NEW! Exploring The Book of Mormon In Americas Heartland Photographic Book

NEW!  Exploring The Book of Mormon In Americas Heartland Photographic Book
NEW! Exploring the Book of Mormon In America's Heartland, A Visual Journey of Discovery by Rod L. Meldrum is a gorgeous, large format 200+ page heirloom quality photographic journey into the exciting new "Heartland Model" geography. Click on the Picture above to learn more. Picture Book Cover Click to Order

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Archaeology and the Book of Mormon by Milton R. Hunter

Other stories of White Indians in the America's before European conquests.
This information can be found in the following book, I have listed only references a chapter of his book, there is much information here that address's the content in this Blog in many area's, suggest reading the whole book at this link.
Archaeology and the Book of Mormon by Milton R. Hunter

A link at the bottom of this blog if you wish to purchase a copy of this interesting book





256One of the largest groups of white Indians found in either of the Americas was that which lived in Darien. Richard Oglesby Marsh estimated that of the Indian population of 40,000, approximately 2,000 or five percent were white in color. 1 The country of Darien is located on the southern end of the Isthmus of Panama directly north of where the isthmus joins South America.

256In his book, White Indians of Darien, Marsh described in an interesting manner his observations and study of the inhabitants of that country—known as the San Blas Indians or, as they called themselves, the "Tule (Too-lay) People." He explained that the Spaniards had appeared early on the San Blas coast in their search for gold, but soon thereafter the Indians drove them out with great slaughter. From that day until the time Marsh visited them in 1934, the Tule people had maintained their independence. He wrote:

256When the Tules finally got rid of the Spaniards, they set about taking steps which would preserve them in the future. Very wisely they did not refuse to trade with their late enemies, but they would never allow a trader to spend the night in their territory nor go back into the interior. This law has been enforced rigidly upon everyone with the exception of myself, and my dealings with the San Blas Indians were wholly unusual. As a result no one explores interior Darien from the Caribbean. It just isn't done. 2

256The enforcement of this law prevented the intermarriage of Spaniards and Indians; and so the white Indians of Darien are not the offspring of post-Columbian Europeans.

256 - 257While on a scientific expedition to Darien, Marsh and a Negro companion were near one of the Indian villages one day. They happened to be looking at a small clearing which extended a few yards into the encompassing jungle when Across the narrow clearing were walking three young girls, perhaps fourteen to sixteen years old. They wore nothing but small loin-cloths and their almost bare bodies were as white as any Scandinavian's. Their long hair, falling loosely over their shoulders, was bright gold! Quickly and gracefully they crossed the open space and disappeared into the jungles. 3

257His Negro companion explained:

257"They come from a tribe which lives in the mountains up the Chucunaque. . . . Before this they haven't come so far down the valley. But a little time ago they built a house above our village, and families of them come down to trade with us. Some are white. Some are dark like other Indians." 4


257Marsh followed the trail which the girls had taken into the jungles and overtook them at their home. Describing the incident, he wrote:

257. . . I examined their skin closely to make sure it was not colored artificially. It was not. I looked at their golden hair, which was of much finer texture than the coarse hair of other Indians. Their eyes were hazel or bluish-brown.

257 - 258White Indians! I remember the tales of such people—tales from all over Latin America. And also I remember the universal derision with which such tales were received. But these were certainly Indians; and they were most certainly white. They were not albinos in the commonly accepted meaning of the term—for albinos have white hair, wholly colorless skin, pink eyes, and blue gums. My three little girls looked like healthy Norwegians, not biological monstrosities. Neither were they the half-breed offspring of some American gold prospector. I'd seen plenty of these, and they were invariably dark. 5

258Since Marsh was acquainted with the fact that Leif Ericson and other Vikings had visited America approximately 1000 A.D., naturally he thought that the white Indians of Darien might be descendants of the Scandinavians. Those who had light-colored or golden hair interested him most because they best sustained his Nordic theory. However, it is evident that he was not acquainted with the fact that Israelites migrated from Jerusalem to America approximately 600 B.C.; and for 1000 years a great nation of white people flourished here, finally to be destroyed; and that thereafter the white survivors mingled with their darker-skinned, former enemies.

258It has been pointed out that Jesus, who came from a common ancestry with these peoples, had hair somewhat red or "of a colour of a chestnut full ripe." White Indians having red hair have been found in many native tribes; 6 and so it could be possible that the white girls with "golden hair," described by Marsh, could also be of Israelitic origin. On the other hand, it may be that some of the Vikings went as far south as Darien and augmented the white blood found among those Indians.

258Marsh reported his experience to General Babbitt, commandant at Quarry Heights and ranking American army officer in the Panama Canal Zone. The general replied that recently he had sent a Lieutenant Arnold on a plane trip. Arnold flew across the interior of Darien to Colombia, the clouds forcing him to fly very low. The general remarked: "When he returned, he reported orally to me that he had passed over a village in the interior which was inhabited by white-skinned people living like Indians." 7

258 - 259Later Marsh and his associates met four Americans, employees of the Sinclair Oil Company, who reported that they had seen ". . . numerous white Indians—'White as any white man,' some on the Lower Chucunaque and some on the Rio Paca, a tributary of the Upper Tuyra." 8

259After experiencing the thrill of actually seeing the white Indians and now receiving definite information that numerous others lived in the interior of Darien, Marsh determined to travel throughout Darien and study as many of the white Indians as possible and if feasible take some of them to the United States for scientists to study. He successfully won the friendship of an important Indian chief who promised that he would arrange for Marsh to see as many white Indians as he desired. Soon thereafter, at an Indian town named Portogandi, Marsh reports that the following incident occurred:

259And here we saw . . . white Indians—one of whom, a boy of fourteen, . . . I looked at him with amazement. Here was my white Indian at last . . . the scientists would have a grand time explaining him. At least they couldn't fall back on the theory that white Indians existed only in the imagination of wild-eyed explorers. We had not only seen them, but were bringing them back to America to be studied at leisure. 9

259The Indian chief then brought out a little naked white boy about eight years of age. Marsh went to the home of this white Indian boy and concerning the experience wrote:

259. . . When I entered I got a surprise. The mother and father of the boy were not white. They were ordinary Indians without anything unusual about them except that the father was rather tall. They had three other children. The second boy was also white, but the two girls were olive-brown like their parents.

259I didn't know what to make of it, but I had no time to think, for I had other surprises in store for me. Chief Nelle's message had gone out to the surrounding country, and more white Indians were coming into town from the mountains, the jungle rivers, and the smaller islands along the coast. Some were pure white, others were midway between white and brown. We took pictures of them and questioned them without reserve. . . . 10

259Marsh and his group sailed on the river nearly to the next Indian village, Alligandi. The chief sent for them. Marsh narrates the following events:

259. . . As we dropped anchor, half a dozen canoes with white Indians in them came out to meet us. Among the crowd on shore were many more, women and girls as well as men and boys. . . .

260. . . we saw many more white Indians in the street—whole families of them. The word had passed up the coast, and they were flocking in from the mainland. There were even more than in Portogandi. I was amazed and bewildered. . . . 11

260Eventually Marsh brought some of the white Indians of Darien to Washington, D. C., and kept them in the United States and Canada for several months to be studied by the scientists. He states:

260However, in spite of their hesitancy to pronounce a final word on the "scientific composition" of the white Indians, the scientists' committee did formally announce, through Dr. Alex Hrdlicka, that the Tule people apparently were a practically pure-blooded remnant of the ancient first dynasty Mayas and also related anthropologically to the early coastal cultures of Peru, the Yuncas and the Chimu. This alone was of great scientific importance, for the original first-dynasty Mayas and the pre-Inca coastal Peruvians are now vanished races, overwhelmed and amalgamated by later conquering peoples. 12

260After the scientists had studied the white Indians brought to Washington, D. C., Marsh took them back to Darien.

260The fact that the scientists pronounced the white Indians of Darien to be "a practically pure-blooded remnant of the ancient first dynasty Mayas" and early Peruvians is also very important to students of the Book of Mormon, because the Quiche Mayas of Guatemala have left three written documents (books) which claim that their ancestors were Israelites. 13 Numerous claims are made in these Maya books and in their traditions which closely parallel Book of Mormon teachings; and so those who accept the Nephite record as a divine book can unhesitatingly identify the Mayas as being basically descendants of the Nephite-Lamanite peoples.


260There is an abundance of evidence, as Paul Herrmann, a German scholar, recently wrote, to demonstrate the fact that ". . . in many parts of the New World there are white Indians." 14 I talked to a man in Montana over a year ago who for many years had been an employee of the Shell Oil Company in Venezuela. He reported that many times in the jungles of Venezuela he had seen white Indians, as white as any of us. Desiring to investigate further, I wrote to the Shell Oil Company in Venezuela, South America, and asked for information regarding white Indians in that country. I received a reply from the company written by Sr. Rafael Morello. He sent me the addresses of several people from whom I could get definite information regarding the white Indians of Venezuela. In the course of his letter, Sr. Morello remarked:


260Many people here, however, have heard of white Indians, especially Motilones (Mot-eel-on-es), and rumours are that they not only have a white skin but even blond hair and blue eyes. 15

260From an official publication of the Venezuela government, a 1953 report from the "Venezuelan Indians Organ of the Commission for Indians," Brother W. Ernest Young translated from Spanish the following:

260The skin of the Guaikas (Guy-kahs) is more clear [white] than that of the other Indians and of the majority of the oriollos (mixed blood) that inhabit the Federal Territory of the Amazons.


260The hair of the majority of the individuals is fine, but some have it moderately rough or shaggy. The color of the hair is black or chestnut color and some few have hair with a light mixture of red. Some of the children have a very light-colored hair, that seems to turn more dark as they grow up. Few of the oldest persons have gray hair.

260The majority of the men have a very thin beard or none absolutely. Their arms, legs and breast are generally free from hair.

260The eyes of the majority of them are dark-gray and some are dark-eyed. Some of the children have blue eyes. 16

260Photographs of fullblood Indians in that official government publication show some natives who are practically black, others of a bronze-colored skin, and others positively white. These Guaika Indians go nearly naked. With the permission of the Venezuela Government, we are reproducing the photos of four white Indians and, for the purpose of contrast, two very dark Guaika mothers with their babies.

260The second photo is of a young Indian woman with her goods on her back. She seems to be on her way to the market or is perhaps returning to her jungle home. Observe her very white skin and light brown hair. Also, a photo is shown of a white Indian mother with her baby.


263The fourth photograph is of a white Indian woman who is said to be a very superior person. The peculiar black lines on her face are designs which the natives of her tribe wear on certain festive occasions.

264This very attractive Indian woman has abandoned the jungles and the Indians' primitive way of living and affiliated herself with the white people and their way of life. She has received a very up-to-date education and, according to a biographical sketch regarding her, is a very intelligent and outstanding woman. Her name is Maria de los Angeles Montiel. She lives in the city of Maracaibo, Venezuela, where she works in the fiscal magistrate's office as a secretary and especially as an interpreter of the Indian language. Since she is very proficient in the use of her native tongue, as well as of Castilian Spanish, she has a deep understanding of the Indians and helps them to transact their business. She is of special assistance to her people in preparing their legal papers. The following is quoted from the biographical sketch of this white Indian woman:

264But the true merits of this intelligent and dynamic . . . [Indian woman are] the social work that in silence she carries out in favor of the Indians who are disinherited or afflicted by different calamities. . . . In Maria de los Angeles they find a generous heart and valiant at all times, one who listens to them, understands and helps them materially when it is necessary, or she rushes courageously to defend them against abuse or injustice. 17

264She has many accomplishments. She has learned Italian, received a diploma of dressmaking as an efficient seamstress, holds the title of chauffeur and also that of nurse. Her accomplishments are indicative of what perhaps could be attained by many Indians if they had the opportunities afforded by modern education.


264As early as 1502, Angelo Trevisan wrote a letter to the King and Queen of Spain in which he described the Indians of a certain Arawak tribe. To quote: "The men, of light color, with long hair and beards, are of fine stature, gentle, and show a desire for new things, and this was indicated by signs." Since Trevisan's letter contains the earliest description of the natives of South America, it should be given the most careful consideration.

264Francisco Pizarro and those who assisted him in the conquest of Peru were surprised to find that many of the Indians of that land, especially those of the ruling class, were white and remarkably beautiful. In speaking of the Spanish conquistadores, Herrmann wrote:

265. . . They were most deeply impressed, however, by the large number of fair and white-skinned people they met amongst the Inca Ayllus, the Peruvian aristocracy. In particular, the coyas, the ladies of the great Inca families, seem in many cases to have looked exactly like European women. Pedro Pizarro, a cousin of the conqueror of Peru, writes of them with positive consternation in his Story of the Discovery and Conquest of Peru. These princesses were neat and clean, stately, and beautiful to behold, he reports. They considered themselves well-formed, and were so in fact. "These people are corn-blond," continues Pizarro. 18

265The following is quoted directly from Pedro Pizarro's written account:

265. . . Among the ladies there were some tall ones, not among the daughters of the Kings, but among (those of) the orejones, their kinsmen. . . . They considered themselves beautiful, and almost all the daughters of these Lords and orejones were so. The Indian women of the Guancas, Chachapoyas and Canares were the common women, but most of them beautiful. The rest of the womanhood of this kingdom were plump, neither beautiful nor ugly, but of average appearance. The people of this kingdom of Peru were white but of a tawny hue, and among them the Lords and Ladies were whiter than Spaniards. I saw in this land an Indian woman and a child who did not differ from those who are white and blond. These people say that the latter were the children of the heathen gods. 19

265When one recalls the splendor of the nobility of the Spanish court at the time of Charles V and Philip II and the ideals of beauty as depicted in Spanish paintings of that period, it is evident that Pedro Pizarro's conception of beauty would differ little if any from ours.

265. . . At all events, the haughty grandees of Castile, so proud of their noble birth, married the blond Inca princesses in large numbers, regarding them as their equals in birth and presenting them to their Spanish Majesties at court in Madrid. Two generations later, in 1603, a petition for tax relief signed by 567 representatives of old Inca families was presented to the crown of Spain. This speaks volumes—and in favor of Pedro Pizarro. 20

265A. Hyatt Verrill described the Indian races found by the Spaniards in the New World as follows:

265 - 266. . . the Mayas, the Aztecs and the Incas were not homogenous races of one blood. In all cases they were the result of conquest and confederation of many races and tribes by an intellectually superior people. No doubt these superior people, who formed the ruling classes,—the priests, etc.—were of a distinct type from the bulk of the population. . . . The Incas themselves were, we know from the records of the Spaniards, a much lighter-colored lot than their subjects, and possessed almost Caucasian features. Portraits made from life soon after and even during the conquest prove this, and the same is true of the aristocracy of the Aztecs. 21

266C. R. Markham, a historian who wrote a reliable account of the Incas, also informs us that the skin color of the Inca family of Peru was white. To quote:

266We see the Incas in the pictures at the church of Santa Ana at Cuzco. The color of the skin was many shades lighter than that of the down-trodden descendants of their subjects; the forehead high, the nose slightly aquiline, the chin and mouth firm, the whole face majestic, refined, and intellectual. 22

266One of the ruling Incas received the name of Viracocha (Vera-ko-cha) (the Peruvian name for the "White-Bearded God") because he was able to grow a beard. Inca Viracocha's sister-wife was called Mana-Runtu, which meant "Mother Egg." She was given that name because of her fair complexion, as she was supposed to be "as white as an egg." Many other examples could be given of white Indians in Peru.


266Approximately thirty-five years ago an Englishman named William Montgomery McGovern, Assistant Curator of South American Ethnology of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, made a trip across the entire South American continent. He travelled up the Amazon River in a small boat to the Andes and then continued his journey by horseback across the high mountain range to the Pacific Ocean. He was accompanied by Indians from numerous Amazonian tribes which he encountered as he passed through their various regions. Certain Indians rowed his boat and took care of his supplies on the trip until he passed beyond the boundaries of their tribe, and then those Indians were replaced by members of the next tribe. This process was continued while he crossed the continent. McGovern's principal purposes in making this journey was to study the Indians of the Amazon region and to make a collection of artifacts for the Field Museum. He wrote an interesting book, which he entitled Jungle Paths and Inca Ruins.

266 - 267In numerous passages in the book McGovern described the Indians he encountered while crossing South America. Some of them were nearly as dark in color as Negroes. Others had a yellow cast in their skin and in general appearances reminded him of Mongolians. The majority of the natives of the Amazon Basin however were bronze-colored Indians similar to those ordinarily found throughout both of the Americas. Occasionally tales reached him of tribes of "white Indians," who, it was claimed, were just as white as the Europeans. Those aborigines lived in the jungles, so the reports stated, at some distance from the river. White Indians! How he would like to see them; however, since he was traveling by boat, the possibility of seeing them seemed remote. Finally he saw a white Indian boy who was held as a slave by a tribe of darker-colored Indians. We shall quote his description of that boy later. When McGovern had gone a considerable distance up the Amazon River, he came to a region which was inhabited by a tribe of wild aborigines whom he did not get to see but about whom he heard many tales. Following is his statement regarding them:

267In the course of our journey we passed the mouth of an important northern tributary called the Canabury. Although rich in rubber and balata, it remains virtually unexploited, because of the ferocity of its native inhabitants. Unlike the half-civilized or rather quarter-civilized Indians on the banks of the main stream, the wild aborigines who dwell on the Canabury have steadily refused all contact with Europeans. They abandon their homes at the approach of any stranger and fly into the heart of the forest, until the pioneer, lured by the supposed absence of all danger, relaxes his guard, with the usual result that he is taken by surprise attack and murdered.

267Many were the gruesome tales concerning this dread river which were poured into our ears by our host. He ticked off the names of various rubber prospectors who had gone up the river, never to return. The few who had escaped from native attacks had brought back stories that the Indians of the region were virtually white (strange, this ever-recurring story of white Indians) with semi-European features, although their mode of life is most primitive. 23

267Perhaps a month after McGovern and his party of Indians had passed through the country just described, they came to the territory inhabited by the Pagsas Indians. These natives were perhaps the most interesting ones whom he met, since they were "of a very light lemon color, lighter than the average Latin." To quote his statement further:

267The interesting question now arises: is the insuperable barrier between the Pagsas and the other Indians due entirely to cultural differences, or can it be traced back to racial differences? . . .

268. . . Whereas most of the Amazonian Indians have retained the broad face and round heads of the Mongolians, all of the Pagsas in this little forest settlement had thin tapering faces and markedly long heads. In many ways the heads of these living Pagsas correspond closely to very primitive skulls which have been dug up in Patagonia and other parts of South America and which are supposed to represent an extinct race. Several scholars, including Joyce, believe that this race had its origin in Europe.

268At present it is wise to avoid any sweeping statement or high-flown theory; but at least it is a remarkable fact that, whereas most of the ordinary South American Indians are brown or copper-colored, the Pagsas whom I saw were either much darker or much lighter. I could observe two distinct types among them. One was almost black, though apart from color they showed little or no negrioid characteristics. The other resembled the Desano [a tribe of Indians McGovern described earlier] shade, a very light lemon color; in fact it was even lighter than that of the average Latin. From time to time various well-known travelers have come back with stories of white Indians in the depths of the Amazonian forests, although details have always been missing. . . . 24

268Sometime later while visiting with a group of very dark-colored Indians, Mr. McGovern observed one very light-colored boy among them. To quote his own statement:

268One boy from a neighboring maloka was an exception to this rule. He was of so light a color and of such a semi-European cast of countenance that I thought at first he must be the half-breed son of some Colombian pioneer, but I at last found that he was a specimen of the light Pagsas type, one who had been captured from his wild roaming brethren several years before. . . . 25

268William Montgomery McGovern's report of his trip through the Amazons gives us more additional evidence of white Indians and sustains the viewpoint that some of them are still in existence in the more remote and inaccessible regions of the Americas.


1. Richard Oglesby Marsh, White Indians of Darien (New York, 1934), p. 213.

2. Ibid., pp. 15-16.

3. Ibid., p. 26.

4. Idem.

5. Ibid., p. 37.

6. Hubert Howe Bancroft, Native Races of the Pacific States (New York, 1875), vol. 1, p. 157; A. C. Haddon, The Races of Man and the Distribution (New York, 1924), pp. 33, 128; Thor Heyerdahl, American Indians of the Pacific (New York, 1953), p. 85.

7. Marsh, op. cit., pp. 37-38.

8. Ibid., p. 63.

9. Ibid., pp. 198-199.

10. Ibid., pp. 203-204.

11. Ibid., pp. 206-209.

12. Ibid., p. 221.

13. Popol Vuh (English version by Delia Goetz and Sylvanus G. Morley, Norman, Oklahoma, 1950); The Annals of the Cakchiquels, and Title of the Lords of Totonicapan (English version by Delia Goetz, Norman, Oklahoma, 1953).

14. Herrmann, op. cit., p. 175.

15. Letter from Cia. Shell de Venezuela, by Rafael Morello, to Milton R. Hunter, July 20, 1955.

16. Republic of Venezuela—Ministry of Justice Bulletin of the Venezuelan Indians Organ of the Commission for Indians (Caracas, June to December, 1953), p. 440.

17. . . . Bulletin of the Venezuelan Indians . . . op. cit., pp. 530-531.

18. Herrmann, op. cit., p. 184.

19. Pedro Pizarro, cited in Heyerdahl, op. cit., p. 326.

20. Herrmann, op. cit., p. 185.

21. A. Hyatt Verrill, The American Indian—North, South and Central America (New York, 1927), p. 45.

22. C. R. Markham, The Incas of Peru (London, 1911), p. 121.

23. William Montgomery McGovern, Jungle Paths and Inca Ruins (London, 1927), p. 73.

24. Ibid., pp. 184-185.

25. Ibid., p. 357.
Return to top




260Not only were white Indians found south of the Rio Grande, but various groups have been encountered north of the Mexican border also; for example, the early explorers who came by sea to the northwestern coast of North America described in their journals the skin color of many of the Indians whom they visited as being as white as the skin color of the average native of Europe. Since many of the present-day Indians have mixtures of white blood, it is a significant fact that these early voyagers—like the explorers of Mexico and Central America—saw many Indian tribes before they had opportunity to intermarry with white people from the Old World. Captain James Cook, the English sea captain and explorer, in 1784 discovered the Nootka Indians who lived on the ocean side of Vancouver Island. He recorded in his journal regarding the natives that

260. . . the whiteness of their skin appeared almost equal to that of Europeans; though rather of that pale effete cast which distinguished those of our southern nations. The children whose skins had never been stained with paint also equalled ours in whiteness. 1

260Later in his journal, Captain Cook described the Indian tribes which he met in Prince William's Sound, Alaska, as follows:

260The complexion of some of the women and some of the children is white, but without any mixture of red. 2

260Captain G. Dixon visited the northwestern Pacific Coast (1785-1788) and made the following statement regarding the Indians:

260In regards to their complexion, it is not easy to determine what cast that is; but if I may judge from the few people I saw tolerably clean, these Indians are very little darker than the Europeans in general. 3

270In 1798, Captain George Vancouver, in whose honor the principal island has been named, described as follows the Indians he saw along the Burke Channel in the heart of the northwestern coast:

270The prominence of their countenances and the regularity of their features resembled the northern Europeans. [If it were not for all the oil and paint]. . . there is great reason to believe that their colour would have differed but little from such of the laboring Europeans, as are constantly exposed to the inclemency and alterations of the weather. 4


270Regarding the Haida (Hay'-da) Indians of Queen Charlotte Islands, Hubert Howe Bancroft in 1875 reported that "The few who have seen their faces free from paint pronounce their complexion light. . . ." 5 Bancroft then quoted Poole, who claimed that he observed that their skin was "nearly as white as ours," 6 and Bendel, who held it to be "of a remarkable light color." 7 Gilbert Malcolm Sproat maintained that "Their young women's skins are as clear and white as those of Englishwomen." 8 Horatio Hale found some of those coastal islanders "fair in complexion, sometimes with ruddy cheeks." 9 Speaking of the Haidas, Niblack (1888) wrote:

270In complexion both sexes are surprisingly light colored. This is in no way due to intermixture with whites. . . . The Haidas are markedly fairer skinned than the others. . . . 10

270Ordinarily the hair of the American Indian is straight, coarse, and black, but it has been observed by various writers that the white Indians' hair ofttimes diverges from the norm, being soft and wavy, and sometimes auburn and brown in color. 11 A. C. Haddon pointed out that the hair of the northwestern Indians ". . . is frequently slightly wavy and brownish. . . there are a few tribes among whom red hair and an almost white complexion occur." 12 According to Thor Heyerdahl, Gilbert M. Sproat describes


270. . . a local Indian woman who had "curly, or rather wavy, brown hair," pointing out that: "Now and then, but rarely, a light-haired native is seen";. . . and Sutil y Mexicana declared that the hair of these aboriginals "varied in colour between reddish, dark, auburn, and black." 13

272The early explorers who came by sea to the northwestern Pacific coast region state that the Haida Indians were rather large in stature. Many of the men were six feet tall. Also, men of six feet have not infrequently been found among the Kwakintl tribe who inhabited northwestern Vancouver Island. In regards to the Haidas Herbert Howe Bancroft wrote: "The hair is not uniformly coarse and black, but often soft in texture, and of wavy shades of brown." 14 Quite frequently the noses of the Haidas were narrow and aquiline in shape, similar to those on the carvings that appear on many of the monuments in Middle America.


272(Mrs.) Ballard Hadman, an author and artist who lives in Ketchikan, Alaska, read my articles on "White Indians" in The Improvement Era. Although she is not a Latter-day Saint, she became interested, especially in the discussion of the white Haida Indians. She wrote me a letter in which she stated that she had spent considerable time in the Haida Indian villages, studying those people, and that many of them at the present time were just as white as any people she had ever seen. She mentioned the fact that she had seen fullblood Haida Indians with hair of fine texture. Some of them had brown hair, some blond, and others even had red hair. Although the Indian villages were a considerable distance from Ketchikan, she volunteered to visit them, and if I were interested in obtaining photographs of some of the white Haidas she would photograph them for me. Of course I was pleased with her kind offer, and so I asked her to visit the Haida villages and photograph some of the white Indians, especially those with red and blond hair. I suggested that she check carefully with the chiefs of the Haida tribe and the ones who knew the genealogies and traditions of the people thoroughly to make sure that the ones she photographed were fullblood Indians. I did not want photos of any whose ancestors had intermarried with the whites.

272 - 273In July, 1956, Mrs. Hadman flew to the Indian village and very carefully investigated the genealogies of certain Haida families. These Indians, like many other tribes, memorize their genealogies and have an accurate and perfect knowledge of their ancestral lineage. She selected two families who could definitely trace their family line back directly through Indian ancestry to the period before the arrival of Europeans. Many of the Haida Indians are fullbloods, none of their ancestors having intermarried with white people.

273Mrs. Hadman selected two prominent Haida families, the Cogo family and the Edenso family, to photograph. She took pictures of three generations of each family, tracing the reoccurrence of red hair as it skipped and reoccurred from grandparents through parents and grandchildren. She photographed the grandmother of the Cogo family, her son William, and three of his four children. Two of William Cogo's children have red hair, and the oldest boy and the girl have brown hair. As the reader will observe, all the members of the Cogo family—the three generations—are very white, just as white as any other people. In a letter written on July 31, 1956, Mrs. Hadman described the Cogo family as follows:

273The grandmother of the Cogo family is an aristocrat of the Haida tribe. Her clan genealogy is tattooed on the back of her wrist. She was very shy about having her tattoo shown and so I had her hold up the two totems. Please observe the remarkable similarity of the larger totem to Maya carving. She is a woman of great power and distinction.

273Her son, William Cogo, and his brothers and sisters all have dark hair, save for one sister with dark auburn red hair. (Note the Maya structure of the head, particularly forehead, nose, set of eyes with deeply hooded lids of William Cogo.) William Cogo's wife has dark hair. She was away with the smallest baby when the photo was taken. That baby is also red haired. 15

273Ballard Hadman photographed both the grandfather and grandmother of the Edenso family, their daughter, and her four children. She described them as follows:

273Grandfather Edenso would permit only one exposure—I trust you will agree from the expression on his face, it wasn't wise to crowd him—nor would he remove his hat. His hair is dark, but he has grey eyes. His father was known as Red Dan, his hair was so fiery. Grandmother Edenso, his wife, has red hair which is turning grey. Their daughter and daughter's husband both have dark hair. Three of their children, however, are red-haired and one is darkish blond with blue eyes.

273 - 275She also photographed some of the ancient totems of the Haida Indians. She maintained that representations of Haida gods and important men in their ancestory were carved on the totems, in addition to other figures of ritualistic importance. She was very interested in the depiction of a white man on each of the four totems shown in the photographs, claiming that they were representations of important white Haida Indians who had earned a place of importance in their traditional history. One of the white men depicted on the totem had red hair.


275Mrs. Hadman said that "The Haida people, generally speaking, are extremely intelligent, very clean, and very civilized. They have never been wards of the government. In old days, they kept slaves in quantity, taken in war from other tribes, but themselves were never slaves. They killed themselves rather than submit to slavery, because they were the aristocracy." She informed me, also, that studies had been made of the Haida Indians which connect them with the famed Mayas of Yucatan and Guatemala.

275The writer is of the opinion that at least a part of the ancestors of the Haida Indians were the Nephites. This perhaps accounts for the fact that so many of the Indians are white.


275White Indians have been found in other parts of the United States, as well as on the northwestern Pacific coast region. The best example is the Mandan Indians who during the colonial period inhabited the whole area of the states of North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. White farmers did not settle this district until the middle of last century, "shortly after the Mandan had been wiped out by a smallpox epidemic." 16 When the whites first discovered the Mandan Indians, according to Paul Herrmann,

275. . . About a fifth of this strange people were white-skinned and blue-eyed. Fair hair was also not infrequent, and the physiognomy of all Mandan was entirely different from that of the usual Indian type. 17

275Early in the seventeenth century rumors of a tribe of white Indians (the Mandans), who lived many miles away in the western wilderness, reached the Atlantic seaboard explorers; in 1615 Father Champlain wrote in his journal about them. Later Jean Nicolet expected to find white Indians on his trip westward. But probably the first white man actually to see them was de la Verandrye, a French Canadian fur trader and explorer. He visited the Mandan Indians in 1738, and became intimately acquainted with them. This personal contact makes his report historically valuable. Verandrye states in his diary:


275. . . This tribe is partly white and partly red-skinned. The women are extremely beautiful, especially those who are white, some of whom have lovely fair hair. Both men and women are very industrious and work with a will. Their lodges are big and spacious; they are divided into several rooms by partitions of thick planks. . . . The men are tall, strong and courageous. They are very active, and of good appearance with pleasant features. Their women do not look in the least Indian. 18

275At the beginning of the nineteenth century, an American, George Catlin, spent considerable time wandering among these Indians and studying them. He wrote:

277The Mandans are certainly a very interesting and pleasing people in their personal appearance and manners; differing in many respects, both in looks and customs, from all other tribes which I have seen. . . .

277. . . and so forcibly have I been struck with the peculiar ease and elegance of these people, together with the diversity of complexions, the various colours of their hair and eyes; the singularity of their language, and their peculiar and unaccountable customs, that I am fully convinced that they have sprung from some other origin than that of the other North American tribes. . . .

277A stranger in the Mandan village is first struck by the different shades of complexion, and various colours of hair which he sees crowd about him; and he is at once almost disposed to exclaim that "these are not Indians."

277There are a great many of these people whose complexions appear as light as half breeds; and amongst the women particularly, there are many whose skins are almost white, with the most pleasing symmetry and proportion of features; with hazel, with grey, and with blue eyes—with mildness and sweetness of expression, and excessive modesty of demeanour, which render them exceedingly pleasing and beautiful. 19

277Writers have speculated regarding the origin of the white Mandan Indians. Catlin suggested "that the Mandan might be descended from the Welsh king, Madoc, . . ." 20 Some writers have suggested Irish settlers while others have felt that the Scandinavian Vikings were responsible for the white blood among the Mandan Indians. It may be true that occasionally groups of Europeans came to America and intermarried with the Mandan Indians, but Paul Herrmann doubts that there would have been a sufficient number of Welsh, Irish, or Vikings settle in this land, according to available information, completely to account for the white blood in the Mandans. To quote Herrmann:

277. . . and furthermore, only a handful of men, whose biological force cannot have sufficed to Europeanize a whole Indian tribe. But the clear traces of European [white] blood which the Mandan are said to have exhibited in 1750 cannot have been the outcome of a relatively fleeting contact with the white men; they must have sprung from some much more profound intermingling. What great adventure, what tragedy lies behind this strange and now vanishing tribe? We do not know. 21

277If Herrmann's conclusions are correct, one needs to look elsewhere than to European infiltrations to find the cause of the white Mandan Indians. Probably another quotation from the same author will throw further light on the subject:

278. . . Mandan mythology explicitly tells that the first ancestor of this people was a white man who, in the mists of antiquity, came to the country in a canoe. Long before the first missionaries reached the Mandan they are alleged to have known of a gentle, kindly god who was born of a virgin and died a death of expiation; they told of a miracle having close affinities with the feeding of the five thousand; they related the story of the first mother of mankind and her fall, of the ark and of the dove with a green twig in its beak; they believed in a personal devil who sought to win over and subjugate to himself the world of men. . . . 22

278The author concedes that, following the visit of Leif Ericson to Vineland about 1000 A.D., occasional groups from Europe—especially Vikings—perhaps augmented the white strain, thereby helping to account for blue-eyed blonds among the Mandans. However, the writer is of the opinion that, in its account of the Nephites who survived the last great war about 400 A.D. and joined with the Lamanites, the Book of Mormon gives the true answer regarding the origin of the basic strain of white blood in the Mandan Indians.

278It is evident that Mandan mythology, explained by Herrmann, has its basis in the history and traditions of the Nephites, since these people had a thorough knowledge of the history of their ancestors and the gospel doctrines contained in the Old and New Testaments. After the close of the Nephites' records in 421 A.D. and the apostasy of the people from the true gospel of Jesus Christ, it would have been natural for many of the gospel truths in an adulterated form to be carried by tradition from age to age, and so the Mandans possessed in their traditions fragments of divine truths when they first met Europeans. This could easily account for Christian teachings the Mandans had "long before the first missionaries reached" these Indians.


278In recent years white people have intermarried to a certain extent with the Catawba (Ca-taw'-ba) Indians of South Carolina; however, there are still a number of fullbloods among them. Some of these have dark skins while others are positively white.

278 - 279S. T. Blue, an outstanding man, is the chief of the tribe. One of his ancestors belonged to the white race, but his wife Louisa is a white, fullblood Indian. Their sons and daughters have black hair and white skins. They are handsome people. I have never seen more beautiful children than Chief Blue's grandchildren. The contrast between their clear, white skins, black hair and dark sparkling eyes intensifies their whiteness and attractiveness.

279Practically all of the members of the Catawba tribe belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


279William Bartram, who was among the earliest of the whites to visit the Indians of the southeastern part of the United States, spent considerable time among them. In a book published in 1791, he described the Indians he visited, pointing out that in general their hair was long and black and their complexion ". . . of a reddishbrown or copper color," and yet he observed some among them of lighter complexions. To quote:

279The women of the Cherokees are tall, slender, erect and of a delicate frame; their features formed with perfect symmetry, their countenance cheerful and friendly, and they move with a becoming grace and dignity.

279The Cherokees are yet taller and more robust than the Muscogulges, and by far the largest race of men I have seen; their complexion brighter and somewhat of the olive cast; especially the adults and some of their young women are nearly as fair and blooming as European women. 23


280In 1879 President Wilford Woodruff spent several months among the Indians in Arizona and New Mexico. In his report he declared that some of these Indians were Nephites, or descendants of the Nephites, observing that some of them were white in color. In speaking of the Zuni Indians, President Woodruff wrote:

280I went through the village and, for the first time in my life, I had a view of the white Indians. . . . I met with many who had been baptized and they were very glad to see me. They had two thousand acres of corn, looking well without irrigation. On the day following, we visited their village at their farm called Fish Springs. I was here introduced to Brother Juan Bautista (John the Baptist), the first man baptized in the Zuni nation by A. M. Tenney. His son's wife was the most handsome woman I ever saw of the Indian race; had a beautiful child, nearly white. 24

280Elder Martin D. Bushman of Snowflake, Arizona, has served several missions laboring with the Indians of Arizona and New Mexico. Two years ago he informed me that he had seen a number of Zuni and Hopi Indians who were light-complexioned and some that were actually white. He described one white Hopi woman who he said was as white as any woman, regardless of race, that he had ever seen. This Indian woman, he stated, has beautiful, clear white skin, fine brown hair, and blue eyes. She is the mother of several children. Some of them are as white as their mother while the others are dark-skinned like their father.

280I suggested to Brother Bushman that he investigate the lineage of the white Hopi woman for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not she had any white ancestors. Very shortly before this book came from the press, he visited me at my home and reported that he had investigated her lineage very carefully and had received the positive assurance from her mother and other informed members of the tribe that this white Hopi woman is a fullblood Indian. Elder Bushman is going to photograph that Indian family for me.

280 - 281The Hopi and Zuni Indians are very intelligent people. According to tests given by the U. S. Indian Agency, the members of these two tribes rate higher intellectually than do Indians of other tribes in the United States, and, it is claimed, even higher than the whites. These Indians show unusual ability in the handicrafts. The Zunis are especially masterful in making silver jewelry. In general appearance, size of stature, and intellectual powers, the Hopi and Zuni resemble the Maya of southern Mexico and Central America more than they do the other Indian tribes who reside in the United States. It is not surprising that President Wilford Woodruff stated that they were descendants of the Nephites.



282In conclusion, it should be kept in mind that the Lord through his ancient prophets promised the Nephites that ". . . thy seed shall not utterly be destroyed" 25 but following the destruction of the Nephite nation, those who remained ". . . shall be numbered among the Lamanites." 26 Obviously these promises have been fulfilled in the white Indians who reside among their darker-skinned brethren, as has been pointed out in this chapter. Also, the Lord promised the Nephites that even the Gentiles in the latter days would not ". . . destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren [the Lamanites or Indians]." 27 In fact, the holy prophets declared that the descendants of the Nephites shall be preserved in the land forever, and that in the latter days ". . . they shall become a righteous branch unto the house of Israel." 28 This shall come about as a result of the Lord having once again established his Church and kingdom on the earth, and eventually—according to modern revelation—a ". . . knowledge of a Savior [shall come] . . . to the Nephites, and the Jacobites, and the Josephites, and the Zoramites, [or, as has been pointed out—white Indians], through the testimonies of their fathers—" meaning the Book of Mormon. 29 How could this revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith be fulfilled if none of the seed of the Nephites and their associates has been preserved to our day, as white Indians?

282After taking into consideration God's promises to the Nephites of a continuation of their descendants in America forever, and after making due allowance for occasional groups of white people who may have migrated to America after Moroni closed the ancient records, the writer concludes that certainly the principal progenitors of white Indians were the Nephites of Book of Mormon days.


1. James Cook, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean (London, 1784), vol. 2, p. 303.

2. Ibid., p. 367.

3. G. Dixon, A Voyage Round the World, but more particularly to the Northwest Coast of America Performed in 1785-88 (London, 1789), p. 238.

4. George Vancouver, A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Around the World (London, 1798), vol. 2, p. 262.

5. Hubert Howe Bancroft, Native Races of the Pacific States (New York, 1875), vol. 1, p. 157.

6. Francis Poole, Queen Charlotte Islands (London,1872), cited in Idem.

7. Bendel, cited in Idem.

8. Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, Scenes and Studies of Savage Life (London, 1868), p. 24.

9. Horatio Hale, Ethnography and Philology (Philadelphia,1846), cited in Bancroft, op. cit., p. 157.

10. Niblack, cited in Thor Heyerdahl, American Indians of the Pacific (New York, 1952), p. 83.

11. Bancroft, op. cit., p. 157.

12. A. C. Haddon, The Races of Man and the Distribution (New York, 1924), pp. 33, 128.

13. Sproat, cited in Heyerdahl, op. cit., p. 85.

14. Bancroft, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 157.

15. Letter from Mrs. Ballard Hadman to Milton R. Hunter, July 31, 1956.

16. Herrmann, op. cit., p. 175.

17. Ibid., p. 176.

18. Verandrye, cited in Ibid., p. 177.

19. George Catlin, The North American Indians . . . written during eight years travel amongst the wildest tribes of Indians in North America, 1832-1839 (Edinburgh, 1926), cited in Herrmann, op. cit., p. 176.

20. Ibid., p. 177.

21. Herrmann, op. cit., p. 179.

22. Ibid., p. 178.

23. William Bartram, Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia (Philadelphia, 1791), cited in Chapman J. Milling, Red Carolinians (Kingsport, Tennessee, 1940), p. 6.

24. Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff—History of His Life and Labors as Recorded in His Daily Journals (Salt Lake City, 1916), p. 523.

25. 2 Nephi 3:3.

26. Alma 45:14.

27. 1 Nephi 13:30.

28. 2 Nephi 9:53.

29. Ibid., 29:12-13; D. & C. 3:16-18.
Return to top


  1. Find the latest used and new boats for sale.
    Great used boat deals and prices.
    More here boats for sale

  2. It must suck so much for A Euro Americans to try to distort the facts and history of Ancient Native America because you feel no sense of a connection to the homelands of the Native American people. You have no history here in Americas past 300 years ago. Is your inferiority complex so great that you have steal the history and accomplishments of the People who have lived her for over 20,000 years ago. Like all the other immigrant settlers you have no ancient past here so you are willing to make one up in the form of " White Tribism". It's very obvious what you are doing, once you make up these fake white tribes it is easy to disinherit and Nd remove the Native Americans from their ancestors and civilizations and attribute to someone's who is white or a proxy to white people. People have been doing this since first contact with the European Colonists, it's a knee jerk reaction to feeling like you have no affinity and Culture to the Americas. You can't rewrite history to change it to your liking, though they have tried to for years, no one buys your fake white Indians.