Skip to comments.Why ancient myths about volcanoes are often true
Posted on 03/22/2015 6:17:13 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Story has it that many hundreds of years ago, Tanovo, chief of the Fijian island Ono, was very partial to a late afternoon stroll. Each day he would walk along the beach, watch the sun go down and undoubtedly contemplate this paradise on Earth.
But one day Tanovo's rival, chief of the volcano Nabukelevu, pushed his mountain up and blocked Tanovo's view of the sunset. Enraged at this, and robbed of the pacifying effects of his daily meditation, Tanovo wove giant coconut-fibre baskets and began to remove earth from the mountain. His rival, however, caught Tanovo and chased him away. Tanovo, in his flight, dropped earth at the islands of Dravuni and Galoa.
When geologist Patrick Nunn first heard this myth, it made sense that it described the volcanic eruption of Nabukelevu, with the associated ash falls on other islands in the Kadavu group. But his scientific investigation of the region concluded that the volcano had not erupted for 50,000 years, long before the island was first inhabited around 2000 B.C. The myth, it seemed, was simply a story -- not a description of previous events.
Then, two years later, when diggers carved out a road near the base of the volcano, they uncovered pieces of ancient pottery buried underneath a metre-deep layer of volcanic ash. "This clearly demonstrated that the volcano had erupted within the last 3,000 years while humans lived here," says Nunn... The cultural memory was right, and our scientific surveys were wrong."
..."I think the creation of myths is essentially the human reaction to witnessing a natural process that you cannot explain, says Haraldur Sigurdsson, a volcanologist at the University of Rhode Island, US. "So you attribute it to supernatural forces and you say it is a battle between the giants and the gods."
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.com ...
Abstract: More than 85 percent of Australian terrestrial genera with a body mass exceeding 44 kilograms became extinct in the Late Pleistocene. Although most were marsupials, the list includes the large, flightless mihirung Genyornis newtoni. More than 700 dates on Genyornis eggshells from three different climate regions document the continuous presence of Genyornis from more than 100,000 years ago until their sudden disappearance 50,000 years ago, about the same time that humans arrived in Australia. Simultaneous extinction of Genyornis at all sites during an interval of modest climate change implies that human impact, not climate, was responsible. [1/8/99 Pleistocene Extinction of Genyornis newtoni: Human Impact on Australian Megafauna (Gifford H. Miller, John W. Magee, Beverly J. Johnson, Marilyn L. Fogel, Nigel A. Spooner, Malcolm T. McCulloch, Linda K. Ayliffe, Science, Volume 283, Number 5399 Issue of 8 Jan 1999, pp. 205 - 208 )]In Horus, a journal published by the late David Griffard, vol II no 1 (1985), Barry Fell was interviewed. Alas, DG went down in a private plane after the seventh issue. Among other things:
In the middle of Australia there is a group of three or four meteorite craters called the Henley craters. They're like the Arizona meteorite crater -- not so big, but there are several of them -- and, like in Arizona, the land was scattered with pieces of iron meteorite. I think the [inaudible] dating very slow growing desert plants. They believe that the date is about 5000 years ago -- the formation of the craters. The Aboriginal name for this area is the "Place Where The Sun Walked on the Earth" -- they must have seen it!
The Erf is a mysterious place, but I like it.
That volcano better look out. It’s going to pay a hefty fine for contributing to global warming.
Then Tanovo captured his rival and the entire tribe enjoyed a long pig banquet.
Souvenir forks of the occasion are available on eBay.
The Hopi have legends of the Arizona crater, something to the effect of god coming down to earth there. They either saw it in the past, or they were pretty savvy at noodling it out as such when all the Europeans were concluding it was a “cryptovolcanic structure”...
It helps to be able to ‘Fly like an Eagle’ to view the (Don) Henley craters properly. :-)
I always wanted to find a big chunk of space metal.. and may well have, never knowing it.
F***! Those seismologists were right.
Damn spell check.
"Crater Lake was a place of mystery to the Klamath Indians. The Klamath Indians must have lived in the region as early as 7,700 years ago, because artifacts such as obsidian tools, spear throwers, and moccasins have been found beneath the Mazama ash layers to the north and east of Crater Lake. The Klamath Indians describe the catastropic eruption of Mount Mazama and the creation of Crater Lake in one of their legends. Their legend of a raging war between two great volcanoes, Mount Mazama and Mount Shasta, parallels the geological history of Crater Lake.
The spirits of the Earth and sky often came and talked with the people. Llao was the spirit of the Below-World who lived beneath Lao-Yaina (today known as Mount Mazama). Skell was the spirit of the Above-World. Llao often came up and stood on top of Lao-Yaina, and his head would touch the stars near the home of Skell. There was no lake then, just a hole through which Llao passed to see the outside world. One day, Llao saw Loha, daughter of the Klamath Indian chief, and fell in love with her beauty. She rejected him because he was ugly and was from the Below-World. He got angry and swore that he would take revenge on her people. He tried to destroy the people with the curse of fire. The Klamath Indian chief sought help from Skell.
Skell descended from the sky to the top of Mount Shasta. Skell and Llao were thundering and trembling the Earth, hurling red hot rocks back and forth to each other (from Mount Shasta to Mount Mazama), causing great landslides. A terrible darkness spread over the area for days. All spirits of Earth and sky took part in this battle, creating intense fear among the people. Attempting to calm the ferocious volcano gods and to make up for the sins of the tribe, two medicine men offered to sacrifice themselves and jumped into the pit of Below-World. Impressed by their heroic sacrifice, Skell fought even harder. He finally defeated Llao, driving Llao deep down into the Below-World. He collapsed the top of Mount Mazama to imprison Llao forever beneath the world. Skell wanted peace and tranquility to cover up this dark pit, so he filled it with the beautiful blue water."
If you visit Fiji, you will find a lot of beautiful carved wooden artifacts that are, in fact, replicas of tools that Fijians used to use for cannibalistic purposes. We did not bring home any of those tools, but we did visit the location of the last act of cannibalism in Fiji.
I highly recommend visiting Fiji. We loved it.
I turned the spell check off on my most modern device. It was outrageous with its “intelligent” corrections. Please excuse my common misspellings going forward. At least the meaning isnt far off if at all....
No human sushi?
I’m afraid not.
The Fijians were, however, extremely proud of the food that grows in the forest—pumpkins, bananas, lemons, pineapples. The women of a village we visited made us a lunch of pancakes and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
No human sushi, but the lamb sausage there is exquisite.
Thanks Axenolith and NormsRevenge.
Barringer Crater, better known as Meteor Crater, could have formed in human times in North America. Clearly the terrain for a long way around is worse for wear due to the impact itself, a fact that mitigates in favor of it being more recent than the largely speculative 50,000 year figure often seen. Estimates of its mass and velocity are quite wide.
[snip] Because the United States Board on Geographic Names commonly recognizes names of natural features derived from the nearest post office, the feature acquired the name of “Meteor Crater” from the nearby post office named Meteor. [/snip]
I was going to mention, are they saying it’s true that we have to feed the volcanoes a virgin or two every year?
Just send send them Laz’ way......
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