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Massau’u’s Message

The following is an excerpt from a speech delivered by Hopi spiritual leader, Thomas Banyacya, in front of the United Nations Habitat Forum in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1976. The speech was delivered as part of a three-day Earth Healing ceremony, during which the Hopi shared their spiritual prophesy with the forum. Prior to this event, the Hopi people had been denied audiences with both the United Nations General Assembly in New York and the World Congress of Religions.

My name is Banyacya of the Wolf, Fox, and Coyote clan, and a member of the Hopi Independent Nation. I have been appointed as an interpreter for and by the hereditary Kikmongwis [clan leaders] and the religious headmen of the Hopi people. I am here to fulfill my clan duty by presenting to the United Nations and the world the message of the hereditary Kikmongwis, Hopi religious headmen and other Native traditional elders.            

The time has come to join in meaningful action. Destruction of all land and life is taking place and accelerating at a rapid pace. Our native land is continuing to be torn apart and raped of its sacredness by the corporate powers of this nation. We do have an alternative to this. Mankind has a chance to change the direction of this movement, do a roundabout turn, and move in the direction of peace, harmony, and respect for land and life. The time is right now. Later will be too late. In order to do this, the Native peoples must return to the spiritual path as one to cure and heal our Mother Earth. It is only through the heart, prayer, and ceremony that we can bring this turbulence of evil to a halt.

Hopi and other Native spiritual leaders are greatly concerned with the conditions of our Mother Earth. They have watched the white brothers systematically destroy the Native peoples as they did natural resources. According to our beliefs and prophecies, if this destruction continues, man’s existence on this world will soon be ended. We are not asking the United Nations for help in a material way. We are, according to Hopi prophecy, simply trying to inform the world of what is going to happen if the destruction of the earth and its original peoples continues as is known by our religious Hopi elders.

The Hopi and all Native brothers have continually struggled in their existence to maintain harmony with the earth and with the universe. To the Hopi, land is sacred, and if the land is abused, the sacredness of Hopi life will disappear and all other life as well. Land is the foundation of Hopi and all life, and the foundation of the Hopi stand.

Land was here long before any human being set foot upon this earth. Somewhere the human race began, and we came to this land after asking permission from the Great Spirit, Massau’u. After obtaining His permission we came and settled with Him on this land. He showed us the continent. He gave us Sacred Stone Tablets, religious instructions, warnings, and prophecies, and all land and life was placed in the care of Kikmongwis and religious headmen. He marked out the boundaries for each group on the continent, after which each group was given an individualized life plan with certain spiritual and religious beliefs; the way to worship, to live, the food to eat, the languages to speak, etc. He then gave his final instructions: live and never lose faith or turn away from your life pattern. The peoples of the world are turning away from their life plan.

We Hopi have been faithful to the instructions of the Great Spirit, Massau’u, up to this time. We have followed our life plan. We are still carrying on our sacred rights and ceremonies. We have not lost our faith in Massau’u. He has given to us many prophecies. He told us the white brother would come and be a very intelligent man, bringing to us many things he would invent. One invention that our forefathers spoke of was a machine, or object, that would move on the land with animals pulling it: the wagon. Our forefathers also talked of a machine that would afterwards move with nothing pulling it. When we saw the automobile we understood. Then they said that the land would be cut up and that there would be many roads. Today we see pavement all over the land. Later, there would even be roads in the sky where people will travel. Now we see airplanes. It was said by Massau’u that if and when a gourd of ashes is dropped upon the earth, that many men will die, and that the end of the materialistic way of life is near at hand. We interpret this as the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We do not want to see this happen again, here or any place on our Earth Mother; instead, we should now turn all this energy for peaceful uses, not for war.

Today the sacred lands where the Hopi live are being desecrated by men who seek coal and water from our soil that they may create more power for the white brother’s cities. It will destroy our Hopi and other people with smog, poison air, lack of water, and pollution of water and land. One example is sacred Hopi land in ruin all over the "four corners area", where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah meet in the United States; this area Hopis call Tukunavi and is part of the heart of our Mother Earth and has been a shrine and sacred place for the Hopi and other pueblos for many thousands of years. This desecration of our spiritual center must not be allowed to continue, for if it does, Mother Nature will react in such a way that almost all men will suffer the end of life as they now know it. All we ask is that this place be respected and protected by all nations who have sacred duty and responsibility. Every measure must be taken to preserve this spiritual center.

Massau’u said not to take from the earth for destructive purposes and not to destroy living things indiscriminately or without prayer. He further stated that man was to live in harmony and maintain a good clean land for all children to come, and take care of land and life for the Great Spirit. The United States system has gone against these religious instructions and now almost destroyed all our land and our way of life. All Hopi People and other First Peoples are standing on this religious principle. Not only have the Hopi struggled to care for and maintain the earth and their existence, but all the First Peoples of the Americas have struggled to maintain themselves in the world today. The present oppressive governments in the Americas continue to make the existence of the First Peoples a continuous struggle for life.

The United States and United Nations should understand that it cannot bring about peace and harmony or the good life in the world if it does not correct the wrong doings going on within the American continent. The United Nations will never be able to reach its goals, to bring about peace and harmony among all people, or make it in the future if it does not at least support the Hopi and the other First Peoples of this land in their struggle for world wide recognition and respect.

Man must learn to serve man and share freely from now on. We must bring back the level of life where land is free, water is free, there are no boundaries and there is freedom of spiritual understanding.

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