Category Archives: African tribes

The Negro by W.E.B. Du Bois


The Negro, by W.E.B. Du Bois, [1915], at sacred-texts.com


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The below article is from http://www.sacred-texts.com/afr/dbn/dbn05.htm

It only looks at Egypt Ethiopia and Sudan and information on Negroland can be found by doing a search on the Hebrew Israelites or Transatlantic slave trade on this blog.

III    ETHIOPIA AND EGYPT

The valleys of the Nile and of the Congo, the borders of the great Gulf of Guinea, the Sudan, and South Africa. These divisions do not cover all of Negro Africa, but they take in the main areas and the main lines in development.

First, we turn to the valley of the Nile, perhaps the most ancient of known seats of civilization in the world, and certainly the oldest in Africa, with a culture reaching back six or eight thousand years. Like all civilizations it drew largely from without and undoubtedly arose in the valley of the Nile, because that valley was so easily made a center for the meeting of men of all types and from all parts of the world. At the same time Egyptian civilization seems to have been African in its beginnings and in its main line of development, despite strong influences from all parts of Asia. Of what race, then, were the Egyptians? They certainly were not white in any sense of the modern use of that word–neither in color nor physical measurement, in hair nor countenance, in language nor social customs. They stood in relationship nearest the Negro race in earliest times, and then gradually through the infiltration of Mediterranean and Semitic elements became what would be described in America as a light mulatto stock of Octoroons or Quadroons. This stock was varied continually: now by new infiltration of Negro blood from the south, now by Negroid and Semitic blood from the east, now by Berber types from the north and west.

Egyptian monuments show distinctly Negro and mulatto faces. Herodotus, in an incontrovertible passage, alludes to the Egyptians as “black and curly-haired” 1–a peculiarly significant statement from

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one used to the brunette Mediterranean type; in another passage, concerning the fable of the Dodonian Oracle, he again alludes to the swarthy color of the Egyptians as exceedingly dark and even black. Æschylus, mentioning a boat seen from the shore, declares that its crew are Egyptians, because of their black complexions.

Modern measurements, with all their admitted limitations, show that in the Thebaid from one-seventh to one-third of the Egyptian population were Negroes, and that of the predynastic Egyptians less than half could be classed as non-Negroid. Judging from measurements in the tombs of nobles as late as the eighteenth dynasty, Negroes form at least one-sixth of the higher class. 1

Such measurements are by no means conclusive, but they are apt to be under rather than over statements of the prevalence of Negro blood. Head measurements of Negro Americans would probably place most of them in the category of whites. The evidence of language also connects Egypt with Africa and the Negro race rather than with Asia, while religious ceremonies and social customs all go to strengthen this evidence.

The ethnic history of Northeast Africa would seem, therefore, to have been this: predynastic Egypt was settled by Negroes from Ethiopia. They were of varied type: the broad-nosed, woolly-haired type to which the word “Negro” is sometimes confined; the black, curly-haired, sharper featured type, which must be considered an equally Negroid variation. These Negroes met and mingled with the invading Mediterranean race from North Africa and Asia. Thus the blood of the sallower race spread south and that of the darker race north. Black priests appear in Crete three thousand years before Christ, and Arabia is to this day thoroughly permeated with Negro blood. Perhaps, as Chamberlain says, “one of the prime reasons why no civilization of the type of that of the Nile arose in other parts of the continent, if such a thing were at all possible, was that Egypt acted as a sort of channel by which the genius of Negro-land was drafted off into the service of Mediterranean and Asiatic culture.” 2

To one familiar with the striking and beautiful types arising from the mingling of Negro with Latin and Germanic types in America, the puzzle of the Egyptian type is easily solved. It was unlike any of its neighbors and a unique type until one views the modern mulatto; then the faces of Rahotep and Nefert, of Khafra and Amenemhat I,

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of Aahmes and Nefertari, and even of the great Ramessu II, become curiously familiar.

The history of Egypt is a science in itself. Before the reign of the first recorded king, five thousand years or more before Christ, there had already existed in Egypt a culture and art arising by long evolution from the days of paleolithic man, among a distinctly Negroid people. About 4777 B.C. Aha-Mena began the first of three successive Egyptian empires. This lasted two thousand years, with many Pharaohs, like Khafra of the Fourth Dynasty, of a strongly Negroid cast of countenance.

At the end of the period the empire fell apart into Egyptian and Ethiopian halves, and a silence of three centuries ensued. It is quite possible that an incursion of conquering black men from the south poured over the land in these years and dotted Egypt in the next centuries with monuments on which the full-blooded Negro type is strongly and triumphantly impressed. The great Sphinx at Gizeh, so familiar to all the world, the Sphinxes of Tanis, the statue from the Fayum, the statue of the Esquiline at Rome, and the Colossi of Bubastis all represent black, full-blooded Negroes and are described by Petrie as “having high cheek bones, flat checks, both in one plane, a massive nose, firm projecting lips, and thick hair, with an austere and almost savage expression of power.” 1

Blyden, the great modern black leader of West Africa, said of the Sphinx at Gizeh: “Her features are decidedly of the African or Negro type, with ‘expanded nostrils.’ If, then, the Sphinx was placed here–looking out in majestic and mysterious silence over the empty plain where once stood the great city of Memphis in all its pride and glory, as an ’emblematic representation of the king’–is not the inference clear as to the peculiar type or race to which that king belonged?” 2

The middle empire arose 3064 B.C. and lasted nearly twenty-four centuries. Under Pharaohs whose Negro descent is plainly evident, like Amenemhat I and III and Usertesen I, the ancient glories of Egypt were restored and surpassed. At the same time there is strong continuous pressure from the wild and unruly Negro tribes of the upper Nile valley, and we get some idea of the fear which they inspired throughout Egypt when we read of the great national rejoicing which followed the triumph of Usertesen III (c. 2660-22) over

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these hordes. He drove them back and attempted to confine them to the edge of the Nubian Desert above the Second Cataract. Hemmed in here, they set up a state about this time and founded Nepata.

Notwithstanding this repulse of black men, less than one hundred years later a full-blooded Negro from the south, Ra Nehesi, was seated on the throne of the Pharaohs and was called “The king’s eldest son.” This may mean that an incursion from the far south had placed a black conqueror on the throne. At any rate, the whole empire was in some way shaken, and two hundred years later the invasion of the Hyksos began. The domination of Hyksos kings who may have been Negroids from Asia 1 lasted for five hundred years.

The redemption of Egypt from these barbarians came from Upper Egypt, led by the mulatto Aahmes. He founded in 1703 B.C. the new empire, which lasted fifteen hundred years. His queen, Nefertari, “the most venerated figure of Egyptian history,” 2 was a Negress of great beauty, strong personality, and of unusual administrative force. She was for many years joint ruler with her son, Amenhotep I, who succeeded his father. 3

The new empire was a period of foreign conquest and internal splendor and finally of religious dispute and overthrow. Syria was conquered in these reigns and Asiatic civilization and influences poured in upon Egypt. The great Tahutmes, III, whose reign was “one of the grandest and most eventful in Egyptian history,” 4 had a strong Negroid countenance, as had also Queen Hatshepsut, who sent the celebrated expedition to reopen ancient trade with the Hottentots of Punt. A new strain of Negro blood came to the royal line through Queen Mutemua about 1420 B.C., whose son, Amenhotep III, built a great temple at Luqsor and the Colossi at Memnon.

The whole of the period in a sense culminated in the great Ramessu II, the oppressor of the Hebrews, who with his Egyptian, Libyan, and Negro armies fought half the world. His reign, however, was the beginning of decline, and foes began to press Egypt from the white north and the black south. The priests transferred their power at Thebes, while the Assyrians under Nimrod overran

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[paragraph continues]Lower Egypt. The center of interest is now transferred to Ethiopia, and we pass to the more shadowy history of that land.

The most perfect example of Egyptian poetry left to us is a celebration of the prowess of Usertesen III in confining the turbulent Negro tribes to the territory below the Second Cataract of the Nile. The Egyptians called this territory Kush, and in the farthest confines of Kush lay Punt, the cradle of their race. To the ancient Mediterranean world Ethiopia (i.e., the Land of the Black-faced) was a region of gods and fairies. Zeus and Poseidon feasted each year among the “blameless Ethiopians,” and Black Memnon, King of Ethiopia, was one of the greatest of heroes.

“The Ethiopians conceive themselves,” says Diodorus Siculus (Lib. III), “to be of greater antiquity than any other nation; and it is probable that, born under the sun’s path, its warmth may have ripened them earlier than other men. They suppose themselves also to be the inventors of divine worship, of festivals, of solemn assemblies, of sacrifices, and every religious practice. They affirm that the Egyptians are one of their colonies.”

The Egyptians themselves, in later days, affirmed that they and their civilization came from the south and from the black tribes of Punt, and certainly “at the earliest period in which human remains have been recovered Egypt and Lower Nubia appear to have formed culturally and racially one land.” 1

The forging ahead of Egypt in culture was mainly from economic causes. Ethiopia, living in a much poorer land with limited agricultural facilities, held to the old arts and customs, and at the same time lost the best elements of its population to Egypt, absorbing meantime the oncoming and wilder Negro tribes from the south and west. Under the old empire, therefore, Ethiopia remained in comparative poverty, except as some of its tribes invaded Egypt with their handicrafts.

As soon as the civilization below the Second Cataract reached a height noticeably above that of Ethiopia, there was continued effort to protect that civilization against the incursion of barbarians. Hundreds of campaigns through thousands of years repeatedly subdued or checked the blacks and brought them in as captives to mingle their blood with the Egyptian nation; but the Egyptian frontier was not advanced.

A separate and independent Ethiopian culture finally began to

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arise during the middle empire of Egypt and centered at Nepata and Meroe. Widespread trade in gold, ivory, precious stones, skins, wood, and works of handicraft arose. 1 The Negro began to figure as the great trader of Egypt.

This new wealth of Ethiopia excited the cupidity of the Pharaohs and led to aggression and larger intercourse, until at last, when the dread Hyksos appeared, Ethiopia became both a physical and cultural refuge for conquered Egypt. The legitimate Pharaohs moved to Thebes, nearer the boundaries of Ethiopia, and from here, under Negroid rulers, Lower Egypt was redeemed.

The ensuing new empire witnessed the gradual incorporation of Ethiopia into Egypt, although the darker kingdom continued to resist. Both mulatto Pharaohs, Aahmes and Amenhotep I, sent expeditions into Ethiopia, and in the latter’s day sons of the reigning Pharaoh began to assume the title of “Royal Son of Kush” in some such way as the son of the King of England becomes the Prince of Wales.

Trade relations were renewed with Punt under circumstances which lead us to place that land in the region of the African lakes. The Sudanese tribes were aroused by these and other incursions, until the revolts became formidable in the fourteenth century before Christ.

Egyptian culture, however, gradually conquered Ethiopia where her armies could not, and Egyptian religion and civil rule began to center in the darker kingdom. When, therefore, Shesheng I, the Libyan, usurped the throne of the Pharaohs in the tenth century B.C., the Egyptian legitimate dynasty went to Nepata as king priests and established a theocratic monarchy. Gathering strength, the Ethiopian kingdom under this dynasty expanded north about 750 B.C. and for a century ruled all Egypt.

The first king, Pankhy, was Egyptian bred and not noticeably Negroid, but his successors showed more and more evidence of Negro blood–Kashta the Kushite, Shabaka, Tarharqa, and Tanutamen. During the century of Ethiopian rule a royal son was appointed to rule Egypt, just as formerly a royal Egyptian had ruled Kush. In many ways this Ethiopian kingdom showed its Negro peculiarities: first, in its worship of distinctly Sudanese gods; secondly, in the rigid custom of female succession in the kingdom, and thirdly, by the election of kings from the various royal claimants to the throne. “It

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was the heyday of the Negro. For the greater part of the century. . . . Egypt itself was subject to the blacks, just as in the new empire the Sudan had been subject to Egypt.” 1

Egypt now began to fall into the hands of Asia and was conquered first by the Assyrians and then by the Persians, but the Ethiopian kings kept their independence. Aspeluta, whose mother and sister are represented as full-blooded Negroes, ruled from 630 to 600 B.C. Horsiatef (560-525 B.C.) made nine expeditions against the warlike tribes south of Meroe, and his successor, Nastosenen (525-500 B.C.) was the one who repelled Cambyses. He also removed the capital from Nepata to Meroe, although Nepata continued to be the religious capital and the Ethiopian kings were still crowned on its golden throne.

From the fifth to the second century B.C. we find the wild Sudanese tribes pressing in from the west and Greek culture penetrating from the east. King Arg-Amen (Ergamenes) showed strong Greek influences and at the same time began to employ the Ethiopian speech in writing and used a new Ethiopian alphabet.

While the Ethiopian kings were still crowned at Nepata, Meroe gradually became the real capital and supported at one time four thousand artisans and two hundred thousand soldiers. It was here that the famous Candaces reigned as queens. Pliny tells us that one Candace of the time of Nero had had forty-four predecessors on the throne, while another Candace figures in the New Testament. 2

It was probably this latter Candace who warred against Rome at the time of Augustus and received unusual consideration from her formidable foe. The prestige of Ethiopia at this time was considerable throughout the world. Pseudo-Callisthenes tells an evidently fabulous story of the visit of Alexander the Great to Candace, Queen of Meroe, which nevertheless illustrates her fame: Candace will not let him enter Ethiopia and says he is not to scorn her people because they are black, for they are whiter in soul than his white folk. She sent him gold, maidens, parrots, sphinxes, and a crown of emeralds and pearls. She ruled eighty tribes, who were ready to punish those who attacked her.

The Romans continued to have so much trouble with their Ethiopian frontier that finally, when Semitic mulattoes appeared in the east, the Emperor Diocletian invited the wild Sudanese tribe of

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[paragraph continues]Nubians (Nobadæ) from the west to repel them. These Nubians eventually embraced Christianity, and northern Ethiopia came to be known in time as Nubia.

The Semitic mulattoes from the east came from the highlands bordering the Red Sea and Asia. On both sides of this sea Negro blood is strongly in evidence, predominant in Africa and influential in Asia. Ludolphus, writing in the seventeenth century, says that the Abyssinians “are generally black, which [color] they most admire.” Trade and war united the two shores, and merchants have passed to and fro for thirty centuries.

In this way Arabian, Jewish, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman influences spread slowly upon the Negro foundation. Early legendary history declares that a queen, Maqueda, or Nikaula of Sheba, a state of Central Abyssinia, visited Solomon in 1050 B.C. and had her son Menelik educated in Jerusalem. This was the supposed beginning of the Axumite kingdom, the capital of which, Axume, was a flourishing center of trade. Ptolemy Evergetes and his successors did much to open Abyssinia to the world, but most of the population of that day was nomadic. In the fourth century Byzantine influences began to be felt, and in 330 St. Athanasius of Alexandria consecrated Fromentius as Bishop of Ethiopia. He tutored the heir to the Abyssinian kingdom and began its gradual christianization. By the early part of the sixth century Abyssinia was trading with India and Byzantium and was so far recognized as a Christian country that the Emperor Justinian appealed to King Kaleb to protect the Christians in southwestern Arabia. Kaleb conquered Yemen in 525 and held it fifty years.

Eventually a Jewish princess, Judith, usurped the Axumite throne; the Abyssinians were expelled from Arabia, and a long period begins when as Gibbon says, “encompassed by the enemies of their religion, the Ethiopians slept for nearly a thousand years, forgetful of the world by whom they were forgotten.” Throughout the middle ages, however, the legend of a great Christian kingdom hidden away in Africa persisted, and the search for Prester John became one of the world quests.

It was the expanding power of Abyssinia that led Rome to call in the Nubians from the western desert. The Nubians had formed a strong league of tribes, and as the ancient kingdom of Ethiopia declined they drove back the Abyssinians, who had already established themselves at Meroe.

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In the sixth century the Nubians were converted to Christianity by a Byzantine priest, and they immediately began to develop. A new capital, Dongola, replaced Nepata and Meroe, and by the twelfth century churches and brick dwellings had appeared. As the Mohammedan flood pressed up the Nile valley it was the Nubians that held it back for two centuries.

Farther south other wild tribes pushed out of the Sudan and began a similar development. Chief among these were the Fung, who fixed their capital at Senaar, at the junction of the White and Blue Nile. When the Mohammedan flood finally passed over Nubia, the Fung diverted it by declaring themselves Moslems. This left the Fung as the dominant power in the fifteenth century from the Three Cataracts to Fazogli and from the Red Sea at Suakin to the White Nile. Islam then swept on south in a great circle, skirted the Great Lakes, and then curled back to Somaliland, completely isolating Abyssinia.

Between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries the Egyptian Sudan became a congeries of Mohammedan kingdoms with Arab, mulatto, and Negro kings. Far to the west, near Lake Chad, arose in 1520 the sultanate of Baghirmi, which reached its highest power in the seventh century. This dynasty was overthrown by the Negroid Mabas, who established Wadai to the eastward about 1640. South of Wadai lay the heathen and cannibals of the Congo valley, against which Islam never prevailed. East of Wadai and nearer the Nile lay the kindred state of Darfur, a Nubian nation whose sultans reigned over two hundred years and which reached great prosperity in the early seventeenth century under Soliman Solon.

Before the Mohammedan power reached Abyssinia the Portuguese pioneers had entered the country from the east and begun to open the country again to European knowledge. Without doubt, in the centuries of silence, a civilization of some height had flourished in Abyssinia, but all authentic records were destroyed by fire in the tenth century. When the Portuguese came, the older Axumite kingdom had fallen and had been succeeded by a number of petty states.

The Sudanese kingdoms of the Sudan resisted the power of the Mameluke beys in Egypt, and later the power of the Turks until the nineteenth century, when the Sudan was made nominally a part of Egypt. Continuous upheaval, war, and conquest had by this time done their work, and little of ancient Ethiopian culture survived except the slave trade.

The entrance of England into Egypt, after the building of the

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Suez Canal, stirred up eventually revolt in the Sudan, for political, economic, and religious reasons. Led by a Sudanese Negro, Mohammed Ahmad, who claimed to be the Messiah (Mahdi), the Sudan arose in revolt in 1881, determined to resist a hated religion, foreign rule, and interference with their chief commerce, the trade in slaves. The Sudan was soon aflame, and the able mulatto general, Osman Digna, aided by revolt among the heathen Dinka, drove Egypt and England out of the Sudan for sixteen years. It was not until 1898 that England reëntered the Sudan and in petty revenge desecrated the bones of the brave, even if misguided, prophet.

Meantime this Mahdist revolt had delayed England’s designs on Abyssinia, and the Italians, replacing her, attempted a protectorate. Menelik of Shoa, one of the smaller kingdoms of Abyssinia, was a shrewd man of predominantly Negro blood, and had been induced to make a treaty with the Italians after King John had been killed by the Mahdists. The exact terms of the treaty were disputed, but undoubtedly the Italians tried by this means to reduce Menelik to vassalage. Menelik stoutly resisted, and at the great battle of Adua, one of the decisive battles of the modern world, the Abyssinians on March 1, 1896, inflicted a crushing defeat on the Italians, killing four thousand of them and capturing two thousand prisoners. The empress, Taitou, a full-blooded Negress, led some of the charges. By this battle Abyssinia became independent.

Such in vague and general outline is the strange story of the valley of the Nile–of Egypt, the motherland of human culture

End

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IV    THE NIGER AND ISLAM

The Arabian expression “Bilad es Sudan” (Land of the Blacks) was applied to the whole region south of the Sahara, from the Atlantic to the Nile. It is a territory some thirty-five hundred miles by six hundred miles, containing two million square miles, and has to-day a population of perhaps eighty million. It is thus two-thirds the size of the United States and quite as thickly settled. In the western Sudan the Niger plays the same role as the Nile in the east. In this chapter we follow the history of the Niger.

The history of this part of Africa was probably something as follows: primitive man, entering Africa from Arabia, found the Great Lakes, spread in the Nile valley, and wandered westward to the Niger. Herodotus tells of certain youths who penetrated the desert to the Niger and found there a city of black dwarfs. Succeeding migrations of Negroes and Negroids pushed the dwarfs gradually into the inhospitable forests and occupied the Sudan, pushing on to the Atlantic. Here the newcomers, curling northward, met the Mediterranean race coming down across the western desert, while to the southward the Negro came to the Gulf of Guinea and the thick forests of the Congo valley. Indigenous civilizations arose on the west coast in Yoruba and Benin, and contact of these with the Mediterranean race in the desert, and with Egyptian and Arab from the east, gave rise to centers of Negro culture in the Sudan at Ghana and Melle and in Songhay, Nupe, the Hausa states, and Bornu.

The history of the Sudan thus leads us back again to Ethiopia, that strange and ancient center of world civilization whose inhabitants in the ancient world were considered to be the most pious and the oldest of men. From this center the black originators of African culture, and to a large degree of world culture, wandered not simply down the Nile, but also westward. These Negroes developed the

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original substratum of culture which later influences modified but never displaced.

We know that Egyptian Pharaohs in several cases ventured into the western Sudan and that Egyptian influences are distinctly traceable, Greek and Byzantine culture and Phœnician and Carthaginian trade also penetrated, while Islam finally made this whole land her own. Behind all these influences, however, stood from the first an indigenous Negro culture. The stone figures of Sherbro, the megaliths of Gambia, the art and industry of the west coast are all too deep and original evidences of civilization to be merely importations from abroad.

Nor was the Sudan the inert recipient of foreign influence when it came. According to credible legend, the “Great King” at Byzantium imported glass, tin, silver, bronze, cut stones, and other treasure from the Sudan. Embassies were sent and states like Nupe recognized the suzerainty of the Byzantine emperor. The people of Nupe especially were filled with pride when the Byzantine people learned certain kinds of work in bronze and glass from them, and this intercourse was only interrupted by the Mohammedan conquest.

To this ancient culture, modified somewhat by Byzantine and Christian influences, came Islam. It approached from the northwest, coming stealthily and slowly and being banded on particularly by the Mandingo Negroes. About 1000-1200 A.D. the situation was this: Ghana was on the edge of the desert in the north, Mandingoland between the Niger and the Senegal in the south and the western Sahara, Djolof was in the west on the Senegal, and the Songhay on the Niger in the center. The Mohammedans came chiefly as traders and found a trade already established. Here and there in the great cities were districts set aside for these new merchants, and the Mohammedans gave frequent evidence of their respect for these black nations.

Islam did not found new states, but modified and united Negro states already ancient; it did not initiate new commerce, but developed a widespread trade already established. It is, as Frobenius says, “easily proved from chronicles written in Arabic that Islam was only effective in fact as a fertilizer and stimulant. The essential point is the resuscitative and invigorative concentration of Negro power in the service of a new era and a Moslem propaganda, as well as the reaction thereby produced.” 1

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Early in the eighth century Islam had conquered North Africa and converted the Berbers. Aided by black soldiers, the Moslems crossed into Spain; in the following century Berber and Arab armies crossed the west end of the Sahara and came to Negroland. Later in the eleventh century Arabs penetrated the Sudan and Central Africa from the east, filtering through the Negro tribes of Darfur, Kanem, and neighboring regions. The Arabs were too nearly akin to Negroes to draw an absolute color line. Antar, one of the great pre-Islamic poets of Arabia, was the son of a black woman, and one of the great poets at the court of Haroun al Raschid was black. In the twelfth century a learned Negro poet resided at Seville, and Sidjilmessa, the last town in Lower Morocco toward the desert, was founded in 757 by a Negro who ruled over the Berber inhabitants. Indeed, many towns in the Sudan and the desert were thus ruled, and felt no incongruity in this arrangement. They say, to be sure, that the Moors destroyed Audhoghast because it paid tribute to the black town of Ghana, but this was because the town was heathen and not because it was black. On the other hand, there is a story that a Berber king overthrew one of the cities of the Sudan and all the black women committed suicide, being too proud to allow themselves to fall into the hands of white men.

In the west the Moslems first came into touch with the Negro kingdom of Ghana. Here large quantities of gold were gathered in early days, and we have names of seventy-four rulers before 300 A.D. running through twenty-one generations. This would take us back approximately a thousand years to 700 B.C., or about the time that Pharaoh Necho of Egypt sent out the Phœnician expedition which circumnavigated Africa, and possibly before the time when Hanno, the Carthaginian, explored the west coast of Africa.

By the middle of the eleventh century Ghana was the principal kingdom in the western Sudan. Already the town had a native and a Mussulman quarter, and was built of wood and stone with surrounding gardens. The king had an army of two hundred thousand and the wealth of the country was great. A century later the king had become Mohammedan in faith and had a palace with sculptures and glass windows. The great reason for this development was the desert trade. Gold, skins, ivory, kola nuts, gums, honey, wheat, and cotton were exported, and the whole Mediterranean coast traded in the Sudan. Other and lesser black kingdoms like Tekrou, Silla, and Masina surrounded Ghana.

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In the early part of the thirteenth century the prestige of Ghana began to fall before the rising Mandingan kingdom to the west. Melle, as it was called, was founded in 1235 and formed an open door for Moslem and Moorish traders. The new kingdom, helped by its expanding trade, began to grow, and Islam slowly surrounded the older Negro culture west, north, and east. However, a great mass of the older heathen culture, pushing itself upward from the Guinea coast, stood firmly against Islam down to the nineteenth century.

Steadily Mohammedanism triumphed in the growing states which almost encircled the protagonists of ancient Atlantic culture. Mandingan Melle eventually supplanted Ghana in prestige and power after Ghana had been overthrown by the heathen Su Su from the south.

The territory of Melle lay southeast of Ghana and some five hundred miles north of the Gulf of Guinea. Its kings were known by the title of Mansa, and from the middle of the thirteenth century to the middle of the fourteenth the Mellestine, as its dominion was called, was the leading power in the land of the blacks. Its greatest king, Mari Jalak (Mansa Musa), made his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324, with a caravan of sixty thousand persons, including twelve thousand young slaves gowned in figured cotton and Persian silk. He took eighty camel loads of gold dust (worth about five million dollars) to defray his expenses, and greatly impressed the people of the East with his magnificence.

On his return he found that Timbuktu had been sacked by the Mossi, but he rebuilt the town and filled the new mosque with learned blacks from the University of Fez. Mansa Musa reigned twenty-five years and “was distinguished by his ability and by the holiness of his life. The justice of his administration was such that the memory of it still lives.” 1 The Mellestine preserved its preëminence until the beginning of the sixteenth century, when the rod of Sudanese empire passed to Songhay, the largest and most famous of the black empires.

The known history of Songhay covers a thousand years and three dynasties and centers in the great bend of the Niger. There were thirty kings of the First Dynasty, reigning from 700 to 1335. During the reign of one of these the Songhay kingdom became the vassal kingdom of Melle, then at the height of its glory. In addition to this the Mossi crossed the valley, plundered Timbuktu in 1339, and

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separated Jenne, the original seat of the Songhay, from the main empire. The sixteenth king was converted to Mohammedanism in 1009, and after that all the Songhay princes were Mohammedans. Mansa Musa took two young Songhay princes to the court of Melle to be educated in 1326. These boys when grown ran away and founded a new dynasty in Songhay, that of the Sonnis, in 1355. Seventeen of these kings reigned, the last and greatest being Sonni Ali, who ascended the throne in 1464. Melle was at this time declining, other cities like Jenne, with its seven thousand villages, were rising, and the Tuaregs (Berbers with Negro blood) had captured Timbuktu.

Sonni Ali was a soldier and began his career with the conquest of Timbuktu in 1469. He also succeeded in capturing Jenne and attacked the Mossi and other enemies on all sides. Finally he concentrated his forces for the destruction of Melle and subdued nearly the whole empire on the west bend of the Niger. In summing up Sonni Ali’s military career the chronicle says of him, “He surpassed all his predecessors in the numbers and valor of his soldiery. His conquests were many and his renown extended from the rising to the setting of the sun. If it is the will of God, he will be long spoken of.” 1

Sonni Ali was a Songhay Negro whose father was a Berber. He was succeeded by a full-blooded black, Mohammed Abou Bekr, who had been his prime minister. Mohammed was bailed as “Askia” (usurper) and is best known as Mohammed Askia. He was strictly orthodox where Ali was rather a scoffer, and an organizer where Ali was a warrior. On his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1495 there was nothing of the barbaric splendor of Mansa Musa, but a brilliant group of scholars and holy men with a small escort of fifteen hundred soldiers and nine hundred thousand dollars in gold. He stopped and consulted with scholars and politicians and studied matters of taxation, weights and measures, trade, religious tolerance, and manners. In Cairo, where he was invested by the reigning caliph of Egypt, he may have heard of the struggle of Europe for the trade of the Indies, and perhaps of the parceling of the new world between Portugal and Spain. He returned to the Sudan in 1497, instituted a standing army of slaves, undertook a holy war against the indomitable Mossi, and finally marched against the Hausa. He subdued these cities and even imposed the rule of black men on the Berber town of Agades,

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a rich city of merchants and artificers with stately mansions. In fine Askia, during his reign, conquered and consolidated an empire two thousand miles long by one thousand wide at its greatest diameters; a territory as large as all Europe. The territory was divided into four vice royalties, and the system of Melle, with its semi-independent native dynasties, was carried out. His empire extended from the Atlantic to Lake Chad and from the salt mines of Tegazza and the town of Augila in the north to the 10th degree of north latitude toward the south.

It was a six months’ journey across the empire and, it is said, “he was obeyed with as much docility on the farthest limits of the empire as he was in his own palace, and there reigned everywhere great plenty and absolute peace.” 1 The University of Sankore became a center of learning in correspondence with Egypt and North Africa and had a swarm of black Sudanese students. Law, literature, grammar, geography and surgery were studied. Askia the Great reigned thirty-six years and his dynasty continued on the throne until after the Moorish conquest in 1591.

Meanwhile, to the eastward, two powerful states appeared. They never disputed the military supremacy of Songhay, but their industrial development was marvelous. The Hausa states were formed by seven original cities, of which Kano was the oldest and Katsena the most famous. Their greatest leaders, Mohammed Rimpa and Ahmadu Kesoke, arose in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. The land was subject to the Songhay, but the cities became industrious centers of smelting, weaving, and dyeing. Katsena especially, in the middle of the sixteenth century, is described as a place thirteen or fourteen miles in circumference, divided into quarters for strangers, for visitors from various other states, and for the different trades and industries, as saddlers, shoemakers, dyers, etc.

Beyond the Hausa states and bordering on Lake Chad was Bornu. The people of Bornu had a large infiltration of Berber blood, but were predominantly Negro. Berber mulattoes had been kings in early days, but they were soon replaced by black men. Under the early kings, who can be traced back to the third century, these people had ruled nearly all the territory between the Nile and Lake Chad. The country was known as Kanem, and the pagan dynasty of Dugu reigned there from the middle of the ninth to the end of the eleventh century. Mohammedanism was introduced from Egypt

p. 33

at the end of the eleventh century, and under the Mohammedan kings Kanem became one of the first powers of the Sudan. By the end of the twelfth century the armies of Kanem were very powerful and its rulers were known as “Kings of Kanem and Lords of Bornu.” In the thirteenth century the kings even dared to invade the southern country down toward the valley of the Congo.

Meantime great things were happening in the world beyond the desert, the ocean, and the Nile. Arabian Mohammedanism had succumbed to the wild fanaticism of the Seljukian Turks. These new conquerors were not only firmly planted at the gates of Vienna, but had swept the shores of the Mediterranean and sent all Europe scouring the seas for their lost trade connections with the riches of India. Religious zeal, fear of conquest, and commercial greed inflamed Europe against the Mohammedan and led to the discovery of a new world, the riches of which poured first on Spain. Oppression of the Moors followed, and in 1502 they were driven back into Africa, despoiled and humbled. Here the Spaniards followed and harassed them and here the Turks, fighting the Christians, captured the Mediterranean ports and cut the Moors off permanently from Europe. In the slow years that followed, huddled in Northwest Africa, they became a decadent people and finally cast their eyes toward Negroland.

The Moors in Morocco had come to look upon the Sudan as a gold mine, and knew that the Sudan was especially dependent upon salt. In 1545 Morocco claimed the principal salt mines at Tegazza, but the reigning Askia refused to recognize the claim.

When the Sultan Elmansour came to the throne of Morocco, he increased the efficiency of his army by supplying it with fire arms and cannon. Elmansour determined to attack the Sudan and sent four hundred men under Pasha Djouder, who left Morocco in 1590. The Songhay, with their bows and arrows, were helpless against powder and shot, and they were defeated at Tenkadibou April 12, 1591, Askia Ishak, the king, offered terms, and Djouder Pasha referred them to Morocco. The sultan, angry with his general’s delay, deposed him and sent another, who crushed and treacherously murdered the king and set up a puppet. Thereafter there were two Askias, one under the Moors at Timbuktu and one who maintained himself in the Hausa states, which the Moors could not subdue. Anarchy reigned in Songhay. The Moors tried to put down disorder with a high hand, drove out and murdered the distinguished men of

p. 34

[paragraph continues]Timbuktu, and as a result let loose a riot of robbery and decadence throughout the Sudan. Pasha now succeeded Pasha with revolt and misrule until in 1612 the soldiers elected their own Pasha and deliberately shut themselves up in the Sudan by cutting off approach from the north.

Hausaland and Bornu were still open to Turkish and Mohammedan influence from the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the slave trade from the south, but the face of the finest Negro civilization the modern world had ever produced was veiled from Europe and given to the defilement of wild Moorish soldiers. In 1623 it is written “excesses of every kind are now committed unchecked by the soldiery,” and “the country is profoundly convulsed and oppressed.” 1 The Tuaregs marched down from the desert and deprived the Moors of many of the principal towns. The rest of the empire of the Songhay was by the end of the eighteenth century divided among separate Moorish chiefs, who bought supplies from the Negro peasantry and were “at once the vainest, proudest, and perhaps the most bigoted, ferocious, and intolerant of all the nations of the south.” 2 They lived a nomadic life, plundering the Negroes. To such depths did the mighty Songhay fall.

As the Songhay declined a new power arose in the nineteenth century, the Fula. The Fula, who vary in race from Berber mulattoes to full-blooded Negroes, may be the result of a westward migration of some people like the “Leukoæthiopi” of Pliny, or they may have arisen from the migration of Berber mulattoes in the western oases, driven south by Romans and Arabs.

These wandering herdsmen lived on the Senegal River and the ocean in very early times and were not heard of until the nineteenth century. By this time they had changed to a Negro or dark mulatto people and lived scattered in small communities between the Atlantic and Darfur. They were without political union or national sentiment, but were all Mohammedans. Then came a sudden change, and led by a religious fanatic, these despised and persecuted people became masters of the central Sudan. They were the ones who at last broke down that great wedge of resisting Atlantic culture, after it had been undermined and disintegrated by the American slave trade.

Thus Islam finally triumphed in the Sudan and the ancient culture

p. 35

combined with the new. In the Sudan to-day one may find evidences of the union of two classes of people. The representatives of the older civilization dwell as peasants in small communities, carrying on industries and speaking a large number of different languages. With them or above them is the ruling Mohammedan caste, speaking four main languages: Mandingo, Hausa, Fula, and Arabic. These latter form the state builders. Negro blood predominates among both classes, but naturally there is more Berber blood among the Mohammedan invaders.

Europe during the middle ages had some knowledge of these movements in the Sudan and Africa. Melle and Songhay appear on medieval maps. In literature we have many allusions: the mulatto king, Feirifis, was one of Wolfram von Eschenbach’s heroes; Prester John furnished endless lore; Othello, the warrior, and the black king represented by medieval art as among the three wise men, and the various black Virgin Marys’ all show legendary knowledge of what African civilization was at that time doing.

It is a curious commentary on modern prejudice that most of this splendid history of civilization and uplift is unknown to-day, and men confidently assert that Negroes have no history.

http://www.sacred-texts.coFuu/afr/dbn/dbn06.htm

End

See also

Overview of Sudan 

From-Babylon-To-Timbuktu-by-Rudolph-R-Windsor

The Migration of Judah

Egyptians, E-thi-o’-pi-ans, Nubians and Hebrews are the Same Ethnic People: NILE VALLEY: North Africa / Sahara / Horn of Africa and West Asia..

Dr Yosef Ben Yochannan – Black America & Black Indian African Orgins

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This is the original list of returned escaped slaves in Jamaica.

 Return of the ACCOMPONG Maroons 27TH OCTOBER 1831 CO 140/121

http://www.jamaicanfamilysearch.com/Members/MaroonsAccompong.htm

 

Please note this is only one list of escaped slaves and my ancestors were found on a 1809 (I believe census) Nanny of the Maroons started the movement of runaway slaves and founded her own towns for them. Maroon Town and Accompong. You can visit my related posts by doing a search in my search bar. Some Maroons were deported to Freetown.

My family are listed. If you are Jamaicans American Haitian your family might be listed too.

OFFICERS

Lieutenant-colonel Andrew White

61

Lieutenant Robert Reid Peate

54

Captain James Rowe

61

Lieutenant Richard Rowe

30

Captain William Dennis Reid

55

Lieutenant John Reid

53

Captain James Dennis Foster

57

Lieutenant John Watson

43

 

PRIVATES

 

William Adlam

54

George Reid

34

John Adlam

22

Robert Hugh Reid

43

Samuel Adlam

18

Thomas Reid

35

Colin Adlam

18

George Roache

39

Charles Austen

44

Thomas Roache

40

Samuel Anderson

26

Samuel Roden

32

Joseph Barrett

26

Charles Rowe

56

Edward Barrett

22

Henry Rowe

35

William Brice

26

Billy Rowe

30

Frank Cross

36

James Rowe

29

John Cross

43

William Rowe (sambo)

40

Thomas Cross

44

Robert Salmon

33

Thomas Cross, jun.

19

Smallin Smith

26

Thomas Currie (mulatto)

23

Quao Smith

22

William Davis

54

Thomas Smith

37

Barnet Dennis (mulatto)

45

Joseph Smith

30

Joseph Dennis (sambo)

29

Barnet Smith

35

Rodger Reid Dennis

55

Cabina Smith

41

William Dowan (mulatto)

26

Alexander Shilletto

31

Alexander Faulkner

26

Thomas Stretch

23

Samuel Faulkner

28

James Stone

38

Matthew Farquharson

37

James Swaby

39

Antonio Flesharkey (quadroon)

21

Robert Virvin

54

John Griffith

56

John Webb

22

Thomas Holliday

26

Thomas White

31

James Haughton

36

John White

21

Charles George Ludwig (quadroon)

22

Robert White

19

Richard Miles

33

Billy Wright

25

Edward Peate

25

Robert Wright

34

Billy Peate

25

William Wright

31

Thomas Peate

24

Samuel Wright

25

John Peate

30

James Wright

19

Samuel Pight

36

Samuel Barrett

18

Lewis Pight

35

James Montague

18

Charles Quarrey

26

 

 

 

 

WOMEN

 

Fanny Austin

53

Ann Rowe

26

Nanny Austin

77

Ellen Rowe

28

Catherine Barrett

51

Bess Rowe

27

Bash Beat

51

Debby Rowe

19

Barbara Boucher

69

Grace Salmon

60

Charlotte Bookay (mulatto)

23

Jane Salmon

31

Bella Brice

23

Bess Salmon

30

Nancy Carr

43

Nancy Salmo [Salmon]

27

Mary Carr

41

Polly Salmon

26

Peggy Carr

37

Jenny Salmon

23

Catherine Cooper

59

Webb Salmon

23

Bella Crisp

36

Susanna Shaw

27

Sophy Currie (mulatto)

21

Bess Shannel (mulatto)

56

Dorothy Darling (sambo)

35

Phœbe Smith

68

Eliza Davis

38

Mary Stretch (mulatto)

25

Jane Dennis

30

Frances Stretch (mulatto)

26

Louisa Dennis

23

Janet Quarrey

20

Catherine Dockery (mulatto)

46

Bess Venhillin

62

Mary Dockery

70

Mary Walpole

36

Dido Falconer

36

Christiana White (sambo)

60

Mary Falconer

60

Elcey White

27

Juba Falconer

23

Manna White

26

Nelly Foster

50

Eliza Johnston White

26

Nancy Griffith

19

Amelia White

24

Mary Griffith

24

Elizabeth Wright

51

Julina Griffith

26

Suckey Wright

51

Dido Holliday

43

Nelly Wright

48

Leah Myers

19

Ann Wright

32

Julina Peate

23

Mary Wright, 1st

32

Eliza Quilman

23

Mary Wright, 2d

25

Leah Quarrey

26

Polly Wright

32

Jenny Reid

73

Susanna Wright

24

Suckey Reid

19

Enthy Wright

25

Nelly Reid

42

Maria Wright

23

Bessy Roache

49

Jane Finlayson Wright

26

Susanna Rowe

60

Grace Wright

25

Lucy Rowe

22

Debby Wright

21

Mary Rowe

36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOYS

 

William Anderson

5

William Reid

6

Robert Barrett

16

Billy Pight

2

William Barrett

11

James Reid

3

William Banista

16

Alick Roden (mulatto)

4

John Collins

3

William Ricketts

6

James Collins

6

Alexander Russell (mulatto)

3

Robert Cunningham

2

Quao Rowe

18

Colin Cross

8

Thomas Rowe, two months

 

Henry Cross

4

William Rowe

2

William Crosley

7

John Rowe

16

Lewis Degan

16

Charles Samuel Salmon

3

William Dennis

15

Samuel Smith

2

Thomas Dennis

17

James Stone

8

Edward Dennis

11

James Swaby

9

Frederick Dennis

11

Robert Vidal

9

James Donald (quadroon)

14

Charles Watson

6

Robert Furguson

9

William Webb

16

William Furguson

8

Crawford White

15

John Griffith

6

David Shaw White

11

William Holliday

16

James White, 1st

10

John Holliday

2

James White, 2d

4

George Macquirk

5

Boohe Williams

13

George Augustus Maycharge (quadroon)

7

Charles Wright

11

Edward Miles

17

John Wright

10

William Pennycooke (mulatto)

2

Joseph Wright

2

Samuel Albert Pight

2

James Wright

4

Antonio Pight

8

Thomas Wright

 

Charles Pight

10

Quao Wright

2

Robert Peate

3

 

 

 

GIRLS

 

Jane Alexander

4

Jane McLachlan (quadroon)

12

Mary Barrett

11

Crissy Ogilvie (sambo)

15

Nelly Barrett

8

Sarah Palmer (mulatto)

15

Margaret Barrett

6

Kitty Peate

15

Eliza Cross

2

Molly Peate

15

Grace Cross

16

Nancy Peate

12

Sophia Cross

11

Nancy Pight (mulatto)

5

Dorothy Cross

13

Juba Pight, seven months

 

Isabella Cross

11

Mary Anderson, five ditto

 

Mary Cross

9

Sophia Doman, four ditto

 

Sabina Cross

8

Carolina Reid

10

Susanna Cross

10

Margaret Rowe, 1st

15

Rebecca Cross

6

Margaret Rowe, 2d

7

Cecilia Cross

3

Rosanna Rowe

7

Cuba Dennis

15

Elizabeth Russell

5

Bess Farquharson

6

Frances Watson Salmon

2

Agnes Farquharson

4

Polly Salmon

5

Phœbe Falconer (mulatto)

14

Mary Shaw

5

Venue Foster

2

Catherine Shokea

13

Agnes Foster

2

Rosanna Salmon (mulatto)

3

Susanna Flesharskey (quadroon)

15

Frances Stone

3

Lydia Griffith

14

Ann Stone

4

Charlotte Gordon (quadroon)

16

Caroline Jane Thompson

2

Ann Harris

5

Ellen Vervin

17

Jane Holliday

4

Elizabeth Vervin

15

Piercy Holliday

12

Beche Vervin

13

Sally Holliday

8

Sarah Vervin 1st

17

Jane Horton

3

Sarah Wright 2d

3

Nancy Hoffman (mulatto)

9

Susanna Wright

2

Fanny Macquirk

3

Sarah Wright 1st

17

Ann Horton

6

Diana Wright

12

Mary Miles

3

Kitty Wright

13

Isabella Miles

5

Mary Wright 1st

7

Isabella Ludwig

14

Mary Wright 2d

2

Beche Lerman

13

Nelly Wright

5

Caroline Jones

5

Phœbe Wright

10

 

SUPERANNUATED, 1

 

MAJOR James Roache

76

 

 

FROM OTHER TOWNS

 

 

MALES, 3

 

Robert Adlam

10

John Reid

13

Dicky Clerke [Clarke?]

18

 

 

 

FEMALES, 7

 

Ruthy Dennis

49

Fanny Reid

18

Elizabeth Quilman

24

Hannah Reid

13

Eliza Reid

23

Joan Reid

9

Lydia Reid

21

 

 

 

 

 

RESIDING OUT OF TOWN

 

MALES, 35

 

James Alego, Kingston

21

George Smith, Lucea

13

George Allen, Trelawny

10

Kennedy Smith, Ditto

11

Jeremiah Allen, ditto

8

Henry Smith, ditto

8

Allen, ditto

4

William Smith 1st, Westmoreland

37

Allen, ditto

2

William Smith 2d, Dry-Harbour

6

Richard Burrowes, Stoney-Hill

31

William Smith 3d, Lucea

2

Robert Creighton, Westmoreland

24

——–Smith, sambo, Lucea

6

Thomas Creighton, ditto

22

——–Wedderburn, Westmoreland

2

Joseph Creighton, Ditto

19

James White, ditto

10

Thomas Douglass, ditto

14

Robert White, ditto

2

William Fullerton, ditto

21

——–Wright, ditto

2

———–Fullerton, ditto

2

——–Wright, ditto

2

John Hewitt, Spanish-Town

37

Richard Wolf, ditto

11

William Humphries, St. James’s

55

William Wolf, ditto

9

Edward Tullough, Montego-Bay

2

——–Wolf, ditto

4

Robert Shannel, Spanish-Town

15

James Cunningham, Montego-Bay

2

Joseph Shannel, ditto

18

——–Haughton, Westmoreland

2

William Shannel, ditto

19

 

 

 

WOMEN, 36

 

Mary Allen, Kingston

20

Sarah Harrison, St. Elizabeth’s

6

Susanna Adlam, St. James’s

24

Susanna Harrison, ditto

4

Sarah Adlam, ditto

27

Ann Hinds, St. James’s

3

Mary Austin, Westmoreland

51

Bella Inniss, Dry-Harbour

27

Nancy Austin, Rio-Bueno

57

Elizabeth Murray, Falmouth

25

Eliza Clarke, Falmouth

20

Harriot Murray (quadroon), ditto

3

Betsey Clarke, St. James’s

23

Ann Matthewson, Trelawny

6

Jane McGibbon Clarke, ditto

24

Mary Price, Rio-Bueno

26

Eliza Creighton, St. Elizabeth’s

13

Sarah Price, ditto

27

Elizabeth Cross, St. James’s

20

Ann Pight, Trelawny

6

Ann Dennon, Lucea

8

Jane Reid, Westmoreland

24

Bess Fullerton (mulatto), Dry-Harbour

19

Polly Rowe, Falmouth

57

Kitty Fullerton, ditto

25

Hannah Smith, ditto

50

Jane Farquharson, St. James

 

Rachel Smith, ditto

28

Mary Farquharson, ditto

3

Mary Smith, ditto

25

Lucy Haughton, Westmoreland

24

Mary-Ann Tomlinson, Westmoreland

3

Peggy Haughton, ditto

27

Beneba Peate

2

Ann Holliday, Lucea

25

Jane Wannup, Stoney-Hill

60

 

 

 

 

NAMES OF SLAVES

 

MALES, 7

 

Billy Boskew, alias William Rowe to captain Rowe

29

James Foster, to estate of late maroon

41

Charles Reid, to ditto

10

Foster, alias Jacob Alves, to colonel Foster

6

Joe, to ditto

 

John Ogilvie (mulatto), to ditto

14

 

 

Solomon Herbs

2

 

FEMALES, 9

 

Betty, to captain Rowe

8

Dolly, alias Darley, to Molly Dockery

46

Olive, to ditto

33

Rachel, to ditto

47

Phillis 1st, to ditto

32

Betty Graham, to ditto

1

Phillis 2d, alias Elizabeth, to ditto

8

Bessy, to estate of the late colonel Foster

18

Chance, to Molly Dockery

12

 

 

 

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

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]

See also

https://youtu.be/TFPNbAUKedU

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.”

469ac544488b33610ebeb111502ebf13--timbuktu-mali-tuareg-people

– 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

1d7d10f68fe26931a1a282fa50a6ef2f--african-tribes-mali

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.