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The inhabitants of the islands of the Pacific entertained similar notions regarding creation. Ellis in his “Polynesian Researches” says: 1 “In the Sandwich Islands there is a tradition that in the beginning there was nothing but water, when a big bird descended from on high and laid an egg in the sea. That egg burst, and Hawaii came forth.” They believe that the bird is an emblem of deity; a medium through which the gods often communicate with men.
It is well not to forget that the Egyptians also caused Ptah, the Creator, to be born from an egg issued from the mouth of Kneph, the ruling spirit of the universe, whose emblem was an enormous blue serpent with yellow scales; that is, the ocean.
The learned men of Mayach always described with appropriate inscriptions the notions, cosmogonic or others, or the religious conceptions that they portrayed in the sculptures; ornamenting with them the walls of their public edifices, not only to generalize them among their contemporaries, but to transmit them to future generations in a lasting manner. They did not fail to do it in this instance.
The legend on either side of the egg tells who is the personage
seated therein. It is composed of the characters four times repeated, for the symmetry of the drawing, and to emphasize the meaning of the word, as well as to indicate the exalted quality of said personage. Champollion le jeune tells us that in Egypt this very combination of letters means “the engendered.??? These letters em
” phatically belong to the alphabet of the Mayas. The sign
:, or be it, that stands for our Latin M, represented
Ellis, Polynesian Researches, vol. i., chap. v., p. 100.
• Champollion le jeune, Précis du Système Hiéroglyphique des Anciens Egyptiens.
the contour of the peninsula of Yucatan. It is pronounced ma
To complete the explanation of the tableau we must ask Eusebius's help. In his “Evangelical Preparations ” ? he tells us that the Egyptians “ represented the Creator of the world, whom they called Kneph, under a human form, with the flesh painted blue, a belt surrounding his waist, holding a sceptre in his hand, his head being adorned with a royal headdress ornamented with a plume.” Were I to describe minutely the figure
. within the egg, I could not do it better. Although much mutilated by iconoclasts, it is easy to perceive that once it was painted blue, to indicate his exalted and holy character; around the waist he wears a puyut, or loin cloth, and his head is still adorned with a huge plume, worn among the Mayas by personages of high rank.
Pedro Beltran, Arte del Idioma Maya. Pio Perez, Maya dictionary. · Eusebius, Præp. Evang., lib. iii., p. 215.
Lastly, it is well to notice that there are forty-two rays around the cosmic egg. Those versed in the knowledge of the Kabbalah will say that the number of the rays, twenty-one, placed on each side of the egg, was not used arbitrarily, but as an emblem of the Creator, Jehovah ; that, if we consider the numerical value of the Hebrew letters composing it, his name in numbers will read Jod, 10; He, 6; and Vav, 5; that is, 10, 6, 5,' the sum of which is 21 = 3 × 7, the trinity and the septenary.
The rabbis, says J. Ralston Skinner, extol these numbers so beyond all others, that they pretend “ that by their uses and permutations, under the cabalistic law of T'mura—that is, of permutation-the knowledge of the entire universe may be had.”
The number of the assessors who, according to the Egyptians, assisted Osiris, when sitting in judgment upon the souls in Amenti, was, it will be remembered, 42; that is, 21 ~ 2. But these twenty-one rays on each side of the cosmic egg also call
* The reader's attention is here called to the following interesting facts which show the origin of the British foot-measure of dimension. The half of 1056 is 528. This number multiplied by 10 gives 5280, the length in feet of the British mile. By permutation 528 becomes 825. But 8.25 feet is the length of half a rod, whilst 5280 x 8.25 feet is the area in feet of one acre.
In the drawing of their plans the builders of the great pyramid of Egypt and those of the pyramids of Mayach made use of these numbers. All the most ancient pyramids in Yucatan are twenty-one metres highi, the side of the base being forty-two metres.
Their vertical section was consequently drawn so as to be inscribed within the circumference of a circle having a radius of twenty-one metres, whose diameter formed the base line of the monument.
* J. Ralston Skinner, “ Hebrew Metrology," p. 6, Masonic Review, July, 1885. “For the ratio 113 to 355 inultiplied by 3 equals 339 to 1065. The entire circumference will be 1065 x 2 = 2130, of which 213 is factor with 10. And 213 is the first word of Genesis; viz., Rash, or “head,' from whence the entire book."