Maori should be alerted to the possibility that Christopher Columbus was one of them.
Alf mentions this matter on learning (here) that politicians on the Spanish isle of Ibiza are claiming Christopher Columbus was from there.
This island apparently is better known as a haunt for booze-cruise Brits, all-night clubbing and hard-core house music.
But local political leaders are aiming to re-brand the island as the home of America’s discoverer.
They are basing their claim largely on the fact that the fabled 15th century explorer had the same handwriting as Ibizans of the time.
But they admit
…they truly cannot verify whether Columbus was born on the island, or even if he lived there for any period of time whatsoever.
Maori lay claim to lots of things which they cannot categorically prove.
They are aided hugely in their historic claims by the absence of written records.
If they tell us something happened in a certain place in the distant past – well, then that’s what happened.
And if you say otherwise, you must be a racist.
Because they know things that non-Maori can never know, Maori have an admirable gift for spotting taniwha in places where developers might blunder in with their destructive plans for providing jobs and creating wealth.
We non-Maori can’t see these creatures and owe a lot to our Maori neighbours for drawing our attention to the danger into which we might innocently step.
Actually, some of us question the existence of taniwha.
But this simply exposes our cultural ignorance.
Similar difficulties attach to the Maori claim to own water.
But it’s the water claim that reinforces Alf’s view that maybe Columbus was a Maori.
Because he owned the high seas – by virtue of his being a Maori – he would have known the full extent of his water holdings and would have had no fears about falling off the edge of the world, as other European navigators feared at that time.
Moreover, the Ibiza claim is being rubbished.
The claim has been met with widespread scepticism, with many taking to Twitter to say it is simply a publicity stunt to attract tourists to Ibiza’s cash-strapped holiday resorts.
So let’s pooh-pooh the Ibiza claim.
Then we come to the work of a self-styled investigative journalist, Nito Verdera, who insists he has disproved the widespread belief that Columbus was either Italian, Portuguese, or from Galicia in the north-west of Spain.
By this process of elimination, Alf is sure, we can come to the obvious conclusion about the great navigator’s ethnic origins.
And Alf draws his constituents’ attention to the map pictured above.
At Wikipedia (here) it is described as
a “Columbus map”, drawn ca. 1490 in the Lisbon workshop of Bartolomeo and Christopher Columbus.
The resemblance to Taranaki is too strong to be a coincidence.
Oh, and if Columbus (a) was a Maori and (b) discovered America, doesn’t that pave the way for a treaty claim to New York, Hollywood, Disneyland and all other choice bits of the US?