Traditions of a mysterious, bearded visitor from overseas have been current across our continent since pre-Columbian times. The universal image of this man, depicted as an influential religious leader, has fascinated me for 20 years. During this time I conducted my investigations among every Native American willing to discuss his or her tribal history with me. Through them I learned that the mythic memory of this light-skinned (often referred to as white-skinned), robed man occurs in ancient myth among numerous Indian peoples.
His story is found most frequently in North American legends, which reveal more information about his appearance and the nature of his arrival. In Middle and South America, he was known, respectively, as the “Feathered Serpent” (the Mayas’ Kukulcan and Aztec Quetzalcoatl), and “Sea Foam” Kon-Tiki-Viracocha, to the Incas. North of the Rio Grande River, he is generally referred to as East Star Man, Peace Maker, Pale One, Dawn Star, etc.
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