10 June 2008

Chapter 9

This was a most interesting chapter. Like my previous post said, I was excited by the world map and the thought paths that it led me down. And the remainder of the chapter did not disappoint.

Mr. Menzies continued his narrative outlining the path of Admiral Zhou Man's fleet. In four months they went 16,000 nautical miles, down the western coast of North and South America; from Canada to Panama. Along the way, he surmised that there would be wrecks. He researched that theory and found some evidence to support his theory. But more concrete than even the supposed Chinese wrecks, was the evidence of Chinese settlements along those same areas.

It fascinated me to read about the reports of the settlements. For example, in 1874 Stephen Powers, an official inspector appointed by the government of California, spent years researching and collecting information on the language tribes of California. He claimed to have evidence of a Chinese colony not too far from where a wreck site that Mr. Menzies investigated (pg 245). Sadly, they were decimated by European diseases.

Other examples were given on pages 246 to the end of the chapter. Discussions about how they found sites where the settlers had intermarried with the American Indians, evidenced by the mixing of customs: building walls around cities, rice patties, even linguistic evidences.

Mr. Menzies goes on to talk about how the Chinese must have encountered the Mayan civilization (pg. 249 - 253). He goes into some detail about the Mayan history and culture. I couldn't help but think about the Nephites and the Lamanites. The Mayans had beehives, built temples, had networks of trade established. It makes me wish that we had more information on the Mayans and the Aztecs.. I would love to know more.

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