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never met with any representation of them either pictorial or sculptured. Perhaps you have the gratification of first bringing before the world a true and exact representation of that once terrible but now forgotten race, and that, too, by an illustration probably unique; also of removing the veil that has hitherto concealed the mysterious origin of the men who have left the memorial of their peculiar conformation upon the sculptured stones of America, but who have been long extinct."1
Up to here Mr. Barker. It is certain that the peoples who left images of their strange and hideous visages sculptured on the temples and palaces of Copan, Palenque, Manché, and other places in the countries watered by the river Uzumacinta and its confluents, did not belong to the Maya race. But it is equally certain that it would be most difficult, not to say impossible, to prove that they did to that of the Huns; notwithstanding the fact that there exist abundant proofs of the presence in America, before and after the beginning of the Christian era, of Mongol or Tartar tribes, and that these have left their traces in many places of the Western Continent. These portraits sculptured on the temples of Palenque, Manché, etc., may very well be those of people from Tahiti and other islands of the Pacific, visited by the Mayas in the course of their voyages to India. It was customary with the inhabitants of certain of these islands to flatten the skulls of the infants of the warrior caste, in the shape of a wedge, to make them appear hideous when grown up, so that by their looks they might inspire terror in the hearts of their foes.
1 See, ubi supra, Plate XXIX.
2 John Ranking, Historical Researches on the Conquest of Peru, Mexico, etc., by the Mongols.
NOTE IX. (Page 87.)
(3) This same custom of making use of mercury for the preservation of corpses exists still in Thibet. C. F. Gordon Cumming (Mrs. Helen Hunt), in her interesting book “In the Himalayas and on the Indian Plains" (page 442), says: “We tried to exercise strong faith while recalling Huc's curious account of Tartar funerals, telling how, when a great chief dies, several of the finest young men and women of the tribe are made to swallow mercury till they suffocate, the supposition being that those who thus die continue to look fresh after death." In a note she adds: "Quicksilver is believed to endow the body with power to resist death and avoid further transmigration. So Hindoo wizards prepare elixirs of mercury and powdered mica, which are supposed to contain the very essence of the god Siva and one of his wives."
We read in the "Travels of Marco Polo," published in Edinburgh by Hugh Murray (1844), that this ancient Italian traveller found this same custom, of using mercury for the preservation of corpses, existing in India and China when, in 1250, he visited those countries. Father Huc also makes mention of it in his work, "Recollections of a Journey through Tartary, Thibet, and China," and so does Bayard Taylor, Bishop Heber, and other modern travellers.
NOTE X. (Page 88.)
(1) Bishop Heber, in his "Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Provinces of India" (vol. i., p. 386; vol. ii., pp. 430, 525, 530; vol. iii., pp. 48, 49), says "that at the city of Cairah in Guzerat, as in Greece, the statues have the white of the eyes made of ivory and silver. The statues of the gods are still painted with colors emblematic of their attributes. The gods Vishnu and Krishna are painted blue; Thoth, the god of wisdom and letters, red, etc."
(2) Henry Layard, "Nineveh and its Remains" (vol. ii., part ii., chap. iii.), speaks of the painted sculptures discovered by him in Nineveh, Khorsabad, and other places; and in his work, “Nineveh and Babylon " (p. 276), he mentions the finding of statues with eyes made of ivory and glass. Diodorus Siculus (lib. ii., c. xx.) speaks of the figures of men and animals painted on the walls of the palace of Semiramis in Babylon, and so also does Ezekiel (chap. xxii., verses 14, 15) and Smith, "Five Monarchies" (vol. i., pp. 450, 451).
(3) Eusebius, "Præp. et Demons. Evang." (lib. iii., chap. xi.), says that the Egyptians painted the statues of their gods. Kneph, Amen, Ra, Nilus, were painted blue. Set and Atum were painted red. Sir Gardner Wilkinson, in "Manners and Customs of Ancient Egyptians" (vol. iii., chap. xiii., pp. 10, 207), also says that the Egyptians painted the statues of their gods and of their kings, and provided them with eyes made of ivory or glass.
(4) The Greeks colored their statues and provided them with
NOTE XI. (Pages 100, 127, 128.)
(1) J. Talboys Wheeler informs us that the Nâgás were a tribe famous in the Kshatriya traditions, whose history is deeply interwoven with that of the Hindoos; that they worshipped the serpent as a national divinity, and that they had adopted it as a national emblem. From it they derived their
The origin of the Nágás is unknown to Indianists and other writers on the history of India. They agree, however, that they were strangers in the country, having established themselves in the southern parts of Hindostan in times anterior to the war of the Pandavas and the Kauvaras; nay, anterior even to the epoch when the Aryan colonists from Bactria emigrated to the Punjab and founded their first settlements on the banks of the Saraswati when this river still emptied itself into the Indus. They do not know whence they came, nor in what part of the earth their mother country was situated.
Conjectures are not wanting on that point. Because these Nagás worshipped the serpent, some have presumed that they were a tribe of Scythians, whose race, Herodotus tells us, was said to have descended from a mythical being, half-woman, half-serpent, who bore three sons to Heracles. We will not now inquire into the origin of that myth. Looking into the
1 J. Talboys Wheeler, Hist. of India, vol. i., p. 146.
Herodotus, Hist., lib. iv. 9-10.
land of fabulous speculations, we might as well imagine them to have been the descendants of that Emperor of Heaven, Tien-Hoang of Chinese mythology, who, the Chinese assert, had the head of a man and the body of a serpent, since they were regarded by the masses of Hindoos as semi-divine beings.
We have seen in the early part of this book that the Nagás, having obtained a foothold in the Dekkan, founded a colony that in time became a large and powerful empire whose rulers governed the whole of Hindostan. They did not confine themselves to India; but pushed their conquests toward the west and northwest, extending their sway all over western Asia to the shores of the Mediterranean, introducing their civilization in every ancient country, leaving traces of their worship in almost every system of religion.
Pundit Dayanand Saraswati, said to be the greatest Sanscritist of modern India, and the most versed in the lore and legends of Hindostan,' affirms that he has discovered the mother country of the Nágás to have been Pátâla, the antip
odes; that is, Central America.
If it be so, then the Nâgás
were colonists from Mayach; and their civilization, their
1 H. P. Blavatsky, From the Caves and the Jungles of Hindostan, p. 63. Ibid., Secret Doctrine, vol. i., pp. 27–35.
The Swami Vive Kananda, a learned Hindoo monk, when lecturing in New York on Yogi, the Vedanta, and the religious doctrines of India, in speaking with the author on the origin of the Nágás, assured him that it was the received opinion of the learned pundits of that country that they came originally from Pátála, the antipodes; that is, Central America. Pátála was the name given by the inhabitants of India to America in those remote times. It was also that of a seaport and great commercial emporium frequently visited by ancient Egyptians in their commercial intercourse with India. In his Periplus maris Erythræe, Arrian informs us that it was situated at the lower delta of the river Indus. Tatta is the modern name of the place.