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Ways of mankind and order. Desert. I study an education. Program in the series ways of mankind presented under the supervision of Walker Goldsmith of the University of California Los Angeles by the National Association of educational broadcasters. A series designed to show how human beings live together in different times and places. A study in education desert. It has cooled off. The stars are very bright tonight. No clouds. We need rain badly. Mr. McRae will be around first thing in the morning and I haven't decided yet.
What holds me here. Tourists who drive through think it's the end of the earth and can't understand why we Hopi Indians go on living here in northern Arizona in the middle of the desert. And yet. All right be one of our villages pueblos is the oldest inhabited place in the whole United States. Life is hard. A good heart is needed. That is the Hopi way. I do not want to leave the Hopi way. That is why it is so hard to decide. My high school teacher has got me a scholarship to the white man's University at Tucson. But I will have to think with a head if I go away and not with a heart. I feel more sure with the heart that is the Hopi way. Even the story of my birth. The whites I have told it to them they will not believe the first time you were born. My grandmother like to tell that story to me. You live to find it but when you were still wrapped up on the cradle board you died your mother and father live very sad. They buried you and
thrust a digging stick into the grave. On the fourth day you climbed up the stake and came back to this host and waited in this ceiling to be born again and this time you were aboard a boy and we named you Kema. The whites say that is nonsense. But do they have a better story to tell their women who have lost a child. I do not look down upon the whites but it is not easy to leave the Hopi way for the American way. The American Way seems so complicated and difficult and nervous. I watch a white mother in a cafe. Now they sit there and behave yourself. We've only got 10 minutes you probably got to catch the bus somewhere else on the floor or leave it there nobody's going to steal it. Sit up and eat. I want to pick up no you can't have any more people don't play with your food. Eat those vegetables and grow up to be a big bush. See if you can. Big Mama sure can watch me. I can read any book out you're going to spill a glass of grog to
hear everything soaking wet. Never seen it yet to fail. I'm never going to take you out again. They're not run. By. White children cry a lot more than Hopi children. They're always being bawled out and punished. They must do this they mustn't do that. I am glad I was not a white child but I have heard those poor Indian criticism of the way our kids are brought up to think it's terrible binding those babies on those cradle boards so they can't move. I don't know who she was that woman some tourist passing through but she had a lot to say in both her arms and legs tied down I'm sure he tarred them and learning things and they must be very slow getting around to walking. I should have spoken to her but I didn't. Hopi babies who are bound and those who are not learned to walk at the same time and I think it's dreadful letting these children do anything they wish really you know discipline a tall tree as the breeze had a lady. No schedule right from the beginning.
Whenever a baby whimpers its mother feeds it. No toilet training that I can see and very small children if they want to drink of black coffee or a piece of spiced meat they get it. They want completely spoiled. And what's the harm in that lady. No wonder so many of their children die of kind of diet they get in the unsanitary conditions. She's right. We do have a lot of deaths. Maybe we should be more careful about what we feed babies and small children and maybe the sanitary conditions could be improved. I have heard the government doctor say that to. My own childhood. I remember so much. Or is it the older people telling me about it that I remember I don't remember being found on the cradle board but I remember being carried around by my older sister. I remember climbing up on my mother to be fat. I remember her stopping me by putting red chili on herself. I was a toddler then and could say a few words. I want.
My mom. No not you are getting to be my mom. I want my brother. He was coming along that's why she weaned me. I remember the night journeys in the dark when I was very small. Now that you understand you'll go outside when you have to go and you do that again in here and your uncle will come for you. Do you want that. Do you know. Life seemed very hard. Having to get up in the night and go out even just outside the door when I got older I had to go to the end of the Plaza it was cold. It was dark. I'd hold back until there wasn't time. Sometimes. The first thing I was ever punished for. My mother's brother my uncle to valid state came and carried me about the village and invited people to throw cold water on me. The keeper would not obey his mother. Won't you help me purify him. Yes to a hit.
Thanks to good luck I will be good. One other time I was taken out by uncle to valid state and rolled naked in the snow. I don't remember what badness it was for among the whites. It is the father who is stern and punishes. That must be very strange. My father never punished me or my brothers and sisters. We were always very happy with him. My mother sometimes slapped us or threatened us. Next. Stop where. Let's not stick with the string and making that noise or a bad wind will come. What bad wind the neighbors will talk about you know you'll displace the whole family if you make a strong wind that is not me. Listen what a loud noise it makes when I let the Spider Woman catch you and how when I can only get you when I nap. If you don't stop. I stop. You Spider Woman get me come here Lucky me I won't let anything get you. If anyone threatened or punished us there was always somebody else around to comfort us so that we were never frightened or heard for long.
Don't touch the fireman Akima it's hot it will burn you. Don't go near the edge of the cliff. Look him up. You might fall over. Those were the only two really big don't see in my life when I was very small and I didn't hear them very often. Someone was always with me my big sister or my mother to see that nothing did happen to me. My childhood was very happy and full of wonder. My grandmother telling stories filled the days with wonder. The Sun News the greatest God alone. He is very strong. Every day you see him don't show. He travels across the sky and eats and lights the world and makes life makes you makes me makes the plants and the animals and the birds and the moon and stars help him and then there are other sky gods who wind the lightning the thunder the rain and the rainbow
and Eagle and hawk spirits who do many things to help us. And under the ground is the god of fire and who walks at night from Texas in my inbox and makes the seeds come. And the corn mother and her corn maidens who watch over the corn. And that Katrina's spirit guide for each one of us. Grandmother make a story about the kitchen as long ago our people had a terrible drought. There was no water and no food. And the Hopi tribe was starving. They heard strange noises from the forest at the foot of the San Francisco Peaks. They went over and saw strange figures in gay costumes dancing and singing songs. They wear achiness spirits from the other world who had come with water and food to end the suffering of the Hopi tribe.
Ever since then from January to August they could chinos the eagle dancer long corn maiden mud head the clown and all the others have come over from the San Francisco Peaks and the Black Mountain every year to visit our peddlers. Some travel on the clouds and some underground and some up through the floor of the ceremonial chamber. The key for they come to dance and sing and help us with our crops and bless our homes and bring presents for the children. If they are good what will they bring me this time when they come. Oh I remember the time I was not good and the catchiness. Not came up. Kima that gets you no want you. You are his mother. Yes what do you have for him. He has been hoping for a fine bow and arrow. He has been bad.
I am going to take him away I need him. That was enough for me. I scurried into the house and hid under one of the couches I had a terrible face. I could still hear them. No don't take him away. He has been bad fighting with the other children and killing. Where is he now. I am his grandmother pretty used to take him away. We always eat that bad Opie children. If we give you some food that I won't know why don't you take my man instead. He's not much used to taking him and he'd knock you with tears the old man dried up old. No. I want no where is it. He will be good I promise you. His uncle will see that he didn't mean to be a bad boy and he won't be anymore. Take his food and leave the chemo with us
pretty good from now on. We will all promise that he will be a good boy. He smothered his grandmother and grandfather. Take this food. All right I'll let you keep it. Give me that basket of food. And since the game is going to be a good boy from now on here give him this bow and arrow. Thank you. I'll go and find him and give them to him. Oh I was very grateful to my mother and grandmother for saving me from the Katrina. I was glad I got the bow and arrows tonight. I was glad about a lot of things those days. I was even glad when my father made me get up before sunrise. You are getting too big to be lying in bed in the morning to keep up. If you go to the far spring and wash my car the whole they could run so that you will get back here
before the women get up and see you from now on you will do this every morning so you will get big and strong and after eating Would you like to come along and help me in the field. Oh yes keep the birds away and the prairie dogs and herd to see maybe every no show off and watch the sun will soon be up. Learning to work began like play. I tagged along behind my father and tried to do what I saw him doing. I helped my mother gather gather rabid weed for baskets and dig play for pottery. I planted melon seeds and kernels of corn. I carried dirt from my father when he put a new roof on our stone house. I felt important. The work I did even when I was only 6 and 7 was important to my family. Just to survive here on the desert every hoping must work hard and long. I child with responsibilities but I still rolled my car
tire and played games and teased the girls. I came and went pretty much as I pleased I hate when I pleased I explored where I pleased and every now and then my father told me things about the Hopi way. Ok mom it is wrong to destroy plants and animals. Well something happened to us for hunting rabbits. We must not kill any more than we need and we must ask the animal people to forgive us and not be too angry because we kill only to live just the same as you and your mother. The plant people will give you when you pick weeds for weaving. We put food down to start the first weed we found and you get to tell the other plant people how much you needed rabbit weed for a basket. We didn't pick the whole world must work in harmony not nature. The gods the plants the animals and men need each other and must work together for the good of all. There is no place for selfish men or even for a selfish man among men. It would throw everything out of balance
and endanger the whole universe to be a good hope you know. It will work for the good of your family your clan the village and the whole world. Yes. Praise what others do belittled what you do yourself. Look Uma keep a good heart. The only trouble was I had to go to the white man's school. I couldn't spend all day in the fields with my father. I had to sit at a desk. How we all squirmed on the nice days we learned the white man's language and we learned to read and write. Our teacher was Miss tally who had gone away and learned the white man's ways. She was all right. But our next teacher was Miss Wilson. She had queer ways children. But up your hand as soon as you finish the exercise. Now let's see who can get through these subtractions fittest. All right. Start.
Yes Mr. Wilson. Why aren't you working in those subtractions dosa looking out the window get to work. I'm working. You were daydreaming. No. Have you got any. Let me see. Working on the let me see oh you've got the oh so soon. Why didn't you put up your hand. Why didn't you tell me you were finished. I don't know. Why don't you know. I don't know. Don't you want to do well in school. I was ashamed to do better than the other kids. I didn't want to be teased by them for showing off. I didn't understand Miss Wilson. I wish she'd leave me alone. But she caught me a number of times holding back. What are you trying to be saucy with mean Akima. No
don't you want to do well in school don't you want to get ahead you could be a very good pupil if you wanted to be. Why don't you try. I don't know. A kind of an attitude is that it. I noticed it in a lot of the pupils here. Where did you get this from. Well tell me. I couldn't explain to her. I didn't know how to tell her but she must have found out from someone how a Hopi feels because after a while she stopped all that stuff about getting through first or getting the highest marks. Even when we played basketball we didn't like to keep score it was better just to play. Miss Wilson was a good teacher I liked her after she stopped picking on me. She got me interested in history and geography and lent me books. I guess she was the first one I ever knew who thought and live the American way. Where you worry a lot about getting ahead
of everybody else here in the middle of the desert. No one gets ahead unless we all get ahead. The threat of death from thirst and starvation hangs over all of us. We live and die together. They time came when I was to go through the kitchen a negotiation and learn the real nature of the kitchen you know this and gain the right to take part in the Katrina dances. It was in my eighth year the sixth day of the dance was the day of the initiation. I was prepared by a friend of my father's tell the same tale of the Greyhawk clan no doubt in the Kebo you will be whipped by one of the good she knows. Yes I know. Will it hurt to purify you my boy. Do many of the boys who are would cry. Some of them but you would be brave weren't you. Yes tell us some.
It was a long ceremony down in the kiva prayers singing sprinkling us boys and girls with water and tying feathers into our hair sand painting ritual of the kitschy nose dancing and finally. Just practice and a lot of time has come the. Sketchiness work to flog us came down into the Kiva took their places around the sand mosaic on the floor and one of the naked boys who was to be initiated was seized placed on the mosaic with his hands held over his head and. They worked like with the whip. I wanted to scramble up out of the Kiva. I hoped something would happen then my turn would never come and I hope my turn would come soon and be over some of the children cried even before their turn. Some held out right through the punishment. The cleansing I held out against the first three lashes but the fourth
blow. The pain was too great and I gave way. You left but with that fourth blow the ordeal was over. I was ashamed and relieved. And at the end at the end of the ceremony we were overjoyed to see the catchiness was featured. On the ninth day of the bean dance the last day we saw the Katrina dancers without their masks. They were men whom we knew. There was my father and my uncles. You must tell no one what you have seen and heard during the ceremonies above all you must not tell the children who the men are that where they could see no mosques in gratitude for saving us long ago and watching over us ever since we impersonate ticket chinos. You will be able to take part in the doctors
know you are growing up in a Kima. We went through a very bad drought when I was 10 11 and 12. Our three year storage of beans and corn in the cube almost gave out. I learned to wash myself with a mouthful of water to avoid wasting a drop. I learned how precious water is. We will have to take the bardos and move on West to get water and bring it back. How far we have to go father. I do not know. I do not think we would have to go as far as the Colorado. I hope the snake dance will bring rain. You will. Well yes this time it is time. It must these ceremonies in themselves were never enough. They had to be made intense and alive before they could affect the rest of nature. Man can my people believe exercise some control over the orderly rhythm of the world with his actions thoughts emotions and
will. Man must to avoid failure. See the world and understand the relationship of all that goes to make up the harmonious ebb and flow of the decay and creation. You know you are a man. This year I went through my second initiation to become a member of the Harn society. You take on the duties and rights of a man. You will avoid quarreling and fights over petty things. You will be a good Hopi. You will be peaceful. At school I have learned many things of the American way. All my teachers have told me I was a good student and when I came under Mr. Necker a in high school he told me I should go on to university. He gave me extra work
and instruction and now he's gotten me this scholarship. But I still feel strange to the white man's ways. We have had many talks together after school Mr. McRae and I. You could become an interpreter explaining the Hopi customs to the whites especially officials and explaining American customs to the Hopi. Mr. Macrae there are some old Hopi men who say we will lose the Hopi way if we mix any more with the whites. We must keep to our own path. Certainly the Hopi way deserves preserving. But you can go too far and become rigid standstill. But they say when you have been away to a white university it is impossible to come back here because they turn you into a white in your thoughts and feelings your threaten the chemo whether you stay here or go away. American ways are creeping into the pueblos. Why not face it with wisdom of the good heart. Be proud of your Hopi heritage. But don't be afraid to take from other worlds what might be
useful in yours. Learn from the whites. At the same time you could teach them something. What a live Miss within and serenity without no desire for wealth power and prestige gnawing at the heart hunger sometimes. Yes you have a battle with nature but among yourselves you feel secure. People in the other world though they're richer much richer and more powerful I suppose can never be sure what kind of treatment they're going to get from their fellows. And it isn't just one man against another. But also each man battling within himself over conflicting values. He wrestles with them for a while and then divides his life into compartments. It's called adjustment life is live then in fragments. Instead of whoa if you could teach them to see things hold Licky like the creatures in the Hopi were. Yes but it's a son of a gun to get them to. If I go maybe I'll
end up leading a fragmented life. Maybe you'll probably be less happy than some of your friends who stay on here in the problem. Then why go. For some kind of success known Akima. I wouldn't want you to go to pursue success in your state to pursue happiness. I've been hoping you just want to go because you are alive. Curious now why don't you. And the. And. I still can't make up my mind. Sitting out here on the roof all this time. The stars have moved. It's getting chilly out. Probably not decided until the very last minute when Mr Mack Gray comes for his final answer in the morning. Then I'll have to say.
Iggy. I can't tell you what decision the chemo will make. He was trained in two different ways of living and his decision is a tough one. But I do want to say a few words about education. First remember that we humans have elaborate and different ways of life because we learn them. Therefore some form of education is obviously necessary. This includes the conscious effort to teach the three R's how to make things in the like. This part of our learning we carry on mostly in schools but education means a lot more than this. It means learning how to think and what to think. Among the Hopi much of this learning took place in ceremonies where the lesson received dramatic force and emotional
reinforcement. The Hopi child started learning his cultural attitudes long before the Katyn initiation However they were lax manner of his weaning and toilet training and the easy attitude of his parents taught him an outlook on the world that was friendly and accepting. Early he was shown that he should subordinate his own interests to that of his village and never tried to outshine his fellows or try to get ahead of them. He has given security in his social world and traditional outlook. We see things differently. We tend to put far more responsibility on our children to train them for independence. We want them to compete successfully and emphasize this with praise and with school grades and the like. One needn't judge the two methods each has its advantages and its difficulties. Certainly the Hopi view of life would not lead to the rapid conquest of the continent
but it is admirably suited for adjustment to their own rigorous environment. Where is new team as father said. They must live or die together. You can readily see that all cultures must provide an education for the young for the young must not only get those skills that will enable them to lead useful lives but must also learn the viewpoint of their culture so that they can fit into this is in which they will live. Dr. Walter Goldsmith of the department of anthropology and sociology of the University of California Los Angeles has concluded desert soliloquy a study in education a program in the series ways of mankind designed to show dramatically how human beings live together in different times and places. The script was written by Len Peterson and produced in the studios of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Toronto by Andrew Allen.
Original music by Luciano Augustine E.. These programs are presented and distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. The program you have just heard is made possible under a grant from the fund for adult education an independent organization established by the Ford Foundation. This is the end E.B. Radio Network.
Ways of mankind
Desert soliloquy
Producing Organization
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, "Desert Soliliquy," tells the story of a Hopi Indian and the family customs that went into making him who he was.
Series Description
This series is an exploration into the origin and development of cultures, customs and folkways in various parts of the world.
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Composer: Agostini, Lucio, 1913-
Funder: Fund for Adult Education (U.S.)
Host: Thompson, Ben
Producer: Allan, Andrew, 1907-1974
Producing Organization: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 52-39-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:43
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Chicago: “Ways of mankind; Desert soliloquy,” 1963-12-27, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 8, 2023,
MLA: “Ways of mankind; Desert soliloquy.” 1963-12-27. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 8, 2023. <>.
APA: Ways of mankind; Desert soliloquy. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from