Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Lamanites After Cumorah – Part I

While Inca legends are fanciful and, like most aboriginal cultures of the Americas, extreme in their makeup and beyond the realm of probability, one thing holds true through all of the Inca legends and that is the culture began from four brothers and their four sister wives.
This should be of interest to all Latter-day Saints, who understand that Laman, Lemuel, Sam and Nephi, who each married sisters—the daughters of Ishmael, whose household joined that of Lehi in their flight into the desert.
    When this occurred is a matter of controversy, the Inca themselves claim great antiquity in their legends, however, most historians place their beginning sometime in the 12th century; however, this period is derived earlier than the earliest known activity of a group who can be traced to the Inca origins. Usually anthropologists place earlier dates on such origins that are definitely known, since it gives a period of development to cultures of the past. At the same time, however, when a culture begins already formed, such as Lehi and his family and that of Ishmael, periods of development are non-existent, since they arrived in the land already formed and organized, with a lengthy civilized history elsewhere (Jerusalem).
So while the historians claim the mid-twelfth century, our first knowledge of the Inca existence begins in 1438 A.D. when their presence in the Cuzco valley is definitely known. And this existence is at a time when the small band of people, called the Quechua at the time, first made their mark, and that was in defense of their land against an attacking horde that had, over time, risen to great prominence in this region of Peru.
    It should be noted that 1438 is approximately 1000 years following the demise of the Nephite Nation at the hands of their hereditary enemy, the Lamanites, though both groups stemmed from the same beginning, that of Lehi’s sons. 
    So what took place during that thousand years in the Land of Promise?
    We have posted the following poem before, but it should be repeated hear in the context of the overall historical period between 385 A.D. and the fall of the Nephites at Cumorah, and a thousand years later, which would be about 1385 A.D., when this poem period would conclude, to give some insight into the Lamanite situation, which was, Moroni tells us, a period of extreme civil war among the Lamanites in which no one knew when it will end (Mormon 8:8). We are posting this poem again, which starts after the fall of the Nephite Nation at Cumorah, for those who might not have previously seen it:

     “Since the time of the old empire’s fall,
      A thousand years had passed.
      Insatiate war, that heeds not right nor life, nor love,
      Had gorged upon the people’s sustenance,
      With famine, dread pestilence,
      And still the strife went on,
      No lasting peace, but ever and anon,
      And now the angry notes of war were heard again,
      And then the growing corn was trampled down,
      And smoking hamlets marked
      The deathly trail of warlike bands.
      And time wore slowly on,
      The victors of today, tomorrow slaves,
      Then slaves grown stronger break their bonds
      And thus a thousand years had passed,
      Like created waves that roll on
      To break along a rock-bound shore,
      Then sink back silent in the vast abyss.
      So had the noisy years for ages gone,
      Scattered their fretful foam athwart the world,
      And sunk to silence in the endless past. 

     A thousand years of war
Oh sympathy ‘tis will thou canst not scan
With pitying eye the boundless world
Of woe the past hath known,
Else thou wouldst weep thine eyes away in grief,
And bless thy loss that thou no more could see…
Our schemes o’er thrown, enemies bolder grown,
      Days without peace, and nights without repose,
      Friends turning cold, aye, many cold in death,
      Yet colder than the dead, are friends estranged,
      All this and other ills not yet complete,
      Do but destroy our inborn love of life,
      And make most welcome that which endeth all.”

This poem, of course, is not factual to any known history, but is representative of this period, written by Chauncey Thomas, who searched the records of Fernando de Montesinos, a Spanish explorer and historian after the Conquest, and one of the earliest to record Peruvian history and the history of the Peruvian cultures during the pre-Inca period dating back as far as historical records, legends, and recounted memories expressed by the "Old Ones" in the early days of the occupation following the Fall of the Inca as recorded by numerous historians of that period. He also had access of all the early Spanish historians who interviewed and wrote down the collective memories of the “Old Ones” of the Inca Empire after the conquest. From all this information, Chauncey Thomas wrote this sad tale of the Peruvian (Lamanite?) experience, beginning with a thousand year period before the conquest, which coincides with the Fall of the Nephites.
    No matter that of anything else, Montesinos’ writings do tell us that there were generations of chiefs in the Andean highlands before ever the Inca tribe of the Cuzco valley  began to rise to imperial power. Careful study of the matter reveals, however, that Montesinos is of deeper significance than merely this, as there are vestiges of true folklore hidden in his historical  account, so also are there important points of undeniable authenticity regarding the manners and customs of the early peoples of the Andean region.
    It is worthy of note, also, that Bartolome de las  Casas, who was in Peru in 1532, just after the Conquest  and long before the birth of Bias Valera, makes the  definite statement that other dynasties of chiefs ruled  in the Andes before ever the Incas rose to power (Bartolome de las  Casas, “De Las Antiguas Gentes del Peru,” Edition of Marcos Jimenez de la Espada, Madrid, Chapters 14 and 16, 1892).
If, for the sake of argument, we momentarily assume that the list of kings, as given by Montesinos, from the mnemonic memory devices known as quipus (Khipus "talking notes") is a literal  transcription of the pre-Inca history of the Andes, we  shall find that we are carried far back into the recorded history of Peruvian antiquity. 
    As with other ancient Americas cultures, the historical origins of the Incas are difficult to disentangle from the founding myths they themselves created, especially the Inca who relied heavily on made-up histories of terror and violence and long-standing culture, to frighten their enemies (other cultures) into submission without fighting. Thus, sometime in the early 15th century, after many, many centuries of tribal warfare in the Andes, of one group, family, tribe, community against another in never-ending rounds of war and conquest or defeat, the culture who would soon become known as the Inca, began to stir and develop.
    Sometime in early 1400s, the region became known as the Kingdom of Cuzco, with several separate, but aligned cultures in the Valley. By 1438, those who would eventually be called the Inca were singled out to be attacked by a tribe called the Chanka (Chanca), a “powerful warlike confederation” from nearby Andahuaylas, located in the modern-day region of Apurimac, attacks the city of Cusco—actually, the Chanka were divided into three groups: the Hanan Chankas, or Upper Chankas; the Urin Chankas, or Lower Chankas; and the Villca, or Hancohuallos. The Hanan Chankas had their center in Andahuaylas, while the Urin Chankas were in Uranmarca, and the Villca in Vilcas Huaman.
It was this battle in 1438 that proved the future Inca had the mettle to not only win, but conquer, though their victory had come through subterfuge and the Chanka had divided their army into three groups, only one of which marched on Cusco, so little did the Chanka consider the Quechua resistance would be.
    It was this victory that put Pachacutec, the younger son of the ruler on the Inca throne, solidified the people into a solid body, and began the first stages of its kingdom.
    It should be noted that this entire area, including Cuzco Valley and the areas of Ayacucho, Hauncavelica, Junin and the Apurimac Valley, of which these combatants all lived, were at one time the center of both the early Nephite Nation (prior to Mosiah locating Zarahemla) and the Lamanite kingdom once controlled by king Lamoni and his father, who was converted by the sons of Mosiah. This is the region of both the early seed of Lehi and the eventual warriors that conquered nearly the entire coastal shelf of South America.

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