That morning Kuthamanga awakens like no other morning.
A new lifetime explodes in her head with new memories.
Confusion overtakes Kuthamanga. She bolts to sit up in bed, grabbing her head, rubbing it vigorously. Was it a dream? She’s never had such a dream, if so! It was too much detail, too much that she could remember as if it actually unfolded over years and years of time. In fact, this other life is so realistic that Kuthamanga finds herself wondering what she is doing in her own village.
Isn’t she supposed to be living that other life? Is this village the dream?
She runs to the doorway of the mound to gaze outside, hoping that her confusion will melt away. It refuses. Even as she knows every detail of where she is at that moment, she also feels freshly plucked from her “real” life. But the specifics of that other world are slipping away as she continues to wake up. So she returns to bed and sits quietly with her eyes closed to remember…
She can barely see the sky. There are deep canyons in this world. She looks to the sky and sees towering walls with evenly cut pieces all through them. Through those sharp-angled holes she can see people, oddly dressed and bathed in strange light. The canyons are crowded with people going and coming from tunnels within the walls. There are odd, roaring wagons traveling between the canyon walls with bright flames glowing in different colors, especially white and red. When night falls even more strange flames illuminate great tapestries all around. Many are smoking small sticks of tobacco and staring at polished stones held in their hands that glow with their own inner light.
Once she felt at home there. Now the dream of it frightens her.
In that world she was the only one of her people. All the others were different colors and shapes, many of them white… white like Roht Narsyn, the visitor from across a great water.
She wonders; what does that mean? Kuthamanga Pang’ono was born after the arrival of the first New Norsemen and is amorous of that pale-skinned man with facial hair. So much so that she is with his child.
Meanwhile, Roht Narsyn has grown up in the dominant class of his society.
Even as Kuthamanga loves Roht, she fears his people. They are takers of what they need and wasters of what they want. Even now she feels the threatening undertones of their presence.
Yet together they cobbled the legends and folklore of their ancestors into a coherent origin story of Native Americans. Kuthamanga came to realize that the blood of their souls shared a common beginning.
Something like this…
About a century before Rome lost its grip on Britain, Polynesians who lived on islands off Asia and Indonesia started spreading eastward across the Pacific in relentless adventures that often ended tragically. Yet by the year 400, Polynesians had reached places now known as Fiji, the Cook islands and American Samoa. Meanwhile Romans withdrew from Britain in 407 to help fight Visigoths, Vandals and Sueves in Italy in a last ditch effort to preserve the empire. They would never return, and Roman domination of Britain sank away.
By the year 500 Polynesian descendants had reached as far east in the Pacific as Hawaii, French Polynesia and the Pitcaim Islands, while back in Britain Saxons continued invading until they were stopped in 500 at the Battle of Mount Badon by King Arthur and his future Knights of the Round Table. Fifty years of Camelot ensued, until…
The year 550 saw the Saxons pressing Westward once more, overpowering Britain and
taking British slaves home to Italy. It was there that Pope Gregory spied three “beautiful” slaves and was inspired to send Augustine to Britain to convert the pagans to Christianity. Augustine arrived in 596 to begin the conversion. Only a few years after that Polynesian descendants reached Easter Island, and even now this is the location of the most remote airport on Earth.
By the year 700 Polynesian descendants had reached Peru and Chile. Eventually they encountered the descendants of Asians who had long ago crossed the Bering Straights into Alaska. Almost no other modern humans had reached these places.
The Vikings who could never buy into Christianity were forced to move on. More Vikings than anyone suspected went on to Iceland, Greenland and Nova Scotia and from there spread in all directions, including southward down the coast of North America. By the year 1000, Vikings were in South America and moving inland toward the west, even as more migrants from North and Central America arrived.
And this is how Polynesians, Asians and Vikings blended to become Native Americans.
…And suddenly I open my eyes, still exactly where I was before awakening in her head.
What happened to me? I was inside that Native American woman’s head for an entire day! A little too long there in the end. I knew everything she was thinking and she was tuning in to my knowledge as well. She saw this reality through my eyes.
It was driving her mad.