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Book of the Hopi: The first revelation of the Hopi's historical and religious world-view of life

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  658 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews

In this "strange and wonderful book," some thirty elders of the ancient Hopi tribe of Northern Arizona freely reveal for the first time in written form the Hopi world-view of life. The Hopis have kept this view a secret for countless generations, and this book was made possible only as a result of their desire to record for future generations the principles of their "Road

Paperback, 1st edition Anthropology, 345 pages
Published June 30th 1977 by Penguin Books (first published 1963)
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Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Holy cow this book is fascinating. The Hopi have such interesting legends like how the earth was destroyed three times. Once by volcanoes, once by a flood, and once by an ice age. Also their creation story is pretty cool. But some of the things I loved the most were how they say that the creator had to destroy the earth because people would get really selfish and also they would start misusing their "powers of creation". Wow so true. Also their god led them to their land that they have now becau ...more
Mar 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this as a teenager, and the world view of the Hopi's affected me deeply enough at the time to consider running away from home. It was probably one of the major catalyst's to me to think about other cultures in a way that wasn't presented to us in the western world at the time via the media. (which was typically racist and demeaning).
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religiosity
A classic title dealing with native American religion. I've worked my way through it two or three times over the years. Don't know why it wasn't on my list of books read.

An amazing read -- one to be savored and thought about rather than sped through.
Giorgio Comel
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
true and sad account of what magnificent culture is lost forever. the Hopi, the first Americans.
Robert Hann
Oct 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Even the briefest glimpse of another way of navigating the human experience can illuminate one's own being. Because of that, I found this book to be worthwhile. I valued the exposure to one author's synthesis of the Hopi way of life. There were moments not of transcendence, but of understanding and admiration. 'The Legends' and 'The History' parts are chock-full of examples. However, there were also some head-scratching moments (e.g., unjustifiably moving from theorizing about the Mesa Verde 'Sp ...more
Aug 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: native-american
It was fascinating to read about the culture and history of a people who have lived in North America long before Europeans came on the scene. The first part of the book which went over all the ceremonies and traditions took a while for me to read but when I got to the the history of the people (towards the end), all the previous reading became relevant. A lot of times Native people are all lumped together as one race. This book brought to light the uniqueness that one particular tribe has as it ...more
Noah Vickstein
Jul 15, 2009 is currently reading it
I haven't finished the book but read most of it 3 or so years ago. It's unlikely I will ever receive it back from the person who borrowed it, so I may never finish it.

I was in the perfect state of mind for this book to be meaningful. I was living near the four corners area so the landscape of the surrounding environs I knew were pointedly relevant.

I'm not sure what else to say but I've encountered a lot of people it would seem who are resistant to the idea that there was anything special about o
Eugene Miya
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Based on a friend's recommendation.

My problem with the book (it's an OK read) is that it's a period book of the 1960s without trying to be. It's automatic declaration of WWIII. It has some decent recommendations about their relation with the neighboring Navajo (seen in a more nomadic less positive life and a little arrogant (they might say the same about the Hopi)).

Covers the 3 Mesas (been there), and the 4 directions. The photos were taken before the extensive photo-prohibition (can't say that
Sep 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book describes a vague depiction of what life may be like as a Hopi. The traditions described are kept for secret due to the nature of their meaning meant for someone of spiritual value in order to understand it's context. Most of what Frank Waters has described in his dialogue about the Hopi's are far from what the REAL meaning behind such rituals and acts regarding the way of the Hopi. So I guess, for everyone in Hopi-land, you can calm down about this book because he exposes visuals alon ...more
Jun 13, 2010 rated it liked it
This book was pretty okay. The definate strong point was the first section - the retelling, and possible first written version, of the Hopi creation myth. Other scattered myths throughout the book were also equally valuable for me. At the outset, Waters makes the assertation that he is compiling the "Hopi Bible" which this book definately fails to be. An adequite intro to the history, mythology, and ritual of the Hopi? Sure. Biblical in any way? Definately not. Still, not a bad read. However, as ...more
Skittle Booth
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Utterly fascinating book. I knew virtually nothing about the Hopi Indians before I read this, and I was amazed to learn about the rich spiritualism of Hopi ceremonies, beliefs, and world view that are described and explained here. I don't think the word "primitive" applies at all. Reading this book is just not enlightening, either. It's thought provoking, and I might even say transformative. Hopi traditional culture, as I learned, is mostly a peaceful one, rather unlike the rational, materialist ...more
Jul 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-fun, nonfiction
I read this book to cap off all I've learned about the Ancestral Pueblo Native Americans. The Hopi are thought to be their descendants. The book takes you inside the Kiva to observe a bewildering array of ceremonies, rites and performances. The religion is complex and focused on natural events, not the least of which is rain. It also provides a backdrop of the Hopi's own creation story, flood story and ancient migrations and the formation of the many different clans. Clan symbols are often left ...more
Feb 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved the first half of the book as it was more about the background and story telling of how the Hopi came to be.
The rest of the book was still interesting but a little drier as it was more history book style writing. This section was still as intriguing and offered great insight to Hopi religion, symbols, tribe dynamics and more.
Since I love learning about people's history, culture and just history itself, I loved this book.
Jun 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
I misplaced the book, but I just found it again. Its cool, its like a bible of the Hopi religion and religious history. It was written by a man who lived with the Hopi for decades, and is supposidly written in their words (translated of course). Its nicely meditative, as well as interestinf in the fact that you see similarities between their religious stories and Chrstian ones.
Mar 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-it
Abstract rituals and detailed stories of the clans. Stories passed down through generations. Though difficult at times, I was surprised on how fluidly I moved through this book. By the end, I found myself with a new lens in which to view the world, a lens that makes quite a bit of sense. Welcome to the forth world. Hopefully we do it right this time.
Sammy Sutton
Oct 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
I use this book as a reference to the Hopi. My writings possess a few Native characters and customs, which intertwine with Hopi beliefs. Franks Waters 'Book of The Hopi' is always an arms reach away when I am writing. He provides just the right amount of information and knowledge about a vast array of pertinent Hopi beliefs, customs, and history.
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm fascinated with the cultures of the southwest and this book is the authority on all things Hopi. I really appreciated it, but it was a bit long at times going into great detail about ceremonies and names. So much so that I did not actually finish it. I enjoyed what I read and got my Hopi "fill".
Dec 03, 2016 rated it liked it
The mythology and ceremonies of the Hopi are very interesting, but I find the presentation rather scholarly (i.e., dry). Interesting to compare the author's attitude toward the Navajo with Locke's attitude toward the Hopi in "The Book of the Navajo".
Jody Livingston
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Although I only gave this book 4 stars it probably did deserve 5. Frank did our nation a huge favor in his documentation of the Hopi history and ceremonies. Along with H.R. Voth and Mischa Titev there are only a handful of other authors who's works even compare. I loved this book.
Jan 07, 2010 added it
Great worldview from a great people. Considered the Hopi Bible. 30 elders account for their peoples history. Compiled in '63
Mar 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a great book about the Hopi Indians. I found there religious and ceremonial beliefs to be of particular interest.
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
I really liked the information in this book, but the presentation of it was just hard to get through.
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is ncredible. There were portions of it that made me tear up because I realized how far away from my roots I have moved.
Fredrick Danysh
Jul 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: native-americans
This work explores the culture and traditions of the Hopi Indians. It includes their creation legends.
Didn't read the whole book but section of it for a college course. Having driven through the Hopi reservation in 2005 I can check this over having had a first hand experience.
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Took a class once called Study of Native American Indians and we read this book....unless you're a huge fan of the Arizona-based Hopi, i'd pass on this one...
Oct 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good book.
Todd Myers
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book about an amazing people living in AZ to this day. The book is a bit dated by 50 years now but still well worth a read.
k. tauches
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
a must read for understanding american history, our current state of apocolyptic times, and belief design.
Jan 16, 2009 rated it liked it
A very good read if you're interested in the Hopi People. I've heard that this guy made up or misinterpreted most of this though. Be warned.
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