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Re: Atawallpa was no chicken (It was Re: chicken in America: from Asia? (cont.))

Yuri wrote:

>Thanks for looking up those refs.

>Domingo Martinez-Castilla (agdndmc@showme.missouri.edu) wrote:

: (Followups limited to sci.archaeology.mesoamerican,sci.archaeology)

: This note presents some data on the meaning of the Kechwa (the Inca
language) : term "wallpa", which as a noun today means "chicken" o, more
commonly, "hen". 

: For starters, the names of Atawallpa (commonly spelled Atahualpa), his
brother : Inti Titu Kusi Wallpa (who changed his name into Waskar after
claiming the : title of Inca, or emperor), and his other brother Tupac
Wallpa, have : absolutely nothing to do with chickens or any other birds. 

>So? Some people think chickens have something to do with their names, and
>some people think they doesn't... Who's the judge? 

Yuri, this is pretty good research.  Looking at the word in the context of
the language is something Carter never bothered to do (I checked for this
before making my own chicken post.  I wanted to do what Domingo has done
here, but my library did not have this source).  Folk explanations of
words abound (I know three totally different stories about the origin of
the slang "okay".  All of them are not correct).  Carter operates by
taking words out of the context of their language and comparing them
cross-culturally without knowledge or reference to their morphology.

Domino has given us good reason to doubt that "Hualpa" ever meant chicken.
 He may be wrong, he may have missed something, but dismissing it in the
manner you do above is silly.

I notice when some say one thing and some say the other about any topic
relating to difussion, you seem to KNOW who the judge is, though the best
evidence lie against you.

: I will ellaborate : after remembering a part of Mr Kuchinsky's "essay
about the chicken". 


: >Can we really believe that the Incas would be not only accepting
: >this domesticated animal instantly -- but also integrating it into
: >their religion and government instantly? This really strains the
: >limits of credulity...

: There is no mention of chickens being used in religion. 

>There's plenty of evidence in Carter that they were used in religious and
>cultic contexts. There's also plenty about use in cockfighting, etc. How
>did you manage to miss it?

Among the Incas?  Well I'm pulling Carter out again. I'll get back to you.


: Itier mentions that the verbal root wallpa- has completely disappeared
in : today's Kechwa, but had been originally translated by the early
missionaries : as "create".  After presenting several different uses of
the root, Itier : advances that the common value of wallpa- would be (my
translation) "to : provide somebody or something with what is needed for
a determined goal".  : Thus, the title "runa wallpaq", assigned to
Wirakocha, the creating deity in : the Andean pantheon, can be understood
as "who provides [all] for men". 

: To this verb, there was a corresponding noun, wallpa, "known in a
reduced : number of contexts", meaning "what is given to someone for a
purpose". In only : one case, Itier follows, wallpa designs a person that
is given something: ataw : wallpa, which means "blessed in war", as ataw
is "fortune in the war".  This : is, then, the meaning of Atawallpa's
name, which makes a lot of sense. 

: One should not be suprised at Acosta's belief that the word "wallpa"
for : chicken predated the arrival of the Spaniards.  Even though a very
important : jesuit, he was late in the Andes and was no linguist.  He was
a careful : observer and wrote extensively about his observations, and
advanced many : insightful interpretations, but in this case he was just

>You think so? And why your opinion should be the law?

I see.  Someone does research that neither you nor Carter has done and you
want to trivialize it as an opinion.  Some opinions carry more weight than

>You still have to explain why the natives have their own names for
>chickens, why these names are connected with Asian names linguistically,
>why all the cultural connections, and a few things like this... 

You know, I answered this ad nauseum a while back.  You didn't argue my
linguistic points, which were pretty well thought out and replete with
evidence to back up what I said.  If you want to go back and argue that
post, I would be happy to respond.  I can repost it, if you like.

In any event, you now retire from "Hualpa" to the more generalized
argument.  Carter certainly advanced no convincing argument that "Hualpa"
is connected to any Old World language.

>By the way, one useful thing to consider when looking for bones: if
>chickens were primarily used cultically, as was often the case according
>to Carter, then their numbers would not have been so great -- they would
>not have been a food staple. This certainly may explain why they may have
>been overlooked in excavations.

The why do they suddenly appear in post-Columbian sites?  

As has been explained to you repeatedly, you don't "look" for bones.  You
dig a site and there they are or aren't.  Shall I explain to you how the
process of digging a site is done?  I would be happy to. 

You survey the site.  You map it.  Maybe you do a surface collection
(general, stratified, random stratified, whatever) to get an idea of
what's on the surface and where what is clustered.

You open "units".  To keep this simple, let's look at a single 1by 1 meter
unit.  This is maped into the site map with surveying equipment, so you
can find it again in thirty years, if you need to.  You start digging. 
You may go down by arbititrary levels (say, 10 cc meter increments) or by
natural layers (when the dirt changes color or whatever).

Each shovelfull of dirt goes into a mesh screen, usually 1/4 inch. 
Someone pushes or hoses it through.  Everything -- EVERYTHING -- that
doesn't go through the mesh goes in a bag with a label which tells you
what site, level, and unit the stuff came from.  Soil samples are also
taken, including samples for "floats" to recover organic things too small
to stay in the mesh.

As you go down, you draw the "profile", and usually photogrpah it as well.
 The profile's are the sides of the unit, where you can see changes in
soil color (this way, if you go by arbitrary levels, you still see the
natural ones).

If you are lucky, you hit "features".  Features are non-portable
artifacts; postholes full of carbonized post, trash pits, burials, tombs,
etc.  These get special treatment, and are taken out seperatly from the
level, mapped, profiled, etc..  All the stuff in them is kept, labled,
organic or non-organic, for analysis.

This goes back to the lab.  Zoologists and botanists identify the floral
and faunal remains.  C14 is done on organics to date the levels they came
from.  Lots of other stuff is done with the artifacts themselves.  When
analysis is done, this all goes in labled boxes in a building somewhere so
that later researchers can pull out the same stuff and know exactly where
each thing came from.

I worked on a site back in 1985.  A little nothing site, no huge temple,
no great town.  Just a little village on the banks of the Tombigbee river
that we only had a few weeks to dig before the U.S. corps of engineers
bulldozed it away.  We opened as many units and larger blocks as we could
in that time, finding several burials, houses, trashpits, etc.  I'm
looking at the site report.  We found the following vertebrate remains:

We weren't "looking" for any of these.  Nor were we looking for the 12
invertebrate species we found and recorded.  We were just being thorough. 
We didn't leave any bones bigger than a small fingernail in anything we
excavated.  You can go see them, right now, in the curation facility and
Mississippi State University.

Some details may vary in how sites are done, but this is the gist of it. 
The insinuation that chicken bones would be ignored because nobody was
"looking" for them or expected them to be there is absurd.

We recover other animals used only for ceremonial purposes (notably
panthers here in the SE).  Why not chickens?

>Great logicians like Paul P. keep harping about how there were no
>chickens among the Mayans. And then he's using this as proof that there
>were no chickens in the Americas! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the science
>of logic has been reborn!

>We know that the Mayans did not have chickens. I think archaeologists
>should try to look for chickens where they may have been, instead of not
>finding them where they were not -- and making a big deal out of this!

: I do not know anything about George Carter.  I have not been able to
find a 
: book authored by him, nor any of his credentials. 

>This just shows how skilled you are in finding refs. Not. What do they
>teach you in school? There are books and articles by Carter aplenty.

Hmm.  I thought you were thanking him for running down refs. a moment ago.

: But to take Acosta's word : (1589-90) as an indication of chickens
being in the Andes in pre-Columbian : times reveals, at the least,
carelessness, and at the most, wishful thinking : that should not be
allowed when advancing serious proposals.  All his : "evidence" is full
of interpretations without any additional research. 

>Well, do some more research, as you obviously missed a few things this

Because you "know" Carter is right, and Domingo's research doesn't bear
him out, therefore he must have missed something?  No offense, Yuri, but
you have "missed" everything BUT Carter's article.  Not for you research
into NA languages, not for you prowling through Spanish documents.  It is
others doing the research here, and you denigrating them in favor of doing
your own footwork to counter them. 

Now, before you get huffy, this is not an ad hominum attack -- which
fallacy asserts that a person's character is bad, and thus anything he
says is dismissable.  What I am suggesting is that you don't do any
appreciable research to bolster the points you bring up, but just
re-iterate what you have already presented.  This speaks to your
methodology (or lack of it, in this case) not your character.

--Greg Keyes

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