*This is a continuation of last weeks piece, Hopeful Prophecy Enacted.*
Ancient prophecies in a modern time have already come to pass, setting the stage for the much anticipated end of the Mayan calendar this year. Can we self-fulfill our prophecies and dreams for the future? If so, does our media obsession with Armegeddon and the apocalypse serve us? I tend to believe it is fatalism, and laziness to assume that we are doomed so that we don't have to do anything about it or take responsibility for our current situation. If we dare to dream bigger and envision a better future on the planet, we have a lot to learn from the elder cultures of this land.
After the Hopi Eagle Dancers performed at the base of The Pyramid of The Sun on Summer Solstice, they learned that they had fulfilled a 500-year-old prophecy kept since the time of Montezuma. Indeed, there had been migration and trade routes stretching from far in South America all the way up through Canada. Montezuma, knowing that his people had an ancient knowledge and culture to preserve and that that he could not defeat the Spanish, instructed his people to scatter to the four directions. These migrations dispersed the ancient knowledge in many tribes throughout the region, where it has been kept ever since. It is no surprise that The Hopi runners arrival in Mexico City was seen as a return of their relatives with a message that now is the time to awaken the dream.
Native runners then proceeded to spread the message of the return of The Eagle from the north (Hopi Eagle dancers) all over Central America for many months, bringing with them a sacred fire. It was decided that representatives of Central American tribes would make a return run, re-tracing migration routes to the north and west, symbolically re-igniting the ancient flame of knowledge and reconnection between these ancient cultures. The run from south to north would go through the pueblo villages of Isleta, Acoma (Sky City), Zuni, Dine (Navajo), and end up at the oldest villages in North America on Hopi in Arizona.
Fellow filmmaker and friend, Brian Hardin of Knewways Media picked me up to travel with the runners as they made their way through Texas, New Mexico and ending in Arizona. Brian shares a similar desire to use media to make sure these stories are told, preserved, and heard. Capturing these stories in a respectful manner and developing close friendships with many along the way has been a wonderful learning adventure.
As we approached Hopi and the end of the run, Brain asked me the best way to capture the culminating moments of the journey. I responded by telling him it would be best for us to just put the cameras away and be present as I didn't want to disrespect The Hopi people and appear as tourists. Being present was enough of an honor in itself. Brian was disappointed, but agreed. As we arrived in the first village on Hopi, Brian was greeted by a man who turned out to be the chief of the Spider clan. To our surprise, the elders wanted to direct the filming, telling us where to stand, what to film, what not to film, when to turn cameras on and when to turn them off. The result is some beautiful footage of the most ancient villages in North America and a wonderful sharing across cultures to participate in fulfilling a hopeful prophecy for humanity!
Hopi are a warm and welcoming people, but are also private and protective of their cultural heritage and wish to continue living as they have for hundreds of years. To our knowledge, below is some of the first footage taken of some of these villages that still have no running water or electricity, yet have been happily and traditionally inhabited for over 1,500 years on cliffs above the Painted Desert. It is completely inappropriate to visit Hopi villages unannounced or uninvited, but for people interested in learning more about Hopi culture, please visit The Hopi Cultural Center. If you are interested in helping Hopi to preserve their cultural heritage, you can learn more here.
I am purposely leaving parts of the story out, for there are much better qualified people to share these parts, and also because the story and history are far too deep and rich to convey in written words here. More videos, and articles from others involved in this unfolding story will be featured on www.culturecollective.org in the coming weeks. Please get social, by sharing and "liking" these posts and by visiting our Facebook fan page.
Special thanks to The Huffington Post for creating a forum for these important, hopeful stories to be told! Slideshow and video below...