In 1310 Mansa [King] Abubakari of the Mali Empire set sail from his Kingdom in West Africa to visit the lands across the Atlantic. In this expeditionary force their were 25,000 men and women. Over time the Malians were nativised so we can count them amount the first Black Native Americans.
People in West Africa during King Abubakari’s time were not ignorant of the nautical sciences and navigation.
West Africans had a highly developed knowledge of boat technology and navigation sciences. The canoes they built from gigantic trees were as big as the boats sailed to America by Columbus.
West Africans had a highly developed knowledge of boat technology and navigation sciences. The canoes they built from gigantic trees were as big as the boats sailed to America by Columbus. Much of what we Know about African nautical sciences comes from Vasco da Gama.
Vasco da Gama is said to have found information about the West Indies from Ahmad b. Majid, whom he met along the West Coast of Africa. Majid wrote a handbook of navigation on the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, Sea of Southern China and the waters around the West Indian Islands. Majid is also said to be the inventor of the compass. See: R.A.G., Bazan, Latin America the Arabs and Islam,,Muslim World, (1967) pp.284-292; G. Ferrand, Introduction a l’astrnomie nautique des Arabes, Paris,1928 (p.247).
The only occupied mounds seen by Europeans were those built by the Black Native Americans, the Arawak Indians and people in Florida. Hernando de Soto the only European to see occupied mounds tells us much about their construction and use.
De Soto and his men discussed the mounds they found among the Florida Indians. Here as mentioned earlier lived many Black Native Amerians. De Soto noted that at Ucita, Florida: "The town was of seven or eight houses built of timber, and covered with palm-leaves....The chiefs house stood near the beach, upon a very high mound made by hand for defense; at the other end of the town was a temple...." It is interesting to note that in Florida one of the major ethnic groups living there was the Yamassi or Jamassi a tribe of Black Native Americans.
The mounds in the United States are usually found near rivers. In the Ohio Valley 10,000 mounds have been discovered. In the north the mound zone begins in western New York and extended along the southern shore of Lake Erie into what is now Michigan, Wisconsin and on to the states of Iowa and Nebraska. In the southern United States the mounds lined the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to eastern Texas, and extended up through the Carolinas and across to the state of Oklahoma.
The mounds of ancient America follow the lines of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, and outlying regions as well. They vary in size from colossal mounds in Illinois to mere blisters rising from the earth.
Most, if not all of these mounds had long been abandoned by their former inhabitants when they were discovered. Many excavated mounds have yielded human bones, weapons, tools, inscriptions and jewelry.
Statues of Africans have also been found in these mounds. As discussed earlier there were two types of African statues found in the ancient mounds excavated in the western Sudan.
Africoid statues of type one , i.e., humanoids in a sitting position with their hands on the thigh and right knee pointing up while the other knee is resting on the ground are found in Tennessee and Indiana at the Angel site.
The most common type, style two statues , i.e., statues of humanoids in a sitting position with the hands placed across the chest have also been found at Etowah and Temple mound sites in Tennessee and Georgia. It is also interesting that anthropomorphic statues found in Polk County, Georgia is analogous to statues found in Mauritania.
Black Africans are characterized as being broad faced, full lipped, illustrating prognathism , large boned with fleshy noses. Samuel Morton in Crania Americana , written in 1839 noted that Adena people possessed "ponderous bony structure[s]...large jaws and broad face". This description of the Adena, fits exactly the description of the West African type.
Most of the Malian influence among the mound builders corresponds to artifacts recovered from the Southern Death Cult. The arms on these statues are placed across the chest. The pipes recovered from many mounds in the United States and the name for Tobacco suggest that it was the Manding who introduced tobacco to the New World.
The Manding may have also constructed the Temple Mounds. These mounds were built between A.D. 700 and 1700. The Temple Mounds were built in the central Mississippi Valley, Arkansas, southern Missouri, southern Illinois and western Tennessee.
The sculptural evidence found in the mounds all indicate an African origin as proven by Wiener (1922). A long pipe with a crouching figure on the bowl on exhibit in the New York Historical Society is of an African with compound bracelets,five on the wrist, six on the upper arm, four on the calf, such as only found in Mexico and west Africa. These bracelets are found in gorgets from the Etowah Mound, which show Malian influence.
Other sculpture heads and figurines of Africans have been found on the banks of Paint Creek ,near Chillocothe,Ohio; Tennessee; Mississippi; and on Green Flats in Virginia, which wear African headdresses ,skull caps and facial striations identical with those of the Manding. We also find the depiction of Africans in carvings from Spiro Oklahoma. At Spiro Mound African faces were carved on shells and the Manding cross sign placed on the palms of the hands on one artifact. This cross in the Manding script meant "righteousness, purity". Other inscribed works of art from the Moundville site in central Alabama also show Manding signs, especially the Manding cross.
A figurine found in a cemetery at Nashville, Tennessee was of an African women, while another African statue was found at Clarksville, Tennessee in 1897. These statues as well as heads on the gorgets from the Missouri mounds show analogous striations found on the faces of Manding clansmen.
Among the Southern Death Cult mound builders we find a third type statue , which has the leg and knee as the base, with the arms placed across the chest with the hands resting above the breast. Another type statue is seen in the effigy jar with "weeping-eye" motif, it has as its base the feet and buttocks, the knees are pointing up in the air, and the arms are placed across the chest with the hands placed above the opposite breast.
The major reason for the varied art styles among the mounds that were built by the Malians, result from the fact that Mali was composed of many different ethnic groups that spoke different languages and practiced varied cultures. As a result of this ethnic pluralism we find an homogenous people who inhabited many mounds in the United States, that practiced a multiplicity of cultural forms.
In addition to the transfer of African style statues in the mounds the Malians also left many inscriptions. These inscriptions and statues support the African origin of many mounds in the United States.