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.

Review of “Crossing the Sands of Time” from Archaeology Review

Book Review: Crossing the Sands of Time

Today, Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gurz) are considered one of 55 officially recognized ethnic minorities in China and, although China rejects the idea that they are an indigenous group, they have a rich history in Inner Asia. This area is more commonly thought of as Central Asia and includes Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and occasionally Afghanistan and Turkey. Since about the 10th century or so, Islam has been an important part of the Uighur culture and this is likely a contributing factor the significant oppression of their culture by the People’s Republic of China. Thousands of Uighurs today are being “re-educated” and forced to renounce their culture by the Chinese government.

In Crossing the Sands of Time, Jack Churchward tells a unique story centered around the Uighurs of Central Asia. It’s a story of the past but one that includes a bit of psuedoarchaeology and pseudohistory as perhaps originated by his great-grandfather, James Churchward. The younger Churchward, an electrical engineer by trade, has also made it his purpose to research the life and theories of the elder, and share this with others. Jack’s great-grandfather, James, happens to be the writer of a series of books on the lost continent of Mu, which was the home of a civilization that suffered a set of cataclysmic events, sinking beneath the sea but not before birthing the human race.

The book is short, but informative. Particularly if the reader is unfamiliar with Uighur (also spelled “Uyghur” but I’ll stick to the spelling on the book cover for consistency) culture. The first four chapters outline Uighur history beginning with a geographic description of Inner Asia along with a brief over-view of the peoples present in this region from the Paleolithic through to the pre-Uighur Khaganates of the 6th Century CE.

The second chapter provides a fairly detailed timeline of the Great Uighur Empire from the mid-6th Century CE to around the middle of the 11th Century CE.

In chapter three, Churchward briefly describes the lasting affects the Great Uighur Empire had on Inner Asia including the spread of Islam among the Uighur people and their migrations throughout Inner Asia and the Tarim Basin in particular.

In the final chapter of Part 1, Churchward reflects on the more recent notions of Uighur culture and their modern identity as an ethnic minority. There’s also an essay by Erkin Alptekin, a Uighur activist living in Germany, addressing the question, “is Eastern Turkestan a Chinese Territory?” Alptekin also wrote the forward to the book.

If Part 1 of the book was the historical/factual section, interspersed with mentions of historic accounts and descriptions of archaeological assemblages of various sites, Part 2 is the section that dives into the alternative/fringe views that were originated in the 1920s by James Churchward, the author’s great-grandfather.

Read more on the Archaeology Review website