C is for Cristóbal Colón: On 12 October 1492, the three ships of Cristóbal Colón are met off the Bahamas by two well-armed vessels that echo Viking longships with dragon prows, but with caravel features like three masts and lateen sails. Although the Spanish are armed so are the ‘Vikings’, who also have swivel cannons on their ships. The Norse commander says that he is, “Njal Migisi, follower of Thor, here by the blessings of the people of these islands. The Lukku-Cairi are under the protection of the Kanata Konføderasjon.”
Cristóbal Colón orders his men to stand down and the Spaniards are granted anchorage and re-supplied from an established trading port, but then sent away. The Kanatians know that the Spanish will try to settle on the mainland, but will face a Mesoamerican alliance that is prepared for Europeans, their weapons, and diseases.
The Spanish do establish settlements but are forced to co-operate with the Mesoamericans, although with consequences for their neighbours.
In our timeline:
“In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.
He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.”
Do I need to recite the rest of the poem, or remind people of all the controversy surrounding Columbus’ arrival in the New World and how the continent was settled by Europeans and other nations? History is a good starting link for the Columbus story, and then there is the view from the other perspective that some might call revisionist. Although, this is a 1992 article, the movement keeps growing, especially on Columbus Day. Personally, as a historian and of Chilean origin, I lean heavily towards the indigenous rights viewpoint, as will become clear as Kanata evolves.
But if Leif Eriksson and the Vikings had stayed in Newfoundland and spread inland, would the First Nations have fared any better, although Eriksson had converted to Christianity? I have chosen a Saami shamaness as my catalyst for change, but what would have been needed to avoid the terrible mistakes made by the later Europeans?
Important Links for the A to Z Challenge – please use these links to find other A to Z Bloggers
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/atozchallenge/
Twitter handle: @AprilAtoZ
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge