Friday, May 8, 2020

More Comments from Readers – Part X

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog:
Comment #1: “I read that “The legendary founding of Cusco by the first Inca, Manco Capac, is placed about 1100 A.D. Manco Capac, according to legend, came up this valley from the south; following instructions of the sun god he threw his golden staff into the Cusco earth, and when the staff disappeared, suggesting the land's fertility, he founded his city. It is generally agreed, and archaeologically confirmed, that Inca history actually begins about 1200 and continues through 13 ruling Incas, ending with the death of Atahualpa at the hands of the Spaniards in 1533. In the 12th century, however, the Incas were only one of the myriad tribes that occupied the Andes area.” Do you agree with this? I thought you said the Inca did not begin until 1400” Carlyle S.
The Inca myth-legend of their founding of coming from the south with a magic golden stick that told them where to settle

Response: It is remarkable, that even 1000 years after the demise of the Nephites, legends still persist that have some truth to them. Nephi came up into that valley from the south. He had the liahona—“And I, Nephi, had also brought the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass; and also the ball, or compass, which was prepared for my father by the hand of the Lord, according to that which is written” (2 Nephi 5:12, emphasis mine).
    Evidently, the Liahona guided Nephi to this area and when he arrived in this Cuzco region, it was written on the instrument that this was the place for him to settle. In myth, a staff was thrown, but after 1000 years, the Lamanites would hardly have understood the Liahona though their fathers had witnessed its properties as seemingly magic to them in their memories.
    As for the dates indicated, those were dates believed in the early days of Inca studies, since the Inca themselves were big on making themselves a history to warrant their rise to the supreme power of the Andes after defeating the Chanka—a nature that led them to become just that, and in so doing, they had to create a history to match their power and might. However, in more recent years, more responsible archaeologists and anthropologists have come to realize that the Inca existed just under 100 years when the Spanish arrived, giving them a beginning date of 1438 A.D., when the Inca ruler Pachacuti and his army set out from their base in Cuzco on a career of conquest that, during the next 50 years, brought under their control the area of present-day Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, northern Argentina and Chile.
    Before then, they were a small tribe, one of many, whose domain was limited to their own village lands when they began their quest of conquest.
A typical Q'ero village around Cuzco, showing some ancient rock walls and foundations. These people once lived in the ayllus in the valley below

By 1532, when the Spanish arrived, their Empire was crumbling and several tribes aligned themselves with the Spanish to help end Inca rule.
    However, when they became “the Inca,” they gave their empire the name “Land of the Four Quarters” (Tahuantinsuyu in Quechua), which stretched some 2,500 miles along the high mountainous Andean range from Colombia to Chile. Prior to the time they became “the Inca,” they did not have an identity, somewhat like North American Indian tribes who often called themselves, simply “The People,” but were known by other tribes who gave them a name—the Inca earlier were known as the Ayar, and were a group of “ayllus, which were clans of families who lived and worked together. At one point, a man, who called himself “Sapa Inka,” (The First or Only Inka), came to power over all the ayllus, and placed each of the allyus under the supervision of a “curaca” or chief.
    In time, legends, myths, stories and lies evolved about the Inka’s background, a pantheon of earlier Inkas was created, Sapa Inka eventually became known as The Sapan Intiq Churin, or “The Only Son of the Sun.”
    The legend of “The Inka” was born, and this ubiquitous integration encompassed the histories, myths and legends of each subject tribe; stories being intentionally combined, adopted or obliterated, or just accidentally confused. This practice was characteristic of the Incas quest for organization and structure.
Inca Amautas

The Amautas, a special class of wise men who perpetuated traditions of the people, history and legend, redefined myths where and when necessary to establish miracles of faith or precedent or sanctions They did this to build up the power and prestige of The Inka and the Inca people, especially in the eyes of conquered tribes and potentially conquerable tribes. 
Comment #2: “I think I recall that a few times in the blog you indicate that the Lamanites never built much of anything. Doesn't Alma 21: 2-4 indicate otherwise? Also, for they had built synagogues after the order of the Nehors; for many of the Amalekites and the Amulonites were after the order of the Nehors. Sounds like new construction” David K.   
Response: The key to this activity is in the fact that the Amalekites and the people of Amulon built a great city—these were Nephite defectors, with the drive and ability and knowledge acquired in the Nephite nation. They built a city like cities they had lived in before they defected. They caused the Lamanites, a lazy people, but who could easily be led by Nephite defectors since throughout the scriptural area it is these defectors that often stir up the Lamanites to war, to labor on the construction of the city. It was a magnificent city which might possibly be seen today in the ruins of Puma Punku around Lake Titicaca.
One of the walls at Sacsyhuaman showing early pr-Inca construction (large stones) and Inca repairs (small stones)

The Inca simply lacked the ability to build as the image above shows. Also, note that nowhere in scripture is there mention of anything the Lamanites alone built, did or accomplished. They seem to have had one flurry of achievement throughout all their history and that was when they were taught the Nephite language, i.e., how to read and write, and were involved in commerce (Mosiah 24:3-7) and then, of course, when there were no more -its among them and the Lamanites and Nephites were one people after the advent of the Savior in the Americas.
    Other than that, though, we have Lamanites living off the Nephite labors, crops and livestock as much as possible--in fact, willing to move out of their cities to allow Zeniff and the Nephites form Zarahemla to move in, obviously, to later subject them to 1/2 of all their production--cunning by nature, but preferring to live off the welfare system.
Comment #3: “What exactly was the Treasury of Laban? Was it a bank? Storehouse? Or what?” Dennis B.
Response: Good question. Rabbi Yosef in his website of the past answered such a question by saying “Laban's "treasury" in First Nephi made sense in the Hebrew and in ancient Israel.” According to the Book of Mormon, the treasury was where Laban kept sacred records. Rabbi Yosef explained that it makes excellent sense, being "exactly in keeping with the culture and language."
    "Treasury" in Hebrew is "genizah," a word also used for a room in ancient synagogues where scrolls were stored. By way of support, Rabbi Yosef explained: “The early "Church Father" Epiphanius, in his Panarion, section 30, relates the story of a Jew named Josephus (Yosef) who became a believer in Messiah after reading Hebrew copies of Acts and John which he found in a "genizah" (treasury) in Tiberias, Israel” (Epiphanius; Panarion 30:3, 6).
    You may also have heard of an archaeological find known as the "Cairo Genizah," in which such an ancient store room of scrolls was found in the remains of an ancient synagogue.

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