ULU LAU - Searching For Common Roots
A personal view on a connection between Polynesia, Pre-Columbian America, and the Book of Mormon.
Polynesian Mythology and Book of Mormon connections
Among the many topics discussed about Polynesians, how they colonized the many small islands dotting a huge area of the Pacific Ocean is perhaps the most intriguing.
Polynesian migration wasn't something I paid too much attention to growing up in American Samoa. I read a few articles about the subject, but cared less about how Polynesia was colonized. This debate was taking place in lecture halls and research centers that were far removed from my normal layman's world.
Just a few years ago, I became very interested in this topic when I came across some books about Native Americans and Polynesians in the Columbus (Ohio) City library. Most of the references I use in this manuscript are from those books, which are available in the public domain.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this topic also presents an interesting aspect because of the probable connections to claims by some LDS church leaders that Polynesians are descendants of a people whose story is recorded in the Book of Mormon.
Associating with this Polynesian story is the fact that some leaders of the LDS Church claim that Polynesian descendants are related to people describe in the Book of Mormon.
"In these islands of Samoa, Thou hast remembered Thine ancient promise 'unto them who are upon the isles of the sea' (2 Nephi 10:21)." (Apia Samoa Temple - Rededicatory Prayer by President Gordon B Hinckley, 4 September 2005.)
"We thank Thee, that thousands and tens of thousands of the descendants of Lehi, in this favored land, have come to a knowledge of the gospel, many of whom have endured faithfully to the end of their lives." (Laie Hawaii Temple - By President Heber J Grant, 27-30 November 1919)
"...the Polynesian Saints are characterized by a tremendous faith. Why do they have this great faith? It is because these people are of the blood of Israel. They are heirs to the promises of the Book of Mormon. God is now awakening them to their great destiny." (Mark E. Petersen: Conference Report, Apr. 1962, p. 112)
Obviously, the Book of Mormon is accepted by LDS members as scripture, but it's vehemently denied by others. Despite being snubbed by many people, I've decided to include it as an important piece of my narrative.
I know, you're probably thinking this is just a clever attempt by some wacky Mormon to push his believes. It's true that I want to share my Mormon views, but I can assure you that my ultimate goal is seeking truths about my Samoan and Polynesian cultures which I hope to illustrate.
This is a personal commentary on the germane information I compiled. I was excited by what I read and it motivated me to pursue this project and share my personal opinion whatever the consequences.
In 2003 I scoured the public library and the Internet for books and materials about Polynesia and Pre-Columbian America. In so doing I came across the text of the "Solo Ole Va" that was available online. I also found William Sullivan's book "The Secret of the Incas." These two things inspired me to begin writing notes.
I name this paper "Ulu Lau" because words like ululau are the kinds I've sought for comparison and analysis. The Samoan "ulu" means head, and "lau" is leaf. Combining the two words describes "the head leaf" as "ululau" or the newly budded leaf. Reversing the two words forms another Samoan word "lau'ulu" which is "hair" or "the leaf of the ulu plant." The ulu plant is one of the most valuable plants to the Samoans. It's precisely the dissection of words like these to find relationships and root meanings that I seek and try to make sense of.
My search revealed several interesting words including the word Togafiti. This word is made up of the words "Toga", or Tonga, and "Fiti", or Fiji. The meaning of togafiti is 'schemer' or 'stratagem'. Why? I layout an explanation in my paper.
Another interesting word in the Samoan language is Malamalama, which I assert ties Polynesia to Pre-Columbia America.
The Solo and other references I came across have convinced me that there are connections between ancient Polynesia and pre-Columbian America. I think these connections are more convincing than what the experts acknowledge. While words in the Samoan and pre-Columbian languages are different, a careful comparison of those words suggestively reveal some common roots. The similarity of words was very interesting to me and it's one of the highlights of this manuscript. Those words are listed in Appendix "A".
I wanted to find out if the Samoan "Solo ole Va" myth provides any insight into the Polynesian migration topic. I want to find out if there are traditions from the Pacific and the Americas that shed light on the true essence of the Solo. It was time to search for answers.
Is the Book of Mormon story real?
Whatever your position is about Polynesian migration and Mormon theology, I hope that you'll be patient and allow me to articulate my thoughts on these subjects. Open your mind to the possibility of a human history and stories about a past that is clouded in mysteries and often hidden by prejudices and ego. By the way, it's only a few pages long.
Downloading My Manuscript
You can download my draft (a Microsoft Word document) by Clicking Here.
So far, my document has 145 pages. Please realize this is a work in progress, and that I hold the right under copyright laws to this compilation.
One more thing - Ignore the grammar. If the grammar bothers you, note down the correction and send it to me.
Thank you ... I hope you enjoy it.