Skip to comments.SUPPOSED GREEK AND HEBREW RESEMBLANCES OF ANCIENT HAWAIIANS
Posted on 09/02/2009 7:38:32 AM PDT by Nikas777
WITH A PUEFACE BY THE BISHOP OF OXFORD.
' And the august abode from whence they came.'
Speculations as to an Eastern emigration are scarcely more than glanced at here; and it may appear almost superfluous to refer to two groundless hypotheses which have been formedthe first, that Greek remains have been discovered in South America, and that faint vestiges of Greece are also traceable in the islands of Hawaii. The other supposition is that of the Hawaiian race being of Hebrew origin, and that these islanders represent the lost tribes of the house of Israel.
(Excerpt) Read more at books.google.com ...
This also touches upon my love of arcane theories that were once popular but seem to have died off as time went by. This falls into the ancient voyages category and people forget that the Victorians seemed to think all people they found with some culture with the Lost Tribes of Israel as well as them seeing evidence of ancient Phoenician, Greek and Roman civilization. The Greeks - maybe the sailors of Alexander's navy - washing up on Hawaii (with crews of Phoenicians and Hebrews) was popular idea at the time because of the similarities listed in this book.
With regard to Greek resemblances, they may be classed under the following heads. First, the form of the feather helmet of the chiefs, which bears a considerable likeness to the metal casque and crest of the Grecians. Secondly, the employment of the dual number in the Hawaiian language. Thirdly, the use of the spear and the bow and arrow, and the recumbent position at meals. Fourthly, sortilege by the entrails of slain animals before battle.
As to the form of the helmet, it is probably a mere coincidence. A covering for the head will generally conform to the shape of the head (although the hats worn in Europe are a large exception to such a rule); and hence some resemblance must be established. As defensive armour, the Hawaiian helmet was useless, being formed of feathers closely arranged on a network. The people, instead of using armour in war, like the Greeks, went into battle with nothing on but the maro, a girdle round the loins,the smallest quantity oflothing conceivable. They used no shield, and it was the chiefs only who wore the feather helmets, and that for distinction and as insignia of their rank.
The dual form in speaking may have been introduced into the language by the native courtesy which characterises the chiefs, and have been followed by plebeians in the same manner in which ' you' has superseded 'thou' in the speech of Europe. The Hawaiians had a double form of dual for their pronoun ; the first including the speaker and the spoken-to, the second embracing the speaker and the person spoken-of.* In other respects there is little in common in the two languages. The Hawaiian alphabet contains only seven consonants f and five vowels. It has no sibilants,} or sound equivalent to the / or <£. It is so destitute of consonant diphthongs that the natives cannot pronounce two consonants together without the interposition of a vowel; and their words have invariably a vowel termination.
With regard to the bow and arrow, although these instruments are complex and involve a practical acquaintance with some physical laws, the weapon is found so frequently among savage nations as well as civilised that one is almost tempted to say that the bow and arrow is an innate idea. The recumbent position at meals may have been experimentally found an easy one in a warm climate, and have suited well with a people whose indoles is indolence.
Sortilege by the entrails of slain animals is more difficult to account for.
HEBREW SIMILARITIES. 69
There are a few words having au apparent similarity to the Greek. Little weight, however, is due to a small number of coincident vocables in two languages, when the proper deduction is made for necessity and accident. The following examples have been adduced: Hawaiian. English. Greek.
mele a song
arii a chief "Ap>jc.
rani the heavens ovpav6s.
mahina the moon ^v.
The similarity of sound in the last example is greater than is at first apparent. When the universal terminal vowel is thrown off, the two first syllables, pronounced quickly, come very near the Greek word for month. The three words which in the list contain the letter r, lose their resemblance to the Greek when written with an I, which has been invariably substituted in modern orthography for the former letter.
The number of customs among the Hawaiians corresponding to Hebrew practices is admitted at once to be very remarkable. But even if such proofs were considered strong enough to substantiate the fact of Jews having reached the islands, it would not necessitate an emigration from the Mediterranean; the probability would be as great of their course having been in the opposite direction. As, however, the tribes of North America have been claimed to have a Hebrew origin, the points of Jewish resemblance may be properly enumerated here. These consisted of
1. Circumcision, which, previous to the establishment of the American missionaries, was commonly practised among the natives as a religious ceremony.
2. Separation and purification of women after childbirth, &c., enforced under penalty of death.
3. Cities of refuge,an institution found in no other heathen nation.
4. Pollution by touching a dead body, and purification therefrom by religious ceremonies.
5. Offering of the first-fruits to their gods.
6. Wearing sackcloth in mourning.
7. The custom of the chiefs of washing their hands before and after eating.
8. Traditions resembling those in the Hebrew Scriptures.
9. A resemblance which Mr. Dibble perceived between the poetry of the Hebrews and the Hawaiians; and a structural likeness in the two languages, especially in the causative form of the Hawaiian verb, which is precisely the same as the Hiphil of the Hebrew.*
Of the similarity of the native traditions to the histories of the Old Testament, the following examples will serve; and they are probably the most striking that Mr. Dibble could adduce.
Hawaiian tradition relates, that man was originally made of the dust of the earth, by Kane and Kanaloa, two of their principal deities.
In the story of Waikelenuiaiku, we have a pretty close counterpart of that of Joseph. His father had ten
* ' The Hawaiians have no auxiliary verb "to be;" there are no variations in nouns for case, number, or person ; but the moods and tenses of verbs are pretty clearly distinguished by simple prefixes an.l suffixes. The mode of conjugating verbs, the existence of a causative form, and the derivation of words from roots of two syllables, arc thought to indicate a resemblance and cognate origin with the Hebrew and other Oriental tongues.'Chccver, Life in the S. Islands. London. 1851.
Mr. Cheever also remarks a coincidence relating to the very frequent addition of the word wai to names of places, and the similar addition in the East of wadf, both words meaning water,the changed Hawaiian form arising from a consistent rejection of consonants where practicable.
CORRESPONDING TRADITIONS. 71
sons and one daughter. He was beloved by his father and hated by his brethren, who cast him into a pit; his eldest brother having, moreover, a greater pity for him than the rest. He escaped into a country, the king of which was Kamohoalii, by whom he was confined in a dark place underground, together with many persons imprisoned there for various crimes. Whilst in prison he bid his companions dream, and he interpreted the dreams of four of them. One had seen a ripe ohia, and his spirit ate it; the second saw a ripe banaua, which his spirit ate; the third had seen a hog, which his spirit ate; the fourth dreamed that he saw awa, that he pressed out the juice, and his spirit drank it. Like Joseph, he interpreted the three first visions unfavourably to their dreamers, and they were afterwards slain; to the last he gave an interpretation of deliverance and life, and he was accordingly saved. The king being informed by this person of the wonderful powers of Waikelenuiaiku, the latter was liberated and made a principal chief in the kingdom.
There is also a tradition of a person who, like Jonah, was swallowed by a fish, and afterwards cast out upon dry land.
The natives also believed that a state of perpetual night, or chaos, had preceded creation, in which antecedent state nothing existed but some of the gods. The myth relating to Maui, a demi-god, has an analogy to Joshua when he commanded the sun to stand still. This same Maui was an important person in the Pantheon of New Zealand. The Hawaiians preserved a tradition of a deluge, when rain fell, and the waters rose up until all the land was covered, except the summit of Mauna Kea. Some of the inhabitants saved themselves in a laau, a vessel the height, length, and breadth of which were equal; it was filled with men, animals, and their food; and after floating for some time, finally rested on the mountain Mauna Kea.
It must be remembered, however, that whilst these myths of the Hawaiians bear a considerable resemblance to the relations of the Hebrew Scriptures, the evidence of their coming from Jewish sources is not conclusive. The belief of the North American Indians in a Great Spirit, has been regarded as the inheritance of ages: Captain Burton, in his recent work on the Mormon States, looks upon it as derived from the teaching of Christian missionaries, and denies that the Indian theology embraced any notion of the immortality of the soul. These traditions of Hawaii (it may as easily be supposed), have arisen from casual intercourse with Europeans. It is unnecessary to remark, that in Hawaiian society, as in that of the Greek heroic age, a very short time will suffice to impart an air of antiquity to recently imported legends.
A great danger, too, exists in claiming cognation between two distant peoples from the coincidence of a few words in both languages. The Persian name for slipper is said to be almost the same as the North American Indian word, mocassin. This coincidence should not be allowed to prove that the Persians and the Indians of 'Canada are kindred. The Sanscrit name tala (wine made from the juice of palms), closely resembles the Hawaiian name of their universal edible, talo; but we do not thence jump at the conclusion that the Polynesian language is a derivative of the Sanscrit; The human organs of voice are the same throughout our race, and are only capable of producing a certain number of sounds and articulations, the great majority of which articulations are common to all people, and must be employed by them in expressing ideas. Then, if the copia verborum of each of two nations consisted of 5000 separate words, there would he several probabilities of coincidence, viz., that in each language the same articulation should be used to express one idea, and that only accidentally; and the chances of selection in the case of onomatopes would be still greater. The coincidence, therefore, of a few corresponding words is a meagre proof of identity of nations.*
There was an episode of “Magnum, P.I.” about this.
Plumed helmet worn by the great chieftains
“As, however, the tribes of North America have been claimed to have a Hebrew origin...”
I thought disproved this.
This book is from the 1880s. It is posted more to discuss old theories and how people thought back then. You are correct that the Indians as Hebrews theory is proven false.
Hence the island "Oyahu."
There was a huge push in the late Renaissance through the Victorian era for rulers in Europe to somehow establish a religious authority of their rule or country by claiming some sort of descent from Israel or the early church. They wanted to prove their nation was ordained by God and in many cases, made up entire lineages and histories. Many of these are still being used a source material in modern Anglo-Israeli type groups and beliefs. For example, the Scottish historian(sic) Sir Lawrence Gardner has written and documented extensively from these old documents how Scotland was actually the 'new Jerusalem' and the Scottish kings were the rightful rulers of Britain through such (as well as a bunch of other nutty connections.)
It makes for fascinating fiction, but only if you understand it as such and the motivation behind it.
AND A PIEFACE BY THE SOUPY OF SALES.
Having been to both Hawaii and Israel I can easily determine which place I would have put the “Chosen” people.
AND A PIEFACE BY THE SOUPY OF SALES.
I once was unfortunately acquainted with a very pretentious and apparently gay Hawaiian, who was called "Princess Pu Pu Platter" behind his back, by a few local wags.
Does this count?
Amazing the things people come up with. I’ve seen works (that aren’t even from British Israelists!) purporting to show a link between the English and Hebrew languages.
FWIW, the latest evidences actually suggest the Polynesians may have migrated east FROM the western coast of the Americas.
I think the actor Yaphet Kotto comes from an African tribe that bought into the lost tribes mythology the English missionaries pushed.
I read somewhere that geneticists also doubt the science behind the Lemba of South Africa and the Cohen gene but I am going by memory on that one. The Lemba also only stared to talk about being a Lost Tribe of Israel only after British missionaries told them that they were.
Now you also have actual Jewish rabbies going to these self identified 'lost tribes' and 'converting' them as well - also for political reasons.
Old news. Tom Hanks made a documentary about the Waponi Tribe several years ago.
I’ve seen a “genealogy” of my own paternal line, going back from England, to Wales, to Ireland, to Milesia/Spain, to Scythia and eventually to Japheth, son of Noah.
These things were quite fashionable at one time.
It’d be great to have my line firmly established that far, lol, or even beyond the 1400’s, but the plague years really wrecked record keeping, and people were forced to move around, uncharacteristic for the time.
All I have from before then, is the earliest known recorded instance of the surname, from the presumed progenitor, found in the Templar Inquisition of 1185.
...The genetic material was analyzed for the genetic markers that have been found in the Jews. Similar to the general Jewish population, the Cohen Modal Haplotype was found in nearly 10% of all Lemba men. In addition, the Cohen Modal Haplotype was found in nearly half of the men in the Buba tribe...
Awesome info - I will look that up.
What I read is that geneticists don’t think there is a the Cohen Modal Haplotype but I lack the info to add more to this. I of course could be remembering this all wrong. I will google what I can and see if my memory is correct.
One source of early confusion was a widespread popular notion that only Cohens or only Jews could have the Cohen Modal Haplotype. It is now clear that this is not the case. The Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH), whilst notably frequent amongst Cohens, is also far from unusual in the general populations of haplogroups J1 and J2 with no particular link to the Cohen ancestry. These haplogroups occur widely throughout the Middle East and beyond ,. So whilst many Cohens have haplotypes close to the CMH, a greater number of such haplotypes worldwide belong to people with no likely Cohen connection at all.
LOL! Pieface, poiface, same thing, with the colorful NC "Hoid Coonty" (Hyde County) "hoi toide" (high tide) accent. They're oot and aboot just like a Canadian, lol.
Yes, that is the Pineappler Rebbe.
Not to mention the well-known song: “Aloha Oy Vey”
Not really. That theory was popular back in the 30s and 40s, popularized by Thor Heyerdahl.
There are some intriguing issues that indicate some contact, but my understanding is that both genetic and linguistic studies point pretty clearly to Taiwan as the "original" home of the people who became the Polynesians.
If you have other references, I'd be interested in seeing them.
Thanks Nikas777 and Albion Wilde.
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Well there you are. Anything on Magnum about Hawaii is enough for me.
Or maybe the ancient Cohens simply got around to more households than were Jewish.
Know what I mean? *nudge, nudge,wink wink*
One of my college friends was from Hawaii. The show cracked her up.
Was the Magnum episode about Greeks in Hawaii or Hebrews in Hawaii or both?
But because of bad science and religion we have a people - the Lemba now forever linked to the lost tribe of Israel.
It would probably have been better for Gerard, though not for poetry, if the family had actually lived in Hawaii, rather than London.
I think you are correct.
Wasn’t there a TV documentary on the Lemba where they were trying to prove or disprove the Lemba ‘cultural memory’ of a connection with the Jews in their history.
I thought the show said the DNA showed their was some similarity in the DNA gene sequence. A random and rogue gene might not mean anything—but combine it with an oral history passed down from generation to generation over a thusand years or so and it makes me think there is something there.
People who are steeped in our modern written histories often deride these old cultural myths and legends passed down in an oral tradition, but remember the Hawaiian oral traditions about the sailing exploits of their ancestors from Tahiti turned out to be correct as I recall.
Oh, I thought she meant Greek Hybrids in Hawaii. My mistake.
One source of early confusion was a widespread popular notion that only Cohens or only Jews could have the Cohen Modal Haplotype (like was found amongst the Lemba). It is now clear that this is not the case. The Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH), whilst notably frequent amongst Cohens, is also far from unusual in the general populations of haplogroups J1 and J2 with no particular link to the Cohen ancestry. These haplogroups occur widely throughout the Middle East and beyond ,. So whilst many Cohens have haplotypes close to the CMH, a greater number of such haplotypes worldwide belong to people with no likely Cohen connection at all.
I was talking about the plot of this Magnum PI episode.
Greeks in Hawaii. Only Magnum helped prove that it wasn’t Greeks, but independent development of the Polynesian culture.
You had to be there. Tom Selleck was terrifyingly gorgeous around 1981 ...
Just jacking with ya. You will find that i’m seldom serious about ancient stuff and the bushwa that ‘experts’ put out.
Sunken civ and I do a lot of puns and other stupid stuff so its safe to ignore me most of the time.
Politics is somethine else.
No there is no “proof” of where hawaiians came from just like theres no proof where maori (new zealand) came from etc. in truth no polyneisans are originally from where they are now.. all polynesian ethnicities have stories of navigation to their final destination from another place, and most of those stories give the same name as the navigator.. Hawai’i iki / havaiki etc. (hawai’i was named after said navigator). the only polynesians with no back story of travel from some place else is samoans which leads many to believe that all polynesians originated from samoa. theres also supposed “proof” although its bogus as far as im concerned about DNA and tracing polynesians back to parts of asia. These tests should be ignored because A.) supposedly the people tested didnt verify they were of full blooded polynesian descent. B.) theres evidence to suggest that cook wasnt the first to “find” hawaii and infact spanish had found it hundreds of years previous and through their travels people not of polynesian descent ie: asians & hispanics etc ethnicity were left (by choice or otherwise) on various islands throughout polynesia and eventually had offspring with the polynesians living on those islands, which throws the DNA testing off quite a bit as you can imagine.
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