In The Cavity of a Rock

In The Cavity of a Rock
Father Lehi

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hopi-Tewa First Mesa Migration History Parallels Nephi and Lehies Migration Story

In a book I recently stumbled across while searching the dusty shelves of a downtown Mesa, AZ bookstore I was surprised to find some interesting and unexpected parallels between the migration stories of the Tewa-Hopi First Mesa people and our migration stories found in 1Nephi. The Book is called"Big Falling Snow, A Tewa-Hopi Indian's Life and Times and the History and Traditions of His People". It is by Albert Yava a Tewa-Hopi and member of the One Horned Society. Alberts father was also a member of the One Horned Society and through this society Albert learned much about the history and traditions of the Hopi and Tewa migrations. Alberts mother was Tewa and his father was Hopi but it wasn't his fathers Hopi bloodline that made Albert full Hopi, it was his initiation into the One Horned Society. Its these societies that qualify a Hopi to become a "true Hopi". While explaining the migration of all the different clans and the First Mesa understanding of these stories Albert stated the following about the Hopi Water Clan,

"In Hopi the Water Clan is called Patkiwoema. That can be translated as Dwelling on Water, or Houseboat, Clan, as I mentioned before, and this refers to their tradition that sometime after they left the place of emergence they made a long journey across a large expanse of water in boats with dwellings constructed on them. The body of water is believed to be the ocean, but just what part of the ocean it was we do not know. It seems that the Water Clan had a big village somewhere before Palatkwa, but corruption and evil set in and they had to leave. That is when they made the ocean voyage. Palatkwa was their next big village. One thing you hear from the Patki people is that in ancient times they were white, not Indian color. They say, "My ancestors had white skins, but because of evil things that happened, we lost all that." They also say,"The Patki people are the ones who are supposed to teach the Hopis good moral values, how to lead good lives."

As can be seen by this traditional migration story the Tewa-Hopi Water Clan and the story shared by Nephi in the book of 1Nephi have many parallels. As seen in 1Nephi 17:8 which states,

"And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee that I may carry thy people across these waters."

So Nephi through the help of the Lord and his family were able to construct just that, a large houseboat able to carry Lehi and Sariah and their young sons Jacob and Joseph and Nephi and his family Laman and Lemuel and their families Sam and his family and Zoram and his family and Ishmael's family (although Ishmael himself passed away and was burried at Nahom earlier in their journey). They would have also included Ishmaels daughters and sons and their families although most of them through marriage would have already been included with the sons and daughters of Lehi and their new friend Zoram as part of their families.

In many other Hopi migration stories they speak of traveling over "many waters". I find this interesting because upon Nephi's migrating to a land they called Bountiful (probabley on the coast of Saudi Arabia near Yeman or modern day Wadi Sayq) he spoke of Bountiful having much fruit and wild honey and also of a sea which they called Irreantum, which being interpreted, is many waters.

When Albert notes that the Water Clan had a big village somewhere before Palatkwa this would more than likely be referring to none other than Jerusalem. This would place Palatkwa as more than likely Zarahemla according to Hugh Nibley or according to other Hopi historians this may be Teotihuacan also known as an ancient red city in the south.

The above story also relates to something I posted on in a previous post as well. The change in skin color. According to the Tewa predecessors the Patki they once had white skin but because of evil things that happened they lost it....this sounds like the sign of the curse that was placed upon the Lamanites for more information on this please feel free to read my previous post entitled,"Genetic traits possible link between Hopi and converted Lamanites (Anti-Nephi Lehies)? ".

The above related migration story by Albert Yava just goes to show the many parallels between the Hopi and Tewa and those of the Book of Mormon. I don't find these correlations as a mear coincodence, as a matter of fact it is these stories handed down through generations that bring the Book of Mormon to life.


  1. Very cool stuff! By the way, I'm letting some of my friends know about your blog...Yes, it's that cool. Thanks again, bro'!

  2. Se que lo que dice, lo leo todos los dias B of M. Saludos desde Costa Rica.