North America Area (with Deities/paganism and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

  1. Eskimo–Aleut or Inuit–Yupik–Unangan languages
  2. Na-Dené, Athabaskan–Eyak–Tlingit languages
  3. The Algic: Algonquian–Wiyot–Yurok languages
  4. Siouan–Catawban languages
  5. Uto-Aztecan languages
  6. Salishan languages
  7. Muskogean languages

Mesoamerica Aera (with Deities/paganism and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

5. Uto-Aztecan languages

8. Mayan languages

9. Chibchan languages

South America Area (with Deities/paganism and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

  1. Chibchan languages
  2. Cariban languages
  3. Quechuan languages
  4. Arawakan languages
  5. Tupian languages
  6. Macro-Jê languages
  7. Chonan languages

Pre-contact: distribution of North, Central, and South American language families and

their Deities/Paganism or Religious/Spiritual beliefs like Shamanism/or “medicine people”

“The term medicine man/woman, like the term shaman, has been criticized by Native Americans, as well as other specialists in the fields of religion and anthropology. While non-Native anthropologists often use the term shaman for Indigenous healers worldwide, including the Americas, shaman is the specific name for a spiritual mediator from the Tungusic peoples of Siberia and is not used in Native American or First Nations communities.” ref

Shamanism (simplified to me as a belief that some special person can commune with these perceived spirits on the behalf of others by way of rituals) possibly by at least 30,000 years ago Shamanism is an otherworld connection belief thought to heal the sick, communicate with spirits/deities, and escort souls of the dead.

Medicine People

“A medicine man or medicine woman is a traditional healer and spiritual leader who serves a community of Indigenous people of the Americas. Individual cultures have their own names, in their respective languages, for spiritual healers and ceremonial leaders in their particular cultures. In the ceremonial context of Indigenous North American communities, “medicine” usually refers to spiritual healing by medicine men/women. The terms medicine people or ceremonial people are sometimes used in Native American and First Nations communities, for example, when Arwen Nuttall (Cherokee) of the National Museum of the American Indian writes, “The knowledge possessed by medicine people is privileged, and it often remains in particular families.” ref

“The 1954 version of Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language reflects the poorly-grounded perceptions of the people whose use of the term effectively defined it for the people of that time: “a man supposed to have supernatural powers of curing disease and controlling spirits.” In effect, such definitions were not explanations of what these “medicine people” are to their own communities but instead reported on the consensus of socially and psychologically remote observers when they tried to categorize the individuals. The term medicine man/woman, like the term shaman, (I use the term Shamanism to mean a type of thinking and behaviors) has been criticized by Native Americans, as well as other specialists in the fields of religion and anthropology. While non-Native anthropologists often use the term shaman for Indigenous healers worldwide, including the Americas, shaman is the specific name for a spiritual mediator from the Tungusic peoples of Siberia and is not used in Native American or First Nations communities.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

To me, Animism starts in Southern Africa, then to West Europe, and becomes Totemism. Another split goes near the Russia and Siberia border becoming Shamanism, which heads into Central Europe meeting up with Totemism, which also had moved there, mixing the two which then heads to Lake Baikal in Siberia. From there this Shamanism-Totemism heads to Turkey where it becomes Paganism.

Periods in North American Prehistory

Lithic stage: before 8500 BCE

Archaic period: 8000 BC– 1000 BCE

Formative stage: 1000 BCE– CE 500

Woodland period1000 BCE– CE 1000

Classic stage: CE 500–1200

Post-Classic stage: after CE 1200

Lithic stage: before 8500 BCE

“The Lithic stage was the earliest period of human occupation in the Americas, as post-glacial hunter-gatherers spread through the Americas. The stage derived its name from the first appearance of Lithic flaked stone tools. The term Paleo-Indian is an alternative, generally indicating much the same period. This stage was conceived as embracing two major categories of stone technology: (1) unspecialized and largely unformulated core and flake industries, with percussion the dominant and perhaps only technique employed, and (2) industries exhibiting more advanced “blade” techniques of stoneworking, with specialized fluted or unfluted lanceolate points the most characteristic artifact types. Throughout South America, there are stone tool traditions of the lithic stage, such as the “fluted fishtail”, that reflect localized adaptations to the diverse habitats of the continent. In North America, the time encompasses the Paleo-Indian period, which subsequently is divided into more specific time terms, such as Early Lithic stage or Early Paleo-Indians, and Middle Paleo-Indians or Middle Lithic stage. Examples include the Clovis culture and Folsom tradition groups.” ref

Archaic period: 8000 BC– 1000 BCE

“The Archaic stage is characterized by subsistence economies supported through the exploitation of nutsseeds, and shellfish. As its ending is defined by the adoption of sedentary farming, this date can vary significantly across the Americas. The use of textiles, fired pottery, and start of the gradual replacement of hunter gatherer lifestyles with agriculture and domesticated animals would all be factors. End dates vary, but are around 5,000 to 3,000 BCE in many areas. The Archaic stage is the most widely used term for the succeeding stage, but in the periodization of pre-Columbian Peru, the Cotton Pre-Ceramic may be used. As in the Norte Chico civilization, cultivated cotton seems to have been very important in economic and power relations, from around 3,200 BCE.” refref

Early Archaic

  • 8000 BCE: The last glacial period ends, causing sea levels to rise and flood the Beringia land bridge, closing the primary migration route from Siberia.
  • 8000 BCE: Sufficient rain falls on the American Southwest to support many large mammal species – mammoth, mastodon, and a bison species – that soon go extinct.
  • 8000 BCE: Hunters in the American Southwest use the atlatl.
  • 7500 BCE: Early basketry.
  • 7560—7370 BCE: Kennewick Man dies along the shore of the Columbia River in Washington State, leaving one of the most complete early Native American skeletons.
  • 7000 BCE: Northeastern peoples depend increasingly on deer, nuts, and wild grains as the climate warms.
  • 7000 BCE: Native Americans in Lahontan Basin, Nevada mummify their dead to give them honor and respect, evidencing deep concern about their treatment and condition. ref

Middle Archaic

Late Archaic

Haplogroup C-M217

“The haplogroup C-M217 is now found at high frequencies among Central Asian peoples, indigenous Siberians, and some Native peoples of North America. If the paternal lineage C2 (M217 “C-P39”) is correlated with Altaic linguistic affinity, as appears to be the case for Turkic, Mongolic, and Tungusic languages and common among males of the indigenous North American peoples whose languages belong to the Na-Dené phylum. And Na-Dené connects to the Yeniseian languages of central Siberia into a Dené–Yeniseian in which the Yeniseian languages are thought to have contributed many ubiquitous loanwords to Turkic and Mongolic vocabulary, such as Khan, Khagan, Tarqan, and the word for “god” and “sky”, Tengri. So, seeing similarities in Turkish and languages in the Americas seems reasoned.” ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

refref, ref

Ancient North Eurasian (ANE)

Ancient Beringian/Ancestral Native American (AB/ANA)

Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG)

Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG)

Western Steppe Herders (WSH) 

Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherer (SHG)

Early European Farmers (EEF)

Jōmon people (Ainu people OF Hokkaido Island) 

Neolithic Iranian farmers (Iran_N) (Iran Neolithic)

Amur Culture (Amur watershed)

Haplogroup R possible time of origin about 27,000 years in Central Asia, South Asia, or Siberia:

Groups partially derived from the Ancient North Eurasians

“The ANE lineage is defined by association with the MA-1, or “Mal’ta boy”, remains of 24,000 years ago in central Siberia Mal’ta-Buret’ culture 24,000-15,000 years ago. The Ancient North Eurasians (ANE) samples (Afontova Gora 3, Mal’ta 1, and Yana-RHS) show evidence for minor gene flow from an East Asian-related group (simplified by the Amis, Han, or Tianyuan) but no evidence for ANE-related geneflow into East Asians (Amis, Han, Tianyuan), except the Ainu, of North Japan.” ref 

“The ANE lineage is defined by association with the MA-1, or “Mal’ta boy”, remains of 24,000 years ago in central Siberia Mal’ta-Buret’ culture 24,000-15,000 years ago “basal to modern-day Europeans”. Some Ancient North Eurasians also carried East Asian populations, such as Tianyuan Man.” ref

“Bronze-age-steppe Yamnaya and Afanasevo cultures were ANE at around 50% and Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG) at around 75% ANE. Karelia culture: Y-DNA R1a-M417 8,400 years ago, Y-DNA J, 7,200 years ago, and Samara, of Y-haplogroup R1b-P297 7,600 years ago is closely related to ANE from Afontova Gora, 18,000 years ago around the time of blond hair first seen there.” ref 

Ancient North Eurasian

“In archaeogenetics, the term Ancient North Eurasian (often abbreviated as ANE) is the name given to an ancestral West Eurasian component that represents descent from the people similar to the Mal’ta–Buret’ culture and populations closely related to them, such as from Afontova Gora and the Yana Rhinoceros Horn Site. Significant ANE ancestry are found in some modern populations, including Europeans and Native Americans.” ref 

“The ANE lineage is defined by association with the MA-1, or “Mal’ta boy“, the remains of an individual who lived during the Last Glacial Maximum, 24,000 years ago in central Siberia, Ancient North Eurasians are described as a lineage “which is deeply related to Paleolithic/Mesolithic hunter-gatherers in Europe,” meaning that they diverged from Paleolithic Europeans a long time ago.” ref

“The ANE population has also been described as having been “basal to modern-day Europeans” but not especially related to East Asians, and is suggested to have perhaps originated in Europe or Western Asia or the Eurasian Steppe of Central Asia. However, some samples associated with Ancient North Eurasians also carried ancestry from an ancient East Asian population, such as Tianyuan Man. Sikora et al. (2019) found that the Yana RHS sample (31,600 BP) in Northern Siberia “can be modeled as early West Eurasian with an approximately 22% contribution from early East Asians.” ref

“Populations genetically similar to MA-1 were an important genetic contributor to Native AmericansEuropeansCentral AsiansSouth Asians, and some East Asian groups, in order of significance. Lazaridis et al. (2016:10) note “a cline of ANE ancestry across the east-west extent of Eurasia.” The ancient Bronze-age-steppe Yamnaya and Afanasevo cultures were found to have a noteworthy ANE component at ~50%.” ref

“According to Moreno-Mayar et al. 2018 between 14% and 38% of Native American ancestry may originate from gene flow from the Mal’ta–Buret’ people (ANE). This difference is caused by the penetration of posterior Siberian migrations into the Americas, with the lowest percentages of ANE ancestry found in Eskimos and Alaskan Natives, as these groups are the result of migrations into the Americas roughly 5,000 years ago.” ref 

“Estimates for ANE ancestry among first wave Native Americans show higher percentages, such as 42% for those belonging to the Andean region in South America. The other gene flow in Native Americans (the remainder of their ancestry) was of East Asian origin. Gene sequencing of another south-central Siberian people (Afontova Gora-2) dating to approximately 17,000 years ago, revealed similar autosomal genetic signatures to that of Mal’ta boy-1, suggesting that the region was continuously occupied by humans throughout the Last Glacial Maximum.” ref

“The earliest known individual with a genetic mutation associated with blonde hair in modern Europeans is an Ancient North Eurasian female dating to around 16000 BCE from the Afontova Gora 3 site in Siberia. It has been suggested that their mythology may have included a narrative, found in both Indo-European and some Native American fables, in which a dog guards the path to the afterlife.” ref

“Genomic studies also indicate that the ANE component was introduced to Western Europe by people related to the Yamnaya culture, long after the Paleolithic. It is reported in modern-day Europeans (7%–25%), but not of Europeans before the Bronze Age. Additional ANE ancestry is found in European populations through paleolithic interactions with Eastern Hunter-Gatherers, which resulted in populations such as Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherers.” ref

“The Ancient North Eurasians (ANE) split from the ancestors of European peoples somewhere in the Middle East or South-central Asia, and used a northern dispersal route through Central Asia into Northern Asia and Siberia. Genetic analyses show that all ANE samples (Afontova Gora 3, Mal’ta 1, and Yana-RHS) show evidence for minor gene flow from an East Asian-related group (simplified by the Amis, Han, or Tianyuan). In contrast, no evidence for ANE-related geneflow into East Asians (Amis, Han, Tianyuan), except the Ainu, was found.” ref

“Genetic data suggests that the ANE formed during the Terminal Upper-Paleolithic (36+-1,5ka) period from a deeply European-related population, which was once widespread in Northern Eurasia, and from an early East Asian-related group, which migrated northwards into Central Asia and Siberia, merging with this deeply European-related population. These population dynamics and constant northwards geneflow of East Asian-related ancestry would later gave rise to the “Ancestral Native Americans” and Paleosiberians, which replaced the ANE as dominant population of Siberia.” ref

Groups partially derived from the Ancient North Eurasians

Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG) is a lineage derived predominantly (75%) from ANE. It is represented by two individuals from Karelia, one of Y-haplogroup R1a-M417, dated c. 8.4 kya, the other of Y-haplogroup J, dated c. 7.2 kya; and one individual from Samara, of Y-haplogroup R1b-P297, dated c. 7.6 kya. This lineage is closely related to the ANE sample from Afontova Gora, dated c. 18 kya. After the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, the Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG) and EHG lineages merged in Eastern Europe, accounting for early presence of ANE-derived ancestry in Mesolithic Europe. Evidence suggests that as Ancient North Eurasians migrated West from Eastern Siberia, they absorbed Western Hunter-Gatherers and other West Eurasian populations as well.” ref

Caucasian Hunter-Gatherer (CHG) is represented by the Satsurblia individual dated ~13 kya (from the Satsurblia cave in Georgia), and carried 36% ANE-derived admixture. While the rest of their ancestry is derived from the Dzudzuana cave individual dated ~26 kya, which lacked ANE-admixture, Dzudzuana affinity in the Caucasus decreased with the arrival of ANE at ~13 kya Satsurblia.” ref

Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherer (SHG) is represented by several individuals buried at Motala, Sweden ca. 6000 BC. They were descended from Western Hunter-Gatherers who initially settled Scandinavia from the south, and later populations of EHG who entered Scandinavia from the north through the coast of Norway.” ref

“Iran Neolithic (Iran_N) individuals dated ~8.5 kya carried 50% ANE-derived admixture and 50% Dzudzuana-related admixture, marking them as different from other Near-Eastern and Anatolian Neolithics who didn’t have ANE admixture. Iran Neolithics were later replaced by Iran Chalcolithics, who were a mixture of Iran Neolithic and Near Eastern Levant Neolithic.” ref

Ancient Beringian/Ancestral Native American are specific archaeogenetic lineages, based on the genome of an infant found at the Upward Sun River site (dubbed USR1), dated to 11,500 years ago. The AB lineage diverged from the Ancestral Native American (ANA) lineage about 20,000 years ago.” ref

“West Siberian Hunter-Gatherer (WSHG) are a specific archaeogenetic lineage, first reported in a genetic study published in Science in September 2019. WSGs were found to be of about 30% EHG ancestry, 50% ANE ancestry, and 20% to 38% East Asian ancestry.” ref

Western Steppe Herders (WSH) is the name given to a distinct ancestral component that represents descent closely related to the Yamnaya culture of the Pontic–Caspian steppe. This ancestry is often referred to as Yamnaya ancestry or Steppe ancestry.” ref

“Late Upper Paeolithic Lake Baikal – Ust’Kyakhta-3 (UKY) 14,050-13,770 BP were mixture of 30% ANE ancestry and 70% East Asian ancestry.” ref

“Lake Baikal Holocene – Baikal Eneolithic (Baikal_EN) and Baikal Early Bronze Age (Baikal_EBA) derived 6.4% to 20.1% ancestry from ANE, while rest of their ancestry was derived from East Asians. Fofonovo_EN near by Lake Baikal were mixture of 12-17% ANE ancestry and 83-87% East Asian ancestry.” ref

Hokkaido Jōmon people specifically refers to the Jōmon period population of Hokkaido in northernmost Japan. Though the Jōmon people themselves descended mainly from East Asian lineages, one study found an affinity between Hokkaido Jōmon with the Northern Eurasian Yana sample (an ANE-related group, related to Mal’ta), and suggest as an explanation the possibility of minor Yana gene flow into the Hokkaido Jōmon population (as well as other possibilities). A more recent study by Cooke et al. 2021, confirmed ANE-related geneflow among the Jōmon people, partially ancestral to the Ainu people. ANE ancestry among Jōmon people is estimated at 21%, however, there is a North to South cline within the Japanese archipelago, with the highest amount of ANE ancestry in Hokkaido and Tohoku.” ref


“MA-1 genetic affinities of Mal’ta–Buret’ culture.” ref 

Mal’ta–Buret’ culture of Siberia near Lake Baikal

“The Mal’ta–Buret’ culture is an archaeological culture of c. 24,000 to 15,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithic on the upper Angara River in the area west of Lake Baikal in the Irkutsk OblastSiberiaRussian Federation. The type sites are named for the villages of Mal’taUsolsky District, and Buret’Bokhansky District (both in Irkutsk Oblast). And a buried boy whose remains were found near Mal’ta is usually known by the abbreviation MA-1, remains have been dated to 24,000 years ago. According to research published since 2013, MA-1 belonged to a population related to the genetic ancestors of SiberiansAmerican Indians, and Bronze Age Yamnaya and Botai people of the Eurasian steppe. In particular, modern-day Native AmericansKetsMansi, and Selkup have been found to harbor a significant amount of ancestry related to MA-1.” ref

“MA-1 is the only known example of basal Y-DNA R* (R-M207*) – that is, the only member of haplogroup R* that did not belong to haplogroups R1R2, or secondary subclades of these. The mitochondrial DNA of MA-1 belonged to an unresolved subclade of haplogroup U. The term Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) has been given in genetic literature to an ancestral component that represents descent from the people similar to the Mal’ta–Buret’ culture or a population closely related to them. A people similar to MA1 and Afontova Gora were important genetic contributors to Native Americans, Siberians, Northeastern Europeans, Caucasians, Central Asians, with smaller contributions to Middle Easterners and some East Asians. Lazaridis et al. (2016) notes “a cline of ANE ancestry across the east-west extent of Eurasia.” MA1 is also related to two older Upper Paleolithic Siberian individuals found at the Yana Rhinoceros Horn Site called Ancient North Siberians (ANS).” ref

ref, ref, ref

I tried to put all the DNA migrations, that together help explain Sami DNA, and thus some of their cultural influences.

Sami People

Uralic languages

Ancient North Eurasian

Eastern Hunter Gatherer 

Western Hunter-Gatherer


“Worldwide distribution of haplogroup Q-M242. The blue star is the original place of haplogroup Q-M242, around Central Asia and Siberia. The brown number one is Russian sample location in the Krasnoyarsk Region. The brown number two is Chinese sample location in Gansu province. The brown number three is Chinese sample location in Zhejiang province. The red arrows are the expansion routes of haplogroup Q-M242. The purple words show the locations of subclades of haplogroup Q used in this study.” ref

“Q-M242 is the predominant Y-DNA haplogroup among Native Americans and several peoples of Central Asia and Northern Siberia. Haplogroup Q-M242 is one of the two branches of P-P226 (M45), the other being R-M207. Q-M242 is believed to have arisen around the Altai Mountains area (or South Central Siberia), approximately 17,000 to 31,700 years ago.” ref

“Several branches of haplogroup Q-M242 have been predominant pre-Columbian male lineages in indigenous peoples of the Americas. Most of them are descendants of the major founding groups who migrated from Asia into the Americas by crossing the Bering Strait. These small groups of founders must have included men from the Q-M346, Q-L54, Q-Z780, and Q-M3 lineages. In North America, two other Q-lineages also have been found. These are Q-P89.1 (under Q-MEH2) and Q-NWT01. They may have not been from the Beringia Crossings but instead come from later immigrants who traveled along the shoreline of Far East Asia and then the Americas using boats.ref

“It is unclear whether the current frequency of Q-M242 lineages represents their frequency at the time of immigration or is the result of the shifts in a small founder population over time. Regardless, Q-M242 came to dominate the paternal lineages in the Americas. In the indigenous people of North America, Q-M242 is found in Na-Dené speakers at an average rate of 68%. The highest frequency is 92.3% in Navajo, followed by 78.1% in Apache, 87% in SC Apache, and about 80% in North American Eskimo (Inuit, Yupik)–Aleut populations. (Q-M3 occupies 46% among Q in North America).ref

“On the other hand, a 4000-year-old Saqqaq individual belonging to Q1a-MEH2* has been found in Greenland. Surprisingly, he turned out to be genetically more closely related to Far East Siberians such as Koryaks and Chukchi people rather than Native Americans.  Today, the frequency of Q runs at 53.7% (122/227: 70 Q-NWT01, 52 Q-M3) in Greenland, showing the highest in east Sermersooq at 82% and the lowest in Qeqqata at 30%. Haplogroup Q-M242 has been found in approximately 94% of Indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica and South America.” ref

“The frequencies of Q among the whole male population of each country reach as follows:

  • 61% in Bolivia.
  • 51% in Guatemala,
  • 40.1% (159/397) to 50% in Peru
  • 37.6% in Ecuador,
  • 37.3% (181/485) in Mexico (30.8% (203/659) among the specifically Mestizo segment)
  • 31.2% (50/160) in El Salvador,
  • 15.3% (37/242) to 21.8% (89/408) in Panama,
  • 16.1% in Colombia,
  • 15.2% (25/165) in Nicaragua,
  • 9.7% (20/206) in Chile,
  • 5.3% (13/246 in 8 provinces in northeastern, central, southern regions) to 23.4% (181/775 in 8 provinces in central-west, central, northwest regions) in Argentina,
  • 5% in Costa Rica,
  • 3.95% in Brazil, and so on.ref

I think shaman beliefs came into the Americas from North Asia from 24,000 to 1,000 years ago. I think these peoples brought into the Americas a kind/several kinds of Shamanism-totemism with heavy animism.

Around 14,000 years ago Human Migrations from Asia into Alaska (North America)


Human Migration from Asia into Alaska (North America) (14,000 to 10,000 years ago)

“likely relates to the Ancient North Eurasians described as an R DNA lineage”

Lithic stage: before 8500 BCE

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

“Several linguists and geneticists suggest that the Uralic languages are related to various Siberian languages and possibly also some languages of northern Native Americans. A proposed family is named Uralo-Siberian, it includes Uralic, Yukaghir, Eskimo–Aleut (Inuit), possibly Nivkh, and Chukotko-Kamchatkan. Haplogroup Q is found in nearly all Native Americans and nearly all of the Yeniseian Ket people (90%).” ref, ref

You can find some form of Shamanism, among Uralic, Transeurasian, Dené–Yeniseian, Chukotko-Kamchatkan, and Eskaleut languages.

My speculations of shamanism are its dispersals, after 24,000 to 4,000 years ago, seem to center on Lake Baikal and related areas. To me, the hotspot of Shamanism goes from west of Lake Baikal in the “Altai Mountains” also encompassing “Lake Baikal” and includes the “Amur Region/Watershed” east of Lake Baikal as the main location Shamanism seems to have radiated out from. 

Shamanism Among the Peoples of the North: Uralic, Transeurasian, Dené–Yeniseian, Chukotko-Kamchatkan, and Eskaleut languages

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


“These ideas are my speculations from the evidence.”

I am still researching the “god‘s origins” all over the world. So you know, it is very complicated but I am smart and willing to look, DEEP, if necessary, which going very deep does seem to be needed here, when trying to actually understand the evolution of gods and goddesses. I am sure of a few things and less sure of others, but even in stuff I am not fully grasping I still am slowly figuring it out, to explain it to others. But as I research more I am understanding things a little better, though I am still working on understanding it all or something close and thus always figuring out more. 

Sky Father/Sky God?

“Egyptian: (Nut) Sky Mother and (Geb) Earth Father” (Egypt is different but similar)

Turkic/Mongolic: (Tengri/Tenger Etseg) Sky Father and (Eje/Gazar Eej) Earth Mother *Transeurasian*

Hawaiian: (Wākea) Sky Father and (Papahānaumoku) Earth Mother *Austronesian*

New Zealand/ Māori: (Ranginui) Sky Father and (Papatūānuku) Earth Mother *Austronesian*

Proto-Indo-European: (Dyus/Dyus phtr) Sky Father and (Dʰéǵʰōm/Plethwih) Earth Mother

Indo-Aryan: (Dyaus Pita) Sky Father and (Prithvi Mata) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

Italic: (Jupiter) Sky Father and (Juno) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

Etruscan: (Tinia) Sky Father and (Uni) Sky Mother *Tyrsenian/Italy Pre–Indo-European*

Hellenic/Greek: (Zeus) Sky Father and (Hera) Sky Mother who started as an “Earth Goddess” *Indo-European*

Nordic: (Dagr) Sky Father and (Nótt) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

Slavic: (Perun) Sky Father and (Mokosh) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

Illyrian: (Deipaturos) Sky Father and (Messapic Damatura’s “earth-mother” maybe) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

Albanian: (Zojz) Sky Father and (?) *Indo-European*

Baltic: (Perkūnas) Sky Father and (Saulė) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

Germanic: (Týr) Sky Father and (?) *Indo-European*

Colombian-Muisca: (Bochica) Sky Father and (Huythaca) Sky Mother *Chibchan*

Aztec: (Quetzalcoatl) Sky Father and (Xochiquetzal) Sky Mother *Uto-Aztecan*

Incan: (Viracocha) Sky Father and (Mama Runtucaya) Sky Mother *Quechuan*

China: (Tian/Shangdi) Sky Father and (Dì) Earth Mother *Sino-Tibetan*

Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian: (An/Anu) Sky Father and (Ki) Earth Mother

Finnish: (Ukko) Sky Father and (Akka) Earth Mother *Finno-Ugric*

Sami: (Horagalles) Sky Father and (Ravdna) Earth Mother *Finno-Ugric*

Puebloan-Zuni: (Ápoyan Ta’chu) Sky Father and (Áwitelin Tsíta) Earth Mother

Puebloan-Hopi: (Tawa) Sky Father and (Kokyangwuti/Spider Woman/Grandmother) Earth Mother *Uto-Aztecan*

Puebloan-Navajo: (Tsohanoai) Sky Father and (Estsanatlehi) Earth Mother *Na-Dene*



Sky Father/Sky Mother “High Gods” or similar gods/goddesses of the sky more loosely connected, seeming arcane mythology across the earth seen in Siberia, China, Europe, Native Americans/First Nations People and Mesopotamia, etc.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


“These ideas are my speculations from the evidence.”

“1 central Eurasian Neolithic individual from Tajikistan (around 8,000 years ago) and approximately 8,200 years ago Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov group from Karelia in western Russia formed by 19 genomes affinity to Villabruna ancestry than all the other Eastern Hunter-Gatherer groups”

Related Dog Mythology traces back to the Ancient North Eurasians

“Since the term ‘Ancient North Eurasian’ refers to a genetic bridge of connected mating networks, scholars of comparative mythology have argued that they probably shared myths and beliefs that could be reconstructed via the comparison of stories attested within cultures that were not in contact for millennia and stretched from the Pontic–Caspian steppe to the American continent.” ref

“For instance, the mytheme of the dog guarding the Otherworld possibly stems from an older Ancient North Eurasian belief, as suggested by similar motifs found in Indo-EuropeanNative American, and Siberian mythology. In SiouanAlgonquianIroquoian, and in Central and South American beliefs, a fierce guard dog was located in the Milky Way, perceived as the path of souls in the afterlife, and getting past it was a test. The Siberian Chukchi and Tungus believed in a guardian-of-the-afterlife dog and a spirit dog that would absorb the dead man’s soul and act as a guide in the afterlife. In Indo-European myths, the figure of the dog is embodied by CerberusSarvarā, and GarmrAnthony and Brown note that it might be one of the oldest mythemes recoverable through comparative mythology.” ref

“A second canid-related series of beliefs, myths, and rituals connected dogs with healing rather than death. For instance, Ancient Near Eastern and TurkicKipchaq myths are prone to associate dogs with healing and generally categorizes dogs as impure. A similar myth-pattern is assumed for the Eneolithic site of Botai in Kazakhstan, dated to 3500 BCE or around 5,500 years ago, which might represent the dog as absorber of illness and guardian of the household against disease and evil. In Mesopotamia, the goddess Nintinugga, associated with healing, was accompanied or symbolized by dogs. Similar absorbent-puppy healing and sacrifice rituals were practiced in Greece and Italy, among the Hittites, again possibly influenced by Near Eastern traditions.” ref

“Around 20,000 to 25,000 years ago, a branch of Ancient North Eurasian people mixed with Ancient East Asians, which led to the emergence of Ancestral Native American, Ancient Beringian, and Ancient Paleo-Siberian populations. It is unknown exactly where this population admixture took place, and two opposing theories have put forth different migratory scenarios that united the Ancient North Eurasians with ancient East Asian populations. ANE ancestry has spread throughout Eurasia and the Americas in various migrations since the Upper Paleolithic, and more than half of the world’s population today derives between 5 and 42% of their genomes from the Ancient North Eurasians. Significant ANE ancestry can be found in Native Americans, as well as in regions of northern Europe, South Asia, Central Asia, and Siberia. It has been suggested that their mythology may have featured narratives shared by both Indo-European and some Native American cultures, such as the existence of a metaphysical world tree and a fable in which a dog guards the path to the afterlife.” ref

According to Jennifer Raff, the Ancient North Eurasian population mixed with a daughter population of ancient East Asians, who they encountered around 25,000 years ago, which lead to the emergence of Native American ancestral populations. However, the exact location where the admixture took place is unknown, and the migratory movements that united the two populations are a matter of debate. One theory supposes that Ancient North Eurasians migrated south to East Asia, or Southern Siberia, where they would have encountered and mixed with ancient East Asians. Genetic evidence from Lake Baikal in Mongolia supports this area as the location where the admixture took place.” ref

“However, a third theory, the “Beringian standstill hypothesis”, suggests that East Asians instead migrated north to Northeastern Siberia, where they mixed with ANE, and later diverged in Beringia, where distinct Native American lineages formed. This theory is supported by maternal and nuclear DNA evidence. According to Grebenyuk, after 20,000 years ago, a branch of Ancient East Asians migrated to Northeastern Siberia, and mixed with descendants of the ANE, leading to the emergence of Ancient Paleo-Siberian and Native American populations in Extreme Northeastern Asia. However, the Beringian standstill hypothesis is not supported by paternal DNA evidence, which may reflect different population histories for paternal and maternal lineages in Native Americans, which is not uncommon and has been observed in other populations.” ref

“The descendants of admixture between ANE and ancient East Asians include Ancient Beringian/Ancestral Native American, which are specific archaeogenetic lineages, based on the genome of an infant found at the Upward Sun River site (dubbed USR1), dated to 11,500 years ago. The AB and the Ancestral Native American (ANA) lineage formed about 25,000 years ago, and subsequently diverged from each other, with the AB staying in the Beringian region, while the Ancestral Native Americans populated the Americas. The ANE genetic contribution to late-Paeolithic Ancestral Native Americans (USR1 specimen, dated to 11,500 years ago in Alaska, and Clovis specimen, dated to 12,600 years ago in Montana) is estimated at around 36.8%. There are also the Ancient Paleo-Siberians, populations represented by the Late Upper Paeolithic Lake Baikal Ust’Kyakhta-3 (UKY) 14,050-13,770 years ago. They carried 30% ANE ancestry and 70% East Asian ancestry.” ref

Jōmon people, the pre-Neolithic population of Japan, mainly derived their ancestry from East Asian lineages, but also received geneflow from the ANE-related “Ancient North Siberians” (represented by samples from the Yana Rhinoceros Horn Site) prior to the migration from the Asian mainland to the Japanese archipelago. Jōmon ancestry is still found among the inhabitants of present-day Japan: most markedly among the Ainu people, who are considered the direct descendants of the Jōmon people, and to a small, but significant degree among the majority of the Japanese population.” ref


“The Paleolithic dog was a Late Pleistocene canine. They were directly associated with human hunting camps in Europe over 30,000 years ago and it is proposed that these were domesticated. They are further proposed to be either a proto-dog and the ancestor of the domestic dog or an extinct, morphologically and genetically divergent wolf population. There are a number of recently discovered specimens which are proposed as being Paleolithic dogs, however, their taxonomy is debated. These have been found in either Europe or Siberia and date 40,000–17,000 years ago. They include Hohle Fels in Germany, Goyet Caves in Belgium, Predmosti in the Czech Republic, and four sites in Russia: Razboinichya Cave in the Altai RepublicKostyonki-8, Ulakhan Sular in the Sakha Republic, and Eliseevichi 1 on the Russian plain.” ref

1. 40,000–35,500 years ago Hohle FelsSchelklingen, Germany
2. 36,500 years ago Goyet Caves, Samson River Valley, Belgium
3. 33,500 years ago Razboinichya Cave,  Altai Mountains, (Russia/Siberia)
4. 33,500–26,500 years ago Kostyonki-Borshchyovo archaeological complex, (Kostenki site) Voronezh, Russia
5. 31,000 years ago Predmostí, Moravia, Czech Republic
6. 26,000 years ago Chauvet CaveVallon-Pont-d’Arc, Ardèche region, France
7. 17,300–14,100 years ago Dyuktai Cave, northern Yakutia, Siberia
8. 17,000–16,000 years ago Eliseevichi-I site, Bryansk Region, Russian Plain, Russia
9. 16,900 years ago Afontova Gora-1, Yenisei River, southern Siberia
10. 14,223 years ago BonnOberkassel, Germany
11. 13,500 years ago MezineChernigov region, Ukraine
12. 13,000 years ago Palegawra, (Zarzian culture) Iraq
13. 12,800 years ago Ushki I, Kamchatka, eastern Siberia
14. 12,790 years ago NanzhuangtouChina
15. 12,300 years ago Ust’-Khaita site, Baikal region, Siberia
16. 12,000 years ago Ain Mallaha (Eynan) and HaYonim terrace, Israel
17. 10,150 years ago Lawyer’s Cave, Alaska, USA
18. 9,000 years ago Jiahu site, China
19. 8,000 years ago Svaerdborg site, Denmark
20. 7,425 years ago Lake Baikal region, Siberia
21. 7,000 years ago Tianluoshan archaeological site, Zhejiang province, China ref


“Y DNA projects for C-M217 here, C-P39 here, and the main C project here.  Please note that on the latest version of the ISOGG tree, M217, P44, and Z1453 are now listed as C2, not C3.  In the Messavilla study (1962), fourteen individuals from the Kichwa and Waorani populations of South America were discovered to carry haplogroup C3* (M217).  Most of the individuals within these populations carry variants of expected haplogroup Q, with the balance of 26% of the Kichwa samples and 7.5% of the Waorani samples carrying C3* (M217).  MRCA estimates between the groups are estimated to be between 5.0-6.2 years ago, or years before the present.” ref

In the paper, the authors state that:

“We set out to test whether or not the haplogroup C3* (M217) Y chromosomes found at a mean frequency of 17% in two Ecuadorian populations could have been introduced by migration from East Asia, where this haplogroup is common. We considered recent admixture in the last few generations and, based on an archaeological link between the middle Jōmon culture in Japan and the Valdivia culture in Ecuador, a specific example of ancient admixture between Japan and Ecuador 6 Kya. In a paper, written by Estrada et all, titled “Possible Transpacific Contact on the Cost of Ecuador”, Estrada states that the earliest pottery-producing culture on the coast of Ecuador, the Valdivia culture, shows many striking similarities in decoration and vessel shape to the pottery of eastern Asia. In Japan, resemblances are closest to the Middle Jomon period. Both early Valdivia and Middle Jomon are dated between 2000 and 3000 BCE. A transpacific contact from Asia to Ecuador during this time is postulated.” ref

The conclusions from the 1962 paper states that:

Three different hypotheses to explain the presence of C3* Y chromosomes in Ecuador but not elsewhere in the Americas were tested: recent admixture, ancient admixture ∼6 Kya, or entry as a founder haplogroup 15–20 Kya with subsequent loss by drift elsewhere. We can convincingly exclude the recent admixture model, and find no support for the ancient admixture scenario, although cannot completely exclude it. Overall, our analyses support the hypothesis that C3* (M217) Y chromosomes were present in the “First American” ancestral population, and have been lost by drift from most modern populations except the Ecuadorians.

At the time not having the understanding of C-M217 (C3*) as we have now, the 1962 paper stated that:

“Other than one C3* individual in Alaska, C3* is unknown in the rest of the Native world including all of North American and the balance of Central and South America, but is common and widespread in East Asia.” ref

Some not all Mayan DNA shows C haplogroup. Genetic Overview of the Maya Populations: Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroups ref

Native American founding lineages of Y chromosomes, called C-M217 (C3*), within a restricted area of Ecuador in North-Western South America. ref
“Mound Builder people of the Hopewell culture were the descendants of people of the Adena culture (circa 800 BC to AD 1) who were, in turn, descended from the local Archaic cultures (circa 3000-500 BCE). Comparisons between the mtDNA from individuals from the Hopewell site and a database of mtDNA from groups from all over the world, demonstrated that these ancient Native Americans shared close ties with Asia especially, China, Korea, Japan, and Mongolia.” ref
“Monks Mound by the Mississippian culture began about 900–950 CE, in Illinois, United States. Monks Mound roughly the same size at its base as the Great Pyramid of Giza. The perimeter of its base is larger than the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan. As a platform mound, the earthwork supported a wooden structure on the summit.” ref

Haplogroup C-M217, also known as C2 (and previously as C3), is a Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup.

“131 relations: Abazins, Adygea, African admixture in Europe, Ainu people, Aisin Gioro, Algonquian languages, Altai people, Anhui, Apache, Armenians, Bai people, Bangladesh, Beijing, Bhutan, Burusho people, Buryatia, Buryats, Cambodia, Central Asia, Chams, Chechnya, Cheyenne, China, Chukchi people, Crimean Tatars, Dai people, Daur people, Descent from Genghis Khan, Dungan people, East Asia, Evenks, Evens, Fujian, Gansu, Garo Hills, Garo people, Genetic genealogy, Genographic Project, Guangxi, Hamnigan, Han Chinese, Hani people, Haplogroup, Haplogroup C-M130, Haplogroup C-M217, Haplogroup C-M48, Haplogroup C-M8, Haplogroup CF (Y-DNA), Haplogroup CT, Haplotype, Hazaras, Hui people, Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup, Indigenous peoples of Siberia, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Itelmens, Japanese people, Java, Jilin, Jishou, Kalmyks, Karakalpaks, Kazakhs, Khasic languages, Korea, Koreans, Koryaks, Kyrgyz people, Language family, List of Y-chromosome haplogroups in populations of the world, Lu people, Lyngngam language, Manchu people, Maritime Southeast Asia, Meghalaya, Miao people, Molecular phylogenetics, Mongols, Muong people, Na-Dene languages, Nanai people, National Geographic, Nepal, Nivkh people, Nogais, Northern Thai people, Northern Thailand, Oirats, Oroqen people, Outer Mongolia, Pakistan, Paragroup, Pashtuns, Patrilineality, Saga Prefecture, Shandong, Shanxi, She people, Sibe people, Siouan languages, Sioux, Southeast Asia, Soyot, Subclade, Tabasaran people, Taiwanese indigenous peoples, Tajiks, Tanana Athabaskans, Teleuts, Thailand, Tibetan people, Tibeto-Burman languages, Tujia people, Tungusic peoples, Turkic peoples, Tuvans, Udege people, Uyghurs, Uzbeks, Vietnam, Vietnamese people, Wayuu people, Xi’an, Y-DNA haplogroups by ethnic group, Y-DNA haplogroups in populations of East and Southeast Asia, Y-DNA haplogroups in populations of Oceania, Yakuts, Yao people, Yukaghir people, Yunnan, 1000 Genomes Project.” ref

“Several studies of the peopling of the Americas have made use of Native American variants. South American C-M217 (or C3), 17 which is defined by marker M21721 and is derived from haplogroup C, which is in turn defined by markers M216 and M130.22 This latter haplogroup is also found among various ethnic groups from northeast Asia, Australasia, and Oceania. The five haplogroup C (C-M130) individuals originated from two Ecuadorian communities, and one from Peru. All five individuals were Quechua speakers (Supplementary Table 4), and displayed also the derived allele for SNP M217; thus, these South American natives belong to the C-M217 lineage, as previously reported.” ref

Postglacial genomes from foragers across Northern Eurasia reveal prehistoric

mobility associated with the spread of the Uralic and Yeniseian languages


“The North Eurasian forest and forest-steppe zones have sustained millennia of sociocultural connections among northern peoples. We present genome-wide ancient DNA data for 181 individuals from this region spanning the Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze Age. We find that Early to Mid-Holocene hunter-gatherer populations from across the southern forest and forest-steppes of Northern Eurasia can be characterized by a continuous gradient of ancestry that remained stable for millennia, ranging from fully West Eurasian in the Baltic region to fully East Asian in the Transbaikal region. In contrast, cotemporaneous groups in far Northeast Siberia were genetically distinct, retaining high levels of continuity from a population that was the primary source of ancestry for Native Americans. By the mid-Holocene, admixture between this early Northeastern Siberian population and groups from Inland East Asia and the Amur River Basin produced two distinctive populations in eastern Siberia that played an important role in the genetic formation of later people. Ancestry from the first population, Cis-Baikal Late Neolithic-Bronze Age (Cisbaikal_LNBA), is found substantially only among Yeniseian-speaking groups and those known to have admixed with them. Ancestry from the second, Yakutian Late Neolithic-Bronze Age (Yakutia_LNBA), is strongly associated with present-day Uralic speakers. We show how Yakutia_LNBA ancestry spread from an east Siberian origin ~4.5kya, along with subclades of Y-chromosome haplogroup N occurring at high frequencies among present-day Uralic speakers, into Western and Central Siberia in communities associated with Seima-Turbino metallurgy: a suite of advanced bronze casting techniques that spread explosively across an enormous region of Northern Eurasia ~4.0kya. However, the ancestry of the 16 Seima-Turbino-period individuals–the first reported from sites with this metallurgy–was otherwise extraordinarily diverse, with partial descent from Indo-Iranian-speaking pastoralists and multiple hunter-gatherer populations from widely separated regions of Eurasia. Our results provide support for theories suggesting that early Uralic speakers at the beginning of their westward dispersal where involved in the expansion of Seima-Turbino metallurgical traditions, and suggests that both cultural transmission and migration were important in the spread of Seima-Turbino material culture.” ref


“Males carrying C-M130 are believed to have migrated to the Americas some 6,000-8,000 years ago, and was carried by Na-Dené-speaking peoples into the northwest Pacific coast of North America.” ref 

Dené–Yeniseian languages? (I think similar to the Sami or Ainu peoples, Dené–Yeniseian peoples who migrated related to beliefs that were likely “paganistic” Shamanism, with heavy totemism themes)

“Dené–Yeniseian is a proposed language family consisting of the Yeniseian languages of central Siberia and the Na-Dené languages of northwestern North America. Reception among experts has been somewhat favorable; thus, Dené–Yeniseian has been called “the first demonstration of a genealogical link between Old World and New World language families that meets the standards of traditional comparativehistorical linguistics,” besides the Eskimo–Aleut languages spoken in far eastern Siberia and North America.” ref

“Na-Dene (/ˌnɑːdɪˈneɪ/; also Nadene, Na-Dené, Athabaskan–Eyak–Tlingit, Tlina–Dene) is a family of Native American languages that includes at least the Athabaskan languages, Eyak, and Tlingit languages. Haida was formerly included, but is now considered doubtful. By far the most widely spoken Na-Dene language today is Navajo. In February 2008, a proposal connecting Na-Dene (excluding Haida) to the Yeniseian languages of central Siberia into a Dené–Yeniseian family was published and well-received by a number of linguists. It was proposed in a 2014 paper that the Na-Dene languages of North America and the Yeniseian languages of Siberia had a common origin in a language spoken in Beringia, between the two continents.” ref

“Proto-Algic is the proto-language from which the Algic languages (Wiyot language *of Humboldt BayCalifornia*Yurok language *of Del Norte County and Humboldt County on the far north coast of California*, and Proto-Algonquian) *estimated to have been spoken around 2,500 to 3,000 years ago, usually divided into three subgroups: Eastern Algonquian *of the Atlantic coast of North America from Canada to North Carolina*, which is a genetic subgroup, and Central Algonquian *Eastern Great Lakes*, and Plains Algonquian are descended. Proto-Algic is estimated to have been spoken about 7,000 years ago somewhere in the American Northwest, possibly around the Columbia Plateau of WashingtonOregon, and IdahoSergei Nikolaev has argued in two papers for a systematic relationship between the Nivkh language of Sakhalin *the largest island of Russia north of the Japanese archipelago*, and the Amur river basin *of the Russian Far East and Northeastern China*, and the Algic languages, and a secondary relationship between these two together and the Wakashan languages.*of British Columbia around and on Vancouver Island, and in the northwestern corner of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state*.” refrefref

Genetics Reveal Movements of Ancient Siberians

“DNA reveals the previously unknown degree of mixture between Japan, North America, and the Eurasian mainland. Ancient DNA preserved in the icy climate of Siberia has revealed new insights about how ancient humans migrated five to seven thousand years ago.” ref

“In a study published recently in Current Biology, the researchers examined the DNA from 10 different ancient humans, which is quite a lot considering most of them date from 5,500 to 7,500 years old. These remains came from three locations in Siberia — the Altai Mountains, the Kamchatka Peninsula, and the Russian Far East.” ref

Altai Mountains meetings and Shamanism?

“Researchers were surprised to discover a previously unknown population with mixed genetics in the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia. At some point during the last Ice Age, a group of ancient north Eurasians mixed with a population from northeastern Siberia. The corresponding mixture is one that researchers haven’t seen before, the head researcher explained. It’s also not clear where these two groups first met and intermingled since the people were mostly nomadic at the time. It’s possible they met in the region where the remains are found, though, which may have provided a good passage between mountains to the north and the desert to the south. “It’s a perfect meeting point for groups, geographically speaking,” the head researcher explained.” ref

“Five of the Altai Mountains remains — all males — had very similar DNA, despite dating from different times between 7,500 and 5,500 years ago. But the sixth male, which dates to about 6,500 years ago, comes from farther east. The DNA shows this, but so does the archaeological context. The individual was buried with rich burial goods and a costume that the head researcher explained could indicate some sort of shamanism. Moreover, the head researcher explained it’s unclear whether this man is representative of a larger migration between the Altai Mountains and people farther east. But it shows that a degree of movement was occurring between different people at the time.” ref

Japanese Connection?

“Nest, one of the analyzed individuals was found in the Russian Far East. This male isn’t that remarkable at first glance, for the DNA resembles that of other similarly aged people that have been previously analyzed. Or at least three-quarters of the DNA is similar. The other quarter of this man’s genome appears to be Japanese. This discovery is surprising. This man dates back to about 7,000 years ago, but Japan was settled much earlier — possibly 30,000 years ago. This means that people from Japan were traveling back to the mainland and mixing with other humans there. “These hunter-gatherers were also able to cross bodies of water and interact among each other,” the head researcher explained. Overall, these results show how fluid ancient people were in Eurasia and even North America. “These foraging communities were in close contact with each other, they were highly mobile with each other and were admixing,” the head researcher also explained. “We are really talking about large-distance mobility.” ref

Crossing the water to and from the Americas?

“Two males and one female from Kamchatka lived relatively recently — only 500 years ago. The reason it’s interesting is that researchers haven’t previously published any ancient genome information from this region. All three of the remains the head researcher and his colleagues analyzed contained small portions of ancestry from Indigenous Americans. The presence of these markers suggests that Indigenous Americans were also crossing back to Russia prior to the period these individuals were alive. “This probably happened over a long period of time,” the head researcher explained. While researchers had previously known there was gene flow back and forth across the Bering Sea — perhaps for 5,000 years — this finding stretches that area of gene flow further south into the Kamchatka Peninsula.” ref

Here are other supporting articles:

Pic ref

Ancient Women Found in a Russian Cave Turn Out to Be Closely Related to The Modern Population


“Ancient genomes have revolutionized our understanding of Holocene prehistory and, particularly, the Neolithic transition in western Eurasia. In contrast, East Asia has so far received little attention, despite representing a core region at which the Neolithic transition took place independently ~3 millennia after its onset in the Near East. We report genome-wide data from two hunter-gatherers from Devil’s Gate, an early Neolithic cave site (dated to ~7.7 thousand years ago) located in East Asia, on the border between Russia and Korea. Both of these individuals are genetically most similar to geographically close modern populations from the Amur Basin, all speaking Tungusic languages, and, in particular, to the Ulchi. The similarity to nearby modern populations and the low levels of additional genetic material in the Ulchi imply a high level of genetic continuity in this region during the Holocene, a pattern that markedly contrasts with that reported for Europe.” ref

“Six of seven individuals whose remains have been recovered from the cave have been DNA tested. Originally, three of the specimens were thought to be adult males, two were thought to be adult females, one was thought to be a sub-adult of about 12-13 years of age, and one was thought to be a juvenile of about 6-7 years of age based on the skeletal morphology of the remains. Results of genetic analysis of the sub-adult individual have not yet been published. However, two specimens, NEO236 (Skull B, DevilsGate2) and NEO235 (Skull G), who had been presumed to be adult males according to a forensic morphological assessment of their remains, were discovered through genetic analysis to actually be females. The juvenile specimen also has been determined to be female through genetic analysis. Three of the specimens (including the only adult male plus NEO235/Skull G and another adult female, labeled as Skull Е, DevilsGate1, or NEO240, who has been genetically determined to be a first-degree relative of NEO235/Skull G) have been assigned to mtDNA haplogroup D4m; a previous genetic analysis of one of these adult female specimens determined her mtDNA haplogroup to be D4. Another three specimens (including the juvenile female, the DevilsGate2 specimen, and another adult female; both the juvenile female and the DevilsGate2 specimen have been determined to be first-degree relatives of the other adult female, and the juvenile female and the DevilsGate2 specimen also have been determined to be second-degree relatives of each other) have been assigned to haplogroup D4; a previous genetic analysis of the DevilsGate2 specimen determined her mtDNA haplogroup to be MThe only specimen from the cave who has been confirmed to be male through genetic analysis has been assigned to Y-DNAhaplogroup C2b-F6273/Y6704/Y6708, equivalent to C2b-L1373, the northern (Central Asian, Siberian, and indigenous American) branch of haplogroup C2-M217. ref

“The haplogroup C-M217 is now found at high frequencies among Central Asian peoples, indigenous Siberians, and some Native peoples of North America. Haplogroup C-M217 is the modal haplogroup among Mongolians and most indigenous populations of the Russian Far East, such as the Buryats, Northern Tungusic peoplesNivkhsKoryaks, and Itelmens. The subclade C-P39 is common among males of the indigenous North American peoples whose languages belong to the Na-Dené phylum. C2b1a1a P39 Canada,USA(Found in several indigenous peoples of North America, including some Na-Dené-,Algonquian-, orSiouan-speaking populations).” ref

“Males carrying C-M130 are believed to have migrated to the Americas some 6,000-8,000 years ago, and was carried by Na-Dené-speaking peoples into the northwest Pacific coast of North America. The distribution of Haplogroup C-M130 is generally limited to populations of Siberia, parts of East Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Haplogroup C2 (M217) – the most numerous and widely dispersed C lineage – was once believed to have originated in Central Asia, spread from there into Northern Asia and the Americas while other theory it originated from East Asia. C-M217 stretches longitudinally from Central Europe and Turkey, to the Wayuu people of Colombia and Venezuela, and latitudinally from the Athabaskan peoples of Alaska to Vietnam to the Malay Archipelago. The highest frequencies of Haplogroup C-M217 are found among the populations of Mongolia and Far East Russia, where it is the modal haplogroup. Haplogroup C-M217 is the only variety of Haplogroup C-M130 to be found among Native Americans, among whom it reaches its highest frequency in Na-Dené populations.” ref


Human Migration from Asia into Alaska (North America) (11,000 to 6,000 years ago)

“likely relates to the Na-Dene languages described as C-M217/C2/C3/C-M130 DNA lineage”

Archaic period: 8000 BC– 1000 BCE

This C-M217/C2/C3/C-M130 DNA lineage is also in the Mound Builders (some of which are pyramid-like) such as the Adena (800 BCE–100 CE), Hopewell (200 BCE–500 CE), and the Maya civilization with pyramids.

Mound Builders

A number of pre-Columbian cultures are collectively termed “Mound Builders“. The term does not refer to a specific people or archaeological culture, but refers to the characteristic mound earthworks erected for an extended period of more than 5,000 years. The “Mound Builder” cultures span the period of roughly 3500 BCE (the construction of Watson Brake) to the 16th century CE, including the Archaic period, Woodland period (Calusa culture, Adena and Hopewell cultures), and Mississippian period. Geographically, the cultures were present in the region of the Great Lakes, the Ohio River Valley, and the Mississippi River valley and its tributary waters.” ref

“The first mound building was an early marker of political and social complexity among the cultures in the Eastern United States. Watson Brake in Louisiana, constructed about 3500 BCE during the Middle Archaic period, is currently the oldest known and dated mound complex in North America. It is one of 11 mound complexes from this period found in the Lower Mississippi Valley. These cultures generally had developed hierarchical societies that had an elite. These commanded hundreds or even thousands of workers to dig up tons of earth with the hand tools available, move the soil long distances, and finally, workers to create the shape with layers of soil as directed by the builders.” ref

“From about 800 CE, the mound building cultures were dominated by the Mississippian culture, a large archaeological horizon, whose youngest descendants, the Plaquemine culture and the Fort Ancient culture, were still active at the time of European contact in the 16th century. One tribe of the Fort Ancient culture has been identified as the Mosopelea, presumably of southeast Ohio, who were speakers of an Ohio Valley Siouan language. The bearers of the Plaquemine culture were presumably speakers of the Natchez language isolate. The first description of these cultures is due to Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, written between 1540 and 1542.” ref

My art and when as well as who may have brought in the new elitism and compulsory authority to the Americas.

“For the Tlingit (branch of the Na-Dené language family), hereditary slavery was practiced extensively until it was outlawed by the United States. Wealth and economic power are important indicators of rank. Scientists suggest that the main ancestor of the Ainu and of the Tlingit can be traced back to Paleolithic groups in Southern Siberia.” ref

Gene flow across linguistic boundaries in Native North American populations

“Geneticists and anthropologists often expect that human language groups and gene pools will share a common structure. It is noted that both language and genes are passed from parents to children, mating tends to be endogamous with respect to linguistic groups, and splits in linguistic communities usually occur with splits in breeding populations. Cavalli-Sforza et al. have reported that genetic trees of major geographic populations correlate well with language families. They argue that a process consisting of population fissions, expansion into new territories, and isolation between ancestral and descendant groups will produced a tree-like structure common to both genes and languages. Linguists agree that population fissions and range expansions play an important role in the generation of linguistic diversity.” ref

“The potential correspondence between gene pools and language groups in Native North American populations is particularly interesting for several reasons. Early investigations of the correspondence between genetic groups and linguistic groups in Native North Americans produced equivocal results. On the one hand, average genetic distances between populations in different language families were greater than average genetic distances between populations within language families. On the other hand, genetic distances were not significantly correlated with glottochronological distances. In the three language families, the average nucleotide diversity within populations is low in Eskimo-Aleut populations and high in Amerind populations. However, nucleotide diversity varies considerably among the populations classified as Na-Dene-speaking. The Alaskan Athabascan and Haida populations, who reside in the North, have low nucleotide diversities, in the range of nucleotide diversities in the Eskimo-Aleut-speaking populations. The Navajo and Apache, who reside in the Southwest, have high nucleotide diversities, in the range of nucleotide diversities in populations classified as Amerind speaking.” ref 

“Several patterns that depart from the tree structure are apparent upon close examination. For example, the GLC expected distances consistently overestimate the realized genetic distances for several populations, including the Navajo, Aleut, and Siberian Yupik populations. This relationship means that these populations are genetically similar to populations with distantly related languages. Similarly, the GLC tree consistently underestimates the genetic distance between three Eskimo populations (Central Yupik, Canadian Inuit, and Inupaiq) and all other populations. First, none of Greenberg’s major language groups (Eskimo-Aleut, Na-Dene, or Amerind) forms a unique cluster. The most exclusive cluster that contains all Eskimo-Aleut populations (defined by branch a) also includes all four Na-Dene-speaking populations and the Amerind-speaking Cheyenne, Bella Coola, and Nuu Chah Nulth populations.” ref

“The most exclusive cluster with all Na-Dene-speaking populations (defined by branch b) also includes six Eskimo-Aleut-speaking populations (Siberian Yupik, Greenland Inuit, Central Yupik, Canadian Inuit, and Inupiaq) and the Amerind-speaking Bella Coola. The most exclusive cluster with all Amerind-speaking populations (defined by branch c) includes the Eskimo-Aleut-speaking Aleuts and the Na-Dene-speaking Navajo. Second, there is a strong North-South geographic pattern to the clustering pattern. An Arctic-Pacific Northwest cluster that includes all Aleut-Eskimo populations, all Na-Dene populations, and the Amerind Nuu Chah Nulth and Bella Coola populations originates on one side of branch a, whereas a more Southern group includes the Pima, Cherokee, Sioux, and Chippewa Amerind-speaking population forms to the other side of branch a. The Southwestern Athabascan-speaking populations, Navajo and Apache, defy the geographic groupings, but this result is consistent with the archaeological record.” ref

“Anthropologists agree that circa anno Domini 1400 the ancestors of Navajos and Apaches migrated from the Mackenzie Basin of Canada to the Southwest region, where they came into contact with Amerind-speaking populations who had been living there for thousands of years. The occurrence of haplogroup A differs markedly between the far Northern and the Southwestern samples. With only few exceptions, mtDNA lineages observed in the northern Na-Dene classified populations (Haida and Alaskan Athabascans) belong to haplogroup A. Haplogroup A is also common in Eskimos and Aleuts. Outside of the far North, the only samples in which haplogroup A appears commonly are the Southwestern Athabascan-speaking populations (Navajo and Apache). mtDNA sequences belonging to haplogroups B and C are frequent primarily in the Amerind-classified populations, including the Bella Coola, and Nuu Chah Nulth populations on the Northwest Coast. The Navajo and Apache are the only Na-Dene-classified populations with substantial frequencies of B- and C-group haplotypes, although haplogroup C is observed in the Haida and Alaskan Athabascan samples.” ref 

I think god beliefs (great spirit/shy father god) came into the Americas from North Asia from 7,000 to 5,000 years ago. I think it likely relates to the Na-Dene languages migrations as all of the Na-Dene languages have “great spirit” beliefs and some have shy father god/creator beliefs as well.

I think Na-Dene speakers brought into the Americas a kind/several kinds of Shamanism-Paganism with Totemism and Animism. Especially a daytime blue sky-god/sun-god but also an earth/moon goddess and bird mythology beliefs. Similar to the Hemudu culture (5500 – 3300 BCE or around 7,500 to 5,300 years ago) from China.

Hemudu’s inhabitants worshiped a sun spirit as well as a fertility spirit. They also enacted shamanistic rituals to the sun and believed in bird totems. A belief in an afterlife and ghosts is thought to have been widespread as well. People were buried with their heads facing east or northeast and most had no burial objects. Infants were buried in urn-casket style burials, while children and adults received earth level burials. They did not have a definite communal burial ground, for the most part, but a clan communal burial ground has been found from the later period. Two groups in separate parts of this burial ground are thought to be two intermarrying clans. There were noticeably more burial goods in this communal burial ground.” ref

“The Great Spirit is the concept of a life force, a supreme being or god, present in many, but not all, indigenous cultures in Canada and the United States. Interpretations of the Great Spirit also vary between cultures. It is known as Wakan Tanka in Lakota, Gitche Manitou in Algonquian, and by other, specific names in a number of First Nations and Native American cultures. According to Lakota activist Russell Means, a more semantically accurate translation of Wakan Tanka is the Great Mystery.” ref

“The Great Spirit has at times been conceptualized as an “anthropomorphic celestial deity,” a god of creation, history, and eternity, who also takes a personal interest in world affairs and might regularly intervene in the lives of human beings. Numerous individuals are held to have been “speakers” for the Great Spirit; persons believed to serve as an earthly mediator responsible for facilitating communication between humans and the supernatural more generally. Such a speaker is generally considered to have an obligation to preserve the spiritual traditions of their respective lineage. The Great Spirit is looked to by spiritual leaders for guidance by individuals as well as communities at large.ref

“While belief in an entity or entities known as the Great Spirit exists across numerous indigenous American peoples, individual tribes often demonstrate varying degrees of cultural divergence. As such, a variety of stories, parables, fables, and messages exhibiting different, sometimes contradictory themes and plot elements have been attributed to the same figure by otherwise disparate cultures. Wakan Tanka (Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka) can be interpreted as the power or the sacredness that resides in everything, resembling some animistic and pantheistic beliefs. This term describes every creature and object as wakan (“holy”) or having aspects that are wakan; tanka corresponds to “great” or “large.” ref

“The Lakota used Wakan Tanka to refer to an organization or group of sacred entities whose ways were considered mysterious and beyond human understanding. It was the elaboration on these beliefs that prompted scholarly debate suggesting that the term “Great Mystery” could be a more accurate translation of such a concept than “Great Spirit”. Activist Russell Means also promoted the translation “Great Mystery” and the view that Lakota spirituality is not originally monotheistic.” ref

“Chief Luther Standing Bear (1868–1939) of the Lakota Nation put it thus:

From Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit, there came a great unifying life force that flowed in and through all things – the flowers of the plains, blowing winds, rocks, trees, birds, animals – and was the same force that had been breathed into the first man. Thus all things were kindred, and were brought together by the same Great Mystery.ref

Manitou, akin to the Haudenosaunee concept of orenda, is perceived as the spiritual and fundamental life force by Algonquian peoples. It is believed by practitioners to be omnipresent; manifesting in all things, including organisms, the environment, and events both human-induced and otherwise. Manifestations of Manitou are also believed to be dualistic, and such contrasting instances are known as aashaa monetoo (“good spirit”) and otshee monetoo (“bad spirit”) respectively. According to legend, when the world was created, the Great Spirit, Aasha Monetoo, gave the land to the indigenous peoples, the Shawnee in particular.” ref

“The Anishinaabe culture, descended from the Algonquian-speaking Abenaki and Cree, inherited the Great Spirit tradition of their predecessors. Gitche Manitou (also transliterated as Gichi-manidoo) is an Anishinaabe language word typically interpreted as Great Spirit, the Creator of all things and the Giver of Life, and is sometimes translated as the “Great Mystery”. Historically, Anishinaabe people believed in a variety of spirits, whose images were placed near doorways for protection. According to Anishinaabe tradition, Michilimackinac, later named by European settlers as Mackinac Island, in Michigan, was the home of Gitche Manitou, and some Anishinaabeg tribes would make pilgrimages there for rituals devoted to the spirit.ref

“Other Anishinaabe names for such a figure, incorporated through the process of syncretism, are Gizhe-manidoo (“venerable Manidoo“), Wenizhishid-manidoo (“Fair Manidoo“) and Gichi-ojichaag (“Great Spirit”). While Gichi-manidoo and Gichi-ojichaag both mean “Great Spirit”, Gichi-manidoo carried the idea of the greater spiritual connectivity while Gichi-ojichaag carried the idea of individual soul’s connection to the Gichi-manidoo. Consequently, Christian missionaries often used the term Gichi-ojichaag to refer to the Christian idea of a Holy SpiritThe contemporary belief in the great spirit is generally associated with the Native American Church. The doctrine regarding the great spirit within this modern tradition is quite varied and generally takes on Christian ideas of a monotheistic God alongside animistic conceptions. The number of adherents to these contemporary beliefs in the great spirit are unknown, but it is likely they number over a quarter million people.” ref

“Early European explorers describe individual Native American tribes and even small bands as each having their own religious practices. Theology may be monotheisticpolytheistichenotheisticanimisticshamanisticpantheistic or any combination thereof, among others. Traditional beliefs are usually passed down in the forms of oral histories, stories, allegories, and principles.” ref

“The sun dance is a religious ceremony practiced by a number of Native American and First Nations peoples, primarily those of the Plains Nations. Each tribe that has some type of sun dance ceremony that has their own distinct practices and ceremonial protocols. In many cases, the ceremony is held in private and is not open to the public. Most details of the ceremony are kept from public knowledge out of great respect for, and the desire for protection of, the traditional ways. Many of the ceremonies have features in common, such as specific dances and songs passed down through many generations, the use of traditional drums, the sacred pipe, praying, fasting and, in some cases, the piercing of the skin. In Canada, the Plains Cree call this ceremony the Thirst Dance; the Saulteaux (Plains Ojibwe) call it the Rain Dance; and the Blackfoot (Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani) call it the Medicine Dance. It is also practiced by the Canadian Dakota and Nakoda, and the Dene.” ref

Regional forms of shamanism: Americas:

North America Shamanism

Although many Native American and First Nations cultures have traditional healers, singers, mystics, lore-keepers, and medicine people, none of them ever used, or use, the term “shaman” to describe these religious leaders. Rather, like other Indigenous, their spiritual functionaries are described by words in their own languages. Many of these indigenous religions have been misrepresented by outside observers and anthropologists. Often these accounts suffer from “noble savage“-type romanticism and racism, meaning that popular understanding of their practices is often inaccurate.” ref

“Not all Indigenous communities have roles for specific individuals who mediate with the spirit world on behalf of the community. Among those that do have this sort of religious structure, spiritual methods, and beliefs may have some commonalities, though many of these commonalities are due to some nations being closely related, from the same region, or through post-Colonial governmental policies leading to the combining of formerly independent nations on reservations. This can sometimes lead to the impression that there is more unity among belief systems than there was in antiquity.” ref

“With the arrival of Eurasian settlers and colonial administration, the practice of Native American traditional beliefs was discouraged in favor of Christianity. From the colonial era, up until the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1978, it was illegal for Indigenous people to practice traditional religion and sacred ceremonies. In most communities, the traditions were not completely eradicated, but rather went underground and were practiced secretly until the prohibitive laws were repealed, or were syncretized with Christianity, retaining some aspects of traditional beliefs and practices and combining them with Christian ones.” ref

“Up until and during the last hundred years, thousands of Native American and First Nations children from different communities were sent into the Canadian Indian residential school system and Indian boarding schools in an effort to eradicate tribal languages, cultures, and beliefs. This led to a further decline in the number of Indigenous people practicing traditional religion and medicine. Canadian laws enacted in 1982, and henceforth, have attempted to reverse previous attempts at extinguishing Native culture.” ref

Mesoamerica Shamanism

South America Shamanism

The Urarina of the Peruvian Amazon have an elaborate cosmological system predicated on the ritual consumption of ayahuasca, which is a key feature of their society. Santo Daime and União do Vegetal ( abbreviated to UDV) are syncretic religions with which use an entheogen called ayahuasca in an attempt to connect with the spirit realm and receive divine guidance.” ref

“In the Peruvian Amazon basin and north coastal regions of the country, the healers are known as curanderos. Ayahuasqueros are Peruvians who specialize in the use of ayahuasca. Ayahuasqueros have become popular among Western spiritual seekers, who claim that the ayauasqueros and their ayahuasca brews have cured them of everything from depression to addiction to cancer.” ref

“In addition to curanderos use of ayahuasca and their ritualized ingestion of mescaline-bearing San Pedro cactuses (Echinopsis pachanoi) for the divination and diagnosis of sorcery, north-coastal shamans are famous throughout the region for their intricately complex and symbolically dense healing altars called mesas (tables). Sharon (1993) has argued that the mesas symbolize the dualistic ideology underpinning the practice and experience of north-coastal shamanism. For Sharon, the mesas are the, “physical embodiment of the supernatural opposition between benevolent and malevolent energies” (Dean 1998: 61). In several tribes living in the Amazon rainforest, the spiritual leaders also act as managers of scarce ecological resources. The rich symbolism in Tukano culture has been documented in field works even in the last decades of the 20th century.” ref 

“The yaskomo of the Waiwai is believed to be able to perform a soul flight. The soul flight can serve several functions:

  • healing
  • flying to the sky to consult cosmological beings (the moon or the brother of the moon) to get a name for a newborn baby
  • flying to the cave of peccaries’ mountains to ask the father of peccaries for abundance of game
  • flying deep down in a river, to achieve the help of other beings.” ref

“Thus, a yaskomo is believed to be able to reach sky, earth, and water.” ref

“Among the Mapuche people of Chile, a machi is usually a woman who serves the community by performing ceremonies to cure diseases, ward off evil, influence the weather and harvest, and by practicing other forms of healing such as herbalism.” ref

For the Aymara people of South America the Yatiri is a healer who heals the body and the soul, they serve the community and do the rituals for Pachamama. Part of the healing power attributed to shamanic practices depends on the use of plant alkaloids taken during the therapeutic sessions.” ref

“Although Fuegians (the indigenous peoples of Tierra del Fuego) were all hunter-gatherers, they did not share a common culture. The material culture was not homogenous, either: the big island and the archipelago made two different adaptations possible. Some of the cultures were coast-dwelling, others were land-oriented. Both Selk’nam and Yámana had persons filling in shaman-like roles. The Selk’nams believed their /xon/s to have supernatural capabilities, e.g. to control weather. The figure of /xon/ appeared in myths, too. The Yámana /jekamuʃ/ corresponds to the Selknam /xon/.” ref

North America Aera

1. “Eskimo–Aleutor Inuit–Yupik–Unanganlanguages are a language family native to the northern portions of the North American continent, and a small part of northeastern Asia. Eskimoan languages and of Aleut divided into the Eskimoan and Aleut branches at least 4,000 years ago. They represent a separate, and the last, prehistoric migration of people from Asia.” ref

Alexander Vovin (2015) notes that northern Tungusic languages, which are spoken in eastern Siberia and northeastern China, have Eskaleut loanwords that are not found in Southern Tungusic, implying that Eskaleut was once much more widely spoken in eastern Siberia. Vovin (2015) estimates that the Eskaleut loanwords in Northern Tungusic had been borrowed no more than 2,000 years ago, which was when Tungusic was spreading northwards from its homeland in the middle reaches of the Amur River. Vovin (2015) considers the homeland (Urheimat) of Proto-Eskaleut to be in Siberia rather than in Alaska. There is general agreement that it is not closely related to the other language families of North America. The more credible proposals on the external relations of Eskaleut all concern one or more of the language families of northern Eurasia, such as Chukotko-Kamchatkan just across the Bering Strait. Phonologically, the Eskaleut languages resemble other language families of northern North America (Na-Dene and Tsimshianic) and far-eastern Siberia (Chukotko-Kamchatkan).” ref

Eskimo-Aleut Religion (Deities and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

“All animals are believed to possess a soul, when an animal had been hunted and killed a ritual would sometimes be performed to enable the animal to return to the place from which it had come. Certain taboos governed hunting practices. Land and sea animals were kept separate from one another. Women, who were ritually impure through birth or menstruation, were not allowed access to game. The life cycle was governed by a number of rites of passage. At death the soul would go to live in a land in the sky or in the sea. In some Eskimo-Aleut traditions the shaman was of great importance. Shamans would go into a trance and receive messages from spirits or deities or control them in order to ensure successful hunting. Shamans were also healers and could identify sorcerers who used their powers for evil ends.” ref

“Shamanism among Alaska Natives was particularly important as it served to construct their special connection to their land, and a kinship with the animals with whom they share that land. Before the introduction of western culture and the religions that are now practiced in Alaska, there was a common spiritual connection made with the people to the land they occupied. The most common name for this connection is shamanism. Shamanism differs in every culture where it is practiced, in Alaska it is centered in the animals that are common in the area. Through the use of many myths, stories, and ceremonies these animals are personified and their spirits made tangible and in turn are deeply woven within the Native Alaska people today. It was through the shaman that the spirit world was connected to the natural world. A shaman in Alaska Native culture was a mediator, healer and the spirit worlds’ mouthpiece. Although shamanism is no longer popularly practiced, it was and continues to be the heart of the Native Alaskan people. Suh as Aleuts, Athabaskan, Haida, Tlingit.” ref

2. “Na-DenéAthabaskan–Eyak–Tlingit is a family of Native American languages that includes at least the Athabaskan languagesEyak, and Tlingit languages. The southwestern division of Athabaskan is also called Southern Athabaskan or Apachean, and includes Navajo and all the Apache languages.  A proposal connecting Na-Dene (excluding Haida) to the Yeniseian languages of central Siberia into a Dené–Yeniseian family was published and well-received by a number of linguists. Evidence suggesting that the Na-Dene languages (Athabaskan–Eyak–Tlingit) might be related to the Yeniseian (or Yeniseic) languages of Siberia, the only living representative of which is the Ket language.” ref

“Dené–Yeniseian is a proposed language family consisting of the Yeniseian languages of central Siberia and the Na-Dené languages of northwestern North America. As a result, he agreed with the consensus belief that lexical evidence of a genetic relationship becomes virtually undetectable after about 8,000 to 10,000 years of linguistic separation, but suggested that certain sorts of complex morphology may remain stable beyond this time period. And addressing non-linguistic evidence, including analyses of Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, which are passed unchanged down the male and female lines, respectively, except for mutations. His most compelling DNA evidence is the Q1 Y-chromosomal haplogroup subclade, which he notes arose c. 15,000 years ago and is found in nearly all Native Americans and nearly all of the Yeniseian Ket people (90%), but almost nowhere else in Eurasia except for the Selkup people (65%), who have intermarried with the Ket people for centuries.” ref

“Using this and other evidence, he proposes a Proto-Dené-Yeniseian homeland located in eastern Siberia around the Amur and Aldan Rivers. These people would have been hunter-gatherers, as are the modern Yeniseians, but unlike nearly all other Siberian groups (except for some Paleosiberian peoples located around the Pacific Rim of far eastern Siberia, who appear genetically unrelated to the Yeniseians). Eventually, all descendants in Eurasia were eliminated by the spread of reindeer-breeding pastoralist peoples (e.g. the speakers of the so-called Altaic languages) except for the modern Yeniseians, who were able to survive in swampy refuges far to the west along the Yenisei River because it is too mosquito-infested for reindeer to survive easily. Contrarily, the caribou (the North American reindeer population) were never domesticated, and thus the modern Na-Dené people were not similarly threatened.” ref

Dené–Yeniseian Religion (Deities and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

Siberian Folklore and the Na-Dené Origins: Six folklore motifs shared by the native Na-Dené speakers in North America and in Southern Siberia are revealed. In such combination, these motifs are known nowhere else. The spread of the Na-Dené languages to North America was related to the migration of the bearers of the Dyuktai culture. The lack of parallels for the Na-Dené folklore in Yakutia, Kolyma, Chukotka, and Kamchatka is understandable: the Dyuktai people had gone to Alaska and their heritage was erased by the waves of newcomers. The folklore motifs that are shared both by Na-Dené and Siberian peoples go back to the traditions of the southern neighbors of the Dyuktai people. The population density across the area between Altai and Trans-Baikal region was higher than in northward territories; therefore, the remains of the “Paleolithic” folklore could survive, notwithstanding the multiple language changes.” ref 

“Legends come from the Dene Suline people (also known as “Chipewyan”), the traditional stories of related Athabaskan tribes like the Dene Tha and Carrier tribes are very similar. Yedariyé (or Niottsi): This is the name of the great sky god of the Dene tribes. He is a benevolent creator spirit who will occasionally intervene to help people in distress. Yedariyé means “He who lives on high,” and Niottsi means “Creator.” Yamoria: Also known as the Old Man, Transformer, or Wanderer. In Dene stories, Yamoria frequently uses his cleverness rather than his strength to defeat his enemies, at which point he either kills them or transforms them into something harmless.” ref

Dene Indian Folklore

Dene Creation Myth:
Dene legend about the creation of the world.
The Monster Bird:
A Dene story about a young man’s adventures in the sky world.
Dene legends about a magical caribou boy.
Sa-Klu-Nazetti (The Sun Taken in a Snare):
Chippewyan myth about the origin of the seasons.
Love and Support:
Story of a Dene man adopted by a bear.
Bear and Squirrel:
Dene story about the origin of light and darkness.
The Boy Who Became Strong:
Dene Indian story about a hero and his faithful wife.
Elder Speak:
Collection of oral history narrated by Cree and Dene elders.
Mythology of the Chipewyans:
Early 20th-century collection of Dene legends.” ref

“The Yeniseian people refers either to the modern or ancient Siberian populations speaking Yeniseian languages. Despite evidence pointing to the historical presence of Yeniseian populations throughout Central Siberia and Northern Mongolia, only the Ket and Yugh people survive today. The modern Yeniseians live along the eastern middle stretch of the Yenisei River in Northern Siberia. Based on hydronymic data, the Yeniseians originated from the area around the Sayan Mountains and the southern tip of Lake Baikal. The Yeniseians are thought to be closely related to the Na-Dene populations of Canada and Alaska. According to a 2016 study, the Ket and other Yeniseian people originated likely somewhere near the Altai Mountains or near Lake Baikal. It is suggested that parts of the Altaians are predominantly of Yeniseian origin and closely related to the Ket people.” ref

“The Ket people are also closely related to several Native American groups. According to this study, the Yeniseians are linked to the Paleo-Eskimo groups. It has been suggested that the part of the Xiongnu underwent a linguistic shift from Yeniseian to Turkic. According to Jingyi Gao (2014) lexical similarities between the Hungarian language and the Yeniseian languages may point to a Yeniseian presence within the Hun confederation, and a possible Hunnic substratum among Hungarian. Many recognisable Turkic and Mongolic words, such as the royal titles KhanKhagan, and Tarqan, and the word for “sky” and later “god”, Tengri, may be loanwords from Yeniseian. Tengri in particular has been derived from Yeniseian tɨŋVr by linguist Stefan Georg, in an analysis praised as “excellent” by Alexander Vovin.” ref

“The ancestors of Yeniseian peoples may have been related to the Syalakh culture of ancient Yakutia. Yeniseian people, specifically Ket, also show high amounts of affinity towards Tuvans and other peoples of Siberia, suggesting that Yeniseian ancestry can be linked to Paleo-Siberians, which replaced previous Upper-Paleolithic Siberians (Ancient North Eurasian) as the dominant population, and were subsequently largely assimilated by Neo-Siberians from Northeast Asia. Ancient Yeniseian speakers can be associated with a Late Neolithic/Bronze Age ancestry in the Baikal area (Cisbaikal_LNBA or Baikal_EBA) maximized among hunter-gatherers of the local Glazkovo culture.” ref

“They can be differentiated from the earlier ‘Early Neolithic Baikal hunter-gatherers’ associated with the Kitoi and Fofonovo cultures (Baikal_EN) and later Amur-derived (DevilsCave_N-like) groups. Cisbaikal_LNBA ancestry is inferred to be rich in Ancient Paleo-Siberian ancestry, and also display affinity to Inner Northeast Asian (Yumin-like) groups. This type of ancestry has also been observed among Eastern Scythians (Saka) and made up nearly all of the ancestry (85-95%) from an outlier sample of the Karasuk culture (RISE497). Cisbaikal_LNBA ancestry later spreaded together with Glazkovo-type pottery to the forest zone of the Middle Angara, correlating with the supposed dispersal of yeniseian languages, supporting a homeland in the Cis-Baikal region. Cisbaikal_LNBA has also been found at low amounts among Athabaskan speakers, lending support to the Dene-Yeniseian hypothesis.” ref

“Tengri (Old Turkic: 𐰚𐰇𐰚:𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃, romanized: Kök Teŋri/Teŋirilit. ’Blue Heaven’; Old Uyghur:  tängriMiddle Turkic: تآنغرِ; Ottoman TurkishتڭریKyrgyz: Теңир; Kazakh: Тәңір; TurkishTanrıAzerbaijaniTanrıBulgarian: Тангра; Proto-Turkic *teŋri / *taŋrɨMongolian scriptᠲᠩᠷᠢT’ngriMongolian: Тэнгэр, TengerUyghur: تەڭرى tengri ) is the all-encompassing God of Heaven in the traditional TurkicYeniseianMongolic, and various other nomadic Altaic religious beliefs. Tengri is not considered a deity in the usual sense, but a personification of the universe. However, some qualities associated with Tengri as the judge and source of life, and being eternal and supreme, led European and Muslim writers to identify Tengri as a deity of Turkic and Mongolic peoples. It is also one of the terms used for the primary chief deity of the early Turkic and Mongolic peoples. Worship surrounding Tengri is called Tengrism. The core beings in Tengrism are the Sky Father (Tenger Etseg) and the Earth Mother (Umay Ana).” ref

“Tengrism involves ancestor worship, as Tengri was thought to have been the ancestral progenitor of mankind in Turkic regions and Mongoliashamanismanimism, and totemism. The oldest form of the name is recorded in Chinese annals from the 4th century BCE, describing the beliefs of the Xiongnu. It takes the form 撑犁/Cheng-li, which is hypothesized to be a Chinese transcription of Tängri. (The Proto-Turkic form of the word has been reconstructed as *Teŋri or *Taŋrɨ.) Alternatively, a reconstructed Altaic etymology from *T`aŋgiri (“oath” or “god”) would emphasize the god’s divinity rather than his domain over the sky. It is generally assumed the term tengri originally meant “sky”. Andrey Kononov suggested that the term is formed by the words tän (morning) and injir (evening) into tänri, referring to the sky as whole. The Turkic form, Tengri, is attested in the 8th century Orkhon inscriptions as the Old Turkic form 𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃‎ Teŋri.” ref

“In modern Turkish, the derived word “Tanrı” is used as the generic word for “god”, or for the Abrahamic God, and is used today by Turkish people to refer to any god. The supreme deity of the traditional religion of the Chuvash is Tură. Earlier, the Chinese word for “sky” 天 (Mandarintiān < Old Chinese *thīn or *thîn) has been suggested to be related to Tengri, possibly a loan into Chinese from a prehistoric Central Asian language. However, this proposal is unlikely in light of recent reconstructions of the Old Chinese pronunciation of the character “天”, such as *qʰl’iːn (Zhengzhang) or *l̥ˤi[n] (Baxter-Sagart), which propose for 天 a voiceless lateral onset, either a cluster or single consonant, respectively.” ref

“Baxter & Sagart (2014:113-114) pointed to attested dialectal differences in Eastern Han Chinese, the use of 天 as a phonetic component in phono-semantic compound Chinese characters, and the choice of 天 to transcribe foreign syllables, all of which prompted them to conclude that, around 200 CE, 天’s onset had two pronunciations: coronal * & dorsal *x, both of which likely originated from an earlier voiceless lateral *l̥ˤ. Linguist Stefan Georg has proposed that the Turkic word ultimately originates as a loanword from Proto-Yeniseian *tɨŋgɨr- “high”. Tengri was the main god of the Turkic pantheon, controlling the celestial sphere. Tengri is considered to be similar to the Indo-European sky god, *Dyeus, and the structure of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is closer to that of the early Turks than to the religion of any people of Near Eastern or Mediterranean antiquity.” ref

“Tengrism (also known as TengriismTengerism, or Tengrianism) is a religion originating in the Eurasian steppes, based on shamanism and animism. It generally involves the titular sky god Tengri, who is not considered a deity in the usual sense but a personification of the universe. According to some scholars, adherents of Tengrism view the purpose of life to be in harmony with the universe. It was the prevailing religion of the GöktürksXianbeiBulgarsXiongnuYeniseian, and Mongolic peoples and Huns, as well as the state religion of several medieval states: the First Turkic Khaganatethe Western Turkic Khaganatethe Eastern Turkic KhaganateOld Great Bulgariathe First Bulgarian EmpireVolga BulgariaKhazaria, and the Mongol Empire. In the Irk Bitig, a ninth century manuscript on divination, Tengri is mentioned as Türük Tängrisi (God of Turks).” ref

“According to many academics, Tengrism was, and to some extent still is, a predominantly polytheistic religion based on the shamanistic concept of animism, and was first influenced by monotheism during the imperial period, especially by the 12th–13th centuries. Abdulkadir Inan argues that Yakut and Altai shamanism are not entirely equal to the ancient Turkic religion. The name Tengri (“the Sky”) is derived from Old Turkic: Tenk (“daybreak”) or Tan (“dawn”). Meanwhile, Stefan Georg proposed that the Turkic Tengri ultimately originates as a loanword from Proto-Yeniseian *tɨŋgɨr- “high”. Mongolia is sometimes poetically called the “Land of Eternal Blue Sky” (Mönkh Khökh Tengeriin Oron) by its inhabitants. According to some scholars, the name of the important deity Dangun (also Tangol) (God of the Mountains) of the Korean folk religion is related to the Siberian Tengri (“Heaven”), while the bear is a symbol of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major).” ref

“In modern Turkey and, partly, Kyrgyzstan, Tengrism is known as the Tengricilik or Göktanrı dini (“Sky God religion”); the Turkish gök (sky) and tanrı (God) correspond to the Mongolian khukh (blue) and Tengeri (sky), respectively. The nature of this religion remains debatable. According to many scholars, it was originally polytheistic, but a monotheistic branch with the sky god Kök-Tengri as the supreme being evolved as a dynastical legitimation. It is at least agreed that Tengrism formed from the diverse folk religions of the local people and may have had diverse branches. It is suggested that Tengrism was a monotheistic religion only at the imperial level in aristocratic circles, and, perhaps, only by the 12th-13th centuries (a late form of development of ancient animistic shamanism in the era of the Mongol empire). According to Jean-Paul Roux, the monotheistic concept evolved later out of a polytheistic system and was not the original form of Tengrism.” ref

“The monotheistic concept helped to legitimate the rule of the dynasty: “As there is only one God in Heaven, there can only be one ruler on the earth …”. Others point out that Tengri itself was never an Absolute, but only one of many gods of the upper world, the sky deity, of polytheistic shamanism, later known as Tengrism. Tengrism differs from contemporary Siberian shamanism in that it was a more organized religion. Additionally the polities practicing it were not small bands of hunter-gatherers like the Paleosiberians, but a continuous succession of pastoral, semi-sedentarized khanates and empires from the Xiongnu Empire (founded 209 BC) to the Mongol Empire (13th century). In Mongolia it survives as a synthesis with Tibetan Buddhism while surviving in purer forms around Lake Khovsgol and Lake Baikal. Unlike Siberian shamanism, which has no written tradition, Tengrism can be identified from Turkic and Mongolic historical texts like the Orkhon inscriptionsSecret History of the Mongols, and Altan Tobchi. However, these texts are more historically oriented and are not strictly religious texts like the scriptures and sutras of sedentary civilizations, which have elaborate doctrines and religious stories.” ref

“On a scale of complexity, Tengrism lies somewhere between the Proto-Indo-European religion (a pre-state form of pastoral shamanism on the western steppe) and its later form the Vedic religion. The chief god Tengri (“Heaven”) is considered strikingly similar to the Indo-European sky god *Dyḗus and the East Asian Tian (Chinese: “Sky; Heaven”). The structure of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is actually closer to that of the early Turks than to the religion of any people of neolithic European, Near Eastern or Mediterranean antiquity. The term “shamanism” was first applied by Western anthropologists as outside observers of the ancient religion of the Turkic and Mongolic peoples, as well as those of the neighbouring Tungusic and Samoyedic-speaking peoples. Upon observing more religious traditions across the world, some Western anthropologists began to also use the term in a very broad sense. The term was used to describe unrelated magico-religious practices found within the ethnic religions of other parts of Asia, Africa, Australasia and even completely unrelated parts of the Americas, as they believed these practices to be similar to one another.” ref 

“The peak of the mountain Khan Tengri, between ChinaKyrgyzstan, which is a mountain of the Tian Shan mountain range. The name “Khan Tengri” literally means “King Heaven” in Kazakh or “King Sky” in Mongolian and possibly references the deity Tengri that both exist in Pagan Tengrism and Central Asian Buddhism. Khan Tengri was believed to be the highest peak in the range until Jengish Chokusu.” ref 

“Tiān (天) is one of the oldest Chinese terms for heaven and a key concept in Chinese mythologyphilosophy, and religion. During the Shang dynasty (17th―11th century BCE), the Chinese referred to their highest god as Shàngdì (上帝, “Lord Above”) or  (帝, “Lord”). During the following Zhou dynastyTiān became synonymous with this figure. Before the 20th century, worship of Tiān was an orthodox state religion of China. In Taoism and ConfucianismTiān (the celestial aspect of the cosmos, often translated as “Heaven“) is mentioned in relationship to its complementary aspect of  (, often translated as “Earth“). They are thought to maintain the two poles of the Three Realms (三界) of reality, with the middle realm occupied by Humanity (人, rén), and the lower world occupied by demons (魔, ) and “ghosts”, the damned, (鬼, guǐ). For the etymology of tiān, Schuessler links it with the Mongolian word tengri “sky, heaven, heavenly deity” or the Tibeto-Burman words taleŋ (Adi) and tǎ-lyaŋ (Lepcha), both meaning “sky.” ref

“He also suggests a likely connection between Chinese tiān 天, diān 巔 “summit, mountaintop”, and diān 顛 “summit, top of the head, forehead”, which have cognates such as Zemeic Naga tiŋ “sky”. However, other reconstructions of 天’s OC pronunciation *qʰl’iːn or *l̥ˤi[n]  reconstructed a voiceless lateral onset, either a cluster or a single consonant, respectively. Baxter & Sagart pointed to attested dialectal differences in Eastern Han Chinese, the use of 天 as a phonetic component in phono-semantic compound Chinese characters, and the choice of 天 to transcribe foreign syllables, all of which prompted them to conclude that, around 200 CE, 天’s onset had two pronunciations: coronal * & dorsal *x, both of which likely originated from an earlier voiceless lateral *l̥ˤ.” ref

“Tiān was variously thought as a “supreme power reigning over lesser gods and human beings” that brought “order and calm…or catastrophe and punishment”, a goddestiny, an “impersonal” natural force that controlled various events, a holy world or afterlife containing other worlds or afterlives, or one or more of these. The modern Chinese character  and early seal script both combine   “great; large” and   “one”, but some of the original characters in Shāng oracle bone script and Zhōu bronzeware script anthropomorphically portray a large head on a great person. The ancient oracle and bronze ideograms for  大 depict a stick figure person with arms stretched out denoting “great; large”. The oracle and bronze characters for tiān 天 emphasize the cranium of this “great (person)”, either with a square or round head, or head marked with one or two lines.” ref

“Schuessler notes the bronze graphs for tiān, showing a person with a round head, resemble those for dīng  “4th Celestial stem“, and suggests “The anthropomorphic graph may or may not indicate that the original meaning was ‘deity’, rather than ‘sky’.”  Two variant Chinese characters for tiān 天 “heaven” are 二人 (written with  er “two” and  ren “human”) and the Daoist coinage  (with  qīng “blue” and  ““, i.e., “blue sky”). The Modern Standard Chinese pronunciation of 天 “sky, heaven; heavenly deity, god” is tiān [tʰi̯ɛn˥] in level first tone. The character is read as Cantonese tin1Taiwanese thiN1 or thian1Vietnamese thiênKorean cheon or ch’ŏn (천); and Japanese ten in On’yomi (borrowed Chinese reading) and ama- (bound), ame (free), or sora in Kun’yomi (native Japanese reading).” ref

“Lord Heaven” and “Jade Emperor” were terms for a supreme deity in Confucianism and Taoism who was an anthropromorphized Tian, and some conceptions of it thought of the names as synonymous. Tiān was viewed as “the dwelling place of Godgods,…other superhuman beings and the…state of being of the saved”. It was also viewed as “the guardian of both the moral laws of mankind and the physical laws of nature…and is synonymous with the divine will.” In Chinese culture, heaven tends to be “synonymous with order”, “containing the blueprints for creation”, “the mandate by which earthly rulers govern, and the standards by which to measure beauty, goodness, and truth.” Zhou dynasty nobles made the worship of heaven a major part of their political philosophy and viewed it as “many gods” who embodied order and kingship, as well as the mandate of heaven.” ref

“Confucianism has a religious side with a deep reverence for Heaven and Earth (Di), whose powers regulate the flow of nature and influence human events.” Yin and yang are also thought to be integral to this relationship and permeate both, as well as humans and man-made constructs. This “cosmos” and its “principles” is something that “[t]he ways of man should conform to, or else” frustration will result. Many Confucianists, both historically and in current times, use the I Ching to divine events through the changes of Tiān and other “natural forces”. The concept of Heaven (Tiān, 天) is pervasive in Confucianism. Confucius had a deep trust in Heaven and believed that Heaven overruled human efforts. He also believed that he was carrying out the will of Heaven, and that Heaven would not allow its servant, Confucius, to be dead until his work was done and complete. The number of vertical heaven layers in Taoism is different. A common belief in Taoism is that there were 36 Tiān “arranged on six levels” that have “different deities”. The highest heaven is the “Great Web” which was sometimes said to be where Yuanshi Tianzun lived.” ref

“After death, some Taoists were thought to explore “heavenly realms” and/or become Taoist immortals. These immortals could be good or evil, and there were sometimes rivalries between them. Some heavens in Taoism were thought to be evil, as in Shangqing Daoism, although Tiān was mostly thought of as a force for good. Heaven is sometimes seen as synonymous with the Dao or a natural energy that can be accessed by living in accordance with the Dao. A Tao realm inconceivable and incomprehensible by normal humans and even Confucius and Confucianists was sometimes called “the Heavens”. Higher, spiritual versions of Daoists such as Laozi were thought to exist in there when they were alive and absorb “the purest Yin and Yang“, as well as xian who were reborn into it after their human selves’ spirits were sent there. These spiritual versions were thought to be abstract beings that can manifest in that world as mythical beings such as xian dragons who eat yin and yang energy and ride clouds and their qi.” ref

“Some tiān in Chinese folk religion were thought to be many different or a hierarchy of multiple, sphere-like realms that contained morally ambiguous creatures and spirits such as huli jing and fire-breathing dragons. The Tao realm was thought to exist by many ancient folk religion practitioners. In some cases, the heavens in Japanese traditional religion of Shinto were thought to be a hierarchy of multiple, sphere-like realms that contained kami such as fox spirits. Myths about the kami were told “of their doings on Earth and in heaven.” Heaven was thought to be a clean and orderly place for nature gods in Shinto.” ref

3. The Algic languages(also Algonquian–Wiyot–Yurok or Algonquian–Ritwan) are an indigenous language family of North America. Most Algic languages belong to the Algonquiansubfamily, dispersed over a broad area from the Rocky Mountains to Atlantic Canada. The other Algic languages are the Yurok and Wiyot of northwestern California, which, despite their geographic proximity, are not closely related. All these languages descend from Proto-Algic, a second-order proto-language estimated to have been spoken about 7,000 years ago and reconstructed using the reconstructed Proto-Algonquian language and the Wiyot and Yurok languages.” ref

“When Edward Sapir proposed that the well-established Algonquian family was genetically related to the Wiyot and Yurok languages of northern California, he applied the term Algic to this larger family. The Algic urheimat is thought to have been located in the Northwestern United States somewhere between the suspected homeland of the Algonquian branch (to the west of Lake Superior according to Goddard) and the earliest known location of the Wiyot and Yurok (along the middle Columbia River “Around Washington state, or maybe Oregon” according to Whistler). Sergei Nikolaev has argued in two papers for a systematic relationship between the Nivkh language of Sakhalin and the Amur river basin and the Algic languages, and a secondary relationship between these two together and the Wakashan languages.” ref

“Proto-Algic is the proto-language from which the Algic languages (Wiyot languageYurok language, and Proto-Algonquian) are descended. It is estimated to have been spoken about 7,000 years ago somewhere in the American Northwest, possibly around the Columbia Plateau. It is an example of a second-level proto-language (a proto-language whose reconstruction depends on data from another proto-language, namely its descendant language Proto-Algonquian) which is widely agreed to have existed.” ref

Algic–Algonquin Religion (Deities and Shamanism/or “medicine people”) 

“Anishinaabe traditional beliefs cover the traditional belief system of the Anishinaabeg peoples, consisting of the Algonquin/NipissingOjibwa/Chippewa/Saulteaux/MississaugasOdawaPotawatomi and Oji-Cree, located primarily in the Great Lakes region of North America. The Midewiwin (also spelled Midewin and Medewiwin) is the Grand Medicine Society of the indigenous groups of the MaritimesNew England and Great Lakes regions in North America. Its practitioners are called Midew and the practices of Midewiwin referred to as the Mide. The Midewiwin society is a secretive animistic religion, requiring an initiation, and then progressing to four levels of practitioners, called “degrees”. Occasionally, male Midew are called Midewinini, which sometimes is very loosely translated into English as “medicine man“. The Waabanowin (also spelled WabuowinWabunohwin and Wabunohiwin) is the Dawn Society, also sometime improperly called the “Magical Dawn Society”. Its practitioners are called Waabanow and the practices of Waabanowin referred to as the Waabano. The Wabanowin are distinct society of visionaries. Like the Midewiwin, the Waabanowin is a secretive animistic religion, requiring an initiation.” ref 

“But unlike the Mide, the Waabano have sometimes two levels and sometimes four. This variation being dependent on the particular lodge. The Jiisakiiwin are also known as the Shaking Tent or the Juggler’s Tent. Among the Anishinaabeg, a particularly powerful and well-respected spiritual practice. Those who had trained from childhood are called a Jaasakiid or Jiisakiiwinini, also known as a “Juggler” or “Shaking-tent Seer.” Nanabozho (also known by a variety of other names and spellings, including WenabozhoMenabozho, and Nanabush) is a trickster figure and culture hero who features as the protagonist of a cycle of stories that serve as the Anishinaabe origin belief. The cycle, which varies somewhat from community to community, tells the story of Nanabozho’s conception, birth, and his ensuing adventures, which involve interactions with spirit and animal beings, the creation of the Earth, and the establishment of the Midewiwin. The myth cycle explains the origin of several traditions, including mourning customs, beliefs about the afterlife, and the creation of the sacred plant asemaa (tobacco). In Anishinaabe traditional belief, everything in the environment is interconnected and has important relationships with the things around it.” ref 

“Non-humans, and ecosystems are viewed as having great worth and importance, in addition to humans.  One such relationship in Anishinaabe homeland (what is now known as the Great Lake region) is between nmé (lake sturgeon), manoomin (wild rice), nibi (water), and humans. Similar relationships are exemplified in stories. For example, in her book A Short History of the Blockade, Leanne B. Simpson tells a story about Amik (beaver), stating “They [beavers] are consenting to giving up their bodies to help the Nishnaabeg feed their families.” The Seven Grandfather Teachings are traditional guiding principles for living a good life still in use by Anishnaabe peoples today. (They originate from the Potowatomi and Ojibwe tribes specifically.) These teachings include wisdom, respect, love, honesty, humility, bravery, and truth, and are supposed to be practiced towards humans, the earth, and everything in the environment. According to Leanne B. Simpson in A Short History of the Blockade, the Seven Grandfather Teachings were “…gifted to the Nishnaabeg by Seven Ancestors, a group of loving Elders and advisors that taught a young child these practices as recorded in one of our Sacred Stories.” Each of the teachings has an animal that represents it.” ref 

“The Algonquins (or Algonkins) are an aboriginal North American people speaking Algonquin, an Anishinaabe language. Culturally and linguistically, they are closely related to the Odawa and Ojibwe, with whom they form the larger Anicinàpe (or Anishinaabe) grouping. Although the historical Algonquin society was largely hunting- and fishing-based, some Algonquins practiced agriculture and cultivated cornbeans, and squash, the famous “Three Sisters” of indigenous horticulture. Traditionally, the Algonquins lived in cone-shaped tipi-like dwellings, rather than the usual North Eastern dome-shaped wigwams. They also built rectangular hunting shelters.” ref

“Bring primarily a hunting culture, mobility was essential. Material used had to be light and easy to transport. Canoes were made of birch bark, sowed with spruce roots and rendered waterproof by the application of heated-up spruce resin and grease. It was easy to move and the material readily available. During winter, toboggans were used to transport material and people used snowshoes to walk on the snow. For babies, they constructed tikinàgan (cradleboards) to carry them. They were built with wood and covered with an envelope made of leather or material. The baby was standing up with his feet resting on a small board. The mother would then put the tikinàgan on her back. This allowed the infant to look around and observe his surroundings, therefore start learning how everyday tasks were done.” ref

“The Algonquins were practitioners of Midewiwin, the secretive religion of the aboriginal groups of the Maritimes, New England, and Great Lakes regions in North America. Its practitioners are called Midew and the practices of Midewiwin referred to as Mide. Occasionally, male Midew are called Midewinini, which sometimes is translated into English as either “shaman” or “medicine man.” Midewiwin is based on the world view (religious beliefs) of the Ojibwa people. The Algonquin believed they were surrounded by many manitòk or spirits. The “Great Spirit” was the creator of the world, a supernatural power inherent in all things, both living and non-living. There were also many lesser spirits, both good and evil.” ref

“Dreams were of particular significance, and their interpretation was an important responsibility of the shamans. Their shamans were believed to be able to communicate with the spirit world, and thus their guidance was sought by hunters for success in the hunt, for healing the sick, and generally for guidance on important matters of life. They believed that after death the spirits of hunters went on to pursue the spirits of animals. They also had a great fear of witchcraft, fearing to use their real names in case of misuse by enemies with spiritual power and evil intent. An important ceremony for the Algonquins was the annual “Feast of the Dead.” This was a war dance performed for visiting tribes, which in addition to its spiritual significance provided an occasion for the strengthening of relations between villages and the exchange of gifts, particularly beaver furs.” ref

“The OjibweOjibwaChippewa, or Saulteaux are an Anishinaabe people in what is currently southern Canada, the northern Midwestern United States, and Northern Plains. They are Indigenous peoples of the Subarctic and Northeastern Woodlands. The language belongs to the Algonquian linguistic group and is descended from Proto-Algonquian. Its sister languages include BlackfootCheyenneCreeFoxMenomineePotawatomi, and Shawnee among the northern Plains tribes. Anishinaabemowin is frequently referred to as a “Central Algonquian” language; Central Algonquian is an area grouping, however, rather than a linguistic genetic one. Ojibwemowin is the fourth-most spoken Native language in North America after Navajo, Cree, and Inuktitut. According to Ojibwe oral history, seven great miigis (Cowrie shells) appeared to them in the Waabanakiing (Land of the Dawn, i.e., Eastern Land) to teach them the mide way of life. One of the miigis was too spiritually powerful and killed the people in the Waabanakiing when they were in its presence.” ref

“The six others remained to teach, while the one returned into the ocean. The six established doodem (clans) for people in the east, symbolized by animals. The five original Anishinaabe doodem were the Wawaazisii (Bullhead), Baswenaazhi (Echo-maker, i.e., Crane), Aan’aawenh (Pintail Duck), Nooke (Tender, i.e., Bear) and Moozoonsii (Little Moose). The six miigis then returned to the ocean as well. If the seventh had stayed, it would have established the Thunderbird doodem. The Ojibwe have spiritual beliefs that have been passed down by oral tradition under the Midewiwin teachings. These include a creation story and a recounting of the origins of ceremonies and rituals. Spiritual beliefs and rituals were very important to the Ojibwe because spirits guided them through life. Birch bark scrolls and petroforms were used to pass along knowledge and information, as well as for ceremonies. Pictographs were also used for ceremonies.” ref

“The sweatlodge is still used during important ceremonies about the four directions, when oral history is recounted. Teaching lodges are common today to teach the next generations about the language and ancient ways of the past. The traditional ways, ideas, and teachings are preserved and practiced in such living ceremonies. The modern dreamcatcher, adopted by the Pan-Indian Movement and New Age groups, originated in the Ojibwe “spider web charm”, a hoop with woven string or sinew meant to replicate a spider’s web, used as a protective charm for infants. According to Ojibwe legend, the protective charms originate with the Spider Woman, known as Asibikaashi; who takes care of the children and the people on the land and as the Ojibwe Nation spread to the corners of North America it became difficult for Asibikaashi to reach all the children, so the mothers and grandmothers wove webs for the children, which had an apotropaic purpose and were not explicitly connected with dreams.” ref

“In Ojibwe tradition, the main task after a death is to bury the body as soon as possible, the very next day or even on the day of death. This was important because it allowed the spirit of the dead to journey to its place of joy and happiness. The land of happiness where the dead reside is called Gaagige Minawaanigozigiwining. This was a journey that took four days. If burial preparations could not be completed the day of the death, guests and medicine men were required to stay with the deceased and the family in order to help mourn, while also singing songs and dancing throughout the night. Once preparations were complete, the body would be placed in an inflexed position with their knees towards their chest. Over the course of the four days it takes the spirit to journey to its place of joy, it is customary to have food kept alongside the grave at all times.” ref

“A fire is set when the sun sets and is kept going throughout the night. The food is to help feed the spirit over the course of the journey, while the smoke from the fire is a directional guide. Once the four day journey is over, a feast is held, which is led by the chief medicine man. At the feast, it is the chief medicine man’s duty to give away certain belongings of the deceased. Those who were chosen to receive items from the deceased are required to trade in a new piece of clothing, all of which would be turned into a bundle. The bundle of new cloths and a dish is then given to the closest relative. The recipient of the bundle must then find individuals that he or she believes to be worthy, and pass on one of the new pieces of clothing.” ref

4. “Siouan–Catawban languages is a language family of North America that is located primarily in the Great PlainsOhio, and Mississippi valleys and southeastern North America with a few other languages in the east. Authors who call the entire family Siouan distinguish the two branches as Western Siouan and Eastern Siouan or as “Siouan-proper” and “Catawban”. Siouan languages can be grouped into Western Siouan languages and Catawban. The Yuchi isolate may be the closest relative of Sioux–Catawban, based on both sound changes and morphological comparison.” ref

“The Western Siouan languages, are closely related to the Catawban languages, sometimes called Eastern Siouan, and together with them constitute the Siouan (Siouan–Catawban) language family. Linguistic and historical records indicate a possible southern origin of the Siouan people, with migrations over a thousand years ago from North Carolina and Virginia to Ohio. Some continued down the Ohio River, to the Mississippi and up to the Missouri. Others went down the Mississippi, settling in what is now Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Others traveled across Ohio to what is now Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, home of the Dakota. With the main groups: Mandan, Crow, Dakotan (a.k.a. Sioux/Lakota/DakotaAssiniboineStoney).” ref

Siouan–Catawban Religion (Deities and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

“The Sioux have two major linguistic divisions: the Dakota and Lakota peoples (translation: “friend” or “ally” referring to the alliances between the bands). Collectively, they are the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, or “Seven Council Fires”. The Lakota, also called Teton (Thítȟuŋwaŋ; possibly “dwellers on the prairie”), are the westernmost Sioux, known for their Plains Indians hunting and warrior culture. The Sioux people refer to their whole nation of people (sometimes called the Great Sioux Nation) as the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (pronounced [oˈtʃʰetʰi ʃaˈkowĩ], meaning “Seven Council Fires”).” ref

“Each fire is a symbol of an oyate (people or nation). The traditional social structure of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ strongly relied on kinship ties that extend beyond human interaction and includes the natural and supernatural worlds. Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ (“all are related”) represents a spiritual belief of how human beings should ideally act and relate to other humans, the natural world, the spiritual world, and to the cosmos. The thiyóšpaye represents the political and economic structure of traditional society. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the different Očhéthi Šakówiŋ villages (oyáte, “tribe/nation”) consisted of many thiyóšpaye (“camp circles”), which were large extended families united by kinship (thiwáhe, “immediate family”). Thiyóšpaye varied in size, were led by a leader appointed by an elder council, and were nicknamed after a prominent member or memorable event associated with the band.” ref

“The traditional social system extended beyond human interaction into the supernatural realms. It is believed that Wakȟáŋ Tháŋka (“Great Spirit/Great Mystery”) created the universe and embodies everything in the universe as one. The preeminent symbol of Sioux religion is the Čhaŋgléska Wakȟaŋ (“sacred hoop”), which visually represents the concept that everything in the universe is intertwined. The creation stories of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ describe how the various spirits were formed from Wakȟáŋ Tháŋka.” ref 

Black Elk describes the relationships with Wakȟáŋ Tháŋka as:

We should understand well that all things are the works of the Great Spirit. We should know that He is within all things: the trees, the grasses, the rivers, the mountains, and all the four-legged animals, and the winged peoples; and even more important, we should understand that He is also above all these things and peoples. When we do understand all this deeply in our hearts, then we will fear, and love, and know the Great Spirit, and then we will be and act and live as He intends.” ref

“Prayer is believed to invoke relationships with one’s ancestors or spiritual world. The Lakota word for prayerwočhékiye, means “to call on for aid,” “to pray,” and “to claim relationship with”. Their primary cultural prophet is Ptesáŋwiŋ, White Buffalo Calf Woman, who came as an intermediary between Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka and humankind to teach them how to be good relatives by introducing the Seven Sacred Rites and the čhaŋnúŋpa (sacred pipe). The seven ceremonies are Inípi (purification lodge), Haŋbléčheyapi (crying for vision), Wiwáŋyaŋg Wačhípi (Sun Dance), Huŋkalowaŋpi (making of relatives), Išnáthi Awíčhalowaŋpi (female puberty ceremony), Tȟápa Waŋkáyeyapi (throwing of the ball) and Wanáǧi Yuhápi (soul keeping).” ref

“Each part of the čhaŋnúŋpa (stem, bowl, tobacco, breath, and smoke) is symbolic of the relationships of the natural world, the elements, humans, and the spiritual beings that maintain the cycle of the universe. Dreams can also be a means of establishing relationships with spirits and are important to the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ. One can gain supernatural powers through dreams. Dreaming of the Wakíŋyaŋ (thunder beings) is believed to involuntarily make someone a Heyókȟa, a sacred clown. Black Elk, a famous Heyókȟa said: “Only those who have had visions of the thunder beings of the west can act as heyokas. They have sacred power and they share some of this with all the people, but they do it through funny actions.” ref

5. “Uto-Aztecan languages is a family of indigenous languages of the Americas, consisting of over thirty languages. Uto-Aztecan languages are found almost entirely in the Western United States and Mexico. The name of the language family was created to show that it includes both the Ute language of Utah and the Nahuan languages (also known as Aztecan) of Mexico. The Uto-Aztecan language family is one of the largest linguistic families in the Americas in terms of number of speakers, number of languages, and geographic extension. The northernmost Uto-Aztecan language is Shoshoni, which is spoken as far north as Salmon, Idaho, while the southernmost is the Pipil language of El Salvador and Nicaragua. Most scholars view the breakup of Proto-Uto-Aztecan as a case of the gradual disintegration of a dialect continuum.” ref

Uto-Aztecan Religion (Deities and Shamanism/or “medicine people”) 

“There are similarities and differences in the religions and cosmologies of the various Uto-Aztecan societies. The one promotes a comparative discussion of cosmological structural systems, and the other attempts to identify one or more motifs which might prove to be evident in Uto-Aztecan mythologies Based on the religion of the Hopi Indians of Arizona, I suggest that one of the most productive motifs is that of gender For the Hopis it is shown that cosmology and gender seem to converge in social and religious statements about gender that include androgynous and duogynous themes Insights from mythology and ritual are then applied to the social ideals and practices of the Hopis.” ref

“Numic is the northernmost branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family that includes Comanche and Shoshoni. It includes seven languages spoken by Native American peoples traditionally living in the Great BasinColorado River basin, Snake River basin, and southern Great Plains.” ref

“The language spoken by the Comanche peopleComanche (Numu tekwapu), is a Numic language of the Uto-Aztecan language group. It is closely related to the language of the Shoshone, from which the Comanche diverged around 1700. Sometimes a man named his child, but mostly the father asked a medicine man (or another man of distinction) to do so.” ref

“Comanche religious practice was very individualistic, with the emphasis being laid on the male vision quest. The quest gave power to individuals but entailed restrictive practices and taboos. There were no priests and few group ceremonies. The Comanche believed in a creator spirit and its counterpart, an evil spirit, and accepted the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon as deities. The religion was animistic with natural objects and animal spirits (except for dogs and horses) having various powers. Medicine men served as intermediaries and helpers with the spirits and also served practically as curers. The Comanche had few ceremonies, but had developed or practiced the Beaver Ceremony and the Eagle Dance. Unlike most of the other Plains tribes, they never accepted the Sun Dance.” ref

“The Aztec religion is a polytheistic and monistic pantheism in which the Nahua concept of teotl was construed as the supreme god Ometeotl, as well as a diverse pantheon of lesser gods and manifestations of nature. The popular religion tended to embrace the mythological and polytheistic aspects, and the Aztec Empire‘s state religion sponsored both the monism of the upper classes and the popular heterodoxies.” ref

“The Aztec Empire officially recognized the most popular cults such that the deity was represented in the central temple precinct of the capital Tenochtitlan. The imperial cult was specifically that of the distinctive warlike patron god of the Mexica Huitzilopochtli. Subjugated peoples were allowed to retain their own religious traditions in conquered provinces so long as they added the imperial god Huitzilopochtli to their local pantheons, while the Empire would often incorporate practices from its new territories into the mainstream religion.” ref

“In common with many other indigenous Mesoamerican civilizations, the Aztecs put great ritual emphasis on calendrics, and scheduled festivals, government ceremonies, and even war around key transition dates in the Aztec calendar. Public ritual practices could involve food, storytelling, and dance, as well as ceremonial warfare, the Mesoamerican ballgame, and human sacrifice. The cosmology of Aztec religion divides the world into thirteen heavens and nine earthly layers or netherworlds. The first heaven overlaps with the first terrestrial layer, so that heaven and the terrestrial layers meet at the surface of the Earth. Each level is associated with a specific set of deities and astronomical objects. The most important celestial entities in Aztec religion are the Sun, the Moon, and the planet Venus (as both “morning star” and “evening star”).” ref

“Many leading deities of the Aztecs are worshiped in the contemporary or present-day world. These deities are known by names such as TlalocQuetzalcoatl, and Tezcatlipoca, who are venerated by different names in multiple cultures and have been throughout the history of Mesoamerica. For the Aztecs, deities of particular importance are the rain god Tlaloc; Huitzilopochtli, patron of the Mexica tribe; Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent and god of wind and learning; and Tezcatlipoca, the shrewd, elusive god of destiny and fortune. Tezcatlipoca was also connected to war and sorcery. Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli were worshipped in shrines at the top of the largest pyramid (Templo Mayor) in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. A third monument in the plaza in front of Templo Mayor was devoted to the wind god, Ehecatl, who was an aspect or form of Quetzalcoatl.” ref

“Religion was part of all levels of Aztec society. On the state level, religion was controlled by the Tlatoani and the high priests governing the main temples in the ceremonial precinct of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. This level involved the large monthly festivals and a number of specific rituals centered around the ruler dynasty and attempted to stabilize both the political and cosmic systems. These rituals were the ones that involved a sacrifice of humans. One of these rituals was the feast of Huey Tozoztli, when the ruler himself ascended Mount Tlaloc and engaged in autosacrifice in order to petition the rains. Throughout society, each level had their own rituals and deities and played their part in the larger rituals of the community.” ref

“Aztec temples were basically offering mounds: solid pyramidal structures crammed with special soils, sacrifices, treasures, and other offerings. Buildings around the base of the pyramid, and sometimes a small chamber under the pyramid, stored ritual items and provided lodgings and staging for priests, dancers, and temple orchestras. The pyramids were buried under a new surface every several years (especially every 52 years—the Aztec century). Thus the pyramid-temples of important deities constantly grew in size.” ref

“In front of every major temple lay a large plaza. This sometimes held important ritual platforms such as the “eagle stone” where some victims were slain. Plazas were where the bulk of worshippers gathered to watch rites and dances performed, to join in the songs and sacrifices (the audience often bled themselves during the rites), and to partake in any festival foods. Nobility sat on tiered seating under awnings around the plaza periphery, and some conducted part of the ceremonies on the temple.” ref

“The Aztec world consisted of three main parts: the earth world on which humans lived (including Tamoanchan, the mythical origin of human beings), an underworld which belonged to the dead (called Mictlan, “place of death”), and the upper plane in the sky. The earth and the underworld were both open for humans to enter, whereas the upper plane in the sky was impenetrable to humans. Existence was envisioned as straddling the two worlds in a cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. Thus as the sun was believed to dwell in the underworld at night to rise reborn in the morning and maize kernels were interred to later sprout anew, the human and divine existence was also envisioned as being cyclical. The upper and nether worlds were both thought to be layered. Mictlan had nine layers which were inhabited by different deities and mythical beings. The sky had thirteen layers, the highest of which was called Omeyocan (“place of duality”) and served as the residence of the progenitor dual god Ometeotl. The lowest layer of the sky was a verdant spring-like place with abundant water called Tlalocan (“the place of Tlaloc”).” ref

“After death, the soul of the Aztec went to one of three places: the sun, Mictlan, or Tlalocan. Souls of fallen warriors and women that died in childbirth would transform into hummingbirds that followed the sun on its journey through the sky. Souls of people who died from less glorious causes would go to Mictlan. Those who drowned would go to Tlalocan. In Aztec cosmology, as in Mesoamerica in general, geographical features such as caves and mountains held symbolic value as places of crossing between the upper and nether worlds. The cardinal directions were symbolically connected to the religious layout of the world as well; each direction was associated with specific colors and gods.” ref

“To the Aztecs, death was instrumental in the perpetuation of creation, and gods and humans alike had the responsibility of sacrificing themselves in order to allow life to continue. This worldview is best described in the myth of the five suns recorded in the Codex Chimalpopoca, which recounts how Quetzalcoatl stole the bones of the previous generation in the underworld and how later the gods created four successive worlds or “suns” for their subjects to live in, all of which were destroyed. Then, by an act of self-sacrifice, one of the gods, Nanahuatzin (“the pimpled one”), caused a fifth and final sun to rise where the first humans, made out of maize dough, could live thanks to his sacrifice. Humans were responsible for the sun’s continued revival. Blood sacrifice in various forms were conducted. Both humans and animals were sacrificed, depending on the god to be placated and the ceremony being conducted, and priests of some gods were sometimes required to provide their own blood through self-mutilation.” ref

“Sacrificial rituals among the Aztecs, and in Mesoamerica in general, must be seen in the context of religious cosmology: sacrifice and death was necessary for the continued existence of the world. Likewise, each part of life had one or more deities associated with it and these had to be paid their dues in order to achieve success. Gods were paid with sacrificial offerings of food, flowers, effigies, and quail. But the larger the effort required of the god, the greater the sacrifice had to be. Blood fed the gods and kept the sun from falling. For some of the most important rites, a priest would offer his own blood by cutting his ears, arms, tongue, thighs, chest, genitals, or offer a human life or a god’s life. The people who were sacrificed came from many segments of society and might have been a war captive, slave, or a member of Aztec society; the sacrifice might also have been man or woman, adult or child, or noble or commoner.” ref

“Cultural God

  • Tezcatlipoca: meaning “smoking mirror”, a Pan-Mesoamerican shaman god, omnipotent universal power
  • Quetzalcoatl: meaning “feathered serpent”, a Pan-Mesoamerican god of life, the wind, and the morning star
  • Tlaloc: a Pan-Mesoamerican god of lightning, rain, water, and thunder
  • Mixcoatl: meaning “cloud serpent”, the tribal god of many of the Nahuapeople such as the Tlaxcalteca, god of war, sacrifice and hunting
  • Huitzilopochtli: meaning “left-handed hummingbird”, the patron god of the Mexica of Tenochtitlan, the sun

Nature gods

  • Metztli: the moon
  • Tlaltecuhtli: meaning “earth lord”, goddess of the Earth
  • Chalchiuhtlicue: meaning “jade her skirt”, goddess of springs
  • Centzon Huitznahua: meaning “the 400 southerners”, gods of the stars
  • Ehecatl: the wind, often conflated with Quetzalcoatl and called “Quetzalcoatl-Ehecatl”

Gods of creation

“Proto-Uto-Aztecan is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Uto-Aztecan languages. Authorities on the history of the language group have usually placed the Proto-Uto-Aztecan homeland in the border region between the United States and Mexico, namely the upland regions of Arizona and New Mexico and the adjacent areas of the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua, roughly corresponding to the Sonoran Desert and the western part of the Chihuahuan Desert. It would have been spoken by Mesolithic foragers in Aridoamerica, about 5,000 years ago.” ref

“Reconstructions of the botanical vocabulary offer clues to the ecological niche inhabited by the Proto-Uto-Aztecans. Fowler placed the center of Proto-Uto-Aztecan in Central Arizona with northern dialects extending into Nevada and the Mojave desert and southern dialects extending south through the Tepiman corridor into Mexico. The homeland of the Numic languages has been placed in Southern California near Death Valley, and the homeland of the proposed Southern Uto-Aztecan group has been placed on the coast of Sonora.” ref

“A contrary proposal suggests the homeland of Proto-Uto-Aztecan to have been much farther to the south; it was published in 2001 by Jane H. Hill, based on her reconstruction of maize-related vocabulary in Proto-Uto-Aztecan. By her theory, the assumed speakers of Proto-Uto-Aztecan were maize cultivators in Mesoamerica, who gradually moved north, bringing maize cultivation with them, during the period of roughly 4,500 to 3,000 years ago. The geographic diffusion of speakers corresponded to the breakup of linguistic unity. The hypothesis has been criticized on several grounds, and it is not generally accepted by Uto-Aztecanists. Using computational phylogenetic methods, Wheeler & Whiteley (2014) also suggest a southern homeland for Proto-Uto-Aztecan in or near the area occupied by historical Cora and some Nahua. Nahuatl forms the most basal clade in Wheeler & Whiteley’s (2014) Uto-Aztecan phylogram.” ref

“A survey of agriculture-related vocabulary by Merrill (2012) found that the agricultural vocabulary can be reconstructed for only Southern Uto-Aztecan. That supports a conclusion that the Proto-Uto-Aztecan speech community did not practice agriculture but adopted it only after entering Mesoamerica from the north. A more recent proposal from 2014, by David L. Shaul, presents evidence suggesting contact between Proto-Uto-Aztecan and languages of central California, such as Esselen and the Yokutsan languages. That leads Shaul to suggest that Proto-Uto-Aztecan was spoken in California’s Central Valley area, and it formed part of an ancient Californian linguistic area.” ref

“Esselen language was the language of the Esselen (or self-designated Huelel) Nation, which aboriginally occupied the mountainous Central Coast of California, immediately south of Monterey. The Esselen are a Native American people belonging to a linguistic group in the hypothetical Hokan language family, who are indigenous to the Santa Lucia Mountains of a region south of the Big Sur River in California. Archaeological and linguistic evidence indicates that the original people’s territory once extended much farther north, into the San Francisco Bay Area, until they were displaced by the entrance of Ohlone people. Breschini and Haversat place the entry of Ohlone speakers into the Monterey area prior to 200 BCE or around 2,200 years ago based on multiple lines of evidence.” ref

Carbon dating of excavated sites places the Esselen in the Big Sur since circa 2,630 BCE or around 4,630 years ago. Recently, however, researchers have obtained a radiocarbon date from coastal Esselen territory in the Big Sur River drainage dated prior to 6,500 years ago (archeological site CA-MNT-88). The Esselen left hand prints on rock faces in a few locations. About 250 have been found in a single rock shelter located a few miles from Tassajara (designated by archeologists as CA-MNT-44). Smaller numbers of handprints have been found in a few caves or rock shelters in the same area and in the next valley to the west.” ref

“The word “Esselen” means “the people” or “the rock people” in their language. The Esselen had a complex and sophisticated spiritual system, based on their connection to the land and the cosmos. They believed in a supreme creator called Kaknu, who was responsible for everything that existed. They also revered various spirits and ancestors who inhabited the natural features of their environment, such as rocks, trees, mountains, springs, and caves. They performed ceremonies and rituals to honor these beings and to ask for their protection and guidance. They also practiced shamanism, which involved entering altered states of consciousness to communicate with the spirit world.” ref

“Yokuts language: Yokuts, formerly known as Mariposa, is an endangered language spoken in the interior of Northern and Central California in and around the San Joaquin Valley by the Yokuts people. Yokuts is a key member in the proposed Penutian language stock. Some linguists consider most relationships within Penutian to be undemonstrated (cf. Campbell 1997). Others consider a genetic relationship between Yokuts, Utian, Maiduan, Wintuan, and a number of Oregon languages to be definite (cf. DeLancey and Golla 1997). Regardless of higher-order disagreement, Callaghan (1997) provides strong evidence uniting Yokuts and the Utian languages as branches of a Yok-Utian language family.” ref

“Yokuts traditional narratives include mythslegends, tales, and oral histories preserved by the Yokuts people of the San Joaquin Valley and southern Sierra Nevada foothills of central California.” ref

“Yokuts believed that shamans had supernatural powers derived from spirit animals they encountered in dreams or vision quests. Shamans helped conduct ceremonies and treated illnesses, cures for which they charged large fees. The Yokuts are a group of indigenous tribes from the San Joaquin Valley in central California. The word Yokuts means simply people; unlike other California natives, the Yokuts were divided into true tribes — possibly as many as 60 — each with its own name, dialect, and territory.” ref

“The traditional narratives of Native California are the folklore and mythology of the native people of California. For many historic nations of California, there is only a fragmentary record of their traditions. Spanish missions in California from the 18th century Christianized many of these traditions, and the remaining groups were mostly assimilated to US culture by the early 20th century. While there are sparse records from the 18th century, most material was collected during the 19th and the early 20th centuries. Ethnolinguistically, most of the native peoples of California can be categorized into three large groups, PenutianHokan and Uto-Aztecan. Of these traditions, one of the best attested and most notable in US mainstream culture is Hopi mythology, the Hopi being a Pueblo people speaking a language of the Uto-Aztecan family.” ref

“Several general traits are recognizable in California’s traditional narratives. These traits are not universally present, but they characterize most of the narratives:

Fluid genres

Folklorists have commonly attempted to distinguish between myths, legends, tales, and histories.

  • Mythsare sacred accounts that are believed by narrators and listeners to be true. They are set in a period at or before the origins of the world as it is known, and they usually contain strong supernatural elements.
  • Legendsare also believed to be true, and they may also contain fantastic elements. However, they are set later in time, after the world had assumed the form in which it was known to traditional cultures.
  • Talesare entertaining stories that narrators and listeners are not required to believe as true.
  • Historiesare narratives of actually witnessed events that have been transmitted, with greater or less embellishment, to subsequent generations.” ref

“In the oral literature of native California, the lines between these genres are typically not at all carefully observed. It is often impossible to classify a narrative definitively as a myth, a legend, a tale, or a history. Cognate versions of the same narrative as told by different narrators may fall within different genres.” ref

Sharing among neighbors

“Many of the narratives are entirely unique, existing in only a single version. However, many others are known in multiple versions that vary but are clearly cognate with one another. The versions may come from different narrators within a single ethnolinguistic group, from different groups within a region of the Californias, or from groups that are scattered across the North American continent and even beyond. Patterns in the relative similarity of shared narratives are almost entirely dictated by the historic-period propinquity of the groups sharing narratives. Few if any patterns reflect preferential sharing among historically dispersed groups that originally shared a common linguistic descent. This suggests ongoing, creative modification of narratives, rather than rigid conservatism.” ref

Weak narrative unity

“Lengthy traditional narratives tend to have an episodic or picaresque character. Their unity comes mainly from the presence of a continuing central character or from a causal sequence of events, rather than from any overall theme, plot, or narrative purpose.” ref

Fluidity in content

“As a consequence of weak narrative unity, the stories often have a composite character. Motifs are rather freely added, dropped, or transferred from one narrative to another.” ref

Moral ambiguity

“In the traditional narratives of native North America, the Western expectation of essentially “good” or “evil” characters or events is generally not met. The same character is likely to act beneficently in one episode but malevolently in the next, according to the accepted norms of behavior or to criteria of general welfare. Many of the early discussions of this literature by outside observers were marred by attempts to characterize a mythic personage as either a beloved benefactor or an evil trickster, when both of these labels might be equally true, or equally false.” ref

Surrealism in time

“The events of traditional narratives are rarely set within realistic chronological frameworks. Time spans measured in years or decades are rarely specified. Characters often are conceived and grow to maturity within miraculously short periods.” ref

Animal – human ambiguity

“The characters in many narratives are known by the names of animals (or, less commonly, by the names of plants or other natural features). Often it is understood that the character is the forebear or prototype of the animal species. Its conversation, actions, and motives are usually human, while its physical characteristics may be either human or animal, and commonly the two are mixed in a biologically inconsistent manner.” ref

Alfred L. Kroeber distinguished three main cultural regions within California. Each of these was seen as having a distinctive pattern in its traditional narratives that set it apart from neighboring regions.

  • The small Northwestregion was focused on the HupaKarok, and Yurok. A creation myth was lacking in this region. Narratives typically related to a race that had preceded the known human beings in the regions. Long stories about the travels and adventures of a culture hero were characteristic.
  • The Centralregion, encompassing most of California, possessed a creation myth that often employed the Earth Diver motif. Kroeber distinguished North Central and South Central divisions within this region, consisting respectively of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys plus the coastal and mountain areas adjacent to them.
  • The Southernregion included Takic– and Yuman-speaking groups. It had a distinctive creation myth but lacked most of the tales common in the Central region, at least to judge from the surviving records.” ref

Anna H. Gayton reexamined Kroeber’s regional divisions. While finding them generally valid, she stressed the gradational character of the transitions between the regions. She also suggested that variability in their links with regions outside of California was a key to understanding internal differences:

  • Links with the Northwest Coastregion of North America permeated Kroeber’s Northwest region within California. These links extended well beyond the Hupa-Karok-Yurok core, as far south as the Pomo and as far east as the Achomawi.
  • Links with the Plateauregion extended throughout northernmost California, from Kroeber’s Northwest region to the Yana and Achomawi in the east.
  • Links with the Great Basinwere pronounced not only east of the Sierra Nevada but also in the western foothills of that range and in upper Sacramento Valley and the Mojave Desert, from the Shasta to the Serrano.
  • Southern California was strongly tied to the Yuman-speaking area of western Arizona.
  • In central California Gayton discerned a relatively discrete nucleus of groups lacking such strong external influences. These included the MiwokYokutsSalinanOhlone, and Patwin.” ref

“Penutian languages: Penutian is a proposed grouping of language families that includes many Native American languages of western North America, predominantly spoken at one time in British ColumbiaWashingtonOregon, and California. Some of the more recently proposed subgroupings of Penutian have been convincingly demonstrated. The Miwokan and the Costanoan languages have been grouped into an Utian language family by Catherine Callaghan. Callaghan has more recently provided evidence supporting a grouping of Utian and Yokutsan into a Yok-Utian family. There also seems to be convincing evidence for the Plateau Penutian grouping (originally named Shahapwailutan by J. N. B. Hewitt and John Wesley Powell in 1894) which would consist of Klamath–ModocMolala, and the Sahaptian languages (Nez Percé and Sahaptin). Consensus was reached at a 1994 workshop on Comparative Penutian at the University of Oregon that the families within the proposed phylum’s California, Oregon, Plateau, and Chinookan clusters would eventually be shown to be genetically related. Subsequently, Marie-Lucie Tarpent reassessed Tsimshianic, a geographically isolated family in northern British Columbia, and concluded that its affiliation within Penutian is also probable. Earlier groupings, such as California Penutian and Takelma–Kalapuyan (“Takelman”) are no longer accepted as valid nodes by many Penutian researchers. However, Plateau Penutian, Coast Oregon Penutian, and Yok-Utian (comprising the Utian and Yokutsan languages) are increasingly supported.” ref

6. “Salishan languages are a family of languages of the Pacific Northwest in North America (the Canadian province of British Columbia and the American states of WashingtonOregonIdaho and Montana). Edward Sapir suggested that the Salishan languages might be related to the Wakashan and Chimakuan languages in a hypothetical Mosan family. This proposal persists primarily through Sapir’s stature: with little evidence for such a family, no progress has been made in reconstructing it. There are twenty-three languages in the Salishan language family. They occupy the Pacific Northwest, with all but two of them being concentrated together in a single large area. It is clear that these languages are related, but it’s difficult to track the development of each because their histories are so interwoven.” ref

“The variation between the Salishan languages seems to depend on two main factors: the distance between speech communities and the geographic barriers between them. The diversity between the languages corresponds directly to the distance between them. Closer proximity often entails more contact between speakers, and more linguistic similarities are the result. Geographic barriers like mountains impede contact, so two communities that are relatively close together may still vary considerably in their language use if there is a mountain separating them.” ref

“The rate of change between neighboring Salishan languages often depends on their environments. If for some reason two communities diverge, their adaptation to a new environment can separate them linguistically from each other. The need to create names for tools, animals, and plants creates an array of new vocabulary that divides speech communities. However, these new names may come from borrowing from neighboring languages, in which case two languages or dialects can grow more alike rather than apart. Interactions with outside influences through trade and intermarriage often result in language change as well.” ref

Salishan Religion (Deities and Shamanism/or “medicine people”) 

“Traditional Salish religious beliefs focused chiefly on guardian spirits. In the years just prior to puberty, boys undertook isolated nightly vigils, hoping for visions that would reveal their spirit-guide; some girls did likewise. Shamanism was also important, and shamans and medicine men and women could cure, and in some cases cause, disease or social strife. The winter guardian spirit dance, involving dances, feasts, and prayers in propitiation of guardian spirits, was the most important community ritual for the Salish.” ref 

“Each of the many peoples in these groups have their own stories and each storyteller may interpret them in their own ways, but many of the stories of the Salish peoples are similar and share themes and characters, and share their historical origins in the proto-Salishan culture long ago. The earliest descriptions of the oral traditions of the Salishan peoples were the collections of Nuxalk (Bella Coola) mythology by anthropologist Franz Boas. Many Salishan peoples distinguish between two basic genres of narrative, one is traditional stories corresponding roughly to what is called myth in English and which takes place in a Myth Age before the arrival of the modern age, in which plants, animals and weather phenomena are anthropomorphized. The other type of stories includes historical accounts and “news” or informational stories.” ref

“For the Nlaka’pamux of the Fraser CanyonNicola regions in British Columbia, the genre of traditional narrative is called sptékʷɬ whereas the informational narrative is called spíləẋm, in Montana Salish (Flathead) the distinction is between sqʷlú(ṁt) and sṁiʔṁíy, and other Salishan languages have similar pairs. The storyteller also does not “own” the story, although the best storytellers do give the narratives a personal flavor. Rather the stories are considered to be pre-existing and to contain all the knowledge of the world. Demonstrating the significance of the traditional narratives, elder Joe Cullooyah of the Montana Salish stated that “Everything you need to know about life is in the Coyote stories — if you just listen carefully”, and asked what happened to Coyote of the Coyote narratives, Cullooyah answered “You believe that Christ is coming back some day, right? Well, Coyote is coming back some day, too.” ref

“From the mythology of the Kalispel, an Interior Salish people: In some stories from the Flatheadstoryteller Lassaw Redhorn and the Kalispel storyteller Domicie Michell the supreme deity is called Amotken, a kind, elderly man who lives alone in heaven. He created five women from five hairs from his head and asked them what they wanted to be. Each gave him a different answer: wickedness and cruelty, goodness, mother of the Earth, fire, water. Amotken did as they asked and declared that wickedness would rule Earth for a time, but goodness would win in the end.” ref

“Some cultural elements are more resilient to language change, namely, religion and folklore. Salishan language communities that have demonstrated change in technology and environmental vocabulary have often remained more consistent with their religious terminology. Religion and heavily ingrained cultural traditions are often regarded as sacred, and so are less likely to undergo any sort of change. Indeed, cognate lists between various Salishan languages show more similarities in religious terminology than they do in technology and environment vocabulary. Other categories with noticeable similarities include words for body parts, colors, and numbers. There would be little need to change such vocabulary, so it’s more likely to remain the same despite other changes between languages. The Coast Salishan languages are less similar to each other than are the Interior Salishan languages, probably because the Coast communities have more access to outside influences.” ref

“Another example of language change in the Salishan language family is word taboo, which is a cultural expression of the belief in the power of words. Among the Coast languages, a person’s name becomes a taboo word immediately following their death. This taboo is lifted when the name of the deceased is given to a new member of their lineage. In the meantime, the deceased person’s name and words that are phonetically similar to the name are considered taboo and can only be expressed via descriptive phrases. In some cases these taboo words are permanently replaced by their chosen descriptive phrases, resulting in language change.” ref

7. “Muskogean languages are a Native American language family spoken in different areas of the Southeastern United States. The Muskogean family consists of six languages that are still spoken: AlabamaChickasawChoctawMuscogee (previously referred to as Creek), Koasati, and Mikasuki, as well as the now-extinct ApalacheeHouma, and Hitchiti (the last is generally considered a dialect of Mikasuki). “Seminole” is listed as one of the Muskogean languages in Hardy’s list, but it is generally considered a dialect of Muscogee rather than a separate language. The first branches are Western Muskogean with Chickasaw first then Choctaw then Eastern Muskogean: Muscogee (also called Muskogee, Maskoke, Mvskoke, Seminole, and previously referred to as Creek).” ref

“The Chickasaw language is closely related to, though perhaps not entirely mutually intelligible with, Choctaw. Sometime prior to the first European contact, the Chickasaw migrated from western regions and moved east of the Mississippi River, where they settled mostly in present-day northeast Mississippi. Chickasaw towns and villages were structured to be densely populated as a wartime measure but encompassed larger areas when there was no conflict with enemies. A main house and main meeting ground were used to gather groups from the Chickasaw community for ceremonies, celebratory affairs, and to discuss important social, cultural, and political matters.” ref

“Chickasaw traditional territory was in northern Mississippi, northwestern and northern Alabama, western Tennessee and southwestern Kentucky. Chickasaw people have a migration story in which they moved from a land west of the Mississippi River to reach present-day northeast Mississippi, northwest Alabama, and into Lawrence County, Tennessee. The Chickasaw are believed to have migrated into Mississippi from the west, as their oral history attests. They and the Choctaw were once one people and migrated from west of the Mississippi River into present-day Mississippi in prehistoric times; the Chickasaw and Choctaw split along the way.” ref

“The Chickasaws do not have a tradition of a time when they were without belief in a supreme being, Abaꞌ Binniꞌliꞌ (Sitting or Dwelling Above) also called Inki Abu (Father Above) under Christian influence. There were ancient beliefs in a multitude of celestial powers. There were four “Beloved Things” above: the clouds, the sun, the clear sky, and “He that lives in the clear sky.” It was believed that Abaꞌ Binniꞌliꞌ lived above the clouds and on earth with “unpolluted” people. He is the sole creator of warmth, light, and all animal and vegetable life. The Chickasaws worshipped Abaꞌ Binniꞌliꞌ, “in smoke and cloud, believing him to reside above the clouds and in the element of the holy fire.” ref

“Lightning and thunder were called Hiloha (Hiloha-thunder) and its rumbling noise ROWAH. When it rained, thundered, and strong winds blew for a long time; the beloved or holy people were thought to be at war above the clouds. Many Chickasaw used to fire off their guns, pointed at the sky, at such times. This was to show that the warriors were not afraid to die so that they could aid the holy people. Fire was very much respected by our ancestors. Trees were deadened and later used to keep our annual holy fire burning. It was unlawful—and considered the work of evil spirits—to extinguish even the cooking fire with water.” ref 

“In ancient times, our Chickasaw ancestors placed great importance and meaning on those locations defined as important by history and tribal religion. The story of our great migration, describing how the tribe moved from the “place of the setting sun” to the east as determined by Abaꞌ Binniꞌliꞌ (the one who sits above), was central in explaining the importance of our Homeland.  Explanations of natural phenomena and descriptions of one’s place in the universe were common themes as well.” ref

“Of the “Five Civilized Tribes” of the southeastern United States in the early nineteenth century—the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Cherokee, and Seminole—the Chickasaw were the smallest.  The number of clans varied between seven and fifteen (though six remained extant in 2002), with each composed of households and usually taking totemic animal names (e.g., panther, bird, deer) derived from a clan ancestor’s visionary dream. Clans were ranked and exercised ceremonial and other prerogatives. Men could marry only outside their birth clan; lineage was traced through females, who arranged or approved all marriages. The clans were grouped into two moieties (groups), the Imosaktca and Intukwalipa. Men could not marry outside their moiety. Moieties had their own rituals and a “prophet” (priest-curer). The tribe separated secular from religious leadership. By the early nineteenth century, it had a hereditary principal chief (high minko), a member of the highest-ranking clan of the Imosaktca, the senior moiety.” ref

“Religion permeated Chickasaw culture. The correct performance of personal and public rituals was believed essential to the tribe’s well-being and survival. Each household, clan, and moiety originally had a priest and shaman (healer), though after 1700 they combined into a caste of holy men. These positions were hereditary and were held by men too old to fight or hunt. They maintained each town’s sacred fire, which provided coals for every dwelling. The holy men also healed, conducted rituals, and interpreted signs, dreams, and events. The supreme being, Ababinili, the creator of life, fire, and light, was “a composite force consisting of the Four Beloved Things Above—Sun, Clouds, Clear Sky, and ‘He that Lives in the Clear Sky.” ref

“Lesser gods and good and evil spirits abounded, with a personal spirit to guide and guard each individual. Witches did evil; good spirits would aid those who observed the rituals. Festivals or rituals involving fasting and purging, feasting, dancing, and games marked the new year (at the first new moon after the spring equinox), the beginning and end of the harvest, and other occasions. The dead were buried inside the home in a sitting position facing west, with the face painted red and with personal possessions. The good would go to heaven in the west, the evil to a wandering existence in the Land of the Witches, or perhaps to a void in the west between heaven and the material world.” ref 

Mesoamerica Aera

 Mesoamerican languages:

“Mesoamerican languages are the languages indigenous to the Mesoamerican cultural area, which covers southern Mexico, all of GuatemalaBelizeEl Salvador, and parts of HondurasNicaragua and Costa Rica. The area is characterized by extensive linguistic diversity containing several hundred different languages and seven major language families. Mesoamerica is also an area of high linguistic diffusion in that long-term interaction among speakers of different languages through several millennia has resulted in the convergence of certain linguistic traits across disparate language families. The Mesoamerican sprachbund is commonly referred to as the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area.” ref

“The languages of Mesoamerica were also among the first to evolve independent traditions of writing. The oldest texts date to approximately 1000 BCE (namely olmec and zapotec), though most texts in the indigenous scripts (such as Maya) date to c. 600–900 CE. Following the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, and continuing up until the 19th century, most Mesoamerican languages were written in Latin script.” ref

“The languages of Mesoamerica belong to 6 major families – MayanOto-MangueMixe–ZoqueTotonacanUto-Aztecan, and Chibchan languages (only on the southern border of the area) – as well as a few smaller families and isolates – PurépechaHuaveTequistlatecXincan and Lencan. Among these Oto-Manguean and Mayan families account for the largest numbers of speakers by far – each having speakers numbering more than a million. Many Mesoamerican languages today are either endangered or already extinct, but others, including the Mayan languagesNahuatlMixtec, and Zapotec, have several hundred thousand speakers and remain viable. Mesoamerica can be divided into smaller linguistic subareas wherein linguistic diffusion has been especially intense, or where certain families have extended to become predominant.” ref

“One such subarea would be the Maya area, roughly covering the Yucatán Peninsula, Guatemala, Belize, Chiapas, and Tabasco, where Mayan languages have been highly predominant. The fringes of the area have been home to Xincan (in the southeast) and Mixe-Zoque (along the Pacific coast) speakers, in addition to Nawat (also along the Pacific coast) and the Oto-Manguean Chiapanec language (in the southwest) following postclassic migrations.” ref

“Another linguistic area is Oaxaca, which is dominated by speakers of Oto-Manguean languages, mainly Mixtec and Zapotec, both of which are extremely internally diverse. Non-Oto-Manguean languages include MixeTequistlatecanHuave, and the Nahuan Pochutec language. Huave was the original language of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, but lost territory to Zapotec. Oaxaca is the most linguistically diverse area of Mesoamerica and its 36,820 square miles (95,400 km2) contain at least 100 mutually unintelligible linguistic variants.” ref

“The subarea commonly called Central Mexico, covering valleys and mountainous areas surrounding the Valley of Mexico, originally was mainly host to Oto-Pamean languages; however, beginning in the late classic these languages were largely gradually displaced by Nahuatl, which was henceforth the predominant indigenous language of the area. OtomiMatlatzinca, and Mazahua retained significant presences.” ref

“The Western area was inhabited mostly by speakers of Purépecha in MichoacánHuichol and Cora in Nayarit, and Western Peripheral Nahuatl in Jalisco and Colima. A host of small undocumented languages were spoken in Colima and southern Jalisco, such as Jalisco Otomi and Jalisco Zapotec.” ref

“The Northern Rim area has been inhabited by semi-nomadic Chichimec speakers of Uto-Aztecan languages (probably related to the Tepiman and Corachol groups) as well as Pame (Oto-Mangue), and other undocumented languages that are now extinct, such as Jalisco Otomi.” ref

“The Gulf area is traditionally the home of speakers of Totonacan languages in the northern and central area and Mixe–Zoque languages in the southern area. However, the northern gulf area became home to the speakers of Huastec in the preclassic period, and the southern area began speaking Isthmus Nahuatl in the post-classic period.” ref

“The areas of Central America (excluding the Maya areas) that formed part of Mesoamerica during the preclassic were dominated by Lencan speakers. Based on toponymy, it is possible that Xincan languages were originally spoken in western El Salvador, but were replaced by Nawat after postclassic migrations. The migrations of Subtiaba and Mangue speakers, possibly also during the postclassic period, expanded the realm of Mesoamerican cultural influence to include the Pacific coast of Nicaragua and the Nicoya Peninsula, which were previously part of the Isthmo-Colombian area and probably inhabited by Misumalpan and Chibchan speakers.” ref

“The Guerrero subarea has been home to the Oto-Manguean Tlapanec and the unclassified Cuitlatec, and later Nahuatl, as well as a handful of undocumented languages along the Costa Grande. The first human presence in Mesoamerica is documented around 8000 BCE, during a period referred to as the Paleo-Indian. Linguistic data, however, including language reconstruction derived from the comparative method, do not reach further back than approximately 5000 years (towards the end of the Archaic period).” ref

“Throughout the history of Mesoamerica, an unknown number of languages and language families became extinct and left behind no evidence of their existence. What is known about the pre-Columbian history of the Mesoamerican languages is what can be surmised from linguistic, archeological, and ethnohistorical evidence. Often, hypotheses concerning the linguistic prehistory of Mesoamerica rely on very little evidence.” ref

“Three large language families are thought to have had their most recent common homelands within Mesoamerica. The time frames and locations in which the common ancestors of these families, referred to by linguists as proto-languages, were spoken are reconstructed by methods of historical linguistics. The three earliest known families of Mesoamerica are the Mixe–Zoquean languages, the Oto-Manguean languages, and the Mayan languages.” ref

Proto-Oto-Manguean is thought to have been spoken in the Tehuacán valley between 5000 and 3000 BCE, although it may only have been one center of Oto-manguean culture, another possible Oto-Manguean homeland being Oaxaca. Proto-Mayan was spoken in the Cuchumatanes highlands of Guatemala around 3000 BCE. Proto-Mixe–Zoquean was spoken on the gulf coast and on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and on the Guatemalan Pacific coast around 2000 BCE, in a much larger area than its current extension. Totonacan languages, Purépecha, Huave, and the Tequistlatecan languages can also be assumed to have been present in Mesoamerica at this point although it is unknown.” ref

“The first complex society in Mesoamerica was the Olmec civilization, which emerged around 2000 BCE during the Early Preclassic. It is documented that around this time many Mesoamerican languages adopted loanwords from the Mixe–Zoquean languages, particularly loanwords related to such culturally fundamental concepts as agriculture and religion. This has led some linguists to believe that the carriers of Olmec culture spoke a Mixe–Zoquean language and that words spread from their language into others because of their potential cultural dominance in the Preclassic period, though the relationship between the Olmec and other Preclassic groups is still debated (see Olmec influences on Mesoamerican cultures).” ref

“During this time the Oto-Manguean languages diversified and spread into Oaxaca and central Mexico. In the Valley of Oaxaca, the Oto-Manguean Zapotec culture emerges around c. 1000 BCE. The splitting of Proto-Mayan into the modern Mayan languages slowly began at roughly 2000 BCE when the speakers of Huastec moved north into the Mexican Gulf Coast regionUto-Aztecan languages were still outside of Mesoamerica during the Preclassic, their speakers living as semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers on the northern rim of the region and co-existing with speakers of Coracholan and Oto-Pamean languages.” ref

“During the Classic period, the linguistic situation simultaneously becomes both clearer and more obscure. While the Maya actually left examples of their writing, researchers have been unable to determine the linguistic affiliations of several important Classic civilizations, including TeotihuacanXochicalcoCacaxtla, and El Tajín. During this time it is well established that Mixtec languages were spoken at Tilantongo and Zapotec at Monte Albán (in the Valley of Oaxaca). The linguistic situation of the Maya area is relatively clear – Proto-Yucatec and Proto-Cholan were established in their respective locations in Yucatán and in the Tabasco area. Around 200 CE speakers of the Tzeltalan branch of Proto-Cholan moved south into Chiapas displacing speakers of Zoquean languages. Throughout the southern part of the Maya area and the highlands the elite of the Classic Maya centers spoke a common prestige language based on Cholan, a variant often referred to as Classic Ch’olti’an.” ref

“An important question that remains to be answered is what language or languages were spoken by the people and rulers of the empire of Teotihuacan. During the first part of the Classic period Teotihuacan achieved dominance over central Mexico and far into the Maya area. Possible candidates for the language of Teotihuacan have been Nahuatl, Totonac or Mixe–Zoque. Terrence Kaufman has argued that Nahuatl is an unlikely candidate because Proto-Nahuan did not enter Mesoamerica until around the time of the fall of Teotihuacan (c. 600 CE), and that Totonac or Mixe–Zoque are likely candidates because many Mesoamerican languages have borrowed from these two languages during the Classic period. Others find Mixe–Zoque an unlikely candidate because no current Mixe–Zoque settlements are found in central Mexico. Around 500–600 CE a new language family entered Mesoamerica when speakers of Proto-Nahuan, a southern Uto-Aztecan language, moved south into central Mexico. Their arrival, which coincides with the decline of Teotihuacan and a period of general turmoil and mass migration in Mesoamerica, has led scientists to speculate that they might have been involved somehow in the fall of the Teotihuacan empire.” ref

“What is known is that in the years following Teotihuacan’s fall Nahuan speakers quickly rose to power in central Mexico and expanded into areas earlier occupied by speakers of Oto-Manguean, Totonacan, and Huastec. During this time Oto-Manguean groups of central Mexico such as the ChiapanecChorotega, and Subtiaba migrated south some of them reaching the southern limits of Mesoamerica in El Salvador and Nicaragua. Also some speakers of Nahuan moved south, some settling on the coast of Oaxaca where their speech became the language Pochutec, and others moving all the way to El Salvador, becoming the ancestors of the speakers of modern Pipil.” ref

“In the Postclassic period Nahuan languages diversified and spread, carried by the culture commonly known as Toltec. In the early Postclassic period feuds between royal lineages in the Yucatán Peninsula caused the forefathers of the Itza‘ to move south into the Guatemalan jungle. In northwestern Oaxaca speakers of Mixtec and ChochoPopolocan languages built successful city-states, such as Teotitlan del Camino, which did not fall under Nahuan subjugation. Speakers of Otomian languages (OtomiMazahua, and Matlatzinca) were routinely displaced to the edges of the Nahuan states. The Otomi of Xaltocan, for example, were forcibly relocated to Otumba by the early Aztec empire.” ref

“As Nahuatl, carried by the Toltec and later the Aztec culture, became a lingua franca throughout Mesoamerica even some Mayan states such as the Kʼicheʼ Kingdom of Qʼumarkaj adopted Nahuatl as a prestige language. In Oaxaca Zapotec and Mixtec peoples expanded their territories displacing speakers of the Tequistlatecan languages slightly. During this time the Purépecha (Tarascans) consolidated their state based at Tzintzuntzan. They were resistant to other states of Mesoamerica and had little contact with the rest of Mesoamerica. Probably as a result of their isolationist policy the Purépecha language is the only language of Mesoamerica to not show any of the traits associated with the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area. In Guerrero the Tlapanecs of Yopitzinco speaking the Oto-Manguean Tlapanec language remained independent of the Aztec empire as did some of the Oaxacan cultures such as the Mixtecs of Tututepec and the Zapotec of Zaachila. In the late postclassic around 1400 CE Zapotecs of Zaachila moved into the Isthmus of Tehuantepec creating a wedge of Zapotec-speaking settlements between the former neighbors the Mixe and the Huave who were pushed into their current territories on the edges of the Isthmus.” ref

“Throughout the millennia in which speakers of different Mesoamerican languages were engaged in contact, the languages began to change and show similarities with one another. This has resulted in Mesoamerica evolving into a linguistic area of diffusion, a “Sprachbund“, where most languages, even though they have different origins share some important linguistic traits. The traits defining the Mesoamerican sprachbund are few but well established: the languages use relational nouns to express spatial and other relations, they have a base 20 (Vigesimal) numeral system, their syntax is never verb-final and as a consequence of this they don’t use switch reference, they use a distinct pattern for expressing nominal possession and they share a number of semantic calques.” ref

“Some other traits are less defining for the area, but still prevalent such as: the presence of whistled languagesincorporation of bodypart nouns into verbs, the derivation of locatives from bodypart nouns, grammatical indication of inalienable or intimate possession. Terrence Kaufman has worked with documenting the process of this linguistic convergence and he argues that the most probable donor languages of the borrowings into other Mesoamerican languages are the Mixe–Zoquean and Totonacan languages, this supports a theory of either or both of these cultures having a prominent role as a dominating power in early Mesoamerican history.” ref

“Mesoamerican religion is a complex syncretism of indigenous beliefs: A hierarchy of indigenous supernatural beings (some benign, others not). The territorial unit that has prime importance for most Mesoamerican peoples is the municipio, a unit roughly corresponding to a county in Great Britain or the United States. Each municipio has a municipal center where most civic, religious, and marketing activities take place. In the modern pattern, this center is the largest settlement in the area. An older pattern, still found in a few areas (as among some Maya peoples of the south and among the Huichol of the north), was for the municipio centre to be an empty town, occupied continuously only by civil and religious authorities and perhaps a few merchants. The bulk of the population resided in hamlets or on individual farms most of the year, moving to town residences only for short periods either to transact business or to participate in religious festivals.” ref

“Political and religious institutions are traditionally bound together into a complex of hierarchically arranged yearlong offices through which adult males may attain status and power in the community. All males must serve in the lower-ranked offices at one time or another, but only the most successful attain the highest positions. Progress through the ranks typically involves an alternation between civil and religious offices. Successful passage to the highest ranks results in election to the position of elder. The elders form a more or less informal group of senior men to whom the community looks for experienced guidance in policy matters and in times of crisis.” ref

“Mountain and water spirits are appeased at special altars in sacred places by gift or animal sacrifice. Individuals have companion spirits in the form of animals or natural phenomena, such as lightning or shooting stars. Disease is associated with witchcraft or failure to appease malevolent spirits.” ref

8. “Mayan languages form a language family spoken in Mesoamerica, both in the south of Mexico and northern Central America. Mayan languages are spoken by at least six million Maya people, primarily in GuatemalaMexicoBelizeEl Salvador, and Honduras. Modern Mayan languages descend from the Proto-Mayan language, thought to have been spoken at least 5,000 years ago; it has been partially reconstructed using the comparative method. The proto-Mayan language diversified into at least six different branches: the HuastecanQuicheanYucatecanQanjobalanMamean, and Chʼolan–Tzeltalan branches.” ref

“Mayan languages form part of the Mesoamerican language area, an area of linguistic convergence developed throughout millennia of interaction between the peoples of Mesoamerica. All Mayan languages display the basic diagnostic traits of this linguistic area. For example, all use relational nouns instead of prepositions to indicate spatial relationships. They also possess grammatical and typological features that set them apart from other languages of Mesoamerica, such as the use of ergativity in the grammatical treatment of verbs and their subjects and objects, specific inflectional categories on verbs, and a special word class of “positionals” which is typical of all Mayan languages. The Proto-Mayan language is believed to have been spoken in the Cuchumatanes highlands of central Guatemala in an area corresponding roughly to where Qʼanjobalan is spoken today.” ref

“In the Archaic period (before 2000 BCE or around 4,000 years ago), a number of loanwords from Mixe–Zoquean languages seem to have entered the proto-Mayan language. This has led to hypotheses that the early Maya were dominated by speakers of Mixe–Zoquean languages, possibly the Olmec. In the case of the Xincan and Lencan languages, on the other hand, Mayan languages are more often the source than the receiver of loanwords. Mayan language specialists such as Campbell believe this suggests a period of intense contact between Maya and the Lencan and Xinca people, possibly during the Classic period (250–900).” ref

“The Olmecs were the earliest known major Mesoamerican civilization. It has been speculated that the Olmecs derived in part from the neighboring Mokaya or Mixe–Zoque cultures. The Olmecs flourished during Mesoamerica’s formative period, dating roughly from as early as 1500 BCE to about 400 BCE. Pre-Olmec cultures had flourished since about 2500 BCE, but by 1600–1500 BCE, early Olmec culture had emerged, centered on the San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán site near the coast in southeast Veracruz. They were the first Mesoamerican civilization and laid many of the foundations for the civilizations that followed.” ref

“Among other “firsts”, the Olmec appeared to practice ritual bloodletting and played the Mesoamerican ballgame, hallmarks of nearly all subsequent Mesoamerican societies. The aspect of the Olmecs most familiar now is their artwork, particularly the colossal heads.  This highly productive environment encouraged a densely concentrated population, which in turn triggered the rise of an elite class. The elite class created the demand for the production of the symbolic and sophisticated luxury artifacts that define Olmec culture. Many of these luxury artifacts were made from materials such as jadeobsidian, and magnetite, which came from distant locations and suggest that early Olmec elites had access to an extensive trading network in Mesoamerica.” ref

“The source of the most valued jade was the Motagua River valley in eastern Guatemala, and Olmec obsidian has been traced to sources in the Guatemala highlands, such as El Chayal and San Martín Jilotepeque, or in Puebla, distances ranging from 200 to 400 km (120–250 miles) away, respectively. La Venta sustained the Olmec cultural traditions with spectacular displays of power and wealth. The Great Pyramid was the largest Mesoamerican structure of its time. Even today, after 2500 years of erosion, it rises 34 m (112 ft) above the naturally flat landscape. Buried deep within La Venta lay opulent, labor-intensive “offerings” – 1000 tons of smooth serpentine blocks, large mosaic pavements, and at least 48 separate votive offerings of polished jade celts, pottery, figurines, and hematite mirrors.” ref

“Curators and scholars refer to “Olmec-style” face masks but, to date, no example has been recovered in an archaeologically controlled Olmec context. They have been recovered from sites of other cultures, including one deliberately deposited in the ceremonial altepetl (precinct) of Tenochtitlan in what is now Mexico City. The mask would presumably have been about 2000 years old when the Aztecs buried it, suggesting such masks were valued and collected as were Roman antiquities in Europe.” ref

“The ‘Olmec-style’ refers to the combination of deep-set eyes, nostrils, and strong, slightly asymmetrical mouth. The “Olmec-style” also very distinctly combines facial features of both humans and jaguars. Olmec arts are strongly tied to the Olmec religion, which prominently featured jaguars. The Olmec people believed that in the distant past a race of werejaguars was made between the union of a jaguar and a woman. One werejaguar quality that can be found is the sharp cleft in the forehead of many supernatural beings in Olmec art. This sharp cleft is associated with the natural indented head of jaguars.” ref

“In addition to their influence with contemporaneous Mesoamerican cultures, as the first civilization in Mesoamerica, the Olmecs are credited, or speculatively credited, with many “firsts”, including the bloodletting and perhaps human sacrifice, writing and epigraphy, and the invention of popcorn, zero and the Mesoamerican calendar, and the Mesoamerican ballgame, as well as perhaps the compass. Some researchers, including artist and art historian Miguel Covarrubias, even postulate that the Olmecs formulated the forerunners of many of the later Mesoamerican deities.” ref

“Mesoamerican ballgame: The Olmec are strong candidates for originating the Mesoamerican ballgame so prevalent among later cultures of the region and used for recreational and religious purposes. A dozen rubber balls dating to 1600 BCE or earlier have been found in El Manatí, a bog 10 km (6 mi) east of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan. These balls predate the earliest ballcourt yet discovered at Paso de la Amada, c. 1400 BCE, although there is no certainty that they were used in the ballgame. Evidence has pushed back the proposed date for Mixe–Zoquean language split of the Mixean and Zoquean languages to a period within the Olmec era. Based on this dating, the architectural and archaeological patterns and the particulars of the vocabulary loaned to other Mesoamerican languages from Mixe–Zoquean, Wichmann now suggests that the Olmecs of San Lorenzo spoke proto-Mixe and the Olmecs of La Venta spoke proto-Zoque.” ref

“Olmec religious activities were performed by a combination of rulers, full-time priests, and shamans. The rulers seem to have been the most important religious figures, with their links to the Olmec deities or supernaturals providing legitimacy for their rule. There is also considerable evidence for shamans in the Olmec archaeological record, particularly in the so-called “transformation figures.” ref

“As Olmec mythology has left no documents comparable to the Popol Vuh from Maya mythology, any exposition of Olmec mythology must be based on interpretations of surviving monumental and portable art (such as the Señor de Las Limas statue at the Xalapa Museum), and comparisons with other Mesoamerican mythologies. Olmec art shows that such deities as Feathered Serpent and a rain supernatural were already in the Mesoamerican pantheon in Olmec times.” ref

Mayan Religion (Deities and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

“The Maya had a polytheistic religion, which means they worshipped many gods, including Itzam Na (Creator God), Kinich Ahau (Sun God), Ah Puch (one of several death gods), and Buluc Chabtan (War God). They practiced animism, which is the belief that all things, including inanimate objects, had a soul. Since the Maya worshipped so many gods, religious rituals and traditions were frequent and dictated by the calendar the Maya developed. The Maya referred to their practice of feasts and rituals as costumbre. Blood was often part of these Maya rituals, sometimes acquired by human bloodletting and animal or human sacrifice. Maya funerals were ritualistic and involved cremation and burial of the body as well as traditions to free the k’uh. Many Maya rituals involved dancing and elaborate costumes in the hope of getting the attention of a particular god.” ref

“Until the discovery that Maya stelae depicted kings instead of high priests, the Maya priesthood and their preoccupations had been a main scholarly concern. In the course of decades, a concept of royal ʼshamanismʼ, chiefly propounded by Linda Schele and Freidel, came to occupy the forefront instead. Yet, Classic Maya civilization, being highly ritualistic, would have been unthinkable without a developed priesthood. Like other Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican priesthoods, the early Maya priesthood consisted of a hierarchy of professional priests serving as intermediaries between the population and the deities. Their basic skill was the art of reading and writing. The priesthood as a whole was the keeper of knowledge concerning the deities and their cult, including calendrics, astrology, divination, and prophecy. In addition, they were experts in historiography and genealogy. Priests were usually male and could marry.” ref

Priests: In between shamans and kings

“The Maya class of the priests is sometimes thought to have emerged from a pre-existing network of shamans as social complexity grew. The classic Siberian shaman is characterized by his intimate relationship with one or several helper spirits, ‘ecstatic’ voyages into non-human realms, and often operates individually, on behalf of his clients. In 20th-century Maya communities, diviners, and also curers, may show some features of true shamans, particularly vocation through illness or dreamstrance, and communication with a spirit. In reference to these features, they are often loosely called ‘shamans’ by ethnographers. On the other hand, priests are chiefly cultic functionaries operating within a well-defined hierarchy and offering foodsacrifices, and prayers to the deities on behalf of social groups situated on different levels. The Pre-Hispanic religious functionaries described by men like Diego de LandaTomás de Torquemada, and Bartolomé de las Casas were also priests, not shamans.” ref 

“Among the Mayas, priestly functions were often fulfilled by dignitaries who were not professional priests, but this fact cannot be used to argue the nonexistence of a separate priesthood. The Popol Vuh stereotypically describes the first ancestors as “bloodletters and sacrificers” and as the carriers of their deities, a priestly function.  To the Kʼicheʼ kings and highest dignitaries coming after them, the kingship was a sacred institution and the temple service a duty: during certain intervals, they abstained from intercoursefasted, prayed, and burnt offerings, “pleading for the light and the life of their vassals and servants.” Although the text describes the three temples dedicated to the first ancestors’ patron deities and names what appear to be the two high priests of the main deities (the Lords Ah Tohil and Ah Cucumatz), it does not discuss, or even mention, local priests.” ref

“According to some Yucatec sources, too, the rulers and the high nobility carried out priestly tasks. The highest Mayapan nobility, for example, is stated to have served continually in the temples; for the early Choles, no regular priesthood is mentioned, so that one might assume that the chiefs performed the priestly functions themselves. The Yucatec king (or “head chief of a province“), known as the halach uinic (‘true man’), is defined both as a ‘governor‘ and a ‘bishop‘. Without a grounding in esoteric and ritual knowledge, a ruler could apparently not function.” ref

“For the Classic period, the king should probably be considered a sacred, priestly king, perhaps subsuming in his person the priesthood as a whole. The latter idea has been used as an explanation for the seeming lack of references to priests in Classic period texts. The idea of the king representing the priesthood should not be pushed to its limits, however, since due to our lack of knowledge of priestly titles and imperfect understanding of the script, textual references to priests may easily pass unnoticed. The existence of a separate Classic priesthood, at the kingdom‘s court as well as in its towns and villages, is hardly doubtful; its absence would constitute an anomaly among early civilizations.” ref

“Chief among the patron deities of the Classic priests was the upper god, Itzamna, first priest and first writer, still shown officiating in one of the pictures of the Late-Postclassic Madrid Codex. Patron deities of writing and calendrical reckoning were of obvious importance to the priesthood, especially the writers among them, and included a Maya maize god and the Howler Monkey Gods. The Howler Monkey God also personified the day sign, suggesting that he may more specifically have been a patron of diviners.” ref

9. “Chibchan languages make up a language family indigenous to the Isthmo-Colombian Area, which extends from eastern Honduras to northern Colombia and includes populations of these countries as well as NicaraguaCosta Rica, and Panama.” ref

Chibchan Religion (Deities and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

“The Chibcha religion was of both state and individual concern. Each political division had its own set of priests. Apparently some kind of hierarchy was recognized and the priests were a professional hereditary class. Priests, who were clearly distinguished from shamans, had as their functions the intercession at public ceremonies for the public good, the dispensing of oracles, and consultation with private individuals. Shamans served the individual more than the state and cured illnesses, interpreted dreams, and foretold the future. The Chibchas had an elaborate pantheon of gods headed by Chiminigagua, the supreme god and creator. In addition to the state temples and idols, many natural habitats were considered to be holy places. Ceremonial practices included offerings, public rites, pilgrimages, and human sacrifice.” ref

“Chibcha, South American Indians who at the time of the Spanish conquest occupied the high valleys surrounding the modern cities of Bogotá and Tunja in Colombia. With a population of more than 500,000, they were notable for being more centralized politically than any other South American people outside the Inca empire. Numerous small districts, each with its own chief, had been consolidated through conquest and alliance into two major states and several lesser ones, each headed by a hereditary ruler. Although these states were not very stable, it seems clear that the arrival of the Spanish cut short the development of even larger political units. Their political structure was crushed in the 16th century. In the 18th century their language ceased to be spoken, and the Chibcha became assimilated with the rest of the population.” ref

“Chibcha society was based on an economy featuring intensive agriculture, a variety of crafts, and considerable trade. Weekly markets in the larger villages facilitated the exchange of farm produce, pottery, and cotton cloth; and trade with neighbouring peoples provided the gold that was used extensively for ornaments and offerings. The use of gold was a prerogative of the upper class, who were also carried in litters and shown great deference. Because descent was matrilineal, chiefs and religious leaders were succeeded by their sisters’ sons, although land was inherited patrilineally. Heirs to important offices underwent long periods (6 to 12 years) of fasting and seclusion in preparation for their future duties.” ref

“The religion was dominated by a hereditary but unorganized priesthood that maintained numerous temples and shrines and held elaborate but infrequent public ceremonies. Offerings, especially of gold and cloth, were a prominent part of all religious observances, and on special occasions human sacrifices were made to the Sun.” ref

South America Area

“Although both North and Central America are very diverse areas, South America has a linguistic diversity rivaled by only a few other places in the world with approximately 350 languages still spoken and several hundred more spoken at first contact but now extinct. The situation of language documentation and classification into genetic families is not as advanced as in North America (which is relatively well studied in many areas). As a result, many relationships between languages and language families have not been determined and some of those relationships that have been proposed are on somewhat shaky ground.” ref 

“In many parts of South America, the shaman, a religious specialist who enters into states of ecstasy, holds a prominent place in society. A shaman, it is believed, learns to control the passage of the soul out of and back into the body. According to South American tradition, the shaman not only controls the ecstasy of his or her own soul but also is devoted to the knowledge and care of the souls of others.” ref

“The length of shamanic training varies widely from one South American culture to another. Among the Arecuna and Taulipang, Cariban groups of Venezuela and Brazil, the shamanic novitiate is reported to last from 10 to 20 years. In other traditions, by contrast, knowledge might be transmitted to the novice in relatively brief but intense periods of ecstasy. The knowledge imparted may include the use of different forms of fire (such as ritual fires, sparks struck from special elements, or the light contained in bright crystals), the use of musical instruments, and the mastery of primordial sounds (which are thought to have the power to re-create the bodies of suffering patients or to reorder the seasons to overcome drought or famine), esoteric languages, and sacred songs.” ref

“The education of a shaman usually takes place under the direction of a master. In some traditions the master is an accomplished and practiced human shaman. In other traditions, including those of the Makiritare, the master is a supernatural being. The Makiritare believe that the sacred songs (ademi) were taught to shamans at the beginning of time by sadashe (masters of animals and prototypes of the contemporary animal species), who cut down the tree of life, survived the subsequent flood, cleared the first garden, and celebrated the first new harvest festival. In order to preserve their power, the ademi must be repeated in the exact phonetic pattern in which the sadashe first revealed them.” ref

“The shaman’s rattle is a most sacred instrument in South America, and the Warao (Warrau) of the Orinoco delta in Venezuela believe that the original shaman’s rattle was brought back to earth after the primordial mythic shaman ascended to the heavenly realm to visit the spirit of the south. It is believed that the rattle embodies the sacred forces of the cosmos through its sounds, structural features, contents, and connection to shamanic ecstasy. The rattle’s various parts also symbolize the structures of the world. The handle is the vertical path that rises into the heavenly vault. The heavenly realm is represented by the rattle’s great head-gourd, which contains spirits. Joining the handle to the head represents the joining of male and female elements in the universe, an act of fertilization that gives the sounds of the instrument creative power. Safeguarding the rattle and playing it properly during ritual fulfills the destiny of the human spirit: to sustain the order of existence.” ref

10. “Cariban languages are a family of languages indigenous to north-eastern South America. They are widespread across northernmost South America, from the mouth of the Amazon River to the Colombian Andes, and they are also spoken in small pockets of central Brazil. The languages of the Cariban family are relatively closely related. In the 16th century, Cariban peoples expanded into the Lesser Antilles. There they killed or displaced, and also mixed with the Arawak peoples who already inhabited the islands. The resulting language—Kalhíphona or Island Carib—was Carib in name but largely Arawak in substance. The Carib male conquerors took Arawak women as wives, and the latter passed on their own language on to the children. For a time, Arawak was spoken by women and children and Carib by adult men, but as each generation of Carib-Arawak boys reached adulthood, they acquired less Carib until only basic vocabulary and a few grammatical elements were left.” ref 

Cariban Religion (Deities and Shamanism/or “medicine people”) 

“The length of shamanic training varies widely from one South American culture to another. Among the Arecuna and Taulipang, Cariban groups of Venezuela and Brazil, the shamanic novitiate is reported to last from 10 to 20 years.” ref

“Earlier scholars, such as Hartley B. Alexander (1920), emphasized differences between Island Arawak and Island Carib religions. This tradition continued in the work of scholars such as Fred Olsen (1974) and Charles A. Hoffman (1980), for example, who postulated strong Maya influence on the religious systems of the Greater Antilles. Later, scholars paid greater attention to the similarities in Arawak and Carib belief systems—for example, the many parallels in Arawak and Carib shamanism—than to their differences. Archaeologists have since established a firmer and more comprehensive chronology for the Caribbean region (Rouse and Allaire, 1978). They also have discovered much greater variation in religious artifacts than was previously thought to exist, which in turn hints at a greater variation within the religious traditions of the Island Arawak and the Island Carib than was previously supposed. Arawak and Carib traditions, for example, may have differed from settlement to settlement on the same island.” ref

“Both the Island Arawak and the Island Carib possessed a notion of a high god, though, as the chroniclers’ reports make clear, their high god differed conceptually from the God of Christianity. We know, too, that aboriginal high gods were thought to exert very little direct influence on the workings of the universe. Many of the early chroniclers, including Fray Ramón Pané, Gonzalo F. de Oviedo, and Raymond Breton, refer to Arawak and Carib high gods as kinds of deus otiosus; that is, they are inactive gods far removed from human affairs and concerns. Neither the Island Arawak nor the Island Carib conceived of their high god as the creator of the universe, and it is unclear how powerful the high god was thought to be. Was it that their high god was able to interfere directly in world affairs but chose not to do so, or was he thought to be totally ineffectual? Chroniclers differ somewhat on this. Pané suggests that the high god was a powerful deity who chose to be inactive. Other chroniclers stress the inactivity of the high god and the lack of attention accorded him. The bulk of the evidence, including what we know of other American Indian religions (Hultkrantz, 1979), supports the latter interpretation.” ref

“The identification of Island Arawak deities is often a problem. Their high god was known by two names: Iocauna and Guamaonocon (spellings differ from chronicler to chronicler). Peter Martyr reports that the Arawak supreme being was not self-created but was himself brought forth by a mother who has five names or identities: Attabeira, Mamona, Guacarapita, Iella, and Guimazoa. He also reports other appellations for the high god, including Jocakuvaque, Yocahu, Vaque, Maorocon, and Macrocoti. Pané provides an equally complex list of male and female deities, and it is apparent that most deities in the Arawak pantheon were recognized by a number of appellations. Henri Pettitjean-Roget (1983) has suggested that the various names be interpreted as different incarnations of the same deity, as in the Hindu tradition. Another possible explanation is that different names simply represent local variants.” ref

“A number of interpreters (Joyce, 1916; Alexander, 1920) have posited that the Island Arawak possessed a conception of an earth mother and a sky father similar to that of other American Indian groups. This has been called into question. While there are many similarities between the goddess Attabeira and the earth mother of American Indian mythology, there are also many differences. Attabeira does seem to have been associated with fertility, and as Fred Olsen (1974) suggests, her many Arawakan names describe her various functions: mother of moving waters (the sea, the tides, and the springs), goddess of the moon, and goddess of childbirth Representations of Attabeira frequently show her squatting in the act of parturition, and archaeologists have been greatly impressed with the vividness of these portrayals. Her hands are holding her chin while her legs press into her sides as she struggles in childbirth. In several representations her open mouth and heavy eyebrows ridging over wide-open eyes convey successfully the intensity of her efforts.” ref

“But there are other characteristics of Attabeira that are not at all like those of an earth mother. Sven Lovén (1935) concludes that Attabeira cannot be identified as a goddess of the earth because she seems to have dwelt permanently in the heavens. He concedes that Attabeira may have been an all-mother, but this does not necessarily imply that she was an earth goddess. Lovén (1935) also points out that Iocauna was not an all-father. As noted previously, native conceptions of Iocauna would have precluded procreative activities. It is possible that one of Iocauna’s names, Yocahu, is related to the yuca (cassava) plant (Fewkes, 1907). Yocahu may have been the giver of yuca or the discoverer of yuca, but he was not believed to be the creator of yuca (Olsen, 1974). It is clear from all accounts that after yuca was given to the Island Arawak, it was cultivated through the cooperation of zemi spirits and was not at all dependent on the cooperation of Yocahu.” ref

“Other prominent Island Arawak deities include: Guabancex, goddess of wind and water, who had two subordinates: Guatauva, her messenger, and Coatrischio, the tempest-raiser; Yobanua-Borna, a rain deity; Baidrama (or Vaybruma), a twinned deity associated with strength and healing; Opigielguoviran, a doglike being said to have plunged into the morass with the coming of the Spanish; and Faraguvaol, a tree trunk able to wander at will. One difficulty with the various listings provided by the chroniclers is that they do not distinguish mythical beings and deities. This is unfortunate because the Island Arawak themselves seem to have made such a distinction.” ref

“As Alexander (1920) has pointed out, there is some evidence that nature worship and/or a vegetation cult existed among the Island Arawak. This remains, however, a much neglected aspect of Island Arawak religion. Pané’s elaborate description of the manufacture of wooden religious objects suggests some similarities between the production of these objects and the construction of wooden fetishes in West Africa. While the analogy is not complete, it has been noted that many aspects of Caribbean religions seem to derive from similar attitudes toward material objects (Alexander, 1920).” ref

“One of the most important differences between Arawak and Carib religions is that among the Island Arawak nature worship seems to have been closely associated with ancestor worship. The bones of the Island Arawak dead, especially the bones of their leaders and great men, were thought to have power in and of themselves. This notion also existed among the Island Carib, but their ceremonies and representations were not so elaborate. In addition, most chroniclers mention that the Island Arawak painted their bodies and faces, especially in preparation for war. The chroniclers are in agreement that the painted figures were horrible and hideous, but there is little agreement as to what the figures were supposed to represent. Jesse W. Fewkes (1907) has suggested that body paintings had religious importance; most other sources suggest that markings served to distinguish members of the same clan. The practice may have been a form of ancestor worship.” ref

“Like the Island Arawak, the island Carib recognized a multitude of spirit beings as well as a high god whose name varies according to text. Sieur de La Borde (1704) refers to their high god as Akamboüe. According to Raymond Breton (1665), however, Akamboüe means “carrier of the king,” and the highest deity in the Island Carib pantheon was the moon, Nonu-ma. Breton argues that the moon was central in Island Carib religion because the Carib reckoned time according to lunar cycles. The sun, Huoiou, also occupied an important place in the Island Carib pantheon. Although the sun was said to be more powerful than the moon, Huoiou was also said to be more remote from human affairs and therefore less significant.” ref

“Of the spirits directly involved in human affairs, Icheiri and Mabouia are the most frequently mentioned. Icheiri, whose name comes from the verb ichéem, meaning “what I like” (Breton, 1665, p. 287), has been interpreted as a spirit of good, while Mabouia, from the same root as the word boyé, or “sorcerer,” has been interpreted as a spirit of evil. The Carib informed Breton that it was Mabouia who brought about eclipses of the sun and caused the stars to disappear suddenly.” ref

“The terms icheiri and mabouia have been widely discussed in the secondary literature. I believe that these were not names of spirits, but were general categories within the spirit world, and that spirits were classified primarily according to their relation to the individual. One man’s icheira (helper) could be another man’s mabouia (evil spirit) and vice versa (Glazier, 1980a). The most important consideration, as far as the Carib were concerned, was to get a particular spirit on one’s side.” ref

“Another major category in the Island Carib spirit world was that of the zemiisZemi, too, appears to have been a very general term; the word is of Arawak origin and indicates the strong influence of Island Arawak language and culture on the Island Carib. Among the Carib, to get drunk, chemerocae, literally meant “to see zemiis.” Zemiis were thought to live in a paradise far removed from the world of the living, but every so often, according to La Borde (1704), Coualina, chief of the zemiis, would become angry about the wickedness of some zemiis and drive them from paradise to earth, where they became animals. This is but one example of the constant transformations from deity to animal in Island Carib mythology.” ref

“Both the Island Arawak and the Island Carib had a notion of the afterlife. The Island Arawak conceived of spirits of the dead, called opias or hubias, who were said to wander about the bush after dark. Occasionally opias joined the company of the living and were said to be indistinguishable from the living, except for the spirits’ lack of navels. In both Arawak and Carib religions, the activities of the dead were thought to resemble the activities of the living. Opias, for example, passed their time feasting and dancing in the forest. Their behaviors were similar to native ceremonies. Pané reports that the Arawak of Haiti believed in a kingdom of death, Coaibai, which was situated on their own island. Every leader of importance had his own kingdom of death, usually located within his own dominion. In addition, there were uninhabited places where the spirits of evil people were said to roam.” ref

“The Island Carib, on the other hand, had a much more diffuse notion of the afterlife. All spirits of the body, omicou, went to the seashore or became mabouias in the forest. There was no concept of an underworld, nor were spirits associated with specific locations, as among the Island Arawak. Each individual was said to possess three souls: one in the heart, one in the head, and one in the shoulders. It is only the heart-soul that ascends to the sky, while the other two souls wander the earth for eternity. The Island Carib asserted that only valiant heart-souls ascended; the implication here is that even the heart-souls of the less valiant sometimes became mabouias and roamed the earth.” ref

“Elaborate burial ceremonies were noted among both the Island Arawak and the Island Carib. Archaeological evidence indicates that the Island Arawak performed several types of burials: (1) direct interment, with the skeleton in a sitting or flexed position; (2) interment within a raised mound, with the body in a crouched position; (3) interment within a grave covered with an arch of branches topped with earth; and (4) burial in caves, with skeletons in a flexed position. Secondary burials were also prevalent (Lovén, 1935).” ref

11. “Quechuan languages are an indigenous language family that originated in central Peru and thereafter spread to other countries of the Andes. Derived from a common ancestral “Proto-Quechua” language, it is today the most widely spoken pre-Columbian language family of the Americas, approximately 13.9% (3.7 million) of Peruvians speak a Quechua language. Although Quechua began expanding many centuries before the Incas, that previous expansion also meant that it was the primary language family within the Inca Empire. Quechua had already expanded across wide ranges of the central Andes long before the expansion of the Inca Empire.” ref

“Q’ero (spelled Q’iru in the official three-vowel Quechua orthography) is a Quechua-speaking community or ethnic group dwelling in the province of Paucartambo, in the Cusco Region of Peru. The Q’ero live in one of the most remote places in the Peruvian Andes.” ref

Quechuan Religion (with Deities/paganism and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

“Some Cusco anthropologists and spiritual pilgrims believe that the Q’ero are the direct descendants of the Inca. According to Q’ero mythology, their ancestors defended themselves from invading Spanish conquistadores with the aid of local mountain deities (apus) that devastated the Spanish Army near Wiraquchapampa by creating an earthquake and subsequent rockslide that buried the Spanish invaders.” ref

“The Q’ero do not practice any particular religion, though they are highly spiritual. Their beliefs are not dogmatic like those of many organized religions. Some of the Q’ero have been converted to Christianity by a wide variety of missionaries that have visited their homeland. Some may argue that their beliefs are syncretic, consisting of the traditional spiritual beliefs of Andean peoples with a small mixture of Christianity. There are no shamans among the Q’ero, as they are more mystical than shamanic. They call their spiritual leaders paqos, a term that may be translated as ‘priest’ or ‘practitioner’.” ref

“A major distinction between mystics and shamans is that shamans enter a trance state which is induced by either a medicinal plant, dancing, drumming, meditation, or some other type of transformational activity that allows the practitioner to transcend into a trance-like state in order to heal or diagnose disease. Among the Q’ero, there are two main levels of paqosaltumisayuq and pampamisayuq. The Q’ero worship the “Cosmic Mother”, Pachamama, which may mean the entire universe or, as some would say, Mother Nature, in addition to other mountain spirits, called apus, e.g. Ausangate (Apu Awsanqati), Salkantai (Apu Salkantai).” ref

“Current research on shamanic practices is conducted by anthropologist Anna Przytomska from Adam Mickiewicz University, who has written that the relationship between apus and humans is based on two main schemes: predation and reciprocity. Until now there were two great ages in the myth of the Q’ero that replace each other by big turning points in history (Pachakutiy) while a new age is still approaching.” ref

“During the first age (Ñawpa Pacha), the time of the first men (Ñawpa Machu), only the moon existed (Killa). Within the first big turning point of history the sun (Inti a.k.a. Wayna Qhapaq, young sovereign) appeared and dried out the Ñawpa Machu. The king Inca (Inkarri) was the son of the sun and father of the Inca and therefore ancestor of the Q’eros. When Inkarri founded the city Qusqu (Cusco) by throwing a golden rod he also created Jesus Christ. The current age (Kay Pacha) was initiated by the arrival of the Spanish and the violent death of Inkarri who afterwards raptured to the sanctuary Paititi. The time of the Incas is often referred to as the Kay Pacha which is also the age of the sun (Inti). This age will end with another Pachakutiy when Inkarri returns converting everything into gold and silver (Taripay Pacha). The sun will burn the world with bad people while good people will ascend to heaven (Hanaq Pacha). The return of the Inkarri is expected soon; a testimony of his mounting is for example the banishing of the Hacendados which so it is said were very cruel.” ref

“Organized religion is not a part of Q’ero society. The Q’ero say they live in balance and respect for all living things, through ayni (reciprocity, mutualism). The Q’ero practice ayni with individuals, their family, neighbors and community. It is based on the idea of always giving and knowing that in the end you yourself will receive. Ayni is also practiced with the spirit word and this puts one into right relationship and harmony with all living things, including nature, the environment and the spirit world. The spirit of life around them is what they respect and honor. They understand the balance of nature, its power and beauty, otherwise they could not exist in such a harsh and difficult environment.” ref

“There are very few true medicine people still existing in the villages, the traditions are being lost due to the lack of interest among the youth. They respect and honor Mother Nature (Pachamama) as well as other mountain spirits, called apus, e.g. Ausangate (Apu Awsanqati), Salkantay (Apu Salkantai).” ref

“There are many myths surrounding the Q’ero. They are simple farmers and magnificent weavers, but the myths stem from their spiritual beliefs. Many of the stories being told are exaggerations. One hears frequently amongst spiritual pilgrims that the Q’ero are bloodline descendants of the Inca high priests and that they live at altitudes exceeding 18,000 feet. There is no proof to suggest that the Q’ero are bloodline descendants of the Inca let alone specifically the high priests. There is evidence that suggests that the Q’ero may have in fact been part of the Inca empire as their weaving style can be traced back to Inca like patterns. Anthropologist Juan Nunez Del Prado also talks about their belief system in Jungian terms in which he says their tradition teaches that anyone can have “the seed of an Inca”. The seed is a metaphor for being an enlightened individual. The Q’ero typically do not live above 14,000 feet. While some huts exist at higher altitudes and are used if someone is trapped in bad weather, most villages are at lower altitudes.” ref

“Q’eros’ songs are basically used for animal fertility rituals and in carnival. Each animal type has its own ritual in the yearly cycle, as well as its own song. Carnival songs are generally about medicinal and sacred plants, flowers, and birds, along with other topics. There is one harvest song about the corn harvest, which is in decline since the Q’eros do not descend regularly for their corn harvest as in previous years, and there is also a body of songs that are only remembered by the older generation. The music is communal, that is, all women sing and all men play the pinkuyllu flute, or the panpipe known as qanchis sipas. A common aesthetic is that the singing and playing be continuous, since the music is an offering to the mountain gods and mother earth and the offerings must not stop during ritual.” ref

12. “Arawakan languages (South America & Caribbean) also known as Maipurean, is a language family that developed among ancient indigenous peoples in South America. Branches migrated to Central America and the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean and the Atlantic, including what is now the Bahamas. Almost all present-day South American countries are known to have been home to speakers of Arawakan languages, the exceptions being EcuadorUruguay, and Chile. Maipurean may be related to other language families in a hypothetical Macro-Arawakan stock.” ref

“The Arawakan linguistic matrix hypothesis (ALMH) suggests that the modern diversity of the Arawakan language family stems from the diversification of a trade language or lingua franca that was spoken throughout much of tropical lowland South America. Proponents of this hypothesis include Santos-Granero (2002) and Eriksen (2014). Eriksen (2014) proposes that the Arawakan family had only broken up after 600 CE, but Michael (2020) considers this to be unlikely, noting that Arawakan internal diversity is greater than that of the Romance languages. On the other hand, Blench (2015) suggests a demographic expansion that had taken place over a few thousand years, similar to the dispersals of the Austronesian and Austroasiatic language families in Southeast Asia. As one of the most geographically widespread language families in all of the Americas, Arawakan linguistic influence can be found in many language families of South America. Classification of Maipurean is difficult because of the large number of Arawakan languages that are extinct and poorly documented.” ref

“The Arawak are a group of indigenous peoples of northern South America and of the Caribbean. Specifically, the term “Arawak” has been applied at various times from the Lokono of South America to the Taíno, who lived in the Greater Antilles and northern Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. All these groups spoke related Arawakan languages. At some point, the Arawakan-speaking Taíno culture emerged in the Caribbean. Two major models have been presented to account for the arrival of Taíno ancestors in the islands; the “Circum-Caribbean” model suggests an origin in the Colombian Andes connected to the Arhuaco people, while the Amazonian model supports an origin in the Amazon basin, where the Arawakan languages developed.” ref

“The Arhuacos are profoundly spiritual and follow their own unique philosophy that tends to globalize their surroundings. They believe in a creator or “father” named Kakü Serankua, who engendered the first gods and material living things, other “fathers” like the sun and the snowy peaks and other “mothers” like the earth and the moon. They consider the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to be the heart of the world, and believe that the well-being of the rest of the world depends on it.” ref

“Nature and society as a unity are ruled by a single sacred law, immutable, pre-existent, primitive and survivor to everyone and everything. The material world can exist or cease to exist but this law is believed to continue without being altered. This universal law Kunsamü is represented by a boy, Mamo Niankua. This law of nature is an explanation of the origins of matter and its evolution, equilibrium, preservation, and harmony, that constitutes the fundamental objectives and the reason being of the Mamo; the spiritual authority of the Arhuaco society.” ref

“Each Mamo or Mamü is selected among different candidates, boys ranging eight to ten years old that will receive training for a minimum of nine years to fifteen years on average and are free to determine if they want to continue with it further the training period. To become a Mamo, they stay in a cave for nine years while the elders teach them everything they need to know. They specialize in certain knowledge areas such as philosophy, sacerdotalism, medicine, and practical community or individual counselors. Their influence is decisive in their society.” ref

Arawakan Religion (with Deities/paganism and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

National council of Colombian shamans that goes by its Spanish acronym, CAAENOC. Employing indigenous beliefs in the spiritual realm, CAAENOC is attempting to restore the natural balance of the world based on a holistic concept of cosmology, land, memory and justice, known as derechos mayores (or higher authority). At the local level, it seeks to restore the traditional place of the shaman within indigenous communities as the political and spiritual leaders of the tribe – a position that has all but disappeared in modern-day Colombia.” ref

“As part of its initiative, the council has led a select group, known as “walkers,” to travel up Colombia’s nine sacred mountaintops over the last decade in order to spiritually “cleanse” them – an elaborate pilgrimage to restore the damage done to the land over the last 500 years since the arrival of the first conquistadors.” ref

“Shamanism is often misunderstood. The classical definition of shamanism refers to an archaic religion that originated in Siberia and later spread throughout the native cultures of the Americas – from the Arctic Circle down to the Amazon jungle, and beyond. Nowadays, shamanism is associated with a romantic – and perhaps a fetishized – idea of a generic Indian sage, or at worst with new-age hucksters brandishing the title in order to peddle merchandise.” ref

“But the term shaman isn’t used in Colombia. They prefer Mayor, Mamo, Taita or Originario, which roughly translates to “wise one,” “sage” and “the first people.” Each community tends to have its own term for it, but what they all have in common is that the shaman holds a central position in the community as a spiritual leader, a storyteller and a doctor. Traditionally he would have been the political leader too.” ref

Adaheli, the sun in the mythology of the Orinoco region and Aiomun-Kondi, Arawak deity, created the world in Arawak mythology.” ref

“Adaheli was the personification of the sun in the Carib mythology of the Orinoco region of South America. In the story, Adaheli was troubled by the fact that there were no people on Earth, and so he descended to earth to create them. Shortly thereafter, people first appeared, born from the caiman. All of the original women were quite beautiful. The others, on the other hand, found some of the men to be downright intolerable because of their appearance. The ugly men moved to the east with their wives, while the others moved to the west with their wives, which caused the original people to split up.” ref 

“Aiomun-Kondi, also spelt Aiomum-Kondi and Aimon-Kondi, is an Arawak deity, whose name means “top king creator god”. Aiomum Kondi was the ruler of the gods and the sky. He is said to have attempted to create a model world, but considered his first two attempts to be failures due to their inhabitants’ depraved behavior. He burned his first world and flooded the second, but saved one couple from the latter; Marerewana and his wife. Marerewana saved himself and his family by taking shelter in a large canoe that was tied to a tree. Aiomun-Kondi then realized that there would always be corruption in the world, and moved on.” ref  

The Kuwai Religions of Northern Arawak-Speaking Peoples: Initiation, Shamanism, and Nature Religions of the Amazon and Orinoco

“Abstract: The sacred traditions of Kuwai are a central part of the cultural and spiritual heritage of northern Arawak-speaking peoples of the Northwest Amazon region living in an area from the upper Vaupés in Colombia, throughout the Içana River basin in Brazil, to the Guaviare and Inirida, river regions in Venezuela. This study aims to discuss some of the most important dimensions of this religious tradition. Concretely, by mapping the traditions and their variants; by discussing tradition ‘mythscapes’, that is, the sets of sacred sites inter-related by narratives and shamanic chants shared by ethno-linguistic groups; by elaborating on the most important meanings associated with the figure of Kuwai, having to do with patrilineal ancestors, cultural transmission across generations, nature/culture relations, and shamanism; and by looking at the cross-fertilization of cosmologies at the frontiers between the Kuwai religious tradition and non-Arawakan traditions.” ref

“At one time, in the distant past, the Kuwai traditions were part of a much larger indigenous religious tradition extending from the middle Solimões up the Rio Negro and to the Orinoco. This corresponds predominantly to the culture area of the northern Arawak-speaking peoples, whose history in that area dates back several thousand years (Neves, 2006). Among the defining features of this indigenous religious tradition were: (1) the existence of extensive systems of petroglyphs that can in many cases be directly associated with the sacred narratives of northern Arawak-speaking peoples (one defining feature of what we call ‘mythscapes’); (2) essentially patrilineal, exogamous societies the religious foundations for which are grounded in sacred flutes and trumpets, the ‘body’ of an ancestral being, ‘ownership’ over which was disputed between men and women; (3) an ontology in which humans must learn to live according to the cycles of nature in order for them to become cultural beings (a ‘nature/culture’ dialectic); and (4) a hierarchy among shamans, defined by knowledge and power, derived principally from the vegetal world, and bestowed on shamans by the great spirits of sorcery and healing; and (5) the ‘trans-indigenous’ fertilization of cosmologies, along ethno-linguistic frontiers in the Northwest Amazon.” ref

“For the northern Arawak-speaking peoples, the narrative about Kuwai is much more than a story of exogamy. Kuwai’s body consisted of both song (melodies produced through the pores and apertures of his body), and sickness (his ‘fur’ primarily, and a series of internal ailments as well), both reproduced after his ‘death’ in a great fire as the sacred musical instruments and all sicknesses in the world today. The figure of Kuwai has many common features for the northern Arawak: as teacher of sacred traditions, as sorcerer, as priestly chanter, and as dancer. Kuwai has major importance for shamanism, rites of initiation, seasonal dance festivals, and northern Arawak cosmology in general. He is considered to be the ‘soul’ of cultural traditions and ancestral continuity, and, at the same time, he is the ‘soul’ that can destroy if people abuse his knowledge and power.” ref

13. “Tupian languages comprise some 70 languages spoken in South America, of which the best known are Tupi proper and Guarani. Rodrigues (2007) considers the Proto-Tupian urheimat to be somewhere between the Guaporé and Aripuanã rivers, in the Madeira River basin. Much of this area corresponds to the modern-day state of Rondônia, Brazil. Five of the ten Tupian branches are found in this area, as well as some Tupi–Guarani languages (especially Kawahíb), making it the probable urheimat of these languages and maybe of its speaking peoples. Rodrigues believes the Proto-Tupian language dates back to around 3,000 BCE or around 5,000 years ago.” ref

“The Tupi people, a subdivision of the Tupi-Guarani linguistic families, were one of the largest groups of indigenous peoples in Brazil before its colonization. Scholars believe that while they first settled in the Amazon rainforest, from about 2,900 years ago the Tupi started to migrate southward and gradually occupied the Atlantic coast of Southeast Brazil. Many Tupi people today are merged with the Guaraní people, forming the Tupi–Guarani languages. Guarani languages are linguistically different from the Tupian languages. According to primary source accounts by primarily European writers, the Tupi were divided into several tribes which would constantly engage in war with each other.” ref

“In these wars, the Tupi would normally try to capture their enemies to later kill them in cannibalistic rituals. The warriors captured from other Tupi tribes were eaten as it was believed by them that this would lead to their strength being absorbed and digested; thus, in fear of absorbing weakness, they chose only to sacrifice warriors perceived to be strong and brave. For the Tupi warriors, even when prisoners, it was a great honor to die valiantly during battle or to display courage during the festivities leading to the sacrifice. The Tupi have also been documented to eat the remains of dead relatives as a form of honoring them. Cannibalistic rituals among Tupi and other tribes in Brazil decreased steadily after European contact and religious intervention.” ref

“Because our understanding of Tupi cannibalism relies mostly on primary source accounts of primarily European writers, the very existence of cannibalism has been disputed by some in academic circles. William Arens seeks to discredit Staden’s and other writers’ accounts of cannibalism in his book The Man-Eating Myth: Anthropology & Anthropophagy, where he claims that when concerning the Tupinambá, “rather than dealing with an instance of serial documentation of cannibalism, we are more likely confronting only one source of dubious testimony which has been incorporated almost verbatim into the written reports of others claiming to be eyewitnesses.” ref

“Most Brazilian scholars, however, attest to the cultural centrality of cannibalism in Tupian culture. Anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro who had deeply studied the historical accounts about the Tupi, reported that the Ka’apor people of the Tupi-Guaraní linguistic and cultural family confirmed that their ancestors had practiced anthropophagical rituals similar to the ones described in the 16th century. Other Brazilian scholars have criticized Arens for what they perceived as historical negationism, and for ignoring important sources (Jesuit letters) and historical and anthropological studies (Viveiros de CastroFlorestan Fernandes, Estevão Pinto, Hélène Clastres), many of them dealing directly with indigenous peoples, that point to the direction of anthropophagy being well established as a social and cultural practice. He was particularly criticized for trying to discredit the association of the Tupi with savagery, not by realizing that the Europeans failed to comprehend the meaning of traditional practices such as cannibalism, but by promptly negating their existence altogether.” ref

Tupian Religion (with Deities/paganism and Shamanism/or “medicine people”) 

“There were two main groups of Tupi tribes. There were the hunting and gathering tribes and the more prevalent tropical forest farmers. Tupi religion was not as organized as the western world’s concept of religion. They did have gods that they worshiped mainly through sacrifice. In the Tupi tribes there were aldermen, called shamans that were a concept that is similar to our priests. These shamans were also the tribe’s medicine men and were thought to be able to communicate with ghosts and demons through trances. The Tupi people were very aggressive in nature. They were often engaged in inter-tribal wars against other Tupi.” ref

“When the Europeans came over the Tupi shifted their focus from one another to defending their homelands. This does not mean that Tupi were always fighting together. The Tupi did not like to attack their enemies after sunset. They instead would attack at dawn to the sound of gourd trumpets that they had made. They would not wear any clothes during war, but would instead paint themselves with either red or black normally. They sometimes wore feathers as well in battle. They did not have a person in charge so their battles were not as ordered as western warfare had become. They did however take advice of the older Tupi although there was no one man designated as the leader. They were known for displaying the results of their efforts in war by either getting piercings or scars to represent the number of enemies that they had killed. There were often necklaces made out of the teeth of their victims as well.” ref

“The Tupi-Guarani mythology is the set of narratives about the gods and spirits of the different Tupi-Guarani peoples, ancient and current. Together with the cosmogonies, anthropogonies and rituals, they form part of the religion of these peoples. The Guarani people live in the south-central part of South America, especially in Paraguay and parts of the surrounding areas of Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia.” ref

“Guaraní practice their own religion, worshiping multiple gods. They are led by the village shaman who they believe communicates with the spirit world.” ref

“Equally little is known about early Guarani society and beliefs. They practiced a form of animistic pantheism, much of which has survived in the form of folklore and numerous myths. According to the Jesuit missionary Martin Dobrizhoffer, they practiced cannibalism at one point, perhaps as a funerary ritual, but later disposed of the dead in large jars placed inverted on the ground. Guarani mythology is still widespread in rural Paraguay. There are still contemporary Guarani shamans.” ref

“Guarani myth and legend can roughly be divided into the following broad categories:

  • Cosmogonic and eschatological myths; the creation and destruction of all things as dictated by Ñamandu“the true father, the first one”. After him comes a pantheon of gods, chief among them Yporú who is more frequently known as TupãJasy is another “good” deity who rules the night while Aña is a malign deity who dwells at the bottom of the Iguazu River.
  • Animistic mythology, that is animals, plants and minerals being animated and capable of becoming anthropomorphic beingsor in reverse the transmuted souls of people, either born or unborn, who have become animals, plants and minerals. The course of such anthropomorphism appears dictated by the pantheon of god-like deities because of their virtues or vices. Such animistic legends include that of the Lobizón, a werewolf-type being, and the Mainumby or hummingbird who transports good spirits that are resident in flowers back to Tupá “so he can cherish them”. Isondú or glowworms are the reincarnated spirits of certain people, as are the Panambi (butterflies). Ka’a Jarýi was a woman who became the sacred herb YerbaIrupé was a woman who was turned into the giant lily because she fell in love with the moon.
  • Pomberoare goblin or elf-like spirits who dwell in the forest and must be appeased. They have never been human. Principal among these is Jasy Jatere who has never been human and like all Pombero is from a different realm. His characteristics are vague and uncertain, and his powers are badly defined as is the place where he resides. He is described in one legend as a “handsome, thickly bearded, blond dwarf” who is naked and lives in tree trunks. Other versions say he loves honey, his feet are backward, and he is an “ugly, lame, old man”. Most legends agree that he snatches children and “licks them”, wrapping them in climbing plants or drowning them in rivers. To appease him gifts, such as honey, are left in places in the forest associated with him. Another Pombero is Kuarahy Jára who whistles like birds and is their protector. He can be your friend but is known for abducting young boys who are alone and trying to catch birds. If necessary he can take the form of a person, a tree or a hyacinth. Finally, Kurupi is a phallic mythological figure who will copulate with young women. He has scaly skin like a lizard, hypnotic eyes, and an enormous penis.” ref

“The Iguazu Falls, considered sacred by the Guarani, hold special significance and are the inspiration for numerous myths and legends. They reveal the sound of ancient battles at certain times, they are also the place where I-Yara—a malign Pomboro spirit—abducted Angá—a fair maiden—and hid her. The swallows that inhabit the falls to this day vainly search for her.” ref

“Guarani Shamans of the Forest ; Ropes to God: Experiencing the Bushman Spiritual Universe: In eastern Paraguay live a people who call themselves Ka’aguygua, or“inhabitants of the forest,” also known as Guarani. The words of one of their shamans, Ava Tupa Rayvi (“little seagull man”), notes: “The forest is not simply the place where we live. We are the forest. It is our life”(p. 10). His father was a great shaman who died in 1947, and Ava TupaRayvi tells his own story—one of three such stories in this book—of  working hard as a teenager in various fields and of working briefly with hired killers until the age of 18 when he returned to his home “and I’ve never left” (p. 26).” ref

“Tupa Nevangayu (“the one that comes from the Gods”) is the chief shaman of a Guarani community, and he recounts what it was like to grow up in a close-knit community:

The shaman would make a farm close to the temple. The whole community worked on the shaman’s farm and the food was shared by the entire community. The single men and women were told by the shaman to look for our firewood. The grandmothers taught the others how to cook. The shaman lay in his hammock and told everyone what to do. He was in charge of all the daily life around the temple (p. 51).” ref

14. “Macro-Jê languages are a medium-sized language family in South America, mostly in Brazil but also in the Chiquitanía region in Santa CruzBolivia, as well as (formerly) in small parts of Argentina and Paraguay. It is centered on the Jê language family, with most other branches currently being single languages due to recent extinctions. These languages share irregular morphology with the Tupi and Carib families, and Rodrigues (2000) and Ribeiro connect them all as a Je–Tupi–Carib family. Pache (2018) suggests a distant genetic relationship between Macro-Jê and Chibchan. Many Macro-Jê languages have been in contact with various languages of the Tupí-Guaraní family, which resulted in lexical borrowings.” ref

“For instance, Ribeiro (2012) finds a number of Apyãwa loanwords in Karajá (such as bèhyra ‘carrying basket’, kòmỹdawyra ‘andu beans’, hãrara ‘macaw (sp.)’, tarawè ‘parakeet (sp.)’, txakohi ‘Txakohi ceremonial mask’, hyty ‘garbage (Javaé dialect)’) as well as several Karajá loans in Apyãwa (tãtã ‘banana’, tori ‘White man’, marara ‘turtle stew’, irãwore ‘Irabure ceremonial mask’), Parakanã, and Asuriní of Trocará (sata ‘banana’, toria ‘White man’). Loans from one of the Língua Geral varieties (Língua Geral Paulista or Língua Geral Amazônica) have been found in Karajá (jykyra ‘salt’, mỹkawa ‘firearm’, brùrè ‘hoe’, kòmỹta ‘beans’, mabèra ‘paper (Xambioá dialect)’, ĩtajuwa ‘money (dated)’), Maxakalí (ãmãnex ‘priest’, tãyũmak ‘money’, kãmãnok ‘horse’, tapayõg ‘Black man’), Ritual Maxakalí (kõnõmĩy ‘boy’, kõyãg ‘woman’, petup ‘tobacco’, pakõm ‘banana’, tapuux ‘foreigner’, xetukxeka ‘potato’), and Krenak (tuŋ ‘flea’, krai ‘non-Indigenous person, foreigner’). Chiquitano has borrowed extensively from an unidentified Tupí-Guaraní variety; one example is Chiquitano takones [takoˈnɛs] ‘sugarcane’, borrowed from a form close to Paraguayan Guaraní takuare’ẽ ‘sugarcane’.” ref

“Some Macro-Jê languages from different branches have secondarily contacted with each other, also resulting in lexical loans. Ribeiro (2012), for instance, identifies several Karajá loans in Mẽbêngôkre, especially in the dialect spoken by the Xikrin group. These loans are thought to have entered Mẽbêngôkre from the variety spoken by the Xambioá group of the Karajá people. Examples include warikoko (Kayapó dialect) or watkoko (Xikrin dialect) ‘tobacco pipe’, rara ‘kind of basket’, wiwi ‘song, chant’, bikwa ‘relative, friend’, bero ‘puba flour’, borrowed from Karajá werikòkòlalawiibikòwabèrò. There is a significant number of loanwords from Chiquitano or from an extinct variety close to Chiquitano in Camba Spanish, including bi ‘genipa’, masi ‘squirrel’, peni ‘lizard’, peta ‘turtle, tortoise’, jachi ‘chicha leftover’, jichi ‘worm; jichi spirit’, among many others. Jolkesky (2016) notes that there are lexical similarities with Arawakan languages due to contact.” ref

“Jê or  are the people who spoke Jê languages of the northern South American Caribbean coast and Brazil. In Brazil, the Jê were found in Rio de JaneiroMinas GeraisBahiaPiauiMato GrossoGoiasTocantinsMaranhão, and as far south as Paraguay. They include the Timbira, the Kayapó, and the Suyá of the northwestern Jê; the Xavante, the Xerente, and the Akroá of the central Jê; the Karajá; the Jeikó; the Kamakán; Maxakalí; the Guayaná; the Purí (Coroado); the Bororo (Boe); the Gavião, and others. The southern Jê include the Kaingang and the Xokleng.” ref

Macro-Jê Religion (with Deities/paganism and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

“The Xerente, whose self-designation is Akwe, form, along with the Xavante (self-designation A’we) of Mato Grosso, the central branch of the societies of the Jê language family. The Xerente continue to express by other means what is most traditional of them: their warrior ethos. Studies of the Jê people point out as one of their principal characteristics the co-existence of a “simple” technological system – adapted to environmental conditions – and an extremely complex sociocultural system. These sociocultural systems are organized by means of a structural dualism which is manifest in a multiplicity of halves or moieties on the social plane. In the case of the Xerente, this is expressed in complex rituals, male cerimonial groups, naming groups, age classes, sports teams, etc., which are organized on the basis of kinship relations. The basis of this ordering is centered on a division in two socio-cosmological halves – Doí e Wahirê – associated respectively with the Sun and Moon, the mythical founding heroes of Xerente society.” ref

“The jaguar (huku) is also part of the Xerente mythical system, since it was responsible for teaching them the use of fire. The Doí moiety includes the Kuzaptedkwá (“the owners of fire”), Kbazitdkwá (“the owners of cotton”) and Kritóitdkwa (“the owners of the hot potato game” or “owners of rubber”) clans; and the Wahirê moiety, the Krozaké, Kreprehí and Wahirê clans, the last of which has the same name as the moiety. The two moieties and their respective clans share amongst themselves a network of reciprocal duties and obligations. The moieties, the six clans and the lineages that constitute them are patrilinear, that is, they trace descent from father to son, from paternal grandfather to grandson, or nephew-grandson. Thus, each one of the Xerente clans owns a set of proper names which are passed down from generation to generation, and which identify and distinguish Xerente individuals on the plane of their social organization.” ref

“Another fundamental mechanism for the identification and location of the Xerente in a broader way in their sociocultural universe is through body painting. There are two basic painting motifs that guide this form of identification: the line, indicating that the individuals belong to one of the clans of the Wahirê moiety, and the circle, which identifies those belonging to the clans of the Doí moiety. Xerente adults paint their bodies only on cerimonial occasions. Children, on the other hand, are painted daily. The paintings among adults can be related to various spheres of social and cerimonial organization – age classes, festival groups, log-racing groups, marriages, funerals, etc. The basic colors of Xerente body painting are produced with the following ingredients: carbon mixed with milkwood makes black; urucum seeds make red, and white is made from parakeet down or cotton. Before painting, bodies are anointed with babaçu oil. The details – circles or lines – are engraved on pieces of buriti pith, and utilized as a sort of “stamp.” ref

“Political relations – expressed in rituals, in body painting and, principally, through an intense factionalism – are based on a series of rights and duties stipulated by kinship relations. The Xerente factions – which are groups of individuals (consanguineal and affinal kin) who give their support to one (or more) indigenous leaders – live in constant competition, seeking political dominion of each one of the villages. This dynamic generates divisions, increasing the number of villages and chiefs, and, as a result, new political, social, and cerimonial arrangements are formed. The political roles with greater authority are the chief, the shaman, and members of the council of elders (wawes).” ref

“The Xerente creation myth is based on the duality of mythic heroes embedded in the sun and the moon, and this has resulted in a division between the exogamous moieties, with the sun moiety being called Doí and the moon Wahirê, each consisting of three or four clans.” ref

“In the eastern Brazilian area, the majority of the northwestern and central Ge tribes (Apinagé, Canella, and Xerente) hold that the Sun and Moon are the only true gods. Both Sun and Moon are masculine. Though not related to each other, they are companions; the Sun, however, is predominant. The supremacy of a solar god among the Apinagé led Jensen to the conclusion that here the mythical concept of a sun-man has a secondary identity, that is, he is also a supreme god (Jensen, 1951). To support this theory, Jensen directs attention to the fact that human begins alone have the privilege of addressing this deity as “my father.” He finds additional support for this theory in the prayers that are offered to the solar god and in the role he plays in visions. An Apinagé chief spoke of an encounter he once had on a hunting expedition in which he met the sun-father in human form. The Apinagé consider the establishment of the dual organization of the tribe, as well as the placement of the two moieties within the circular settlement, to be the work of the Sun. A final supporting element observed by Nimuendajú (1939) is the Apinagé’s consumption of round meat patties, which are eaten at feasts and are said to represent the sun.” ref 

“The Kaingang language is a member of the  family. The Kaingang people were the original first inhabitants of the province of Misiones in Argentina. Their language and culture is quite distinct from the neighboring Guaraní.” ref  

“Kaingang populations, can be treated by a kuiã (“shaman“).” ref 

15. “Chonan languages are a family of indigenous American languages which were spoken in Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia. Two Chon languages are well attested: Selk’nam (or Ona), spoken by the people of the same name who occupied territory in the northeast of Tierra del Fuego; and Tehuelche spoken by the people of the same name who occupied territory north of Tierra del Fuego. The name ‘Chon’, or Tshon, is a blend of ‘Tehuelche’ and ‘Ona’.” ref

“The earliest recorded human presence in modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period, with further traces in the Mesolithic and Neolithic. The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times. The first group are basic hunters and food gatherers without the development of pottery, such as the Selk’nam and Yaghan in the extreme south. The second group are advanced hunters and food gatherers which include the PuelcheQuerandí and Serranos in the centre-east; and the Tehuelche in the south—all of them conquered by the Mapuche spreading from Chile—and the Kom and Wichi in the north. The last group are farmers with pottery, like the CharrúaMinuane and Guaraní in the northeast, with slash and burn semisedentary existence; the advanced Diaguita sedentary trading culture in the northwest, which was conquered by the Inca Empire around 1480; the Toconoté and Hênîa and Kâmîare in the country’s centre, and the Huarpe in the centre-west, a culture that raised llama cattle and was strongly influenced by the Incas.” ref

“The Selk’nam, also known as the Onawo or Ona people, are an indigenous people in the Patagonian region of southern Argentina and Chile, including the Tierra del Fuego islands. While the Selk’nam are closely associated with living in the northeastern area of Tierra del Fuego, they are believed to have originated as a people on the mainland. Thousands of years ago, they migrated by canoe across the Strait of Magellan. Their territory in the early Holocene probably ranged as far as the Cerro Benítez area of the Cerro Toro mountain range in Chile. Selk’nam religion was a complex system of beliefs, with a creation myth. Temáukel was the name of the great supernatural entity who they believed kept the world order. The creator deity of the world was called Kénos or Quénos. The Selk’nam had individuals who took shaman-like roles. Such a xon (IPA: [xon]) had supernatural capabilities, e.g. to control weather.” ref

Chonan languages Religion (Deities and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

“The religion of the Selk’nam people tends to be described as polytheistic, mainly because of the existence of various characters which are usually considered deities. However, according to the beliefs of the Selk’nam people, only Temáukel is recognized as a god, while other characters are identified as mythological ancestors rather than gods. On the other hand, the characteristics attributed to these mythological ancestors are typical of those beings whom might be called gods. Because of this, it is possible to consider that the religion of the Selk’nam people was, rather, henotheistic. Thus, there is a superior being, similar to the God of the Abrahamic religions, which corresponds to Temáukel; mythological gods or ancestors called howenh, of which the first to inhabit the Earth was Kenos, a creator and terraforming god, sent by Temáukel; and, finally, Xalpen and her subordinates, soorts, who were inhabitants of the underworld, which were represented by men in the Hain ceremony.

“Temáukel is the supreme god of the Selk’nam and Haush pantheon and, in theory, of all Selk’nam deities, is the only one that is considered a god, since the other deities are identified, rather as mythological ancestors. He is a primordial god and, therefore, has always existed. He dwells in the celestial dome, in the eastern sky or Wintek, and is the creator of it and the primitive Earth. Howenh were not recognized as gods by the Selk’nam people, but rather as mythological ancestors, since the only divinity as such is Temáukel. They constitute the great forces of nature and terraforming elements, but before becoming such elements, they existed as humans. Among the most important are Kenos, the first howenh; Kwányip and Čénuke; Kojh, howenh of the sea; Kren, howenh of the sun; Kre, howenh of the moon; Josh, howenh of the snow; and Shenrr, howenh of the wind. Kenos was the first howenh to inhabit the Earth. He is the creator, organizer, and civilizing god in Selk’nam mythology, and the most important deity after Temáukel. He was sent by him from the Celestial dome to the early Earth, with the mission to organize it and create the mythological ancestors who would shape the Earth. Xalpen is the goddess of the underworld. She has seven companions called Soorts: Sate, Yoisik, Wakus, Keyaisl, Talen, Pawus, and Sanu. Besides them, there are many subordinate Soorts who are not assigned a specific name.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

People don’t commonly teach religious history, even that of their own claimed religion. No, rather they teach a limited “pro their religion” history of their religion from a religious perspective favorable to the religion of choice. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Do you truly think “Religious Belief” is only a matter of some personal choice?

Do you not see how coercive one’s world of choice is limited to the obvious hereditary belief, in most religious choices available to the child of religious parents or caregivers? Religion is more commonly like a family, culture, society, etc. available belief that limits the belief choices of the child and that is when “Religious Belief” is not only a matter of some personal choice and when it becomes hereditary faith, not because of the quality of its alleged facts or proposed truths but because everyone else important to the child believes similarly so they do as well simply mimicking authority beliefs handed to them. Because children are raised in religion rather than being presented all possible choices but rather one limited dogmatic brand of “Religious Belief” where children only have a choice of following the belief as instructed, and then personally claim the faith hereditary belief seen in the confirming to the belief they have held themselves all their lives. This is obvious in statements asked and answered by children claiming a faith they barely understand but they do understand that their family believes “this or that” faith, so they feel obligated to believe it too. While I do agree that “Religious Belief” should only be a matter of some personal choice, it rarely is… End Hereditary Religion!

Opposition to Imposed Hereditary Religion

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Animism: Respecting the Living World by Graham Harvey 

“How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings? Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans? In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians, and eco-pagans. He considers the varieties of animism found in these cultures as well as their shared desire to live respectfully within larger natural communities. Drawing on his extensive casework, Harvey also considers the linguistic, performative, ecological, and activist implications of these different animisms.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

We are like believing machines we vacuum up ideas, like Velcro sticks to almost everything. We accumulate beliefs that we allow to negatively influence our lives, often without realizing it. Our willingness must be to alter skewed beliefs that impend our balance or reason, which allows us to achieve new positive thinking and accurate outcomes.

My thoughts on Religion Evolution with external links for more info:

“Religion is an Evolved Product” and Yes, Religion is Like Fear Given Wings…

Atheists talk about gods and religions for the same reason doctors talk about cancer, they are looking for a cure, or a firefighter talks about fires because they burn people and they care to stop them. We atheists too often feel a need to help the victims of mental slavery, held in the bondage that is the false beliefs of gods and the conspiracy theories of reality found in religions.

“Understanding Religion Evolution: Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, Paganism & Progressed organized religion”

Understanding Religion Evolution:

“An Archaeological/Anthropological Understanding of Religion Evolution”

It seems ancient peoples had to survived amazing threats in a “dangerous universe (by superstition perceived as good and evil),” and human “immorality or imperfection of the soul” which was thought to affect the still living, leading to ancestor worship. This ancestor worship presumably led to the belief in supernatural beings, and then some of these were turned into the belief in gods. This feeble myth called gods were just a human conceived “made from nothing into something over and over, changing, again and again, taking on more as they evolve, all the while they are thought to be special,” but it is just supernatural animistic spirit-belief perceived as sacred.


Quick Evolution of Religion?

Pre-Animism (at least 300,000 years ago) pre-religion is a beginning that evolves into later Animism. So, Religion as we think of it, to me, all starts in a general way with Animism (Africa: 100,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in supernatural powers/spirits), then this is physically expressed in or with Totemism (Europe: 50,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in mythical relationship with powers/spirits through a totem item), which then enlists a full-time specific person to do this worship and believed interacting Shamanism (Siberia/Russia: 30,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in access and influence with spirits through ritual), and then there is the further employment of myths and gods added to all the above giving you Paganism (Turkey: 12,000 years ago) (often a lot more nature-based than most current top world religions, thus hinting to their close link to more ancient religious thinking it stems from). My hypothesis is expressed with an explanation of the building of a theatrical house (modern religions development). Progressed organized religion (Egypt: 5,000 years ago)  with CURRENT “World” RELIGIONS (after 4,000 years ago).

Historically, in large city-state societies (such as Egypt or Iraq) starting around 5,000 years ago culminated to make religion something kind of new, a sociocultural-governmental-religious monarchy, where all or at least many of the people of such large city-state societies seem familiar with and committed to the existence of “religion” as the integrated life identity package of control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine, but this juggernaut integrated religion identity package of Dogmatic-Propaganda certainly did not exist or if developed to an extent it was highly limited in most smaller prehistoric societies as they seem to lack most of the strong control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine (magical beliefs could be at times be added or removed). Many people just want to see developed religious dynamics everywhere even if it is not. Instead, all that is found is largely fragments until the domestication of religion.

Religions, as we think of them today, are a new fad, even if they go back to around 6,000 years in the timeline of human existence, this amounts to almost nothing when seen in the long slow evolution of religion at least around 70,000 years ago with one of the oldest ritual worship. Stone Snake of South Africa: “first human worship” 70,000 years ago. This message of how religion and gods among them are clearly a man-made thing that was developed slowly as it was invented and then implemented peace by peace discrediting them all. Which seems to be a simple point some are just not grasping how devastating to any claims of truth when we can see the lie clearly in the archeological sites.

I wish people fought as hard for the actual values as they fight for the group/clan names political or otherwise they think support values. Every amount spent on war is theft to children in need of food or the homeless kept from shelter.

Here are several of my blog posts on history:

I am not an academic. I am a revolutionary that teaches in public, in places like social media, and in the streets. I am not a leader by some title given but from my commanding leadership style of simply to start teaching everywhere to everyone, all manner of positive education. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

To me, Animism starts in Southern Africa, then to West Europe, and becomes Totemism. Another split goes near the Russia and Siberia border becoming Shamanism, which heads into Central Europe meeting up with Totemism, which also had moved there, mixing the two which then heads to Lake Baikal in Siberia. From there this Shamanism-Totemism heads to Turkey where it becomes Paganism.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Not all “Religions” or “Religious Persuasions” have a god(s) but

All can be said to believe in some imaginary beings or imaginary things like spirits, afterlives, etc.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Low Gods “Earth” or Tutelary deity and High Gods “Sky” or Supreme deity

“An Earth goddess is a deification of the Earth. Earth goddesses are often associated with the “chthonic” deities of the underworldKi and Ninhursag are Mesopotamian earth goddesses. In Greek mythology, the Earth is personified as Gaia, corresponding to Roman Terra, Indic Prithvi/Bhūmi, etc. traced to an “Earth Mother” complementary to the “Sky Father” in Proto-Indo-European religionEgyptian mythology exceptionally has a sky goddess and an Earth god.” ref

“A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of naturemotherhoodfertilitycreationdestruction or who embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother. In some religious traditions or movements, Heavenly Mother (also referred to as Mother in Heaven or Sky Mother) is the wife or feminine counterpart of the Sky father or God the Father.” ref

Any masculine sky god is often also king of the gods, taking the position of patriarch within a pantheon. Such king gods are collectively categorized as “sky father” deities, with a polarity between sky and earth often being expressed by pairing a “sky father” god with an “earth mother” goddess (pairings of a sky mother with an earth father are less frequent). A main sky goddess is often the queen of the gods and may be an air/sky goddess in her own right, though she usually has other functions as well with “sky” not being her main. In antiquity, several sky goddesses in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Near East were called Queen of Heaven. Neopagans often apply it with impunity to sky goddesses from other regions who were never associated with the term historically. The sky often has important religious significance. Many religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic, have deities associated with the sky.” ref

“In comparative mythology, sky father is a term for a recurring concept in polytheistic religions of a sky god who is addressed as a “father”, often the father of a pantheon and is often either a reigning or former King of the Gods. The concept of “sky father” may also be taken to include Sun gods with similar characteristics, such as Ra. The concept is complementary to an “earth mother“. “Sky Father” is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity name as the Greek Zeûs Pater and Roman Jupiter and Germanic Týr, Tir or Tiwaz, all of which are reflexes of the same Proto-Indo-European deity’s name, *Dyēus Ph₂tḗr. While there are numerous parallels adduced from outside of Indo-European mythology, there are exceptions (e.g. In Egyptian mythology, Nut is the sky mother and Geb is the earth father).” ref

Tutelary deity

“A tutelary (also tutelar) is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of “tutelary” expresses the concept of safety and thus of guardianship. In late Greek and Roman religion, one type of tutelary deity, the genius, functions as the personal deity or daimon of an individual from birth to death. Another form of personal tutelary spirit is the familiar spirit of European folklore.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) iKorean shamanismjangseung and sotdae were placed at the edge of villages to frighten off demons. They were also worshiped as deities. Seonangshin is the patron deity of the village in Korean tradition and was believed to embody the SeonangdangIn Philippine animism, Diwata or Lambana are deities or spirits that inhabit sacred places like mountains and mounds and serve as guardians. Such as: Maria Makiling is the deity who guards Mt. Makiling and Maria Cacao and Maria Sinukuan. In Shinto, the spirits, or kami, which give life to human bodies come from nature and return to it after death. Ancestors are therefore themselves tutelaries to be worshiped. And similarly, Native American beliefs such as Tonás, tutelary animal spirit among the Zapotec and Totems, familial or clan spirits among the Ojibwe, can be animals.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Austronesian beliefs such as: Atua (gods and spirits of the Polynesian peoples such as the Māori or the Hawaiians), Hanitu (Bunun of Taiwan‘s term for spirit), Hyang (KawiSundaneseJavanese, and Balinese Supreme Being, in ancient Java and Bali mythology and this spiritual entity, can be either divine or ancestral), Kaitiaki (New Zealand Māori term used for the concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land), Kawas (mythology) (divided into 6 groups: gods, ancestors, souls of the living, spirits of living things, spirits of lifeless objects, and ghosts), Tiki (Māori mythologyTiki is the first man created by either Tūmatauenga or Tāne and represents deified ancestors found in most Polynesian cultures). ” ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Mesopotamian Tutelary Deities can be seen as ones related to City-States 

“Historical city-states included Sumerian cities such as Uruk and UrAncient Egyptian city-states, such as Thebes and Memphis; the Phoenician cities (such as Tyre and Sidon); the five Philistine city-states; the Berber city-states of the Garamantes; the city-states of ancient Greece (the poleis such as AthensSpartaThebes, and Corinth); the Roman Republic (which grew from a city-state into a vast empire); the Italian city-states from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, such as FlorenceSienaFerraraMilan (which as they grew in power began to dominate neighboring cities) and Genoa and Venice, which became powerful thalassocracies; the Mayan and other cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica (including cities such as Chichen ItzaTikalCopán and Monte Albán); the central Asian cities along the Silk Road; the city-states of the Swahili coastRagusa; states of the medieval Russian lands such as Novgorod and Pskov; and many others.” ref

“The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BCE; also known as Protoliterate period) of Mesopotamia, named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia and the Sumerian civilization. City-States like Uruk and others had a patron tutelary City Deity along with a Priest-King.” ref

Chinese folk religion, both past, and present, includes myriad tutelary deities. Exceptional individuals, highly cultivated sages, and prominent ancestors can be deified and honored after death. Lord Guan is the patron of military personnel and police, while Mazu is the patron of fishermen and sailors. Such as Tu Di Gong (Earth Deity) is the tutelary deity of a locality, and each individual locality has its own Earth Deity and Cheng Huang Gong (City God) is the guardian deity of an individual city, worshipped by local officials and locals since imperial times.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Hinduism, personal tutelary deities are known as ishta-devata, while family tutelary deities are known as Kuladevata. Gramadevata are guardian deities of villages. Devas can also be seen as tutelary. Shiva is the patron of yogis and renunciants. City goddesses include: Mumbadevi (Mumbai), Sachchika (Osian); Kuladevis include: Ambika (Porwad), and Mahalakshmi. In NorthEast India Meitei mythology and religion (Sanamahism) of Manipur, there are various types of tutelary deities, among which Lam Lais are the most predominant ones. Tibetan Buddhism has Yidam as a tutelary deity. Dakini is the patron of those who seek knowledge.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) The Greeks also thought deities guarded specific places: for instance, Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens. Socrates spoke of hearing the voice of his personal spirit or daimonion:

You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me … . This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.” ref

“Tutelary deities who guard and preserve a place or a person are fundamental to ancient Roman religion. The tutelary deity of a man was his Genius, that of a woman her Juno. In the Imperial era, the Genius of the Emperor was a focus of Imperial cult. An emperor might also adopt a major deity as his personal patron or tutelary, as Augustus did Apollo. Precedents for claiming the personal protection of a deity were established in the Republican era, when for instance the Roman dictator Sulla advertised the goddess Victory as his tutelary by holding public games (ludi) in her honor.” ref

“Each town or city had one or more tutelary deities, whose protection was considered particularly vital in time of war and siege. Rome itself was protected by a goddess whose name was to be kept ritually secret on pain of death (for a supposed case, see Quintus Valerius Soranus). The Capitoline Triad of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva were also tutelaries of Rome. The Italic towns had their own tutelary deities. Juno often had this function, as at the Latin town of Lanuvium and the Etruscan city of Veii, and was often housed in an especially grand temple on the arx (citadel) or other prominent or central location. The tutelary deity of Praeneste was Fortuna, whose oracle was renowned.” ref

“The Roman ritual of evocatio was premised on the belief that a town could be made vulnerable to military defeat if the power of its tutelary deity were diverted outside the city, perhaps by the offer of superior cult at Rome. The depiction of some goddesses such as the Magna Mater (Great Mother, or Cybele) as “tower-crowned” represents their capacity to preserve the city. A town in the provinces might adopt a deity from within the Roman religious sphere to serve as its guardian, or syncretize its own tutelary with such; for instance, a community within the civitas of the Remi in Gaul adopted Apollo as its tutelary, and at the capital of the Remi (present-day Rheims), the tutelary was Mars Camulus.” ref 

Household deity (a kind of or related to a Tutelary deity)

“A household deity is a deity or spirit that protects the home, looking after the entire household or certain key members. It has been a common belief in paganism as well as in folklore across many parts of the world. Household deities fit into two types; firstly, a specific deity – typically a goddess – often referred to as a hearth goddess or domestic goddess who is associated with the home and hearth, such as the ancient Greek Hestia.” ref

“The second type of household deities are those that are not one singular deity, but a type, or species of animistic deity, who usually have lesser powers than major deities. This type was common in the religions of antiquity, such as the Lares of ancient Roman religion, the Gashin of Korean shamanism, and Cofgodas of Anglo-Saxon paganism. These survived Christianisation as fairy-like creatures existing in folklore, such as the Anglo-Scottish Brownie and Slavic Domovoy.” ref

“Household deities were usually worshipped not in temples but in the home, where they would be represented by small idols (such as the teraphim of the Bible, often translated as “household gods” in Genesis 31:19 for example), amulets, paintings, or reliefs. They could also be found on domestic objects, such as cosmetic articles in the case of Tawaret. The more prosperous houses might have a small shrine to the household god(s); the lararium served this purpose in the case of the Romans. The gods would be treated as members of the family and invited to join in meals, or be given offerings of food and drink.” ref

“In many religions, both ancient and modern, a god would preside over the home. Certain species, or types, of household deities, existed. An example of this was the Roman Lares. Many European cultures retained house spirits into the modern period. Some examples of these include:

“Although the cosmic status of household deities was not as lofty as that of the Twelve Olympians or the Aesir, they were also jealous of their dignity and also had to be appeased with shrines and offerings, however humble. Because of their immediacy they had arguably more influence on the day-to-day affairs of men than the remote gods did. Vestiges of their worship persisted long after Christianity and other major religions extirpated nearly every trace of the major pagan pantheons. Elements of the practice can be seen even today, with Christian accretions, where statues to various saints (such as St. Francis) protect gardens and grottos. Even the gargoyles found on older churches, could be viewed as guardians partitioning a sacred space.” ref

“For centuries, Christianity fought a mop-up war against these lingering minor pagan deities, but they proved tenacious. For example, Martin Luther‘s Tischreden have numerous – quite serious – references to dealing with kobolds. Eventually, rationalism and the Industrial Revolution threatened to erase most of these minor deities, until the advent of romantic nationalism rehabilitated them and embellished them into objects of literary curiosity in the 19th century. Since the 20th century this literature has been mined for characters for role-playing games, video games, and other fantasy personae, not infrequently invested with invented traits and hierarchies somewhat different from their mythological and folkloric roots.” ref

“In contradistinction to both Herbert Spencer and Edward Burnett Tylor, who defended theories of animistic origins of ancestor worship, Émile Durkheim saw its origin in totemism. In reality, this distinction is somewhat academic, since totemism may be regarded as a particularized manifestation of animism, and something of a synthesis of the two positions was attempted by Sigmund Freud. In Freud’s Totem and Taboo, both totem and taboo are outward expressions or manifestations of the same psychological tendency, a concept which is complementary to, or which rather reconciles, the apparent conflict. Freud preferred to emphasize the psychoanalytic implications of the reification of metaphysical forces, but with particular emphasis on its familial nature. This emphasis underscores, rather than weakens, the ancestral component.” ref

William Edward Hearn, a noted classicist, and jurist, traced the origin of domestic deities from the earliest stages as an expression of animism, a belief system thought to have existed also in the neolithic, and the forerunner of Indo-European religion. In his analysis of the Indo-European household, in Chapter II “The House Spirit”, Section 1, he states:

The belief which guided the conduct of our forefathers was … the spirit rule of dead ancestors.” ref

“In Section 2 he proceeds to elaborate:

It is thus certain that the worship of deceased ancestors is a vera causa, and not a mere hypothesis. …

In the other European nations, the Slavs, the Teutons, and the Kelts, the House Spirit appears with no less distinctness. … [T]he existence of that worship does not admit of doubt. … The House Spirits had a multitude of other names which it is needless here to enumerate, but all of which are more or less expressive of their friendly relations with man. … In [England] … [h]e is the Brownie. … In Scotland this same Brownie is well known. He is usually described as attached to particular families, with whom he has been known to reside for centuries, threshing the corn, cleaning the house, and performing similar household tasks. His favorite gratification was milk and honey.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


“These ideas are my speculations from the evidence.”

I am still researching the “god‘s origins” all over the world. So you know, it is very complicated but I am smart and willing to look, DEEP, if necessary, which going very deep does seem to be needed here, when trying to actually understand the evolution of gods and goddesses. I am sure of a few things and less sure of others, but even in stuff I am not fully grasping I still am slowly figuring it out, to explain it to others. But as I research more I am understanding things a little better, though I am still working on understanding it all or something close and thus always figuring out more. 

Sky Father/Sky God?

“Egyptian: (Nut) Sky Mother and (Geb) Earth Father” (Egypt is different but similar)

Turkic/Mongolic: (Tengri/Tenger Etseg) Sky Father and (Eje/Gazar Eej) Earth Mother *Transeurasian*

Hawaiian: (Wākea) Sky Father and (Papahānaumoku) Earth Mother *Austronesian*

New Zealand/ Māori: (Ranginui) Sky Father and (Papatūānuku) Earth Mother *Austronesian*

Proto-Indo-European: (Dyus/Dyus phtr) Sky Father and (Dʰéǵʰōm/Plethwih) Earth Mother

Indo-Aryan: (Dyaus Pita) Sky Father and (Prithvi Mata) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

Italic: (Jupiter) Sky Father and (Juno) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

Etruscan: (Tinia) Sky Father and (Uni) Sky Mother *Tyrsenian/Italy Pre–Indo-European*

Hellenic/Greek: (Zeus) Sky Father and (Hera) Sky Mother who started as an “Earth Goddess” *Indo-European*

Nordic: (Dagr) Sky Father and (Nótt) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

Slavic: (Perun) Sky Father and (Mokosh) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

Illyrian: (Deipaturos) Sky Father and (Messapic Damatura’s “earth-mother” maybe) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

Albanian: (Zojz) Sky Father and (?) *Indo-European*

Baltic: (Perkūnas) Sky Father and (Saulė) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

Germanic: (Týr) Sky Father and (?) *Indo-European*

Colombian-Muisca: (Bochica) Sky Father and (Huythaca) Sky Mother *Chibchan*

Aztec: (Quetzalcoatl) Sky Father and (Xochiquetzal) Sky Mother *Uto-Aztecan*

Incan: (Viracocha) Sky Father and (Mama Runtucaya) Sky Mother *Quechuan*

China: (Tian/Shangdi) Sky Father and (Dì) Earth Mother *Sino-Tibetan*

Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian: (An/Anu) Sky Father and (Ki) Earth Mother

Finnish: (Ukko) Sky Father and (Akka) Earth Mother *Finno-Ugric*

Sami: (Horagalles) Sky Father and (Ravdna) Earth Mother *Finno-Ugric*

Puebloan-Zuni: (Ápoyan Ta’chu) Sky Father and (Áwitelin Tsíta) Earth Mother

Puebloan-Hopi: (Tawa) Sky Father and (Kokyangwuti/Spider Woman/Grandmother) Earth Mother *Uto-Aztecan*

Puebloan-Navajo: (Tsohanoai) Sky Father and (Estsanatlehi) Earth Mother *Na-Dene*



Sky Father/Sky Mother “High Gods” or similar gods/goddesses of the sky more loosely connected, seeming arcane mythology across the earth seen in Siberia, China, Europe, Native Americans/First Nations People and Mesopotamia, etc.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref

Hinduism around 3,700 to 3,500 years old. ref

 Judaism around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (The first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew” dated to around 3,000 years ago Khirbet Qeiyafa is the site of an ancient fortress city overlooking the Elah Valley. And many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed around 2,500) ref, ref

Judaism is around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (“Paleo-Hebrew” 3,000 years ago and Torah 2,500 years ago)

“Judaism is an Abrahamic, its roots as an organized religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Some scholars argue that modern Judaism evolved from Yahwism, the religion of ancient Israel and Judah, by the late 6th century BCE, and is thus considered to be one of the oldest monotheistic religions.” ref

“Yahwism is the name given by modern scholars to the religion of ancient Israel, essentially polytheistic, with a plethora of gods and goddesses. Heading the pantheon was Yahweh, the national god of the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah, with his consort, the goddess Asherah; below them were second-tier gods and goddesses such as Baal, Shamash, Yarikh, Mot, and Astarte, all of whom had their own priests and prophets and numbered royalty among their devotees, and a third and fourth tier of minor divine beings, including the mal’ak, the messengers of the higher gods, who in later times became the angels of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yahweh, however, was not the ‘original’ god of Israel “Isra-El”; it is El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon, whose name forms the basis of the name “Israel”, and none of the Old Testament patriarchs, the tribes of Israel, the Judges, or the earliest monarchs, have a Yahwistic theophoric name (i.e., one incorporating the name of Yahweh).” ref

“El is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity“, or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major ancient Near Eastern deities. A rarer form, ‘ila, represents the predicate form in Old Akkadian and in Amorite. The word is derived from the Proto-Semitic *ʔil-, meaning “god”. Specific deities known as ‘El or ‘Il include the supreme god of the ancient Canaanite religion and the supreme god of East Semitic speakers in Mesopotamia’s Early Dynastic Period. ʼĒl is listed at the head of many pantheons. In some Canaanite and Ugaritic sources, ʼĒl played a role as father of the gods, of creation, or both. For example, in the Ugaritic texts, ʾil mlk is understood to mean “ʼĒl the King” but ʾil hd as “the god Hadad“. The Semitic root ʾlh (Arabic ʾilāh, Aramaic ʾAlāh, ʾElāh, Hebrew ʾelōah) may be ʾl with a parasitic h, and ʾl may be an abbreviated form of ʾlh. In Ugaritic the plural form meaning “gods” is ʾilhm, equivalent to Hebrew ʾelōhîm “powers”. In the Hebrew texts this word is interpreted as being semantically singular for “god” by biblical commentators. However the documentary hypothesis for the Old Testament (corresponds to the Jewish Torah) developed originally in the 1870s, identifies these that different authors – the Jahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, and the Priestly source – were responsible for editing stories from a polytheistic religion into those of a monotheistic religion. Inconsistencies that arise between monotheism and polytheism in the texts are reflective of this hypothesis.” ref


Jainism around 2,599 – 2,527 years old. ref

Confucianism around 2,600 – 2,551 years old. ref

Buddhism around 2,563/2,480 – 2,483/2,400 years old. ref

Christianity around 2,o00 years old. ref

Shinto around 1,305 years old. ref

Islam around 1407–1385 years old. ref

Sikhism around 548–478 years old. ref

Bahá’í around 200–125 years old. ref

Knowledge to Ponder: 


  • Possibly, around 30,000 years ago (in simpler form) to 6,000 years ago, Stars/Astrology are connected to Ancestors, Spirit Animals, and Deities.
  • The star also seems to be a possible proto-star for Star of Ishtar, Star of Inanna, or Star of Venus.
  • Around 7,000 to 6,000 years ago, Star Constellations/Astrology have connections to the “Kurgan phenomenon” of below-ground “mound” stone/wood burial structures and “Dolmen phenomenon” of above-ground stone burial structures.
  • Around 6,500–5,800 years ago, The Northern Levant migrations into Jordon and Israel in the Southern Levant brought new cultural and religious transfer from Turkey and Iran.
  • “The Ghassulian Star,” a mysterious 6,000-year-old mural from Jordan may have connections to the European paganstic kurgan/dolmens phenomenon.

“Astrology is a range of divinatory practices, recognized as pseudoscientific since the 18th century, that claim to discern information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the apparent positions of celestial objects. Different cultures have employed forms of astrology since at least the 2nd millennium BCE, these practices having originated in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Most, if not all, cultures have attached importance to what they observed in the sky, and some—such as the HindusChinese, and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from where it spread to Ancient GreeceRome, the Islamicate world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.” ref 

Around 5,500 years ago, Science evolves, The first evidence of science was 5,500 years ago and was demonstrated by a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world. ref

Around 5,000 years ago, Origin of Logics is a Naturalistic Observation (principles of valid reasoning, inference, & demonstration) ref

Around 4,150 to 4,000 years ago: The earliest surviving versions of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, which was originally titled “He who Saw the Deep” (Sha naqba īmuru) or “Surpassing All Other Kings” (Shūtur eli sharrī) were written. ref


  • 3,700 years ago or so, the oldest of the Hindu Vedas (scriptures), the Rig Veda was composed.
  • 3,500 years ago or so, the Vedic Age began in India after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization.


  • around 3,000 years ago, the first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew”
  • around 2,500 years ago, many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed

Myths: The bible inspired religion is not just one religion or one myth but a grouping of several religions and myths

  • Around 3,450 or 3,250 years ago, according to legend, is the traditionally accepted period in which the Israelite lawgiver, Moses, provided the Ten Commandments.
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh, or Old Testament is the first part of Christianity’s bible.
  • Around 2,400 years ago, the most accepted hypothesis is that the canon was formed in stages, first the Pentateuch (Torah).
  • Around 2,140 to 2,116 years ago, the Prophets was written during the Hasmonean dynasty, and finally the remaining books.
  • Christians traditionally divide the Old Testament into four sections:
  • The first five books or Pentateuch (Torah).
  • The proposed history books telling the history of the Israelites from their conquest of Canaan to their defeat and exile in Babylon.
  • The poetic and proposed “Wisdom books” dealing, in various forms, with questions of good and evil in the world.
  • The books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from God:
  • Henotheism:
  • Exodus 20:23 “You shall not make other gods besides Me (not saying there are no other gods just not to worship them); gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves.”
  • Polytheism:
  • Judges 10:6 “Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him.”
  • 1 Corinthians 8:5 “For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords.”
  • Monotheism:
  • Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Around 2,570 to 2,270 Years Ago, there is a confirmation of atheistic doubting as well as atheistic thinking, mainly by Greek philosophers. However, doubting gods is likely as old as the invention of gods and should destroy the thinking that belief in god(s) is the “default belief”. The Greek word is apistos (a “not” and pistos “faithful,”), thus not faithful or faithless because one is unpersuaded and unconvinced by a god(s) claim. Short Definition: unbelieving, unbeliever, or unbelief.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Expressions of Atheistic Thinking:

  • Around 2,600 years ago, Ajita Kesakambali, ancient Indian philosopher, who is the first known proponent of Indian materialism. ref
  • Around 2,535 to 2,475 years ago, Heraclitus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor or modern Turkey. ref
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, according to The Story of Civilization book series certain African pygmy tribes have no identifiable gods, spirits, or religious beliefs or rituals, and even what burials accrue are without ceremony. ref
  • Around 2,490 to 2,430 years ago, Empedocles, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of Agrigentum, a Greek city in Sicily. ref
  • Around 2,460 to 2,370 years ago, Democritus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher considered to be the “father of modern science” possibly had some disbelief amounting to atheism. ref
  • Around 2,399 years ago or so, Socrates, a famous Greek philosopher was tried for sinfulness by teaching doubt of state gods. ref
  • Around 2,341 to 2,270 years ago, Epicurus, a Greek philosopher known for composing atheistic critics and famously stated, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?” ref

This last expression by Epicurus, seems to be an expression of Axiological Atheism. To understand and utilize value or actually possess “Value Conscious/Consciousness” to both give a strong moral “axiological” argument (the problem of evil) as well as use it to fortify humanism and positive ethical persuasion of human helping and care responsibilities. Because value-blindness gives rise to sociopathic/psychopathic evil.

“Theists, there has to be a god, as something can not come from nothing.”

Well, thus something (unknown) happened and then there was something. This does not tell us what the something that may have been involved with something coming from nothing. A supposed first cause, thus something (unknown) happened and then there was something is not an open invitation to claim it as known, neither is it justified to call or label such an unknown as anything, especially an unsubstantiated magical thinking belief born of mythology and religious storytelling.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

While hallucinogens are associated with shamanism, it is alcohol that is associated with paganism.

The Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries Shows in the prehistory series:

Show one: Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses.

Show two: Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show tree: Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show four: Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show five: Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show six: Emergence of hierarchy, sexism, slavery, and the new male god dominance: Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves!

Show seven: Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State)

Show eight: Paganism 4,000 years old: Moralistic gods after the rise of Statism and often support Statism/Kings: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism)

Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses: VIDEO

Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Pre-Capitalism): VIDEO

Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves: VIEDO

Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State): VIEDO

Paganism 4,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism): VIEDO

I do not hate simply because I challenge and expose myths or lies any more than others being thought of as loving simply because of the protection and hiding from challenge their favored myths or lies.

The truth is best championed in the sunlight of challenge.

An archaeologist once said to me “Damien religion and culture are very different”

My response, So are you saying that was always that way, such as would you say Native Americans’ cultures are separate from their religions? And do you think it always was the way you believe?

I had said that religion was a cultural product. That is still how I see it and there are other archaeologists that think close to me as well. Gods too are the myths of cultures that did not understand science or the world around them, seeing magic/supernatural everywhere.

I personally think there is a goddess and not enough evidence to support a male god at Çatalhöyük but if there was both a male and female god and goddess then I know the kind of gods they were like Proto-Indo-European mythology.

This series idea was addressed in, Anarchist Teaching as Free Public Education or Free Education in the Public: VIDEO

Our 12 video series: Organized Oppression: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of power (9,000-4,000 years ago), is adapted from: The Complete and Concise History of the Sumerians and Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia (7000-2000 BC): by “History with Cy

Show #1: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Samarra, Halaf, Ubaid)

Show #2: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Eridu: First City of Power)

Show #3: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Uruk and the First Cities)

Show #4: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (First Kings)

Show #5: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Early Dynastic Period)

Show #6: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (King Lugalzagesi and the First Empire)

Show #7: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Sargon and Akkadian Rule)

Show #8: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Naram-Sin, Post-Akkadian Rule, and the Gutians)

Show #9: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Gudea of Lagash and Utu-hegal)

Show #10: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Third Dynasty of Ur / Neo-Sumerian Empire)

Show #11: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Amorites, Elamites, and the End of an Era)

Show #12: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Aftermath and Legacy of Sumer)

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

The “Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries”

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ Atheist Leftist @Skepticallefty & I (Damien Marie AtHope) @AthopeMarie (my YouTube & related blog) are working jointly in atheist, antitheist, antireligionist, antifascist, anarchist, socialist, and humanist endeavors in our videos together, generally, every other Saturday.

Why Does Power Bring Responsibility?

Think, how often is it the powerless that start wars, oppress others, or commit genocide? So, I guess the question is to us all, to ask, how can power not carry responsibility in a humanity concept? I know I see the deep ethical responsibility that if there is power their must be a humanistic responsibility of ethical and empathic stewardship of that power. Will I be brave enough to be kind? Will I possess enough courage to be compassionate? Will my valor reach its height of empathy? I as everyone, earns our justified respect by our actions, that are good, ethical, just, protecting, and kind. Do I have enough self-respect to put my love for humanity’s flushing, over being brought down by some of its bad actors? May we all be the ones doing good actions in the world, to help human flourishing.

I create the world I want to live in, striving for flourishing. Which is not a place but a positive potential involvement and promotion; a life of humanist goal precision. To master oneself, also means mastering positive prosocial behaviors needed for human flourishing. I may have lost a god myth as an atheist, but I am happy to tell you, my friend, it is exactly because of that, leaving the mental terrorizer, god belief, that I truly regained my connected ethical as well as kind humanity.

Cory and I will talk about prehistory and theism, addressing the relevance to atheism, anarchism, and socialism.

At the same time as the rise of the male god, 7,000 years ago, there was also the very time there was the rise of violence, war, and clans to kingdoms, then empires, then states. It is all connected back to 7,000 years ago, and it moved across the world.

Cory Johnston:  

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist (YouTube)

Cory Johnston: Mind of a Skeptical Leftist @Skepticallefty

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist By Cory Johnston: “Promoting critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics by covering current events and talking to a variety of people. Cory Johnston has been thoughtfully talking to people and attempting to promote critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics.”

Cory needs our support. We rise by helping each other.

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ @Skepticallefty Evidence-based atheist leftist (he/him) Producer, host, and co-host of 4 podcasts @skeptarchy @skpoliticspod and @AthopeMarie

Damien Marie AtHope (“At Hope”) Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist. Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Poet, Philosopher, Advocate, Activist, Psychology, and Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Historian.

Damien is interested in: Freedom, Liberty, Justice, Equality, Ethics, Humanism, Science, Atheism, Antiteism, Antireligionism, Ignosticism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarchism, Socialism, Mutualism, Axiology, Metaphysics, LGBTQI, Philosophy, Advocacy, Activism, Mental Health, Psychology, Archaeology, Social Work, Sexual Rights, Marriage Rights, Woman’s Rights, Gender Rights, Child Rights, Secular Rights, Race Equality, Ageism/Disability Equality, Etc. And a far-leftist, “Anarcho-Humanist.”

I am not a good fit in the atheist movement that is mostly pro-capitalist, I am anti-capitalist. Mostly pro-skeptic, I am a rationalist not valuing skepticism. Mostly pro-agnostic, I am anti-agnostic. Mostly limited to anti-Abrahamic religions, I am an anti-religionist.

To me, the “male god” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 7,000 years ago, whereas the now favored monotheism “male god” is more like 4,000 years ago or so. To me, the “female goddess” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 11,000-10,000 years ago or so, losing the majority of its once prominence around 2,000 years ago due largely to the now favored monotheism “male god” that grow in prominence after 4,000 years ago or so.

My Thought on the Evolution of Gods?

Animal protector deities from old totems/spirit animal beliefs come first to me, 13,000/12,000 years ago, then women as deities 11,000/10,000 years ago, then male gods around 7,000/8,000 years ago. Moralistic gods around 5,000/4,000 years ago, and monotheistic gods around 4,000/3,000 years ago. 

To me, animal gods were likely first related to totemism animals around 13,000 to 12,000 years ago or older. Female as goddesses was next to me, 11,000 to 10,000 years ago or so with the emergence of agriculture. Then male gods come about 8,000 to 7,000 years ago with clan wars. Many monotheism-themed religions started in henotheism, emerging out of polytheism/paganism.

“Animism” is needed to begin supernatural thinking.
“Totemism” is needed for supernatural thinking connecting human actions & related to clan/tribe.
“Shamanism” is needed for supernatural thinking to be controllable/changeable by special persons.
Together = Gods/paganism

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Damien Marie AtHope (Said as “At” “Hope”)/(Autodidact Polymath but not good at math):

Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist, Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Jeweler, Poet, “autodidact” Philosopher, schooled in Psychology, and “autodidact” Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Pre-Historian (Knowledgeable in the range of: 1 million to 5,000/4,000 years ago). I am an anarchist socialist politically. Reasons for or Types of Atheism

My Website, My Blog, & Short-writing or QuotesMy YouTube, Twitter: @AthopeMarie, and My Email: