Category Archives: Africa

Black History Pt 1: The True Identity of the West African Slaves PT 1

blackpeopleshistory

In this and the next series of articles on black history, I will show without any shadow of doubt; the true identity of African-Americans and black people from the Caribbean by revealing the identity  of their  ancestors who originated from West Africa.

About three hundred years ago during the Trans Atlantic Trade many black people were uprooted from West Africa and taken as slaves to the Americas. Since then, their descendants in the Caribbean and in both North and South America, have not stopped searching for their roots. These black people have wondered about the slave trade, why it happened and which people they belong to in Africa. Because of this gap in their black history, descendants of the slaves who are conscious of their identity have worried about their true identity for the longest time.
To find answers, many have turned to DNA profiling to…

View original post 1,747 more words

Major Ethnic Groups Of Ghana

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Ashanti-Akan

Ashanti or Asanti are native to the Ashanti region of the modern day Ghana and accounts for 47.5% of the population. They speak an Asanti dialect of Twi which is a language spoken by over ten million Asanti people as the first language. Ashanti means “because of war.” Because of the gold and the presence of Lake Volta, the Ashanti people built an empire in 1670. The Ashanti Kingdom controlled much of the present Ghana using Kumasi as the central base. The leader of the kingdom, Osei Tutu, defeated Denkyira in 1701 and named his area of influence “Asanti.” The Ashanti limited the influence of the British in the Ashanti region through organized military men who were not easily cowed by the guns. The Ashanti people celebrate several festivals including the yam festival, Adae Kese, and Awukudae. The line of descent is traced through the female with the relationship to the mother determining inheritance and land rights. Ashanti religion is the dominant religion followed by Christianity and Islam.

Mole-Dagbon

Mole-Dagbon inhabits the Northern Regions of the Kingdom of Dagbon. They speak the Dagbani language and account for 16.6% of the Ghana’s population. They are related to the Mossi who have their homeland in the modern-day Burkina Faso. The Dagombas call their homeland Dagbon which covers an area of 20,000 square kilometers and was founded by Na Gbewa. Mole-Dagbon has a sophisticated oral tradition that is woven around musical instruments including drums. Thus, its history has been influenced by the drummer. The culture of the Mole-Dagbon is influenced by the Islam. Islam is the state region. The important festivals observed by the Dagombas include Damba, Bugum, and the Islamic festivals

Ewe

Ewe people are located in Togo and the Volta Region of Ghana. They account for 13.9% of the Ghanaian population and speak the Ewe language. The Awe people first occupied the regions of the Akanland and the Yorubaland but they are neither related to the Akan nor the Yoruba ethnic groups despite the mutual influence. The Ewe people are still organized into villages and elect their chiefs by consensus with the advice of the elders. The chief is not to be seen drinking and is expected to cover his head in public. The religion of the Ewe people is centered on the creator called Mawu and Lisa. They also believe in other secondary gods. Music through drumming and dancing are part of their festivals and feasting events.

 

Other ethnic groups in Ghana include the Ga-Dangme who occupies the coastal region, the Gurma living in the Northern Volta, Guang, and Grusi. Due to immigration, a significant population of Chinese, Indians, and European nationals live in the country.

Rank Ethnic Group Share of Ghanaian Population
1 Ashanti-Akan 47.5%
2 Mole-Dagbon 16.6%
3 Ewe 13.9%
4 Ga-Dangme 7.4%
5 Gurma 5.7%
6 Guang 3.7%
7 Grusi 2.5%
8 Mande 1.1%
Other Groups 1.4%

http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/ethnic-groups-and-tribes-in-ghana.html

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My Spanish Ancestry. The Spanish slavery system and first Spanish Explorer to America- Juan Josef Pérez Hernández

Tracing my Spanish ancestry.

2% Iberian peninsula

Firstly my family were from Spanish Town in Jamaica. Ancestry DNA shows I have Spanish cousins by the name of Pérez,  Lopez, Fernandez, Poulos, Maga. These cousins are showing up with Jewish ancestry. This post will explore who these people were.

Wikipedia:

Spanish slavery in the Americas did not diverge drastically from that in other European colonies. It reshuffled the Atlantic World‘s populations through forced migrations, helped transfer American wealth to Europe, and promoted racial and social hierarchies (castas) throughout the empire.[2]Spanish enslavers justified their wealth and status earned at the expense of captive workers by portraying them as inferior beings and holding them as personal properties (chattel slavery), often under barbarous conditions.[3] In fact, Spanish colonization set some egregious records in the field of slavery.[4] The Asiento, the official contract for trading in slaves in the vast Spanish territories was a major engine of the Atlantic slave trade. When Spain first enslaved Native Americans on Hispaniola, and then replaced them with captive Africans, it established unfree labor as the basis for colonial mass-production. The tale of Spanish exploits in the Americas, amplified for propagandistic reasons, earned such notoriety that European rivals called it theBlack Legend. And in the mid-nineteenth century, as most countries in the hemisphere moved to disallow chattel slavery, Cuba and Puerto Rico – the last two remaining Spanish American colonies – maintained slavery the longest.[a][5]

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The picture above does resemble my grandmother and I wouldn’t be shocked if she were a missing family member

See also https://blackhistory938.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/spain-portugal/

Some Slave Ships that were owned by Jews

  1. Abigail — Aaron Lopez, Moses Levy, and Jacob Franks
  2. Active — Aaron Lopez
  3. Africa — Jacob Rivera and Aaron Lopez
  4. Albany — Rodrigo Pacheco
  5. Ann — Aaron Lopez
  6. Ann — James DeWolf
  7. Anne & Eliza — Justus Bosch and John Abrams
  8. Antigua — Nathan Marston and Abram Lyell
  9. Barbadoes Factor — Joseph Marks
  10. Braman — John Levi and Henriques da Costa
  11. Belle — Moses and David Franks Delaware
  12. Betsy — Jacob Rivera, Aaron Lopez
  13. Betsey — Samuel jacobs
  14. Caracoa — Moses and Sam Levy
  15. Charlotte — Moses Levy, Sam Levy, and Jacob Franks
  16. Charlotte E. Tay — Fred K. Myer
  17. Charming Betsey — Samuel Levy
  18. Charming Polly — Joseph Marks

https://theorock.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/slave-ships-owned-by-jews/

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See the below extract and link to post.

Many African Americans and Mexicans are distant cousins, indeed. There’s no doubt about that. I have known for quite awhile that many Mexicans have African ancestors.  Transatlantic slave trade statistics show that at least 200,000 enslaved Africans were imported into Mexico from West Africa. 

See http://rootsrevealed.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/african-americans-and-mexicans-are_9.html

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Enslaved people challenged their captivity in ways that ranged from introducing non-European elements into Christianity (syncretism) to mounting alternative societies outside of the plantation system (Maroons). The first open black rebellion occurred in Spanish plantations in 1521.[6]Resistance, particularly to the enslavement of indigenous people, also came from Spanish religious and legal ranks.[7] The first speech in the Americas for the universality of human rights and against the abuses of slavery was also given on Hispaniola, a mere nineteen years after thefirst contact.[8] Resistance to Amerindian captivity in the Spanish colonies produced the first modern debates over race and the legitimacy of slavery.[b] And uniquely in the Spanish American colonies, laws like the New Laws of 1542, were enacted early in the colonial period to protect natives from bondage.[9][10] To complicate matters further, Spain’s haphazard grip on its extensive American dominions and its erratic economy acted to impede the broad and systematic spread of plantations similar to those of the French in Saint Domingue or of the British in Jamaica. Altogether, the struggle against slavery in the Spanish American colonies left a notable tradition of opposition that set the stage for current conversations about human rights.[11]

The Spanish had established precedents for regimes of forced labor prior to their encounter with New World peoples. Over centuries in Iberia, Muslims had enslaved Christians, and with the Christian reconquest, the victors enslaved the Moors. Slavery was an institution that was economic in function, but it had strong social dimensions as well. Enslaved persons were outsiders of some kind, by ethnicity, language, or religion or some combination. In Iberia, slaves were considered human and possessed some rights, but were at the bottom of the status hierarchy. There were some Muslim slaves remaining in Christian Spain after 1492, but increasingly enslaved Africans via the Portuguese slave trade became part of Spain’s social mosaic. Black slaves in Spain were overwhelmingly domestic servants, and increasingly became prestigious property for elite Spanish households. Artisans acquired black slaves and trained them in their trade, increasing the artisans’ output.[12]

Both the Spanish and the Portuguese colonized the Atlantic islands off the coast of Africa, where they engaged in sugar cane production following the model of Mediterranean production.

The sugar complex consisted of slave labor for cultivation and processing, with the sugar mill (ingenio) and equipment established with investor capital. When plantation slavery was established in Spanish America and Brazil, they replicated the elements of the complex in the New World on a much larger scale.[13]

Another form of forced labor used in the New World with origins in Spain was the encomienda, the award of the labor to Christian victors over Muslims during the reconquest. This institution of forced labor was employed by the Spaniards in the Canary Islands following their conquest. The institution was much more widespread following the Spanish contact and conquest of indigenous in the New World, but the precedents were set prior to 1492.[14]

End 

Sephardi Jews

Sephardi Jews, also known as Sephardic Jews or simply Sephardim, (Hebrewסְפָרַדִּים‎, Modern Hebrew: SfaraddimTiberian: Səp̄āraddîm; also יְהוּדֵי סְפָרַד‎ Y’hudey Spharad, lit. “The Jews of Spain”), are a Jewish ethnic division whose ethnogenesis and emergence as a distinct community of Jews coalesced on the Iberian Peninsula around the year 1000. They established communities throughout Spain and Portugal, where they traditionally resided, evolving what would become their distinctive characteristics and diasporic identity, which they took with them in their exile from Iberia beginning in the late 15th century to North AfricaAnatolia, the Levant, the Balkans, theBaltics, Central, Southern and Northern Europe, as well as the Americas, and all other places of their exiled settlement, either alongside pre-existing co-religionists, or alone as the first Jews in new frontiers.

Sephardi Jews
יהדות ספרד‎ (Yahadut Sfarad)
Total population
2,200,000
up to 16% of world Jewish population
Regions with significant populations
 Israel 1.4 million
 France 300,000–400,000
 United States 200,000–300,000
 Argentina 50,000
 Spain 40,000
 Canada 30,000
 Turkey 26,000
 Italy 24,930
 Mexico 15,000
 United Kingdom 8,000
 Panama 8,000
 Colombia 7,000
 Morocco 6,000
 Greece 6,000
 Tunisia 2,000
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2,000
 Bulgaria 2,000
 Cuba 1,500
 Serbia 1,000
 Netherlands 600
Languages
Historical: LadinoArabicHaketiaJudeo-PortugueseBerberCatalanicShuadit, local languages
Modern: Local languages, primarily Hebrew, French, English, Spanish, Turkish, Portuguese, Italian, Ladino, Arabic.
Religion
Judaism
Related ethnic groups
Ashkenazi JewsMizrahi Jews, other Jewish ethnic divisionsSamaritans, other Levantines,Assyrians, other Near Eastern Semitic people,SpaniardsPortuguese and Hispanics/Latinos

Their millennial residence as an open and organised Jewish community in Iberia was brought to an end starting with the Alhambra Decree by Spain’s Catholic Monarchs in 1492, which resulted in a combination of internal and external migrations, mass conversions and executions.

Narrow ethnic definitionEdit

In the narrower ethnic definition, a Sephardi Jew is a Jew descended from the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula in the late 15th century, immediately prior to the issuance of the Alhambra Decree of 1492 by order of the Catholic Monarchs in Spain, and the decree of 1496 in Portugal by order of King Manuel I.

In Hebrew, the term “Sephardim Tehorim” (ספרדים טהורים, literally “Pure Sephardim”) has in recent times come to be used in some quarters to distinguish Sephardim proper “who trace their lineage back to the Iberian/Spanish population” from Sephardim in the broader religious sense.[2]This distinction has also been made in reference to genetic findings in research on Sephardim proper in contrast to other communities of Jews today termed Sephardi more broadly[3]

Broad religious definitionEdit

The modern Israeli Hebrew definition of Sephardi is a much broader, religious based, definition that generally excludes ethnic considerations. In its most basic form, this broad religious definition of a Sephardi refers to any Jew, of any ethnic background, who follows the customs and traditions of Sepharad. For religious purposes, and in modern Israel, “Sephardim” is most often used in this wider sense which encompasses most non-Ashkenazi Jews who are not ethnically Sephardi, but are in most instances of West Asian or North African origin, but who nonetheless commonly use a Sephardic style of liturgy.

The term Sephardi in the broad sense, thus describes the nusach (Hebrew language, “liturgical tradition”) used by Sephardi Jews in their Siddur (prayer book). A nusach is defined by a liturgical tradition’s choice of prayers, order of prayers, text of prayers and melodies used in the singing of prayers. Sephardim traditionally pray using Minhag Sefarad. The term Nusach Sefard or Nusach Sfarad does not refer to the liturgy generally recited by Sephardim proper or even Sephardi in a broader sense, but rather to an alternative Eastern European liturgy used by many Hasidim who are in fact Ashkenazi.

Additionally, Ethiopian Jews, whose branch of practiced Judaism is known as Haymanot, have recently come under the umbrella of Israel’s already broad Sephardic Chief Rabbinate.

DivisionsEdit

The divisions among Sephardim and their descendants today is largely a result of the consequences of the Royal edicts of expulsion. Both the Spanish and Portuguese edicts ordered their respective Jewish residents to choose one of only three options:

  1. to convert to Catholicism and therefore to be allowed to remain within the kingdom,
  2. to remain Jewish and to be expelled by the stipulated deadline, or
  3. to be summarily executed.

In the case of the Alhambra Decree of 1492, the primary purpose was to eliminate their influence on Spain’s large converso population and ensure they did not revert to Judaism. Over half of Spain’s Jews had converted as a result of the religious persecution and pogroms which occurred in 1391, and as such were not subject to the Decree or to expulsion, yet remained under the watchful eye of the Spanish Inquisition. It has been argued by British scholar Henry Kamen, that “the real purpose of the 1492 edict likely was not expulsion, but compulsory conversion and assimilation of all Spanish Jews, a process which had been underway for a number of centuries. Indeed, a further number of those Jews who had not yet joined the converso community finally chose to convert and avoid expulsion as a result of the edict. As a result of the Alhambra decree and persecution during the prior century, between 200,000 and 250,000 Jews converted to Catholicism and between one third and one half of Spain’s remaining 100,000 non-converted Jews chose exile, with an indeterminate number returning to Spain in the years following the expulsion.[4]

Foreseeing the economic aftermath of a similar Jewish flight from Portugal, King Manuel’s decree five years later was largely pro-forma to appease a precondition the Spanish monarchs had set for him if he wished to marry their daughter. While the stipulations were similar in the Portuguese decree, King Manuel then largely prevented Portugal’s Jews from leaving, by blocking Portugal’s ports of exit. This failure to leave Portugal was then reasoned by the king to signify a default acceptance of Catholicism by the Jews, and the king then proceeded to proclaim them New Christians. Actual physical forced conversions, however, were also experienced throughout Portugal.

Sephardi Jews, therefore, encompass Jews descended from those Jews who left the Iberian Peninsula as Jews by the expiration of the respective decreed deadlines. This group is further divided between those who fled south to North Africa, as opposed to those who fled eastwards to the BalkansWest Asia and beyond. Also included among Sephardi Jews are those who descend from “New Christian” conversos, but then returned to Judaism after leaving Iberia, largely after reaching Central and Northern Europe. From these regions, many would again migrate, this time to the non-Iberian territories of the Americas. Additional to all these Sephardic Jewish groups are the descendants of those New Christian conversos who either remained in Iberia, or moved from Iberia directly to the Iberian colonial possessions across what are today the various Latin American countries. The descendants of this group of conversos, for historical reasons and circumstances, were never able to formally return to the Jewish religion.

All these sub-groups are defined by a combination of geography, identity, religious evolution, language evolution, and the timeframe of their reversion (for those who had in the interim undergone a temporary nominal conversion to Catholicism) or non-reversion back to Judaism.

It should be noted that these Sephardic sub-groups are separate from any pre-existing local Jewish communities they encountered in their new areas of settlement. From the perspective of the present day, the first three sub-groups appeared to have developed as separate branches, each with its own traditions.

In earlier centuries, and as late as the editing of the Jewish Encyclopedia at the beginning of the 20th century, they were usually regarded as together forming a continuum. The Jewish community of Livorno acted as the clearing-house of personnel and traditions among the first three sub-groups; it also developed as the chief publishing centre.[improper synthesis?].

End

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sephardi_Jews

PÉREZ, JUAN IGNACIO (1761–1823). Ignacio Pérez, the son of Domingo and María Concepción (de Carvajal) Pérez, was born in July 1761, the third of thirteen children, into a family long involved in the military affairs of Texas. In 1781 he married Clemencia Hernández, a granddaughter of Andrés Hernández, founder of one of the province’s first privately owned ranches. Pérez devoted considerable attention to stock raising and the accumulation of property at San Antonio de Béxar. In 1804 he purchased from the Menchacas (see MENCHACA, LUIS ANTONIO) the old comandancia, the building known as the Spanish Governors’ Palaceqv. In 1808 Pérez received four leagues of land just below the Medina River and astride the Old San Antonio Road to San Juan Bautista. This and an adjoining league between the Medina and Leon Creek served as the base for Pérez’s livestock operations. In 1809 he was síndico (commissioner) of all the ranches in his district.

During the revolutionary decade that followed, Pérez remained staunchly Royalist and prospered for his constancy. When the Casas Revolt was toppled at Bexar, Pérez sat on Juan Manuel Zambrano‘s ruling junta. Likewise, when the capital again fell to the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition, Pérez withdrew with other Royalists and reappeared in Gen. Joaquín de Arredondo‘s army as a captain of cavalry. He took part in the decisive battle of Medina and rode with Col. Ignacio Elizondo in pursuit of rebels to the Trinity River. For his role in the restoration of Royalist authority in Texas, Pérez was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He soon distinguished himself as a capable Indian fighter in the attacks that swept the weakened province. He served as an interim governor from July 27, 1816, to March 20, 1817. During Antonio María Martínez‘s administration Pérez was recognized as the leading cattleman of the region and one of its most substantial citizens. In 1819 Governor Martínez sent him to oppose the latest filibustering venture on Texas soil, the Long expedition. Pérez left San Antonio de Béxar on September 27 with some 550 men, soon to be augmented by 100 more when Indians threatened the force. Moving toward Nacogdoches, he captured two small groups of Anglo-Americans. On October 11 and again on October 15, he engaged small detachments of James Longqv‘s men. He arrived in Nacogdoches on October 28 and moved on to the Sabine. Long and the remnants of his force had fled, but Pérez remained through November to drive the remaining filibusters out; his return trip to San Antonio was completed on February 2, 1820.

In October 1821 Pérez was again sent to engage Long, who had reorganized his forces at Point Bolivar and had taken the town of La Bahía (now Goliad). The settlement capitulated quickly before Pérez, and on October 8, 1821, Long was made a prisoner and taken to San Antonio. In 1814 Pérez’s twenty-four-year-old daughter, Gertrudis, had married Manuel Antonio Cordero y Bustamante, former governor of Texas, who was sixty-one years old at the time. Cordero died in 1823, and Pérez, in the spring, escorted Gertrudis home to Texas from Monclova. Shortly thereafter he died and was buried on October 7, 1823, after a ceremony at Purísima Concepción chapel with an honor guard in attendance. His wife followed him in death in 1825. They had three children and adopted others, including a boy whom the colonel had rescued from the Comanches.

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpe32

Basilio-Perez-Family

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Pérez, as most commonly written in English, is a surname with at least two distinct origins, one of which is Spanish and the other Hebrew.

Pérez, Perez
Family name
Pronunciation Spanish: [ˈpeɾeθ] / [ˈpeɾes]
Meaning Son of Pero or Pedro (Peter) /
To breach or to burst forth
Region of origin Spain, Israel
Language(s) of origin Spanish, Hebrew
Related names Fares, Farez, Fretz, Peres, Peris, Peretz, Pesidas, Pharez, Pretz, Pritz, Peters

The surname with Spanish origins, written in Spanish orthography as Pérez, is a patronymic surname meaning “son of Pero or Pedro (Peter)”. The surname has a Portuguese counterpart with the same meaning and etymology, Peres, written with a final “s” instead of “z” and without the accent.

The surname with a Hebrew origin is transliterated into English as either Perez orPeretz, and is derived from the Hebrew given name פרץ  after the biblical character Perez (son of Judah), which in Hebrew means “to breach” or “to burst forth”. That biblical character’s Hebrew name, however, is transliterated as Farés in the Spanish Christian Bible.

Neither the Spanish nor the Hebrew surname corresponds to one single lineage. Instead, both correspond to many unrelated lineages.

Additionally, while the Spanish and Hebrew etymological origins are distinct, there are nevertheless those who carry the surname because, in their particular case, the origin of their surname is Spanish Jewish (i.e. Sephardic), and they, as Spanish Jews or their descendants, adopted the surname precisely because of its ambiguity.

Pérez as a surname among Spanish Jews or their descendants could be considered by their non-Jewish Spanish or Hispanic neighbors a typical Christian surname, yet still pay homage to their Jewish roots. This was helpful during the times of the Spanish Inquisition and its persecution of the Jews (and their baptized New Christian descendants) in Spain and its colonies in Hispanic America.

Among Spaniards and Hispanics, the surname by itself does not necessarily indicate a Jewish heritage. Likewise, among Jews, the surname does not by itself necessarily indicate a Sephardic heritage.

Descendants+fo+Don+Juan+Perez+de+Onate+and+Dona+Osana+Martinez+de+Gonzalez

 

Juan Josef PerezHernández, naval officer, explorer (b c 1725 at Majorca, Spain; d 2 Nov 1775 off California). Pérez served as a pilot and marine officer in Spain’s Pacific trade between Mexico and the

Explorations, Northwest Coast


Pérez Hernández, Juan Josef

 Juan Josef Pérez Hernández, naval officer, explorer (b c 1725 at Majorca, Spain; d 2 Nov 1775 off California). Pérez served as a pilot and marine officer in Spain’s Pacific trade between Mexico and the Philippines and in the Spanish expansion into Alta California. He was curious about the unknown northern coastline and his request to explore it coincided with the Spanish government’s desire for information on Russian penetration southward. In 1774 he sailed aboard the frigate Santiago with orders to reach at least 60°N latitude. Juan Pérez Hernández was the first European to explore Haida Gwaii and to approach Nootka Sound, but unfavourable weather prevented him from landing to take formal possession for Spain. Although he reached only about 55°30´ latitude and left some missions unfulfilled, he collected important data that served future Spanish mariners. Pérez was second officer in the 1775 expedition commanded by Bruno de Hezeta, but he died at sea. Click for link to original article

Another ancestor appears to be Aaron Lopez, born Duarte Lopez, was a Portuguese Jewish merchant and philanthropist. Through his varied commercial ventures, he became the wealthiest person in Newport, Rhode Island, in British America. Wikipedia
Born: 1731, Lisbon, Portugal
Resting place: Newport
Birth: 1731, Portugal
Death: May 28, 1782
Smithfield
Providence County
Rhode Island, USA

Businessman and Entrepreneur. Philanthropist. Jewish Religious Leader. Born Duarte (Edward) Lopez in Portugal, he came from a family of conversos. Upon coming to the Americas in 1752, he changed his name to Aaron and began to openly practice his Jewish faith. Lopez became a leading merchant and shipper in the English colonies, owning 30 transatlantic ships and over 100 coastal vessels. A leader in the business, philanthropic and cultural life of Newport, Rhode Island, he contributed to the founding of the Newport Public Library, donated land to the Leicester Academy in Massachusetts and helped build the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island (later relocated to Providence and renamed Brown University). He had his portrait painted by Gilbert Stuart, of whom he was an early patron. In 1761, on what many historians consider to be trivial and possibly religious grounds, he was denied naturalization as a citizen in Rhode Island. In 1762, Lopez became the first naturalized Jewish citizen of Massachusetts and returned to Newport. He was instrumental in the founding of Newport’s Touro Synagogue, America’s oldest synagogue, which is several blocks away from the cemetery where he rests. (bio by: Librarian Jessie)Family links:
Spouse:
Abigail Lopez (1726 – 1762)*Children:
Joseph Lopez (____ – 1822)*
Esther Lopez Gomez (____ – 1811)*
Rebecca Lopez Hendricks (____ – 1844)*
Rachel Lopez Lopez (1758 – 1789)*
Abigail Lopez Gomez (1771 – 1851)**Calculated relationship
Burial:
Colonial Jewish Cemetery of Rhode Island
Newport
Newport County
Rhode Island, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: W & L
Record added: Aug 14, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40672472
Aaron Lopez
Added by: W & L
 
Aaron Lopez
Added by: Librarian Jessie
 
Aaron Lopez
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Jen Snoots
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

– Tracey Reid
Added: May. 28, 2017

– Janis•E
Added: May. 28, 2017

– Librarian Jessie
Added: Feb. 18, 2017
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The pre history of Spain

The Iberian Peninsula has always been associated with the Ebro, Ibēros in ancient Greek and Ibērus or Hibērus in Latin. The association was so well known it was hardly necessary to state; for example, Ibēria was the country “this side of the Ibērus” in Strabo. Pliny goes so far as to assert that the Greeks had called “the whole of Spain” Hiberia because of the Hiberus River.[17] The river appears in theEbro Treaty of 226 BC between Rome and Carthage, setting the limit of Carthaginian interest at the Ebro. The fullest description of the treaty, stated in Appian,[18] uses Ibērus. With reference to this border, Polybius[19] states that the “native name” is Ibēr, apparently the original word, stripped of its Greek or Latin -os or -us termination.

The early range of these natives, which geographers and historians place from today’s southern Spain to today’s southern France along the Mediterranean coast, is marked by instances of a readable script expressing a yet unknown language, dubbed “Iberian.” Whether this was the native name or was given to them by the Greeks for their residence on the Ebro remains unknown. Credence in Polybius imposes certain limitations on etymologizing: if the language remains unknown, the meanings of the words, including Iber, must also remain unknown. In modernBasque, the word ibar[20] means “valley” or “watered meadow”, while ibai[20] means “river”, but there is no proof relating the etymology of the Ebro River with these Basque names.

PrehistoryEdit

Schematic rock art from the Iberian Peninsula.

Iberian Late Bronze Age since c. 1300 BC

PalaeolithicEdit

The Iberian Peninsula has been inhabited for at least 1.2 million years as remains found in the sites in the Atapuerca Mountains demonstrate. Among these sites is the cave of Gran Dolina, where six hominin skeletons, dated between 780,000 and one million years ago, were found in 1994. Experts have debated whether these skeletons belong to the species Homo erectusHomo heidelbergensis, or a new species called Homo antecessor.

Around 200,000 BP, during the Lower Paleolithic period, Neanderthals first entered the Iberian Peninsula. Around 70,000 BP, during the Middle Paleolithic period, the last glacial event began and the Neanderthal Mousterian culture was established. Around 37,000 BP, during the Upper Paleolithic, the Neanderthal Châtelperronian cultural period began. Emanating from Southern France, this culture extended into the north of the peninsula. It continued to exist until around 30,000 BP, when Neanderthal man faced extinction.

About 40,000 years ago, anatomically modern humans entered the Iberian Peninsula from Southern France.[21] Here, thisgenetically homogeneous population (characterized by the M173 mutation in the Y chromosome), developed the M343 mutation, giving rise to Haplogroup R1b, still the most common in modernPortuguese and Spanish males.[22] On the Iberian Peninsula, modern humans developed a series of different cultures, such as the AurignacianGravettianSolutrean and Magdalenian cultures, some of them characterized by the complex forms of the art of the Upper Paleolithic.

NeolithicEdit

During the Neolithic expansion, various megalithic cultures developed in the Iberian Peninsula. An open seas navigation culture from the east Mediterranean, called the Cardium culture, also extended its influence to the eastern coasts of the peninsula, possibly as early as the 5th millennium BC. These people may have had some relation to the subsequent development of theIberian civilization.

ChalcolithicEdit

In the Chalcolithic (c. 3000 BC), a series of complex cultures developed that would give rise to the peninsula’s first civilizations and to extensive exchange networks reaching to the BalticMiddle East and North Africa. Around 2800 – 2700 BC, the Beaker culture, which produced the Maritime Bell Beaker, probably originated in the vibrant copper-using communities of the Tagus estuary in Portugal and spread from there to many parts of western Europe.[23]

Bronze AgeEdit

Bronze Age cultures developed beginning c.1800 BC, when the civilization of Los Millares was followed by that of El Argar. From this centre, bronze technology spread to other cultures like theBronze of LevanteSouth-Western Iberian Bronze and Las Cogotas.

In the Late Bronze Age, the urban civilisation of Tartessos developed in the area of modern western Andalusia, characterized by Phoenician influence and using the Southwest Paleohispanic script for its Tartessian language, not related to the Iberian language.

Early in the first millennium BC, several waves of Pre-Celts and Celts migrated from Central Europe, thus partially changing the peninsula’s ethnic landscape to Indo-European-speaking in its northern and western regions. In Northwestern Iberia (modern Northern Portugal, Asturias and Galicia), a Celtic culture developed, the Castro culture, with a large number of hill forts and some fortified cities.

Proto-historyEdit

By the Iron Age, starting in the 7th century BC, the Iberian Peninsula consisted of complex agrarian and urban civilizations, either Pre-Celtic or Celtic (such as the LusitaniansCeltiberians,GallaeciAsturesCeltici and others), the cultures of the Iberians in the eastern and southern zones and the cultures of the Aquitanian in the western portion of the Pyrenees.

The seafaring Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians successively settled along the Mediterranean coast and founded trading colonies there over a period of several centuries. Around 1100 BC, Phoenician merchants founded the trading colony of Gadir or Gades (modern day Cádiz) near Tartessos. In the 8th century BC, the first Greek colonies, such as Emporion (modern Empúries), were founded along the Mediterranean coast on the east, leaving the south coast to the Phoenicians. The Greeks coined the name Iberia, after the river Iber (Ebro). In the sixth century BC, the Carthaginians arrived in the peninsula while struggling with the Greeks for control of the Western Mediterranean. Their most important colony was Carthago Nova (modern-day Cartagena, Spain).

HistoryEdit

 

Roman ruleEdit

Roman conquest: 220 BC – 19 BC

In 218 BC, during the Second Punic War against the Carthaginians, the first Roman troops invaded the Iberian Peninsula; however, it was not until the reign of Augustus that it was annexed after two centuries of war with the Celtic and Iberian tribes and the Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian colonies. The result was the creation of the province ofHispania. It was divided into Hispania Ulterior and Hispania Citerior during the late Roman Republic, and during the Roman Empire, it was divided into Hispania Tarraconensis in the northeast, Hispania Baetica in the south and Lusitania in the southwest.

Hispania supplied the Roman Empire with silver, food, olive oil, wine, and metal. The emperorsTrajanHadrianMarcus Aurelius, and Theodosius I, the philosopher Seneca the Younger, and the poets Martial and Lucan were born from families living on the Iberian Peninsula.

Germanic kingdomsEdit

Germanic and Byzantine rule c.560

In the early fifth century, Germanic peoples invaded the peninsula, namely the Suebi, the Vandals (Silingi and Hasdingi) and their allies, the Alans. Only the kingdom of the Suebi (Quadi and Marcomanni) would endure after the arrival of another wave of Germanic invaders, the Visigoths, who conquered all of the Iberian Peninsula and expelled or partially integrated the Vandals and the Alans. The Visigoths eventually conquered the Suebi kingdom and its capital city, Bracara (modern day Braga), in 584–585. They would also conquer theprovince of the Byzantine Empire (552–624) of Spania in the south of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands.

Islamic CaliphateEdit

Islamic rule: al-Andalus c.1000

In 711, a Muslim army invaded the Visigothic Kingdom in Hispania. Under Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Islamic army landed at Gibraltar and, in an eight-year campaign, occupied all except the northern kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula in the Umayyad conquest of HispaniaAl-Andalus (Arabicالإندلس‎‎, tr. al-ʾAndalūs, possibly “Land of the Vandals”),[24][25] is the Arabic name given to what is today southern Spain by its Muslim Berber and Arab occupiers.

From the 8th–15th centuries, only the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula was incorporated into the Islamic world and became a center of culture and learning, especially during the Caliphate of Córdoba, which reached its height under the rule of Abd-ar-Rahman III[citation needed]. The Muslims, who were initially Arabs and Berbers, included some local converts, the so-calledMuladi. The Muslims were referred to by the generic name, Moors. The Reconquista gained momentum on c. 718, when the Christian Asturians opposed the Moors, the southern march to push out the Muslims continued for three hundred years, so for another four hundred years, only the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula was transformed into a Romance-speaking and Arabic-speaking Muslim land, along with pockets of a large minority of Arabic-speaking Sephardi Jews.

ReconquestEdit

Many of the ousted Gothic nobles took refuge in the unconquered north Kingdom of Asturias. From there, they aimed to reconquer their lands from the Moors; this war of reconquest is known as the Reconquista. Christian and Muslim kingdoms fought and allied among themselves. The Muslim taifa kings competed in patronage of the arts, the Camino de Santiago attracted pilgrims from all Western Europe, and the Jewish population set the basis of Sephardi culture.[citation needed]

During the Middle Ages, the peninsula housed many small states including the Kingdom of CastileCrown of AragonKingdom of NavarreKingdom of León and the Kingdom of Portugal. The peninsula was part of the Almohad Caliphate until they were finally uprooted. The last major Muslim stronghold was Granada, which was conquered by a combined Castilian and Aragonese force in 1492. Muslims and Jews throughout the period were variously tolerated or shown intolerance in different Christian kingdoms. However, after the fall of Granada, all Muslims and Jews were ordered to convert to Christianity or face expulsion. Many Jews and Muslims fled toNorth Africa and the Ottoman Empire, while others publicly converted to Christianity and became known respectively as Marranos and Moriscos. However, many of these continued to practice their religion in secret. The Moriscos revolted several times and were ultimately forcibly expelledfrom Spain in the early 17th century.

Map of Spain and Portugal, Atlas historique, dated approximately 1705–1739, of H.A. Chatelain.

Post-reconquestEdit

The small states gradually amalgamated over time, with the exception of Portugal, even if for a brief period (1580–1640) the whole peninsula was united politically under the Iberian Union. After that point, the modern position was reached and the peninsula now consists of the countries of Spain and Portugal (excluding their islands—the Portuguese Azores andMadeira and the Spanish Canary Islands and Balearic Islands; and the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla), AndorraFrench Cerdagne and Gibraltar.

Sephardi Jewish couple from Sarajevo in traditional clothing. Photo taken in 1900.

Eastern Sephardim comprise the descendants of the expellees from Spain who left as Jews in 1492 or prior. This sub-group of Sephardim settled mostly in various parts of the Ottoman Empire, which included areas in the Near East (West Asia‘sMiddle East such as Anatolia, the Levant, etc.), the Balkans inSoutheastern Europe, plus Egypt. They settled particularly in European cities ruled by the Ottoman Empire includingSalonica in what is today GreeceConstantinople which today is known as Istanbul on the European portion of modernTurkey, and Sarajevo in what is today Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sephardic Jews also lived in Bulgaria, where they incorporated into their community the Romaniote Jews they found already living there. They had a presence as well in Walachia in what is today Romania, where there is still a functioning Sephardic Synagogue in Moldova.[5] Their traditional language is referred to as Judezmo (“Jewish [language]”); it is Judaeo-Spanish sometimes also known as Ladino, which consisted of the medieval Spanish and Portuguese they spoke in Iberia, with admixtures of Hebrew, and the languages around them, especially Turkish. This Judeo-Spanish language was often written in Rashi script.

Some Sephardim went further east to West Asian territories of the Ottoman Empire, settling among the long-established Arabic-speaking Jewish communities in Damascus and Aleppo in Syria, as well as in the Land of Israel itself, and as far as Baghdad in Iraq. Although technically a North African Ottoman region, those who settled Alexandria in Egypt are also included due to its cultural proximity to the West Asian provinces.

For the most part, Eastern Sephardim did not maintain their own separate Sephardic religious and cultural institutions from the pre-existing Jews, but instead the local Jews came to adopt the liturgical customs of the recent Sephardic arrivals.

Additionally, Eastern Sephardim in European areas of the Ottoman Empire retained their culture and language, while those in the West Asian portion gave up their language and adopted the local Judeo-Arabic dialect. This latter phenomenon is just one of the factors which has today led to the broader religious definition of Sephardi.

While on the one hand the Jewish communities in Syria and Egypt are partly of Spanish Jewish origin and they are therefore Sephardim proper, conversely the great majority of the Jewish communities in Iraq, and all of those from Iran, Eastern Syria, Yemen and Eastern Turkey are pre-existing indigenous Jewish populations who have adopted Sephardic rite and traditions through cultural diffusion, and are properly termed Mizrahi Jews. This has also been seen to be the case in modern DNA research, where Syrian Jews, while clustering within the various world Jewish groups (where most Jewish groups cluster closely together at large compared to non-Jews), the Syrian Jews nevertheless genetically cluster closest with Sephardim proper counterparts in other regions of Sephardic settlement rather than the Mizrahi Jews geographically closest to them.

A few of the Eastern Sephardim followed the spice trade routes as far as the Malabar coast of southern India, where they settled among the established Cochin Jewish community, again imparting their culture and customs to the local Jews. Their descendants became an upper caste stratum of the community and are known as Paradesi Jews. Additionally, there was a large presence of Jews and crypto-Jews of Portuguese origin in the Portuguese colony of Goa. Their presence aroused the anger of Gaspar Jorge de Leão Pereira, the first archbishop of Goa, who called for the initiation of the Goa Inquisition against the Sephardic Jews in India.

In recent times, principally after 1948, most Eastern Sephardim have since relocated to Israel, and others to the USA and Latin America.

Eastern Sephardim still often carry common Spanish surnames, as well as other specifically Sephardic surnames from 15th century Spain with Arabic, Berber or Hebrew language origins (such as AzoulayAbulafiaAbravanel) which have since disappeared from Spain when those that stayed behind as conversos adopted surnames that were solely Spanish in origin. Other Eastern Sephardim have since also translated their Hispanic surnames into the languages of the regions they settled in, or have modified them to sound more local.

North African SephardimEdit

Jewish Festival in Tetuan, Alfred Dehodencq, 1865, Paris Museum of Jewish Art and History

North African Sephardim consist of the descendants of the expellees from Spain who also left as Jews in 1492. This branch settled in North Africa (except Egypt, see Eastern Sephardim above). Settling mostly in Morocco and Algeria, they spoke a variant of Judaeo-Spanish known as Haketia. They also spoke Judeo-Arabic in a majority of cases. They settled in the areas with already established Arabic-speaking Jewish communities in North Africa and eventually merged with them to form new communities based solely on Sephardiccustoms.

Several of the Moroccan Jews emigrated back to the Iberian Peninsula to form the core of the Gibraltar Jews.

In the 19th century, modern Spanish, French and Italian gradually replaced Haketia and Judeo-Arabic as the mother tongue among most Moroccan Sephardim and other North African Sephardim.[6]

In recent times, principally after 1948, most North African Sephardim have since relocated to Israel, and most others to France and Spain. There are significant communities still only in Morocco and Tunisia.

North African Sephardim still also often carry common Spanish surnames, as well as other specifically Sephardic surnames from 15th century Spain with Berber or Hebrew language origins (such as AzoulayAbulafiaAbravanel) which have since disappeared from Spain when those that stayed behind as conversos adopted surnames that were solely Spanish in origin. Other North African Sephardim have since also translated their Hispanic surnames into local languages or have modified them to sound local.

Western SephardimEdit

First Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese SynagogueShearith Israel (1656-1833) in ManhattanNew York City

Western Sephardim (also known more ambiguously as “Spanish and Portuguese Jews”, “Spanish Jews”, “Portuguese Jews” and “Jews of the Portuguese Nation”) are the community of Jewish ex-conversos whose families initially remained in Spain and Portugal as ostensible New Christians, that is, as Anusim or “forced [converts]”. Western Sephardim are further sub-divided into an Old World branch and a New World branch.

Henry Kamen and Joseph Perez estimate that of the total Jewish origin population of Spain at the time of the issuance of the Alhambra Decree, those who chose to remain in Spain represented the majority, up to 300,000 of a total Jewish origin population of 350,000. Furthermore, a significant number returned to Spain in the years following the expulsion, on condition of converting to Catholicism, the Crown guaranteeing they could recover their property at the same price at which it was sold.

Discrimination against this large community of conversos nevertheless remained, and those who secretly practiced the Jewish faith specifically suffered severe episodes of persecution by the Inquisition. The last episode of persecution occurred in the mid-18th century. External migrations out of the Iberian peninsula coincided with these episodes of increased persecution by the Inquisition.

As a result of this discrimination and persecution, a small number of marranos (conversos who secretly practiced Judaism) later emigrated to more religiously tolerant Old World countries outside the Iberian cultural sphere such as the Netherlands, northern Italy, northern Germany,EnglandBelarus and southern Russia. Here they reverted to Judaism, rejoining the Jewish community sometimes up to the third or even fourth generations after the initial decrees stipulating conversion, expulsion, or death. These represent Old World Western Sephardim.

New World Western Sephardim are descsendants of those Jewish-origin New Christian conversos who accompanied the millions of Old Christian Spaniards and Portuguese that emigrated to the Americas.

More specifically, New World Western Sephardim are those Western Sephardim whose converso ancestors migrated to various non-Iberian colonies in the Americas where they could return to Judaism, as opposed to conversos who settled in the Iberian colonies of the Americas where they could not revert.

Due to the presence of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition in such Iberian American territories, initially converso immigration was barred in much of Ibero-America. Because of this, very few converso immigrants in Iberian American colonies ever reverted to Judaism, and their descendants comprise the related Sephardic Bnei Anusim.

Of those conversos in the New World who did return to Judaism, it was principally those who had come via an initial respite of refuge in Holland and/or who were settling the New World Dutch colonies such as Curaçao and the area then known as New Holland (also called Dutch Brazil). Dutch Brazil was the northern portion of the colony of Brazil ruled by the Dutch for under a quarter of a century before it also fell to the Portuguese who ruled the remainder of Brazil. Jews who had only recently reverted in Dutch Brazil then again had to flee to other Dutch-ruled colonies in the Americas, including joining brethren in Curaçao, but also migrating to New Amsterdam, in what is today New York.

All of the oldest congregations in the non-Iberian colonial possessions in the Americas were founded by Western Sephardim, many who arrived in the then Dutch-ruled New Amsterdam, with their synagogues being in the tradition of “Spanish and Portuguese Jews”.

In the United States in particular, Congregation Shearith Israel, established in 1654, in today’s New York City, is the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. Its present building dates from 1897. Congregation Jeshuat Israel in Newport, Rhode Island, is dated to sometime after the arrival there of Western Sephardim in 1658 and prior to the 1677 purchase of a communal cemetery, now known as Touro Cemetery. See also List of the oldest synagogues in the United States.

The intermittent period of residence in Portugal (after the initial fleeing from Spain) for the ancestors of many Western Sephardim (whether Old World or New World) is a reason why the surnames of many Western Sephardim tend to be Portuguese variations of common Spanish surnames, though some are still Spanish.

Among a few notable figures with roots in Western Sephardim are the current president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, and former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United StatesBenjamin N. Cardozo. Both descend from Western Sephardim who left Portugal for the Netherlands, and in the case of Nicolás Maduro, from the Netherlands to Curaçao, and ultimately Venezuela.

An 18th-century map of the peninsula depicting various topographical features of the land, as published in Robert Wilkinson’s General Atlas, circa

 

Ancient African ancestors

Researchers studied 121 African populations, four African American populations and 60 non-African populations for patterns of variation at 1327 DNA markers. The study traced the genetic structure of Africans to 14 ancestral population clusters that correlated with ethnicity and shared cultural and/or linguistic properties. The research team demonstrated that there is more genetic diversity in Africa than anywhere else on earth.

They also determined that the ancestral origin of humans was probably located in southern Africa, near the South Africa-Namibian border. Extrapolating the data, scientists were able to map ancient migrations of populations and determined that the exit point of modern humans out of Africa was near the middle of the Red Sea in East Africa. They also provide evidence for ancient common ancestry of geographically diverse hunter-gatherer populations in Africa, including Pygmies from central Africa and click-speaking populations from southern and eastern Africa, suggesting the possibility that the original pygmy language may have contained clicks. Overall, they demonstrate remarkable correspondence between cultural, linguistic, and genetic diversity in Africa.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430144524.html

The San people of southern Africa, who have lived as hunter-gatherers for thousands of years, are likely to be the oldest population of humans on Earth, according to the biggest and most detailed analysis of African DNA. The San, also known as bushmen, are directly descended from the original population of early human ancestors who gave rise to all other groups of Africans and, eventually, to the people who left the continent to populate other parts of the world.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/worlds-most-ancient-race-traced-in-dna-study-1677113.html

Homo sapiens, known casually as “modern humans”, are thought to have first evolved around 195,000 years ago in east Africa – the earliest remains from that time were uncovered near the Omo River in Ethiopia.

It is thought that by 150,000 years ago these early modern humans had managed to spread to other parts of Africa and fossilised remains have been found on the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

The earliest homo sapien remains found outside of Africa were discovered in Israel and are thought to be around 100,000 years old. They are remains of a group that left Africa through what is now the Sahara desert during a brief period when the climate grew wetter, turning the desert green with vegetation. This excursion, however, failed and the population died out when the climate started to dry out again.

While there are 14 ancestral populations in Africa itself, just one seems to have survived outside of the continent.

The latest genetic research has shown that it was not until around 70,000 years ago that humans were able to take advantage of falling sea levels to cross into Arabia at the mouth of the Red Sea, which is now known as the Gate of Grief.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/5299351/African-tribe-populated-rest-of-the-world.html

Ethiopian discovery

Kathryn and John Arthur

This rocky area in Mota cave held bones that yielded the first ancient African genome.

In 2011, archaeologists working with Gamo tribesman in the highlands of southwest Ethiopia discovered Mota Cave, 14 metres wide and 9 metres high, overlooking a nearby river. A year later, they excavated a burial of an adult male, his body extended and hands folded below his chin. Radiocarbon dating suggested that the man died around 4,500 years ago — before the proposed time of the Eurasian migrations and the advent of agriculture in eastern Africa.

Advances in ancient DNA technology allow researchers to reap DNA from ever older bones, and the cool, constant temperatures of caves are kind to the molecule. So a team co-led by Ron Pinhasi, an archaeologist at University College Dublin, tested the Mota man’s bones for intact DNA and found enough to sequence his genome 12 times over1.

The man’s genome is, unsurprisingly, more closely related to present-day Ethiopian highlanders known as the Ari than to any other population the team examined, suggesting a clear line of descent for the Ari from ancient human populations living in the area. But further genetic studies show that the Ari also descend from people that lived outside Africa, which chimes with a previous study that discovered a ‘backflow’ of humans into Africa from Eurasia around 3,000 years ago. (Humans first migrated from Africa some 60,000 to 100,000 years ago.)

Eyal Bartov/Alamy

The man found in Mota cave is related to the Ari, modern-day Ethiopian highlanders.

Eurasian influences

Using genetic evidence from Eurasian ancient genomes and present-day populations, the researchers determined that the migrant ancestors of the Ari were closely related to early farmers who moved into Europe from the Near East around 9,000 years ago. Co-author Marcos Gallego Llorente, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Cambridge, UK, suggests that Middle Eastern farmers later moved south to Africa, bringing new crops to the continent such as wheat, barley and lentils. The team also found vestiges of these migrants’ DNA in people all across sub-Saharan Africa — probably carried by later migrations, such as the expansion of Bantu-speaking groups from West Africa to other parts of the continent around 1,000 years ago.

http://www.nature.com/news/first-ancient-african-genome-reveals-vast-eurasian-migration-1.18531

Genetic studies have shown that after the great migration out of Africa, which happened about 60,000 years ago, some people later returned to the continent.

But this study shows that about 3,000 years ago there was a much larger migration than had been thought.

The Neolithic farmers from western Eurasia who, about 8,000 years ago, brought agriculture to Europe then began to return to Africa.

“We know now that they probably corresponded to a quarter of the people that already lived in East Africa (at that time). It was a major backflow, a very sizeable movement of people,” said Dr Manica.

It is unclear what caused this move – potentially changes happening in the Egyptian empire – but it has left a genetic legacy.

“Quite remarkably, we see in Ethiopia about 20% – so a fifth – of the genome of people living there right now is actually of Eurasian origin, it actually comes from these farmers,” explained Dr Manica.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34479905

Pontus Skoglund knew there had to be more to the story. So the Harvard University evolutionary geneticist and his colleagues obtained DNA from 15 ancient Africans from between 500 and 6000 years ago, some before the Bantu expansion. In addition, Skoglund’s team got DNA data from 19 modern populations across Africa for comparison, including from large groups like the Bantu and smaller ones like the Khoe-San and the Hadza.

For the most part, the ancient DNA was most similar to that of people living in the same places where the bones were found, Skoglund reported. But some interesting exceptions showed intermingling among various groups. “It’s really exciting to see in Africa that there was already this ancient admixture,” says Simon Aeschbacher, a population geneticist from the University of Bern who was not involved with the work. “There must have been population movements in early Africa.”

The ancient genomes indicate that Southern Africans split off from Western Africans several thousand years ago, and subsequently evolved key adaptations that honed their taste buds and protected them from the sun. Around 3000 years ago, herders—possibly from today’s Tanzania—spread far and wide, reaching Southern Africa centuries before the first farmers. But modern Malawians, who live just south of Tanzania, are likely descended from West African farmers rather than local hunter-gatherers, Skoglund says. Indeed, the analysis suggests that West Africans were early contributors to the DNA of sub-Saharan Africans. But even these DNA donors were a hodgepodge of what are now two modern groups—the Mende and the Yoruba. And one ancient African herder showed influence from even farther abroad, with 38% of their DNA coming from outside Africa.

Another study focused on Southern Africa, where some researchers think modern Homo sapiens evolved. Evolutionary geneticist Carina Schlebusch and her colleagues at Uppsala University in Sweden partially sequenced seven ancient genomes: three from 2000-year-old hunter-gatherers and four from 300- to 500-year-old farmers. They also included modern DNA in their analyses.

The more modern farmers did have Bantu DNA in their genomes, but the ancient hunter-gatherers predated the spread of the Bantu, she and her colleagues reported last month on the preprint server bioRxiv. Their other findings parallel Skoglund’s discoveries: Nine percent to 22% of the DNA of these farmers’ modern descendants—including the southern Khoe-San—comes from East Africans and Eurasian herders.

Schlebusch’s analysis reaches even deeper into human history than does Skoglund’s, as her team used the ancient and modern genomes to estimate that the hunter-gatherers she studied split off from other groups some 260,000 years ago, about the age of the oldest H. sapiens fossil.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/first-big-efforts-sequence-ancient-african-dna-reveal-how-early-humans-swept-across

Research by geneticists and archaeologists has allowed them to trace the origins of modern homo sapiens back to a single group of people who managed to cross from the Horn of Africa and into Arabia. From there they went on to colonise the rest of the world.

Genetic analysis of modern day human populations in Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and South America have revealed that they are all descended from these common ancestors.

It is thought that changes in the climate between 90,000 and 70,000 years ago caused sea levels to drop dramatically and allowed the crossing of the Red Sea to take place.

The findings are to be revealed in a new BBC Two documentary series,The Incredible Human Journey, that traces the prehistoric origins of the human species.

Dr Peter Forster, a senior lecturer in archaeogenetics at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge who carried out some of the genetic work, said: “The founder populations cannot have been very big. We are talking about just a few hundred individuals.”

See also this African history Timeline https://www.preceden.com/timelines/54992-african-slave-trade-1450-1750

 

Jews of Bilad el-Sudan, a summary of the history of Mali & Senegal

The Songhai Empire, c. 1500
Jews of the Bilad al-Sudan (Judeo-Arabicאַהַל יַהוּדּ בִּלַדּ אַל סוּדָּן‎) describes West African Jewish communities who were connected to known Jewish communities from the Middle EastNorth Africa, or Spain and Portugal.Various historical records attest to their presence at one time in the GhanaMali, and Songhai empires, then called the Bilad as-Sudan from the Arabic meaning Land of the Blacks. Jews from SpainPortugal, and Morocco in later years also formed communities off the coast of Senegal and on the Islands of Cape Verde. These communities continued to exist for hundreds of years but have since disappeared due to changing social conditions, persecution, migration, and assimilation.

Early historyEdit

According to most accounts, the earliest Jewish settlements in Africa were in places such as EgyptTunisia,and Morocco. Jews had settled along the Upper Nile at Elephantine in Egypt. These communities were augmented by subsequent arrivals of Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, when 30,000 Jewish slaves were settled throughout Carthage by the Roman emperor Titus.

Africa is identified in various Jewish sources in connection with Tarshish and Ophir.[1] The Septuagint,[2] and Jerome,[3] who was taught by Jews, and very often the Aramaic Targum on the Prophets, identify the Biblical Tarshish with Carthage, which was the birthplace of a number ofrabbis mentioned in the Talmud. Africa, in the broader sense, is clearly indicated where mention is made of the Ten Tribes having been driven into exile by the Assyrians and having journeyed into Africa.[4] Connected with this is the idea that the river Sambation is in Africa. The Arabs, who also know the legend of the Beni Musa (“Sons of Moses”), agree with the Jews in placing their land in Africa.

Page from the Tarikh es-Sudan which describes Za/Zuwa Alyaman coming from Yemen and settling in Kukiya.

As early as Roman times, Moroccan Jews had begun to travel inland to trade with groups ofBerbers, most of whom were nomads who dwelt in remote areas of the Atlas Mountains. Jews lived side by side with Berbers, forging both economic and cultural ties; some Berbers even began to practice Judaism. In response, Berbers spirituality transformed Jewish ritual, painting it with a belief in the power of demons and saints. When the Muslims swept across the North of Africa, Jews and Berbers defied them together. Across the Atlas Mountains, the legendary Queen Kahina led a tribe of 7th century Berbers, Jews, and other North African ethnic groups in battle against encroaching Islamic warriors.

In the 10th century, as the social and political environment in Baghdad became increasingly hostile to Jews, many Jewish traders there left for the MaghrebTunisia in particular. Over the following two to three centuries, a distinctive social group of traders throughout the Mediterranean world became known as the Maghrebi, passing on this identification from father to son.

According to certain local Malian legends a mention in the Tarikh al-Sudan may have recorded the first Jewish presence in West Africa with the arrival of the first Zuwa ruler of Koukiya and his brother, located near the Niger River. He was known only as Za/Zuwa Alayman (meaning “He comes from Yemen”). Some local legends state that Zuwa Alayman was a member of one of the Jewish communities that were either transported or voluntarily moved from Yemen by the Ethiopians in the 6th century C.E. after the defeat of Dhu Nuwas. The Tarikh al-Sudan, states that there were 14 Zuwa rulers of Kukiya after Zuwa Alyaman before the rise of Islam in the region.[5]There is debate on whether or not the Tarikh es-Soudan can be understood in this manner.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews_of_Bilad_el-Sudan

Travel and trade in Songhai

Present day Kuba King. Source: Daniel Laine (2001) National Geographic, from www.news.nationalgeographic.com

The slave trade was also important for the economic development of West Africa. For a very long time, West African kingdoms had relied on slaves to carry out heavy work. The Songhai kingdom under the rule of Askia Mohammed used slaves as soldiers. Slaves were trusted not to overthrow their rulers. Slaves were also given important positions as royal advisers. Songhai rulers believed that slaves could be trusted to provide unbiased advice unlike other citizens who held a personal stake in the outcome of decisions. Another group of slaves was known as palace slaves or the Arbi. The Arbi slaves served mainly as craftspersons, potters, woodworkers, and musician. Slaves also worked on village farms to help produce enough food to supply the growing population in towns.

The Asante kingdom of the Akan people grew in about the 15th and 16th century into a powerful kingdom in the most southern parts of West Africa, present day Ghana. This growth was made possible by the rich gold mines found in the kingdom. The Akan people used their gold to buy slaves from the Portuguese. Since 1482, the Portuguese who were interested in obtaining Asante gold, had opened a trading port at El Mina. As a result, their first slave trade in West Africa was with the Akan people. The Portuguese bought the slaves from the kingdom of Benin, near the Niger Delta in Nigeria. Slave labour made it easy for the Akan people to shift from small scale agriculture to large scale agriculture (Giblin 1992). The shift transformed the Asante kingdom and it developed a wealthy agricultural and mining economy.

The Akan people needed slaves to work their gold mines and farms. Passing traders and a growing population in the Asante towns demanded increasing supplies of food. The slave trade with the Portuguese continued until the early 1700s. The Akan people supplied the Portuguese with slaves to work on sugar plantations in Brazil. A small number of slaves were kept in the Asante kingdom. However, by this period, the Atlantic slave trade dominated trade with West Africa. Kingdoms like the Asante and Dahomey used their power to raid societies like the Bambara, Mende, and Fulanis for slaves. The kingdom of Benin is the only known kingdom in West Africa to abolish slave trading in Benin. The slave trade ban was succesful and forced the Portuguese to search for slaves elsewhere in West Africa. However, Dutch traders took over the role. From the 1600s the Dutch dominated the West african and Atlantic Slave trade.

The Portuguese and Dutch governments were unable to colonise West African kingdoms because they were too strong and well organised. As a result, the slave and ivory, rubber and gold trades remained under the control of Asante, Fon, and Kongo kingdoms. In 1807, the British government abolished the slave trade. Because West African kingdoms did not co-operate with the British, the slave trade across the Atlantic Ocean continued. However, the slave trade declined in areas where the British had influence, for example the Gold Coast.

Travel and trade in Songhai Trade significantly influenced the course of history in West Africa. The wealth made through trade was used to build larger kingdoms and empires. To protect their trade interests, these kingdoms built strong armies. Kingdoms that desired more control of the trade also developed strong armies to expand their kingdoms and protect them from competition. Long distance trade helped the local economy and supported internal trade. Merchants travelling between towns across the Sahara needed places to rest and stock up with food for the journey across the Sahara desert. Food would be provided by local markets that relied on local farms for supplies. This practice allowed merchants to plan long trips knowing that local markets would provide food and shelter. For this reason, many kingdoms in West Africa encouraged agricultural improvements to meet this need. Often this meant uniting smaller farmers, traders and societies into stronger trading blocs. For example, the Kuba kingdom in present day Congo brought together different cultures under a single authority and used the Congo River as a main transport link to other distant kingdoms. As a result, smaller traders joined with each other like the Chokwe and Lunda kingdoms under a single broad-based trade. This led to the increase of ivory and rubber trade between these kingdoms and with Portuguese traders. Present day Kuba King. Source: Daniel Laine (2001) National Geographic, from http://www.news.nationalgeographic.com The slave trade was also important for the economic development of West Africa. For a very long time, West African kingdoms had relied on slaves to carry out heavy work. The Songhai kingdom under the rule of Askia Mohammed used slaves as soldiers. Slaves were trusted not to overthrow their rulers. Slaves were also given important positions as royal advisers. Songhai rulers believed that slaves could be trusted to provide unbiased advice unlike other citizens who held a personal stake in the outcome of decisions. Another group of slaves was known as palace slaves or the Arbi. The Arbi slaves served mainly as craftspersons, potters, woodworkers, and musician. Slaves also worked on village farms to help produce enough food to supply the growing population in towns. The Asante kingdom of the Akan people grew in about the 15th and 16th century into a powerful kingdom in the most southern parts of West Africa, present day Ghana. This growth was made possible by the rich gold mines found in the kingdom. The Akan people used their gold to buy slaves from the Portuguese. Since 1482, the Portuguese who were interested in obtaining Asante gold, had opened a trading port at El Mina. As a result, their first slave trade in West Africa was with the Akan people. The Portuguese bought the slaves from the kingdom of Benin, near the Niger Delta in Nigeria. Slave labour made it easy for the Akan people to shift from small scale agriculture to large scale agriculture (Giblin 1992). The shift transformed the Asante kingdom and it developed a wealthy agricultural and mining economy. The Akan people needed slaves to work their gold mines and farms. Passing traders and a growing population in the Asante towns demanded increasing supplies of food. The slave trade with the Portuguese continued until the early 1700s. The Akan people supplied the Portuguese with slaves to work on sugar plantations in Brazil. A small number of slaves were kept in the Asante kingdom. However, by this period, the Atlantic slave trade dominated trade with West Africa. Kingdoms like the Asante and Dahomey used their power to raid societies like the Bambara, Mende, and Fulanis for slaves. The kingdom of Benin is the only known kingdom in West Africa to abolish slave trading in Benin. The slave trade ban was succesful and forced the Portuguese to search for slaves elsewhere in West Africa. However, Dutch traders took over the role. From the 1600s the Dutch dominated the West african and Atlantic Slave trade. The Portuguese and Dutch governments were unable to colonise West African kingdoms because they were too strong and well organised. As a result, the slave and ivory, rubber and gold trades remained under the control of Asante, Fon, and Kongo kingdoms. In 1807, the British government abolished the slave trade. Because West African kingdoms did not co-operate with the British, the slave trade across the Atlantic Ocean continued. However, the slave trade declined in areas where the British had influence, for example the Gold Coast. For further resources click here

See also https://blackhistory938.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/the-migration-of-judah/

 https://blackhistory938.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/the-hebrew-israelites-and-the-trans-atlantic-slave-trade-connection/

“BLACK HEBREW ISRAELITES “BY ANGELFIRE.COM

Bambara people

Link to post

The Bambara (BambaraBamana or Banmana) are a Mandé people living in Africa, primarily inMali but also in GuineaBurkina Faso and Senegal.[1][2] They are considered to be amongst the largest Mandé ethnic groups, and are the dominant Mandé group in Mali, with 80% of the population speaking the Bambara language, regardless of ethnicity.

Bambara, Bamana
BambaraSenegal.jpg

Bambara people in upper Sénégal river valley, 1890. (illustration from Colonel Frey’s Côte occidentale d’Afrique, 1890, Fig.49 p.87)
Total population
(2,700,000 (2005))
Regions with significant populations
MaliGuineaSenegalBurkina FasoNigerIvory CoastMauritania
Languages
Bambara language
Religion
Islam
Related ethnic groups
Mandinka peopleSoninke peopleDiola, other Mande speaking groups.

Contents

HistoryEdit

The Bamana originated as a royal section of the Mandinka people. They are founders of the Mali Empire in the 13th Century. Both Manding and Bambara are part of the Mandé ethnic group, whose earliest known history can be traced back to sites near Tichitt (now subsumed by theSahara in southern Mauritania), where urban centers began to emerge by as early as 2500 BC. By 250 BC, a Mandé subgroup, the Bozo, founded the city of Djenne. Between 300 AD and 1100 AD, the Soninke Mandé dominated the Western Mali, leading the Ghana Empire. When the MandéSonghai Empire dissolved after 1600 AD, many Mandé-speaking groups along the upper Niger river basin turned inward. The Bamana appeared again in this milieu with the rise of a Bamana Empire in the 1740s, when the Mali Empire started to crumble around 1559.

While there is little consensus among modern historians and ethnologists as to the origins or meaning of the ethno-linguistic term, references to the name Bambara can be found from the early 18th century.[3] In addition to its general use as a reference to an ethno-linguistic group,Bambara was also used to identify captive Africans who originated in the interior of Africa perhaps from the upper Senegal-Niger region and transported to the Americas via ports on theSenegambian coast. As early as 1730 at the slave-trading post of Gorée, the term Bambara referred simply to slaves who were already in the service of the local elites or French.[4]

Growing from farming communities in Ouassoulou, between Sikasso and Ivory Coast, Bamana-age co-fraternities (called Tons) began to develop a state structure which became the Bambara Empire and later Mali Empire. In stark contrast to their Muslim neighbors, the Bamana state practised and formalised traditional polytheistic religion, though Muslim communities remained locally powerful, if excluded from the central state at Ségou.

The Bamana became the dominant cultural community in western Mali. The Bambara language, mutually intelligible with the Manding and Dyula languages, has become the principal inter-ethnic language in Mali and one of the official languages of the state alongside French.

End

Musa Musa and Islam in Mali

Musa Keita was referred to (and is most commonly found as) Mansa Musa in Western manuscripts and literature. His name also appears as Kankou Musa, Kankan Musa, and Kanku Musa. ‘Kankou’ is a popular Manding female name, thus Kankou Musa reads “Musa whose mother was Kankou”.

Other alternatives are Mali-koy Kankan Musa, Gonga Musa, and the Lion of Mali.[11][12]

Lineage and accession to the throneEdit

Genealogy of the kings of the Mali Empire based on the chronicle of Ibn Khaldun[13]

What is known about the kings of the Malian Empire is taken from the writings of Arab scholars, including Al-Umari, Abu-sa’id Uthman ad-Dukkali, Ibn Khaldun, and Ibn Battuta. According to Ibn-Khaldun’s comprehensive history of the Malian kings, Mansa Musa’s grandfather was Abu-Bakr Keita (the Arabic equivalent to Bakari or Bogari, original name unknown − not thesahabiyyAbu Bakr), a brother of Sundiata Keita, the founder of the Malian Empire as recorded through oral histories. Abu-Bakr did not ascend the throne, and his son, Musa’s father, Faga Laye, has no significance in the History of Mali.[14]

Mansa Musa Keita came to the throne through a practice of appointing a deputy when a king goes on his pilgrimage to Mecca or some other endeavor, and later naming the deputy as heir. According to primary sources, Musa was appointed deputy of Abubakari Keita II, the king before him, who had reportedly embarked on an expedition to explore the limits of the Atlantic Ocean, and never returned. The Arab-Egyptian scholar Al-Umari quotes Mansa Musa as follows:

“The ruler who preceded me did not believe that it was impossible to reach the extremity of the ocean that encircles the earth (the Atlantic Ocean). He wanted to reach that (end) and was determined to pursue his plan. So he equipped two hundred boats full of men, and many others full of gold, water and provisions sufficient for several years. He ordered the captain not to return until they had reached the other end of the ocean, or until he had exhausted the provisions and water. So they set out on their journey. They were absent for a long period, and, at last just one boat returned. When questioned the captain replied: ‘O Prince, we navigated for a long period, until we saw in the midst of the ocean a great river which was flowing massively.. My boat was the last one; others were ahead of me, and they were drowned in the great whirlpool and never came out again. I sailed back to escape this current.’ But the Sultan would not believe him. He ordered two thousand boats to be equipped for him and his men, and one thousand more for water and provisions. Then he conferred the regency on me for the term of his absence, and departed with his men, never to return nor to give a sign of life.”[15]

Musa’s son and successor, Mansa Magha Keita, was also appointed deputy during Musa’s pilgrimage.[16]

Islam and pilgrimage to MeccaEdit

From the far reaches of the Mediterranean Sea to the Indus River, the faithful approached the city of Mecca. All had the same objective to worship together at the most sacred shrine of Islam, the Kaaba in Mecca. One such traveler was Mansa Musa, Sultan of Mali in Western Africa. Mansa Musa had prepared carefully for the long journey he and his attendants would take. He was determined to travel not only for his own religious fulfillment, but also for recruiting teachers and leaders, so that his realms could learn more of the Prophet‘s teachings.

–Mahmud Kati, Chronicle of the Seeker

Musa was a devout Muslim, and his pilgrimage to Mecca made him well-known across northern Africa and the Middle East. To Musa, Islam was “an entry into the cultured world of the Eastern Mediterranean”.[17] He would spend much time fostering the growth of the religion within his empire.

Musa made his pilgrimage between 1324–1325.[18][19] His procession reportedly included 60,000 men, including 12,000 slaves[20] who each carried 4 lb (1.8 kg) of gold bars and heralds dressed in silks who bore gold staffs, organized horses, and handled bags. Musa provided all necessities for the procession, feeding the entire company of men and animals.[21] Those animals included 80 camels which each carried 50–300 lb (23–136 kg) of gold dust. Musa gave the gold to the poor he met along his route. Musa not only gave to the cities he passed on the way to Mecca, includingCairo and Medina, but also traded gold for souvenirs. It was reported that he built a mosque every Friday.[citation needed]

Musa’s journey was documented by several eyewitnesses along his route, who were in awe of his wealth and extensive procession, and records exist in a variety of sources, including journals, oral accounts, and histories. Musa is known to have visited the Mamluk sultan of EgyptAl-Nasir Muhammad, in July 1324.[22]

But Musa’s generous actions inadvertently devastated the economy of the regions through which he passed. In the cities of Cairo, Medina, and Mecca, the sudden influx of gold devalued the metal for the next decade. Prices on goods and wares greatly inflated. To rectify the gold market, on his way back from Mecca, Musa borrowed all the gold he could carry from money-lenders in Cairo, at high interest. This is the only time recorded in history that one man directly controlled the price of gold in the Mediterranean.[23]

 

THE INDIGENOUS BERBERS OF AFRICA – BY NATURAL MYSTICS

Indigenous Berber, the Blue men, with the eponymous blue cloth veil

One of the most misrepresent people in North Africa are the indigenous Berber people. These beautiful women are not shown on mainstream television, movies and rarely in print. These are the descendants of the ancient Berbers that the ancient Romans spoke of and wrote about.

The original indigenous Berbers were the North African ancestors of the present day dark-brown peoples of the Sahara and the Sahel, mainly those called Fulani, Tugareg, Zenagha of Southern Morocco, Kunta and Tebbu of the Sahel countries, as well as other dark-brown arabs now living in Mauretania and throughout the Sahel, including the Trarza of Mauretania and Senegal, the Mogharba as well as dozens of other Sudanese tribes, the Chaamba of Chad and Algeria.” The Westerners have chosen to concentrate on the most recent world of the Arab and Berber-speaking peoples and present it as if it is a world that has always been. “It is like comparing the Aztecs of five hundred years ago with the ethnic mix of America today,” wrote Reynolds. “The story of when North Africa was Moorish and Arabia, the land of Saracens, has yet to be told.”

– Dana Reynolds, Anthropologist

Anthropologist, Dana Reynolds traced the African roots of the original North African peoples through a dozen Greek and Byzantine (neo-Roman writers) from the first to the sixth century A.D. “They describe the Berber population of Northern Africa as dark-skinned [modern Europeans call dark brown skin color, as black-skinned] and woolly-haired.” Among these writers who wrote about the Berbers were Martial, Silius Italicus, Corippus and Procopius.

Saint Augustine was a dark-skinned Berber and many of the later Roman emperors would have trouble getting citizenship in some of today’s European states.

– Professor Mikuláš Lobkowicz, the former rector of the Munich university and current director of the Institute of Central and East European Studies in Eichstätt.

There are those who say that the Berber is part of the African story of Ham, from the land of Ber, the son of biblical figure Ham.

The original inhabitants of Ireland before the Celts invaded were Berber people who stretch all the way from Saharan Africa to Western Ireland. In North Africa they are known as Berbers, the original people before the Arab invasion of North Africa, they were known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as “barbarians,” the Tuaregs of Nigeria, Niger, Chad, etc. are a Berber people.

https://www.africaresource.com/rasta/sesostris-the-great-the-egyptian-hercules/the-indigenous-berbers-of-africa-by-natural-mystics/comment-page-1/#comment-75794

 

Nok culture

nok

Nok Culture spanned the end of the Neolithic (Stone Age) and start of the Iron Age in sub-Saharan Africa, and may be the oldest organized society in sub-Saharan Africa; current research suggests it predated the founding of Rome by some 500 years. Nok was a complex society with permanent settlements and centres for farming and manufacturing, but we are still left guessing who the Nok were, how their culture developed, or what happened to it.

https://www.thoughtco.com/what-was-the-nok-culture-44236

Wikipedia extract below 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nok_culture

The function of Nok terracotta sculptures is still unknown. For the most part, the terracotta is preserved in the form of scattered fragments. That is why Nok art is well known today only for the heads, both male and female, whose hairstyles are particularly detailed and refined. The statues are in fragments because the discoveries are usually made from alluvial mud, in terrain made by the erosion of water. The terracotta statues found there are hidden, rolled, polished, and broken. Rarely are works of great size conserved intact making them highly valued on the international art market.

The terracotta figures are hollow, coil built, nearly life sized human heads and bodies that are depicted with highly stylized features, abundant jewelry, and varied postures.

wikipedia Page

The Nok culture is an early Iron Age population whose material remains are named after the Hamvillage of Nok in Kaduna State of Nigeria, where their famous terracotta sculptures were first discovered in 1928. The Nok Culture appeared in northern Nigeria around 1000 BC and vanished under unknown circumstances around 500 AD, thus having lasted for approximately 1,500 years.[1]

CeramicsEdit

Potsherds are the most abundant archaeological artefacts at Nok sites. Since 2009, excavated pottery has been undergoing systematic analysis with a central aim to try and establish a chronology. Certain attributes of the pottery such as decoration, shape and size appear with an increasing frequency and then disappear being replaced with different pottery attributes. This change can sometime allow one to divide the progression into different intervals based on the different attributes. In total approximately 90,000 potsherds have been collected, and out of that 15,000 have been considered diagnostic meaning that they are decorated, sherds from the rim or the bottom of the vessel, or they have handles or holes in them. The results of the pottery analysis can be delineated into three distinct time periods: Early, Middle, and Late.

Early Nok Period ceramicsEdit

From approximately c. 1500–900 BC the pottery of the Early Nok Period are mostly small and not very well preserved. They seem to be richly decorated with various elaborate patterns directly below the vessels’ rims and covering a large part of the ceramic body. The lines made on the pottery seem to be remarkably fine or curving lines. There tends to be many lines which are close together and some even have criss-crossing lines beneath the rim. Pottery frequently had everted and broad, thick rims.

Middle Nok Period ceramicsEdit

The Middle Nok Period is approximately from c. 900–300 BC and with this time period there is a dramatic increase of sites, terracotta fragments and iron objects. Instead of the early period’s decoration which tended to cover most of the pot instead there is a decorative band which is bordered by deep horizontal lines. This band appears on the pots’ upper half or directly under the rim of the bowls. Some bands have a sharp ends as well as impressed zigzag lines or an incised wave or arc. Unlike the Early Nok period the Middle Nok ceramics tend to have more variety in the rim with everted rims, open bowls, bowls with inverted rims and incised line ornaments on the rims’ lips.

Late Nok Period ceramicsEdit

The Late Nok period is from approximately c. 300–1 BC and has only a few known sites. There is little pottery available for analysis but from the pottery that was found there is a decrease in the strictness of the ornamental band. While the band is still used they are being more complexly decorated with additional patterning. There also tends to be a returning pattern of body decoration. The variety of rim sizes and types seem to be increasing even more than in the Middle Nok period.

FarmingEdit

GrainsEdit

At almost all Nok sites there are charred plant remains consisting of firewood and plant material for cooking. Pearl millet remains tend to frequent Nok sites. Pearl millet is one of Africa’s oldest grain crop. It is highly productive and are remarkably resistant to adverse growing conditions such as droughts. Cowpea also appears at sites but less frequently and valued upon their high protein content. So far, pearl millet and cowpeas seem to be the only crops with seem to be cultivated by the Nok people. It is unclear whether they ate or farmed tubers of any kind. The numerous grinding stones found at Nok sites indicate that the grains were most likely ground into flour and made into a type of porridge.[9]

FruitEdit

The collection of wild fruits is attested to the hard pits found at many Nok sites. At some sites, fruit and seeds of other wild plants such as grasses and legumes with small seeds were discovered. Overall there is not a huge selection of plant remains which could be due to different preservation abilities.[9]

Trees and FarmingEdit

The Nok people probably used an agroforestry system which is a plot of land of cultivated crops with useful trees in the same plot of land. These plots are ecologically sustainable and inter-cropping of trees and several cultivated plant species were common from the savannas to the rain forest with its origins going back to the first millennium BC, right at the time of the Nok culture. Most West African trees are not domesticated but are part of the wild vegetation which is left after farmers clear their fields of their crops. Because they are left to grow they multiply naturally without needing to be planted. Trees can produce food, medicine and animal feed.[9]

AnimalsEdit

Because of the acidic soil, there are no bones that have preserved so there is no evidence for which animals if any the Nok people utilized. The only evidence for animals during the Nok culture period is the depictions of animals as figurines or terracotta sculptures.[9]

Looting and repatriationEdit

Since the 1970s, Nok terracotta figures have been heavily looted. Even larger-scale lootingcommenced in the Nok cultural area in 1994, and by 1995 two main local traders emerged. Each of the main traders could employ approximately 1,000 diggers to unearth terracottas every day. Although the majority of the terracottas were fragmented, some were intact and sellable.[10]Because of this, hundreds of Nok Culture sites have been illegally dug in search of these terracotta sculptures. Valuable information about the Nok Culture is lost when these objects are taken from out of the ground and removed from their archaeological contexts.[9]

In 1979, Nigeria’s National Commission of Museums and Monuments Decree established theNational Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), which is used to manage Nigeria’s cultural heritage. NCMM Decree number 77 made it illegal for anyone other than authorized personnel to buy or sell antiquities within Nigeria or export an antiquity without a permit from the NCMM.[10] Towards the end of the 1990s the federal government of Nigeria implemented the NCMM, which initiated a series of actions to work out strategies for combating the problems of looting and to map out a plan of action. The general consensus was that laws governing antiquities and penalties for offenders needed to be strictly enforced and that all archaeological sites should be monitored. The NCMM also recommended more aggressive public enlightenment campaigns as well as a series of sensitization programs across the nation. These programs are considered a success in terms of increased awareness by law enforcement agents, as well as the Nigerian customs authorities and Interpol.[9] However, not all of the recommendations were implemented, because the Nigerian government did not have the resources to face the enormity of some of the challenges. For example, the government did not have the resources to place monitors at all archaeological sites, and terracotta figures still slip through Nigeria’s borders.