Volume I                                                     Issue I 
1997-98  	                                             MAY 1997

This is the first edition of The Four Corners Clamor, edited by Mike Smith, of which there are a million, but who speaks only for himself. This is not a voice of a people or a nation, only gleanings from many news sources - including conversations on the street - interspersed with incisive remarks from the editor. There is no editorial "we."
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New Discoveries About Hisatsinom Cannabalism: A Strange Possibility The Times Are Changing
Hale-Bopp In Hopi Prophecy Sheep Cloning Navajo - Hopi Land Partition
The Bennett Freeze Visit From Navajo Tribal Gods Peyote In The Military

New Discoveries About the Hisatsinom
(For clarification these are the people who have been called Anasazi,
a name which was given them by the Navajo.)

Two teenage researchers from the Four Corners, working independently and unknown to each other, have made significant contributions to a better understanding of the ancient Hisatsinom civilization.

Dylan Schwindt of Cortez, CO, spent a year analyzing samples of wood from living Juniper trees growing in different types of sandstone in Sand Canyon near Cortez. He tested them for barium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, strontium, and zinc.
Schwindt devised a method for determining how far the Hisatsinom in the Crow Canyon walked to gather wood for construction of their roof beams. His research could be helpful in finding out if deforestation was a factor in the decline of the Hisatsinom civilization.

Ann Seiferle-Valencia of Farmington, NM has analyzed previous studies of the Hisatsinom in Chaco Canyon. During four years of research she studied corn cobs found at Aztec Ruins and Salmon Ruin, two major outliers of the Chaco Culture center. She has shown that corn was hybridized at these two sites, and that the resultant seed was used at Chaco Canyon for more efficient feeding of a growing population.
While previous estimates of the Chaco population have been from 2000 to 3000, she used a mathematical model based on current pueblo use of space to show that there may have been as many as 27,000 people in Chaco Canyon at the peak of the population.

Both of these young people are at this writing among the 40 finalists in the annual Westinghouse awards competition.

Cannabalism: A Strange Possibility

There have been new discoveries about the Hisatsinom at the famous site called Cowboy Wash.

Evidence relating to an event in about 1150 AD has become a subject of controversy. Bones of at least seven people were found scattered among pottery remains. Cuts on the bones and darkened flesh suggest that these people were butchered and cooked.

Theories among archaeologists are: Cannibalism took place, or these are the remains of suspected witches, or the bodies were left as part of a religious ceremony.

The two most involved scenarios are:

The Times might be a-changin'

By a vote of 61-1 (somebody might be in trouble) The Navajo Nation Council has voted to privatize The Navajo Times, and radio station KTNN, which are owned by the tribe and paid for by tribal funds. Albert Hale, president of the Navajo nation, has been accusing these two news operations of reporting half-truths.

The Navajo Times is a national newspaper for the Navajo People and is very out-spoken. This has been brewing for quite a while as Hale has been having many personal and administrative difficulties.

Concern has been expressed by the radio station that non-Navajo investers would not continue to program in the Navajo language for economic reasons.

Hale-Bopp: An old and new meaning

Hopi legend speaks of the "Yellow Star" or "Blue Star" and Hale-Bopp has been described as fitting the prophecy. For centuries the Hopi have been expecting this and here is the ancient story.

An older brother takes a sacred stone to the "rising sun." Upon arrival at his destination, a sign in the sky - a great white star - signals his return to Hopi land in seven seasons. At this time all people who have done wrong to the Hopi will be destroyed and all land taken from the Hopi will be returned.

Interpreting a season as a year, the appearance of Hale-Bopp signals this end of time as May 10, 2004.

Hopi prophecies are given great credence. 200 years ago elders of the tribe predicted:

Fill in the blanks.

Here is an easy one: Women would wear men's clothing. Related prophecies: Aztec agrees with the Hopi date. Mayan says last day of Earth and humans will be December 21, 2012.

NOTE: You are encouraged to send your favorite end-time prophecy,
and reminded that you may be quoted directly. I will not use your
e-mail address unless you request me to do so.

And the Hopi Prophecy was indeed sent to me.

Sheep Cloning

Another prediction of impending disaster comes from the Navajo. Sheep are a sacred symbol to these people, for they were given by White Bead, a much-loved deity of the Navajo, to make their lives easier. Other than the economic benefits sheep are revered when praying for health.

The Navajo say that sheep have only one life and one soul, and that the unnatural interference by cloning can only come to no good.

Navajo-Hopi Partition

Since the U.S. government's "solution" in 1882 which created a Hopi reservation
(See Map) entirely surrounded by Navajo (hold that thought), this decision has pitted religion against law.

In a 1976 Congressional Action the Hopi and Navajo living on each others land were relocated.

Now the 1991 Appeals Court decision has brought us to this moment that requires Navajo to sign leases with the Hopi. Several extensions have been granted. Time's up.

Demonstrations have taken place in Flagstaff, AZ, San Francisco, CA, (nine arrests), and the United Nations.

The Navajo claim ancestral rights and fear eviction. The pending agreement requires permits for the Navajo to perform certain religious ceremonies and forbids burial on Hopi land. Many Navajo are already buried there.

A further complication in this is that both the Hopi and the Navajo claim to be the first people created on earth.

An interesting result of this is the possibilty of the Hopi Tribe receiving as much as $50 million from the federal government if 85 per cent of the Navajo on their land will sign leases.

Are you ready for the irony? The Hopi plan to use the money for the expansion of their reservation, possibly up to 500,000 acres. (See previously held thought.)

The Bennett Freeze

Here is another example of big decisions affecting the lives of the little people. In 1966 Robert Bennett, who was the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, put a freeze on all construction on the still-contested Hopi Partitioned Land.

This has prevented growing Navajo families from building additions to their homes - including indoor plumbing - or providing new homes to the newly married. No new roads (the Hopi claim some roads as sacred) or water or power lines have been built in the past 31 years.

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has lifted the freeze on 800,000 acres, but 700,000 acres are still contested by the Hopi, and a judgement is pending.

Poverty of the Navajo will limit any improvements soon.

Navajo Tribal Gods

On May 5, 1996 the tiny town of Big Mountain in NE Arizona became a focus of religious ferver. A 96-year-old Navajo woman said she was visited by tribal gods in the form of two old Navajo men.

Official sanction of the event was shown by allowing Navajo tribal employees a special four hour leave to visit the site, and by declaring May 17-24 as Spiritual Unity Week. Since then thousands of Navajo and uncounted tourists have visited.

Big Mountain is on land declared by Congress in 1974 to be Hopi land, but at this time 250 Navajo families live there and much bitterness is involved.

Intrigue: Some claim that this is a hoax perpetrated by the Hopi to stir up a confrontation. Some say that the Navajo family living there only wants publicity to help with their claim to the land. Others state that if the site is sacred it should be restricted to only medicine men.

Here is a personal account from our friend, Mark Silversmith, as told to me: The footprints of the two messengers are deeply imbedded into the hard ground. Corn meal offered as respect does not blow away. Mark also said that he and others were considering letting their hair grow long as part of returning to the old ways.

Footnote: The terms "Hopi land" or "Navajo land" in this forum are used as quotes from the sources, and always depend on who is doing the talking. I don't know.

My Favorite Headline:
"U.S. Defense Department Rules On
Peyote Use for Military"

Now what does that say to you? Join the Army and see all possible worlds?

The official decision is to allow members of the Native American Church who are in the military to attend services while on leave, and to use peyote in the rituals. The guidelines are no use of peyote 24 hours before returning to active duty.

Previously some church members who admitted to peyote use were dishonorably discharged, and the policy was "don't ask, don't tell."

The new agreement is based on the understanding that peyote is not a drug, and its use is allowed under the American Indians Religious Freedom Act. Now if any member of the Native American Church is asked if they use drugs they are advised to "Just Say No."

Is this a great country or what?

See the Four Corners Clamor: Main Index for more recent discoveries
and events concerning Native American Indians.
For beautiful authentic scenes of these early peoples see the
Mark Silversmith Gallery.
Mark researches the tribes and portrays their lives of then and now.
We encourage traditional Native American Indian and Multicultural arts,
crafts, and enterprises. For quality creations by our select artisans see the
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Email: Mike and Sheilah Smith

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© Copyright 1997 by L. Michael Smith. Fair use granted.