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Poems and Thoughts    by Frank Maurer

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Darian vs Darien / Any Connections?

I have always admired the name Darian.
When I meet someone named such,
I often ask if they understand its history or its meaning.
My Scottish ancestry, back to MacAlpin,
One of the first kings of that land (843 AD),
Reminds me of the Scottish attempt at a trading company (1697),
To emulate the English Hudson's Bay Trading Company.
Two attempts were made to establish their company
In Darien, now on the border of Panama and Colombia.
The name was Hispanicized from the Tanela River,
Called such by the Cueva people, an indigenous tribe
Destroyed by the conquistadors during the 16th century.
As a result of the hardships of the area, the unfriendly natives,
And mostly the Spanish, who controlled the area,
The whole experiment failed,
Along with the loss of a third of the Scottish GNP.

Today we hear of the migrants from the southern areas,
Walking north and confronting the Darien Gap,
A 66 mile wilderness swamp and forest,
Throughwhich there is no Pacific Highway,
Only trails and purposely left open as a valuable wildlife sanctuary.
Many travellers have died, attempting to cross this challenging territory.
So, history repeats itself with the Darien area,
Blocking the Scottish attempt at colonization
And now the northern bound migrants.

But what of the name Darian? Used by the English,
And perhaps first used by the Persians (and Iranians),
Meaning 'Upholder of the Good'--also 'Wealthy' and/or 'Kingly',
Continuing, the present name, Darian, is now seldom used,
And those I question, rarely know its derivation.
But from the early Persian times, to 1697,
To today's migrants traversing the challenging Gap,
It has shown itself throughout history with several manifestations.
Also, one must wonder if there is possibly
A more ancient linguistic connection!

Frank Maurer 8 October 2023 1750 Hours.

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