Native Village
Youth and Education news
October 2010 Volume 1

Hopi man works to keep Hopi culture, traditions alive
Condensed by Native Village

Arizona:  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.

Donald 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

Donald 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.

It 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 balance.

Dawahongnewa remember a Russian couple who once stated to him, "You Hopi will be the last people." He was in shock because that is part of Hopi prophecy. What surprised him was that people from such a far away place would know that.

Hopi Cultural Preservation Office:


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