BY WILLIAM BOND
Illustration by Angus McBride
WILLIAM BOND'S YAHOO GROUP
first reports of Amazon warriors in America comes from Christopher Columbus.
On March 4, 1493, Columbus wrote that he had encountered; women warriors on
the island of Martinique, he also claimed they covered themselves with copper
plates and used bows and arrows made of sugar cane. This story is supported
by Alfonso Ulloa, who accompanied Columbus on all four of his voyages to the
New World, also wrote about the women warrior of Martinique in his book; Historia
del Senor Don Fernando Colombo. In this book he wrote that the locals claimed
that the island of Martinique
was then only populated by women. Men from other islands would only come to the island at a certain days of the year to collect boys, and would bring the boy up.
The Spanish also reported other islands called Las Mujeres, (which means women in Spanish) and Cozumel where again women warriors were seen. Unfortunately these early Caribbean people were killed, raped and enslaved by the Spanish conquistadors.
Michele de Cuneo wrote in February 1495 that Columbus captured 1,600 Tainos (the name of the original Caribbean people) and put 550 on ships, but 200 died on the return passage. To discourage the Spanish invading their islands for food the Tainos burnt their own crops, resulting in many dying of hunger, unfortunately this still didn't stop the Spanish taking them as slaves. Forced labor, diseases such as measles and smallpox, and famine decimated the native people until only 60,000 Tainos were counted in 1509. When the Tainos tried to fight back killing a few Spaniards the revenging killing by the Spanish were extremely brutal. For instance; when the natives of Higuey and Saona killed eight Spaniards, four hundred troops slaughtered the natives of these islands. The Tainos turn out to be so unsatisfactory as slaves, that the Spanish began to import African slaves in 1505.
Amazons were also reported by the Spanish in California, unfortunately these reports are very controversial because not only were these tribes ruled by women they were also black. When the Spanish first came to California they found two races of people the Indian people with racial features similar to Chinese Japanese, Philippines, and black Amazons.
Up until 1862 the origin of the name California was a mystery, until a scholars discovered a novel written in 1521 by Garcia Ordonez de Montalvo. The book, called The Exploits of the Very Powerful Cavalier Esplandian, Son of the Excellent King Amadis of Gaul. Within this book was the story of Queen Califia, an Amazon Queen so it seems that when the Spanish first began to explore the North-West coast of America and discovered tribes of black Amazon women they called the place California after this fictional Queen Califia.
Now the idea of black people in America before the Europeans discovered it, is very controversial. Yet archaeologists have discovered bodies of people different to that of the Asiatic Native Americans. In Brazil a female skull was discovered in Luzia having a long and narrow skull that was 12,000 years old. The same is true in Mexico in Penon another woman's skull was found of a similar type, 13,000 years old. What is even more controversial about all these skulls is that they very much the same as Australia Aborigines or African Bushmen. So if that is the case what happened to these people? The black people in California just didn't suddenly disappeared they were later reported by the French and English explorers. The problem is; that as black slaves from Africa were imported into America they were confused in the minds of the European settlers with the Native Black people. As these people had no voice in the White man's history, there origins were obscured and forgotten.
In the official history of America it states that America was populated by Asian people about 13,400 years ago through a land bridge that once existed between Siberia and Alaska. Yet archaeologists have found remains of human activity going back 50,000 years in America. So it suggests that pre-history of America was very different to what we have be led to believe.
It is of interest that the Spanish found that these black people sailing in ships and were told that these people traded with islands far out into the Pacific. This is similar to a what was told to the Spanish by the Incas in Peru. A Inca ruler called Tupac took a fleet of balsa rafts. (Similar to the Kon-Tiki raft that Thor Heyerdahl sail across the Pasific) to islands of Avachumbi and Ninachumbi. (No one knows who these islands are). After a year they came back with booty and many black people.
is the mystery of the Olmec people. The central American Olmec civilization
Malya civilization and existed between 1500 to 100 B.C. where it then disappeared. What they left behind is very large carvings of heads of weighing between 20-40 tons. Who these people were is unknown but it is speculated they were Olmec kings. They are very naturalistic carvings but the problem with them is they are not Asiatic faces, but have the flattened noses, wide lips the features of Africans. Even there writing system reflects this as many of its symbols are similar to the writings used by the Vai people of West Africa. What is more the later Mayan writing, which comes from the Olmec, when broken down into their constituent parts were analogous to the ancient Libyco-Berber writings of North Africa.
The most famous sighting of Amazons in America comes from Francisco de Orellana who was a member of the army that conquered Peru. In 1541 Orellana was part of a Spanish army which went to find El Dorado in the Amazon jungle. Soon they were running out of food and Orellana was ordered to build a boat and sail down the river in search of food. He was unsuccessful in this, and at their agreed meeting point they missed the main Spanish force. They then continued down the river until they came to a Indian village who gave them food. They stayed there and built a even larger ship and heard tales about the Coniupuyara which means "great women" that lived further down the river. As they drifted further down the river they come upon more Indian villages and most were hostile towards them. Then they came to a city set upon platform in the middle of a clearing. Orellana managed to communicate with friendly natives who told him this was the city of their rulers. They went on to explain that the rulers were call; "the women who live alone" and they ruled over the land. It seemed that when the female rulers visited their villages, the people gave them feathers of parrots and macaws, to decorate the roofs of their altars.
Orellana continued down the river but when he tried to go ashore again near another large settlement he met fierce resistance. In the ranks of the natives they saw tall, naked white women who seem to be in charge. The Spanish then fired at these Amazons and killed a several and the attack weakened allowing the Spanish to make their escape.
Now having tall white women at first seems to be very improbable yet reports of white people in pre-Columbia America, come from other parts of South America. The Incas told the Spanish that they were not the first white people they had met. They had mistakenly welcomed the Spanish into their cities thinking they were white Viracocha people, not knowing that the Spanish were only interested in conquest. The existence of these white people have been confirmed by archaeologists. In Washington State a body of a man 10,700 years old was discovered in Kennewich. He had skull longer and narrower than today's Native Americans. This has raise a controversy because it is like the skulls of Europeans and very different from Asians.
To get around this controversy it is now claimed that this is the skull of the Ainu people of Northern Japan. Unfortunately these people are also very controversial. It seems that the Ainu people were the original inhabitancies of Japan until it was invaded by Chinese people. Since then they have interbreed with the Chinese invaders, but originally they were white people. What is more they are a lot taller and then the average Chinese and Japanese people. Which is the same as the Kennewich man who again was a tall and strong individual which is what Oraellana saw; tall and strong white women.
After they escaped; Orellana questioned an Indian prisoner about the Amazon attackers. The Indian admitted he knew about the women because he took them tribute on his chieftain's behalf. His chieftain was called Couvnco and his land was a vassal state of the Amazons, who lived some seven days' journey inland. He also said the women were not married and Orellana wanted to know more. Through a language of general Indian words and signs, the prisoner explained all he knew of the land of the Amazons. 'The women were very numerous and dwelled in seventy villages,' recorded Fray Caspar. 'Their houses were built of stone and provided with doors. The roads from one village to another were fenced on both sides and guarded at regular intervals so no one could approach without paying toll.' 'But who are the fathers of these women's children?' asked Orellana. 'The women make war against a great lord nearby.' replied the Indian, 'and bring back warriors as captives and live with them in their villages. When a woman becomes pregnant, the prisoners are sent back to their land. When a son is born, he is killed and his body sent to the father. When a daughter is born, she is cared for and taught the ways of war.'
'Who is the lord of these women?' he was asked, 'They are subject to a female chieftain called Conori.' said the Indian. 'The Amazons possess great wealth in silver and gold. The household utensils of the most important Amazon women are made of precious metals. They have five great houses or temples dedicated to the sun, containing idols of gold and silver representing the figures of women. Their clothing is made of fine llama wool and it covers their bodies from breast to knee and is sometimes fixed by buttons, sometimes by laces. They have long hair and wear gold crowns two inches in width adorned with coloured designs.'
Orellana continued down the river to the open sea and then managed to sail his two homemade ships back to Spain. He also named the river The Amazon after the female warriors who attacked him.
Yet 20 years later when the next European expedition explored the river they found no trace of the fabulous cities reported by Orellana or the Amazon warriors. As a result Orellana was to be labelled by historians a liar, and his stories of marvelous cities, female rulers and Amazon warriors exaggerated fantasies. This was to be confirmed in more modern time when it was realized that the soil in the rail-forests is very poor for growing crops. At present farmers are destroying the Amazon forest by the slash and burn method. They cut down a large area, then burn it, and plant crops. Yet after a few years the soil is so depleted that crops no longer can be grown. So they have to go on to cut down another area and do the same thing.
For this reason modern experts claimed that a ancient civilization to exist in the Amazon basin was impossible because all civilizations in the past have relied on intensive farming for food. So it seems to be that Orellana was clearly a liar because there was no evidence of any kind to support his stories.
Then very recently archaeologists began to find large earth mounds in the Amazon forests. It occurred to some of them that these mounds might be artificial and they began to dig in them and quickly found large amounts of pottery and other man made artifacts. Not only this, some of these fragments suggested they come from very large pots, far too large to be carried around by anyone. This then means that these mounds were the remains of ancient settlements. As the archaeologists explored further they found ancient roads, linking these mounds demonstrating a complex infrastructure of an ancient civilization. If this was so, how did they feed themselves? Because, as previously mentioned, without intensive farming they could not feed a large population.
The archaeologists then noticed the soil in the mounds was very different to the normal soil of the rain forest. It was reasoned, that this ancient civilization must have found a way to fertilize this normally barren soil. Test were done on the soil and it was discovered the it was full of charcoal. What become clear was this ancient civilization used the slash and burn method, but instead of burning the vegetation they cooked the wood instead. (This is the method of making charcoal all over the world). The charcoal was then able to retain the nutrients in the wood. Not only that, this charcoal rich soil was full of bacteria which fed the plants growing in it. Modern scientist have reproduced this method and been greatly impressed by the results. In experimental plots, adding a combination of charcoal and fertilizer into the rain-forest soil boosted yields by 880% compared with fertilizer alone. This has now been hailed as a solution to the world's hunger problem. It seems that this ancient civilization found solutions to the problems of poor soil that modern science with all its sophisticated chemical fertilizers was unable to find.
has been found in many other areas along the Amazon river. With ancient artificial
within it wherever found. Showing a large civilization and all these mounds are in the places where Orellana claimed he saw these cities and towns. So what happened to this ancient civilization?
can only speculate, but it is known that the Europeans brought with them diseases
unknown to the native population, like small pox and influenza. Not having any immunity to these diseases the native population was decimated. It means that the Orellana expedition brought to the native population these diseases, which would have wiped out most of them out very quickly. The civilization collapsed and the jungle soon overgrew the cities and town. So by the time the next Europeans came to the same area all they would have seen was virgin jungle.
The problem is with this theory is that no civilization has been destroyed by disease alone. Even the back death plagues that swept Europe were not enough to destroy European civilization. The two things that has destroyed civilizations in the past have been; years of drought and famine or conquest and genocide. Now we can rule out famine, because the Amazon basin has shown no sign of this for thousands of years. So this only leaves conquest and genocide.
The original expedition that Orellana was a part off was searching for El Dorardo, on the strength of native stories. And the Indian whom he questioned told him that; 'The Amazons possess great wealth in silver and gold. The household utensils of the most important Amazon women are made of precious metals. They have five great houses or temples dedicated to the sun, containing idols of gold and silver representing the figures of women'. It was probably this that sealed the Amazon civilization's fate. The Spanish were gold crazy and would of wanted to find and loot this gold. This is why Orellana come back to the Amazon to with another expedition, but he was beaten back by the natives and he himself died and the expedition returned empty handed.
would be inconceivable that no-one else tried to do the same, with reports of
gold within this Amazon civilization. So the obvious thing would be another
expedition came back to the Amazon and
destroyed it completely and looted all the gold it had.
If that is the case; why hasn't it been reported in history? The main reason could be the Christian Church. One of the hidden agendas of the Church is the oppression of Women, so reports from Orellana of a Amazon civilization would not of gone down well with them. More reports coming back of this civilization would give women in Europe confidence within themselves and encourage them to perhaps even take up arms and fight for their rights. So probably another larger expedition was organized but the Church decided to either not allow it to be reported, or destroyed anything that was written down about it.
So like many stories of Amazon warriors, the evidence was destroyed, to undermine women's confidence in themselves.
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