Sacred Texts  Native American  Hopi 


Stories Relating to the Origin, Myths and Clan Histories of the Hopi

by Edmund Nequatewa

[1936, copyright not renewed]

Contents    Start Reading

This is one of the rarest types of ethnographic documents, one actually written by a native American. Mr. Nequatewa ably relates some of the mythological stories also covered by Voth. However, the bulk of this book--by far the most valuable section--covers the historical legends of the Hopi, from a Hopi viewpoint. The Hopi 'theory' (Nequatewa's word) was that the 'Bahana' (the white people) emerged from the under-world alongside the Hopi, and went off in search of the truth. Someday they would return and live in harmony with the Hopi, bringing wisdom and great abundance.

So what is the truth of a Hopi? The return of the Bahana didn't work out quite that way. The Hopi resisted enculturation, sometimes through armed resistance, at other times through nonviolent resistance (as when they hide the children from the policeman coming to take them to the boarding schools). However, all the while they apparently kept their good natured belief that someday their ironic 'theory' of the inherent goodness of the whites would work out.

Throughout, Nequatewa relates incidents and characterizations of Hopis that go far beyond the 'Noble Savage' sterotypes of brave warriors and laconic wisemen. The Hopi who occupy these pages are all too human, and that alone is a drop of truth that is missing from accounts of the Hopi, even to the present day.

--J.B. Hare

Title Page
Chapter I. How The People Came Out Of The Underworld
Chapter II. Masauwu
Chapter III. How the Mocking Bird Gave the People Many Languages
Chapter IV. The Hopi Decide to Seek a New Home. How Certain Clans Received Their Names
Chapter V. How the Hopi Selected Shung-opovi For Their Home
Chapter VI. How the Crow Clan Arrived and Settled at Mishongnovi
Chapter VII. How a Family Quarrel Led to the Founding of Oraibi
Chapter VIII. How the Spaniards Came to Shung-opovi, How They Built a Mission, and How the Hopi Destroyed the Mission
Chapter IX. Return of the Spaniards to Hopi Country. Shipaulovi Founded as a Sanctuary
Chapter X. The Return of the Bahana, the White Man
Chapter XI. How The Hopi Marked the Boundary Line Between Their Country and That of the Navajo
Chapter XII. How Some Hopis Resisted Sending Their Children to School and the Trouble That Resulted
Chapter XIII. How Hotevilla And Bakabi Were Founded
Chapter XIV. Youkioma
How the Crow Clan Became Also the Kachina Clan
The Legend of Palotquopi
Yaponcha, the Wind God
The Kana-a Kachinas Of Sunset Crater
The Ladder Dance At Old Shung-opovi
The Ladder Dance At Pivahonkiapi
Dr. Fewkes and Masauwu