Pueblo tribes to participate in 2011 Taos to Hopi Relay

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. - Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa and Vice Chairman Herman Honanie, announced last week that the Hopi people and the tribal administration will be inviting all New Mexico pueblos to participate in the 2011 Taos to Hopi Relay -a tribal commemoration of the Aug. 10, 1680 Great Pueblo Revolt.

All 19 Pueblo Governors and their respective religious leaders will come together to discuss the event.

Vice Chairman Honanie will take the governmental lead and Leigh J. Kuwanwisiwma, Director of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office will initiate contact with the Hopi villages and respective Pueblos.

In 1980, the initial relay was hosted by the Hopi people. This event, sponsored by the Hopi Museum Board and the Hopi Athletic Association was hugely successful and it was agreed that the relay be enacted every ten years. The last relay in 2001 was coordinated by the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office with support by all 12 Hopi and Tewa villages.

"This commemoration of events leading up to the relay and revolt against the Spanish government and the Catholic church needs to be a part of our current learning experience so that we appreciate the survival of the Hopi culture and religion," Chairman Shingoitewa stated.

Echoing his sentiment, Vice Chairman Honanie said he would take this to the Hopi Tribal Council for their support.  As well, Vice Chairman Honanie intends to have the Hopi public become directly involved in the planning of this import event.

"This history is important to our people," Vice Chairman Honanie said. "I believe the current and future generations of Hopi and Tewa people need to appreciate what our people in the past had to endure. They need to know the history of their survival and what caused the Pueblos to rise against the Crown and the Church."

In 1680, a carefully planned revolt was carried out under the leadership of Popey, of Ohkay Owingeh (formerly San Juan Pueblo) in northern New Mexico. To stage the revolt on the same date required a well thought out communication system, resulting in Pueblo runners taking a knotted cord from Taos to the Hopi villages.

At dawn, on August 10, 1680, all the Pueblo and Hopi warriors attacked the Spanish military camps and within a day, defeated and drove out the Spanish forces. All Catholic missions and churches were then burned and destroyed.

Following the revolt, the Spanish systematically tried to reconquer the Pueblos and Hopi with limited or no success. The Spanish sent a military force to Hopi but were met by Hopi and Tewa warriors and turned back. The Hopi villages were never reconquered. The Hopi religion rejuvenated and is still practiced by Hopi people today.

For more information on planning efforts, contact Kuwanwisiwma at (928) 734-3612, or Vice Chairman Honanie at (928) 734-3113.

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