Chapter I
Taíno people

The Caribbean islands including Jamaica were inhabited by the Taino tribes prior to the arrival of Columbus in 1503. Early inhabitants of Jamaica named the land "Xaymaca", meaning "Land of wood and water".

The Taíno were an indigenous people of the Caribbean islands also known as Arawak Indians. That was the name I was given when I reached Jamaica in 1964.  At the time of European contact in the late fifteenth century, they were the inhabitants of most of Cuba, Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Jamaica, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas and the northern Lesser Antilles. The Taíno were the first New World peoples to encounter Europeans, during the voyages of Christopher Columbus, starting in 1492. They spoke the Taíno language, an Arawakan language. Arawakan (Arahuacan), also known as Maipurean (Maipuran, Maipureano, Maipúre), is a language family that developed among ancient indigenous peoples in South America which were carried into various parts of  Central America and the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean and the Atlantic, including what is now the Bahamas.  

"Taíno" = "good people".

A direct translation of the word "Taíno" is "good people".
Additionally, the name was used by the indigenous people of Hispaniola to indicate that they were "relatives"or one clan. 





Taínois classified into three main groups:
Classic Taíno, mostly from Haiti, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic;
Western Taíno, or sub-Taíno, for population from Jamaica, Cuba (except for the western tip), and the Bahamian archipelago; and Eastern Taíno for those from the Virgin Islands to Montserrat.

Taíno and Island Carib groups

Three schools of thought have emerged regarding the origin of the indigenous people of the Caribbean.

· Amazon Basin theory .
One group of scholars contends that the ancestors of the Taíno came from the center of the Amazon Basin, and are related to the Yanomama. This is indicated by linguistic, cultural and ceramic evidence. They migrated to the Orinoco valley on the north coast. From there they reached the Caribbean by way of what is now Guyana and Venezuela into Trinidad, proceeding along the Lesser Antilles to Cuba and the Bahamian archipelago. Evidence that supports this theory includes the tracing of the ancestral cultures of these people to the Orinoco Valley and their languages to the Amazon Basin. Archaeological and linguistic evidence suggests strong links with South America. Modern DNA studies also point to South America,

This culture is thought to have originated at the lower Orinoco River near the modern settlements of Saladero and Barrancas in Venezuela. Seafaring people from the lowland region of the Orinoco River migrated into and established settlements in the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola. They displaced the pre-ceramic Ortoiroid culture. As a horticultural people, they initially occupied wetter and more fertile islands that could best support agriculture. These Indigenous peoples of the Americas were an Arawak-speaking culture. They must have come from both directions by around 250 BC and mingled together to form the culture.  It became an independent culture as they were in the new land of \islands surrounded by the vast seas forming their own cultural practices by 1000 AD.


· The Circum-Caribbean theory.
The alternate theory, contends that the ancestors of the Taíno came from the Colombian Andes.( proposed by Julian H. Steward)  It suggests a migration from the Andes to the Caribbean and a parallel migration into Central America and into the Guianas, Venezuela, and the Amazon Basin of South America etc. 





Taíno culture as documented is believed to have developed in the Caribbean. The Taíno creation story says that they emerged from caves in a sacred mountain on present-day Hispaniola. In Puerto Rico, 21st century DNA studies have show a high proportion of people Taíno ancestral group, so other Native American people are also part of this genetic ancestry. Research indicates that Arawakan-speech communities came into the Greater Antilles and gave rise to the Taíno language. Research indicates that these  Taíno languages were born around the time of Christ.  Y DNA also suggest a migration from mainland of America as most probable. 





Languages of the Caribbean

Taino names of the carribean islands

Though human habitation in these parts of the continent and islands may extend to probably more than 20,000 years or more we have no clear mineralogical or historical evidences to support it. The ancestors of the Taíno is hence asserted as originated in South America, and the Taíno culture developed in the Caribbean islands. Taíno groups were in conflict with the Island Caribs of the southern Lesser Antilles.  Historians believe that these Indians came up through the Antilles and into Jamaica in two different waves. The first wave of inhabitants is known as the "redware people,"who probably arrived around 650 AD. The second wave arrived between 850 and 900 AD. Thus we only have solid evidences only for the period of common era. It does not mean there were no habitation before that.  Only that we came to know them later and the locals did not have history documented in any form.

At the time of contact by the Europeans, the Taíno were divided into several groups.
Western Taíno groups included the Lucayans of the Bahamas, the Ciboney of central Cuba, and the inhabitants of Jamaica.
The Classic Taíno lived in Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.
The Eastern Taíno lived in the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles.

At the time of Columbus's arrival in 1492, there were five Taino chiefdom and territories each led by a  Cacique (chief), to whom tribute was paid. The Taíno name for Hispaniola was Ayiti ("land of high mountains"), which is now called Haiti. Cuba was divided into 29 chiefdom, many of which have given their name to modern cities, including Havana, Batabanó, Camagüey, Baracoa, and Bayamo.Taíno communities ranged from small settlements to larger centers of up to 3,000 people. They may have numbered 2 million at the time of contact.

The Spanish conquered various Taíno chiefdom during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century. Warfare and harsh enslavement by the colonists decimated the population.  European diseases also played a major role; a smallpox epidemic in Hispaniola in 1518-1519 killed almost 90% of the surviving Taíno. The remaining Taíno were intermarried with Europeans and Africans, and were incorporated into the Spanish colonies. The Taíno were considered extinct by the end of the century. However, since about 1840, there have been attempts to create a quasi-indigenous Taíno identity in rural areas of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. This trend accelerated among Puerto Rican communities in the mainland United States in the 1960s.  At the 2010 U.S. census, 1,098 people in Puerto Rico identified themselves as "Puerto Rican Indian", 1,410 identified as "Spanish American Indian", and 9,399 identified as "Taíno." In total, 35,856 Puerto Ricans considered themselves Native American.

Portuguese sailor Columbus started out to get to India by sea and as a result every place he landed he assumed it as India and hence the people of these lands came to be known as some-Indian.  They have no connection with India. It simply came to imply that they are natives of that land.


Reconstruction of a Taíno village in Cuba


Dujo, a wooden ceremonial chair of Taínos

Taíno society was divided into two classes: naborias (commoners) and nitaínos (nobles).
These were governed by male or female chiefs known as caciques, who inherited their position through their mother's noble line.  The nitaínos functioned as sub-caciques in villages, overseeing naborias.. Caciques were advised by priests/healers known as bohiques.

Caciques enjoyed the privilege of wearing golden pendants called guanín, living in square bohíos, instead of the round ones of ordinary villagers, and sitting on wooden stools to be above the guests they received. Bohiques were extolled for their healing powers and ability to speak with deities. They were consulted and granted the Taíno permission to engage in important tasks.


Gold Plated Pendants of the Cacique symbolizing authority

The caciques were singled out for unique housing. Their houses were rectangular and even featured a small porch. This was the Palace Bohios of the Caciques. [Some classify them as three social classes: the naborias (work class), the nitaínos or sub-chiefs and noblemen which includes the bohiques or priests and medicine men and the caciques or chiefs, each village or yucayeque had one.]

 Often, the general population lived in large circular buildings (bohios), constructed with wooden poles, woven straw, and palm leaves. These houses, built surrounding the central plaza, could hold 10-15 families each.Taíno home furnishings included cotton hammocks (hamaca), sleeping and sitting mats made of palms, wooden chairs (dujo or duho) with woven seats, platforms, and cradles for children.


Circular homes (Caney) of commoners compared to square( bohíos ) where Caciques lived






The Taino’s staple food was cassava and yam. Cassava was so important that God is directly connected to it. They made mounds over which they planted the cassava so that the roots got plenty of air. They would burn the forest or scrub and then heap the ashes and soil into mounds that could be easily planted, tended, and irrigated. These then provided a replenish nourishment for the soil.  Corn (maize), beans, squash, tobacco, peanuts (groundnuts), and peppers were also grown, and wild plants were gathered


Harvesting yuca.: Grating yuca tubers during the process of making casabe bread: Ancient Taino casabe-bread baking method on a clay griddle


Baking cassava bread on a large-scale basis.

Birds, lizards, and small animals were hunted for food, the only domesticated animals being dogs and, occasionally, parrots used to decoy wild birds within range of hunters.

Fish and shellfish were another important food source.

Traditional Taino settlements ranged from small family compounds to groups of 3,000 people. Houses were built of logs and poles with thatched roofs and several families often stayed together in one large hut.. Men wore loincloths and women wore aprons of cotton or palm fibers. Both sexes painted themselves on special occasions, and they wore earrings, nose rings, and necklaces, which were sometimes made of gold. The Taino also made pottery, baskets, and implements of stone and wood. A favourite form of recreation was a ball game played on rectangular courts. The Taino had an elaborate system of religious beliefs and rituals that involved the worship of spirits (zemis) by means of carved representations. They also had a complex social order, with a government of hereditary chiefs and sub-chiefs and classes of nobles, commoners, and slaves.

Batéy was the name given to a special plaza around which the Caribbean Taino built their settlements. It was usually a rectangular area surrounded by stones with carved symbols (petroglyphs).



A religious ceremony of great importance was the ritual of the cohoba. The cohoba ritual is one of the most important throughout most of the Greater Antilles. It involves the consumption of the hallucinogenic seed of Piptadenia peregrina or Anadenanthera peregrina, in order to make contact with the supernatural. The main men of the yucayeque (called nitaínos), along with the Cacique and the behique, gathered in the caney, a space that served as a temple and the home of the Cacique. There, the Cacique or the behique inhaled the dust of the cohoba seed, mixed with ground shells, which allowed him to communicate in a trance with the cemíes. This act was used to seek answers to questions about the present, the future or the cause of illnesses and how to cure them.


Anadenanthera peregrina, also known as yopo, jopo, cohoba, parica or calcium tree, is a perennial tree of the genus Anadenanthera native to the Caribbean and South America.It grows up to 20 m (66 ft) tall, and has a horny bark. Its flowers are pale yellow to white and spherical. It is an entheogen which has been used in healing ceremonies and rituals for thousands of years in South America. The beans (sometimes called seeds) and falling leaves are hallucinogenic and are toxic to cattle.




Rock petroglyph overlaid with chalk in the Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Center in Utuado, Puerto Rico.

The batey was also the area in which batey events ( ceremonies, the ball game, etc.) took place. The batey ceremony (also known as batu) can be viewed from some historical accounts as more of a judicial contest rather than a game. Because historical accounts of the game and court space come from (mostly Spanish) European explorers, the true nature, history, and function of the batey is still contested. Neighboring tribes may have used batey matches to resolve differences without warfare.


Taino Gods and Goddesses


There is a hierarchy of deities who inhabited the sky.

Yocahu is the supreme Creator.

Jurakán, was perpetually angry god of the storm and hurricane.

Cemís are both portable artifacts and embodiment of persons or spirit, which the Taínos and other natives of the Greater Antilles (ca. AD 1000-1550) regarded as numinous beings with supernatural or magic powers.

The gods Zemi and Maboya fills the universe.

Taíno Indians believed that being in the good graces of their zemis protected them from disease, hurricanes, or disaster in war. They therefore served cassava (manioc) bread as well as beverages and tobacco to their zemis as propitiatory offerings. Maboyas, on the other hand, was a nocturnal deity who destroyed the crops and was feared by all the natives, to the extent that elaborate sacrifices were offered to placate him.

Myths and traditions were perpetuated through ceremonial dances (areytos), drumbeats, oral traditions, and a ceremonial ball game played between opposing teams (of 10 to 30 players per team) with a rubber ball; winning this game was thought to bring a good harvest and strong, healthy children.


Zemí was also the name the people gave to their physical representations of the gods, whether objects or drawings. They were made in many forms and materials and have been found in a variety of settings. The majority of Zemíes were crafted from wood, stone, bone, shell, pottery, and cotton.   Zemí petroglyphs were carved on rocks in streams, ball courts, and on stalagmites in caves. Zemí pictographs were found on secular objects such as pottery, and on tattoos.





Atabey the Mother of all: Considered the most supreme of the gods, the goddess Atabey is important because she is the mother of gods and the initial creator. In fact, she even gave birth to her self, making her one of the more powerful of creation gods in mythic study. She was also the goddess of music, fertility, and beauty. She was depicted as a frog-like figure who is, more often than not, in the birthing position, to symbolize her importance as mother of all.



Guabancex: Goddess of storms and the destruction they bring, Guabancex actually has a lasting legacy in English culture. She was often accompanied by two twin entities who announced her arrival: thunder and wind. Together with them, they created the juracan, a word the Spanish settlers would later translate to huracan, which is more well-known to us as a hurricane. Due to the violent and destructive aftermath of hurricanes, Guabancex was often portrayed as having a very volatile temper.


Yocahu: Yocahu is the leading god of the Taino people.

He is the son of Atabey and god of the sea. However, like most gods who lead a people, Yocahu lives in the sky to keep watch over the Taino people.

 He is also considered a god of fertility as well, and was associated with the Taino's main crop, the root known as cassava. Farmers would bury statues of Yocahu to bless their fields in the hopes of assuring good crops.

Yúcahu, is the spirit of cassava the Taínos’ main crop and the sea

It is the common Taíno god related to growing of cassava, the process of life, creation and death.

Atabey, was the mother of Yúcahu, was the goddess of the moon, fresh waters and fertility.



Baibrama was a minor god worshiped for his assistance in growing cassava and curing people from its poisonous juice. . Baibrama was an assistant god to Yocahu who helped with the planting of cassava




Yocahu Vaguada Maorocoti: God of fertility. "Spirit of the Yucca and the sea. Mr yucador. " He was buried in the conucos cassava; main food of the native Taino, to fertilize the soil.




Container used by the Aborigines of Quisqueyana to store water and fermenting the wine produced with the juice of Guáyiga. They were bought by women to men as a declaration of love



God of Labour

Recreation brothers Guillen, based on Taino art. The potiza carrying on his back, representing the hard work you were subjected aboriginal Americans as a result of conquest.



Itiva Tahuvava

Goddess Mother Earth. Mother of twins representing the four cardinal points or "the four winds."



"Witch Doctor", Shaman. It represents the wisest character in the Taino tribe, knowing all the plants and medicinal substances responsible for curing diseases, director of the rite of cohoba. If left to a dying patient, the relatives of the dead killed clobbered.



Cemi Boinayel

God of Rain. Large tears emerging from their eyes as a sign of water that will govern the field to fertilize the cultivation of cassava.




Hand mortar used for rituals in the spraying of the ingredients of cohoba (seeds, shells, leaves).


Dimivan Caracaracol

"Mr Roñoso." Unico child with the name of Mother Earth goddess. It represents a chieftain to which his brothers discovered a tumor, which operate and draw a turtle alive.



Moon Goddess

Sale of a cave of the country chieftain Mautiatibuel (son of dawn) or "Lord of the Dawn", which returns to hide, while the sun rises from there.



Maquetaurie Guava

Inhalers used by the Taino in the rite of cohoba for inhaling dust hallucinogen during the magical-religious ceremony.




Ceremonial seat used by warlords to preside over the ceremonies and rituals.




"God of Snuff." This figure was used as funerary urn for major characters and loved ones of the tribe.



Sun God

Sale of a cave of the country's chief Mautiatibuel (son of dawn) or "Lord of the Dawn", which returns to hide, while the moon comes out of there.




It represents a god in the ceremonial position that took the chieftain or behique in the rite of cohoba.



God of force

Recreation brothers Guillen, based on Taino art. The trunk that rose, represents the willpower of the people for being free.




Representation of the face of characters and mystical animals or real world Taino.


Glass Effigy

Glass antropomorfo sedentary, for his position, is known as the representation of "God's thinking." It was used to consume liquid at the ceremony of marriage.



Seal or Rattle

Part representing toad or turtle with geometric design subsection, used to make prints on clothing or skin.



Opiyel Guobiran

God-dog, remained tied until the evening when it was released into the jungle. Its position suggests that it is ready to jump and escape to freedom.




Vessel used in cooking and for ceremonial occasions.



Cacique Marocael

Aboriginal that, according to mythology Taino, stand guard in a cave called cacibajagua; place where people came to populate the island. One day it took to reach his post and was turned into stone by the action of the sun.



God of Cohoba

Main deity Taíno. The plate of his head was used to move the dust that was inhaled hallucinogen in ceremonies regligiosas (rite of cohoba).




Recreation brothers Guillen, based on Taino art. The container carrying in his hands is a symbol of prosperity and peace, which each man achieved as a result of work.



These are just a few.  There is no fixed forms as the representations varies with the imagination of the creator.


Maquetaurie Guayaba or Maketaori Guayaba was the god of Coaybay or Coabey, the land of the dead. Opiyelguabirán’, a dog-shaped god, watched over the dead. Deminán Caracaracol, a male cultural hero from which the Taíno believed to descend, was worshipped as a cemí.   Macocael was a cultural hero worshipped as a god who had failed to guard the mountain from which human beings arose. He was punished by being turned into stone, or a bird, a frog, or a reptile, depending on interpretation of the myth.

They believed in a supreme God being male and female. They made the represenation of the God and the lower Spirits called zemis (gods) in Wood, stone, bone, shell, clay and cotton.

The High Priest is the Chief of the tribe - Cacique who is helped by the noble class. They can communicate with the gods and spirits. In preparation for communing with the gods, the Cacique would purify himself by inducing vomiting and smoking cohiba, a type of narcotic. In his state of intoxication it Was believed that he communicated directly with the spirits and gods.

Tainos believed in life after death in a heaven called Coyaba - a place of tranquility rest filled with dancing and feasting.   .

Finally, there was Maketaori Guayaba, the god of the underworld.

Taino Creation Story

Atabey gave birth to herself, and for a time was the only being in existence. Eventually, she gave birth to twins, Yocahu and Guacar. Yocahu was good and desired to fill the void of this yet, nonexistent world. He created the sun and the moon and made the stars out of shining stones. He gave fertility to the land and populated it with living creatures. Finally, he wanted to make a creature that was something between a god and an animal, and thus he made the first man, called Locou. While Locou lived in happiness in the world, Yocahu's brother, Guacar grew jealous.

There seems to be another story of creation starting with Yaya

Yaya – who, it has been suggested, would come to be Yocahu Bagua Maórocoti – was the elemental beginning of existence, the life-giving spirit. His son was Yayael.  However there arose a disagreement betweeb Yaya and Yayael whereupon Yayael tried to kill his father. Yaya expelled his son, Yayael. When allowed to return, Yaya killed him and put his bones in a gourd. These grew into fishes. One day, in the absence of Yaya, the four quadruplets of Itiba Cahubaba (the earth mother, who died in childbirth), led by Deminán Caracaracol, took the gourd and ate the fish. The gourd fell, the water spilled, and the ocean was born on the earth. Another time, Deminán Caracaracol and his brothers stole fire, the ritual of cohoba, and cassava from Bayamanaco, the god of fire. Bayamanaco shot Deminán in the back. The wound grew. His brothers opened it and a turtle emerged.

The Tainos conceived of the island of Haiti (later called Hispaniola) as the body of a woman. It was the sacred place that gave life. On the east side was the cave of the divine serpent, Iguanaboína, from where the sun rose. Along with her were Boínayel and Márohu. The three were considered the deities of good weather and life-giving rain. Their counterparts were three other deities, those of bad weather and hurricanes: Guabancex, Guatauba, and Coatrisquie. The center of the universe was the Cauta Mountain. On it were two more caves. The first humans came out of the Cacibajagua Cave to begin society. The third cave, to the west, was called Coaybay. It was ruled by Maquetarie Guayaba, god of the dead.

No one was allowed to look at the sun.  As a result they slept in the cave during the day and came out in the night. There were three attempts to come out of the cave during the day.
In the first, the sun turned Mácocael, guardian of Cacibajagua, into stone.
In the second, at sunrise, some fishermen were turned into trees.
In the third, Yahubaba, who was looking for digo (a magical medicinal plant), was transformed into a bird.
Finally, Guahayona and Anacacuya were able to leave the cave.
At sea, Guahayona threw Anacacuya into the sea, returned to the cave and took all the women, which he left on an island. He then traveled to a place called Guanín.
The children, who were left without their mothers, cried so much they were transformed into frogs. The men, meanwhile, saw how the trees appeared to be androgynous figures made of wood. The woodpecker, Inriri, carved women’s bodies in them.









What little we know about these beliefs we owe to the work "Relacion de las Antiguedades de los Indios" by friar Jeronimo Ramon Pane, under direct orders from Christopher Columbus 1498.


Yaya- Supreme being, great Spirit. Creator and giver of life. Ancestral spirit. Father of Yayael

Yayael- Rebel spirit. Creator of the sea and all of its creatures.


Itiba Cahubaba- The old Mother. The great breeder. Gave her blood and life while giving birth to quadruplets.


Deminán Caracaracol and his three bothers (Quadruplets) - They represent the expansion of space, and the four elements. It is said that they civilized humanity by teaching the secrets of fire, "cazabe" (yuca) , and "cohoba" (shamanic ceremony) , after stealing them from Bayamanaco


Bayamanaco- Grandfather spirit of fire. The other aspect of the God Yaya. Possesses knowledge of fire, cazabe and the cohoba ritual. In anger he consumes all that is in his way.


Caguama- Mother of all Taínos. Arises from Deminan's back. After stealing the secrets from Grandfather spirit, Daminán got cursed when Bayamanaco spit on his back. A lump started forming, causing him to be ill and close to death. His brothers tried to remove this with a blade, but the wound became infected and Daminán died. A big turtle came out of the wound, who then turned into a woman. She coupled with the brothers, giving origin to the Taino people.


Atabey/ Atabex- Goddess, Mother Earth. Her sacred animals are the boa "Maha", the crocodile "Kaimán" , and the turtle. Mother of the waters and of the twins Yucahù and Guakar . She represents fertility and is the protector of pregnant women. Her womb is the source of all creation and the dwelling place of the dead , "coa bay" or the underworld.






https://www.asc.ohio-state.edu/mcculloch.2/arch/loslunas.htmlClaim of Hebrew




Tradition in Taino History



Kacike AmaHura, or Joseph RiverWind of Northern Arawak Taino

 Chief Riverwind,is a descendant of both Native Americans and Bnei Anousim (Jews who hid their identity as a result of the Spanish Inquisition). He assserts that the connection is positively true.  


“Among my people, our ancient name for God is Yah Yah ‘The Supreme Spirit of Spirits’, very similar to Yahweh,” Chief Riverwind explained.  “Among my wife’s ancestors, the AniKituwahYah (Cherokee), they called God YoHeWaH. And the similarities don’t stop there. They carried an ark into battle, celebrate seven feasts, kept a seventh day of rest, had cities of refuge, and don’t eat pork.”


The call for gathering together by the Indians “Shema, shema, nayena, popaska hoya yah”. translates as “Listen, listen, people, as you gather together, we will dance before the creator.”  which echoes the shema of jews “Hear O Israel, Lord your God is One”


“Some Anishnabi (Chippewa) believe they are from the Tribe of Ephraim,” Chief Riverwind explained. “Anishnabi” is amazingly similar to the Hebrew words, “Anshe Navi” (People of the Prophet). “They lived on the coast, but their legends say that before that, they came from across the great waters. We have cave-drawings of these ships that are very similar to drawings of Phoenician ships in history books.”



Guakia Baba (Our Father), turey toca (is in sky),

Guami-ke-ni (Lord of land and water),

Guami-caraya-guey (Lord of moon and sun)

guarico (come to), guakia (us), tayno-ti (good,tall), bo-matun; (big,generous), busica (give to), guakia (us), aje-cazabi; (tubercles,bread),

Juracan-ua (bad spirit no), Maboya-ua (ghost no),

Jukiyu-jan; (good spirit yes),

Diosa (of God), nabori daca (servant am I),

Jan-jan catu (So be it).(Amen)

[Resource: Prehistoria de Puerto Rico 1493: Dr. Cayetano Coll y Toste]


On the outset we observe that:

There seems to have some connection with the Hebrew name of God YHVH to YAYA the self existant being both in Judaism and in Taino tradition.  Though the myths that follow does not help very much



Again the use of El at the end of name indicates a connection to hebrew God El.  The final El usually implies a name of an angel or prophet like Michael, Ezekiel etc.  Is there a connection?




 “One of the first books to suggest the Native American Lost Tribe theory was written by a Jew, the Dutch rabbi, scholar, and diplomat Manasseh ben Israel. In The Hope of Israel (1650), Ben Israel suggested that the discovery of the Native Americans, a surviving remnant of the Assyrian exile, was a sign heralding the messianic era. Just one year later, Thomas Thorowgood published his best seller Jewes in America, Or, Probabilities that those Indians are Judaical, made more probable by some Additionals to the former Conjectures. The Lost Tribe idea found favor among early American notables, including Cotton Mather (the influential English minister), Elias Boudinot (the New Jersey lawyer who was one of the leaders of the American Revolution), and the Quaker leader William Penn.


“The notion was revived after James Adair, a 40-year veteran Indian trader and meticulous chronicler of the Israelitish features of Native American religion and social custom wrote The History of the American Indians…Containing an Account of their Origin, Language, Manners, Religion and Civil Customs in 1775. Even Epaphras Jones, an American Bible professor engaged the theory in 1831, claiming that anyone “conversant with the European Jews and the Aborigines of America… will perceive a great likeness in color, features, hair, aptness to cunning, dispositions for roving, &s.”

“Adair recorded a number of parallels in cultural practices between the Jews and the Indians. Some examples include: their division into tribes, their appointment of holy priests, their manner of counting the months through the lunar year, their festivals – some which he claimed corresponded with the Jewish calendar, their fasts and religious rites which they believed helped cleanse them of their sins, their laws of uncleanliness and marital separation during a women’s menstrual period, their ritual purification after touching the dead, their cities of refuge, their manner of burial of and mourning for the dead, and their perpetuating the name of a deceased brother through remarriage of his wife.

Adair claimed that the Jews and Indians had similar languages and dialects, with both languages lacking prepositions and formed with prefixes and suffixes. Adair also provided examples of Native American words that are supposedly similar to Hebrew words. In one example, he referred to the word for man in the Indian language as ish or ishie.”

The following are some of the archealogical evidences presented.  


1. The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone is a large boulder on the side of Hidden Mountain, near Los Lunas, New Mexico, about 35 miles (56 km) south of Albuquerque, that bears a very regular inscription carved into a flat panel. The stone is also known as the Los Lunas Mystery Stone or Commandment Rock. The stone is controversial in that some claim the inscription is Pre-Columbian, and therefore proof of early Semitic contact with the Americas.The Decalogue Stone is an 80-ton boulder on which an abridged version of the Ten Commandments is inscribed in ancient paleo-Hebrew If authentic, it would prove a pre-Columbian connection between North America and Israel.

Decalogue Stone with ten commandments written in Paleo-Hebrew, located in New Mexico.  Here is the transcription.




The Los Lunas Hebrew Inscription

Jeff A. Benner


The above inscription is very unique for several reasons. First, it is written in an ancient Hebrew script. Second it is located near the small town of Los Lunas in the State of New Mexico, USA. Third, the inscription is of the "Ten Commandments".


Is this inscription an original or a fake. If it is original, this proves that a Semitic people, probably Hebrews, arrived in the Americas long before Columbus or the Vikings.


The above inscription is unlikely a fake for the following reasons. The actual time of discovery of the inscription is not known but was known by the locals as far back as the 1850's. At that time, the script of the text was unknown and therefore undecipherable. It was not until the late nineteenth century that the ancient Hebrew (paleo-Hebrew) script was discovered in the Near East. Once this ancient script was discovered and decipered, it was possible for the Los Lunas inscription to be deciphered and at that time it was found to be a copy of the "Ten Commandments".


When we compare the script on the Los Lunas inscription with the above inscription found in 1993 at Tell Dan in the land of Israel, we find that the scripts are almost identical….. Below is a comparison of the scripts from both inscriptions.>>




 “Professor of archaeology at Central Connecticut State University, Kenneth Feder has declared that “the stone is almost certainly a fake” as it seems to make use of some modern Hebrew punctuation and contains numerous stylistic and grammatical errors”.


For a detailed study see


Turning Right at the Burning Bush, Reflections on a National Treasure from Ancient America

Roger L. Williamson B.A; M. Div.


Archaeolinguist Cyrus Gordon has proposed that the Los Lunas Decalogue is a Samaritan mezuzah. The familiar Jewish mezuzah is a tiny scroll placed in a small container mounted by the entrance to a house. The ancient Samaritan mezuzah, on the other hand, was commonly a large stone slab placed by the gateway to a property or synagogue, and bearing an abridged version of the Decalogue. On historical and epigraphic grounds, Gordon regards the Byzantine period as the most likely for the inscription. The Samaritan alphabet is a direct descendant of the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet.

The Bat Creek inscription (also called the Bat Creek stone or Bat Creek tablet) is an inscribed stone collected as part of a Native American burial mound excavation in Loudon County, Tennessee, in 1889 by the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology's Mound Survey, directed by entomologist Cyrus Thomas. The inscriptions were initially described as Cherokee, but in 2004, similarities to an inscription that was circulating in a Freemason book were discovered. But some hoax expert consider it a hoax. 

In 2014, the Smithsonian Department of Anthropology issued the following statement concerning the stone:

“While recognizing that a diversity of opinion continues to circulate around the authenticity of the Bat Creek Stone, the curators in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, believe that the inscriptions on the artifact are forgeries and that the artifact is a fake.”




1. The Grave Creek Stone

The Grave Creek Stone is a small sandstone disk inscribed on one side with some twenty-five characters, purportedly discovered in 1838 at Grave Creek Mound in Moundsville, West Virginia



4. The Newark Holy Stones

The Newark Holy Stones refer to a set of artifacts allegedly discovered by David Wyrick in 1860 within a cluster of ancient Indian burial mounds near Newark, Ohio. The set consists of the Keystone, a stone bowl, and the Decalogue with its sandstone box. They can be viewed at the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum in Coshocton, Ohio.Ohio Decalogue Stone and Keystone

In November of 1860, David Wyrick of Newark, Ohio found an inscribed stone in a burial mound about 10 miles south of Newark. The stone is inscribed on all sides with a condensed version of the Ten Commandments or Decalogue, in a peculiar form of post-Exilic square Hebrew letters. The robed and bearded figure on the front is identified as Moses in letters fanning over his head.


The Keystone inscription on the four sides:translates as

Qedosh Qedoshim, "Holy of Holies"

Melek Eretz, "King of the Earth"

Torath YHWH, "The Law of God"

Devor YHWH, "The Word of God"



The indigenous peoples of America refused to be enslaved and they were difficult to control. The settlers in America and all other West Indies Islands from England had a real problem.  How to find labor for their plantations? Some of the early settlers were absentee land owners.  That made the affair practically impossible unless labor is made available. Hence naturally they began to hire service from England and Ireland. These were again indentured laborers hired for a certain period with to and fro shipping made free and their wages fixed.  They agreed to work for a set period of time in exchange for land and rights. Many of the white neighbors who wished to be settled in these parts of the world found this as an opportunity to make a trip to the new world and take their chances. While this was the common reality there were forced recruitment and even abduction prevalent. However as we can assume their life was not very much different from the slaves of latter period.

WHITE CARGO: The Forgotten History of Britain’s White Slaves in America. By Don Jordan and Michael Walsh. New York University Press.2008 


In the above book by Jordan and Michael Walsh the story of “White Cargo” begins with the discovery of a 17th-century skeleton of a 16 year old British boy in Maryland in 2003.  It was determined that he died of tuberculosis and suffered injuries indicating hard slavery.  He was not even given a decent burial but was discared as a waste in the basement of the home.  

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, more than 300,000 white people were shipped to America. It is estimated that 15,000 convicts were deported from Ireland alone between 1718 and 1775. These included urchins swept up from London streets to labor in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was no more than two years. Brothels were raided transported to provide breeders.  Another group consisted of convicts punished under forced labor by the courts. These were added to the already dreaming migrants who were duped into signing as indentured servants, unaware  of the realities that took place at the other end where they become helpless, alone without any availability of justice nor even possibility of complaining.  

Drawing on letters crying for help, diaries, and court and government archives, support these conjectures. These then were the beginning of the ultimate reality of chattel slavery practiced in this part of the world when even these white criminals and vagabonds were not made available.   

 The tobacco cultivation in Virginia started in 1613 of which made the situation worse for lack of labor force.  Slavery was viewed as the cheapest and most expedient way of providing the necessary work force. While each black slave costed around 50 sterling, the white laborer was only 7 sterling.  Due to harsh working conditions, beatings, starvation, and disease, survival rates for white laborer rarely exceeded two years.  Thus, a continuous flow of white slaves from England, Ireland, and Scotland from 1618 to 1775, became part of the system and structure providing the wealth for the shipping magnates through the traffic of an on going supply of criminals and indentured to America's colonial masters. It was considered as a sweeping clean up of the nation in Britain and its neighbors which was considered as a service to their country of origin and as an act of kindness to those dreamed of gold in their new countries. There was even a  proclamation by James I in the year 1603 ordering that “rogues, vagabonds, idle, and dissolute persons” be “banished and conveyed” to “places and parts beyond the seas.”

They were promised land after a period of servitude, but most worked unpaid for up to15 years with few ever owning any land.  Mortality rates were high.  Of the 1,200 who arrived in 1619, more than two thirds perished in the first year from disease, working to death, or Indian raid killings.  In Maryland, out of 5,000 indentured servants who entered the colony between 1670 and 1680, 1250 died in bondage, 1,300 gained their right to freedom, and only 241 ever became landowners. 

The Irish slave trade began when James VI sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies.

By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.

Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.

From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade.

Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.

During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia.

Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.

Many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves what they truly were: Slaves. They’ll come up with terms like “Indentured Servants” to describe what occurred to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.”