Message from Thomas Banyacya, Hopi Elder
My name is Thomas Banyacya. I have been interpreting for my people for a number of years: since 1948. At that time, in Shungopaavi village, Hopi leaders, Chiefs and Religious men met for two days and went into many of the Hopi prophesies and knowledge that has been kept within the religious societies ever since we came here many, many centuries ago.
Since 1948 I have been putting all of my time and effort into helping my people to explain their position, their religious lives, their traditions, their warnings and their prophesies. They tell that this is the time of world events and troubles to which the prophecies refer. Things that bad been prophesied are now being fulfilled, and they felt that it is time that this knowledge be brought out to all people, not only to the Hopis and to other native people of this land, but to all people who are here on the continents called North and South America. We are now facing a severe day when severe punishment may be meted out to those of us who have not been following the instructions of the Great Spirit.
The Hotevilla people have the sacred stone tablets. The Oraibi people have the sacred stone tablets.
The Shungopaavi people, on another mesa, have their religious order still functioning as it was from the
beginning. The village of Mishongnovi and the first mesa people are still exercising and carrying on their
sacred ritual ceremonies. They are all holding on to the life of the Great Spirit and of the people here in
this land, so that this land will never be destroyed like it happened in another world.
The main reason they are now bringing this knowledge out and sending us to different areas is to tell the
people, to warn the people, to explain this to them, to compare our knowledge, to compare our
languages, and to compare our religious tenets. This is so, that through that religion, we will be able to
find each other. That is to say, we, who are searching for the right way of living the truthful and peaceful
way of harmony with each other and with nature all around: the clouds, the rain, the animals and the
plant life. We are all a part of it. We cannot break away from that. We are going to have to understand
this so that we can look at each other. We are just like the trees out there.... all different people with
different languages, different colors and different ways of expression. We are just like any other part of
nature that is around us. This we must understand.
The Hopi stands on the religious and spiritual grounds that our old people have kept in their religious
societies. Each one has his own special duty, and this is like any of the various animals, birds, fruits of
the field or flowers. Everything has its own gift to give to the world, to share and to give to others. So
each one of us and each of the religious men also have that duty, whether he is a small person or a
young man. We are all looking and searching for peace, harmony, and better understanding among
ourselves, so that we can face that day which Hopi call Purification Day. Some say that it is judgment
Day and some call it the Last Day. The Hopi were given that religion or belief and understanding of life
in order to stand there to prove to the Great Spirit when we have him again that we will still be speaking
the Hopi language and standing on our own path. The others were given their knowledge also, and you
must stand on that path, each in accordance with your own teachings.
But together we must share with each other, come together and live in peace until we get there, so that
when the Great Spirit stands up we will not be afraid. The Great Spirit also provided that there will be a
Purifier who will stand there to weed out the bad ones from among us. It will be done with power and
might. We cannot change that. We cannot stop it, and we cannot add anything to make it otherwise.
That's the way it is laid out, and these leaders know this. So the basic thing now is for these leaders to
explain this standard of life, so that we may get a better understanding of it.
October 11, 1969