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- The Antediluvian World - 20/73 -


+--------+----------+---------+-----------+---------+----------+-----------+------------+----------------+ | Query | | | | | | Kuiva | | | +--------+----------+---------+-----------+---------+----------+-----------+------------+----------------+ | Shabby | | | | Schabig | Schabbig | Shabya | | | +--------+----------+---------+-----------+---------+----------+-----------+------------+----------------+

According to Major Lynd, the Dakotas, or Sioux, belonged to the same race as the Mandans; hence the interest which attaches to these verbal similarities.

"Among the Iroquois there is a tradition that the sea and waters infringed upon the land, so that all human life was destroyed. The Chickasaws assert that the world was once destroyed by water, but that one family was saved, and two animals of every kind. The Sioux say there was a time when there was no dry land, and all men had disappeared from existence." (See Lynd's "MS. History of the Dakotas," Library of Historical Society of Minnesota.)

"The Okanagaus have a god, Skyappe, and also one called Chacha, who appear to be endowed with omniscience; but their principal divinity is their great mythical ruler and heroine, Scomalt. Long ago, when the sun was no bigger than a star, this strong medicine-woman ruled over what appears to have now become a lost island. At last the peace of the island was destroyed by war, and the noise of battle was heard, with which Scomalt was exceeding wroth, whereupon she rose up in her might and drove her rebellious subjects to one end of the island, and broke off the piece of land on which they were huddled and pushed it out to sea, to drift whither it would. This floating island was tossed to and fro and buffeted by the winds till all but two died. A man and woman escaped in a canoe, and arrived on the main-land; and from these the Okanagaus are descended." (Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. iii., p. 149.)

Here we have the Flood legend clearly connected with a lost island.

The Nicaraguans believed "that ages ago the world was destroyed by a flood, in which the most part of mankind perished. Afterward the teotes, or gods, restored the earth as at the beginning." (Ibid., p. 75.) The wild Apaches, "wild from their natal hour," have a legend that "the first days of the world were happy and peaceful days;" then came a great flood, from which Montezuma and the coyote alone escaped. Montezuma became then very wicked, and attempted to build a house that would reach to heaven, but the Great Spirit destroyed it with thunderbolts. (Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. iii., p. 76.)

The Pimas, an Indian tribe allied to the Papagos, have a peculiar flood legend. The son of the Creator was called Szeu-kha (Ze-us?). An eagle prophesied the deluge to the prophet of the people three times in succession, but his warning was despised; "then in the twinkling of an eye there came a peal of thunder and an awful crash, and a green mound of water reared itself over the plain. It seemed to stand upright for a second, then, cut incessantly by the lightning, goaded on like a great beast, it flung itself upon the prophet's hut. When the morning broke there was nothing to be seen alive but one man--if indeed be were a man; Szeu-kha, the son of the Creator, had saved himself by floating on a ball of gum or resin." This instantaneous catastrophe reminds one forcibly of the destruction of Atlantis. Szeu-kha killed the eagle, restored its victims to life, and repeopled the earth with them, as Deucalion repeopled the earth with the stones.

CHAPTER VI.

SOME CONSIDERATION OF THE DELUGE LEGENDS.

The Fountains of the Great Deep.--As Atlantis perished in a volcanic convulsion, it must have possessed volcanoes. This is rendered the more probable when we remember that the ridge of land of which it was a part, stretching from north to south, from Iceland to St. Helena, contains even now great volcanoes--as in Iceland, the Azores, the Canaries, etc.--and that the very sea-bed along the line of its original axis is, to this day, as we have shown, the scene of great volcanic disturbances.

If, then, the mountains of Atlantis contained volcanoes, of which the peaks of the Azores are the surviving representatives, it is not improbable that the convulsion which drowned it in the sea was accompanied by great discharges of water. We have seen that such discharges occurred in the island of Java, when four thousand people perished. "Immense columns of hot water and boiling mud were thrown out" of the volcano of Galung Gung; the water was projected from the mountain "like a water-spout." When a volcanic island was created near Sicily in 1831, it was accompanied by "a waterspout sixty feet high."

In the island of Dominica, one of the islands constituting the Leeward group of the West Indies, and nearest to the site of Atlantis, on the 4th of January, 1880, occurred a series of convulsions which reminds us forcibly of the destruction of Plato's island; and the similarity extends to another particular: Dominica contains, like Atlantis, we are told, numerous hot and sulphur springs. I abridge the account given by the New York Herald of January 28th, 1880:

"A little after 11 o'clock A.M., soon after high-mass in the Roman Catholic cathedral, and while divine service was still going on in the Anglican and Wesleyan chapels, all the indications of an approaching thunder-storm suddenly showed themselves; the atmosphere, which just previously had been cool and pleasant--slight showers falling since early morning--became at once nearly stifling hot; the rumbling of distant thunder was heard, and the light-blue and fleecy white of the sky turned into a heavy and lowering black. Soon the thunder-peals came near and loud, the lightning flashes, of a blue and red color, more frequent and vivid; and the rain, first with a few heavy drops, commenced to pour as if the floodgates of heaven were open. In a moment it darkened, as if night had come; a strong, nearly overpowering smell of sulphur announced itself; and people who happened to be out in the streets felt the rain-drops failing on their heads, backs, and shoulders like showers of hailstones. The cause of this was to be noted by looking at the spouts, from which the water was rushing like so many cataracts of molten lead, while the gutters below ran swollen streams of thick gray mud, looking like nothing ever seen in them before. In the mean time the Roseau River had worked itself into a state of mad fury, overflowing its banks, carrying down rocks and large trees, and threatening destruction to the bridges over it and the houses in its neighborhood. When the storm ceased--it lasted till twelve, mid-day--the roofs and walls of the buildings in town, the street pavement, the door-steps and back-yards were found covered with a deposit of volcanic débris, holding together like clay, dark-gray in color, and in some places more than an inch thick, with small, shining metallic particles on the surface, which could be easily identified as iron pyrites. Scraping up some of the stuff, it required only a slight examination to determine its main constituents--sandstone and magnesia, the pyrites being slightly mixed, and silver showing itself in even smaller quantity. This is, in fact, the composition of the volcanic mud thrown up by the soufrières at Watton Waven and in the Boiling Lake country, and it is found in solution as well in the lake water. The Devil's Billiard-table, within half a mile of the Boiling Lake, is composed wholly of this substance, which there assumes the character of stone in formation. Inquiries instituted on Monday morning revealed the fact that, except on the south-east, the mud shower had not extended beyond the limits of the town. On the north-west, in the direction of Fond Colo and Morne Daniel, nothing but pure rain-water had fallen, and neither Loubière nor Pointe Michel had seen any signs of volcanic disturbance. . . .

"But what happened at Pointe Mulâtre enables us to spot the locale of the eruption. Pointe Mulâtre lies at the foot of the range of mountains on the top of which the Boiling Lake frets and seethes. The only outlet of the lake is a cascade which falls into one of the branches of the Pointe Mulâtre River, the color and temperature of which, at one time and another, shows the existence or otherwise of volcanic activity in the lake-country. We may observe, en passant, that the fall of the water from the lake is similar in appearance to the falls on the sides of Roairama, in the interior of British Guiana; there, is no continuous stream, but the water overleaps its basin. like a kettle boiling over, and comes down in detached cascades from the top. May there not be a boiling lake on the unapproachable summit of Roairama? The phenomena noted at Pointe Mulâtre on Sunday were similar to what we witnessed in Roseau, but with every feature more strongly marked. The fall of mud was heavier, covering all the fields; the atmospheric disturbance was greater, and the change in the appearance of the running water about the place more surprising. The Pointe Mulâtre River suddenly began to run volcanic mud and water; then the mud predominated, and almost buried the stream under its weight, and the odor of sulphur in the air became positively oppressive. Soon the fish in the water--brochet, camoo, meye, crocro, mullet, down to the eel, the crawfish, the loche, the tétar, and the dormer--died, and were thrown on the banks. The mud carried down by the river has formed a bank at the month which nearly dams up the stream, and threatens to throw it back over the low-lying lands of the Pointe Mulâtre estate. The reports from the Laudat section of the Boiling Lake district are curious. The Bachelor and Admiral rivers, and the numerous mineral springs which arise in that part of the island, are all running a thick white flood, like cream milk. The face of the entire country, from the Admiral River to the Solfatera Plain, has undergone some portentous change, which the frightened peasants who bring the news to Roseau seem unable clearly and connectedly to describe, and the volcanic activity still continues."

From this account it appears that the rain of water and mud came from a boiling lake on the mountains; it must have risen to a great height, "like a water-spout," and then fallen in showers over the face of the country. We are reminded, in this Boiling Lake of Dominica, of the Welsh legend of the eruption of the Llyn-llion, "the Lake of Waves," which "inundated the whole country." On the top of a mountain in the county of Kerry, Ireland, called Mangerton, there is a deep lake known as Poulle-i-feron, which signifies Hell-hole; it frequently overflows, and rolls down the mountain in frightful torrents. On Slieve-donart, in the territory of Mourne, in the county of Down, Ireland, a lake occupies the mountain-top, and its overflowings help to form rivers.

If we suppose the destruction of Atlantis to have been, in like manner, accompanied by a tremendous outpour of water from one or more of its volcanoes, thrown to a great height, and deluging the land, we can understand the description in the Chaldean legend of "the terrible water-spout," which even "the gods grew afraid of," and which "rose to the sky," and which seems to have been one of the chief causes, together with the earthquake, of the destruction of the country. And in this view we are confirmed by the Aramæan legend of the Deluge, probably derived at an earlier age from the Chaldean tradition. In it we are told, "All on a sudden enormous volumes of water issued from the earth, and rains of extraordinary abundance began to fall; the rivers left their beds, and the ocean overflowed its banks." The disturbance in Dominica duplicates this description exactly: "In a moment" the water and mud burst from the mountains, "the floodgates of heaven were opened," and "the river overflowed its banks."

And here, again, we are reminded of the expression in Genesis, "the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up" (chap. vii., 11). That this does not refer to the rain is clear from the manner in which it is stated: "The same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth," etc. And when the work of destruction is finished, we are told "the fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped." This is a reminiscence by an inland people, living where such


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