Friday, August 16, 2019

Land of Promise Features that Cannot Be Ignored—Where are they in Mesoamerica or the Heartland/Great Lakes? Part VII

Continuing with comparing the scriptural record descriptions and consider where these points are in either of the more northern theories claimed by theorists.
Cureloms and Cumoms
The Jaredite landing in the land of promise after 344 days on and under the sea
When Lehi landed in the Land of Promise, Nephi wrote about journeying around the area and finding beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men. How exactly wild animals are for the use of man other than for food and hide and skin for clothing, is not stated. Domestic animals, of course, are quite helpful, especially in antiquity.
    More than a thousand years earlier, before the Nephites arrived, when the Jaredites with their seeds of every kind and their herds and flocks (Ether 10:12) reached the Land of Promise, they had with them those animals the Lord told them to bring. “Go to and gather together thy flocks, both male and female, of every kind (Ether 1:41; 2:1), fish and fowls of the air (Ether 2:2), and honey bees (Ether 2:3). Somewhat later, it is mentioned that they also had horses and donkeys, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms” (Ether 9:19). 
    As it turned out, the Jaredites had with them two animals that were unknown to Joseph Smith, a farmer in 1820s New England, near the frontier. These two animals were not ones that would be found around an American farm, or even in use for transportation like a horse. They were very different from other animals known in the United States at the time, though they were important animals, equal to the elephant in value to the new colony of Jaredites. 
    These animals were evidently only known in the Land of Promise, and were indigenous to that area. It should also be noted that these were not some unimportant animals, for Moroni makes it clear that these two animals were more important than horses and donkeys, and on a level of importance or value with the elephant.
    It should also be noted that because of the elephant’s incredible capacity for knowledge, understanding, learning and insight, they have proved to be most useful to human beings. They have been captured and trained for millennia for domestic. One of those purposes was industry, providing a very effective labor requirement of hard slogging and heavy lifting. This was especially true in clearing fields for planting as they could uproot trees and remove them from fields. They could also bring logs and move heavy rocks for constructing stone walls and buildings.
    In antiquity, they were also used as ceremonial mounts for important people, royalty and those held in high religious esteem, as well as for safari-style hunting escapades. They were particularly effective as a transport means during hunting because they fit in naturally with other wild animals and mightier than many of the predators that humans were likely to face.
Hannibal crossing the Alps with war elephants 

In addition, elephants could be trained and used in warfare, a practice begun in the 6th century BC, and later seen during the time of Alexander the Great’s warring elephants against King Porus in 326 BC, and later still in Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps to attack Rome in 218 BC. Only male elephants were used and these are known to be aggressive and unruly. The benefit lay, not only in their sheer size, but also in their concern for their human trainer (altruism) and in their ability to charge at great speeds. This would be enough to frighten any horse and its rider from the scene.
    Elephants were known, of course in Mesopotamia, the home of the Jaredites, and did not became extinct in that area until 850 BC, more than 1000 years after the Jaredites left. Their value to a fledgling civilization just starting up in a foreign, virgin land would have seen much use of the elephants the Jaredites brought with them.
    On the other hand, the value of horses has long been established. They have been used by humans in many different ways for travel, work, food, and pleasure for thousands of years. Cavalry horses were used in war until the middle 20th century. Horses are used for riding and transport. They are also used for carrying things or pulling carts, or to help plow farmer's fields in agriculture.
    The donkey, a domesticated member of the horse family (Equidaer) and has been used as a working animal for 5000 years. There are more than 40 million donkeys in the world, mostly in underdeveloped countries with those living at or below subsistence levels, where they are used principally as draught or pack animals.
    Now, as important a role as both horses and donkeys play in serving man, the Jaredites considered the Cureloms and Cumoms of greater value. Thus, it should be stated again, these two animals were not those of questionable purpose, who lazed around all day like sloths hanging from trees, or spend much of their time in rivers and lakes like the tapir—both animals John L. Sorenson claims were possibly the Curelom and Cumom. No, the Jaredite animals were a much hardier breed, equipped with strength to accomplish tasks, and intelligence to be taught to perform them.
    As for the Heartland and Great Lakes theorists, they often point to the buffalo and the Rock Mountain bighorn sheep. As to the latter, the bighorn or wild sheep of the Plains and Rocky Mountains has little value to man other than its meat. The head with its large horns are often used as a trophy, but the animal cannot be tamed or domesticated and holds almost no value to man. As for the former, the buffalo could positively not be domesticated, nor even closely approached by man.
    The only two animals in the entire Western Hemisphere that meet the information we have on these two animals is those of Andean Peru, the Llama and Alpaca indigenous to Andean South America. The llama, larger of the two are very social animals and live with other llamas as a herd. The wool produced by a llama is very soft and lanolin-free. They are intelligent and can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions. In addition, they can carry 30% of their body weight for five to eight miles and make excellent pack animals, which even today they are used in the mountains and high valleys of South America.
The Alpaca 

The alpaca, a gentle and social animal lives in family groups and unlike the llama which was bred to be working animals, were bred specifically for their fiber. From it are made blankets sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves and a wide variety of textiles, including ponchos, bedding, socks, coats, and other clothing.  Their fiber comes in 52 natural colors, and today is prized throughout the world. In the textile industry, "alpaca" primarily refers to the hair of Peruvian alpacas, but more broadly it refers to a style of fabric originally made from alpaca hair, such as mohair, Icelandic sheep wool, and even high-quality wool from numerous types of sheep.
The Llama 

DNA analysis has confirmed that the guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is the wild ancestor of the llama, while the vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) is the wild ancestor of the alpaca. These two, the llama and alpaca exist only as domesticates, while their ancestors, the Guanacos and Vicuñas live only in the wild.
    These two animals, found only in the Andes of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, where early Peruvians used them much like the American Plains Indian used the Buffalo and the Eskimo used the Whale, making use of every bit of the animal for food, clothing, rope, leather, plus their wool is sheared like that of sheep each year and woven into numerous important textiles. In addition, they serve as pack animals and are used like horses, donkeys and mules to ride and haul material, supplies, and packs. In ft, they are so excellent on the trail and in high places, they are preferred today over all other pack animals. They are also better suited for guarding livestock than any other guard animal, yet have a friendly disposition, make good companion animals, and are excellent with children.
    So where are the two animals more valuable to man than the horse and donkey in Mesoamerica and North America? There are none  Again, no other two animals in the entire Western Hemisphere meet the description Moronoi provides us of these two animals.
(See the next post, “Land of Promise Features that Cannot be Ignored—Where are they in Mesoamerica or the Heartland/Great Lakes? Part VIII,” for more scriptural record descriptions of the land of Promise that do not match  Mesoamerica or the Heartland/Great Lakes)

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