"A Continual Beginning, and Then an Ending, and Then a Beginning Again": Hopi Apocalypticism in the New Age

By Clements, William M. | Journal of the Southwest, Winter 2004 | Go to article overview

"A Continual Beginning, and Then an Ending, and Then a Beginning Again": Hopi Apocalypticism in the New Age


Clements, William M., Journal of the Southwest


In January and February 1997, a series of press releases datelined "Hotevilla, AZ" and issued by the Hotevilla Priesthood Assembly took issue with "new-age interpretation and appropriation of Hopi religious practices." The assembly announced plans to restrict access to those practices so that only Hopis would be involved and to disassemble shrines that had been placed on Hotvela (to use the currently preferred spelling) lands by non-Hopis. The releases defined a Hopi as "one who has received the full religious instructions" and "whose mother is a Hopi" and noted that the only non-Hopis who would be welcome at ceremonies would be other Indians who had been initiated into Katsina societies and were in-laws of Hopis. The assembly described the situation that occasioned the restrictions in one of their releases: "Non-Hopis have come to Hotevilla in the past and have followed religious processions too closely, imitated Hopi religious/ceremonial activities, i.e., Paho [Prayer Feather] and shrine making, which shows disrespect for Hopi traditions and culture. Some non-Hopi have taken various religious items from Hopi shrines and illegally bought old Hopi artifacts, some of which had high religious significance." The releases identified several individuals responsible for encouraging non-Hopi involvement in Hopi religious affairs--especially Dan Evehema, one of two "self-appointed chiefs" who had led non-Hopis in defying the priesthood's ban on their participation, and two non-Hopis, Katherine Cheshire, founder of Touch the Earth Foundation, and author and Lutheran minister Thomas E. Mails. (1)

On one hand, we could treat these press releases as just another instance of the factionalism among the Hopi communities on Third Mesa in northeastern Arizona that led to the founding of Hotvela in 1906 (Whiteley 1988). But they are more than that, for the individuals cited by the assembly have been the most important and influential figures in popularizing Hopi religious teachings among participants in the so-called New Age movement, an eclectic alternative religious trend that emerged in the 1970s primarily among Europeans and Euro-Americans who adopted and adapted teachings and practices from outside their own cultures' mainline religions. The New Age movement has focused on Asian spirituality but embraces a range of alternative spiritual traditions. Always a prominent element of the New Age, reinterpreted American Indian religious beliefs and rituals became particularly significant among adherents of alternative spirituality in the 1990s. The component of Hopi religion that Thomas Mails, with the assistance of Dan Evehema and Katherine Cheshire, has foregrounded is the emergence mythology that lies at the spiritual core of Hopi life. Inherent in that mythology is the prophecy of an imminent and purifying conclusion to the world as we now know it, followed by a restoration of an Edenic existence similar to that known countless years ago. * Though Frank Waters may have exaggerated when he wrote, "No other world prophecy is said to be as well known as the prophecy of impending world destruction made by the Hopi Indians of Arizona" (Waters 1991, ix), it has exerted considerable appeal for New Age believers for a variety of reasons.

The earliest version of the Hopi emergence myth to be published is apparently the one Frank Hamilton Cushing recorded in 1882 (Cushing 1924). In his study of the myth, Armin Geertz (1994, 343-421) reprints the Cushing text, ten other previously published recordings narrated by Hopi "Hostiles and Traditionalists" (i.e., those who oppose compromise with Euro-American culture), and a version he recorded in 1982. In addition to these versions, Geertz (1994, 343-44) notes the existence of some half dozen other published texts. Richard O. Clemmer (1995, 52) notes several texts which Geertz does not mention. Both Geertz and Clemmer reject several additional texts as synthetic reworkings of the myth; (2) some of these, though, have had considerable influence on New Age believers interested in Hopi prophecy. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

"A Continual Beginning, and Then an Ending, and Then a Beginning Again": Hopi Apocalypticism in the New Age
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.