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Sun May 26, 2013, 06:06 PM

 

Opinion: Should the Hopi people continue to have the right to kill eagles? Yes

The Hopi and eagles share a long relationship

Posted: 05/26/2013 12:01:00 AM MDT
By Peter Whiteley

Understanding another religion is no easy business. Americans nowadays often fool ourselves that religions can be put on or off like a suit of clothes, and that our own world-view is not religious unless we say so. We — especially secular humanists — also claim superiority for our idea of "nature," an abstract space separate from everyday life, for leisure, imagination, or scientific observation. Here, we can safely root for our favorite charismatic species, while ignoring the destruction of others.

Moreover, our recent arrival in the West, displacing and often destroying native species — Homo sapiens, birds, and others — makes explaining unusual Native religions even more problematic. But arrogantly judging Hopi eagle-gathering without objective evidence or any personal knowledge does little for mutual understanding of people or environment.

The Hopis have dwelt on the Colorado Plateau for at least a millennium. Their adaptation to a landscape of little water requires near-legendary toughness and respect for the natural environment. Hopi religion is fundamentally attuned to the environment and its metaphysical underpinnings. The strongest surviving indigenous tradition in North America, Hopi religion focuses on seasonal and daily attention to preserving the world in balance. Appeal to deity operates through prayer, song and ritual. Like wafers and wine for Christian communicants, certain material elements are basic: cornmeal, tobacco-smoke, honey, and feathers. Pahos that include eagle feathers are perhaps the sine qua non, carrying human prayers to deities and ancestral spirits.

"Eagles are our lifeline," as Percy Lomaquahu (whose name, coincidentally, means "beautiful eagle" used to put it. Without them, Hopis are cut off from their means to renew life forces. From a Hopi perspective, the world itself — not only locally, but globally — suffers serious problems without their religious intervention. Hopis have special relationships with many species, but eagles are qapaysoq hμitu, truly exceptional: They are human beings in another form. Each clan in each village only has certain nesting areas it may visit. The rules are strict, ensuring preservation of the population from year to year.

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_23311213/yes-hopi-and-eagles-share-long-relationship

12 replies, 3276 views

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Opinion: Should the Hopi people continue to have the right to kill eagles? Yes (Original post)
rug May 2013 OP
janlyn May 2013 #1
ZombieHorde May 2013 #2
janlyn May 2013 #3
ZombieHorde May 2013 #4
TreasonousBastard May 2013 #5
skepticscott May 2013 #8
pangaia May 2013 #6
LostOne4Ever May 2013 #7
Name removed Jun 2013 #9
hrmjustin Jun 2013 #10
ornotna Jun 2013 #11
Zorra Jun 2013 #12

Response to rug (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:26 PM

1. Absolutely !!!

We as a nation have left them with little else ! I grew up in Arizona, among my friends I was blessed to have a friend name Anna.
Her mother and grandmother sparked my interest with their religion and way at looking at the world. They put into words for me that feeling I got when I was out in the desert alone. A feeling of being connected to the earth around me.
They should be allowed to continue with their beliefs and practices. We are after all not talking about a hunting free for all.we are talking about the taking of an animal with much ritual and thought.I look at it this way no native tribe has ever to my knowledge driven a species to extinction or near extinction. I think that dubious honor belongs to whites only.

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Response to janlyn (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:38 PM

2. You have some good points, but

I'm sure different hunting rules based on skin color is a good idea.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #2)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:51 PM

3. It's not setting a precedent

Inuit tribes have the right to hunt whales and for certain others like fishing a look the other way attitude has been theapprouch by officials.

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Response to janlyn (Reply #3)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:55 PM

4. That's true. nt

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:56 PM

5. I'm waiting for the "Christians should have no privileges" gang...

to show up and explain why Hopis should not kill eagles in the name of their imaginary sky pilots.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #5)

Mon May 27, 2013, 09:06 AM

8. It's a mighty small gang

 

so I wouldn't hold my breath.

And when the Hopis make regular and concerted attempts to force everyone else to live their lives in a way that conforms to Hopi religious beliefs, then your little attempt at analogy might have some meaning...as it stands, not so much..

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 08:19 PM

6. We need the Hopi.

I spent part of the summer of 1970 near and at Walpi on First Mesa and Shongopovi on Second Mesa. It was a remarkable time.

We need the Hopi.....To balance all the insanity.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:27 PM

7. Mmmm

[div class="excerpt" style="background-color:#dcdcdc; padding-bottom:5px; border:1px solid #bfbfbf; border-bottom:none; border-radius:0.4615em 0.4615em 0em 0em; box-shadow:3px 3px 3px #999999;"]http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_23311213/yes-hopi-and-eagles-share-long-relationship
[div class="excerpt" style="background-color:#f0f0f0; border:1px solid #bfbfbf; border-top:none; border-radius:0em 0em 0.4615em 0.4615em; box-shadow:3px 3px 3px #999999;"]There is no evidence that the small number of eagles and other raptors Hopis gather — by official federal permit — has had any impact on species decline.

Riiiight.

So killing Eagles has no impact on a species decline. What type of double speak is this. Maybe it did not have a significant impact but more or less implying that it has not had any impact is deceptive at best.

Really though, I don't get the controversy here. Its not an endangered species:

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/NATURE/11/07/eagle.hunt.enn/index.html

I dont see how allowing this would cause an issue so long as the bird is plentiful. If this was an endangered species that would be another story.

If it were a case of an endangered animal then I think the goverment would have a compelling interest to limit their practice. Of course if the birds were endangered I would think the tribe itself would have no issue in limiting the ritual in order to protect the long term survival of the birds and the ritual itself.

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Response to rug (Original post)


Response to Name removed (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 02:24 PM

10. Welcome to DU and welcome to the religion room.

 

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Response to Name removed (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 02:41 PM

11. That's already being done

The National Eagle Repository is located at Rocky Mountain Arsenal northeast of Denver, Colorado. Its purpose is to provide a central location for the receipt, storage, and distribution of bald and golden eagles that are found dead, and their parts. The eagles, and their parts, are shipped to qualified Native Americans for use in religious Indian ceremonies.

http://www.fws.gov/le/national-eagle-repository.html


Now, what exactly do you mean by the term "Obamabushca's administration is corrupt"?

Could you elaborate please?

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 02:47 PM

12. Should white people have the right to kill wolves?



The Hopi will continue their traditions, which involves eagles beyond simple possession of feathers for ceremony.

I find my eagle feathers at 10,000 ft on the shore of a small lake in the Absaroka mountains; eagle feathers are easy to find if you're supposed to find them.

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