Truth of a Hopi by Edmund Nequatewa
RETURN OF THE SPANIARDS TO HOPI COUNTRY. SHIPAULOVI FOUNDED AS A SANCTUARY
After all this had happened the Hopi were sure that the Spaniards were going to come back and make an attack on them and they figured that they would be wiped out. The chief of Shung-opovi thought there should be someone saved who would keep a record of these happenings in the best way they could. Now just about that time the Sun Forehead Clan was admitted into the village. They came from Homolovi. The chief sent one of his relations of the Bear Clan and his family to Shipaulovi and with them he sent half of the Sun Forehead Clan. He told them that this Shipaulovi village would be recognized as an innocent town, and that whenever the Hopi were attacked by any of their enemies whoever wished to live, could go there.
After all this the chief just simply waited for the attack to come from the Spanish, for knowing that he was guilty, he would not hesitate to give himself up to the Spaniards.
He waited quite a long while about 20 years--but nobody knows just how long. Finally the Spanish came. When they did come, instead of going up to the village they camped about three-fourths of a mile below the old Shung-opovi town and the whole village was in terror. The chief went down to the camp to ask them if they had come then to be friends, or to destroy. 25
The captain of the army told him that they had only come for the guilty. Then the chief said that the whole village was guilty, because everybody that could had put a hand on the priest. Then the captain said that could not be, because there were a good many people in the village and he couldn't understand how everyone could have put a hand on the priest. Then the chief said, if he was guilty all the people were guilty for he was their chief and leader. The captain asked the chief to have all the men of the village descend down there, so the chief called his men to come. When all the men got there, the captain lined them up and then he asked the chief to pick out the men that were really guilty.
Before the chief said a word, the men declared they were all guilty; but the captain would not believe them. During all this excitement there was one Hopi had the
heart to come out with the truth. He stepped out and said he didn't like to see all the men get killed, for some of them were too young. They might become good runners or warriors and have long lives to live.
This man turned around to the chief and accused him of simply sacrificing his men because he didn't want to be put to death alone. He said that if he saved some of these men or convinced the Spaniards that these men were not all guilty, he himself would be willing to take the place of the chief and be the leader of the people. He was a man of the Strap Clan, closely related to the Bear Clan to which the chief belonged. This man was angry to think that the chief would sacrifice his men for nothing.
Then after this man had said he would be the leader of the people, he asked the chief to step forward and be honest and point out the ones who were really guilty. But the chief still wasn't man enough to do it, and he was asked four times before he would pick out the guilty men. The men were those who held positions in different kinds of ceremonies. With the Hopi, things like the doing away with the priest are not discussed with the common people--only among the leaders.
When these men were picked out, their hands were tied behind them and they were taken prisoners with the chief. The man of the Strap Clan took his men back to the village and the people coming out to meet them and seeing these men, declared him the chief. The next morning the men that were taken prisoners were shot at sunrise. Then the captain sent word up to the village that if they wished to bury the dead they could come and do it, but the people would not go down for fear they might get killed, so they waited until the Spaniards went away.
The new chief took everything in his hands and went down with some of his men and buried the dead. Each man was buried with his possessions, turquoise and shell beads. In those days the father's relatives would give presents of pottery to be buried with the dead. So they were buried with all those things. 26
Now the people of Shung-opovi had lived in the same village until the Spanish came back. Then the Strap Clan leader led the people to the top of the mesa and founded the new Shung-opovi, for he was afraid if they stayed down below, there would be more Spanish attacks.
From then on the Strap Clan people were leaders in Shung-opovi. During the next few years things were very prosperous, but it happened that they failed again--another
drought came. At this time the people held a council and made an agreement that every clan be given a chance to take their turn at leadership. So from then on, each clan took its turn and it finally came back to the Bear Clan (each clan held leadership for four years) and when their turn was up they refused to give it up for they claimed it was theirs originally. Since they refused to give up their leadership they have remained the royal family ever since.
About this time another company of Spanish soldiers came and old Mishongnovi was still inhabited at that time, for all the people had not yet moved up on top. 27 They stopped on the other side of Mishongnovi and asked the chief if he would make an agreement to let them in. He refused them four times. Then the captain of the Spanish soldiers said he had to destroy their village. Of course the people were very much afraid then, for they had seen what had happened at Shung-opovi and how the Spanish had killed the leaders of the trouble over there. Shung-opovi was then partly in ruins for the people were carrying away the beams to build their new homes on top, but somehow the Spanish didn't make an attack that time but went away again."
After they had gone away the Mishongnovi people wanted to stop up their spring, called Yo-niai-va (Antelope Chipmunk), which was a good spring at that time. They closed it up and had a paho-making ceremony. After they made their prayer offerings every man spun some cotton and when this was done they selected four different kinds of pahos and then wrapped cotton yarn over them. It made a round roll, about 10 inches long and about eight inches in diameter. With this they blocked up the water hole. Then in front of it they put a plaque and sealed it up around the edges with sweet cornmeal mush. 29 They did this so that if the Spanish ever came back they would find no water there. This spring was to be opened up when the good white man or his brother came back, but today nobody knows just where the spring really is.
When they had done this they started to move up on top of the mesa, but before they had all moved, the Spanish came back again. Finding no water where they had camped before, they went right into the village and destroyed it. No one was killed and the few people who were left escaped and moved up to the mesa top. Their, the Spanish tried to get to the new village on top, but there was no trail and the people had piled up stones which they rolled down on the Spanish so that they were unable to climb up.
Shipaulovi was pretty well established at this time, but was under a sub-chief of Shung-opovi, as Mishongnovi was too.
After all these happenings the chiefs of the three villages held a council and made an agreement that there should be a limited place where the next white man should stop. This place is where the Sunlight Mission now stands. It was put up to the Mishongnovi chief that it was to be his duty to look out for that. There was also another limited line--between Shipaulovi and Mishongnovi. If any attack should come from the outside on Mishongnovi, whoever wished to save his own life could go over to the Shipaulovi side, where they were not supposed to be touched. Shipaulovi was the place of safety and was not supposed to have any blood stain. No one there could fight and no one was supposed to fight them.
For a long time these two villages were under Shung-opovi, but finally it was too much for them to handle, on account of the great number of ceremonies they were supposed to have. Finally, Mishongnovi was given its freedom. Shipaulovi today is not altogether under Shung-opovi, but the people still go to Shung-opovi for their initiation ceremonies (Wuwuchime).
Next: Chapter X. The Return of the Bahana, the White Man