6. Colombia.


Thanks to an invitation by the Colombian Minister of Agriculture, I spent a few weeks in that country, and with the efficient help of friends and colleagues there, I have been able to assemble a large collection both from the mountain area of Central Colombia (Cundinamarca, Boyaca, Antiochia, Santander, etc.), from the northern lowlands near Baranquilla and from the "Serra de St. Martha". The material has been planted, together with material from Guatemala, and is promising a very good harvest.


The following preliminary conclusions can be drawn: The Colombian area seems to have very little relation to the Inca‑region in the south. It seems quite probable that, from the region of origin in the south, maize has migrated on several occasions northward along the eastern slopes of the Andes. Arriving at the upper reaches of the Amazon, it has divided its migration: one route turned west, passing through Ecuador and Peru and then turning again south, spreading through both the coastal plain, and the mountain regions of the Chimu empires or its predecessors. The other route continued in a northwestern direction, reaching the Colombian highlands.


The most primitive race in Colombia is a popcorn, "Pira", different from though related to both the Southern Pointed Pop and the Andean Pisankalla. The most characteristic and common varieties are: (1) A white, rarely yellow, soft‑endosperm race with big round kernels, very large and long ears with pronounced butts at the base. This is called "Capio" and seems identical in all details to the "Salpor" of Guatemala and the "Cacuahuacintle" of Mexico. (2) A large-kernelled, hard‑yellow flint of somewhat similar ear type, which again has its counterpart in Guatemalean "Big Mountain Yellow". Denting appears sporadically in Colombia, but there is no established and accepted dent variety.


Thus it is clear that no pronounced relations exist between Colombian and Chimu‑Inea maize races, while there are clear relations with the Central‑American area. There is also evidence of secondary migrations of the large Colombian races to the East into the Amazon Valley, the most eastern point of Capio being "Iauarete" in the Rio Amazonas‑Rio Negro region. If there had been, as it seems possible, some connection between Chimu‑Inea and Mexican races, the only connection must have been by the sea route. Archeologic relics which I have seen in the museum in Bogota, from the island of Tucumaco, favor this possibility.