This is an article on ancient trans-oceanic contact, using the connection between the Japanese and the native American Zuni as an example. The Encyclopedia entry for the Zuni People provides an introduction:
The Zuni are a federally recognized Native American tribe, one of the Pueblo peoples. Most live in the Pueblo of Zuni on the Zuni River, a tributary of the Little Colorado River, in western New Mexico, United States. Zuni is 55 km (34 mi) south of Gallup, New Mexico. In addition to the reservation, the tribe owns trust lands in Catron County, New Mexico and Apache County, Arizona.
Further down, we also read that…
The Zuni traditionally speak the Zuni language, a language isolate that has no known relationship to any other Native American language. Linguists believe that the Zuni have maintained the integrity of their language for at least 7,000 years. The Zuni have, however, borrowed a number of words from Keresan, Hopi, and Pima pertaining to religion and religious observances. The Zuni continue to practice their traditional religion with its regular ceremonies and dances, and an independent and unique belief system.
Whenever there is talk of a “language isolate” or a language having stayed unchanged for more than 7000 years, the Atlantis-Researcher in me awakens. Language-isolation is a trait of people not native to an area. Newer research has found that many of the “language isolates” are in fact related to other languages but that these often reside on other Continents. For example, Hungarian/Finnish/Estonian are not quite as mysterious and “isolate” if you compare them to ancient languages of Siberia, Mongolia, Sanskrit, Tamil and a scattering of other languages.
The age of the Zuni language is significant because Atlantis fell 12 000 years ago (making anything more recent than, say 4000 years, relatively unimportant for this kind of research). The idea of pre-columbian trans-oceanic contact and prehistoric seafaring is still not accepted by most institutions, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. It is closely related to Atlantis-Theory according to which prehistoric people were capable enough to cross the oceans.
It was thanks to ideas developed in the 1960s by researcher Nancy Yaw Davis that we know that the Zuni language is remotely related to Japanese. Davis made the discovery in an anthropology class on southwestern native Americans. To her great surprise she could understand many of the Zuni words used in class from her knowledge of Japanese! Just a few examples of many:
English: Yes. Japanese: Hai. Zuni: Hai
English: To be Inside. Japanese: Uchi. Zuni: Uchi
English: Deer. Japanese: Shika. Zuni: Shohita
English: Priest. Japanese: Shawani. Zuni: Shiwani
English: Leaf. Japanese: Ha. Zuni: Ha
English: Clan. Japanese: Kwai. Zuni: Kwe
English: to wake up. Japanese: oki (ru). Zuni: okwi
Zuni and Japanese also share grammar and syntax similarities, such as the verb being the last word of a sentence. While writing her book “The Zuni Enigma” she discovered not only linguistic matches but peculiar similarties in culture and genetics. A few examples taken from an article in Science Frontiers:
Blood-group characteristics. Blood Type B is frequent in East Asian populations but nearly absent in most Native Americans. Zuni, on the other hand, have a high incidence of Type-B blood.
Dentition. Three tooth features of the Zunis lie midway between those of Asians and other Native Americans; namely, shoveling, Carabelli’s cusp, and 5-cusp pattern on the lower second molar.
The “Zuni disease”. The kidney disease mesangiopathic glomerulonephritis is much more common among the Zuni than other Americans, and it is also very common in the Orient.
With such a potentially fantastic discovery you`d assume that it would be widely publicized and discussed, considered and studied. Instead it was marginalized. It took several decades for Davis to revisit her work and publish her book in the 1990s. Unfortunately, the majority of institutions still teach that medieval Europeans were “the first” to cross the oceans (even though there is solid evidence that the Phoenicians, the Romans and the Chinese ventured across the oceans long before)
The image above and the following one show Zuni people.
The question that remains is whether the Japanese influence on Zuni language is more recent (11th or 12th Century, as some believe) or more ancient. Even if it were in the 12th Century it would still predate Columbus by hundreds of years. I doubt a more recent connection for the following reason: If the connection were more recent, there would be more similarities between the languages than there are. Similarities are big enough to show a connection but not big enough to show a relatively recent connection. Skeptics block out a more ancient connection by saying “It’s not possible because people couldn’t cross the pacific that long ago”. To which I respond: But they could have come over the Bering Straits (Russia-to-Alaska), or not?
To be fair, I do not believe in the Bering-Straits theory as the origin of all or even most natives of America. Why? Firstly, because the oral traditions of the various tribes themselves say where they came from. Some say they came from the East, some from the West, some from the South, some from the North. Many say they traversed the oceans. Hopi legends, for example, say they crossed the pacific ocean. Secondly, if the Zuni came over the Bering Straits you’d expect some of their language to be scattered around North America rather than being a language isolate. And you wouldn’t expect anomalies such as this one: Japanese Ainu Culture genetically linked to Peruvian Mochica Culture.
The Bering-Strait-Migration theory was nothing more than an attempt to “explain” various facts without having to admit to ancient long-distance seafaring. But one wonders how the “medieval Europeans were the first to traverse the oceans” idea can be reconciled with findings such as the following:
NY Times: Evidence of very Ancient Mariners (only excerpts quoted, visit the article to read it in full):
“Early humans, possibly even prehuman ancestors, appear to have been going to sea much longer than anyone had ever suspected.
That is the startling implication of discoveries made the last two summers on the Greek island of Crete. Stone tools found there, archaeologists say, are at least 130,000 years old, which is considered strong evidence for the earliest known seafaring in the Mediterranean and cause for rethinking the maritime capabilities of prehuman cultures.
Crete has been an island for more than five million years, meaning that the toolmakers must have arrived by boat. So this seems to push the history of Mediterranean voyaging back more than 100,000 years, specialists in Stone Age archaeology say. Previous artifact discoveries had shown people reaching Cyprus, a few other Greek islands and possibly Sardinia no earlier than 10,000 to 12,000 years ago…
…But archaeologists and experts on early nautical history said the discovery appeared to show that these surprisingly ancient mariners had craft sturdier and more reliable than rafts. They also must have had the cognitive ability to conceive and carry out repeated water crossing over great distances in order to establish sustainable populations producing an abundance of stone artifacts.
Sophisticated seafaring having existed 130 000 years ago, we are expected to believe that in all that time nobody ever crossed the ocean? I rest my case.
Back to the Zuni: The linguistic and genetic connection to Japan isn’t the only point of interest. I originally looked into them while researching my book on Atlantis because their legends feature the whole range of “Atlantean Mythology”: Gods who descended from the skies, humans who lived in caves and subterranean dwellings and were brought out by the “sun gods”, the daylight sun as the beginning of our new post-flood civilization, furry and cannibalistic giants, horned water-serpents, man-eating ogres, monsters coming out of caves to abduct children, the great flood (said to have been brought about as a punishment for people engaging in incest), people traveling long distances on “eagles” and so forth. The reason they were not included in my book is because repeating the same global narrative over and over again was getting boring! Future research however, might warrant a closer comparison between their legends and those of Japan. This then, could show whether Japanese influence is older or more recent.
A few ancient Zuni petroglyphs, just to get a feel for how long these people have been around:
To put the Japan – Native America connection into a wider context, allow me to quote from an article linking the Ecuadorian Valdivian culture with ancient Japan:
The Valdivia Culture is one of the oldest settled cultures recorded in the Americas.
The Valdivia culture was discovered in 1956 by the Ecuadorian archeologist Emilio Estrada. Based on comparison of archeological remains and pottery styles (specifically, the similarity between the Valdivian pottery and the ancient Jōmon culture on the island of Kyūshū, Japan) Estrada, along with the American archaeologist Betty Meggers suggested that a relationship between the people of Ecuador and the people of Japan existed in ancient times. Since then, it has been discovered that people living in the area, and in southwest Japan yet uncovered, both have a low rate of a virus not known in other populations, HTLV-1. Part of the theory was that the Japanese had conducted trans-Pacific trade. This theory was controversial, for no evidence of contact between the two populations had previously been suggested, and it remains unsupported within the archaeological community. Recently, geneticists have published evidence from haplogroup studies that support the theory of Japanese-Valdivian contact.
It`s fortunate that we have actual science (here in the form of genetic research) now beginning to confirm what marginalized “alternative history” researchers have been saying all along. Ancient trans-oceanic-contact, either in the form of very long voyages or in the form of voyages from now sunken Continents, are a reality.