<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The O'Odham: Native-Americans With Ancestors From India?</b>
By Gene D. Matlock, BA, M.A.
Hindu scholars have always claimed that in remotest times, their
ancestors visited every part of the globe, mapping it accurately,
and mining gold and copper in such places as Michigan, Colorado,
Arizona, England, Ireland, Peru, and Bolivia. Known to us as "Indo-
Europeans," they lost their grip on the world in about 1500 BC.,
retreating to what are now Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Northern
India. However, they continued to visit the Americas in their large
teakwood ships, many of them 250 feet long and five- to six-masted,
until about 1200 A.D. After that, the sectarian fanaticism and
territorialism of their religious leaders, rebellions among their
conquered subjects, constant internecine rivalries, and troubles
with Moslem invaders forced them into isolation.
No Westerner naively accepts India's claims of having once dominated
the world. Right? Well, some of us do.
In an essay entitled On Egypt from the Ancient Book of the Hindus
(Asiatic Researchers Vol. III, 1792), British Lt. Colonel Francis
Wilford gave abundant evidence proving that ancient Indians
colonized and settled in Egypt. The British explorer John Hanning
Speke, who in 1862 discovered the source of the Nile in Lake
Victoria, acknowledged that the Egyptians themselves didn't have the
slightest knowledge of where the Nile's source was. However, Lt.
Colonel Wilford's description of the Hindu's intimate acquaintance
with ancient Egypt led Speke to Ripon Falls, at the edge of Lake
The Hindus also claim that the gospel of their deity Shiva was once
the religion of the world and the progenitor of all religions coming
"Isvar was the only god in India, the whole of Asia, the southern
parts of Russia, Mediterranean countries, Egypt, Greece, the whole
of Europe, the human inhabited places of both AmericasÃ¢â¬Â¦and also in
England and Ireland. In all these lands, Isvar was the religion with
slight variations in the pronunciation of the word IsvarÃ¢â¬Â¦.the Isvar
religion is the mother of all religions in the world, including
Christianity and Islam."
(Remedy the Frauds in Hinduism, by Kuttikhat Purushothama Chon; p.
While the languages our forefathers spoke thousands of years ago
would be completely unrecognizable to us now, the names of their
deities (those that survived to this modern age) may be immediately
recognizable to their respective modern adherents, such as the
Christians, Jews, Moslems, Jains, Buddhists, and Hindus. Names of
deities tend not to change.
Isvar was and is especially visible (to discerning eyes) in our own
Southwest as well as in Northern and Central Mexico. Some tribes
even worshiped God Shiva's wives and consorts. Spanish priest,
Andres Perez de Ribas wrote in his book, My Life Among the Savage
Nations of New Spain, that a Northern Mexican tribe worshiped two
deities: Viriseva and a mother goddess named Vairubai. Viriseva
means "Lord Siva" in Sanskrit. Vairubai has to be (a mispronouncing
of) Bhairava, another name of Siva's consort, Goddess Durga.
A few Hindu scholars insist that not all their gods and religious
traditions are natives of the Indian subcontinent. When the ancient
Nagas retreated to India, they also took back the deities and
religious traditions they had acquired abroad, incorporating them
into "Hinduism," a term meaning "The Indus Valley Way of Life."
Historian Chon states:
"There are strong indications in our ancient texts that the places
and events described in them are lying outside the geographical
limits of India But when we talk of geographical limits, Ã¢â¬Â¦are they
the national boundaries of post-independent India? Or are they the
boundaries of India, the ancient?"
(Remedy the Frauds in Hinduism; p.30.)
I'm especially impressed with the traditions of the Pimas (Akimel
O'Odham) and Papagos (Tohono O'Odham) of Southern Arizona and
Northern Mexico. Although I could write a lengthy article about
Isvarist (worship of the Hindu deity, Shiva) practices in
practically every Southwestern United States, Mexican, Central and
South American Indian tribe, even India-Indian spiritual geography
is reproduced abundantly in the O'Odham nation.
Though the pre-conquest era O'odhams were relatively primitive, the
Spaniards admired them for their intelligence, industry, and high
philosophy. Some Catholic missionary priests thought they were the
progenitors of the Aztecs.
About 5,000 BC or earlier, a brilliant deified Phoenician Naga king
and philosopher named Kuvera (also Kubera) learned how to smelt
copper, gold, and other metals. These activities took place in the
kingdom named after him, Khyber ("Kheeveri"), which consisted of a
group of craggy mountains in what are now Southeastern Afghanistan
and Northeastern Pakistan (i.e. the Khyber Pass). According to Hindu
mythology, Kuvera and God Shiva lived in the totally barren, mineral-
poor, goldless, frigid, lofty, bell-shaped or pyramidical peak of
Kailasa in Western Tibet.
Edward Pococke stated in his book India in Greece,
The Khyber; its region is wealthy and abounds with rubies; gold is
found in the mines in its vicinity, and it (the Kheeveri kingdom)
was likewise the ruling power in those early days. (p.220.)
We derived our word "copper" from Kuvera's name. Eventually, the
Nagas extended their influence over all of India. If you've intuited
that Afghan Khyber (Kheever), Hebrew Heber (pronounced Kheever),
Egyptian Khepri, Greek Khyphera, Cabeiri, Cypriotic Cip'ri
(Kheep'ri), biblical Capernaum, Arabic Khabar, O'Odham Babo-Quivari
(Kheeveri), Francisco de Coronado's search for the fabled Quivira
(Kheevira), ad infinitum, are somehow linked, you've intuited
But why do the Hindus and Buddhists worship Kuvera and Shiva in a
barren peak and not in the Khyber mountain range itself? I don't
want to get "mystical," but the "reason" for this anomaly is the
world's best-kept millennium's-old secret. Besides, it's not the
focus of this article.
Kuh or Koh = "Hump; Mountain"
while Vera or Vira = "Hero; Lord."
The Nagas, also called Nakas and Nahu(a)s, were a highly civilized
ruling, maritime and mercantile class who once inhabited what is now
Afghanistan, Tibet, Pakistan, and Northwestern India. The Nag ("Self-
Consuming Serpent") was one of their principal tribal emblems. The
substance of Kuvera's teachings is that God, then called Dyau, Deo,
Dyaus or Jyaus, put all the plants, animals, ores, and minerals on
earth for Man's enjoyment. As long as Man protects the happiness and
security of all humanity, he need not place any limits on his greed.
Kuvera's teachings spread throughout the whole world.
"Originally, the Asuras or Nagas were not only a civilized people,
but a maritime power, and in the Mahabharata, where the ocean is
described as their habitation, an ancient legend is preserved of how
Kadru, the mother of serpents, compelled Garuda (the Eagle or Hawk)
to serve her sons by transporting them across the sea to a beautiful
country in a distant land, which was inhabited by Nagas, The Asuras
(Nagas) were expert navigators, possessed of very considerable naval
resources, and had founded colonies upon distant coasts."
(The Encircled Serpent, by M. Oldfield, p. 47.)
"Asura" is the Indian equivalent of Assyria (really Asuriya and
Asir) and the Persian Ahura of Zoroastrianism. It derives from the
name of the ancient Hindu sun god Ashur. The Naga capital was called
Oudh, Iodh, Yudh, and Ayodhya. Located near what is now Herat,
Afghanistan, it is not to be confused with todays Oudh or Ayodhya in
the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The citizens of Oudh were called
Oudh-am and Otia-Am. Am = "People" in Sanskrit.
In those days, only a few million people inhabited the earth. Most
humans were cavemen and less. The Nagas didn't entrust their highly
developed technologies to such aborigines. But they did teach them
how to build simple thatch and adobe homes, and to raise vegetable
and animal foods. They also taught them about the Creator of All
Life, Dyaus or Jyaus. Even today the O'Odhams call it Jeoss or Josh.
Joshi is one of God Shiva's many names. Some White Arizonians
mistakenly insist that the O'Odhams derived this term from Dios
(Spanish for "God"), Jesus, or Joshua.
The innocent Arizona aborigines believed these Nagas from Oudh,
Afghanistan (part of India until the late 1700s) were gods. They
even named themselves Oudham, which they pronounced as O'Odham or
O'Ot'ham. An ancient Sanskrit word for "brotherhood; fraternity" is
Ton; Tahun. The Papagos called themselves Tohono O'Odham, or "Oudh-
am Fraternity." Tohono now means "Desert" in the O'Odham language.
The Pimas settled along winding rivers, which seemed to look like
writhing serpents. They named themselves Akimel O'Odham. "Akimel"
derives from the Sanskrit Ahi-Mahal (Great Serpent). This name
eventually came to mean "River."
The Nagas dug deep wells in the desert, siphoning water out of the
ground with long, thick tubes. The exterior ends of these tubes were
large and bulbous, and painted to look like human heads, in order to
mystify the aborigines. The water spouted out from what looked like
round, puckered human mouths. The heads had horns which were really
handles for pulling tubes to different irrigation channels. As the
flowing water caused these tubes to writhe and undulate like
serpents, the primitive Arizonians thought they were real. In
Kashmiri, Nag means "a snake, esp. a fabulous serpent-demon or semi-
divine being, having the face of a man and the tail of a serpent,
and said to inhabit Patala. In Kashmir, they are the deities of
springs." (Grierson's Dictionary of the Kashmiri Language; p. 624,
item 2.) The Kashmirians also called these siphons Nag-Beg (Snake-
Lords). Patala was one of the ancient Indian names for "America."
It's real meaning is "Underworld," but not an underground world.
They used it as we often call Australia: "The Land Down Under."
The Arizonian O'Odhams similarly called the water siphon Nah-Big.
According to both Kashmiri and O'Odham legends, the Nah-Big was
harmless. However, if someone "killed" it, the spring dried up - and
for good reason. Without a proper siphon, needed water could no
longer spew out of the well. Several Southwestern Indian tribes
worship exact replicas of the Kashmiri Nag-Beg (siphon) in special
religious ceremonies. However, some of them call it by other names.
Certain O'Odham and other Native-American clans in the Southern
Arizona and Northern Sonora area also call this mythical serpent
Corua (KoROOah, with the "R" trilled as in our English "City"). It
derives from Sanskrit: Krura-Sarpavat (Violent-Serpent); Kadruja
(Serpent Mother Kadru's equally serpent son).
Another O'Odham word for "snake," Vah-Mat, is nearly identical to
the Kashmiri/Sanskrit Veh-Mar: "Poisonous-Snake." The O'Odham
language contains an unusually high number of North Indian words.
When the Nagas arrived in Arizona, they found a huge stone peak in
the desert, resembling Kuvera and Shiva's (I-Itsoi's) Kailasa in
nearly every way except one. The Indian Kailasa, also in a desert,
is nearly four times higher above sea level than the O'Odhams' holy
peak. To honor their spritual progenitor, the Nagas named this
Arizona peak Babu-Kheever ("Grandfather" or "Illustrious Indian
Immigrant" Kuvera), adhering closely to the exact pronunciation of
the mineral-rich Kheever (Khyber) mountain range of Afghanistan.
Baboquivari (Babo-kheeveri) has retained almost the same name after
more than six millenniums. The O'odhams also call it Waw-Kiwulk,
which sounds like "Vahv-Kivur'." Just as the Hindus, Jains and
Buddhists call Kailasa the navel of the world, so do the O'odhams
give Baboquivari the same distinction.
Babo-Kheeveri and the Afghan Kheeveri mountains were supposedly
filled with unlimited gold, copper, and precious stones. Even today,
much of the gold mined in that part of Arizona keeps leaking
endlessly out of the Babo-Kheeveri (Baboquivari) mountain range.
Jutting upward at more than 7,750 feet above sea level, Baboquivari
can be seen on a clear day from as far away as 80 miles, even from
the Mexican side of the border. Few natural wonders equal the
majesty and beauty of this spectacular peak. In my opinion, it is
a "must-see" for any lover of Nature's wonders. You will notice that
the mountain enjoys the close association of lesser peaks, forming a
Being such a prominent landmark, Baboquivari keeps incoming
undocumented Mexican aliens and drug smugglers from getting lost.
That part of the desert also abounds in water-filled cacti to slake
their thirst, including edible fauna and flora. Evidently, the INS
knows about Baboquivari. On the day my wife and I visited the peak,
we saw several of their vans in the area, waiting to pick up
uninvited guests and transport them back to the border - or to
When I told the O'Odhams that I had learned about the unlimited
quantities of gold within Baboquivari from Hindu books written
millenniums ago, one woman moaned hopelessly, "Now that this news is
out, the White man will even rob us of our God." She wasn't too far
afield. The government has always wanted to probe the interior of
A Possible Historical Scenario
About 3,000 BC, a saintly Indian prince and high priest of the
Kheeveri empire left Afghanistan for Arizona, to manage the mining
operations at Baboquivari and govern the O'Odhams. In India, he is
variously called Shiva, Siva, Shaveh, Suva, Su, Ish, Esh, Yesh, Isa,
Itsa, Ishvara, Yishvara, Yeshva, Moshe, Mahesh, Mahisa, etc. The
suffixes Va and Veh refer to someone who is vengeful and short of
temper. Vara = "Blessings of." The prefixes Mo, Mu. and Mah
means "Great." Ish, Esh, Yesh, Isa, etc., = "Material Universe" in
both Sanskrit and Hebrew cabalism. From these Sanskrit elements we
derived our term "Messiah," which in Sanskrit is Masiha, and
Massee'akh in Hebrew. These terms were honorific titles of the
highest ecclesiastical and leadership castes of that period in
history. These supreme "Sivas," whether good, bad, or indifferent,
were also regarded as earthly gods.
We may never know what this "Shiva's" real name was. The Pimas call
him Se-eh-ha; Siwa; Su-u (Elder Brother). The Papagos worship him as
I'Itoi or I'Itsoi, which linguistically is nearly identical to "Isa."
Not yet united by a centralized government, the ancient Hindus
weren't conscious of themselves as Indians - just as similar peoples
separated by different tribes and kingdoms. All of them competed by
fair and foul means for the resources of the world. Internecine
rivalries tore them apart constantly.
During Shiva's Arizona reign, a powerful Indian emperor, Priyavarta,
sent his armies to all the countries of the world, to unite all
Indians and their colonial possessions as one nation. He appointed
his sons as viceroys. One son, Sevana or Sewana, was sent to conquer
and govern North America. Notice that he, too, was a "Siva." O'odham
legends mention this Sewana whom they call Siwana. When I'Itoi or Se-
eh-ha wouldn't submit to Priyavarta, he and Siwana met on the battle
field. Ultimately, I'Itoi prevailed; Siwana was killed.
According to some Indian historians, later on, back in Southeast
Asia, the volcano Krakatoa exploded violently, creating the China
Sea. Our globe became extremely unsteady on its axis, causing rains,
earthquakes, and floods to occur all over the world. The coastlands
of Western India submerged by more than fifty feet and as many miles
inland in some places. Even as you read this article, Indian
archeologists are uncovering fabulous ruins lying just off the
mainland, under the Arabian sea.
Dwarka, Indian deity Lord Krishna's capital city, is the focal point
of these underwater digs. Dwarka may prove to be the greatest
archeological dig in human history.
These floods forced millions of Indian refugees to flee to other
parts of the world. When the Arizona desert flooded, the Pimas and
Papagos took refuge on Baboquivari where I'Itoi or Se-eh-ha (Siva)
helped them survive. After the waters had subsided, he helped the
O'Odham re-establish themselves. Therefore, no matter to what
religion they are converted, the O'Odham are always going to revere
and respect I'Itoi.
Nearly all of today's O'Odham are Catholics. However, the Franciscan
fathers tending to their spiritual needs allow them to set up the
Swastika, I'Itoi or Isa's standard, on the altars of the Catholic
churches there, even on the altar of San Xavier Mission church near
There are other Shaivite reminders among the O'odhams. O'Odham
Catholic churches usually face east as the Shaivite temples do in
India. And, like the Hindus, they bury their dead in an east-west
direction. They also revere the Shiva-Linga or Pillar of Energy,
usually erected in front of and some distance away from their
churches, placed on a tiered pyramid or pyramidical mound, exactly
as in India. However, nowadays the Shivling is a Christian cross. In
the book he wrote in 1644, Father Ribas acknowledged that the
Northern Mexican Indians worshiped Shivlings.
"One of the padres, traveling along a trail near Guasave, observed
an Indian suddenly depart into the woods. In curiosity they followed
this Indian, presently coming upon him in the act of making
reverence before a stone. This stone was about a vara (33 inches) in
height, shaped in the form of a pyramid, and had some crude
inscriptions carved upon it.
San Xavier Mission Church near Tuscon, Arizona.
"The Padre ordered this false idol destroyed. The Indian, horrified
at the thought, declared that he dare not destroy it, for fear of
death." (My Life Among the Savage Nations of New Spain; p. 34.)
During my visit at San Xavier mission, I also saw representations of
the undulating serpent Nah-Big on the exterior of the church of San
Xavier. And get this: The O'Odhams call their way of life Himday or
I was especially intrigued by the Pima name for "Medicine-Man:"
Javet-Makai. Dyaus-Pitar or Jyapeti (Japhet) is really another title
of Shiva. Makai may be derived from Maga (Priest-Magician). Javet-
Makai = Jyapeti Maga?
DNA analysis may prove that today's O'Odhams are genetically related
to the India-Indians. Arjuna, Krishna's companion in the Mahabharata
Wars (fought on Northern India's Kuruksetra plains in about 3000
BC), was married to a Patalan (American) princess. Military forces
from Patala, possibly even some O'Odham among them, fought in those
How did I'Itoi's deification get exported to India? Because Isvar
was once the religion of all mankind, It could have been a partial
contributor to all worldwide myths about Siva, eventually becoming
consolidated in the Indian subcontinent. I'Itoi earned "godhood" on
his own merits. Also, as a Hindu supreme leader, he was deified
anyway. After all, the O'Odham and the Hindus do share the same
India-originated "Way of Life."
Hindu immigrants to this country often tell me that they see the
Southwestern Native-Americans as long-lost brothers. They say that
many Native-Americans tell them the same thing. If we use Sanskrit
language resources, Hindu mythology, Shaivite practices and mutually
identical holy names as measuring sticks, the kinship between Native-
Americans and South Asians becomes easily verifiable, no matter what
the "experts" say. Could there be a special political reason
why "The Great White Father" doesn't want certain Native-Americans
to know they're Himday?
Some tribes, such as the Huicholes in Central Mexico, even remember
from what Indian seaport they left for America - Aramra in Gujarat.
The Huicholes revere a part of the beach at the old Mexican seaport
of San Blas, Nayarit, as Aramara, "Place of Origin of the
Huicholes." Millenniums ago, Gujarat was called Jukhar. Juj-Kha is
an O'Odham name for "Mexicans." The Navajos call them Nakaii
(Nagas). The Apaches claim to be Inde (Indus People.) They worship
Shiva as Yusn. In Sanskrit, Yishan = "Shiva." Apache = "Enemy" in
O'Odham. In Sanskrit, Apachnan = "Destroyer." Another name of the
Zunis ("Zoonyees") is Ashiwi (Azhuva?, "Way of the Serpent," in
Sanskrit). Two of their principal deities are Shivani and
Shiwanikoya. Zoonya (Zuni?) and Zeenya ware epithets of ancient
Kashmir. According to Indian historian K. P. Chon, the Naga Azhuvas,
perhaps the forefathers of the Zunis, were India's oldest ruling
dynasty. He said that they ruled for more than a thousand years.
"The descendants of this dynasty are still to be found in the
southernmost part of India in Kerala. They are even now called
Azhuva or Ezhava. The emperor Azi Dahaka, -- with two snakes around
his neck -- was a devotee of Isvara."
(Remedy the Frauds in Hinduism; p. 22.)
The Ezhavas' ships were said to have sailed all over the world.
The Hopis worship Siva under several of his names, one of which is
Massawa (Maheswa?). The Hopis are ophiolators (snake worshippers).
Thousands of years ago, a famous Naga cult called Hophiz lived near
Kabul, Afghanistan. Orginally, this nation was named Oph (Serpent) +
Gana (Group; Family) + Stan (Nation). "Afghanistan" evolved
from "Oph-gana-stan." The Afghan Hophiz snake cult spread to Greece,
becoming Ophis. The Ophis cult was popular in the ancient world,
even among the Christian gnostics. Needless to say, it also found
its way to the American Southwest. We may never know the
The name of the ancient Hopi village of Oraibi causes me to wonder
whether the Hopi nation was a famous stronghold of Saivism, known
even in India. This unusual word lacks only the "Bh" in Bhairavi,
epithet of Goddess Durga. However, Grierson's Dictionary of the
Kashmiri Language mentions another meaning of the term, which may
explain exactly how and why Oraibi got its name: "Name of a certain
class of lower deities who form Siva's host..." One of these is
after the local godling of some locality or tract of country.
Special localities protected by him are looked upon as sacred" (p.
129; item 44.) Was Southwestern United States an important Shaivite
holy center in earliest times?
Other ancient Naga sea-faring miners, traders, conquerors and
colonizers who left their bloodlines and names all over the Americas
and the rest of the world were the Ute, Yuti, Yutiya, or Juti
(Jutes). The Northern Mexican Indians called the invading
Spaniards, "People-Who-Came-Before:" Yutiya ("Judeeya"); Yuti; Juti
("Jodee" or "Judee)." In Spanish, the word is usually spelled as
Yori; Yuri. "R" is trilled as in "City." "Y" often approximates
our "J." Because of the Spanish spelling, we can't see that this
word is really the English "Jute.". Why did these Indians believe
the Spaniards were Jutes? Juti now means "non-Indian Mexicans and
Gringos." In Sanskrit, Juddhi; Yuddhi = "Conquerors." Our history
books tell us that the "Jutes" were "Northern German or Danish