Mad Mormon maps

Via Kottke, a map from 1899 illustrating what can happen when geography, religion and history get mashed together — a map of the ancient inhabitants of North and South America.

Mormon theological geography… on a nine-foot-high banner!Boston Rare Maps
The map was an official production of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) in Independence, Missouri. The RLDS (known since 2001 as the Community of Christ), is a reformist branch of the Church of Latter Day Saints, established in 1860.


It’s an impressive object for sure, and I do love a good map, but I was most struck by the summary of what this group of people actually believe.

Ten Lost Tribes: Latter Day Saint movementWikipedia
The Book of Mormon is based on the premise that two families of Israelites escaped from Israel shortly before the sacking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and that they constructed a ship, sailed across the ocean, and arrived in the New World as founders of Native American tribes and eventually the Polynesians.[18] Adherents believe the two founding tribes were called Nephites and Lamanites, that the Nephites were white and practiced Christianity, and that the Lamanites were rebellious and received dark skin from God as a mark to separate the two tribes. Eventually the Lamanites wiped out the Nephites around 400 AD, leaving only dark skinned Native Americans.

All I know of the Mormons is what I’ve learnt by sitting through school concerts that have included songs from that musical, so that was quite illuminating. Native Americans are really Jewish?

Author: Terry Madeley

Works with student data and enjoys reading about art, data, education and technology.

2 thoughts on “Mad Mormon maps”

  1. What a literal and metaphorical way of thinking in black and white, with the lamanites and nephites, it is ironic then that many Mormons in New Zealand at least, are brown. The map is insane…It is a very clear religion which says all of the non believers are bad, my extended family are Maori Mormons and it can make family gatherings a wee bit awkward, there is by the nature of the religion, implied judgment of everything, like being non married or choosing to have no children.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, quite. People are weird, religion is weird, how belief works is weird. I think I’d like to do some more thinking about how belief works, philosophically and neurologically speaking I mean. Where do people get their certainty from, with what look like such preposterous ideas? (Where do I get *my* certainty from, that these *are* such preposterous ideas?)


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