The White Man of the Sea Foam

At-ach-u-chu or the White Man of the Sea Foam is the premiere founding father of Andean civilization, revered from deeply prehistoric times to the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century. He was consistently described as the tall, red-haired, bearded, fair-skinned culture-bearer from a distant land in the East who arrived on the shores of Lake Titicaca after surviving some terrible deluge. The Peruvian natives called him “The Teacher of all Things,” and knew him as the man who established the arts of civilization in South America, including agriculture, religion, astronomy, weights and measures, social organization, and government.

At-ach-u-chu’s resemblance to similar culture bearers appearing after a great natural disaster in the Atlantic Ocean, he’s recognized throughout the Americas, from the Menominee Indian’s Marine Man of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Patagonian Zeu-kha at Tierra del Fuego, to the Aztecs’ Quetzalcoatl and the Mayas’ Kukulcan. These related founding heroes from over the sea apparently represent the impact native peoples experienced from the large-scale arrival of Atlantis refugees in four major waves of immigration over nearly two thousand years. It is not surprising, then, that at least the folkish memory of these arrivals should have been preserved in the valued oral traditions of every native people whose revered ancestors knew and interacted with the Atlanteans.

He was the elder of five brothers, known collectively as Viracochas, or “white men.” At-ach-u-chu is better remembered by his title, Kontiki-Viracocha, or “White Man of the Sea Foam”; in other words, he was a foreigner who arrived by ship, “sea foam” being a poetic description of its bow wave. All features of this supremely important figure in Andean tradition, beginning with the At in the head of his name, clearly define him as the leader of survivors from the final destruction of Atlantis, who reestablished themselves by creating a hybrid civilization, a mix of local cultures with Atlantean technology, in Peru and Bolivia.

At-ach-u-chu was said to have moved on after a few years, traveling to the west. A curious variation of this folk memory from Nazca, site of the great lines and effigies seen properly only from altitude, has him rising into the air and flying toward the setting sun. The South American At-ach-u-chu bears a striking resemblance to Atcha, remembered by the ancient Egyptians as a far-off, splendid, but vanished city echoing lost Atlantis.

Before his statue was destroyed by Christian zealots, it is said, the “hair, features, raiment, complexion, and sandals” reminded the conquistadors of the apostle Saint Bartholomew as depicted in popular holy cards of the time. The statue’s description matches a painting known as the Inca Viracocha at Madrid’s Museo de America. Colonial portraits at the Copacabana Monastery of Manco Capac and Mama Occlo also represent their subjects with facial features that are unlike those of the native Indian population.

Atlantis Encyclopedia by Frank Joseph;
Survivors of Atlantis: Their Impact on the World by Frank Joseph

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