Friday, January 16, 2015

Hiawatha as Atlas and Orion, the Iroquois Aron-Hiawagon with Hiawagon = Hiawatha, the "Holder of the Heavens"

If Hiawatha was the "Holder of the Heavens", as suggested in our previous posting, then "what" and "where" was he holding those heavens?

We think these were almost certainly the stars of Orion, with ORION = ARON and found in Iroquois language variants such as "Aron-Hiawagon" viz. "(Aron)-Hiawatha".** The Iroquois nations were Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora. Cherokee is also an Iroquoian language.

The image below shows
-- in thick colored lines that we have added to our clip as taken from the astronomy software Starry Night Pro ( --
just how Orion "holds up the heavens", whether we apply this "holding up" concept to the ecliptic, celestial equator, or both of those "celestial spheres".

Compare Lee Lawrie's colossal bronze Atlas at Rockefeller Center, New York.

The positions of the ecliptic and celestial equator in our illustration are from 3117 B.C., but we remain uncertain about the exact era that this system began to be used in Native America, and that is a question to be resolved at some future time. Our purpose here is just to show how the concept of "holder of the heavens" fits Orion well in terms of groupings of its major stars.

These stars need not have been grouped by the ancients exactly as we see them today in the Orion constellation, but the main groupings of the brightest stars are quite prominent, and were so surely also seen in prehistoric times by ancient stargazers, so that they were likely grouped similarly.

Greek mythology had its "holder of the heavens" as in the image above, Atlas, a name whose root is traced to Indo-European terms. We quote the Wikipedia:
"Traditionally historical linguists etymologize the Ancient Greek word Ἄτλας comprised from copulative α- and the Proto-Indo-European root *telh₂- 'to uphold, support' (whence also τλῆναι) .... [we add here to that analysis the Indo-European "r"-form as in Latvian tur-, turēt "hold", which is useful further below*]
A common misconception today is that Atlas was forced to hold the Earth on his shoulders, but Classical art shows Atlas holding the celestial spheres, not a globe...."
Greek myth states that Atlas tried to trick Heracles (Hercules) into carrying the heavens ... in astronomy, the stars of Hercules are directly opposite Orion. Moreover, the Orion-near Pleiades stars were said to be the daughters of Atlas, so that a link of Atlas and Orion is not impossible, though one may simply be the human mythological manifestation of the heavenly other. The key thing is that Atlas holds up "the celestial spheres", the ecliptic and the celestial equator as it were, as Orion also does.

Traditionally, in Europe, Orion was seen as a mighty giant of a hunter, perhaps the same mighty giant of a hunter that according to Cherokee legend allegedly came down from the mountains to carve the Judaculla Rock, which we also think marked Orion in the era of the Judaculla Rock's petroglyphs.

The above general astronomical understanding now puts us into position to embark upon a marvelous journey via Google Earth to attempt a reconstruction of what appears to us to be an ancient survey of "Native America" via the stars of the heavens, "as above, so below". We are not alleging point blank that it was as we shall describe it, but it could have been. At the least, "land survey by astronomy" should be considered in formulating an explanation of many of the petroglyphs, painted rocks and mounds in Native America.
By the way, what intrigued us initially to conduct this analysis was that Judaculla Rock was nearly straight South, but not exactly South, of the famed Serpent Mound in Ohio. Was there a large mound anywhere near Judaculla Rock that was on a nearly exact perpendicular line to the Serpent Mound?

Check out Google Earth to see if you can find it.


* P.S. Atlas (A-Tlas) in the r- variant as in Indo-European Latvian turiens ("hold") could speculatively be related in language origin to Iroquois variant names of Hiawatha such as Tearon-hiaonagon, Taon-hiawagi, or Tahi-awagi ... Tayon-watha ... Thanna-wege. However, this is not a main query of our writing.

** P.S.S. The similarly of "Aron" in the Iroquois to our modern word "Orion" and to the ancient phrase "Aron Haberit" gives grounds for thought in view of the still mysterious origin of Haplogroup X in Native America. This anthropological question is not the main focus of our current writing and we leave the issue for now to genetic research, but we do mention here the perhaps chance similarity.

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Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1:
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2:
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.


    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."