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Figure 15.11. A Tibetan plaque of the Cosmic Turtle bearing the magic square, trigrams, and Oriental or "rat" zodiac: A second turtle is shown to the lower left. Photo by Jerry Newlands of a metal plaque given to D.H. Kelley by Hugh Moran.
Figure 15.12. An Assyrian amulet in the form of a turtlelike "monster" with stellar symbolism. Drawing by Rea Postolowski.

(of the Algonquian language family) say that the turtle "brought forth the world and from the turtle's back sprang a tree that reached to Heaven." Among the Iroquois of New York, it was thought that the Earth rested on the back of a snapping turtle.

Among the Chumash, in California, we also have representations of a cosmic turtle. Mimbres pottery from the southwest United States shows a turtle with a checkerboard pattern on its back and two fish-tails, compared by Santil-lana and Dechend (1969, pp. 434-435) with the field between the two fishes of Pisces.

The Pawnee directly associate the cosmic turtle with the firepit at the center of the lodge, and among the Aztecs, the fire god, Xiuhtecuhtli, "Lord of the Year," is associated with the firedrill, identified as Orion's Belt. Xiuhtecuhtli is also said to live at the navel12 of the World or Sky. Hiku-navangu

12 Aztec xictli from the Uto-Aztecan *siku.

Figure 15.13. An example of the cosmic turtle and snake, as one of the four great directional deities, along with the dragon, bird, and tiger, each representing seven lunar mansions: See also Figures 10.5,10.6, and 10.9. Drawing by Sean Goldsmith.

Figure 15.14. (a) (lower) The turtle that appeared after the "Great Flood" in China. On its plastron are cosmic symbols and a pattern of 9 numbers, according to belief, the first magic number square ever known. (b) A realistic turtle with plastron (lower) bearing a magic square and directions. Drawn by Sharon Hanna.

Figure 15.14. (a) (lower) The turtle that appeared after the "Great Flood" in China. On its plastron are cosmic symbols and a pattern of 9 numbers, according to belief, the first magic number square ever known. (b) A realistic turtle with plastron (lower) bearing a magic square and directions. Drawn by Sharon Hanna.

Figure 15.15. (a) The kan cross of Mesoamerica and (b) with the magic square of 5 superimposed. (c) to (f) Odd numbers of the magic square of five and sums of elements to produce the number 52. (g) to (j) Even numbers of the magic square of five and sums of elements to produce the number 52. Drawings by Sharon Hanna.

Figure 15.15. (a) The kan cross of Mesoamerica and (b) with the magic square of 5 superimposed. (c) to (f) Odd numbers of the magic square of five and sums of elements to produce the number 52. (g) to (j) Even numbers of the magic square of five and sums of elements to produce the number 52. Drawings by Sharon Hanna.

gies, such as the one from Minton (cf., Figure 6.39), and there is a strong possibility that the Majorville Medicine Wheel originally had 28 spokes. These have been associated with the 28 poles of a medicine lodge, itself considered as a replica of the cosmos.

The conception of a world-supporting turtle is presumably connected in some manner with the presence of the turtle as a constellation—Orion's Belt in China, in Burma, in the Tuamotus, and in Mesoamerica. In Greece, the lyre of Apollo is said to have been made from a turtle shell and placed in the heavens as the constellation Lyra. In Cambodia, the turtle is in a "catasteric" or roughly opposite position from Orion's belt, in Scorpius or Sagittarius.

All of the turtles we have been considering seem to represent considerably more important roles in mythology and cosmology than DHK would have expected. They support the world (or a mountain, or the universe) from India to eastern North America. Their identification with Orion's Belt in China, Burma, the Tuamotus, and the Mayan area is, equally, an association with the Milky Way. The latter association is also directly found in the accounts of the Churning of the Sea of Milk. An interesting subset of turtle representations seem to be found in sand paintings, charms against evil, and healing rituals. These range from gigantic Tibetan mandalas through South Indian kolams and Thai

(Papago "Navel Mountain" from the Uto-Aztecan *siku) is said to be where Coyote saved the Red Ant people from the Flood, because the mountain grew as the flood came up. In New Zealand, Maui was associated with a flood. When it subsided, his canoe landed on Hiku-rangi ("Tail of Heaven") mountain. His canoe is identified with the stars of Orion's Belt. Although hiku (from PP *siku) meant "tail" in Polynesian, in Rarotonga, it was said that Ikurangi Mountain was at the center of the universe, corresponding with the Uto-Aztecan meaning, navel. The correspondence suggests a borrowing. Maui is widely known in Polynesia for such feats as the theft of fire and the trapping of the sun-bird. Rarely, he appears as a fire god. In Oceania, the turtle boy is said in Tuamotuan myth to have become Orion's Belt, and some representations of turtles from Easter Island seem to show cosmic traits.

Medicine wheels show some characteristics, tying them into this complex. Some have been described as turtle effi-

Figure 15.16. (a) and (b) Two Mayan pots each show a turtle from whose shell a god is being born. Drawings by Sharon Hanna. (c) A representation from the Madrid Codex shows the turtle with solar eclipse symbols and a sign that has been interpreted as the three hearth stones of a cosmic firepit. (d) Also from the Madrid Codex, a calendrical table referring to the turtle. (c) and (d) drawn by Sean Goldsmith.

Figure 15.16. (a) and (b) Two Mayan pots each show a turtle from whose shell a god is being born. Drawings by Sharon Hanna. (c) A representation from the Madrid Codex shows the turtle with solar eclipse symbols and a sign that has been interpreted as the three hearth stones of a cosmic firepit. (d) Also from the Madrid Codex, a calendrical table referring to the turtle. (c) and (d) drawn by Sean Goldsmith.

numerological turtles to the relatively plain designs of the New Hebrides. Navaho sand paintings are like that group, except that they lack the turtle emphasis. Many of the sand paintings of all groups emphasize astronomy and cosmology.

Frequent associations directly with the equinoxes or with the cardinal directions or with spring and fall festivals are to be found in all major subareas. New Fire ceremonies at the equinoxes extend substantially beyond attested distributions of cosmic turtles but are often directly correlated. The turtle often appears at the base of a tree, sometimes identified as the Milky Way and sometimes as a polar axis. The polar axis in turn can be identified as a churning pivot, a spindle whorl, or a firedrill. The shifting of the axis is directly associated with World Ages in India and Mesoamerica. These features seem to DHK to indicate the former presence of a consistent complex of ideas partially preserved in many different areas.

15.3.2.2. Celestial Watercraft

The identification of Orion's Belt as a watercraft was found in Egypt as the ship of Horus; a similar identification was made in India and Burma. Among the Mayans, Chac appears paddling a canoe and the six circles of this representation look surprisingly like the Belt-and-Sword of Orion.

15.3.2.3. Celestial Deer and Sheep

In India, Saturn was identified as Prajapati, "Lord of Animals," the patron deity of the lunar mansion, Rohini. The lunar mansions were his daughters. He was said to have assumed the form of a giant stag in order to rape his daughter, Rohini, the roe deer. However, in the process, he was transfixed to the sky by an arrow (the stars of Orion's Belt) shot by Lubdahka, "Deer Slayer" (Sirius). In Mesopotamia, the Arrow Point (Sirius) was aimed at Orion's Belt (Walker 1996/1997) [from the Bow, ban; although this is not mentioned in Walker]. In Egypt, Satet, the archer goddess, associated with Sirius, is shown on the Dendera round zodiac shooting at the Sothis Cow (Sirius). In China, the Emperor shot the bow (the same stars as in Babylon) at Sirius, the wolf (Santillana and Dechend 1969). Petroglyphs from Sears Point, Arizona, show an archer shooting at a three-star diagram that is almost certainly Orion's Belt and that is illuminated by the winter solstice Sun.

In the southwestern United States, native groups show many ideas parallel to those of Mesoamerica. The degree to which these are due to the influence of Mesoamerica, particularly traders, is disputed. Macaws were imported into the southwest and were sacrificed at the spring equinox and rubber balls reached the Hohokam who built large ball-courts like those of Mesoamerica. Mimbres pottery is particularly full of depictions that seem like illustrations of Mesoamerican myths, including especially representations that correspond in detail to Mayan Twin myths (Marc

Thompson 1999). Other representations in Mimbres pottery suggest connections much farther afield. The Mimbres "rabbit in the moon" reflects those of Mesoamerica, India, China, and Syria. Wicke (1984) has argued for the derivation of this imagery in Mesoamerica from China. Other similarities include the zodiacal Goat-fish and the turtle-checkerboard-fish pattern equated by Santillana and Dechend with Pisces and the Mesopotamian "field." In northern California, the Yana identify the Belt as "Coyote's Arrow" (Hudson 1984, p. 48). The Belt stars are identified as deer among the Tepe-huanes of Mexico, and the Belt-and Sword formed the deer stars of the Skiri Pawnee. The Kamia of California regarded the Belt stars as an antelope, a deer, and a mountain sheep (Hudson 1984, p. 49). In Mesoamerica, the deer is the bearer of the Sun in the Borgia codex group just as the turtle has the Sun glyph on his back among the Mayans. Analogously, the Belt stars are sheep in Arabia and among the Uto-Aztecan tribes of the Great Basin. We seem to have cross-cutting imagery in which different symbols refer to the same objects in different contexts and where a single symbol may also have different referents, probably even in a single culture.

The idea of the fire god at the center of the "universe" taken to be the planetary system seems natural enough in a heliocentric view (in which the Sun would represent the central fire), but less natural otherwise. Unless in many cultures this concept repeatedly prefigures the heliocentric system, it suggests common cultural derivation. DHK has argued strongly that the ideas incorporated in the newly invented Mayan calendar derived from northern India, and that such ideas were subsequently spread to Polynesia, accompanied by Uto-Aztecan vocabulary, mythology, and calendar ideas.

It has been supposed since Wissler and Spinden's (1916) study of the Morning Star sacrifice among the Pawnees that this Plains Indian group incorporated Mesoamerican ideas into their astronomy. As noted above and in §13.5, Lounsbury has recognized that the Twariskaron Morning Star cult among the Iroquoian tribes of New York and southern Canada involves direct borrowing from the Nahua prototype of Aztec Tlahuiscalpantecuhtli, Lord of the House of Dawn, the god depicted as Flint Knife and identified with Venus as Morning Star. Next, we consider one of the basic purposes of archaeoastronomy—calendars—and examine possible historical and structural relationships around the world.

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