Book of Mormon/Anachronisms/Animals/Silkworms
Book of Mormon anachronisms: Silkworms
The production of Old World "silk" requires both silkworms and the mulberry trees upon whose leaves they feed
- Why would the Book of Mormon mention "silk" in the New World?
There are several examples of silk or silk-like fabric in pre-Columbian America:
- wild silkworms do exist, and some commentators insisted that the Amerindians spun and wove it from their cocoons
- hair from rabbit bellies was also spun into a cloth dubbed "silk" by the Spanish conquerors
- floss from the ceiba (silk-cotton) tree was made into a "soft delicate cloth," kapok.
- fibers from the wild pineapple were also prized for their ability to be woven into a fine, durable fabric
- cotton cloth in Mexico from A.D. 400 is "even, very fine, and gossamer-thin."
The theory that "wild silk" was used anciently in Oaxaca, near the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mesoamerica, "has been greatly debated."
Wild silk was produced by the Gloveria paidii, a moth, and the Eucheira socialis, a butterfly, found in the Oaxaca area (de Ávila Blomberg, 1997). It is suggested by de Ávila Blomberg that wild silk was used in Oaxaca in pre-Columbian times, a theory that has been greatly debated. However, in a 1777 document, an excavation of a pre-Columbian burial site is described as containing wild silk.
- John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Co. ; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1996 ), 232. John L. Sorenson, "Research and Perspectives: Silk and Linen in the Book of Mormon," Ensign (April 1992), 62.
- Careyn Patricia Armitage, "Silk production and its impact on families and communities in Oaxaca, Mexico," Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Iowa State University (2008) off-site References de Ávila Blomberg, A. (1997). Threads of diversity: Oaxacan textiles in context. In K. Klein (Ed.) The unbroken thread: Conserving the textile traditions of Oaxaca (pp.87-151). Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute.