Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Peruvian -Mesoamerican Legend: Leaving Tulan Bountiful – Part IV

Continuing from the previous post regarding the legend that ties in South America to Mesoamerica and shows that the Peruvian Andes were the Book of Mormon home of the Nephites and that those who went north in Hagoth’s ships traveled to Mesoamerica.    Now the actual legend is found within the Florentine Codex, one of the few surviving books or codexes of the Spanish occupation, which resulted in burning vast deposits of ancient Indian writings of Mesoamerica (Fray Bernardino de Sahagun, Florentine Codex, General History of the Things of New Spain, Book X, Ch 29, p 190, the School of America Research and the University of Utah, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1950-1963).
This 16th century codex is an ethnographic research study in Mesoamerica by the Spanish Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún (a book made of thin wooden strips coated with wax upon which one wrote), was originally titled La Historia Universal de las Cosas de Nueva España, that is, The Universal History of the Things of New Spain. Sahagún in partnership with Nahua men who were formerly his students at the Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco (College of Santa Cruz in Tlatelolco, Mexico), conducted research, organized evidence, wrote and edited his findings, working on the project from 1545 until his death in 1590. The work consists of 2,400 pages organized into twelve books with more than 2,000 illustrations drawn by native artists. It documents the culture religious cosmology and ritual practices, society, economics, and natural history of the Aztec people, and speaks of a group of people who reached Mesoamerica from a place called Tamoanchan, a city or location unknown to translators, but given a wide berth of areas and meanings.
    The Codex speaks of “the grandfathers and grandmothers, those called the ones who first arrived, the ones who came over the water in boats, along the coast and landed at Panotla, meaning “where they crossed the water.”
    The story that is recorded has perplexed archaeologists and anthropologists for decades because Sahagún paints a story that runs contrary to the continuous habitation model of the scholar. Sahagún wrote: “To take this account as a continuous story, it would have to suppose that the same or similar groups of people were constantly, on repeated occasions, starting out from Tamoanchan, and after a rather illogically planned peregrination, returning only to set forth again from precisely the same point and then follow a somewhat similar route, once more ending up where they started. Indeed, the story is told no less than four times of people departing from Tamoanchan, and on each occasion it can be shown that part of the previous version of events is repeated” (Sahagan, pp190-191).
    The text in question, which Sahagún translated from the original Nahuatl language, is agreed by all who have researched it to be the same story told in different ways. However, another explanation, and a far simpler one, is available to us though it would not be considered by the Mesoamerican researcher. This, of course, is the story of Hagoth’s immigrants.

Those who boarded Hagoth’s ships to travel and immigrate to “a land which was northward” first traveled to Hagoth’s shipyards from Zarahemla; a long trek by foot before boarding the ships
Consider the events listed in the ancient text:
1. Four groups came from a place called Tamoanchan;
2. Basically, the trip or trips covered the same directions and results;
3. The groups started from the same place and ended up in the same place;
4. Each group followed the same or similar route.
    Could this be four of Hagoth’s ships taking emigrants to the same place in that unknown land to the north from an area on the west shore of the narrow neck of land? (Alma ch63) Could this shipbuilding area be Tamoanchan? If so, each ship returning for the next group of emigrants and then returning to the same area of colonization would certainly be the listing of Sahagún’s ancient text. But that is not all. Further points are made about these emigrants from Tamoanchan (Sahagan 191-194):
1. Certain people abandoned the land of Tamoanchan and others were left behind;
2. On the second trip, additional peoples are mentioned;
3. After arriving at their destination in Teotihuacan, the law was reestablished;
4. Upon arrival the people made offerings and leaders were elected, and they built the pyramids of the Sun and Moon.
    Certainly sounds like what Hagoth’s immigrants would have done and accomplished once landing in “a land which was northward.”

With all this in mind, let’s consider another point and that is the meaning of the word or name Tamoanchan, which has escaped the scientific explanation for some time. In fact, Tamoanchan is a name or concept open to such divergent interpretations that ample authority may be cited for practically any conceivable ubication or etymology. Still, most interpretations have a few ideas in common regarding the name Tamoanchan:
• The region where the sun sets—Nahautl for west (Herman Beyer, Obras Completas, Mexico Antiguo, vol X, 1965, p 39)
• Connected to the name Tlacapillichihuaualoya which means “the place where children are born” or “the land of birth”;
• Synonymous with the word Xochicahuaca which means, “where the owers stand erect,” which is another name for south (Diego Munoz Camargo, Historia de Tlaxcala, Mexico, Publicaciones del Ateneo de Ciencias y Artes de Mexico, 1947, p 155)
• Always named as the point of departure, never as the point of destination;
• Literally means “we seek our home” in the Nahuatl language;
• The name is correctly rendered in Nahuatl as quitemoa tochan (temo = to go down, or sun sets in the west; and chan = home), literally, “the house of descent,” or “house of birth” (Eduard Seler, Gesammelte Abhandlungen zur Amerikanischen Sprach-und Altertumskunde, 5 volumes, Akademisch Druck Anstalt, Graz., 1960, vol 2, p 33);
• Connected with a split tree in Mexican migration—as described in the Codex Boturini (Eduard Seler);
• Found in the codices as a broken tree from whose stout trunk a number of short branches emerge, bearing a ower at each end (Herman Beyer, p40);
• Means the house of the Lord (Luis Reyes Gracia, Ordenanzas Para el Gobierno de Cuauhtinchan, ano 1559, Estudios de Cultura Nahuatl, 1972, vol X, pp 245-314).
• Means a place of water—or richness and water (Angel Maria Garibay, Veinte Himnos Sacros de los Nahuas, Universidad 29 Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico, 1958, p 158).
(See the next post, “A Peruvian -Mesoamerican Legend: Leaving Tulan Bountiful –  Part IV,” for more on this original legend and the tie-in to Peru)

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