Tuesday, March 3, 2015

African Mounds the Antecedent to Mounds built in the United States


Many Mound Builders had come with Abubakari in 1310. These Black Native American mound builders had come from the ancient Empire of Mali.
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 Vaco 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).  Paul Gaffarel, in Etude sur les Rapports de l'Amerique et de l'Ancien continent  said that when Balboa reached America he found "negre veritables" or true Blacks. Balboa noted "...Indian traditions of Mexico and Central America indicate that Negroes were among the first occupants of that territory." This is why so many Mexicans have "African faces".

  In ancient America it would appear that many mounds were built by Africans. These mounds were built between 200 B.C. and A.D. 1500. Many of the late mounds in the United States and South America were probably built by some of the 25,000 colonist from Mali who sail in the direction of the Americas in 1310.

     We can not point out the exact ethnic origin of all the African mound builders in the Americas. But we are sure that these blacks built many mounds along the Mississppi river and beyond in the United States ; and in South America from Brazil and Venezuela up into the northeastern parts of the United States. Leo Wiener in Africa and the Discovery of America, discussed the African figurines found in many of these mounds in great detail. The organization of the Malian mounds in the Americas were based on African models Blacks had built in Africa.

 AFRICAN MOUND BUILDING

       African people brought their architectural styles to the Americas where ever they settled depending on the topography of the settlement area. Near rivers they lived on mounds. In semiarid regions, the Malians built cliff houses like those found in the American Southwest. Today the Dogon people who trace their decent back to the Mande live in identical cliff dwellings as those found in Colorado, where Manding inscriptions have also been discovered.(Winters 1977a,1979)

     The ancient Africans built several types of homes. For example , as mentioned earlier round huts were very popular among the Manding.In ancient times they also built masonry houses and cliff dwellings identical to those found in the American Southwest. These cliff dwellings were later abandoned as the weather in the areas in which they were built became more arid, and thus less suitable for cattle raising and intensive agriculture.

Archaeologists have excavated these burial mounds and found numerous artifacts including large burial jars from Mopti, Soye Kaniana, and Kami (1).


     Some excavated tumuli in the Niger area have also yielded many copper and glass artifacts including numerous terracotta figurines of blacks in a sitting position. These seated figures have been mainly found at Kaniana, while other statuettes have been found at Nankaka, Kami, Koubaye, Bamako-Bankoni, N'Koumi and Mopti. It is interesting to note that many of the  African tumuli are almost identical burial mounds excavated in the United States and the pyramids of Egypt as discussed in the previous chapter.

     Many mounds have been excavated in the Mopti region

at Kami Island. The site of Kami is situated on the right bank of the Niger river. It occupies a small expanse of land with the river on one side and a bog/swamp on the other side (2).

     At Kami archaeologists have found many funerary emplacements in mounds with the dead buried in large jars or urns. They are similar to the pottery found at Fatoma (3) .

     At Kami archaeologists have found in addition to the burial jars , copper artifacts,statues, pipes  and pottery (4).  The baked clay pipes colored red-and-white were made in diverse forms and placed in the funerary urns. The copper artifacts and pottery found in the western Sudan are decorated with beautiful geometric designs which are similar to those found at Anasazi. We also find many polishers and grindstones.

     At Kami small statues and sculptured heads have been found (5). The statues at Kami are made of grey earth and a slip dark rose in color.  Malzy,believes that the statue found in the mound represented the dead person because it was found in the same position as the cadaver(6).  The statuettes found in these mounds are ancient because they show scarification, which was abandoned when the people in the western Sudan adopted Islam.And as noted by Malzy the art works of Kami, Mopti and Djenne are all of similar origins (7).

 

    There are two medieval Manding art styles. First, we have statues that depict humanoids in a sitting position with their right legs slightly higher then the left with the right hand placed on the right knee,the left hand is placed on the left knee or on the thighs. The feet and legs are slightly higher than the base of the statue. Many of the statues found in the mounds excavated in North America depict Africoids or blacks,  in this same sitting position common to statues found at Mopti, Djenne and Kami in West Africa (8).

    The second common  Manding pose for the African statues found in the mounds of Africa and the United States depict humanoids in a kneeling position, with the arms and elbows on the leg and thigh, and the hands placed on the knee; as in the case of the other statue type the feet and legs serve as the base.

      The mounds in the Americas are of various ages. This suggest that the Africans which inhabited many of these mound dwellings came at different times the to New World.

    Leo Wiener (1922) proved that many of the mound builders of the United States and Mexico were Manding speakers. He saw the mounds as defensive structures built on the African type of the stockade model. Wiener  noted that:

 

          "I have already pointed out that the mounds of the

          Mound-builders were town sites, with the hill for

          the caciques [chiefs] residence and temple, just as

          in the Sudan, and that the North American stockade

          is identical with the one in West Africa" (9).

We find many similarities between the art styles of the inhabitants of the mounds found in the area that encompassed ancient Mali, and the mounds built in the United States and South America.

  In discussing the artifacts found in the mounds of the Americas, and other artifacts scholars frequently note the resemblance of artifacts excavated from these mounds to Egyptian artifacts, even though the date for these artifacts are dated centuries after the decline of ancient Egypt as a unique African civilization. This results from the fact that the ancestors of the Manding speakers and the Egyptians formerly lived in the Fertile African Crescent. It was in this highland area of middle Africa that the culture typified by Egyptian civilization first originated.

Notes:

     1.P. Barlet, "Jarres Funeraires au Soudan", Notes Africaines, no.49, pp.107-10; and Annie Masson-Detourbet, "Terres Cuites de Mopti (Soudan)", Notes Africaines, no. 60, pp.100-102.

     2. G. Szumoski, "Fouilles a Kami et decouvertes dans la Region de Mopti (Soudan)", Notes Africaines , no.67 (1955), pp.66-69.

     3. Ibid., p.66.

     4. Ibid., p.68.

     5.Pierre Malzy, "A Propos d'une statuette Funeraire (Kami, Mali)", Notes Africaines, no.113, pp.17-19.

     6. Ibid., p.17.

     7. Ibid., p.18.

     8. "Statuettes de Terre Cuite de Mopti", Notes Africaines, no.43, pp.70-72; and Herta Haselberger, "Deux Statuettes en terre cuite du Podo (Republique de Mali) , Notes Africaines , no.112, pp.143-144.

     9. Leo Wiener, Africa and the Discovery of America, (Philadelphia,1922) Vol. 3, p.317.

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