In The Cavity of a Rock

In The Cavity of a Rock
Father Lehi

Friday, July 8, 2011

Do the Mayan and Hopi traditional stories support the idea that the Nephites and Lamanites remembered Bountiful the point of departure?

Wadi Sayq possible location for place
of departure (Bountiful)
In 1950 Elder Milton R. Hunter wrote that Tula or Tulan was Maya for "Bountiful or Abundance".  The literal translation  of Tula is "place of reeds" or "land of abundance". When compared there are obvious correlations between having an abundance or bountiful amount of something. There are two seperate recordings of the Quiche-Maya that make reference to their ancestors' old world point of departure.  These Quiche-Maya historical documents are, "The Title of The Lords of Totonicapan" and "The Popol Vuh".  The Quiche-Maya say that the old world point of departure  was Civan-Tulan, or as rendered in English, "Bountiful-in-the Ravine".  The Maya Cakchiquel, a close brother tribe of the Quiche-May also claim that their ancestors came from Tulan in the west.  The west correlation could be the direction that was traveled by Lehi and his family upon leaving Tulan or land of abundance better known as Bountiful. 

As we learn upon reading the Book of Mormon there was a land of Bountiful and a City of Bountiful that were made by the Nephites.  It was at the temple grounds in this city where the Savior descended in 3 Nephi 11.  The fact that these lands and cities were named after the original point of departure shows that the Nephites remembered and held the name and the original land of Bountiful in high esteem.  The links between some one having abundance or bountiful to me is an obvious correlation between the two words.  Also in L. Taylor Hansen's "He Walked The Americas" there are numerous traditional stories from many Native American tribes speaking of the great bearded one (that went by many names) visiting Tula or Tulan.
Masau Kachina Doll
I personally find the correlation between the other meaning for Tula "The place of the reeds" very interesting when compared to Hopi traditional stories.  In the Hopi traditional stories the creation to some degree began when the 3rd world was corrupted due to the actions and beliefs of the people.  When that world was destroyed the righteous people went to live with the ant people (this part of the story changes depending on what Mesa and who is telling the story). Eventually the world was flooded and destroyed and the righteous people sent a bird up out of a reed to get permission to live with Maasaw in the new world. They eventually were given permission and had to climb out of the reed into the new world.  Upon exiting the reed into the new world (The reed through which they emerged into this world is called the sipaapuni and is said to exist and be marked by a shrine along the Little Colorado near the Grand Canyon.  Symbolic sipaapunis are part of every kiva in each village.) the great Maasaw laid out multiple forms of corn on the cobb and had the different tribes of people pick one cobb.  It was at this point that there seem to have been some sort of confounding of races including caucasions which may directly have affected their languages.  The Hopi were given the last pick for corn and took the smallest and shortest corn on the cobb.  At this point they were given many promises due to their humble pick by the great Maasaw. 

That was obviously a very abbreviated version of the creation story to some degree but it seems to have ties to Bountiful due to the people climbing out of the reed as a beginning of their world or people.  This seems to have a possible tie to Bountiful or place of reeds and the beginning of the Nephite and Lamanite people.  The Hopi creation story also has ties to the Jaredite confounding of the tongues or creation of multiple races of people.  One can't help but picture people climbing out of a reed that is rounded like the inside of a plant and be able to compare that shape to a sphereical shape of the tower of babel that the people were attempting to climb when their languages were confounded in Jaredite times.  For more on the sphereical shape of the temples in Mesoamerica see the video by Jerry Ainsworth called, "Finding Moroni".  It seems that a sliver of truth can befound in many Native American traditional stories..the problem can be trying to decypher the myths that have created an apostate version of these stories.  Athough that can be a problem the more important thing is recognizing that there is truth in these stories that have been passed down from generation to genertion for hundreds upon hundreds of years via word of mouth.  I find that even more amazing.

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