In The Cavity of a Rock

In The Cavity of a Rock
Father Lehi

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Biblical social networking common at water wells, also a practice common among the Hopi

In biblical times there are many stories who's background settings take place at the local watering well.  Many of these wells in times past would be covered with a cement cover that usually took more than one person to remove.  This stopped the sun from causing too much water from evaporating.  This alone caused the first person at the water well to have to wait for someone else to show up in order to help remove the top before obtaining water.  This was usually done by men so many times there could be a small gathering of people before obtaining water could even start.  The practice of socializing at the well was very common and many of the classic bible stories take place there.  Some of these are the story of Rebecca (Gen. 24:1-27) and the story of Rachel(Gen. 29:1-14) or in the New Testament the story of the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-42).  It was common practice for the woman to be the one fetching water from the well.

This old world practice was also known to have a new world setting as well.  One in particular was found among he Hopi women.  It was common practice for Hopi women to climb down the mesa in order to obtain water from their local watering hole. These watering holes made for a place of social gatherings for many Hopi women, young and old.  As has been noted by Hugh Nibley not only do the pueblos that make up the Hopi villages look like something right out of Old Jerusalem, but many of the Hopi traditional practices seem to be microcosms of Biblical practices. 
The Hopi society is a matriarchal society, the land
that is worked by the man actually belongs to the woman.  The home is usually worked by the woman and it also belongs to the woman as well.  So is it any surprise that so many Old Testament, Law of Moses type practices would be found among the Hopi?  We know that the Law of Moses was observed and followed in the Book of Mormon, and there are many references to it in the Book of Mormon but one in particular that stands out to me is Abinadi's trial by the priests of wicked king Noah (Mosiah 12).  The Book of Mormon stands as a testament that the natives of America (North, Central, and Southern) did in fact have the Law of Moses and even more important, they were visited by none other that Christ himself after he had truly fulfilled that law.  This is why there are many remnants of Biblical practices found among the native populations of the Americas.   

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