Though God has put many different indigenous peoples on our heart, our main focus is on the Hopi Nation, of Arizona.
The Hopi are one of the oldest Native American tribes in America; in fact, Old Oraibi, a village on the Hopi reservation, is the oldest continually dwelt settlement in all of North America. According to their oral tradition, the Hopi people traveled to the four corners of the earth in search of a dwelling place. In the end, they returned to where they started: the high desert of Northern Arizona. The Hopis chose this location because they knew, with limited water and resources, they would be forced to depend on the Creator, much like the Israelites in the Bible.
If you ask a Hopi where they are from, they will probably start by identifying the mesa they live on <picture of mesa w/caption>. There are three mesas on the reservation, home to 12 villages (11 Hopi and 1 Tewa). The Hopi reservation is inside the Dine (Navajo) reservation as Navajo people moved into this region about three to five hundred years ago and surrounded the Hopi nation.
Living on Hopi – Video:
Watch Charity’s TV interview! Charity was staff with us on the Hopi reservation for six years.Charity did her DTS with us in 2004 and served on the Hopi reservation for six years! (It would give you a real picture of what it is like to live on Hopi!) http://www.blip.tv/file/
Who are the Tewa?
The Tewa people were invited to come and live amongst the Hopi many years ago to ward off enemy tribes. Tewa people were considered to be warriors whereas the Hopis were more agricultural and peaceful. Since then, the two people groups have intermarried for many generations.
The People and Culture:
The Hopi people are very traditional; proud of their culture, language and heritage. The Hopis are an farming people who plant corn, beans and melons etc. in the sandy soil. They do not irrigate and therefore they have yearly cycles of dances and ceremonies to pray for the rain. Almost on any given weekend, they have a ceremonial dance – such as the Buffalo, Deer, Flute, Kachina, Snake dances. The Hopis have more ceremonially dances than any other tribe. Some of these dances are open to visitors, and friends are welcome to eat in many of the Hopi homes on the days of these dances.
Many of the Hopi men carve kachina dolls and some of these are found in different museums around the world for their skillful artwork. Some others make silver bracelets, earrings and necklaces with distinctive Hopi designs. The Hopis are also known for their baskets and pottery with many beautiful patterns.
Today, the Hopis have a tribal government, schools and law enforcement; organizations which in turn hire many teachers, tribal workers, police and rangers. Most people now speak English but many still converse in Hopi.
When we arrived in 1996, the area was in spiritual decline and severe drought. We have hoped and prayed that, as the people began calling on Jesus, the drought would break. In recent years we are seeing an increase in rain and being blessed by more and more of an outpouring of His Spirit. Please join us in praying for a continuing increase of rain and of His presence here in Hopi Land.
-The Hopi tribe has permission from the U.S. government to be able to capture eaglets from their nests for ceremonies every year. You can see these maturing eagles on top of the roof of different Hopi homes at certain seasons of the year.
-The Hopis and their cousins, the 19 other Pueblo tribes, inhabit the Four Corners Region of New Mexico and Arizona.
-The Dine people gave the name, ‘the Anazasis’ to the Hopi and the other pueblo tribes which means the ‘ancient ones’.
-There are ancient springs where sweet water flows out of the rocks, on top of every mesa, where almost a thousand years ago, the Hopi villages formed. This is how the Hopi people were able to live on these high dry desert lands for hundreds of years, because the Lord provided them with these spring waters.
Several Native American Christian key leaders have come and they would say to the Hopi, “You are the ancient tribe. We’re all looking to see which way you will go. And the rest of us will follow.”