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.

Mishongnovi—“Petroglyphs found near Mishongnovi, Arizona, depict ‘flying shields’ and ant-like gods who assisted the ancient Hopi.”

“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:

Yonaguni —“The submarine structures at Yonaguni are apparently natural rock shaped by human hands. A Japanese visitor told White Bear that his
grandmother had related a similar origin story.”

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.”

Easter Island Moai—“Seven moai stand as silent sentinels on Easter Island (Rapa Nui).” Photo: Arian Zwegers

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.

H-Blocks—”Massive, intricately worked, H-shaped stone blocks at Puma Punku are part of the complex at the Tiwanaku site, Bolivia.” Photo: Janikorpi

“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.

Old Oraibi—”Photograph taken in 1899 of Old Oraibi, the original Hopi village that’s part of the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. Old Oraibi was the birthplace of Oswald “White Bear” Fredericks. In 1964, the village was declared a US National Historic Landmark.”

“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.” ∞

“Panoramic view of the Hopi Reservation from Arizona State Route 264,
located a few kilometres from Oraibi.”

“A Hopi woman dresses the hair of an
unmarried girl, c. 1900.” Photo: Henry Peabody


A version of this article has also been published by NEXUS magazine, December 2016

Shawn Hamilton is a teacher and reporter in California. He began his teaching career in Taiwan in 1989 when large rallies were supporting the protesters at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. He returned to the relative calm of the United States and took a teaching position in Compton, a suburb of Los Angeles, in time for the rioting that occurred there, sparked by an unpopular court decision.
Hamilton moved to Sacramento where he taught college classes part-time and covered the capitol as a reporter for Pacifica Radio’s KPFA in Berkeley. He received a Project Censored award in 2011.
As a teenager, Hamilton was introduced to Oswald “White Bear” Fredericks by his high school anthropology teacher, and he became intrigued by native cultures. The experience led to his traveling to Meta Tantay, the camp of Shoshone healer John “Rolling Thunder” Pope in Nevada. While attending Humboldt State University in the California redwoods a few years later, Hamilton took classes in Native American Studies and began participating in ritual sweat lodge ceremonies on the Eel River. He said these experiences changed his life.
Shawn Hamilton can be reached at [email protected]
For more information, visit his website:

15 thoughts on “The Mysterious Past of the Hopi: From Kásskara to the Americas”

  1. Shawn Hamilton says:

    My attempt in this series has been to record ethnographic evidence. I am not proposing a certain “view” or endorsing any particular philosophy I have tried to the best of my ability – as a trained reporter – to accurately reproduce what White Bear has legitimately said — either from what he told me directly or from sources like Book of the Hopi.

    If Jason Colavito plans on disrespecting this material, he should directly consult the current Hopi elders before doing so! I am just a messenger!

    1. Lewis Binford’s Ghost says:

      Did you read Geertz’s “Book of the Hopi: The Hopi’s Bible?” or did you ignore objective critiques of the culturally imperialist, biased, error-filled book you base this all on?

      1. Shawn Hamilton says:

        Dear Mr. Ghost,

        I must answer “No” to both of your questions. It sounds to me like there’s a point you’d very much like to make but aren’t quite able to articulate it. I invite you to try again.

        Most of my material came directly from White Bear, not Book of the Hopi. If you have a problem with the latter you should write an article.

  2. Richard Pannell says:

    It seems ur Planet is in a Area of local space where we have the -Karma -as it we’re of change and Death and rebirth,ordered by -Mother Earth and Father Sky, and we live by the Law of the Jungle, In order to learn her Lessons She offers us.

  3. Rusty Ramirez says:

    Thank you for this. Both sides of my family (indigenous including Western Apache and some European) have lived in Arizona for generations but according to my genome I’m most similar genetically to people in Peru. I have a percentage of Oceania and South Pacific genetic markers bit very little Beringia.

  4. Rusty Ramirez says:

    ****My Maternal Haplogroup is B201, a branch of B2, like my little sister (we aren’t blood related) who is Diné. A majority of Hopi Maternal Haplogroup (from what I could find) is B2.

    Maternal Haplogroup B2 is very common in northwestern South America.

    1. Shawn Hamilton says:

      Good post, Rusty! As I’ve already responded to your query more fully in an email, I won’t repost the entire exchange, but I will include these details for the interest of readers:

      “One note regarding the Navajo and Hopi. White Bear made it clear that the Hopi were the first group to arrive on this continent — after the big asteroid blast anyway-. The Hopi believed the Navajo had crossed the Bering Land Bridge (Hopi called it “The Back Door”), but this occuurred long after the Hopi’s initial arrival. If you’ve heard about the “Anasazi” at Mesa Verde, that’s actually a misnomer; it used a Navajo word to describe a Hopi-related group. Today at Mesa Verde tour guides will tell you “Anasazi” means “The Ancient Ones”, as if it’s a Hopi word, but it’s actually Navajo and refers to “ancient enemy”, so the word has been santised!”

  5. Josh says:

    Hi Shawn,

    I enjoyed reading your section on Kasskara. Too bad about Colavito. I derived much value from an anthology he published of articles about the megalithic mound site of Le Fale O Le Fe’e / “The House of the Octopus” on ‘Upolu, Sāmoa, a site equally mysterious as Pulemelei in Letolo Plantation on Savai’i, Sāmoa and the Māui Sun Gate in Tonga.

    My own research track has focused a great deal on my Polynesian heritage, examining comparative linguistics, material culture, pre-Christian religious beliefs, and genealogy of Ali’i and kahuna (tofuga / tohunga) pedigrees. However, after I randomly stumbled into a Hopi creation myth about a figure named Maasawu’u (Maasaw, etc.) narrated by a Hopi woman, I began examining Hopi and Navajo as well as other Native American legends, identifying, I believe, numerous intersections of language and cosmogonic traditions with Polynesian legends.

    Maasawu’u is phonetically very similar to Samoan (of Tui Manu’a extraction) MUA-SAU, which means “Vanguard”, or more literally “The First Ones (to Come)”, a clan among whose number many generations of Samoan holy men have descended, both as pagan priests, or VA’A (“ships” of the gods), before western contact and as Christian ministers after western contact. Many of clan Muasau now reside in Arizona, New Mexico, San Diego, the Pacific Northwest.

    The Hopi legend relates that Maasawu’u was already here in America, long before any Hopi or Dinetah people arrived–thus he was “The First to Come”–and that as an agent of Taiowa the Creator/Sun God he taught them how to survive in the Sipapu region before commanding them to disperse. The solar attributions of Taiowa already flag this as a successor candidate of the Tagaloa-Lā (Rā) family of divinities, which includes Māui (Tagaloa-a-Ui), paramount high chief Pili-ka’aiea (a former Tu’i Manu’a) and his minister Pa’ao (Pakao / Kupe / Tupe / Te Whiro / Hilo / Hiro / Iro), and the Fire Goddess Pele (Sina, Hina of the Fire).

    The Hopi word SIPAPU mean something in gagana Sāmoa–“to lift, to arise by means of a passage” from:
    SI’I – “to hoist” (also, SISI’I, HI’I, HIKI’, HITI as in Ta-Hiti, and FITI), “to heave on a fishline”
    PA – “to erupt”, “to burst forth”, “a fish hook”
    ‘A – “by means of”, “from”, “of”, “descended from”
    PU – “a gate”, “a passage”, “a boat launch”, “a portal”, “a bodily orifice” (anus, mouth, vagina, etc.)

    If you are familiar with the Māui legend where he “fishes up the islands”, you will readily recognize this metaphor hidden in the Hopi name for Grand Canyon. Furthermore, you will recognize the Hopi creation myth in the laconic gagana Sāmoa style.

    “Hopi” is said to mean “civilized person” according to Hopi people and corroborated by the Hopi Dictionary. In Sāmoan, Hawaiian, and Māori it means “exalted”, or “to cause to be lifted up in the arms of…(presumably Creator?)”, “(those who) bring salvation”.

    These readings come from:
    HO’O / FA’A – a causative prefix that takes a verb and appends “to make” to the meaning, i.e. PONO “correct” becomes HO’OPONO “to (make) correct”.
    PI’I (PIKI) – “to rescue”, literally “to lift”, “to ascend”, “to go inland”, “to go ashore”

    Thus, the name “Hopi” sounds like “Those Who Were Saved”, “Those Who Were Made to Ascend”, “Those Whom (God) Sent Inland”, etc.. Pretty in line with the Hopi interpretation of their own apocalyptic traditions, I’d say.

    Next week, I will be traveling to Sedona, Arizona for a ten-day visit. I wonder if you might be able to refer me to a good first hand resource to learn more about Kasskara and Talawaitichiqua / “Land of Dawn”?

    Best regards,
    J. Fānene

    1. Shawn Hamilton says:

      Josh, this is some fascinating material, and I’m going to have to study it for a while. I kind of regret now that I formally studied Rhetoric in grad school rather than Linguistics.

      You might consider presenting these ideas to the author Madeleine Daines who posts to this site. She seems to know more about linguistic aspects of these topics than most contributors to the Message Board. I know I would be interested in following an exchange between the two of you.

  6. Kathleen Patton says:

    Thank you for this fascinating account. It truly resonates with me. My spiritual teacher, Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi, has been predicting extremely difficult times and has been advising us to help mitigate the present evil tendencies through spiritual practices, having us do meditations that send out healing love and peace to the planet and all beings, and doing selfless loving service every day to rebalance ourselves with Nature. In Hinduism, our history is seen as very ancient with many yugas, ages, the present yuga being the Kali Yuga which is a very dark time with much destruction.

  7. Stevie Bee says:

    Something I have been meaning to say to Graham since meeting him on Ibiza a couple of years ago. This article talks about Mu or Lemuria, about which Graham said “there is absolutely no evidence that such a continent by this name ever existed.” I remembered later about the 4500 year old mummified corpse of a pre-Scythian warrior found in the Altai who was tattooed with ring-tailed lemurs who are only found nowadays on Madagascar!

  8. Shawn Hamilton says:

    Hello Kathleen!

    You remind me that Hindus, like the Hopi, operate on a much vaster time scale than we typically embrace in the West. What we consider ancient in western history is relatively modern by Hopi and Hindu reckoning.

    I recall Sri Sathya Sai Baba mentioning that the Kali Yuga offers humanity a great opportunity because spiritual advancement can be made more quickly during this period. Would your teacher concur?

  9. Shawn Hamilton says:

    Hi Steve,
    I can’t presume to speak for Mr. Hancock, but I can perhaps offer a perspective on your query.
    My article involves Kásskara, the Hopi word for the tribe’s purported original homeland in the Pacific. I have referred to it as “Mu” so people would make the connection, but I tend to avoid the term “Lemuria” due to its historical baggage. I realise there is no actual difference in meaning.
    We don’t know for sure what Mr. Hancock was thinking in this instance, but I know he chooses his words consciously and carefully. As far as I know he wasn’t aware of my Hopi articles until recently—and if, as your post suggests, he didn’t believe in a possible submerged land mass in the Pacific, then we must credit him for being extraordinarily open-minded in publishing my pieces.
    Willingness to publish information that might challenge certain details of one’s current pet thesis, I think, reflects intellectual honesty and spiritual fortitude.

  10. Rampagingoldknee says:

    I once had a conversation in a bar with a guy in SF many years ago, the 80’s to be slightly less vague, and he went on and on about all the evidence he’d found that proved that the people who populated South America came there by boat. He referenced stone weights used by boats and other artifacts that had survived thousands of years. That was the first time my schema of how people arrived on the Americas was challenged. The whole ‘land bridge’ model never really made much sense to me intuitively anyway.

  11. Shawn Hamilton says:


    That sounds like a clear reference to ballast stones. Can you recall who was telling you this, or from what source their interest derived? That does seem like a pretty solid indication of nautical activity.

    You’ve inspired my interest to learn more about the reed boats of the type recreated by Thor Hyerdahl. I recall hearing that the reed boats’ absorption of water functioned like ballast, but stones could have been used also. Hyerdahl successfully demonstrated that reed boats could be used for maritime travel, but he was thinking voyagers had gone from South America west to Easter Island instead of the reverse.

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