Legends of the Flood
Across the planet there are legends and myths of a great flood, a flood that drowned an earlier world and which came in response to mans wickedness. In cultures as far apart as the Native America’s and the Maoris in New Zealand, from China to Turkey, from central Africa to Lithuania stories are told of a great flood; these stories number literally in the hundreds and the same themes are repeated again and again. In cultures as diverse as Tibetan, ancient Hebrew and Australian Aboriginal the stories are told: of how long, long ago, mankind began to dismiss the very notion of higher powers, of how he fell into forgetfulness and corruption and of how the Creator punished him with a flood.
Thus the Native American Lakota tell of a world before this one, where people didn’t know how to behave or even act as human beings and how this displeased the Creator. In response he sang three songs to bring rain, which caused the rivers to overflow. He then sang a fourth song and stamped on the ground, splitting the earth open from which gushed torrents of water. The world was flooded but as the waters receded he created four colours of people, from red, white, black and yellow earth. He then created the rainbow as a sign that the flood was over; but he warned the new inhabitants of the earth that he had destroyed the first world by fire, because it was bad, and the second world by flood, and he would destroy this world too if the inhabitants were to spoil it.
Likewise the Ho of southwestern Bengal tell the story of the first men; of how they became incestuous and unaware of the Creator and of how he destroyed them, some say by fire, others say by flood.
Similarly, the story is told in Guyana of how the world has been destroyed twice, once by fire and once by floods. On each occasion the gods decided to destroy the world because of the wickedness of men. However a pious and wise chief was informed of the impending flood and saved himself and his family in a large canoe.
Whilst the ancient Chinese told of how the Supreme Sovereign ordered the water god, Gong Gong, to create a flood as a warning and punishment for human misbehavior.
The Yakima of Washington State tell of a time when men from many different tribes had gone to war with each other and of how even ‘medicine men’ had killed. However there were still a few good people left and one of them heard from ‘the Land Above’ that a ‘Big Water’ was coming. So he told the other good people and they decided to build a canoe out of the biggest cedar tree they could find. Soon after the canoe was finished a flood came, “filling the valleys and covering the mountains.” The waters finally receded and a new world emerged but the Creator warned that there would be another flood if the people “did wrong again.”
The Yellowstone of Wyoming tell of a time when men hunted for sport, burned and cleared forests, and didn’t think of the animals as their brothers (Sound familiar? Ed). This saddened the Great Spirit and he sent a great rain to extinguish the fires and destroy men.
Similarly the Maori of New Zealand tell of a time, long ago, when a great many tribes quarreled and went to war with each other: of how they neglected to acknowledge their Creator and consequently forgot his teachings. So two prophets appeared: Para-whenua-mea and Tupu-nui-a-uta tried to teach the true doctrine but the people just laughed and jeered at them. So the two prophets then built a raft and provisioned it with fern-root and sweet potatoes and prayed for rain, to convince the people of the power of the Creator. Two men named Tiu and Reti then boarded the raft along with some women; they continued reciting the prayers and incantations for rain and thereafter it rained torrentially for four days. After the rain stopped the waters continued to rise until months later they finally receded. As they did so a new world was revealed, the earth had been utterly transformed, and the only survivors were those few left aboard the raft.
Although many of the flood stories make mention of rains we feel it should be noted that to a primitive man, unversed in geophysics and the theory of crustal displacement, torrential rain would be the only apparent explanation for a flood of such immense proportions. Thus we feel that the reader should bear in mind Charles Hapgood’s theory of crustal displacement whilst reviewing these tales. Moreover to a relatively unsophisticated man, unaware of the workings of shifting plate tectonics and earthquakes, such phenomenon would be more easily understood in terms of “the Creator stamped on the ground.”
Indeed it would be a serious mistake to arrogantly dismiss these tales as fairy stories or crude folklore. For some of these stories may have implications for our future too; hence the North American Hopi say that the first world was destroyed by an all-consuming fire that came, ‘from the ground below and the sky above’, as a punishment for human misdemeanors. The second world ended when the planet toppled from its axis and everything was covered with ice. The third world ended in a universal flood. Whilst the fate of this world, the fourth world, depends on whether or not its inhabitants behave in accordance with the Creators plan.
The Bible has the story of Noah, revered by both Christians and Jews alike, whilst the Koran refers to exactly the same story. Likewise the Chaldeans told a similar tale: of how the god Chronos warned Xisuthrus of a coming flood and ordered him to build and provision a vessel for his friends and family and all the different kinds of animal.
Amongst the Michoacan in Mexico there is a tale similar to that of the biblical Noah, except that the main protagonist there is called Tezpi; in every other respect though the similarities are striking.
So are all these similarities, amongst hundreds of tales told in different languages and dialects across the planet, just a co-incidence? Or are these tales themselves the remnants of the faded memories of an event which actually occurred, many, many millennia ago?
In answer we refer you back to Richard Noone’s article ‘The Hammer and the Pendulum’, featured previously. Whilst the article in question may not offer a complete answer it does, we believe, provide some interesting clues to an event which occurred many millennia ago and which may well happen again.
Last updated 01/12/2003