Native Village
Youth and Education news
 December 1, 2010, Volume

First American in Europe "was native woman kidnapped by Vikings and hauled back to Iceland 1,000 years ago"
Read the entire article:]
Condensed by Native Village

Iceland: A Native woman kidnapped by Vikings 1,000 years ago may have been the first American to arrive in Europe. Her genes have been discovered in the DNA of just 80 members of four distinct family lines.

This means a female slave was in Europe 500 years before Christopher Columbus first paraded American Indians through Spain. The unknown American woman bore children in Iceland,  but nothing was ever written about her..

Most believe Viking raiders arrived in the Americas centuries before Columbus.  Epic Norse sagas tell of early Scandinavian settlers discovering lush new lands with a temperate climate and abundant crops.

A Viking settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland is thought to date to the 11th century. Other settlements are found in Greenland, which Viking navigators reached from Iceland.

The DNA lineage, named C1e, is mitochondrial. This means the genes belonged to a woman.

"In my view, the most plausible hypothesis is that these four Icelandic families derived from an Amerindian woman brought there at pre-Columbian times," said researcher Carles Lalueza-Fox. "There are alternatives to this that we cannot totally reject. To have a definite proof, we should find a pre-Columbian Icelandic remain that could be genetically analysed and show the same Amerindian lineage."

One alternative is that a post 1400s American female found her way from mainland Europe to Iceland. But scientists believe it's unlikely because Iceland was very isolated at the time.

Since the woman’s arrival 40 generations ago, her descendants have lived in Iceland. Each generation had at least one girl, so the female lineage has not been interrupted.

The Vikings were fearsome warriors and highly skilled navigators. Viking raiders in Britain took gold and precious goods. They also took slaves to keep or sell elsewhere around the world.  This might explain why males from Iceland were mostly of Viking origin, while most of the  first females came from  =Scotland and Ireland.

"This difference has only one explanation: that the Vikings were in the habit of plundering the women of the British Isles. It is logical that they would do the same in America
," Lalueza-Fox said.

The study will be published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Volume 1         Volume 2          Volume 3          Volume 4

Native Village Home Page

Backgrounds: Robert Kaufman Fabrics:

NATIVE VILLAGE website was created for youth, educators, families, and friends who wish to celebrate the rich, diverse cultures of The Americas' First Peoples. We offer readers two monthly publications: NATIVE VILLAGE Youth and Education News and NATIVE VILLAGE Opportunities and Websites.  Each issue shares today's happenings in Indian country.
Native Village is responsible for format changes.
Articles may also include additional photos, art, and graphics which enhance the visual appeal and and adds new dimensions to the articles. Each is free or credited by right-clicking the picture, a page posting, or appears with the original article. 
Our hopes are to make the news as informative, educational, enjoyable as possible.
NATIVE VILLAGE also houses website libraries and learning circles  to enrich all lives on Turtle Island.
Please visit, and sign up for our update: We are always glad to make new friends!