Daily Micro: Yesterday’s Visionaries in Today’s World ~ The Way of the HOPI

Acknowledging The Way of the Hopi

Don Talayesva

When I am too old and feeble to follow my sheep or cultivate my corn, I plan to sit in the house, carve Katcina dolls, and tell my nephews and nieces the story of my life… Then I want to be buried in the Hopi way. Perhaps my boy will dress me in the costume of a Special Officer, place a few beads around my neck, put a paho and some sacred corn meal in my hand, and fasten inlaid turquoise to my ears.

If he wishes to put me in a coffin, he may do even that, but he must leave the lid unlocked, place food near by, and set up a grave ladder so that I can climb out. I shall hasten to my dear ones, but I will return with good rains and dance as a Katcina in the plaza with my ancestors…

— Don Talayesva (late 19th century), Hopi Sun Clan chief

~ Stephen J. Bergstrom

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