Califia Goddess of California by Cookie Washington (detail)
She is the Black Amazon Goddess Queen the state of California is named for.
Califia's life and land "at the right hand of the Indies" were described in a novel written about 1510 by Garcia Ordonez Rodriquez de Montalvo, a Spanish writer. To some extent, this document helped to precipitate the Spanish hunt for gold in North America. In fact, thirty years later, when the explorer Cortes landed with his crew in what is known today as Baja California, it is said that he announced to his men that they had arrived in Califia's land.
To understand the legend of Queen Califia, you have to understand what the world looked like. To Europeans, Africans were more advanced in the 1400's. When the Portuguese went to the Congo, they didn't conquer, they signed a diplomatic treaty and had cultural and trade exchange.
In the private collection of L. Ketner