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Naacal is the name of an ancient people and civilization first claimed to have existed by Augustus Le Plongeon and later by James Churchward. Though there is no scientific or archaeological evidence for the existence of the Naacals, various later fictional works have made use of them.
Augustus Le Plongeon's description of the Naacal
"Perhaps also will be felt the necessity of recovering the libraries of the Maya sages (hidden about the beginning of the Christian era to save them from destruction at the hands of the devastating hordes that invaded their country in those times), and to learn from their contents the wisdom of those ancient philosophers, of which that preserved in the books of the Brahmins is but the reflection. That wisdom was no doubt brought to India, and from there carried to Babylon and Egypt in very remote ages by those Maya adepts (Naacal - "the exalted"), who, starting from the land of their birth as missionaries of religion and civilization, went to Burmah, where they became known as Nagas, established themselves in the Dekkan, whence they carried their civilizing work all over the earth."
According to Augustus Le Plongeon, the Naacals were the missionaries of Mayan religion and civilization. Le Plongeon advocated that the original, great civilization was in Central America which contrasts with Churchward's view.
James Churchward's description of the Naacal
The next known published use of the word occurred in 1926 when James Churchward used the term in his book, The Lost Continent of Mu, Motherland of Man.
According to Churchward, the population of the Naacal civilization was as high as 64 million. Their civilization, which flourished 50,000 years ago, was technologically more advanced than the civilization of Churchward's own time (late 19th to early 20th century), and the ancient civilizations of India, Babylon, Persia, Egypt and the Mayas were merely the decayed remnants of Naacal colonies.
Churchward claimed to have gained his knowledge of the Naacals after befriending an Indian priest, who taught him to read the ancient dead language of the Naacals, spoken by only three people in all of India. The priest disclosed the existence of several ancient tablets, written by the Naacals, and Churchward gained access to these records after overcoming the priest's initial reluctance. His knowledge remained incomplete, as the available tablets were mere fragments of a larger text, but Churchward claimed to have found verification and further information in the records of other ancient peoples.
Mention in "The Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East" Vol. 2 (1927)
In volume 2 of "The Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East," Baird T. Spalding makes this remark about the 'Naacals':
"The teachings that Buddha received came from the same source as did those of Osiris but in a different way. The teachings that Buddha contacted came from the Motherland direct to Burma, brought there by the Naacals. Osiris' teachings came direct to him, as his forefathers lived in the Motherland and when he was a young man he had gone to the Motherland to study."
David Bruton, Spalding's biographer revealed in "Baird T. Spalding As I Knew Him" (IEP, 1956) that Spalding's books were a magical autobiography and essentially fiction. Therefore the inference that the Naacals themselves are a fiction or modern myth is strengthened.
In modern fiction
- In the H. P. Lovecraft story "Through the Gates of the Silver Key", the occultist Harley Warren is said to be an expert linguist of the Naacal language.
- In the anime series RahXephon, Ernst Von Bähbem, a Mulian, is sometimes called the "Brother of Naacal" and was the founder of the Naacal Company, which eventually became the Bähbem Foundation.
- In Andre Norton's Central Asia novels, two main characters are Nacaals. She identifies Draupadi from the Mahabharata and the Hindu deity Ganesha as Nacaal survivors who advise humanity. She describes two warring factions among the Nacaals who have different aims and pursuits. Her Nacaal civilization existed as islands in an inner Asian sea which eventually perished.
- In "The Dweller in the Tomb," Lin Carter describes engraved pieces of black jade called the Zanthu Tablets, which are written in Nacaal.