Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Afrocentric study provides the African American the self discipline, the intellectual ideals, love of learning and other motivational attributes necessary for their acquisition of success, and protection from the mental, and physical suffering caused by WHITE RACISM which takes hold of Third World people due to the C.A.I.D.S. virus.

On the other hand, Eurocentricism because of its roots in white supremacy and Negro inferiority cause these salient African attributes to be lacking in most African Americans. Jewish scholars long ago recognized the need for self segregation i.e., Jewish institutions to support Jewish traditions.

Afrocentric studies should be compared to Jewish studies. Jewish studies aim to teach Judaism to Jews and promote Jewish learning and scholarship. No serious commentators attack the self segregation institution of the Jews that promote Jewish learning and Jewish self esteem.

Given this reality, Afrocentricism major objective is to foster Afrocentric learning and scholarship and teach the lessons of African civilization to African Americans so they can see the learning,science and institutions this civilization called into being in the East and the West. This body of knowledge should promote confidence in African American youth so they can compete with their fellow Americans.

Today their is an all out attack against Afrocentricism by the Media establishment. No Eurocentric scholars will openly support their attack against Afrocentric scholars by presenting opposing evidence from history,art and archaeology to dispute the Afrocentric claims they just attack Afrocentric scholars and misrepresent what they have said or written.

Many Eurocentric scholars reject Afrocentricism because of their desire to hide the TRUTH ABOUT THE AFRICAN'S PAST and continue to perpetuate racism. These people refuse to see the African American, or Africans in Africa and the rest of the Diaspora develop self respect and racial self esteem. Dr.M.K.
Asante, of Temple University observed that:
"Most African-American children sit in classrooms, yet
are outside the information being discussed. The white
child sits in the middle of information, whether it is
literature, history, politics or art. The task of the
Afrocentric curriculum is finding patterns in African-
American history and culture that help the teacher
place the child in the middle of the intellectual
experience". [i]

Over the past twenty years Afro-American researchers have been developing the idea of Afrocentricism. This field of Africalogical research has been excellently outlined by Asante (1990) when he observed that:

"The Afrocentrist seeks to uncover and use codes, paradigms, symbols, motifs, myhts and circles of discussion that reinforce the centrality of African ideals values as a valid frame of reference for acquiring and examining data".(p.6)

Although Afrocentric scholars have been writing on africalogical themes for many years due to the success of the late Dr. Asa G. Hilliard of Georgia State University and Molefi Kete Asante of Temple University, the Afrocentric idea in education has spread from a small group of advanced Afro-American scholars to high school and elementary school teachers. Africalogy, as explained by Asante (1990,p.30) "builds upon theoretical princeples outlined by previous scholars....The fundamental theoretical bases for Africalogy are derived from the Afrocentric perspective".

Due to the attempt of many educators to advance Afrocentricism as a part of the multicultural perspective in the social science/ social studies curriculum there has been a white backlash.

Given the increasing popularity of Afrocentricism and multiculturalism among teachers around the United States, man white "resisters" have began a campaign to discredit Afrocentricism which is really an educational idea aimed to establish racial self-esteem.

Racial self esteem is pride in one's own race/ethnic group. Racial self esteem, which is the goal of Afrocentricism can not be equated with racism because racism is the notion that one's own ethnic group is superior to other races or ethnic groups. Afrocentricism just explains the historical role of the African in history.It is based upon the reality truth of the sources of history. It aims to combat C.A.I.D.S.

The letters C.A.I.D.S. mean Culturally Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. C.A.I.D.S. has caused much destruction in the African American community, it is the psychological equivalent to the A.I.D.S. virus.

The C.A.I.D.S. virus is caused primarily by placing the pursuit of European culture and values over the traditional culture and values of Afro American and African people. This lack of race pride, knowledge of one's past leads to feelings of racial inferiority. Due to C.A.I.D.S. many African Americans are ignorant of their past, and thusly lack the human values necessary to protect African American culture from self destruction.

The Eurocentrists refer to Afrocentricism as "a cult", "group separatism", "educational separatism" or "racism". In their opinion Afrocentricism is anti Americanism. To support this claim they admonish that the basic American principles: 1) separation of powers, 2) representative government, human rights and ,4) individual liberty all came from Europe. In reality, although these philosophical trends were used to develop the American value system they were not the traditions of Europeans. No historian will deny that before America, no European government accepted these ideas. In fact the American system is recognized as one of "history's boldest experiments".

Although democratic traditions were not present in Europe until the rise of the United States, in Africa these values and others had been around for thousands of years. For example, whereas Greek democracy only allowed the propertied class to participate in government, in Africa the people often chose their own representatives who legislated laws for their communities.

Whereas in Europe, the conquerors ruled with an iron hand, and deviance from majority norms were not allowed, in Africa the governmental system even under an Emperor was a Federal system in which all the ethnic groups were allowed full autonomy, as long as they recognized the supremacy of the Emperor. In empires such as Arwe in modern Ethiopia, Kush, Ghana and Mali the individual rights, liberties and ethnic cultures were recognized. As a result although we see in European history where entire populations were fully assimilated with the lost of language and culture , or entire races have disappeared or are experiencing genocide like the Bosnians are today in the name of " Ethnic Cleansing"; in Africa on the otherhand, changes in the government did not result in extermination of entire tribes and the resulting lost of language until the modern period as a result of colonial European influences. This lack of a true democratic traditions among Europeans explains their present attack on Afrocentricism because, it declares that African Americans have a history and culture that must be respected.

The view of Western culture is that man must make progress. But progress is not made by Europeans for the future of Mankind. Progress to the European is self-centered progress, aimed at satisfying the needs of the individual. According to Michael Bradley, author of The Iceman's Inheritance, Europeans try to surpass "the past, and proclaim the unique identity of each successive lifetime, with the invention of the concept of progress". He continues, to note that this progress does not benefit future generations because, "Instinctual territorial defense of identity demanded that the past be surpassed and that the future be limited" (p.17). Bradley, a European himself explained that ,"Democracy is a form of government that assumes distrust on the part of the governed, [and] dishonesty on the part of the government. Our checks and balances presuppose no trusting or fitting relationship between leaders and followers, no mutually beneficial pact".

This view is in sharp contrast to the African view of government. Professor Joseph Ki Zerbo writing in the UNESCO Courier, observed that "In spite of instances of sanguinary autocracy, the State authority in black Africa nearly always took the form of a limited monarchy within a framework of corporate bodies and customs, veritable unwritten constitutions most
often inherited from an earlier organization or social stratifications."He continued ,"Their decentralization, adopted as deliberate choices, allowed the basic communities to function with a very real measure of autonomy even in the great empires like Mali".

At the base of Eurocentricism is the doctrine of white supremacy. This ideological foundation aims to thwart the African Americans search for manhood and self assertion, when ever they encounter intensified prejudice by white Americans.

A major component of Eurocentricism is the notion of African American intellectual inferiority. As a result, European scholars can write and research the history of any people on earth. African Americans on the otherhand, are believed to lack the intellectual capacity to research, let alone write history.

Due to the alleged intellectual inferiority of African Americans it is believed that they are unsuited to write ancient history, international affairs, or archaeology. This may result from several factors especially racial bias and social position. These factors are important ,because of the fact that formerly persons writing on these topics usually came from well to do families that could provide them with the capital to undertake research activities abroad. This belief has ghettoized African American scholars and authors , to writing only about slavery, the slave trade and/or the cycle of poverty typified by life in the urban centers of the United States.

Due to C.A.I.D.S. the vast majority of African Americans feel inferior to Europeans. Because of these feelings of inferiority many middle class African Americans and the Black Church have perpetuated Eurocentricism instead of fighting to encourage race pride among African Americans. This failure to assert manliness has allowed C.A.I.D.S. to run rampant in Afro America . This malady has caused the rise of many social problems among African Americans who have adopted a negative lifestyle: gangs, bastardy and etc., first imposed on the African slave, but today identical negative behaviors are being perpetua-ted by African Americans who believe that Black Culture is having children out of wedlock, and any other negative visions of America such as gangbanging popularized by the media. All of these negative cultural elements have no basis in Africa, and are the result of C.A.I.D.S.

The African American middle class after the 1920's has avoided identification with Afrocentricism, cultural nationalism or race consciousness. Harold Cruse has pointed out that "The [Southern] black middle class as it was constituted (even in the north) was not committed to any serious sponsorship of promising artists or any involvement in the 'politics of culture'". [ii]

The Church , long an expression of African American independence has also failed to combat the destructive effects of C.A.I.D.S., because its middle class materialist orientation. [iii] The capitulation of the Black Church and the African American middle class to Eurocentric values has not brought them assimilation or integration into the American mainstream , but no true African-American cultural identity , based on African history and African traditions. [iv]

This is especially true of African American academics. Granted,today we have more African American professors then ever before. Yet, these academics produce few if any research articles, or even serve as editors of mainstream intellectual journals. The most glaring evidence of the devastating effects of C.A.I.D.S., is that except for the Afrocentric scholars who self publish , since the demise of the journal Black World, in the 1970's African Americans do not have a journal which expresses the intellectual ideas, and culture of the African in America. The failure of the African American academics /intellectuals to publish their own journal suggest that either they have nothing to say, are afraid to express their own opinions without the approval of the department heads at the Universities where they teach, or they simply feel inferior to whites because of their contraction of the C.A.I.D.S. virus. The failure of African American intellectuals to publish their work in mainstream publications also highlight the inability of African Americans to be fully integrated into American academia. Due to Eurocentricism , even those African American "scholars " recognized as competent researchers can only hope to associate with the American Academic Establishment, not assimi-late into it.

Afrocentricism is the ultimate remedy for the diseases associated with C.A.I.D.S. , such as alleged racial inferiority and racism that destroy the spirit of African Americans, and especially the self confidence one needs to compete in the United States face the challenge of LIFE and WIN! Asante, has noted that "Afrocentricity resonates with the African-American community because it is fundamental to sanity. It is the fastest growing intellectual and practical idea in the community because of its validity when tested against other experiences". [v]

W.E.B. DuBois, in The Souls of Black Folks, has categorize three principle responses of African Americans to the maladies associated with the C.A.I.D.S. especially white racism. They are l) revolt and revenge, 2) submission to the will of the racist, and 3) a determined effort for self esteem [vi].

According DuBois, the first response of African-Americans to racism can be categorize as the slave insurrections led by Gabriel in Virginia in 1800, Vesey in Carolina in 1822, and Nat Turner also in Virginia around 1831. After slavery this period is best typified by the Black Nationalist Movement of the 1960's, which began with the martyrdom of Malcolm X and the rise of militant organizations in African-American communities such as the Black Panthers, SNCC and the Republic of New Africa. These movements, like the slave rebellions a hundred years earlier were brutally suppressed and destroyed by local state and national police agencies.

The second form of response made by African American to white racism is typified by the African American middle class , Black Church and violent African American gangs. The gangs show their affliction with C.A.I.D.S. through their preoccupation with acquiring material gain, wealth/money (the cornerstones of Eurocentricism the free enterprise economic system with little concern about what happens to their fellow man in the process of acquiring material gain. As a result although many African American gangs will have very positive pro Black "literature", i.e., by laws and history that they teach members of gang to justify their existence as a "positive" force in the community;but in reality , members of these gangs sell drugs and murder one another simply for the love of money. This only increases the riches of peopling living outside their communities, and support the Eurocentric myths that African people can not accomplish positive things without the guidance of Europeans, their culture and "science".

The third response to white racism was formerly the "Negro" Renaissance of the 1920's. Today this response to white supremacy founded upon objective scholarship is Afrocentricism. An Afrocentric view of history is especially needed to combat the debilitating effects of white supremacy. It was noted in the report of the Task Force on Minorities commissioned by the New York State Board of Education that:"African Americans, Asian Americans, Puerto Rican/ Latinos and Native Americans have all been victims of an intellectual and educational oppression that has characterized the culture and institutions of the United States and the European American World for Centuries.

The aim of Afrocentricism is to strengthen the cultural awareness of African people so they can have the self confidence to fight C.A.I.D.S. Afrocentricism is the ideational code African Americans can use to conceptualize the universe in which they live and interact. Culture can be defined as man's learned, accumulated social experience including man's art, belief, customs, knowledge, law and morals that are transmitted and shared by a social group. In general culture refers to a system of learned ideas, not what we do or make.

The second aim of Afrocentricism is the unification of African Americans into a compact enlighten society. Society refers to a collection of people who share a common culture and language that exist as a distinct unit. The awareness of African civilizations by African people should encourage racial self esteem and help them recognize their brilliant past, so they can know the depth of their own potential and work for a positive , productive future.

Afrocentric scholars research the history of African and black civilizations to
recover the true history of Black and African people and their achievements and contribution to the rise of world civilization and western cultural and social values. This results from the fact that history is society's method of explaining an individual's self image within a given society. This unifies that individual to other members of the society. It is through history, that a conglomerate of individuals come together to express a shared identity and culture.

In summary , African-Americans are confronted by a debilitating disease C.A.I.D.S, which if left unchecked can make it impossible for African-American youth to suceed, with the self-esteem necessary to avoid gangs and other negative cultural expressions rampant in African-American communities since slavery. To remedy the spread of this contagious disease we advocate Afrocentrism , and the knowledge of the role of "Blacks" in the creation of WORLD CIVILIZATION. Let the truth be seen by ALL.


[i]. M.K. Asante, "Putting Africa at the Center", Newsweek ,
23 September 1991, p.46.

[ii].Harold Cruse, Plural but Equal, (New York:William Morrow, 1987)
p. 228.

[iii]. Ibid., p. 236.

[iv]. A good movement to encourage positive cultural traditions in the African -American community is the annual Kwanza celebration that is held in the black community during the Christmas season.

[v]. Asante, p.46.

[vi]. W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folks ,(New York: Bantam Books, 1989) p.34.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

History of Horse Domestication in Africa

The horse period in Africa is usually dated between 2000 and 1200 BC. These dates correspond to the archaeological research.There were two horses common to Africa. A horse introduced to Africa by the Hysos and a native small size horse common to much of North and West Africa.

It is usually taken for granted that the horse was introduced to African and Dravidian people by Asians or Indo-Europeans. But the evidence suggest that the horse was early domesticated by the Afro-Dravidian people long before the Indo-Europeans employed the horse.

It has usually been assumed that the horse was introduced into Africa by the Hyksos. But as indicated below the affinities between the terms for horse in Dravidian and African languages indicate that the horse was domesticated by Dravidians, and other Proto-Saharans before the Asian invasion of Egypt and spread of the Indo-European speaking people. Archaeological evidence indicate that the horse was known to the Nubians centuries before its common use in Egypt .

Saharan Africans used the donkey and later horses as beast of burden. The ass or donkey was domesticated in the Sahara at Maadi 3650 BC . A domesticated Equus was found at Hierakonpolis dating around the same period .

The horse was also found at other sites in the Sahara. Skeletons of horses dating to between to around 2000 BC have been found in the Sahara-Sahel zone

Most researchers believe that th horse was introduced to Africa/Egypt by the Hysos after 1700BC. This is an interesting date, and far to late for the introduction of the horse given the archaeological evidence for horses at Maadi and the Sahel-Sahara zone.

In this region we find many horses depicted in the rock art. Some researchers have dated the rock art to after 1000 BC,based on the association of the camel with horses in the rock art.

Although the horse and camel are depicted in the rcok art of Nubia, the Sahel-Sahara and Upper Egypt they are considered to be related to the Graeco-Roman period . This date is far to late for the camel and horse to be used for domesticated purposes. During the Old Kingdom camel hair cord was used by the Egyptians . Moreover camel figurines are found in Gerzean (3500 BC) and archaic Egyptian context .

In the Sahelian-Saharan rock art the horse frequently depicted. The horse is often associated with being rode by the personages depicted in the rock art . In the same area we find engravings of men capturing horses probably to be rode or harnessed to a chariot . There are numerous pictures of blacks riding in chariots. Some researchers have dated this art to 600 BC. This date is probably far to late given the fact that the horse is attested too early in the archaeological history of Saharan Africa as discussed above.

At Buhen, one of the major fortresses of Nubia, which served as the headquarters of the Egyptian Viceroy of Kush a skeleton of a horse was found lying on the pavement of a Middle Kingdom rapart dating to 1675BC. This was only 25 years after the Hysos had conquered Egypt. This suggest that the Kushites had been riding horses for an extended period of time for them to be able to attack Buhen on horse back. This also supports the early habits of Africans riding horses as depicted in the rock art.

The Nubians and Upper Egyptians were great horsemen whereas the Lower Egyptians usually rode the chariot, the Nubian warriors of the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty rode on horseback . The appearance of the horse laying on a Buhen rampart may indicate it was used by Kushite warriors attacking Buhen. No matter what the use of the horse was, the linguistic evidence makes it clear that the horse was part of Saharan culture before the advent of the Indo-Europeans.

There are many Dravidian and African words for horse, one of the most ancient Dravidian forms for horse may be Brahui hulli and Tamil ivuli. This ancient form of the word for horse appears in African languages with consonant /l/ or/d/, as the main consonant and the vowels /o/ or /u/. Below we compare the Malinke(M.)-Bambara (B.), Nubia (N), Wolof (W.) Hausa, Tamil (Ta), Malayam (Mal) Somali (Som.) Kanarese (Ka.) Telugu (Tel.) Kordofan Nubian (KN) languages. The African languages belong either to the Niger–Congo Family or the Cushitic Family of languages.


M. wolu, Bam. b’lu, wolo, N. unde Ta. Iyuli, Brahui hulli

Another ancient form of the word for horse was *par- / * far-. Below are other Dravidian-African terms for horse:

Mande wolu Bam. B’lu, wolo
Mande bara ‘grey horse’, Hausa baraba ‘swift horse’
Wolof fas Somali fara-ka Egyptian nefer Serere pis
Tamil , Mal. Pari Tamil payyeru, Fulani puucu Mande bari Ge’ez faras Galla or Oromo farda, ferda
Ka. Karte Tamil kartai Hausa doki
Tel. gadide Kanuri Nile koś Hausa godiya

The Dravidians and Niger-Congo speakers formerly lived in the highlands of the Sahara. Many of these people migrated into West Africa. In West Africa according to Daniel McCall the horse was in the Sahara during the Second Millennium BC This would explain the affinity between the Dravidian and African terms for horse outlined above.

The Saharan horse was small in size. These horses match perfectly the horses depicted with the Saharan chariot riders. These horses were stiil be used by the warriors of ancient Ghana as noted by the Arabic writer al-Bekri when he visited this area.

The fact that the chariots found in West Africa resemble those of Crete does not mean that the riders of these chariots had to have come from Crete. In fact Greek traditions make it clear that the ancient Cretans, called Minoans came from Africa

The Dravidian and African languages share similar names for the wheel. For example:

Galla makurakura Tulu gali, tagori
Swahili guru, dumu Mande koli, kori, muru-fe
Tamil kal, ari, urul , tikiri Ka. gali tiguri, tigari

It would appear that the proto-African-Dravidian term for wheel was *-ori / *-uri *go/uri and *ko/uri. The proto-South Dravidian term for wheel *tigu/ori . The linguistic evidence suggest that in the proto- language the speakers of proto-African-Dravidian used either the vowels o/u or a/i after the consonants. It is also evident that the l and r, were interchangeable in the construction of the term for wheel.

The horse disappeared from the Sahara as the area became increasingly drier. This forced the original West African domesticated horses to move southward where they are presently found.

Dravidian Origin for the term for horse in Central Asia

It would appear that most of the early horsemen in Central Asia came from Iran, rather than southern Russia. The nomad artisans of the 3rd millennium BC steppes, show affinity to artisans from Iran (David 1986). During this period pastures provided grazing and herds with abundant food (Masson 1986:80). These horsemen would have been Dravidian and /or Elamite speaking people., not Indo-Iranian speaking people who seem to have learned about the horse from the Dravidian speaking people.

In the 2nd millennium BC the horse was extensively exploited throughout Central Asia (David 1986:486). For example, at the 17th 16th century BC site of Sinatasha, there are horse and chariot burials. These horsemen made fine bronzehead spears.

The oldest alleged Indo-European language spoken in Central Asia is Tocharian. Although many researchers believe Tocharian is an Indo-European language, it was probably in reality a trade language, used by the diverse people of Central Asia to communicate.

The Dravidian language is especially close to Tocharian A (TA). It would appear that Tocharian B (TB) has been greatly influenced by the Indo European languages. For example, there is labialization of labiovelars before voiceless consonants in TB.

In TA on the otherhand there are few traces of an earlier distinction between labiovelars and velar plus *w, clusters. For example:

Horse: TB yakwe, Old English eoh, Latin equus
> *yakwe PIE *ekwos Sanskrit asvas, Old Irish ech
TA yuk
Dog: TB kwem< PIE *kwena < PIE acc. *kwonm (Sanskrit svanam )

The TA terms for Central Asian domesticates agree with Dravidian terms.

1. Tocharian A ku dog
Dravidian kona id.
Kannanda Kunni id.
Tamil Kukkal id.
" Kuran id.
Telugu Kukka id.
Malayam Cokkan id.

3. Tocharian A ko bovine
Toda kor id.
Dravidian kode id.
Kolami ku.te id.
Tulugu kode id.
Kolami konda,konde id.
Tamil kali id.
Kananda gonde id.
Gadba konde id.
Gondi Konda bullock

As you can see from the above the Dravidians and Tocharian A group share many terms for animals, e.g., Ø ku na # 'dog'__/ Toch. Ø ku #; Ø kode # 'cow', Toch. Ø ko #; and Ø ivuli # 'horse' Toch. Ø yuk #.

Dravidian speaking people probably introduced the horse and chariots to Central Asia. In Mongolian the term for ‘cart’ is terga, this corresponds to Ta. Teer ‘car, chariot’, Ka. teer(u) ‘chariot’ .

The terms used for horse in Central Asia agree with Dravidian terms. This is interesting because it has affinity to Dravidian and Mongolian words for horse including:

Buryat (Mongolian) guun, gu ‘mare’
Tamil: kutirai, Karutai Ka. Karte ‘horse’, Proto-Nilotic *tike:ri donkey
Hausa kutur, Kuturi ‘hindquarters of a horse or domkey’
Telugu: gurramu, gadide ‘horse’; Hausa doki , goodiya; Kanuri koś
Kol: gurramu

Tocharian A yu horse ; Mande wolu
Tamil ivuli id. Bambara b’lu, wolo
Brahui hulli id. Nubian unde
Telugu payyoli id.

. Many researchers may dispute the affinity between Dravidian Ø ivuli # and Tocharian A Ø yuk # 'horse'. Yet the identification of Tocharian A yuk, to Dravidian is much more supportable than the PIE root for horse. This results from the fact that there are five different Proto Indo European (PIE) roots for horse. This multitude of PIE roots for horse makes these terms inconclusive for the PIE lexicon. They also support the view that the horse was not domesticated by the Indo Europeans.

Thapar suggest that the Indo-Aryans were bilingual, and that all the Vedic agricultural terms were of non-Indo-European origin including langala ‘plough’ . Recent linguistic research makes it clear that even the Indo-Aryan terms for religion, magic, priest, deities and even soma are of non-I-A or I-E origin . David Anthony, notes in a “Comment” to the Lamberg-Karlovsky article on the origin of the Indo-Iranians observed that the Indo-Iranian word for soma plant [ancu] was borrowed from a non-Indo-European substrate language along with words for brick, plowshare and camel.

The Indic term for horse may also be of Dravidian origin. Caldwell noted that in Sanskrit the term for donkey was khara ‘ass’, in Tamil we have karudei. One of the Sanskrit terms for horse according to Caldwell is ghota, this corresponds to Ta. kudirai and goram . The Tamil term for horse may come from kudi ‘to lead’.

S.H. Levitt has presented convincing evidence that the Sanskrit term for horse is of Dravidian origin. Dr. Levitt illustared that as a result of Dravidian euphonic combinations, the Sanskrit terms kindhin, kundin, kilkin, kilvin ‘horse’, are clearly derived from (DEDR 1711) Tamil kutirai, Ma. Kutira, Te. gurramu, Kol. gurram ‘horse’ . It is important to remember that the l and r, and d and t are interchangeable in Dravidian languages. He noted that Dravidian –k-, -v- and –nt- are derivative suffixes, that alternate in the Sanskrit forms of Dravidian loan words as –l-, -nd- and –v- . The Dravidian origin for the Sanskrit terms for hosre should not be too surprising considering the fact that the Indo-Iranian terms associated with horsemanship and the horse are related to Hurrian and Hattic terms. The Hurrian and Hattic speakers spoke languages related the Dravidian group, since they were of Kushite origin.

The first wheeled vehicles probably came to Central Asia along with Dravidian and Manding speakers from Iran practicing a sedentary agro pastoralist culture (Winters 1990a). These wheeled vehicles were first pulled by cattle as evidenced from toys found at selected sites in Central Asia and the Indus Valley. These bovids pulled two or four wheeled wagons (Kohl 1988:594) This semi mobile pastoralism by the middle Bronze Age led to increased population levels in the steppe zone.

The Dravidians may have introduced the wagon, boat and plow/plough to Central Asia. The Tocharian A term 0 kukal # 'chariot,wagon' , has affinity to Dravidian rather than PIE *rotho 'wheel, chariot'.
Below are the word geneology for PIE wheel:

Sanskrit ratha chariot
" cakra wheel
Latin rota id.
German rad id.
Toch. A kukal wagon
Toch. B kokale id.

As you can see *rotho 'wheel', is not closely related to Tocharian terms for wagon, but TB 0 kukal # is closely related to Dravidian kal 'wagon'.

Tocharian B kokale chariot,wagon
Tocharian A kukal id.
Tamil kal id.
Kui Opka id.
Tulugu gali wheel
Kananda gali id.

In summary the Dravidian speaking people were familiar with horses since their former occupation of the Saharan highlands and the Sudan. As a result the Dravidian and African speaking people share common names for the horse and ass/donkey. It is also clear that these Dravidian speaking people may have brought horses with them to the Indus Valley when they founded the Dilmun, or Indus Valley civilization.

In addition, the linguistic evidence clearly suggest that the Mongolian, Tocharian and Indic terms for horse are probably the result of a Dravidian influence. The term for horse can not be a Indo-European loan because of the close relationship between Sanskrit kundin ‘horse’ and Tamil kutirai ‘ horse’ and the terms for ‘ass’ , point to a Dravidian origin for Indo-Iranian words relating to horse, wagon etc.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dravidian and African Languages

A great way to see the genetic relationship between Dravidian and African languages is to compare the agricultural terms used by both groups.

The Dravidian terms for millet are listed in the Dravidian Etymological Dictionary at 2359, 4300 and 2671. A cursory review of the linguistic examples provided below from the Dravidian, Mande and Wolof languages show a close relationship between these language. These terms are outlined below:

Kol sonna --- --- ----
Wolof (AF.) suna --- ---- ---
Mande (AF) suna bara, baga de-n, doro koro
Tamil connal varaga tinai kural
Malayalam colam varaku tina ---
Kannanda --- baraga, baragu tene korale,korle
*sona *baraga *tenä *kora

Below we will compare other Dravidian and African agricultural terms. These terms come from the Mande languages:Malinke, Kpelle, Bambara, Azer, Soninke, West Atlantic (Wolof, Fulani), Afro-Asiatic (Oromo, Galla), Somali, Nubian and the ancient Egyptian.

The Paleo-Dravido-Africans came from a sedentary culture that domesticated cattle and grew numerous crops including wheat and millet. The Egyptian term for cultivation is 0 b j(w) #. Egyptian Ø b j(w) # corresponds to many African terms for cultivation:

Galla baji 'cultivated field'
Tulu (Dravidian language) bey, benni
Nubian ba, bat 'hoe up ground'
Malinke be
Somali beer
Wolof mbey, ambey, bey
Egyptian b j(w)
Sumerian buru, bur 'to root up'

These terms for cultivate suggest that the Paleo-African term for cultivate was *be.

The Egyptian term for grain is Ø sa #. This corresponds to many African terms for seed,grain:

Galla senyi
Malinke se , si
Sumerian se
Egyptian sen 'granary'
Kannanda cigur

Bozo sii
Bambara sii
Daba sisin
Somali sinni
Loma sii
Susu sansi
Oromo sanyi
Dime siimu
Egyptian ssr 'corn'
id. ssn 'lotus plant'
id. sm 'herb, plant'
id. isw 'weeds'

The identification of a s>0/#_________e pattern for 'seed,grain' in the above languages suggest that these groups were familiar with seeds at the time they separated into distinct Supersets. The fact that Sumerian 0 se # and Egyptian 0 sen #, and Malinke Ø se # are all separated both in time and geographical area highlight the early use of seeds * se , by Paleo-Dravido-Africans.

Soninke dugo
Vai ko'o
Manding malo
Dravidian mala-kurula
Mende molo, konu
Kpelle moloy
Boko mole
Bisa muhi
Busa mole
Sa mela
Bambara kini
Bozo ku, kunan
Vai jambi
Malinke ku
Dravidian kui, kuna, ku
Bambara ku

It would appear that all the Proto-Dravidians were familiar with the cultivation of rice, yams and millet. This is not surprising because Weber (1998) made it clear that millet cultivation in ancient South Asia was associated with rice cultivation.


Post Relating to Meroitic Language

There is no evidence that the Meroites spoke a Nilo-Saharan language . See


This is based on the Kushana hypothesis which indicates that Indians scholars formerly lived in India. I believe these scholars introduced the Meroitic writing system to the Meroites.See:


The history of writing among the Napatans and Meroites make it clear that they never wrote inscriptions in their own language. See:


It is also important to remember that the Nubians were enemies of the Meroites and were never part of the empire. See:



Nubian Origin Niger-Congo Languages

The evidence that Meroitic is related to Niger Congo should not be surprising because Niger-Congo speakers lived in Egypt and the Meroitic empire.

The majority of West Africans formerly lived just below Egypt in Nubia, before they moved westward into Cameroon, the Niger Valley and Senegambian regions. The traditional view of the dispersal of the Niger-Congo speakers would place their original home in the woodland savanna zone of West Africa, in the area of the Niger Basin (Ehret and Posnansky 1982:242 ).
This is a most attractive theory but it does not conform to the archaeological data collected over the past decade. This material illustrates that until the second millennium BC the Inland Niger Delta was sparsely populated (McIntosh & McIntosh 1981 ,1986).

Wm. E. Welmers (1971),explained that the Niger-Congo homeland was in the vicinity of the upper Nile valley. He believes that the Westward migration began 5000 years ago. This was the center of the C-Group civilization.

In support of this theory he discusses the dogs of the Niger-Congo speakers. This is the unique barkless Basenji dogs which live in the Sudan and Uganda today, but were formerly recorded on Egyptian monuments (Welmers,1971). The Basanji dog is the Egyptian hieroglyphic sign for dog.

According to Welmers the Basanji, is related to the Liberian Basenji breed of the Kpelle and Loma people of Liberia. Welmers believes that the Mande took these dogs with them on their migration westward. The Kpelle and Loma speak Mande languages.

Welmers (1971) believes that the Niger Valley region and other regions of West Africa may have been unoccupied when the Mande migrated westward Nubia. In support of this theory Welmers' notes that the Liberian Banji dogs ,show no cross-breeding with dogs kept by other African groups in West Africa, and point to the early introduction of this cannine population after the separation of the Mande from the other Niger-Congo speakers in the original upper Nile homeland for this population. As a result, he claims that the Mande migration occured before these groups entered the region.

Linguistic research make it clear that there is a close relationship between the Niger-Congo Superlanguage family and the Nilo-Saharan languages spoken in the Sudan. Heine and Nurse (2000), discuss the Nilo-Saharan connection. They note that when Westerman described African languages he used lexical evidence to include the Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Congo languages into a Superfamily he called "Sudanic" (Heine & Nurse, 2000). Using Morphological and lexical similarities Gregerson indicated that these languages belonged to a macrophylum he named " Kongo-Saharan" (Heine and Nurse, 2000). Research by Blench reached the same conclusion, and he named this Superfamily: "Niger-Saharan" (Heine & Nurse, 2000).

Genetic evidence supports the upper Nile origin for the Niger-Congo speakers. Rosa et al, in Y-Chromosomal diversity in the population of Guinea-Bissau (2007), noted that while most Mande & Balanta carry the E3a-M2 gene, there are a number of Felupe-Djola, Papel, Fulbe and Mande carry the M3b*-M35 gene the same as many people in the Sudan.

In addition to haplogroup E3, we also find some carriers of R1*-M173 in Egypt and the Sudan. In Figure 1 we observe that 34% of the carriers of y-chromosome M173 in Africa speak Niger-Congo languages. This genetic evidence makes it clear that R1*-M173 was probably carried by some C-Group speakers.

Coia et al (2005) provides substantial data that the presence of R1*-M173 did not follow the spread of the spread of mtDNA haplogroup U6
in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is found in North Africa (Coia et al, 2005). This suggest that R1*-M173 may not be the result of back migration from Asia if this theory depends on the spread of haplogroup U6 in areas where R1*-M173 is found.

Welmers proposed an upper Nile (Sudan-Uganda) homeland for the Niger-Congo speakers. He claims that they remained intact until 5000 years ago. This view is supported by linguistic and genetics evidence. The linguistic evidence makes it clear that the Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Congo languages are related. The genetic evidence indicates that Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Congo speakers carry the y-chromosomes M3b*-M35 and R1*-M173, an indicator for the earlier presence of speakers of this languages in an original Nile Valley homeland.

The Nile Valley origin of the Niger Congo speakers explains the close relationship between Meroitic, Egyptian, Beja and Niger-Congo languages.


Coia V. , G Destro-Bisol, F Verginelli, C Battaggia, I Boschi, F Cruciani, G Spedini, D Comas and F Calafell, 2005. Brief communication: mtDNA variation in North Cameroon: lack of Asian lineages and implications for back migration from Asia to sub-Saharan Africa, Am J Phys Anthropol (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/110495269/PDFSTART) (electronically published May 13, 2005; accessed August 5, 2005).

Heine,B. and Nurse,D. (Eds.).2002. African languages: An introduction , Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-666295.

Cruciani,F., Trombetta,B., Sellitto, D., Massaia,A. destroy-Bisol,G., Watson, E., Colomb, E.B. 2010. Eur J. Hum Genet.,(6 January 2010) doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.231: 1-8.
Ehret,C. & Posnansky,M. 1982. The Archaeological and Linguistic
Reconstruction of African History. Berkeley.
McIntosh,S.K. & McIntosh,R.J.1981. "West African Prehistory". American Scientist
_____________.1986. "Archaeological Research and dates from
West Africa". Journal of African History, 27:413-42.

Rosa A, Ornelas C, Jobling MA, Brehm A, Villems R. Y-chromosome diversity in the population of Guinea-Bissau: a multiethnic perspective, BMC Evol Biology 2007; 7, 124. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1976131/?tool=pubmed

Welmers, Wm E .1971. "Niger-Congo Mande", Cur trends in Ling 7:113-140.