THE STORY OF THE BIG PUSH
As told by Don C. Talayesva in 1970
I can tell you exactly how it happened because I was involved in that business. I was about sixteen years old then. There was this group in Oraibi that was hostile to the whites. That was the problem. We all used to live peaceably together when I was a young boy, but about the time I was old enough to be in school we began to separate from our old way of life. And this group that was hostile to the government refused to send their children to school. They didn’t want to get help from the government. They wanted to be left alone to go their own way.
It got to be pretty bad in the village. Things got turned upside down. When we friendly people had our ceremonies they [the Hostiles] had theirs by themselves. We were not living peaceably for quite a while, 'til 1906. That was when we decided to do something.
It was on September the 8th, 1906, that it happened. We drove those hostile people from the village, out that way, and kept them gathered there. During the afternoon it was getting pretty bad. Yukioma, who was head of the Hostiles, wanted his people to stay in Oraibi. He wanted us [the Friendlies] to leave the village. So about three o’clock he made four lines on the ground and then he said, “Well, it has to be done this way now that when you pass me over these lines it will be done. We’re going to have a [push]-of-war. If you push us over [the lines] we are the ones to leave.”
So our chief called a lot of those strong men to do the work. Said, “Well, we’ll get together and push each other. We’ll push them back that way. If we pass them over the four lines it will be done.”
We had a hard struggle. Both of our chiefs were in the center, and they had a hard time to get their breath. And then we drove them over the four lines. Then it was done; that’s what Yukioma said. Before the setting of the sun, he and his group departed.
Our chief said to them, “You people are supposed to go out where you came from, Kawestima, to live.” That’s out toward Kayenta.
After the Hostiles left, someone carved three or four footprints in the rock showing where they went out toward the west. Two fellows named Robert Silena and Charles Addington carved the words that Yukioma had said.
When the Hostiles got to the place where they were going to stay, Hotevilla, they cut down some trees and made temporary hogans at first, then afterwards they made their stone houses.
Our chief at that time was Tawakwaptewa, and his second lieutenant from Moencopi was Frank Shiamptiwa.
Best Related Tour
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DAY 1 Arrive Flagstaff, AZ and shuttle to your hotel.
Meet your Hopi guide and drive to the Grand Canyon - a deeply sacred site to several tribes in this southwest region, including the Hopi, Zuni, Hualapai, and Havasupai. Many Hopis identify the Grand Canyon as the location of the Supapuni, the place of emergence into this, the Fourth World. The Grand Canyon is also associated with the home of Massaw, the Hopi guardian of the earth. One of the traditional rites of Hopi men was to take the Salt Pilgrimage to Grand Canyon from the Hopi Mesas. The spiritual significance of the canyon is part of the fundamental, spiritual tapestry of the Native peoples of the region.
Traveling to the Hopi Mesas, experience the secluded raw beauty of ancestral cultures; progenitors of tribal perspectives on human existence and survival! Today you will explore Third Mesa, touring the ancient Old Oraibi and hearing the stories of life in this largest of the Hopi villages, including the Oraibi spilt and the fascinating Big Push. You will stand before Taawa Canyon, a rock art site which is off limits to the casual tourist but is probably the finest single rock art site in the southwest with over 12,000 petroglyphs and witness ancient petroglyphs that interact with the sunlight to mark the equinox and solstice, acting as solar calendars.
Hopi Arts and Crafts enthrall collectors around the world and today on Second Mesa you will see Hopi Art placed into a cultural context with special explanations from Hopi artisans regarding Katsina dolls and their integral place in the culture and spirituality of Hopi people. Enjoy a walking tour of Supawlovi – the longest inhabited tribal village anywhere in the US - with a village resident who can tell you the insider’s stories of local history and culture, then off to learn about the craft of Hopi silver overlay – the distinctive style of silver jewelry made in the home studios of many local Hopi silversmiths across the Mesas. You have the option to buy direct from the artist if you wish. After supper at a Hopi restaurant where you can sample traditional Hop blue corn fare, this evening you will participate in a discussion about the role of women in Hopi culture.
Walpi village stands 300 feet above the surrounding valley and is surrounded by extraordinary sky vistas and distant horizons. And Walpi might just be the most inspiring place in Arizona. Walpi Village dates back to about 900 A.D., and in 1540, the Spaniard Pedro de Tovar made contact with the Hopi in his search for the seven cities of gold. The story of how the Spanish established missions in the Hopi Villages was a brutal chapter of Puebloan history, but in 1680, the Pueblo people of present-day southwestern United States revolted and drove the missionaries from their homelands. The village of Walpi is a living village where the homes are passed down through matrilineal clan lineage. Just as it has been over the centuries, there is no electricity or running water in the old village of Walpi. You will witness life as it has been lived over the centuries and you will also learn about the contemporary life of the First Mesa Villages which includes economic development and cultural preservation.
Near Ganado, at the Hubbell Trading Post, we step back in time. The Navajo called Don Lorenzo Hubbell “Naakaii Saani,” or “Double Glasses,” and this 1870s trading post has withstood the onslaught of time; to step inside is to step back into the 19th century. The post boasts an excellent array of Southwest Indian art, particularly by Navajo and Hopi artisans, and the trading post retains an active barter system, so Hubbell is a venue to make a trade. This evening we stay at the Navajo Nation’s own hotel at the Navajo capital – Window Rock, AZ
All roads lead to Chaco. The Hopi maintain oral accounts of their historical migration from Chaco and their spiritual relationship to this land, and how many millions of stones were hauled, innumerable thousands of tons of earth, and endless logs were cut and hauled from up to 50 miles away in the incredible effort to construct Chaco amid this remote, windswept harsh environment. The structures served as astronomical observatories and calendars. About 30 ancient masonry buildings up to 4 stories high with hundreds of rooms each and walls up to 3 ft thick… the scale of the complex upon completion rivals that of the Coliseum in Rome! Here the temperature can swing 60 degrees in a single day, with winter hitting 38 below, and summer reaching 102 degrees. But for those who take the time, a visit to this deserted, beautiful monument to Hopi religion brings a wider comprehension of Hopitu – the ancient traditional life way of the Hopi.
Depart from Farmington Regional Airport
BOOK EARLY FOR A BONUS DAY:
Any trip that winds so close to the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ really should make the detour. Weaving a path of beauty throughout the Navajo Nation, we travel into Tse Bii Ndzisgaii, Monument Valley, the “eighth wonder of the world,” and learn of the immense power and significance of Tse Bii Ndzisgaii in Diné culture, and soon realize that Monument Valley is much more than a landscape associated with hundreds of Hollywood Westerns.
(Please note: If you book before Jan 31st, 2014 to participate in this offer you will depart Flagstaff, AZ (FLA) on Sept 13th or November 1st)
Hopi Arts and Crafts
This trip is based on single room accommodation with no single supplement.
For sharing prices, please call
+1. 307. 699. 6015
Is camping available?
No. There aren't suitable camping facilities in the areas you will visit - the best is right on a main road.
Accommodations are well priced for this trip and the best thing to keep your costs down is to room share.
Please call +1. 307. 699. 6015
This trip is not a high activity tour, but all participants must be of reasonable fitness and be able to walk uneven paths and to take short hikes.
This will be sent to you upon payment of your balance.
This can be sent to you on request once you have made your booking. You do not have to do 'homework' prior to your trip
...but some people like to.
NDN2rs is deeply concious of our responsibility toward Mother Earth and wherever possible we keep miles to a minimum, energy savings to the max. But you also have to do your part.
Please read our policy on sustainable tourism here.
This also covers our
Fair Trade Tribal Tourism mandate.
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Hopi Lady at Old Oraibi
Antelope Priests at Old Oraibi
Hopi girl at Old Oraibi
Hopi Blue Corn
Old Oraibi Homes
Kykotsmovi Village Sign