Thursday, October 31, 2019

Black History: Malians and Moors in America before Columbus

The Columbus Map from 1490
We all know and understand that Columbus DID NOT discover America, despite what we were taught in school.  As my Dad would say, there were people already living there.  

Columbus had maps which some people say he bought from the Moors, others say he bought them from the Vikings.  He was NOT searching for a route to the East via the West; he knew exactly where he was going.  He landed first in the Bahamas, and subsequently in Hispaniola, which is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  On his third voyage, Columbus landed in what is now Trinidad

It would have been easy for Columbus to obtain maps, hanging around the ports, in particular Bristol, while waiting for Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain to finance his venture.  He would have met many other sailors and heard tales of their adventures. 

The Columbus Map was drawn in Columbus's studio in 1490.  See above.  By Bartolomeo and Christopher Colombus - This image comes from Gallica Digital Library and is available under the digital ID btv1b59062629/f1 Public Domain.    

It is said that his sailors were required to keep quiet about the maps on pain of having their tongues cut out.  

There is a great deal of evidence that many peoples had visited the Americas prior to Columbus's "discovery" of them. 

Malians/Mandinkas from West Africa were among the peoples who travelled to the Americas.  The Moors from North Africa are also said to have sailed to the Americas.  Africans had sailed there from 100,000 BC and stayed for tens of thousands of years. 

The Carthiginians from the country now called Tunisia, in North Africa, also travelled and produced a gold coin which showed the Americas on the reverse. 

The Chinese, Japanese and Vikings are also said to have travelled there, as are other Europeans. 

The Malians brought elephants with them, and a Malian inscription found in Arizona states that "the elephants are sick and angry".   

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