(Am Zügel der Evolution Vol. 8)
In this document we are fortunate to have another of Professor Ekkehart Malotki‘s valuable
contributions to the preservation of Hopi oral history and literature. This detailed study of the Hopi salt journey, which once was linked to the major Wuwtsim initiation, draws on historical accounts in the literature as well as Professor Malotki‘s unique ability to record Hopi memories in their own language. These add great value to this ethnographic work as a "reconstruction" of the salt journey tradition, especially for the Hopis, whose own words convey the awesome spiritual significance of the journey.
Professor Malotki has personally retraced the arduous trail of the salt journey and experienced at firsthand the sacredness of places and shrines along the way, an encounter that allows him to treat this material with a laudable sensitivity. It is especially important to the Hopi people to realize that oral traditions of the past, long extinct, have been confirmed, as this work succeeds in doing.
For too long, published materials have ignored the Hopi point of view about their own past and practices. It goes without saying that if their point of view is a significant part of a written account of the Hopi way of life, the account becomes that much more valuable to the Hopis, as well as others.
Emory Sekaquaptewa (Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona)