Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Olmec: when black, white, yellow and red men traveled together, 1000 years before Christ by Ken LaRive

The Olmec: When black, white, yellow and red men traveled together... 
           By: Ken La Rive

I called my friend Keith MaClean The Englishman, and he called me The Madman, and it had nothing to do with the noon-day sun. He was prim and proper, optimistic and trusting, and I looked for the potential for trouble everyplace we went. I know for a fact I saved us twice, once from a man on the street at two in the morning asking for a light, and another when Keith was having some kind of panic attack when there was an agricultural road block. Men with guns wanted to spray our tires to inhibit a coconut disease, and he would not stop the car. I had to yell in his face to wake him up, and as he rolled his window down, a man sprayed him in the face with that poison, or whatever it was. After that he said nothing when I bought and carried three switchblades...

We visited an open-air museum in the middle of Villahermosa on our way back from Palenque.  With a borrowed camera, as mine had been confiscated by Pemex employees with machine guns, I took several rolls of film with Keith's 35mm. His got his through because he lied about having it, and I'm so glad he didn't get caught. He would still be in a Mexican prison, and more than likely I would have been considered his accomplice.  Keith had been all around the world as a Mud Engineer just like me, but how he survived is anyone's guess... He was smart in many other ways, however, like he could drive ambidextrously, speak five languages, and out drink me... but his most notable talent was his infectious sense of English humor... and just a look from him would send me into convulsions. We made a good team, and not once did he ever gripe about not getting enough sleep, drinking too much, or how hot it was, as I reckon no woman could have made it an hour with us. 

                Nope, not even Maddy could have taken the heat...

The Villahermosa Olmec open air museum

I didn’t know at the time what the significance of these heads would be until I actually got back to Crowley.  There, by the direction of my friend Ms. Mier with the Acadia Public Library, I was able to gather information that led to not only some very unusual facts, but an actual revelation.

This particular head, above, was found on the Mexican coastline in a swamp called La Venta.  It was transported, all 28 spectacular sculptures of this sort, to a museum built to house them in Villahermosa.  They were in danger because the Mexican Oilfield struck oil on the site and was actually in the process of plowing it under in the quest.  The insensitive lack of respect for Mayan and Olmec culture is most despicable, and if it weren’t for the concern of brave archeologists who banded together running to the site, a lot of it would have been gone forever. They were actually able to cut through the bureaucratic red tape, which was a monumental feat in itself! We can all remember (each in our own way), that same bureaucratic red tape it took to get our boys out of Mexico last year. *I make note here of the five boys from Crowley who spent a month in a Mexican prison for crossing over the border with guns. They had been hunting, and got tied up in traffic with no place to turn around. It all went well, but that is another story...

No one knows for certain whom the Olmecs actually were, or where they came from.  People seemingly appeared on this most inhospitable site, from the sea, somewhere around 800 BC.  They were an advanced civilization, and able to etch out an existence, even to flourish for another 600 years, on an island in the middle of a swamp at the base of the Yucatan. It is truly amazing!  

Villahermousa Square where the man wanted a light... Not the same at 2 am.

It was first thought that these heads were carved to represent an Olmec god, who they venerated as half-human.  They did this animal-man blend also with every powerful animal in the area.  But most anyone who studies these heads today agrees that those expressive full lips, alert eyes, and the leather helmet, clearly shows the round face and high cheeks of a Negro. Then there were other large carvings found there with typical Caucasian features, with the long noises and full beards of that race. The slanted eyes of orientals were also represented, as shown below. As you probably know, the American Indian did not, and could not grow a proper beard of this sort... and it is now believed that these men were traveling together, and that these particular statues depicted either warriors or champions of the Olmec Ball Game. 

It was the Olmecs who brought the games that were played by the Mayans, Toltecs, Mextexs, the Aztecs, and all cultures in one form or another throughout Mexico, some 2500 years later. “The Long Count Calendar” which is the most accurate system ever devised (until this century), was based on observations of the sun for an extended period of time, first appeared with the Olmec. This calendar is so unusual that I will have to talk about it again.

And then there is the “time capsule” that was found ritualistically buried there. It took a great effort to design and produce, and even more to hide it. And why? Precious and semi-precious stones made a floor for a group of small statues and monoliths that tell the story of a culture’s beginning and reason for being.

When (Red) China finally opened its doors to the outside world, a famous oriental scholar was able to travel to Villahermosa, asking to view these precious artifacts.  He determined that indeed it was ancient Chinese writing. What was going on here? We may never know all of it, but what is being found is fascinating, and shows the unconquerable spirit of men.  It also shows that what we are as men is mostly forgotten, and somewhat misunderstood.  There is no doubt that we are great now, but we must also realize that we were great then too, as the same powerful adventure spirit that pounds in our hearts was put there by them!  Knowing this, we can forge a brave new world, and a grand future of light and promise.  Let us make our children’s children proud, found to be men of pure insight and vision, which made their world a better place.

Systematic annihilation of Maya history mimics our own by Ken LaRive

Palenque, 2005

Systematic annihilation of Maya history mimics our own               By: Ken La Rive

I’m not an archeologist, but sometimes think I should have been. I enjoy a good mystery, and I have grown to believe that history, as it is now taught, is biased, and probably just plain lies. A culture should be exceptionally careful to record and teach history accurately, and for a lot of reasons. Reading Orwell’s 1984 explained it to me... that history is written by the victor, and in that process, truth is probably gone forever. There is no better way to appreciate the bare bones of history than to travel with an open mind and adventure spirit. There, truth will present itself, if you are looking... and know this, without a truthful history, a culture has no way of seeing the future, or find roots in the past. Without a truthful history, a culture soon dies, and is easily controlled.  What happened here in the Americas is a testament to what is occurring today, as a top heavy and powerful government is rewriting history, and teaching our children.

In the Communication’s department at Loyola University, I was force-fed religious study and a dialogue (discussion) class every semester.  At the time I was pulling my hair out, but later in life I realized just how relevant it was in my everyday life, and also just what it means to be a human being in a world of lies and deceit. 

I’m sure you will agree that it is difficult to see where you are going if you have forgotten, or are being lied too, about where you have come from.  I think that some of the problems we are having in this society are directly the result of this...  the destruction of our heritage. My father told me that I should try and learn from his mistakes, as in that way I would be a whole lot further along. I see that now.  The comparative study of religion and civilization opened doors to my thinking, and first stimulated my interest in Archeology, and the Maya.

The Englishman and the madman explores Palenque, Chapas. Keith Mac Clean and Ken La Rive (the author) 2006. In our hotel bar, Villahermousa.

Speculation as to who built the pyramids in Egypt has remained a mystery no matter how much we dig and probe.  Some things are just out of the realm of memory.  So too is the Maya also wrapped in a shroud of mystery.  What stimulated these many civilizations around the globe? Within the same approximate time period they produced amazing grand structures, and complex societies that are strikingly similar, both then and now. 

Did you know that the great flood found in the Christian bible is also found in some form or another in nearly every culture around the world? Monuments were built around the world that precisely aligned with the north and south poles, the equinox of the sun, the phase of the moon and planets, that took a great deal of accurate observation, with instruments mostly lost to time.  

Surely you would think that we could duplicate it today! But how do you move giant blocks up a cliff face without leaving a scratch?  How to you build pyramids in America without the use of a draft animal for hauling, a metal cutting tool, a compass, or the invention of the wheel?  What has been found here in the Americas is just as astounding as what was going on in North Africa, Europe, China, and the Mediterranean at the same time. There was something astounding and complex manifesting itself here, and that something is still a mystery. 

It is interesting to note that the peak of the Maya culture, as found in Mexico’s Yucatan, Tabasco, Campeche, Guatemala and Honduras, actually fell 600 years before the Spanish Conquistadors and Catholic Priests showed up on the Mexican shore.  What remained, The Aztec, was painfully absorbed, influenced, or completely destroyed by the Spanish greed for gold, land, and the spread of it's moral dogma. Conquest was easy for two reasons. One: Montezuma virtually opened the gates to Cortez because he thought he was the incarnation of a man who had become a legend in Chitzen Itza hundreds of years before. A man named Kulkukan, who had influenced the culture with new ideas and architecture... attempting to change the Mayan steadfast tradition of human sacrifice.

Kulkukan was a great leader, a Toltec who had come to this strange Mayan land from the sea. Initially, he volunteered to be thrown into the cenoti, where, if you survived, was pulled out to tell of your experiences talking to the gods as you plunged deep into the dark water. He was a sailor, and so a good swimmer... When he wall pulled out by ropes, he was quickly asked what he had seen, and he was recorded to have said: "Yes, I have spoken to the gods, and they told me I am to be your leader." And he surely was... a white man with a beard...

With time, the Smoking Mirror faction of priests had him expelled from the city, but as he and his followers left, he promised he would return, as was found in what was left of the written history of the Aztec.

Montezuma, the Aztec ruler at the time of the Spanish invasion, interpreted these texts before Cortes had actually appeared, and when a runner came and told him of the white men with beards, who were riding animals, both as predicted, he was shaken to the core.  Because of this revelation, he virtually opened the gates to Cortes and his hundred or so men.  Secondly: Nine out of ten people were already dead from smallpox, influenza, and measles shortly after first contact. These Mayans were not immune to European diseases, and it was a horrible way to go.  Try to put that into perspective here in the U.S.?  How in the world could we fend off an aggressor with so much of the population gone?  It is amazing that the Mayans were able to take a stand at all.  Indeed, they did, but with the Spaniard’s more sophisticated weaponry they were able to impose their own “Spanish Order,” in a very short time, spreading this plague into South America, annihilating the Inca to the south, and the many tribes of Indians well up into Canada and Alaska, as well.

Home of the Jaguar, Chapas

In the fervor to change ideas, a Catholic Priest burned Mayan and Aztec books in great piles, while the indigenous populations lamented and cried out in the streets.  It was known that indeed, not only their heritage, but also their very way of life was going up in those flames, as anyone who opposed them were quickly put to death. One has to wonder what questions could have been answered, from their medicinal revelations to historical records?  There may have been something there that could have cured the common cold, a cure for cancer, or possibly nothing at all, but we will never know will we? Priceless golden artifacts were melted down into ingots, just to save space on the great galleons that carried it back to the church/state of Spain.  I mention this because six hundred years is indeed a long time, especially in a tropical environment where it takes little time for something organic to decay.  So the greatest majority of what was learned, Mayan knowledge, is probably lost forever.  Mayan priests kept libraries to safeguard this knowledge, but only four authentic books have survived to this date.  Hopefully, more are yet to be discovered.  There are a lot of caves in Yucatan, and scientists speculate that there may be a cache hidden, like the Dead Sea Scrolls.  I’d like to think so.   

                         Swimming the Mayan Aqueduct

Of course, everything is usually justified in the minds of those doing the dealing. The Aztec, one of the predecessors of the Maya, was thought by the Spaniards to be primitive and barbaric heathens. The Mayas did indeed practiced human sacrifice, but what comparison could be found between what was practiced in the Inquisition of that time? Montezuma was bludgeoned to death, his city and fields burned. The shedding of human blood is after all, just that.

There is so much of interest that I couldn’t scratch the surface of what the Maya were, and are today.  If you want to further study these fascinating people, read “The Maya” by Michael D. Coe, or just search “Maya” or “Lancondon” on the Internet. For a controversial and speculative book, but very stimulating, by Maurice Cotterell and Adrian Gilbert, read “The Mayan Prophecies.” It gives a comparison of world cultures that is amazing in its similarities.  Interesting aspects I will write about in the future is, The Olmec Heads, The Mayan Long Count Calendar, The Crystal Skull, The Lid of Palenque, and Transatlantic Traditions. Also, I have a poem published called “Lancondon” in a new book by Brett Axel called “Will Work For Peace: New Political Poems.”

Author's note: I was quite excited to find out that the Museum of the America was located just a block from my hotel in Madrid, and I excitedly traveled there the first day to see a Codex displayed. Unfortunately they were having a renovation on that floor, and it was blocked from visitation. Amazing that they can now charge money to Americans to view what they stole. 

The following are two poems written while exploring Mexico. 


You draw my heart to you with hooks, oh
Lancondon of selva. The last percent of humanity that
resists the Spanish fly of Chiapas under a thatched roof and
a barking dog. Where first there was laid that maggot
parasite of twisted Catholic processes, who still feed
on the wounds of their own creation. You were scourged and
mangled into oppression, but still remained resistant. 

That island of pure Mayan blood, the last five hundred, that is
the soul of Chiapus, still singing the jaguar song.

They thought your back was broken. By the heat of
white fever virus, by the heat of countless deaths in
the name of gold, by the heat of your burned books,
codex's, and hopes, all for the exchange of dogmatic truths…
and what of the drug lord? Still you cling to what you find
was never lost inside. 

What keeps you so?

Deep in la selva you drag your chains to be heard. Your
diamond patched frocks over eagle motifs still cling to the
great wheel of you ancestors. That long count calendar mark
the days by cycles of concentric spirals, repeating. You were connected with the past, a long past, and a future they say ends in 2006…

Do you ring in the new age by example? Where is your strength to survive?
The rain forest echoes of La Ruta: of DDT and AIDS,
of PEMEX trucks on mud rut roads, of coffee, banana, sorghum,cocoa and chicloros, tobacco, the filtered jewels of marijuana and coke plantations; of alcoholism and tuberculosis, malnutrition and cattle carrying parasites... 

Hachakyum, help you! “Tengo mi pistola, me mota, y mis
huevos. Entiendes mendez?

Trucha! Yo estoy hecha de otro arbol! Your hooks are deep in my swelling heart… Hide, oh Lancondon. Hide in la silva! Survive Zapatistas, and the Mexican Army. Hide from absorption, hide from genocide!

Flower King

Remember Toltec, “Feathered Serpent”,
From the setting sun his armies rent.
Taste victory cries in Nahua tongue,
From Tula to Chechen Itza won.

Kulkulkan’s flower, a jaded throne,
With feathers, of science, and of stone,
He swept his art upon the land,
And created with a civil hand.

Caracol followed Venus’ path,
And turned away god’s bloody wrath.
The cenote cleared of jaguar red,
Starved for the sacrifice it fed.

But the rift of “Smoking Mirror” blood,
Made more empty gods of sand and mud.
In offering precious lives of men,
A codex of terra-cotta ken.

He tried to quench the bonds of fear,
With sweetened flowers, of virgin tears.
Image, given by children of corn,
From Tula, where gentle gods were born.

Reflecting a “Smoking Mirror” core,
Obsidian demanded blood once more.
Hearts were rent from captive cries,
And again held beating to the skies.

Tezcatlipoca wrest his flower king,
And Quetzalcoatl fled on eastern wing.
His ideal lived long on legend’s bard,
And returned by steel of Cortes sword.

Pure Maya blood, on stucco glyphs,
Formed by constellation shifts.
Yucatan ruins in jungle jade,
For furious gods of blood well paid.