Talk:Dog Island, Gambia

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St. Andrews island is the former name of James Island (now Kunta Kinteh Island). Here are two islands mixed. --Atamari (talk) 19:39, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

It's not an error. Check the sources. St. Andrews was indeed the prior name for James Island in the 17th C. But Cadamosto originally (1456) assigned "Sant' Andrea" to an island ten (Italian) miles upstream - that is, c.13km. That is precisely Dog Island (Charles Island) (as noted in Kerr, 1812; Legrand, 1928, Teixeira da Mota, 1946, etc.) James Island is 40 km upstream. The name was shifted to James Island by cartographers sometime in the late 16th or early 17th C. So, yes, the islands were mixed - but by later cartographers. Walrasiad (talk) 20:04, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
10 miles from where? Read the text, they wrote: "we sailed up the river always by day and continually sounding Such of the almadias as We saw on the river kept at a distance close to the banks of the river and never ventured to approach About ten miles up the river we cast anchor on a Sunday". I understand it, another 10 miles further they sailed up the river. --Atamari (talk) 21:03, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Hm. The English translation does seems ambiguous. Here's the phrase in original Italian: "le almadie de Negri che pur alcune trovamo, andavano a lungo le rive del detto fiume, non ossando accostari a noi & dentro del detto fiumi circa dieci migilia trovammo una isoletta a modo d'un polesine, fata per il detto fiume, all qualle have messo anchora, una dominica" [Cadamosto's Navigazioni] (1550 ed.) which literally translated reads "& inside the mentioned river around ten miles we found an island", which suggests ten miles from the mouth of the river. There is no mention of any other pause or intermediate point for reference. Walrasiad (talk) 21:38, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Addendum: also noticed the English translator did not bother with the phrase "a la modo d'un polesine", which is tricky to translate. It reads "an island formed in the style of a 'polesine'". Now, the only sense I know of the word "Polesine" is as a reference to water-clogged swamplands at the mouth of the Po River in Italy, notorious for its ill-formed shallow islands. Since Dog Island, unlike James Island, is not really a proper island (it has a land bridge to the mainland at low tide, and becomes a real island only at high tide), it might have reminded Cadamosto of the islands of the Po delta. I think it reinforces the identification of the original Sant' Andrea with Dog Island rather than the more properly-formed James Island. (Checking elsewhere: the Portuguese translator rendered "modo d'un polesine" as "the style of a net sack", which doesn't really make sense (except that the shallow islands and land bridges do indeed make the Po delta look like a "net sack" on a map). The French translator omits it.) Walrasiad (talk) 21:59, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
I have about 70 various books on the topic of the Gambia, in neither of which is a reference to St. Andrews Island as Dog Island and you haven't reliable sources. You start a new speculative theory, which is nowhere written. --Atamari (talk) 14:45, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Oh, I am not disputing that James Island was called St. Andrews - in the 17th C. But the reference here is to the original name given by Cadamosto in 1456. I have some very reliable sources - in particular Cadamosto's own words, and those of most Cadamosto scholars (Kerr, Legrand, Teixeira da Mota, Verrier, etc.) who have looked into the matter (see Cadamosto page for reference details). If you have other Cadamosto scholars who dispute this, I'd be happy to read them and revise it. But so far I've only found one - Buhnen, but on a very pushed argument, that exaggerates by assumption the lengths of all Cadamosto's measures and haves him sail upriver as far as 240 km (which is highly dubious). There is nothing unusual about names being transferred by cartographers, e.g. just referencing to 15th C. Portuguese Africa, Herons island, Cintra bay, St. Ann river, St. Domingos river, Rio Nunez, Saldanha bay, etc. were all shifted by map-makers to a different place than what they originally referred to. Walrasiad (talk) 14:41, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

one of the greatest experts of topic Gambia seems to be Professor David Gamble. Extensive material on the website can be found. Maybe you like to contact him. --Atamari (talk) 16:12, 5 June 2011 (UTC)