2,000-Year-Old Carving and 16th Century Manuscript Reveal Some Maya Came from Across the Sea

2,000-Year-Old Carving and 16th Century Manuscript Reveal Some Maya Came from Across the Sea

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The Popol Vuh, a corpus of mythological and historical narratives according to the Quiché-Maya people, and Izapa Stela 5, a carved stela found at the ancient Mesoamerican site of Izapa in Mexico, provide a fascinating insight into Mexican history. In fact, together, they may reveal that some of the ancestors of the Quiché-Maya came from across the sea.

Popol Vuh Reveals Foreign Origins

In the English translation of the Popol Vuh, it reads: “We shall write about this now amid the preaching of God, in Christendom now. We shall bring it out because there is no longer a place to see it, a Council Book, a place to see “The Light That Came from Beside the Sea”, the account of “Our Place in the Shadows”, a place to see “The Dawn of Life” …… (Tedlock, 1992, p.63).

The Popol Vuh refers to their ancestors coming from the East, which is a significant statement.  East of the Maya would be the Gulf Region.

The Popol Vuh continues: “They didn’t know where they were going. They did this for a long time, when they were there in the grasslands: the black people, the white people, people of many faces, people of many languages, uncertain there at the edge of the sky” (Tedlock, 1992, pp.149-150).

An 18th century translation of the Popol Vuh

An 18th century translation of the Popol Vuh. ( Public Domain )

 

Izapa Stela 5 is Consistent with the Popol Vuh

Izapa-style art is characterized by upright stone stelae found at the site of Izapa, situated near Tapachula, Chiapas. Izapa is located on the Pacific coastal plain in an area known as Soconusco.

The Izapa stela no.5 is one of many carved stelae found at Izapa which date from roughly 300 BC to 50 BC. This monument has interesting iconographic representations that support some of the migration stories handed down from generation to generation by the Mexicans.

Night photography of stela 5 at Izapa ruins, Tapachula, Mexico.

Night photography of stela 5 at Izapa ruins, Tapachula, Mexico. ( CC by SA 3.0 )

The research of the New World Archaeological Foundation indicates that this site has been continuously occupied since 1500 BC. Much of what we know about the art from Izapa comes from the work of Virginia Smith's Izapa Relief Carving (1984), Garth Norman's Izapa Sculpture (1976) and Jacinto Quirarte's Izapan-Style Art (1973). Garth Norman of the New World Archaeological Foundation has published many of the stone stelae and altars found at Izapa and has discussed much of their probable religious significance.

Symbology of Stela 5

The stela no.5 records many glyphic elements common to other pre-classic artifacts including the jaguar, falling water, mountain, bird, dragon tree, serpent, and fish motifs. This stela also provides many elements that relate to Mexican and Maya traditions, as accurately analyzed by Norman (pages 165-236). Some ideological factors not fully discussed in regards to this stela are elements linked to the Olmec religion and the migration traditions of the Mexicans.

Ancient Migration Stories of Mexico

The Maya were not the first to occupy the Yucatan and Gulf regions of Mexico. It is evident from Maya traditions and the artifacts recovered from many ancient Mexican sites that a different race lived in the area before the Mayan speakers settled this region. The linguistic evidence suggests that a new linguistic group arrived in the Gulf region of Mexico at around 1200 BC.

M. Swadesh (1953) has presented evidence that at least 3,200 years ago, a non-Maya speaking group wedged itself between the Huastecs and the Maya.

Ruins at Izapa, Chiapas, Mexico.

Ruins at Izapa, Chiapas, Mexico. ( Eduardo Robles Pacheco / flickr )

Traditions mentioned by Bernardino Sahagun, a missionary priest who participated in the Catholic evangelization of Mexico, record Mexico’s settlement story. Sahagun says that these "Eastern settlers of Mexico landed at Panotha, on the Mexican Gulf. Here they remained for a time until they moved south in search of mountains”.

Friar Diego de Landa, in Yucatan Before and After the Conquest , wrote that "some old men of Yucatan say that they have heard from their ancestors that this country was peopled by a certain race who came from the East, whom God delivered by opening for them twelve roads through the sea" (p.28).

This tradition is most interesting because it probably refers to the twelve migrations to Mexico. This view is also supported by Stela 5 from Izapa. In Izapa Stela 5 we see a group of men on a boat riding the waves.

Comments

This article states "The Popol Vuh refers to their ancestors coming from the East," but doesn't doesn't provide the quote to show it. Or am I just missing something?

Clyde Winters's picture

Here  is the Quote:"Some old men of Yucatan say that they have heard from their ancestors that this country was peopled by a certain race who came from the East, whom God delivered by opening for them twelve roads through the sea."
Source: http://sacred-texts.com/nam/maya/ybac/ybac09.htm

 

 

That quote is not from the Popol Vuh. Where is the quote from the Popol Vuh that "refers to their ancestors coming from the East?"

Clyde Winters's picture

POPOL VUH: THE MAYAN BOOK OF THE DAWN OF LIFE , translated by Dennis Tedlock with commentary based on the ancient  knowledge of the modern Quiche Maya. http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/POPOL-VUH-THE-MAYAN-BOOK-OF-THE-DAWN-OF-LIFE-translated-by-Dennis-Tedlock.pdf

 

 

“The lords of Quiche consulted their book when they sat in council, and their name for it was Popol Vuh or "Council Book." Because this book contained an account of how the forefathers of their own lordly lineages had exiled themselves from a faraway city called Tulan, they sometimes described it as "the writings about Tulan." Because a later generation of lords had obtained the book by going on a pilgrimage that took them across water on a causeway, they titled it<b> "The Light That Came from Across the Sea." </b>And because the book told of events that happened before the first sunrise and of a time when the forefathers hid themselves and the stones that contained the spirit familiars of their gods in forests, they also titled it "Our Place in the Shadows."

 

“AND THIS IS OUR ROOT, WE WHO ARE THE QUICHE PEOPLE. And there came to be a crowd of penitents and sacrificers.*(351) It wasn't only four who came into being then, but there were four mothers for us, the Quiche people. There were different names for each of the peoples when they multiplied, there in the east. Their names became numerous: Sovereign Oloman, Cohah, Quenech Ahau, as the names of the people who were there in the east are spoken. They multiplied, and it is known that the Tams and Ilocs began then.<b> They came from the same place, there in the east.</b>” (p.87).

“There was nothing they could offer for sustenance, but even so they lifted their faces to the sky. They didn't know where they were going. They did this for a long time, when they were there in the grasslands: black people, white people, people of many faces, people of many languages, uncertain, there at the edge of the sky. “(p.88)

“Such was the disappearance and loss of Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night,<b> Mahucutah, and True Jaguar, the first people to come across the sea, from the east.</b> They came here in ancient times. When they died they were already old. They had a reputation for penitence and  sacrifice.”(p.107)

 

“AND THEN THEY REMEMBERED WHAT HAD BEEN SAID ABOUT THE EAST. This is when they remembered the instructions of their fathers. The ancient things received from their fathers were not lost. The tribes gave them their wives, becoming their fathers-in-law as they took wives. And there were three of them who said, as they were about to go away<b>: "We are going to the east, where our fathers came from,"</b> they said, then they followed their road. The three of them were representative sons: Cocaib was the name of the son of Jaguar Quitze who represented all the Cauecs.*(447) Coacutec was the name of the son of Jaguar Night who served as the sole representative of the Greathouses. Coahau was the name of the only son of Mahucutah, representing the Lord Quiches. So these are the names of those who went across the sea. There were only three who went, but they had skill and knowledge. Their being was not quite that of mere humans. They advised all their brothers, elder and younger, who were left behind. They were glad to go: "We're not dying. We're coming back," they said when they went, yet it was these same three who went clear across the sea. And then they arrived in the east; they went there to receive lordship. Next comes the name of the lord with dominion over those of the east, where they arrived.”(p.107)

Thank you, Dr. Winters, for supplying the quotes. It is much appreciated. :)

Some old men said Icarus flew on wings of feathers, wax and string. That is not proof that it actually happened.
I will how ever give credit where credit is due. Not once did Clyde make the incredible claim that the Maya's "ancestors from the east" were Africans.
The Maya are Native Americans in good standing and genomic studies place them firmly in the same group as Kennewick Man and all other pre columbian remains as well as all modern Native Americans other than Eskimos. There is absolutely no genetic evidence pointing to a separate origin for the Maya or any other native group.
As to the supposed 'boat' depicted on the stele, it is not a boat at all. It is quite clearly a Chinampa. A traditional rectangular floating agricultural plot native to Meso-America. Chinampas are floating platforms anchored to the bottom of shallow lakes and ponds by planting trees on them. Later, other crops are planted and harvested and some, like the one depicted on the stele are planted as pleasure gardens. Today they are most often seen in the Xochimilco (place of Flowers in Nahuatl) district of Mexico City where they are referred to as "The Floating Gardens". https://www.pinterest.com/pin/145944844145430795/

Now, it's been some time since last I read the Popol Vuh but, for the life of me I do not recall any reference to the Maya having come "from the East" but. maybe I'm just getting old...LOL! Guess I'll have to drag it out and read it again.

Clyde Winters's picture

Willy stop lying, you have never read the  Popol Vuh. The image on the stela is of a boat, not a Chinampa.  

I already posted the site where you can read the Popol Vuh in this comments section.Below are the statements in the Popol Vuh that claim they came from the East. If you had read the comments section before you lied, you would know this and not look foolish making claims that are not supported by the actual text.. As a result, your comments appear to suggest you are trolling my articles to spread negativity. 

POPOL VUH: THE MAYAN BOOK OF THE DAWN OF LIFE , translated by Dennis Tedlock with commentary based on the ancient  knowledge of the modern Quiche Maya. http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/POPOL-VUH-THE-MAYAN-BOOK-OF-THE-DAWN-OF-LIFE-translated-by-Dennis-Tedlock.pdf

 

 

 

“The lords of Quiche consulted their book when they sat in council, and their name for it was Popol Vuh or "Council Book." Because this book contained an account of how the forefathers of their own lordly lineages had exiled themselves from a faraway city called Tulan, they sometimes described it as "the writings about Tulan." Because a later generation of lords had obtained the book by going on a pilgrimage that took them across water on a causeway, they titled it<b> "The Light That Came from Across the Sea." </b>And because the book told of events that happened before the first sunrise and of a time when the forefathers hid themselves and the stones that contained the spirit familiars of their gods in forests, they also titled it "Our Place in the Shadows."

 

“AND THIS IS OUR ROOT, WE WHO ARE THE QUICHE PEOPLE. And there came to be a crowd of penitents and sacrificers.*(351) It wasn't only four who came into being then, but there were four mothers for us, the Quiche people. There were different names for each of the peoples when they multiplied, there in the east. Their names became numerous: Sovereign Oloman, Cohah, Quenech Ahau, as the names of the people who were there in the east are spoken. They multiplied, and it is known that the Tams and Ilocs began then.<b> They came from the same place, there in the east.</b>” (p.87).

“There was nothing they could offer for sustenance, but even so they lifted their faces to the sky. They didn't know where they were going. They did this for a long time, when they were there in the grasslands: black people, white people, people of many faces, people of many languages, uncertain, there at the edge of the sky. “(p.88)

“Such was the disappearance and loss of Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night,<b> Mahucutah, and True Jaguar, the first people to come across the sea, from the east.</b> They came here in ancient times. When they died they were already old. They had a reputation for penitence and  sacrifice.”(p.107)

 

“AND THEN THEY REMEMBERED WHAT HAD BEEN SAID ABOUT THE EAST. This is when they remembered the instructions of their fathers. The ancient things received from their fathers were not lost. The tribes gave them their wives, becoming their fathers-in-law as they took wives. And there were three of them who said, as they were about to go away<b>: "We are going to the east, where our fathers came from,"</b> they said, then they followed their road. The three of them were representative sons: Cocaib was the name of the son of Jaguar Quitze who represented all the Cauecs.*(447) Coacutec was the name of the son of Jaguar Night who served as the sole representative of the Greathouses. Coahau was the name of the only son of Mahucutah, representing the Lord Quiches. So these are the names of those who went across the sea. There were only three who went, but they had skill and knowledge. Their being was not quite that of mere humans. They advised all their brothers, elder and younger, who were left behind. They were glad to go: "We're not dying. We're coming back," they said when they went, yet it was these same three who went clear across the sea. And then they arrived in the east; they went there to receive lordship. Next comes the name of the lord with dominion over those of the east, where they arrived.”(p.107)

Willy, The Popol Vuh, can be read at the site above. Read the book and stop lying.

Clyde, Disagreeing with you does not make me a troll and accusing someone of lying does not make you truthful or them liars. Talk all you want but repeating your opinion does not make it truth. I first read the Popol Vuh about 45 years ago and have read it several times since then but, as I said, it's been a long time so, I'll have to reread it. Now, I may be in error but, I believe the East they are referring to is Xibalba, the realm of Gods and Demons which was represented by the void of stars seen in the Milky Way as it rises in the East. Not Africa. Not Europe. I'll dig out my copy and reread it this coming week. What does bear repeating however, is the incontrovertible FACT that all Native American peoples, past and present, share a common ancestry and are genetically more closely related to each other than to any other people on Earth. I will also add that they, as a group, are most closely related to the people of extreme Northeastern Siberia and share both a genetic and cultural heritage with them going back at least 20,000 years.
The following article is based upon what we call SCIENCE and relies upon FACTS to draw its conclusions rather than cherry picking "alternative facts" to support a preconceived conclusion. Feel free to read it and submit a peer review detailing your "interesting" theories and see how long you last.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0169486

Clyde Winters's picture

The paper you cite is related to the 24ky old Bluefish Caves site. This site has nothing to do with the research detailing earlier habitation sites in the Americas that predate the Bluefish Cave site. Moreover, don’t forget the Bluefish Cave site supports the “Beringian standstill hypothesis”. The  “Beringian standstill hypothesis”, is the theory that people from Siberia remained in Beringa until the ice melted so they could migrate into North America after the ice melted.

 

As I reported in my Ancient Origins article: “Did Paleoamericans Reach South America First?”, http://www.ancient-origins.net/opinion-guest-authors/did-paleoamericans-reach-south-america-first-006592     there are archaeological sites  inhabited by anatomically modern humans that date back 45-100kya. Due to the Ice blocking passage by Sea  from Asia and Europe, and the Beringa land bridge these people could not have entered the Americas via Siberia.

 

This post is further evidence you are trolling my articles. First of all, this article is not a theoretical paper. This article is about Mayan traditions that they came from the East.

In this article I reported the Mayan traditions and provided on-line sources where the readers can find the Popol Vuh and Landa’s work. You don’t have to find your copy of the Popol Vuh, I provided a site where you can read the pdf version of the book.

POPOL VUH: THE MAYAN BOOK OF THE DAWN OF LIFE , translated by Dennis Tedlock with commentary based on the ancient  knowledge of the modern Quiche Maya. http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/POPOL-VUH-THE-MAYAN-BOOK-OF-THE-DAWN-OF-LIFE-translated-by-Dennis-Tedlock.pdf

Friar Diego de Landa, Yucatan Before and After the Conquest. Translated by William Gates (1937) http://sacred-texts.com/nam/maya/ybac/ybac09.htm

Disagreeing with me does make you a troll because I discussed Mayan traditions that they came from the East. I did not hypothesize where in the East the Maya claim their ancestors came from that landed in the  Gulf of Mexico.  As a result, I am not talking about a theory—I am only relaying the facts.

Stop implying that I fail to understand what science is. I taught Research Methods at University for 11 years.  Moreover, I have published many peer reviewed articles. Some of them are listed  at the NCBI site   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=Clyde+Winters

Granted I have never published an article in PLOS (only comments about PLOS articles published at the PLOS site) . I don’t mind paying a few hundred dollars cost of publication for a peer reviewed article, but I refuse to pay $2500 in publication cost for a PLOS article, when I can pay thousands of dollars less to have my work published in a peer reviewed on-line journal elsewhere.

BTW, the stele most certainly does depict a chinampa. Unlike yourself I have actually stood upon chinampas and I am quite familiar with their appearance and construction.

Roberto Peron's picture

Good article and very interesting.  Question is how far from the East did the ancestors come?  I know it is no longer “acceptable” but the stone heads and depictions of the Olmec still look like Africans or Polynesians to me an not Mayan at all.  And how did these ancient Mayan ancestors know about black skinned people unless they’d seen them or encountered them.  We like to pretend everything is all figured out but, in fact, I think we have very little figured out at all.

 

Then there are the unique Fuegians, who’s dialects have origins from Australia and Melanesia. As you make note on your blog, there were more than likely several different migrations from all directions.

Clyde Winters's picture

It appears that there were also Melanesians in California.The picture of the Tcholovoni Indian Tribe Hunting on the Shores of the Bay of San Francisco (1816) suggest that these people were Melanesians. See: http://www.books-about-california.com/Images/SF_100_Years_Ago/Indians_Hunting.jpg

 

Roberto Peron's picture

The pic certainly looks like Melanesians not Native Americans at all.  And then there is the rock wall investigated by the televison program “America Unearthed” in the same area near San Francisco.  Their conclusion was it had been built by ancient Chinese explorers or perhaps Melanesians.  

The Fuegian language have origins in Australia and Melanesia? Well, that's news to me (and them too). As far as I recall the Fuegians speak at least 5 languages, three of which are language isolates related to no other languages on Earth. The others are members of the Chon language group which, like the others is an isolate. NONE are related even remotely to the languages of Australia or Melanesia.Like all Native Americans, Fuegians are genetically more closely to other Native Americans than they are to any other populations on the planet and Native Americans, as a group are most closely related to northeastern Siberians.

Clyde Winters's picture

Tcholovoni Indian  of California are not Fuegians. We are talking about Mexico.

South Americans are related to Melanesians. Neves etc., make it clear that the paleoamericans were phenotypically Melanesian, African or Australian. The Botocudos are classified as Melanesian in origin. As a result, when Neves says the Botocudos are related to paleoamerican it was based on the fact that phenotypically they were African or Melanesian.

South Brazilian Native Americans came from Melanesia. This is especially true for the Botocudos. The Botocudos are descendants of Meleanesians and Melanesians are phenotypically Negroes. See: A.S. Malaspinas et al,, Two ancient human genomes reveal Polynesian ancestry among the indigenous Botocudos of Brazil. Curr Biol. 2014 Nov 3;24(21):R1035-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.078. Epub 2014 Oct 23

.Abstract
“Understanding the peopling of the Americas remains an important and challenging question. Here, we present (14)C dates, and morphological, isotopic and genomic sequence data from two human skulls from the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, part of one of the indigenous groups known as 'Botocudos'. We find that their genomic ancestry is Polynesian, with no detectable Native American component. Radiocarbon analysis of the skulls shows that the individuals had died prior to the beginning of the 19th century. Our findings could either represent genomic evidence of Polynesians reaching South America during their Pacific expansion, or European-mediated transport.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Bastos%20M%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=25455029

The Botocudo were a Native American tribe of Brazil. They were also called Aimoré (Aymore, Aimboré) . The name Botocudo comes from the Portuguese term: botoque, a plug. This was an allusion to the wooden disks or tembetás worn in their lips and ears of people who belonged to these tribes.

Willey you know nothing about the relationship of the Native Americans and Melanesians.

.  [-]

The Botocudo had many names for themselves. Some Boyocudos called themselves Nac-nanuk or Nac-poruk. The name Nac-nanuk or Nac-poruk means "sons of the soil". 

[-]  

Over the centuries the Botocudos disappeared.Paul Ehrenreich estimated their population at 5,000 in 1884. By April 1939, there was only 68 Botocudo alive in Eastern Brazil

Clyde Winters's picture

In the West we think of China when we think about the East. China and Southeast Asia to people living in Mexico lies to the West of Mexico across the Pacific Ocean. The Maya were talking about the area of Eastern Mexico along the Atlantic Ocean.  Sahagun said that these Eastern settlers of Mexico landed at Panotha, on the Mexican Gulf Coast.

I understand and should not have strayed off the topic Mayan track Clyde. I have a habit of looking at the scope of possibilities and interactions as a whole when discussing Central and South America. Sorry for the diversion Sir.

Robert,

Interesting question. I do not have a definitive answer for you. I found the below articles very interesting. They are not on the Maya but rather other civilizations in the Americas. There is some very interesting and controversial data suggesting that there were multiple gene pools "or ethnic groups" present in the Americas. A more "mongoloid" or "Asian" looking race and a darker more "African" looking race. I am not a professor or writer. So please don't blow me up about how out there this info is. But after extensive reading it felt safe enough to share. And I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

http://realhistoryww.com/world_history/ancient/Misc/Americas/The_Inca.htm

http://realhistoryww.com/world_history/ancient/Misc/Americas/Aztec_histo...

Regards,

Daniel Fournier-Courtney

Clyde Winters's picture

The site is Interesting . You may want to read the article:PRE-COLUMBIAN MURALS AND NORSE SAGAS SUGGEST VIKINGS MET THE AZTECS, AND THE OUTCOME WAS NOT PRETTY, at http://www.ancient-origins.net/history/pre-columbian-murals-and-norse-sagas-suggest-vikings-met-aztecs-and-outcome-was-not-pretty-021084  in this article I discuss the multiethnic character of ancient Mexico.

 

First, The Jaguar seat, which was inside the pyramid at Chichen Itza, had jade imbedded in it. They were tested and found to be from China. Second, one of the groups living in the area in ancient times were called the Chins.

Clyde Winters's picture

Can you cite the source that claims the jade at Chichen Itza came from China. Jade artifacts were made not only in China, they were also made in Mexico and Saharan Africa  around the same time. Archaeologists claim the Mayan jade probably came from Guatemala and Honduras. 

Please detail the documentation for your claim that the jade was from China and the the existence of the Chins.

I tend to believe that the Maya originated in South East Asia.

Excellent study done on the meaning of the word Mayan word Tulan.

http://www.mesoweb.com/articles/tulan/Tulan.pdf

Clyde Winters's picture

Thanks for information on   Frauke Sachse and  Allen J. Christenson’s , Tulan and the Other Side of the Sea: Unraveling a Metaphorical Concept from Colonial Guatemalan Highland Sources. Sache and Christenson argue that : h'aqa palo "across the sea," releb'al q'ij "where the sun emerges," that is from the east., is a metaphor. Their discussion is interesting, but the support for the theory they present is based on Aztec and other Central Mexican traditions about the underworld, when the Quiche concept  of "h'aqa palo  releb'al q'ij", literally meant “across the sea from the east”, not a metaphor for the otherword.

Sache and Christenson believes that Tulan Zuyua, refers to an out of worldly place. This is their opinion.

Tedlock translated Zuyua as “twisted speech”, because it was a secret language that Elites had to know, before they could assume positions of leadership. In Quiche the term Tulan  has been interpreted as “a city or house that has been abandoned” ; or  a “palace, or manor-house”. In  reality the term Zuyua is an Olmec word that relates to the Mayan system of Higher Education.

In the Chilam Balam of Chumayel ,  Zuiva is spelled Zuyua. This document declares that the “head chiefs” of towns were periodically examined in the language of Zuyua.

The language of Zuyua, was suppose to have been understood by the Mayan elites. Scholars are not sure about the meaning of the mysterious term Zuyua.

 Zuyua is an Olmec term.  The actual sound value of /z/ in Olmec is /s/. Thusly, Zuyua = Olmec su-yu-a, and Zuiva= su-i-wa .  Su-yu-a  translated in Olmec, means “Shaper of Life”, while Su-i-wa, means “The Shaper of Good”, or “ The thing which hurries your welfare”.

The Olmec translations of Su-i-wa and Su-yu-a , are associated with leadership, and the role of both secular and religious leaders in the community,  make them sematically appropriate terms to interpret Zuyua and Zuiva, because, a priest or chief is a shaper of the welfare of his people it was only natural that this specialists probably had to know secret terms and symbols to manifest the great power(s) surrounding his office.

The Maya had to learn Olmec at the Mayan Universities as I discussed in my article “ Hidden in the Glyphs: Deciphering Bilingual Mayan-Olmec Text”, http://www.ancient-origins.net/artifacts-ancient-writings/hidden-glyphs-deciphering-bilingual-mayan-olmec-text-007171

Most researchers fail to understand literacy among the Maya because they don’t acknowledge the fact that the Maya had a system of Higher Education, to accommodate the construction of pyramids and writing hieroglyphics.

In summary Tulan Zuyua probably means “Manor of the Shapers of Good”, i.e., the place were elites are trained and tested. Clearly, Sache and Christenson’s hypothesis that the Quiche ancestors came from the East, from across the Sea, was a metaphor has no support from the Quiche. If  relib'al q'ij , that is "where the sun emerges,"  was a Quiche metaphor, the authors should have found evidence from the Quiche, instead of using Aztec and Central Mexican  ideologies  to explain Quiche traditions.

Years ago (late 1970s) I was researching Atlantic voyaging and came across a reference in a Conference proceedings - I think - in which a linguist pointed out that the Mayan? word for calendar "lamed" or "lamet" was identical to the Jewish word. He said he had no idea why this should be the case.

It happens. I once had a girlfriend from the Danakil region of Ethiopia. While discussing what to do one night I suggested "We go kalalau". This is a Hawaiian word meaning to wander with no destination in mind. She replied by asking me how I knew an Afar word. Turns out that kalalau has the same meaning and pronunciation in both Hawaiian and Afar. Just a coincidence.

Clyde Winters's picture

What you call coincidence may be reality. You believed that when the girl you dated, found a relationship between Hawaiian and Ethiopian words it had to be a coincidence, yet, some people on the Pacific Islands, like Fiji,  claim their ancestors came from Africa. This tradition of an African origin for some Pacific Island residents is supported by archaeological, toponymic and linguistic evidence.

Before I retired from teaching, I was responsible for teaching students research methods when they were preparing to write their Master’s thesis. I always taught them that the important thing they need to develop is their knowledge base, i.e., the literature base you have acquired in your chosen field of study. Sometimes what we assume to be coincidence, may simply result from our limited literature base.   

It appears that at sometime, long ago, Africans settled some of the Pacific Islands, the Fijians claim their ancestors came from Tanzania.

Researchers have found African place names from India to Japan. There are also many West African placenames in India and the Pacific.       Page (1988) noted the numerous African placenames in the Pacific, see: http://olmec98.net/mela2.jpg  . And  Nigerian placenames and surnames  have been found in Japan , see: Nigerian placenames and surnames in Japan See: http://www.stewartsynopsis.com/links_to_japanese_and_african_la.htm

 A recent article on Nigerian place names found in India was published by Dr. R. Balakrishnan (2005 ). Dr. Balakrishnan found almost 500 Nigerian placenames, and 46 tribal names in Koraput, India; and 110 ethnonyms of Koyas in Nigeria. This led Dr. Balakrishnan (2005) to declare that :"However, the overwhelming evidence available from the toponymic corpuses of Koraput and Nigeria, and ethnonyms, surnames and personal names of Koyas seem more adequate to propose an African origin to the Koyas, the Dravidian speakers" (p.177).
 

The discovery of African placenames in the Pacific means that the analogy your date found between words in her language and Hawaiian may not be a coincidence.  This shows a direct spread of West African place names from Africa, across the Indian Ocean into the Pacific. The discovery of common placenames in three different regions can not be accounted by coincidence.

 

References;

Balakrishnan, R. (2005). "African roots of the Dravidian-speaking Tribes: A case in Onomastics", International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics, 34(1) (2005),pp.153-202.

Page, W J.(1988)."The Lakota Hypothesis:on the Origin of Melanesian People of the Fijian Islands", West African Journal of  Archaeology 18: 31-72.

Winters,Clyde. (2014). AFRICAN AND DRAVIDIAN ORIGINS OF THE MELANESIANS . Indian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Life Sciences, Vol. 4 (3) July-September, pp. 694-704. 
http://www.cibtech.org/J-LIFE-SCIENCES/PUBLICATIONS/2014/Vol-4-No-3/JLS-103-JLS-073-JUN-CLYDE-AFRICAN-MELANESIANS.pdf

 

Interesting but, ultimately useless information. Of course there are African names and words in the Pacific region and throughout the Indian Ocean basin. Muslims, including Africans, have traded with and occupied areas of Indonesia, Fiji and India since at least the 16th century (much earlier in India). I'd be very surprised if we DIDN'T find evidence of them in words, family and place names! Hell, Indonesia is a Muslim majority nation of 250,000,000 people that bridges the Indo-Pacific divide. What we CAN'T say however, is that those names and words predate the coming of Muslim traders or that the aboriginal people of the religion are direct descendants of Africans who migrated there directly from Africa. As to Hawaii, To find a single word has the same meaning in two disparate regions is no more than a coincidence. There is absolutely no genetic evidence that connects Hawaiians with Africans other than the Malagasy people of Madagascar who are themselves the southwestern most representatives of the Malayopolynesian people.

Clyde Winters's picture

You don’t know what you’re ta;king about the relationship between Melanesians and Africans is not due to Muslim contact. Granted, the Swahili Muslims and Ethiopians from Axum played an important role in trading in the Pacific the genetic evidence indicates the relationsip between Melanesians and Africans is much older .because ,while the merchants from these countries lived in East Africa. the African place names in the Pacific are from WEST AFRICA..

Due to the Dravido-African origin of the MRCA of the Melanesian, there are genetic markers which pointto a relationship between the Fijians and Africans. In Table 1, we see the shared Afro-Dravido y-Chromosomes. Merriwether et al., (n.d, 2005) for example noted that haplogroup E-M78 appears in NewGuinea, while haplogroup E-M2 has been found in New Guinea, Near Oceania and Northwestern mostMicronesia.Cordaux et al., (2003) found E-M35 in Africa and the Pacific. In addition, Merriwether (1994) observedthat Africans and Asians share the T--&gt;C transition at nt position 16189 and the D-loop sequence ofnts 15975 to 00048.Africans and Fijians share the Y-Chromosome K-M9.The K haplogroup is found in Africa and Oceania.See http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/v11/n3/images/5200949f5.gif

The common Fijian Y-chromosome is M-M4; it exist as derived subgroup M-P34 of Melanesians. Both of these genes are found among Africans as noted by Wood et al., (2005). Table 1: Shared Y-Chromosome Ocenia and Africa  See: http://olmec98.net/mela1.jpg .The mtDNA M clade is the best genetic marker of the connection between Africans and Melanesians. TheM1 haplogroup is a member of the M macrohaplogroup. M1 is a sister haplogroup to Haplogroup D, one of the major Asian subgroups in Macrohaplogroup M. http://olmec98.net/mela1.jpg

In Table 2, we see the defining control region mutations for African Dravidian and Oceanian haplotypes.The shared haplotypes correspond to the L3(M/Q) haplogroups. These haplotypes are predominately the pan-African haplotypes: 16129,16223,16189 and 16311. See https://www.academia.edu/10306654/AFRICAN_AND_DRAVIDIAN_ORIGINS_OF_THE_MELANESIANS

 

The M, N, and R macrohaplogroups are found throughout East and South and Southeast Asia, theAndaman Islands and Africa (Cabrera et al.,2004).
 
Haplotypes with HVSI transitions defining 16129-16223-16249-16278-16311-16362; and 16129-16223-16234-16249-16211-16362 have been found in Thailand and among the Han Chinese (Fucharon et al. 2001), these haplotypes were originally thought to be members of Haplogroup M1. However, on the basisof currently available FGS sequences, carriers of these markers have been found to be in the D4a branchof Haplogroup D, the most widespread branch of M1 in East Asia (Fucharon et al., 2001; Gondor et al., 2006; Yao et al., 2002). The transitions 16129, 16189, 16249 and 16311 are known to be recurrent invarious branches of Haplogroup M, especially M1 and D4. Gonder et al.,(2006) for example, noted thatthe mtDNAs of Tanzanians belonging to haplogroup M1 cluster with peoples from Oceania.
.
 

I love this topic. I was born in USA but grew up half of my life in Yucatan, Mexico. It always blows my mind the similarities between English and Mayan. Hole in is Hol in Mayan and has the same meaning. Kash which is a hen is actually money in English, I think this is awesome cause it seems to me that livestock would have been currency long ago. My step dad and his entire family speak what is left of the mayan dialect. It is such an awesome language.

Regards,

Daniel Fournier-Courtney

In reading the article and counting the roots and branches to the tree of life I seem to come up with 12 roots and 8 branches.
Can you please elaborate on the incorrect tree of life's branch count in the article above and the meaning of 8 branches?

Clyde Winters's picture

I made a mistake. I believe the branches represented founding clans of the original settlers.

Something interesting in this I noticed this morning. The individual on the bottom, second from the left with his hands over the fire is bearded and is wearing what looks to be a Turban.

It's quite possible but, in ancient times and even today Maya men often wear a turban like headdress and contrary to popular belief, beards are not unknown among Native Americans. The first Hopi the Spanish met was dubbed Bigotes which translates to the bearded one and Montezuma himself was described as bearded

Clyde Winters's picture

You are correct, the Kuno priest wears a turban at the base of his conical hat. The turban was a regular feature for some Meso-American elites when they wore conical hats, The student being instructed in the mysteries of the Kuno cult, by the bearded priest wore just a conical hat.

It also appears that his sash may be more of arabic style and different from the elaborate belts the others wear and it also appears he has long Curly locks.

Curly Hair+Beard+Turban+Different than traditional style Sash = Not Meso-American in origin? 

Clyde Winters's picture

The Cocaine mummies and the Sumerian colony of Kuga-Ki in South America make it clear that Middle Eastern people were probably in Mexico in ancient times; but the appearence of curly hair Meso-Americans may not denote non-Native Americans because the Maya called the Aztecs  xilaan “curly or frizzy haired”. Since the Aztec were “curly haired’, there is no reason to believe the Kuno priest on Stela No.5 was not Native American.

True, many Native Americans have curly hair. False, Sumerian colony in South America. The cocaine mummies as well as tobacco residue and silk thread simply prove that goods were traded over vast distances from culture to culture. There is ample proof of trade routes between East Asia and the Americas and Chinese coins that predate Columbus are not uncommon in west coast digs. This does not mean that the Chinese made regular rips to the Americas (though that is a possibility). It simply means that goods changed hands and moves along trade routes that bridged the north Pacific region.

Wow! What a great group of dialogues-Thanks! My Comment is from history I've read of the Cherokee people who are a part of my 'mixology'. Their Origin Story has it the they 'were from the land where the sun also rises'; the East-also. Other Eastern tribes in this continent, the Iroquois as I recall, referred to them as ' The People Who Live In Caves ' , so perhaps this came after they appeared here &amp; had no claimed territory, but this last is only my conjecture. I would think new people would make use of whatever defensible shelter they could get. Also, I contribute the Cherokee's story to add a possibly wider view of this continents' peoples &amp; wonder what could have spurred the many peoples to come here, &amp; does anyone have anything that could show a tie-in to where they, or any, started from? A tall request I'm aware, but am appreciative of a 'Pointing Finger' as what source(s) might show a starting point, alliances that might have helped contribute to a 'mass endeavor'. Thanks in advance, it's an honor to converse in this scholarly company. MMc

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