green anacondas

There is a story about two giant snakes who fought once upon a time ago. One was a water snake and one was an earth snake. The water snake kept trying to destroy the people and the earth snake was trying to protect them from the water snake. I wonder if the fight went something like this…

Over a breakfast of turtles and small pigs the anacondas got into a fight about who was doing more for their home than the other. You know, husband and wife bickering over the chores kind of fighting. So the husband snake said to the wife snake, as men are wont to do "I’ll show you!!" and stomped off.

His wife thought nothing of it, till she heard the people start to scream. So being a curious snake, she went to look. There was her husband trying to drown the people!! "Oh my gods!!" she cried. She grabbed up the nearest people and shoved them into the tree line. But they thought she was trying to eat them, so they ran back toward her husband. So she blocked their path and hissed at them to get them to turn around. Finally they got the idea that she was trying to help them and took her hint.

The wife turned to her husband and asked him, "What the hell are you doing??"

Husband said, "You know they will destroy this earth, so I will destroy them first."

Wife said, "Nothing is written in stone, husband. Give them a chance." She soothed his ire and promised him some loving and he went back to their nest with her, quite contentedly.

Unfortunately for the people, this was a recurring conflict between the snakes. And the people were getting upset by these constant threats. So far, the wife was their champion. So they went to her and asked her to intercede. She bowed her head and said, "I can do nothing more than I have already. It’s up to the people. My husband thinks you will be the ruin of the earth and I’m beginning to worry myself, to be honest."

The elders of the local tribes met and considered what they should do. Either they could hunt and kill the anaconda couple, or they could find out their concerns and alleviate them. They wisely chose talking with the snakes and went to do so.

Of course they brought some small snacks for the couple, just to keep their mouths well occupied while the elders spoke to them.

The snakes were kind of peckish since they hadn’t eaten in a few weeks. So they dove into the small animals.

The elders told the snakes that they would be more careful about caring for the beautiful plants and be more like stewards to the animals as well. They would domesticate some of them as pets and only drink their milk or eat their eggs till they were old.

The snakes thought this was a great idea. So the husband promised that as long as the people did these things, he would no longer try to drown them. To make it clear why they were concerned, the wife told the elders that she was expecting and would deliver her brood very soon.

Ah yes!! Now the people understood why the wife was now concerned, when she had not been before. It made sense. So they went back to the people and told them the plan of action. The people agreed and threw a party in the name of the snakes.

The anacondas heard the celebrations and smiled as they planned for the impending birth. The wife was much relieved.

Monte Verde – the village that changed the way we think

They say there were 20-30 people there. Yet that small a place has disrupted the experts’ thinking in a way that has changed everything about what they thought previously. It was what they call in sports, an upset.

The village has changed the time line for the occupation of the Americas. By a few centuries. Which makes them wonder, how did these people get there if they weren’t traveling with the tribes from South-East Asia who crossed the Beringia Pass when it was ice? And who are they?

And a lot of their surprise came about because of a spear head. Such a little thing caused such a furor.

To top that off, it is one of the earliest (if not earliest) examples of civilization in the entire world. In a way too that the biggest cities that exist now cannot seem to reach. Let alone manage. Maybe it was the size… But it was an example of an egalitarian society. (Yet people keep insisting to me that only in utopia can that occur. Hmmmm) Nobody was in charge, no man or woman was of lesser importance. Like I said it could be the size… After all when you need all hands on deck, they all get treated well. They all get valued. Each person does their best thing for the good of the village. Or you die. So the stakes were high. Maybe that is the only way we can have a true meritocracy.

When everything around you is fighting to take your life, you stand back to back, arm in arm, and fight together. You don’t waste time, or energy, fighting each other. Or you die. And somehow these 20-30 people managed to get there and survive against all odds and work cooperatively to do so.

Myth or fact? Fact. Yet it seems impossible doesn’t it?

Priestess Queen of the Moon Virgins

If she walked down a street in any other village, in any other land, they would never know what she did. And it amused her when in her village, the people often veered to avoid her. She was stunningly beautiful and very shapely as a woman, yet no man or woman dared try to even flirt with her. Most women would be immoralized by that, but she saw it as a good thing. A matter of pride.

And it wasn’t just that she was chaste among chaste women either. Or that she was a priestess even. No, it was far more about what she did as a priestess that they found so off putting. Though their rites asked it of her, the people were dismayed that she took such pleasure in the tasks. How does a wife, a mother, chop limbs off people and torture them?

Well that may have been the answer. She was NOT a wife or a mother. She was well suited for her cruel occupation. The people just couldn’t reconcile it. Most women in the village were suited to their hard lives, but kept a sense of dainty and feminine about themselves. She was only gentle when she was teasing a new torture victim. Letting them think they would get off easy. Letting them think she might change her mind, because she liked them too much to hurt them.

Nobody outside the temple saw the details of her craft, so they wouldn’t know that about her. They saw the end product though. Where a human being died with a scream on their face. Where there were no hesitation marks in her design. And there were such vicious markings on the body they collected. They got a hint of how long it had taken to create them. A hint of how much pride she had taken in her task. And that is what bothered them.

Maybe a modern profiler could enlighten them about how a sadistic woman thinks, but she wasn’t sure they would ask. They shuddered at the thought. It was unseemly to the villagers.

She grinned.

Each victim endured horrors at her hands that made them lose their mind, before they lost their life. She played with them, like a cat plays with a mouse before eating it. She listened to their fears and griefs then used them against the victim. Only when they were in a mess did she begin the physical aspects of the torture.

Though no one in the village knew this, and no maiden under her would dare chatter, she knew that if she were anyone but the priestess, she would have been excommunicated. But as the priestess, she had to be endured. She laughed. It was her greatest victory over them. But because they considered it to be the will of the gods, she was revered for her craft, even though it repulsed them that she liked doing it. She was good at it. And that meant they didn’t have to be. That’s what it came down to. These men and women who would gladly kill an enemy who threatened their children were not cowards. These men and women who had no qualms about butchering an animal to eat were used to blood and reticulated limbs. They had no queasy stomachs.

Yet she petrified them. And that just struck her as hilarious. And somehow, they knew. That was why they avoided her.

In Her Tent

She put a feather in the doorway of her tent, as her mother told her she should when she was ready to be courted by the village men. Soon there was a circle of men by her fire. She poured each a bowl of broth first. A couple men walked away.

Next she made a plate of steamed vegetables. A couple more men walked away. She asked her mother to taste the broth and vegetables. Her mother nodded that they were fine.

So she made a plate of pig that she had buried with hot coals and leaves. She tested the knuckle and it snapped apart and the meat fell away like it was never attached. So she added a fruit sauce and some of the meat juices too. A couple more men wandered off. So she asked her father to taste the meat. He nodded also.

She served them some berries and liquor her father had taught her to make and said she was quite good at. A couple more men walked away. So she asked her father’s father to taste the berries. He nodded his approval. She knew he was hard to please. So she wondered why the men were walking away then. But there were still some left so she went on.

She showed the remaining men her rope, her net, and her bone work. She was letting them know she was capable of supporting the hunting and fishing they would do. A couple more walked away. She was quite confused. But her father nodded for her to continue, so she did.

She showed the men her fancy dress and trousers she had spent so many hours over and the blankets she had cured, tanned and dyed till even her grandmother was pleased. A few more men walked away.

She went into the tent with her mother and father and they talked about the few men left. Her mother told her their family and relationship issues she had heard thru the village grapevine. Her father discussed their skills as a warrior and a hunter. They asked her which man she would like to lay with and bear his children. She showed her mother the lad she wanted. Her mother nodded. He was a fit young man.

With her parents approval, she went to the fire and sat on the young man’s blanket. The others walked away. So she took her intended’s hand and led him to her tent. After they had lain together, the young man went to get his things and moved them into her tent.

The village had a party in their honour with much dancing and singing.

When a year of moons had gone by and there was no child coming, she set his belongings outside her tent and gave him the gift of a robe she had been working on for a month. He quietly went back to his parents’ tent and her preparations began again.

By Land or Sea – The Old Silk Road

You may have heard of the Silk Road before but may not know much about it or it’s influence on our modern culture. It went beyond a trade route and I want to tell you about it for that reason.

There are some conflicts as to where and when the route was and even the maps disagree depending on the source. So this is the variance and I’ll let you decide which you believe.
Most agree that the Silk Road was begun by the Chinese for two reasons.
They were getting a lot of bandits/robbers who interfered with their silk traders.
They had trouble getting goods across the Gobi desert safely. The proof of this is the mummified bodies found there, in varying degrees of decomposition. The theory is that the bodies that survived the best died during cold temperatures. Horse travel was even unsafe so they imported camels from Africa to make the trip plausible and this did in fact succeed.

Most agree that the Silk Road was begun @ 1000-2000 BC and lasted till the early 20th Century. It began by land and when boats were safer travel there were sea routes thru the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. The stories of Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus looking for spices becomes relevant here.

Most agree that the Silk Road traveled from where Turkey is now to China thru the steppes of the Middle East and Asia. That it connected old cities and towns, some of which are still major centers of learning, politics and religion. Some are now ruins and some have become necropolises.

Where it varies is that some extend the route:
A) Some say it went into the Mediterranean Sea and into Europe and the UK
1) some say it began in mainland Greece
2) some say it began in Italy, in Valentia or Rome
3) some say it went as far as Britain and France though

B ) Some say it went further beyond China and Java
1) some say it went to Japan and Australia and the small islands
2) some say it actually made it to Central and South America.
If you consider the myths told (prior to Columbus’ travels) of white warriors, priests and traders among people who had no previous contact with Europeans, it makes sense, doesn’t it?

Whatever you believe, the route connected some places that are still renowned for higher learning and advanced technology and similar archaeology and agricultural knowledge. Stuff they may not have gotten if the route didn’t reach as far as the extensions would make it. Stuff that was eerily similar if they had no previous contact. Or gods. demons and/or aliens were helping humanity out? If you consider the beliefs of the time, maybe even the ancestors were sticking around in spirit form to help out? That would have been really valid if you consider Chinese beliefs.

So what do you think?