Although the Icelandic sources mentioned livestock present on the ships heading for America in 1009, chickens were not mentioned literally. Even if we assume, that the chickens were onboard the ships, it is a little hard for me to imagine how succesful it could be to spread a few chickens from Newfoundland with its killing winters. As far as I know nobody mentions chickens in Canada.
It would be interesting if it turns out eventually, that the Polynesians "jumped over " the Pacific Ocean. It is more than 3500 km from Easter Island to Chile.
I can't go back to 1009, but can go back to 1600's or so in North America with constellations named as broody hen by the Native Americans...gives one some key names maybe to research??http://plymoutharch.tripod.com/id8.html
European Chicken (Gallus gallus) and Native American Culture - An Investigation of the Position of the European Chicken (Gallus gallus) in the Seventeenth Century New England Native American Culture
Chickens and roosters became part of what the Natives eventually called Netasuaog, or the ones that are house fed (Trumbull 1908:84). Roger Williams stated in 1643 that "This name the Indians give to tame beasts, yea, and birds also which they keep tame about their houses." (Williams 1971: 173). It would appear that by 1643 at the latest, European domestic animals were fairly common around Native homesites. Chickens and roosters were variously referred to as either Chicks or Monish, which means the spotted or dark colored ones (Williams 1971: 127; Trumbull 1908: 64). The Native name of the Pleides constellation is Chippapuock, meaning the brood hen or literally the one that separates herself, which may refer to European nesting hens and any nesting bird.
The whole article is worth a once over read. Seems to lean towards Native Americans getting chooks from Europeans but also note there is mention of how important feathers are to Native culture and the chickens were easy to keep. Don't have any issues seeing chickens surviving in Newfoundland, we are often colder here in Alberta and we have ones in unheated coops that are ten years young when it is forty below.
I recall historical tales of people keeping chooks in the rafters of their houses--chickens were a valuable resource. A teepee could house chickens just fine and even travelling, a few tucked in a coat on the way to the new location is not an un-plausible hypothesis?
Feathers hold special significance to Native People across America. They were used in seventeenth century New England as hair knot ornaments and marks of status, they were woven into mantles and capes by the older men of the communities and used as the fletchings on arrows. But their use transcended a utilitarian value, they, like shells, bones, teeth, claws, quills, beaks and horns represent gifts from the animal world to the human.
Ceremonies and such, a lead perhaps to this thread maybe following certain traditions followed by North American Native persons?
Based on the context within which the remains were recovered, the chicken remains appear to have been purposefully buried in this separate pit feature. The bird may have been killed and eaten as part of a curing ceremony similar to that described by the Jesuits among the Iroquois called a tabagie. At these tabagie, or solemn feasts, the sick person could request things that he or she felt would make them better and often times dogs were desired, killed and eaten at the feast (Butler and Hadlock 1994:17). This chicken may have been eaten separate from other foods and the bones ceremonially placed in this separate distinct feature.
I wonder where the first chicken came from (or the egg?), did it circle the globe and back again or? Interesting topic!
Doggone & Chicken UP!
Tara Lee Higgins
Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta, Canada