THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN & HIS HEADDRESS
We are now learning that the history of the Americas is much older, and much more complicated, than was once thought. It is quite clear that many gene pools were at work. By the time the migration of Europeans took place, it is estimated there was a population of 100 million in the Americas; 40 million in the area of Mexico and Central America, 45 million in South America, but only 10 million in Canada and the United States.
Wearers of the Headdress, also called a War Bonnet, not only admire the aesthetic value of it but attribute courage, strength, valor, honor, and leadership to the Headdress. Each feather was earned by a warrior each time the warrior did a brave or heroic act as considered by the tribe to which they belonged. The full Headdress was not worn in battle; one or two feathers were worn.
In ancient cultures, the Headdress was a symbol of who you were, and the accomplishments that the wearer made. The Headdress has long been a part of ancient cultures from around the world. They are today traditionally worn on ceremonial occasions, festivities, or aesthetically for fashion. It was worn before the Roman Empire existed which existed from 1,200 BC to 27 BC, see below:
A ROMAN WARRIOR’S HEADDRESS
The Celtic warriors from Wales, Scotland, Britain and Ireland, in addition to Egyptian Nobles (see Maya Civilization and Incan Skulls), Vikings, and Druids, also sported a Headdress before the Roman Empire was in existence. There is a Celtic population in existence today in Patagonia, Argentina, where the Celtic language is still spoken. Some of the other populations mentioned may not have sported feathers in their Headdress; such as the Aryans who prefer flowers.
An Aryan Headdress is shown in a dance by the Aryan Dard people of the Himalayan region. They also wear the Headdress to work in the fields. The Aryans are known to have left tablets with vines and flowers inscribed on them that are stored to study at a later date:
The existence of the feathered Headdresses may also show the migration of people within the Americas. We can recall these migrations in the Headdresses of the American Indians in the populations of South America, Central America, and North America that follow:
THE ANCIENT OLMEC CIVILIZATION was the first “civilization” in the Americas but not the first people. Some people came and went. Olmec civilization facts are that it became a civilization around 8,000 BC to 4,000 BC, and the civilization ended around 400 BC. However, there is evidence that Polynesians (Chapter 1 of treatise) arrived between 20,000 BC and 7,000 BC. The Olmec inhabited the area around the southern Gulf Coast of Mexico which includes the modern states of Veracruz and Tabasco. They were located farther southeast than the heart of the Aztec Empire. These people had a wide influence on the Aztec and Maya culture. The Olmec society is known for the gigantic sculpted heads that remained from the existence of their civilization, and they laid much of the foundation for civilizations that would follow. Below is one of many:
The Aztec people named them Olmec because it is the name for “rubber people”. The Olmec extracted latex from rubber trees. The name also refers to rubber balls used by the Olmec for an ancient ball game. The Olmec were said to have writing, mathematical, and calendar systems . . . but there is no proof of that. Their religion was Shamanism which honors the ability for humans to assume the powers of animals.
The Olmecs called themselves the XI or Xia . . . the same name they used when they populated China. There is mounting evidence that the Olmec Civilization had partial migrations from the Xia Dynasty of China who probably had migrated across the Bering Straits into the Americas. There is also a similarity between Xia human sacrifice in China and Olmec human sacrifices in the Americas . . . but there is no proof of that.
THE MAYA CIVILIZATION occurred from 1,800 BC to 900 AD. It was situate in Central America which includes Guatamala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. Some Maya descendants live there today. The elaborate Headdress was made to show off their elongated heads which were formed by binding the head which was fashionable in ancient Nubia, Egypt. The lower part of the skull shown on the left has the characteristics of the Neandertal species. The same skull shown on the right depicts how the Incans used bindings to elongate their heads, much as the Egyptians did. Was this fashion brought over to Central America by the Egyptians?
The Maya are known for a fully developed written language. The first written inscription in Mayan hieroglyphics dates to 250 BC. The Spanish destroyed Mayan texts and with them Mayan writing, but three books dated to that era have been preserved. The most notable monuments are the stepped pyramids they built in their religious centers. The Mayan practiced some human sacrifice but not as much as the Aztecs or Incans.
A 12,500 year old fossil of a teenage girl was found in a cave in Mexico’s Eastern Yucatan Peninsula. DNA was extracted and the skeletal remains are considered to be the oldest genetically intact human skeleton ever found in the western hemisphere. The DNA indicated she was from a lineage derived from Asian origins (see The Olmec Civilization for Chinese migrations).
The collapse and decline of the Maya occurred during the 8th and 9th centuries. No universally accepted theory explains the collapse, decline, and cessation of monumental inscriptions and large-scale architectural construction. Shortly after the first expedition of the Spanish to the region to establish a colonial presence in the Mayan territories of the Yucantan Peninsula and the Guatemalan Highlands, the Spanish initiated a number of attempts to control the Maya who were hostile towards the Spanish. However, it took some 170 years and tens of thousands of Indian auxiliaries before the Spanish established substantial control over all Mayan lands. Later, the Spanish, however, became interested instead in the reports of great riches in central Mexico and Peru.
THE INCA EMPIRE AND CIVILIZATION reigned from 1400 AD to 1532 AD. This location is South America which includes Ecuador, western and south-central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, north and north-central Chile, southern Columbia, Peru, and Brazil. It is centered on the Andean mountain ranges.
The Inca, which means king, reigned as an empire for 100 years and as a civilization to 1532. This was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. Their historic records, as with all the tribes evolving on the planet at that time, would be recorded through oral tradition, stone pottery, gold and silver jewelry, and woven in the tapestry of the people. The fabulous wealth in gold and silver possessed by these people was discovered and then systematically pillaged and plundered by Spanish conquistadores. It started with conquering South American lands by the ruler Pachacuti and ended with the coming of the Spanish in 1532.
With the appearance of the Spaniards headed by Francisco Pizarro and his entourage of conquistadors, deadly plague would soon sweep through the Inca Empire. There were diseases such as small pox, measles, typhus, and cholera. Because the Spaniards had intermingled among themselves, they came to have immunity from the diseases while the Inca and the Aztec people, clinging to themselves, did not. The American Indian Nations of all of the Americas had not been exposed to these diseases and quickly suffered high mortality rates. With the aid of disease and also deceit from the Spaniards, Pizarro acquired vast amounts of gold. Spanish culture, religion, and language rapidly replaced Incan life, and only a few traces of Inca ways remain in the native culture as it exists today.
Accounts were written by the Spaniards of a child sacrificial ceremony that was referred to as “capachocha”. Both male and female children were sacrificed to placate the Gods after they were given a drink to minimize the experience. In the Andean mountains, skeletons have been found of small children and teens fifteen years of age. Children were chosen because they were deemed pure. Both Inca and Aztec people used the sacrificial ceremony which probably stemmed from the Olmec people. Below is a sample of a Headdress used in sacrificial ceremonies:
THE AZTEC CIVILIZATION reigned between 1200 AD to 1521 AD. This location generally may mean the seven lands of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah which was taken over by the United States after the Mexican-American War of 1846. The Aztecs were from Aztlan and Aztecs means “people from Aztlan”. Below are drawings of the Aztec migration that the Aztecs claim were the areas from which they migrated. It seems to suggest the seven states in what is now the United States.
Shown is the actual Headdress of Aztec Emperor Montezume II. The first emperor was named Moctezums who reigned from 1440-1469. Emperor Montezume, which spelling of the same name is different from Moctezums to denote the different timespan, reigned from 1502-1520. He was the last emperor, and it was through this emperor that the Spaniard, Hernando (also known as Hernan) Cortez, caused the fall of the Aztec Empire.
The Spanish colonized this area, and the Aztecs wandered until they found their new homeland of Mexico at which time the Aztecs called themselves “Mexica” (pronounced me-shee-ka) or people from Mexico. It is not known whether this history is mythical or a reality as the only records the historians have are oral. The history is rather ambiguous and requires individual searches if one needs or desires to learn more. Human sacrifices appear to be the reason given by Spaniards to attempt to destroy the empire so completely. It is believed that as late as the 19th Century a child was sacrificed at one of the Aztec temples.
Aztec and Inca civilizations are believed to have flourished at approximately the same time in history. Some of the pyramids that were attributed to these people existed before the Aztec civilization . . . perhaps from the Olmec civilization. The pyramids or temples were called Teocalli or god Houses by the Mexica people of North America.
This post was longer than usual due to the importance of sharing the time element of the thread of Ancient American Indian Culture. The next blog post shall be the last in this series of “Evolution of Mankind”. It shall continue with the North American Indians other than the North American Mexica people. After that we shall pursue the study of Body/Mind or the importance in our Earthly life of the Pineal Gland in the endocrine system situate in the mental area of the human body. It is also referred to as the “crown chakra” in Hindu studies.