Do you believe the Almighty ever spoke directly to an American Indian tribe? I do not mean face-to-face but through an emissary. I do and will now share with you the particulars behind my conviction that God/HaShem/The Great Spirit did reach out to the Cahokian peoples (American Indians, yes, but their exact ethnicity much less language is unknown):
Long before Columbus and other 13th century European explorers & adventurers landed in North America, there was the Cahokia, a Mississippian American Indian “mound building” people who thrived from about 750 CE to 1300 CE with their biggest city being about 6 miles from present day St. Louis. My own tribe, the Choctaw Nation, has its roots in the Mississippian culture which naturally makes Cahokia of great interest to me.
Sometime around 1000 AD a powerful leader appeared among the Cahokian peoples who had came down from the sun (Do not confuse this with sun worship. Most ancient American Indian tribes worshiped the “Great Spirit” behind the sun and not the gaseous ball of fire itself). Why was he sent? Basically he had come “from on high” because the Cahokian people were not running things really well (no core leadership) and most of them apparently thought they were a rule unto themselves and acted accordingly. He would now mediate between the Great Creator or Great Spirit and the Cahokian people.
This leader, who assumed the combined roles of a king and religious leader (Pope), lived atop a manmade mountain that was ten stories high and 16 acres at its base. He introduced seven (7) rules for living rightly:
1. Never kill anyone save in self-defense
2. Those mated/married should not have extramarital affairs (No adultery)
3. Never steal
4. Never lie
5. Never get drunk
6. Never be avaricious (Greedy)
7. Give freely with joy & share your subsistence with those in need
On reflecting on the 7 rules above, one can’t but think of the seven laws of Noah or the Noahide laws which are:
- Do not murder
- Do not commit sexual immorality
- Do not steal
- Do not commit idolatry
- Do not commit blasphemy
- Do not eat the flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive
- Make courts to provide legal recourse & justice
While only 3 of 7 (~42%) are shared between the two sets of rules or laws, if one allows that the Almighty would communicate or inspire development of such codes that were fitted to the people he was dealing with and their relationships with each other as well as outsiders, such variance is understandable. Of course, a skeptic would argue these codes are a natural outgrowth of human logic, experience and foresight, which certainly makes sense. As such, one can adopt the secular spin and dismiss anything supernatural or other worldly, or one can embrace a more faith-based perspective (But in doing so it would be wrong to argue that what one believes is scientifically or historically validated).
I side with faith and believe that the great leader was an emissary of God/HaShem/The Great Spirit.
There is one thing that will likely offset many orthodox religionists and that is the fact that the Cahokians occasionally offered human sacrifices to the Almighty. It is important to keep in mind that such practices may have played some role in the Ancient Israelite culture which is alluded to in the Hebrew Scriptures in such passages as Judges 11:29-40 (in which Jephthah sacrifices his daughter Mizpah).
Whether you agree with me about the Cahokians and the “Sun Leader” or not, I would encourage you to learn more. If you prefer documentaries over books, procure a copy of “500 Nations” with Kevin Kostner (4 DVD disc set). Cahokia is discussed on disc 1. You can also catch this segment for free – if it is still up when you check – on-line at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Dr_Qqja4RY (If you only want to watch the part on the Cahokia go to 31m03s and enjoy).
If you want to delve into the archeological finds that have brought much of the ancient Cahokians to light, you should borrow or purchase a copy of anthropologist Dr. Timothy R. Pauketat’s “Ancient Cahokia and the Mississippians” (Cambridge University Press, © 2004 by Timothy R. Pauketat).
This article copyright 2013 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.