Tet Offensive Essay Research Paper Pamama HistoryIndians

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Tet Offensive Essay, Research Paper Pamama History Indians inhabited the isthmus of Panama when the Spanish explorers arrived. Some historians say that there might have been a population of 500,000 Indians from sixty tribes, but other researchers said that the Cuna Indians alone numbered 750,000. Besides the Cuna, the largest group, two other major groups of Indians, the Guaym and the Choc , have been identified. The Guaym , of the highlands near the Costa Rican border, are believed to be related to Indians of the Nahuatlan and Mayan nations of Mexico and Central America. The Choc on the Pacific side appear to be related to the Chibcha of Colombia. The land was owned and farmed among all three Indian groups. In addition to hunting and fishing, the Indians raised corn, cotton,

cacao, various root crops and other vegetables, and fruits. They lived in circular thatched huts and slept in hammocks. Villages specialized in producing certain goods, and traders moved among them along the rivers and coastal waters in dugout canoes. The Indians were skillful potters, stonecutters, goldsmiths, and silversmiths. The ornaments they wore, including breastplates and earrings of gold,reinforced the Spanish myth of El Dorado, the city of gold. Rodrigo de Bastidas, was the first of many Spanish explorers to reach the isthmus. Sailing from Venezuela in 1501 in search of gold, he explored some the coastal area before heading for the West Indies. A year later, Christopher Columbus, on his fourth voyage to the New World, touched several points on the isthmus. One was a

horseshoe-shaped harbor that he named Puerto Bello (beautiful port.) Vasco N* ez de Balboa, was a member of Bastidas’s crew. He settled in Hispaniola, which today is the Dominican Republic andHaiti. In 1510 he stowed away on a voyage to Panama to escape his creditors. At that time, about 800 Spaniards lived on the isthmus. Soon the many jungle perils, including malaria and yellow fever, had killed all but 60 of them. Finally, the settlers at Antigua del Dari n, the first city of Spanish rule overthrew the crown’s representative and elected Balboa and Martin Zamudio as co-mayors. Balboa insisted that the settlers plant crops rather than depend on supply ships, and Antigua became a prosperous community. Like other conquistadors, Balboa led raids on Indian settlements, but

unlike most, he made friends with the conquered tribes. He took the daughter of a chief as his girlfriend. In 1513, Balboa, Francisco Pizarro 190 Spaniards set out on an expedition with a pack of dogs, and 1,000 Indian slaves. After twenty-five days of hacking their way through the jungle, the party gazed on the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Balboa, clad in full armor, waded into the water and claimed the sea and all the shores for his God and his king. He returned to Antigua in January 1514 with all 190 soldiers and with cotton cloth, pearls, and 40,000 pesos in gold. Meanwhile, his enemies had denounced him in the Spanish court, and King Ferdinand appointed a new governor for the colony, Pedro Arias de Avila. Later he became known as “Pedrarias theCruel. ” He charged

Balboa with treason. In 1517 Balboa was arrested, brought to the court and executed. In 1519 Pedrarias moved his capital to a fishing village on the Pacific coast. The Indians called the village Panama, meaning “plenty of fish. A trail known as the Camino Real, or royal road, linked Panama and Nombre de Dios, a deserted early settlement , which was was resettled. Along this trail, gold from Peru was carried by muleback to Spanish galleons waiting on the Atlantic coast. The importance of the isthmus for transporting treasure and the delay and difficulties of the Camino Real caused the Spanish to think about building a canal. This was around 1530. King Philip II concluded that if God had wanted a canal there He would have built one so he gave up the idea. Back in Panama hundreds