Friday, July 4, 2014

Why is America really called "America"?

Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson, Pfc. Sandoval, Wisdom Quarterly; "The Naming of America: Fragments We've Shored Against Ourselves" by Johnathan Cohen (
USA is #1 at ideals but not soccer, human rights, peacemaking... (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Where are all the fireworks and star-spangled spectacles? (
Local MTV feeder, KROQ FM (CBS, Inc.) reveals best places in LA/OC to watch fireworks
Navajo flag representing Native Americans
USA - It's [Declaration of] Independence Day, the 4th of July, so it's time to decry war and conquest and to celebrate rebellion.

England sent out invaders with lots of technology, took over most of the known world, including this ancient naga territory of America -- which is NOT named after Amerigo Vespucci or any old European map. Then we rebelled, absorbed people from all over the world, mostly from Africa, where are forebears stole them from, and mixed with the indigenous people we did not kill off.
This country belongs to the 99% (
It's odd that place names are kept the same when invaders can easily change them on a whim, as they do in many places to remind them of home. Whatever the reason, whatever its name, the English, Spanish, French, Vikings -- and earlier the Afghans/Chinese (judging from the body of written records and anthropological evidence), Egyptians (judging from the pyramids and the trace amounts of "New World" cocaine in ancient Egyptian mummies), the Khmer (judging from the megalithic architecture and strange demise of various pre-Mexican Mesoamerican empires mimicking the history of the Southeast Asian Empire of Angkor in present-day Cambodia), and Africans or Australian aborigines (judging from the fossil record). But the story is even stranger, and it is certainly connected one way or another to the very ancient earthling nagas.
How it's done in formerly Buddhist Kyrgyzstan, Independence Day, Bishkek (Cyrille Gibot)
Click here to see entire map.
The name America (applied to present-day Brazil) appeared for what is believed the first time on Martin Waldseemüller's 1507 world map, known as the Baptismal Certificate of the New World and also America's Birth Certificate. More
América, no invoco tu nombre en vano
["America, I don't invoke your name in vain"]
-Pablo Neruda, Canto General
The Naming of America
Johnathan Cohen (edited by Wisdom Quarterly)
"America" (
AMERICA, we [incorrectly] learn as schoolchildren, was named in honor of Amerigo Vespucci, for his discovery of the mainland of the New World. We tend not to question this [deceptive] lesson about the naming of America.
By the time we are adults it lingers vaguely in most of us, along with images of wave-tossed caravels and forests peopled with naked cannibals. Not surprisingly, the notion that America was named for Vespucci has long been universally accepted, so much so that a lineal descendant, America Vespucci, came to New Orleans in 1839 and asked for a land grant "in recognition of her name and parentage."
Since the late 19th century, however, conflicting ideas about the truth of the derivation have been set forth with profound cultural and political implications. To question the origin of America's name is to question the nature of not only our history lessons but our very identity as Americans.
Traditional history lessons about the discovery of America also raise questions about the meaning of discovery itself. It is now universally recognized that neither Vespucci nor Columbus "discovered" America. They were of course preceded by the pre-historic Asian forebears of Native Americans, who migrated across some ice-bridge in the Bering Straits or over the stepping stones of the Aleutian Islands.
Kukulcán, Mayan god of the wind.
A black African discovery of America, it has been argued, took place around 3,000 years ago and influenced the development of Mayan, Aztec, and Inca civilizations [judging from facial features of the large stone monuments and other records].
The records of Scandinavian expeditions to America are found in sagas -- their historic cores encrusted with additions made by every storyteller who had ever repeated them. The Icelandic Saga of Eric the Red, the settler of Greenland, which tells how Eric's son Leif came to Vinland, was first written down in the second half of the 13th century, 250 years after Leif found a western land full of "wheatfields and vines"; from this history emerged a fanciful theory in 1930 that the origin of "America" is Scandinavian: Amt meaning "district" plus Eric, to form Amteric, or the Land of (Leif) Eric.
Other Norsemen went out to the land Leif had discovered; in fact, contemporary advocates of the Norse connection claim that from around the beginning of the 11th century, North Atlantic sailors called this place Ommerike (oh-MEH-ric-eh), an Old Norse word meaning "farthest outland."
(This theory is currently being promoted by white supremacists of the so-called Christian Party, who are intent on preserving the nation's Nordic character, and who argue that the Norse Ommerike derives from the Gothic Amalric which, according to them, means "Kingdom of Heaven.")
But most non-Scandinavians were ignorant of these sailors' bold exploits until the 17th century, and what they actually found was not seriously discussed by European geographers until the 18th century.
Further, other discoveries of America have been credited to the Irish, who had sailed to a land they called Iargalon, the land beyond the sunset, and to the Phoenicians, who purportedly came here before the Norse.
The 1497 voyage by John Cabot to the Labrador coast of Newfoundland constitutes yet another discovery of the American mainland, which led to an early 20th-century account of the naming of America, recently revived, that claims the New World was named after an Englishman (Welshman, actually) called Richard Amerike.
From Map of the Discoveries of Columbus, Christopher Columbus/Carolus Verardus, 1493. 
Yet, despite the issue of who discovered America, we are still confronted with the awesome fact that it was the voyages of Columbus, and not earlier ones, that changed the course of world history.

Indeed, as Tzvetan Todorov, author of The Conquest of America (1984; tr. Richard Howard), has argued,
"The conquest of America...heralds and establishes our present identity; even if every date that permits us to separate any two periods is arbitrary, none is more suitable, in order to mark the beginning of the modern era, than the year 1492, the year Columbus crosses the Atlantic Ocean."
Columbus clearly made a monumental discovery in showing Europe how to sail across the Atlantic; Vespucci's great contribution was to tell Europe that the land Columbus had found was not Asia but a New World (and that a western route to Asia involved yet another ocean beyond it). 
[What about the name?]
The naming of America, then, becomes essential to a full understanding of our history and cultural values -- ourselves -- especially when considered in terms of the range of theories about the origin of the name. 

The Maya Connection
The most explosive, haunting, almost credible etymology -- the so-called Amerrique theory, which was first advanced in 1875 -- reappeared in the late 1970s in an essay by Guyanan novelist Jan Carew, titled "The Caribbean Writer and Exile."

Here Carew focuses on the identity struggle of Caribbeans who are "subject to successive waves of cultural alienation from birth -- a process that has its origins embedded in a mosaic of cultural fragments -- Amerindian, African, European, Asian."

He adds that "the European fragment is brought into sharper focus than the others, but it remains a fragment." It is in his discussion of this European fragment that he turns to the early historical accounts written by "European colonizers, about their apocalyptic intrusion into the Amerindian domains" -- histories which, he argues, are largely fictions "characterized, with few exceptions, by romantic evasions of truth and voluminous omissions."

Carew moves from the "fictions" of Columbus to those of Vespucci with these striking words: "Alberigo Vespucci, and I deliberately use his authentic Christian name, a Florentine dilettante and rascal, corrected Columbus's error [thinking he had found the Orient]...Vespucci, having sailed to the American mainland... More

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