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Re: chicken in America: from Asia? (cont.)


This is a great piece of info that may help put together this jig-saw
puzzle. You ask some very valid questions.

rwchilders (rwchilders@interoz.com) wrote:
: Note that the problem is compounded by the early Spanish explorers apparent
: failure to differentiate linguistically between turkeys and chickens. At
: times they are apparently called gallinas. At other time, they are called
: gallinas del Pais. They even call them pavos occasionally. I find it
: interesting that Iberville when he is exploring the Gulf Coast of the
: Southeastern US in 1700 or so, finds the Bayougoula Indians of Louisiana
: raising chickens as sacred birds rather than for domestic consumption. One
: would think that if the chicken were introduced by way of the Spaniards,
: that they would have adopted the Spanish attitude toward chickens as food
: sources.

Absolutely. "Isolationists" may well validly suggest that the chicken
could have come from Asia post-Columbus. Yet their arguments really fall
flat if they would also insist that the Spanish would have introduced
ritual uses associated with chickens in America! Hardly possible. Such
ritual uses and cultural complexes associated with chickens are
well-attested and have been strongly linked with Asia. 

: As far as I know, there was no explanation of where these chickens
: had come from. When I read Gailliard McWilliams translation of Iberville's
: Journals, I immediately thought about Carter's article in Man Across the
: Sea. I did not see any evidence there of what the Indians called the
: chickens but I suppose that such may be found since the French in this
: period were putting together word lists of some native Languages. See Jean
: Beranger's word list for an Indian group on the Texas Coast made about
: 1718.

This would be a great place to look for more evidence.

: While the linguistic evidence that is put forth is imposing, only
: discovery of actual remains in datable pre-Columbian sites will put this
: argument to rest. However, if chickens were not a Pre-Columbian
: introduction, their rapid spread may give some real insight into cultural
: diffusion that will upset many cherished beliefs. Wayne Childers

Either way, anti-diffusionists will have a problem with the chicken!

Best wishes,


            =O=    Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto    =O=
  --- a webpage like any other...  http://www.io.org/~yuku ---
Diffusionist studies are not, as they are sometimes said to be,
attempts to depreciate the creativity of peoples; rather they are
efforts to locate and specify this creativity. D. Frazer,
Research, 32 (1965) p. 454, as quoted by J. Needham.

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