The Meeting of 2 Worlds

The first thing to know about Christopher Columbus, is that that is not his real name. His real name is Cristoforo Colombo, an Italian man. I find it interesting because even with the name of this course and the socially constructed term of “Latin America,” we can see that ideas and life courses get translated into English, and maybe even ‘Americanized.’ Even how Columbus thought he found India, and presently some of these area’s are called the ‘Indies’ or Land of the Day, in the Caribbean, as well as indigenous of peoples of Canada are often referred to as ‘Indians.’ Guaman Poma de Ayala touches on the topic of ‘Indians’ but only to the point that it was derived from Indies, and they are still known to Spaniards as such. Much like Week 1 where are goal was trying to define Latin America as to ‘where?,’ there is a strong Spanish influence relating to the Columbus and to the Guaman Poma de Ayala entries that we are reading. This has me thinking about what is Latin America and if we are just speaking about Spanish conquered territories in the “American” continents.

I found the Guaman Poma de Ayala article difficult to focus on because of the multiple religious and monarchal figures mentioned. Because it was focussed on Peru and referring it to the “Indies of the Peru,” it can help us tackle the issue of Latin America slowly. We are able to cross ‘HISTORY OF PERU’ off a long checklist to understand this issue. The history referred to in this article is intense and rich full of a lot of it, but for just a beginner learning this topic and having to digest all of it, is not an easy task. There are cities but where are the maps? travel routes? other visuals?

As someone who is not well versed in history, this week proves to be a challenge as we uncover the roots of Latin America- since it’s beginnings. But because this term of Latin America seems to be uncertain in its landscape, where empirical history begin? Where should it end? Even in the 1400’s and 1500’s why must this history be the foundation for Latin America? Leads me to believe that maybe it isn’t as uncertain as we think, and this socially constructed concept or term has some clarity, that hopefully we learn as a class in the coming weeks.

One Reply to “The Meeting of 2 Worlds”

  1. I had no idea that Cristoforo Colombo was his real name! He is referred to so often by the English version, that for me his real name was entirely swept under the rug. Just beginning with the name of the story’s main character shows that there are many ways to tell and interpret the story.

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