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Book of the Hopi by Frank Waters

Book of the Hopi (1963)

by Frank Waters

Other authors: Oswald White Bear Fredericks (Illustrator)

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661521,390 (3.67)3



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Showing 5 of 5
many similarities to LDS creation, degrees of glory ( )
  Mikenielson | Jan 20, 2015 |
I read this as a teenager, and the world view of the Hopi's affected me deeply enough at the time to consider running away from home. It was probably one of the major catalyst's to me to think about other cultures in a way that wasn't presented to us in the western world at the time via the media. (which was typically racist and demeaning). ( )
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
This book is one of the classics of anthropological research. It is one of the few complete resources you will find on the Hopi mythologies, including how that mythology leads to the lives they live today. From that standpoint, it is one of the best books in its field.

However, the book suffers from two major flaws. (Flaws that have resulted in many detractors in the past.) The first is that the author seems to impose a Judeo-Christian mythos over the stories he has heard. The origin stories and the “Great White Brother” concept (one that does indeed run through many other tribe’s stories) seem to have a spin on them, as if the author wants us to see just how closely these align to our beliefs. The second is that the author has definitely lost his objectivity. Of course he sides with the Hopis in any story involving the Navajos. But he even goes so far as to side with different Hopi villages when their stories or beliefs may diverge.

But that only means what is told here needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The mere fact that the author may have lost his researcher’s objectivity does not take away from the fact that this is an incredible collection that pulls together so much of what makes the Hopis the unique tribe they are. And, though the author tries too hard to make the point, it is apparent that the Hopi have been a part of the greater expanse of tribes that have lived in the Americas far into the past.

At times it is dry and scholarly. Other times the author repeats himself. And other times there are just too many details. But read past the author’s inability to pull his own preconceived notion out of the narrative, and you will find an intriguing mythology that few people are lucky enough to share. ( )
1 vote figre | Apr 26, 2011 |
This book was an all around great read. It had historical and mythological value, it touched my mind and my heart. The book describes the Hopi history, both mythological and recent, and their ceremonies and faith in great details. It takes you from the first world, to the fourth world, our current world. A look into the basis of their faith was really an interesting opportunity and filled with an extremely rich history of faith worth reading. I liked the use of footnotes, which also brought one thing to light I would have missed, I noted all the similiarities between the Hopi faith and the Hindu and Buddhist Traditions, except for one, but luckily the author commented on it, so it wasn't lost on me. The recent history of the Hopi, in the last four hundred years, was rather a horrid and sad, but frankly these things have to be recorded and passed on. Despite ending on a sad note of their history, the book over all was a rather good read. ( )
1 vote BlueFlameMagick | Aug 8, 2009 |
Recommended by my native American friend as an excellent source for understanding the historical and religious views of the ancestral puebloans. ( )
  drjvrichardsonjr | May 6, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Waters, FrankAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fredericks, Oswald White BearIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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There is no such thing as a little country.  The greatness of a people is no more determined by their number than the greatness of a man is determined by his height. —Victor Hugo
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This is a strange and wonderful book.
Laurens Van Der Post, gifted writer and perceptive student of humanity, has deplored the loss to our society of the whole natural language of the spirit, with the result that we no longer have a certain basic sense of proportion.
The first world was Tokpela (Endless Space).
There is no such thing as a little country.
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(From Back Cover)

In this "strange and wonderful book," some thirty elders of the ancient Hopi tribe of Northern Arizona freely reveal for the first time in w ...more In this "strange and wonderful book," some thirty elders of the ancient Hopi tribe of Northern Arizona freely reveal for the first time in written form the Hopi world-view of life. The Hopis have kept this view a secret for countless generations, and this book was made possible only as a result of their desire to record for future generations the principles of their "Road of Life." The breaking of the Hopi silence is significant and fascinating because for the first time anthropologists, ethnologists, and everyone interested in the field of Indian study have been given rich material showing the Hopi legends, the meaning of their religious rituals and ceremonies, and the beauty of a conception of life within the natural world that is completely untouched by materialistic worlds.

"only a person as deeply steeped in Hopi mysticism as the Hopis themselves could have produced this volume. Mr. Waters and Mr. Fredericks have approached the task of combining Hopi art, history, tradition, myth, folklore, and ceremonialism with dignity and authority....Deserves to be part of the library of any student of the American Southwest."
--American Anthropologist
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"Thirty elders of the ancient Hopi tribe of Northern Arizona ... reveal the Hopi worldview. They record their myths and legends, and the meaning of their religious rituals and ceremonies...." -- publisher's description from back cover.

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