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BOOK REVIEW: The Hopi Survival Kit


A Cultural/Religious Microcosm of the Macrocosm

By Leonard Burg
A Centre for the World Religions

The Hopi Survival Kit,
By Thomas E. Mails,
1997, Published by Welcome Rain,
Distributed by Stewart, Tabori & Chan,
A division of U.S. Media Holdings, Inc.,
575 Broadway,
New York, NY 10012.



Our survival as a planet depends on acknowledging the universal common roots that
humankind shares, in spite of differences in culture and religion. The Hopi Indians knew this,
and initiated a dialogue and collaboration which we can build on today, in the form of the book.
The Hopi Survival Kit. Its universal message graphically depicts the sacrifices made by the
Hopi to deliver a message to the world, at the risk of their very survival as a people. We can all
profit from their Live-and-let-live philosophy and the gift they have shared with us. We can use
it to both reconcile and honor the sovereignty of diverse religions/cultures, while in the process
discovering the universal roots that bind us together as humanity.

PART I


The Hopi are an Indian nation located in the Northeast corner of Arizona who are
broadly known today as the peaceful people. And, outsiders living in a world beset with
turmoil have often wondered how they achieved it. [Page 1]

The Hopi are renowned for having prophesized many of the catastrophic events taking
place in the world in the past 100 years. They see prophecy as part of a divine mission of a
humble people who live by the Plan laid out by the spirit, Maasaw [a Hopi Redeemer], and
today hold the land in trust for him. [154].

The author sees this as a reason the Hopi have survived years of domination and control
stemming from having been discovered by the invaders and conquistadors who settled in what
is now called the United States. He says that because of their humility and their abhorrence of
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materialistic living, we can begin to envision them as servants to whom the Creator will entrust
His sacred mission. [48]

Thomas E. Mails is one of the rare outsiders to have been entrusted with some of
the sacred knowledge of the Hopi to share it with the world. Much of what he wrote came from
his relationship with Dan Evehema, one of the great Hopi Elders who for half a century resisted
the efforts of the American government to assimilate the Hopi.

Evehema shared with Mails details of a secret newsletter published by the Elders. Over
an eleven year period, five of the elder Traditionalists wrote a newsletter to warn other Hopis
about the consequences of abandoning the secret. [7] It was called, Techqua Ikachi! [Which]
Is the creed of the Hopi Traditionalists. In its English translation what it means is blending with
the land and celebrating life.

Says Mails, Never get the idea that what I wrote is precisely what they said or what they
thought of it. It is approximately what they said and thought , supplemented with my own
thoughts and explanations and when I read it back to them , I modified it until they approved of
it. [341]

Mails is referring to Elders known as Traditionalists --- the ones who fought to
preserve the culture and resisted efforts by the Progressives or Two-Hearted to succumb to
assimilation into to American culture. The author thus dedicated the book, to all of the
Traditionalists who for nearly a thousand years preserved the message from the Creator that will
enable the planet and us to survive.

Because of the wide influence and power of some of the most popular religions of the
world i.e., Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism - the role of Traditional
indigenous cultures and religions in interfaith dialogue is often overlooked. Often they are seen
as backward, primitive, outdated, etc. However, a closer look at their way of life and religion
may reveal a closer relationship to universal spiritual principles than believed by our more
modern conventional religions.

A search for this common ground is at the core of a movement today of globally minded
Interfaith-conscious people; they desire to reconcile their differences with other religions and
cultures without sacrificing their own integrity. Why? In order to address the threat to world
peace posed by religious and ethnic wars and conflicts around the globe.

The Hopi Survival Kit book reveals the Hopi as model Live-and-Let-Live
collaborators with a unique gift to share in this interfaith dialogue. Said the Traditional
Hopi Elders, there is only one Great Spirit, our maker, and .we, as His children, should be
one happy family. But instead of equality, we practice caste systems and class struggles, glaring
at each other in greed. Most religious groups boost their particular method of attaining
perfection, while down grading and undermining others in order to govern territories and people
who wish to live in peace through their own inherent beliefs. [321]

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In spite of this philosophy, it is difficult for many to believe what they perceive as a
dying, decimated culture having anything useful to offer to those who are struggling to survive
the 21
st
Century. Did the army of hunters, traders, trappers, soldiers, government officials, White
anthropologists, etc. who invaded HopiLand believe, that no people who lived as simply and
poorly as the Hopi could possibly offer anything worthwhile to the burgeoning outside world, let
alone a message of greatest magnitude? [5]

Because many of the Hopi themselves surrendered to the forces of colonialization and
assimilation, the author raises the rhetorical question: Who wanted to pursue a religion that was
not strong enough to overcome White peoplecould it be that the Hopi religion was a false one
that was a product of archaic superstition and legends?.

In spite of the eventual control exerted by the United States government over the Hopi,
largely through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its handpicked Council, and the attempted
emasculation of their religion and culture, The Hopi Traditionalists have prevailed, though much
less in number. They have sacrificed themselves in order to share a universal message that we
all can rally around and delve more into as focal point of interfaith dialogue. At every turn they
saw themselves thwarted by the White invaders and their hand picked Hopi allies. The author
conveys the feeling that the basic motive of the Two-Hearteds and the forces of evil has been to
keep you and me from obtaining and implementing the great message needed to save ourselves
and the planet. [129]

The question is, what was their message and what universal principles inherent in it are
useful to interfaith dialogue and collaboration? The book outlines:
An original covenant given to the Hopi by their Redeemer, Maasaw;
His laying out of a Pattern of Life to follow to live in peace and harmony with
the divine;
Prophecy of events that would threaten that way of life; and
Instructions and warnings on how to avoid the impending catastrophe.

The Hopi Survival Kit shares the details of this roadmap and how, along the way, the
Hopi Traditionalists had to battle and overcome evil forces in order to bring this universal
message to the world.

Maasaw Hopi Redeemer

Maasaw is the Savior of the Hopi, just as Jesus Christ is the Savior of the Christian
World. [138] (His name is alternately spelled MAASAW, MASAW, MASSAU, MAASAUU).

Maasaw told the Hopi that, He would take over the control of the world at the end of the
Fourth cycle. (The Hopi identified four main cycles of existence, They normally illustrate this
as a circle that is divided like a pie chart into four equal parts.) [25]

As a Helper Spirit serving the Creator, his assigned task is to be the Guardian of the
earth. He will take full control as the fifth Cycle of the world begins. [After the climax of
prophesized calamities befalling the planet] [137]
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Hopi Elders do not confuse him [Mausaw] with the Creator. Instead they know he serves
the Creator. [56]

Or is it that Maasaw is really Jesus Christ who has come to the earth in a different guise?
The Hopi do not say so, but some Native Americans teach that Jesus once walked the Americas
and ministered to the natives.[says the author] As a Christian, I cannot accept that there is any
other Savior than Jesus Christ. Yet at the same time, Maasaw fills this role for the Hopi
Traditionalists who are not ChristiansIf and when it is necessary, the true Creator will do
whatever He must to reconcile Christianity and Maasaw.. [139]

PART II

Maasaws Covenants Pattern of Life

Maasaw provided the Hopi their Covenants or Pattern of Life and Traditionalists are the
ones who follow and keep these covenants. [57]

The Pattern of Life was an organized, rational succession of repetitious experience. In
this method, inner peace and understanding come as specified duties are performed. [33]

Except for the Hopi themselves, the Pattern of Life is not a religion. The Traditionalists
do not pass this information on to seek conversions. They do not want you to wish you could
even become a Hopi. [270] However, There are jewels in his Pattern of Life that are
universal. [135]

At the crux of the Hopi Pattern of Life are Divine Laws and Ceremonies to be observed.
These same Divine Laws constitute the essence of the Instructions and warnings given to the
Hopi (to share with the world) in order to escape the wrath indicated by the Hopi prophecies.
They can be summed up as follows: [238]

1. making your own covenant with Maasaw
2. Living simpler, as Maasaw Himself lives
3. Practicing self-denial
4. practicing Self-sufficiency
5. Changing your priorities
6. Recognizing that it is the Creators wish to rescue us and that together with the Hopi
we can rescue the world

In addition to the latter general principles for living, the Hopi Elders tell us Hopi believe
all life on our earth lives and goes by life cycles. Therefore all must rest and renew for the
coming cycle.and repeat annually in the Hopi language all of the information pertaining to the
Life Pattern. [167]

The two main seasonal (cyclic) ceremonies the Hopi observe are: [243]

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1. The Soyal: Preparation, Purification, Consecration, Thanksgiving; Kachinas come
to dance
2. Planting, Cultivation, Harvest and Thanksgiving

In order to preserve and meet threats to this way of life, Maasaw provided the Hopi
prophecies because, People are lost and looking for direction. The Creator has known that this
time would come, and uses the prophecies to get our attention. Then He calms our fears as He
presents us with the way to handle whatever comes. [212]

Hopi Prophecy

The Survival Kit presents about 100 prophecies, many of which have or are coming to
pass, and some which are on the horizon. Prophecies tell why, give instructions and warnings,
signs and hope. The author stresses that Hopi prophecies substantiate themselves in that every
one of them that should have been fulfilled by now has been. [172] Some of the more notable
prophecies are:

The Bahanna or White race, will come in large numbers. They will be cunning
and sly with forked tongue and sweet Tongue. By deceit and fraud they will take
over the land of the Native People. [181]
People with the Cross will appear in our land, and the Hopi nation will become
split as they Lose their culture and assimilate
The Gourd of Ashes(Atomic Bombs dropped during WWII)
Advent of the House of Mica the United Nations
Four Attempts will be made [and were] by Hopis to take their case to the UN
Advent of Airplanes, trains, cars, utility lines, radios
Hurricanes, acid rain, volcano eruptions, Florida Swamp creatures mutating,
Hantavirus (infected mice in Navaho/Hopiland)
Population explosion, Deforestation, Revolutions, Global warming, Flooding,
Melting polar ice caps, Water shortages, Greenhouse effect; and yet to come:

THE GREAT DAY OF PURIFICATION

Returning Ice Age, War of retaliation against terrorism, Food shortages, Money
becomes worthless,
Tropical land could become a land of ice. But this need not happen if we the
people get our leaders to do something about the harmful things being done to the
environment. [212]

Warnings And Instructions: The Spiritual Ark

The Creator told the Hopis what could happen, but at the same time told them how they
could survive these things. The WARNINGS are stern and uncompromising, yet they are also
meant to rescue us in times of peril. But the INSTRUCTIONS which teach Hopis to do certain
things on both ceremonial and daily life hold a whole new way of deliverance from catastrophes
and evil forces. [57]
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Though these instructions may seem related to a specific cultural context, the Hopi
always stress the underlying universal principles: How wonderfulthat, for the Hopi and us,
the Creator and Mausaw have provided a Spiritual ARK that consists of carefully chosen
thoughts, words deeds and promises. Together these make up the manner of life that will be led
on the Ark. [226]

Traditionalists tell us today, that the only thing that will save us is to achieve new
attitudes by immersing ourselves in the Spiritual Ark which is the workroom of the Creator.
[344]

By this they are not saying you have to convert to the Hopi Religion: As you board the
Ark, make your own covenant with the Creator and Maasaw. That does not mean you will
exchange what you are going to do on the Ark for your own religious faith. While the Ark does
function in relationship with the Creator, it is not a place of religion, nor does it recognize any
religion as superior to others. [269]

As we follow the INSTRUCTIONS we will feel the connection. The spirits of Dan
[Evehema] and others will come to be with us and urge us on. [375] The universal space they
are talking about can connect you with all the great spirits that have come to the planet to redeem
humanity. These beings function by the same universal divine laws.

Here are some final thoughts from the Hopi Elder Elders on this point: We must neither
lose sight of our prayers or the Divine Laws of our Creator, Laws which never change or break
down, that often bring miracles when one meets obstacles which seem impossible to pass. [368]

Implicit is that these laws are the same for all religions and all cultures, although they
may speak of them is culturally different ways. So the Hopi say, Review with yourself and
these same close ones [loved ones] the Divine Laws. These laws will vary with different
cultures and religions. Do your own version of the 2 cycle ceremonies. [275]

So we can see by this that the Hopi do not claim to hold the exclusive key to survival of
the planet. For all people on earth are responsible for hold the key to survival. [199]

In spite of the fact that it has been the destiny of the Hopi to suffer many trials and
tribulations that have nearly made their culture extinct, the essence of it lives on, in the form of
the Elder Elders and Traditionalists, many of whom, commonly live into their 90s and in the
case of the most deeply committed and spiritual, past 100. [239]

Furthermore, It is worth noting that this priceless information was placed in the keeping
of the very Nave American people who would outlast all of the other tribes in North America in
preserving their traditional ways and vows. [179]

The physical place where this last vestige of Hopi wisdom resides is called HOTEVILLA
village a stronghold for the Traditionalists .. known as The Shrine of the Covenant. [74]

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According to the author, the Village of Hotevilla had begun as the place where the
Covenant was preserved, and, among other things, the cycle of yearly activities kept the world in
balance with enough harmony to survive. It became a Mother Village, a shrine, a microcosm of
the world, and the home of the last keepers of this Covenant of greatest magnitude. [17]

As a result, this village and its inhabitants, largely Elders and Traditionalists, has been the
target of attempts throughout the years to modernize the Hopi, thus exacerbating a rift between
the Progressives and the Traditionalists. The elders have warned that, As soon as
something begins to happen at Hotevilla, the microcosm clock begins to tick. [61]

The Hopi Traditionalists see events at Hotevilla as a possible harbinger of things to come
on a broader level in the world. The author raises the question, Are there things in the works
that would propel us into Armageddon? Factionalism is the mode at Hotevilla Village today.
[1997] The prophecies predicted another split like that of 1906 and the split has occurred." [301]

It behooves Interfaith-conscious people of good will to consciously reach out to and
include indigenous cultures like the Hopi in dialogue about how to heal the divisions among
religions and cultures that exacerbate the calamities occurring in the world today. In doing so,
there are several key questions we can pose and deliberate on that might bear fruit to nourish our
efforts to bring peace to the world:

Where does the material end and the universal spiritual begin in the Hopi
culturei.e., what are the specific spiritual values and practices that transcend
Hopi religion/culture and are applicable to all humankind?

What are the universal spiritual truths and realities underlying the rituals and
ceremonies of the Hopi; how do they compare to those of other religions; and are
there ways to access that reality through practices that can be common to all
religions and cultures?

What is the fundamental cause for the suffering experienced by the Hopi and
other indigenous religion/cultures around the globe?

Has the Hopi religion/culture helped avoid an even harsher fate?

What role did the Hopis steadfast identification with their Traditional culture
play in being vulnerable to oppression at the hands of the invading civilization?

Are there ways in which the Hopi could have been more open to the more positive
aspects of the dominant culture, without compromising their own integrity,
security or development?

How do the teachings of the Hopi Redeemer Maasaw compare to the saviors in
other religions? And what is the possibility that such a living savior exists today?

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Although I raise these questions in reference to the Hopi as depicted in the book The
Hopi Survival Kit, they raise concerns that apply to all religions and all cultures. Given the
proof that the Hopi have been chosen to alert mankind to some of the pitfalls and calamities we
face as a planet, they might be a good place to focus a serious interfaith dialogue.

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Hotevilla, Hopi Shrine of the Covenant, Microcosm of the World
book by same author, Marlow & Co., 632 Broadway, 7
th
Floor, New York, 10012,
800-788-3123

Pathways Foundation, 30491 Longhorn Drive, Canyon Lake CA 92587, 909 244-
2737

Hotevilla, Dont Waste Arizona, Inc., 6205 so. 12
th
Street, Phoenix, AZ 85040,
602-268-6110