Thursday, November 18, 2010

George Psalmanazar

I found this guy pretty funny, what would happen if Taiwan were just like what he described? I almost wish our culture were that mystic as in his narrative. Well, expect the carnivalism part...

"Building upon this growing interest in his life, in 1704 Psalmanazar published a book entitled An Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa, an Island subject to the Emperor of Japan which purported to be a detailed description of Formosan customs, geography and political economy, but which was in fact a complete invention on Psalmanazar's part. The "facts" contained in the book were in fact an amalgam of other travel reports, and were especially influenced by accounts of the Aztec and Inca civilization in the New World and by embellished descriptions of Japan. Thomas More's Utopia may also have served as an inspiration. According to Psalmanazar, Formosa was a prosperous country with a capital city called Xternetsa. Men walked naked except for a gold or silver plate to cover their genitals. Their main food was a serpent that they hunted with branches. Formosans were polygamous and husbands had a right to eat their wives for infidelity. They executed murderers by hanging them upside down and shooting them full of arrows. Annually they sacrificed the hearts of 18,000 young boys to gods and priests ate the bodies. They used horses and camels for mass transportation and dwelled underground in circular houses."

source from Wikipedia.

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