Lemuria in popular culture

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"Lemuria" in Tamil nationalist mysticist literature, connecting Madagascar, South India and Australia (covering most of the Indian Ocean).

Lemuria is the name of a hypothetical "lost land" variously located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is said in Tamil legend to have been civilised for over 20,000 years, with its population speaking Tamil. The concept of Lemuria has been rendered obsolete by modern understanding of plate tectonics. However, it has still been used as a location and inspiration in a wide range of novels, television shows, films and music.

Blavatsky, Elliot and Bramwell[edit]

1896 map of Lemuria superimposed over the modern continents from Scott-Elliott's The Story of Atlantis and Lost Lemuria.

"Lemuria" entered the lexicon of the occult through the works of Helena Blavatsky, who claimed that the Mahatmas had shown her an ancient, pre-Atlantean Book of Dzyan. Lemuria is mentioned in one of the 1882 Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett.[1] According to L. Sprague de Camp, Blavatsky's concept of Lemuria was influenced by other contemporaneous writers on the theme of lost continents, notably Ignatius L. Donnelly, American cult leader Thomas Lake Harris and the French writer Louis Jacolliot.[2]

Within Blavatsky's complex cosmology, which includes seven "Root Races", the "Third Root Race" occupied Lemuria. She describes them as about 7 feet (2.1 m) tall, sexually hermaphroditic, egg-laying, mentally undeveloped and spiritually more pure than the following "Root Races". Before the coming of the Lemurians, the second "Root Race" is said to have dwelled in Hyperborea. After the subsequent creation of mammals, Mme Blavatsky revealed to her readers, some Lemurians turned to bestiality.

The later theosophical author William Scott-Elliot gave one of the most elaborate accounts of lost continents. The English theosophist received his knowledge from Charles Webster Leadbeater, who reportedly communicated with the Theosophical Masters by "astral clairvoyance".[3] In 1896 he published The Story of Atlantis, followed in 1904 by The Lost Lemuria, in which he included a map of the continent of Lemuria as stretching from the east coast of Africa across the Indian and the Pacific Oceans.[4]

James Bramwell portrayed Lemuria in his book, Lost Atlantis, as "a continent that occupied a large part of what is now the South Pacific Ocean".[5] He described the people of Lemuria in detail and characterized them as one of the "root-races of humanity". According to Bramwell, Lemurians are the ancestors of the Atlanteans, who survived the period "of the general racial decadence which affected the Lemurians in the last stages of their evolution". From "a select division of" the Atlanteans – after their promotion to decadence – Bramwell claims the Aryan race arose. "Lemurians, Atlanteans, and Aryans are root-races of humanity", according to Bramwell.[6]

Australia[edit]

Blavatsky theorised that Australia was a remnant inland region of Lemuria and that Aboriginal Australians and Aboriginal Tasmanians (which she identified as separate groups) were of Lemurian and Lemuro-Atlantean origin, after cross-breeding with animals. Her idea was subsequently developed in pseudo-histories and fiction of the white Australian popular culture of the 1890s and early 1900s, including the writings of nationalist Australian poet Bernard O'Dowd, author Rosa Campbell Praed in My Australian Girlhood, author John David Hennessey in An Australian Bush Track and George Firth Scott's novel The Last Lemurian: A Westralian Romance.[7][8]

Professor Robert Dixon theorises that the popularity of the idea of "lost races" like Lemurians and Atlanteans reflected the anxieties of colonial Australians, that "when Englishness is lost there is nothing to replace it".[7] A. L. McCann attributes Praed's use of the Lemuria trope to an "attempt to create a lineage for white settlers without having to confront the annihilation of Indigenous people" (which Praed's father was involved in).[9]

Mount Shasta[edit]

In 1894, Frederick Spencer Oliver published A Dweller on Two Planets, which claimed that survivors from a sunken continent called Lemuria were living in or on Mount Shasta in northern California. Oliver claimed the Lemurians lived in a complex of tunnels beneath the mountain and occasionally were seen walking the surface dressed in white robes.

In 1931 Harvey Spencer Lewis using the pseudonym Wisar Spenle Cerve[10] wrote a book (published by the Rosicrucians) about the hidden Lemurians of Mount Shasta that a bibliography on Mount Shasta described as "responsible for the legend's widespread popularity."[11] This belief has since been repeated by Guy Warren Ballard and the followers of the Ascended Masters and the Great White Brotherhood, The Bridge to Freedom, The Summit Lighthouse, Church Universal and Triumphant and Kryon.[citation needed]

Kumari Kandam[edit]

Some Tamil writers such as Devaneya Pavanar have associated Lemuria with Kumari Kandam, a legendary sunken landmass mentioned in the Tamil literature, claiming that it was the cradle of civilization.

List of notable examples in popular culture[edit]

Literature[edit]

Shaver's "I Remember Lemuria" was the cover story in the March 1945 Amazing Stories

Film[edit]

Television[edit]

Games[edit]

Music[edit]

Comics[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The Mahatma Letters, XXIIIb
  2. ^ Sprague de Camp, L. (1970). Lost Continents: The Atlantis Theme in History, Science, and Literature. Dover Publications. p. 58. Madame Blavatsky's lost-continent doctrine seems to be based largely on the works of Donnelly, Harris and Jacolliot
  3. ^ See also Man: whence, how and whither, a record of clairvoyant investigation#In Lemuria
  4. ^ The Lost Lemuria, at Sacred Texts.com
  5. ^ Bramwell, James. Lost Atlantis. (Hollywood: Newcastle, 1974), 193.
  6. ^ Bramwell, 195.
  7. ^ a b Bongiorno, Frank (2000). "Aboriginality and historical consciousness: Bernard O'Dowd and the creation of an Australian national imaginary" (PDF). Aboriginal History. 24: 39–58 – via ANU Press.
  8. ^ "The Lost Lands of Mu and Lemuria: Was Australia Once Part of a Sunken Continent? – New Dawn : The World's Most Unusual Magazine". Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  9. ^ "Stargazing with Rosa Praed". Sydney Review of Books. 2016-10-31. Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  10. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (Mar 1999). Religious leaders of America: a biographical guide to founders and leaders of religious bodies, churches, and spiritual groups in North America (2nd ed.). Cengage Gale. p. 332. ISBN 978-0810388789.
  11. ^ Meisse, William C. (1993). Mount Shasta: an annotated bibliography. College of the Siskiyous. p. 146.
  12. ^ The cover of I Remember Lemuria is featured in an article "Warum Aliens nicht grün sein müssen" (in German) (Why Aliens don't have to be green) at Telepolis.
  13. ^ Lovecraft, H.P. The Haunter of the Dark. It was treasured and placed in its curious box by the crinoid things of Antarctica, salvaged from their ruins by the serpent-men of Valusia, and peered at aeons later in Lemuria by the first human beings.
  14. ^ Howard, Robert E. (2006). Kull: Exile of Atlantis. Del Rey Books. ISBN 0-345-49017-7.
  15. ^ Howard, Robert E. (2003). "The Hyborian Age" essay in The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian. Del Rey Books. ISBN 978-0345461513.
  16. ^ Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice, 1st Paperback Edition (New York: Penguin Books, 2010), 101, et seq.
  17. ^ "Lemur" (in German). Pr-materiequelle.de. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
  18. ^ Čapek, Karel (1985). War with the Newts. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. p. 189. ISBN 0810106639.
  19. ^ Pinkwater, Daniel M. (1980). Alan Mendelsohn, the boy from Mars (2. [pr.]. ed.). New York: Dutton. p. 27. ISBN 0-525-25360-2.
  20. ^ Alan Mendelsohn, the boy from Mars, p. 17 et. seq
  21. ^ https://tubitv.com/tv-shows/110944/s02_e19_optimus
  22. ^ http://supersentai.com/database/2006_boukenger/rg-natsuki.htm
  23. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/ca/tv-season/the-secret-saturdays-season-2/id311954835?l=fr
  24. ^ "Visions of Atlantis -- Lemuria -- Listening & Stats at Last.fm".
  25. ^ "Metal Archives -- Visions of Atlantis -- The Deep & The Dark".
  26. ^ "Discography - You're Never Alone with a Cigarette (1990)". Sun City Girls. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  27. ^ "Black Francis - Velouria (Live at 89.3 The Current) on YouTube".
  28. ^ "Varien's 'The Ancient & Arcane' is a cinematic masterpiece". Dancing Astronaut. 10 August 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  29. ^ "The Sounds of Nature' explores the Lemurian connection". leftcoastensemble.org. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  30. ^ Elliot R. Brown (a). "Lemuria" (Deluxe edition) The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe 7: 26 (1985), Marvel, retrieved on 5 August 2014
  31. ^ "Archive » Dark Science #22 - Caspar". Dresden Codak. 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2014-08-05.