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Re: pre-Columbian American chickens? -- again

Note:  What follows below is not my actual opinion.  It is a response to
the re-birth of the Pre-Columbian chicken on this NG.  What follows is not
supposed to be a simple parody, either (though it is that) but a
demonstration of what one can do if one "knows" something to be true, has
twenty minutes and a handful of books.  Give me the library and two hours,
and I can be a lot more convincing, I promise you.  Carter and Johannssen
(the chicken people) have been at this for decades and can yet muster (in
my opinion) no more credible argument than the bullshit which I place here
before you.

Please do not cite any part of the following argument without the
preceeding disclaimer.  


The recieved knoweldge among archaeologists  that horses were not
re-introduced to the Americas until post-Columbian times is patently
suspect.  In fact, the evidence that Pre-Columban Indians were well aware
of horses is overwhelming.  Below is a summary of just a tiny portion of
this indisputable evidence.

1. The Plains Indians (Dakota, Cheyene, etc.) engaged in rituals regarding
horses which were clearly not European -- Spanish or otherwise -- and in
fact, more resemble certain Asian practices.  For instance, upon the death
of an important Blackfoot chief, some twenty or so horses were slain to
accompany him to the afterlife ( George Bird Grinnell BLACKFOOT LODGE
TALES 1962 pp193-94).  No Spanish, English of French practice resembles
this.  However, Mongol rulers were buried in this manner (Harold Lamb,

The Assinaboin , Hidatsa, and others kept sacred Horse Bundles (Bowers,
the horse being one of its most important components.  Mongols, too,
regarded horse skulls as sacred, adorning their Oboo (shrines) with horse
skulls  ( Caroline Humphrey"Chiefly and Shamanistic Landscapes" in THE
ANTHROPOLOGY OF LANDSCAPE 1995).  I need not mention that there is no
parralel reverence of the horse skull as sacred amongst Europeans (at
least not in the last millenium or so).

I could go on, but this should suffice to show that the belief and ritual
that came to the plains with the horse did not come from Europe.  Other

2.  The saddles used by the Plains Indians look more like central Asian
saddles than Spanish ones to me.

3. Both the Mongols and Plains Indians were proficient at archery from
horseback (as were Japanese Samurai, Kazahks, etc.)  The Spanish were not.

4. Mongols and other Central Asian groups that use horses also live in
tents (yurts).  Most of the Plains Indains also lived in tents (Tipis) and
the rest lived in dome-shaped (that is to say, yurt-shaped) dwellings.

5.  Many Native American groups claim in their oral tradition that they
have had horses from very ancient times.

6.  The Plains Indian patterns of capturing, pasturing, and especially
stealing horses for economic and prestige purposes (Bowers 217-221, Lamb
21) are clearly not based upon European practices.  No stables are to be
found among the Plains Indains, though Mongol-style round corrals
certainly are.

7.  Mongols and Plains Indians also rever the 4 directions.  The Spanish
did not. Many rituals involving horses invoke "four" and the four
directions (cf.  Bowers, 254) 

8. Linguisitic evidence.  An extremely cursory examination revealed the
following.  It seems certain that more is forthcoming.  

Hungarian (the language of Hungary, Magyar, was originally A central Asian
LO / Navajo LII

Turkish AT, Ofo ATCHUNKI

Given all of this, one wonders why archaeologists dogmatically insist that
horses were introduced to the Americas by the Spanish, when it is clear
that ritual and other practices are Asian and not European.  Some might
counter that no horse bones have been found in pre-columbian sites -- this
only shows that the assumption is so strong within the intellectually
lethargic and  fearful (if not entirely bankrupt) academic establishment
that they have not even bothered (!!!) to look for horse bones at
Pre-Columbian sites.

--Greg Keyes