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10 Famous Fake Antiques and the Suckers Who Bought Them


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Livre des Sauvages
Domenech mistook these crude drawings made by a child for Native American symbols. Portion of page 56 of Domenech’s 1861 book “Le verite sur le Livre des sauvages,” retrieved from Google Books
Domenech mistook these crude drawings made by a child for Native American symbols. Portion of page 56 of Domenech’s 1861 book “Le verite sur le Livre des sauvages,” retrieved from Google Books

Emmanuel Domenech was a French missionary who traveled to America in 1846, was ordained a Catholic priest in San Antonio, Texas in 1848, and continued his missionary work and travel throughout the American Southwest and Mexico until 1850 when he returned to France. He published books about his experiences with Native American culture and his frontier adventures, including a work entitled, "Manuscrit pictographique Americain, precede d'une Notice sur l'ideographie des Peaux-Rouges," a publication in which Domenech attempted to explain a collection of symbols and crude drawings given to him by a librarian at the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal in Paris.

Domenech considered the document, which he referred to as "Livre des Sauvages," to be important in Native American culture, but when revealed to the public, it was quickly debunked as pages of doodlings and gibberish created by a German child.


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