Help Find the Missing Corner of the Hopi Tablet To Prove Their Creation Story: Seeking Answers in the Chapel of the Tablet, Africa
[Editorial by Thomas O Mills, Hopi Cultural Center in Second Mesa, Arizona, USA ]
I am sometimes asked, “How can we help the Hopi People?” Having lived with the Hopi for a number of years, I can assure you that they do not need our help. They have been trying to help us, all of mankind, from the beginning of time.
A petroglyph in Mesa Verde National Park. The boxy spiral shape likely represents the sipapu, the place where the Hopi believe they emerged from the earth. (Public Domain)
As a former manager for the Hopi Cultural Center in Second Mesa, Arizona, USA, I have always been amazed at how eager a true Hopi is willing to fast, pray, and devote his time to the well being of all races of man, no matter how terrible the Hopi have been treated.
I am sure that if the Hopi land was fertile, with running water, oil, or minerals, they would have been wiped off the face of the earth many years ago. The Guardian, Masaw who told them to settle in this location knew what he was doing. The struggle to live in this high desert area runs hard and deep in every Hopi, but still, they go forward. They could have chosen any location to settle.
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If I had one wish, it would be that things could go back to the way they were before the Hopi children were taken from their parents and forced to go to public schools. I know this is very unrealistic and many of the progressive, modern Hopi lawyers, teachers, and government workers would argue this point. But I feel the old Hopi way was the perfect educational system. No child was ever left behind. Besides the childʼs real parents, they had clan relatives, aunts and uncles, Kachina guardians, and the village to fall back on. Each child was taught that it was his or herʼs responsibility to take care of the elderly, the young, the village and the fields. There were many avenues of love, training, and understanding for each child. All doors were open. Art, history, astronomy, music, religion, farming, and respect for Mother Earth; a masters class for life for each child, a complete way of living.
Yet Something is Missing
There is one item that the Hopi seek. The missing corner of the Fire Clan Tablet.
In legend, Masaw guided the Hopi across a large ocean, always traveling east, after a great flood that covered the Earth. He gave the Hopi a small stone tablet that gave the Hopi permission to occupy this land and in doing so, proved that he existed. It is said that before he gave the stone tablet to them, he broke off the bottom left corner and told them he was going to take the corner back with him across the ocean and that someday in the future their ‘true brother’ would return with the missing corner and prove their creation story.
A sketch of what the tablet is said to look like. This illustration is from the Book of the Hopi, by Frank Waters. (Via author)
One of the elders became so worried as global events mirrored the prophecies that he had been taught, he made a replica of what he thought the tablet would look like if the missing corner was attached.
This illustration is from The Book of Truth, by Thomas O Mills. (Via author)
When you compare the tablets you will notice that Water’s version left off the pyramid on the bottom right-hand corner when he described the tablet in his book. I believe he did this because he knew the controversy that might have taken place back in 1963 if it was included. What could the Hopis have known about the Pyramids?
Guarded in a Far Off Land
If the missing corner of the tablet was found here in the Americas it really would not prove very much. But if The Guardian, Masaw took the missing corner back to his point of origin, or across the sea, then it could prove the Hopi Creation Story true. It’s thought ‘How else could the missing corner of the stone have traveled across the ocean so many years ago?’
The only location where I know that a stone tablet has been protected for thousands of years by a guardian is in a small town in Ethiopia, Africa, south of the pyramids, called Axum. This tablet is housed in a small chapel called the Ark of the Covenant Church, Chapel of the Tablet, or Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion. This treasury in Axum is reputed to house the Ark of the Covenant, but there is no proof to these claims.
The Chapel of the Tablet at the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum is said to house an important artifact, allegedly the original Ark of the Covenant – but what if it’s something else? (Adam Cohn/CC BY-SA 3.0)
Whatever is inside the church is guarded around the clock by a guardian, 24 hours a day. No one is allowed to see the stone inside. Once a year, on January 18th and 19th, it is paraded around (while covered) through the city in what is called the Timkat Procession, which is the most important ceremony of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Ethiopian Orthodox priests during a Timkat procession, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (GillPenney/CC BY 2.0)
Orthodox priests dancing in front of Saint Mary church for 2015 Timkat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Jean Rebiffé /CC BY 4.0)
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The Mystery Hidden Inside
If they had the Ark of the Covenant or a piece of the Ten Commandments inside - why keep it a secret? Wouldnʼt you want to show everyone and prove your creation story? But if you only had a small piece of the Hopi Fire Clan Tablet and instructions to wait for your long lost brother to ask for it, you might keep it a secret.
My Hopi friends have always told me that the Bahana (their long lost brother from across the ocean) would come from the east and have a red hat or red cloak. Could this red box contain the missing corner of the Fire Clan Tablet? It may be.
A man holds aloft a covered box for the Timkat procession. (Source: Selamta.net)
Bringing the Fire Clan Tablet Back
In my mind, the only way to help the Hopi may be to go to Axum and convince the Guardian protecting the stone tablet to bring it to America on December 21st. Each year the Hopi wait on the ancient trail leading up Third Mesa to the village of Oraibi for the true Bahana to bring them the missing corner of the Fire Clan Tablet. They wait at sunrise on the morning of the winter solstice and pray for his return and the return of the stone.
If the two stone pieces matched up, it could potentially:
-prove the Hopi Creation Story,
-prove Masaw existed,
-explain how global warming and our melting polar ice caps are Earth’s biggest problem at the present time,
-and tell the world that all the Hopi struggles and hard work have not been in vain.
Painting of Hopi man returning home. (From author’s collection)
Speaking with the Guardians
In 1936, Hopi scholar Edmund Nequatewa wrote Truth of a Hopi, where he talks about the return of their long-lost brother:
“Most everybody was anxious to see the Bahana come, for they were so afraid that he might not come during their lifetime and they would not be able to enjoy all the benefits that he was to bring back with him — for the Bahana was supposed to bring great knowledge with him. These people were telling their children that the Bahana was wise and with his inventions had reached the rising sun and was coming back to them again, for they had seen the big eastern star and that was a sign and they were waiting for him. Every grandfather and grandmother was telling their children that they were growing so old that they would not see the Bahana. They would tell their grandchildren to go out in the mornings before sunrise with sacred corn-meal to ask the sun to hurry the Bahana along so that he would come soon.”
Great strides would be made if someone with access could bring these issues to the Guardians protecting the Chapel of the Tablets; show them the illustration of the Hopi tablet, and request their help.
Thomas O. Mills, Former Manager of the Hopi Cultural Center
Thomas O. Mills is author of Stonehenge, If This Was East , and The Book Of Truth: A New Perspective on the Hopi Creation Story. Mills uses his knowledge of the Hopi Ceremonial Cycles to connect ancient sites around the world.
Top Image: Detail of Painting of Hopi man returning home. By Homer Coayama, ‘Hopi Man Coming Home From the Field’ (From author’s collection)