Sunday, June 7, 2009

American Mysteries

Among the many evidences of a former state of civilization among the aborigines(out of the original) of this country which seem to prove their origin from the races that inhabit the Eastern hemisphere, not the least remarkable is the existence of Fraternities bound by mystic ties, and claiming, like the Freemasons, to possess an esoteric knowledge, which they carefully conceal from all but the initiated. De Witt Clinton relates, on the authority of a respectable native minister, who had received the signs, the existence of such a society among the Iroquois. The number of the members was limited to fifteen, of whom six were to be of the Seneca tribe, five of the Oneidas, two of the Cayugas, and two of the St. Regis. They claim that their institution has existed from the era of the creation. The times of their meeting they keep secret, and throw much mystery over all their proceedings.

Brinton tells us in his interesting and instructive work on The Myths of the New World, (p. 285,) that among the red race of America "the priests formed societies of different grades of illumination, only to be entered by those willing to undergo trying ordeals, whose secrets were not to be revealed under the severest penalties. The Algonkins had three such grades - the waubeno, the meda, and the jossakeed, the last being the highest. To this no white man has ever admitted. All tribes appear to have been controlled by these secret societies. Alexander von Humboldt mentions one, called that of Botuto, or Holy Trumpet, among the Indians of the Orinoko, whose members must vow celibacy, and submit to severe scourgings and fasts. The Collahuayas of Peru were a guild of itinerant quacks and magicians, who never remained permanently in one spot."(Roma)

An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry