Life and Death in the Shadow of Spirit Mountain

The Aha Makhav believed that the god Matevilya created all life forms on the sacred summit of Spirit Mountain. This high point in the Newberry Range now looms over the towns of Laughlin, Nevada, Bullhead City, Arizona, and Fort Mohave, Arizona. The rich Colorado River bottom land, stretching from what is now Hoover Dam southward for more than 200 miles, was home to the Aha Makhav for untold thousands of years.

When the people had been put on the land, the god Mastamho made the mighty Colorado River and taught the people how to use the water to grow crops. Not much is known of the early Aha Makhav, other than that they lived a relatively peaceful agrarian lifestyle and rarely quarreled with neighboring tribes. Here they lived in harmony with all of which their gods had had made, embraced the earth, prospered, and procreated.

Then along about the middle of the 19th Century, the neighborhood took a sharp turn for the worse. The careless people started arriving and the Aha Makhav were in the way of their plans for the rich river bottom land. When quarrels began the bluecoats came, building forts to protect the careless people with firepower and force. Then came the blackrobes who told the people that their gods were false gods and that they must deny them and accept a new greater god.

In a carefully orchestrated manner the Aha Makhav soon lost nearly everything that had once sustained them. The bluecoats confiscated their land and moved them onto an open-air prison called a reservation. Then their children were taken away to boarding schools where their hair was cut and they learned to live, speak, look like, and behave like the careless people. In the schools they were whipped for the crime of speaking in their own language. The blackrobes forced the people into churches and told them to deny their gods and to accept the new god who was said to be both omnipotent and omniscient. Even the name of the people was changed to something easier for the careless people to pronounce; Mohave.

Disease and depression, murder and starvation took a heavy toll on the Aha Makhav, and soon their numbers dwindled to only several hundred. Thousands of years of culture was smashed like a bug in a single generation. It was Manifest Destiny the careless people said. These gentle people must be sacrificed to the march of civilization. And, contrary to what the new god decreed, it was the bully who inherited the earth. The weak got a swift kick in the groin and a sharp stick in the eye. The Aha Makhav didn’t know it at the time, but the careless people were repeating this scenario in hundreds of places simultaneously.

Time marched on. A hundred years passed. Then nearly a hundred more. The careless people had become experts at smashing other cultures like bugs. They treated the earth as though it was their personal property, and abused it without regard for the consequences. The careless people dammed (damned?) the mighty Colorado River in several places, creating giant cesspools which they called lakes, while laying waste to entire ecosystems and pristine canyons.

The once clear waters of the Colorado River were now polluted with mining waste and sewage, and the flow regulated by the whim of those who operated the dams. Few crops were grown, and those were only due to the hard work of the remnants of the Aha Makhav, who still had access to small tracts of land from within their open-air prisons. What were once blue skies were now fouled with industrial pollution from the factories of the careless people.

The careless people were now engaged in a worldwide struggle with those who chose to disagree with their agenda of squeezing every last drop of value from the earth without a care for the long term consequences. Wars were waged on multiple fronts. Industrial pollution changed the climate to the point that all of earth’s life forms were in danger of extinction. Fires burned tens of millions of acres in unusually dry places while driving rains flooded and destroyed others. All the creatures of the seas struggled to survive the deluge of waste from the careless people. The land creatures and plant life fared no better.

In the shadow of Spirit Mountain the civilization of the careless people was in the advanced stages of decay. Looking down from the summit, the gods Matevilya and Mastamho longed for the days of the Aha Makhav. The vibrant farmland was nearly gone. The careless people ate odd food-like substances from fast-food restaurants. The foods were laced with toxic chemicals, pesticides, growth hormones, food coloring, artificial sweeteners, genetically modified substances, and drenched in various oils. The careless people had become morbidly obese and unhealthy.

In the shadow of Spirit Mountain the streets were lined with gun shops where the violent, paranoid, careless people bought portable weapons of mass-destruction to protect their dwindling possessions from covetous neighbors. In the back streets, puppy farms bred vicious dogs which the same people bought for all the same reasons.

In the shadow of Spirit Mountain were rows of pawn shops and porn shops where the financially and morally decaying careless people could find temporary solace from their wretched lives of impending poverty and from demoralizing, meaningless, loveless relationships with partners they despised.

In the shadow of Spirit Mountain tattoo parlors sprung up like weeds to service the careless people who had begun to despise themselves to such a degree that they covered their bodies from head to toe with senseless colorful inky graffiti. Squalor of the skin. Ill-conceived epidermal etchings.

In the shadow of Spirit Mountain drug and alcohol addiction ran rampant through the populace. Careless people without homes, food, jobs or even the prospect of employment stood on nearly every street corner begging for money to buy the things they needed for survival or comfort. Other careless people turned a blind eye.

In the shadow of Spirit Mountain the culture of the self-loathing careless people raced headlong into the darkness of oblivion, sacrificing their children upon the alter of greed. And from the sacred summit of Spirit Mountain Matevilya and Mastamho watched as the conqueror civilization collapsed, knowing well that in a matter of time the birthright of the Aha Makhav would be restored.

John R. Hall, having finally realized that no human being in possession of normal perception has a snowball's chance in hell of changing the course of earth's ongoing trophic avalanche, now studies sorcery with the naguals don Juan Matus and don Carlos Castaneda in the second attention. If you're patient, you might just catch him at his new email address, but if his assemblage point happens to be displaced, it could take a while. That address is: Read other articles by John R..