domingo, 23 de mayo de 2010


By: Felipe Argote

When the American adventurer Richard O. Marsh traveled to the Darien jungle in the early twentieth century sponsored by the Smithsonian, the museum of natural history at the University of Rochester and the U.S. Army military intelligence never thought he was going to be face to face in the middle of the jungle white skin, blond hair and blue eyes Indians. When he returned to New York with the unusual news that he had discovered an Indian blonde tribe he became the laughingstock of the media, especially the tabloids. Some have claimed that they were descendants of English pirates who had been stranded on the shores of the Atlantic and had survived for centuries lost in the jungle fending off the Indians and hiding from the Spanish made any attempt on their lives. Others argued that Marsh had been the victim of some psychotropic plants and had been seeing visions. Others, because his controversial personality, claim that the adventurer had invented the story in the midst of his desire for notoriety, stating that it was a lost colony of Vikings in Greenland.

But Richard O Marsh was not willing to go down in history as a liar. So after gathering enough resources sailed to Panama and then to Darien in search of evidence of the existence of the mythical blonds Indian tribe of Darien. The result of his trip was better than expected. In 1924 he returned to New York. This time he was not alone, three Indians with all the features of the Indians of Darien, but with great particularity... were blond, blue eyes and white skin. They were the living proof: blond Indians of Darien.

Contrary to what Marsh thought, white Indians of Darien are not a different race, are part of the Kuna that because of a special genetic evolution born albinos. At kuna Yala albinos are born at a rate of 1 per 144 births, with this being the highest proportion of births of albinos in the world. In the U.S., for example, there is one albino for every 17,000 inhabitants. They are called the children of the moon by the Kuna themselves, who according to tradition born blonde because their mother during pregnancy feels an irresistible attraction to see the moon, and because during the day while his weak eyes cannot see clearly, during moonlight are those with a more acute eyes.

But long before Marsh, as far ahead as 1699, Dr. Lionel Wafer, an English doctor and pirate in his book "A New Voyage and Description of the Isthmus of America" described the Indians of Darien and sets targets the proportion among the Kuna of one for every 200 inhabitants.

The three Kuna albino Marsh took to New York were being studied by different specialists, but it was the geneticist Dr. Reginald G. Harris of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in genetic research that after seeing the captive Indians were motivated to travel to Kuna Yala for further studies of this rare congenital anomaly. This description was developed by Dr Harris: "Their skin is that of white people among Europeans, with a sieve of bluish skin, nor is it their skin as pale of our people, but rather a milky white. They are as high as the other indians. His eyelids are closed and open into an oblong shape, working down at the ends, forming an arc or crescent shape of the tips down. From here and from seeing so clearly on a moonlit night they are called sons of the moon. They canno see very well in full sun as they close their eyes as if they were myopic, however night vision is pure, clear and alert. They do not care at all "

The Harris report cleared the doubts of the existence of a tribe of white Indians developed by adventurer Richard O Marsh. He, Marsh left the Kuna Yala area escorted by U.S. troops after trying to mount on a legitimate revolutionary kuna movement. This survey proclaimed the Tule Republic in 1925 due to pressure of the Panamanian government wanted to force them by law to convert to Christianity and forbid the use of their traditional clothing, their religion and any culture. Richard Marsh took advantage of the movement suggesting that it seek to be a protectorate of the United States. So after signing the peace agreement between the Kuna and the Panamanian government the adventurer Marsh left the area protected by the U.S. army to his country of origin.

1 comentario:

  1. Felipe, great article. I was researching 'white Indians' when I found your blog. A. Hyatt Verrill was one of the critics of Marshes claims---and he wrote about the albino Kuna. I located tat article, it's on my blog if you search on 'Verrill white indian', it should show up---it's from a while ago.