In The Cavity of a Rock

In The Cavity of a Rock
Father Lehi

Monday, November 15, 2010

Genetic traits possible link between Hopi and converted Lamanites (Anti-Nephi Lehies)?

Albinism Among the Hopi Indians in Arizona

The variation in frequency of generalized albinism in various human populations constitutes an intriguing problem in population genetics. The overall frequency in European populations has been given as 1 in 20,000 (1946) with estimates varying from 1 in 10,000 in Norway to 1 in 29,000 in Italy and perhaps lower in france.

In a book entitled Physiological and Medical Observations Among the Inidans of Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico, by Ales Hrdlincka (1908) devoted a section to albinism. In 1906 he studied the Hopi Indians in Arizona and found 11 albinos from ten sibships among an estimated population of 2,000. This gives a frequency of 1 in 182. In addition Hrdlincka thoroughly described the albinos. He also noted that the Zuni pueblos a related tribe just east of the Hopi had a population of 6 albinos as well.

In 1961 Charles M. Woolf and Robert B. Grant from the Department of Zoology at Arizona State University (Tempe Arizona) set out to re-test these statistics. Fortunately many informants were found who were willing to help in supplying the names of albinos and in the construction of pedigrees. At the time there were 22 Hopi Albinos. The frequency is 1 in 227, using the estimated population size of 5,000.
Soon after the study was initiated it was realized that present day Hopis attach no religious signficance to albinos. At no time did an informant give any indication of belief that a village has "good luck" if any albino resides in it or that an albino has "supernatural influences"; thus, any rumors to this effect are apparently false. Albinos are viewed today as any other individuals with congenital defects; they are well integrated into Hopi society. In fact, they are frequent performers in the elaborate Hopi ceremonies and dances, as many tourists can testify.

There are many theories in regards to why these numbers are so skewed, including population control through the history of the Hopi until about the 1960's when highway 264 was made and made it easier for people to travel to the Hopi Rez and for the Hopi to travel outside of the Rez. In posting this information my purpose is to throw out an idea in regards to the changes made in the body to cause a human to become albino.
Albinism is a defect of melanin production that results in little or no color (pigment) in the skin, hair, and eyes. There are two main types of albinism:
Type 1 albinism is caused by defects that affect production of the pigment, melanin.
Type 2 albinism is due to a defect in the "P" gene. People with this type have slight coloring at birth. Since there is obviously an actual genetic change that is more common place among the Hopi and Zuni or Pueblo Nations the question arises as to why? or How?
The Book of Mormon speaks of possible genetic changes that took place mainly upon the Lamanites. In 2 Nephi 5 Jacob shares some information about the curse that took place as the Nephites seperated themselves from the Lamanites. He says, speaking about the Lords treatment of the Lamanites, "and he caused a cursing to come upon them, yeah, even a sore cursing,because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them." He later states that, "they did become an idle people" It seems as though the curse was to not be in the presence of the spirit of the Lord it didn't actually effect the skin color. There is a difference between the mark and the curse. The mark placed upon the Lamanites was a dark skin (Alma 3:6). The curse was not the dark skin but being "cut off from the presence of the Lord" (2 Nephi 5:20). Notice that in both Alma 3:7 and Alma 3:14 the conjunction "and" is used between the curse and the mark. This implies that they are not the same thing. The people brought the curse upon themselves: "And even so doth every man that is cursed bring upon himself his own condemnation" (Alma 3:19) Through righteousness the curse may be removed, but the mark may remain as it has with the Lamanites. It the case of repentence there were many times where the mark may have had a reverse effect keeping the righteous Lamanites from mingling with wicked Nephites.
In Alma 23:17-18 speaking about the changes that took place among the Anti Nephi Lehies it states.
17. And it came to pass that they called their names Anti-Nephi Lehies; and they were called by this name and were no more called Lamanites.18. And they began to be a very industrious people; yeah, and they were friendly with the Nephites; therefore, they did open a correspondence with them, and the curse of God did no more follow them.
Also in 3 Nephi 2: 14-16 it states,
14. And it came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites;
15. And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;
16. And their young men and their daughters became exceedingly fair, and they were numbered among the Nephites, and were called Nephites. And thus ended the thirteenth year.
The above scriptures seem to be speaking of both a physical and spiritual changes that took place . Although I don't think that albinism is a direct cause of the removal of the mark my question is would it be possible for this to be indirectly related to the removal of the mark. Could it be possible that the genetic transformations that took place in the Book of Mormon along with hundreds of years of mixing with others to whom these same changes had taken place along with those who were still part of the mark could cause a rare genetic condition (skin and pigment condition) that would manifest itself in these Pueblo people?
As evidence of a physical change that can take place upon conversion I quote from Joseph Smith jr. out of the History of the Church, speaking about the Blood of Abraham
"This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. In such cases, there may be more of a powerful effect upon te body, and visible to the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Genile in pure intelligence." (HC 3:380)
(top) Albino Hopi Mana Middle Mesa.
(2nd from top) 2nd from the right on the bottom is an albino Hopi Flute Priest.
(3rd from top) Close up of the albino Hopi Flue Priest.
(4th from top) Group of 10 year old Hopi girls including one albino.
(5th from top) Two Zuni men one on the left is albino.
(6th from top) Zuni boys, the one on the right is albino not white.


  1. When you have time please visit my blog . I read a couple of your articles and I believe we are both on the same track regarding the Hopi and the Book of Mormon. I came to believe the Hopi were descendants of the Nephites simply based on their knowledge of the four worlds and other traditions.

  2. Hey I've visited your site in the past and I like where your going with it. I must admit though that I don't put any weight on the Menintah Archives, I guess the spirit just didn't testify to me after a whole lot of reading on those.