W is for Welsh Indians

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 A to Z Challenge theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage”, my alternative history novel that all began when I wondered, “What would have happened if Leif Eriksson had settled Vinland permanently in 1000 AD? For further details and links to my other A to Z posts – and hints at the ones to come visit “Kanata – A to Z Challenge 2017”.

W (1)

W is for Welsh Indians:  1 March 1181, Ohiːyo, [Good river in Seneca] – With their Chippewa kindred, Siofra Migisi and her fellow Kanatian traders land at an impressive city of wide streets, distinctive earthwork mounds, with structures including platforms, conical and ridgetop peaks. The clean streets are thronged with other traders bartering goods, and the Chippewa explain that this city is on a vast river network extending to the seas. As they approach the platform mound that houses the central community, Siofra hears a party of fair-skinned natives, much like themselves, speaking a language she recognises as Welsh.

She approaches them, greeting them in their own tongue, explaining that she grew up in Dublin, a Norse trading city that the Welsh frequented. The leader of the strangers greets her back in Norse, then explains that they are followers of Prince Madog ab Owain Gwynedd, and they are seeking fertile land to settle. Like the Vikings they are integrating with the indigenous people, sharing their knowledge. Siofra invites the Welsh Indians to travel with them and explore the riches that seem to abound along the Ohiːyo.

 

In our timelineWikipedia: “Madoc, also spelled Madogab Owain Gwynedd was, according to folklore, a Welsh prince who sailed to America in 1170, over three hundred years before Christopher Columbuss voyage in 1492.”

Forgotten Dragon: “By all accounts, the young Prince Madoc spent his formative years in the Norse city of Dublin, and likely learned the skills of sailing and shipbuilding from his time there. …Disappointed and disillusioned with the events that followed his father’s passing, Madoc gathered up some followers and in the footsteps of previous intrepid Norse explorers, set out for a new beginning.”

 

The Filson Historical Society: “…The story goes that the death Madoc’s father, Prince Owen Gwynedd of Wales, triggered internecine strife among his successors. Desiring no part in the conflict, Madoc sailed west across the ocean with a small fleet of ships. Some time later he returned to Wales, telling of an unknown country, pleasant and fertile. Convincing some of his countrymen to accompany him, he set sail again and never returned.”

Fairhope, Alabama: “Some historians maintain that the colonists evolved over the next several hundred years into the Mandan Indian Tribe of Missouri, an atypical tribe of “Indians” who used vestiges of the Welsh language and with some members of the tribe having light skin, red hair and blue eyes. In the tribe’s sacred ceremonies as witnessed by the Indian painter, George Catlin in the early 1800s, the members of the tribe worshipped a god they referred to as “Madoc.”

But this was before the discovery of the Mississippian culture. Angel Mounds State Historic Site is located on the Ohio River in Vanderburgh and Warrick counties in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Indiana. It is the site of a town constructed and occupied from 1100 CE to 1450 CE as one of the farthest north-eastern expressions of the Mississippian culture. Its characteristic earthwork mounds, with shapes including platform, conical and ridgetop are found in other locations along the river network.

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2 thoughts on “W is for Welsh Indians

    • I came across this first when I lived in Wales – near Porthmadog, where the Prince is remembered although the town is not named after him. Then, I found a novel based on the legend and then found a few bits online that has some of the research linked to it – see my links. But to most historians, the Mandan connection is a romantic legend with no real basis, except for Prince Madoc leaving Wales. [W was going to be Washington getting burnt or William not conquering England.]

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