Spirit Keepers Series
In these times there are a number of indigenous peoples who are emissaries of their ancient and living traditions, acting as a bridge, straddling both worlds, uniting cultures. In the Quechua language of the Andes, a person who undertakes this sacred role is called a chakaruna. They help us remember what we already know.
The Chakaruna's Offering is an introductory talk on the sacred ways of the Spirit Keeper's people. These Saturday evening presentations are held 7-8:30 PM at the Smoki Museum Pueblo Room, 147 N. Arizona St, Prescott, Arizona. (Not a Smoki Museum event.)
The Spirit Keeper's Circle is a follow-on Sunday afternoon gathering led by the Spirit Keeper with more in-depth opportunities to experience the rituals, cosmology and practices that inform the spiritual consciousness of their native people. Circles are held 1-6 PM at the Creekside Center, 337 N. Rush Street, Prescott, Arizona.
Tata OmeAkaEhekatl Erick González
September 22, 7-8:30 PM
During an evening multi-media event, Tata Erick González will share inspiration and messages from ancestors who travel time to guide us through this shift of the ages.
September 23, 1-6 PM
Rooted in the ancient teachings of the indigenous Maya, this soul-illuminating journey weaves earth with cosmos, revealing spiritual practices preserved precisely for this moment in time. OmeAkaEhekatl Erick Gonzalez will take us into the essence of the prophecies and share indigenous wisdom as we undergo this collective evolution of our species.
OmeAkaEhekatl Erick González was born in Guatemala and moved to the U.S. with his parents when he was 11 years old. He was initiated into Native sacred rites over a thirty-year period with direct participation, teachings and guidance from various Native spiritual elders from México, North America, Colombia, Peru and Guatemala. In 1978, he was adopted by the Mexiko Teotlkalli Kalpull Koatlkalko and the teacher Tlakaelel, who gave him the name OmeAkaEhekatl.
In 1994, he received his sacred bundle and spiritual mission as a Maya Ajq'ij. In 2005, he was adopted into the T'saahl Clan, the five finned killer whale people of the Eagle Clan of the Haida, and given the name Gaada, meaning "supernatural light." He has worked with Native Elders and Youth Councils throughout the Americas supporting the work of international sharing and preservation of sacred wisdom teachings since 1977, promoting increased cooperation and unity between diverse communities throughout the world.
Tata Erick is working to create two models of spiritual land stewardship: one community in Guatemala on the shores of Lake Atitlán, and one community north of Mt. Shasta in Northern California. Both demonstrate how to live in harmony and appreciate the natural and spiritual worlds, restore land and create natural food and medicine gardens. These are places for indigenous Wisdom Keepers to come together to share their teachings and ceremonies. He is also the Founder and Spiritual Leader of the nonprofit Tinamit Junan Uleu – Earth Peoples United.
Harold Joseph and Charlene Joseph
We welcome Harold and Charlene for a special return engagement by request from the community.
November 10, 7-8:30 PM
Join us for this rare opportunity to learn from these traditional Spirit Keepers as they share who the Hopi are as First People, the original commitment they made to the Creator and some of the ways they carry out these deeply sacred responsibilities.
November 11, 1-6 PM
During our circle we will explore the traditional Hopi way — that holds the world together. What does daily life consist of in traditional villages? What are the roles and responsibilities? The complexities of the clan system ensure that all is balanced. How are the clans interwoven? How does “community” create the support system? What are some of the traditional uses of plants? With 2012 and the end of the Maya calendar fast approaching, what does the Hopi calendar predict? How are the creation stories related? To build on this beautiful sharing, an opportunity will be offered so that all in the circle may have a hands-on experience of typical daily undertakings.
Dawahafvoya (Harold Joseph) and Baqua Mana (Charlene Joseph) are married in the Hopi way, meaning that the marriage was conducted in the Hopi traditional way where both the bride and groom's hair were Hopitized (washed in sacred water). Married for over forty years, Charlene and Harold, are blessed with two sons and one daughter, Garrett, Darold, and Carrie Nuva, followed by four precious grandchildren Deja, Duwala, Dillon, and Kara. Harold and Charlene serve on the Kenosis Spirit Keepers Advisory Board regarding Hopi traditions.
Charlene Joseph hails from the Hopi village of Moencopi near Tuba (Tuuvi) City, Arizona where she was born and raised in a family of 4 sisters and five brothers. Unlike many Hopi youth, Charlene was fortunate that she did not have to attend a boarding school and was educated locally. As a result, she was raised with an abundance of cultural and traditional knowledge and insight, which is now a stronghold for her Hopi values and beliefs. Charlene belongs to the Coyote Clan (Iswuungwa). Iswuungwa takes on the responsibility of Protector/Guard and stands for strength/agility, as symbolized in various Hopi ceremonies.
Charlene examining petroglyphs in a Pachamama cave during the 2009 Spirit Keepers Program in Peru.
In May 1981, ten years after graduating from Tuba City High School, Charlene graduated from Northern Arizona University and has worked many years as an educator with a specialty in Special Education. In 1995, she was named Arizona Indian Educator of the Year by the Arizona Indian Education Association. That same year, Charlene was honored by the Ambassador Program based out of Washington, D.C. to represent Arizona as an Ambassador in Special Education and attended a special education conference in Beijing, China along with other ambassadors representing each state in the United States.
Being a professional woman in the western culture does not hinder Charlene’s Hopi ways. She continues to carry on her traditions and is very involved in Hopi religious functions and ceremonies. Her purpose is to retain her Hopi culture and traditions and to gain it the utmost respect it deserves by sharing general knowledge and wisdom with the outside world.
Harold greeting Don Américo Yábar during the 2008 Spirit Keepers Program in Peru.
Harold Joseph is known by his people as Dawahafvoya. This name was given to him by his Wu-Chim (Hopi kiva) father when he was Hopitized (Baptized) when he was thirteen years old and when he was in the seventh grade. He had to be Hopitized early in his childhood life by his parents because the federal government sent most Hopi Indian children away to government boarding schools when they complete their junior high school education. Dawahafvoya continues to practice his Hopi way of life.
Dawahafvoya is a member of the Snow Clan of the Hopi Village of Shungopavi. The Snow Clan is responsible for many important functions of the traditional ceremonies which keeps the whole system in harmony. The clan is responsible for the practice of respect, loyalty, and team approach among all people, leaders, and natural things so that the cultural activities are done in harmony with the natural world. In this way, the good way of life that respects all natural things are achieved for all humankind.
In carrying out his clan member responsibilities, Dawahafvoya must participate in or lead ceremonies, prayers, songs and dances, all carried out in the village of Shungopavi. Along with his Hopi responsibilities, Dawahafvoya must also carry out his Western economic and academic responsibilities in order to keep pace with current changes in world outside of the Hopi Nation. In doing so he has completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s in Business Administration degree (MBA). Dawahafvoya works with native tribal districts in Arizona and currently serves as president of Arizona Association of Tribal Conservation District. Through this effort, he works closely with the United States Department of Agriculture in bringing about awareness of tribal farming and ranching methods for the USDA.
Xavier Quijas Yxayotl
February 16, 7-8:30 PM
The sacred aspect of music is well documented in ancient codices, murals and creation stories. The ritual musician is called to this role through dreams, visions or deep longing to engage in something timeless and uniquely collective. Yet, for many Native peoples, these traditions are lost.
Join us as Xavier Quijas Yxayotl tells the story of his odyssey to reconnect with his Huichol and Aztec lineage of Mexico through music and ceremony. Through a journey uniquely his own, he resurrected music and instruments that were prohibited for 300 years due to the intensity and deep spiritual impact it had on the people of those times. In doing so, he has returned to his people what was decimated and given the world a beautiful gift. Our evening together will include an abbreviated ritual offering integrated with music in the way of the ancients.
February 17, 1-6 PM
In our circle Yxayotl (his Indigenous name) will offer ritual and cultural knowledge passed to him by Huicholes and Tepehuanes, elders with whom he lived for long periods sharing ceremonies and day-to-day living. Using authentic replicas of ancient instruments, he will show us how music, called up through the ages and intertwined with sacred tradition, opens the heart and the portal between worlds. Join us for a special afternoon that will infuse your soul from the traditions of Native peoples of Mexico.
My indigenous name is "Yxayotl", which in Nahuatl means "tears." In 1977 during a peyote ceremony, an old shaman from the Huichol tribe, Don Jose Matsuwa, gave me that name. I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico on December 28, 1952. I am proud to be a descendent of the Huicholes. During the 1970's, I decided to follow my dreams and to investigate and play the pre-Columbian music. My passion took me to the mountains of Jalisco and Nayarit, Mexico where I lived with the Huicholes and Tepehuanes.
I participated in indigenous ceremonies and rituals, sharing their knowledge. With the experience and knowledge I acquired, and through the studies I did, I have become one of a few Mexican artists who are able to construct with my own hands instruments identical to the instruments used by the pre-Hispanic peoples. They are replicas of the instruments used by the Aztecs, Mayas, and other Indigenous nations from Mexico, and based on ancient manuscripts. The magic of my instruments is a faithful reproduction of the autochthonous musical instruments and the music is authentic and natural. Yxayotl
For the last thirty years, Xavier Quierjas Yxayotl has dedicated himself to bringing traditional rhythms and ancient instruments back to life, all intertwined in the sacred ways of Indigenous Mexico. A few of his major accomplishments are: performing at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Rome, the Grammies and United Nations. He is a 7-time nominee for the Native American Music Awards. His teachings and music have been the subject of several PBS productions and his instruments were used in the movie “Apocalypto.” He has appeared across North America and Europe at Pow Wows, museums, universities, conferences and many other events.
To view information about past Spirit Keepers Series, visit the Spirit Keepers Series archives page.
Photos used with permission. All rights reserved.
Proceeds support Kenosis Spirit Keepers programs.
Last updated 12 July 2012 | © 2009-12 Kenosis Spirit Keepers