Meditations with The Hopi
by Robert Boissiere
Bear & Company, PO Box 2860, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504
Copyright © 1986 by Robert Boissier
Leslie Koyawena’s Prayer
Excerpted from the: Preface and Acknowledgements section of: Meditations with the Hopi
(Author Robert Boissier speaking)
... My own arrival in the Hopi world happened in 1948 and was followed by my stay there, leading to my virtual adoption by a family of the Second Mesa village of Shipaulovi. I considered myself extremely fortunate to have known life at Hopi virtually the way it was 100 years earlier, with no paved roads, no electricity, no telephone, no running water, no public schools, and practically no automobiles. We still then ate our meals on the floor, where we also slept, and I learned how to eat corn stew without a spoon. Communications were so difficult then through sand trails that the flow of tourists was manageable, whereas now it becomes difficult to handle. Despite all the pressures brought by twentieth century communications system, I consider it a miracle that the Hopi have retained enough of their original spirit to maintain their identity and the purity of life which they call the Hopi Way. It is my sincere wish as a writer that what this book contains will help the student of Hopi spirituality to have a clear vision of the Hopi unity of dimension, purpose, balance, and genuine faith in themselves.
Information which could in any way violate the Hopi right of privacy or the secrecy of certain rituals or ceremonies is not included in this book.
I have compiled a wealth of research and information published over the years on Hopi by scientists, writers, photographer, and some of the Hopi elders themselves, creating a synthesis of it for the purpose of introducing the profound esoteric level of Hopi life to the outside world, and attempting in this way to bring Hopi religious beliefs alongside the great religious currents of our times.
A great deal of the information contained in this book comes from statements made by Hopi spiritual leaders, elders, and chiefs during Hopi hearings called by the Hopis and conducted by a team appointed by Mr. Glenn L. Emmons, then Commissioner of Indian Affairs, from July 15 to July 30, 1955.
I have used extensively the minutes of these meetings as a unique source of information necessary to write this book. The meetings were conducted at the following villages: Hotevilla, Shungopovi, Mishongnovi, Shipaulovi, Kyakotsmoti, Bakabi, Moecopi, and First Mesa. These minutes are a unique compilation of Hopi leaders’ statements made on the history, myths, legends, and religion of the Hopi. According to the Hopi leaders themselves, these hearing were held at their request in order to have an opportunity to present to the world the basis upon which their world is established.
These “Meditations With The Hopi” I dedicate to the men who urged me to be a seeker of the truth, my earthly teachers.
Professor Pierre Lecomte Du Nöuy, associate member of the Rockefeller Institute, author of “Human Destiny.”
Father Teilhard De Chardin, researcher, paleontologist, and author.
Dr. Frederick Webb Hodge, anthropologist, director of the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, and editor of Edward S. Curtis’ twenty volumes in “The North American Indian” series.
Paul Coze, philosopher, writer, art teacher, and a great friend of the Hopi.
Last but not least, Leslie Koyawena, the humble Hopi farmer whom I considered to by my brother and whose presence in my life I miss enormously.
A few months before his recall to the underworld, we spent a couple of weeks together at my home in Santa Fe. It was at that time that I put on tape the following prayer, which I asked him to teach me:
”If we really pray from our whole heart for everybody, for our people, not just for us but for the whole world that we can live good, healthy lives, the one who takes good care of us from above,* our father, he will take good care of us and will help us live in a good way.
That is what we have to pray, that is what I say in my language it is to pray.” – Leslie Koyawena’s unedited prayer
Note: *“The one who takes good care of us from above” is the Sun and not the Christian concept of God. Hopis are sun worshipers.
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