and the longer people remained on earth, the harder it was to keep the wishes of the creator.
In this third world, the creator allowed for the world to be destroyed by flood. The Hopi who believed
were guided by Spider woman to safety and then the earth was flooded. After a long period of time in
safe keeping, the Hopi people were instructed as how to journey to the fourth world, known as Tuwaqachi,
or World Complete. Once the journey was complete the people were instructed that although this new
world is not as beautiful and easy as the previous worlds, it has everything the people need and allows
them great choice. The manner in which the people choose will determine whether or not this world must
be destroyed as the previous three, or whether the Creator's plan will be carried out by the people.
A gift given to the Hopi by the creator was the ability to communicate with each other even though
they did not speak the same language. They could do this through a closeness of spirit which allowed
them to see and talk to each other through the center on the top of their head. They had this ability
because of the continuance of singing praises to the creator.
The Hopi believed there is a consequence to every action. There is also a distinct difference between
the balance of nature on earth and human nature on earth. Human nature has some characteristic flaws
such as greed, hatred, and violence. The Hopi believe that human nature has destroyed three previous
worlds due to a lack of respect for nature by humans as well as a lack of respect for one another,
as well as a lack of respect and reverence toward the Creator.
The people once dwelled in the Third World inside the earth and lived there in good ways for many
years, but eventually materialism prevailed and the people forgot the laws of the Great spirit.
Corruption ensued and a great division of the people resulted for some wanted to continue to follow
the good laws and live Simply, while self-importance took over the hearts of many. Immorality
flourished so the high priests and the leader gathered together to smoke and pray for guidance.
This is when the idea came to them to move. Because they had been hearing footsteps in the sky above
them, they sent a red racer snake and birds to investigate, neither of which was successful. Finally,
a :ootsa, or small sparrow hawk, found the sipapuni, or hole in the sky, and emerged into this, the
Fourth World. There it found a well dressed and handsome young man sitting next to a fire. Around his
neck were four strands of turquoise and from his ears hung large pendants of this same precious stone.
Streaks of black hematite ran from the bridge of his nose downward to each cheek. He identified himself
as Maasaw, Caretaker of the Earth. He knew of the situation below and because of the trouble the people
had brought upon themselves, he refused to grant them permission to enter the Fourth World.
When the sparrow hawk returned to the leader and priests with this disheartening news, they tried again.
This time they sent along paho, or prayer feathers, and instructed the bird to present this to Maasaw for
an offering. The leader pledged that only good people would enter the Fourth World if permission to enter
were granted. The young man was impressed by the prayer feathers and granted permission, but only if the
people agreed to practice his way of life. But the evil ones must stay behind.
The leader and priests were overjoyed with the news and instructed by guidance, planted a spruce tree
and pine trees. As they sang creation songs and prayed, the trees shot up into the air but the branches
were too soft to support the people all the way into the upper world. So a bamboo reed was planted.
Because all of this was kept secret from the corrupt people, only the good- hearted people knew of the
plans to leave. They climbed the bamboo reed, which did not have sections in the beginning, and as they
grew tired, rested between the joints as they worked their way up. Thus sections were created in the
bamboo reed where the people rested. Finally, the pointed end of the bamboo pierced the sky and the
people climbed through the emergence hole into this, the Fourth World where Maasaw gave them his rules
for living a proper way of life, along with the navoti, or prophetic statements. He then instructed the
Hopi to migrate to the four coruers of the earth, assuring them that after their wanderings they would
eventually meet at a common site. It was there they were to found a village, name it Oraibi, and settle
permanently. Here they would gather eternal benefits from the land for the area was the "backbone of the earth."
Old Spiderwoman, who emerged with the people, was given a stone tablet on which she magically inscribed
Maasaw's instructions on life. Then, breaking it in two, Maasaw gave one half of the tablet to the Hopi
and one half to the Pahana, the Elder White Brother, who had also emerged with them.
[Maps & Directions]