Lost culture of Pan: is it Legend?

  • “The Lost Continent of Pan: The Oceanic Civilization at the Origin of World Culture” by Susan M. Martinez, Ph. D.

Fairly often in our bookstore, we get asked for books (which we have) about the lost continent of Mu (or Lemuria, as it is also commonly known), the once-proposed large landmass in the Pacific Ocean that could have connected seemingly disparate places such as Hawaii, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Easter Island, and many others.

The idea theorizes that at some point this massive body of land (the Pacific tectonic plate) sunk into the ocean tens of thousands of years ago, dividing up a vast and advanced culture that used to reside there, the remnants of which are our modern-day Polynesian cultures and edges of Asia and Central/South American cultures.

Fascinating idea, right?

Author and anthropologist Susan M. Martinez, Ph. D., has penned a very interesting book entitled “The Lost Continent of Pan: The Oceanic Civilization at the Origin of World Culture”.

At 501 pages, this work is chock full of information which ties together many intriguing connections between distant societies, and is full of illustrations and photos of artifacts of ancient history which aid in her explanations. Her proposition is that this legendary pacific continent may have a name common to many cultures: Pan!

The concept of such a place having existed is tantalizing! In fact, King Kalakaua was an avid proponent of such a place having existed, he himself being a chronicler of Hawaiian myths and legends.

Cultural similarities, religious and mythological similarities, linguistic similarities… Dr. Martinez highlights and explains them all, and even tackles the question of what might cause such a continent to recede into the depths of the ocean.

Whether or not a lost continent existed, the notions put forward in Dr. Martinez’s book are fascinating reading!

Certainly, history has shown that many things once assumed to be too unbelievable sometimes become everyday fact!


Ed and Cynthia Justus are owners of The Bookstore in Hanapepe.


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