Posted May 11, 2010
The Golden Library
Prior to our leaving the Quiche country, Chi Chi Sum a made mention of the Golden Library that was located somewhere up in Yucatan country, and told us a group of Indian people was in possession of the knowledge of the Golden Library. He also informed us that if we were seeking knowledge of the Golden Library, we were to relate to their leader, whose name was Itzla Chelan, and we were to tell him of our having been accepted and adopted by the Chigaraguan people and about our being accepted and adopted by Chi Chi Suma, and the part we had in the Fire Dance and also to take a message of good will to Itzla Chelan and his people from Chi Chi Suma and the Quiche people.
After leaving the ruins of Tical, we treked into Guatemala and worked at the City of Coban. Since the area around Coban had been gone over with a fine tooth comb by other explorers, we found very few artifacts. All other data found by us had been previously reported by those who had preceded us to the spot.
Traveling north by east, we went through Mestiquea country where we found very few ruins, and those few we did find were so badly deteriorated that no artifacts were found there. We touched near the border of British Honduras, and from the Indian people there heard many stories in regard to a group who inhabited the Campeche, Quintana Roo country.
Being much interested in the stories we heard regarding the Golden Library that was in the possession of these Indian people known as the Tzichallas, and whose leader is known as Itzla Chelan, we entertained 20
ideas of visiting them. These people live within no specified boundary or reservation, but are just on the move, truly a nomadic race. They move at their pleasure and leisure, staying two or three or even five or more days at one place before moving on. During the rainy season, they may remain at one spot at least two months, and sometimes longer, perhaps three months. Game, fruits, and vegetables are abundant, as well as fish and fowl. Therefore they are not tied down to farming nor to any specific form of livelihood that would keep them in one place.
The more tales we heard in regard to this group of people, the more we became interested. Finally, it was decided to penetrate into their country and to get as much data as possible on this tribe, but our main interest was the Golden Library.
Not long after our departure from the Honduras border, we encamped near the city of San Felipe. Here we gathered as much information as we possibly could regarding the whereabouts of the Tzichalla people. Getting no information as to their whereabouts, we penetrated deeper into the jungle country, coming at length to Lake Aguada Corina, not far from which we contacted a small group of Otopec Indians, who told us the location of Itzla Chelan and his people. The two hours spent with the Otopecs were pleasant and informative as the group was very friendly.
The route to Tzichalla country brought us into the most uninhabited part of the jungle we had ever been through. Animal life was abundant making this a perfect hunters’ paradise. The spot where Itzla Chelan and his group were then encamped was surrounded by deep swamps and such thick underbrush that the difficulty with which it was reached made it seem more isolated than any other part of the country. The entire strip of highland was surrounded by almost impenetrable entwining vines and vine-like trees. 21
As the entire trip had to be made on foot, one could not expect to cover very much ground in a day’s trek, so the small hunting party we came upon a few days later was warmly welcomed. In a very short time they became quite friendly, inviting us to join their group, sharing with us their game, and exchanging sign-talk with us. Their invitation to accompany them to their leader, Itzla Chelan, was accepted without any hesitation.
Although many of the hunters were laden with the fruits of their hunt, they offered to assist us with our traveling equipment. Traversing the few miles from the hunters’ camp, we came upon a large clearing within which were a number of huts crudely constructed of jungle growth, vines, leaves, and grasses woven into mat-like material.
Immediately upon our arrival there, the women took charge of the game brought in by the hunters, and set to work to prepare it for a feast. The pride of the individual at once made itself manifest in the cleanliness and modesty of dress, and the orderly cleanliness of their surroundings. There were no piles of debris visible, and the ground about the huts was swept clean leaving a brick hardness to the earth.
All the people seemed friendly, none appeared to be suspicious of our group being there. As soon as the hunters were relieved of their burdens, the leader of the party invited us to come with him to the largest hut. When we arrived at the door, the hunter asked us to remain outside while he entered. He was in the hut only a very few minutes before he reappeared followed by Itz la Chelan, who, after greeting us cordially, invited us to enter into his hut. Paul and I entered the hut, leaving the other members of the expedition on the outside with the hunting party. 22
For a short time we conversed with the chief in the sign language because neither Paul nor I had yet mastered their language enough to speak it fluently. The chief was a large man of very striking appearance, with intelligence and wisdom far superior to that of other leaders with whom we had come in contact.
Remaining in the village for a short period, becoming accustomed to their habits and ways of living Paul and I finally broached the subject of the Golden Library. Two of his advisers were present when we spoke to Itzla Chelan of this subject, and we immediately noticed the change of attitude of all three of them. The conversation carried on among all three of them was switched from their own native tongue to one that was strictly foreign to Paul and me. During the course of the conversation, the leader would question us in the sign language. We would answer and our reply in turn, would be spoken to the two advisers in the foreign language.
After a while the two advisers went out, leaving Paul and me alone with the leader. Be conversed further with Paul and me for a little while, then informed us that we would have to remain there for some time before he would speak of the Golden Library any more. He neither encouraged nor discouraged our hope of hearing about the library. We readily accepted his invitation to remain. Taking our leave of him, we hurried to inform the others of his decision and our plans.
During the following ten days that we were their guests while they were camped at this spot, the leader and T never mentioned the Golden Library. On the eleventh day he informed us that they were about to move, and for us to make preparations for the move if we cared to remain with them. We informed the rest of our party of the invitation, and the following morning we accompanied them to the next camp site, arriving after four days on the move. 23
The eight days spent at this site were devoted to bunting, resting, playing games, just as at the last camp site. But not once during the eight days did Itzla Chelan make any mention of’ the Golden Library. We were again invited to accompany them to the next camp site, which we readily accepted, for we knew that they were going through worse jungle country than we had previously been through.
We were on the move five days before we reached the next place, where we remained for twenty-seven days. After A couple of days of much needed rest, we resumed our daily routine with them as we had at the other two camps.
On the ninth day, Itzla Chelan asked us into his hut. When we arrived there he immediately started the conversation and was soon on the subject we had waited so long to discuss -the Golden Library. The trend of the conversation was toward Paul and me in regard to the Golden Library, but not once did he refer to other members of our party. He asked us many questions about ourselves as well as about the people from our Indian country.
We gave him a brief sketch of our lives, which he enjoyed immensely, especially of our exploration and research work. He was very deeply interested in the ways of living of other Indian people, which we minutely described to him. Toward the late evening be called a halt to our conversation and informed us that he would send for Us later on that night. Paul and I had explained to the other members of our expedition what had taken place, which seemed to bring a ray of encouragement to all of them.
We had about given up hope of his sending for us that night, when there came a call from the outside of our hut, informing Us that Itzla Chelan wished to speak with us. We were greeted cordially by him and 24 25
his two advisers. The conversation was resumed with much the same trend as it had been earlier that night.
Paul and I mentioned Echa Tah Echa Nah in connection with our exploration, and a greater interest was at once perceived. He questioned us in minute detail about the Chigaraguan people. In the course of our description of the White Indian people and how we had been accepted by them we told him of our adoption into the tribe and our invitation to return to the Chigaraguan people any time we so desired.
It was then be agreed to explain about the Golden Library in minute detail. Giving us his promise to return the next night and tell us his story, we all retired. Paul and I were so highly elated that we had to awaken the other members of the expedition. We gleefully related the degree of success we had attained that night. We slept soundly, but awoke the next morning earlier than usual with a song in our hearts and happiness in our minds. A few hours hence we would know whether or not what we had been seeking was only , a legendary myth, or the truth and a fact.
Late in the afternoon we became impatient, wishing for the night to fall, as we were eager to hear Itzla Chelan’s story. After what seemed an eternity, night settled over the jungle and Itzla Chelan’s messenger stood silhouetted against the high tropical moon, delivering his request for us to join him in his hut. Paul and I were seated facing Itzla Chelan and his two council members, and the story began. As the significance of the story unfolded, Paul and I became so deeply engrossed that the thin streaks of dawn were coloring the sky before we realized the passage of time.
The same description of the Golden Library that he gave to us will not be attempted, but to the best ability of the writer, all that possibly can be told without breaking a sacred trust, will be passed on.
Itzla Chelan started off by extracting from us a vow that we would never divulge to any one all of the information that we had received from him. He described to us that this vast library contained all the history of the world from the beginning of time up to the present day, and also into the future.
Knowing that Paul and I were of Indian blood, he talked more freely about many of the recordings that had actually happened during his lifetime as leader of the people. Be even reached farther back into the past to the first book that was written at the beginning of time. All great and notable events that had happened were mentioned.
Paul and I were very much interested when he told us that the vast library had been brought to the western world from the old world. These records contained all the history of the old world from the beginning up to the time the records were brought to the new world. From that time hence, a record of all important events have been added as they occurred up to the present time. These books contain all the data and history of Peru, Ecuador, Columbia and some parts of Brazil. From what he described to us, we were under the impression that there was also a story pertaining to Central America, their advancement and progress up to the time of the Spanish invasion.
What information we received from ltzla Chelan indicated that these records were in possession of the Inca people at one time During the time of the Spanish invasion, they were smuggled out of Peru prior to the fall of the Inca civilization. For some time the records were in Peru, also in Columbia, but they were guarded with the utmost secrecy and kept on a continual move, always ahead of the Spanish Conquistadores. They were brought up into Central America, and at one time were in the care of the Maya, and later on were in care of the Toltecs, finally coming into possession of the Aztecs. 26
During the time of Cortez’s invasion, they were smuggled out of what is now Mexico City, taken by day and by night by a group who vowed to always see that these records were safely kept. and to guard them with their lives. About the time of the fall of the Aztec nation, they were taken to a place of secrecy, known only to but a very choice few. where they have been hidden and guarded, and where they are now located. The exact hiding place of this priceless library is known to only a handful of the highest and most elect leaders of the Indian people of the Western Hemisphere.
Many things that Itzla Chelan mentioned during this conversation with us, will have to be omitted for as Itzla Chelan had at the beginning of his story sworn us to absolute secrecy, we again at the close of his talk took our vow, and this sealed our lips forever about certain portions of his talk to us.
We Are Witnesses
After receiving our pledge, Itzla Chelan agreed to take us to a spot where we could have the great honor and privilege of seeing one of the books of the Golden Library. We were very happy over his promise. Dismissing the two council members, Itzla Chelan told Paul and me that we would start on our journey the following afternoon. He bade us goodnight with his blessings and asked us to make preparations to leave toward sundown.
Leaving Itzla Chelan, Paul and I went directly to the other members of our party who were very much disappointed when they learned that only we two would have the privilege of seeing this one book of the Golden Library. Paul and I slept, the others talked among themselves about the prospective trip. At noon we awoke and made the necessary preparations to accompany Itzla Chelan and his party, meanwhile becoming quite restless as the afternoon wore on toward evening.
As the sun was setting, we left our camp site traveling on very unfamiliar pathways through the jungle, but the other members of the party seemed to know this particular trail very well. We traveled through the biggest part of the night, making camp just at daybreak where we rested until mid-morning.
The other members of ltzla Chelan’s party were ready to eat again when he called us out of a very deep sleep. Everyone ate heartily of our second hastily prepared cold breakfast. After traveling that way for five days and nights, on the sixth morning, Itzla Chelan notified us that we were getting very near the end of our journey. By this time we had 29 28
come out of the swamp lands and jungle growth onto higher terrain, which was more like desert land in many places. Surrounding this desert land was a small area of what appeared to be lava rock, or some sort of volcanic substance.
One of the council members broke the news to Paul and me that the rest of the way we were to be blindfolded, regretting that this would make that part of the journey very difficult for us. dust before we stumbled blindly along on the last leg of our journey, we asked of the whereabouts of Itzla Chelan, and we were informed by one of the council members that he had gone ahead, leaving the two councilmen and two of the safari to assist Paul and me along the path.
After explaining the necessity for the blindfold, the council member bade us close our eyes. He then placed large folded papaya leaves over our eyes, and placed on top of the leaves a heavily woven band, securing it in a fashion that it was impossible for any light to penetrate.
Soon we were on the march, one of the councilmen and one of the safari assisting me and one of the councilmen and one of the safari assisting Paul. Our assistants were very thoughtful, when there was an unusually high step, one of them would tell us to be ready for the next step, and so eased the jolting considerably. On going down the sharp inclines, one of them would step in front of us, place our hands on his shoulders, and the other would step behind us, with his hands on our shoulders, guiding us as we kept in step.
After stopping to rest many times, we came to the end of what seemed to be an endless chain of high mountains, low valleys, mucky swamp lands, and desert land. For five hours we had walked through the disturbing terrain before being informed that our journey had come to a close. This was, indeed, welcome news.
We were assisted into a sitting position where our blindfolds were removed making us much more comfortable. As soon as our eyes became accustomed to the light, Itzla Chelan warmly welcomed us and motioned for us to follow him, lie led us a short distance through thick jungle growth to a small clearing. On the far side of the clearing two white blankets were suspended from the low branches of the trees. Immediately in front of these blankets was an altar-like pedestal covered with another white blanket upon which rested, unopened, one of the books of the Golden Library!
Opposite Paul and me, and on the other side of the pedestal, took Itzla Chelan with his two councilmen. The two members of the safari who had assisted Paul and me along the trail, were nowhere to be seen. Itzla Chelan invited Paul and me to examine the book, which we did with very great reverence.
The top and bottom covers of the book were of a white marble-like stone about a quarter of an inch thick. These pieces of stone measured about ten inches long. Between these two thin slabs of stone were the leaves, which were about nine and one-half inches wide and thirteen inches in length. The leaves of this book were composed of metal, which Paul and I took to be brass or copper of a very light hue.
As we lifted the book we knew immediately by its weight that its leaves were not made of gold. These leaves were about the thickness of three or four sheets of ordinary bond typing paper. The book was held together by three small metal rings spaced equally apart at the back of the book. At the center top, and center bottom, as well as the center front, were placed additional rings like those in the back of the book, holding it closed together.
We were permitted to open the book and examine its contents. By unlocking and lifting out the rings 30 31
in the center front, top and bottom, the exquisitely polished stone cover was turned back, exposing the very finely hammered metal plates. Delicately chiseled into the metal sheets were characters which Paul and I, during any part of our career, had never seen anything exactly like it.
Turning page after page, we saw these curious characters and questioned Itzla about them. He casually shrugged his shoulders, smiled and said, “That is the written Voice that spoke sometime close to the beginning.
When asked if there were any other books that resembled this one, he very readily answered that there are many others from whence this one came; many of them larger, but none smaller than this one. There are many different tongues that are used in the remaining ones. Wishing to press him no farther, we refrained from questioning him about the others, for we were highly elated over being privileged to see this one book.
Near sundown Paul and I were still deeply engrossed in the book but Itzla Chelan told us that we :should make ready for the night as we would remain at this spot until morning. We obediently went about the task of making ourselves comfortable for the night, then went over to look upon this book again. Soon darkness overtook us and we settled down to sleep. Prior to our retiring, we both distinctly remember seeing the book on the blanket, and the other two blankets hanging from the trees which we spoke of before going to sleep.
Upon awakening the next morning, we were greeted by Itzla Chelan and the other members of our party. Looking at once to the spot where the Golden Library book had rested the night before, we saw no trace of its having been there. Seeing our wistful glance, Itzla Chelan told us that during the night he had re- turned it to its place among the other books of the Golden Library which remained hidden somewhere in that country.
After a rather leisurely breakfast, we made preparations to return to Itzla Chelon’s people and the other members of the expedition. The blindfolds were again placed over our eyes before departure for our return trip, and we were informed by one of the councilmen that we would return over the same route that we had taken to bring us to our present whereabouts.
Our having traversed this trail made it no easier to travel under the same conditions. After numerous rests and traveling all day, our blindfolds were removed by Itzla Chelan in the late afternoon. Making camp here the first night, we traveled unblindfolded for the next few days and nights, resting for a short time at long intervals, and after an uneventful trip found ourselves back in Itzla Chelan’s country with our friends.
The success of our trip greatly excited our expedition party. We had been gone fifteen days and they were becoming concerned about our safety. Putting their fears at rest, we described our adventure through the biggest part of the night. We told them all that has been told here, and after they seemed well satisfied at hearing our experiences, we all retired for a much needed sleep.
The following morning we went about our daily routine as we had done before with Itzla Chelan’s people. Three days later we were informed that we were to prepare to move again the following day. Upon arising the following day, we were called before Itzla Chelan. After our usual opening greetings that lasted about thirty minutes, he informed Paul and me that he would send an escort to take us back to the point from which we started prior to our coming into Itzla Chelan’s country. 32
We prepared at once to depart. He gave us all a very fine send off, and invited Paul and me to visit him again at a later date. After twelve days of uneventful travel, our escort told us that their part of the journey was ended awl they were to return to Itzla Chelan. After a brief farewell, they were going back to their people and we were returning to the “civilized world” again. Our mission had been successfully completed.
Back to Echa Tah Echa Nah
(“Wherefore, I will that all men shall repent for all are under sin, except those which I have reserved unto myself, holy men ye know not of. ” (See Doctrine and Covenants, 498. ) These are they -NCP.
After completing Five expeditions with the various organizations mentioned heretofore, Paul and I decided to freelance. We obtained a two year permit to do research and archaeological work in Old Mexico. After freelancing in Mitla, Monte Alban, Ticul, Pugil, Tecas, Uxmal and Palenque, we decided to abandon our trip and return to the land of the Chigaraguans.
Fifteen days later found us with this charming group quietly celebrating our return. Within a few days we had accustomed ourselves and settled down to the quiet, peaceful living of this people. Daily we would assist the various craftsmen such as the weavers, pottery makers, leather workers and herdsmen, and visit the farmers and other people in nearby communities.
Our work with the weavers consisted of either Paul and I carding or spinning wool, setting up looms or bleaching and washing the wool. Many times we would weave the sides, arms, or backs of the robes worn by all the tribe. 34 35
Pottery work consisted of our mixing clay. Often we patterned and made in our very crude way, bowls, VASQS, and other useful articles. The pottery workers themselves are highly skilled craftsmen in their art; therefore Paul and I offered no serious competition. Their blending of clay and lire baking is without any parallel. All of their products are made to near perfection of modern fire baking, even though they use the primitive methods which they have followed from the beginning.
Plates are a trifle larger than our ordinary dinner plates. Instead of using saucers with the cups they have little bowls the cups sit in. The contents of the cups are poured into the little bowl and sipped. Beautiful and intricate designs, both geometrical, and plant, bird and animal life are used in decorating these priceless artifacts. Three predominating colors are used -blue, shell pink, and golden yellow; these being blended into soft pastel shades against a white background.
Before baking the pottery ware, and while the clay is still wet, the designs are cut into the clay with a sharp instrument, the color desired pressed into the grooves with the fingertips, and finished with a fine wooden instrument to prevent spreading while making. The finished product is an exquisite example of intricate inlay work.
During the periods when there is no immediate need of pottery by the people, the designers plan and make various pieces of pottery to be used for ornamental purposes. Wall plaques are of a more elaborate design than that used on the dinnerware. As an example of some of the beautiful designs carried out on these plaques, the bird pattern is average.
After the colors have been baked into the clay, feathers from the bird depicted in the design, are glued onto the plaque making the pattern appear lifelike. However, before the feathers are attached to the plaque, they are bleached and dyed in one of the three colors. No other colors are used. Dark brown or black are strictly taboo. Harsh colors are never seen. Other designs are carried out in the same way. By the exactness and precision of their geometrical patterns, one would think they have all the modern facilities of exacting measurements. However, all is done in their crude, simple way.
Leather working is of quite simple methods. The tanning of the leather is done under the same method as Indians of old have followed. All leather is bleached white that is used for making their pack-boots. All other leather that is used for making harness and other articles is left in its natural color. No leather work has any kind of design on it.
The farmers and herdsmen are really one and the same, as the herding is done in rotation by each farmer for his neighbor as it comes his turn. All goats are tended by one person, horses by another, turkeys by still another, sheep and all others likewise. Each herdsman leaves his farm work on the day he is to tend the herd. During his absence from the farm, his next door neighbor tends to the herdsman’s place, doing his chores for that one day. Paul and I took our turns along with the others in all these things. 1
During the nine months and sixteen days that we lived with the Chigaraguan people, Paul and I were
1) These people have a perfect United Order and do not use money as they have no need for it. Natoni Nexbah related that when he offered Echa Tah Echa Nah some Mexican pesos for some moccasins that he admired, they were rejected with this soft reproach. “My son, our hills are full of that metal. We find it useful only for tools and ornaments. ” –NCP. 36 37
given a small home by Echa Tah Echa Nah. It was crude and simple and very comfortable, but lacking the modern conveniences and facilities we had known in our world. Radios and electricity, are unknown, as well as many of the comfort giving luxuries that are to be had in the so-called civilized world. The cooking was done en a very crude clay stove in the yard, and all other houses are so arranged. Foods are cooked outside to eliminate the heat and odors of food remaining in the houses.
At the close of the day, after all the chores and work are completed, it has been the custom from the beginning of the Chigaraguan people for each community to gather around a huge fire. After the fires have been lit, discussions of the events of the day are followed by the muffled tones of the tom toms, accompanied by the people singing and chanting their native songs. The grownups who feel quite gay and the children dance and sing to the music of the reed-blowers and the tom toms.
As the fires die out, the deep-throated crooning of lullabies drifts on the soft, blossom-scented night breezes. As the children drop off to sleep and are carried to their homes, quietude settles over the moon-bathed village. The firelighter is the last to leave. He chats softly with those who linger near the last glowing embers of the bonfire. When he has completed his task of extinguishing the last glowing embers, each bids the other pleasant dreams and turns homeward with a singing heart.
The reed-blowers as well as the tom tom drummers have no written music, yet the pattern of harmony and timing is very enthralling. Their music is sweet and plaintive and truly beautiful. To the writer, the high notes of the reeds seemed only a whisper, yet were quite clear, and are most touching and lovely. The memories of each night that Paul and I shared with these people around the huge fires are held very dear and reverently in our hearts.
Those serene and trusting people welcomed Paul and me, not only into their social life, but also expected us to enter into their religious activities with as much dignity and grace. On various parts of their homeland we found their temples of worship, and we were permitted to enter them at any time we desired.
Upon entering the temple, the seating arrangement of the congregation differs greatly from ours. All the men are seated on one side of the building, and the ladies on the opposite side, while the children are seated in the center section. These meetings are held in deep reverence, and the services last from one and a half hours to two hours. No one, not even the children shows the least bit of restlessness.
The meetings are usually presided over by one of the council members, who opens with prayer, followed by a short, simple prayer by each child, who gives a gentle tap on his chair as the signal to the next child that it is his turn to pray. Upon completion of prayer by the children, the ladies pray, tapping their signals as the children did. When the ladies’ prayers are completed the men pray in the same manner.
When prayer services are finished, many things are discussed, both religious and social, among the people with their leader. All their problems are solved at this one great place of meeting. For deeper and more sacred religious rituals, all the people gather at the Most Sacred Temple, which is used for religious purposes only.
In this Temple the most sacred rites are administered, such as marriages, baptisms, blessings, and the last rites for the dead. Every thirteenth and twenty-sixth day is set aside for the gathering of the people
into this Most Sacred Temple. Always present at the meetings is Echa Tah Echa Nah, their leader, Yin Nah Sha, his first counselor; Aban liar, his second counselor; his twelve council members, and the tribal historian.
A complete record is made of all the activities that take place during these meetings. These records are written on doe skin and painstakingly preserved by the tribal historian for future reference in all time to come. Later on I will go into intricate detail of other religious activities in which Paul and I had the honor and pleasure of participating.
Echa Tah Echa Nah, The Man
THE MIGHTY AND WISE ONE
“. . and he shall be magnified over all the world. “
(The Testament of Levi. )
THE SACRED LIBRARY
A small room adjoining the Most Sacred Temple has been set aside for the library where all the records of both sacred and historical nature are kept. These are records pertaining to the Chigaraguan people from the beginning of their history up to the present time. They date back prior to 480 B. C. , and have been written on parchment and skins, some upon metal plates. Records are there in many of the old world languages of ancient times, such as Sumerian, Cuthic, Aryan, Chaldean, Sanskrit, Hittite, First and Second Hebrew, Assyrian; First, Second and Third Egyptian, as well as Moabite. Many are written in hieroglyphics, pictographs, and petroglyphs, as well as those written at later dates, or in modified versions of these languages. Many times Paul and I went there with Echa Tah Echa Nah who read to us and described to us many events of the long, dead past.
Since Echa Tah Echa Nah has not been described previously, this opportunity will be taken to introduce him to our readers so you will understand and know why all Indian people hold him in such great reverence like they do. He is not a giant of a man, however, he stands at a height of about six feet three inches. His weight is approximately two hundred and thirty pounds. He has a very beautiful carriage, very straight and erect, moving along with such grace that he seems to glide rather than walk. It would he hard to believe that he has reached the advanced age of ninety, which he was at the time that we were visiting him. (1936).
A lion head rests upon massive shoulders, his hair is abundant and snow white, worn similar to the Navajo with a large bob bound with wool yarn at the back of his head. The characteristics of his face show calmness and serenity, and very great kindness yet one can readily know that he has the ability to be very stern, firm and hard. His eyes are the most commanding feature, changing in color from dark blue to black, brown, or hazel, depending upon the depth of emotion brought about by the subject under discussion. 4o
It is at once apparent that he is a man of divine inspiration and wisdom. Paul and I were amazed when we learned of his vast knowledge of the various ancient languages, his ability to translate fluently and at random any one of the long dead tongues found in the mammoth library. Regardless of the ancient manuscript from which he was reading, he could translate into the Aztecaza language. He also speaks numerous modern languages, conversing with me in all those known to me and others that I did not know.
He discussed with us many things pertaining to the Chigaraguan people, their mode of living, their laws, religion and beliefs in the past as well as the present. He dwelt at length upon great events that had occurred from the beginning up to the present, and far into the distant future. The longer we stayed and became more acquainted with their beliefs and customs, the deeper he delved into the past, even hack to the Ancient of Ancients.
Christ’s Visit To America
Our visits to the quiet, mellow library became more frequent. At these times he would describe the most sacred events that had occurred to the people. His description of Christ’s visitation was the most thrilling of all those he related to us. The night before he started to describe this visit to us, we met in the library, and he said at the rising of the sun we would meet and go into the Most Sacred Temple for prayer. Just at sunrise the following morning we met at the designated place, having arising earlier and eaten a hearty breakfast. We entered into the Temple and prayed. After praying we remained in the Temple for meditation, then returned to the library.
While Paul and I seated ourselves, he brought from a small receptacle a large white doeskin, which he unrolled and spread on the table before him. The tribal historian joined us almost at once, and while he was seating himself, Ecba Tah Echa Nah, touching lightly the top corners of the doeskin, looked steadily out of the window with the most wistful expression, as though he were waiting for the answer to a silent prayer. By a slight change of expression we could tell that the answer had come. Than he began to read from the doeskin. I will not attempt to pass on to you word for word the contents of the manuscript that he read to us, but to the best of my ability, I will explain all that I can remember as Echa Tah Echa Nah told it to us.
THREE DAYS OP DESTRUCTION
There were three days and nights of total darkness, great storms of wind and rain arose. Earthquakes raged until the morning of the fourth day. During this horrible catastrophe, the Chigaraguans of that time gathered into the temple, remaining there until the morning of the fourth day, when the sun rose as usual, the earthquakes and storms having subsided. The people left the temples and went about repairing the damages done by this disaster.
Just before noontime, the people became greatly distressed due to a light in the sky. It was of much greater brilliance than the sun, and directing its progress slowly earthward, coming straight to the Chigaraguan city. Again the people rushed to the temples, many of them prostrating themselves upon the ground, believing that after three days and nights of darkness and destruction, followed by this unusual light, this was truly the end of their existence.
A few people, braver than the others who were prostrate upon the earth, watched the approach of this light as it came toward them. As it drew nearer, they could discern the outline of the body of a heavenly personage. Around this personage, (many of the Chigaraguans believe to this day), was a robe made of quetzal bird feathers. (The author believes, however, that in the confusion they mistook the halo of light around Christ for what they believed to be a feathered robe around Him. )
As this personage touched the earth and walked among the prostrate upon the ground, the Echa Tah Echa Nah of that time, came forth from the temple to greet Him, inviting him into the temple. The wise-men were assembled and as many people as could get into the temple remained there to listen to this great spiritual being. He showed them His pierced hands and feet, and the wound in His side, and told them of His crucifixion and resurrection, and how He must visit other people of other places.
During His five day visit with the Chigaraguan people, He taught them of all the laws and commandments of His Father in Heaven, Whom they should worship. promising them that if they would live and abide by His laws and commandments, someday He would return and live with them again. He also instructed the wise men to have the laws and commandments that He had given them, written upon that which would never wear away, and that they should be given to the people nearby the Chigaraguans, that they also might follow the same teachings and commandments.
On the morning of the sixth day, they assembled in the temple where He reminded them again of His laws and commandments, which He had given them. He prayed to His Father in Heaven, and in the name of the Father, blessed all the Chigaraguan people, and told them He could remain with them no longer, but had to visit other people of the earth. Then, in a blinding flash of light, He ascended into the sky from whence He had come.
Immediately after Christ’s departure, the Echa Tah Echa Nah of that time commanded that the laws and commandments be written upon metal plates and be given to the others nearby, that they also could abide by and follow them as He had commanded. From that day to the present time the Chigaraguan people have abided by these laws, isolating themselves from the rest of the world, wanting no contact with the outside to deter them from their purpose and their beliefs, always keeping themselves as near perfect as possible, as they expect Him again to visit them at any time, and wish to be always ready to meet Him.
The other tribes to whom the plates were given, lived and abided by them very faithfully for a space of about three-hundred years. At the height of their civilization, becoming vastly wealthy and powerful. The evil forces soon began to grow among the people causing them to become drunken with success and falling away from the commandments that had been given to them.
Soon there became two factions, the good and the evil. The evil forces made war upon the good. The Chigaraguan people call this the Great War, the beginning of which is not known, but probably between 300 A. D. and 350 A. D. Prior to the height of the battles in the Great War, many of the people fled to the north-east, and to the south. Those who managed to escape, especially those going south, married into other tribes whose language differed from the former language of the refugees.
There is no recording of how long the Great War lasted, which no doubt continued over a period of a great many years. At any rate, it lasted long enough for the people to forget their native tongue and when they returned to their abandoned cities after the close of the war, none could speak his former tongue. Over a period of time the survivors created a new language which became universally used among the people. A new key of hieroglyphics, pictographs and petroglyphs was introduced at the same time, which now still survives among this people. The old key of languages and writings used prior to the Great War was completely lost, and to this day less than twenty percent of these writings have been successfully interpreted.
Many Indian tribes surrounding the Chigaraguans have jealously guarded and preserved their original language and writings, using the same now as they did in the beginning of their inhabiting Mexico, which was approximately 480 B. C. The Great War is seldom spoken of by other Indian people, as it is only legendary among them, however, the Chigaraguans are the only ones who have a written record of the momentous event. –Thus ended the words of Echa Tah Echa Nah at this time.
THEIR BELIEF IN PRAYER
Many of the laws and customs, as well as the rituals of the Chigaraguans differ from those of other Indian people. They are deeply sincere in their religious rituals and ceremonies, especially those pertaining to marriage. They follow these laws and customs more rigidly, with more sincerity and reverence than any other known group of Indian people.
It is their practice to pray six to eight times a day. Upon arising, they face the east and give a short prayer of thanks for the night’s rest, the privilege of being alive and in good health. At breakfast-time another prayer of thanksgiving is offered. During the mid-morning, as people go about their duties, a prayer is voiced in thankfulness for the condition of their crops, livestock, and other things they possess. A thanksgiving prayer is said at noontime for the abundance of food that is placed before them. When the evening meal is served, some member of the family again offers thanks. The smallest child may be the one to voice the prayer for the family.
While the groups are assembled around the huge evening fires, someone offers prayer for the welfare and happiness of everyone in the group. Upon retiring each individual prays. The custom upon offering grayer is that the individual bows his head, folds his hands, and humbly voices the opening of the prayer as follows:
“Almighty Creator of all the earth people and of all living things, ‘speak to Thee. ” He then lifts his 46
hands, palms upward toward the sky, as he continues with his prayer. Men, women and children all offer prayer in the same manner.
In the early hours of the morning, the people go about their work, but during the hottest part of the day it is customary for them to retire indoors until the heat has subsided. It is like the Mexican siesta. Then they complete their chores for the day around sundown. As the lengthening shadows fade into darkness, and the families begin to group around the evening fires, the young men go calling on girls of their choice to escort them to the gatherings, along with their family. There is no hesitancy or shyness connected with the association of the young men and women. Everyone considers their interest a natural thing and welcomes the opportunity to encourage and cultivate this mutual attraction into courtship and marriage.
Marriage at a young or tender age is strictly taboo, and is unheard of. A young man or young lady is around twenty-one or twenty-two before serious courtship begins. Courtships usually last from four to seven months at least. When the young couple sets the data for their wedding, all the people in the community know about it. Good wishes and congratulations are sent by runner from one community to the other for the couple.
On the day designated, everyone gathers into the Temple to witness this most sacred of all ceremonies. No gifts are brought on this occasion, but everything has been made ready for the couple to set up housekeeping as soon as the ceremony is completed.
As soon as the community in which the young people are to live, learn of the date of their marriage everyone in the community get together to make ready the home of the newlyweds, The men and boys build the house, setup fences and get together the working tools, stock, feedstuff, and all the things the husband will need. The women gather to make the wool into blankets, coverlets, and all manner of things for the young wife to-be to keep house with, storing the cupboards with every kind of food in the community. The various craftsmen contribute whatever is desired to complete the comfort and necessities of the future. Neither the bride nor groom has a hand in these preparations whatsoever.
The actual wedding ceremony is solemnized by one of the high council members. These ceremonies are a very sacred event, and all things that are done and said are not to be spoken of outside of the people who know of the sacredness of it. Therefore, the writer refrains from going into minute detail. However, the most beautiful and significant part of the ceremony is the final vow that the couple takes. In the presence of all those assembled as witnesses, and the council members, the couple is escorted by their parents to the baptismal font, where they are submerged with arms and hands locked, by the three highest council members. 1 This completes the Temple Ceremony.
1) It used to be mandatory for LDS couples to be re-baptized at the time of their temple marriage. In-fact, this writer’s parents as well as his wife’s parents were re-baptized at the time of their marriage. Re-baptism for many special reasons was very commonplace among the early LDS, and is also reflected in the Book of Mormon in several places such as Alma and his 450 souls who fled from King Noah were all re-baptized at the Waters of Mormon. At the coming of the Messiah, all the survivors were re-baptized, and in Moroni, 6:1, we read of elders, priests and teachers being re-baptized. Infect, Christ told them that if anyone partook unworthily of the sacrament, they must not be cast out, but should repent and be baptized. See Ogden Kraut’s documented booklet on Re-baptism. 4. 8
Divorce among these people is unknown. They have never heard of such a thing. They know that marriage is not just for this life, but continues throughout all eternity.
When the young couple is settled in the routine of home-making, they go to great lengths to keep their minds and bodies fit to bring a child into the world. The child is planned for and the plans are discussed with the sages of the tribe, for the best good of all concerned. After the first child is born, it is the law of the people that only once every seven years should a mother bear a child, and this law is adhered to rigidly.
In connection with the first visit of the writer to the Chigaraguan people, it was mentioned that there are no known vices, such as liquor in any form tobacco, or any habit forming concoctions that would be detrimental to the mind and body. Over-indulgence In anything is not known there. There wants and needs are few and simple.
1) Obviously this law was necessary to achieve population control for the limited space in their hidden valley, where they had to maintain complete isolation from the world. They may possibly accomplish birth control through use of contraceptive herbs well known to other Indian tribes. Their real mission was to be the custodians of the sacred records that will be a special witness in the last days; and they are also to live as “holy men without sin that ye know not of, ” referred to in D&C, 49:8. Also they were to receive and hold the Keys of the Kingdom which were lost to us through our having rejected the fullness of the Gospel in 1890, when we officially ceased the practice of United Order and Plural Marriage, and discontinued other vital doctrines.
I BECOME AN ADOPTED SON
As the bonds between this people and Paul and me strengthened, the writer was adopted by the leader Echa Tah Echa Nah, as his son through the blood ritual. It was after this adoption that we were privileged to visit the library where Echa Tah Echa Nah read to us of the many catastrophes that had occurred, not only on the western hemisphere, but in till parts of the world during all ages.
He also read to us numerous things that were to transpire in the future. One of the most astounding predictions that be read to us at this time was in regard to World War II, with the tragedies left in its wake, oven up to the present time. Other things he spoke of regarding the future will be mentioned further on in this book.
The invasion of the Spaniards was discussed at great length. He told us of the destruction that was wrought upon the mighty Aztec nation at the height of its civilization; which bears out the truth of the story known to the world of how Cortez conquered Mexico. To hear the story coming from the lips of one who had the original records before him, was awe inspiring and tremendously interesting. The dullness of school day history books flitted momentarily in my mind as insignificant.
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