Mesa Media hosts Hopi Language Workshop June 18, 2013, Navajo-Hopi Observer
O’siyo. The Hopi Wellness Center is hosting a workshop on June 18, 2013, for 50 fluent Hopi speakers including parents and teachers. The participants will reach out to the communities and spread their knowledge of the Hopi language and culture to other members, especially to Hopi children.
“Mesa Media Inc. will play host to an instructors workshop at the Hopi Wellness Center in Kykotsmovi June 18, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for 50 fluent Hopi speakers, parents and teachers. The workshop will give participants five basic activities that they can use to teach younger generations in an effort to get more kids speaking Hopi.
They are trying to mobilize people in communities and get them a little bit of the skills and jump start their creativity, because they are fluent speakers, and have them go out to the communities… The workshop will focus on teaching agricultural vocabulary, sentence structure and songs.
Mesa Media is a grassroots non-profit based out of Polacca, Ariz. founded by Anita Poleahla and the late Ferrell Secakuku. The organization’s mission is to keep the Hopi language vital and alive through media using song and audio and video recordings.
Poleahla and Secakuku both believed that all Hopi people deserve to understand the richness of the Hopi language and its teachings and is one reason Mesa Media is trying to preserve and pass on the Hopi language.
Our elders share with us their teachings and want to help us learn. They are the keepers of our valuable knowledge and skills. They are the ones who know the importance of the language,” Poleahla said.
The workshop is made possible by grants from the Christensen Fund, the Flagstaff Community Foundation (an affiliate of the Arizona Community Foundation) and the First Nation’s Development Institution (Native Youth Culture Fund).” Read more…
“For a person in danger of dying, the first job of medics is to get the heart beating again.For an endangered language,the first job is to get the native speakers speaking again.” ~Hinton 2001:13~ (From the Hopi website).
Kudos to the Hopi people, Mesa Media Inc., and all supporters of perserving Native languages!
For More Information on the Hopi Workshop Visit Mesa Media
There are many legends about how the Indians learned about the Talking Feather/Talking Stick. Here is one of them…
Long years ago, when gods walked this earth and the land beyond, Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei, were together enjoying the warm summer day. It was a day when the crickets chirrupted in the waving, green grass,when they noticed a figure moving towards them.
As the figure approached closer Kanati said “Look, that woman is crying, what could be the matter?” “I can not imagine why anyone would cry on such a glorious day.” Replied Asgaya Gigagei. “Let’s ask her.”
As the woman drew nearer, they could see her buckskin was decorated with beautiful designs and colors. She carried a bundle filled with leaves, sage, and colorful stones and feathers. They knew immediately this woman was a holy being.
Kanati asked her “Holy mother, why are you crying so?” The woman looked up in wonder, because she had been walking with her head down. “I’m crying because the men of my village are fighting constantly! Each thinks his ideas for leading the tribe is the best!” Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei glanced at one another, in perplexity. “Why, if there are so many good ideas for leading your tribe, why are the men fighting? And why aren’t you and the other members happy!” The poor woman shook her head sadly and replied, “Yes, you are right, the men do have very good ideas, but every man wants to speak his own ideas, and not listen to anyone else. They all shout and scream at one another so loudly, that it frightens the children who run and hide behind their mothers. The women are sad because their husbands come to the house upset and angry. Furthermore, the tribe is suffering, because no one can seem to make a decision.” Just then a beautiful Eagle was soaring overhead, Kanati called out “Brother Eagle, may I have one of your feathers, there are poor humans in desperate need!”
Bother Eagle replied “Yes” and shook himself until a single iridescent, large feather fell to the ground. “Many thanks and Blessings on you” said Kanati. Kanati made secret signs and prayers over the Feather. Asgaya Gigagei helped him with the blessings. Kanati then said to the woman “This is the sacred Talking Father, it holds great power for the one who holds it. Go back to your people, hold this feather up in the air, all who see it will fall silent, and listen to what you have to say. Tell all who listen that from now on, who ever holds this feather, all present within the Circle Council must listen to his words. The feather must then be passed on to the next speaker.”
The woman thanked Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei and hurried back to her village where there was total chaos!. Everyone was talking at once, children were crying, men were screaming at each other. As soon as she held the feather over her head, all became quiet! No one could utter a sound! the holy woman proceeded to give the directions given to her by the gods. She then passed the feather to the first man. He called the Talking Circle together, and each man had his say as he held the feather. From that time on that tribe flourished because they now had direction, and each person could hear and understand what their peers said. The people worked together, to build a great nation. Along the way, they shared the wonders of the Talking Feather with other tribes they met. “And that my friends is the true story of how the Talking Feather came to be!”