According to Native Prophecies, The End of the World Is Near

“In the Hopi teachings,” he began, “we are told that toward the end of the world, Spider Woman will come back and she will weave her web across the landscape. Everywhere you will see her web. That’s how we will know that we are coming to the end of this world, when we see her web everywhere. I believe I have just seen her web.” That was Thomas Banyacya’s  (a Hopi traditionalist interpreter) reaction to seeing the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, which sends electricity from the Niagara Falls generating plant throughout Western New York.” ICTMN

Thomas Banyacya

Part of the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant in Lewiston, New York, is seen from the air on August 14, 2003.

Excerpt: Apocalypse Prophecies: Native End of the World Teachings, ICTMN

“The world was crying Mayan apocalypse on December 21, 2012, so it seemed prudent to explore other end of the world teachings. Even though the Mayans weren’t actually predicting the end of the world, we’d play along anyway. Some of those teachings are just as relevant in 2017 as they were in 2012.

Other Hopi teachings refer to the nine signs. The first sign said the white-skinned men would come, the second said: ‘Our lands will see the coming of spinning wheels filled with voices. In his youth, my father saw this prophecy come true with his eyes—the white men bringing their families in wagons across the prairies.’

The Hopi aren’t alone when it comes to prophecies about how the world will end either…Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac pointed to Handsome Lake, a 19th century Seneca prophet whose predictions are presented by anthropologist Arthur Parker in The Code of Handsome Lake, the Seneca Prophet  published in 1913. Handsome Lake predicted the world would end by fire in the year 2100…He also predicted the destruction of the environment, famines and war. One of his predictions, in section 93 of Parker’s book, even seems to predict the destruction of the ozone layer.

Handsome Lake — the Iroquois prophet.

The Northern Paiute had Wovoka, a religious leader who was born around 1856 and predicted the coming of a new world. He was also the leader of the Ghost Dance movement, which was danced to help prepare for the new world.


We don’t know exactly how he imagined the new world would occur but it’s clear that he taught that it would occur through some kind of cataclysmic event…maybe through a kind of earthquake…some sources suggest a great snow, said Jeffrey Ostler, a historian at the University of Oregon who has written about Wovoka’s prophecies.

‘It [cataclysmic event] would destroy or remove European Americans and then after that there would be a renewed world where game would return, ancestors who had died would return to life and Indian people would be able to live well again.’

Dave Courchene, Anishnaabe elder and the founder of Turtle Lodge, an institution that maintains the fires of traditional knowledge in Manitoba, Canada, says prophecies aren’t always negative. He told ICMN that prophecies, to his people, offer hope and direction.

Elder Dave Courchene speaks at the Traditional Knowledge Keeper event.

‘We were given instructions on how to live and how to behave and we’ve strayed away from those original instructions,’ he said. ‘What we’re finding in the world today, through the signs that nature is offering us is that we need to reflect on our behavior—on how we’re treating life and how we’re treating each other as human beings. It’s really parallel to the Mayan calendar when they talk of the new cycle that’s coming and then you hear so much talk about the end of the world.’

But he doesn’t see the end of the world as an ending, Courchene sees it as a beginning.

‘The end of the world can also be understood that we’re being given an opportunity to put an end to our negative behaviors,’ he said, noting that this new cycle will mean a return to indigenous values.

‘These changes are going to be somewhat difficult for those that have lived the materialistic life because this new life the elders are talking about is a return to laying down values and principles that whatever we create in our life must be grounded with those values,’ he said. ‘The principles of our understanding, of the survival of the people have always been based on peace, harmony and respect for all of life.”

Category: Culture