- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (November 17, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393322300
- ISBN-13: 978-0393322309
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,010,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Zuni Enigma: A Native American People's Possible Japanese Connection Paperback – November 17, 2001
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A stunning and carefully supported argument that should stir useful discussion.... [An] exciting, groundbreaking work. -- Booklist
About the Author
Nancy Yaw Davis holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Washington. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska.
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Worse, I think a serious problem with Davis' thesis is that 14th century Japanese pilgrims would have known about writing, and it is very hard to believe that they would have given it up. And even if they had, one would expect remnants of script to appear ornamentally. As the author says in the last paragraph: "These finding may nor be conclusive, but together they are suggestive." Whether it is more than that is doubtful.
The premise of Dr. Davis is that the uniqueness of the Zuni Native American tribe, both anthropologically and linguistics, point to they have origins in Japan.
Like all research that can upset the current theories of origination, this has not received a warm welcome from the cultural and physical anthropology and Zuni community. Skeptics want more evidence; Zuni may feel it's an attack on their identity as "Original Peoples".
It's difficult to say that the information she provides in the book is 100% accurate, but the evidence she does provide is convincing enough for further review. What's difficult to confirm is the hypothesis of origination. Was it from sailing across the Pacific, or via the Bering Sea land bridge much earlier in time, like other Native Americans? It's important because if it's the former, it would show the Zuni are a much more modern Native American tribe.
One thing I can note from communication with Inuit in Canada: similarities in the Inuit language and the Japanese language also exist. So the idea of a more modern origination of the Zuni, would need much more proof than just word similarity.
For those interested in cultural anthropology, this book makes a good read. It's not a thorough textbook on the subject, but it offers enough information for the reader to research further.
This is a good book on American library to find out who came before Columbus!