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Elephants, Horses. Cureloms and Cumoms

“And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms.  (Ether 9:19)  About 2000 B.C. to 600 B.C.
The Book of Mormon makes some remarkable claims.

1st  It claims that the ancient Book of Mormon people had and used horses, even before Hernandez Cortez brought the horses to the Americas.  In American history books it was well known and taught that the Spaniards were the first people to bring horses to the Americas.

2nd  It claims that the ancient Book of Mormon people had and used elephants.  The educated world in the 1800’s, in had no published archaeological supporting evidence of elephants being used during the Book of Mormon time period by any one in the Western Hemisphere.
Not only was that an amazing claim in the 1830,s when the Book of Mormon was first published.  But the idea is still ridiculed and thought as ridiculous today.

3rd  The Book of Mormon claims that there were other useful animals called cureloms and cumoms, "useful" "animals" that in our day are unknown.
Why does The Book of Mormon claim that these Book of Mormon people had Horses when it was well known or I should say believed and taught in the 1960's, when I was in High School, as well as of today, that the Spaniards were the first ones to bring horses to the Americas?  And that Elephants in the Western Hemisphere did not exist in the Book of Mormon time period.

Example of what is and was being taught:
Elephants are mentioned… in the… Book of Mormon record… however, as with the prehistoric horse, the archaeological record indicates that they became extinct… in the New World around 10,000 BC.”   (Wikipedia ‘Archaeology and the Book of Mormon, - Elephants”)

Is there archaeological evidence that there were horses, elephants, cureloms, cumoms"all of which were useful unto man"?  
ould they have died off or become extinct after the Book of Mormon time period, but used by the pre-Columbus, Western Hemisphere, Book of Mormon people?  Yes.

<< A Picture taken in 1930, inside a passageway under the west staircase of the Pyamid of the Magician at  the Ancient city of Uxmal.

<< A Picture taken in 1930, a step at the Ancient city of Kabah. 
[An Elephant "snout" step]


 Elephants Scultures on Buildings 



  (Two Elephant pipes were found in Lousisa County, Iowa.  One was plowed up in a corn- field and the other found in a mound.) Information from Academy of Natural Sciences published in 1885.  Pages 1-20
Elephants in Iowa, USA   


The Book of Mormon testified to the world in 1830 that these ancient Jaredite people had and used elephants. 
This was in 1830 not believed by the world.  And it is still not understood or believed by most of the world even today.

It wasn’t until 1903 that it was discovered and published, by archaeologist that  “positively… elephants were… in the service of the ancient inhabitants” of Mexico. 

The following is an article published in 1903 in the American Antiquarian.

“An ancient city located near the present town of Paredon, in the state of Coahuila, [Mexico], some 500 miles north of Mexico City, was suddenly destroyed in some past age by an overflow of water and mud, ... Many massive walls have been found, but they are covered with a mass of deposited earth, sixty feet in thickness. And etc....” "Most remarkable of the minor finds that have been made at Paredon is that of the remains of elephants.  The remains of the elephants that have been found in Paredon show plainly . Elephants were as much in evidence in [these ancient], cities as horses.  Upon many of the tusks that have been found were rings of silver. Most of the tusks encountered so far have an average length for grown elephants, of three feet, and an average diameter at the roots of six inches. Judging from the remains of the elephants so far unearthed, the animals were about ten feet in height and sixteen to eighteen feet in length, differing very little from those at present in existence”. (American Antiquarian, 25:395-397, 1903)

 The following 1936 Barrier Mainer newspaper reports of finding artifacts, that indicate that ancient Western Hemisphere people had a knowledge of elephants but this finding, to the world made no sence and was a puzzle and question to the newspaper editors.

"Ancient Civilisation, finds in South America...artifacts from Columbia...breast plate which includes a pair of mastedon or elephant tusks perfectly reprented in gold, and about three inches long.  The question immediately arises as to where the makers of this piece ever saw any elephant or mastodon, as none of these animals has been native to the Americas..."      (The Barrier Mainer, March 26 1936, newspaper.)


 “An ancient city located near the present town of Paredon, in the state of Coahuila, some 500 miles north of Mexico City, was suddenly destroyed in some past age by an overflow of water and mud, and that its remains are still existent on the spot.  Many massive walls have been found, but they are covered with a mass of deposited earth, sixty feet in thickness.  And mingled in this earth are human skeletons, the tusk of elephants, etc., are distributed in a way which indicates that the overflow of water and mud was sudden, giving no time for escape.” (American Antiquarian, 25:395-397, 1903)

A Mesoamerica useful harnessed animal carved in stone. 


The "Cureloms and Cumoms…were useful unto man…”  (Ether 9:19)  

This animal has an unusual looking head, ears, nose and mouth. It also has cloven feet, and a very short tail.  It seems to be similar to an animal called a "Taper".   
But this animal is much taller than the Tapers, that are in existence today.  Also this animal has been tamed and has a harness on it with two people holding onto the reins.   One person on each side of the animal is walking along with the animal.     The person in front or on the right side of the animal has a whip in his right hand. [The wip is a stick-rope and two balls at the end of the ropes]. The Aztec and Mayas carved strange looking gods, many being different representations of Quetzalcoatl.  But they never placed harnesses or used whips, on their gods.   Could these ancient people have had “useful” animals that they put harnesses on so as to be
“useful unto man”.    
[I do not know of any Tapers that have been tamed and harnessed so as to be "useful unto man".]
This above animal has seemed to have become extinct.   
“Cureloms” and “Cumoms” also seemed to have become extinct. 
This above harnessed animal is shoulder height with the two people and seem to be useing this animal for some "useful" purpose.
Note:  [There seems to be an Elephant carved in stone, down in the lower right hand corner of the carving.]
(I obtained this picture of Mesoamerica useful harnessed animal carved in stone years ago and unfortunately I cannot find the exact source.  But I think that I copied it out of a old book when I went to the Washington State University  special collections library. Not sure it was in the special collections part of the library or maybe the librarian brought it from another area.  The only thing that I know is that it is a Mesoamerica carving from ancient ruins somewhere in Mesoamerica.)
When Hernán Cortés landed on the east cost of Mexico in 1519 A.D. and as they marched towards Tenochtitlan, the Aztecs capital city.  They discovered that the Aztecs were not familiar with a horse.   They did not know what a horse was.  The Aztec Indians thought that the horse and its rider was all one animal. 
"When...we began our march towards the City, and so great was the number of people who came out to see us that both the streets and housetops were crowded, and I do not wonder at this for they had never seen men such as we are, nor had they ever seen horses."  (
The History of the Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Díaz del Castillo, edited by David Carrasco, page 133 & 157)

Even though the Book of Mormon people had and used horses.  The horse had eventually become extinct. So that during the Aztec time period the Aztecs knew nothing about horses.

But Archaeological evidence supports the facts that previous to the Aztec time period there were indeed, ”horse", as stated in The Book of Mormon. 

The discovery of horse bones and teeth of ancient native horses. These horse bones were not fossilized.  
They were discovered inside the Loltún caves near the Maya ruins of Uxmal in the Yucatan Peninsula.  Along with the horse bones and teeth were also pre-Columbus paintings and pre-Columbus pottery fragments.  
This discovery gives substantial evidence that a pre-Columbus civilization, as the Book of Mormon claims, did indeed have horses.
"Two Mexican archaeologists carried out a project that included a complete survey of the complex system of subterranean cavities.... They also did strati-graphic excavation in areas in the Loltún complex not previously visited. The pits they excavated revealed a sequence of 16 layers, which they numbered from the surface downward. Bones of ex- tinct animals (including mammoth) appear in the lowest layers.
Pottery and other cultural materials were found in levels VII and above. But in some of those artifact-bearing strata there were horse bones, even in level II. A radiocarbon date for the beginning of VII turned out to be around 1800 b.c. The pottery fragments above that would place some portions in the range of at least 900–400 b.c. and possibly later.  (Out of the Dust, Neal A. Maxwell Institute)