Saturday, October 4, 2014
Lenape Migration Into Minnesota
To start with, available shipping which would be in the form of open fishing boats made an atempt to return to either Iceland or Norway impossible in terms of the multiple trips required.
What was possible was to move totally across Davis Strait to the mouth of Hudson Strait and to accomplish this with a handful of boats bringing everything possible except their herds which would be slaughtered to provide travel rations in the form of dried meat. The distance is around five hundred miles or a couple of days sailing in summer weather. Even at a week on average, it becomes possible to transport 4000 people and all supplies with a handful of boats in one season.
Much more important, once there they had access to huge herds of walruses and seals, to say nothing of whales and ample fishing. Thus, although they had to give up their cattle herds, they could go straight to a deep biological resovoir able to support the population with the obvious intent to move on into the continent itself.
It is also obvious that they knew all about Hudson Bay as well and likely knew other ares of excellent seal and walrus populations. At worst they would simply scout ahead while following the coast line. For the same rasons they did not attempt southward along the atlantic coast because these were then well populated by known hostile populations much to strong for them to challenge. This also meant that game would be seriously depleted there.
Thus the conjecture that the Greenland Norse made it to Lake Winnipeg and Buffalo country is highly plausible. That it was a lage population is also plausible as well. They would not have been challenged by the local hunting band culture lacking significant concentrations. That it may have taken 150 years seems excessive, but that may have been a situation in which they became well settled for a long time before long distance scouting confirmed a direct route into the interior on the west coast of Hudson Bay along the Churchill River in particular. You cannot move off your food supply until it can be readily replaced.
Maintenance of catholicism is much more problematic and should have been well noted by the French who introduced Catholicism into just this country at the same time as the English were setting up their colonies. Whatever was maintained it had to survive 500 years of separation without the benefit of trained clergy. It will be interesting to piece together.