Author Topic: Thomas Mails  (Read 11187 times)

Offline educatedindian

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Thomas Mails
« on: March 06, 2005, 10:39:09 pm »
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 18:07:23 -0000
Subject: [nafps_again] Hopi Nation Warning on Thomas E. Mails.

I don't know what other NDN nations that he's written on think about him, but the Hopi have made their distaste clear.

Thomas Mails. Author of "Hotevilla: Hopi Shrine of the Covenant, Microcosm of the World" and "The Hopi Survival Kit." It is reported that Mails has a history of befriending aging Indians, declaring them
the last true "traditional" of their tribe and announcing that he has been "chosen" to speak for the Tribe and spread their "truth." The so-
called "traditional" that Mails allegedly collaborated with in his Hopi books was the late Dan Evehema ("Little Dan," "Chief Dan," "The Eldest Elder"). No Hopi will attest to Evehema having any authority
or special knowledge to speak on behalf of any faction of Hopi.

Maild books on Hopi claim to reveal sacred Hopi knowledge and proclaim Mails as the chosen messenger of these revelations. However,
Mails knows only what a few people have revealed to him, and most of this is out-of-context, incomplete, and inaccurate.

When appealed to by the Hopi Tribe to stop exploiting Hopi culture, Mails ignored the requests and implied that the Hopis who object to his teachings are not true Hopis and are not behaving in accordance with true Hopi ways. He feigns surprise that Hopis would censure him for "preserving" the true Hopi belief system that is apparently, according to Mails, in great danger of being lost forever. He doesnt understand that Hopis are capable of preserving their own culture,
and they certainly dont need outsiders to show them how to do it.

Excerpted from: "Disrespect for Native American Religion and Culture and Its Disruptive Effects on the Harmony and Wellness of Indian Communities" by William M. Havens. Paper presented at the "Dialogue with the Hopis: Cultural Copyright and Research Ethics" Conference, August 22, 1995. Paper revised April 15, 1997.

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Thomas Mails
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2005, 11:05:53 pm »
misternick03" <>  
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 20:37:57 -0000
Subject: [nafps_again] Thomas E Mails

This guy is not just blatantly abusing any trust that he may have had amongst a VERY small number of people at and around Hopi, he is an arrogant b**tard - and I'm doing my upmost to be polite here.
He was in Tucson a few years ago, doing a workshop on Hopi prophecy/spirituality/usual guff, including a section on making your own prayer feathers, Katsina paraphenalia, and altars. When Hopi people protested, he renounced that he could do whatever he liked, whenever he liked with whoever he liked. (sounds a lot like a certain
linguist at NAU). There have been various laegal attempts against him, but he uses the old chestnut of sacred information being in the 'public arena' - i.e. that all the turn of the century ethnographers who barged their way into kivas and essentially  'stole' information,then published it in various books and journals, so now it all 'belongs' to the public at large.
I could go on and on about him and his reputation at Hopi, but sometimes it's best to let things lie! Just do what everybody else here has already stated, don't believe his BS, don't buy his books,
and if you hear of him speaking anywhere - contact the Hopi cultural preservation office ASAP.

BTW, my time here in Arizona is coming to an end. The research on the effects of New Agers at Hopi, on Hopi communities is going well, and I can see that just 1 year of fieldwork will never be enough to unravel all the complexities. However, it has been a very eye-opening time, and one that I have enjoyed immensely. I am hoping to present
my findings to date, at the Museum of Northern Arizona in July, (bearing in mind that the museum is undergoing 'slight' difficulties at the moment) so if anyone is in the area, and fancies coming up to
help out with any comments, remarks, further suggestions re: the phenomenon that I am at this stage calling "Global Hopis, Local Hippies", I'll keep you informed re: dates etc.
Cheers then,