- TAOS, N.M. -- A Taos man
has agreed to stop telling non-Indians about sacred Hopi prophecies after
Hopi cultural preservation officers argued the teachings are secret and
should be controlled only by Hopis.
- John Kimmey had been scheduled to talk about the oral
history at a meeting Sunday night but decided instead to lead a discussion
about white people practicing Indian spirituality.
- In a letter Friday, Hopi cultural-preservation officers
asked Kimmey, who is white, to stop billing himself as a "carrier
of Hopi prophecy."
- "The Hopi people have suffered immensely due to
the insensitive nature by which so-called experts exploit our knowledge,"
the letter said.
- Kimmey, a member of the Native American Church, contends
Hopi prophecies, which date back about 3,500 years, are meant to be shared
with the public. He said Hopi elder David Monongye gave the prophecies
to him in the 1970s and 1980s, telling him he could pass on the information
to whites and others. Monongye has since died, he said.
- Kimmey said other Hopis have supported him, but he said
the tribe is often divided over such questions. And he said that conflict
keeps elders from officially recognizing him.
- But, said Kimmey: "The prophecy has always been
a vehicle for bringing hearts together, and now it's going to divide people.
I've always tried to be respectful of people at Hopi, and this man has
asked me not to do it." So for now, he said, "I won't."
- The Hopi prophecy is an oral tradition of stories that
Hopis say predicted the coming of the white man to America, both world
wars and the creation of nuclear weapons.
- And it predicts that time, as humans know it, will end
when humanity emerges into the "fifth world."
- The Mayan calendar predicts a similar end in 2012; some
Hopis have said their prophecy roughly coincides with that time.
- The tradition says the years after 2012 could be a golden
age with humans at peace and in harmony with nature. It also says the world
will go through a time of trial, suffering and purification before a time
- Kimmey has said the Hopi prophecies contain a mandate
that from 1946 onward, these secrets should be told to everyone and no
longer kept secret.
- "It's their oral history, and within that history
are events they wanted the world to know in advance and instructions to
go with that knowledge," Kimmey claimed. "Homogenized Americans
don't have a story like that. We don't have a context for interpreting
world events. The Hopi prophecy is a vehicle that allows us to do that."
- Kimmey said he has been teaching about Hopi prophecy
for about 20 years without complaints from the Hopi tribe.
- However, Lee Wayne of the Hopi cultural-preservation
office in Arizona said the tribe does object -- and also doesn't like Kimmey
making money off the prophecy.
- "He comes out here and gets the information and
goes back and makes money -- that's not good," Wayne said. "We
have not endorsed anyone to be the carrier of Hopi prophecy."
- A flier posted for Sunday's event suggested a donation
of $10 to $15. Wayne denied that Hopi prophecy mandates revealing the prophecy
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