Message #36: From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG To: "'z Matthias Giessler'" Subject: Hopi Sewer Project Controversy Date: Sun, 14 Jan 1996 10:48:38 -0700 (MST) Mime-Version: 1.0 Heritage vs. public health 'Progress' splits Hopi village By Paul Brinkley-Rogers, Staff writer [ The following article appeared on Page B1, The Arizona Republic, Valley &State Section, Sunday January 14, 1996. The story included a drawing showing the location of Hotevilla in relation to the Hopi Indian Reservation and the Navajo Indian Reservation, modern highways, nearby cities, and state geopolitical boundaries. A photograph accompanying the article shows a Hopi man pointing up to the top of a rocky mesa and an exposed sewer line--the photo caption reads: 'Emery Holmes, Hotevilla's medicine man, points out exposed sewer pipe snaking up the side of the mesa to the village. Holmes said the project has torn up sacred ground.' ] HOTEVILLA - The ditch-digging has stopped in this small Hopi village, January being a time of meditation and renewal and, this year, bitter arguments among neighbors. But once the winter-soltice ceremonies end, the digging will begin again as the tribal government and the federal Indian Health Services go forward with a $759,000 sewer project. It will be completed this year, unless residents who oppose the white man's ways persuade a federal court to halt it. These traditionalists say the backhoes are cutting through underground pathways used on earthly visits by Maasaw, the Creator. The project also is destroying sites where families plant prayer feathers, they claim, and will make Hotevilla dependent on the government after nearly a century of resistance. Their protest has pitted household against household in this community of 1,100 people, founded in 1906 by Hopis who fled other villages rather than submit to "Progress." Hotevilla men chose to be imprisoned in Alcatraz rather than cut their hair and send their children to government schools. But that was 90 years ago. Perhaps half of Hotevilla's people hunger for the modern conveniences that many of the other dozen Hopi communities enjoy. Even devoutly religious Shungapovi has running water and electricity. There's only one water spigot and one shower in Hotevilla. Only the village government office and the school have electricity. There are three telephone lines, one going to the home and fax machine of Rena Murillo, who has declared she will quickly get rid of these devices once she and the protestors win their suit. The construction of the sewer line -(see 'Progress', page B4) 'Progress' is heresy to Hopi Protestors -'Progress', from page B1) snaking down the side of the 500-foot-tall mesa to a containment pond has brought about impassioned protest during the past 10 years. The opposition is coupled with unhappiness about a new garbage-collection service. Tribal sanitation workers cleaning up refuse thrown for decades over the edge of the mesa also bulldozed the remains of miscarriages, placentas and umbillical cords buried there in accordance with Hopi tradition. "They cleaned up children," said medicine man Emery Holmes, 45, his eyes flooded with bitter tears. "They dozed them away, put them in dumptsters, and now we don't know where they are." " I know (Tribal Chairman) Ferrell (Secakuku) wouldn't like it if we went over to his relatives and dug them up, and neither would President Clinton." Kim Secakuku, the chairman's aide and daughter, said last month that the sewer issue was "a village matter" and that the chairman would not comment. Sewer opponents, including 105-year-old Dan Evehema, one of the original Hotevilla settlers, filed suit against the Indian Health Service in U.S. District Court in Phoenix. But last month, a judge refused to rule for them, saying the system was necessary for public health. His decision, Phoenix attorney Howard Shanker said, will be appealed. "I want to live the Hopi way, not the white man's way," Evehema said in explaining why the fight will go on. "I have no money to pay (utility bills). I only depend on my farmlands. That is my life." But a member of the progressive faction, Mary Quanimptewa, 65, said her late father, Lester Quanimptewa, would have understood the need for sanitary condition, even though, as a young man who helped found Hotevilla, the whites classified him as a "hostile." "Too many old people and children too, get sick here in the summer," she said. "There's a lot of diarrhea. In the winter, it is not convenient to walk through the ice to the outhouse. We've got elderly, blind people who have to do that." Once the sewer line is completed next spring, Quanimptewa said, she plans to hook up a toilet and shower in a back room of her stone house. That room is now lighted by a single bulb powered by a solar panel that has enough juice to run a tiny black and white television during the day. She rejects the notion that electricity and toilets will speed the end of the Hopi way of life, as traditionals claim. "It's just to help us live better," she said. "The creator could see that." But opponents suggest that the progressives should move elsewhere if they want utilities. "I suppose Hotevilla will be a very healthy village," Holmes said. "But Mary Quanimptewa's daughter (who has Parkinson's disease) is still going to be sick." "And when they dig up those prayer feathers, that's when the diseases will come. There'll be a lot more sicknesses like Parkinson's." Holmes drove his truck up the side of the Hotevilla mesa to show where, he claims, earthmoving equipment has torn up sacred ground. An 8-inch-wide pipe passed within a dozen feet of ages- old petroglyphs and within a few yards of stone ruins that Holmes said are much older than Hotevilla. Like many village religious leaders, he spoke ominously about secret Hopi prophesies, details of which are outlined from time to time to remind Hopis and others where they are going wrong in the task the Creator gave them; protecting mother earth. The prophesies, Holmes said, foretold the coming of the white man, and the destruction of the environment. They told about nuclear weapons, airplanes, warring nations, and the extermination of the Jews, he said. Earthquakes, hurricanes, the Persian Gulf War, Bosnia, all were accurately predicted as punishment for despoiling the planet, Holmes said. For the white man, he said, a simple sewer system is just that, a public-utilities-project. But for the Hopis, he said,without giving any more details, there will be dire consequences. "They will be bad," he said. "They will be bad."