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The indigenous faces of the Olmec Civilization

The indigenous faces of the Olmec Civilization


Founding POOF member, Ric Edwards, sent us this very interesting comparison of indigenous peoples of northern Tabasco and southern Vera Cruz compared to sculptures created by the “Olmec” Civilization.  Some of you might recognize a few Oklahoma Creek faces in there.   That is because several branches of the Creek Confederacy originated in that region.   Mexican anthropologists believe that several of the tribes in that region are of partial Polynesian ancestry.   The oldest skeletons found so far in Mexico are either Southeast Asians or Proto-Polynesians.   The Polynesians are currently believed to have originated in Southeast Asia. By the way,  the Olmecs had nothing to do with the civilization that bears their name.  They were living in northern Mexico or the Southwestern United States at that time. 

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    Great comparison by Ric Edwards of the indigenous peoples of nothern Tabasco and southern Vera Cruz to sculptures created by the so-called “Olmec” Civilization.

    Polynesians (and (Island-)Southeast Asians) do seem to have reached MesoAmerica in ancient times.

    Richard T., Have you ever take a look at a Heiau? A Heiau is a Hawaiian temple which is basically a platform.
    There are some Heiau (Hawaiian temples) with terraces (see links below).

    Also there are placenames in Mexico who sound Polynesian like sinaloa. It is believed that the name is derived from a native MesoAmerican word yet it’s still note worthy.
    Although the placename Tehuacan is probably also derived from a native MesoAmerican word there are some Polynesian island names which are similar to Tehuacan like Tehuata (an Atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago) and Tahuata (an island southwest of Hiva Oa in the Marquesas islands).


    Hale o Pi’ilani Heiau – Maui Island×0/filters:no_upscale()/about/piilanihale-heiau-001g-56a3b8293df78cf7727eddf6.jpg

    Hale o Pi’ilani Heiau – rendition

    Hale o Pi’ilani Heiau – Isometric view

    Rekareka – Tehuata or Tu-henua (Tuamotu Archipelago – French Polynesia)

    Tahuata – (Marquesas Islands – French Polynesia)

    Tahia-art – (Marquisian sculptor/art)

    • Yes, there are strong similarities between Hawaiian and Pre-Maori stone architecture compared with certain cultures in Peru and southern Mexico. The domestic architecture of the Maori’s is very similar to that of the Northwest Pacific Coast indigenous peoples.


        There are indeed strong similarities between Hawaiian and Pre-Maori stone architecture compared with certain cultures in Peru and Southern Mexico.
        Also the way the platforms and walls in Easter Island / Rapa Nui have been constructed are practically identical to the walls in Peru.

        – Do you think that the Paracas elite in Peru and the red haired giants in Polynesia (in this case in New Zealand) are one and the same?

        If the Paracas elite and the red haired giants in Polynesia are the same, it means they either had one migration route through the Black Sea, Medditerranean Sea, across the Atlantic Ocean into the Americas or they had a different migration route one being through the Indian Ocean.
        The starting point of their migration would be mysterious. If they are one and the same, was their starting point the Indus Valley with one group migrating southwards through the Indian Ocean and another group migrating northwards into the Caucasus (Black Sea and Caspian Sea) region?
        When comparing the Orizaba stone engraving and the so-called Olmec cave painting in Juxlahuaca it does look like the bearded plumed-helmet wearing man are giants compared to the figures next to them.
        It could mean that the elite of the multi-ethnic cultures in MesoAmerica (and other places in the Americas and the Pacific Islands) were giants.


        Orizaba stone engraving×764.jpg

        Olmec (so-called Olmec) cave painting in Juxtlahuaca

        Either Maya or Aztec (origin unlcear) stone engraving

        • The tall redheaded settlers in Peru and New Zealand are probably the same people, but I have to rely on the analytical skills of others for an answer. Genetic tests have placed the origin of the Peruvian redheads to the region east of the Black Sea, while those in New Zealand have been traced to the southern tip of Iran, near the mouth of the Indus River. On the other hand, the indigenous chickens in Peru have very similar DNA to the earliest domesticated chickens in the Indus Valley. The genes that produce red or blond hair and blue eyes in Scandinavians have also been traced to the southern tip of Iran. This may be a matter of where the labs got their DNA test markers. Probably the oldest markers came from the area east of the Black Sea and some of the labs didn’t have access to those markers.


            Thank you for your reply. It’s very interesting to discover what migration route the readhead giants took.


    Richard T.,

    Have you ever seen the depictions of Mesopotamian kings and gods and compared them to the bearded stone engravings and cave paintings of MesoAmerica / Mexico?

    From wikipedia Gilgamesh quotes:
    (Sumerian poems)
    “Gilgamesh was a historical king of the Sumerian city-state of Uruk, a major hero in ancient Mesopotamian mythology, and the protagonist of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem written in Akkadian during the late second millennium BC. He probably ruled sometime between 2800 and 2500 BC and was posthumously deified.”
    “The standard Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh was composed by a scribe named Sîn-lēqi-unninni, probably during the Middle Babylonian Period (c. 1600 – c. 1155 BC), based on much older source material. In the epic, Gilgamesh is a demigod of superhuman strength who befriends the wildman Enkidu.”
    “Most classical historians agree that the Epic of Gilgamesh exerted substantial influence on both the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems written in ancient Greek during the eighth century BC. The story of Gilgamesh’s birth is described in a second-century AD anecdote from On the Nature of Animals by the Greek writer Aelian.”
    “Most historians generally agree that Gilgamesh was a historical king of the Sumerian city-state of Uruk, who probably ruled sometime during the early part of the Early Dynastic Period (c. 2900 – 2350 BC). Stephanie Dalley, a scholar of the ancient Near East, states that “precise dates cannot be given for the lifetime of Gilgamesh, but they are generally agreed to lie between 2800 and 2500 BC.”

    “Gilgamesh’s first appearance in literature is probably in the Sumerian poem Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld. The narrative begins with a huluppu tree—perhaps, according to the Sumerologist Samuel Noah Kramer, a willow, growing on the banks of the river Euphrates. The goddess Inanna moves the tree to her garden in Uruk with the intention to carve it into a throne once it is fully grown. The tree grows and matures, but the serpent “who knows no charm,” the Anzû-bird, and Lilitu, the Sumerian forerunner to the Lilith of Jewish folklore, all take up residence within the tree, causing Inanna to cry with sorrow. Gilgamesh, who in this story is portrayed as Inanna’s brother, comes along and slays the serpent, causing the Anzû-bird and Lilitu to flee.”

    (In antiquity)
    “In the Qumran scroll known as Book of Giants (c. 100 BC) the names of Gilgamesh and Humbaba appear as two of the antediluvian giants, rendered (in consonantal form) as glgmš and ḩwbbyš.”

    “According to Aelian’s story, an oracle told King Seuechoros of the Babylonians that his grandson Gilgamos would overthrow him. To prevent this, Seuechoros kept his only daughter under close guard at the Acropolis of the city of Babylon, but she became pregnant nonetheless. Fearing the king’s wrath, the guards hurled the infant off the top of a tall tower. An eagle rescued the boy in midflight and carried him to an orchard, where it carefully set him down. The caretaker of the orchard found the boy and raised him, naming him Gilgamos (Γίλγαμος). Eventually, Gilgamos returned to Babylon and overthrew his grandfather, proclaiming himself king. The birth narrative described by Aelian is in the same tradition as other Near Eastern birth legends, such as those of Sargon, Moses, and Cyrus.”

    From wikipedia Marduk quotes:
    (Late Bronze Age)
    “In Enûma Elish, a civil war between the gods was growing to a climactic battle. The Anunnaki gods gathered together to find one god who could defeat the gods rising against them. Marduk, a very young god, answered the call and was promised the position of head god.”

    “First, he challenges the leader of the Anunnaki gods, the dragon of the primordial sea Tiamat, to single combat and defeats her by trapping her with his net, blowing her up with his winds, and piercing her belly with an arrow.”

    “Marduk was depicted as a human, often with his symbol the snake-dragon which he had taken over from the god Tishpak.”

    When you compare the so-called olmec bearded stone figure holding a feline, the cave painting of the large bearded man (elite?) holding a snake or snake-like object and the depiction of Gilgamesh you will see that Gilgamesh depiction combines the two having a feline or lion in one hand(arm) and a snake in the other hand.
    Gilgamesh is also thought to be a giant. Furthermore the Babylonian god Marduk is depicted as a human with the snake-dragon symbol. Marduk’s so-called dragon ” Mušḫuššu ” meaning “reddish snake” could make one wonder even more if the so-called Olmec cave painting of the feathered serpent which is at least 90% red in color was inspired or originating from a Mesopotamian source.

    Gilgamesh – Possible representation of Gilgamesh as Master of Animals, grasping a lion in his left arm and snake in his right hand, in an Assyrian palace relief, from Dur-Sharrukin, now held in the Louvre.

    Orizaba stone engraving×764.jpg

    Juxtlahuaca – Cave Painting Drawing (Drawn by wikipedia User:Madman2001 – Madman2001 (copyright)

    Marduk – Babylonian god – Marduk and his dragon Mušḫuššu, from a Babylonian cylinder seal.

    Juxtlahuaca – Cave Painting – Feathered Serpent



    • I have seen the comparison, but they were based on the wrong assumption that indigenous Americans didn’t wear beards and mustaches. Read the accounts by the De Soto Expedition, when they entered the realm of the Creek’s ancestors in Georgia. All the warriors wore mustaches and the leaders wore beards.


        Thank you for your reply. It is true that the assumption was wrong that indigenous Americans didn’t wear beards and mustaches.

        However the info and links above are not intended to compare the indigenous Americans to Mesopotamian people.
        The point being that the large statured bearded elite described and depicted in the Americas are not originally from the Americas and are linked to the red headed giants in what is now believed near or between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea.

        I will continue the discussion and explaination in the following article: “Footnote: More about the 7 feet tall people of the Okefenokee Swamp” –


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