Thursday, August 31, 2017

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

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 the summer months a low mist envelops the top of the hills in the Andes. In fact, six to eight months of overcast skies and frequent dense fogs are the rule over much of the Peruvian coast. In the north, warm currents called the El Nino change the water temperature which causes rainfall and an increase in rain in the highlands and stretching to the rain forest, which adds to the fog shrouded hills and mountains, and a dense fog develops along the coast—this generates a system of “fog catchers,” screens set up all over the hills and mountains to harvest the mist into liquid form. Generally speaking, Peru is considered to have a wet climate throughout the country.
Peruvian Fog Catcher Screens cover the hills and mountains made of special nets within frames designed to catch the moisture and provide precious water

Even very early accounts show that Peru was often covered with a water mist due primarily to a broad mass of cold water, the Peru or Humboldt Current, which makes its way out of the Antarctic up along the South American coast as far as the continent's western jut near Ecuador, and then sweeps off into the Pacific. This current chills and draws moisture out of the winds from the Pacific, and makes itself a roof of clouds and fog that covers the entire coast.
The Humboldt (or Peruvian) Current swings up the coast of South America and is then forced out into the Pacific around southern Peru to become part of the Southern Equatorial Current gyre
As soon as the sun moves north of the equator, damp but rainless clouds and mists cover the dried up coast lands. The southern half of Peru is covered by a heavy fog, which is frequently accompanied by a light, drizzling rain during the months of June to September. While this coastal stretch of land is covered with mist in the summer months, it rains frequently in the Andean mountains along the entire chain. In the rainy season the atmosphere is lead-heavy from the almost constant downpour, and along the Pampa de Anta, it always rains. The rain is so heavy in the central area of the old Inca empire of Cuzco, the grounds becomes a quagmire, and the severe rains in Ecuador fall in zones that are sharply cut off one from another, and frequently dense masses of clouds and mist gather. The coastal valleys are nearly always overcast in the winter months and often filled solid with fog. As Darwin sailed off the coast of South America, he wrote that he saw the mountains, behind Lima in Peru, only once in sixteen days because of a constant layer of mist and fog.
    The famed explorer Hiram Bingham, who discovered Machu Picchu, spent four days in the mountains above Choqquequirau where the humidity was usually 100% and spent the entire time in clouds, mist, or rain. In Chile, the rain is so heavy that ten feet of rain falls in a five month period, and in Peru, torrential rains bring on landslides that destroy whole villages in the highlands, and it has been noted that the summer rains in the highlands of Peru were heavier than they are now, and the snow line was lower, with even the dry deserts of Peru had more rainfall anciently. But always, this annual sequence has been a climatic and phytogeographic peculiarity of Peru.

The Peruvian Jaguar (Panthera onca) native to the Americas, and larger than a leopard—it’s true name is yaguareté, and is considered panther, meaning predator of all, having been driven by man now into the Peruvian Amazon but once roamed in vast herds over the Andean area
10. Where jaguars dwell. A jaguar, of course, is a predatory cat, and is of the same family as panthers, leopards, cougars and pumas. Both the jaguar and the puma are indigenous to Peru, as well as Ecuador and Colombia. These cats roamed the lands of Peru and Ecuador and are the most frequent and central figures on the stone carvings in Peru along with hawks and eagles. The puma often appeared as the face on ancient Peruvian carvings and is considered a sacred emblem, and the entire feline symbol is well known as intimately associated with the creator-god and the Viracocha worship in all parts of early Peru. Since early centuries B.C. until Inca times, the puma, at least as a symbol, has been the object of reverence among the high-cultures throughout Peru and depicted as stylized designs and ideograms in paintings and relief.
11. Naming the same name three times along the coast. It is possible that the voyages of emigrants that reached the land to the north (Mesoamerica) might well have landed at three different places, naming each the same in their meaning. When Europeans came to America, they frequently called new places after those of the Old Country. The entire Central American area was referred to as New Spain by the early Spanish Invaders, and places like New York, New Jersey, New Haven, New Brunswick, etc.
    In Sahagun’s account in Spanish, the Historia General, he writes of the amoxoaque, whom he describes as adivinos (wise men). 
    “Amoxoaque means men who were versed in the ancient painted documents. These left their companions behind in Tamoanchan and went off by boat to the east. It was the command of neustro Senor Dios (God) that the others should stay behind.”
    Not all of the tlamatinime (wise men) departed. Obviously, many were left behind. And finally, the sons of Ixtac Mixcoatl gave Olmecatl-Xicalancatl and Mixtecatl as the progenitors of two distinct tribes, which might tie into the legend/history of the Nephites and Lamanites, the progenitors of these immigrants that might have landed in Mesoamerica. In support of this possibility, we find: 
    “The Nonoalcas at the fall of Tollan were highly civilized, whereas the Popolocas who had already settled in the new Nonaolca habitat were nearer the aboriginal level of that region. From the cultural point of view, they were at best poor relations of the Nonoalcas” (Nigel Davies, The Toltecs, University of Oklahom Press, Norman, 1977, p 109).
    This certainly sounds like the division of the Nephites and Lamanites mentioned in the Book of Mormon scripture, yet none of these points are conclusive, even if they do fit the written record of history and certain events outlined in the Book of Mormon scripture.
• Verification by Ancient Writings: Another interesting point is found in Sahagun’s account given him by “the old men in whose possession were the writings and memories of ancient things,” when the 16th century chronicler wrote:
    “Those who first came to settle this land of New Spain came from the north in search of the earthly paradise.”
    Since none of the Book of Mormon people strayed far from the place of their first landing (Jaredites [Ether 10:19-21], Mulekites [Omni 1:16], Lamanites [Alma 32:28]) except the Nephites who were driven away from their first landing site (2 Nephi 5:5-6), then later their second place of habitation (Omni 1:12) because of Lamanite aggression, it is not realistic to think these first settlers landed somewhere and migrated southward as scholars have interpreted Sahagún’s writing to mean. More likely, the term “came from the north” refers to Hagoth’s immigrants who “came from the north” in the land of promise.” 
    The Nephites who traveled north to the Land which was Northward, came from the north of the Land Southward in the land of promise. 
    By 55 B.C., the Nephites were occupying the land from Zarahemla north to Bountiful, that is, the land of Mulek (Helaman 6:10), or the land north (Helaman 6:9, 12). In terms of the land southward, that is, south of the narrow neck, they came from the north, or more appropriately, they came from the “Land North” (compare 3 Nephi 4:1). Obviously, the statement “they came from the north” would have been an important historical and cultural differentiation, made to separate themselves from the term “coming from the south” which was the land of their hereditary enemy, the Lamanites.
(See the next post, “A Peruvian-Mesoamerican Legend: Leaving Tulan Bountiful –  Part VI,” for more on this original legend and the tie-in to Peru)

1 comment:

  1. I guess this shows the perils of using relative descriptions as proper place names. A couple of generations and "We come from the Land North" easily changes to "We come from the land north." Of course, it could be fun to confuse your children by saying "We came from the Land North in the south."