Subject:      Re: ancient corn
From: (Yuri Kuchinsky)
Date:         1997/07/07
Message-ID:   <5prp5p$ib3$>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology.mesoamerican,sci.archaeology,sci.misc

GKeyes6988 ([22] wrote:
: : Yuri wrote:


: Um -- no.  On the one hand you propose that items and information moved
: back and forth between Asia and the Americas in Precolumbian times, and on
: the other you can't credit that several hundred years after the
: introduction of corn into Asia, it couldn't have arrived on Java without
: the Dutch -- that is, from being traded around in the native networks.
: This is a logical inconsistency.

This is a fallacious argument. You distort my position here.

I didn't say "arrived". I asked, How could it have _established_ itself to
become one of the two main crops THROUGHOUT the archipelago by 1808? Not
the same thing by any stretch...


: (Greg)
: : For instance, Ho (Ho, P.T.  1956 "The
: : Introduction of American Food Plants into China." AMERICAN
: : 57:191-201 and also Ho, 1969 "The Loess and the origin of Chinese
: : Agriculture" AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW 75: 1-36) shows its introduction
: : and
: : spread in China in the sixteenth century.
: (Yuri)
: >Again a meaningless assertion based on outdated research.
: Oh?  It dates to the same period as the evidence you cite from Jeffreys.

Yes, but I have a better reference.


: (Yuri)
: >Not at all. It is certainly meaningful and significant in so far as it
: >increases the chances that maize was not introduced by the Europeans. I
: >don't understand why I have to explain such kid's stuff to you. My only
: >explanation is that you're blinded by your false ideological
: >preconceptions to see such things clearly.  You're clearly begging the
: >point here.
: No, you assert that a native name means that the plant has been in the
: region for a long time.  I say that this is not a predictable indicator
: and remind you why..  What question am I begging?

It is an important indicator that it was not introduced by the Europeans.
It is not a sufficient indicator, but I never said it was. Simple logic,
something you obviously find quite difficult to deal with...


:  (Greg)
: : Interestingly enough, when I look up JEGUNG in my Malay dictionary :
: (Malaysian : and Indonesian are mutually intelligible) I get "ship's
: chest, : sternlocker".  : When I look up Maize I get JAGUNG, but when I go
: to that entry I get : "Corn, : Indian Maize: Mejagung, sprouting of rice,
: postules, breasts" (Haji Abdul : Rashman binYusop, 1964, 1975, BAHASA
: (Yuri)
: >The relevance of this seems remote.
: The relevance is that I did some research on the word, rather than
: accepting at face value what you posted.

Yeah, sure. Great research, Greg. He looked it up in the dictionary and
calls this research...

Well, if you're really interested in the geographical distribution of
maize names, you should look up, Carl Johannessen, DISTRIBUTION OF
Wong, ed, 1992. I posted this ref previously. Plenty of info there. You
could have found that the Indonesian names may be related to Janar,
Jondra, or Cholum, found in South India. Seeing that Indonesia and India
were closely related for many centuries, this may be relevant.

In any case, the first question you should have asked was, Where may the
Indonesian maize name have come from, together with the maize? But I guess
you missed on this...

: The other relevant point is that
: this word had connections to crops and metaphorically to non crops outside
: of maize which would have made it a logical choice for naming a new crop,

Seems like armchair theorizing.

: and further that this linguistic relationships are still evident in the
: modern language, not buried by years of language change.  This isn't
: conclusive of anything, of course,

I'm glad you understand this yourself.


: It didn't have to replace anything.  People add crops to their inventories
: all of the time.

This is rather lame. Have you already forgotten that we're talking about a
MAJOR CROP here? This is not some side-crop!

If you know anything about the history of agriculture, you will know that
no tribe will just throw away one staple to replace it with another. More
kid's stuff that I have to explain to Greg for some reason...

In any case, I'm not going to waste any more of my time on all these
tangentialities. In the light of what comes below, the _real evidence_,
and _real research_, it all becomes rather irrelevant.

: In the past I've given you copius examples of the rapid
: introduction of crops in various parts of the world.  The spread of melons
: through the Southeast and onto the plains happened in under two decades,
: for instance.  I also gave you, more topically, the Ho reference above
: which you dismissed out of hand.


: (Yuri)
: : >Further on, this file also has info about medieval Chinese sources.
: Since
: : >then, I've found more info about Chinese records mentioning maize in
: : >precolumbian time period.
: :
: : Seeing these would be interesting.
: (Yuri)
: >I already wrote about this and gave the name of the researcher. Tokuji
: >Chiba.
: Yes. Do you have the actual reference, please?

Sure do. And this just about takes care of your last defences, Greg. Now
it will become obvious that you're simply still in the state of denial
about this subject...  Seeing how you like to load sour grapes when you
don't have a case, I'm expecting quite a load from you now. But it would
be a lot wiser for you simply to admit defeat with a modicum of grace...


Calcutta, pp. 293-294

Chiba reports that the word for maize is found in an old local gazetteer
in Anhwei province of China at an earlier date than 1516 ad, when the
Portuguese were supposed to have introduced it into coastal China.

The plant that was cultivated then was different from the "Caribbean
maize" that the Iberians favoured and tended to introduce in various
places. This early maize in China was an "archaic maize", the same unusual
breed as is grown even today in the highlands of India.

He also shows that maize was cultivated in Yunnan (western China) in the
early 15th century, even before Columbus reached America.

Chiba also says that some new species of maize were clearly brought to
China in the later half of the 18th century by the Europeans.


Yuri Kuchinsky   | "Where there is the Tree of Knowledge, there
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 in Toronto      | and the most modern serpents."  F. Nietzsche
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