What is more, even the scholarly trump evidence offered against Witzel’s thesis is not so sure. Regardless of the racism allegation, though intended to strengthen it, the doubt about myths being classified as Gondwana nor Laurasian is questionable. An anthropologist specialized in the Na-Dene peoples of North America (Apache, Navajo,) denies that these peoples have typically Laurasian myths such as the those about the four world ages and the dragon-slayer. It turns out that this is not a debate with only Witzel: a number of textbooks do report such myths among these peoples. In this case Witzel, who acknowledges his dependence on other researchers for such niche topics, has merely followed the findings among specialists of the Na-Dene cultures who do report myths that satisfy Witzel’s criteria for being “Laurasian”. Or at least, that is what I can report from this lecture. It seems anthropologists have legitimate differences of opinion on this matter. To be continued, no doubt.
Other scholars, uninterested in this “racism!” allegation, could equally doubt the bifurcation of mankind’s myths into Gondwanan and Laurasian. A Flemish friend, equally a philologist, opined that a close search among African or Australian myths, supposedly Gondwanan, would readily reveal the presence of so-called Laurasian motifs. Witzel actually agrees with this, up to a point. Some Gondwanan cultures know of some piecemeal Laurasian motifs. Since a few thousand years, well before the colonial age, some Laurasians made inroads into some parts of Gondwanan territory. Thus, a boatload of South-Indians landed in Northwest Australia more than 4000 years ago and assimilated into the local population. Along the East African coast, a regular trade route developed and some people even came to stay (as evidenced, for instance, by the distinctly Jewish genes among the Lemba in Mozambique), or left some of their stories behind. And correspondingly, among the affected peoples we do indeed find stray elements from Laurasian mythology. But these are stray elements among stray populations, and are best compatible with a process of borrowing; they do not create the kind of chaos that would invalidate the bifurcation between Gondwana and Laurasia.