Basil Butcher

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Basil Butcher

Postby mikesiva » Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:51 pm

Many in the cricketing world will be surprised to learn that Basil Butcher was the first person of Amerindian descent to represent the West Indies in the English ball game of cricket.

His grandmother was a “full out” Amerindian and for Basil Fitzgerald Butcher, what or who she was hardly mattered except for the fact that she had produced a grandson who represented Guyana and the West Indies in the discipline of cricket.

Butcher fought his way to Test level at a time when so many had been knocking at the door of West Indies cricket and failing.
He had made his mark in the County games when Berbice matched strength with Essequibo and Demerara.

Now, the selectors were all eyes as they watched the young man from Port Mourant, who was carrying on in the shadows of John Trim and Robert Christiani.

Against a Jamaica 11 he won the BG’s selector’s nod and bravely walked to the middle.

He did fairly well amidst the testing climate of his debut game and his first innings score of 64 remained one of class and style.
He also performed well in the second innings even though he only made 32. This was in 1954.

It was no surprise then when, along with Joe Solomon, Rohan Kanhai, Lance Gibbs, Bruce Pairaudeau, Clyde Walcott, Clifford McWatt, Pat Legall and others, he won the selectors’ nod and played in the Quadrangular Tournament for Guyana.

Surely, it was for the Jamaican bowlers, a baptism of leather hunting. At that time the Jamaican team featured Roy Gilchrist, Tom Dewdney, Alfred Valentine, Allan Rae, Colly Smith and A.P. Binns among others.

http://www.stabroeknews.com/2011/sports ... %E2%80%A6/
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Re: Basil Butcher

Postby sussexpob » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:27 pm

Thanks for article Mike.

I confess that I dont know what an "Amerindian" is. Is it a more correct and modern term for Native Indian?
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Re: Basil Butcher

Postby mikesiva » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:28 pm

Native American appears to be a term used in North America. That's what they call themselves there. But they seem to call themselves AmerindIan in South American countries like Guyana. My wife best friend has a Guyanese mother who often spoke about her AmerindIan ancestry. I guess it varies from country. In South Africa mixed race people call themselves coloured but that term is offensive in the United States because of its historical connotations. I suppose it comes down to how you are treated historically. Native American people were brutally killed off in North America while in Guyana they found safety in the amazon jungle. Guyana has a curious history. Up to independence in 1966 all races were united in their resentment against white English rule. After 1966 black Guyanese and Indian Guyanese were too busy fighting each other to bother themselves with the Amerindians.
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Re: Basil Butcher

Postby sussexpob » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:10 pm

I have never really read much about Pre-Colombian America's, but I always (rather ignorantly I admit) thought that "native american" was simply the description of a distinctive ethnic class, rather than a generic term for the indigenous people who made up the population of the continent. I thought the same for instance about Aboriginals, but I might be closer to the true with this. Obvious I assume with a bit more thought that there must have been ethnic and cultural distinctions in the different geographical areas, as these areas are so huge. From what you are saying, Amerindian is the same, like a generic term.

Out of interest (its taking it fully of topic) but I know Guyana has a majority Indo population, and a large portion of people from African descent, but with the local indigenous population, what type of ethnicity are these people?

Its strange because while the Andean countries in South America I believe retain quite a lot of indiginous make up in their populations, I was always under the belief that in most places in South America, the populations had all but wiped out.
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Re: Basil Butcher

Postby mikesiva » Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Going to school in Jamaica, learning about indigenous Americans is a part of the history curriculum...First Form, or Year Seven, is all about that. We learnt about the Arawaks, the Taino, the Caribs, the Aztecs, the Inca, the Maya, etc.

The Amerindians were decimated by diseases brought by the Europeans, in particular the common cold, which was a killer. Smallpox was also a killer:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populatio ... e_Americas

The Amerindians of Guyana can be broken down into numerous tribal divisions:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenou ... _in_Guyana

The theory is that the Amerindians are genetically related to Far East Asians, i.e. Chinese, etc.
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Re: Basil Butcher

Postby GarlicJam » Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:52 am

mikesiva wrote:The theory is that the Amerindians are genetically related to Far East Asians, i.e. Chinese, etc.

I had always thought that the whole of the population of The Americas (pre-European) was a consequence of a mass migration from northern Asia when there was a landbridge across the Bering.
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Re: Basil Butcher

Postby sussexpob » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:03 am

GarlicJam wrote:
mikesiva wrote:The theory is that the Amerindians are genetically related to Far East Asians, i.e. Chinese, etc.

I had always thought that the whole of the population of The Americas (pre-European) was a consequence of a mass migration from northern Asia when there was a landbridge across the Bering.


Yes, I think its the Sakha communities of Russia share an awful lot of DNA markers with the people of Alaska/Northern Canada/Northern USA, indicating that the further you get away from where the only land bridge is believed to be, the less people are similar, and the less the genetic make up mirrors Northern Asians. The people in Kamchatka however are believed to also share certain characteristics in DNA that indicate people backwards migrated much latter back to Asia.

Having said that, I have read that there are increasing amounts of experts that believe the people of East Asia (Indonesia, Indian Subcontinent, SE Asia) actually colonised large parts of South America by sea. This is because the Western Coast of South America (the Incan and Andean cultures) shows DNA markers that carry unique similarities to these people. But experts cant account for it, because (a) no one could explain how such a time ago someone could mass migrate such a distance over sea! (b) there is no other way to explain it! After you leave the Andean Regions, the genetic marker no longer exists, so by land it couldnt have arrived anywhere.
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Re: Basil Butcher

Postby GarlicJam » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:28 am

Very interesting, SP. Hadn't heard that.
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Re: Basil Butcher

Postby sussexpob » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:44 am

GarlicJam wrote:Very interesting, SP. Hadn't heard that.


Its similar to Easter Island. Some historians claim evidence shows that Easter Island could have been colonised by Polynesian tribes over a thousand years ago, but its unfathomable to think that what is seen as a simple and scientifically unenglightened culture could achieve a mass migration to the most isolated place on earth outside the polar regions. What is more, it would seem that this mass migration is seen as purposeful, as evidence suggests large influxes arriving on the island in big groups. The generally commonly accepted explanation is that Easter Island was a paradise island full of resources and great land, and that the Polynesians moved there as the people prospered.

In fact the Maoi ( I believe thats what they call them) on the island were sculpted in huge quarries, but no scientists really know how the hell they cut 100m pieces of rock from the middle of the island and transported them to the sea edge!

Quite incredibly, Easter Island shows you what happens to nature when you rape and pillage the land. Its like a mini historical lesson on the Environment. It appears sometime before or around the time Europeans found the island, it had gone from a paradise to a very troubled place. The people chopped down the trees, overworked the land, over populated it, and conflict took over peace. I believe (although I have read countering conclusions) that the islanders wrecked the environment so much, people starved and then started to leave.
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Re: Basil Butcher

Postby GarlicJam » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:26 pm

I had the Polynesian settling of the Southern Pacific down as a scattergun approach. Some found land, some didn't, some came back, some didn't.

Unscientific, they may have been, but for an island people, sea navigation and reading signs must have been something that most would have, some far better. They colonised many far-flung islands, Kiribati and the Hawaiian Islands a long way from anywhere. Easter Island is just even further.

Knowledge of lands in "this direction, this far" might have been something known about for centuries before it was colonised, it might have been learnt about through adventure, or mis-adventure such as getting caught in a cyclone.
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Re: Basil Butcher

Postby sussexpob » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:44 pm

I dont actually know a great deal about it (polynesian migrations), other than with Easter Island. As I said, scientists seem to believe that the migration seems planned to Easter Island, that they may have found the place and made a point to come back in large waves and numbers.To go back to the original discussion though, the reason why the Andean Indigenous groups seem to be the largest in SA that remain may have been the different genetic make up being more resistive to European disease?

I did actually recently read a book about the Spanish Silver Mines in Latin America, and it suggested (which I didnt know) that the Spanish used a lot of African labourers in the mines, but these African Settlers in the high altitude altiplato of Bolivia and Peru were literally wiped out in frightening numbers. I knew that Brazil took a large number of African slaves (hence a large African population now).

In fact, in Potosi alone it is said that 7 million people African Slaves met their death. Which is pretty unbelievable!!! The population of nowadays Bolivia is only just under that, yet no African descendants of slaves inhabit the altiplato, and only a fraction of percent of the population are black africans, but these are in the Amazon basin areas that has borderless tribe areas with Brazil.

Incredible how such genocides are ignored by history. Its like every single slave brought to Bolivia died in the mines. They left no lasting impression on the ethnic make up of the region, all seemingly died out.
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