[Marxism] Turks and American Indians
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jun 25 09:11:01 MDT 2008
One of my favorite TV shows is The Turkish Hour, which runs on the local
cable access channel in New York on Sunday night from 10 to 10:30pm
(yes, I know it should be called The Turkish Half-Hour). You can watch
segments from past shows at their website.
Last Sunday night, there were two eye-opening segments on admittedly
remote connections between Turks and the peoples of North America. Even
if they are impossible to establish with 100 percent accuracy, they
certainly are intriguing.
In the first segment, we see a meeting at the Turkish Center in New York
with American Indians performing music and dance, while scholars from
both Turkey and North American Indian nations exchange ideas about the
possibility that the two peoples are related ethnically!
That thought first entered my mind when I discovered that the word for
boat in Turkish is kay?k. (When the i is not dotted in Turkish, it
is pronounced almost like uh. With the dot, it is more like the i in
it.) A kayak, of course, is the boat favored by Inuits in Alaska and
across northern Canada.
It is generally accepted that the Inuits and other indigenous peoples
came across the Bering land bridge between Asia and North America up
until about 5000 BC. It is also generally accepted that they originated
from Eastern Siberia, the homeland of the Turkic and Mongol peoples.
Polat Kaya, a Turkish scholar, wrote a paper titled Search For a
Probable Linguistic and Cultural Kinship Between the Turkish People of
Asia and the Native Peoples of Americas, a version of which can be read
here. Kayas ideas are highly speculative, but other more mainstream
scholars have made some of the same points. For example, Rene
Bonnerjeas A Comparison between Eskimo-Aleut and Uralo-Altaic
Demonstrative Elements, Numerals, and Other Related Semantic Problems
that appeared in the Jan. 1978, International Journal of American
Throwing caution to the wind, I will accept Kayas amateurish
speculations on their own terms, if for no other reason it opens up huge
avenues of literary and philosophical investigations about mankinds
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