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Evaluations for the Oraibi Split The split of the Third Mesa pueblo Oraibi occurred on September 7 1906 The split immediately changed the lives of roughly 800 inhabitants of Oraibi who represented nearly half of the Hopi population Those who left Oraibi were forced to start their lives over in a new location From a long-term perspective the split is consequential because it led to the establishment of other villages eg Bacavi Hotevilla and Kykotsmovi of Third Mesa that did not exist before the division Waters 1977 113 This eventually resulted in different versions of Hopi history and the Oraibi split from each village Anthropologists have offered many different explanations of the Oraibi fissioning These various proposals have caused the interpretation and understanding of the division of Oraibi to be very complex This essay evaluates explanations of four different anthropologists Mischa Titiev Richard Bradfield Richard Clemmer and Peter Whiteley Titiev provides the first explanation to consider Taking all of Titievs arguments together he suggests that internal social structure pressures and instabilities led to the disintegration of the Oraibi pueblo Titiev 1992 48 Titievs analysis of Oraibi disintegration is based on his view of Hopi social structure and social integration For Titiev three features of the traditional social structure of Hopi villages including Oraibi were essential The first feature was the organization of Hopi matrilineal descent groups into households lineages clans and phratries Titiev 199251 In Titievs view Hopi clans were basically autonomous and corporate owning land rituals and kivas The second feature was the organization of religious societies and kiva groups The chief priests of religious sodalities were drawn from the descent group that owned a particular religious ceremony Page 1994 47 These ceremonies were controlled by a particular descent group the matrilineal clan Common membership in the society that performed the ceremony was drawn from many descent groups throughout the pueblo which suggests that one societys ceremony might be
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