The Mu Yans
The Mukulian civilization, and this is also true of all subsequent civilizations, started with the Tribe of Mu, then called the Mu Yans; Yan meaning tribe. This tribe had four distinct divisions: the Plains Dwellers, the Forest Dwellers, the Cave Dwellers, and least in number but greatest in importance, the Elders.
Generally peaceful, comparatively speaking, the Plains Dwellers were a pastoral people, their principal occupation being the raising of sheep and deer-like cattle. These they had domesticated and improved from the wild breed found in the mountains surrounding the plains on which they lived and from which they derived their designation as Plains Dwellers.
In size, the Mu Valley was comparable to our Mississippi River Valley from the Alleghenies to the Rocky Mountains and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Its plains were rather ruggedly rolling with very nutritive natural grasses, which afforded good grazing for their herds. They were broken by the occasional groves of coniferous trees, redwood predominating, with oaks and other nut-bearing trees. The people were divided into families or septs, each having a certain rather well-defined section usually covering thousands of acres over which they moved their herds from time to time as the grass supply necessitated. Since they were compelled to accompany their flocks in order to protect them from predatory animals and the even worse danger of raids by the Forest Dwellers, the septs had no permanent or fixed abodes.
While each sept maintained a more or less friendly relationship with its neighbors, they were naturally inclined to live very much to themselves except when the Forest Dwellers made their raids, at which time they would almost unanimously unite with those in their vicinity to repel the attack. It was a sort of mutual, cooperative action against a common enemy, practiced for mutual protection. These Plains Dwellers were, generally speaking, a peaceable lot, but like most such folk, they could be, and were, decidedly dangerous adversaries: cunning and relentless when once aroused.
Otherwise, they were what we would term as rugged individualists and isolationists, each family or sept living as a unit and presided over by the oldest, able man of the group in whose rambling tent, or more commonly “wattle and dub” hut, all the unmarried lived. These huts were constructed of pliable vines, willow, or other slender sticks roughly woven together and covered with clay or sod. The married couples each had its own hut in which its children were housed.
The patriarch, or head of the family had supreme authority, even to life and death. In eases of insubordination, he might have the guilty one put to death or exiled. If unmarried, the exile would usually seek admission in some other sept and change his name accordingly. If married, he generally went to the sept from which he had his favorite wife. When the patriarch died, or became too old, the oldest married man of the sept usually replaced him unless another had been designated by the patriarch as better qualified. Force being the one principle best understood by all, he ruled with an iron hand. Therefore, the new head was generally selected for his superior strength, although occasionally because of his superior shrewdness.
Women were regarded much as chattel or slaves, and belonged to her husband who generally had several wives. They were usually traded for live stock; the average value of a strong and healthy marriageable girl being three sheep, two bulls, or one cow. The woman herself had nothing to say about it and rarely refused to accept her fate as a matter of course. She cared for the family fire, did the cooking, tanned the hides, did all the other menial work, fetching and carrying for her man much as the [North American] Indian women of recent years was accustomed to doing. Unfaithful wives were usually killed and their paramour exiled or killed.
There were, however, many cases of real affection between man and wife. Occasionally, some venturesome lad or man would slip into a distant sept and steal the girl of his choice. If caught by her people without being killed, he was forced to take her family name and join her sept where, for a time at least, his life was apt to be far from pleasant. Also, if she did not prove to be as he had hoped, he could not divorce her by the simple expedient of a club or stone knife as was true if he bought her or reached his own sept safely with her. The women seemed rather to glory in the fact that they were sufficiently attractive to be stolen and seldom made any objections.
Although many members of most septs were third and fourth cousins, it was rare for a man to take a woman in his own family. The marriage ceremony was simple. The man took her to his hut, and that was that.
Unlike the Plains Dwellers, whose average height was about six feet, the Forest Dwellers were great hulking giants, averaging well over seven feet tall, much more hairy than the Plains Dwellers, as savage as the beasts with whom they contended for a living, equally as predatory, and subscribing to the belief that might makes right.
Like the Plains Dwellers, they lived in family groups but were too ignorant or indolent to construct even the rudest of shelters. Following the seasonal migrations of the game upon which they lived, they usually took shelter under some of the mammoth trees of the lush forests which extended from the Plains well up the sides of the mountains and covering millions of acres, With a fine disregard for the rights of others, they sought to take by force or stealth whatever they wanted, regardless of whether it belonged to Plains Dweller, Cave Dweller, or another Forest Dweller.
Like all the people of this period, their clothing consisted of skins. Since the art of tanning was unknown to them, they usually wore the skins of more or less recently killed animals until they dried too stiff to serve, or rotted and fell apart. It is noteworthy that when a keen-nosed Plains Dweller smelled carrion, he immediately warned his companions of the suspected approach of a Forest Dweller.
Naturally, the Forest Dwellers were as brutish in appearance as in their mode of living and because of their unbelievable strength, were exceedingly dangerous adversaries. As was to be expected, their septs were seldom large, thirty or forty being exceptional, and but very few reaching fifty or more.
The head of each sept was almost invariably the best and most powerful fighter in it, seizing his rule by brute force and maintaining it until overthrown. Weakling children were killed, as were those seriously crippled. Having nothing with which to barter among themselves, they stole such women as they could get, many of them being Plains Dwellers and Cave Dwellers, although the latter were rare for reasons we shall set forth. Affection among them was unusual, and most of the women were unwilling slaves who, all too often, would slay their own babies rather than allow them to grow up hated Forest Dwellers.
It was a common occurrence for a Forest Dweller to seize a full-grown bull by the horns, snap its neck with his bare hands, throw it over his shoulder, and run back into the forest with it.
It was but natural that these denizens of the forests should be universally hated by both the Plains and the Cave Dwellers.
Notwithstanding that they were of the same Mu Yan stock, the Cave Dwellers were quite unlike either the Plains or Forest Dwellers both in appearance and in manner of living, Although they averaged about six feet in height, living in high altitudes, and having to lead a most active existence in order to survive, they had developed barrel-like chests averaging sixty inches in girth which gave them a rather squat appearance. This was accentuated by the fact that their heads were set well forward, seemingly resting directly upon their great shoulders without any neck as a result of living in caves for thousands of years and being forced to stoop constantly to prevent hitting their shaggy pates upon the low ceilings.
This posture made their naturally long and powerful arms seem even longer, at the same time causing their hairy hands to hang well below the knees. This, and the beetling eyebrows shading deep-set eyes, low, sloping brows, and exceptionally heavy jaws with fanglike and often somewhat protruding teeth, gave them a generally gorilla-like appearance.
Their strength was so prodigious that it was as nothing for one of them to come running up the steep, tortuous trails with an eight-hundred-pound bear across his shoulders, and even the average Forest Dweller thought twice before attacking one. Furthermore, they had acquired a marvelous skill in fashioning knives and axes from the flint and obsidian with which the mountains abounded and were therefore, more formidable in a fight then even the great hoogwar (the progenitor of our jaguar) or the giant bears found throughout the Valley and mountains.
Their women, though much less hairy and of slighter build, had the same characteristic short necks and stooped appearance. Due probably to their limited number and the fact that they considered the Forest Dweller women most unattractive, Cave Dwellers seldom had more than one wife, and while they commonly traded for them, there was much more affection among them than was true of the other two divisions of the Mu Yang. They were stern and severe in their treatment of those among them who violated their simple rules or molested their women. Lack of chastity among the women was practically unknown.
Notwithstanding their unprepossessing appearance and great strength, the Cave Dwellers were a highly intelligent folk for their time. Innately, they were a kindly lot, perhaps even more so than the average Plains Dweller, but long and bitter experience with the Forest Dwellers had made them suspicious of all strangers and exceedingly cunning in devising ways and means for protecting their caves from all outside danger. No doubt, this form of necessity had much to do with their development of such high skill in working with stone. They were kind to their children and cared for their crippled, aged, and afflicted in a manner surprisingly gentle for that time.
While, in common with both the Plains and Forest Dwellers, they lived in family groups made possible by enlarging natural caves, theirs was a much more communal form of life than was true of either of the other two groups. This was due, principally, to the fact that caves were usually found only in certain sections, particularly where limestone was more common. It was not at all unusual to find as many as fifteen or twenty family groups occupying as many caves in close proximity. With their common interest in securing food and protecting themselves from the wild beasts and the even more dangerous Forest Dwellers, they learned to live together in reasonable peace and harmony.
As has been true of all times and ages, there were among the Mu Yans those who, by nature and inclination, were far deeper thinkers than the average. Almost without exception, these were, and are, reincarnated Egos who, in previous incarnations, had an inherent and characteristic desire to know whence we came, why we are here, and whither we are bound. In other words, they seek to solve or unravel what is commonly termed, “the mystery of life.” These thinkers are inevitably drawn together, for each, consciously or unconsciously, is seeking to create practically an identical environment. It could not be otherwise because by the Law of Vibrational Attraction, man always seeks the company and companionship of those who think as he thinks, and this came occured before the first civilization was begun, when a group of such thinkers came together in the Mu Valley.
Regardless of the number of years already passed in his current incarnation, one who really thinks always expresses a maturity of thought that sets him apart from others and gives him an air of wisdom such as is invariably associated with mature years and wide experience. Therefore, it was perfectly natural that this small group which formed at that long ago period should be called, “the Elders,” by the populace. It was a title of respect, yet of sufficiently impersonal nature as to be most pleasing to these unassuming but highly intelligent men, who, for all their learning, were outstanding for their benevolence and humility.
Always searching for more and even deeper information and knowledge, and aided as they were by the Lords of Venus and Mercury of whom originally they had no knowledge, they evolved and developed clairvoyant abilities to a high degree. This power enabled them to advance by leaps and bounds, figuratively speaking, until there came a time when they were so venerated as almost to be worshipped.
It was the custom for various of the Elders to leave their secluded and carefully hidden retreat to circulate among the tribe in search of youths who displayed ability and characteristics which set them apart from and above the others of their people. As is the usual case, these were very few in number, and even of these few, most could not meet the exacting requirements essential to the purposes of the Elders.
To determine those really acceptable, it was their custom to impart to each certain simple information he could use. They would then observe closely how it was utilized. If the youth displayed a sincere desire to accomplish good by its use and to seek more, they would give him additional instruction. When, with the passing of time, he proved his fitness for their benign purpose, after due precautions, they finally took him to their retreat where the entire group would work with him until he eventually became one of them.
The simple mode of living in strict conformance with all the natural laws they understood enabled the Elders to prolong their lives far beyond the average. None of them, however, had attained physical immortality. Therefore, they felt it incumbent upon them to prepare some promising young man to take the place of any who passed on. At the time with which we are concerned, some 76,000 B.C., this group of Elders had advanced so far that they were nearing physical immortality, at least seven of them being more than two hundred years old. Being the oldest and possessing correspondingly riper wisdom, these were unanimously selected to be leaders of the group. It was to their attention that two outstanding youths were brought—one Hut Mai Dan of the Dan family, and one Rhu Sol Ku of the Ku family. These were commonly known as Hut and Rhu, and were of the Plains Dwellers.
These lads came from rather unusual families for, of all the Plains Dwellers, only these two families had ever operated as a unit. According to their family totem poles, this unified effort had continued some eight-hundred years. Because of this association and cooperative endeavor, these families had grown into the largest and most powerful of all the Mu Yan septs. But, so resistant to change were the other families that it had never occurred to any of the others to emulate them. This fact was the subject of much thoughtful discussion between Rhu and Hut, a circumstance of which the Elders were well aware.
To the north and east of the Mu Valley, extended what seemed to Rhu and Hut a limitless expanse of rolling plains upon which grew grasses of such superior quality and extent as to make the Mu Valley seem almost barren by contrast. Although it was here that the two planned to introduce this daring innovation, certain seemingly insurmountable difficulties presented themselves.
The first of these was finding a way to get their people out upon the Great Plain, as they were accustomed to call it. At one time a pass led to it, but many years back, a great earthquake had caused a three thousand foot cliff to split and spill into it, at the same time causing a thirty to fifty foot rift in the floor of the canyon. At the bottom of this chasm, the mighty Hatamukulian River roared through at an almost unbelievable speed and with a force that made the very earth tremble near it.
As if this were not enough to dampen their ardor, it was known that every effort to settle on the Great Plain before the great cataclysm, and while the pass was open, had met with the most dismal failure. Each venturesome family who attempted to do so was annihilated by other tribes also having access to the plain through that pass, which subsequent events proved to be the only one. With the true dog-in-the-manger characteristic of mankind, each tribe had been determined that if it could not possess the Great Plain, no other should.
To Rhu and Hut, this was the greatest of all stumbling blocks because they well knew that if they found or opened a new pass, the other tribes would also make use of it. For days and weeks they pondered over this until, at last, the great idea came to Rhu. Why not work out a plan of cooperative organization whereby, in return, for their food and shelter, the Forest Dwellers should hold the pass, the Plains Dwellers supplying the food from their herds, and the Cave Dwellers fashioning and supplying the necessary stone weapons.
Breathless over the daring idea, the nimble wits of Rhu and Hut passed over the intervening difficulties to be solved and dwelt upon a bright future quite unlike their present mode of life. Of most importance was the fact that with the wealth of grass and forage, it would no longer be necessary to move the herds from place to place, and permanent homes could be provided. Here, together with the other conveniences they would supply, the old folks, women, and children could live in comfort!
Close upon the first glad exultation, Hut found cause to demur. Would it be possible to persuade any Plains Dwellers to agree? Moreover, how could a Cave Dweller be enticed to come? And even if it were possible to get any Forest Dwellers to join them, what assurance could the Plains Dwellers have that those great brutes would not turn upon them?
However, youth is ever inclined to make light of obstacles in the way of its desires. As for the Forest and Cave Dwellers, he Rhu, would undertake to get enough of them with which to start if Hut would work with the Plains Dwellers. Hadn’t he, Rhu, once visited the Cave Dwellers and returned? And was he not the best shot with the bow and arrow in the entire valley? He would so dazzle the Forest Dwellers with his uncanny skill and superior weapons that they would willingly follow him. Besides, were there not the Elders to help them?
And so it was that, although wholly unconscious of the Elders’ part in what they were doing, these young men took the first step toward starting what was to result in the greatest civilization of all time. We shall not enter into the complex details of the trials and difficulties they encountered in finding and persuading a few hardy ones to accept their plan despite the obvious advantages it offered. This is all set forth in the book, The Sun Rises.
Some idea of what was entailed may be obtained from the fact that Rhu traveled over two thousand miles on foot through mountains and jungles during the time it took Hut to find some forty or fifty Plains Dwellers with nerve enough to risk any association in which the Forest Dwellers were involved. Many there were who agreed readily with all Hut said regarding the advantages to be gained, but the barest mention of the Forest Dwellers caused their enthusiasm to drop to zero. As a consequence, Hut finally confined himself to the advantages of life upon the Great Plain and the elimination of any mention of the part to be played by the Forest Dwellers.
Upon Hut's return to the Ku and Dan headquarters with his recruits, one can well imagine the amazed consternation of his followers when they discovered a group of both Forest Dwellers and Cave Dwellers associating in apparently the most friendly terms, not only with one another, but with the Ku and Dan families as well! Only their great respect for the powerful Ku and Dan septs prevented their flat refusal to proceed further.
Their astonishment knew no bounds as they observed that their friend Rhu, already famed for his daring travels, was constantly accompanied by one towering Forest Dweller named Ord, a giant well over seven feet tall, and a scarcely less formidable appearing Cave Dweller named Dargh. Even to the most suspicious and alarmed Plains Dwellers, it was obvious that these two who towered above Rhu were not only upon the friendliest possible terms with him, but considered themselves as his personal bodyguards. Also, it was equally clear that each was the leader of his own group which he ruled with an iron hand, exacting and receiving instant and unquestioning obedience to his slightest command.
With the establishment of a degree of mutual confidence, Rhu and Hut visited the Elders for counsel and advice as to their next step, thus permanently establishing in the minds of their new followers the position the Elders were to maintain from that time forward. In their slow-working minds was born the idea that since both Rhu and Hut so valued their help, the Elders were the beginning and the end of all wisdom. The very tenacity which for thousands of years had enslaved them to established customs was thus an asset, for having once accepted the Elders for what they were, nothing short of a cataclysm would ever change them.