Tempers flare at debate over which Native tribe discovered Europe first
This year’s Atanarjuat Day on October 12th marks the 1000th anniversary of the voyage of legendary Thule explorer, Atanarjuat, to the northwestern edge of the continent of Europe. It is being celebrated in the nations of both continents in the Motherlands with massive expenditures by their governments, but its continued observance in Europe is provoking violent demonstrations. Most European countries in recent years have changed the name to European Discovery Day in order to appease detractors.
Meanwhile, a debate between representatives of the Inuit, Uchee, Algonquians and Chontal Mayas in Ireland over who really discovered Europe ended up in fisticuffs. The Sammi cosponsors of the debate from Lapland literally had to pull the irate speakers apart.
Limerick, County Kerry, Ireland (October 10, 2015) – Did Atanarjuat really discover Europe first? During the past two decades that assumption has been increasingly challenged at universities throughout the Northern Motherlands. Uchee, Algonquian and Maya academicians insist that their respective ancestors visited Europe long before the Thule. Many also claim that Atanarjuat’s arrival at the Dingle Peninsula of Ireland on October 12, 1015 was a myth created by Europeans in order to lure affluent Motherland tourists.
This part of the story is generally accepted by historians. Infuriated by the increasingly lower prices paid by Chinese middlemen for Inuit furs and walrus tusk art, Atanarjuet observed that the Midnight Sun in summer circled the top of the world. He theorized that by traveling east he would arrive in the land of the Vikings and could therefore directly trade his furs for their famous steel swords and axes.
During the winter of 1014 and 1015, Atanarjuet led a dog sled expedition eastward and discovered Greenland. It was uninhabited and the ocean blocked his travel by sled any further east.
He and his fellow Thule men then constructed the world’s largest sealskin umiak up to that time. They then paddled eastward until they discovered Iceland on July 27, 1015. It was inhabited by Vikings, but they did not then know how to make steel swords. The Icelanders told him that the swords were fashioned in the homeland of the Norse in Europe.
Then, according to a somewhat obscure legend, heavily promoted by European tourism agencies, Atanarjuet cut a deal with a Norseman named Erik the Red. In return for being given directions to Greenland, Erik would sail the Thule explorers to Scandinavia. Instead, Erik hoodwinked Atanarjuet and transported his expedition to the Dingle Peninsula in the land of the Ciarraige on the island of Eire. Hoodwinking is one of the many character traits of Europeans that cause True People to look down on them.
The people of Ciarraige despised the Norse and considered them pirates. They looked much more like True People than the Norse did. Through sign language they told Atanarjuet that their ancestors had once looked like True People and were called Sea People, but centuries earlier, the Irish Celts had forced their way on their women. As punishment, the Sea God had stolen their beautiful bronze skin. They still had their True People black hair and beautiful faces, though.
Then according to this legend, the Ciarraige got Eric and his mariners drunk. They gave Atanarjuet several of their own umiaks, which enabled the Thule explorers to eventually reach home again. Atanarjuet told his people that the Europeans, except for the Ciarraige, could not be trusted. He never left home again.
Controversy over first discovery
A museum in County Kerry, Ireland contains several umiaks, weapons and tools made by the Thule people that were found on the Irish Coast. The Thule People’s descendants, the Inuit, say that this is absolute proof that their people were in Europe first.
The position of the Uchee is that one can find their sacred symbols on ancient petroglyphs on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. They feel that this is absolute proof that their people were in Europe at least 2000 years before Atanarjuet.
The Algonquians rely mostly on their ancient legends and the presence of stone circles on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. They claim that their ancestors crossed the Atlantic along the edge of an ice sheet 5,500 years ago and taught the primitive Europeans how to build stone rings.
In contrast, the Chontal Mayas are relying on their exceptional skills as boat builders and navigators as their proof. They accuse the Inuit, Uchee and Algonquians of presenting old children’s stories as scientific evidence. While the Thule artifacts, Uchee petroglyphs and Algonquin Stone Rings constitute more than legend, it is true that only the Chontal Mayas built sailing ships that were capable of regularly crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
Anger throughout Northern Europe
There is deep resentment throughout Northern Europe toward the steady replacement of indigenous traditions and foods by those of the Motherland. Britt-Louise Gunnarsdottur, one of the thousands of Scandinavians demonstrating in the plaza next to the building in Limerick Ireland, housing the debate told our reporter:
“Scandinavian youth lay in the sun, trying to have golden skin like True People. Our pop music stars dress like True People. I go into the Tempo Supermarket and all I see is vegetables and processed foods from the Motherland. Instead of pickled herring, fermented herring, smoked herring, dried herring, salted herring, fresh herring, rutabaga roots, Swedish pancakes and oat gruel, now our people eat pineapple, papaya, guava, mango, paw paw, Jerusalem artichokes, peanuts, popcorn, avocado, smoked turkey, fried chicken, fried catfish, corn on the cob, lima beans, tomatoes, white potatoes, bananas, squash, pumpkin pies, sweet potatoes, grits, hush puppies bell peppers, chili peppers and brunswick stew. Yes, the Motherland foods do taste better, but we are losing our own identity.
Why, my children come home from school speaking Motherland words like “okay” and “yahoo.” I am ashamed. When playing none of the children want to be Vikings. They want to be Choctaws and Creeks when they grow up!”
A right wing extremist group known as Skandinavisk Folk Första Satsen (SFFS) or Scandinavian People First Movement, is believed to be responsible for today’s violent demonstrations in Limerick. Only 18 persons were seriously injured, but most of the Irish policemen were hit with surströmmingbomber (fermented herring bombs) which will leave them smelling for days like rotted fish.
A minority of Scandinavians have risen above the chronic poverty in their part of the world by emulating True People. European nationalists claim that their ambivalence toward European traditions is proof that they are “selling out” for money.
One of the most famous of these “wanabe’s” is the brilliant singer, Agnetha Åse Fältskog. In her performances, Agnetha always dresses like True People and claims that she dyes her hair blond as a protest against racism and so common folks in Scandinavian can relate to her .
When asked by our reporter, if she was really 100% True People as she claimed in a 2004 interview with Rolling Chunky Stone Magazine, her response was typical of the new Wannabe elite . . .
“I think that I am part white, but I can’t prove it . . . so it really doesn’t matter, does it?
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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
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