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Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ v ] The westernmost of the Pueblo Indians of North America, and members of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic group, the Hopi (from hopituh shinu-mu , literally ‘the peaceful people’) inhabit lands within the N avajo reservation. Their myths recount the gradual progression of the ancestors through four successive underground worlds before emerging and eventually settling in their present home on the Black Mesa of the Colorado plateau ( see C reation myths ) [26: i-v ]. Central to Hopi religion is the concept of a dual division of both space and time between the upper and lower worlds, and a corresponding concern for cooperation between the two realms. Harmony between these realms is critical to the maintenance of health, food supply and social stability [2: iii ]. The ceremonial cycle reflects both the cosmic pattern and the origin myth. Major divinities include Sotuqnangu (a type of sky-god), Masua (deity of earth and death), Tawa (father-sun), Kokyang Wuuti (spider-woman), and the twin war-gods (H ero T wins ). K achinas (spirits of the ancestors, vegetation and animal life) figure prominently in ceremonies held from June to December [3]. Other major festivals include Wuwuchim (new year and principal initiation rite), Soyal (winter-solstice ceremony) and Powamu (bean dance) which marks the appearance of the chief kachinas. Myths also relate the origin of clans and secret societies ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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