The Great Sign is documented! The language that isn't one is still alive!

Written by Subject: Anthropology
This is a real freak job for me, I can't believe it. This is one of those examples where Oyate is blissfully wrong. I love being wrong. Every time I'm wrong it's good news for humanity.
In this case I was on a conference call and somebody asks me about Great Sign and with great authority and self-righteousness I told them it's a dead language, not really remembered by anyone and somebody was like "dude I just found it online".
And I was like "no way".
And they were like "dude, check it out" so I did. And it's true. There it is. Acutally, here it is:
I still can't believe it but there it is in way greater detail than I ever knew about. Man, if I could only be wrong like this every single day of my life, your life would be measurably better. The wronger I am the better it gets. I'm a pessimist. We roll like that.

So this leaves me with nothing better to do than to give you this introduction:
The Great Sign was this sign-language made with one's hands. In this one regard, it's similar to American Sign or International Sign which is the hand-language of deaf or mute people today. That's where the similarity ends because they are completely different.
What's so fascinating about Great Sign is it was the only pre-Columbian ubiquitous language. Nobody knows how old it is, nobody knows who came up with it first. But it was an inter-tribal language. From coast to coast, as far down as Guetemala from what I'm told, the Great Sign was understood.
Now here is where it gets really freaky. Present-day Mexico was like THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE in pre-Columbian America. All the deep science and technology came from there. The Incans had a dandy system of writing and mathematics so they had no use, no use atall for Great Sign except for the fact that they were so sophisticated and organized that they had translators for nearly every known language and Great Sign was a popular one. We know this because we can see what I think of as "vestigial elements" of Great Sign today in native speakers, especially the "cut-off sign" because many native peoples to this day are reticent about speaking the word for "death" or "has died".

I'm not sure contemporary ethnolinguists would consider it to be a "fully syntaxed" language since past and future "tenses" of "verbs" weren't really available, but there are about 200 signs and you can tell who you are, where you came from, what you are doing there, what you want and you cold put together simple sentences such as "3 days walk Northeast from here you will encounter a flat land with a big rock and on the far side of that rock is a cool spring of water". Or I might introduce myself as "I am 'all of the people' and I come from the other side of the great river where there are tall trees". This would demonstrate the downfall of the language because Oyate translates to "all of the people" so this would naturally be confusing.
The Great Sign demonstrates how inter-connected native cultures where at one point and the level of sophistication of trade and commerce. It was fantastically utile when there were like 100,000 languages spoken right here on this continent. It would be neat to see a revival of Great Sign but I can't think of any good reason to do so now that everybody speaks English. Maybe just one.
See, ethnolinguists tend to love grouping things together into linguistic "families" so they tend to lump everything in the Northeast for example into a couple of few linguistic groups like Algonquinn. I'm like riiiiiiiiiiight. Just try and speak Algonquinn to an Ottowa or an Iriquios. They will be like "hey man, did you know when your mouth moves, all this noise comes out of it?"
As one of the few authors who has actually had work REJECTED by the editors of FreedomsPhoenix (a dubious honor if there ever was one) and as a man who stands flat guilty, filthy dirty guilty of writing and talking too much, a revival of The Great Sign might be one of the only ways to get guys like me to shut up for a change.
I guess that would be CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN. I guess all my writings are like a one-in-a-hundred thing. Maybe one person in 100 of those who reject everything I write as outright drivel says "hey, that's pretty interesting".

3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Found Zero
Entered on:

Now in case you think I can explain every mystery of pre-Columbian America, I can't. Won't pretend to. There are some massive gaps in the puzzle. Like who were these mound-builders in present-day Montana?

Nobody I know has any clue or they ain't talking. Honestly when I want answers I go to Hopi. They remember like phreaking EVERYTHING. But we're not sure who those mound-builders are or Hopi ain't telling and they are kind of notorious for keeping secrets.

For another thing, the people who made those huge-ass animal effigies you can only see from up in the sky. Hopi will tell you a bit about that but they don't like to. Part of it has to do with Katchina and some of them came from the sky, from out there, from some place not here, so the people who made those drawings on the Earth were communicating to somebody up in the sky, somebody not from here. And I can shoot a wild guess that given this level of sophistication or social organization, Inca/Maya had something to do with it.

Paradoxically, Hopi are saying their knowledge is on the wane because they can't compete with MTV and Brittney Spears for the attention of their young people and when a phratry dies at Hopi, it's forever gone. Because not even another Hopi of another phratry is even allowed to know what the other guy knows. So whole chunks, whole endless books are being lost to human memory right now, right as we finally learn to read Incan language again.

In terms of pure human knowlege, I can't tell if we're in a process of remembering or forgetting. I think we're developing some sort of "third sphere of knowledge", in other words, we are becoming aware of what we DON'T know.

At least we're at the point to where we know there's a lot we don't.

Comment by Found Zero
Entered on:

So this is actually a really exiting time to be a native American or any part of one. We now know more than we have known for a fairly long while.

I told you there is a reason I tell you this and here it is: we now know more about the disintegration of the Incan empire than anybody previously suspected. Spain didn't just fight the Incan empire, Spain fought the entire Americas.


With fish, with corn, with furs, with every single commodity, we supported the emporer because he told us to do so. And I will swear by this. Because all of the tributory cheifs said "should we now rise up against them?" and emporer said no, no, keep the system going, return to your fields and fisheries, we need you to do your jobs now more than ever" because at that point, emporer thought that he could still MANAGE THE SITUATION but the European diseases hit and we had, by coincidence, been through a major 10 year drought and the combination of these factors weakened us to the point the Conquistadores did a walk-through.

And the diseases re-drew the entire political map long before the Mayflower. Because the entire system literally ceased to exist there for a while. It went out like a light. A few generations later, nobody on the periphery (meaning here in North America) even knew what the empire was or that it even existed.

So a couple hundred years later, you can go into present-day New York state for example and find people who are called "The people of the standing rock". Howdy, where did you folks come from? Why, we come from the Standing rock.

Oh reeeeeeeeeally? Do you recall the Place Of Emmergence?

Why sure, it's the Standing rock over there.

Hmmmmm........ok, no problem.

See that's where you get into trouble being a pan-tribal. Everybody has their own place of emmergence. Be careful when you walk in the woods boys because according to native beliefs, there are babies popping out of every hollow tree and ditch and gully.


Comment by Found Zero
Entered on:

Some day I'm going to pile up all this crap and call it a book.

Being a contemporary "native American" student is part spirituality, part history, part science for me. And part pain. As a mixed-breed, I have never really been a part of any culture. Tribally I am intermarried, our kids are full tribal members but I'm not. I was picked up by Llennappe as a young kid and basically all my teachers....(he makes the cut-off sign) and I was pretty lost and lonely after that for some years until some Lakota picked me up and took mercy on me and my teaching continued. And by their grace and wisdom I was able to formulate some kind of a direction or plan for my life.

Because in the path of development, when it came time to name me, it was clear that I was not going to be adopted into Lakota, the "chief" who taught me also had the good sense to...(he makes the cut-off sign) which again left me sort of on the outside.

So I chose the name Oyate which in Lakota means "all of the people". I figured I'm my own tribe now. And my warrior service will be to all people. All of them. And this is why I became an EMT and it's why I am competent with firearms and all other skills, to be of service to Oyate.

But here is a reason why I tell you these things. Being kind of pan-tribal (I spent much time on the reservations of many tribes) allowed me to put together pieces, fragments, in a way that I have pieced together a picture. It's not like the picture you get from books but I have read almost every book on native history I can find, dusty old tomes buried in local libraries, old documents and such but to also hear it, like HEAR IT from the people, it starts to come together.

I guess it's like "macro indian studies" or something. The big picture is so complex and yet simple. Everybody including most indians thinks of everything as being FRAGMENTARY, a bunch of almost isolated tribes doing whatever.

OK, in historical terms this was true but it was practically YESTERDAY. Before that, it was incredibly UNIFIED. The Incan empire UNIFIED THE ENTIRE NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICAN CONTINENTS in trade, in tribute, in currency, in technology, in spirituality, in almost every aspect.

Even just to say this out loud will piss people off because I am basically being an apostate. Becasue every tribe these days has their own creation story but I can tell you for a fact, the very 4-Directions teaching, the Sacred Hoop, the whole cosmology and the lunar calendar everybody kept, all of it, ALL OF IT came from Inca.

In fact, as we study Inca, I can kind of see 4-Directions and Sacred Hoop as a dumbed-down version of Incan cosmology for the masses. Because, and I hate to say it, but all the great tribes of the North American continent were nothing more or less than illiterate primitives compared to these.

I mean come on, who are we kidding? My people were drawing pictographs on cave walls on two continents while these dudes had writing and higher math going on. Forget about it.

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