Subject:      Re: Amerindian navigators and Eurocentrism in scholarship
From: (Yuri Kuchinsky 17784)
Date:         1997/09/09
Message-ID:   <5v2mo9$jpc$>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology.mesoamerican,sci.archaeology,
		sci.anthropology, (Matt Silberstein) wrote on Mon, 08 Sep 1997 01:00:35
GMT in <5uvasm$n7p$>
> In sci.anthropology [22] (Yuri Kuchinsky 17784) wrote:

> >I just wonder.
> >
> >Why is it so difficult for a number of scholars in these
> >newsgroups to accept that the Native South Americans were skilful
> >navigators in precolumbian times? Why so much evidence presented
> >to this effect so far has fallen on such deaf ears?

> It is not the abilities that have been questioned, it is the
> accomplishments. The only evidence that I have seen is sightings of
> rafts near the coast.

No, Matt. Larry posted whole relevant chapters from Heyerdahl, with all
kinds of references to primary sources. I posted references to other
detailed scholarly studies. I suppose you missed all that.


> What information, other than the above coastal sightings, has been
> presented that speaks directly to this issue?

See above.


> >Could it be that they simply
> >cannot accept that the Natives could be so advanced and
> >sophisticated in this area?
> Could it be that there is no racism at all involved?

It could. Anyway, I don't think the people who are being so negative and
sarcastic are necessarily racists. Not at all. But the fact remains that
they are repeating the same highly suspect mantras based on their faith
and the dogmas of yesteryear that were obviously formed and formulated in
a highly Eurocentric environment of the past. Now everybody is sensitive
to such issues, true, but the critics involved simply forgot to reexamine
those highly suspect false dogmas.


> >He brought
> >some Polynesians with him on his return. He told his peoples about
> >the two Pacific islands he visited, _Ava Chumbi_, and _Nina
> >Chumbi_. All this happened only three generations before the
> >Spanish arrived to Peru, so it's not like it was some sort of
> >ancient history at that point, or anything...
> So when do you claim the contact started, how was the contact
> maintained, and when did it stop?

Now you're asking very difficult questions. If I try to answer them in
this politically charged context, going of necessity into some
controversial areas of research, I will open myself to attack from these
highly negative people. You see, I care about finding the truth, but they
only care about proving me wrong. They often use questionable tactics.
Their allegiance to the historical truth is close to non-existent, IMHO.

The fact is that the Natives had those skills. This is beyond doubt. Even
the brutal Spanish colonialists accepted this! And what our enlightened
professors object to? That in my post I gave no footnotes -- and therefore
this didn't happen! What kind of logic is this? Whole reams of footnotes
have been posted already -- did they pay attention. Noooo!

When did it stop? This is obvious. After the Spanish conquest. These
industries and trading networks were destroyed by the Spanish.

When did they begin? This is more difficult. I'm reading now EASTER
ISLAND: THE MYSTERY SOLVED, 1989, by Heyerdahl. All kinds of primary
sources and beautiful illustrations of relevant artifacts are given there.
There's no doubt in my mind now that there were links between S. America
and Easter Island very early on, in pre-Inca times. The evidence given in
this book is plentiful and rock solid. It's a fascinating story of unusual
and talented people who lived on this isolated island from very ancient
times. So read this book if you want to know more.



Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto -=O=- [23]

It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than
to put out on the troubled seas of thought -=O=- John K. Galbraith

Click here to go one level up in the directory.