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.
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.