In parts one and two of this series, Hopi elder Oswald “White Bear” Fredericks (1905–1996) detailed the remote origins of his tribe, a history many thousands of years old. It includes a sunken continent in the Pacific, along with interstellar entities called Kachinas who helped refugees from this drowning land resettle on South America’s west coast via a chain of islands.
Periodic Global Catastrophes
The original Hopi homeland in the Third World, located in the Pacific Ocean, was called Kásskara, also known as Mu. Kásskara was coeval with Atlantis, a technological civilisation that White Bear said existed in the Atlantic. Plato described Atlantis in his dialogue Timaeus, detailing how one of the Egyptian temple priests at Sais had given this information to his uncle, Solon, along with the good-natured chide that Egypt had documented a history that made the Hellenes (Greeks) seem like children by comparison.
It’s “a tale which, though strange, is certainly true”, Critias tells Socrates, portraying Atlantis with such exacting specificity that one may suspect the story is accurate.
Crucially, a key feature of the story accords with Hopi tradition. It advances the disconcerting notion that planetary cataclysms happen periodically—at regular intervals. While Egyptian history includes several of these global destructions, modern people remember only one—the Great Deluge or biblical Flood, as Critias reports that the temple priest told Solon:
And whatever happened either in your country or in ours, or in any other region of which we are informed—if there were any actions noble or great or in any other way remarkable, they have all been written down by us of old, and are preserved in our temples. Whereas just when you and other nations are beginning to be provided with letters and the other requisites of civilised life, after the usual interval, the stream from heaven, like a pestilence, comes pouring down, and leaves only those of you who are destitute of letters and education; and so you have to begin all over again like children, and know nothing of what happened in ancient times, either among us or among yourselves. As for those genealogies of yours, which you just now recounted to us, Solon, they are no better than the tales of children. In the first place, you remember a single deluge only, but there were many previous ones…
The New Land in the East
White Bear explained that the people who became the modern Hopi had originated in Kásskara, although not everyone from Kásskara became Hopi. The people of this continent, of which Hawaii is a remnant, defended themselves in warfare with Atlantis that led to the destruction of both civilisations. White Bear reported that otherworldly beings called Kachinas, who flew in spacecraft, had seen a continent emerging out of the water to the east, and they helped his ancestors reach this rising new continent that we know as South America.
“It was the same country as that we had lived on in our Second World, Tokpa, but its appearance was different, so now we called it the Fourth World,” White Bear said.
According to Hopi tradition, the Earth has switched its poles several times, meaning that the North Pole was at the place where the South Pole is currently and vice versa.
“In the Fifth World, it will change again. On each occasion, the Earth tilted completely from north to south and not halfway,” White Bear explained. “That would have caused too much damage and was not the Creator’s intention, except once during the Second World when the Earth tilted only halfway and everything froze.”
The Kachinas observed this new land, and when it was above water, they began preparing for a great migration of Kásskaran refugees to the emerging continent that would become their motherland, White Bear said.
“The Hopi call it the Fourth World, Toowakachi,” he noted, adding that the word ‘sistaloakha’ designates everything that is created quickly and in perfect form. The Creator had decided to save them and directed the Kachinas to help the people reach this new continent. These colonists migrated from the Third World to the Fourth in three types of vehicles.
“The initial group arrived in ‘flying shields’ (spaceships). These were assigned to important, high-ranking people who had priority because they were tasked with establishing the new colony. The Kachinas, being space travellers, knew where the new land was, and they brought these esteemed leaders first. The Kachinas could do that because they had flying shields. Our people did not have them, and we could not build them, but you recall that people of Atlantis also had flying shields. They did not receive them from the Kachinas, who had left them behind, but re-engineered them with their malevolent power, as I have told you.”
Arrivals of the Clans
The first clans reached Toowakachi a long time before Kásskara had sunk completely. Among the more important of the groups that arrived by the flying shields were the Clan of Fire, the Clan of the Snake, the Clan of the Spider, the Clan of the Bow, the Clan of the Lizard, the Clan of the Eagle and the Clan of Water.
“The complete listing shows the Clan of the Bow towards the end because this clan acted badly in the Third World. But some people of the Clan of the Bow were still important,” White Bear said. “Even if many had taken part in the destruction of the Third World, all had not left the path of the Creator. This is why they were saved.”
The second group of refugees was flown on “big birds” (aircraft). The Hopi March festival, Powamu, recalls these events. White Bear took part in this ceremony at Oraibi when he was a young man, allowing him entrance into Powamu society.
“Before the ceremony, the chief of our tribe sang a song that evoked the Third World that we had left and spoke about the malicious queen who had conquered the greatest part of the world and whose influence was so harmful,” he said, referring to the Queen of Atlantis.
“Many people were fearful during this time because the old continent, Kásskara, was sinking fast; one city after another was being destroyed. The water kept rising and covered most of the continent, yet our people knew that they were to be saved,” White Bear said.
The third group consisted of those who were still at the beginning of their search for spiritual wisdom.
“My clan, the Clan of the Coyote, was part of it. I know it from my mother who belonged to this clan, like her parents,” he said. “They had a precise knowledge of these events because they kept them in their memories in order to transmit this knowledge like a heritage to the Fourth World.”
White Bear said that this third group came by boats and had to struggle for a long time. “We do not forget these events because everything that is difficult to attain is more appreciated and one will always remember it,” he noted. “The people who arrived by boats belonged to the lower clans with little power, and for this reason, they had been subjected to the influence of the Clan of the Bow with its destructive plans and motivations. Although the people in the third group took part in the destruction, they did not intend to do so, so they were offered a chance to escape,” he said.
Throughout this migration in the boats, the Kachinas protected this group. Each clan had a Kachina assigned to guide its members safely to the new continent, advising and directing them towards islands where they could rest, but White Bear said that while the Kachinas could make themselves understood, humans at first were not privileged to speak with them.
The Clan of the Flute still celebrates a ceremony that refers to these boat journeys, and in this way the Hopi remember each detail and stage of that epic ocean passage, an event which is recalled to them by a row of seven statues (moai) on Easter Island.
“These statues represent the seven worlds which we must cross,” White Bear said. “Easter Island is the only island on our way which did not sink completely in the ocean after our passage.”
On the subject of “the seven worlds” a little context might help illuminate. The Hopi actually speak of nine worlds, or universal kingdoms, which were manifested according to the Creator Taiowa’s plan. One spiritual kingdom was reserved for Taiowa and one for his “nephew”, Sotuknang. White Bear’s mention of “the seven worlds which we must cross” relates to vibratory centres (chakras) in the human being, corresponding on a physical level to the glands.
So, by means of their flying shields, aeroplanes and boats, the Kachinas shepherded Kásskaran refugees to South America in order to help them establish a colony there.
“At that time, the highest part was already above water,” White Bear explained. “But you should know that not all who survived Kásskara could come to this new continent. We, the Clan of the Coyote, were the last to arrive.
“Those who left after us were taken along by currents towards other lands because they had not been selected to come to South America. Some arrived in Hawaii, a part of the Third World that had not been destroyed. Others arrived on South Pacific islands, and some on an island which is part of Japan today, as I learned a few years ago,” White Bear said. “A young man from this island visited me. He had read Book of the Hopi and said that his grandmother had told him exactly the same stories concerning the old world.
“There were, therefore, a certain number of people who could not come to the new land, although they had the same origin and also came from Kásskara. This is why on the Hawaiian Islands the initiated people are called Kahuna, which has the same meaning as Kachina,” he added.
I’m wondering if the island that White Bear says is “part of Japan today” might be Yonaguni, located about 111 kilometres east of Hualien, Taiwan. I note that author Graham Hancock published an account of his diving experiences at Yonaguni in the 2002 book, Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization. He also addresses the subject on his website: http://grahamhancock.com/archive/underworld/”
Destiny of the Atlanteans
According to White Bear, not all the inhabitants of Atlantis perished when their continent was destroyed. Those who had not taken part in their queen’s attack on Kásskara were saved. They also wanted to come to the new continent, but the Creator had promised that the new land would belong solely to the Hopi ancestors for a long time.
“Although there were no Hopi yet on this new continent, the inhabitants of Atlantis could not come to South America. The Creator did not want to have them there,” he said. “So He sent the Kachinas to prevent them from moving towards the west because, even if the survivors had not followed their chiefs, they still remained subjects of Atlantis.”
White Bear explained that during the Third World, the people of Atlantis had also associated with Kachinas, but the Kachinas left them when the Atlanteans became malevolent.
“The Kachinas directed them east towards areas that today are called Europe and Africa. But their capacities had been removed from them. Nailed to the soil, they could not fly any more and could only survive if they left in small groups and each group carried only one small portion of the total knowledge that they had before,” White Bear said. “This is why the people in that region do not have a memory of their history which is comparable to ours,” he clarified, adding that when the Atlanteans destroyed the Third World, the Creator reduced them to a low cultural level. “But after their punishment, which lasted hundreds of years, they started to develop again. Think of the culture of the Egyptians. For us Hopi, this time is not so remote, and all of this forms part of the Hopi tradition,” White Bear advised.
Toowakachi, the Fourth World
With this Fourth World, Toowakachi, which means “beautiful country for all people”, we are in the middle of Earth and humanity’s lifespan, White Bear explained.
“We are in the fourth of a total of seven worlds which we must cross.” These are physical worlds, although they’re related to the previously mentioned seven chakras. “Three are behind us, and three are in front of us.
“This fact is expressed in our impenetrable rituals as well as in some remains which have been found in Mexico and in South America,” he said. “Timewise, we have already exceeded half of the seven worlds’ lifetime because the duration of each world to come is shorter.”
White Bear described a city called Táotoóma, about the size of modern-day Los Angeles, saying that a section of this ancient city was what we recognise as Tiwanaku (or Tiahuanaco) in today’s Bolivia.
“We call the part of the Fourth World which first emerged out of the water ‘Táotoóma’. In your language, this name means ‘the place that was touched by the arm of the Sun’. We Hopi say that it was the first part seen by the eagles, which were sent by the Kachinas. The eagles fly very high, and they saw the new country emerging from water. This is why we admire the eagles. Thus, we were in the new country, and finally the last group arrived by boat. With their arrival, the migration was complete.”
I should note that while White Bear refers to “eagles” in this passage, I suspect he’s using a noble avian symbol for the kachinas’ aerospace vehicles.
“When we stood on the coast of this continent, we looked behind us and saw that the islands had sunk. The Kachinas had given us a ‘third eye’ [perception, wisdom, insight], which allowed us to see the disappearance of our motherland and the islands,” White Bear said.
As already noted, not all of those who came to the Fourth World and who lived in Táotoóma would become the Hopi ancestors.
“We should instead say that our ancestors were among these people. Our ancestors are those who arrived at Oraibi and settled there definitively. Those are called Hopi,” White Bear said. He then provided a clue about the time scales involved.
“A rather long time passed between the arrival of the first group on the flying shields and the arrival of the last group in boats. It is said that it took 3,000 years before we all came together. All this happened a long time ago because the arrival of those who were on the flying shields took place 80,000 years ago.
We have a very simple way to speak about the long periods of time: soomody means 1,000 years. Soo means “star”, and you know how many stars there are! So the migration started 80 soomody ago.”
(While such a vast time scale requires us to reassess some of our assumptions, ongoing discoveries continue to justify such challenges to our preconceptions, forcing us to revise and expand the time range of modern human history. Consider that in 2008 a stone bracelet likely to be 40,000 years old was unearthed in Denisova Cave, Siberia. According to the Archaeological Institute of America, oxygen isotope analysis indicates that the bracelet is from “the same layer” where a Denisovan bone was found, as Dr Anatoly Derevyanko, Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, told the Siberian Times [7 May 2015]. He believes that the layer in which the bracelet was discovered had not been contaminated by later human activity.)
White Bear said that those who arrived in Táotoóma could settle only in the relatively small area that had arisen from the sea, where everyone was to live together.
“That shows why my people are certain we were the first and only people on this continent. There are tribes in America which came much later because the ice had melted in the north [The Bering Land Bridge].
“A long time before all this occurred, the Creator had shown us planets. He made this formidable offer to us after we had been created as living beings, but we failed because we did not follow the instructions He had given us; we did not respect His law. This is why we initially had this small portion of land—in order to learn how to dominate our feelings and live together,” he said.
The Hopi Reservation itself, in such a remote and unlikely location, may serve a similar purpose today.
Destruction of the First City
Upon arriving on the new continent, the Kásskaran refugees’ initial task was to build the first city, Táotoóma, which they sited on the lower part of a mountain.
Gradually the land area expanded as it rose from the sea, and small numbers of people began to migrate to other places.
“We could start to explore the new continent, and for this reason, we used the flying shields (spaceships). Some of us had reached a sufficient rank to accompany the Kachinas during their explorations to see how the newly founded colonies were faring,” White Bear explained.
Eventually, people again proceeded to entertain their own ideas about the correct way of following the divine Creator’s laws. They had left the correct path, White Bear said, adding that among them were people of high rank who were attracted to wealth and positions of prestige.
“They began to make bad use of Tawuya [undefined], so the Kachinas tried to prevent them from flying away into the universe. We were not allowed to go there as long as we had not fulfilled all of our obligations in this world. But these people falsely believed they were ready. The Creator became aware of what had happened, and after some time He came in person and took the city, raised it into the sky, turned it upside down and buried it in the ground. In all the area around it, one felt the enormous air blast. The soil vibrated—it was like an earthquake.
“It was a disappointment for our Creator, whom we had disobeyed. After that, our people disbanded and went in various directions. This was the first dispersal of our people on this continent.”
White Bear explained that these events transpired during the 4,000 years after the clans had assembled on the new continent, which emerged from the water looking much like it does today.
Over time, the people—especially those who had remained faithful to the Creator—left the ruins of Táotoóma, the first city built in the Fourth World. They wanted to separate themselves from the others in order to preserve their ancestral wisdom and cosmology as well as fulfil their sacred obligations.
“They founded new colonies all over South America. They did not leave all at the same time but gradually, over a long period. A Kachina was assigned to guide each group during its migration. The groups, which we call clans, had to separate in order to survive—and to successfully follow the Creator’s teachings, which belonged to the divine plan. During these migrations, the Kachinas could communicate with us and they helped us just as before,” White Bear said. “They taught us how to sow and collect the same day without waiting months for the fruits to mature.”
After the people had moved away from the ruins of the destroyed city, certain Kachinas were “intended”, or designated, for children who had not yet been born. These children were selected to transmit the true memory of past events, and White Bear noted that such events “very often arrived in [Hopi] history”.
“The child receives the knowledge when it is still in the belly of his mother. Sometimes it is the mother who receives it so that all these thoughts can penetrate the child before the birth, so the child does not need to learn later. It is only necessary to recall this knowledge which it received prior to its birth,” White Bear said.
“All of this happened over several hundred years after the migration’s beginning. But the teaching of the Kachinas made it possible to keep our traditions alive in memory.
Often Kachinas went to the Creator at the speed of light in order to inform Him of our progress on the Earth. As I’ve said, some of us had acquired high rank and had become very close to the Kachinas, who in turn allowed us to accompany them during their flights.”
The Bear Clan Migrations
White Bear related the history of the Clan of the Bear to which his father belonged, saying that he chose this clan because it was selected to serve the role of guide and leader in the Fourth World.
“I learned everything from my father and his brother who knew the history of the clans and their migrations into this hemisphere, because our ancestors were the chiefs of the Hopi and the Clan of the Bear since their arrival in the Fourth World,” he recounted.
“But first I want to tell you something my mother told me. When we left the destroyed city, the Kachinas erased the memories of all those who remained as well as their future generations. Thus, all those who later lived around the ruins did not have the faintest idea what had happened before,” he said, adding that in the Third World the Clan of the Bear was one of the least important clans.
“It did not have a negative past and had not taken part in the destruction of the previous world, and for this reason it was selected as the dominant clan in the Fourth [current] World. It’s why the Clan of the Bear has a higher rank than the Clan of Fire, which destroyed the First World, or the Clan of the Spider and the Clan of the Bow, which destroyed the Second and the Third Worlds,” he said.
Because of the Clan of the Bear’s status among the Hopi, a Kachina of higher rank, Eototo, was assigned to guide the people of this clan, although White Bear said that Eototo was more properly referred to as a deity. Eototo stayed with them wherever they went to assure their welfare. He guided them north from South America, but they encountered very harsh conditions along the way.
“The area they had to cross was terribly hot. They spent a lot of time crossing the forests and getting used to the climate, and many children died at birth because of heat. Times were difficult. They wanted to seek mountains to leave this heat, but the Kachinas encouraged them to continue and protected them throughout the long journey through the jungle. There still exists today a ceremony that recalls this protection,” White Bear recounted.
“After a long time, they migrated out of the tropical region. The people started breathing better, the children no longer died, and the population increased. They continued moving north as Eototo guided them towards lakes and rivers. After many years [or perhaps generations?] they arrived at an ‘ice barrier’ near what we today call the US–Canada border. It prevented their further passage north. This happened about 12,000 years ago. Eototo told them that this ice sheet was a door which would be opened later for other people who would migrate towards the south.”
These, of course, are the groups that anthropologists recognise as having crossed the Bering Land Bridge, yet the Hopi say that their own people arrived first and came from the opposite direction. White Bear related how his ancestors had turned back from the ice sheet and had to move east while crossing a vast expanse of wetland until they came to the Atlantic Ocean. Eototo told them that it was the end of their journey east, and then instructed them to walk in the direction of the setting Sun.
“They obeyed and went west, arriving after many years at the Pacific Ocean,” White Bear explained. “Eototo said to them, ‘You have finished your migration and can now choose where you want to live’—but the clan did not yet know where it wanted to settle. After much investigation, it chose this place [Oraibi], where the people built their first village and where the Hopi have lived ever since.” ∞
A version of this article has also been published by NEXUS magazine, December 2016