The Meanings of the Camunian Rose and Solomon's Knot Symbols

Pictures: Camunian Rose (left) and Solomon's Knot (right), Valcamonica, Italy. Credit Djurdjevic M. N. 2016

Djurdjevic N. M. (2016)


The purpose of this research is to identify the original meaning of one of the most famous motifs occurring in the rock art of Valcamonica, the Camunian Rose (It. “Rosa Camuna”). In turn, identifying the meaning of the Camunian Rose allows for the decoding of another mysterious symbol of antiquity that has puzzled scholars: the Solomon’s Knot.

Evidence of Pre-Columbian Contact Between the Maya and Igbo Cultures

Mayan Cross, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

When the first Spanish explorers and missionaries arrived to the Yucatán Peninsula in the early 16th century, they were astounded to find wooden crosses exactly proportionate to the Catholic cross scattered throughout the Mayan countryside. 

Mayans would plant their sacred crosses, usually painted blue or green along roadsides, in the yards, courtyards, and on their monuments. They were constructed of the sacred Ceiba tree that the Mayans associated with the Tree of Life. According to Mayan cosmology, it was the tree that grew at the center of the universe. 

Among Igbo people, the largest known example of an Igbo pyramid was a mound of earth piled up to the lower branches of a large rainforest tree, so that the tree appears to be growing out of the mound. As for the Igbo people, so for the Maya, the sacred tree represented the connection between the cosmos and the human being, and was therefore often planted on pyramid platforms or even atop pyramids.

Since the time of Columbus, religious studies scholars and historians as well Christian believers have had great difficulty in accepting or explaining the Mayan cross. While orthodox scholarship struggles with the meaning and dramatic implications of the Mayan cross and refer to it as a "World Tree," most followers of Western Christianity do not understand why it appears in the Mayan culture and thus ignore it. The great difficulty for scholars, and all others who have examined the evidence, is why the Maya possessed a symbol that is so naturally associated with the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. 

Where and how does the connection lie with the Christian experience?

Archaeological and historical evidence indicates that the concept of a crucified solar deity is not only found in Christian tradition. In fact, the Maya venerated Kukulcan (known as Quetzalcoatl among the Aztec), a solar deity often depicted crucified on an equal armed cross (see photo). The intricately carved wooden cross of the Maya, also known as the "Cross of the Four Flowers," or "Foliated Cross," has merged indigenous motifs and forms of the Mixtec and Aztec traditions as well into the Spanish-Christian tradition. A crucified solar deity is also known from Greek mythology. Ixion, the son of Antion and Perima and king of Thessaly, was often depicted chained on a encircled cross (also called "fiery wheel").

However, what is most important to our research, is that the whole series of symbols found on the Mayan cross represents a direct link between Mayan and Igbo cultures. First and foremost, the sacred mathematical concept of the number four and its multiples, originated in West Central Africa more than 30,000 years ago, and used in African divination systems such as Afa and Ifa etc.

Moreover, the Sacred Quaternary, or encircled cross, is the most powerful and widespread sacred symbol throughout West Central Africa. The cross in a circle, used regularly in representations of Jesus Christ, is the traditional Igbo symbol of the Ozo initiates of Igboland. The Nze na Ozo society is the most important magico-religious and social grouping in Igbo society. The members of this society are the Christs among Igbo people. They do not commit sin, or tell a lie, or do any wrong to another human. They are the judges and Durus (“Lords of the society”).

Photos: Ozo man's titled door - Credit H. M. Cole, 1973 (left); Mayan Foliated Cross (right)

It should therefore come as no surprise that the Mayan Foliated Cross is a symbol commonly found on the Ozo titled man's door and panels.

Last but not least, on the Mayan cross we also find one of the most significant symbols of all Igboland, the symbol of the Mother Goddess, “Mgba Nnechukwu,” which is also the Sumerian pictograph for the "Garden of Eden," represented by the Cross (X) with sides joined into a square or rectangle.

An X inside a square is also the pictograph for the Sumerian word "Ma-Gan" Ma (X) and Gan (square) both designate the Rising and the Setting points of the Sun, whose hieroglyph is the crescent moon enveloping the sun disc as eternally represented in the Lejja Table of the Sun in Enugu State. The ancient Sumerian pictograph/hieroglyph for the word "MA" designates the square Lake where the Sun sets, which is the Oma-mbala Lake in Anambra State, Nigeria. By this eternal symbol, the Sumerians provided the proof that the Garden of Eden is in Nigeria.

Samuel The Prophet Has an Igbo Code-Name

Samuel was the first of Israel's great prophets, and the last of the judges. According to the text of the Books of Samuel, he also anointed the first two kings of the Kingdom of Israel: Saul and David.

The Bible does not give an exact date as to when Samuel was born or how long he lived. Clues from the sacred texts and evidence of Israelite culture found at the biblical city of Shiloh suggest that he may have lived somewhere between 1200 and 1050 BCE.

According to official sources, Samuel’s name derived from the Hebrew name “Shemu’el,” which is either translated as “name of God” or “God has heard”. Sometimes his name is translated as “besought of God”. To date, however, there is no mutual agreement among biblical scholars on the exact and complete meaning of the three syllables Sa-mu-el composing his name.

As in the case of other Hebrew prophets such as Ezekiel and Malachi, once again Igbo language revealed to be the source language able to provide an exhaustive explanation of Samuel’s name.

In Igbo, the three syllables Sa-mu-el are read Sa (or saa in Orlu dialect) — mu (or mmuo) — ele. The meaning of these segments are: 

- Sa/saa ‘to shine’

- Mu or mmuo ‘spirit/god’ (as in aum mmuo ‘I am Spirit’ / ‘I am God’; or aum mu ‘I am Myself’; known as the Bible verse ‘I Am That I Am’ [Exodus 3:14]).

Note: The term also refers to the Nagas of Mu (Mmuo) and their Serpentine Goddess of Wisdom, the primal mother deity.

Ele , whereas El is used in Canaanite and Hebrew tradition to denote God, whom the Egyptians called Er/Re/Ra (as the Egyptians cannot pronounce the letter “l”), is the god-man and resident of the West African Duat (Underground Heaven). He is the Earth-god and male aspect of Ala, the Igbo female deity of the earth.

The coded meaning of the three segments composing the name Samuel — Sa/saa-Mmuo-Ele — can thus be summarized and translated as follow: “The Shining Spirit of the Earth God”.

A coded allusion to a shining earth-god associated with fertility represented by Samuel’s name is found in the biblical verse 2 Samuel 23:4: “He, is as the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, when tender grass springs out of the earth.”

Another reference to earth gods is given in the Biblical story in which King Saul went to consult the Medium of Endor. In 1 Samuel 28:8-13 we read: And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth!

The association of the prophet Samuel with the Igbo earth-god Ele is revealed in 1 Samuel 28:13-14:

The king said to her, “Do not be afraid; but what you see?” And the women said to Saul, “I see a divine being coming up out of the earth.” He said to her, "What is his form?" And she said, "An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped with a robe." And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and did homage.

Summarizing all the aforementioned evidence, it is possible to conclude that Samuel is a code-name of Igbo origin referring to Ele,  the Earth Dweller of the West African Duat (Igbo Idu-At), whose alter ego is Obatala (Igbo Eri).

The alleged existence of an earth dwelling god and undergound heaven is not only suggested by the biblical story of Israel's King Saul, but also by Jonah, one of the minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible, who preached: “To the roots of mountains I sunk down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord of my God, brought up my life from the pit” (Jonah 2:6).