Signs, Universality Of
Churchward, Yarker, Ward, Cockburn, and a number of other Masonic writers of their way of thinking, have made much of the fact, or at least have tried to, that "Masonic Signs" have been encountered among Congo tribes, Eskimos, Melanesians, the Hairy Ainus, etc., and that on many occasions such tribesmen have responded to Masonic signs.
The difficulty with their "fact" is that there is too much of it. Some 175 separate, distinct, identifiable, nameable motions can be made by the hands, arms, legs, torso, head, eyes, the whole body, etc.; each and every one of those motions has been employed as a "sign" by at least one people, and usually bysmany, not once but thousands of times.
It would be a strange anomaly if explorers, traders, soldiers, missionaries, and other travelers among the so-called "primitive" people did not encounter "Masonic signs"; as for that, the "Masonic signs" were not originated or invented by Masons, who were never able to alter anatomy, but were chosen by them from among the 175 possible motions, gestures, etc., suitable for use as "signs." For at least nine centuries our own Navajo people have had an outdoor ceremony strikingly like our Third Degree; but if one of them who has been made a Mason is asked if they are the same he will smile and say, "They have nothing in common."
So with a Pueblo ceremony similar to HA.-. (the writer has not only seen and studied these ceremonies on the spot, but has taken part in a few portions of them). Two young traders of New Mexico (both Masons) rode horseback to San Diego and return without once using a highway, and visited some twenty Indian peoples en route with whom they conversed easily by the still-living, still used old Indian sign language. A sign in use somewhere, even if identical with one of our own, proves nothing about Freemasonry--Freemasonry never had the slightest connection with "the ancient gods" (which, incidentally, almost never were "gods"; American Indians have never had any "gods"). Consult Sign Talk, by Ernest Thompson Seton; Doubleday, Page & Co.; Garden City, L. I.; 1918;1725 signs are explained. Frazer's Golden Bough is an encyclopedia of the subject.
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