Hello all. I’ve finally finished reading this amazing book. It is a beginners handbook to the YorubaReligion of WestAfrica. Yoruba is one of the oldest and largest religions of Africa. I first got into Yoruba when I was a teenager. My godmother studied it and would have these ceremonies at her house. The Baba (father/priest) would chant these ancestralphrases, using a stick and drum, dancing and sacrificing certain animals. This was 15 year old Tareau thinking, “Wow this is cool.” I’ll give you my feelings as 33 year old Tareau towards the end of this post.
You see folks, unfortunately for us African Americans, we don’t have a country. Africa is not a country. It is a continent with 54 countries and a lot of our own history was either stolen, burnt, forgotten or lost. It is also…
There are some IGBO People who claim that the tribal idol worship that is practised by some in their country is not the religion of their ancestors. See this Igbo man’s video and channel where he explains that through research he has found that his ancestors worshipped The Most High as taught to Abraham and Moses. The man claims those that spring from Igbos are the only true hebrews. Now that point may not be true but the Igbo have a record of their Hebrew history.
It has also been said that Igbo people were not Hebrew and adopted the religion when the Hebrews arrived. I have found that even if this were the case they adopted the Hebrew religion in a century so long ago that their connection is a true one.
There are plenty of people out there who claim that this is incorrect however this post will explore the Igbo claims. In the video the presenter calls out John’s teachings as being inconsistent with the word of The Most High. This is similar to a video I watched which I have posted here https://youtu.be/zASWUqMm_JM it looks at how the Roman Catholic Church has become corrupt and Satanic. The reporter points to the role of the Pope of being one of a false prophet because he claims to be able to heal people of their sins and because the Roman Catholics created the New Testament to replace the old. A meeting was put together by the Roman Catholics where they called Pope’s, Priests and Vicars to decide on whether they would conclude in the New Testament that their was a trinity in which Jesus was God. This is considered by some to be blasphemous. If there is one God then to state Jesus is Lord wouldn’t be correct this has created different doctrines and branches of teachings stemming from the Old and New Testament. I personally look at it as God became manifest in the flesh and was still the One God. I think it is important to note that the Igbo Jewish do not follow the Christian New Testament. Below is the contention between the Jewish/Hebrews and Christian’s.
While the Fathers of the Church saw even Old Testament elements such as the appearance of three men to Abraham in Book of Genesis, chapter 18, as foreshadowings of the Trinity, it was the New Testament that they saw as a basis for developing the concept of the Trinity. One of the most influential of the New Testament texts seen as implying the teaching of the Trinity was Matthew28:19, which mandated baptizing “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. Another New Testament text pointing to the Trinity was John1:1-14, in which the inter-relationships of the Triune God are reflected in the gospel author’s description of “the Word”, again showing the elements of the Triune God and their eternal (always was, always is, and always shall be) existence. Reflection, proclamation, and dialogue led to the formulation of the doctrine that was felt to correspond to the data in the Bible. The simplest outline of the doctrine was formulated in the 4th century, largely in terms of rejection of what was considered not to be consonant with general Christian belief. Further elaboration continued in the succeeding centuries.
Scripture contains neither the word Trinity, nor an expressly formulated doctrine of the Trinity. Rather, according to Christian theology, it “bears witness to” the activity of a God who can only be understood in Trinitarian terms. The doctrine did not take its definitive shape until late in the fourth century. During the intervening period, various tentative solutions, some more and some less satisfactory, were proposed. Trinitarianism contrasts with nontrinitarian positions which include Binitarianism (one deity in two persons, or two deities), Unitarianism (one deity in one person, analogous to Jewish interpretation of the Shema and Muslim belief in Tawhid), Oneness Pentecostalism or Modalism (one deity manifested in three separate aspects). Additionally, theChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three separate deities, two of which possess separate bodies of flesh and bones, while the Holy Ghost has only a body of spirit; and that their unity is not physical, but in purpose.
The Igbo man also makes these claims in this video. https://youtu.be/a0dCy54unlM In which he calls out the chapter John and states it conflicts with the Old Testament and that there were people who set to make The Almighty name obsolete and replace it with Lord or God but referring to Ba’al. In his video the real name of God he breaks down what the Most High said to moses “I am that I am” “Aiyah Ashar Aiyah” in Hebrew. (Pronunciation in English shortened Eye-yah)
Wikipedia states the following: An early (and widely influential) statement from an Igbo man,Olaudah Equiano, a Christian-educated freed slave, suggested a migratory origin of the Igbo Jews. He remarked in his autobiography of 1789 on
“the strong analogy which… appears to prevail in the manners and customs of my countrymen and those of the Jews, before they reached the Land of Promise, and particularly the patriarchs while they were yet in that pastoral state which is described in Genesis — an analogy, which alone would induce me to think that the one people had sprung from the other.” For authoritative support, he gives reference to “Dr. Gill, who, in his commentary on Genesis, very ably deduces the pedigree of the Africans from Afer and Afra, the descendants of Abraham….
Many scholars dispute the Igbo claim of Jewish ancestry and religious teachings. I have been reading the bible on and off for a very long time and note that it details how the people of Israel fled into East and West Africa. On closer inspection it also states Noah became the progenitor of the dark races NOT THE NEGROES but the Egyptians, Libyans and Caanites. This suggests that the Israelites who fled Israel were of a different tribe. Judah??? Judeo that is what they called their kingdom in West Africa. Of course this is all speculation but interesting that different tribes tell the same migration story. They crossed the river nile when it was low from Israel migrated through Sudan and Ethiopia to Benin Dahomey, Congo, Nigeria Ghana and some moved further south to Bantu regions.
The Soudan Sudan stretched across the West to East of Africa see the first picture below. At periods in time during Songhai and Kush kingdoms there was western Sudan named on maps and modern Sudan in the East at the same time. The people were considered the same. The Bible describes the people as the Negroes not the Africans and map producers later show this in their exploration of the region.
Eze A.E. Chukwuemeka Eri, the king of a community in Aguleri, claims he presides over the throne of Gad’s son, Eri.Wearing a white shirt with the Star of David stitched on the front, King Eri points to a calendar on the wall of his palace that lists the names of his 33 predecessors. He has no doubts that Eri is his ancestor. He has even acquired land to establish an educational center for the study of Jewish culture.”Israelites and Igbos are brothers,” he says with a broad smile.King Eri, like many, claims that the Igbo are the Jews of West Africa.
They believe they are descendants of at least one of Israel’s lost tribes. In the eighth century B.C. the Assyrians invaded Israel’s northern kingdom forcing 10 tribes into exile. Historians say it is not unlikely that these tribes migrated westward to Africa.Throughout history, large populations of dispersed Jews also became “lost” through forced conversions and cultural assimilation.”There is evidence that is scientific that the Igbos descended from the people that evolved in Israel,” says Remy Ilona. He began investigating the stories from his youth more than a decade ago.”When I grew up I heard, like virtually every Igbo here, that the Igbo people came from Israel,” the Abuja-based lawyer says. His field work in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Mali led him to conclude that Igbo and Jewish culture are not just similar, but “identical.”In his latest book, Ilona draws parallels between Igbo rituals and customs and those practiced by Jews. Shared traditional practices include circumcising male children eight days after birth, refraining from eating “unclean” or tabooed foods, mourning the dead for seven days, celebrating the New Moon and conducting wedding ceremonies under a canopy. Some historians have noted that the Igbo were practicing these customs before their exposure to the Bible and missionaries.
The group, in its report endorsed by nine of its members, described Aguleri & Nri, while partners in FOISTERING an inconsistent and inaccurate story on the Igbo people, which they termed fallacious & misleading. The report was signed by Comrade Biafra Diboh, Chief.Daniel Obi Aninwetalu, Mr.Obi Kachi Nzedigwe, Mr. Titus Ugo Nwoye, Comrade Sonny Onochie , Ms. Purity Nwofia, Mr.Oliver Chinweze, Mr.Chike Nnamdi and Sixtus Chinedu.
The group insisted that majority of the people who make up the Igbo of today were those who came from Israel while the rest migrated from Igala and other places. According to the group, the founders of the earliest settlers of the town are from Eri clan of Israel who left the Israelites during their time in wilderness (post-Egypt exile), migrated from East Jordan towards the Mediterranean Sea and later crossed back to Egypt from there to Ethiopia, then to Southern Sudan from where they sailed through the rivers and finally found themselves in Omambala or Anambra valley where they settled. “They now named the place after their clan, Umu-Eri, which means children of Eri. The migration was long-time ago before Saul was made King over Israel”, GULF said. It went on: “At the new settlement, the culture of Hebrew worshipping, circumcision, burial & other customs remained visibly the same with some modifications. There was no king or culture of king-making until the invasion of the land by the second wave of migration from the Igala descents who brought the system of priest-king along with it. “The Bini Kingdom also tried introducing its kingship by imposing the Ezes & Onowu but with limited success. However, the Umueri people resisted the cultural encroachment from them until the colonial administrators foisted warrant chief system on them.
Relationship between Umunri & ancient Umueri “The original settlers of the communities that make up the Umunri clan are descendants of the first settlers of Umueri. Therefore the people of Umunri, otherwise called Nri Kingdom, are part of our ancient town. It is a fact that amongst numerous people that constitute the Umunri Kingdom, the descendants of Umueri people are regarded as aborigines or the head of their various communities. Those communities were even named after founders of Umueri lineages. The original settlers in Nri are from Nri-aka in old Ugume ana of Ikenga Umueri. “Nri people were actually occupying the large expanse of land between Ugume Umueri and Ikem Nando (then in old Umueri town) which today subsist in Ugwu Nzu. “There is a popular road path which exists till date which the the Nri people use for their itineraries from Ugume to Ugunzu and is called ‘EZI NRI AKA’ till today. The vast area was inhabited by the descendants of Eri up to Omabala na Ezu before the present settlement of aguleri which is a recent settlement. “The Ire and Oraeri were living in the portion of land lying between Agu Eneneanya and Agu Oda in today Ifite Umueri and Nneyi Umueri. The Ire people abandoned this area in flight due to the war between them and the Igalas. “Today the Ire people can be found in Abba, Obosi, Ogidi, Umuoji Enugu Ukwu. Occupying these portion of lands today are several artefacts’ and monuments, shrines, etc left behind by the fleeing Ires. “The Umunri oral tradition also confirmed that they once lived amongst our people here in Omambala valley. The Nri people of Umueri extraction had no king just like every other true Igbo town until the arrival of the Igala settlers who were forced to scatter and live amongst all Igbo towns in northern Igbo communities as a result of the ancient war that was waged by the people of ancient Umueri clan. It was the Igala elements that brought the issue of kingship in Nri. It was a foreign culture amongst the earliest settlers. Migration & trace of Umueri people “The founders of ancient Umueri community was not just a single man and woman as fallacious story peddled around by people, but group of people amongst whom was Eri, a great hunter and warrior from Eri clan of Gad’s tribe of Isreal around I,300BC.(See Gen46:16, Numbers 26:16). They found themselves in Omambala valley where they settled.
Original ancient Umueri people settled amongst basically in all northern Igbo communities notably Nteje(Umueri/Umuevi Nteje), Umueri Awka, Umueri Ogbunike, Umueri Okija, Umunagu- Achala, Amåleri Ichida, Umueri Awkuzu, Umueri Nkwelle Ezunaka. The Influence of Bini Kingdom “Another group that impacted its culture on the Omambala people are the Binis known formerly as the Idu in the local parlance. At the height of Bini Kingdom, it annexed territories at will through conquest, but the emerging communities in Omambala valley through juju & war charms were able to stop the Binis. In mutual pact agreed upon, Umueri and other communities in Omambala communities, through their powerful medicine men & charm makers, provided the needed spiritual support to the Bini Kingdom whose standing army was busy fighting numerous wars during the ancient days. In reward for their effort, the Binis rewarded and imposed them as Eze & Onowu Iyasele. This is how all those parading themselves as royal homes in northern part of Igboland emerged. It was not part of our culture and so anyone telling you that at the death of Eri, his fore fathers became kings and that he is the 100th King of Eri is being far from truth. Our culture has no room for such political stool.
Nri is an ancient Igbo city-state in Anambra State, Nigeria. The Kingdom of Nri was the center of Igbo culture, religion, and commerce in pre-colonial West Africa. It was the seat of a powerful and imperial state that influenced much of the territories inhabited by the Igbo of Awka and Onitsha to the east; the Efik, the Ibibio, and the Ijaw to the South; Nsukka and southern Igala to the north; and Asaba, and the Anioma to the west. The rulers of Nri did not use military conquest, but used religious authority and control of commercial routes as tactics in the spread of their city-state. Politically, Nri is known to be the most ancient origins of the Eze kingship in Igbo societies. But Nri and its rulers were also known for their reverred traditional religious institutions that instilled both awe and fear in those who made pilgrimages to the shrines. The religious practices believed in the existence of one supreme creator God, ‘Chukwu Okike‘; but the Eze Nri was seen as a potent who had powers to undo evil and cleanse the land from abominations and taboos.
“Osu” was the name of outcasts of other communities who migrated and were accepted in Nri. Some Osu became eunuchs. During the colonial period, Nri and the regions under its political, religious, or commercial control became international markets for palm oil. In the heart of Nri influence was the Igbo Ukwu bronze castings.
The Nri clan existed from as far back as the 9th century. Nri (the founder of Nri clan) was the son of Eri (founder of Aguleri) and had migrated to the present day Nri from the Anambra (Omambala) river valley in Northern Igboland. Nri was said to have inherited spiritual powers from his father. The Nri people belong to the Umueri clans who trace their origins to Eri.
In the Nri mythology, Eri descended from the sky, sent by Chukwu to make peace (settle disputes and cleanse abominations) and provide Igbo people food (yam and cocoyam). Some historians speculate that Eri may have migrated to the Anambra area out of the Igala dynasty of central Nigeria. But there is convincing evidence that Onoja Oboli, the founder of the Igala dynasty was actually another son of Eri.
traditional philosophy and religious beliefs of the Nri like that of other Igbo peoples, are interwoven and centered on five interdependent major concepts which are as follows: Chukwu, Alusi, Uwa, and Ike Mmadu�.
Chukwu is the Great Creator of all things. The Great Creator has four major aspects which are manifestations of his existence. First, Chukwu is Anyanwu, in the symbolic meaning of the sun. Nri believe that as the sun’s light is everywhere so is the presence of Chukwu manifested everywhere; as the sun is all powerful so is Chukwu all powerful and as the sun is the light that reveals things so is Chukwu the source of knowledge. Secondly, Chukwu is Agbala, manifested in the fertility of the earth and the beings that inhabit it. Thirdly, Chukwu is Chi, manifested in the power and ability of living things to procreate themselves from generation to generation. Fourthly, Chukwu is Okike, manifested in the creation of everything visible and the invisible. Chukwu as Okike creates the laws that govern the visible and the invisible. These laws are neither good or bad. They are simple laws that enable things to work. Both good and evil are the products of the invisible beings and forces, the Alusi.”
NRI KINGDOM AND HEGEMONY, A.D. 994 TO PRESENT.
By Maazi M. A. Onwuejeogwu (Prof.)
�The spirituality of the Igbo is not founded upon man but for man: he does not make attempts to equate God to man. No man, we believe, is so good that he should be deified, considered God, or even worshiped as a special son or prophet of God. Consequently, you cannot find a human in Igbo spirituality who is the prototype of Jesus Christ, Buddha, or Bahai. All these were humans whose character ranked highest in their respective and contemporary communities. Igbo has produced men and women of similar noble lives, but they were never deified, because a real God is invisible and superhuman.
If it is necessary to give a name to the Igbo spiritual systemso that it may be more clearly understood by those who like definitions, the word is OMENANA. It is a system which holds that man’s activities are limitable by what is good for all. The name comes from the word ana, which, as I told earlier in connection with the functions of the village leader called amana, means the earth, the soil, the land, and also custom, tradition, law, constitution. Doing things in conformity with the constitution of the land or the good of all is called Omenana.
For us, religion and law are unalterably interdependent. Religion establishes the social reason for the ideal, while law or government regulates how the ideal can be attained.”
See also http://www.hebrewigbo.com/yoruba—sons-of-ephriam.html
A quote is below
The father of the Yoruba people, Oduduwa traveled with Gad’s sons, Eri, Areli and Arodi from North Africa, likely Egypt and settled in what today is known as Nigeria. This would coincide with Yoruba oral history that they believe to come from outside of West Africa and thus it would be no surprise that we might find Israelites, Hebrews and Jews among the Yoruba.
Oduduwa was said to be a descendant of Hamm, through Nimrod also called Lamurudu, this according to Yoruba Christian Samuel Johnson in 1880. Sultan Bello, Caliph of Sokoto was quoted in 1820 by Hugh Clapperton to have said that the Yoruba people were descendants of a Canaanite tribe. And S.O. Obiaku a Nigerian Historian claimed the Yoruba’s to originate from the Sudan or what was known as Cush/Kush (Ethiopia).
However, some say “Yoruba” is a corruption of the name “Jacob” or in Hebrew, “Yacob.” Others assert that Yoruba is from “Yerubbaal,” the “People of Baal.”
But the current Yoruba Jewish population who claim to come from the Israeli tribe of Ephraim was said to have been driven to Yorubaland from Morocco by Muslims and eventually mingled with Yoruba people. These black Jews in southern Nigeria are called the “Emo Yo Quaim”, or “Strange People”, by the native Africans, but these black Jews call themselves, “B’nai Ephraim” or “Sons of Ephraim”. These Jews who claim that their ancestors came from Morocco is supported by their language which appears to be a mixture of Maghrebi Arabic and local Negro speech. Thus abu (“father”) has become Yaaba, from the Hebrew word “Abba” and “Umm” (“mother”) is “Em” from the Hebrew, “Ima”. Nevertheless, most of their language is similar to the Yoruba’s around them.
These Yoruba, “Sons of Ephraim” observe certain Jewish customs, among which are the great holy days, naming of children on the 8th day, etc. In almost every way, these black Jews are like the Yorubas, and are hardly distinguishable from them, except for some outstanding Hebrew observances.
But there is doubt whether any from this group exists today among the Yoruba.
There is a clan among the Yoruba People called the “Ijeeu,” which is believed to be a corruption of the word “Hebrew” or “Jew.” They are looked down upon by the rest of the Yoruba for displaying Igbo-like character and traits, one of which is business prowess. There is even a town in Yorubaland called, “Ijuee-Igbo.” Much if the Ijeeu people resent and deny this connection with them and Ndi Igbo.
See the below Wikipedia page
The Igala are an ethnic group of Nigeria. The home of the Igala people is situated east of the river Niger and Benue confluence and astride the Niger in Lokoja, Kogi state of Nigeria with its headquarters in Idah. The area is approximately between latitude 6°30 and 8°40 north and longitude 6°30 and 7°40 east and covers an area of about 13,665 square kilometers (Oguagha P.A 1981). They can also be found in Delta, Anambra, Enugu and Edo States of Nigeria.
The traditional Igala society is largely agrarian, although fishing is also a mainstay of the people especially the Igala’s of the riverine Idah area. The Igala before the 19th century inhabited the entire triangular tract of territory on the left bank of the Benue and Niger about 100 kilometers above and below their confluence. Settlements of the Igala speaking peoples were also located on the right bank of the Niger below the confluence opposite Etobe. The dynasties of the Igbirra kingdoms of Panda and Igu, the rulers of the Alago kingdom of Doma, Attama and Eze of the Nsukka area in north-west Igboland on the border of the Igala, as well as the Oku of Ikiri in the north-east Yorubaland claim either that their founding ancestors came from Idah, or derive the legitimacy of the offices from the Atta of Igala. Dynasties apart, the clans of the Igbirra Tao (Okene area), the Osomari Igbo south of Onitsha, some clans of the Idoma and Agatu claim migrations from Igala territory. Thus, the histories of the Nupe and Igala (and indirectly of the Kwararafa(Jukun))provide a general framework for the history of the people of the Niger – Benue confluence area. Boston (1968) believes that the central geographical location of the Igala people has exposed them to a wide variety of linguistic as well as cultural influences from other ethnic groups in the country. Notable among these are the Igbira, the Bini, the Igbo, the Hausa, the Idoma and the Yoruba ethnic groups. The languages of the Igala and Idoma bear a close resemblance. Igala and Igbo have important historical, ancestral and cultural relationships.
Angulu(1981) note that Igala and Igbo have important historical, ancestral and cultural relationships. Eri is said to be the original legendary cultural head of the Umu-eri, a subgroup of the Igbo people. Eri migrated from southern Egypt through the Igala area, settled, and established a community in the middle of Anambra river valley (at Eri-aka) in Aguleri where he married two wives. The first wife, Nneamakụ, bore him five children. The first was Agulu, the founder of Aguleri (The ancestral head of Eri Kingdom clans) (the Ezeora dynasty that has produced 34 kings till date in Enugwu Aguleri), the second was Menri, the founder of Umunri / Kingdom of Nri, followed by Onugu, the founder of Igbariam and Ogbodulu, the founder of Amanuke. The fifth one was a daughter called Iguedo, who is said to have borne the founders of Nteje, and Awkuzu, Ogbunike, Umuleri, Nando and Ogboli in Onitsha. As one of the children of Eri, Menri migrated from Aguleri, which was and still is, the ancestral temple of the entire Umu-Eri (Umu-Eri and Umu-Nri). His second wife Oboli begot Ọnọja, the only son who founded the Igala Kingdom in Kogi State.
Akinkugbe (1976,1978) is of the opinion that based on evidence, Igala is neither a dialect of Yoruba nor a language resulting from the fusion of Yoruba and Idoma people as claimed by Silverstein, but rather Igala shares a “common ancestor” with Yoruba. In her words, “… this common ancestor was neither Yoruba nor Igala but what we have labeled here as Proto-Yoruba-Itsekiri–Igala (PYIG). The evidence suggest further that presumably, Igala separated from the group before the split of Yoruba into the present day Yoruba dialects considering the extent of linguistic divergence found between Igala on one hand, and the rest of Yoruba on the other” (1978: 32) Akinkugbe cites lexicostatistic evidence as well as evidence of sound shifts and lexical innovations as support or corroboration of this claim. Other comparative works aimed at investigating the language status of Igala (directly and indirectly) are Omamor (1967) and Williamson (1973). In fact, Williamson is the originator of the label ‘Yoruboid’ for the group of languages comprising Yoruba, Itsekiri and Igala for the purpose of distinguishing “between Yoruba as a language on the one hand, and Yoruba, Itsekiri and Igala as a genetic group on the other”. (Akinkugbe 1976:1) Akinkugbe refers to the proto- language of the group as Proto-Yoruboid in 1976 and Proto-Yoruba-Itsekiri-Igala (PYIG) in 1978 Contemporary historians believe that the Igala most likely shared a proto-Kwa ancestry with the modern Igbo and Yoruba people as well as most ethnic groups of Nigeria today. Thus, the ethnic family would include not only the prior two, but groups like the Idoma, and the Nupe to the north.
Wikipedia also goes on to describe the Igbo Jewish community which I have detailed below.
Certain Nigerian communities with Judaic practices have been receiving help from individual Israelis and American jews who work in Nigeria, outreach organizations like the American Kulanu, and African-American Jewish communities in America. Jews from outside Nigeria founded two synagogues in Nigeria, which are attended and maintained by Igbo Jews. Because no formal census has been taken in the region, the number of Igbo in Nigeria who identify as Jews is not known. There are currently 26 synagogues of various sizes. In 2008 an estimated 30,000 Igbos were practicing some form of Judaism. Others have cited a more conservative figure of 3,000 to 5,000 Igbo practicing Judaism.
The Igbo Jews are said to have migrated from Syria, Portugal and Libya into West Africa around 740 C.E. It is claimed that the initial immigrants were from the biblical tribes of Gad, Asher, Dan, and Naphtali. Later, they were joined by more Jewish immigrants from Portugal and Libya in 1484 and 1667 respectively.
Some of the Igbo Jews claim that the river Sambation (beyond which the ten lost tribes were dispersed by the Assyrians) is in Africa.
In a paper distributed by the “Igbo Benei-Yisrael Association of Nigeria,” three possible migration routes of Jews into Africa are proposed:
Through migrations west from the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Sudan.
Through trade and travel of North African Jews within the West African Kingdoms of Mali, Songhai, and Kanem-Bornu. According to accounts from explorers of the region, several of the rulers of the Songhai Empire were said to be of Jewish origin.
Through Jews traveling with Kel Tamasheq (Tuareg) trade caravans from various parts of Northeast Africa into West Africa.
Another possibility described by a 9th century Jewish traveler named Eldad ben-Mahli (also known as Eldad the Danite) is that his tribe, Dan, migrated from the land of Israel so as not to take part in the civil war at the time of Yeroboam’s secession, and were residing in the land of Havilah beyond the rivers of Ethiopia. According to Eldad, three other tribes in addition to Dan – Naphtali, Gad and Asher, as mentioned above – were with them; these had joined in the times of Sennacherib.
Eldad wrote that the Igbo Jews in Africa had an entire body of scriptures except for the books of Esther and Lamentations. They knew nothing of the Mishna nor the Talmud; but they had a “Talmud” of their own in which all the laws were cited in the name of the biblical Joshua. Eldad described a specific law dealing with the rules pertaining to the killing of animals for food.
Jewish communities throughout Muslim-controlled lands suffered greatly and in many cases were destroyed. The Igbo Benei-Yisrael lost whatever written documents and other written traditions that may have existed. The communities strived to maintain at the least a knowledge of their Israeli origin and to practice certain traditions in secret.
Moses provided redemption for his people. Moses delivered the people of Israel out of slavery and bondage in Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land of Canaan
Genesis chapter 10(KJV)
Genesis 10:19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.
Whilst English Bible translators held in high esteem and reverence such names as Caesar, Pilate, Herod, Agrippa, Felix, Festus, etc, and did not dare translate them, they did not show the same reverence to any Hebrew names in the Hebrew Holy Scriptures and so translated them—YESHUA to JESUS, Yitzchak to Isaac, Ya’akov to Jacob, Kefa to Peter, Mattityahu to Matthew, Nakdimon to Nicodemus, Yochanan to John, Sha’ul to Paul, Perushim to Pharisees, Kohen Gadol to High Priest, Rebbe to Rabbi, etc, etc.
Let salvation seekers, therefore, beware of names and titles they have believed in their quest for the salvation of Elohim. There is ONLY one name into which Elohim has vested all His wisdom, and will, by which sinners are enabled to secure redemption from Lucifer and from evil influences; and made eligible to enter Heaven!
This one and only name is YESHUA HaMashiach, and not JESUS CHRIST!
Igbo’s and Yoruba’s came out of the great Bini Empire. The Bini are the founding father of present day Nigeria, and again trace their ancestral roots to the migration of the black Hebrews from the Nile Valley. The Bini Empire covered a vast territory: Republic of Benin (named after it’s founding father the Bini empire), the Ga tribe in present day Ghana, Togo, and parts of Cameroon.
What I was going to do next is research who the Caanites were however I came across this post which I will be exploring further which tries to claim Caanites were ONLY white:
Sidon, the ancient city was known as the VERY POWERFUL BAAL PEOPLE and they were all white people in the beginning. They then invaded “LOWER NUBIA” renaming it to “EGYPT”, which was the name of “HAM’S WIFE”…(EGYPTUS).
Before there was an Egypt all of the land was called “NUBIA”. When GOD tell us the story of how “JAPETH’S LAND WAS STOLEN” He is talking about “Lower Nubia” that was taken from the Nubians and renamed to Egypt.
The Sidonians invaded Nubia in the second dynasty and would launch attacks into Nubia from Egypt. The Nubians were the first “PHAROAH’S” and were more than known for their “GOLD”.
The Israelites are the cousins of the Nubians because “ABRAHAM” lived in the black city states (HARAAN) of Nubia for 70 years before moving into the land of Canaan.
If the Canaanites were black people SUMER, NUBIA, CUSH, PUNT, MOROE AND MORE WOULD HAVE BEEN “WHITE CITIES” BUT THEY WERE NOT….THEY WERE ALL “BLACK CITIES AND THE FIRST KNOWN CITIES ON EARTH”.
SUMER WAS THE RULING HEAD OF ALL BLACK CITY STATES AND THE CANAANITES WERE ALL IN ANCIENT ISRAEL. THE CANAANITES FIRST CITY WAS “BABYLON” AND IT WAS A CITY OF “WHITES, INDIANS & ASIANS”.
NIMROD WAS THE “FIRST ARABIAN” AND HE ALONG WITH THE ASIANS MADE BABYLON. BABYLON WAS USED AS A “FORT” TO ATTACK THE BLACK CITY STATES AND END “SUMER’S RULE OVER THE LAND or BLACK RULE”.
THE SIDONIANS WOULD LAUNCH ATTACKS INTO “NUBIA” FROM EGYPT AND BEFORE BABYLON ALL CANAANITES WOULD LAUNCH ATTACKS ON “SUMER”, MAINLY “THE HITTITES”, WHO WERE ALL “ASIAN” (CANAANITES).
IT WAS THE HITTITES WHO ATTACKED THE SUMERAIN KINGDOM, KNOWN AS “THE BLACK HEADS”.
ABRAHAM WAS THE FATHER OF “THE ISRAELITES” AND THE ISRAELITES WERE “SLAVES” IN EGYPT. RAMASEES WAS THE “PHAROAH’ AT THE TIME THE ISRAELITES WERE IN BONDAGE AND RAMASEES WAS THE HERO OR WAR HERO FOR ALL OF THE “WHITE PEOPLE” OF EGYPT.
THE ONLY WHITE PEOPLE ON EARTH IN THOSE DAYS WERE ONLY “THE SIDONIANS”, WHO WERE THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF “SIDON”, WHO WAS THE SON OF “CANAAN”. THE WHITES OF EGYPT WERE ALL CALLED “THE SIDONIANS”.
THE SIDONAINS WERE ALL “BAAL WORSHIPERS”.
BLACK PEOPLE WERE NEVER “BAAL WORSHIPERS”!!!!!!!!
ALL OF THE NUBIAN & SUMERAIN KINGS WOULD DECLARE THE SIDONIANS AS “THE UN-CLEAN’ AND THE NICKNAME “DEVIL” WAS GIVEN TO THEM AS A WHOLE BECAUSE OF THEIR “UN-GODLY WAYS”.
THE BAAL GOD’S WERE “WHITE GOD’S OR WHITE PEOPLE”.
MANY POEMS OF THE ANCIENT BABYLONIAN GOD’S AND THE SIDONIAN GOD’S WERE THE SAME AND THEY WERE MOSTLY ALL “WHITE GOD’S”.
SLAVERY TO THE BLACKS WAS DONE SIMPLY BECAUSE “THEY REFUSED TO WORSHIP “THE CANAANITES FALSE GOD’S”!!! THE PHAROAH OF EGYPT RAMASEES CONSIDERED HIMSELF AS “GOD” AND ALL WHITES CALLED HIM “GOD”. HE WAS A SIDONIAN, WHO WAS WHITE AND HE HATED ALL BLACKS.
YOU HAVE TO STUDY “THE BLACK KINGS OF NUBIA” TO FULLY KNOW THIS INFO.
THE ISRAELITES WERE ALL “BLACK PEOPLE”, THE COUSINS OF THE NUBIANS, THE CUSHITES AND THE PUNTAINS. THE PROOT TO THIS IS “KING DAVID”, THE ISRAELITE KING. HIS BEST FRIENDS WERE “THE CUSHITES & THE NUBIANS” AND THEY WERE CONSIDERED AS THE SAME FAMILY.
KING SOLOMON’S BEST FRIENDS WERE “THE NUBIANS’ AND “THE QUEEN OF SHEBA” WAS A WIFE OF HIS. SHEBA MEAN “BLACK OR DARK SKINNED”.
KING SOLOMON’S SON BY THE QUEEN OF SHEBA IS WHO CREATED “THE FIRST DYNASTY OF ETHIOPIA (950 BC)” AFTER ALL OF THE WARS AGAINST “THE CANAANITES’.
KING SOLOMON AND KING DAVID BOTH WOULD STATE IN THE OPEN THAT THEY WERE ALL ‘BLACK PEOPLE AND BLACK QUEENS AND KINGS”. THERE ARE MANY POEMS OF KING SOLOMON AND THE QUEEN OF SHEBA AND IN MANY OF THEIR POEMS IT IS CLEARLY STATE BY THE KING OF ISRAEL THAT “HE IS BLACK SKINNED & THE SUN HAS BURNT HIM JUST AS IT HAS BURNT ALL OF ISRAEL, FOR HE WAS HATED BY THE ENEMY, WHO HATE THEIR SKIN. HE ALSO STATE THAT HE WAS THE SLAVE IN EGYPT AND HOW THE LORD MADE THEM ALL FREE.
All of the children of “ETHIOPIA” are the children of “KING SOLOMON (THE ISRAELITE KING) & THE QUEEN OF SHEBA”.
IN THE ANCIENT PAST THE CANAANITES WERE ALL VERY DEEP IN SERPENT WORSHIP, WHICH IS CALLED BAAL WORSHIP AND BAAL WORSHIP HAS “LUCIFER AS IT’S GOD”.
THE COLOR “RED” IS THE “BIRTHRIGHT OF THE SIDONIANS” AND THEIR CITIES OF BIRTH WAS “THE TOWER OF BABEL, SIDON, TRIPOLI, BABYLON, EGYPT THEN ROME. ALL OF THESE PLACES WERE PAINTED THE COLOR “RED”.
What I will say is Nimrod was likely black or a black arab mix as was Ishmael. Also Ishmael was born of Hagar and Abraham and so would be an Israelite because of his father.
As to the writers statement below
“NIMROD WAS THE “FIRST ARABIAN” AND HE ALONG WITH THE ASIANS MADE BABYLON.”
THE PEOPLE WOULD HAVE LIKELY LOOKED LIKE THE PICTURES BELOW
Now Sarah had a maid named Hagar, an Egyptian woman, who ran away from her mistress, and saw an angel by a well, and afterward came back to Sarah. She, too, had a child and his name was Ishmael. So now there were two boys in Abraham’s tent, the older boy, Ishmael, the son of Hagar, and the younger boy, Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah.
Ishmael did not like the little Isaac, and did not treat him kindly. This made his mother Sarah very angry, and she said to her husband:
“I do not wish to have this boy Ishmael growing up with my son Isaac. Send away Hagar and her boy, for they are a trouble to me.”
And Abraham felt very sorry to have trouble come between Sarah and Hagar, and between Isaac and Ishmael; for Abraham was a kind and good man, and he was friendly to them all.
But the Lord said to Abraham, “Do not be troubled about Ishmael and his mother. Do as Sarah has asked you to do, and send them away. It is best that Isaac should be left alone in your tent, for he is to receive everything that is yours. I the Lord will take care of Ishmael, and will make a great people of his descendants, those who shall come from him.”
It appears to me the Arabs and Shemitic “Negroes” were classed as the same people from the same tribe by Europeans who explored the region. Religious differences have kept Arabs and Shemitic negroes/africans apart and sometimes caused war and influenced slavery.
Some Nigerians claim they were the first ones on the earth and lived before Adam so to read the above post which throws out there that the Caanites are not black is new to me but some of the information does appear true. In West Africa some people still worship the snake and the curses fit black people taken into the slave trade and so where it refers to China I am sceptical however they do not worship one God so also fit some of the prophesies in the bible. Ramses I also believe was atleast part African so see some flaws with the statement above.
It is also possible that the Caanites were once black but during migration became white after thousands of years in a cold climate with little sun.
Aaron’s older brother José had left Portugal years earlier, reclaimed his Jewish identity, and taken the name Moses. Moses was naturalized in 1740 and granted a license by the General Assembly to make potash in 1753, and he became a successful merchant in Newport. In 1752 Duarte and his family moved to Newport, where they lived as Jews and became Aaron, Abigail, and Sarah.
Lopez established himself as a shopkeeper in Newport shortly after his arrival. By 1755 he was buying and selling goods throughout Rhode Island and dealing with agents in Boston and New York.
One of Lopez’s early business interests was the trade in spermaceti, a coveted wax extracted from whale oil that was used to make fine candles. Lopez built a candle-making factory in Newport in 1756. By 1760, a dozen competitors had built similar plants in New England. Whalerscouldn’t supply the factories with enough spermaceti to meet the demand, and the price of whale oil was climbing. In 1761, Lopez joined eight other merchants to form a trust to control the price and distribution of whale oil.
Lopez expanded his trade beyond the North American coastline and by 1757 had major interests in the West Indian trade. He also sent ships to Europe and the Canary Islands. Between 1761 and 1774, Lopez was involved in the slave trade. While The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews describes Lopez as “Newport’s leading participant in the Black Holocaust”, historian Eli Faber determined Lopez underwrote 21 slave ships during a period in which Newport sent a total of 347 slave ships to Africa, and Faber described Lopez’s ventures in the slave trade as “an infinitesimal part” of the British slave trade. By the beginning of the American Revolution, Lopez owned or controlled 30 vessels.
By the early 1770s, Lopez had become the wealthiest person in Newport; his tax assessment was twice that of any other resident. The reason he was successful was that his business interests were so diverse. He manufactured spermaceti candles, ships, barrels, rum, and chocolate. He had business interests in the production of textiles, clothes, shoes, hats, and bottles.Ezra Stiles, the Congregational minister in Newport and future president of Yale College, described Lopez as “a merchant of the first eminence” and wrote that the “extent of [his] commerce probably [was] surpassed by no merchant in America”.
During the American Revolution, Lopez harbored Jewish refugees in his Leicester home. Referring to those sheltered by Lopez, a friend wrote in jest that “your family at present are in a number only 99 and still there is room for one more”.
In 1761, Lopez applied to the Rhode Island Superior Court to become a naturalized citizen. Under Britain’s Naturalization Act of 1740, any foreign Protestant who had resided in theAmerican colonies for seven years could become a British citizen; while Catholics were excluded by the law, special provisions were allowed for the religious scruples of both Quakers and Jews. Although he met the conditions set by law, Lopez’s request was denied. Another qualified Jew, Isaac Elizer, was also denied citizenship.
Lopez and Elizer appealed to the Rhode Island General Assembly. The lower house approved their request and required that the men return to the Superior Court to take an oath of allegiance, but the terms of their citizenship would be limited: Jews could become citizens of Rhode Island, but they would not be allowed to vote or serve in public office.
Lopez and Elizer fared worse in the upper house of the legislature. There they were told thatParliament had given the courts, not the legislature, jurisdiction over naturalization. If they wished to become citizens, Lopez and Elizer would have to appeal to the Superior Court.
The Superior Court heard the pair’s appeal on March 11, 1762. Their application was denied a second time. The court reasoned that the 1740 act was intended to increase the population of the colony, and since the colony had grown crowded the law no longer applied. The court also noted that under a 1663 Rhode Island law, only Christians could become citizens. Lopez and Elizer could not become citizens of Rhode Island.
Determined to become a citizen, Lopez made inquiries to learn whether he could become naturalized in another colony. In April 1762 he moved temporarily to Swansea, Massachusetts.On October 15, 1762, Lopez became a citizen of Massachusetts and then returned to Newport. Historians believe Lopez was the first Jew to become a naturalized citizen of Massachusetts.
The New World location where Jews played the largest role in the slave-trade was in the Caribbean and Suriname, most notably in possessions of the Netherlands, that were serviced by the Dutch West India Company. The slave trade was one of the most important occupations of Jews living in Suriname and the Caribbean. The Jews of Suriname were the largest slave-holders in the region.
According to Austen, “the only places where Jews came close to dominating the New World plantation systems were Curaçao and Suriname.” Slave auctions in the Dutch colonies were postponed if they fell on a Jewish holiday. Jewish merchants in the Dutch colonies acted as middlemen, buying slaves from the Dutch West India Company, and reselling them to plantation owners. The majority of buyers at slave auctions in the Brazil and the Dutch colonies were Jews. Jews allegedly played a “major role” in the slave trade in Barbados and Jamaica, and Jewish plantation owners in Suriname helped suppress several slave revolts between 1690 to 1722.
In Curaçao, Jews were involved in trading slaves, although at a far lesser extent compared to the Protestants of the island. Jews imported fewer than 1,000 slaves to Curaçao between 1686 and 1710, after which the slave trade diminished. Between 1630 and 1770, Jewish merchants settled or handled “at least 15,000 slaves” who landed in Curaçao, about one-sixth of the total Dutch slave trade.
The Jewish role in the American slave trade was minimal. According to historian and rabbiBertram Korn, there were Jewish owners of plantations, but altogether they constituted only a tiny proportion of the industry. In 1830 there were only four Jews among the 11,000 Southerners who owned fifty or more slaves.
Of all the shipping ports in Colonial America, only in Newport, Rhode Island did Jewish merchants play a significant part in the slave-trade.
A table of the commissions of brokers in Charleston, South Carolina, shows that one Jewish brokerage accounted for 4% of the commissions. According to Bertram Korn, Jews accounted for 4 of the 44 slave-brokers in Charleston, three of 70 in Richmond, and 1 of 12 in Memphis.However the proportion of Jewish residents of Charleston who owned slaves was similar to that of the general white population (83% versus 87% in 1830).
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs explains and gives a different angle to slavery, and shows how the author struggled to free herself and her children. Jacobs’s book is considered to have played a pivotal role in the abolition of slavery in the United States. Many authors have used literature to get across messages that would aid then in their revolutions. For instance, Martin Luther King’s a letter from Birmingham Jail was a letter to clergy men that were opposed to the quest of equality that African Americans were fighting for (King 24). Similarly, Jacob’s Incidents in the life of a slave girl is literature that aided in the quest of abolition of slavery. The paper focuses on how Jacobs’s book was effective in the abolition of slavery.
The different chapters in the book highlight the problems and the struggles of a slave girl. Compared to other slave themed stories Jacobs’s is quite different as she gives first hand information and properly explains her plight as a slave. This book was effective as it also motivated feminists to join in the fight for the abolition of slavery. Through her book where she tells of her story as a slave and later as a free woman, she was able to gain social and cultural experience and use it in her book. The freedom she dearly yearns for is an ideal expression of how slavery robbed slave women of their freedom (Spence 4). This would help her create awareness and gain support to persuade the northern women to join the abolition movement.
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, written in 1789, is the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano. It discusses his time spent in slavery, serving primarily on galleys, documents his attempts at becoming an independent man through his study of the Bible, and his eventual success in gaining his own freedom and in business thereafter.
The book contains an interesting discussion of slavery in West Africa and illustrates how the experience differs from the dehumanising slavery of the Americas. The Intereresting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano is also one of the first widely read slave narratives. It was generally reviewed favorably. (Wikipedia)
This work was produced to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Great Britain.
In his autobiography, Olaudah Equiano writes that he was born in the Eboe province, in the area that is now southern Nigeria. He describes how he was kidnapped with his sister at around the age of 11, sold by local slave traders and shipped across the Atlantic to Barbados and then Virginia.
In the absence of written records it is not certain whether Equiano’s description of his early life is accurate. Doubt also stems from the fact that, in later life, he twice listed a birthplace in the Americas.
Apart from the uncertainty about his early years, everything Equiano describes in his extraordinary autobiography can be verified. In Virginia he was sold to a Royal Navy officer, Lieutenant Michael Pascal, who renamed him ‘Gustavus Vassa’ after the 16th-century Swedish king. Equiano travelled the oceans with Pascal for eight years, during which time he was baptised and learned to read and write.
Pascal then sold Equiano to a ship captain in London, who took him to Montserrat, where he was sold to the prominent merchant Robert King. While working as a deckhand, valet and barber for King, Equiano earned money by trading on the side. In only three years, he made enough money to buy his own freedom. Equiano then spent much of the next 20 years travelling the world, including trips to Turkey and the Arctic.
In 1786 in London, he became involved in the movement to abolish slavery. He was a prominent member of the ‘Sons of Africa’, a group of 12 black men who campaigned for abolition.
In 1789 he published his autobiography, ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African’. He travelled widely promoting the book, which became immensely popular, helped the abolitionist cause, and made Equiano a wealthy man. It is one of the earliest books published by a black African writer.
In 1792, Equiano married an Englishwoman, Susanna Cullen, and they had two daughters. Equiano died
The first object which saluted my eyes when I arrived on the coast, was the sea, and a slave ship, which was then riding at anchor, and waiting for its cargo. These filled me with astonishment, which was soon converted into terror, when I was carried on board. I was immediately handled, and tossed up to see if I were sound, by some of the crew; and I was now persuaded that I had gotten into a world of bad spirits, and that they were going to kill me. Their complexions, too, differing so much from ours, their long hair, and the language they spoke (which was very different from any I had ever heard), united to confirm me in this belief. Indeed, such were the horrors of my views and fears at the moment, that, if ten thousand worlds had been my own, I would have freely parted with them all to have exchanged my condition with that of the meanest slave in my own country. When I looked round the ship too, and saw a large furnace of copper boiling, and a multitude of black people of every description chained together, every one of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow, I no longer doubted of my fate; and, quite overpowered with horror and anguish, I fell motionless on the deck and fainted. When I recovered a little, I found some black people about me, who I believed were some of those who had brought me on board, and had been receiving their pay; they talked to me in order to cheer me, but all in vain. I asked them if we were not to be eaten by those white men with horrible looks, red faces, and long hair. They told me I was not, and one of the crew brought me a small portion of spirituous liquor in a wine glass; but, being afraid of him, I would not take it out of his hand. One of the blacks, therefore, took it from him and gave it to me, and I took a little down my palate, which, instead of reviving me, as they thought it would, threw me into the greatest consternation at the strange feeling it produced, having never tasted any such liquor before. Soon after this, the blacks who brought me on board went off, and left me abandoned to despair.
See also the below extract
As to religion, the natives believe that there is one Creator of all things, and that he lives in the sun, and is girted round with a belt that he may never eat or drink; but, according to some, he smokes a pipe, which is our own favourite luxury. They believe he governs events, especially our deaths or captivity; but, as for the doctrine of eternity, I do not remember to have ever heard of it: some however believe in the transmigration of souls in a certain degree. Those spirits, which are not transmigrated, such as our dear friends or relations, they believe always attend them, and guard them from the bad spirits or their foes. For this reason they always before eating, as I have observed, put some small portion of the meat, and pour some of their drink, on the ground for them; and they often make oblations of the blood of beasts or fowls at their graves. I was very fond of my mother, and almost constantly with her. When she went to make these oblations at her mother’s tomb, which was a kind of small solitary thatched house, I sometimes attended her. There she made her libations, and spent most of the night in cries and lamentations. I have been often extremely terrified on these occasions. The loneliness of the place, the darkness of the night, and the ceremony of libation, naturally awful and gloomy, were heightened by my mother’s lamentations; and these, concurring with the cries of doleful birds, by which these places were frequented, gave an inexpressible terror to the scene.
We compute the year from the day on which the sun crosses the line, and on its setting that evening there is a general shout throughout the land; at least I can speak from my own knowledge throughout our vicinity. The people at the same time make a great noise with rattles, not unlike the basket rattles used by children here, though much larger, and hold up their hands to heaven for a blessing. It is then the greatest offerings are made; and those children whom our wise men foretel will be fortunate are then presented to different people. I remember many used to come to see me, and I was carried about to others for that purpose. They have many offerings, particularly at full moons; generally two at harvest before the fruits are taken out of the ground: and when any young animals are killed, sometimes they offer up part of them as a sacrifice. These offerings, when made by one of the heads of a family, serve for the whole. I remember we often had them at my father’s and my uncle’s, and their families have been present. Some of our offerings are eaten with bitter herbs. We had a saying among us to any one of a cross temper, ‘that if they were to be eaten, they should be eaten with bitter herbs.’
We practised circumcision like the Jews, and made offerings and feasts on that occasion in the same manner as they did. Like them also, our children were named from some event, some circumstance, or fancied foreboding at the time of their birth. I was named Olaudah which, in our language, signifies vicissitude or fortune; also, one favoured, and having a loud voice and well spoken. I remember we never polluted the name of the object of our adoration; on the contrary, it was always mentioned with the greatest reverence; and we were totally unacquainted with swearing, and all those terms of abuse and reproach which find their way so readily and copiously into the languages of more civilized people. The only expressions of that kind I remember were “May you rot or may you swell, or may a beast take you.”
I have before remarked that the natives of this part of Africa are extremely cleanly. This necessary habit of decency was with us a part of religion, and therefore we had many purifications and washings; indeed almost as many, and used on the same occasions, if my recollection does not fail me, as the Jews. Those that touched the dead at any time were obliged to wash and purify themselves before they could enter a dwelling-house. Every woman too, at certain times, was forbidden to come into a dwelling-house, or touch any person, or any thing we ate. I was so fond of my mother I could not keep from her, or avoid touching her at some of those periods, in consequence of which I was obliged to be kept out with her, in a little house made for that purpose, till offering was made, and then we were purified.
Though we had no places of public worship, we had priests and magicians, or wise men. I [do] not remember whether they had different offices, or whether they were united in the same persons, but they were held in great reverence by the people. They calculated our time, and foretold events, as their name imported, for we called them Ah-affoe-way-cah, which signifies calculators or yearly men, our year being called Ah-affoe. They wore their beards, and when they died they were succeeded by their sons. Most of their implements and things of value were interred along with them. Pipes and tobacco were also put into the grave with the corpse, which was always perfumed and ornamented, and animals were offered in sacrifice to them. None accompanied their funerals but those of the same profession or tribe. These buried them after sunset, and always returned from the grave by a different way from that which they went.
Medicine, magic, and superstitions
These magicians were also our doctors or physicians. They practisedbleeding by cupping; and were very successful in healing wounds and expelling poisons. They had likewise some extraordinary method of discovering jealousy, theft, and poisoning; the success of which no doubt they derived from their unbounded influence over the credulity and superstition of the people. I do not remember what those methods were, except that as to poisoning: I recollect an instance or two, which I hope it will not be deemed impertinent here to insert, as it may serve as a kind of specimen of the rest, and is still used by the negroes in the West Indies. A virgin had been poisoned, but it was not known by whom: the doctors ordered the corpse to be taken up by some persons, and carried to the grave. As soon as the bearers had raised it on their shoulders, they seemed seized with some sudden impulse, and ran to and fro unable to stop themselves. At last, after having passed through a number of thorns and prickly bushes unhurt, the corpse fell from them close to a house, and defaced it in the fall; and the owner being taken up, he immediately confessed the poisoning.
The natives are extremely cautious about poison. When they buy any eatable the seller kisses it all round before the buyer, to show him it is not poisoned; and the same is done when any meat or drink is presented, particularly to a stranger. We have serpents of different kinds, some of which are esteemed ominous when they appear in our houses, and these we never molest. I remember two of those ominous snakes, each of which was as thick as the calf of a man’s leg, and in colour resembling a dolphin in the water, crept at different times into my mother’s night-house, where I always lay with her, and coiled themselves into folds, and each time they crowed like a cock. I was desired by some of our wise men to touch these, that I might be interested in the good omens, which I did, for they were quite harmless, and would tamely suffer themselves to be handled; and then they were put into a large open earthen pan, and set on one side of the highway. Some of our snakes, however, were poisonous: one of them crossed the road one day when I was standing on it, and passed between my feet without offering to touch me, to the great surprise of many who saw it; and these incidents were accounted by the wise men, and therefore by my mother and the rest of the people, as remarkable omens in my favour.
Olaudah Equiano (pronounced O-lah-oo-day ek-wee-ah-no) was born in 1745 into the Ibo tribe in present-day Nigeria. At the age of eleven, he was kidnapped by slave traders, and spent the next ten years as a slave in Virginia, the West Indies, and the British navy. Purchased by a Quaker merchant, he was permitted to buy and sell goods on his own, and he saved enough money to buy his freedom at the age of twenty-one.
As a free man, Equiano became active in the growing antislavery movements of England and America. In 1789, he published his autobiography, in which he made both moral and economic cases for ending slavery. Presenting himself as an ordinary man who had not deserved to be enslaved, he made his life a compelling argument for abolition. The book became an international bestseller and was translated into Dutch, Russian, and French before Equiano’s death in 1797.
LIFE IN WEST AFRICA
In this passage, Equiano recalls his life as a boy in Africa and describes the customs of his people, the Ibo. Most Europeans in the eighteenth century wrote of Africa as a barbaric place, and Equiano intended his description to counter that. Still, you may notice that he uses words like “superstitions” — by the time he wrote his autobiography, Equiano had converted to Christianity.
Recent scholarship has suggested that Equiano may actually have been born in South Carolina, not in Africa as he claimed. His descriptions of Africa would have been based not on personal memory but on the oral traditions of African Americans and the stories of recently enslaved Africans. But many scholars still believe that Equiano was born in Africa, and no one has disputed the rest of his autobiography or the accuracy of his descriptions of African life.
Why might Equiano have lied about his origins? Does the possibility that he was not born in West Africa change the way you should read his descriptions of that region? If parts of the autobiography aren’t factually true, does that make the rest less valuable?
THE IBO TODAY
The Ibo people (also spelled Igbo or Eboe) still live in the West African countries of Benin and Nigeria and practice their traditional culture. The city of Benin, in present-day Nigeria, exists today in what was the kingdom of Benin described by Olaudah Equiano. The Rebublic of Benin is small strip of land in West Africa between Togo and Nigeria, and it is a country with a modern mixed economy dependent on agriculture and offshore petroleum production.
The Ido are one of three major ethnic groups in the region. About half of the people of Benin and Nigeria still practice traditional African religions similar to those described by Olaudah Equiano.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Whether the memories Equiano relates are his own or those of his parents or someone else, his description of West Africans showed the world that they were truly human beings. Many Europeans saw Africans as a commodity, something to be bought and sold for profit. As you read this document, ask yourself:
What similarities do their culture and society have to your own? Can you think of anything similar to age sets, for example?
How did Equiano’s lifestyle and religion differ from those of West Africa?
Did Equiano’s life away from West Africa change his opinion of his own people?
Are parts of his description untrustworthy? Why?
Lesson plan: Slavery and bias in historic West Africa: A case of he said, he said In this lesson, students will examine three primary source documents concerning West African history, and will work to discover the similarities and differences between the documents. Students will discover the biases revealed by the authors of the documents.
“The first object which saluted my eyes when I arrived on the coast was the sea, and a slave ship, which was then riding at anchor and waiting for its cargo. These filled me with astonishment which was soon converted to terror when I was carried on board.
I was immediately handled and tossed up to see if I were sound by some of the crew; and I was now persuaded that I had gotten into a world of bad spirits and that they were going to kill me. Their complexion too differing so much from ours, their long hair, and the language they spoke united to confirm me in this belief. Indeed such were the horrors of my views and fears at the moment, that, if ten thousand worlds had been my own, I would freely parted with them all to have exchanged my condition with that of the meanest slave in my own country.
I was soon put down under the decks, and there I received such a salutation in my nostrils as I had never experienced in my life: so that, with the loathsomeness of the stench and crying together, I became so sick and low that I was not able to eat. I now wished for the last friend, death, to relieve me; but soon, to my grief, two of the white men offered me eatables; and on my refusing to eat, one of them held me fast by the hands, and laid me across I think the windlass, and tied my feet, while the other flogged me severely.
“He was kidnapped in about 1755 and sold to slave traders. He was about 10 years old at the time. He was transported to the West Indies and then on to Virginia, in America. He was sold to a plantation owner there, but quickly resold to a British naval officer. He became his owner’s personal servant, and travelled with him. He was later sold to a plantation owner in the Caribbean. Equiano had been promised his freedom, but the promise was not kept. He was able to buy his own freedom, through saving money he had made by buying and selling goods. He was educated by two of his owners, and so learned to read and write and do arithmetic. The words written here are from Equiano’s autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. He wrote the book, published in 1789, to help the campaign against slavery.
“… One day when all our people were gone out to their works as usual, and only I and my dear sister were left to mind the house, two men and a woman got over our walls, and in a moment seized us both; and, without giving us time to to cry out, … they … ran off with us into the nearest wood. Here they tied our hands and continued to carry us as far as they could …
The next day proved of greater sorrow … yet … for my sister and I were then separated … it was in vain that we besought them not to part us; she was torn from me, and immediately carried away, while I was left in a state of distraction not to be described.”
See also John Jeas account below
John Jea was from Old Calabar in Nigeria. He was sold to a plantation owner in New York. He became a Christian, and was baptised. It was widely thought that baptism could free a slave, and Jea appealed to the local magistrates to free him. They did. He became a preacher and moved to Britain. His book, The Life, History and Sufferings of John Jea, the African Preacher, tells us little about his life. This collection of sermons and Christian thought was published in 1815.
“I, John Jea, … was born in the town of Old Callabar, in Africa, in the year 1773. My father’s name was Hambleton Robert Jea, my mother’s name Margaret Jea. They were of poor but industrious parents. At two years and a half old, I and my father, mother, brothers, and sisters, were stolen, and conveyed to North America, and sold for slaves.”
‘Granny Judith’ was a slave in America. Here her story is told by a relative, Richard Jones. Important personal stories such as these are part of many families’ histories. Stories are passed down from generation to generation. Granny Judith’s story was told to an oral history project in the 1930s. Slavery was abolished in the USA in 1865. People could still remember it 70 years later.
“Granny Judith said that in Africa they had very few pretty things, and that they had no red colours in cloth. … Some strangers with pale faces come one day and dropped a small piece of red flannel down on the ground. All the black folks grabbed for it. Then a larger piece was dropped a little further on, and on until the river was reached. Then a large piece was dropped in the river and on the other side. They was led on, each one trying to get a piece as it was dropped. Finally, when the ship was reached, they dropped large pieces on the plank and up into the ship till they got as many blacks on board as they wanted. Then the gate was chained up and they could not get back. That is the way Granny Judith say they got her to America.”
‘Gran Calina’ was a slave in America. His story was told to an oral history project by his granddaughter, Phoebe Gilbert, in the 1930s. The person who wrote down the story kept Phoebe’s way of speaking.
“Muh gran Calina tell me how he got heah. He say he playin on beach in Africa, an big boat neah duh beach. He say, duh mens on boat take down flag, an put up big piece uh red flannel, an all chillun dey git close tuh watuh edge tuh see flannel an see whut doin. Den duh mens comes off boat an ketch um, an wen duh ole folks come in frum duh fiels dey ain no chillun in village. Dey’s all on boat. Den dey brings um yuh.”
Some stories don’t even have a name to their voice. Their anonymity reminds us of the way slavery took away people’s identity. This was a story told by an un-named slave in 1831.
“They sold us for money, and I myself was sold six times over, sometimes for money, sometimes for a gun, sometimes for cloth … It was about half a year from the time I was taken before I saw white people.”
The Toucouleur Empire (also known as the Tijaniyya Jihad state or the Segu Tukulor) (1861-1890) was founded in the mid-nineteenth century by El Hadj Umar Tall of the Toucouleur people, in part of present-day Mali.
the greatest extent of the Toucouleur Empire at the time of El Hadj Umar Tall’s death in 1864
A contemporary German map showing states prior to the rise of Umar Tall, coloured to represent Umar’s empire in 1861. Conquered capitals in green, French forts in blue. The unoccupied region in the center is the waste of Hodh.
The Toucouleur people, also called Tukulor or Haalpulaar, are a West African ethnic group. They are found mostly in Futa Tooro region of Senegal, with some in Mali and Mauritania. The Toucouleur have been Muslims who embraced Islam in the 11th century, their early and strong Islamic heritage is a matter of great pride for them. They have been influential in the spread of Islam to West Africa in the medieval era, later founded the vast Toucouleur Empire in the 19th century under El Hadj Umar Tall that led a religious war against their neighboring ethnic groups and the French colonial forces.
Toucouleur / Tukulor people
A Tukulor man and woman
(1853 David Boilat painting)
They speak the Pulaar language, and are distinct from but related to the Fula, Wolof and Serer people. The Toucouleur are traditionally sedentary, settled primarily in the Senegal River valley, with farming, fishing and raising cattle as their main activities. The Toucouleur society has been patrilineal, polygynous and with high social stratification that included slavery and caste system. There are an estimated 1 million Toucouleur people in West Africa.
Futa Toro and West African kingdoms, circa 18th century.
Futa Toro and neighbors, circa 19th century.
Futa Toro, also called Fouta-Toro, Futa, Fouta Tooro or Fula:Fuuta Tooro, refers to a semidesert region around the middle run of the Senegal River. This region is along the border ofSenegal and Mauritania. It is well watered and fertile close to the river, but the interior parts of the region away from the river is porous, dry and infertile. This region is historically significant for the Islamic theocracies, Fulani states, jihad armies and migrants for Fouta Djallon that emerged from here.
The Futa Toro stretches for about 400 kilometers, but of a narrow width of up to 20 kilometers on either side of the Senegal River. The western part is called Toro, the central and eastern parts called Futa. The central portion include Bosea, Yirlabe Hebbyabe, Law and Hailabe provinces. The eastern Futa includes Ngenar and Damga provinces. The region north and east to Futa Toro is barren Sahara. Historically, each of the Futa Toro geographical provinces were fertile pockets of land due to the waalo flood plains present, and the control of this resource was driven by kin-based families. The long stretch meant the whole region was divided among many families, and the succession property rights from one generation to next led to many family disputes, political crises and conflicts.
The word Futa was a general name the Fulbe gave to any area they lived in, while Toro was the actual identity of the region for its inhabitants. The people of the kingdom spoke Pulaar, a dialect of the greater Fula languages spanning West Africa from Senegal to Cameroon. They identified themselves by the language giving rise to the name Haalpulaar’en meaning those who speak Pulaar. The Haalpulaar’en are also known as Toucouleurs (var. Tukolor), a name derived from the ancient state of Tekrur.
Islam arrived in the region in its early stages. The Toucouleur people of this region converted by the 11th century. The region saw many Islamic powers thereafter. The state of Denanke(1495/1514-1776) saw the origin of the modern Tukolor people. Migrations of the Fulbe left states in Futa Toro and Futa Jallon to the south.
The army of Futa Toro in march (1820).
The rise of the Imamate of Futa Toro in 1776 sparked a series of Islamic reform movements and jihads. Small clans of educated Fula Sufi Muslims (the Torodbe) seized power in states across West Africa.
In the 1780s Abdul Kader became almaami (religious leader or imam) but his forces were unable to spread revolution to the surrounding states.
The Imamate of Futa Toro later became the inspiration and the prime recruiting ground for thejihads of Toucouleur conqueror al-Hajj Umar Tall and anti-colonial rebel al-Hajj Mahmadu Lamine. Despite resistance, the Futa Toro was firmly in the hands of French Colonial forces moving from modern Senegal by 1900. Upon independence, the region’s heart, the southern bank of the Senegal River was retained by Senegal. The north bank became part of Mauritania.
A class of Muslim scholars called the Torodbe[b] seem to have originated in Futa Toro, later spreading throughout the Fulbe territories. Two of the Torodbe clans in Futa Toro claimed to be descended from a seventh-century relative of one of the companions of the prophet Muhammadwho was among a group of invaders of Futa Toro. The Torodbe may well have already been a distinct group when the Denianke conquered Futa Toro.
In the last quarter of the seventeenth century the Mauritanian Zawāyā reformer Nasir al-Dinlaunched a jihad to restore purity of religious observance in the Futa Toro. He gained support from the Torodbe clerical clan against the warriors, but by 1677 the movement had been defeated. After this defeat, some of the Torodbe migrated south to Bundu and some continued on to the Futa Jallon. The farmers of Futa Toro continued to suffer from attacks by nomads from Mauritania. By the eighteenth century there was growing resentment among the largely Muslim lower class at lack of protection against these attacks.
Abdul Kader became the first almami[c] of the theocratic Imamate of Futa Toro. He encouraged construction of mosques, and pursued an aggressive policy towards his neighbors. The Torodbe prohibited the trade in slaves on the river. In 1785 they obtained an agreement from the French to stop trading in Muslim slaves and to pay customs duties to the state. Abdul Kader defeated the emirates of Trarza and Brakna to the north, but was defeated and captured when he attacked the Wolof states of Cayor and Waalo around 1797. After his release the jihad impetus had been lost. By the time of Abdul Kader’s death in 1806 the state was dominated by a few elite Torodbe families.
The Imamate was ruled by an Almami elected from a group of eligible lineages who possessed the necessary credentials of learning by local chiefs called jaggorde or jaggorgal. There was an electoral council, which contained a fixed core and a fluctuating periphery of members. Two families were eligible for the post of Almami, the Lih of Jaaba in Hebbiyaabe province and the Wan of Mbummba in Laaw province. Almamis continued to be appointed in Futa Toro throughout the nineteenth century, but the position had become ceremonial.
The Almamate survived through the nineteenth century albeit in a much weaker state. The state was governed officially by the Almami, but effective control lay with regional chiefs of the central provinces who possessed considerable land, followers and slaves. The struggle of various coalitions of electors and eligibles further hastened the decline of the Imamate. In the middle of the nineteenth century Toro was threatened by the French under the leadership of Governor Louis Faidherbe. The Imamate at this time was divided into three parts. The Central region contained the seat of the elected Almani, subject to a council of 18 electors. The west, called the Toro region, was administered by the Lam-Toro. The east, called the Futa Damga was theoretically administered by a chief called El-Feki, but in practice he had only nominal authority.
El Hadj Umar Tall, a native of Toro, launched a jihad in 1852. His forces succeeded in establishing several states in the Sudan to the east of Futa Toro, but the French under Major Louis Faidherbeprevented him from including Futa Toro into his empire. To achieve his goals, Umar recruited heavily in Senegambia, especially in his native land. The recruitment process reached its culmination in a massive drive in 1858 and 1859. It had the effect of undermining the power of the Almaami even more. The authority of the regional chiefs, and particularly that of the electors, was compromised much less than that of the Almaami. Some of these leaders became fully independent and fought off the French and Umar Tall on their own. As a result, the Almaami and the chiefs began to rely increasingly on French support. ‘Umar was defeated by the French at Medine in 1857, losing access to Futa Toro.
Futa Toro was annexed by France in 1859, although in practice it had long been within the French sphere of influence. In 1860 Umar concluded a treaty with the French in which he recognized their supremacy in Futa Toro, while he was recognized in Kaarta and Ségou. In the 1860s thealmami of Futa Toro was Abdul Boubakar,[d] but his power was nominal. In June 1864 the Moors and the Booseya group of Fula collaborated in plundering trade barges that had become stranded near Saldé in the east, drawing savage French reprisals against both groups.
The French generally encouraged strongmen such as Abdul Bokar Kan of Bossea, Ibra Wan of Law and Samba Umahani in Toro when they attacked caravans in the region, since they hoped that would discourage migration away from the region to Umar’s new state. Fear of continuing Muslim migration, however, led the military authorities to attack France’s remaining clients in 1890. Abdul Bokar Kan fled but was murdered in August 1891 by the Berbers of Mauritania.The French consolidated their complete control of the region.