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The Unwritten Literature of the Hopi   By: (1880-1962)

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Vol. IV, No. 4 May 15, 1933

University of Arizona Bulletin

SOCIAL SCIENCE BULLETIN No. 2

The Unwritten Literature of the Hopi

BY HATTIE GREENE LOCKETT

PUBLISHED BY University of Arizona TUCSON, ARIZONA

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Introduction General Statement The Challenge The Myth, Its Meaning and Function in Primitive Life

II. The Hopi Their Country, The People

III. Hopi Social Organization Government The Clan and Marriage Property, Lands, Houses, Divorce Woman's Work Man's Work

IV. Pottery and Basket Making Traditional, Its Symbolism

V. House Building

VI. Myth and Folktale, General Discussion Stability Intrusion of Contemporary Material How and Why Myths are Kept Service of Myth Hopi Story Telling

VII. Hopi Religion Gods and Kachinas Religion Not for Morality

VIII. Ceremonies, General Discussion Belief and Ceremonial

IX. Hopi Myths and Traditions and Some Ceremonies Based Upon Them The Emergence Myth and the Wu wu che Ma Ceremony Some Migration Myths Flute Ceremony and Tradition Other Dances The Snake Myth and the Snake Dance A Flood and Turkey Feathers

X. Ceremonies for Birth, Marriage, Burial Birth Marriage Burial

XI. Stories Told Today An Ancient Feud Memories of a Hopi Centenarian The Coyote and the Water Plume Snake A Bear Story The Giant and the Twin War Gods The Coyote and the Turtle The Frog and the Locust

XII. Conclusion

The Unwritten Literature of the Hopi[1]

[Footnote 1: A thesis accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Archaeology, University of Arizona, 1933. Published under the direction of the Committee on Graduate Study, R.J. Leonard, Chairman.]

I. INTRODUCTION

SHOWING THAT THE PRESENT DAY SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF THE HOPI IS THE OUTGROWTH OF THEIR UNWRITTEN LITERATURE

GENERAL STATEMENT

By a brief survey of present day Hopi culture and an examination into the myths and traditions constituting the unwritten literature of this people, this bulletin proposes to show that an intimate connection exists between their ritual acts, their moral standards, their social organization, even their practical activities of today, and their myths and tales the still unwritten legendary lore.

The myths and legends of primitive peoples have always interested the painter, the poet, the thinker; and we are coming to realize more and more that they constitute a treasure trove for the archaeologist, and especially the anthropologist, for these sources tell us of the struggles, the triumphs, the wanderings of a people, of their aspirations, their ideals and beliefs; in short, they give us a twilight history of the race.

As the geologist traces in the rocks the clear record of the early beginnings of life on our planet, those first steps that have led through the succession of ever developing forms of animal and plant life at last culminating in man and the world as we now see them, so does the anthropologist discover in the myths and legends of a people the dim traces of their origin and development till these come out in the stronger light of historical time. And it is at this point that the ethnologist, trying to understand a race as he finds them today, must look earnestly back into the "realm of beginnings," through this window of so called legendary lore, in order to account for much that he finds in the culture of the present day.

=The Challenge: Need of Research on Basic Beliefs Underlying Ceremonies=

Wissler says:[2] "It is still an open question in primitive social psychology whether we are justified in assuming that beliefs of a basic character do motivate ceremonies. It seems to us that such must be the case, because we recognize a close similarity in numerous practices and because we are accustomed to believe in the unity of the world and life. So it may still be our safest procedure to secure better records of tribal traditional beliefs and to deal with objective procedures as far as possible... Continue reading book >>




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