Hopi man works to keep Hopi culture, traditions alive
Condensed by Native Village
Donald Dawahongnewa has dedicated
himself to preserving the Hopi culture. The Kykotsmovi man
is a resident of Second Mesa from the Water Clan and member
of important religious societies.
Dawahongnewa also works in the Hopi Cultural Preservation
Office. He makes presentations throughout the Hopi
Reservation on topics such as Hopi prophecies, language,
weddings, baby naming and medicinal plants.
Many are presented in the
Hopi language, especially with the elders.
finds that Hopi from different communities sometimes do
things a little differently than Second Mesa.
He uses this opportunity to get more information from different villages.
"I take constructive criticism when a village does something
different," Dawahongnewa said
said while the elders have a wealth of knowledge, Hopi prophecy says that they will become
motsatoti (elders who sit on their knowledge and
don't teach it.) Dawahongnewa says the younger
generation must teach the elders to open up and start
teaching Hopi ways. This was also prophesized in a Hopi term, Itam pumuy nakvumuy wiilawani.
It means "we will have to make
them listen and teach the old ways again."
Dawahongnewa is the Hopi name Donald received during initiation into a religious society.
His previous last name was Wadsworth. Donald uses his Hopi last name
because it's the traditional way.
isn't always easy following the traditions, Donald said. He
insists on using the Hopi language in ceremonies, and some
Hopi don't like that. However, a growing number now
appreciate his efforts and are offering more support.
Donald says Hopi should always be
balanced and that everyone should be living in harmony. That
is the Hopi way.
He showed a picture of the moon and Mars
coming very close to the earth. Donald said that at any time,
the forces of gravity could throw the earth off
balance. The earth will roll over four times and life
will no longer exist. He says everything must always be in
Dawahongnewa remember a Russian couple who once stated to
him, "You Hopi will be the last people." He was in shock because that
of Hopi prophecy. What surprised him was that people from
such a far away place would know that.