Norumbega (or Norumbègue, Nurumbega, etc) was a legendary settlement in northeastern North America. Like Cathay, it was a semi-legendary place name used to fill a gap in existing geographical knowledge. It often appeared on European maps of North America, lying south of Acadia somewhere in what is now New England. Norumbega was thought to be a large, rich Native city, and by extension the region surrounding it. There have been some attempts to link the name and legend of Norumbega to actual indigenous archaeological sites or even to alleged Viking settlements.
davistownmuseum.org: The Davistown Museum. The Ancient Dominions of Maine Norumbega Reconsidered and the Wawenoc Diaspora....The Myths of Norumbega (http://www.davistownmuseum.org/TDMnativeAm.htm#Myth) Quote: "...The European Discovery of America: The Northern Voyages debunks the 19th century assertion of Norumbega as a Viking name and is the foremost among many historians who assert it is entirely a myth. "Norumbega, apart from the name, which means 'quiet place between two rapids' in Algonkin, was wholly created by European imagination." (pg. 464)..."
nsexplore.ca: The Defences of Norumbega. Professor Eben Norton Horsford. 1891 (http://www.nsexplore.ca/horsford.htm) Quote: "...was written to advance the view of the author that Norse emigrants from the Greenland colony had founded a settlement near Boston, Massachusetts, dating from the beginning of the 11th century...The book itself has been scanned and made available as a sequence of images..."
30-Apr-2002, The Straight Dope: Did Leif Erikson once live in Cambridge, Massachusetts? (http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mleifinma.html) Quote: "...Around the intersection of Memorial Drive and Mt. Auburn St. there is a granite plaque in the ground, with the following: "On this spot in the year 1000Lief Erikson built his house in Vinland."...Horsford did a little digging (literally) and found some buried artifacts that he claimed were Norse. On the spot he built the memorial you saw. He didn't stop there..."
Norumbega, name vaguely used, especially on European maps of the 16th and 17th cent., to indicate a region, a river, or a city on the east coast of North America.
In the late 19th cent., Professor E. Horsford revived interest in the matter by identifying Norumbega as the site of a Norse settlement in America, claiming to have discovered its position on the Charles River at Watertown, Mass.
The centerpiece of Norumbega Park was a large dance ballroom, The Totem Pole.
Suddenly, in 1539, Norumbega appears in the narrative of the Dieppe Captain as a vast and opulent region, extending from Cape Breton to the Cape of Florida.
Various maps of the period of Allefonsce confine the name of Norumbega to a distinct spot; but Gastaldi's map, published by Ramusio in 1556, -though modelled after Verrazano's, of which indeed it is substantially an extract,-applies the name to the region lying between Cape Breton and the Jersey coast.
Norumbega is confined to the Penobscot, and nothing is indicated with respect to the English in that quarter.
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