Mrs Simon accredits most of her work to "The Antiquities of Mexico" which was a rare and costly compilation published by Lord Viscount Kingsborough. The compilation by the Viscount comprised of over seven volumes of work concerning the Hebrew origins of the Aztec Indians of central Mexico.
The first part of Mrs Simons book deals with the observations made by Spanish historians who were the first Europeans to become well familiar with the history, customs and religious traits of the inhabitants of the Mexico and Peru as well as the Carribbean. In Mrs Simon words "In order to form a just estimate of the value of testimony, it is necessary to obtain some knowledge of those who record it, since respectability and authentic sources of information constitute their claim to the attention ad regard of the reader. The duration of their (the Spaniards) sojourn, their perfect knowledge of the language, records, and antiquities of the people, whose maners and customs they narrate are all taken into consideration."
As Mrs Simon also states their was at that time two general conceptions made by the early Spanish scholars when confronted with so many Hebraic and Levitical-like customs amongst the Aztces, Mayas, Tainos, Incas as among other tribes as well. One, the obvious, that this was indisputable proof that these people were indeed direct descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel. The second; by the more skeptic (and Euro-supremacist minded) was that Satan himself had made a facsimile of the God's Holy People in this far off land we know today as the Americas. We will primarily deal with the Spanish historians who ranked themselves as advocates of the Hebraical origins theory of the Native Americans. As you will see for yourself these scholars were ranked among the most prestigious of their time and some even into this present day! They went through many endevours to see their work published despite the secrecy and reservations that abounded by the clergy and the Spanish Crown concerning the Israelitish descent of the "Indios"
Some of the historians mentioned in "The Ten Tribes of Israel" who ranked themselves as advocates of the lost tribes of Israel origins given to the American aborigines were Don Bartholomew de las Casas, Bernard de Sahagun, Gregorio Garcia, Father Joseph Gumilla, Peter Martyr and Deigo Duran to name just a few.
Mrs.Simon relates to us briefly concerning these historians and their firm belief of the above mentioned Hebraic origins of the Aztecs, Mayas, Incas, Tainos and various other tribes that were studied in the Americas.
Mrs. B.A. Simon begins with Las Casas who was the much heralded Dominican Spaniard, first Bishop of Chiapas. This prelate wrote bitter memorials which were presented to King Charles V and Phillip II in favour of the Indians against the Spaniards. Las Casas was firmly persuaded that the Indians were desceded from the Hebrews. As Mrs Simon tells us "the Bishop (Las Casas) was too rational to adopt the hypothesis embraced by such scholars as Acosta and Torquemada, that the Devil actually had counterfeited the history, laws, rites, ceremonies and customs of the Jews in the New World". Instead Las Casas firmly believed that the Hebrews had colonized America.
An issue that was brought to the forefront in "The Ten Tribes of Israel" was how the ecclesiatics of Spain (and later other nations of European descent) were not encouraged to communicate what they knew from intercourse with the natives and the perfect knowledge which they had acquired of the Mexican language, of the religion and antiquities of the American natives. This is almost as strange as the fact that the works of such enormous magnitudes written by such revered scholars such as las Casas and Bernard de Sahugun were never published.
Las Casas tells us that the reasons which induced him to undertake the work were primarily of a religious nature. Howevever he was also desirous of dictating a true history in contrast to the many false relations and misinterpretations which he complains many writers on the affairs of America had wthout any shame or remorse written.
Finally on las Casas; his works spanned six decades of history (being as how he passd it down to the order of Friars of St. Gregory in Valladoloid) Each volume (6 in total) consisted of 10 years of history regarding the W.I. islands, Peru, Yucatan, Nicaragua, Chiapas, Guatemala and Mexico. However, the fact that no portion of this intriguing work was ever published until centuries later (and very edited at that) by the order to which he bequethed it or by private individuals, cannot be ascribed to accidental causes. As Torquemada remarked once "Las Casas had many powerful enemies because he spoke great truths".
Bernard de Sahugun was one of the very first preachers in New Spain (Mexico). He was also a Franciscan Spaniard who spent 60 years amogst the Indians. He acquired a graet proficiency in the knowledge of the Aztec language and history. Sahugun, amongst his many other works was most famous for his four volume compilation entitled "General History of New Spain"
One of the many facts the Fransican had brought out in his "History" in support of the Aztecs being one of the Lost Tribes of Israel was that Monteczuma himself (King of the Aztecs) at the arrival of Hernando Cortez (Spanish Conquistador) had related to him the fact that his ancestors came from the east. Also according to historical paintings; Mexicans claimed a migration from the North East. This would totally eradicate the "Bering Strait" theory which most scholars tend to cling to when desribing the migratory paths of the American aborigines to the Americas. (Despite the fact that very little evidence has been linked to prove that theory)
Mrs Simon goes on to tell us that Sahugun complained of being forcibly deprived of a very valuble painting representing the Great Temple, with the court by which it was surrounded, which he said he had sent to Spain. It is very evident that everything in Mexico, calcuated to draw attention to the ancient history of the country, more especially if connected with religious recollections, was carefully removed from notice, immediately after the conquest. Pieces of sculpture were mutilated or burned, -temples and edifices, which from thier size, impossible to destroy, were suffered to fall to oblivion; and magnificent monuments of ancient art such as the temples of Palenque and the palaces of Mitlan were passed unnoticed by Spanish authors.
Sahaugun, when engaged in the compilation of his work,after it had een taken away from him and again restored, recieved three cautions:
1) to write nothing to prove that the Hebrews had colonized the new world
2) to be guarded in what he said of the Devils having imitated God in taking to himself a chosen people in the new world and counterfeiting the rites of the Jews
3) not to advance the hypothesis that Christianity had ever been proclaimed to the Indians or too speak too much on the Aztec/Mayan history of Quetzalcoatl ( a mythical figure amongst the natives whom resembled very much Jesus Christ)
According to Lord Kingsborough; author of "Antiquities of Ancient Mexico" many historical and scholarly works of the 16th century concerning the natives of Mexico and Peru have mysteriously been listed as "unknown" or "lost". Of Gregorio Garcia's "History of the Peruvian Monarchy"; "not a leaf has been found..." comments Kingsborough Siguenza's Mexican Cyclography is stated to have been lost as have other works pereshed through the negligence of its heirs, It has been rearked that the office of royal historiographer of the Indies does not appear to have been instituted solely for the purpose of promoting the cause of truth and the increase of knowledge: and it may further be observed that the council which took cognizance of all writers treating of America, requiring that they should be oreviuosly to publication, sbmitted to a strict censorship,with the power of recalling or prohibbitng, even after the publication of any work they see fit.
An Italian by birth; Cavalier Boturini was a highly esteemed Milanese traveller as told by Humbolt; author of "American Archeology". Boturini had crossed the seas with no other view than to stuy on the spot te history of the native tribes of America; but in transversing the country to examine its monuments and make researches into it's antiquities, he had the misfortune to fall uder the "suspicion of the Spanish government. After having een deprived of the frit of his labors, he was sent in 1736 as a prisoner of state to Madrid. The king of Spain declaed him inocen, but did not restore to him his property and this collection, the catalouge of which Boturini published at the end of his essay on the American history of New Spain, lay buried in the Archives of the University of Mexico. The valuable relics of the Aztec culture were perserved with so little care that there scarcely exists at present an eight part of the hieroglyphic records taken from the Italian traveler.
Garcia, in his famous treatise on th "Origin of the Indians", says in the 232nd page, introduction to the third book, Many have supposed and the Spaniards generally who reside in the Indies believe, that the Indies proceed from the Ten Tribes who were lost in the time of Shalamanasser, king of Assyria. This opinion is grounded on the disposition, nature and customs of the Indians, which they found very similar to those of the Hebrews and although some learned menare uinclined to assent to such a belief, I nevertheless have bestowed great diligence upon the verification of this truth. The entire of Garcia's third book "Origins of the Indians", treats accordingly of the likeness between the two nations (the Indian and the Hebrew) in their laws, their customs, their moral qualities and habits, their ceremonies, sacrifices and inclinations toward idolatary and even their early history. In the first chapter he criticizes the passage of the "Apocryphal; Book of Esdras" which induced the Jews themselves to think that they had colonized America. The manner in which they crossed from one continent to another was also a subject of discussion. In the sixth chapter which is the most curious of all, he institutes a comparision between the Jewish moral and ceremonial laws and those of the Mexicans and shows how they nearly agreed. Finally in the seventh chapter he compares the Hebrew language with that of Indian idioms and in the eight he replies to objections from Acosta.
The early Spanish writers believed that the Mexican and Peruvian government, laws and commonwealth were modelled after the manner of the Jews...."
...The analogy between many of the Mexican And Jewish superstitions afford convincing proof that they were derived from a common source....
Father Joseph Gumilla says in page 59 of his "Oronoco Illustrada"; "I affirm, that the nations of Oronoco and its streams, observed many Hebrew ceremonies, during the time of the paganism which they followed blindly and rudely, without knwing wherefore these ceremonies had been transmitted by traditions, handed down fron father to son, without their being able to assign any reason for the practice of them."
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