Historical Data from Ancient Records and Ruins of Mexico and Central America Part 1

Recently a copy of Historical Data from Ancient Records and Ruins of Mexico and Central America (1919) by Louis E. Hills was posted to social media. My interest was the possibility of further information on William Niven’s discoveries since it was published around the same time period. I was not disappointed and found two references to William Niven:

Page 10
Now late and important evidences come from the valley of Mexico, in an article from Professor William Niven (a man of considerable fame), whose article was published in the San Antonio Express.
“He tells of discoveries of world-wide interest, that promise to change history, and which startlingly corroborate legends supposed to be pure myths, that have come down to us from the dim, dim past
“He has found evidences of three distinct civilizations that have inhabited the Valley of Mexico at different periods, “classed by me,” he says, “as Aztec, Pre-Aztec, and primitive.”
This extract from his article I call especial attention to: “Some of the bones show a race of people over the average of the ordinary size.” Here, then, is the latest evidence of a large race of people once living upon this continent, called Quinames, or giants, in the traditions, and they were the primitive colony who landed at Panuco, built Tula, settled in the Valley of Mexico, and built Cholula and the great pyramid still to be seen there.
San Antonio (Texas) Express, April 14, 1918

Page 47
By Prof. Wm. Niven
“Archaeological discoveries in excavations now being made in the Valley of Mexico.”
“The valley lies a vast emerald oval, surrounded by towering mountains, wonderfully beautiful is the scene of softly sloping and fertile country.”
“In all the localities where archaeological ruins abound in this country there is probably none of such vast importance for the student and explorer as in the Valley of Mexico.”
“Some of the bones (of the primitive people) show a race over the average of the ordinary size. Many of these pre-historic persons have been more than six feet in height. Very, very few arrow heads are found, needles made from bone are plentiful, the needles with a hole near the point show they knew the art of knitting. Spindle whorls, similar to those found in Troy, were found in vast numbers, and all of them have strange characters and designs, which are more highly artistic than those found in Egypt. Eagle heads are also plentiful, with curious Babylonian characters and Grecian decorations. Cylinders for the rolling of manuscript with Babylonian designs are found. No doubt they knew the art of writing and printing, as is shown by seals which are found in quantities.”
San Antonio (Texas) Express, April 14, 1918

Looking at the document as a whole, author Hills uses many references to provide proof of giants as the original primitive peoples of Mexico and Central America, which he also calls Quinames. According to Wikipedia, the Quinametzin from Aztec mythology populated the world during the previous Sun of Rain era and are described as ten feet tall and weighing 650 pounds.

Louis E Hills

A little bit of digging shows that Louis Hills was a researcher of the Reformed Church of Later Day Saints. He also believed that Hill Cumorah was in Central America instead of New York. I am not a scholar of the Book of Mormon or a Mormon, so the significance is lost on me. However, Hills’ evidence purports to support the location of this iconic hill in Central America and/or Mexico. Supposedly, the evidence of giants in Mexico and Central America indicates the Nephites, (one of the people in the Book of Mormon who left Jerusalem in 600 BCE and lived in the Americas,) were the Nephilim, sometimes translated as giants. Archaeological evidence doesn’t support the existence of giants in Mexico or Central America.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find the original article referenced by Mr. Hills.

Niven’s declaration of ‘some of the bones show a race over the average of the ordinary size’ and ‘many of these pre-historic persons have been more than six feet in height’ does not actually provide solid evidence for giants; merely that some of the prehistoric peoples he discovered in his excavations were larger than normal.

On the other hand, Niven did write about his theories of the buried cities of Mexico and that his most advanced civilization was found at the lowest of three layers he discovered. This lowest layer of archaeological material was described by Niven as bearing a resemblance to ancient Egypt and Babylon. He also wrote about the many figurines of many different peoples also unearthed from his excavations.

In part 2, I’ll provide some more information on the articles that William Niven wrote and where he was mentioned prior to 1919.

Hawaiian Evidence of Mu? Part 2

In the first part I had only witnessed the back cover of Children of the Rainbow: The Religion, Legends and Gods of Pre-Christian Hawaii. The mention of “legends and myths concerning the people of the Mu” could fill in some of the many blanks in my research about the life and theories of James Churchward.

After ordering the book, I didn’t have to read very far to realize “the Mu” did not exactly equate to my great grandfather’s theory, which may be a good thing. However, the author’s judgmental tone soon reminded me of my great grandfather. In a funny twist, the author uses some of the very literary techniques James used copiously in his works. In dismissing accredited experts, Melville rejects non-native scholarship on the subject and James does the same thing on many topics, rejecting even native research where it disagrees with his theories.

Another point of agreement between the authors is the Mu brought civilization to the world and that is where the similarity stops. Churchward wrote there were millions of full-sized people living on the now sunken continent of Mu. Melville describes them as the original inhabitants of Hawaii and they were little people. (Susan Martinez in The Lost History of the Little People says all the Hawaiian folklore calls the little people the “menehune” and her little people also brought civilization to the world.)

One point the author makes concerning non-native scholarship is the change in words that used to begin with T to now be spelled beginning with K. For instance, instead of calling a well-respected, educated individual in Hawaiian society a Kahuna; Melville spells it Tahuna and the individual is a “doer.” I found nothing to indicate spellings actually changed anywhere else. Could be part of a new movement (back in the 70s.)

At some point, you have to put the book down and look for something to corroborate what you’re reading. For example, do the names of the gods mentioned match any of the Hawaiian gods mentioned in other literature on the subject (noting the possible swapping of “K”s)?

In reading the obviously non-native information on Hawaiian religion in Wikipedia I came across the following sentence:

Traditional Hawaiian religion is unrelated to the modern New Age practice known as Huna.


In the 1930s, non-Hawaiian author Max Freedom Long created a philosophy and practice he called “Huna”. While Long and his successors have misrepresented this invention as a type of ancient, Hawaiian occultism, it is actually a New Age product of cultural misappropriation and fantasy, and not representative of traditional Hawaiian religion.

Digging a little deeper, I found Children of the Rainbow listed on website espousing the practice of Huna. Maybe the folks are in error by including the book, but it reads like a New Age religion and it is published by The Theosophical Publishing House. They are also responsible for publishing the Book of Dyzan, purportedly an ancient Tibetan text. Just like the Naacal Tablets, the Book of Dyzan was never seen by anyone else and is widely accepted as a hoax.

To further research the Children of the Rainbow, a detailed comparison of the ideas in the book against those of Huna, the creation of Max Freedom Long, would be required to ascertain if it is indeed a “Huna book.” Max Long started writing his twelve or so books in the 1930s and fit right in with other New Age authors. I will leave this task to others as the answer is of no interest to my research. Just like other authors who borrowed the name, the Children of the Rainbow bears very little resemblance to my great-grandfather’s theories (even though others think readers of James Churchward’s works will find it familiar.)

Hawaiian Evidence of Mu?

Recently, I received an image file of the back cover of a book purporting to describe evidence of the lost continent of Mu.

Thankfully, the image has an ISBN number so the book can be identified. Published in 1969, the ISBN belongs to Children of the Rainbow: The Religions, Legends, and Gods of Pre-Christian Hawaii (A Quest book). Apparently the version on sale on Amazon may have a different cover.

The cover asserts:

“Long before the white man arrived in the new world, the people of Hawaii had developed a high culture, with many fascinating legends and myths concerning the people of the Mu.”

The symbol depicted on the back cover jumped out at me as being familiar. Not from James Churchward’s published works, but from the Kabbalah, a work of Hebrew mysticism (and later in other forms as well.)

Portae Lucis, Latin translation of Gikatilla‘s work Shaarei Ora – Gates of Light

Since I have not yet read the work, I can’t comment on the contents. To be fair, the 183-page book was published during a period when a few authors were taking advantage of the new popularity of James Churchward’s Mu books. For instance: Mu – Fact or Fiction in 1963, Mu Revealed in 1970, and Understanding Mu in 1970. We can also add Lost Tribes and Sunken Continents (1962), Lost Continent for the Millions (1969), and the republished Lost Continents by L. Sprague de Camp in 1970.

From the back cover, we learn the author is male, however the name provided in the Amazon listing is Leinani Melville. According to Wiktionary, Leinani is a female given name.

Referencing the high culture achieved by the Hawaiians, they were accomplished seafarers before other peoples ventured beyond sight of land. On the other hand, James Churchward’s version of Mu relegated Pacific islanders to be savages after the collapse of the Archeon Gas belts and the sinking of Mu. In James’ world view, it was the adventurous white Muans that spread culture and civilization around the world.

Maybe they are not the same Mu, I’ll know more after the book arrives.