In search of the Palaeo shaman

The study of religious or heroic legends and tales. One constant rule of mythology is that whatever happens amongst the gods or other mythical beings was in one sense or another a reflection of events on earth. Recorded myths and legends, perhaps preserved in literature or folklore, have an immediate interest to archaeology in trying to unravel the nature and meaning of ancient events and traditions.

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Postby Minimalist » Tue May 13, 2008 3:05 pm

Lead to the Ainu.



And are the Ainu what is left of the Jomon?
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Postby john » Tue May 13, 2008 3:06 pm

Ishtar wrote:Yes, John ... I'd already noticed the hematite/red ochre in that second link, and it's all over the Kimberley Australian stuff. In fact, it's everywhere.

I'm wondering, though, what you mean lead to the Ainu. From where? and have you seen this:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/ainu/index.htm


Ishtar -

Yes. Saving it for this evening.

Check out this sequence........

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainu_people

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_D_(Y-DNA)

AJAonline :: View topic - Prehistoric Americans


From the above, it would appear than Ainus are primarily haplogroup D.

It would also appear that the oldest Americans are - Monte Verde, etc. - haplogroup D

The oldest Australians appear to be haplogroup C.


Just starting to follow the mitochondrial trail.........



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Postby john » Tue May 13, 2008 3:49 pm

Minimalist wrote:
Lead to the Ainu.



And are the Ainu what is left of the Jomon?



Minimalist -

Here's a start.......

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... i_19143382

This issue has been bugging me for awhile, so now's the time to do some investigation.

john
"Man is a marvellous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is sort of a low-grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm."

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Postby Minimalist » Tue May 13, 2008 4:19 pm

Oh.

the only remaining descendants of the Jomon are the Ainu in Hokkaido, the northernmost of the Japanese islands, and some inhabitants of Japan's southernmost islands.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Postby john » Tue May 13, 2008 5:22 pm

Minimalist wrote:Oh.

the only remaining descendants of the Jomon are the Ainu in Hokkaido, the northernmost of the Japanese islands, and some inhabitants of Japan's southernmost islands.


Minimalist -

More.

http://www.t-net.ne.jp/~keally/palaeol.html


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Postby Ishtar » Tue May 13, 2008 9:56 pm

This is so key. Until modern researchers of ancient man understand this - and not just with the Ainu - they will always come up with the wrong ideas:


Separation of religious dimensions of Ainu life from others distorts the way Ainu view their lives, since religion is the perspective that pervades their life. Thus, even the disposal of discarded items such as food remains and broken objects is guided by the spatial classification of the Ainu universe and its directions, which derive from religious and cosmological principles. What we call economic activities are religious activities to the Ainu, who regard land and sea animals as deities and fish and plants as products of deities...


Thanks, John. That's from your first link: http://www.everyculture.com/East-Southe ... lture.html

The Ainu seem to me a classic shamanic society - all the motifs are there, the sun and the goddess of the hearth. BTW, John, do you know the name of the Ainu goddess of the hearth? In Celtic, she's Brigid ...which I believe comes from the Rig-vedic Bhrigu, the fire priests.

I will write something on the sun later today, as its pretty pivotal.
Last edited by Ishtar on Tue May 13, 2008 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ishtar » Tue May 13, 2008 10:02 pm



Oh, I see ....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C5%8Dmon_period

Genetic mapping studies by Cavalli-Sforza have shown a pattern of genetic expansion from the area of the Sea of Japan towards the rest of eastern Asia. This appears as the third most important genetic movement in Eastern Asia (after the "Great expansion" from the African continent, and a second expansion from the area of Northern Siberia), which suggests geographical expansion during the early Jōmon period [5].

These studies also suggest that the Jōmon demographic expansion may have reached America along a path following the Pacific coast [6].
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Postby Ishtar » Tue May 13, 2008 11:15 pm

Re: Ainu + Jomon,

This is something I stumbled across a couple of years ago, and not having enough knowledge to assess its credibility at the time, filed it for a rainy day.

So please let me know what you think (and sorry about the Atlantean mention - just skip over it please!):

http://www.users.on.net/~mkfenn/page8.htm


The East Asian civilization commonly known as the Jomon civilization was around from 16,000 years ago to 6,000 years ago, the Solutreans/Magdalenians/Atlanteans/Red heads were around from 18,000 years ago to 6,000 years ago.

Graham Hancock in his book 'Underworld', points out that the RigVeda speaks of learning academies 16,000 years ago. [Don't know what's meant by this. Ish]

All this suggests that world civilization at this time was on a global basis and far more advanced than we have given them credit for. Interestingly, we have; Cro magnon man centred on the tropic of Cancer in the Carribean and flourishing on the shores of the Atlantic; the Veda, centred on the Tropic of Cancer near the Indus River and flourishing on the shores of the Indian Ocean; and the proto-Polynesians, centred on the Tropic of Cancer in Taiwan and flourishing on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

During these golden years, there was plenty of land and food for everybody, cultures benefitted from each other through trade, everyone spoke the same language - most probably the Na Dene language which is still found in America and North Africa and is a relic of Atlantis. The Na Dene language also has many similarities with Ainu language, possibly showing the extent of globalization at this time.

(Interestingly Ainu genes are more closely related to native American genes containing the Caucasian haplotype X than European Caucasians - suggesting migration westward via America).

The survivors of these ancient civilizations were spiritually aware, honest peace loving people. Trickery, deceit and war had no place in their culture. These qualities can still be seen in survivors of this age; the Ainu, Australian Aborigine, native Americans and the spiritually aware Veda and were once a very trusting people.
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Postby Ishtar » Wed May 14, 2008 7:24 am

Eliade’s anthropologists found that many shamans traditionally had pictures of the sun and the moon on their drums. This is because the Moon Mother and Sun Father are the two primal deities or spirits of the shaman.

But was it always so? Well, we can trace the moon goddess back through the ancient religions as far as 20,000 BC.

According to Indian scholar S B Roy:

|In Vedic and the post-Vedic literature … the cusp and the half crescent of the moon is the emblem of the mother goddess: In Candi … the Bible of the Mother-worshippers of India, it says:

“Namah somardha-dharine”

“We bow to the Mother who holds the half moon.”

It is strange how the figure of a mother goddess depicted in the French caves circa 18-20,000 BC finds its reflection in an Indian Sanskrit text.

The mother goddess is known by different names in different countries. Aditi is the most ancient stratum of the Rig-veda; Ishtar, Ashtarte in Semitic languages; Cybelle, Nana and Anahita in West Asia; Venus in Rome. She is Marie in Spain ….And becomes Mary to the Christians.

The Semitic group of words – Ishtar, Ashtarte and Ashtar – originate from the root STR. This root STR connotes both a female as well as a star. Thus, the primary mother goddess was the female of the stars….

Finally, the mother goddess is associated with the moon in almost every race and culture. Her emblem is generally the crescent or half-crescent moon. Nana incidentally means ‘naked’, so the Venus of Laussel would represent her perfectly.


Venus of Laussel (circa 18 - 20,000 BC)

Image

There are thirteen notches on the crescent, thought to represent the number of menstrual months in a year.

Oh ... and she's painted with red ochre. 8)
Last edited by Ishtar on Wed May 14, 2008 7:37 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby Ishtar » Wed May 14, 2008 7:25 am

As mentioned before, Eliade's turn of the 19th century shamans would often have a sun and a moon on their drums. This is to signify Mother Moon and Father Sun.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sta/sta11.htm
From Manly P Hall:


THE adoration of the sun was one of the earliest and most natural forms of religious expression. Complex modern theologies are merely involvements and amplifications of this simple aboriginal belief. The primitive mind, recognizing the beneficent power of the solar orb, adored it as the proxy of the Supreme Deity. Concerning the origin of sun worship, Albert Pike makes the following concise statement in his Morals and Dogma:

"To them [aboriginal peoples] he [the sun] was the innate fire of bodies, the fire of Nature. Author of Life, heat, and ignition, he was to them the efficient cause of all generation, for without him there was no movement, no existence, no form. He was to them immense, indivisible, imperishable, and everywhere present. It was their need of light, and of his creative energy, that was felt by all men; and nothing was more fearful to them than his absence. His beneficent influences caused his identification with the Principle of Good; and the BRAHMA of the Hindus, and MITHRAS of the Persians, and ATHOM, AMUN, PHTHA, and OSIRIS, of the Egyptians, the BEL of the Chaldeans, the ADONAI of the Phœnicians, the ADONIS and APOLLO of the Greeks, became but personifications of the Sun, the regenerating Principle, image of that fecundity which perpetuates and rejuvenates the world's existence."

Among all the nations of antiquity, altars, mounds, and temples were dedicated to the worship of the orb of day. The ruins of these sacred places yet remain, notable among them being the pyramids of Yucatan and Egypt, the snake mounds of the American Indians, the Zikkurats of Babylon and Chaldea, the round towers of Ireland, and the massive rings of uncut stone in Britain and Normandy. The Tower of Babel, which, according to the Scriptures, was built so that man might reach up to God, was probably an astronomical observatory.


Here are the oldest petraglyphs I can find of the sun god. Obviously, they're not palaeolithic, but one is late Neolithic and another prehistoric (whatever that means) so they provide evidence that the sun was important at that time (and thus, evidence of shamanic beliefs then), and also gives us an idea of what to look out for in palaeo rock art:

PS I apologise for the mother of pearl effect - my scanner's playing up tonight:

Image
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Postby john » Wed May 14, 2008 7:49 pm

Ishtar wrote:As mentioned before, Eliade's turn of the 19th century shamans would often have a sun and a moon on their drums. This is to signify Mother Moon and Father Sun.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sta/sta11.htm
From Manly P Hall:


THE adoration of the sun was one of the earliest and most natural forms of religious expression. Complex modern theologies are merely involvements and amplifications of this simple aboriginal belief. The primitive mind, recognizing the beneficent power of the solar orb, adored it as the proxy of the Supreme Deity. Concerning the origin of sun worship, Albert Pike makes the following concise statement in his Morals and Dogma:

"To them [aboriginal peoples] he [the sun] was the innate fire of bodies, the fire of Nature. Author of Life, heat, and ignition, he was to them the efficient cause of all generation, for without him there was no movement, no existence, no form. He was to them immense, indivisible, imperishable, and everywhere present. It was their need of light, and of his creative energy, that was felt by all men; and nothing was more fearful to them than his absence. His beneficent influences caused his identification with the Principle of Good; and the BRAHMA of the Hindus, and MITHRAS of the Persians, and ATHOM, AMUN, PHTHA, and OSIRIS, of the Egyptians, the BEL of the Chaldeans, the ADONAI of the Phœnicians, the ADONIS and APOLLO of the Greeks, became but personifications of the Sun, the regenerating Principle, image of that fecundity which perpetuates and rejuvenates the world's existence."

Among all the nations of antiquity, altars, mounds, and temples were dedicated to the worship of the orb of day. The ruins of these sacred places yet remain, notable among them being the pyramids of Yucatan and Egypt, the snake mounds of the American Indians, the Zikkurats of Babylon and Chaldea, the round towers of Ireland, and the massive rings of uncut stone in Britain and Normandy. The Tower of Babel, which, according to the Scriptures, was built so that man might reach up to God, was probably an astronomical observatory.


Here are the oldest petraglyphs I can find of the sun god. Obviously, they're not palaeolithic, but one is late Neolithic and another prehistoric (whatever that means) so they provide evidence that the sun was important at that time (and thus, evidence of shamanic beliefs then), and also gives us an idea of what to look out for in palaeo rock art:

PS I apologise for the mother of pearl effect - my scanner's playing up tonight:

Image



Ishtar -

If you look at the bottom of your post, upper lefthand corner,

The Sun has 13 radiating rays.

Food for thought.


hoka hey

john
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Postby Ishtar » Thu May 15, 2008 1:58 am


Early nursery rhymes stated there were thirteen months in a year because of the natural moon cycle that was used to count the lunar year. In England, a calendar of thirteen months of 28 days each, plus one extra day, known as "a year and a day" was still in use up to Tudor times.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13_(number)
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Postby Ishtar » Thu May 15, 2008 9:46 am

Snakes and serpents are as common as birds in shamanic mythology. Where the bird represents and can even carry the shaman to, the upper world, the snake is usually found in the underworld (lower world) where he acts a guide to the shaman.

Some of you will have seen this before, as it was posted in the Rock Art thread a couple of years back. It's a rock, from the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, that was carved into the shape of a python around 70,000 years ago:

Image


[Archaeologist Sheila] Coulson made the discovery while searching for artifacts from the Middle Stone Age in the only hills present for hundreds of kilometers in any direction. This group of small peaks within the Kalahari Desert is known as the Tsodilo Hills and is famous for having the largest concentration of rock paintings in the world.

The Tsodilo Hills are still a sacred place for the San, who call them the “Mountains of the Gods” and the “Rock that Whispers”.

The python is one of the San’s most important animals. According to their creation myth, mankind descended from the python and the ancient, arid streambeds around the hills are said to have been created by the python as it circled the hills in its ceaseless search for water.

Says Sheila Coulson:

"The shaman, who is still a very important person in San culture, could have kept himself hidden in that secret chamber. He would have had a good view of the inside of the cave while remaining hidden himself. When he spoke from his hiding place, it could have seemed as if the voice came from the snake itself. The shaman would have been able to control everything. It was perfect.” The shaman could also have “disappeared” from the chamber by crawling out onto the hillside through a small shaft.


I'm not sure about the above speculation about how it was used - I can't imagine why the shaman would want to fool people (unless he was a useless shaman!). I think this could well be another piece of living, ceremonial art created perhaps to honour the totem animal of the San, and around which they would perform ritual acts.
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Postby Ishtar » Fri May 16, 2008 6:24 am

The hand print is the most ubiquitous symbol of shamanic ritualism worldwide, and occurs in rock art from America and Africa to Australia, Europe and Central Asia.

Here are some examples and you'll see that they are all red (i.e. painted with hematite/red ochre) the explanation for which follows:

Tunnel Creek, Australia

Image

Western Cape, southern Africa

Image

Coombe Ridge, Colorado, U.S

Image

Lascaux caves, France

Image

Catal Hoyuk, Central Asia

Image

So why are handprints shamanic symbols, and what was their importance in the shamanic ritual?

Of course, without a time machine, we’ll never know for sure. But there is one group of peoples, the San, who have lived in the Kalahari for between 10,000 to 20,000 years, and still practise the traditional shamanic way of life that their ancestors did. The handprints from the Western Cape came from one of their caves.

David Lewis Williams, Professor Emiritus at the Rock Art Institute in Johannesburg, spent some time with the San and here’s an extract from an interview with an old San woman:

First she explains to DLW that the paint has always made from a special type of hematite that glitters called qhang qhang. Then it is mixed with the blood of a freshly slaughtered eland which the San believe, gives the paint its potency:


The old woman explained that eland blood contained potency and that it was therefore mixed with the paint. Her words and actions suggested that a painting made with eland blood was a kind of reservoir of potency. As we watched, she danced in the rock shelter and turned to the paintings her father had made so long ago. She lifted her hands and said that power would flow into her. Clearly, for the San, rock paintings were more than just pictures.

.... the old woman ... said that were people were able to draw potency from some of the images. She also said that if a good person placed his or her hand on the picture of the eland, the potency locked up in that painting would flow into that person, thus giving him or her special powers. To demonstrate how this was done, she arranged my fingers so that my entire hand was on a depiction of an eland. ...

The importance of touching, and not merely looking at, rock paintings is confirmed by patches of paint that were placed on the walls and ceilings of the rock shelters and then rubbed smooth. ...Numerous paintings of human figures and animals have also been touched and the paint smeared...San paintings were not merely looked at: they were also touched.


I believe this idea of touching rather than just viewing paintings tells us a lot generally about how we should understand Palaeo art.
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Postby Minimalist » Fri May 16, 2008 7:42 am

The hand print is the most ubiquitous symbol of shamanic ritualism worldwide



It is also the mark of clumsy concrete workers, Ish.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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