The Island of California “Know that, on the right hand of the Indies was an island called California, very near to the region of the Terrestrial Paradise, which was populated by black women, without there being any men among them, that almost like the Amazons was their style of living. They were of vigorous bodies and strong and ardent hearts and of great strength; the island itself the strongest in steep rocks and cliff boulders that is found in the world; their arms were all of gold, and also the harnesses of the wild beasts, on which, after having tamed them, they rode; that in all the island there was no other metal whatsoever…
On this island, called California there were many griffins … and in the time that they had young these women would —take them to their caves, and there raise them. And … they fattened them on those men and the boys that they had born… Any make that entered the island was killed and eaten by them … There ruled on that island of California, a queen great of body, very beautiful for her race, at aflourishing age, desirous in her thoughts of achieving great things, valiant in strength, cunning in her brave heart, more than any other who had ruled that kingdom before her …Queen Calafia.” ~ Written in the 16th Century romance novel by a Spanish author named Garcia Ordonez de Montalvo.
It was titled, “Las Sergas del muy esforzado caballero Esplandian, hijo del excelente rey Amadis de Gaula,”The inspiration for the word was likely “Khalif” or “Khalifa” which means “successor” in Arabic but more specifically refers in Islam to a head of state or leader of the Muslims. Montalvo was surely familiar with these words. Portions of Spain were ruled by the Moors (Tartarians!), who were Muslim, from 757 to 1492. And it fits the story’s narrative. Montalvo’s novel was a fanciful rehash of the struggle between Christians and Muslims during the crusades.Was Wonder Woman Mythology really Queen Califia’s lands?When Wonder Woman’s homeland is first introduced in 1941, it is referred to as Paradise Island, a secret and hidden island on Earth inhabited by the Amazons of myth.
The Amazons were given a break from the hostilities and temptations of Man’s World, and sowere decreed to start a new life improving themselves by sequestering themselves to this island away from ancient Greece, after being enslaved by Hercules. With the island blessed by the Olympian Gods, no man was allowed to physically set foot on it. It was established that all Amazons are adept at a discipline called”bullets and bracelets” in which they are able to deflect bullets fired at them using the chain bands on their wrists. It was originally implied, but not yet fully confirmed, that Paradise Island was located somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
Then in the 1970s television incarnation (as portrayed by Lynda Carter), Paradise Island’s location was set in the Bermuda Triangle. And the 2009 animated movie versionhad set it in the Aegean Sea. For centuries, the Amazons of Themyscira live in a perfect state of harmony with their surroundings, under a theocracy. They know no racism, although many consider Antiope’s Lost Tribe of Amazons as little more than savages. They do not think in terms of male gender; the word “policeman” is alien to them until Diana’s departure into the outside world. Homosexuality is completely natural to them —while some Amazons are chaste, others have loving consorts. Their city is composed entirely of Greco-Roman architecture from 1200BCE, and they wear Greek garb, togas, sandals, and period armor. The Amazons also all wear the Bracelets of Submission as constant reminders of their Enslavement and obedience to their patrons, although only Diana is able to deflect bullets with them.
They are fervently religious, worshipping their gods as living deities. Artemis is their primary goddess, and they worship her with a sacrifice of a deer. The Amazons celebrate their creation each year in a Feast of Five, remembering the goddesses who brought them to life. The name “California” traces its origin to a centuries old story about an island, full of gold, run by black women who fed men to their pet griffins. Like other Amazonian legends, the island of California was a place filled with strong, self-sufficient women who solicited male attention completely on their own terms. This story resonates in California, which has a long history of gender roles being reconstructed. And it is fitting that this state, which has served as a frontier for issues of race, gender and religion, gets its name from a mythical story where race, gender and religion collide.
Finally, the story of an island full of gold foreshadowed the Gold Rush, which propelled the idea of the California dream around the world.A Muurish (African) Emperor Abu Bukari took 1,000 ships to the New World in the 1300s. So Muurish navigators and sea men were highly sought in those days that the previously land-bounded Europeans were in their infancy in navigational and maritime sciences. A black man used to own the San Fernando Valley. That was Pio de Jesus Pico (1801-1894). He was also the last Mexican governor of California. In total, in the 1800s, there were atleast four black governors of the state of California.Califia is a part of California history, and she also reinforces the fact that when Cortes named this place California, he had 300 black people with him. And throughout the whole Spanish Mexicanwar, 40 percent of the population was black. In 1535, Cortés led an expedition back to the land of Calafia or California and decided to be re-named it Santa Cruz. However, that name did not stick, as the natives, and the Muurs and the black Indians and red Indians and so-called whites continued to use the ancient and old name of the land “California”. Cortes himself and his contemporaries appeared to have used the name too.
In 1550 and 1556, the name appears three times in reports about Cortés written by Giovanni Battista Ramusio. Thus, over the years of increasing conquest, colonization and rape of the land of California, the ancient land of the muurs has held onto its name and identity, inthe knowledge that one day, it will be as it was in the beginning.There are over 800maps of California as an island up until the early 1800’s domiciled at the Stanford Research Library at Stanford University.And of course it is the Jesuits who claimed the whole “Island of California” is a myth. Although some early maps showed Californiaon the mainland, a powerful refutation of the island theory came in 1701 when Jesuit explorerEusebio Kino crossed the Baja peninsula and, with a telescope, saw that it was part of the continent.Over 250 maps from the 17th and 18th centuries show California as an island.
The definitive catalog of “California as an Island” maps is “The Mapping of California as an Island” by McLaughlin. The first map in McLaughlin’s catalog dates to 1621. Island maps continued into the 1800s, in spite of Spanish explorer Father Kino demonstrating California’s connectedness in 1705 by walking there from New Mexico. But since there were no accurate maps of the New World, map makers continued to supply the market using ancient sources. Hapgood attributes the ancient sourcesto maps preserved in Constantinople and later distributed by Turks. (p.9) That there were only a limited number of original sources is shown by their all falling into categories according to the features on the map. For example,some show the California island with a flat top, others showing it with a “W” top.
McLaughlin assigns maps to groups throughout his catalog according to features such as the shape of the top of the island. Since no explorers had mapped the California coast at that point, there was no way for map makers to know which source was right. As it turns out, both sources are right, they were just mapped at different times and different oceanlevels. Polk chronicles the extremely slow progress of exploration along the California coast for the next two centuries (“The Island of California, A History of the Myth”, Dora Beale Polk). She relates how Cortez mapped only the lower portion of the Gulf of California. Alarcon sailed up the Gulf to the Colorado River in 1540 and rowed up the river a long way butleft no map. The explorerOnate reached the mouth of the Colorado at the head of the Gulf in 1604, over a century after Columbus’ voyage. (Polk p. 261) In the late 1500s, Spanish trade ships followed ocean currents from the far east to the area of Mendocino, where they turned south to Baja.
But they would not venture near the coast and so provided only limited information on California geography. (Polk, p. 244) In 1603, on a voyage cloaked in secrecy and plagued with misfortune, Vizcaino explored the Pacific coast of California up to Cape Blanco, Oregon, where they presumed a large river was the sought-afterpassage to the Atlantic. (Polk, p.257). In all these explorations, Polk emphasizes the political pressure on explorers and map makers to find that California was an island. It was in the best interest of people like Cortez that California be an island, because Cortez was promised governorship of the island.The Island Coastline -Northern Portion The Pacific coast has been pushed eastward about 200 miles. The area that was pushed eastward extends from the top of the island at the north, to Point Concepcion at the south. This section of the coastline bears no resemblance to today’s coastline. In the overlay map to the left the northeast corner of the island forms a point that is created by the mountain range ending at the Willamete National Forest east of Eugene. The flat top follows the visible break in the coastal range just south of Eugene.
Many “California as an Island” maps from the 1600s and the 1700s show the north end of the island as a distinct “M”. McLaughlin categorizes maps by whether they have a “flat” or “indented” top throughout his catalog of California as an island maps (“The Mapping of California as an Island, an Illustrated Checklist”, Glen McLaughlin). The “M” was the result of later pushing up of the coastal and Cascade ranges around Portland.The salt lakes east of the northeast corner are evidence that there was a lot of saltwaterleft there after the ocean receded. South on the Pacific side from the flat island top, we find the coastline from the top of the island to Point Concepcion extends 200 miles farther out into the Pacific than it does today. Because the geography of the coastline is so different from the present day, the Vingboons map offers no points of alignment with modern landmarks. Vingboons adorned this section of the coast with many names of features that could not have had any resemblance to what the early explorers saw, but rather assigned them the names given by the Spanish to the modern features found by the Spanish at that latitude.What caused this 200-mile eastward movement of the coastline? While changing ocean level played a small part in the shape of the coast, the biggest cause was plate movement of the Pacific seafloor.
Two significant rifts extend across the Pacific, starting at the Hawaiian Islands chain and meeting the continent at Eureka on the north end and Point Conception on the south, at Eureka by the Murray Fracture zone, and at Point Conception by the Mendocino Fracture zone. These rifts do not stop at the Pacific coastline but rather continue to the east coast, the northern rift to New York, and the southern rift to the active earthquake zone of North Carolina. These rifts gradually buckled the continent from east to west, starting during the Flood with the Appalachians. A Midwestuplift buried under Mississippi river valley sediment was the location of the great earthquakes of 1811-1812. The Rockies were pushed up next, then the Wasatch range in Utah and last the folded ridges of Nevada. Finally, after the Vingboons map was made, the Sierra Nevada and California Coastal ranges were pushed up.
These two ridges do not appear on an otherwise extremely accurate map. I must assume they were not on the source maps because they did not yet exist. Theformation of these last two ranges pushed the coastline of the map east by over 200 miles to where it is today.The eastward shift can be seen in this map of California geology. “Older Metamorphic and sedimentary rocks” are dark blue. There is a sharp break in this rock between the Murray and Mendocino rifts. Formation of the Sierra Nevada range pushed this block east about 50 miles. The “Older Metamorphic and sedimentary rocks” were pushed east into what became the Sierra Nevada’s.The “Great Gold Rush of 1849” occurred due to the uplifting of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range and revealed abundant gold and silver on the surface of the ground. You could literally pick up the nuggets without having to dig with a pickaxe.
Therefore,ships from as far away as China sailed to San Francisco and the wagon trains were able to cross the Great Salt Lake, which up until that time, was still ocean fed. This is why you find ocean fossils in the Great Salt Lake and no one was able to access California until the mid-1800’s!The Great California Mudflood of 1862And while all this was going on The Great Flood of 1862 was the largest flood in the recorded history of Oregon, Nevada, and California, occurring from December 1861 to January 1862. It was preceded by weeks of continuous rains and snows in the very high elevations that began in Oregon in November 1861 and continued into January 1862. This was followed by a record amount of rain from January 9–12, and contributed to a flood that extended from the Columbia River southward in western Oregon, and through California to San Diego, and extended as far inland as Idaho in the Washington Territory, Nevada and Utah in the Utah Territory, and Arizona in the western New Mexico Territory.
The event dumped an equivalent of 10 feet of rainfall in California, in the form of rain and snow, over a period of 43 days. Immense snowfalls in the mountains of the far western United States caused more flooding in Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, and Sonora, Mexico the following spring and summer as the snow melted. The event was capped by a warm intense storm that melted the high snow load. The resulting snow meltflooded valleys, inundated or swept away towns, mills, dams, flumes, houses, fences, and domestic animals, and ruined fields. It has been described as the worst disaster ever to strike California.