Wednesday, August 30, 2017

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

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.
In addition to where we left off in the previous article, a quote from an ancient 17th century text reads: “Out of the land of rain and mist come I, Xochiquetzal, out of Tamoanchan” (Domingo Francisco de San Anton Muñón Chimalpahin Cuahtlehuanitzin, Memorial Breve, [Brief memorial about the foundathon of the city of Culhuacan], National Autonomous University of Mexico publs, 1991). This Memorial Breve speaks of Tamoanchan as “where the jaguars dwell,” and within the Andes of South America the puma and jaguar are among the natural fauna of the Peruvian highlands.
    Another evidence of similarity can be found regarding a people moving from one place to another in three or four different excursions or groups, where the name Xicalanco or Xicalango (Motalinia in its modern form) as the third place of the same name, as if all three were known on the same coast (Edward P. Lanning, Peru Before the Incas, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 1967, p 16).
    All of this boils down to supposition, of course, but consider the interesting points that seem to match Book of Mormon possibilities. Four groups traveled from one point to another and back. Perplexing to the archaeologist who expects to find constant and continuous development, which they interpret this recorded event as one group moving from Point A to Point B and back again, then moving from Point A to Point B and back again four different times. But this idea should not be perplexing when one understands the Hagoth Affair. Consider these points of the ancient text:
• Four Groups: If these were the emigrants in Hagoth’s ships, then there were four distinct groups that left the shipyards near Bountiful and sailed north:
1. The original ship (Alma 63:6);
2. The original ship’s second voyage (Alma 63:7);
3. The other ships built that went forth (Alma 63:7);
4. The ship that carried Corianton (Alma 63:19).
    Each time except the last, the ship returned for more immigrants (the last time was Corianton who was not heard from again). And, of course, the same general course was followed (Alma 63:6-7) coming and going, and each group departed from the same location—Hagoth’s shipyards on the west sea at the narrow neck of land (Alma 63:5).
Four voyages to the Land which was Northward, both in the Book of Mormon and in Sahagun’s account. The fourth voyage did not return to the homeland, but stayed in the new land
• Abandoned the Land: While many emigrants went north in these four voyages, more were left behind in the form of the Nephite nation.
• Additional Peoples: On the second trip additional peoples are mentioned. These could have been Lamanites (Ammonites) who we are told moved into the land northward along with the Nephites about this same general time or a little later (Helaman 3:12). Obviously, some of those converted Lamanites might well have joined the voyages north.
• Law Reestablished: After arriving in this new land northward (Mesoamerica), the Nephites would have reestablished their laws and customs. We are told by Mormon that around this general time there was so much strife and contention that a lot of people went northward to avoid the problem. By 59 B.C. the long war with the Lamanites had ended (Alma 62:39), but within a few years (53 B.C.) the Lamanites were on the warpath once again (Alma 63:15).
    Between these wars the emigrants sailed north (55-54 B.C.) and a little later (49-46 B.C.) contention and its resultant strife began again in the land of promise (Helaman 3:1,3) and “an exceeding great many went forth into the land northward.” They went to inherit the land (Helaman 3:3) and obviously to escape the civil unrest, thus it can be seen that they would have reestablished their laws in this new land northward—laws that had been trampled under in the land of promise by both the Lamanites and the Nephite dissenters.
• Offerings and Leaders Selected: The Nephites were both religious and a free people (Mosiah 29:25-26). It would have made sense that they offered their thanks to God for a safe voyage and finding a new home away from the strife and conflict in the land of promise. It is also consistent with a free people to elect their leaders, which, throughout the Book of Mormon during the time of the judges, the Nephites did (Mosiah 29:39; Helaman 5:2).
• Built Pyramids to the Sun and the Moon: The Nephites were temple builders. Nephi himself tells us he built a temple much like Solomon’s Temple soon after arriving in the land of promise (2 Nephi 5:16). We know that later generations fell away (Alma 31:24-25; Halaman 12:2) and obviously, apostate or ignorant people would direct their religious attitudes toward objects of man, such as Golden Calves or objects of nature, such as the sun and moon. Of course these early temples might not have been built to the sun and the moon, but to God and His Son, then later given the names sun and moon during a time of apostasy.
• Tamoanchan: If this were the place or land where the Nephite emigrants left (Hagoth’s shipyard near Bountiful), then certain consistencies exist:
1. The ships left from a place on the west coast (place of descent of the sun, or going down of the sun);
2. The ships originated from a land to the south, and south of Mesoamerica is Ecuador and Peru;
3. This origination was the land of the Nephites’ birth or beginning— not the beginning of the fathers, who came from Jerusalem 550 years earlier, but the beginning or homeland, or birthplace of the Nephites after 550 years. Literally, the house or land of their birth;
4. The Nephites always traveled away from Bountiful by ship. There is no record of Nephites traveling to this place, except the return of the ships to start out again toward the north;
5. “We seek our home” would be a good slogan or attitude for the Nephite emigrants who were escaping from the strife and contention of the land of promise after a 12-year war, let alone a 500-year history of war—obviously they would be seeking a place of safety and liberty;
6. Split tree or broken tree or number of branches emerging. This concept is an old one to Latter-day Saints who understand the prophecy of Jacob to his son Joseph regarding branches that over flow a wall and spread across the well (regarding Joseph’s lineage coming across the well or ocean to settle the Americas). Obviously, this fits right into another branch spreading out across the water (from the land of promise) to the north to settle a new land (Mesoamerica);
    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.
7. House of the Lord. Obviously, the land of origin (Bountiful; Land of Promise) was the place where the Lord dwelt with his people, the Nephites, and had for several hundred years;
8. Place of water, or richness and water. The Land of Promise was a land of richness, both in crops and in precious metals and ores. The place of sailing, the shipyards along the west sea near the narrow neck of land by Bountiful, was obviously a place of water;
9. Out of a land of rain and mist. Central Peru is a land of dense air (Edward Alsworth Ross, South of Panama, The Century Co., New York, 1915, p 51) and heavy, winter fogs that creates fog vegetation known as lomas. The mist from these fogs cover much of the terrain in the wintertime, and from April to August frequent, light northerly winds are common, and are generally accompanied by thick fog or dark, lowering weather (South American Pilot, vol 3, United States Government Printing Of ce, Washington D.C., 1928, Third Edition, p 44).
(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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