Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 2, 2009

Hopi and Japanese water knowledge: Braiding through Water

Braiding through Water: Weaving Traditional and Western Knowledge

Conference Website Announced
By Vernon Masayesva

Eighteen internationally acclaimed scientists, teachers, and artists including water science pioneer Masaru Emoto featured in the film What the ##*!!# Do We Know; Quiet Axis creator painter and environmental/space artist Lowry Burgess of Carnegie Mellon University; and artist/muralist Michael Kabotie of the Hopi Tribe will gather this April with Hopi traditional leaders and teachers, including Tobacco/Rabbit Clan at Hotevilla Keeper of the Pipe Jerry Honawa and former Hopi Chairman Vernon Masayesva, to explore what new paradigms of understanding arise from the braiding of Western and traditional Hopi sciences. The dialogue and discussions will be led by Leroy Little Bear, former Director of Native Studies at Harvard University and 2003 Canadian Aboriginal Person of the Year.

Detailed background information, news releases, registration forms, and an agenda for the April 6-7, 2009 Black Mesa Trust Braiding Through Water, Weaving Traditional and Western Sciences and Knowledge conference are now available on the conference website The conference is open to the public at the Radisson Woodlands Hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Through dialogue and explorations focused on the two systems of knowing and their unique approaches to the nature, actions, and teachings of water, Core Dialogue Participants and Conference Attendees will share knowledge and experience to generate new understandings of the world in which we live. Unlike efforts to blend traditions, work at the conference will be more akin to the way in which dark and light threads are bound together before being woven into Hopi fabric. Like the single black-and-white strand that gives to Hopi weaving its unique character and endurance, the system of inquiry developed through conference dialogue will draw strength and quality from its respect for the integrity of both traditional and Western approaches. As with all Hopi weaving, the work will draw energy from the optimistic hope of the weaver that the braiding of two into one will yield a singularity stronger, more beautiful, and more responsive to contemporary need and challenge than could be created from either on its own.

Conference registration will be limited to 200 persons. It will include both adult learners and some 40 indigenous youth whose attendance is intended to deepen their appreciation of traditional science and knowing, enhance their sense of identity, and promote more purposeful learning, especially in science and mathematics, as prerequisites for their effective leadership of their peoples in the years ahead.

Registration forms and information are available at the conference website, as well as by e-mail at or by US mail at BMT Braiding Conference, P.O. Box 30396, Flagstaff, AZ 86003. Registration for the Conference--including all meals, banquet attendance, and materials--is $175, which may be paid by check or by credit card through Pay Pal.

Other members of the Core group of Dialogue Participants include: Sat Bhattacharya, cancer research scientist; and President, International Society for the Advancement of Science and Technology, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, and Harlem Children Society; Shonto Begay, painter, muralist, Navajo Nation; Angelita Borbon, Yoeme, Practitioner of Sacred Science and Mesoamerican oral traditions; Phillip Duran, Physicist and Former Dean of Science and Mathematics, Northwest Indian College; Sandy Fox, Founder H2Om Water, Blue Water Planet Radio, and Love Planet Foundation; Jennifer Greene, Director, Water Research Institute of Blue Hill and Vice President, The Constructed Wetlands Group, Inc.; Alan Hamilton, clinical psychologist and President, Rio Grande Return; Jack Loeffler, environmental/Native American aural historian and writer; Nina Perlmutter, Rabbi, and Emeritus Faculty and former Chair, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Yavapai College; Al Qöyawayma, Hopi scientist, engineer, and artist and Founding Director and Former Board Chair, American Indian Science and Engineering Society; Roy Rustum, Professor of Materials Science, Arizona State University and Pennsylvania State University and Visiting Professor, Medicine, University of Arizona; Thomas Sisk, Professor of Ecology and Director, Graduate Programs, Center for Sustainable Environments, Northern Arizona University; and Victor Vernon Woolf, Founder, Holodynamics and the Science of Unfolding Potential.

The Conference is sponsored by Black Mesa Trust, The Center for Sustainable Environments at Northern Arizona University, the Museum of Northern Arizona and others. Funding for the conference is provided by Christensen Fund, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Marguerite Casey Foundation, SB Foundation, Seventh Generation Fund, Honor the Earth, and others, including individual philanthropists. Persons interested in providing additional support may contact Vernon Masayesva at
The Discovery
Dr. Emoto discovered that water is directly affected by human words, thoughts, and actions, and that water will show those effects when it is frozen into ice. Water exposed to Classical music, words of gratitude, or prayers, will form beautiful, complete crystals. Water exposed to negative words, raucous music, or anger, either will not crystallize at all or will form incomplete or distorted crystals.
PHOTOS: Crystal formed from water of a Hotevilla spring and Hotevilla well. “…When a complete geometric crystal is formed, water is in alignment with nature and the phenomenon we call life. The crystals do not form in water that has been polluted by the results of our failure to remember the laws of nature.” From 'The Hidden Messages in Water' by Dr. Masuru Emoto. Photo 2: Dr. Masuru Emoto, Becky Masayesva, and Vernon Masayesva at the April 28, 2004 event featuring Dr. Emoto’s talk. Photos copyright Masuru Emoto.
Water is alive
by Brenda Norrell
On Hopiland in 2004, Vernon Masayesva, executive director of Black Mesa Trust, and researcher Dr. Masaru Emoto, chief of the Hado Institute in Tokyo, spoke at the Hopi Veterans Center and revealed the secrets and science of the intelligence of water.
During the Hisot Navoti (knowledge of ancestors) Masayesva showed amazing film footage, revealing startling transformations in water crystals when exposed to music and written words. Emoto's photographs reveal water crystals, under high magnification, have drastically different forms from different water sources. Further, Emoto shows that water changes its expression as a result of human actions.
When water is exposed to the music of Mozart and Beethoven, crystals expand and become more beautiful. These crystals resemble diamonds, with flower buds blossoming on their points, as the music plays. Emoto explains that water carries and responds to the vibrations of music. He reveals even more amazing research, showing water responds to the written word.
When clear tubes of water are placed over positive and negative words, the structure of water crystals change. Water crystals increase in beauty when placed over the word "peace," but are transformed to dark and ugly crystals when placed over the word "war."
When water is placed over the word "let's," the crystals expand and increase in beauty. However, when water is placed over the word "must," the crystals become ugly with a dark green center. Emoto says water is letting us realize the hidden power of words.
During the gathering for the defense of pure water, Jerry Honawa, Hopi elder, said, "Water has intelligence."
Masayesva said, "If you are happy, you will have happy crystals; if you are angry, you will have angry crystals." Masayesva also shared the history of the Hopi people, revealing their destiny intertwined with the earth and its mysteries.
"According to Hopi, long ago there was nothing but water from the beginning of time. This is what we call the First World of Hopi. "Life was created from water, from the land, from the sun." When life was first created, it was beautiful, a perfect circle. On Hopiland today there are areas of perfect seashells, proof that this land was once underwater as Hopi are told. There are perfect fossils here, he said.
"Where does coal come from? It comes from plants. Everywhere you go, you see dinosaur tracks. This must have been a beautiful place at one time."
In the First World, there was balance, harmony and peace. This balance and harmony, however, was destroyed in the Third World because of man and his greed. The ancestors began searching for a safe place to begin a new life. Bird was sent out and returned with news of this place.
"Through the bamboo, they entered the new land,” Masayesva said. "It is a metaphor, we don't really know, but we came from somewhere where there was bamboo." When the people arrived in this new land, they thought they had left evil behind them. But after a child died, they realized that evil had come with them. Those with the two hearts had come. "Evil is necessary to understand what good truly is," Masayesva said.
The people knew they had to learn from the destruction of the Third World and not return to those ways. They wanted to create a new way of life. The Hopi people were not led by politicians, they were led by priests, often the poorest man in the village who denied himself everything for the benefit of his children.
In this new place they found a man who grew beautiful corn. It was Ma'sau, guardian of the land. Ma'sau said it is a harsh land, but if the people were willing to live Ma'sau's way of life, they could stay here.
Ma'sau told the people, "If you follow this way of life, you can stay here forever." Ma'sau showed the people corn, a gourd of water and planting stick. "He said if you decide to stay here you must help me take care of this land, then you can stay."
Ma'sau told them that others are coming. "They will claim everything when they come, even the oceans, the air and the stars." Ma'sau told the Hopi people to migrate to the four corners of the world, then return here to Black Mesa. The gourd to carry water was also a revelation, showing that water here is not infinite, it is limited.
Masayesva said the colors of the corn represent the colors of all mankind, yellow, purple, red and white. The sweet corn also represents the ancestors and the purple the heavens. Corn, too, gave Hopi a new way of life, and meant that the people no longer had to search for food every day, leaving them free for other things.
The planting stick represents tools or technology, which can be used for good or for destruction. There was a time when smallpox nearly eliminated the Hopi people, with only 300 Hopi surviving, Masayesva said technology can prevent and cure illness today, but it threatens to end humankind with the production of nuclear bombs. Nuclear power and travel to distant planets have resulted in dangerous "god-like powers."
The waters--aquifers, springs, lakes, rivers, oceans and glaciers-- work in harmony to sustain life. Hopi believe the aquifers breathe, breathe in rain and snow and breathe it out. The springs are the breathing holes. Humankind is a participant in water-life; mankind's thoughts influence whether the rain and snow comes.
Of the world's water today, Masayesva said 97 percent is seawater and 2 percent is bound in glaciers. Only1 percent is available for drinking.
However, America is a nation of waste. "We are a throwaway society. We think we are never going to run out of anything."
Masayesva said the people must honor their trust as guardians of the water and land.
"If we don't, we will break the circle."


Anonymous said...

It was very nice to read about the knowledge from the Japanese and the Hopi believes about water.
I was very amazed by knowing what corn means to Hopies, a food that allows you not only to live but also to have time to do other things. This is one of my goals in my life.
I´m from Uruguay South America and last year I discovered the Hopis and I´m amazed with their religious believes as for example the Hopi Rock.
God bless all the natives,
from Uruguay: Federico and family

Anonymous said...

Everyone who cares about fresh water which gives life to us all should see the film, "Flow, For The Love Of Water." In fact, the whole world needs to see what corporate america is doing to the worlds fresh water. Remember this, we go for weeks without food but only days without water.

Anonymous said...

The Hopi belief brings us ALL back to the basics of how to live in harmony with the earth. Many people in other parts of the USA will be supportive of the Hopi's effort to protect and conserve our resources. I'll being saying a prayer and spreading news. Knowledge is power. Peace be with you from KMC in Boston.