This morning my youngest asked me if I knew how Amazon river got its name.
Of course I knew
It is a delight to know something, especially in front of ones children who forever are thinking that their mother is a classic case of Jurassic park!!
With a 70 mm smile I told her
“Amazon river is in the Amazon basin and got its name from that” ( almost similar to what Nina Thomas answered when Community medicine prof asked her to define Community medicine..”study of community is called community medicine”. Now you have to give me credit for keeping a straight face while giving such a wonderful answer!)
“Mom” My child gave that exasperated look. “Do you know where the word amazon came from? And no it is not a Mayan/incan/other south american word” She replied, effectively closing my various exit outlets.
Let me tell you how difficult it is to tell your 9 year old child that you don’t know how the Amazon river got its name. ( BTW, what exactly did they teach us when we went to school??)
Long story short.. I ate the humble pie
I thought I had my dose for the day, till she asked me if I knew who the Amazon women were.
And no, I didn’t even try to tell her that the Amazon women were the inhabitants of Amazon basin!! I think she would have disowned me.
So this is what I learned, ( from my 9 yr old)
Amazon women were legendary warriors. A tribe of women warriors. Probably lived during the bronze age.
Homer did mention about them in Illiad as “Amazons who go to war like men”.
Heracles had to bring the girdle of Hippolyta as part of the 12 labors of Heracles.
Spaniards in their quest for El dorado, encountered hostile Indian women warriors who were supposedly very tall and fair. They thought the women warriors are the fabled Amazons warriors and named the river Amazon,

I now have to read more about Amazon warriors so I can keep my 70 mm smile, ( according to the same 9 year old, I must stop frowning, or my face will be like a freshly ploughed field.. Don’t you love children who are honest?)

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