HOPI RUNNERS TO CARRY THE GIFT
in Northern Arizona
Come Together to Honor Water
Hopi and Japanese
show water has intelligence
PHOENIX – Long-distance athletes from the Hopi villages atop Black Mesa in northern
Arizona will run from the "center of the universe" to Sedona, Ariz., in April. They will be literally “Carrying the
Gift of Water” across land, time, and cultures.
The 130-mile, three-day journey
from the mesas to the banks of Oak Creek Canyon
has been organized by Sedona's Institute of Ecotourism
to raise awareness of the impact that humans have on the earth's very limited supply of fresh water.
The idea was inspired by the
1,500-mile Hopi-to-Mexico City
Run last March when runners from the Hopi villages took messages about the Hopi water ethic to the 4th World Forum
on Water. That event was organized by Black Mesa Trust, a grassroots organization founded in 2000 to stop use of water from
the pristine Navajo Aquifer underlying Black Mesa to slurry coal mined there by Peabody Energy to the Mohave Generating Station
in Laughlin, Nevada.
“This important event
will unite Hopi tribal members and members of other Native American tribes with other communities throughout Arizona,”
said Diane Dearmore, executive director of the Institute of
EcoTourism, "Water connects all people transcending
all cultures, ethnic backgrounds and belief systems. Water is the precious gift of life. My hope is all of our eyes will open
to the very important role water plays in our lives.”
Black Mesa Trust Executive Director, Vernon Masayesva, recently described a Hopi view
of water: "Within this living system, water from each of the four terrestrial directions—from rivers and springs, from
great aquifers and tiny seeps—bring life, give life, sustain life among all life.
And when its work is done, the waters are re-gathered in the celestial sea, the home of the cloud ancestors. There it is renewed and rejuvenated, and then transformed again into water, into rain and snow, sleet and
hail, mists and fogs. It falls toward the earth, toward the depths of the great
sea, and rises again to nourish the lakes, the ponds, and the streams upon which all beings, all brothers and sisters, depend. It returns and the great cycle of water is renewed bringing new energy to the universe."
The runners will carry the
water gathered from sources on tribal lands in a traditional Hopi gourd, the ancestral water vessel. The run is organized
as a relay, with each runner traveling a distance of one-quarter mile on each leg of the run. The public will be invited to
join the runners along the way.
The Hopi runners for this event
range in age from 12 to 85. Long-distance running is an ancient Hopi tradition that is widely practiced on the mesas today.
A month prior to the run, from
March 20-22, elementary-school students from Sedona and the Hopi Tribe will visit each other’s communities as part of
a “Student Exchange.” The overnight event will give the children an opportunity get to learn about each other
through educational activities, art and family experiences.
The run is scheduled to begin
on April 20 with the Hopi runners starting in their villages, traveling through Flagstaff on
April 21, and arriving on the banks of Oak Creek in Sedona
on April 22. The runners will be greeted at the close of the run with a multi-cultural reception with officials from the Hopi,
Apache, Yavapai-Apache, Havasupai, Hualapai and Navajo Tribes; religious leaders representing faiths throughout the area and
Sedona city officials.
Many activities are planned
throughout the week to celebrate this multi-cultural event, including a creek-side concert, traditional Hopi cooking, seed
planting, and a Hopi art sale.
A month prior to the run, from
March 20-22, elementary school students from Sedona and the Hopi Tribe will visit each others communities as a part of a Student
Exchange. The two night event will give the children an opportunity to learn
about each other through educational activities, art and family experiences. For
more information, please contact the Institute at 928.282.2720 or visit www.ioet.org.
Hopi and Japanese Say Water Has Intelligence
by Brenda Norrell,
Hopi members of Black Mesa Trust said water carries intelligence and the Japanese are discovering what Hopi and other Indigenous
peoples have always known, "Water is alive."
Vernon Masayesva, executive director of Black Mesa Trust, recently visited Japan and met with Shinto priests and researcher
Dr. Masaru Emoto, chief of the Hado Institute in Tokyo and author of Message from Water.
During the Hisot Navoti (knowledge of ancestors) water conference at the Hopi Veterans Center, Hopi revealed knowledge
of water shared by Hopi and Japanese.
Masayesva showed amazing film footage, revealing startling transformations in water crystals when exposed to music and
written words. Emoto's photographs reveal water crystals, under high magnification, have drastically different forms from
different water sources. Further, Emoto shows that water changes its expression as a result of human actions.
When water is exposed to the music of Mozart and Beethoven, crystals expand and become more beautiful. These crystals resemble
diamonds, with flower buds blossoming on their points, as the music plays.
Emoto explains that water carries and responds to the vibrations of music. He reveals even more amazing research, showing
water responds to the written word.
When clear tubes of water are placed over positive and negative words, the structure of water crystals change. Water crystals
increase in beauty when placed over the word "peace," but are transformed to dark and ugly crystals when placed over the word
When water is placed over the word "let's," the crystals expand and increase in beauty. However, when water is placed over
the word "must," the crystals become ugly with a dark green center. Emoto says water is letting us realize the hidden power
During the gathering for the defense of pure water, Jerry Honawa, Hopi elder, said, "Water has intelligence."
Speaking of water, Masayesva said, "If you are happy, you will have happy crystals; if you are angry, you will have angry
crystals." Masayesva also shared the history of the Hopi people, revealing their destiny intertwined with the earth and its
"According to Hopi, long ago there was nothing but water from the beginning of time. This is what we call the First World
of Hopi. "Life was created from water, from the land, from the sun."
When life was first created, it was beautiful, a perfect circle. On Hopiland today there are areas of perfect seashells,
proof that this land was once underwater as Hopi are told. There are perfect fossils here, he said.
"Where does coal come from? It comes from plants. Everywhere you go, you see dinosaur tracks. This must have been a beautiful
place at one time."
In the First World, there was balance, harmony and peace. This balance and harmony, however, was destroyed in the Third
World because of man and his greed. The ancestors began searching for a safe place to begin a new life. Bird was sent out
and returned with news of this place.
"Through the bamboo, they entered the new land,” Masayesva said. "It is a metaphor, we don't really know, but we
came from somewhere where there was bamboo." When the people arrived in this new land, they thought they had left evil behind
them. But after a child died, they realized that evil had come with them. Those with the two hearts had come. "Evil is necessary
to understand what good truly is," Masayesva said.
The people knew they had to learn from the destruction of the Third World and not return to those ways. They wanted to
create a new way of life. The Hopi people were not led by politicians, they were led by priests, often the poorest man in
the village who denied himself everything for the benefit of his children.
In this new place they found a man who grew beautiful corn. It was Ma'sau, guardian of the land. Ma'sau said it is a harsh
land, but if the people were willing to live Ma'sau's way of life, they could stay here.
Ma'sau told the people, "If you follow this way of life, you can stay here forever." Ma'sau showed the people corn, a gourd
of water and planting stick. "He said if you decide to stay here you must help me take care of this land, then you can stay."
Ma'sau told them that others are coming. "They will claim everything when they come, even the oceans, the air and the stars."
Ma'sau told the Hopi people to migrate to the four corners of the world, then return here to Black Mesa. The gourd to carry
water was also a revelation, showing that water here is not infinite, it is limited.
Masayesva said the colors of the corn represent the colors of all mankind, yellow, purple, red and white. The sweet corn
also represents the ancestors and the purple the heavens. Corn, too, gave Hopi a new way of life, and meant that the people
no longer had to search for food every day, leaving them free for other things.
The planting stick represents tools or technology, which can be used for good or for destruction. There was a time when
smallpox nearly eliminated the Hopi people, with only 300 Hopi surviving, Masayesva said technology can prevent and cure illness
today, but it threatens to end humankind with the production of nuclear bombs. Nuclear power and travel to distant planets
have resulted in dangerous "god-like powers."
The waters--aquifers, springs, lakes, rivers, oceans and glaciers-- work in harmony to sustain life. Hopi believe the aquifers
breathe, breathe in rain and snow and breathe it out. The springs are the breathing holes. Humankind is a participant in water-life;
mankind's thoughts influence whether the rain and snow comes.
Of the world's water today, Masayesva said 97 percent is seawater and 2 percent is bound in glaciers. Only1 percent is
available for drinking.
However, America is a nation of waste. "We are a throwaway society. We think we are never going to run out of anything."
Masayesva said the people must honor their trust as guardians of the water and land.
"If we don't, we will break the circle."
©News From Indian Country January 12, 2004.