Imaginary Cities of Gold : The Spanish Quest for Treasure in by Peter O. Koch

By Peter O. Koch

Spanish conquistadors tried to beat the recent international approximately a century sooner than the English colonists proven an enduring payment at Jamestown. This publication examines the unsuccessful parts of Spain's try at increasing its empire within the Americas, focusing fairly at the misadventures of 3 conquistadors. half One tells the tale of Cabeza de Vaca who, besides 3 different survivors of the ill-fated Panfilo de Narvaez excursion to Florida, spent approximately 8 years one of the quite a few tribes that wandered throughout Texas, New Mexico, and northerly Mexico earlier than discovering his as far back as civilization. Their stories of lands wealthy with earthly delights served as idea for 2 epic yet failed expeditions that make up the second one and 3rd components of the e-book: Francisco de Coronado's quest to discover the golden towns of Cibola and Hernando de Soto's efforts to discover the wealthy kingdoms of Florida.

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But in each case there has grown up haphazardly o ver the years a con ventional nomencla ture that overlaps with certain terms used as ethnic self-ascriptions. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the 'C aribbees ' of the Lesser An tilles referred to them­ selves b y some version of that name. 'Carib' had been the first ethnic name reported to Europe from the N ew W orId . Breton CARIBS AND ARAWAKS had researched his magnificent Carib /French di ctionary on Dominica. T he material culture of the island Amerindians was similar to that of the mainland C aribs and there appeared in the seventeenth century to be political ties between the two groups.

Western) o bserv ers. Also permissible is the extant non-li terate society. preferably with a single reliable informant to act as mediator. In all these cases 'native' interpretations are, at 56 COLONIAL ENCOUNTERS worst, minimal. Little inlerferes with the clear anthropological vision of the subj ect-matter. Writing is kept as much as possible as the defining characteristic of western culture, the pinnacle of human achievement, with non-phonetic scripts disparaged. and non-western scripts, when unavoidably recognjzed as such, usu­ all y seen as beyond the ken of their cultural descendants.

Arawak' does not appear at all as an ethnic name in the early chronicles. It is fust foun d in 1540 when Fray Gregorio Batela, Bishop of Ca rtagena, gave his opinion on what should be done to occupy the provinces of Caura, Guiana and the mouth of the Orinoco, and mentions by name the Aruaca Indians (as well as the C aribs). Four or five years later Rodrigo de Navarrete wrote an account of ' the Provinces and Na tions of the Aruacos, who inhabit tbe coast of T ierra-Firme two bW1dred and mo re leagues from the island ofMargari ta '.

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