Friday, September 1, 2017

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

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.
Another interesting comment about these first Mesoamerican settlers is made by Tomás de Torquemada (left), a Castilian Dominican friar and the first Grand Inquisitor during the Inquisition, who said of the Maya ancestors, “they wished to perpetuate their attachment to their ancient country and their grief at being expelled from it.” On this point, the Popol Vuh adds: “and they wept in their chants because of their departure from Tulan (Bountiful); their hearts mourned when they left Tulan. “Pity us!” they said at leaving” (Milton R. Hunter and Thomas Stuart Ferguson, Ancient America and the Book of Mormon, Kolob Book, Oakland, CA, 1950, p 69). Scholars have insisted this refers to their ancient homeland in the Near East, however, consider:
    First: This could not indicate the Jaredites who were the first settlers (referred to as the Olmecs by Mesoamerican theorists), for they asked to have a different home (Ether 1:38), and they were promised a land “choice above all other lands” (Ether 2:7,10), a land of promise (Ether 2:9), and when they arrived in this land, they “shed tears of joy” (Ether 6:12). Moreover, there is no mention of the Jaredites grieving over having left their former home, but considerable expression about not having their language confounded (Ether 1:34-35) nor that of their friends (Ether 1:36-37), and being led to a “choice land” (Ether 1:38, 43).
First, they settled in a valley (Ether 2:3), and second, at a seashore (Ether 2:13). It could not be said that they would have grieved at leaving their ancient homeland, for they would not have spent very much time in either of these places (Jared 2:14), nor their ancestors in Mesopotamia between the time of the Flood and the confounding of the languages. Even a cursory reading of Ether 1 shows that Jared anticipated being led away from the Tower of Babel area to a much better land, and asked his brother to inquire of the Lord where they should go (Ether 1:38).
    Second: This group who was sad and cried to be pitied could not have been the original Lehi colony, for Lehi himself rejoiced over obtaining this land of promise for an inheritance (1 Nephi 5:5), knowing had he and his family remained in Jerusalem they would have perished (2 Nephi 1:4).
He, and his entire family, knew this new land was “a land which was choice above all other lands, given to them forever” (2 Nephi 1:5), and where “none would molest them” (2 Nephi 1:9). In addition, since the word Tulan in the ancient texts has been translated to mean Bountiful, or Bountiful-land, it can hardly be suggested that the Lehi colony would have considered Bountiful (1 Nephi 17:5) where they stayed only long enough to build a ship, as their ancient homeland.
    Third: The only group this ancient text seems to fit would be Hagoth’s immigrants who had suffered through a lifetime of coflict against both the Lamanites and the results of dissenters and unrighteousness. They had just concluded a long, devastating 12-year war with their hereditary enemy (of more than 500 years) which left their land desolate, the Nephite homes and crops destroyed, and a desire among many of the survivors to find peace elsewhere. Yet, to do this, they were forced to leave their “ancient homeland,” the land of promise, the area of Bountiful and Zarahemla, the ancient seat of the kingdom. Naturally, they would have “wished to perpetuate their attachment to their ancient country” and would have “grieved” at having to leave.
• Bountiful Land: Ixtlilxochitl says that the name for “the seat of the kingdom” as of 132 B.C. was Huehuetlapallan, which means “ancient Bountiful land.” Hue-hue is from the Nahua (Mexican) tongue and means “old-old” or “ancient” (Brasseur de Bourbourg, Historie des Nations Civilisees Du Mexique et L’Amerique Centrale, 1857 p 95; Hurbert Howe Bancroft, Native Races, 1876, Vol 5, p 214) 
• Tlapallan (Tula- pallan) is derived from the primary root Tul, meaning “bountiful or abundance” (Martinez Hernandez, Dictionario de Motul, Merida, Yucatan, 1930, p 874 ) or “bountiful place of the ancients” (Marcos E. Bercerra, Nombres Geogra cos Indigenas del Estrado de Chia- pos, 1930, p 140).
Many of the place names of Chiapos include the important name of Tula or Tulan or Tlan, meaning “bountiful.” Some of the forms in which the word appears are:
• Amatan (where the fig trees abound);
• Amastlan (Tulan meaning abundance or bountiful);
• Cocahoatan (where the cacao trees abound); 
• Coapiltan (where the serpent-people abound)
• Coaton (serpent-people bountiful)
Guitatan (Gods of the Bountiful ancestors)
Hixtan (where thorns abound)
Ishuatan (where the green corn stocks abound)
• Istacomitan (where white bones abound)
• Ocotitlan (where black smoke abounds)
Ostitan (where caves abound)
Pinolan (where foreigners abound)
Sinacantan (Bountiful of the bat-people)
Sitala from Sitla-lan (abounding in rabbits)
• Soyatitan (where palm trees abound)
Shuchitan (where owers abound)
Tecpatan (where int abounds)
Tenacantlan (where the lime reeds abound)
Tuxtla (where rabbits abound)
Tutul-xiu (abounding in plants)  
    Various and numerous other names applied to the ancient “seat of the kingdom” of the Nephites, including Tultecas, Ulmecas, and Tzendales, which, in English, mean Bountiful-plant-land whether translated from the Hebrew, Maya, or Nahuatl-Mexican tongues.
    The name Bountiful, or its derivatives, would have no meaning to the Jaredites, nor would the original Lehi colony and Nephites been so enamored with the term Bountiful since it is not a name found in ancient Israel. It should be kept in mind that the name was given to a fruitful land encountered after 8 years wandering in the wilderness (1 Nephi 17:4). The last few years of this trek was spent in the Arabian dessert, from the Red Sea (1 Nephi 2:5; 16:13-14,33; 17:1) to Irreantum, a sea of many waters (1 Nephi 17:5), which most Book of Mormon scholars have placed along the southeast coast of the Arabian peninsula. 
Today this desert area is referred to as the “Empty Quarter” and was never explored until the 19th century and not even mapped until the 20th century because of its inhospitable terrain. It could be well imagined why the Nephites called a land of bounty by the name “Bountiful” after this experience in the desert, which Lehi called his time of tribulation and affliction (2 Nephi 2:1; 3:1). However, when reaching the land of promise they did not repeat this name for some 400 years.
Zarahemla, meaning Bountiful-Plant-Land:
-- zara (zaw-rah’) = to sow, to plant, primary root; means grain, seed or plant;
-- hamullah (ham-ool-law’) = fully; (hemla) fully, over owing, abundant, or bountiful,
was a Mulekite name and the later northern land and city of Bountiful seems a repeat of the basic Zarahemla which had been the seat of the Nephite kingdom since about 200 B.C. As a result, it seems highly unlikely that Lehi’s colony would have been so taken with the name Bountiful as to apply it to so many names as found in Mesoamerica if that had been the location of their first landing and the entire record of the Book of Mormon since it only appears twice in the record, and once not even a name they originally applied. However, if Mesoamerica was not settled by Nephites until around 55 B.C. by the Hagoth emigrants, who were leaving their land of inheritance (2 Nephi 1:5,9), a land promised to them and their posterity forever, then it makes sense that they would have referred to it in their naming so many areas with like names. This can especially be seen when they named the “seat of the kingdom” in each of these Mesoamerican areas as Bountiful-Plant-Land, referring to the seed of their posterity and its connection with the land of promise which they (and later, their posterity) had left.
Once again, we find that the early 16th century writers, using ancient records and “the memory of the old men” in support of an emigrant first century B.C. settling of Mesoamerica, rather than it being the area of the Lehi colony’s original landing.
(See the next post, “A Peruvian -Mesoamerican Legend: Leaving Tulan Bountiful –  Part VII,” for more on this original legend and the tie-in to Peru)

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting posts Del. Thank you for your research. After having carefully studied Sorenson and other Mesoamerican theorists work years ago, and often feeling they were stretching weak connections; it is nice to read logical scenarios regarding Mesoamerica.
    Although Mesoamerica was not the land of Lehi and Nephi, it was a land populated by Nephites (from Hagoth's ships) and interesting to learn about.