1. ON the monuments of Central America there are representations of bearded men. How could the beardless American Indians have imagined a bearded race?
2. All the traditions of the civilized races of Central America point to an Eastern origin.
The leader and civilizer of the Nahua family was Quetzalcoatl. This is the legend respecting him:
"From the distant East, from the fabulous Hue Hue Tlapalan, this mysterious person came to Tula, and became the patron god and high-priest of the ancestors of the Toltecs. He is described as having been a white man, with strong formation of body, broad forehead, large eyes, and flowing beard. He wore a mitre on his head, and was dressed in a long white robe reaching to his feet, and covered with red crosses. In his hand he held a sickle. His habits were ascetic, he never married, was most chaste and pure in life, and is said to have endured penance in a neighboring mountain, not for its effects upon himself, but as a warning to others. He condemned sacrifices, except of fruits and flowers, and was known as the god of peace; for, when addressed on the subject of war, he is reported to have stopped his ears with his fingers." ("North Amer. of Antiq.," p. 268.)
"He was skilled in many arts: he invented" (that is, imported) "gem-cutting and metal-casting; he originated letters, and invented the Mexican calendar. He finally returned to the land in the East from which he came: leaving the American coast at Vera Cruz, he embarked in a canoe made of serpent-skins, and 'sailed away into the east.'" (Ibid., p. 271.)
Dr. Le Plongeon says of the columns at Chichen:
"The base is formed by the head of Cukulcan, the shaft of the body of the serpent, with its feathers beautifully carved to
the very chapiter. On the chapiters of the columns that support the portico, at the entrance of the castle in Chichen Itza, may be seen the carved figures of long-bearded men, with upraised hands, in the act of worshipping sacred trees. They forcibly recall to mind the same worship in Assyria."
In the accompanying cut of an ancient vase from Tula, we see a bearded figure grasping a beardless man.
In the cut given below we see a face that might be duplicated among the old men of any part of Europe.
The Cakchiquel MS. says: "Four persons came from Tulan, from the direction of the rising sun--that is one Tulan. There is another Tulan in Xibalbay, and another where the sun sets, and it is there that we came; and in the direction of the setting sun there is another, where is the god; so that there are four Tulans; and it is where the sun sets that we came to Tulan, from the other side of the sea, where this Tulan is; and it is there that we were conceived and begotten by our mothers and fathers."
That is to say, the birthplace of the race was in the East, across the sea, at a place called Tulan and when they emigrated they called their first stopping-place on the American continent Tulan also; and besides this there were two other Tulans.
"Of the Nahua predecessors of the Toltecs in Mexico the Olmecs and Xicalaucans were the most important. They were the forerunners of the great races that followed. According to Ixtlilxochitl, these people-which are conceded to be one occupied the world in the third age; they came from the East in ships or barks to the land of Potonchan, which they commenced to populate."
3. The Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg, in one of the notes of the Introduction of the "Popol Vuh," presents a very remarkable analogy between the kingdom of Xibalba, described in that work, and Atlantis. He says:
"Both countries are magnificent, exceedingly fertile, and abound in the precious metals. The empire of Atlantis was divided into ten kingdoms, governed by five couples of twin sons of Poseidon, the eldest being supreme over the others; and the ten constituted a tribunal that managed the affairs of the empire. Their descendants governed after them. The ten kings of Xibalba, who reigned (in couples) under Hun-Came and Vukub-Came (and who together constituted a grand council of the kingdom), certainly furnish curious points of comparison. And there is wanting neither a catastrophe--for Xibalba had a terrific inundation--nor the name of Atlas, of which the etymology is found only in the Nahuatl tongue: it comes from atl, water; and we know that a city of Atlan (near the water) still existed on the Atlantic side of the Isthmus of Panama at the time of the Conquest."
"In Yucatan the traditions all point to an Eastern and foreign origin for the race. The early writers report that the natives believe their ancestors to have crossed the sea by a passage which was opened for them." (Landa's "Relacion," p. 28.)
"It was also believed that part of the population came into the country from the West. Lizana says that the smaller portion, 'the little descent,' came from the East, while the greater portion, 'the great descent,' came from the West. Cogolluda considers the Eastern colony to have been the larger. . . . The culture-hero Zamna, the author of all civilization in Yucatan, is described as the teacher of letters, and the leader of the people from their ancient home. . . . He was the leader of a colony from the East." ("North Amer. of Antiq.," p. 229.)
The ancient Mexican legends say that, after the Flood, Coxcox and his wife, after wandering one hundred and four years, landed at Antlan, and passed thence to Capultepec, and thence to Culhuacan, and lastly to Mexico.
Coming from Atlantis, they named their first landing-place Antlan.
All the races that settled Mexico, we are told, traced their origin back to an Aztlan (Atlan-tis). Duran describes Aztlan as "a most attractive land." ("North Amer. of Antiq.," p. 257.)
Samé, the great name of Brazilian legend, came across the ocean from the rising sun. He had power over the elements and tempests; the trees of the forests would recede to make room for him (cutting down the trees); the animals used to crouch before him (domesticated animals); lakes and rivers became solid for him (boats and bridges); and he taught the use of agriculture and magic. Like him, Bochica, the great law-giver of the Muyscas, and son of the sun--he who invented for them the calendar and regulated their festivals--had a white beard, a detail in which all the American culture-heroes agree. The "Samé" of Brazil was probably the "Zamna" of Yucatan.
4. We find in America numerous representations of the elephant. We are forced to one of two conclusions: either the monuments date back to the time of the mammoth in North America, or these people held intercourse at some time in the
past with races who possessed the elephant, and from whom they obtained pictures of that singular animal. Plato tells us that the Atlanteans possessed great numbers of elephants.
There are in Wisconsin a number of mounds of earth representing different animals-men, birds, and quadrupeds.
[paragraph continues] Among the latter is a mound representing an elephant, "so perfect in its proportions, and complete in its representation of an elephant, that its builders must have been well acquainted with all the physical characteristics of the animal which they delineated." We copy the representation of this mound on page 168.
On a farm in Louisa County, Iowa, a pipe was ploughed up which also represents an elephant. We are indebted to the valuable work of John T. Short ("The North Americans of Antiquity," p. 530) for a picture of this singular object. It was found in a section where the ancient mounds were very abundant and rich in relies. The pipe is of sandstone, of the ordinary Mound-Builder's type, and has every appearance of age and usage. There can be no doubt of its genuineness. The finder had no conception of its archæological value.
In the ruined city of Palenque we find, in one of the palaces,
a stucco bass-relief of a priest. His elaborate head-dress or helmet represents very faithfully the head of an elephant. The cut on page 169 is from a drawing made by Waldeck.
The decoration known as "elephant-trunks" is found in many parts of the ancient ruins of Central America, projecting from above the door-ways of the buildings.
In Tylor's "Researches into the Early History of Mankind," p. 313, I find a remarkable representation of an elephant, taken from an ancient Mexican manuscript. It is as follows: