Politics of White Indians (with 17 images at the end of text)
Near the end of the 15th century Christopher Columbus was trying to convince himself and his backers, the Spanish monarchy, that if the world really is round, then by sailing westward one would eventually reach Asia, and thus establish a new trade route to the riches of the orient, vividly described by his countryman Marco Polo, who traveled there in the 13th century. It has been rumored that Columbus visited Iceland and studied the Sagas, though this has never been verified. He did however pay close attention to 2 details his brother-in-law brought to his attention, recounted by Humboldt a few centuries later:
"Whilst the art of navigation was yet in its infancy, the Gulf-stream suggested to the mind of Christopher Columbus certain indications of the existence of western regions. Two corpses, the features of which indicated a race of unknown men, were cast ashore on the Azores, towards the end of the 15th century. Nearly at the same period, the brother-in-law of Columbus, Peter Correa, governor of Porto Santo, found on the strand of that island pieces of bamboo of extraordinary size, brought thither by the western currents. The dead bodies and the bamboos attracted the attention of the Genoese navigator, who conjectured that both came from a continent situate towards the west. We now know that in the torrid zone the trade-winds and the current of the tropics are in opposition to every motion of the waves in the direction of the earth's rotation." ~~~~Alexander Von Humboldt 1803
Many medieval cartographers and mariners felt that the Canary Islands must be the beginning of the Indies, and a lot of maps from that period show island chains that never even existed, amidst overgrowths of a medieval Atlantic-mythos that dotted the ocean with archipelagos that were confusing beyond redemption. The Florentine cartographer Paolo Toscanelli inspired Columbus by telling him that it was only 3000 nautical miles to Japan, when it's actually 10,600. But this, as well as the bamboo and native Americans floating in their canoes in the Azores did give Columbus the curious impulse to explore a bit further, so he launched his first voyage to America from the Canary Island of Gomera on September 6, 1492, reaching the Bahamas in 33 days.
Columbus and his crew were sailing under the Spanish monarchy, and were speaking mostly Spanish on their voyages, and there is ample evidence that the Spanish word "Indios" (Indians) was used on both sides of the ocean, for the Canary Island Guanches in the eastern Atlantic, and the native tribes in the Caribbean...the Tainos, Arawaks and Caribs on the western side, and even in the western Pacific for the natives of the Philippines while under the Spanish regime.
Regarding the Spanish word "Indios," American Indian professor of history & attorney Robert A. Williams, said this is how the word came to be used for the Native Americans too:
"It's a topic rife with controversy and dissension. I go to the source, his (Columbus) journals indicate he thought he had discovered the "Indies" which had been called such since Alexander the Great's time: 'In 33 days I passed from the Canary Islands to the Indies' (en 33 días pasé de las islas de Canaria a las Indias). He then describes the inhabitants: 'To the first [island] which I found I gave the name San Salvador . . . the Indians call it Guanahaní' (A la primera que yo hallé puse nombre San Salvador . . . los Indios la llaman Guanahaní). He makes at least another ten references to either India, the Indies, and Indios, for what it's worth."
Indeed, after Columbus had returned from his first voyage news of his discovery had already reached his native Italy where a poem from that year ended with the words "Finta la storia della inventione delle nouve isole di Canaria indiane"........ literally, "The history of the discovery of the new Indian islands of the Canary is finished." This clearly shown how both the Guanches and natives of America came to be known as Indios, or Indians in English, and why the Canary Islands were often thought to be the geographical beginning of the Indies.
Till the day he died Columbus insisted that he had touched the shores of east Asia, and that the West Indies were the East Indies, Cuba was Japan, Panama was Malaya etc. But his intentions were not simply a matter of recording the appearance and customs of these island inhabitants, but also of Spanish political dominion: if these western islands were more 'Canaries' as well as Indies, then Spain could claim them as its property, disregarding whatever the Guanches and Tainos might say, think or feel.
So the final 100 year-long battle & conquest of the Guanche Indians on Tenerife island in the east Atlantic was really a dress rehearsal for the extermination of 100 million American Indians by the Spanish within the next few generations after Columbus infamous 1492 voyage.
Besides the predominantly dark-skinned natives in the Caribbean islands and the Americas, there were also many very white and some quite black inhabitants in the New World. David Abulafia, Professor of Mediterranean History at the University of Cambridge, in his book "The Discovery of Mankind" (2008) noted of this first voyage:
"What Columbus wanted to find was people who were fully clothed, preferably in rich silks (as Marco Polo had described the Japanese). So it was very exciting when one of his men who had gone a short distance into the jungle stumbled upon a troop of thirty Indians among whom were three men in tunics, one with a tunic right down to his feet which made the Spaniards think he was a Christian friar, all the more so since they were 'as white as us'. The Spaniard was in fact so alarmed that he turned and fled, but the man in the long tunic tried to catch up with him. Columbus finally decided that this man must have been the local cacique (chief). But the admiral was becoming tired and ill, and, aware that he could easily become stuck without provisions, he turned back to Hispaniola."
The concept of light-skinned Indians may seem like an anomaly, but it is not so rare as one might believe. Within academic circles the pre-Spanish inhabitants of the Caribbean islands are generally classified as Native Americans, but they also fall under the category of "Atlantic Islanders", along with the light-skinned Guanche Indians of the Canary archepelago. There are even linguistic ties such as the use of the root word "Guan", used all over the Canaries in Guanche place names, and in the Caribbean on the first island Columbus landed on in the Bahamas, "Guanahani," as well as Cuban place names like Guantanamo and Guanabacoa.
Besides Columbus, Cortez found white Indians imprisoned in Montezuma's palace in Mexico City, George Vancouver saw them on Vancouver Island in 1792, and commander Stiles of the American Navy claimed to have seen the same group in 1848. Humboldt saw about 100 of them in Columbia in 1801. White Indians have been reported among the Mandan tribe along the banks of the Mississippi River, and in one of the first books ever published by a Native American woman, "To The American Indian; Reminiscences of a Yurok Woman" by Lucy Thompson (1916), she devoted an entire chapter of her work titled: "Traditions of the Ancient White People," where she gives vivid descriptions of the indigenous Caucasian tribe called "Wa-gas," who had inhabited the northwest region of California prior to her Yurok people. She describes the Wa-gas as moral and civilized, and says that they taught her people all of their arts and sciences, including the fish traps still in use in the 20th century, and says these Wa-gas were all over the continent. These same early white indigenous tribes were also described by another native American woman named Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins in her 1883 book titled "Life Among The Piutes; Their Wrongs and Claims," who said that her tribe wiped out an entire tribe of 2600 reddish-haired people who lived along the Humboldt River, and this war lasted 3 years, finally trapping the last of them in a cave and burning them out with a large fire.
In the 1920's Richard O. Marsh, a civil engineer working for an American rubber company, was exploring the jungles in Panama south of the canal zone, and discovered an entire tribe of white Indians numbering around 2000, who spoke a language with a proto-Indo-European structure, built stepped-pyramids and even had a whistling language similar to the silbo used in the Canary Islands to this day. He very aptly described his findings in the suppressed book "White Indians of Darien," (G.P. Putnam's Sons, N.Y. 1934) which included photos, maps and vivid details of him introducing 3 of these young natives to the United States to be examined by some of the leading scientists of the day.
Even the Book of the Hopi mentions the Pahana, described as the the Hopi's lost white brother, ubiquitous as legends of Quetzalcoatl, Kululcan, Viracocha and many other bearded, light-skinned inhabitants of ancient pre-Columbian America. Pedro Pizarro, a Spaniard who took part in the conquest of Peru in 1571, left us with the following quote: "I saw in this land an Indian woman and a child who did not differ from those who are white and blond. These people say that the latter were the children of the heathen gods." Indeed, the heathen gods being the ancient culture-bearers who had reached America at the dawn of history.
Although most American aboriginals are descended from Asiatic migrants who came the nothern way along the route from Siberia to Alaska, there was also a Caucasian-like element that flourished sporadically in certain centers of the Americas as an intellectually active and influential minority, then declined through intermixture and extermination. The question remains....why is this part of American history considered taboo in bookstores, universities and throughout most of the scientific community. As if the Guanches and all other white aboriginal cultures are "on probation" because of the transgressions of their European cousins. The answer lies in the politically incorrect fact that the higher cultures in the Americas...the Mayan, Aztec and Incan, were not created by American Indians from Asiatic origin, but were imported from the Fertile Crescent at the dawn of history by these aforementioned light-skinned mariners, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean in some type of seaworthy vessels and introduced to the Western Hemisphere the science and technology that already existed in their homelands of Sumer and Egypt and the eastern mediterranean cultures. The Canary Island Guanche culture was part of this pyramid-building/mummy complex expansion, and the similarities are uncanny. The European colonization of the Americas and Polynesia after 1492 was just a replay of a very similar colonization that occured approximately 2500 to 3000 years ago, and while the Spanish used Christianity to spread their dominance, the ancient mariners from the Fertile Crescent likewise used their Solar Cosmology to conquer and subdue the indigenous American and Pacific island natives, for better or for worse.
Ultimately the higher cultures or empires on both sides of the Atlantic collapsed, and all that was left of the original populations of colonizers were many scattered tribes of white Indians who returned to a more primitive existence, frequently involved in conflicts resembling racial civil wars with other tribes. Thor Heyerdahl gives his perspective (1951):
"Worship, persecution, and worship are a natural sequence in aboriginal America as elsewhere. Racial friction and jealousy would overshadow the former feeling of respect, as aboriginal tribes rose in prosperity and cultural standing around an immigrant hierarchy. As the years or centuries passed, the enlightened pupils would soon lose faith in the divinity of their alien masters, and uproar and unrest would urge the latter to withdraw, seeking safety and renewed veneration and power among less informed and more credulous subjects. Once departed, their teachings and benefits, and the blunders of their successors, would gradually restore their former position as the divine and benevolent culture-bearers of the past, their departure would be deeply regretted by the people and their church, and would form the basic element in their religion and historic memories."
By the 21st century the word "indigenous" has come to be regarded as an expression, not only for a particular native population, but also a relevant concept for denoting political & religious power, or even ethno-nutritional preferences such as the idea of indigenous foods. The poor old Guanches never knew that just their very existence in the 15th Century, as indigenous Caucasians living in a Stone-Age Atlantic island setting for 90 generations would cause so much political controversy in the 21st century, that critics would doubt that such a people could have ever existed, let alone dwelt in caves, built stepped-pyramids, mummified their dead and held off the Spanish for close to 100 years. Seems that the dominant media perception of the white man cast in the role as the technochratic colonizor and oppressor of innocent natives, is too well entrenched in the public's mind to be undone by such an aboriginal anomaly as these Caucasoid troggs being the innocent natives. And the Indians label also sounds misplaced, like calling Tarzan an African. But true history often contains many surprizes, and the evidence of this information is factual, regardless of how unorthodox it may sound to wikipedia-addicted critics in the computer age. Playing the race card to oppose this part of American history is a flimsy offensive tactic used by uneducated moderns who have exhausted all of their intellectual defense strategies.
The Guanche Indians of the Canary Islands remained in the Stone-Age until they were "re-discovered" during the European Renaissance, outlasting the pomp and power of everything that had been Egypt, Sumer, Inca, Aztec, Maya....etc.. Their habitations in the 7 islands may have originally been an agricultural colony established by the Phoenicians or Sumerians, that ultimately revolted, or simply endured the centuries of their overlords, until those ships came no more. As an archetype or paradigm their survival, culture, wisdom and very existence awakens an ancient memory of some primal Western spirit, and in the future, philosophers and teachers will find a very unique political and spiritual model in the history of these last Stone-Age Indo-European Indios. The so-called white man of modern times...the spiritually-challenged corporate Cro-Magnon with his three-piece business suit, luxury sedan, computerized office and opulent house in suburbia...is really nothing but a Naturmensch at heart. A barefoot Guanche, content with a full basket of figs, a comfortable cave for his family and another sunny day in bucolic Nivaria. And therein lies the meaning and lesson of this remote corner of one lost migration from the white man's distant past. An archetypal Cro-Magnon tribe in touch with their natural spiritual roots. The white man not only makes a good technophile....he's not too bad at primitivism either.
This odd map shows how the world may have looked to Christopher Columbus and other medieval mariners in 1492, the year of his first trip to America. He believed that the Canary Islands were the beginning of the "Indies", and even after his ships landed in the Bahamas on Guanahani, Columbus never realized that he had reached a new continent. Returning from this first voyage, news of his discovery had already arrived in his native Italy where a poem from that year ended with the words "Finta la storia della inventione delle nouve isole di Canaria indiane"........ literally, "The history of the discovery of the new Indian islands of the Canary is finished." He referred to the inhabitants of all these islands as Indios.... natives of the Indies, so this clearly shows how both the Guanches in the Canaries and natives of the Americas came to be known as Indios, or Indians in English, and why the Canary Islands were often thought to be the geographical beginning of the Indies.
Indigenous Atlantic island tribes like the Tainos, Awawaks, Guanches and Caribs were invaded, conquered and annihilated by the Spanish....but not until the 20th and 21st centuries does the fact that some of these Indians were light-skinned Caucasoids (like the conquistadors themselves) have any socio-political relevance to their descendants..
Watercolor by Leonardo Torriani from 1590, showing 2 Guanche Indians on Gran Canary involved in an athletic contest of throwing, dodging and catching darts and stones. This painting proves that even nearly 100 years after the conquest, there were still a few of the old Guanches left, and they looked just like the chroniclers had described them; large, blond, bearded and powerful.
An old Mayan wall-painting in the temple at Chitzen-Itza, first published by Morris, Charlot and Morris in 1931, Vol. II, plate 146, who released this color reproduction of these pre-Columbian murals, and wrote in the caption that they 'depict a series of relating episodes concerning a fair-skinned people with flowing yellow hair, defeated in battle and subsequently sacrificed by conventionally equipped black-skinned warriors.' The priests or artists who decorated this important Maya temple long before the arrival of Columbus, were obviously well acquainted with the fact that there existed people with race traits different from their own. Further, Morris, Charlot and Morris note: 'Just what this unusual disparity of type may mean is purely a matter of conjecture, but it can not help but bring to mind legends rife throughout the American continent concerning the fair skin and golden hair of a mythical race.'
George Catlin painting of a white Native American woman in traditional dress, near the Missouri River. Mi-neek-e-sunk-te-ca (The Mink, George Catlin, 1832-1839) While it could be argued that she was a descendant of captive European settlers, Catlin had dozens of other paintings of Indians that looked nothing like this one.
Title page from Richard Marsh’s (1934) thirty-six chapter illustrated opus on the Chepu Tule Indian tribe near San Blas, Panama. In 1924-1925 he organized a scientific expedition with a party of 24, including an anthropologist, biologist, naturalist, geologist, botanist and topographer.
Many of the 400 natives he met on this adventure were light-skinned and blond with hazel colored eyes (though not albinos), who lived primitive in the surrounding jungles for untold generations, built terraced pyramid mounds, spoke a language with a Sanskrit structure... possibly similar to the proto-Indo-European dialect on Tenerife and embodied many Guanche-like qualities such as bravery, honesty and high respect for women.
This 16 year old girl Mimi and two boys from her tribe, Olo-ni-pi-guina age 14 and Chepu age 10, were brought to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in America to help unravel the mystery of their culture, whose existence marks them as the only remaining 20th century inheritors of a lineage that could answer the riddle about America’s pre-history. Through a Dr. Alex Hrdlicka a scientific committee in America recognized the Chepu Tule tribe as a practically pure-blooded remnant of the ancient first dynasty Mayans, and also related anthropologically to the early coastal cultures of Peru, the Yuncas and the Chimu. When Mr. Marsh was blazing his way up the Chucunaque valley the local Indians were using whistling signals at night, to exchange messages, identical to the way the Canary Island Guanches did in the past and still do on Gomera island.
Panama’s geographical importance as an overland passage to the western coasts of North and South America as well as Polynesia was rediscovered by Europeans like Balboa in the 16th century, who marched across the isthmus and built new ships on the Pacific shores.
The "Darien Gap" as it is sometimes referred to is the missing link on the Pan American Highway, literally the only place from Alaska to the bottom of South America where a road does not exist to connect Central America with South America, this narrow 50 mile wide isthmus is the link between 2 huge oceans...the Atlantic & Pacific, and truly one of the most important crossroads of the world even before the opening of the Panama canal in 1914. It was a perfect place for white Indians to hide out between 2 mountain ranges forming walls along each coastline, and preserve their culture like the Guanches did on the lonely Canary Islands in the east Atlantic before the European expansion in the 15th century.
Author Richard Marsh later went on to draft the Declaration of Independence and Human Rights of the Tule people. His collection of diaries, photos, correspondence and films were donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 1997 by his son, and occupy 4 linear feet of shelf space.
Richard Marsh's book, published in 1934, quickly brought a lot of attention to this tribe, and very soon after there were many Mormons who made expeditions down to Panama to investigate these people, including archaeologist Milton R. Hunter, and later Jack H. West, who put together a film titled "Ancient Ruins of America", and here's a clip from that film showing some of these white Indians in Panama, from Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tptqcG9zdhQ
If ever a picture were worth a thousand words this 1920's image of a white Indian child in native dress from the Chepu Tule tribe in Panama would easily take 1st prize. While some scientists and political correctors are praying for evidence of albinism or of some odd genetic mutation, this little towhead had 2000 other relatives living in the nearby Panamanian jungle for thousands of years, speaking a proto Indo-European language, building pyramids, writing script, using a whistling language and showing very high respect for women just like the old Guanche Indians did. Three of these white Indians were taken to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York in 1925 and studied by leading scientists and geneticists, who reached the conclusion that they were indeed white Indians.
Through the kind cooperation of Dr. R. Carion Cachot and Dr. L.F. Galvez of Museo National de Anthropologica y Arqueologia in Lima, Peru, and Dr. P. Pawlik of Instituto de Estudios Etnologicos, Thor Heyerdahl was able to obtain these photos of pre-Inca mummy heads from Makat Tampu, Paracas Peninsula and Nazca, Peru, clearly showing their blond, red and brown hair. These white Indians of South America were descendants of the Viracocha, an ancient Caucasian tribe who entered into the culture-complex of pre-Inca Peru.
When the Spaniards were advancing through the vast Inca empire of Peru they came upon huge megalithic sites of pre-Inca origin, which had been abandoned centuries before Columbus and now lay in ruins. One of the most spectacular examples of megalithic architecture in the New World was encountered at Vinaque, between Cuzco and the ocean. The contemporary chronicler, Cieza de Leon, writing in 1553, reported: "When I questioned the neighboring Indians as to who had made that monument of antiquity, they answered that it was another people, who had been bearded and white like ourselves, who, they say, came to these parts a long time before the Incas reigned, and made their residence there."
How firmly rooted these traditional memories were is best illustrated by the fact that the Peruvian archaeologist, Dr. L. Valcarcel, arriving to study the Vinaque ruins 400 years after Cieza de Leon, was given the same information: that these structures had been built by a foreign people 'white like Europeans'.
Proceeding southward to Lake Titicaca, the Spaniards entered the hub of former Viracocha activity. Throughout the Inca empire, traditional histories had agreed in placing the centre of Viracocha habitation on the Island of Titicaca in the lake of the same name, and in the neighboring city of Tiahuanaco, with its vast stone-dressed pyramid, megalithic walls, and monolithic statues. Cieza de Leon writes again from 1553: "They also tell that, on the Island of Titicaca, in the past centuries, there was a bearded people white like us, and that a chief by the name of Cari...passed over to the island with his men, and waged such war on the people of which I speak that he killed them all."
In a special chapter on what he calls the ancient buildings if Tiahuanaco, Cieza de Leon has this to say (1553): "I asked the natives...if these buildings had been constructed in the time of the Incas. They laughed at this question, affirming what has been already stated, that they had been made long before they ruled...For this reason, and also because they say they have seen bearded men on the Island on Titicaca and that the buildings of Vinaque had been constructed by similar men, I say that perhaps it may be that before the Incas reigned there may have been some people of intelligence in these realms, come from some parts not known, who had done these things, and being few in number and the natives many, they might have been killed in wars."
One of the world’s authorities on mummies, Warren Royal Dawson was consulted on the question of possible changes in mummy hair color over time. He responded, “From the examination of large numbers of mummies both from Egypt and other countries including South America, my opinion is that the hair does not undergo any marked change post-mortem. The hair of a wavy or curly individual remains curly or wavy, and that of a straight-haired person remains straight. In mummies and desiccated bodies the hair has a tendency to be crisp and brittle, but this is the natural result of the drying-up of the selacecres glands, which during life, feed fatty matter into the hair follicles which keeps the hair supple and flexible...it seems to me very unlikely that any change in color would take place in a body which had never been exposed to the light,....To sum up then, all the evidence I have indicates that the nature of hair does not alter after death except in becoming dry and brittle.”
Excavated in the Tabasco jungle of Mexico, this pre-Columbian carving shows an example of the “Uncle Sam” type of bas-relief, vividly displaying Caucasian-like features with a flowing beard, clearly Semitic, as noted by Heyerdahl. In his Carta Segunda (1520), Cortez personally recorded the speech delivered to him by the Aztec emperor, Montezuma, after the Aztecs had anointed the Spaniards with blood from a human sacrifice: "We have known for a long time, by the writings handed down by our forefathers, that neither I nor any who inhabit this land are natives of it, but foreigners who came here from remote parts. We also know that we were led here by a ruler, whose subjects we all were, who returned to his country, and after a long time came here again and wished to take his people away."
In his study of aboriginal American religions (1882, p. 140), D.G. Brinton comments: "Such was the extraordinary address with which the Spaniard, with his handful of men, was received by the most powerful war chief of the American continent. It confessed complete submission, without a struggle. But it was the expression of a general sentiment. When the Spanish ships for the first time reached the Mexican shores the natives kissed their sides and hailed the white and bearded strangers from the east as gods, sons and brothers of Quetzalcoatl, come back from their celestial home to claim their own on earth and bring again the days of Paradise; a hope, dryly observes Father Mendieta, which the poor Indians soon gave up when they came to feel the acts of their visitors."
The Guanche Indians had lived in their Atlantic island paradise for several thousand years before their homeland was finally destroyed by Spanish conquistadores in the 15th century. Clear evidence of the Guanche language and culture is evident on both side of the Atlantic, and the Canary Islands and well known Canary Current are what carried Columbus to America in 33 days. One of America's leading spokesman on the subject of the colonization of the New World is Robert A. Williams, Professor of Law and American Indian studies and director of the indigenous peoples law & policy program at the University of Arizona. An enrolled member of the Lumbee Indian Tribe of North Carolina, Professor Williams is the author of The American Indian in Western Legal Thought: The Discourses of Conquest. (Oxford University Press, 1990), which received the Gustavus Meyers Human Rights Center Award as one of the outstanding books published in 1990 on the subject of prejudice in the United States. He mentions the Guanche Indians on 13 different pages of this work and recognizes the critical importance of their culture in relation to the native tribes in America, and how they were both severely impacted by the Spanish colonization.
Edgar Rice Burroughs published his epic Tarzan of the Apes in 1912, and even though it was a fictionalized account of a white man and woman living in Africa, the legend of Tarzan has come to be a replacement for the legends that the ancient Greeks and Romans had about these Atlantic Island people that inhabited a place they called Nivaria (Tenerife), somewhere in the far west beyond the Pillars of Hercules, or Gibraltar. So by accident or design Burroughs had tapped into that Guanche theme, and Tarzan who lived in Africa, has come to be a fictionalized substitute for the Guanches, who lived on these African Islands for thousands of years. But the Guanches were not fiction like Tarzan. In fact their island culture was 100% sustainable and would still be flourishing and intact if the Spanish, Normans and French hadn't disrupted things there 500 years ago.
Indigenous people come in all colors, including white, and the Guanches are a kind of Darwinian image, or a missing link, metaphorically at least, between Stone-Age and civilized Western Man, and are not just human beings, they are supermen and superwomen in a Nietzschean sense, like Tarzan was. The word Tarzan, incidentally, means "white skin" in the Mangani Ape language according to Burroughs story, and Tarzan remains one of the few characters is all of literature to have actually become a word in the dictionary.
This native Russian girl lives a traditional nomadic lifestyle in the 21st century with her family, herding reindeer and sleeping inside this tipi-like dwelling as her forebears have for thousands of years, challenging all Hollywood stereotypes of tipi's as an exclusive American Indian habitation. Such "tipi's were most likely introduced to the American continent by Asiatic migrants from Siberia more than 10,000 years ago, while the Eurasian examples were their predecessors. The Eurasian Bison likewise came across this same landbridge and evolved into the animal we now recognize as the American Buffalo
Reindeer herd and native tipi-like dwellings in northern Russia.
Lapp herding tents like this one in Norway have been used for thousands of years in Scandinavia and serve as comfortable nomadic dwellings for local tribesmen. Reindeer hide are sometimes used in modern times, while in past centuries bison skin were preferred coverings, just like buffalo skins on the American plains.
This famous cave painting near Altamira, Spain was executed about 15,000 years ago, and depicts the European Steppe Bison, once found throughout Central Asia, Europe, Beringia and North America, and believed to have originated somewhere in south Asia. This art work is testimonial to the long historical connection between prehistoric European man and these huge magnificent animals.
Only the American Flag and The Bald Eagle symbolize America more than the Buffalo does, but this powerful animal has European cousins that are equally revered. This Cold War Russia postage stamp from 1969, depicts European Bison in a nationalistic pose of power and majesty, looking a whole lot like their American counterparts.
The common ancestors of these European bison in Poland (both images above) and their American cousin the buffalo, originated in Asia, somewhere north of India, migrating east and west their modern descendants still bear a strong resemblance to one another. Whatever symbolism the American buffalo represents to the world media audience is nothing more than a creation of someone's ethnocentric imagination. The European bison has played just as important of a role in European history and pre-history as the buffalo did in Native American culture.