may 2005

Indian Country Today
by: Brenda Norrell
March 29, 2005

HOTEVILLA, Ariz. - From Hopiland, a spiritual vortex for Native people, spiritual leaders Dan Evehema and Thomas Banyacya became the voice of the voiceless: the birds and animals. Warning of the impending apocalypse, they urged all people of good hearts to join them.

Even in their last years, Evehema and Banyacya warned that material greed and ignoring spiritual truth results in climate change, and, ultimately, the destruction of the world.

Hopi Snake Priest Evehema said the disease in the world today is greed, and the final insult for this country's aboriginal people is the loss of ceremonial land.

''We are now faced with great problems, not only here but throughout the land. Ancient cultures are being annihilated. Our people's lands are being taken from them. Why is this happening? It is happening because many have given up or manipulated their original spiritual teachings.

''The way of life that the Great Spirit has given to all people of the world, whatever your original instructions, are not being honored. It is because of this great sickness called greed, which infects every land and country,''
Evehema said, at the age of 105, in a statement to all humanity.

''Now we are at the very end of our trail. Many people no longer recognize the true path of the Great Spirit. They have, in fact, no respect for the Great Spirit or for our precious Mother Earth, who gives us all life.''

Evehema said Hopi long ago were told that someone would go to the moon and bring something back. Because of this, nature would show signs of losing its balance.

''Now we see that coming about. All over the world, there are now many signs that nature is no longer in balance. Floods, drought, earthquakes and great storms are occurring frequently and causing widespread suffering.

''Now we must look upon each other as brothers and sisters. There is no more time for divisions among people.''

Evehema said there is no freedom of the press for traditional Hopi speaking the truth because newspapers only publish what the government wants printed. He said the leaders in the White House and the Glass House (United Nations) have been warned of what is to come, but have not listened.

''So, as our prophecy says, it must be up to the people with good pure hearts that will not be afraid to help us to fulfill our destiny in peace for this world.''

Banyacya was among the Motee Sinom (Hopi for first people) who urged the United Nations in 1992 to listen. Banyacya said traditional Hopi follow the spiritual path given by Massau'u (the Great Spirit).

''We made a sacred covenant to follow his life plan at all times, which includes the responsibility of taking care of this land and life for his divine purpose. We have never made treaties with any foreign nation, including the United States, but for many centuries we have honored this sacred agreement. Our goals are not to gain political control, monetary wealth nor military power, but rather to pray and to promote the welfare of all living beings and to preserve the world in a natural way.''

In 1948, traditional Hopi spiritual leaders chose Banyacya and others to carry the message forward. Repeating the wisdom, Banyacya said the Creator made the first world in perfect balance, but humans turned away from moral and spiritual principles and only a handful survived the earthquakes.

The mistakes were repeated in the second world, and freezing in the great ice age destroyed the people. The third world lasted a long time and, as in the previous worlds, the people spoke one language. They invented technologies still unknown to modern man, but eventually turned away from natural laws and pursued material things.

''They gradually turned away from natural laws, pursued only material things, and finally only gambled while they ridiculed spiritual principles. No one stopped them from this course, and the world was destroyed by the great flood that many nations still recall in their ancient history and religious teachings.

''The elders said again only small groups escaped and came to this fourth world where we now live. Our world is in terrible shape again even though the Great Spirit gave us different languages and sent us to four corners of the world and told us to take care the Earth and all that is in it.''

Banyacya said mankind is in the final days of the prophecy.

''What have you, as individuals, as nations and as the world body, been doing to take care of this Earth?'' Banyacya asked the United Nations.

''In the Earth today, humans poison their own food, water and air with pollution. Many of us, including children, are left to starve. Many wars are still being fought. Greed and concern for material things is a common disease.''

Banyacya said Hopi foretold of the ''gourd of ashes'' (atomic bomb) that destroyed thousands in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hopi believe that the Persian Gulf would have been the third great war if use of the worst weapons had not been stopped.

''We do have a choice. If you, the nations of this Earth, create another great war, the Hopi believe we humans will burn ourselves to death with ashes.

''Nature itself does not speak with a voice that we can easily understand. Neither can the animals and birds we are threatening with extinction talk to us. Who in this world can speak for nature and the spiritual energy that creates and flows through all life?''

Banyacya said it is necessary for human beings that have not separated themselves from the land and nature to speak out.

Finally, he said, the first people and the spirit of the ancestors are giving loud warnings. He pointed out that there are increasing floods, hurricanes; hail storms, climate changes and earthquakes.

''Even animals and birds are warning us with strange changes in their behavior, such as the beaching of whales. Why do animals act like they know about the Earth's problems and most humans act like they know nothing?

''If we humans do not wake up to the warnings, the great purification will come to destroy this world just as the previous worlds were destroyed.''

Evehema and Banyacya died within three weeks of one another in early 1999. Evehema died at the age of 108 on Jan. 15, 1999. Banyacya, born in 1910, died on Feb. 6, 1999.

Their voices live on.