Excerpts pertaining to cultural continuity on the continent

Listen Siblings, I come in peace,

“The seed includes all the possibilities of the tree.”  — KMT Proverb

Africa’s children are widespread, and those of us, born outside of her grasp, uniquely attach the misnomer “Diaspora” to ourselves.  Though, whether ‘continental’ or not, we Africans, as the world’s brightest, are always a diaspora people.  Our history has not only been one of immense genius and immense pride and happiness, but one of fleeing, running, and dying–and rebuilding.  Below are quotations concerning past diasporas.  To name a few significant now, when the Sahara began to dry, we rebuilt elsewhere.  When Egypt was attacked, we rebuilt elsewhere.  When Carthage was destroyed, we rebuilt elsewhere.  When Islam came to Africa, we rebuilt elsewhere.  When the Europeans enslaved us, we rebuilt elsewhere.  When the Europeans colonized–well–we’re getting to that rebuilding. This is the actual origin of “tribes” in Africa.  Read more in “Maroon and Build For Self” and write the ABS to build African Blood Siblings Community Centers.  Subscribe, share, love.

Excerpts pertaining to cultural continuity on the continent
Collected by Onitaset Kumat

Hence the Kisra [i.e. Nupa] traditions most brilliantly stand the test of comparison with more ancient written and historical material.  They prove that this strong current of influence, the power of establishing empire and the institution of state primacies came from Nubia from ancient Napata . . . What however fills us with profound astonishment is the perception we have gained of the marvellous power of the expansive culture which enabled these ancient Nubians to become the directors of the stream of civilization flowing from the East through the central Soudan as far as the Upper Niger.

— Leo Frobenius, “The Voice of Africa: Volume II (1913)” pp. 626-7

The [N]egroes in Western Africa and in Soudan possess, however, an instrument which bears strong resemblance . . . to some of the harps which we see represented on Egyptian monuments.  The [N]egroes in Senegambia and Guinea call it boulou, or ombi, and use strings made from a kind of creeping plant, or from the fibrous root of a tree.

— Carl Engel, “The Music of the Most Ancient Nations (1864),” p.34, See also pp. 210-1

One finds instruments of a similar nature [to the thumb piano associated with ancient Zimbabwe] amongst the natives north of the Zambesi.  Specimens in the British Museum of almost exactly the same construction come from Southern Egypt and the Congo, pointing to the common and northern origin of most of these African races.

— J. Theodore Bent, “The Ruined Cities of Mashonaland, 3rd Edition,” pp. 81-2

The social institutions of the Mwenemutapa’s [sic] kingdom, and doubtless those of the ancestral dynasty which had ruled from the stone-built Great Zimbabwe three hundred miles to the south, were pagan African institutions of the same general character as those which are known to have existed at different times all the way from Mero[e] to Takrur and from Ethiopia to the Transvaal.

— Roland Oliver & Brian M. Fagan, “Africa in the Iron Age,” p. 208

This book deals in some detail with the migration throughout West Africa only.  This is not to underestimate and/or neglect the dispersion of Egyptians and/or Egypt model society, to east, central and southern Africa.  Such dispersion was caused by foreign invasions and the Islamic onslaughts on Western Africa in the 11th century.  Substantial archeological evidence shows that there was a significant population growth between 750 and 1110 C E [i.e. AD], accompanied by the emergence of a dozen or so stable and distinct regional traditions, which flourished in central and eastern Africa.  These new societies had the same features of the ancient Egyptian model government, beliefs, and building technologies.  The dispersion to central and southern Africa in the 11th century, began from near the Upper Bennu River, to the Congo and Southern Africa.  Academia and records tell us that this was the largest migration in Africa’s history.  These people, who are called Bantu, created states that emerged in Africa’s interior without any reference to events at the coast.

—  Moustafa Gadalla, “Exiled Egyptians: The Heart of Africa (1999),” p. 301

It is, of course, dangerous to rely too much on this similarity between African customs which have been retained to this day and a civilization [Ancient Egypt] that flourished thousands of years ago.  On the other hand it is equally unrealistic to disregard completely the undoubtedly existing parallels.  If nothing else, we can look upon some of the customs and beliefs which have survived in Africa as a possible pointed to the thoughts and motives of the people of Ancient Egypt which have been lost to us.

— Kurt Mendelssohn, “The Riddle of the Pyramids,” p. 24

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Note: This post prompted by the discussion here: A Basic Course in Swahili.

3 thoughts on “Excerpts pertaining to cultural continuity on the continent

    1. Be careful. The term “Bantu” depicts “The West African-type.” Biko is no more “Bantu” than you or I. “Bantu” only means African, though it’s a language group distinct from what Egypt eventually developed. What’s interesting is that this language group is the foundation of the ancient civilizations of Africa, America and Asia.

      1. Though, there’s a debate as to whether there is a “West-African type” and an “East-African type” or “South-African type.” Some would argue that the “East-African type” are Indians. Indians being “West-Africans” of more arid climates. As it were, a thin nose is a cline-related ‘evolution’ to allow more humidity within the nostrils, as compared against a broad nose which is the human’s natural form due his presence in moist areas–like a rain forest compared against a dessert.

        Though it also could be a result of intermarriage.

        Another part of it is the hair becoming less kinky due again the aridity. It’s been a while since I studied the material though. I’d almost propose it as an idea for a post, but it’s relevance to “Racial Independence in Food, Clothing, Shelter and Consciousness” isn’t self-evident. We should less talk for the sake of talking and more talk for the sake of creating. :)

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