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The Saguache Crescent
Saguache , Colorado
March 19, 1931     The Saguache Crescent
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March 19, 1931

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t "Easter"Celebrations Am ong elndi,00ns THE SAGUACHE CRESCENT (lmfetures from publications of the Bureau of Amer- f@al Ethnology, Smitksonlan Institution.) 6 By EDITHA L. VATSON O TIME of all the year is more popu- lar than Easter. in some ways, it is more like the beginning of a new year than New Year&apos;s day itself. Led up to it by the forty days of Lent, we greet the Easter dawn Joyously, as a period of complete cllange. We have made plans: rigit after Easter we'll do this or that. We've bought new clothing, and had a hearty Easter breakfast, and there will be special music at church. Children romp around with gleeful faces, pleased with the amus- ing rabbits, chickens, and eggs which lave been given them. It is a day of happiness, following forty days of restraint. All this Is custom, as old as religion itself. It goes  back beyond the ancient times when new life was symbolized by little young creatures. It goes far beyond Christianity, back to the days when men lived in caves, perhaps, and the sun and their fires were the highest objects of their veneration. It goes back to the source of all religion, and to religion's two fundamental parts, fear and Joy. In the Old world, this ancient worship devel- oped and accumulated ceremonies, tabus, and cus- toms, until it reached its final glory In Christian- lty. Here was the apotheosis of that distant rev- erence. Here was the cave-man's fire, which meant light and life to him, become a living soul who spoke in the name of the Power above all. Here was a wonder and a mystery of which these low-brewed ancients never dreamed, developed as man himself developed, reaching its zenith wllen mankind had advanced far enough to realize It-- and yet the germ of it all, the seed fl'om which it grew, the first faint idea of God, began away back there with the beginning of mankind. In the New world, that same dim spark which was to become tile Light of the World, glowed in much the same way. It must be confessed that drawing parallels between Christianity and the religious beliefs of other peoples Is an inter- eating but hardly profitable study. It is said that the Bible may be quoted to prove both sides of any argument, and in the same way, it Is only too easy to find religious parallels. Whether or not one believes in the Hebrew " origin of American Indians (as some do), it is easy to show that the ideas of the Indians and those of the Old world people have run parallel to each other. Sometimes, of course, the resem- blance Is slight, and unless one were a fanatic on the subject, would be unthought of; but at other times there is a remarkable likeness which sets one wondering. For instance, there is the legend of the great and good man, the wise law-giver, who was of virgin birth. A similar story to that of Jesus may be traced, not unreverently, through legends from Indian tribes. His birth, his teachings, and his final disappearance from the scene (though the Indian teacher was not crucified nor killed by them) are tld in many a myth, and while he is made Into a most truly Indian personality, the resemblance is plain. The Aztec Quetzalcoatl, who is very nearly the same as the Maya god Kuculcan, is also one of the Indian legendary people who resemble the Chrlstlan Jesus very closely. He is believed by nany sclentlsts to have been an actual man; the idea is also advanced that he may have been an :apostle, possibly Thomas. Until something more cau be proved to add to what little we know on ho subject, one man's guess Is as good as an, other's. And the truth, perhaps, runs far afield from these theories. t /Jut It is to the more primitive religion, the cult of un and fire, that we must turn, even here, for our parallels: Sun and fire, those two neces- sary elements of life, worshiped as the gifts of that Great Mystery whom thby symbolized. As with the ancients of the other hemisphere, fear played an important part In religion. What If the sun should go so far away that it would ever return? What if tile fires should be ex- tinguished, and no feeble spark would come, with all their coaxing, to bring new life to the people? Those early men were not afraid to experiment, hewers. Their faith was even greater than theiw fear. Wlmn the sun went as far south as they dared see it go, they would call it back; their firm belief would work the miracle, they hoped. And they even dared to extinguish their fires, trusting to that power which they knew pervaded all to give them a new spark. In extinguishing their fires at such times, they were "killing" this object of their reverence with tleir own hands, as truly as the Christian Jesus was killed by his people. It is not sacrilegious to draw this parallel. They approached the time humbly and religiously, contrite, afraid--yet dar- ing to hope. This was their religion, as true and as strong to them as ever a faith had been to any people. This, then, was their Lent. Does it mailer if this time of prayer and contrition, of abstinence and sorrow, was not observed just when we observe the parallel? Lent and Easter even now are conditions of the soul, not a season of the year, when we come down to it. Then came the Indian Easter, a day as Joyous in its significance as can be imagined. The object of their reverence was not dead, but lived and gave the new life of hope to tile faithful! The sun turned back from his southward journey ; the fire leaped again as the tiny new spark fell from the drill! Their God had not forsaken them; he lived ! Let us observe a few specific cases: Among the Hopl, it was felt that only a supreme effort would recall/he sun, and in the kivas, in secret, the rites were performed. These people would not scoff at our rabbits, chicks, and eggs. once sym- bolic of new life, for riley were given kernels of sprouting beans aS they made their prayers of thanks. The Chitimacha held a fast of six days during their rites in reverence to tile sun. And at the last, after a ceremony of purification, there was a feast in honor of the sun at noon--risen to his greatest height, shining in his most splendid glory. It is in the New Fire ceremonies, however, tllat we can see the strongest parallel with Lent and Easter. Fire, as such, was not worshiped, but as a symbol of the Lord of Life it 'as unsur- passed, and indeed, as such a syml)ol, it prevails in Christian churches, as in candles, in incense, and in a host of references to tile radiance and the warmth of God's love. The Hopi, who "called back" the sun, also kindled a New Fire. On this day, the streets were dark and deserted, women and children hid, and men engaged in prayer. All trails were sym- bolically closed, and no living tiling dared tater. Every fire had been extinguished. Then the new, sacred flame arose, and was dis- tributed. It does not require a very vivid imag- Ination to see, in this reverent ceremony, a shadowy forecast of the crucifixion and the resur. rectlon, as caught by worshiping hearts across the distant seas. After all, every human being has a longing for something to adore, and a capacity for devotion. No matter whence we came, there is the same fundamental nature in us all. In Mexico, the kindling of the New Fire was the occasion of a great national ceremony. On the eve of that Important day, all the people were filled with fear that the priests would not be able to make the spark, and that as a conse- quence, they would be left fireless. However, the spark never failed to appear, and the New Fire was greeted with the usual Joy. To quote Sahagun, "When the fire was made, the inhab- itants renewed their installation, .they gave great feasts and rejoicings, threw on the fire much incense . . ." They greeted thelr "Easter" dawn with happiness, their hearts full of rever- ence. The Maya, whose calendar system is the won- der of scientists, allowed a period of'five days at the end of each year to round out the time. This five-day period was called "xma kaba kin," or "days without name," and Pie Perez says, "Some call them . . the sorrowful and la- borious days." The Aztec also held these days in superstitious dread. As, on our New Year's day, some folk believe that what occurs then will happen for the rest of the year, so It was held that the events of the "xma kaba kin" would recur forever after, and quarreling was especially. John Hays Hammond The boys started on horseback from San Francisco to Oakland. Their aunt, with whom they were staying while their father was in the East, consent- ed to the trip. They took a small compass, a shot- gun, fishing tackle and $60 in mone5 with them. Ian kets were also in the extra equip ment, for tile lad: planned on doinu a bit of camping before and after they visited their friends ill Oakland. John Hays Hammond, tlle older of he two lads, was fourteen years old. His brother was two years younger. They had been broughl lp in the CaJifornia of Civil war days and they were accomplished riders and skilled in the ways of the 'great outdoors by the time most boys of to- day are still playing with toys. ']'heir father, a graduate of West Point and an stony officer detailed to duty in CaJifornla, had taught them self-reliance, a love for outdoor life and instilled In them a spirit of ad- venture from the time they were able to walk. So it wasWt unffatural that they should make up their minds to see something of the *orid instead of merely taking the ride to Oakland and hack to San Francisco. They bad heard much of the Yosem- ite valley, tllen a comparative wil- derness, and they turned their horses' heads in that direction, seeking the adventure that appealed so much to their venturesome dispositions. Occasionally they stopped at small hotels, but for the greater part they slept in the open. They shot their own ga41ae, varied their diet with the fish that abounded in the mountain streams and thrived on their own cooking. By the time tbey reached the Yosemite they still had a sub- stantial part of their money left. From there they ventured Into Ne- vada and by the time their father re- turned ft-om the East and traced them through express company agents they had ridden approximately 1,000 miles on horseback. And all this in a period of less than three months. While seeing the country young John had an opportunity to Inspect his first quartz mine. He spent sev- eral days watching the operations there. That experience was largely responsible for his choice of mining engineering as a profession, a career in wlich he has gained world wide renown and great fortune. The trail that started with the trip to the Yosemite carried him to prac- tically all parts of the world, through dangers and hair-raislng adventures in: South America, Africa and else- where and to friendships ranging from lowly miners to crowned heads. John Hays Hammond was born tn 1855 in San Francisco, to which city his father, who had been a major in the regular army during the Mexican war, had been detailed, lIis mother was a sister of Col. Jack Hays, famous as a Texas ranger, and later the first slier- lff of San Francisco. Young Hammond spent much time at his uncle's home. His mother died when he was a little fellow. His father and uncle, between them, taught him to ride, to swim and to hunt. He proved that he was an apt pupil when he and his brother made their 1,000-mile trip into the wilds de- pending largely on their skill with rod and gun to live as they rode through the lonely and rugged country. The youngster was educated tn the public schools of San Francisco. Later he went to a private preparatory school In New Haven to qualify for admission to Yale. He was enrolled in college at the age of seventeen and was graduted in 1876. At Yale he was a cassmate of former President Taft. J From Yale he went to Germany where he spent three years In the Royal School of Mines at Freiberg. He returned to the United States and went to work" for Senator George Hearst of California at $75 a month. Els father wanted him to be .a civil engineer, but the lure of mining was too great, and he turned down a bet- ter paying Job with a railroad to be- gin his chosen career. He made progress enough to war- rant him ,In going into business for himself. For a time he was too poor to pay an office boy and swept out his own office. He rode through the dan- gerous Apache country on a business mission in 1882, later almost losing his life in troublesome Mexico. He came into world-wide prom- inence when he went ta South Africa to act as an expert for Barney Barns- to and Cecil Rhodes at their vast dia- mond holdings. He was accused of, being Implicated in the Jameson raid on the Trmsvaal republic and was sentenced to death. But he was par- doned and went on to greater fame and fortune. (@, by The North American Newspaper Alliance.) Family Resemblance Sharon had a new baby brother. One evening at the dinner table she remarked that he looked very much like her father. The latter, doubtful but pleased, Inquired where Sharo. saw a resemblance. "Well," replied Sharon, after think- ing a moment, "you're both bald, aren't you?"  .... avoided dm'ing these five days, lest it should never cease. This does not sound much like any sort of Lent, it is true. But at the end of each cycle (of a number of years), the Aztecs enacted a scene of sorrow and despair which far exceeds the Lenten observance of our modern times. The five unlucky days were filled with woe---it was believed that the end of the world was imminent --darkness and chaos would settle down, and there would be no more Joy and love and laughter, forever. Such a 'eeling as this must have ruled the hearts of the faithful who stood on Golgotha and watched the Light of the World fading from them. They, however;, had the faith which kept them from utter despair, but it appears from their actions that the Aztecs were not blessed with even the faintest ray of hope. Images of household gods were broken--their power had departed. The holy fires, untended, expired, and none were lit in the homes, so that hearts were cheerless and food was cold. Furni- ture and utensils were destroyed and garments rent, in this frenzy of hopelessness. There was no order anywhere. It appeared as if chaos, rapidly approaching, already had become felt. The people, despairing, held an orgy of destruc- tion. At midnight of the last day, the test was made to determine whether this dread visitation was Inevitable, or whether there might be a delay of another cycle before it came. Breathlessly the people stood In darkness as the priests climbed to the summit of a lofty mountain. A human sacrifice, tile fairest and finest gift they could make. was offered, and on the still-warm breast of this victim a new fire was kindled. A human sacrifice! On the other side of the world there was a human sacrifice also--not re- peated in every cycle, it is true, but holding in itself the awful symbolism of all the other vic- tims of every creed and race. Who taught the Aztecs that a life departed from the world so that life might enter It? Here is a mystery to which we have no clew. As the spark grew to a fiame--a dancing, leap- Ing flame, whici could be seen throughout ths city below, and over tile countryside, the people became frenzied with delight at this message from tile supernatural powers. Cries of Joy and triumph arose on every hand, and every heart was filled for the first time with a sense of new life and hope. Couriers, bearing torches lit at the saving beacon, ran among the people;' fires began to glow again, and long before the sun arose on a newly saved land, there was happiness, and light, and warmti. Now came the "Easter" period of rejoicing. Houses were cleaned, furniture replaced, games and dances occupied the days. And new clothing (which seems to be our most popular modern Easter observance) was seen everywhere. And this is the story of Easter and Lent as they spoke their message to the pagan souls of the Indians. There may be those who still pro- fess to see the devil's work here, and the literal- minded will perhaps ask, What has all this to do with tile real Eastertide, celebrating the ascen- sion of our Lord? Simply this--here, too, was an example of tile power of Providence; here, too, It was shown that divine love would save the world. It Is pleasant to know, as the Easter sunshine beams, that the sun had always returned from his southward Journey and that fires may be extin- guished without fear; that our land, from the earliest legendary days, has always been a place where hope was renewed and faith triumphed, and that the "divinity which shapes our ends" has always accepted contrition and forgiven ln ( by Western Newspaper Union. ) DON'T let a Cold in your B< Keep your bowels open cold. Only a doctor knows portance of this. Trust a know best how it can be That's why Syrup Pepsin a marvelous help during is the prescription of a for wire specialized in bowel bles. The discomfort of always lessened when it is your system is kept free phlegm, mucus and acid Tile cold is "broken-up" Whenever the bowels need Dr. Caldwell's Syrup Pepsin IS to do the work. It does not II or sicken; but its action is ough. It carries off all the waste and poison; helps bowels to help themselves, Take a spoonful of this doctor's laxative as soon as a  starts, or the next time tongue, bad breath, or a headachy, gassy condition constipation. Give it to the dren during colds or they're feverish, cross or Notldng In it to hurt contains only laxative herbs, pepsin and other mild The way it tastes and the acts have made it the fastest lug laxative the drugstore DR. W. B. CAt[} SYRUP P A Doctor's Faro@ Train Control Operation of tile automatic control system between Oxford has proved so that the Great Western England has decided to equipment on all its main Plymouth, Bristol and other tent centers at a cost of $1,000,000, according to cabled vices received from London. Are You On Six? Heart--Are They All 1 Folks, the good car, everything ing order if you want real liver and stomach are out nerves jumpy or bowels tied up. weak, despondent been trying to get endurance of earlier lighted to see how ( energy return thru the use Go to bottle has'. millions so them is no too, can't begin t entire system. Not That Hungry Jack--Let's go in this all lunch room. Clifford--Nape. I can eat hours, but that's my limit. He who snubs nobody anything by it. Lucky Three candles! And each resents a year of Joyous This Is Carolyn Babush, Downer Ave., Milwaukee, sin. Her mother says: "My mother used Syrup, and when Carolyn constipated we got some. lieved her constipation, her breath, made her happy. I have since used her upsets and colds. It her strong and For fifty years, California Fig Syrup to child's bilious, headachy, fretful spells. Doctors Its soothing aid to in colds or children's whenever bad breath, coated or listlessness warn of tion. It assists tn bulldi children. The genuine always name altfornia. All