Human Origins Can Be Traced To South Africa
Cheik Anta Diop: The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality Paperback
"It is our duty to proceed from what is near to what is distant, from what is known to that which is less known, to gather the traditions from those who have reported them, to correct them as much as possible and to leave the rest as it is, in order to make our work help anyone who seek truth and love wisdom." (Abu'l-Rayhan Muhammade al-Biruni, A.D. 973-1050).
This Hub is an attempt and a composition of the History of Africans from South Africa as has never been written. The whole history of the African people of South Africa will require many volues to cover. But the writing of the history of African people of South Africa has just begun, and this Hub will cover as much base as possible to fill-in the yawning gap of missing data and continuity. But that does not mean that there should should be no beginning efforts to cover as much ground as possible. I have given myself the task of writing the history, and the reader should be made aware that at the point where I begin, , which is some 200,000+ years ago, I cannot realitstically cover that time period because of the paucity of data and other obstacles that are required to to cover such a huge timeline. I have also added come contemporary history towards the end of the Hub.
It is also a challenging task to write the 'whole' history of Africa as the origin of humanity and human history and civilization. In this Hub, I will try to narrow it to the history of South Africa, given the most revealed ancient cities that dot the whole landscape of Mzantsi(South Africa). Even though I have narrowed the history to that of South Africa, specifically, it is still a very tall order to write the History of African people in Mzantsi(South Africa), let alone the whole of Africa.
But, given the fact that Africans of South Africa have been colonized to the extend that I will discuss below in this Hub, it is also important to note that the duty of Every historian is to try their best to seek the truth and real history of their people, and write it out to the best of their abilities. This to me is just the case: I will compose and rewrite African history of South Africa to the best of my abilities, and I will begin at the the most remotest time period and timeline I can muster my research, and bring it into contemporary history of Africans in Mzantsi.
This means then I will have to try to go back into very remote antiquity, and build the history of Africans to their present-day Historical/Cultural, customary, traditional, linguistic, oral tradition, musical, social and other such related issues. For this part of the Hub we explore the Evolution of species as according to Darwin and other eminent scholars on this topic, and bring it to the present.
Sources For Remote Ancient African History
In the case of the remotest periods, where there can be no question of the paucity documentary sources and for which no oral traditions or anthropological data are available, archeology and paleobotanical methods come into their own. The pollen grains in particular soil can be isolated by dissolving the soil sample in acid, which removes the silica and limestone and the organic humus, but leaves the pollens intact. These are then stained to deduce from the density and nature of the pollens what type of vegetation covered the region and, by a study of the ground strata, to reconstitute the development of plant life or agricultural production through the agency of man or the climate. Diagnoses such as these have made it possible to trace back the history of the domestication of plants in Africa and their introduction, (N.I. Vavilov, 1951).
Remains of dogs, pigs, sheep and goats also offer a pointer to the domestication. The use of the horse, which can be regarded as being one of the 'driving forces' of history, is recorded in Egypt at the time of the Hyksos invasion (1600 B.C.). Horses were used in Libya and Nubia in the early years of the first millennium Before Christ, but only penetrated south of the Sahara in the 'Middle Ages', and at first only at the royal courts, as witnessed by Ibn Battuta's description of the court of the Emperor of Mali.
The Dromedary, which can be recognized in a rock painting in the Chadian Sahara dating from as early as the third century B.C., was first introduced into Egypt, where it was used for communication with the Red Sea. Roman troops probably took it to Magrhib, where it was used by the Berbers, who migrated southwards to escape the clutches of the Roman administration. As a result, the substantial African populations of the Saharan Oases were reduced to slavery or were driven even further south.
For the historian, therefore, any testimony, regardless of the science from which it is obtained, can become invaluable raw material; there is no distinction between prime sciences and auxiliary sciences. However, in spite of history's debt to the earth and life sciences, still more important contributions have been made by the human and social sciences, such as Egyptology, linguistics, oral trattion, economics and political science.
Utilization of combined sources makes it possible to unearth a new way of writing history from the subsoil of general methodology. This approach makes it possible to show some aspects of history which show certain places have been occupied in Africa for thousands of years without interruption.
Evolutionists and Africa
It seems that the earliest forms of life appeared on our planet about one and a half billion years ago. Apes and men have been traced back to a common ancestry, the first apes showing up about forty million years ago. Then around twenty five million years ago, man became differentiated from the common ape stem. The first True men made their presence known in the world only about two million years ago-a brief period of time, geologically speaking.
The popular opinion that Charles Darwin was the inventor of the doctrine of evolution is false. There were numerous evolutionists before Darwin; but with the publication of the "Origin Of Species" in 1859, Darwin made the theory of evolution intellectually respectable. After that date, evolutionism became part of the lore of modern science and hence had to to be reckoned with by all thinking men and women. The bearing of the theory of evolution on human origins was scarcely mentioned by Darwin in the concluding passage of the "The Origin Of species. "Much light," he said, "will be thrown on the origin of man and his history."
A Birds-Eyeview of The Origins of Gondwanaland.
According to Encyclopeadia:
"Gondwanaland, ancient landmass that consisted of the present continents of South America, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica, as well as the Indian subcontinent, Madagascar, and New Zealand. Also called Gondwana, Gondwanaland is believed to have been intact at least twice, once during much of the Paleozoic Era and again during the early part of the Mesozoic Era. Between these two periods all seven of the present-day continents formed a single landmass called Pangaea, which lasted from the Permian Period to the end of the Triassic Period. Gondwanaland began to break up into the separate modern continents about 185 million years ago during the Jurassic Period.
"The idea that the southern continents were at one time united into a supercontinent was first proposed in 1885 by Austrian geologist Eduard Suess. He noted that all four continents have similar glacial deposits and fossils corresponding to the end of the Carboniferous Period and the beginning of the Permian Period. However, these glacial deposits and fossils are absent from the northern continents." He named the ancient landmass Gondwanaland for a region in central India that displays the typical geological features of the Permian and Carboniferous periods. The name Gondwanaland is derived from Sanskrit words meaning the forest of the Gonds, a people living in India.
Michael Bradley: Iceman Inheritance
Stephen William Hawking
Looking Upwards Into The Universe, Galaxies and Stars for the Origin of Man
The Formation Of Our Solar system Within The Orb Of The Milky Way
According to Jackson:
"Man is a child of the Earth , and if we wold understand his origin and evolution, we must learn something about the history of the Planet upon which he dwells. Any theory as to how the world begun must, of necessity, contain a large element of speculation, since none of us was present to witness that important event. We all know, the earth is one of a number of planets spiraling around the sun as it floats through space.
"Now, the Sun is a star, and it is similar to many other stars which twinkle like jewels set in the dome of the night sky. The other stars are also blazing balls of fire, but they are too far away that they appear only to be little points of light. With an unaided eye, only a few thousand stars are visible, but the telescope and camera reveal them in such vast numbers that attempting to count them would be a sheer waste of time. The stars of the cosmos are as numerous as all the grains of the sand on all the seashores of the world. As these stars wander through space, many of them travel in groups, but the majority of them just journey along as solitary vagabonds.
"The cosmos is so vast that a star is like a ship on an empty sea. Imagine stars as ships on a great ocean, so far apart that one ship will rarely come within a million miles of another. With millions of stars wandering blindly through space for millions of years, it seems probable that occasionally two stars might come close to each other, or even actually meet in a head-on collision.
""Cosmologists have promulgated theories of the origin of the world. The late Sir James Jeans thought that billions of years ago, as our sun roamed aimlessly through space, it was approached by a larger wandering star; and that the gravitational pull of the passing star was so powerful as to raise gigantic tides on the sun. This gravitational stress was so great that fragments of the Sun were ejected into space, and after the roving star passed on, the detached fragments continued to circulate around the Sun. In time they cooled off and became planets, and among them was this old world of ours.
"This theory, though plausible, has in recent years been superseded by another promulgated by Prof. Raymond Lyttleton. Astronomers have found huge stars scattered throughout space that sometimes become unstable and explode like huge hydrogen bombs. These Stars Are Called Supernovae, and Lyttleton opines that one of these celestial giants was a binary partner of the Sun about five billion years ago. This star was destroyed by a Supernova explosion, and some of the debris of the great blowup was captured by the Sun. Eventually this matter differentiated into several planets of the solar system, of which our own world and [planet] is one.
"For thousands of years after separating from the Sun, the earth was a flaming sphere of gas, but the extreme cold of the interstellar space (-273 centigrade) gradually reduced it to a state of fluidity. Then came the Birth of the Moon. While the Earth was still in the fluid condition and rotating more rapidly than at present, a large blob developed, somewhat like the knob on a lemon, and this protuberance became detached and rounded itself into our neighbor satellite, the Moon."
Early Earth And Moon's Fromatiion
Terence Dickinson: Hubble's Universe: Greatest Discoveries and Latest Images [Hardcover]
Origins of the Solar System, The Earth And It's Satellite, The Moon
By describing the birth of planets in the cosmos, It's a prelude to what I want to discuss about the origins of human beings in South Africa; also, below in this Hub, I will be discussing as to how the Africans of Mzantsi related and named and used/applied the the stars in all facets and aspects of their life since time immemorial. Just as the Dogon were able to name and identify and give cosmological substance to the the Sirius Star, so do the indigenous of Mzantsi have names and the roles the stars played in their earthly existence and life, and their understanding of the cosmos and their relationship to it. [Readers Can Read my hub titled "The Genesis of African Science and Technology" The Stars of the Deepest Origins-The Dogon's Planetary Cosmological Knowhow."
Given the paucity of a history such as I am attempting here on the Hub and publishing it on the Web, I will make note that it is important to note that in order for African history of South Africa to be authentic, it is going to have to cull fro many disciplines. At least, do a halfway decent research and writing the History of Africans in South Africa, it is a very hard task. I cannot write about the many ethnicities that dot the Mzantsi landscape, for they have enough on their shelves about their histories and then-some.
Approaching and broaching the historical narrative and historiography of South Africa, beginning with the 'now-known' universe and its stars, is to begin to trace the reality that man begun in and originated from the country today known as Mzantsi(South Africa). Although much has not been written about the Oral History, Custom and Traditions of the people of Mzantsi, below in this Hub, I will utilize Walter Ong to demonstrate that the way Africans related to the cosmological reality, was not something that could be found in their Oral traditions and history.
For this, I will later on ,below in this Hub, defer to Walter Ong to clarify my stance that Oral tradition of South Africa, today, still has to, and will be informing writing and consciuossness as we reconstruct our History and all that is relative and relevant to it. If the bones and the ancient tools cannot link for us the history of Africans and into the history of their land and themselves, we will then turn on to cultures, orality, dance, music, language and so forth to anchor and make it, the Oral Tradition: part of the whole narrative/story or history of Africans in South Africa.
If then we understand the make-up and origins of the universe, galaxies, stars, Dark Matter and Dark Energy, then we will proceed to discuss the origins of man, and will later give a much more concise discourse on the way the Africans of South Africa related to the stars in their cosmos along with their natural world.
One More Thing... The Formation of the Earth and the Solar System
For thousands of years after separating from the Sun, the Earth was a flaming sphere of gas, but the extreme cold of of the Interstellar space (-273 degrees centigrade) gradually reduced it to a state of liquidity. Then came the birth of the Moon. While the Earth was still in the fluid condition and rotating more rapidly than at present, a large blob developed somewhat like the knob on a lemon, and this protuberance became detached and rounded itself into our neighbor satellite, the Moon.
After more thousands of years of cooling, the earth began to wear a solid crust. The heavier elements sank into the interior, while the lighter ones floated to the survace. In those days and times, the earth was a white-hot sphere surrounded by a thick mantle of red-hot gasses: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. As the cooling process proceeded, oxygen and hydrogen combined, forming water, which hovered over the hot crust of the Earth as a blanket of steam.
With the passage of much time, the steam condensed into water, and settled down over the world as a boiling ocean-just a few ridges poking up through the primeval sea-and the water was fresh, for the salt in the sea was later washed off the land.
But let's not travel too far, from whence did the land come from? The original solid crust of the earth was 'probably' as smooth as the surface of the a billiard ball. Had it remained that way, the primordial ocean would have covered the entire surface of the globe. In other words, there would have been no dry land. But as the heavier elements of the interior of the earth lost the heat through volcanic activity, they contracted, and this caused the outer crust to fall in toward the interior, and to crumple up like the skin of the orange, and the ridges and impressions thus formed were the first mountains and valleys. The battle between land and sea began as soon as the world cooled enough to hold an ocean.The struggle has been a long one, but the land steadily gained on the water. Life arose in the sea, but the greatest episodes in the drama of life took place on the land.
This struggle on land was epitomized by the building of the greatest civilization of Man, ever. As this Hub demonstrates, this history how that Man has long dominated and taken over the land and recreated it in his image and likeness. This is very important to note because this was done by the indigenous of Mzantsi of today's contemporary South Africa, as it is presently seen now-the indigenous call it Mzantsi(Down south); others call it Azania, and this still is being contested and the people, in the latter and final part of their development of their history, will decide as to what to name their land they presently refer to as "Mzantsi"-as they had named the stars from antiquated antiquity
The Struggle For the Definition of African History Of Mzantsi (South Africa)
"All Truth passes through three stages:
First, it is Ridiculed;
Second, it is violently opposed; and
Third, it is accepted as self evident.
The Birth And Formation Of Our Present Earth
We further learn from Jackson that:
"After more thousands of years of cooling, the earth began to wear a solid crust
So, what is happening now with the continents. As we speak, the continents are moving, they are always moving, how they move so slowly that you can't tell. Some of the continents move merely 1.5 inches a year, while the others move with lightning speed of 2.5 inches per year. It's about as fast as your fingernails grow. Maybe a little bit slower, (Scotese)". Still, over millions of years that minute movement will drive the continents together.
The big question becomes, what will happen, what will be the effect of these incredibly large masses running into each other. What few people know is that it's already began. Africa has been slowly colliding with Europe for millions of years. Italy, Greece and almost everything in the Mediterranean is part of (the African plate), and it has been colliding with Europe for the last 40 million years." (Scotese)
The Alps and the Pyrenees mountains have been pushed up, and has been causing earthquakes that occasionally strike Greek and Turkey. "The Mediterranean is the remnant of a much larger ocean that has closed over the last 100 million years, and it will continue to close. More and more of the plate is going to get crumpled and get pushed higher and higher up, like the Himalayas." Australia is also likely to merge with the Eurasian continent.
Australia is moving north, colliding with Southeast Asia. Soon, the left shoulder of Australia will get caught, and then Australia will rotate and collide against Borneo and south China, adding to Asia. Meanwhile, America will move further away from Africa and Europe as the Atlantic grows. In the case of the widening Atlantic, geologists think that a "subduction zone" will eventually form on either the east or west edges of the ocean. At a subduction zone, the ocean floor dives under the edge of a continent and down into the interior of the Earth. "The subduction zone turns out to be the most important part of the system if you want to understand what causes the plates to move( Scotese)."
If a subduction zone starts on one side of the Atlantic -- Scotese thinks it will be the west side -- it will start to slowly drag the sea floor into the mantle. If this happens, the ridge where the Atlantic sea floor spreads would eventually be pulled into the Earth. The widening would stop, and the Atlantic would begin to shrink. Tens of millions of years later, the Americas would come smashing into the merged Euro-African continent, pushing up a new ridge of Himalayan-like mountains along the boundary. At that point, most of the world's landmass would be joined into a super-continent called "Pangea Ultima." The collision might also trap an inland ocean (Scotese).
We begin to get a picture here of how the continents were conjoined and in one cluster during the and will ultimately come back to join up as we see it today to what Scotese above calls "Pangea Ultima". Be that as it may, if we begin to look at the formation of continents when it was known as Gondwanaland, this configuration is important in the whole discourse of this Hub. The joined continents had at their center The Southern most tip of Africa, Mzantsi (South Africa) wherein the oldest man made tools, structures and human bones are found. This has been added into this Hub below to give a much more broader scope of the depth and existence of this material culture and evidence.
The Innards Of The Civilization Of Mzantsi
It is also interesting to note that Tellinger and Heine postulate, within certain limits, correctly about the origins of 'architecture' form South Africa, but at the same time, refuses to acknowledge nor recognize that the land has long been peopled by Human beings-present-day Africans, as he notes that "man appeared around 260,000 years, which too, I dispute, but would like to add that was when a fully fledged culture was already ripe and in existence that comes to us today as the structures they have reproduced of the material culture of the the land.
What I am saying is that, Tellinger's point that Grimaldi Man migrating into Europe around 60-70,000 years ago left all the cave art painting is not really off-course, and he is right. It is how we interpret what they painted that it will also inform us as to what was their experiences as they marched out of Africa into Europe. Also, the stone civilization that is spread-out throughout Africa is in itself an important indictor that man, those who were indigenous to the land, never left, but their rock/stone buildings which are evident today throughout the landscape of South Africa-are a testament of their origins.
There are academicians, today in South Africa, like Amanda Esterhuysen, who contended that these structures have long been there, and they are doing research in Mpulanga, and negates the fact that these stones are 75,000 years old. She says that the 'type of science said by Tellinger and his companion is questionable. Yet, I do not see any research data being cited by Amanda out of her research to say and show that it is she is disputing, and what she means when she says these structures have long been known.. by who? What was about that knowledge that was important, and what has her research dated the structures to have been made, by who, why and when-for who?
Now, I have many bones to pick with such sloppy attacks, but nonetehless, I will take what works for the rebuilding of the history of the people of Mzantsi, and incorporate it into my main thesis that the origin of all man can be traced back to Mzantsi. The origins of Architecture can be traced back to the people and the land of Mzantsi. The origins of agriculture can be found and traced defiitely in the land of the Africans of Mzantsi[pictures for these provided down inside this Hub].
Some Historians have talked about the Zimbawe Structures as the outposts and means by which the Africans of Monomotapa, Mapungubwe and those of Mzantsi would use to herd and look after their cows from a distance. They were the first to build in stone and huge rock; They named stars(as will be discussed below, and build structures that aligned to them as shown in the "Adams Calendar) and other amazing feats of cities larger than has ever been imagined or known to man.
It is also now a known fact that these indigenous of Mzantsi painted their pictures with uncommon conscious or the the era and left it for us to understanding their evolution and migrating patterns, in a myriad caves throughout Africa. Tellinger states: "This has been overlooked by historians, and we believe that [the] stone structures which lie across Southern Africa are the earliest human structures ever made. We invited four or five academics to come and look at the site, but their typical dogmatic thinking, they said there was no way this was a human-built structure; they said it was just rocks."
It is also noted by Telinger and Heiner that these rocks can be dated as far back as 75,000 years ago(His video explains how he did the dating of these rocks). "The most conclusive is the geology report, which proves without doubt that the rocks were both moved from a few kilometers away and were worked with human hands. The monoliths are dolomite while he bedrock is black reef cordite, and there are clear grooves, which someone has obviously carved onto the rock. Tellinger reports that he found that these monoliths were placed into exact geometrical alignments and lined up exactly with North, south, east and west. Tellinger and his partner also fund that two of the central rocks work as a calendar, with a tall rock casting a shadow on a shorter, flat rock. The shadow moves across the rock in exactly one year.
Since these structure are man-made, it then follows that the present inhabitants of Mzantsi, in their 11(diverse groups/nations) are the originators of those structures, and that their present culture emanates and originated from that remote antiquity, albeit it has suffered the vicissitudes of colonialism, Imperialism and cultural wars against it, to date.
But, the Enki myth and story is a very serious stretch and denying the Oral history and tradtion of many of these structures that can be found in African folkorelore. The Sumerians were correct in stating, within their texts, that or making reference to the fact that southern Africa had a civilization as a "time before time", is in actual fact true and indisputable. But they did not bring any civilization to the Mzantsi I am talking about in this Hub.
Looking into African Origin Of History, Man, and all that we see today, is to be brought around the fact that the Apartheid regime, some people conveniently forget, had stonewalled, and obfuscated this history through many ways. Studying the colonization of South Africa, one must remember that the Afrikaners and the belligerent cousins, the British, took the best land away from the Africans of South africa.. Up to this day, they still control 87% of the land mass that is South Africa-most of these structure are found or lie hidden in this vast track of land the Whites appropriated for themselves..
Now, the question and some answers emerge as to why such information seems incredulous, unreal, some people resist it, others are simply ignorant, and the rest are made dumb and dogmatic by the Apartheid rule, and its efforts at hiding all that was rightly African, and never allowed anyone into their colonized farms, or colonized land. Now, with the advent and governance of the ANC-we begin to see the real truth emerge about the real history and culture of the people of Mzantsi(but this still is being defined and written by Whites who have their biases, and want to link their people[not the indigenous Africans] to this incredible but true history of humanity).
- It is a land where one finds the oldest statue of the Hawk Head o Horus, about 260,000 years old;
- Petroglyphs of winged disks with a cross;
- Two Pyramids aligned to the Adam's Calendar and the rise of the Orion
That is, these cultural material realities found in Mzantsi(South Africa) is forcing us to recreate the history of Africans in Mzantsi and to rewrite the whole Human history. This is the real problem and struggle for the definition of this history, which is still to be acknowledged and known by the indigenous and embrace it as theirs. This is one of the many reasons this Hub is being written, and through it, an attempt will be made to approach and broach the subject from a purely African Centered Perspective.
These staggering discoveries here in Mzantsi will mot be immediately and easily digested by the mainstream historical and archeological fraternity, as the reviews of this work has shown recently. What this history is doing is that it is affecting and effecting a complete paradigm shift in how we have been viewing and are now going to be viewing this history of the Africans of Mzantsi.
Tellinger states that:
"The main reason for this is that we have been taught that nothing of significance has ever come from southern Africa. That the powerful civilizations all emerged in Sumeria and Egypt and other places. We are told that until the settlement of the BANTU people from the north, which was supposed to have started sometime in the 12th century AD, this part of the world was filled by hunter gatherers and so-called Bushmen, who did not make any major contributions in technology or civilization."
This has been the push back I have pointing back to throughout the Hub that the history as told by the Boers is that we came from the north and not the original inhabitants of this land with such great history, beauty and wealth. From an African centered perspective, we have been and are of this land since the beginning of human time and origins. Our civilization, though seemingly lost' is really something we can rework, recompose and rewrite to suit our humanity, development and continuity here on earth.
I really do not buy into nor am persuaded one bit by the ENKI explanation of African civilization as has been discovered thus far. Because of the fact that a great city has been found where modern-day Johannesburg(Gauteng[Golden City]) is today, there was and is now in evidence, a city that was covering 20,000 square miles, with well over 100,000 stone ruins in it still today, and these were linked by ancient roads and places of worship, entertainment and so forth.
Talking about the gold and the ancient mines found throughout the whole country of South African, I have written extensively about this, with pictures, in my Hub titled, "History, Culture, Customs, Traditions and Practices of the Africans of south Africa: Deconstructing Historical Amnesia." This hub is the continuation of the Hub: South african Culture, Custom and Practices Writ Large: Re-Morphed Cultural Renaissance Against Dysfunctional Existence.The covering and resuscitation of a culture of a people, in reality, needs more volumes than I can provide. In any case, I am working on giving a clearer and much more true history, culture and languages of the Africans in south Africa, than the phony-baloney fake distortion and culturally dividing and confusing the African people whose culture still needs to be discussed and interrogated thoroughly and extensively and finally, be put into its proper African Centered historiographical perspective.
This hub is the continuation of the Hub: South african Culture, Custom and Practices Writ Large: Re-Morphed Cultural Renaissance Against Dysfunctional Existence.The covering and resuscitation of a culture of a people, in reality, needs more volumes than I can provide. In any case, I am working on giving a clearer and much more true history, culture, etc. This is now being done in this present I am onto, and will jot-down all the relevant facts and draw from that our own conclusion and whatever pleases or interests us as important and relatable and relevant.
The Pyramids Of Mzantsi: "Time Before Time"
According to Tellinger, "When we think of pyramids, we immediately imagine the spectacular pyramids of Giza, or the Mayan pyramids, that are built from giant blocks of stone and take your breadth away each time we see them. But these are the exception to the rule. Most pyramids around the world do not look like that. Hundreds of pyramids around the world are reduced to piles of rubble that simply approximate the shapes of a pyramid. This does not mean that they are not pyramids and most of the pyramids in Egypt are of the lesser category.
"In 2008 we accidentally discovered two pyramids i the valley below Adam's Calendar. At first we could not believe our eyes and dismissed them as hills that simply look like pyramids. But curiosity got the better of us when we realized that virtually every point at the calendar is aligned or linked to the pyramids in some way. After all, the Egyptians build Sphinxes, Horus statues and pyramids. We had already discovered a sphinx and a Horus statue, here in South Africa, so why not the pyramids, right here in South Africa?"pictures of Pyramids of South africa posted below in the Hub].
These are interesting facts and truths. But it is not in linking them to the local indigenous culture that makes them false. False in the sense that what is discovered in South Africa, was created by some foreign God, is false. It is in the tradition and culture/orality of the African people that we should begin to articulate this history from, and names given to these material cultures can be garnered by studying the languages and oral traditions and cultures of the local people wherein these structures exist, do that maybe we can begin to fathom and flesh-out this Antiquated civilization of Mzantsi.
What is left now, knowing these structure exist, is to go back to the indigenous people of those areas and cull from them their 'oral','customary', etc., story and history of Africans from 'time before time'-Great Antiquated Antiquity. From understanding and knowing this history/oral /customary tradition which spawned a civilization still to be talked about for generations to come, will make us understand the history, Orality, Customs and so forth of the Africans of Mzantsi.
Origins: The Evolution of Continents, Oceans and Life Hardcover by Ron Redfern
Pangea Ultima - Future World
The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet [Hardcover] Robert M. Hazen
On Gondwanaland and Mzantsi
My Take On The Tellinger Video Below
For hundreds of millions of years, all the land of Earth was joined together in one large mass or super continent. Scientists call it Pangaea (meaning "all lands" in Greek)
Then about 200 million years ago the land began to drift apart. It broke into two pieces, and scientists have called the continent in the north Laurasia and the continent in the south Gondwanaland. Gondwanaland included what we know as Antarctica, which was joined to South America, Africa, India, and Australia.
The top layer of the Earth's crust is made up of large sections called tectonic plates. Some are oceanic plates, located in the oceans, and some are continental plates carrying continents on top of them. The plates all move very very slowly and in different directions. Where they meet is called a boundary. At some boundaries the plates move apart and liquid rock seeps into the valley that results. It hardens and becomes new crust. At some boundaries two plates collide, and one is forced up, forming mountains. The other is forced down and part of it goes into the Earth's core and melts. At other boundaries, the two plates grind together as they pass in different directions, but neither is changed. Earthquakes occur along the boundary as the plates grind each other. (Planet Earth)
This process gave birth and the way the continents are organized today. The coming of man has been attempted to be traced by Darwin, whom we discuss below, and also, the evolution of man in South Africa today, was slowed down if not shut-down by the Apartheid rulers who were hell-bent on trying to hide the true history of the Africans to the Africans themselves. This will bell dealt with in this Hub, and will also attempt on correcting some untruths, obfuscation and falsifications that have brought to bear on this history and culture.
Below is the video by Michael Tellinger, which has some good points to it, but also it is a consistent rebuttal of the origins of the civilization of Mzantsi as being African, but about some people who moved from elsewhere to come and build the cities that are being discussed in this Hub. It is also disingenuous of these 'explorers' to tag the founders as not African, but some people who had come to do some gold mining in South Africa. This is the same tactic that has been imposed on Zimbabwe as to who built the structures.
According to these explorers, it could not have possibly been the Africans of South Africa, but some aliens from somewhere else, who civilization does not come even close to that which is being found in Mzatnsi, to be the ones that are responsible for originating the civilization of Mzantsi. The geneticist view does not cut it for me. I also acknowledge other means of teleporting and consulting with seances to interpret history, whilst ignoring the local indigenous culture/oral tradition/history and its indigenous people, is somewhat too much of a stretch for me, and an effort at obfuscation and falsification of the Story/History/Orality/Customs, Languages and sacred practices and rites of the indigenous peoples of Mzantsi(South Africa).
Probabilities and 'seems' like in interpreting history, which one hears from Tellinger, is dubious and very much convoluted and fictive. I do not buy into some of the assertion made by Tellinger about the red soil culture, and the genetic engineering of the people of the time, breeding humans, is much more weird than most people would what to believe. What is striking about his cloning of humans in the purported lost civilization are fantastic machination and imagination on steroids because this lis clear in that, throughout the talk, the Africans of South Africa are not even talked about, considered, nor their culture not attached or used in order to understand the ancient ruins and so forth.
The way Tellinger tells his "story", some of the facts like the size of the cities that were 10,000 square miles. Some researchers say that there are about 20,000 of these cities spread throughout southern Africa-others say 200,000- Tellinger pushes it even further to 1-million. The latest count of these certain that have identified has been 100,000 cities which could have easily been populated by 20-million people. This I can understand and accept, but the Annunaki theories, as partly supported by Credo Mutwa, who is cited in the book, is not enough to hinge on the material culture that has been unearthed in South Africa, and in the process ignore the indigenous and not even talk about them, to me, is not true and pure obfuscation.
The Biblical story of the flood, and the disappearance of this civilization, or the going away of the Annunaki(who no one knows of here in Mzantsi, it too, is too much of a stretch in trying to tie the ruins of Mzantsi to the foreigners who came from elsewhere to build and clone people there.) This is implausible, and also a way that helps delegitimize Africans of South Africa as the creators and founders of these ancient cities and all that we see now. Saying that Enki was the creator of beings and the civilization, is not true, because the Africans here in Mzantsi talk of "Mvelinqange" or "Moholomholo" who was their God and they related and talked to him whenever he came down from a mountain filled with stones.
Like I said above, the video below, is important because it introduces the reader/listener to a history which has heretofore never been talked about nor known, into perspective. What I do not buy about it, is the speculation and not the facts. The facts are there, but the fleshing of these facts is subject to bias and ignorance about the culture of the Africans of Mzantsi. These explorers use their own background and whatever they can conjure to try and explain this culture.
Listening carefully and fully to the video, it does shed some light about the ancient ruins, but it lacks the historical, oral and customary perspectives of the Africans, and these can be found amongst the people themselves. The Civilization of Monomotapa and Mapungwe are some of the civilization I have talked about and published; and now, with this Hub, I was just reversing the historical timeline "from the formations of the continents to the present-day Mzantsi"-that is the objective of this whole Hub.
Some recollection about Monomotapa:
"In 1440, the empire of Monomotapa was under the leadership of the fierce and awesome King Mutato, or "Mutato the Great." His vast empire had been developed by Vakarang immigrants who were invaders. The Monomotapa Empire covered what is known today as Rhodesia, Kalahara, Mozambique, and into Transvaal in South Africa.
King Mutato established effective political rule, and promoted eco- nomic development and prosperity.
The Monomotapa used iron technology and allied crafts, long before the Christian era. With over 4000 active mines, and gold being the lead- ing export commodity, ironwork was still highly regarded. The drive for excellence in everything produced was reflected in the artistic work throughout the empire.
The building of the temples and beautiful stone structures, rivaled the construction associated with the great pyramids in Egypt. The Monomotapa were great stonemasons and architects. According to records in stone, a highly developed civilization existed in South Africa, at the same time of the great Egyptian and Ethiopian era, in the North.
King Mutato mastered a plan to unite the Blacks throughout the entire Monomotapa Empire. Their enemies knew that if they could keep the Blacks fighting amongst themselves, they would be a divided people, lacking in power, and the enemy would have access to their wealth.
Mutato moved quickly to recruit, develop, and train armies, under the supervision of capable generals. Additional strategic leadership by Matope, Mutato's son, who came into power after Mutato's death, strengthened and unified Monomotapa. However, after Matope's death, Monomotapa swiftly declined, and the empire began to break up
A short about Mapungubwe:
Mapungubwe is a 1,000-year-old city located at the basin of the Limpopo River in South Africa. It reached its height during the 11th century and was the first in a number of trading states developed by the Bantu people who built their wealth through cattle herding.
Perched on a plateau 985 feet long and 164 feet high, Mapungubwe is surrounded by sandstone cliffs and can be reached only by rope. The people who lived there transported to the top 2,000 tons of soil for farming. They created intricate gold artifacts and pottery and traded goods as far away as India and China.
Since discovery of its ruins in the 1930s, Mapungubwe has been owned and excavated by the University of Pretoria. Because South Africa's apartheid system taught that South Africa was uninhabited until the white settlers arrived in the 17th century, it was considered an embarrassment for the South African government or to the conservative University to admit that they had discovered this ancient African city.
So this great treasure found at Mapungubwe has remained in the University's basement, hidden away from the public for the past seventy years. Historians and archaeologists now can tell us that Mapungubwe is one of hundreds of similar ancient towns in Southern Africa that were settled by black Africans more than 1,000 years ago. See my Hubs: "South African Culture, Customs And Practices Writ Large: Re-Morphed Cultural Renaissance Against Dysfunctional Existence." Also, a sequel to this Hub I wrote is called "History, Culture, Customs, Traditions and Practices Of The Africans Of South Africa." This Hubs attempt to give an in-depth look into the civilization of the people of Mzantsi from Mapungubwe to present-day contemporary South africa(Mzantsi)
(South africa). The video below has some truism to it, but is also using a lot of distortion of the true history of South Africa which this Hub is onto.
It is also important to write much more in-depthly about the history of the Congo because it has been so neglected when we are talking about the civilization of Mzantsi. Prof. Clarke informs us thusly:
The Old Congo
"The people and nations of Central Africa have no records of their ancient and medieval history like the "Tarikh es Sudan" or the "Tarikh el Fettach" of the Western Sudan (West Africa). The early travelers to these areas are mostly unknown. In spite of the forest as an obstacle to the formation of empires comparable to those of the Western Sudan, notable kingdoms did rise in this part of Africa and some of them did achieve a high degree of civilization.
The Congo Valley became the gathering place of various branches of the people we know now as Bantu. When the history of Central Africa is finally written, it will be a history of invasions and migrations. According to one account, between two and three thousand years ago a group of tribes began to move out of the region south or southwest of Lake Chad.
Sometime during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the center of Africa became crowded with pastoral tribes who needed more land for their larger flocks and herds. This condition started another migration that lasted for more than a hundred years. Tribes with the prefix Ba to their names spread far to the west into the Congo basin and southward through the central plains. The Nechuana and Basuto were among these tribes. Tribes with the prefix Ama—great warriors like the Ama-Xosa and Ama-Zulu—passed down the eastern side.
In the meantime some of the more stable tribes in the Congo region were bringing notable kingdoms into being. The Kingdom of Loango extended from Cape Lopez (Libreville) to near the Congo; and the Congo Empire was mentioned by the Portuguese as early as the fourteenth century. The Chief of Loango, Mani-Congo, extended his kingdom as far as the Kasai and Upper Zambesi Rivers. This kingdom had been in existence for centuries when the Portuguese arrived in the fifteenth century. They spoke admiringly of its capital, Sette-Camo, which they called San Salvador. The Kingdom of Congo dates back to the fourteenth century. At the height of its power it extended over modern Angola, as far east as the Kasai and Upper Zambesi Rivers.
Further inland the Kingdom of Ansika was comprised of the people of the Bateke and Bayoka, whose artistic talents were very remarkable. Near the center of the Congo was the Bakuba Kingdom (or Bushongo), still noted for its unity, the excellence of its administration, its art, its craftsmanship and the beauty of its fabrics.
South of the Congo basin the whole Bechuana territory formed a vast state which actually ruled for a long time over the Basutos, the Zulus, the Hottentots and the Bushmen, including in a single empire the greater part of the black population of Southern and Central Africa. This was the era of Bushongo grandeur; the people we now know as Balubas.
Only the Bushongo culture kept its records and transmitted them almost intact to modern research. The Bakubas are an ancient people whose power and influence once extended over most of the Congo. Their history can be traced to the fifth century. For many centuries the Bakubas have had a highly organized social system, an impressive artistic tradition and a secular form of government that expressed the will of the people through a democratic political system. Today, as for many generations in the past, the court of a Bakuba chief is ruled by a protocol as rigid and complicated as that of Versailles under Louis XIV.
At the top of the Bakuba hierarchy is the royal court composed of six dignitaries responsible for cabinet-like matters such as military affairs, justice and administration. At one time there were in the royal entourage 143 other functionaries, including a master of the hunt, a master storyteller and a keeper of oral traditions. In the sixteenth century the Bakubas ruled over a great African empire. The memory of their glorious past is recalled in the tribe with historical exactitude. They can name the reigns of their kings for the past 235 years. The loyalty of the people to these rulers is expressed in a series of royal portrait-statues dating from the reign of Shamba Bolongongo, the greatest and best known of the Bakuba kings.
In the Bakuba system of government the king was above all a symbol, rather like the Mikado in the eyes of the Japanese. His ministers, the Kolomos, paid him great respect in public, even if they were his known enemies. In private they made no pretense of subservience. If the king wanted to see his ministers he had to go to their houses or meet them on neutral ground. The ordinary members of the tribe had representatives at the court on a political and professional basis. Some of these officials represented geographical areas, trades and professions. The weavers, the blacksmiths, the boat-builders, the net-makers, the musicians and the dancers all had their representatives at court. There was even a special representative of the fathers of twins. The representative of the sculptors was held in highest esteem. The Bakuba sculptors are considered to be the finest in Africa.
Shamba Bolongongo was a peaceful sovereign. He prohibited the use of the shongo, a throwing knife, the traditional weapon of the Bushongo. This wise African king used to say: "Kill neither man, woman nor child. Are they not the children of Chembe (God), and have they not the right to live?" Shamba likewise brought to his people some of the agreeable pastimes that alleviate the tediousness of life. The reign of Shamba Bolongongo was really the "Golden Age" of the Bushongo people of the Southern Congo. After abolishing the cruder aspects of African warfare, Shamba Bolongongo introduced raffia weaving and other arts of peace. According to the legends of the Bushongo people, their history as a state goes back fifteen centuries. Legends notwithstanding, their magnificent sculpture and other artistic accomplishments are unmistakable, the embodiment of a long and fruitful social experience reflecting the life of a people who have been associated with a higher form of culture for more than a thousand years.
Early in the twentieth century when the European writer, Emil Torday, was traveling through the Congo collecting material for his book On the Trail of the Bushongo, he found the Bakuba elders still singing the praises of Shamba Bolongonog. They also repeated the list of their kings, a list of one hundred twenty names, going back to the godlike king who founded their nation. From these Bakuba elders, Emil Torday learned of Bo Kama Bomanchala, the great king who reigned after Shamba Bolongongo. The elders recalled the most memorable event that had occurred during his reign. On March 30, 1680, there was a total eclipse of the sun, passing exactly over Bushongo.
Jose Fernandez, one of the first European explorers to visit Central Africa, went there in 1445. Any number of subsequent expeditions were carried out by such men as Diego Borges, Vincente Annes, Rebello de Araca, Francisco Baretto and Dom Christovao da Gama. The parts of Africa visited, explored and discovered by these men included the kingdom of the Congo, Timbuktu, the East Coast of Africa, Nubia, the Kingdom of Angola, Abyssinia and the Lake Tsana region.
Much of the history and civilization of Central Africa and East Africa was revealed by the study made by the Portuguese African explorer Duarte Lopez in his book History of the Kingdom of Congo. Duarte Lopez went to the Congo in 1578 and stayed for many years. From his study and description of the Congo we learn that the Kingdom of the Congo included the territory formerly known as the Congo, Angola and parts of the Cameroons.
According to Lopez, the kingdom of the Congo at the time measured 1,685 miles. The King, still reliving his past glory, styled himself Dom Alvarez, King of Congo, and of Abundo, and of Natama, and of Quizama, and of Angola, and of Angri, and of Cacongo, and of the seven Kingdoms of Congere Amolza, and of the Pangelungos, and the Lord of the River Zaire (Congo) and of the Anzigiros, and of Anziqvara, and of Doanga, etc. He also tells us that the Kingdom of Angola was at one time a vassal state of the Congo.
At the time of Lopez's twelve years stay in the country, the Kingdom of the Congo was divided into six provinces. The province of Bamba was the military stronghold of the kingdom, and was capable of putting 400,000 well-disciplined men in the field.
The rich gold mines at Sofala (now a port of Mozambique) attracted the Portuguese to the East Coast of Africa. They used intermarriage with the Africans as a means of gaining favor and pushing into the interior of Africa. In turn, the Africans gradually lost their anti-Christian hostilities and gave in to being converted to Christianity. And thus Christianity was introduced into the Congo before 1491. The Mani Sogno was the first Congo nobleman to embrace the Christian faith. The Moslems, coming into the Congo from the East Coast, prevailed upon the Africans to resist being converted to Christianity, telling them that Christianity was a subtle method used by the Portuguese to take over their country. This warning notwithstanding, Christianity continued to spread in the Congo.
In 1513, Henrique, son of Dom Affonso, then King of the Congo, was sent to Lisbon and to Rome to study theology. In 1520, Pope Leo X appointed Henrique Bishop of Utica and Vicar-apostolic of the Congo. Unfortunately, Henrique died before he could return to the Congo. He was Rome's first Central African bishop. The royal archives of Portugal still hold the records reflecting the ceremonial respect that was paid to this Christian son of an African king and queen.
In the years that followed, Portuguese evangelization of the Congo continued. The Holy See received ambassadors from and sent legates to the Congo. In 1561, Father Dom Goncalo da Silvera baptized the Emperor of the Court of Monomotapa.
The peaceful relations between the Africans and the Portuguese were eventually disrupted by the rising European lust for slaves and gold. It was from Angola and the Congo that the Portuguese New World was to derive its greatest source of slaves. In 1647, Salvador Correia of Brazil organized an expedition of fifteen ships for the purpose of reconquering Angola, which had been under Dutch rule for eight years. This event might be considered go be one of the earliest political interventions of the New World in the Affairs of the Old.
Portuguese domination founded on the dire necessities of the slave trade persisted in Angola. After a period of relative splendor, the Christian Kingdom of the Congo began to weaken and was practically destroyed by European fortune hunters, pseudo-missionaries and other kinds of free-booters. By 1688, the entire Congo region was in chaos. By the end of the seventeenth century European priests had declared open war on the non-Christian population of the Congo. They were attempting to dominate Congolese courts and had ordered the execution of Congolese ancestral priests and indigenous doctors. Now the Congolese Christians were pathetic pawns of the hands of unscrupulous European priests, soldiers, merchants and other renegade pretenders, mere parish priests from Europe were ordering Congolese kings from their thrones.
Soon treachery, robbery and executions compounded the chaos in the Congo. Violence became the order of the day as various assortments of European mercenaries vied for control of this rich area of Africa. In the ensuing struggle many of the Christian churches built by the Portuguese were destroyed. The Dutch, still feeling the humiliation of the decline of their influence in Angola, came into the Congo and systematically removed all traces of the once prevailing Portuguese power.
By 1820 Arab slave traders had penetrated the Congo from Zanzibar and through Tanganyika. Soon after their arrival their slave raids were decimating the population. The European rediscovery of the Congo and neighboring territories began in the middle of the nineteenth century. In 1858, two Englishmen, Burton and Spoke, discovered Lakes Tanganyka and Victoria, approaching them from the shores of the Indian Ocean. The Scotch Protestant missionary, Livingstone, explored the regions of the big lakes and in 1871, Livingstone and Stanley met on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. From 1874 to 1877, Henry Morton Stanley crossed Africa from east to west and 'discovered' the Congo River.
In the meantime, King Leopold II of Belgium focused his attention on Central Africa and in 1876 founded the Association International Africaine. In 1878, King Leopold commissioned Stanley to establish connection between the Congo River and the ocean in the non-navigable part of the river. From 1879 to 1885, a handful of Belgian officers sent by the King set up posts along the Congo River. They were followed by Catholic and Protestant missionaries.
King Leopold's undertakings gave rise to competition and greed. Other European nations had designs on the Congo. The King's diplomatic successes at the Berlin Conference of 1884 settled this matter. The members of the Conference marked out spheres of influence in Africa and determined boundaries that are still in existence. The Congo Free State came into being. The Belgian parliament agreed that Leopold should have "exclusive" personal ownership of the Congo. The United States was the first power to ratify the arrangement, largely through the efforts of General Henry S. Stanford, who was American minister to Brussels at the time.
And thus began the tragedy of Belgian rule in the Congo"
This history is important in that it gives us a glimpse of the life of the people of the Congo, who were not really not that much unaware of their neighbors in the south and Southeast of Southern Africa, and many of the Portuguese sailors, who kept records of these people during these times, they alluded to these civilizations, and particularly that of Monomotapa which stretched from Angola to Maputo; from Angola to the Western and eastern Cape, that in order to give some credence to the civilizations of Mzantsi, we will need also to be cognizant of those civilizations we can identify in order to give some historical continuity and truth to the fact that the civilization of Mzantsi was the largest and biggest ever, by man. This whole Hub is an effort to rewrite, recreate, compose and present this history as has never before done-from an African perspective.
Lost Cities of Africa Paperback by Basil Davidson
Africa in History [Paperback] Basil Davidson
The Civilizations of Southern Africa(South Africa In Particular)
"A Tarnished Past Which Was The Shining Example of Man's Civilization
Thus, in studying the history of Mzantsi as the origin of Man and the world we now live in, is that the chart of African History, so lately bare and empty and misleading maps once were, begins to glow with illuminating detail. Bearded Monsters and "men whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders" begin to disappear; and humanity in all its smallness and its greatness, begin to emerge. And it begins to be seen, if fleetingly and partially as yet, that the writing of African history is not only possible and useful, but will be as well a work of rediscovery - the rediscovery of African "Humanity".
The African, many have thought, is a man without a past. Black Africa - Africa south of the Sahara desert - is in this view a continent where men by their own efforts have never raised themselves much above the level of the beasts. "No ingenious manufactures among them, no arts, no sciences," commented David Hume. "No approach to civilization of his White fellow creatures whom he imitates as a monkey do, and Governor of Nigeria could write that "for countless centuries, while all the pageant of history swept by, the African remained unmoved - in primitive savagery."
Even in 1958, Sir Arthur Kirby, Commissioner for British East Africa in London, could tell the Torquay Branch Overseas League that "in the last sixty years - little more than a lifetime of some people in this room - East Africa has developed from a completely primitive 'country'(!?), in many ways more backward than the Stone Age. ...
"Africans, on this view, had never evolved civilizations of their own. If they possessed a history, it could be scarcely worth telling. And this belief that Africans had lived in universal chaos or stagnation until the coming of Europeans seemed not only to find its justification in a thousand tales of savage misery and benighted ignorance; it was also, of course, exceedingly convenient in hight Colonial/Imperial times. For it could be argued(and it was; indeed, it still is) that these peoples, history-less, were naturally inferior or else they were children who had still to grow up"; in either case, they were manifestly in need of government by others who had grown up." (Davidson)
This is why this Hub is being written. Such snide and very biased and 'dumbing down' comments about Africans have been made in the past, and still are made today and Africans are often reminded how much of 'children' they are, and that the Europeans had to come all the way form backward Europe to come and civilize and christianize Africans who could not save themselves if left alone in their barbaric state.
One need read the Hub i have already published here on HubPages called "The History And The Age of The Moors In Spain: How The Moors Civilized Europe - The History Of Africa," wherein I show how, before the coming of the Moors, Europeans were so backward and lived in houses without a window, and who thought it was taboo to wash, were living in the Darkest of the Ages in human history, and yet they would be the ones today who tell Africans that they have no history, and have created no civilization worth noting, that, in this Hub, I begin to deconstruct and debunk these malicious falsities to the extent that it will help African history have its walk in the Sun in World history, and be recognized as the real story of the origin of humanity and what we see today as modern civilization.
So that, "this view of African achievement, or lack of achievement," is now with increasing knowledge seen to rest on no more solid a foundation in truth that earlier belief about Niger's flowing westward. Geographical discovery has proved that the Niger flows to the eastward. Historical discovery is now proving that the development and growth of society and civilization in Africa really cotradict this stereotype of "centuries-long stagnation." The world is changing its mind about the past of Africa."(Davidson)
This Hub is breaking down the achievement and showcasing the importance, relevance and truth about the 'real and true' history of Africans of Africa, and particularly those of South Africa(Mzantsi) which, up to this far, falsities were the order and logic of the day-that Africa has not contributed anything towards history and civilization of Man. This Hub negates and pushes back at such lies, and it makes a bold statement that this could not be far from the truth, Instead, the opposite is true. Now we have proof and data to show that, in fact, man and civilization originated in Mzantsi(South Africa, whose civilization can be traced back to 200,000 B.C). This will be included in this historical narrative below-with photos to show the material culture of the Africans-and some has been shown above.
According to our standard understanding of history in the region, the landscape in question was sparsely populated by nomadic peoples during the time these walled structures, numbering in the millions, were built. Where was the workforce to make all these walls - each constructed well enough to have survived the ravages of time?
Among the ruins, the authors - who have clearly researched their subject with extensive privately-funded fieldwork - have discovered many anomalous stones and artifacts which, in their opinion, set the dates of the monuments far back into antiquity. There must have been, they argue quite reasonably, a well-resourced civilisation behind the construction of these ancient walls. The patterns the walling forge across the landscape of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and southern Mozambique are remarkable, especially seen from the air. The authors ascribe the denser collections of stone-works to extensive ancient cities, but given the lack of entrances to many of the more circular structures this is far from self-evident.
"They ponder many possibilities - some of them highly speculative - about the uses of the ruins and the channels that run between many of them. We are asked to consider such exotic ideas as free energy, acoustic/sound energy, an industrial-scale gold extraction technique, and even the ability to levitate. It is clear that gold was mined in South Africa tens of thousands of years ago, and that this might have been, even then, an important source of trade. It could be reasonably argued that such an industry could have funded the building of such extensive monuments across hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of land.
"But such an acceptance of this overturns much of ancient history, and our normal working assumptions about early civilisations. Perhaps, one might argue, that explains the woeful neglect of these ancient African ruins? Perhaps the neglect stems from old-style European-centred arrogance that has never quite gone away; that ancient civilisation must have started with the Greeks and Romans, pushed back eventually to the Egyptians and, with some weariness by Euro-centric academia.
"Is it time for that same academia to consider that the cradle of civilisation went back still further in time and distance, to southern Africa? After all, that's where our human race emerged from in the first place, and modern humans have been roaming about for about 200,000 years - creating a great deal of opportunity for a civilisation extending back well into the last Ice Age. I think this seems likely, and I think the authors have done South Africa and its surrounding lands a great service in bringing this historical origins possibility to the world's attention.
"However, I have a different explanation to offer for these structures, not considered in the book. The reader's attention is drawn to the similarity between the patterns the walls create, as seen from above, and ancient rock petroglyphs also found in southern Africa. The aerial photos remind me of the Nazca lines in Peru, although the patterns and their mode of construction are very different. They also remind me of the modern phenomenon of crop circles here in Britain, created by artists intent on creating controversy when the circles are viewed from the air.
"I think the extensive stone-walled patterns were designed to be seen from above. They served no other practical purpose when they were constructed, although they may have been made use of by later nomadic peoples. Initially, though, I think they were simply religious in nature, creating a tapestry of artwork to be seen by the gods from the sky.
"Many of the patterns look like flowers, and the walls leading up to them, that so mysteriously stop in dead ends, look like flower stems. Is it possible that the ancient peoples who made these extensive structures were creating a countrywide depiction of a garden, to be appreciated only from above? To enter the territory of speculation enjoyed by the authors, might this garden not be that of Eden? That would tie in with the concept of civilisation emerging in South Africa/Zimbabwe first, centred upon the extraction of gold and, hence, wealth, power and the wielding of extensive human resources.
As Richard Dawkins would argue, "religion has a way of sapping huge resources completely unnecessarily. Powerful religious figures in all societies draw resources to create their temples, often in alarming juxtaposition to the living conditions of the people they actually serve. And religious people themselves are often happy to provide much of their time and resources to serve their religion, with no seeming benefit to them in return, beyond a tenuous promise of heaven in the afterlife."(Tellinger)
In a nutshell, Africans have been doing what other people all over the world, having control of their societies, spirituality, culture, history, oral tradition and history, language and the whole bit. We can simply regurgitate our history, but are using it to begin to form African unity, without being ignorant, but knowledgeable and confident about the data that we, as people of African descent, are using to recompose and upgrade the truth about African history, culture, customs, sacred rites and practices, languages, music, dance, and traditional dress.
There is a civilization that was formed here in Mzantsi before it was even fashionable to think of it as so. The people who have exposed such information, like Tellinger, are doing a great service by bringing an awareness about this history, but nonetheless, are also doing a disservice by interpreting what they found here in Mzantsi as being of foreign origin. This reeks of the untruths told about the so-called Zimbabwe ruins. It is therefore our duty as African people/historians to tell our story/history without asking permission from anyone for us to do so.
Reclamation and Restitution Of African South African History
It may have been a million years ago
The Light was kindled in the Old Dark Land
With which the illumined Scrolls are all aglow,
That Egypt gave us her mummied hand:
This was the secret of that subtle smile
Inscrutable upon the Sphinx's face,
Now told from sea to sea, from isle to isle;
The revelation of the Old Dark Race;
Theirs was the wisdom of the Bee and Bird,
Ant, Tortoise, Beaver, working human-wise;
The ancient darkness spake with Egypt's Word;
Hers was the primal message of the skies:
The Heavens are telling nightly of her glory,
And for all time Earth echoes her great story.
Truth is all-potent with its silent power
If only whispered, never heard aloud,
But working secretly, almost unseen,
Save in some excommunicated book;
'Tis as the lightning with its errand done
Before you hear the thunder.
The First Peoples
A scientific expose that will shatter our knowledge of ancient human history. Scholars have told us that the first civilisation on Earth emerged in a land called Sumer some 6000 years ago. New archaeological and scientific discoveries made by Michael Tellinger, Johan Heine and a team of leading scientists, show that the Sumerians and even the Egyptians inherited all their knowledge from an earlier civilisation that lived at the southern tip of Africa(Mzantsi) more than 200,000 years ago mining gold. These were also the people who carved the first Horus bird, the first Sphinx, built the first pyramids and built an accurate stone calendar right in the heart of it all. Adams Calendar is the flagship among millions of circular stone ruins, ancient roads, agricultural terraces and thousands of ancient mines, left behind by a vanished civilisation which we now call the FIRST PEOPLE. They carved detailed images into the hardest rock, worshipped the sun, and are the first to carve an image of the Egyptian Ankh -- key of life and universal knowledge, 200,000 years before the Egyptians came to light. (Tellnger)
We learn from Tellinger/Heine on this unknown and neglected aspect of archeology that:
"Once one has pored over the myriad photographs, aerial images and satellite photos of these mysterious stone walls, and realised the extent of their coverage across broad swathes of southern Africa, one is left flabbergasted at mainstream archaeology's apparent neglect of these ancient ruins. Taken individually, each circular monument might be dismissed as a sheep pen (the Khoi people were shepherds 2000 years ago), and each terrace as man's early attempt to manipulate the landscape for horticultural gain[and spiritual gain, too]. But these are not isolated structures. Instead, they are diffused right across the landscape of southern Africa[particularly in Mzantsi], half-buried and mostly forgotten.
"Not only that, but the design of the dry stone walling of the circular enclosures provides us with further questions. The majority have no entrances, even when a 'road' encased within parallel stone walls runs right up to them.
"There is simply no explanation why a large stone structure with a diameter of 25 to 150 meters, which contains a number of smaller circular stone structures, would be constructed without any entrances. But it gets even more weird - many of the internal stones circles also have entrances and simply look like a cluster of grapes inside an outer wall."
Or is it because we have not yet fully understood the structures because we do not even acnowledge the present indigenous inhabitants as being there since the beginning of man. So much so that we do not even look at the structures of their present building, nor understand the fact that they[Africans] are the ones who instructed the "Boers" how and what to plant, which cows were for milk or meat, and how to navigate their lives around the temperate weather that they, the Africans, have been living in since time immemorial?
That seems not to negate the possibility that they are structures initially designed to be lived in (the walling providing a base upon which to construct, say, a wooden framework to make a covered hut-or one made of stone as its outer walls). The fact that there are cities, though in ruins, that have been discovered and are dated back to remote antiquity, in of itself says a lot about the life and civilization that had existed there.
By studying the area using aerial maps, Tellinger determined there were three great cities, some 60 x 60 miles each, one of which included Great Zimbabwe. Among the ruins, the first pyramids can be found, and details carved into some of the rocks include the Ankh symbol-- thousands of years before the Egyptian civilization used it. This is material culture that is existing.
Early African Peoples
The history of the earliest peoples of south Africa is really based on archeological evidence for the emergence of humanity and traces the long period of settlement by hunters and gathers who relied mainly on stone for their tools and buildings. This is followed by and end is up with the introduction of farming, and Iron technology. This precolonial past is conventionally known as the "Stone Age". Because there are few written accounts, Archeology is one of the many important sources of information for human activities
So that, it is also important to note that the Stone Age people thought and spoke and acted like the present-day Africans of today's contemporary Mzantsi(South Africa). Their ingenious innovations, intelligence and creativity paved a way for the present modern day South Africa and the world-at-large. There were those that did not use the stone age technology, but evolved, as in the KhoiSan, who along the the Twi [: the former ended using a Bow and Arrow, and the latter was left with the technique of building bridges.
It should be remembered that many species evolved, like proto-humans, apes, monkeys and other human look-alikes. In the case of South Africa, there were "Giants"(Madimo/Amazimzim)- and there is material witness as to their existence posted below-the Giant human-length and size footprint). The problem that the Archeologists point out to is that "Oral History and Tradition" do little to give information about this time period, but to date, they have not done a comprehensive research on it.
History As Propaganda in South Africa and on Zimbabwe
We are informed in the following manner by Martin Hall:
"Southern Africa is a region of extremes and contradictions. Its history is no exception: the way South African and Zimbabwean history has been taught during the colonial period and even today remains a source of controversy.
The southern African landscape is one richly layered with the culture of its people. It is the home of the oldest continual tradition of painting in the world; the broken and scattered remains of pottery from hundreds of ancient farming villages -- the oldest going back two thousand years; the stone walls of innumerable settlements scattered across the vast grasslands of the interior, including the towering, dry stone walls of Great Zimbabwe that were home to many hundreds of people almost a millennium ago; and now a World Heritage Site. It may also even be the part of the world to which modern humans everywhere owe their origins.
To drive north from Cape Town in South Africa to Harare, the capital of modern-day Zimbabwe, is to travel through a history book. Yet when the first Dutch settlers splashed ashore at the Cape in 1652 they saw a land they believed to be empty of civilization. And when, a little over two centuries later, the settlers forded the Limpopo River and climbed the highlands on the other side, they saw in Great Zimbabwe evidence for the Queen of Sheba's lost city of the Old Testament -- an outpost of northern civilization in a sea of southern "barbarism."
In 1948, the National Party came to power in South Africa and formalized years of racial discrimination in the web of legislation that became notorious as apartheid. Children were taught in school that, save for the primitive "Bushmen," southern Africa had been empty before Europeans had arrived, and that black Africans had only entered the subcontinent from the north at the same time that the Dutch had arrived in the far south. In an epic battle between civilization, superstition and dark violence, Christianity had prevailed over the indigenous culture-they maintained.
A similar denial of history was offered in Rhodesia now Zimbabwe, was known proir to its independence in 1980. Africans, it was said, were incapable of building in stone or of fashioning fine gold. The Bible was used to offer proof that the gold brought in homage to Solomon came from the south, and where else than from the long-used mines that the white pioneers had found in abundance. Anyone arguing otherwise was accused of being unpatriotic or, worse, in secret conspiracy with black terrorists intent on overthrowing an ordered colonial society.
Today, with literally tons of evidence of African civilizations that stretched back centuries before Europeans even knew where the subcontinent was, it is difficult to give credence to this colonial version of history. One wonders how these fictitious versions of history could have taken root. Partly, it served the political and economical motives of white settlers to believe that the land of southern Africa was empty and the colonial enterprise was high-minded. But the denial of Africa's true history was also due to the pervasive effects of widespread assumptions about the "dark continent."
A century ago, Henry Rider Haggard, a minor colonial official and unsuccessful ostrich farmer, made his name and fortune through King Solomon's Mines, She and other novels. Each story played to the romance of Africa as a timeless continent of wild game, fiercely beautiful scenery and simple people with no history. In Haggard's view, Africa was little more than the foil for Europe's history, and the idea of cities a thousand years old would have been incredible.
Today, the history books are being rewritten. Great Zimbabwe is a national symbol of black pride and accomplishment, known to every Zimbabwean. And although few South Africans know much about the past of their country before colonial settlement, this is changing as the far-reaching tenets of apartheid are dismantled. But the world's more general assumptions about Africa -- the contemporary connection with the popular writers of the 19th century -- are still pervasive. The tourism and leisure industries thrive on fables that are unchanged from Rider Haggard's day, and Hollywood's Lion King still rules over a timeless landscape, empty of history.
But beneath the veneer of airport novels, architects' dreams and impresarios' fantasies is a solid mass of convincing evidence for a rather different history. About a thousand years ago, villagers along the banks of the Limpopo began to trade down the river, exchanging animal skins, ivory and other exotic items for glass beads, which were as valuable to them as was gold in the economies of the medieval north. Their partners in this barter were itinerant traders who made their way south along Africa's Indian Ocean coastline, setting up temporary camps close to river estuaries.
Soon, some of these Limpopo villages became wealthy, growing rapidly in population as they attracted people from the surrounding countryside like magnets. And, within the villages, some became more wealthy than others, gaining power and prominence in their communities. As in many other parts of the world, this elite claimed its status through architecture, setting some houses above others, and using the possibilities of the landscape to best advantage. Some places became far more important than others -- cities in a landscape of villages. Among them was Mapungubwe, which thrived in the 12th century A.D.
The design of Mapungubwe makes the best use of a dramatic landscape. The city is centered on a steep-sided, flat-topped hill that towers above the valley. The wealthy lived on the top of the hill, signifying their claim to status both by this physical elevation, and also through the goldwork and trade beads that adorned their bodies in life and in death. Prosperity rested on the work of skilled craftsmen, who fashioned ivory and bone for trade, smelted and smithed iron, finely decorated hand-built pots and worked gold. Today, this heritage is best represented in the small, exquisite gold foil rhinoceros, surely one of South Africa's national treasures.
Within a century, Mapungubwe was in decline. A number of theories have been put forth to explain this -- environmental decline through overgrazing by the massive herds of cattle that supported a population in excess of 100,000 people, or bubonic plague that spread inland from the coastal trading settlements. But the most likely explanation is that Mapungubwe was eclipsed by the rise of a new economic power to the north of the Limpopo-or can be seen as a link of the movement of the building of Africa before the coming of Europeans in the Southern Africa landscape and plains.
Great Zimbabwe is one of many settlements that had at their center dry stone walls with distinctive designs and characteristic decoration. For the most part, these were not the walls of houses, but were rather intended to emphasize the importance of those who lived near them -- the same symbolic logic as Mapungubwe's hilltop. The distribution of these stone buildings - which extended from the Kalahari Desert in the west to the Indian Ocean lowlands in the east -- suggests that they were regional centers in a complex social and economic network. Great Zimbabwe was the largest of them, sufficiently more substantial to mark it as the capital of a complex state that rested on the gold trade.
Great Zimbabwe and its hinterland prospered for three centuries. The memory of this prosperity was sufficiently fresh in people's memories for the Portuguese to collect rumors of it when they invaded the Mozambican coastline at the very beginning of the 16th century. But the Portuguese were intent on plunder and on finding the Bible's lost cities, legendary for their wealth. Before long, Africa's history was shrouded by the myths and justifications of colonialism. But fortunately, the very weight of Africa's past has kept it alive. Mapungubwe's foil rhinoceros was hidden away for decades, but now tells its own tale of sophisticated ancient African wealth and craftsmanship and high civilization.
Great Zimbabwe was plundered by expedition after expedition, desperately burrowing for proof the Queen of Sheba once wandered around the walls. Instead, undeniable evidence for centuries-old black civilizations was discovered, now validated by an irrefutable series of radiocarbon dates. The cities of the south are lost no longer."
In this case, below we trace a more concrete theory as to the role that is played by Oral Tradition,Culture and History .
Orality And Oral Tradition/History of Africans of Mzantsi
Writing - Commitment Of The Word To space
There is an assertion made by many scholars that 'oral' traditions and history of Africans of South Africa are not adequate enough to tell us something about their remote antiquity. This is false and misleading and very erroneous. Before we demonstrate the importance and validity of the oral history and tradition of Africans of Mzantsi(South Africa), we will put the nature and reality of orality into its proper perspective as per Walter Ong who informs us thusly:
"Wherever human beings exist they have a language, and in every instance a language that exists basically as spoken and heard, in the world of sound(Siertsema, 1955). Despite the richness of gesture, elaborated sign languages are substitutes for speech and dependent on oral speech systems, even when used the congenitally deaf (Kroeber; Mallery; Stokoe - 1972).
"Indeed, language is so overwhelmingly oral that of all the many thousands of languages - possibly tens of thousandds - spoken in the course of human history only around 106 have been committed to writing to a degree sufficient to have produced literature, and most have never been written at all. Of the some 3000 languages spoken that exist today, only some 78 have literature (Edmonson - 1971).
"There is as yet no way to calculate how many languages have disappeared or been transmuted into other languages before writing came along. Even now, hundreds of languages in active use are never written at all: no one has worked out an effective ways to write them. The basic orality of language is permanent.
"We are not here concerned with so-called computer 'languages', which resemble human languages (English, Sanskrit, Malayalam, Mandarin Chinese, Twi or Shoshone, Zulu, etc.), in some ways but are forever totally unlike human languages in that they do not grow out of the unconscious but directly out of conscisousnes. Computer language rules('grammar') are stated first and thereafter used. The 'rules' of grammar in natural human languages are used first and can be abstracted from usage and stated explicitly in words only with difficulty and never completely.
"Writing, commitment of the word to space", enlarges the potentiality of language almost beyond measure, restructures thought, and in the process converts certain dialects into "grapholects" (Haugen - 1966). A 'grapholect' is a transdialectical language formed by deep commitment to weiting. Writing fives a grapholect a power far exceeding that of any purely oral dialect. The grapholect known as standard English has accessible for use a recorded vocabulary of at least a million and a half words, of which not only the present meanings but also hundreds of thousands of past meanings are known. A simply oral dialect will commonly have resources of only a few thousand words, and its users will have virtually no knowledge of the real semantic history of any of these words.
"But, in all the wonderful worlds that writing opens, the spoken word still resides and lives." Written texts all have to be related somehow, directly or indirectly, to the world of sound, the natural habitat of language, to yield their meanings. "reading" a text means converting it to sound, aloud or in the imagination, syllable-by-syllable in slow reading sketchily in the rapid reading common to high-technology cultures.
"Writing can never dispense with orality. Adapting a terms used for slightly different purposes by Jurij Lotman-1977, we can style writing a 'secondary modeling system', dependent on a prior system primary system, spoken language. 'Oral expression can exist and mostly has existed without any writing at all, writing never without orality'."
It is important for me to make some notes and observations on the last paragraph above. Up to this far,if one were to read most of the history of Africans written by local and foreign archeologist, linguists, anthropologist, that the African people's oral history and tradition do not provide any clues about the the past of African people. This is distortion, obfuscation and falsification of the oral tradition and history of a people. This is written, and as we have learnt from Ong above, that writing, in its present form, and from its origins, cannot exist without without oral history and tradition.
Now that we have learned about the fact that "Orality or Oral Expression, has existed and can exist without writing for it has come long before writing, then the spurious arguments made about the inadequacy of African South African Oral, that it cannot help us trace and give some continuity of the history of South, that it falls short in many instances, well, this does not stand up to the 'smell test'. On it ssurface and even much ore deeper meaning of its grapholect-writing that the oral history and tradition of Africans is not capable of giving us a sense and the history of Africans is South Africa is disingenous and flat out lies and a serious cultural onslaught against the language systems of Africans of Mzantsi. Ong further informs us that:
"Yet, despite the oral roots of all verbalization, the scientific and literary study of language and literature has for centuries, until quite recent years, shied away from orality. Texts have clamored for attention so peremptorily that oral creation have tended to be regarded generally as variants of written productions or, if not this, as beneath serious scholarly attention. Only relatively recently have we become impatient with our obtuseness here. (Finnegan-1977)
"Language study in all but recent decades has focused on written texts rather than on orality for a readily assignable reason: the relationship of study itself to writing. All thought, including that in primary oral cultures, is to some degree analytic: it breaks its materials into various components. But abstractly sequential, classificatory, explanatory examination of phenomena or of stated truths is impossible without writing and reading. 'Human beings in primary oral cultures, those untouched by writing in ay form, learn a great deal and possess and practice great wisdom, but they do not 'study'. [The use of oral tradition, language and way of communication is itself studying without reading a book, but applying and practicing a culture, custom, etc].
"They learn by apprenticeship - hunting with experienced hunters, for example - by discipleship, which is a kind of apprenticeship, by listening, by repeating what they hear, by mastering proverbs and ways of combining and recombining them, by assimilating other formulary materials, by participation in a kind of corporate retrospection - not by study in the strict sense..
"When study in the strict sense of extended sequential analysis becomes possible with the interiorization of writing, one of the first things that literates often study is language itself and its uses. Speech is inseparable from our consciousness and it has fascinated human beings, elicited serious reflection about itself, from the very early stages of consciousness, long before writing came into existence. Provers/[Aphorisms] from all over the world are rich with observations about this overwhelmingly human phenomenon of speech in its native oral form, about its powers, its beauties,its danges. The same fascination with oral speech continues unabated for centuries after writing comes into use. Aphorisms are the stuff of what the cultures, customs and oral tradition of Africans in South africa is choc-full of.
Orature: The Written And The Oral
We learn from Chinweizu that:
"Our conception of literature is perhaps a little broader than is conventionally allowed. In our view, literature must include all the genres of publicy communicated written matter of a society. Thus, in addition to prose and fiction, poetry and drama, we consider essays, biographies, addresses and orations a vital part of literature. Now, it should be borne in mind that poems, plays, stories, essays, speeches, etc., do exist in two modes-the 'written and the oral'. Bearing this fact in mind, we find it useful to follow Pio Zirimu and Ngugi Wa Thiong'o's seminal example of using the term "Orature" to denote poems, plays, stories, etc., in oral form, and in reserving the term "literature" for the same things in their written form.
"Because obloquy has been routinely heaped upon African 'orature' by Eurocentric critics of African literature, we have, in discussing African literature, found it necessary to examine at some length the qualities of African "orature".
"Furthermore, African orature is important to this enterprise of decolonizing african literature[and oral history and tradition], for the important reason that it is the incontestable reservoir of values, sensibilities, esthetics, and achievements of traditional African thought and imagination outside the plastic arts. Thus, it must serve as the ultimate foundation, guidepost, and point of departure from a modern liberated African literature, and conception of Orality and literature, in the process."
Oral History and Oral Tradition
If we are going to view African oral history and tradition through the eyes of our Master and former masters, it is because we are still acknowledging the fact that Europeans still dominate us, and it should remain so, with some adjustments here and there; or they may perceive a need for a rest, but fail to see its implictions for literary and [oral] criticism]. Yet, it is the root from which modern African literature, orality, history and culture must draw sustenance.
Thus, writing from the beginning did not reduce orality but enhanced it, making it possible to organize the 'principles' or constituents or oratory into scientific 'art', a sequentially ordered body of explanation that showed how and why oratory achieved and could be made to achieve its various specific effects.
"But the speeches - or any other oral performances - that were studied as part of rhetoric could hardly be speeches as these were being orally delivered. After the speech was delivered, nothing of it remained to work over. What you used for 'study' had to be the next of speeches that ha been written down -commonly after delivery and often long after (in antiquity it was not common practice for any but disgracefully incompetent orators to speak from text prepared verbatim in advance. In this way, even orally composed speeches were studied not as speeches but as written texts.
"Moreover, besides transcription of oral performances such as orations, writing eventually produced strictly written compositions, designed for assimilation directly from the written surface. Such written compositions came into being as texts only, even though many of them were commonly listened to rather than silently read, from Livy's history to Dante's Comedia and beyond(Nelson 1976-7).
"But the relentless dominance of textuality in the scholarly ind is shown by the fact that to this day no concepts have yet been formed for effectively, let alone gracefully, conceiving of oral art as such without reference, conscious or unconscious, to writing. This is so even though the oral art forms which developed during the tens of thousands of years before writing obviously had no connection with writing at all.
"We have the term 'literature'. which essentially means 'writings' (Latin Literatura, from litera, letter of the alphabet), to cover a given body of written materials - English literature, children's literature - but comparably satisfactory term or concept to prefer to a purely oral heritage, such as the traditional oral stories, proverbs, prayers, formulaic expressions, or the oral productions of, say, the Lakota Sioux in North America or the Mande in West Africa[The Nguni Bakone of Mzantsi, too].
"Today, primary oral culture in the functioning on writing and print, because by state that the orality of a culture, totally untouched by any knowledge of writing or print, is what I call "primary" culture. It is 'prmary' by contrast with the 'secondary orality' of present-day high-technology culture, in which a new orality is sustained by telephone(cell phones, Skype, etc), radio, television, and other electronic devices that depend for their existence and functioning on writing and print.
"Today, primary oral culture in the strict sense hardly exists, since every culture knows of writing and has some experience of its effects. Still, to varying degrees many cultures and subcultures, even in high-technology ambiance, preserve much of the mind-set of primary orality."
So that, in reclaiming and recomposing our History, culture, customs,traditions, music, oral history and the whole bit, we will have to also consulted heavily or defer to our African Oral Custom and Oral History and Tradition in order to cull our history as it was in antiquity, because some of our oral culture, history, tradition and languages, still exist and survive for us to interrogate them thoroughly to make our writing even more clearer and authentic.
Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology [Paperback] Cheikh Anta Diop
Origins of Man Can Be Traced Back To Africa
Mother Africa And The Birth Of Man
In 1871 Darwin's "Descent Of Man" was published, and in this book impressive evidence was adduced, tending to show that man and the anthropoid apes could be traced back to a common ancestor, Most of Darwin's contemporaries judged the continent of Asia to be most likely the birthplace of humanity, but Darwin held that Africa had the authentic claim to the title title of being the birthplace and Cradle of Mankind. "We are naturally led to enquire," he asserted, "where was the birthplace of Man. ... In each great region of the world the living mammals are closely related to the extinct species of the same region. It is therefore, unquestionably that Africa was formerly inhabited by extinct apes closely allied to the gorilla and the chimpanzee, and as these two species are now man's nearest allies, it is without doubt that our progenitors lived on the african continent than elsewhere." (55, p. 520)
It is worth noting here that the origins of man could be traced to Asia were challenged by Dr. Albert Churchward, and medical doctor and anthropologist/archeologist, who asserted that "The earliest members of the human race appeared in the interior of of the African continent about two million years ago. Churchward pointed out that "then from the the region of the great lakes, they spread over the entire continent." Groups of these early men wandered down the Nile Valley, settled in Egypt, and then later dispersed themselves to all parts of the globe.
The Prehistory of South Africa: The Earliest Hominids
The first Australopithecine fossil, a juvenile, was found in a lime-cemented breccia at Taung, in the North of the Cape Province of South Africa. The first adult individual was discovered in 1936, again in old cave deposits, this time in the Krugersdorp region of the (Old transvaal) Since then, a large number of Australopithecines have been recovered in Southern and East Africa. Apart from these regions, the only other fossil ascribed to the Australopithecines comes from Korotoro in the Lake Chad Basin. However, this specimen is now considered to more recent. In fact, most of the Australopithecine found so far have been from the South African caves and the Rift Valley sites , on account of the favorable conditions existing there for the preservation of fossil bones.
A large number of of radio metric datings have been obtained in East Africa as a result of the existence of volcanic sediment, but the fossil in Southern Africa can be dated relatively by the paleontological and geomorphological comaprisons. Latest assessment based on the studies of pigs, elephants and hyenas suggest that the earliest Transvaal fossils associated with them are about 2.5 million years old at the least. The cave breccias, at Makapan limeworks and the Sterkfontein type site, contain a few mammalian forms in common with those of the dated East African Assemblages.
The earliest South african Australipethicines were mostly of gracile build, with a cranial capacity of 450-500 cm-cube. In the later cave sites at Swartkrans and Kromdraai(Mzantsi-South Africa), the predominant form is much more robust (Australipethicus Robustus)). It was generally thought that the earlier forms were all gracile and the later ones robustus, but recent anthropometric studies show that the two forms may have been contemporaneous and have existed side by side in the same geographical areas, as in the case of the Makapan site in South Africa. According to some authors,the differentiation of the two species from a common ancestry took place as early as 5 million years ago. It is most probable that an early Homo form, such as that of the East Africa Homo habilis, existed in Southern Africa sometime between 1.7 and 2 million years ago, although its fossil remains have yet to be found.
The Africans of Mzantsi predate Homo Sapiens
The Fauresmith lithic industry of South Africa has been described as transitional between the Earlier and Middle Stone Age. However, radiometric ages for this industry are inadequate. Here we present a minimum OSL age of 464 - 47 kyr and a combined U-series–ESR age of 542þ140 kyr for an in situ - 107
Fauresmith assemblage, and three OSL ages for overlying Middle and Later Stone Age strata, from the site of Kathu Pan 1 (Northern Cape Province, South Africa). These ages are discussed in relation to the available lithostratigraphy, faunal and lithic assemblages from this site. The results indicate that the Kathu Pan 1 Fauresmith assemblage predates transitional industries from other parts of Africa e.g. Sangoan, as well as the end of the Acheulean in southern Africa. The presence of blades, in the dated Fauresmith assemblages from Kathu Pan 1 generally considered a feature of modern human behaviour (McBrearty and Brooks, 2000, The revolution that wasn’t: a new interpretation of the origin of modern human behavior, J. Human Evolution 39, 453–563),- 'provides evidence supporting the position that blade production in southern Africa predated the Middle Stone Age and the advent of modern Homo sapiens.'
Although a large number of Australopithecine hominid fossils have been found in the South African caves, it may or not be that was their actual place of residence. but it may well be because of the life-style of the Man of the day. Careful study of the Swartkrans site has shown, in fact, that the most significant action was hunted by large carnivores, using the caves as their den. (Because, there is proof that there were also giants who are rarely spoken of, but there is an actual giant foot imprint that can be found in South Africa) Moreover, no tools have been found in the cave breccia at the Makapan and Sterkfontein sites at which these fossils were discovered.
If the hominid living in caves idea is rejected, but the caves seems to have served as larders for some large carnivores, to which the hominids themselves sometimes fell victim, there have been some tools dating to about 1.5 million years that are found not far from the caves that the Australopithecines lived and in their caves at Swartkrans and Sterkfontein and at Kromdraai). However, bone fragments of a more recent hominid species, Homo Sapiens, have been found in the same Swartkrans deposit and this form is more likely to that associated with the tools .Even so, this does not preclude the possibility that the Australopithecines were capable of making tools in order to obtain Flakes for cutting purposes, Furthermore, hunting presumably required efficient organization and communication among the participants and this, in time, led to the development of language.
Benjamin Lee Whorf informs us that:
"... The relationship between human language and human thinking is how language indeed can shape our innermost thoughts. ...We are thus introduced to a new principle of relativity, which holds that all observers are not led by the same physical evidence to the same picture of the universe, unless their linguistic backgrounds are similar, or can in some way be calibrated.
"Indo-European languages can be roughly calibrated-English, French, German, Russian, Latin, Greek, and the rest; but when it come to Chinese, Maya, and Hopi, calibration, is structurally difficult if not impossible. Speakers of Chinese dissect nature and the universe differently from Western Speakers. A still different dissection is made by various groups of American Indians, Africans, and the Speakers of many other tongues."
Whorf, using linguistics as a tool for the analysis of meaning has made an important contribution to semnatics. No careful student of communication/history and meaning can afford to neglect him. One may add that no philosophical scientist or scientific philosopher can afford to neglect or overlook him. "Linguistics," he boldly proclaimed, "is fundamental to the theory of thinking, and in the last analysis, to all human sciences." He is right,of course, because every considerable advance in science, such as Quantum Theory, involves a crisis in communication. The discoverers have to explain first to themselves, and then to the scientific community and world, what has been found.
I find the two hypothesis mentioned by Whorf relevant the the whole body of work in this Hub, the fact that"
- That all levels the levels of thinking are dependent on language
- that the structure of language one habitually uses influences the manner in which one understands his environment. The picture of the universe shifts from tongue to tongue.
My point is that, although I might use English to write this hub for a common understanding for those interested in such topics, I still come from and believe that the Oral History, Tradition and usage of the African people has a lot to tell the world about the universe they perceive and live in. That is why I deep on reiterating and highlighting the fact that all can write about the Africa archeological, anthropological phenomena of this country, but disregarding the indigenous , their culture, history, tradition, orality, languages and the whole bit is not telling the true and somewhat wholesome story/history/culture/tradition of the Africans of Mzantsi. That will be part of what will be talked about in this Hub.
If the African people of Mzantsi predate homo sapiens, they are therefore the first to have a spoken language from antiquity, to the same present language that are spoken by the 11 peoples of the Nguni/Bakone nation of Mzantsi.
Black Africa: The Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated State Paperback by Cheikh Anta Diop
Pre-Historic Stone Tools At the Oldowan Industrial Complex
It should be borne in mind that, besides stone, a number of other materials, such as wood, bark, horn and bone, which were used as part of the tools of the time. The earliest stone industries in Southern Africa produced several distinctive types of tool, including choppers, polyhedral stones, scrappers, flakes,and so on. Compared with the East African artifacts, these tools display attributes that are closer to the more advanced from the Oldowan complex than the earlier form, and it is now generally accepted that the South african sites date from some 1.5 million years ago. Two hominid lines can be distinguished by that time: that of the robust Australopithecine and that of the more recent Homo. It is still being researched which of he two was responsible for the industries-but there are tools to help understand the material culture of this time period.
The Acheulian Industrial Complex
The earliest South African assemblages belonging to the Acheulian industrial complex come from tow sites located at the junction of the Vaal and its tributary, the Klip, near Vereeniging, South africa. The tools are often abraded and are therefore not in their original context. A whole range of tools is represented: handaxes, cleavers, polyhedral stones, pebble tools, scrapers and flake tools. Occasional finds of other early-looking assemblages have been made in different parts of Southern Africa, such as the Cape Province and Livingstone in Zambia, but it is still difficult to put a date to them. In Southern Africa, Homo Erectus was and is still responsible for for these Acheulian industries, along with the Australipethicus, who, as we have pointed above, lived and shared different territories, but at the same time, within South Africa.
The favored living places in the Acheulian times were always close to water, such as dambos, where game was in the habit of gathering and where water was always available. A site such as this exists at Kabwe(Broken Hill), adjacent to the celebrated Kopje that produced the skull remains of Homo Rhodesiensis. At Cornelia, it is possible that animals hamy have been driven into the much in these dambos, and then butchered, In the dry Daroo bush of northern Cape Province and Botswana, the Acheulian population settled around pans and shallow lake sites that abounded in the region at that time.
Yet, another habitat favored by Acheulian Man - the shoreline - is shown by the large site found at Cape Hangklip, False Bay,in consolidated dune sands overlying the beach. At this site, the diet consisted of marine animals and Fish. Spring localities were also occupied, such as Amanzi site in the present-day winter rainfall belt, south of the Great Escarpment near Port Elizabeth(South Africa) On this site, tools were found that had been discarded, and trampled underfoot by elephants and other game, which had also come there to water.
Lastly, Caves were sometimes occupied by Acheulian Man in southern Africa.These included Cave of Hearths at Makapan in northern "Transvaal, where the remains have yielded a human jaw fragment from a juvenile have affinities with Homo rhodesiensis. This cave has also produced a number of tools of both early and late Acheulian forms.
The later Acheulian in south Africa extends from about 700,000 to 200,000 years before the Christian era. This made it possible to shed light more light o the considerable complexity of the Acheulian industries , which had handaxes and cleavers, it also had choppers and smaller tools of the Developed Oldownan pattern, added to this were choppers, picks and more heavy-duty implements are added to the vast range of tools There is also an infinite variety in the types of habitat and resources of these hunters of the later acheulian. This point will be dealt with much in-depth to discuss the unknown civilization of Mzantsi that can be dated as far back as 200,000 years ago(with pictures to give it a much more meaningful South African African historical structure and reality.
It is the given time period, the last date of 200,000 B.C. that will be looked at as deeply and much broader as possibile in this Hub
The Final Stages of the Acheulian and Fauresmith Assemblages
Certain Assemblages have long been known to exist on the high interior plateau. The are characterized by generally small-sized and well made handaxes, a wide range of flake tools, core-scrapers, and a small number of cleavers. The raw material used was lydianite (undurated shale) in the regions where that rock abounds, but elsewhere, quartzite was more commonly used.
In this assemblage, a method of core preparation known as the disc-core technique, yielding several small flakes, is well represented; on the other hand, the Levallois technique, yielding one larger flake to each preparation of the core, was hard to come by(maybe will be found at a later date). These industries have been termed Fauresmith, (which will be re-named in the Future to suite the Africans of Mzantsi-but will do for now), after the site in the Orange River region where these almond-shaped handaxes were first found on the surface. These are dated to be from 115,000 to 80,000 years B.C.
In the regions with heavier rainfall and more closed vegetation, the late Acheulian was replaced not by the Fauresmith, but by industrial entities with a high proportion of picks, picks, core-axes, choppers and core-scrappers. This complex, which is known as the Sangoan, is found in Zambia, Zimbabwe, parts of South-East Africa and in the coastal regions of Natal. These assemblages are mostly undated, but at Kalambo Falls it has been possible to date the local material culture of the Sangoan to between 46,000 and 14,000 B.C. The slight difficulty of correlation of these Sangoan-type industries is compounded by ecological and other factors, but the correlation between these heavy tool-kits and the heavy rainfal, thicker vegetation areas is clear and undeniable.
In the Fauresmith and sangoan, therefore, we can detect the beginnings of regional specialization in tool-kits reflecting adaptive patterns in the grasslands different from those in the woodlands and forests.
Identifying regional variability in Middle Stone Age bone technology: The case of Sibudu Cave - KwaZulu Natal, South africa
The First Africans: African Archaeology from the Earliest Toolmakers to Most Recent Foragers (Cambridge World Archaeology) [Paperback] Lawrence Barham
Sibudu Cave: Mzantsi's Original Evolution
Sibudu Cave is a cave in a sandstone cliff in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is an important Middle Stone Age site occupied, with some gaps, from 77,000 years ago to 38,000 years ago. In it, evidence has been found of some of the earliest examples of modern human technology (although the earliest known spears date back 400,000 years), including the earliest bone arrow (61,000 years old), the earliest needle (61,000 years old), the earliest use of heat-treated mixed compound gluing (72,000 years ago) and the earliest example of the use of bedding (77,000 years ago). The use of glues and bedding are of particular interest, because the complexity of their creation and processing has been presented as evidence of continuity between early human cognition and that of modern humans.
The cave is a rock shelter, located roughly 40 km (25 mi) north of the city of Durban and about 15 km (9 mi) inland, near the town of Tongaat. It is in a steep, forested cliff facing WSW that overlooks the Tongati River in an area that is presently a sugar cane plantation. The cave was formed by erosional downcutting of the Tongati River, which now lies 10 m (33 ft) below the cave. The cavern floor is 55 m (180 ft) long, and about 18 m (59 ft) in width. It has a large collection of Middle Stone Age deposits that are well preserved organically and accurately dated using optically stimulated luminescence.
The first excavations following its discovery in 1983 were carried out by Aron Mazel of the Natal Museum (unpublished work). Lyn Wadley of the University of the Witwatersrand started renewed excavations in September 1998.
The occupations at Sibudu are divided into pre-Still Bay, Still Bay (72,000-71,000 BP), Howiesons Poort (before 61,000 BP), post-Howiesons Poort (58,500 BP) and late (47,700 BP) and final Middle Stone Age phases (38,600 BP). There were occupation gaps of around 10,000 years between the post-Howiesons Poort and the late Middle Stone Age stage, and the late and final Middle Stone periods. There was no Late Stone Age occupation, though there was a 1,000 BP Iron Age occupation.
Evidence suggests these were dry periods and the cave was only occupied during wet climatic conditions.
The pre-Still Bay occupation had a lithic flake-based industry and made few tools. The Still Bay, in addition to such flakes, made bifacial tools and points. Trace use analysis on the tips of the points finds evidence of compound adhesives on their bases where they would once have been hafted to shafts.
Various examples of early human technology have been found:
- A bone point, a possible arrowhead that pushes back the origin of bow and bone arrow technology by at least 20,000 years beyond the previous earliest example, to 61,000 BP.;
- The earliest known bone needle, dated to 61,000 BP, with wear similar to that found in bone needles used to puncture animal hide.;
- The earliest example of a compound glue (plant gum and red ochre), used for hafting stone points into wood handles to create spears—-dated no later than 71,000 BP.; and
- Shell beads, though of a more recent date than those found at Blombos cave (71,000 BP for the Sibudu beads, versus 75,000 BP for those at Blombos).
- The earliest example of the use of bedding, dating back to around 77,000 years ago, 50,000 years earlier than records elsewhere. The plant bedding consisted of sedge and other monocotyledons topped with aromatic leaves containing insecticidal and larvicidal chemicals. The leaves were all from Cryptocarya woodii Engl. which, when crushed, are aromatic and contain traces of α-pyrones, cryptofolione, and goniothalamin, chemicals that have insecticidal and larvicidal properties against, for example, mosquitoes. Cryptocarya species are still used extensively as traditional medicines.
Howiesons Poort occupation manufactured blade tools. These blades are shaped like the segment of an orange, with a sharp cutting edge on the straight lateral and an intentionally blunted and curved back. These were attached to shafts or handles by means of ochre and plant adhesive or alternatively fat mixed with plant material. Segments were often made with a cutting edge along their entire length, which requires that they be attached to their hafts without twine and so calls for particularly strong adhesive glue.
Points were used in the period after the Howiesons Poort for hunting weapons, such as the tips of spears. Use–trace analysis suggests that many of these points were hafted with ochre-loaded adhesives.
The replication of shafted tool manufacture using only methods and materials available at Sibudu has enabled the identification of the complexity of the thought processes that it required. The stone spear was embedded in the wood using a compound adhesive made up of plant gum, red ochre and, to aid the workability, possibly a small amount of beeswax, coarse particles or fat. This preliminary mixture had to have the right ingredient proportions and then, before shafting, undergo a controlled heat treatment stage. This heating had to avoid boiling or dehydrating the mixture too much, otherwise it would weaken the resulting mastic. Also the maker had to reduce its acidity. By experimentally recreating the creation of this adhesive, researchers concluded that the Middle Stone Age (MSA) humans at Sibudu would have required the multilevel mental operations and abstract thought of modern people to do this.
Artisans living in the MSA must have been able to think in abstract terms about properties of plant gums and natural iron products, even though they lacked empirical means for gauging them. Qualities of gum, such as wet, sticky, and viscous, were mentally abstracted, and these meanings counterpoised against ochre properties, such as dry, loose, and dehydrating. Simultaneously, the artisan had to think about the correct position for placing stone inserts on the shafts. ... Although fully modern behavior is presently recognizable relatively late in the MSA, the circumstantial evidence provided here implies that people who made compound adhesives in the MSA shared at least some advanced behaviors with their modern successors.
In a commentary upon this research it has been suggested that instead of focusing upon language, with activities that tax reasoning ability and are also visible archaeologically, such as shafting, archaeologists are in a better position to contribute to an understanding of the evolution of the modern mind.
Some of these hafted points might have been launched from bows. While "most attributes such as micro-residue distribution patterns and micro-wear will develop similarly on points used to tip spears, darts or arrows" and "explicit tests for distinctions between thrown spears and projected arrows have not yet been conducted" the researchers find "contextual support" for the use of these points on arrows: a broad range of animals were hunted, with an emphasis on taxa that prefer closed forested niches, including fast moving, terrestrial and arboreal animals. This is an argument for the use of traps, perhaps including snares. If snares were used, the use of cords and knots which would also have been adequate for the production of bows is implied. The employment of snares would also demonstrate a practical understanding of the latent energy stored in bent branches, the main principle of bow construction.
The use of Cryptocarya leaves in bedding indicates that early use of herbal medicines may have awarded selective advantages to humans, and the use of such plants implies a new dimension to the behavior of early humans at this time.
Interrupted technological development
Artifacts such as piecing needles, arrows, shell beads at Sibudu and elsewhere occur in a pattern whereby innovations are not further and progressively developed but arise and then disappear. For instance, the shell beads occur in the Still Bay layers but are absent from the Howiesons Poort ones, in Sibudu and elsewhere. This challenges the idea that the early development of technology by early humans was a process of accumulation of improvements. In discussing the findings of artifacts at Sibudu researchers have commented that they can hardly be used to support the ‘‘classic’’ out of Africa scenario, which predicts increasing complexity and accretion of innovations during the MSA, determined by biological change. Instead, they appear, disappear and re-appear in a way that best fits a scenario in which historical contingencies and environmental rather than cognitive changes are seen as main drivers.
The idea that environmental change was responsible for this pattern has been questioned, and instead it has been suggested the driving factors were changes in the social networks related to changes in population density.
The Midddle Stone Age: Cultural Continuity and Transmission
Some time between 100,000 and 80,000 years ago, the sea level began to drop from its previous highstand of 5-15 meters. Shortly after this time, Man began to occupy some productive and favorite localities on the recently abandoned beaches and in caves. At the same time, the semi-arid climate that became established over part of the equatorial region greatly and restricted the forest, which was gradually replaced by grassland and woodland offering a more favorable habitat for Man and game animals.
The underlying techniques of this time were the Lavallois and the disc-core methods for manufacturing flakes and making them light-weight tools by direct percussion. In South Africa, the regional industries, the regional industries of the period can be grouped, on the basis of their technology, into three major units
- Group I is characterized by large prepared flakes made by the Lavallois method and long blades struck by direct percussion. Only a few sparse assemblages of this type are, and these are undated. Some assemblages are contemporaneous with those of Group I. For instance, at Florisbad, at a site dated 48,000 years B.C., and industry of flakes, scrapers, polyhedrals, anvils and grindstones in dolerite has been discovered. This same layer has also yielded.the grip end of a curved wooden throwing stick and a fragment of a human cranium.
- Group II consists of a large number of assemblages from both caves and surface sites, general dating between 40,000 and 20,000 years B.C. These industries were characterized by the use of two flaking techniques, the Levallois and the so-called disc-core, both of which were used to to produce triangular Flakes and an increasingly large number of blades, chiefly from quartzite and lydianite. These tools are found in the winter rainfall areas south of the great escarpment, in South West Africa, and in the Orange Free State and Transvaal region.
- Group III ranges in age from 35,000 to 15,000 years B.C. It is distinguished by a much larger number of extensively retouched artifacts. In general, the tools have smaller dimensions and show a refinement in the retouching that is not found in the earlier groups.
- In addition to these groups, a fourth group (Group IV), known as the Magosian or "second Intermediate Complex", has been identified. This combines an evolved and often diminutive expression of the disc-core and Levallois technique with the manufacture of delicate, often ribbon-like, blades struck from cores by means of a bone, horn or hardwood tool. The raw materials selected were often crypto-cystalline rocks. These "Group IV" industries do not not date back to ore than 15,000-20,000 years B.C. and are found in Zimbabwe, Zambia,the Eastern Orange Free State, the southern Cape Province and parts of Namibia.
Fewer features are known from the Middle Stone Age sites than from those of the Acheulian. The cave Hearths at Makapan provides evidence as to how fireplaces and housing shelters were distributed. Several stone foundations pointing to the existence of wind-breaks have been discovered at the Orangea I site. In Swaziland, hematite for use as pigment appears to have been first extracted as early as 28,000 years ago, B.C. Anvils and former hearth-floors have also been found in the Middle Stone Age horizons at Kalambo Falls and have been dated to about 27,000 years B.C. At all these sites, the variety of animal remains would appear to suggest that there had been distinct improvement in hunting techniques.
The Late Stone Age
In Southern Africa, the conventional picture of the Late Stone Age is one of industries producing very small sized 'microlithic' tools, usually referred to as Wilton after the cave sites in the Western Cape Province. At some of the sites in the subcontinent, however, what has come to be known as pre-Wilton industries have been recognized.
These made their appearance about 20,000 B.C. and represent a radical change in stone tool technology. The prepared core techniques of the Middle Stone Age are replaced by occurrences with informal cores and irregular flakes struck from them. The only consistency formal tools are large scrapers, together with several small forms of flake convex scraper. specimens of all these are known from sites at the south coast, and from the Orange Free State, Transvaal, Namibia, where these findings are associated with the dismembering of three elephants.
These pre-Wilton industries are associated with the hunting of large ungulate fauna, such as the Hartebeeste, Wildebeeste, blue antelope and quagga. In addition, the existence of a large number of marine animals in the faunal remains indicates that the rise of the sea level during this period had made it possible to engage to engage in the direct harvesting of food resources from the sea,
The microlithic tradition is associated with the development of more efficient forms of composite tools, the most significant being the "Bow-and-Arrow".
Many late Stone Age sites are known and there is reason to believe that there was a significant increase in population during this period. This seems to be borne out y the expansion of hunting and the new techniques involved: caves and shelters came to be increasingly occupied, local resources were exploited more intensively, and hunting became more important and more specialized. The pattern of exploitation was probably not very different from that of the present-day Kalahari-San and other hunter-groups living in the arid regions.
There must was ample opportunity for these hunters to indulge their intellectual interests, some of which are manifest in the magnificent rock art of the Drakensberg mountains(South Africa), Zimbabwe and Namibia. Although much of the art may not be more than 2000-3000 years old, it provides a well-documented record of these hunters life-styles.
The record provided by prehistoric studies in South Africa show the high interior plateau lands to have played a leading part in the evolution of Man the tool-maker. The increasing ingenuity and efficiency with the succeeding hominid populations developed and combined adaptations and innovations demonstrate the great antiquity and continuity of many cultural traits that still persist, today, amongst the Nguni/Bakone of South Africa today.
Having given a brief synopsis above on the prehistory of South Africa, I was merely following on Diop's advice below wherein he states:
"It is therefore necessary to apply a multiplicity of theoretical approaches in order to gain insight into the internal dimensions of social and gender relations. It would be necessary to apply social process, conflict and dissent theories, in order to gain a much fuller picture of societies and cultures, not just a given and unchanging organic concept of so-called formal systems. Men and women are rational animals, who are able to form political and conflicting interest groups on the basis of sex, age, class, etc., differences or similarities."
So that, in the final analysis, if we begin to take a much more closer look at the Customs, Cultures, Traditions, Sacred Rites and Practices, Languages, music , dance and traditional clothing of the Africans of South Africa, it becomes much more easier to see the patterns of cultural, historical and linguistic continuity form the Pre-stone-ag era to the contemporary ones that we see today in the Country Africans of South Africa call "Mzantsi."
Unknown HIstory Of Africans Of South Africa
The Teachings of Ptahhotep: The Oldest Book in the World ~ Paperback - by Hilliard III Asa G. (Editor) , Larry Williams (Editor) –
African History Is World Historiography
In this part of the Hub, we are informed by Dr. Clarke that:
"African History is part of World history. It is a very old part and it s a very important part. There is no way to understand world History without an understanding of African History. Considering the old approach to African History and the distortion and confusion that resulted from these approaches, a new approach to African History must begin with a new frame of reference. what exactly are we talking about?
"We must be bold enough to reject such terms as "Black africa" which presupposes that there is a legitimate "White Africa." we must reject the term Negro" and all that it implies. This word, like the concept of race and racism, grew out of the European slave trade and the colonial system that followed. It is not an African word and it has no legitimate application to African people. For more details on this matter, I recommend you read the book "The Word Negro-It Origin and Evil Use", by Richard B. Moore. In a speech on The Significance of African History," the Caribbean-American writer, Richard B. Moore has observed:
"The significance of African History is shown, though not overtly, in the very effort to deny anything worthy of the name of History to Africa and the African peoples. This widespread, and well nigh successful endeavor, maintained through some five centuries, to erase African History from the general record, is a fact which of itself should be quite conclusive to thinking and open minds. For it is logical and apparent that no such undertaking would ever have been carried on, and at such length, in order to obscure and bury what is of little or no significance.
"The Prime significance of African History becomes still more manifest when it is realized that this deliberate denial of African History arose out of the European expansion and invasion of Africa which began in the middle of the fifteenth century. The compulsion was thereby felt to attempt to justify such colonialist conquest, domination, enslavement and plunder. Hence, this brash denial of history and culture to Africa, and indeed even to human qualities and capacity for "civilization" to the indigenous peoples of Africa."
Clarke continues to add on and elaborate thusly:
"Mr. Moore is saying, in essence, that African History must be looked at anew and seen in its relationship to World History. First, the distortions must be admited. The hard fact is that most of what we now call world History is only the history of the first and second rise of Europe. The Europeans are not yet willing to acknowledge that the world did not wait in darkness for them to bring the light, and that the history of Africa was already old when Europe was born.
"Until quiet recently, it was rather generally assumed, even among well-educated persons in the west, that the continent of Africa was a great expanse of land, mostly jungle, inhabited by savages and fierce beasts. It was not thought of as an area where great civilizations could have existed or where the great kings of these civilizations could have ruled in the might and wisdom over vast empires.
"It is true that there some notions current about the cultural achievements of Egypt, but Egypt was conceived of as a European land rather than as a country of Africa. Even if a look at an atlas of globe showed Egypt to be in Africa, the popular thought immediately was in the Sahara a formidable barrier and a convenient division of Africa into two parts: one (north of the Sahara) was inhabited by European-like people of high culture and noble history; the other (south of the Sahara) was inhabited by dark-skinned people who had no culture, and were incapable of having done anything in their ark and distant that could be dignified by the designation of "history." such ideas, of course, are far from the truth, and it is not difficult to understand why they persisted, and still persist, in one form or another in the popular mind."
It is part of the effort of this Hub to debunk and deconstruct these lies about Africans and begin to state and rewrite whatever semblance or kernel or truth that can be garnered out the in the world.
Circular Stone Settlements Constructed Early African South African People First People/Early Man
Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery [Paperback] Na'im Akbar
Identifying Africans: Naming Ourselves And Environment
African History En vogue:
The Origin Of The Zodiac; The Opinions of Count Volney
Should it be asked at what epoch this system [the zodiacal symbolism],took its birth, we shall answer on the testimony of the monuments of astronomy itself, that its principles appear with certainty to have been established about 17,000 years ago. And if it be asked to what people it is to be attributed, we shall answer that the same monuments, supported by unanimous traditions, attribute it to the first clans(African People) of Egypt; and "when Reason finds in that country all the circumstances which could lead to such a system; when it finds there a central point of the sphere of the ancients, a salubrious climate, a great, but manageable river, a soil fertile without art or labor, inundated without morbid exhalations , and placed between two seas which communicate with the richest countries, it conceives that the inhabitant of the Nile, addicted to agriculture, from the nature of his soil, to geometry from the annual necessity of measuring his lands, to commerce from the facility of communication, to astronomy from the state of his sky, always open to observation, must have been the first to pass from the savage to the social state; and consequently to attain the physical and moral sciences necessary to civilized life.
It was then, on the borders of Upper Egypt Nile, among a people of African descent-men and women, that was organized the complicated system of the worship of the stars, considered in relation to the productions of the earth and the labors of agriculture' and this first worship characterized by their adoration under their own forms and natural attributes, was a simple proceeding of the human mind. ...
As Soon as this agricultural people began to observe the stars with attention, they found it necessary to individualize or group them; and to assign them each a proper name. ... First , the heavenly bodies, similar in form, offered no distinguishing characteristics by which to denominate them; and secondly, the language in its infancy and poverty had no expressions for so many new and metaphysical ideas.
Necessity, the usual stimulus of genius, surmounted everything. Having remarked that in annual revolution, the renewal and periodical appearance of terrestrial productions were constantly associated with the rising and setting of certain stars, and to their position as relative to the Sun, ... the mind by a natural operation connected in thought the terrestrial and celestial objects, which were connected in fact; and applying to them a common sign, it gave to the stars and their groups, the names of the terrestrial objects to which they answered..
Thus, the Ethiopian of Thebes named the stars of inundation or Aquarius, those stars under which the Nile began to overflow; stars of the 'lion, those under which that animal, driven from the desert thirst, appeared on the baks of the Nile; stars of the lamb, stars of the two kids, those under which these precious animals were brought forth...
Thus, the same Ethiopian having observed that the return of the inundation always corresponded with the rising of a beautiful star which appeared towards the source of the Nile, and seemed to warn the husbandman against the coming waters, he compared this action to that of the animal who, by his barking, give notice of danger, and he called this star "Dog", the barker (Sirius). In the same manner he named the Stars of the crab, those where the Sun, having arrived at the tropic treated by a slow retrograde motion-like the crab or cancer.
He named stars of the wild goat or Capricorn, those where the Sun, having reached the highest point in his annuary tract ... imitates the goat, who delights to climb to the summit of the rocks. He named the stars of the balance, or Libra, those where the days and nights being equal, seemed in equilibrium, like that instrument; and stars of the Scorpion, those where certain periodical winds bring vapors, burning like the venom of the Scorpion.
In the same manner he called by the name of rings and serpents and the figured traces of the orbits of the stars and the planets, and such was the general mode of naming all the stars and even planets, taken by groups of as individuals, according to their relations with husbandry and terrestrial objects, and according to the analogies which each nation found between them and the objects of its particular soul and climate."
African Historical Synthetical Synergy
Now, Count Volney has touched upon some very important issue in his excerpt above. I am thinking as an African, I accept his laying out the origin of Star-gazing, naming and mapping. The way he describes it as it manifested itself in Egypt, is true to form and African ways of live: cultures, customs, tradition, history, knowledge gathering, naming the earth and the environments they lived in and existed from and in-as is the case in the story of the Dogon(I have published a Hub on their Star Gazing Science), and the Africans in Africa, and specifically, those of Mzatnsi. This will be discussed below.The very ways through which Volney goes into entrenching into the historiography of the Africans of Egypt, had already been the practice of the Africans of Mzantsi.
When we here in Mzantsi say that humanity originated from here, we mean it in many ways. But this should also be said in terms of where we came from and how we got here. That will be an entirely separate article. In this one, then, it is a fact that there has now been discovered material artifacts, material culture that nobody knew about, that is why we get the information from Volney about the Origin of the Zodiac from an Egyptian historical account. I do not have a problem as to how he links these origins, but I take a different tack from the account of the fact it originated here in Mzantsi(South Africa.
It is now being revealed that in South Africa, that there was a culture and civilization that predates Egypt by hundreds of thousands of years.
Today, in South Africa has been found Pre-Stone age civilizations. There are, so far as it stands now, inexplicable elements of a large numbers of ruins and settlements; the sheer size of the area they cover; the hundreds of kilometers of ancient roads; thousands of large stone monoliths and statues aligned to many celestial and geographic elements; thousands of kilometers of agricultural terraces; and very large size of the population required to build all these structure.
From the accounts of Joao de Barros it is more feasible that the mysterious inscriptions at the Great Zimbabwe was not the work of the new African settlers from the north, who most likely just occupied the structure, but an earlier southern African civilization, who were well evolved in the art of building stone, and more importantly, people who had the knowledge of writing.
It is also important to study the present-day and past cultural, customary, traditional linguistic, sacred rites and practices, music and dance of the present indigenous people of South Africa. This is a no brainer.. In order for us to understand the past, the present needs to be interrogated, too, as well as the past, to make sense in the present future we are in- to shape the future further and make it much better.
The Africans of South Africa have embedded within their cultures, custom, traditions the cosmos as part of our living culture. This is used to check seasons, for planting and harvesting and doing a myriad other duties within the commune and community; Stars have been named and used for direction and to foretell events and anticipate the good and bad of life.. The herdboys would talk about them and the type of weather that is coming, and this learned by the fire when sitting next to the elders and they listening-in. So that, the events that affected the day-to-day lives of the Africans in South Africa have been accounted for whenever they are practicing their lived culture; they name their children and other things according to the stars' names, nature, animals etc., their behavior(stars) and their repetitive evolution during certain seasons and so forth, are part and parcel of the lived experiences of the Africans of Mzantsi.
My point is that, what Volney has accounted for above from the Egyptians and Ethiopians, has been what was going on here in south Africa in those disappeared civilizations, that today, the semblance of that can be seen and found amongst the Africans of South Africa. In order for us to talk about the past South African African civilizations, we should be erudite about the nature, form, manifestation, functioning, role, of all our cultural reality along with customs, traditions, and the whole bit.
African Clutrual practices and manifestations are not just a fiction of life has has thus been characterized. They are as old as the continents were before their separation, then known by geologist to be Gondwanaland. If one were to look at the map of the when it was said to have been conjoined in some fashion until Plate Tectonics kicked-in and moved the continents to as we see them, it is important to look at the Position of Africa, and particularly that of Mzantsi(South Africa. It is at the center of everything, that is why it is place where the oldest pre-Stone Age material and artifacts are found from.
Therefore, we know that the civilization of Africa stretched from South Africa all the way to the Congo-it is that time period that is being contested. It is that position we are trying to fill up. That is why I come also from the historical, cultural, customary, traditional and so forth point of view to trace and give credence the history that is within these cultures that can be observed today, to those of the disappeared civilization that has been carbon-dated to beyond 200,000 B.C., of which I contend it is more than that, and it is still the same like the semblance of the culture we see today in South Africa, practiced and lived by the indigenous Africans.
This is important and need to be fleshed-out much further and deeper.
Africans Of South Africa Cosmic View
All Ancient civilizations were one with the Stars. They observed them, worshipped them, tracked their movements, depicted them in art and rock engravings, and carved the images of celestial beings on stone. Their knowledge of the cosmos was astounding. The Maya civilization created precise calendars, which can measure time and cosmic events for millions of years into the past and the future. They knew about the 26,000-year precessional wobble of the planet(as Did the Dogon With sirius). The Mayas also knew about the constellation of Scorpio and Sagittarius point to the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
It was only in the latter part of the 20th century when scientists began to realize that these ancient people had a much more advanced knowledge of the cosmos than we have, and more scientists are joining this group of believers, daily...Frequently linked stars with earth life are Sirius, the Pleiades and Orion's Belt.Orion did play a major part in the alignments and construction of the Giza Pyramids, the Chinese Pyramids, the Mayan Pyramids and the Great Zimbabwe, it is Sirius that has caused many surprises
It is also the key star in the construction of the Great Pyramid, while the Egyptian Sothic calendar is based on the same star. the second of the two southern shafts of the Great Pyramids points to Orion. It is believed that these shafts represent the ascension of the Pharaoh's soul to the source of life, which was believed to be Orion and Sirius. This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the vast ancient knowledge of the cosmos.
The cosmos and its mystique is deeply entrenched in the Ancient African tradition. Credo Mutwa relates that there are various 'star clans' in Africa that carry the Great Star's knowledge, and these people in South Africa today are known as the Ndebele who, in their traditional Oral history carry the ancient knowledge of the "Mbube" Star of the Orion - The far-walking Constellation or "Umhambi" this, as we have learned from Volney above, stars had everything to do with African people's day-to-day lives, as when they are walking long distance from one place to another, this star would be their guide in all aspects of their journey and terrain-or act a reminder of an event or birth and the like, in their families and communities..
The Adams Calendar, according to some writers, has shown that these ancient civilizations in the south were in touch with the stars long before anyone else. Some authors state that whole their first calculations showed Adam's Calendar has been aligned with the rise of Orion's Belt on the Spring Equinox some 75,000 years ago, he latest calculations point to a date well over 200,000 years B.C.
Once we start to analyze the millions of stone ruins of south Africa, it becomes clear and evident that the ancient builders had a very sound grasp and knowledge of the cosmos. One of the most compelling features of many of the larger stone ruins is that they are aligned with the cardinal points of earth, solstices, equinoxes and with Sirius, Orion and other key stars. These ruins expose the ancient skills of the first architect, and they can be found in South Africa, carbon-dated, most of them, to 200,000+ B.C.(See link below)
As I have started by saying, the other most important thing, if we can fully configure all this theoretical and other information, is to begin to tie it together to the Cultural, Historical , Customary Oral/Historical traditions Sacred Rites and Practices, Music, Dance, Cultural garb, and the whole bit, and suture it into the gaps that will result from putting a structure of the History of Africans Of South Africa into context.. I concede the importance of Egyptian civilization as prime amongst the pantheons of civilizations in the world, I am merely adding that it was a continuation of already long established civilizations In South Africa, that it is at the Congo where it was the edges of the Civilization of Monomotapa, the Civilization of Mapungubwe, the Now being talked about[in this Hub], the remote civilization of Mzantsi(South africa). Ours is to coordinate, synthesize and synergize the narrative and the material to project the African centeredness of all this remote and antiquated history, customs and traditions, culture and its narrative, 'Eruditely'.
The Ethiopians are thought of as African being exclusively African African people, and yet, in ancient times the thinking about this matter was different. Budge gives us some insight about it as he writes the following: "It seems certain that classical historians and geographers called the whole region from India to Egypt, both countries inclusive, by the name of Ethiopia, and in consequence they regarded all the dark-skinned and Black(African) peoples who inhabited it as Ethiopians. Mention is made of Eastern and Western Ethiopians, and it is probable that the Easterners were Asiatics and the Westerners Africans. I am not making an attempt to describe the history of that large portion of the earth's surface which the Greeks called Ethiopia, but only that comparatively small section of it which is today named, both by large numbers of Orientals and by Europeans generally, Abyssinia, and also the country of Kush, which is also known as Nubia. ...
"The identification of Kush and Abyssinia under the name of Ethiopia made by the translators of the Ethiopic version of the bible in the 5th (or 6th) century, has for many centuries been accepted by the Abyssinians. And to this day, the Abyssinian, in reciting Psalm LXVIII (V. 31), says "Ethiopia shall make her hands reach unto God." In dealing with this subject, I have concluded that the Ethiopians, whose manners and customs have been so fully described by Herodotus, Diodorus, Strabo, Pliny and others, were not Abyssinians at all, but natives of the Upper Nubia and the Island of Meroe, and it was the African people who inhabited the hot, moist lands which extended from southern Abyssinia to the Equator.. ...
The hieroglyphic inscriptions of the VI, XII and XVIII Dynasties prove that caravans travelled from Egypt to the countries round about the Blue Nile, and to regions much further to the south, but there is no mention in them of any country which can be identified with Abyssinia proper. In fact, the Egyptians inscriptions do not yield any information about the 'real' Abyssinia, or its peoples, and even the Nubia and Meroitic inscriptions throw very little light upon the history of the period in which they were written. From the cuneiform inscriptions we an also find no information about Abyssinia, though both the Assyrians and Hebrews knew of the existence of the country of Kush, and that it lay to the south of Egypt." It is time to allay any doubts as to the identity of the Ethiopians-they were of African descent. Herodotus cleared this conundrum, and lay bare the fact that the Ethiopians were African-noone has has thus far claimed otherwise.
The Book Thief Paperback by Markus Zusak
Origins Of Agriculture and Africa As Its Craddle
This weapon of exploitation has its own history, we are informed by Basil Davidson, "Developing new uses in new situation(the justification for enslaving African people, when it was no longer permissible to enslave white people.
"This weapon of exploitation has its own history, developing new uses in new situations, as many of us know or remember or even now may still experience. But this has been a history, nonetheless, which began to come to an end in the middle and later years of the twentieth century."
Here we are dealing with that aspect of African history whereby it had ben asserted over the years that Africa has no history, we pick it up from Davidson who informs us thusly:
"There are many anthologies of African exploration. They are anthologies of the European discovery of Africa, conceived as companion books to a study of Africa which has regarded that subject as no more than an extension to the study of Europe or the New World. Their attitude is therefore strictly European in standpoint, and their value lies less in any light they may throw on African Life, than in the movement they reveal of European penetration and conquest.
"Thus, the best modern anthology of West African exploration begins with the year 1600, and its introduction is entitled "The Opening Of West Africa." Yet much of West Africa had been "opened" to the outside world-or to a significant part of it-many hundreds of years earlier, and these earlier years are not without important records of their own. To make this point is not to belittle the learned editors of that particular selection, for they could certainly have made it for themselves.
"As it was, they were concerned with producing an anthology which reflected the colonial situation and met its peculiar requirements. One of these requirements was that no serious consideration of Africa could properly start before the beginning of European (but more especially, English and French) exploration: to go back earlier would be to plunge into a fruitless mythology.
"The late Sir Reginald Coupland, writing some sixty years years ago of British penetration into the Zambezi valley, put the point quite clearly when he affirmed that up to the middle of the nineteenth century "the main body of the Africans" had no history, but had "stayed, for untold centuries, sunk in barbarism ... [so that] the heart of Africa was scarcely beating." African history could be no fit subject for scholarly investigation because no such history existed: and hence anthologies would necessarily begin with the arrival of Europe on the scene..
"Now, this approach has been overtaken by a wider understanding. the last thirty or forty years have promoted an entirely different attitude to the Africa past. They have displaced what may be called the "colonial stereotype"-that all in Africa was social chaos or stagnation before the time of the European conquest-by a view of the subject altogether to the contrary.
"These years have raised the study of African history from a mere act of eccentricity, perverse, foolish or regrettably harmful, to a scholarly discipline pursued by institutes of learning in many non-African as well as African countries. A great and growing number of scholars of many nations have accepted the study of Africa's past is not only possible, but also useful, and even indispensable, to any understanding of the general condition of humanity, whether in Africa or not.
"Until lately, as we have seen, this large advance had failed to make a landfall on Africa and its peoples. What Melville Herskovits called the "myth of the "negro" past" in his pioneering work of that name-the belief which taught that the Black(African) man is "a man without a past"-continued to hold sway, rationalizing "discrimination in everyday contact between White and "Negroes," as Herskovits wrote, and "influencing the shaping of policy where "Negroes" are concerned."
Africans were not thought to have entered the grand circuit of world development. Having no history of their own, they were manifestly 'children who failed to grow up." Being 'retarded children," they necessarily forfeited any claim to equality of treatment with other men. Possessing no such claim, they must be taken in hand by superior peoples and shown the path they should tread.
The Stone Age In Brief
Today the position is otherwise. The past of the "Negro" past has begun to join a number of others of its kind. An intelligent view of human change and progress in Africa must no reach back to the most remote antiquity.
The ancestors of humankind came of stocks related to the ancestors of apes. but when and where did the lines divide? Ehret informs us in this way below:
"An Island in East Africa's Lake Victoria had offered an initial answer(not the only answer). In a geological bed which is dated to about twenty-five million years ago, Dr. Louis Leakey discovered the fossilized fragments of a creature which lived on the ground but walked erect. Even if Proconsul, as Leakey names this creature, was not a man, it was quit probably an ancestor of man. Scanty evidence, indeed" but it so happens that many other such fossils have been found in East Africa(South Africa too). Another of Leakey's finds, Zinjanthropus, lived in Tanzania, about two million years ago; and he or she, if Leakey's attributions re correct, was a kind of human, for he or she made crude stone tools."
After that the story of humanity's first faltering movement in the direction of civilization becomes a little less obscure, and merges into what is known as the Old Stone Age, a period of enormous length during which various human types appeared and disappeared, failed or survived, found slightly better ways of living, and eventually, by natural selection through unnumbered generations, gave birth to our own ancestors, some 50,000 years ago. By about 12,000 years ago all earlier human types had disappeared.
After the Old Stone Age had persisted for many hundred thousand years there came the crucial invention of agriculture, a gradual but nonetheless definite process of experiment and technical gain. This decisive social "revolution" was neither a sudden nor a soon-competed thing. It followed many centuries of primitive and part time farming-the collecting and sowing of seeds and tubers-and grew into what may properly be called agriculture at different times in different places. Where were these times and places? The twin disciplines of archeology and linguistics-the study of material evidence from the past of the evolution of languages-have shed a large light upon the answer to this question. (Ehret)
The Origins Of African Agriculture
The Origins of Cultivation has been recounted for a long time by European authors from a purely European Standpoint. In their view, it all started in the Near East, in Mesopotamia to be precise. Since the Second World War, however, although the important role played by the 'Fertile Crescent" in the Neolithic revolution is still acknowledged, much light has been shed on the crop inventions of both North and South America, the early development of a cradle of agriculture in tropical South-East Asia, and the African contribution to the history of the word's agriculture. In the earlier times, Russian agronomist N.I Vavilov, told of the existence in Africa of centers where cultivated plants could have originated, and one of his assistants, A. Kuptsov, later demonstrated that such cradles of agriculture had, in fact, existed. But in the end, colonial prejudice prevented that idea from gaining credence and acceptance.
The origins and developments of agricultural techniques and of cultivated plants are directly related to the natural conditions prevailing in a particular region, such as the soils, the climate, the water resources and the original vegetation. However, the development of agriculture and of animal husbandry also depends on the factors that go to make up the cultures and civilizations of different peoples, so that their agricultural and stock-raising practices may vary considerably, even though the environments in which they live may be identical.
That is why population movements are of such importance in the dissemination and adoption of new behavior patterns and hitherto unknown techniques, and indeed of original conceptions about relationships with nature, the use of space, and so on. Thus, at a time when Europe was barely emerging from the Paleolithic, agriculture and stock-raising were already flourishing in the Near East, whence technological innovations and their attendant ideologies radiated northwards across the Mediterranean and were instrumental in triggering off the European Neolithic revolution. Africa too, as affected by these flows of commodities and men, and by the ideas they brought with them.However, it must not be thought that all this was accomplished in a flash.
It was a long and drawn-out process in which Man passed from the appropriation stage of gathering and hunting to the production stage involving cultivation and stock-breeding via such intermediate phases as the taming of wild animals and the cultivation of plants by trial and error. During the process, Man was gradually freed of the uncertainty and risk inherent in his/her failure to control the natural elements. Even so, the conditioning influence of the environment was never entirely absent, especially during the prehistorical period.
In Africa, for instance, the existence of symmetrical climatic and ecological belts on either side of the Equator create a set a set of zonal patterns, which tended to influence agricultural development. Some of the zones, such as the Sahara, the Equatorial rain forest, The Tanzanian steppe and the Kalahari desert, formed barriers to north-south population movements, although none of these barriers was ever completely impenetrable. Other zones, such as the open grasslands and Savannah's of the tropical regions, represented spaces that were conducive to the spread of new ideas.
Besides latitude, altitude and geographical relief were also instrumental in demarcating specific ecological zones. some of these ones were frankly uninviting, whereas others were more attractive: for example, the highlands fringing the rift Valley, which formed a corridor facilitating a variety of population movements across the equator, or the mountain heartland of Ethiopia.
Therefore, in an overall sense, Africa can be regarded as consisting of a rather inhospitable core of equatorial forest, hemmed in by a vast swath of Savannah-land and Steppe to the north east and south. Still further north and south, there are two arid belts, the Sahara in the north and the much narrower Kalahari in the south.
Finally, at the two extremities of the continent, Mediterranean-type environments prevail. The deserts were not always arid as they are now, ant they too may have had cradles of agriculture or animal husbandry at one time. At the outset, the forest provided Man with an ideal environment for food-gathering and hunting, affording the rather sparse population a means of subsistence without undue effort or anxiety.
This elementary way of life led by the hunting-gathering peoples also existed in the arid environments, as can still be seen today from Khoi-San civilization of the the Kalahari. In the arid environments, as can still be seen today, food sources are less varied and more restricted, and are confined, for example, to areas around the occasional waterholes
Cultivated Plants Originated By Africans
Vavilov identified eight regions where cultivated plants first emerged. Only one of these, the Abyssinian center, was situated on the African landmass, although another center, , the Mediterranean, bordered the Near Eastern center, with which it had close affinities.
Vavilov's method gave considerable impetus to research into the origins of agriculture, in that he showed that "it was necessary to distinguish between centers of primary mutation, where a particular plant might occur in a wide variety of forms, but where the dominant characteristics continue to be observed, and centers of secondary mutation, where many recessive characteristic still exist", he noted
A cradle of agriculture can be said to exist in instances where those two centers are found in very close association, since this means that Man has engaged in the extremely long-drawn out task of selecting and transformation reflected in the successive characteristics of the different plant varieties. Even then, it should be noted that the area where a particular plants domesticated may be geographically remote from the botanical plant of origin of the wild parent, which may have been disseminated by population movements.
The research conducted by Porters has made it possible to fill out the picture as regards centers of agriculture in Africa by demonstrating that, in addition to the Abyssinian center and the African portion of the Mediterranean center, there was also a West African center and the East African center, the last mentioned being possibly an extension of the Abyssinian center. [Before I post the "Cradles of Development", I would like to add this fact about the Origins and history of the name Abyssinia:
- The Ethiopians are thought of as African being exclusively African African people, and yet, in ancient the think about this matter was different. Budge gives us some insight about it as he writes the following: "It seems certain that classical historians and geographers called the whole region from India to Egypt, both countries inclusive, by the name of Ethiopia, and in consequence they regarded all the dark-skinned and Black(African) peoples who inhabited it as Ethiopians. Mention is made of Eastern and Western Ethiopians, and it is probable that the Easterners were Asiatics and the Westerners Africans. I am not making an attempt to describe the history of that large portion of the earth's surface which the Greeks called Ethiopia, but only that comparatively small section of it which is today named, both by large numbers of Orientals and by Europeans generally, Abyssinia, and also the country of Kush, which is also known as Nubia. ... The identification of Kush and Abyssinia under the name of Ethiopia made by the translators of the Ethiopic version of the bible in the 5th (or 6th) century, has for many centuries been accepted by the Abyssinians. And to this day, the Abyssinian, in reciting Psalm LXVIII (V. 31), says "Ethiopia shall make her hands reach unto God." In dealing with this subject, I have concluded that the Ethiopians, whose manners and customs have been so fully described by Herodotus, Diodorus, Strabo, Pliny and others, were not Abyssinians at all, but natives of the Upper Nubia and the Island of Meroe, and it was the African people who inhabited the hot, moist lands which extended from southern Abyssinia to the Equator.. ... The hieroglyphic inscriptions of the VI, XII and XVIII Dynasties prove that caravans travelled from Egypt to the countries round about the Blue Nile, and to regions much further to the south, but there is no mention in them of any country which can be identified with Abyssinia proper. In fact, the Egyptians inscriptions do not yield any information about the 'real' Abyssinia, or its peoples, and even the Nubia and Meroitic inscriptions throw very little light upon the history of the period in which they were written. From the cuneiform inscriptions we an also find no information about Abyssinia, though both the Assyrians and Hebrews knew of the existence of the country of Kush, and that it lay to the south of Egypt."
So that, the Cradles of agricultural Development in Africa can accordingly be summarized as Follows:
1. The Afro-Mediterranean cradle, stretching fro Egypt to Morocco, which acted as a channel for exchanges with Near Eastern Cradle. This was the starting-point for cereals such as wheat and barley, for leguminous plants with edible seeds such as lentils, for olive trees and so on.
2. The Nile-Abyssinian cradle, which had wheat, barley and leguminous plants, as well as sorghum and cultivated species peculiar to the region, such as the coffee shrub (Coffee Arabica L.) and the Abyssinian banana tree.
3. The West African cradle, with its original plants such as sorghum, penicilliary and finger millet, fonio (Digitaria excilis Stapf.) , rice and tubers, its leguminous plants such as the Shea tree (Elaeis guineensis), and its stimulants such as the Kola nut.
4. The Central Arian cradle, which appears to be the prolongation of the former and has fewer cereals, but more tubers and more leguminous plants such as the earthpea or groundnut (Voandzeia subterranea Tho.).
The East African cradle, spreading as far west as Angola, with sorghum, several varieties of millet, and sesame.
Round this core, a center of agriculture corresponding to the Savanna regions grew up and specialized in the cultivation of cereals. Farther away, the peripheral, Afro-Mediterranean and Nile Abyssinian cradles were those most in communication with the world outside Africa, and it was via Egypt and Ethiopia that the swing-plough made its way into part of the cereal-producing center of agriculture
It was in this same area that the mass cultivation of sorghum and rice - as opposed the cultivation of individual plants current in the center of horticulture - gradually made it possible for settlements to be established on the forest fringes. This hastened the process whereby they were turned into Savannah, although in a reverse process, there was often some adaptation to the forest environment in that tubers and other plants, which had originally been gathered for subsistence purposes, were also cultivated.
Even so, the typical crop in this Savannah environment is cereal sorghum, a specifically African creation, the different varieties of which have independent points of origin in both the eastern and western parts of the continent and in the Horn of Africa. One of these sorghums is distributed over a vast area extending as far as Iran and India. There is no doubt that the some of the sorghum varieties domesticated in Africa were subsequently disseminated to other regions of the world.
However, the originality of agriculture lies primarily in the cultivation of rice developed from the indigenous varieties found in the West African cradle. In Classical times, Strabo had referred to the cultivation of rice in Africa and in the fourteenth century of the Christian Era, Ibn Battuta mentioned that rice was grown on the banks of the NIger River. It was long believed that the rice was of Asian origin (Oryza sativa R.), but it eventually came to be acknowledged that it was a specifically African variety (Oryza glaberrima Steudel).
African rice is, in fact, a good illustration of the conditions that, according to Vavilov, have to exist for a cradle of agriculture to be identified: a very extensive territory for the wild parent plant; maximum variation with the preponderance of dominant characteristics in the middle delta of the Niger, therefore, cultivated varieties of African rice spread into West Africa as far as the Guinea coast. Asian rice varieties were only introduced into Africa from the eighth century onwards, and did not reach the coast of West Africa until the sixteenth century A.D. Knowing our Agricultural production regions and the history thereof,is one of the many ways of learning and empowering Africans and solidifying their information base and perspectives.
Rise of the South African Reich Paperback by Brian Bunting
Mzantsi's (South Africa's) Oldest Agricultural Terraces
The historical piece above was written when the Terraces of South Africa were not even talked about given the secrecy and tight security that existed during the Rule of the Apartheid Boers(and their partners). The pice above which culled from Vavilov and Porter, both have some kernel's of truth. Now, at this juncture, we have to tie in and highlight some important aspects about the Terraces of South Africa which have heretofore not been talked about nor known.
Telliger states that: "It was reported by summers in the '70s and others before him, that the ancient agricultural terraces in the then Rhodesia(Zimbabwe, today), cover about 190,000 square kilometeters. This may at first sounds a little outrageous, but when you start to explore the ruins across the border in South Africa, you realize that the ancient terraces continue in this part of the world, covering many more thousands of square kilometers
"The meticulous construction of these terraces all lined with rock walls is staggering. Millions of large and small stones were used to construct terraces of different sizes. Many are built on very steep mountain slopes and the height of some terraces exceeds 3-5 meters.
"All of the terraces are strategically placed around a water source on the mountain. some of the gullies show scattered rock in a concentrated area around the stream which could be the possible remains of a dam that would have stored the water, which was then also used for other purposes.
Many of the terraces are sloped in such a way that would allow water to move slowly with gravity, gradually from one level to the next. And there is no only one kind of terrace. We have clearly identified terraces that were used for grazing domesticated animals, and other terraces for cultivating crops.
"In his book Time Detectives, Brian Fagan describes how botanists-archeologists or archeo-botanists excavated similar agricultural terraces in Peru and Egypt to analyze the ancient crops of the lands. Their discoveries were staggering, showing that the earliest crops in Egypt were planted as far back as 18,000 years ago and South America was not far behind. Sadly, such research on the ancient terraces in South Africa has not been performed, but initial archeological analysis of some of these ancient terraces indicates they could be older than 5,000 years.
"Once again, we need to remind ourselves, that if this is in fact the "Cradle of humankind',and if this is where the first humans developed and began to grasp the concepts of art and survival, is it not possible that they could have grasped the art of cultivation long before the rest of the world? The sheer size of the "Lost Civilization and dates ascribed to these civilization suggest that these are in fact the oldest and the first agricultural terraces on Earth - but much work still needs to be done."
"in 2003, archeologists with the "Amapa Institute and Technological research" uncovered the impressive ruins of an ancient stone monolith observatory site at Macapa, near Brazil's border with French Guyana. This came as qute a shock to archeologists as they did not expect such acitivities by ancient "tribes" in that part of the world. Marian Petry Cabral, of the Amapa Institute said that "only a society with a complex culture could have built such a monument," These ruins are estimated to be 2000 year old at a guess, but are probably much older. Large settlements that cover over 1,000 square kilometers, surrounded by terraces and roads, similar to the one in South Africa, have been discovered deeper in the jungles of Brazil. It seems there were ancient civilizations all over the world that are now causing archeologists and historians to reconsider the activities of ancient man on Planet Earth. But Africa remains the First."
So that the first piece I talked about the origins of agriculture, needs to be revised, and this is still ongoing work in South Africa, and updates will be issued on this particular historical.archeological/botanical/mineral history (might be discussed a bit below). At this juncture in recreating and rewriting of the History of Mzantsi, we find that most of the things that make humans be today started over there. The only thing that is bothersome, thus far, i the extant and extend to which the Cultures, Customs, Traditions, Sacred Rites And Practices, Oral Tradition and History, Languages, music , Dance, Traditional garb and food and have been left out of the historical accounts. It is as if the disappearance of the newly discovered civilization, was the end of those people, and that the present Africans of South Africa are not the very same people whose civilizations have disappeared. They are the original people's of South Africa, and have been there for millenniums
I have included this part of the research as a footnote to the terrace photos of South I have put as the first three of the pictures on Terraces. I used the rest of the pictures/photos which depict and show the terraces as to how they might have looked hundreds of thousands of years ago in South. It is not only enough to see the ruins and deterioration of the structures alike the Terrace, but it is also helpful to the reader to be able to have a general idea as to what it is I am talking about,
No Civilization would Have Been Possible without African Culture
African Social History
Revising A Bit Of European History
The picture we get today of Africa in past ages from the history taught in our schools is that Africans were savages and that, although Europeans invaded their lands and made slaves of them, they assert that they were in a way conferring a great a great favor on them; since they brought to them the blessings of Christian civilization.
How False this picture is we shall see , as we have have already touched upon it, we might elaborate a bit as about how this colonization brought about the destruction of African Culture. One of the few modern scientists who tried to tell the truth about the African past was the German Anthropologist, Prof. Leo Frobenius. Unfortunately his works, for the most part, have not been translated into English. This is what Leo was saying in his book, "Historie de la Civilization Africaine", in trying to convey a lesson to the misinformed of modern Europe and America:
"What was revealed by the navigators of the fifteenth to the seventeenth century furnishes proof that "Negro" Africa, which extended south of the desert zone of the Sahara, was in full efflorescence which the European conquistadors annihilated as far as they progressed. For the new country of America needed slaves, and Africa had them to offer, hundreds, thousands whole cargos of slaves
"However, the slave trade was never an affair which meant a perfectly easy conscience, and it exacted a justification; hence, one made European invention which has consequently prevailed in Europe until the beginning of this century of the "Negro" as a half-animal, an article of merchandize- was en vogue ... The idea of the barbarous 'Negro'" is a European invention which has consequently prevailed in Europe until the beginning of and presently the reality of this century."
If we are going to be tracing our history of man that was living during or past the state of Gondwanaland, to early man and his tools, habit and industries, we also need to put more focus on the social history of the people who are the indigenous of South Africa. This is a broad and deep topic which I will try to skim over. But before I do that, we now know that Frazer wrote works whose shock effects came from the fact that it collapsed traditional conceptions of progressive history, revealing that the past that what modern humanity thought it had left behind, still shadowed its contemporary existence and was, indeed, more pervasive in modern consciousness than the discoveries of science made over the last four hundred years
Frazer's presentation of the history of humanity negated both the eighteenth-century Enlightenment and the nineteenth-century social Darwinist conceptions of continuous progressive improvement towards ever-higher levels of rationality; for Frazer, the history of humanity was a tale of repeated and terrible error out of which, with little certainty, had come to the fragile conceptions of scientific truth on which modern civilization was based, conceptions constantly threatened by the return of the mistaken forms of understanding - both magical and religious - on which primitive society was based
It is this negation of progressive history, the awareness of the fact that even the 'light' of modern science is rooted in the 'dark' truths of the primitive and this made Frazer the one person who can be regarded as the prophet of modern consciousness. At the same time, he presented this dark history of humanity in a prose as lucid and as ordered as any eighteenth century Enlightened thinker could have asked for. According to Frazer, the Enlightenment search for truth is enacted in the clarity and regularity of his sonorous prose; but the post-Enlightenment awareness that truth may be no more than an illusion of our own making is the burden of the history that he has to recount.
The balance between the two made between the delivery of both the closing statement one historical epoch and the opening statement of the next: a grand Victorian narrative of the rise of civilization from savagery reveals, at the same time, that savagery is the stronger and more permanent condition, and that the beneficent truth of the Christian religion are themselves but the spiritual after-echo of all-too-physical savage rituals. Frazer's ultimate achievements was the blending of a style which reflected enlightenment optimism about the powers of reason with a content which undermine and challenged that optimism, producing thinking that hovers constantly between sympathetic identification which the early stages of the journey towards civilization and appalled horror at the irrational beliefs, and even more irrational actions, of primitive humanity.
The very people who are calling Africans barbarians, are reminded by T.S. Elliot that for "modern writer the maxim, "return to the sources" is a good one, because they should be aware of all the metamorphosis of poetry that illustrate the stratifications of history that cover savagery" that in the piece above, we note that Elliot was following and acknowledging what Frazer who said that 'underlying the modern world, like a series of archeological strata, were a variety of of savage ones, and that modern civilization was a thin layer through which it was easy to reach down those savage origins."
What I a saying about Frazer in this part is that he was able to crystalize the modern Civilization" and espoused by European that it is really a thinly veiled backwards and very savage mindset and psyche, that in the final analysis, it being presented as a Modern Civilization' and is a fiction and farce that the needs to be raised and discussed as we begin to rebuild the History of Africans in Africa, and specifically in South Africa. Also, one would postulate that the fear of becoming barbaric by the Europeans, created a need for them to offset that by uplifting themselves as masters over savages
Adding to construction above, When Frazer envisaged the modern world as 'cracked and seamed, sapped and mined with rents and fissures and yawning crevasses', opening on that primitive belief in magic which 'is very much what it was thousands of years ago in Egypt and India' and remains the environment of the 'ignorant and superstitious classes of modern Europe, making a spectacle of Yeats "Mythic Method" which makes sense of the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is the bane of contemporary European history.
Finally, we need to look at the history of Europeans in the 17th and and 18th to the late sixties, because by so doing, we can come around the fact that it was only Africa which was backward and needed Europe to come and 'bless them with the christian dogma and practice. Reading up on Frazer, we begin to learn about the consequences of fascism and brings to our awareness that it comes from the symbolic locus for the terrors both of Europe in maintaining itself and its Imperialist manifestations. The fact remains it was just more so backward and was surviving on a thin veneer and layer of modernity, as observed by Frazer above.
African Indigenous Socialization
What I have done below is to post Dr. Amos Wilson's video/lecture which ties into the fact that we are sold the notion that we are backward than other human being, and Wilson goes into the nitty gtritty of how and why they(European Oppressors) are doing all this to Africans. But I will first cull from and defer to Asa Hilliard on this subject:
"One of the greatest obstacles to our clear vision and healthy growth as African people is the lack of unity. This is no accident as the MAAFA separated Africans from traditional spiritual value, family, culture, and land; forcing a total disconnect with a healthy African foundation. Africans were tortured and killed for practicing traditional religion, speaking traditional languages using African names and more.
"By the time Africans had gained a semblance of freedom to to reclaim traditional practices, anti African propaganda machines had already succeeded in enforcing a mental disengagement between Africans and everything African. The lingering result has been mental and social confusion which has prevented Africans from being themselves. The result has also been that Africans are unable to unite and work to achieve true freedom. This lack of unity is in direct rejection of indigenous African principles."
It is true what Asa is saying above, and this practice has had a devastating effect on the indigenous of South Africa. What the piece above is saying, is what Wilson breaks down in the video below: how affected African people are by the colonization processes, and that one needs to begin to know and act up on these effects and affects. During Apartheid South Africa, a concentration Camp mindset was instituted and implemented by the Apartheidizers, both physically and psychologically. This too has to be identified and dealt with.
Just the bit that Frazer is talking about that I have pointed to above, shows how bogus the White supremacist myth is. It is a sham because when we look at the Europe of the day, there is no way they can justify bringing christianity and civilizing Africans, when they killed, razed their(African peoples') cities and enslaved the whole continent and all over the the globe-so that picking up the cudgel to begin to rewrite the History of Africans of South Africa from Gondwanaland to Mzantsi(South Africa), is one way of writing the true story of a people. It is in writing this mammoth historical tome that one has to pick and choose the right timelines and themes, and be as close to truth as possible, that this makes the Hub a challenge and a learning/teaching experience/moment.
So that, when one begins to talk about the socialization of Africans in Mzantsi, we now go into a very obscure and difficult area because of Apartheidization, imposed ignorance, and disinterest in the the customs, cultures, traditions, dances, languages, oral history and tradition, music and dance of the Africans of South Africa, and how through them, a better understanding or historical and self-presentation of African people themselves will not be possible.
I have written Hubs on all these issues I raised above. One can only go and read the Hub I titled: "South African Music & Dance's Struggle Against Culture Wars: A view Of The Music and Dance of Africans of South Africa;" another one which dealt with culture and customs I have already written is called: "Restoration Of African South African Historical Consciousness: Culture, customs, Traditions & Practices." From the latter Hub, I will cite the opening quote I used there to begin writing the Hub:
"Black African culture set for the whole world an example of extraordinary vitality and vigor. All vitalist conceptions, religious as well as philosophic, I am convinced, came from that source. The civilization of ancient Egypt would not have been possible without the great example of Black African culture, and in all likelihood, it was nothing but the sublimation thereof."(Diop)
Diop has just summed up the gist of this Hub with his last sentence on the aphorism above. That is why when one begins to talk about the Indigenous socialization, one must recognize that there is such a thing and it is part and above all, the defining reality of the African people of South Africa. Many people know about Ubuntu/Botho of the Africans of South Africa. But with the cultures, customs, traditions of Mzantsi, there is more to it than just one word, but a plethora of diverse and variegated culture modes and modus operandi and the whole bit! that it forms or is part of.
What Asa Hilliard is saying below is a contemporary reality today in Mzantsi:
"There is no need to struggle to change the minds of those who make a personal choice to function as an individual and not a a member of an ethnic family; with the obligations that family membership entails. But we do need to be clear about who chooses to be in the family and who prefers to be an individual or just "happens to be Black." Understanding this distinction will clarify the kinds of expectations or challenges which must be posed by certain peole. It will help us to know who will be an advocate for African liberation versus who will be an opportunistic individual.
"In spite of centuries of attempts at ethnic cleansing and miseducation, there are ancient independent systems of indigenous African socialization that are still in operation today, on the continent and in the Diaspora. These systems are not familiar to most of us anymore. Some socialization retentions are watered down versions of what we once had, while some have changed little since ancient times. These retentions provide opportunities to observe and learn about some of the indigenous socialization practices."
What Asa is saying above, is very important and key to this Hub. I have already touched a bit about the importance of African South African culture, customs, traditions, etc above and gave a couple of references one can consult; below then, I will caricature the how Nguni/Bakone Socialize with each other in a cultural, customary mode and modal.
This is possible for if one were to listen and read Asa very careful, one will realize that possibility when Asa wrote:
"Some African socialization retentions have been modified, and can be recognized only by well-prepared observers. Examples of African cultural retentions abound. Africans in Suriname, located on the North coast of South America, have managed to maintain traditional Africa culture; even more so than many contemporary Africans in Ghana. They are able to maintain these traditions after almost four hundred years of physical separation from from Ghana" (Counter & Evans, 1981)
Differentiated African Cultures: African Cultural Experiences Globally
Traditionally, varied rituals address every occasion in African Traditional Life. The rituals provide individuals with an opportunity to stand before the community for naming ceremonies, enstoolment ceremonies, initiation rites, harvest festivals and other times to link and collectively give thanks to God, the Ancestors, and Nature. These rituals, and the purposes for them are common in Africa and the Diaspora. They provide an opportunity to promote community unity, to outline purpose and expectations, to reinforce the positive aspects of the culture, and to acknowledge the power of the Creator/Ancestors. Ceremonial pratices help communities to affirm community ties and values and continuity.
African Socialization Experience Redux:
Regardless of years of separation from Africa and constant pressure to ignore all things African, Africans in the United States of America have manage to maintain african cultural retentions. One example of this is the strong community commitment to and participation in child-care and socialization in rural areas and in strong urban communities that persisted for years. Even when there was little money, these African communities were consciously and subconsciously committed to quality child development.
A few of these practices include the use of folktales as a means of teaching about community mores, encouraging youth participation in all community activities, childbirth techniques, post childbirth rituals, natural healing practices and more. The diverse retentions could be found in many rural communities, such as Bay City, Texas, but they could also be found in pockets of urban communities those within Harlem, New york. former residence of such areas have many compelling stories to tell of how they were raised by African communities.
In many cases, the socializers did not know they were merely passing on valuable age old traditions. Nevertheless, the cultural bases in these communities are deteriorating because of neglect by community leaders. We must reverse this trend and take the opportunity to study and use cultural survival to shape the design of contemporary versions of African community socialization
The Concept Of Monotheism- Maat
Asa informs us further that "The character of traditional African education reflects thousands of years of development. It is unique in terms of its purpose, its methods, its content, and its outcomes. An example of a traditional African view of the world is the idea that we live in a cosmos that is alive. It is created by the devine. Human beings are a part of the Divine cosmos, and we are aspects of the Divine; the "Hidden Creator"(see my Hub titled: "Egyptian God, Amon(Amen) The Invisible Creative Power - Hidden From view: Akhnaton, Moses and the Origins of Monotheism.")
We are not alien to any part of the world. The core belief in Kemetic socialization is that the Divine is manifest as M.A.A.T., (a Kemetic or "Egyptian" term for ideas that have widespread presence in common world-views and value-views), meaning that the cosmos has order, balance, harmony, and reciprocity. At the behavioral level, there is truth, justice, and righteousness, which fit with the prior aspects. The creator is the ultimate bearer of these divine principles. This is connected to human in that, humans, through their behavior, should strive to be "like god." (the Reader can look up my hub on this topic titled: "Egypt (Kemet): The Egyptian Book Of The Dead - The Negative Confessions-Part 1 and 2' The Origins of the Egyptian Gods.")
MAAT behavior then, is governened by the inseparable principle of 'truth,' 'justice,' righteousness,' 'order,' 'harmony,' 'balance,' and 'reciprocity.' Any African socialization process a its aims, methods, contents, and outcomes, must be embedded in MAAT. There is no other system in the world that outlines such high values.
As African people, we occupy an environment that is physical, social, cultural, and above all, spiritual. While our survival need must be met, African educators are admonished to 'build for eternity' not merely for the temporal. Our exploiters see us merely as hard labor for their schemes as they scramble to attain the power to manipulate and control people and resources.
"We must not be misguided nor distracted by the argument that, using African traditions in "the modern or postmodern world" is useless, misguided, trivial, and irrelevant. Technology is a part of Africa's heritage, and even under conditions of slavery, colonization, segregation, and white supremacy ideology, Africans have been at the forefront of science an technology in nuclear energy research, information technology, engineering, etc. There is no conflict between high technology and African traditions(Joseph, 2000). The difference is that it must be balanced with the traditional values which emphasize that technology must compliment nature, not destroy it.
Whenever one is interrogating and investigating Africans, it cannot exist with the culture of African people in Africa and the Diapsora. Our task is to make sure that all is brought above ground for all to see and understand.
Culture Shock! South Africa (Culture Shock! A Survival Guide to Customs & Etiquette) Paperback by Dee Rissik
The Indigenous Socialization of the Africans Of Mzantsi (South africa)
The Ways of The Basotho people of Mzantsi
Above I have been trying to establish the human origins of mumanity from the country of Mzantsi (South Africa), and have yet to talk about about the acutal History, Culture, Customs, Traditions, Oral Traditions and history, Scared Rites Practices, languages, music, dance an traditional garb. As for the Languages, Music, Cultal and Modern African dance and traditional Clothes, the readers can look up the Hubs I have written on thse topic and titled: "African Music Is High Culture: The Power of Song In the Struggle For Survival;" and, "History, Culture, Customs, Traditions and Practices Of the africans of South Africa: Deconstructing Hisotrical Amnesia;' also, "South African Music & Dance's Struggle Against Culture Wars: A view Of the Music Ad Dance Of Africans Of South Africa;" and lastly, "South African Culture, Customs and Practices Writ Large: Re-Morphed Cultural Renaissance Against Dysfunctional Existence.
The last Hub on the .."Dysfucntional Existence of Africans in South Africa" is important to read as I write this part of the Hub here about the cultural socialization of the Africans of South Africa, I will use the same Surce as I have done on the last cited Hub above, and will just give it a bit more diferentiated parts of this cultural socialization process of the Africans of South Africa. I will still use the Basotho people, and it is important to know that othe other 9(Niine) peoples, the Nguni/Bakone, have a variation of the same culture I am about to talk about-of the Basotho and the rest of the other peoples of Mzantsi.
One can see this point I am making by reading the the Hub I titiled: "Restoration Of African South African Historical Cosnciousness: Culture, Customs, Traditions & Practices," Which was an examination of the Pondo People(Xhosa) people of South Africa. In the Hub, one can find a lot of commonalities and samness of the African Culture and customs, etc, and the way they built their homesteads, and this Hub in particular, and this will be very important in tying up the architectural building and style that was used by the Africans of the "lost Civilization of South Africa. By breaking down the Basotho peoples history, culture, customs and the whole bit, this will begin to give the broader a sense of what the culture and customs of South Africa are About, and how they do matter and are relevant to their cultural practices, customs, etc., of the "Lost Civilizations of South Africa."
Basotho Of Mzantsi: Their culture, Customs,Traditions
Some of the things that I have touched on above was the Cosmology of the African peoples, their and their founding of Agriculture, cultivation and obesrving also using the weather and the stars to vary and carry-out out these industries, functions, production andwork, also, made them do their their naming of the months of the year to perpetuate and give their people cultural and historical continuity. At this juncture, we take a brief look at the Basotho and their Calendar:
Selemo Le Digkgwedi (Seasons and Months)
The Season(Selemo) for the Basotho Starts in Phato(August). they base this season as a time when they start tilling and ploughing the soil and begin to feed their cows the fresh green grass, amidst the warming climate and temperature trends They are even cognizant that it is also the time of dust bowls , of which the winds are not cold nor chilly. And the Basotho say that the Cold has retreated to the Big Oceans and nearby waters during this time of the season of "Phato'-August).
1. Phato A' Makoatle, Pula-madiba - August:
If we remember Count Volney's telling us about how the egyptian named their Stars that tied in to their daily experienced phenomena, we see the same thing with the Basotho(and the rest of the Africans of Mzantsi), that this month is described in terms o their past life experiences and attach those meanings to the Season and the oral narrative that explains it in this way:
"The Basotho say that this is the month of of the young boy, and their counsel that he should not cry and hasten to go and herd the sheep and cattle, because May(Motsehanong) and Phupjane(June) and Phupu(July) are still coming- (and it is the height of Winter in those three months-my addition). The Basotho go on to say that this is the time when the Chill and the cold have gone back to the Waters(as explained above), and around July, the Cold winter abates a bit, and it is the time when the warmth of pre-springs begins to creep-in.
This is also the time when the Basotho cull and cut the wool from their sheep and other other domesticated animals, including the wild ones that have been domesticated. This month is called by the Basotho "Pula Madiba" because of the Dust Blowing over the land, and it is also the time to start to plough and till the soil, and the cows are fed green and fresh grass to increase the milk and fatten them up.
2. Lwetse(Loetse)-[September] Le Yona ke Pulula [It too is like Dust-filled as August]
The Basotho regard this as the second month of the season They call it "resetlakatlaka"- The most turbulent, weather-wise and temperature oscillates; they also see it as a month they call "Sentsha Mafi"- (That is the one month the milk of the cows increases, because that is when the cows have a lot of milk in their udders(Ho Sisa-in Sotho)). And it is called Lwetse(Loetse) becassue it is much warmer than Phato(August).
3. Mphalane 'A Leshoma, Tswetswana(Tsetsoana) [October]
This month and time of the season is when there is dust from planting Corn'Sorghum and Maize mealies.
At this time, the Basotho have abundance of cow milk; also, that is when the see the new-borncalf at this time.
4. Pudungwana(Pulungoana) [November]
It is during this month that the People of the Basotho point out to the newly born kid(goats) and lambs, and other animals' young-one; This is when they begin to hear the bird known as "Setllonono" begins to cry in a certain manner, and this makes most people begin to say that it is already Tshitwe(Tsitoe)
5. Tshitwe (Tsitoe) [December]
Tshitwe(Tsitoe) is the name of a small insect which cries and sounds like saying "Tshitwe-e(Tsitoe-e! Tshitwe-e(Tsitoe-e)", and it cries like this, the Basotho observe, it well hidden in green and beautiful grass which is quite pleasing. During this month, the Basotho know that the production of milk from the cows is going to lessen, and they end up saying this is affected by "Tshitwe(Tsitoe)"The beauty of summer is at its height during this month and season. The local people go about bare-chested and their clothes hanging on their shoulders. It is that month of the year when White people say it is the end of their year, and they're beginning the New Year in January.
6. Pherekgong, Tata-Molebo, Kwela-Kwela(Koela-Koela) [January]
The month of the 'tendril plants') "Kgwedi ya Maphephe kapa Tatamolebo or in English its the "(Tendril-a curling system by which the climbing plats fasten themselves for support), which are the strings used by those in the fields to chase away the birds. Those who chase the birds away from the fields the build for themselves a place where they can escape the rain and sun: natural elements, whilst performing their duties.
"Pherekgong"[January], according to the Basotho is called "Pelokgolo"(Big Heart), becasue it was at the time when the pumpkins grow huge and beautiful, and thieves even become tempted to still some of it. It is because of the pumpkin and its tendrils that it is Pherekgong is called Tatamolebo. Koela'koela are the protruding thickened stalks on top of the center of the pumpkin, which the Basotho came around when the corn maize begins having some produce of their own.
"Pherekgong"[January] is likened to Tsitoe(Tshitwe-December), and the Basotho like it because they see it as a beautiful month, and the plants are in full bloom and very pretty, and it is the time when the first mealies are taken off their stems, and they say that this mielies grew during the times of the witches, and they are wrapped in a blanket not be seen; even the stalks are hidden in this manner from the witches; the Basotho see this month as one of good luck; they also recognize it as the beginning of the year for the White people.
Hlakola (Hlakola Modula) [February]
This is the time named according to the season when the mealies have ripened, and the stalks begin to appear. This is High Summer, according to the Basotho-this is the time of the height of ripening of plants and the beginning, not yet though, of the appearance of the end of abundance; it is the time when the birds are mostly nasty and give the bird chasers' a very hard time, when they furiously eat up the corn; since this is the height of Sumer, the Basotho consider it one of the most beautiful seasons and time and the best time of the Summer.
Hlakubele (Tlhakubele" [March]
The stalks of the millie Corn are now showing up more prominently, grown out of the Plant, the have budded, filled up and grown, and have outgrown their initial secure growing areas, and they are beautiful for the eye to watch. In Hlakubele, the young say "The corn has ripened, and they are red; and the grown-ups say: "The are still raw, or are half-way done, because at that time of the season, their color is like that of the chest of the bird that gives the bird chasers a rough time, eating the corn. Nature and nurture were part and parcel of the Nguni'Bakone dealing with, managing and controlling/naming their environment.
Mmesa ('Mesa) - [April]
This is the time of the season that fires are begin to be made because it is the days when the cold sets in in the days of this "Mmesa"(April). This is then the time of the appearance of the Star the Basotho call "Moranang" (It is the fourth Star of the of the fourth month in the early Winter stages in South Africa)This is followed immediately by the Star the Basotho call "Naka"(Selemela se se tona) [The Big Late Summer Star]. The was the month when the initiates in the circumcision schools are released from their enclaves to go back to their homes.
Motsehanong (Motshehanonyana) [May]
This is the second month of the breaking of the year. The beginning of the drought of all that is green begins. The corn in the field baffles the birds in trying to eat it because they are dry from the drought. The birds loose their joyful spirit which was in abundance throughout the summer season which is about to end or is ending; the birds no more chirp and lose their music. Their beautiful feathers, and their length, fall to the ground and they loose them, like the hoofs of the Springbok.
Birds like The Stalk(mokotatsie), Lefokotsane (Swallow), Nkholi, Tlakatshwana le Mahlakangwato, begin to migrate away where they had comfort and security. These birds will never be seen in Lesotho the whole winter season.
Motshehanonyana: The month of joy and the one that gets rid of the birds. It is the month that these birds can die, ad it ends their joy and their enemy, since it ends the abundance they are accustomed to. It is the month that can end the life of all the animals, plants and birds. Tis month even affects human beings, especially the poor, and it chases away the warmth of the Sun. It is the month when the coughing grips the population because of the bitter cold winter.
It is also the month called "Meqhoba-ngwetsi", meaning this is the time when most cows are slaughtered for their skins to make blankets. It is also the month when the meat from the slaughtered cows lasts longer and does not rot because of the cold. This is the time to harvest the food made by the month of Tshitwe(December)
This is the month which is the middle of the winter season, which is a really hard and bad time for both man and animals. The trees and the grass, all the plants, it is lik they just died, but they are not really dead, they are simply looking with their plant-eye for the season when they can live and revive themselves again. They just lay fallow and low(it's like the Basotho say,"Di robaditse Mmutla", because when the Hare(Mmutla) is sleeping, it has its eyes wide open and staring - so the plants are said to have the same behavior, looking dead, yet alive for the right season to come along, and then they bloom, blossom and grow, again.
When one looks at all the plants, all those that have been planted and those that grow wild, they really look dead and spent-out, and dead-looking. The spark and spright all looks dead, but they still have life in them. ;and when the time and day of their season comes around, they sprout and grow up, that even a baby sees them.
Even their names, nearly similar, they denote and connote the time when the plants are [pregnant], and this can see clearly in warm countries, but not in this mountains of Lesotho. Both these last tow months are the the coldest month of the season. When the whole country during this time it is not beautiful of great to look at. This is the month when even the complexion of the people is ashen and very much unpalatable. It is the height of Winter, and Phuphu is the last month(12 month) of the year for the Basotho (twelve month of the year on the Calendar of the Basotho.
This is in a nutshell one aspect of African culture of South Africa discussed above, specifically dealing with the months of the year, when they begin, and end, and what are the effect and activities of each season for the Basotho. This is important to know, because this is only one face of the culture of the Basotho. So that, when we speak of "Botho/Ubuntu", we must also know these customary, traditional and historical/cultural data in order to have a sense of this Philosophy.
The Sky And The Stars
Edge of the Universe: A Voyage to the Cosmic Horizon and Beyond [Hardcover] Paul Halpern
Under The African Sky And Stars-Preview..
The sky and the stars
Having discussed and described how the Africans in South Africa use the season to live and build their live around it, it will be proper to look at how they look at how they relate to the stars and cosmos below
A wide-spread African concept is that the sky is a solid dome, perhaps made of blue rock, resting on the Earth, upon which the Sun moves.
The traditional Tswana idea is that stars are holes in the rocky vault that is the sky.
The Nyae Nyae !Kung Bushmen saw the sky as the dwelling place of all the divine beings and spirits of the dead. The "things of the sky" generally do not influence or reflect the affairs of man, the !Kung taught, nor do they affect the weather, the growth of vegetation, or other conditions of the earth; they are in a realm of their own.
In Xhosa, a star is 'Inkwenkwezi', 'Inkanyezi' in Zulu, 'Nyenyedzi' in Shona, 'Dinaledi' in Sotho, 'Tinyeleti' in Tsonga, 'Maledzi' in Venda, Dinaleri' in Setswana, and 'Nyota' in Swahili.
While the /Xam Bushmen believed the stars were formerly people, some !Kung Bushmen taught that stars are, in fact, small creatures, and look like tiny porcupines – they have little legs, ears, teeth and are covered with tiny spines. Another !Kung account says that stars are actually ant-lions, watching from overhead with their bright eyes. When they are hungry and see an ant, they quickly fall to the ground to catch it. Some say that all the stars fall to the ground each morning, and we see them on earth as insects. The Ibibio of Nigeria spoke picturesquely of the stars as "Sand of the Moon".
The Sky and the Stars
The Stars, the sun and the Moon and African People
The Sun is 'Ilanga' in Xhosa and Zulu, 'Duvha' in Venda, 'Zuva' in Shona, and 'Letsatsi' in Sotho.
The Nyae Nyae !Kung Bushmen think of the Sun as a "death thing" because of its searing heat and the association with thirst, hunger, and exhaustion.
The /Xam Bushmen would ask the Sun, early in the morning before they set out to hunt, to steady the hunter's arm when aiming at game. The Sun was originally a man, the /Xam said, whose head shone brightly. But he was a lazy fellow and would sleep late, keeping his light to himself. So one day, out of desperation, the First Bushmen chopped off his head and threw it up into the sky so that his light could be shared with everyone.
On rare occasions, the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, resulting in a solar eclipse. If the alignment is exact, then the entire Sun is momentarily blacked out. Such a total eclipse was not a welcome sight to the Xhosa, who saw it as an ill omen. In Zulu, Sotho and Tswana traditions this was called "the darkening of the Sun", "ukufiphala kwelanga"(Zulu) and "fifalo ya letsatsi"(Sotho) respectively. The Venda spoke picturesquely of mutsha-kavhili, "the two dawns".
The sky and nature was part of the lore and reality of Africans and they understood it clearly and were in touch with it in may more ways than I can list here. The most important part is to pay attention to the fact that Africans in Mzantsi were in tune with nature and were evolving as human beings and creator and namers of their world.
The Africans named the stars, the Sun and Moon and they each had a role that they played in their live, and gave meaning to it. Also, These cosmic bodies were very important in orientating the African belief systems with the Higher Powers and anchoring the systems of culture, customs and sacred lives within and into the natural order and manifestation of the cosmic figures and their cycles and so forth.
First Magnitude: A Book of the Bright Sky [Hardcover] James B Kaler
The Way Of Africans In Mzantsi Viewing The Moon
The Moon –" iNyanga" to the Xhosa and Zulu, "Nwedzi" to the Shona and Venda, and "Ngwedi" to the Sotho and Tswana – is probably the most obvious feature in the night sky, because of its size, brightness, and changing appearance (phases). As the Moon orbits the Earth it goes through a sequence of phases, from New Moon (invisible) to crescent, half-moon, Full Moon, half-moon, and back to New Moon.
To the Kora KhoiKhoi, the Moon was 'Kham', "the Returner"; the Nama KhoiKhoi spoke of "Khab". The KhoiKhoi also considered the Moon as "the Lord of Light and Life", and would sing and dance at times of New and Full Moon.
The Nyae Nyae !Kung Bushmen said that the crescent phases with sharp points was male, while the Full round Moon was female.
The Xhosa considered the time of New Moon as a period of inaction. When it reappeared as a crescent in the evening sky, it was cause for celebration. Important events were scheduled to take place around the time of Full Moon. Also at Full Moon the mothers would de-worm their children, believing that at this time the worms collected in one place and could be effectively treated.
The Naro Bushmen thought that when the crescent Moon slopes downward, it is said to be looking into a grave and this is a sign that many people will die in that season. A crescent pointing upward was a favourable sign. The round Full Moon is a sign of satisfaction and that people will find plenty of food.
In /Xam Bushmen mythology, the Moon is a man who has made the Sun angry. The Sun's sharp light cuts off pieces of the Moon until almost the whole of the Moon is gone, leaving only one small piece. The Moon then pleads for mercy and the Sun lets him go. From this small piece, the Moon gradually grows again until it becomes a Full Moon. The /Xam also have another account of how the Moon came to be. In the old times,
/Xam said, the Moon was one of the leather sandals of the Mantis-god /kaggen. The sandal was placed in water to soften it somewhat, but this angered the water spirit who then froze the water, locking the sandal in ice. When /kaggen saw the frozen sandal he discarded it, throwing it up into the sky, where it became the Moon. Whatever its origin, the /Xam considered the New Moon as being able to influence hunting and the gathering of ants' eggs, and when the crescent was sighted, they would ask for its assistance.
The surface of the Moon has dark and bright markings; flat lava plains and rocky highlands, respectively. In many African traditions these markings are said to resemble the figure of a man or woman carrying a bundle of sticks.
When the Earth's shadow falls on the Moon, a lunar eclipse occurs. The Nyae Nyae !Kung Bushmen said that this was caused by the lion, putting his paw over the Moon to darken the night so he could have better hunting
Under certain atmospheric conditions, a "moon bow" can form, appearing as a large ring around the Moon. To the /Gwi Bushman, such a ring was a sign that food will be plentiful.
The Moon played a very important role to the Africans in South Africa in naming their world and understanding their existence using the Moon as part of that explanation symbol and power
Traditional African South African Star Lore
Bright southern stars
The Southern Cross (Crux) and the two bright Pointers (alpha and beta Centuari) are probably the most recognizable of the southern stars, and they feature prominently in African star lore.
In Sotho, Tswana and Venda traditions, these stars are "Dithutlwa", "The Giraffes". The bright stars of Crux are male giraffes, and the two Pointers are female. The Venda called the fainter stars of the Southern Cross "Thudana", "The Little Giraffe". They also say that the month "Khubvhumedzi" begins when the crescent Moon can be seen for the first time and, at the same time, the lower two giraffe stars are just below the horizon and the upper two are just visible. The BaSotho lore tells that when the giraffe stars are seen close to the south-western horizon just after sunset, they indicate the beginning of cultivating season.
The /Xam Bushmen saw the two Pointers as male lions; they were once men, but a magical girl turned them into stars. The three brightest stars of the Southern Cross they saw to be female lions. To the Khoikhoi, the Pointers were known as Mura, "The Eyes", of some great celestial beast.
The Coal Sack, a large dark nebula near the Southern Cross, is known as the "Old Bag of the Night" to the Nyae Nyae !Kung Bushmen.
The long axis of the Southern Cross points towards a bright star called Achernar. This star is called "Senakane" (Sotho, Tswana) and "Tshinanga" (Venda), meaning "The Little Horn".
Brighter still than Achernar is Canopus, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. It is widely known in southern Africa as "Naka", "The Horn Star". In Sotho tradition, a careful watch was kept for "Naka" about the end of May. Sotho chiefs awarded a cow for Naka's earliest sighting. The day of the sighting the chief would call his medicine-men together. Throwing their bone dice, the doctors would judge whether the new season would be good or bad.
The appearance of "Naka" also heralds coming of winter and browning of the veld. When Naka appeared before sunrise, the Tswana knew it was time to start breeding their sheep. In Venda tradition, the first person to see "Nanga" in the morning sky (in May, heralding winter) would climb a hill and blow the "phalaphala" (black sable antelope horn) and he would receive a cow as a prize). The Zulu knew Canopus as i-Sandulela, a messenger appearing at the end of Autumn, the harvest time, and also as "inKhwenkwezi", "The Brilliant Star". The /Xam Bushmen believed that Canopus could influence the availability of ants' eggs, a rich source of nourishment, and they called it "The Ant Egg Star".
Black Hole Astrophysics: The Engine Paradigm (Springer Praxis Books / Astronomy and Planetary Sciences) [Hardcover] David L. Meier
The Constallation Scorpius and the Magellanic Clouds as Seen by Africans of Mzantsi
The beautiful constellation Scorpius with its slender curved row of stars is famous for the bright reddish star Antares. This star was called by the !Xu Bushmen "The Fire-Finishing Star" – not only does it have a reddish colour, but (at certain times of the year) it sets very late at night, when the camp fires have died down. Along the curved body of the scorpion, just before the tail section, lies a close pair of stars (mu-1 and mu-2 Scorpii), which the Khoikhoi called "xami di mura", "The Eyes of the Lion".
Near Scorpius is a conspicuous circlet of stars known as Corona Australis, the Southern Crown. The /Xam Bushmen had a tale about a group of men who sat eating together when a bewitched girl looked upon them, turning them into these stars.
The bright star Fomalhaut lies in a rather star-poor region and is prominent in the summer sky. It is called "Ndemara", "The Sweetheart Star", by the Shona, and also "Ntshuna", "The Kiss Me Star", by the Tswana. The visibility of this star was supposed to indicate the time for lovers to part before their parents discovered them. (Compare this with the tale about Venus the Evening Star, below).
Another prominent southern star is Peacock (alpha Pavonis); the /Gwi Bushmen call it "The Female Steenbok".
The Magellanic Clouds
On a moonless night under a dark sky, two interesting "clouds" can be seen to the south, one cloud much larger and brighter than the other. These are the Magellanic Clouds, or the "Cape Clouds", and are actually entire galaxies, thousands of light years away.
The Ju/Wasi and !Kung Bushmen said that the larger cloud was a part of the sky where soft thornless grass grows, like the kind they used for bedding. One day, they say, God climbed onto the large cloud and went hunting. Several other Bushman groups saw the two clouds as male and female steenbok.
The Sotho saw the clouds as the spoor of two celestial animals. The large cloud was "Setlhako sa Naka", "The Spoor of the Horn Star" (Naka, Canopus) and the smaller cloud was "Setlhako sa Senakane", "The Spoor of the Little Horn Star" (Senakane, Achernar).
Tswana folklore tells that when the small cloud appeared more clearly than the large cloud, a drought would follow.
Stars and galaxies were a guiding feature for Africans in dealing with their lives, nature and world. This made them know and observe the stars and relate them to their very existence and lives.
The Milky Way
The Milky Way [Tubed] (National Geographic: Reference Map) (Reference - Space) [Map] National Geographic Maps - Reference (Author, Editor, Illustrator)
The Milky Way
On a dark night, the Milky Way can be seen, a dim band of light stretching from horizon to horizon.
Various groups (including the Venda, Setswana and Sesotho) described it as a supernatural foot path across the sky along which the ancestor spirits walked. Many peoples referred to it as "Night's backbone", "Sky's spine" and "God's back", suggesting the idea that the Milky Way held up the sky, or maybe held it together.
In /Xam Bushmen star lore, the Milky Way was created by a girl of the ancient race who scooped up a handful of ashes from the fire and flung it into the sky. This made a glowing path along which people could see the route to return home at night. She also threw bits of an edible root into the sky, the old (red) pieces creating red stars and the young (white) pieces creating white stars.
New 8x10 NASA Photo: Orion Nebula by Hubble Space Telescope
The Indigenous African peoples Of Mzantsi Interpretation of the The Orion Stars
The stars around Orion
On summer nights, the brilliant constellation of Orion, with Taurus the Bull on one side, and bright Sirius on the other, graces the southern night skies.
Orion is instantly recognizable by its three bright stars in a short line (Orion's Belt), and the brilliant orange star Betelgeuse. Rigel is the other bright star in Orion (opposite Betelgeuse from the Belt Stars). Roughly between Rigel and the Belt Stars lies Orion's Sword, which appear as three fuzzy stars.
Several cultures identify the Belt Stars as animals. They are seen as three pigs by the Sotho (Makolobe), Tswana (Dikolobe), and the Karanga of Zimbabwe (Nguruve). The Sotho called Orion's Sword "Dintshwa", and the Tswana called it 'Dintja le Dikolobe", meaning "The Three Dogs are chasing the Three Pigs". The /Xam Bushmen said the Belt Stars were "Three Male Tortoises (hung on a stick)," and Orion's Sword was "Three Female Tortoises (hung on a stick)".
To the Nyae Nyae !Kung Bushmen, Orion's Belt was "The Three Zebras", a male animal flanked by two females.
The Songye of Zaire speak of the Belt Stars as 'aspibwe na mbwa na nyama' "a Hunter with a Dog and an Animal". Similarly, the !Xu Bushmen saw "a Man, a Dog, and a Buck".
The Zulu referred to Orion's Sword as "oNdwenjana"; the meaning isn't clear because it can either indicate a tall object/man/tree, or a type of long-stemmed flower, such as a lily.
The Masai charmingly refer to the Belt Stars as "Three Old Men Pursued by Lonesome Widows"!
Nearby Orion lies Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. Sirius dominates the morning sky in July, and it late winter is rises early. The Sotho knew it as "Kgogamashego", "Drawer Up of the Night". To the Tswana it was "Kgogamasigo", "Pulls the Night Across". The Venda called it 'Khohamutsho' - "Pulling Out the Dawn". The Zulu had various names for it, such as "iDonsa" and "inDonsemasuku", meaning "straining, or pulling". The /Xam Bushmen called Sirius "The Grandmother of Canopus", because Sirius rises after Canopus, and the elderly usually follow behind the more agile youths. In Xhosa, the star is known as "iQhawe", "The Champion", presumably because it is the brightest star in the night sky.
Taurus the Bull has its own bright orange star, Aldebaran, and not far off is the beautiful star cluster the Pleiades, also called the Seven Sisters.
The /Xam Bushmen saw Aldebaran as "The Male Hartebeest", with Betelgeuse as its mate.
The Pleiades is a prominent cluster of stars, of which usually six or seven bright members can be seen. To many pastoralist groups of southern Africa, the first visibility of the Pleiades in morning twilight (in August or early September) announced the start of the planting season, and usually also marked the beginning of the year.[The Sotho, as I have described above, knew this and operated on this presmise when it came time for the to plant]
The /Xam Bushmen said the Pleiades are one of "summer's things", and the Khoikhoi used the Pleiades to forecast the start of the rainy season.
In Kiswahili (East Africa & Zanzibar) they are Kilimia, "The Ploughing Stars" or "The Digging Stars". There is a Swahili proverb that says: "If the Digging Stars set in sunny weather they rise in rain, if they set in rain they rise in sunny weather." Similarly, they are Kelemera to the Nyabungu of Ruanda, "Lemila" to the Nyasa of Malawi, "Selemela" in Sotho, "Shirimela" in Tsonga, "Selemela" in Tswana, "Tshilimela" in Venda, and isiLimela" in Xhosa and Zulu.
The Xhosa would watch for the first appearance of the isiLimela in June. It is said that the month of the Digging Stars, "Eyesilimela", symbolized new life in man. The coming-out ceremony of the 'abakwetha'(circumcision initiates) circumcision school, when boys would become men, was determined by the appearance of this stellar grouping, and it is the custom for Xhosa men to count their years of manhood from this date.
The //Gana Bushmen say that the Pleiades are the wives of Canopus and Sirius, and the men's younger brother is "Achernar".
Aldebaran and the Pleiades are described by the Ibibio of Nigeria as "The Mother Hen and her Chicks".
The Sotho and Tswana had a rule for finding direction at night: if you want to travel west, keep the Southern Cross on your left hand, and Selemela (the Pleiades) on the right.
The Namaqua Khoikhoi spoke of the Pleiades as the "Stars of Spring" and called them the Khunuseti. They were the daughters of Tsui //Goab, the Dawn or Sky God. A beautiful mythical tale encompasses the remarkably bright stars of this region. One day, the story goes, the Khunuseti told their husband (Aldebaran) to go out and hunt the three zebras (Orion's Belt).
Dutifully, the husband went out, but took only one arrow with him. He aimed and shot at the zebras, but missed. His arrow (Orion's Sword) fell beyond them, and still lies there today. Although he wanted to retrieve the arrow, he couldn't: there was a fierce lion (Betelgeuse) nearby who was also watching the zebras. So the poor man sat there, shivering from the cold and suffering from thirst and hunger, unable to return to his wives (who would be angry) or to collect his arrow. (The Ju/Wasi Bushmen have a similar tale.)
Near Orion and Sirius is the bright star Procyon. The /Xam Bushmen considered it "The Male Eland", who has two wives (Castor and Pollux).
Rigel and Betelgeuse, with Sirius and Procyon, were known as "Magakgala" or "Mahakala" to the Basotho, Lobedu, Northern Sotho and Tswana. When these stars were visible in the early evening, they knew it was time to harvest the corn.
The Stars were about telling the time of the season and the work to be done and may other traditional rites practices adhere in their being implemented to the stars and Moon. the cosmos was part of the lives and culture and life of the Africans in South Africa[and a lot of Africans in Africa-though I just mentioned a few above).
David Levy's Guide to Variable Stars Paperback by David H. Levy
Bright northern stars
A prominent northern star is Arcturus, which various Bushmen groups called "The Fire-Finishers' Child", because it appeared in the early morning hours, when the camp fires had died down. In Swazi tradition, the star is called 'Lweti', and is visible in the morning sky before sunrise in November, at the time when women begin their day's work.
Capella is a very bright star that never rises very high above the northern horizon as seen from southern Africa. The Zulu call it "iNtshola", "The Cattle Thief". The Nyae Nyae !Kung Bushmen called it "Green Leaf Horn" and knew that when it was visible, the first flowers would bloom with the coming of the season of rains.
Altair is another bright star that lies toward the north. It is known as "The Female Steenbok" to the /Gwi Bushmen. Located lower than Altair is the bright star Vega, which they call "The Male Steenbok".
Castor and Pollux, the two bright stars of Gemini, were considered by the /Xam Bushmen to be "The Female Elands", the wife of Procyon.
The small but striking northern constellation Delphinus the Dolphin is known in Setswana as "Gakgala", "The Mopane Worm".
Spica is a lone bright star in the modern constellation Virgo. The //Gana Bushmen knew it as "The Pig Star". In Zulu custom, it is known as "iNqonqoli", "The Wildebeest Star", and its seasonal visibility coincides with the calving season of the wildebeest.
Regulus, the brightest star of Leo, was known to the /Gwi Bushmen as "/edzini", "The Fire-Finisher" which only sets when the firewood has been exhausted.
The stars were part of the stories that were told to children around a fire in the winter or spring evenings in the rural areas of Mzantsi. As the lessons were delivered, children would actually see and experience the story by seeing the stars as they are pointed to them by the elders and peers. Learning was experiencing rather than reading, and this made for permanent remembrance to the children and adults alike. The communal lifestyle in the evening around the fire, was schooling too in the ways of nature and the cosmos.
Venus: The Evening And Morning Star: Guides to Life and Behavior
The Evening Star, usually Venus, is visible from time to time in the west after sunset. When this bright star appears in the evening sky, the Xhosa called it U-cel'izapolo', "One Who Asks for Milk from a Teat", because this would be the time when boys playing in the fields would rush home to milk the cows. The Evening Star was also known as "Madingeni", "The Dating Star". In the olden days, boys and girls were not allowed to date each other in public, so they would arrange a secret get-together when Madingeni became visible. Many peoples linked the evening appearance of Venus with supper time. The Ndebele called it "Lykwela mkobe", and the Zulu spoke of "iCelankobe", meaning "Asking for Mealies". The Sotho knew it as "Kopa-dilallo", the Tswana as "Kopadilelo", and the Venda as "Khumbela tshilalelo", meaning "Asking for Supper".
When Venus is visible in the morning sky just before sunrise, it is the Morning Star. The Herero called it 'Okanumaihi', "Little Drinker of Sweet Milk", on account of its appearance at milking time. The Nyae Nyae !Kung Bushmen called it "Old Star" and said that it guided the Sun across the sky. In Xhosa tradition, the Morning Star is "iKhwezi Iokusa" and is associated with diligence. Travellers, who sleep out in the open, would see it and know it was time to resume their journey. Young women and girls also wake up during this time to start doing their daily chores. Girls are often named after Venus and called nomaKhwezi, with the hope that they, too, will be diligent when they grow up.
Venus is, in fact, so bright that it can at times be seen in broad daylight. Xhosa boys, out in the veld herding, would try to spot it as part of the challenge to becoming a true shepherd.
Direction was important for the Africans of South Africa, and stars were used for this purpose too, to find way to one's destination. Night time travel in the darkness was not a problem so long as one could see the stars that have been taught to him by his elders and peers. The naming of their children was based on the names they give to their stars; also, it is very important to note that the cosmos was intertwined with the life, culture, customs, traditions, music, music, languages, dress, behavior, beliefs, practice or sacred rites and their timing through the stars and so forth. The names Africans gave to their stars its universal celstial bodies, might not be in English, but they are what the real life and culture of the African people of Mzantsi is all about.
This knowledge of the Stars seems to be getting lost amongst the Africans of Mzantsi, and the purpose of this Hub is to at least capture some rudimentary meanings to the relationship Africans of Mzantsi had with the Universe, and by so doing, as time goes on, might add more meat to the fleshed out narratives about how Africans dealt with the Cosmic bodies in the lived reality
Comets, Asteroids and Meteors (New True Book Series) Paperback by Dennis B. Fradin
The Star With Tails
Comets and Meteors
In most cultures of the world, meteors (sometimes called shooting stars) are regarded as signs of important earthly events. Sometimes, these are good events. The San Bushmen of northern Namibia and the Masai of Kenya and Tanzania considered meteors to be favourable omens, foretelling good rains.
In Tswana mythology a very bright meteor is an indication of a good season ahead.
Sometimes, meteors are seen as a bad omen. To the !Xu Bushmen a meteor was an evil spirit racing across the sky to cause mischief among the people.
The /Xam Bushmen, however, said that the stars knew when a Bushman dies, and a falling star announces the death of one of them.
Other interpretations of meteors are neither good nor bad. The Zulu, for example, say that meteors resulted from celestial cattle hastening to new grazing in another part of the sky. When the cattle drag their hooves they break through the floor of the sky and create streaks which soon fill in with mud. The Karanga of Zimbabwe would shout "Li-i-i Thobela!" when they saw a meteor, thinking that a god or ancient chief was shooting across the sky.
Comets were also seen as important signs of earthly events. The Masai considered comets to be the embodiment of important gods. In Xhosa tradition, a comet, "Uzatshoba", is associated with bad luck, calamity, wars and death. There was also a strong belief that comets predicted the death of a chief. To the Sotho, comets were "naledi tsa mesela", and to the Zulu, "inkanyezi enomsile", meaning "stars with tails".
The phenomenon in the sky was interpreted and understood by the Africans in South Africa to be giving meaning, or signs and predictions of omens or good luck, that they paid attention to them very closely and used the event to understand or give meaning to their existence and unnatural phenomena that may visit them.
The cComet held many meanings and was viewed in various different ways,and if it coincides with certain events, it is recognized as such, but also, this may change depending on the circumstance and conditions on the ground when these Comets appear and pass by.
African Renaissance Hardcover by Peter Magubane
Pictures of the People Of Mzantsi(South Africa)
To understand the culture of Africans of South Africa, we have just shown a smattering of their ways of culture and how they related it to themselves and the world. Talking about the stars and how the Africans of Mzantsi is one of the many ways one has or can explore in order to begin to positively caricature and appreciate their culture and themselves as a unique people.
So far, I have been talking about the origins and culture of the Africans of Mzantsi. Now, I would like to make a photo album of the various people of Mzantsi in their traditional wear and to give the reader a better face to face with the people that are being discussed above. It is important to note that the following differently named, but same people should be known as the Nguni/Bakone of Mzantsi. I am now showcasing the Africans of South Africa I have been talking about above for the reader to get a sense and picture/photo of the Mzantsi peoples. Many-a-times these peole are being spoken of, but in this instance and case, I would like to showcase the African people of Mzantsi, below. I think this too will give many people a sense and feel of the Africans life, and everything about it by viewing the photo album below. The feel' part of the essays will be filled-n by the music posts of the Mzantsi people below, too.
The Images and Photos Of Women And The Africans Of Mzantsi In Traditional Gear
History after Apartheid: Visual Culture and Public Memory in a Democratic South Africa [Paperback] Annie E. Coombes
Resistance Art in South Africa Hardcover by Sue Williamson
The Indigenous Of Mzantsi(South Africa) - African [Cultural] Power
Given the current access of the Internet and technology, we can now talk or write about people, and we can include in that photos, videos and citation about them to enrich whatever is being talked or written about, Since we are talking about the African people of Mzantsi, I have tired to create a photo-album before I can speak about these people. It is better to see them and have a sense of what kind of people and their Story(History) as is and they are the narrative's thrust.
It is important to link the people above with their culture, traditions, customs, oral history and tradition, sacred rites and their practices, music, dance and traditional and languages/traditional clothes to form a holistic view of the nation of the Nguni/Bakone. Thus far, going through the antiquated Stone Ages, to the present, the very people11(Eleven) of them, the Zulus, Bapedis, Shangaans/Tsongas, Vendas, Swazis, South Sotho, Xhosas, Mandebeles, the Khoi'-'San and the "Colored" which I have included as African people, (only depending where they are married, settled and continue their communities-or regard their identity as).
But the people counted above have had as their culture what I have shown above in the Gallery of photos. This is in aid to the fact that the very selfsame cultures, traditions, custom, sacred rites and their practices, languages, music, and dances as they are going on throughout the land in various formats, is what has been the way of life of the Africans in South Africa from since time began.
There will be a Hub that will be breaking down all these diverse, but same cultures of the African peoples of Mzantsi. In this Hub, and on this trend of thought, my aim is to point out the importance of having a holistic picture of the manifestations of the culture of the Banguni/Bakone people a an energetic, vibrant and in-your-face way of life, filled with the exuberance and love of life, that this system is not really fully comprehended by the fly-by-night scholars of South Africa. It is an ancient social system, and even if it has been shredded by Apartheid(As Asa Informed us), the remnants of it exude a brand of human beingness that in reality, it is the remnants of a way of life/culture that has been frayed through and by the vicissitudes of time and space-Apartheid and its racism; and the bungling present-day African leaders.
What I am saying here is that, it is up to the present-day Technological Society and along with its adherents/users is that they should pick up the cudgel and splurge the viral stream with memes and zines about the culture that founded in all cultures[this too is specifically addressed to Africans of South Africa). This is the straight-forward truth about the history of this social system of Mzantsi: it is the oldest, and it needs to be understood from that point of view, and it is also to be understood that it needs a lot of patching up and stitching to resuscitate and originate whatever is left of it. This is what this Hub is about: about a people who still need to heard and seen in the light of their history, which is the origin of man and everything modern-It is a culture that projects and highlights that as its major pulse and grit and endurance.
The African Personality As Social Empowerment
In this case, discussing the personality of Africans of South Africa, we shall cull and defer to Wilson extensively who informs us that:
"We shall define personality, without claims of definitivity, as more or less enduring psychophysically organized ways of thinking, feeling, desiring, and behaving as they are assumed to be partly determined by an individual's fairly consistent or characteristic attitudes, values, perceptions, motives and other abilities - all of which may be said to uniquely describe him or her as a person.
"It is important to note int his context that personality is generally perceived as organized, as a dynamic organization of traits, tendencies, abilities, intentions and behavior. The behavior elicited from an individual in response to internal and/or external stimuli is organized, i.e., is an expression of his personality organization. Under normal circumstances human behavior is coordinated, not random, and is initiated and mediated by the organized functioning of an organized brain and body - a coordinated system of organs, themselves composed of cellular subunits and homeostatically regulated substances and activities.
"All of this is to say that the powers expressed by the individual as persons and personality emanate in an organized psychological system known as his body. Hence, even at the individual level, at the level of the individual personality, organization, as defined by its many structurally and functionally related levels and complexities, is the base or source of power - of the ability of the individual to solve problems of the world.
"This implies that that "contents" of personality - its abilities, tendencies, interests, tastes - and the nature of their dynamic organization, largely determine the power of the person, and in the context of our current discussion, the contribution, for better or worse, he can make to his group, society and/or culture. We reiterate an earlier statement to the effect that one major way of controlling the power of a group is to control the contents, abilities, tendencies, interests and tastes, and their collective organizational expression in its constituent members.
"There is a general tendency amongst Eurocentric psychologists to overemphasize the uniqueness or utter differentness of individual personnalities. This is perhaps to be expected in a culture whose guiding ideology is that of "rugged individualism" or which idealizes almost a form of collectivism, cooperativism, socialism or communalism.
"However, as we remarked earlier, one of the most remarkable things about individuals is their inveterate tendency to form groups. The gregariousness of humans as well as many other animals has fascinated behavioralist, philosophers and pundits across the ages.
"What is most remarkable about individuals who form distinct groups is their exceedingly high level of conformity and obedience to customary values, expectations, and legal standards.
"Even more remarkable is their sameness or similarity of interests and tastes - their apparent love or need to eat much the same foods and drinks prepared in much the same ways; to be entertained by much the same amusement; to dress pretty much alike' speak the same language; express similar attitudes; like the same kinds of music; and behave pretty much within a rather narrow range of a very broad spectrum of behavioral possibilities."
I have cited Wilson's quote above because he summed up the purpose of this Hub and the foregoing picture album above, and the fact that I have made prior to citing Wilson on this part of the Hub. I was looking for a way to encapsulate and surmise the sense that the African people of South Africa, have in-built within their cultural, customary, traditional, etc., framework and references those qualities described by Wilson-Kown in South Africa as Ubuntu/Botho).
The qualities of being together, do the same things together, connect with each other in a common way on all aspects of their existence and here-and-now reality is what perfectly describes the Africans of Mzantsi. The Diverse Cultures of Mzantsi and everything else, are just that: variegated and diverse-but not different. One culture is different from others maybe in language, which too it is not true these African language are different, but extensions and variations of each other amongst the 11(Eleven) people of the Nguni/Bakone Africans of South africa and are only affected by region, but all retain a national sensibility, phones, semantics and so forth..
So that, the personality of the Africans of South Africa is not something they should be fishing for or hunting from other people's cultures which are foreign to their own indigenous culture, and in the process, discarding of their original culture, and behaving in a dizzy and confused way, [as in a chicken with its head cut off], about what to do for their own people, history, cultures, traditions, customs and the whole nation of the Africans of Mzantsi. As to what Africans need to re-learn and reconfigure about themselves as a "functional Group", as Wilson characterizes, we pick it up further below:
"Perhaps this is not as remarkable as it seems at first when we recognize the fact that an effectively functional group must maintain some necessary measure of conformity and unanimity if it is to achieve its goals in a planned and coordinated manner. In fact, "overlapping" personality tendencies and tastes which characterize the differing personalities of the individuals who constitute a group, provide that group with it necessary degree of conformity; their "non-overlapping" tendencies and tastes which characterize the differing personalities of the individuals who constitute a group, provide that group with the necessity for maximizing its adaptability to changing circumstances.
"Conformity and unanimity in service essential to coordinated group functioning and effectiveness, serve a basic need of the group for self-preservation[and group continuity] and therefore must operationally develop in any organized group. Consequently, in spite of individual differences, organized groups tend to exert some initial and ongoing pressure on their members toward conformity in vital areas of group life.
"Groups seek to induce conformity in their members through role definitions, setting limits to permissible behavior, convincing them of the validity of group goals and values, conditioning them through the manipulation of a broad variety of rewards and punishments. Moreover, a large proportion of basic and acquired individual needs can best be satisfied through group activity and Institutions."
Above I have delineated a swath of historical and languistic/cultural and other functions/usages and the meanings they convey to their and through users(the Basotho, in this case)-are in a way giving Africans and showing them the possibility of what their culture is about, and the reality that they can make it conform to their group activity and the institutions they will have to create from scratch. And we learn more from Coleman that:
"The individual is attracted to the group in terms of his and its commonality of interests, values, and goals; the success and status of the group; its exclusivity; its ability to provide him security and anxiety reduction, and to relieve him of his loneliness and alienation among other things." ...is what I think a group ought to be working on.
We are informed by Parsons that:
"... A child and has its budding personality organized to some significant degree thereby - the organization of the emerging and ongoing personality and motivational system of the individual are functions, not simply of his own independently given needs, but of the way in which his sociocultural group responds to these needs which themselves have been organized." In reference to the infant and the shaping of personality, Parson contends that "the infant in the first few weeks, if not days, of life comes to be integrated into a social system." And we may add that through internalization of its symbols the social system is integrated into the the personality of the [child]/individual
Parsons goes on to contend that the "internalization of the sociocultural environment [brought on by the social relations which the individual has experienced in the course of his life history] provides the basis, 'not merely of one specialized component of the human personality, but of what in the human sense, is its central core'. The social system in which the personality is bred, matured and embedded is characterized by an immense inequality of power relationships, especially in its early phases, and the relatively systematic and organized sanctions (i.e., rewards, punishments, incentives), it imposes on the individual, "eventually leads to the learning of a which is also complementary pattern of responses [by the individual], which is also organized and generalized." Wilson finally adds:
"In sum, the predominant social system hands those who define it and control it[power], which, substantially helps to shape the organized personalities of its individual members. This means that much of the contents, abilities, tendencies, interests and tastes which uniquely characterize its members, are derived from it and are integrated into their unique personalities. However, the uniqueness of their personalities is like the uniqueness of all the individual waves which make up the ocean - while paradoxically uniquely shaped, they are fundamentally made pretty much of the same stuff."
The cultures, customs, traditions, customs, History, Oral tradition and history, languages, music, dance and cultural dresses, to paraphrase Wilson, " are uniquely shaped, [and] they are fundamentally pretty much made of the same stuff."
African Socially Organized Personality
Wilson informs us thusly: "The individual is essentially an "individuated social being." Hence, in spite of its vaunted uniqueness, personality is socializable - that is, it is to an important degree organized by the system of social relations in which it is embedded and with which it reciprocally interacts. Since personality as an organization of contents, abilities, tendencies, interests and tastes is to a measurably important degree determined by the predominant social system of which it is a subunit or member, the social power it generates and expresses is also largely determined by the social system of which it is an integral part.
"Consequently, the personalities which constitute a particular system social system, in spite of their uniqueness, share numerous common orientations promoted by that system and are thereby instruments of that system - and are instrumental to its survival and maintainance. They, in effect, are the power instruments of its social power, of its ability to socially engineer its continued existence and functionality.
"Thus, personality inherently serves both the individual and society. It is most useful to the predominant social system when it conforms to the needs of the system while expressing its conformity in uniquely personal ways.
"Ultimately, personality is a functional social unit of society. Major questions in its study involves asking what function does it serve? Who determines its functions? Who stands to benefit most from its functionality or dysfunctionality?
"In the context of White-Black social power relations we may easily infer from the foregoing discussions that the social powerlessness of Blacks relative to Whites devolves in part from the ability of the predominant, White-controlled social system to impose certain patterns and limitations on the organized ability and behavioral tendencies which characterize the multitude of African personalities.
"The imposition creates Black personalities, in spite o their individual uniqueness, whose character, tendencies and behavioral outcomes are compatible with maintaining the White-controlled system which dominates them. Consequently, those personalities become the variety of expressions of White systematic power and its instruments of social power against their own best interests.
"In a word, Black personalities created and formed by a White-controlled social system are inherently self-defeating. The energy yielded by the conglomerate of black personalities empowers the dominant White-controlled social system, or at least, a social system equally controlled by Blacks and Whites. However, Black empowerment and Black Power whether epitomized by a relatively autonomous Black--controlled social system or by a social system equally controlled by blacks and Whites, requires that the personalities of Black be organized by a Black-controlled social system so that their contents, abilities, tendencies, interests, and tastes are compatible with the self-preserving, liberated interests of that system and the individual interests of its members."
Thus, personality inherently serves both the individual and society. It is most useful to the predominant social system when it conforms to the needs of the system while expressing its conformity in uniquely personal ways. This will be a testament of the existence of Free will and Self-autonomy
Art and the End of Apartheid Paperback by John Peffer
The World of South African Music: A Reader Hardcover by Christine Lucia (ed)
African South African Music In The Mix
Speaking of "expressing oneself in unique and personal ways", I have just posted several pictures of South Africans performing their music. Above in the Hub I have been speaking about the history, culture, customs and traditions of the Africans of south Africa. Below I will post some of the music performed by Africans of South African in order to flesh out the topic and include music, dance, cultural/traditional and modern music, dance and clothes of the Africans of South Africa. Here's as a short historical heads-up from the South African Hub reading on this subject:
South African music, entwined with dance, runs through the blood of the people, and it is an inseparable part of their hearts and souls and breadths.
With its rainbow fusion of South Africa music and European and Asian music cultures, South Africa is a hotbed of musical originality and creativity.
This is evident in the diversity of its music which ranges from raucous festival rock music to fashionable classical concerts, from the unique Zulu Maskanda and township kwaito music styles to world-renowned African jazz, rock and hip-hop.
At present there are various genres of South African music, which go something like:traditional music and musicians; Missionaries and Choirs(Ischatamiya being antoher one of the Choir genre); Kwela; Mbaqanga; Marabi; Minstrels; Mbaqanga Jazz/Soul/Township Funk; Contemporary and OldAfrican South African Classical Jazz; Jazz in Exile/from exile; South African African Jazz inside South Africa; and of course various genres of White folks music. There is a very special genre, the African traditional and cultural music and dance/traditional clothes. this is a very important section of the African musical mosaic that has been written about this extensively in my Hubs, "South African Music & Dance's Struggle Against Culture Wars: A View Of The Music And Dance of Africans Of South Africa." Another one I have published and written about South African music from exploring all types of music played by South African is called: "The Music of The People: Africans in South Africa and their Musical Sound Systems; and then there is another one I wrote too about the music of Africans of South AAfrica called: "South African Township Homegrown Artists: Township-Style Sounds: African Cultural-Musical Echoes & Polyrhythmic Licks." The reader might also like to check out one other Hub where I trace the different musical genres of Africans throughout the world by reading the Hub I wrote titled: "African Music Is High Culture: The Power Of Song In The Struggle For Survival."
In order to give a semblance of the sound/music of Africans of South Africa, I will dedicate the following section to the Musical posts of or from South Africa. In this case I will post one cultural and contemporary music of the different groups of South africa.
Popular Gospel, Choral and A-Capella from the Townships of South Africa [Import] Various Artists
Cultural Dress - A glimpse
Ichwane LeBhaca - Babanga Ilifa (Contesting Inheritance)
Mahlathini Mahotella Queens - Kazet
Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Homeless Live
Xigubu xa Machangana Vatsonga(The Drums Of The Shangaan/Tsonga)
LEONARD DEMBO-MUST SEE REMIX(A South African-Zimbabwe-Congolese Music and dance)
Paul Ndlovu - Hita Famba eMoyeni Nkatanga
Paul Ndlovu - "yambu rixile
Sipho "Hotsticks" Mabuse - "Burnout"
Jabu Khanyile - Mbombela
Caiphus Semenya - Ziph'inkomo(Where are the cows for the Dowry)
Letta Mbulu and Caiphas Semenya - "Nomalizo"
Letta Mbulu Many Rains Ago [oluwa]
Drums for tomorrow - Amampondo (South Africa)
South African Music (Dikgomo remix)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwgl4D4s-e4
South African music (Vomaseve Dance Mix
Mandela: Son Of Africa, Father Of A Nation - Original Soundtrack [Soundtrack] Hugh Masekela |
Thoughts On The Story(History) of the Music and Musicians Of Mzantsi
South Africa has had a very violent past, and just by looking at the people, one starts wondering, what was it that the Apartheid regime achieved in oppressing the indigenous people of south Africa? Well, a lot. But, in their resistance to Apartheid, the African people were at their best. The after effects of the repression, violence and oppression carried out on them, is still affecting and effecting everything about their lives. Some, few, have managed to amass incredible wealth, but mostly are still suffering, unemployed and abused in many other new ways by the government the elected into power.
If then, we are to tell and write about the Story(History) of a people, we can at least introduce a new component of the culture-Music- into the forefront of the virally streaming global community. The selection of music above does not in any way cover the vast areas and depth of the music of Africans in South Africa. This is just a smattering of what music is like in the lives of Africans of Mzantsi.
The music that has been produced in these Townships(Soweto, for one), made up of other Large Townships in their own right, (aside from being part of Soweto). During Apartheid, Soweto was build a dormitory/labor quarters for cheap African labor, and they were regulated and controlled like Concentration Camps, and the Africans were forced not to recognize these labor reserves or Townships not as their permanent place of domicile, but always remember that they had to go back to the rural areas. These Townships came to be known as "Black Spots".
All the musicians one sees above were either born in these Ghettoes, or their parents moved there from the rural areas in search of work. Gallo Records, in its paternal fashion, made sure that these musicians followed a certain pattern of what they(the Record Execs.), perceived to be Mbaqanga [and they have pocketed most of the earnings and gave a pittance to these musicians], and issues them a formula and style in order for them to be recorded. So, the musicians presented themselves as a unit whenever they came to record or cut a song, and they had to rehearse for a year before they could go on tour.
These artists, even they became popular, they still could not open their own companies(labels), nor switch companies. Apartheid had a long arm and reached into quarters seldom talked about, unless amongst the artists themselves and friends. Mbaqanga is the confluence of traditional music, Township Funk, dance and traditional costume.
The artist demonstrate to the audience a correspondence between body movement gesture(Traditional or modern African dances), melody, and rhythm. So that, the Story and history of the Music and African Musicians in south Africa, will really require a new and original Hub. At this juncture[see some I have mentioned above], I am just giving flesh to the barren bones of African history gnawed by more than five centuries of colonial and finally Apartheid rule-and music, after most about the past is said, seems appropriate enough to gibve us a sense of what these Africans people are about.
It is therefore my contention and assertion that the music, dance, traditional dress has always been the dominant and permanent feature of the cultural wear and practices of the indigenous of Mzantsi from time immemorial. This may not be exactly what it was in its inception in remote antiquity, but it is the best thing that has been amongst and by the Africans of South Africa long before the arrival of the settlers-going back to really great and remote antiquity. If that is lost from the analysis, or the African people loose their culture, music, customs, history and so forth, below is a sense of the apocalypse
The Effects And Affects Of Loss Of Indigenous Tradition
We are informed by Fu-Kiau that:
"... I believe people are engaged in such death-bringing activities because of fundamental deviations from basic ethical, moral, and spiritual principles of life and tradition.
These fundamental deviations weaken the body's functioning and individual self-healing power, the best healer of any individual and, therefore, society. It is mortally dangerous to deviate from certain traditions. ...it hurts to lose certain traditions, these are practical principles of life. The loss can lead to self-destruction of the individual, society, the world, and its civilization."
Above is the indigenous socialization and culture of African of South Africa which has been ignored, or treated as some 'exotic' and 'backward' mode and ways of the 'underdeveloped and child-like' insignificant ways of living and carrying out a culture by people who never evolved and never had anything worth recognizing or acknowledging about their barbaric culture-and if Africans believe that-all is lost. So that, we need to heed the fact and reality that the "mission of writing a quality history, African controlled, socialization process will be more than a basic response to oppression. It is also a fundamental path to promote healthy individual and collective development of the whole collective preventing cultural genocide.'(Asa)
"To justify the brutal, greedy, and inhumane behavior directed at Africans, oppressors instituted and fostered slanderous propaganda campaigns to paint a peicture of Africans as cultureless, igorant, and evil people-is a set back for Africans and devastating to the humanity. These campaigns included diverse international codes, messages and signals which were used to produce the same result; the full scale degradation of African people wherever they exist in the world. The goal was and is to encourage everyone, but especially Africans, to resist Africa and never speak out about European Imperialism as being against Africans around the world."
We now know, for a fact, today, that there are more African-African History Master Teachers teachers(present and past) who have stood, in defiance against the European and other cultural terrorists and in defense of the African history against individuals committed and perpetuating and all traces of African Consciousness. These Africans, who have been the light of advancing African history, stood and still stand tall and taught and continue to teach, speak, and act in truth (one can review the Video by Wilson above/and Clarkes at the end of the Hub), and many others that will be posted in this Hub(I have written a Hub on one of these Master teachers I dubbed: "Master Teacher Of African History-Prof. John Hendrik: Africa's Survival From Antiquity To Beyond The 21st Century," which I have already published a Hub replete with video lectures by Clarke, and a new way of viewing and writing African history of Africans of South Africa, as part of the narrative of recreating and resuscitating this historiography which has been nearly and thoroughly falsified and distorted-and expunged from decent commentary of Human History.
Asa informs us:
"Discourse and active organization strategies intended to lead African people to command their own socialization process must rebuild and improve upon distinct African indigenous tradtions. Numerous documents and oral histories outline the vast traditions which were practiced by our ancestors and passed down through the generations. We must critique these traditions and, when needed, improve them so that they will address the contemporary challenges that Africans face around the world.
"We must also understand that our indigenous socialization practices can help us to clarify our purpose and vision as an African family. Today, as we continue to face the "Culture Wars" against Africans, we must not surrender or neglect our vision of an appropriate destiny that derives from who we are as a people. It is a vision that points to our survival and maps the steps that lead to a reclamation of our African power[history, customs, traditions, sacred rites and practices, oral history and tradition, African languages, music, dances and traditional dresses].
Above I have attempted to delineate and bring to life the history and culture which part of what is Mzantsi today. What I am saying is that, if we go to any age or evolution of Man, when it comes to the South Africa(Mzantsi), we cannot do so to the exclusion of the discourse of African Socialization of the Mzantsi indigene.. In order for the Pre-stone Age history and historiography to make sense as far as I am concerned, it looks barren and senseless/useless if it does not tie-in the authentic and legitimate way and manner in which Africans of Mzantsi applied, plied and made manifest their historical and cultural existence in this part of the world, it is what we see today in the musical and dance culture of Africans, since culture is not static, it has evolved in time and survived from the vicissitudes of The European belligerent Cultural Wars and terrorism against African People and their Culture.
"Today, as we continue to face the "Culture Wars" against African people, we must not surrender or neglect our vision of an appropriate destiny that derives from who we are as a people. It is a vision that points to our survival and maps the steps that lead to a Reclamation of our African Power." (Asa)
To reclaim African history, culture and so on, one of the many ways to go about doing that is to write it from our own perspective, flesh and refurbish with new information(which is omitted old information) and, as Asa poignantly pointed out, "It is a fundamental path to promote healthy individual and collective development, while preventing cultural[historical] genocide."
Many Africans have never made the choice to disappear, and to merely be "mainstream," and which in reality will never happen. For these Africans who are not alienated from family and traditions, it is time to restore our historical and cultural structures, before they are permanently lost, eliminated and wiped out of historical and cultural memories forever and irreviersibly.
Dr Amos Wilson - Awakening Natural Afrikan Genius
RBG-Falsification of African Consciousness, Honorable Dr. Amos N. Wilson
V522 WEST & REST OF US Paperback – March 12, 1975 by Chinweizu
The Power(-lessness) Of African People Facing European Cultural Terrorism
What Wilson has to say about the bogus "Democracy' that is the present-day supposedly "Rainbow Society" or "multicultural society that is South aFrica Africa. He notes that South Africa is the engine for the economic development of Africa and theThird world, so that, he brings to attention the reality that we need to know the truth about present-day South Africa and what it is all about.
The final installment of his lecture is on a Blueprint For Black(African) Power, which I have included, for in writing the History of Africans in South Africa, Wilson is invaluable in this lecture. This Hub is about that type of empowerment where Africans of South Africa take up on their history and to write it in order to empower themselves given the present decrepit reality they exist in.
In some cases, Africans have been identified early on and recruited before being socialized to commit to a European agenda. European oppressors send 'trained' Africans into African communities, and institutions attempt to lead the rest of the African family, in blind allegiance, to the alien agenda that does not serve our community's interests.
The 'divide and conquer' strategy has been used against Africans since the first invaders journeyed there to pillage the land. the pitted clan against clan so that they could steal and enforce their agenda as the warring Africans directed their scrutiny at each other. Today, the divide and conquer strategy is employed by the right wing and the left wing-alike. Individual Africans have been permitted to rise the their highest levels, but only if they are not perceived as identifying with Africans as an ethnic group.
Self-hatred or the hatred of Africans is a prerequisite for financial gain and acceptance in a white supremacist culture. "Cultural Terrorists" have always used the domination agenda that was designed to divide Africans from each other, and "by any means necessary", and to bond individuals to those who dominate us.
For instance, the cultural terrorism in Brazil, provides a functional country to study and learn how Cultural Terrorsim" by Europeans has been effective. It can help us to grasp the fate that some oppressors now envision for Africans everywhere, and to see a sophisticated divide and conquer system in operation.
"In 1914, Theodore Roosevelt wrote an article in a popular magazine describing what he had seen and heard in Brazil. He was told the following by one observer in Brazil. 'Of course, the presence of the negro is the problem-[Like the Apartheidizers referred to Africans in South Africa as the "Die Swart Gevaar"(The Black Danger)], and a very serious problem, both in your country and mine, Brazil. Slavery was an intolerable method of solving the problem, and had to be abolished. But the problem itself remained, in the presence of the Negro. ..With us, the question tends to disappear, because the Blacks(Africans) themselves tend to "disappear" and become absorbed. ...In Brazil, the ideal looked forward to is the "disappearance" of the Negro himself. ...that is through his gradual absorption into the White race.(Hilliard)
Asa informs us that:
"Many Africans have never made the choice 'disappear', and not merely "mainstream," and never will. For these Africans who are not alienated from family and traditions, it is time to restore our structures for socialization. It is time to mobilize and to rescue our people, before they are lost in utter and irreversible identity confusion. We may not always understand that the consequences of that identity confusion are economic, political, social, esthetic and spiritual." [It is to these Africans that the Hub above is directed to, world -wide, and more specifically- directly to the Africans of South Africa who are caught-up in the embrace of trying to be like their Masters-in the clutches of their former oppressed condition and mind-set: Apartheid Hangover].
Importance of Family, Traditions, Customs History and African Unity
If anything Asa has said above, it only teaches us, according to Asa, that "African socialization practices served to assist communities in day-to-day operations, collective survival, interpersonal relations, and basic quality of life issues. The content of an African education and socialization process contains many components which are modified according to the specific goals and aims of a community. It includes:
- Study of the whole heritage of the community
- Study of the spiritual significance of everything
- Study of the the whole life of the community
- Study of the whole environment and ecology
- Study how to maintain health
- Build an understanding of MAAT(Ubuntu/Botho) and a commitment to do MAAT(Ubuntu/Botho)
- Building strong community values
- Building fundamental and advanced skills
- Building strong social bonds
- Building a strong ethnic family identity
- Study of geopolitical and economic forces
- Building respect for elders(Young and The whole Community)
- Building and maintaining effective nurturing systems for children
"Our methodology for socialization follows from the above. Bonded relationships among teachers and students are the foundation for method. Collective efforts of students, teachers, families and communities are essential. Rituals, rhythms and performances are essential. Meditation and reflection is essential. Conducting socialization in specially prepared "sacred spaces" is essential. With all of this, critical reflection is a must.
Regardless of our understanding of the diverse ways in which European systems of education typically failed African people, Africans continue to be dependent on the European approach; an approach that carries no high expectations of us. In fact, the European system is based largely on assumptions that we lack the intellectual and cultural capacity for thigh levels of achievement. Actually, Western education for the masses carries no high values and aims for anyone, European, African or others; not even excellence in basic skills.
"This is a very dangerous development of us. Miseducation continues to be a threat to our survival as a people. This particular form of miseducation strives to make us individuals, non-spiritual, materialistic, passive consumers, and even cravers of White Supremacy ideas, contents, behaviors and values. Frances Cress Welsing calls this "pro-racism," the act of taking the orientation of one's oppressor." W/E.B.Dubois calls this "double consciousness." Many other African have arrived at the same conclusions, though they may have often used different language." (Asa)
Cultural Dependency vs Intergenerational Cultural Transmission
So that, according to Asa:
"The cultural dependency of African people and many other ethnic groups is due to years of miseducation and the gradual loss of control of "intergenerational cultural transmission". Most Africans are in deep debt. Most of us purchase most of our goods and services from non-Africans. Even simple things like hair care and nail maintenance are provided for many of us by others. Worst of all, there is an absence of a community controlled 'Intergenerational Cultural Transmission' process. That void is filled by the propaganda of others. Gradually, we have lost the memory of our values, our history, and our creativity.
"Culturally dependent people will believe, internalize and utilize anything that they are socialized to believe is correct. For this reason, Africans around the globe copy European standards of beauty. In certain African countries, there is a crisis in the number of people who bleach their skin in an effort to lighten it and look more like Europeans(Koreans and other Asiatic people are affected by this syndrome, too)
"Instead of growing food or practicing the natural medical practices that were passed on to us, we are totally dependent on others. It is ironic, that those who make money on the medicine and other medical remedies today, studied and copied the practices of indigenous people around the world; the very people that they called backward. Now, instead of benefitting from the legacy of their ancestors, the descendants are dependent for medicine, food, and other things needed to survive from their conquerors and rulers/enslavers.
"Africans begun to internalize the negative views that exploiters have of us and our tradition/[Cultures and histories]. Many of us have become eager seekers o be educated in alien traditions, without criticism of them. For the past few centuries, the mass education that we receive in Africa and in the Diaspora is rooted largely in Western European education orientation and practice."
This condition has led to financial and political dependnence. We no longer create the things that we need to survive; not food, clothing, shelter, our own education, etc. Even those things that we do create such as our music, are under the control of others who have turned these 'creativities' against us. Destructive images are carried back into African Communities, where messages of uplift should be found." total confusion and ignorance reigns in countries like Mzantsi because the indigenous have not yet figured out to form a cohesive collective unit and a nation. This needs to concern Africans and the world's people of good intentions.
Is Apartheid Really Dead? Pan Africanist Working Class Cultural Critical Perspectives [Paperback] Julian Kunni
Recomposing African South African African History And Historiography
Where To Start...
When the ANC-led government took power on South Africa through Democratic elections, it was the first time that Africans of South Africa saw and elected Africans to collectively rule over all the eleven peoples of South Africa, since the arrival of the Settlers in 1490)Bartholomew Diaz), 1492(Vasco Da Gama and in 1552(Jan Van Riebeeck) and in 1880(British Settlers)-somewhere in between these dates saw the arrival of the French Huguenots in South Africa.
"Discovery", Renaming and Colonization Of Africa
Bartolomeu(Bartholomew) Diaz was born in Portugal sometime around 1450. Little is known about his early life, but it is believed that he came from a long line of navigators that may have included Dinis Dias, who rounded Cape Verde in 1455, and Joao Diaz, who rounded Cape Bojador in 1437. Accounts of Bartolomeu's(Bartholomew's) earliest voyages are very few and far between, but it is known that he accompanied Diogo d'Azambuja on an expedition to the Gold Coast of Africa in 1481.
Dias was a cavalier of the royal court, superintendent of the royal warehouses and sailing-master of the man-of-war San Christovao when King John II appointed him on October 10, 1486, as the head of an expedition to sail around the southern end of Africa for the purpose of establishing a sea route to the rich trading grounds of India.
The expedition left Lisbon in late July or early August, 1487, with two armed caravels of fifty tons each and one supply ship. It sailed first towards the mouth of the Congo River, then followed the African coast southward to Walfisch(Walvis) Bay, where Diaz erected a stone column. After passing 29° south latitude he lost sight of the coast and was driven by a violent storm, which lasted thirteen days, far beyond the southernmost point of Africa. When calm returned he sailed again in an easterly direction and, when no land appeared, turned northward, finally landing at Mossel Bay (in present-day South Africa).
Following the coast he reached Algoa Bay and the Great Fish River before being forced by the crew's fears to turn around and head back to Portugal. It was during the return trip that Diaz spotted the southernmost point of Africa. Although some controversy surrounds who named that point the Cape of Good Hope, most historians generally give credit to Diaz rather than King John II, who may have named it Cape Tormentoso (Cape of Storms). The expedition returned to Lisbon in December, 1488, after an absence of sixteen months and seventeen days.
Nevertheless, the voyage of Dias was fraught with consequences, for at the time the search for a passage to the Indies was a move in the great struggle between the Moslem world and Christendom. The epoch-making voyage of Dias not only opened up the sea route to the Indies; it paved the way for contact between Europe, Africa, and the East, greatly extending the Portuguese sphere of influence. Early information about Diaz's voyage is limited because all the actual records of his voyage perished when the castle of São Jorge, in which they were housed, burnt down after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755.
However, historians have reconstructed story from chronicles written in the sixteenth century, from near-contemporary maps, and from the stone pillars or padroes which the explorers raised on headlands along the African coast during their voyages, and from old rutters (sailing instructions). The route-book of Duarte Pacheco Pereira has been particularly useful. Pereira wrote the Esmeraldo de Sito Orbis, in which he records his own adventures on the Guinea coast. He wrote from direct experience because Diaz rescued him in 1488 on his return voyage after the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope.
Diaz's squadron of three ships departed from the River Tagus below Lisbon in August 1487. The name of the flagship has not survived, but we do know that Dias’s pilot was Pero de Alenquer. The second caravel was the São Pantaleao, commanded by João Infante and piloted by Alvaro Martins. Diogo Dias, Bartolomeu’s brother, commanded the storeship, a square-rigger. Her pilot was João de Santiago, who had previously accompanied Diogo Cão up the Congo River. (See Cão, D.) They also carried with them six African hostages who had been taken to Portugal earlier, some by Diogo Cão. They were to be landed at various places on the coast to praise the greatness of the Portuguese and to explain to local chiefs that the Portuguese king wished to establish friendly relations and make contact with Prester John, the legendary Christian king of Ethiopia. The Portuguese king wished them to know that they were seeking a way to India in order to trade.
To replenish provisions before voyaging beyond the Congo, the squadron called at São Jorge de Mina, the Portuguese fortress on the Gold Coast. They touched on the barren Namibian coast in December, and on the coast of Angola, they transferred provisions and supplies from the storeship and left it at anchor with a caretaker crew of nine men. Beyond Cape Cross, they sailed close to the coast. It is thought that they reached Golfo da Conceicão (Walvis Bay) on 8 December, where it is likely that they anchored. Sailing southward along the Namaqualand coast, they named the Gulf of St Thomas (Spencer Bay) and the Angra das Voltas (Luderitz). Continuing along an inhospitable coast, they sailed into Golfo de Santo Estevão (Elizabeth Bay).
On 6 January, Diaz named a range of mountains Serra dos Reis (the northern Cedarberg). Beyond this point, tradition has it that they encountered adverse winds. Beating on for some days without sighting land, they unwittingly rounded the Cape of Good Hope in late January 1488. While coasting along the southern shores, they came to the Gourits estuary where they saw Khoikhoi tending their wide-horned cattle. They named this river, Rio dos Vacqueiros (River of the Cowherds).
Much worn by wind and weather, in early February 1488 they pressed on eastwards along the coast and, realizing they must have rounded the continent of Africa, they anchored in a broad bay to replenish their water casks. They named this bay Golfo de São Bras (Mossel Bay). Here, the local inhabitants accepted their trinkets and the sailors were able to buy by barter cattle and sheep. But the Khoikhoi later grew distrustful of the interlopers and attacked them. Snatching up a crossbow, Diaz shot one of them dead causing the people to flee in terror. The sailors immediately withdrew to their ships, and the expedition sailed on eastward as far as Bahia da Roca (Algoa Bay) where they anchored in the lee of the largest of three rocky islets crowded with sea birds and sea-lions.
On the summit, they raised a wooden cross and celebrated mass. They named the islet ilhéu da Cruz. A few days after leaving Algoa Bay, they came to a river mouth, which Dias called Rio de Infante after João Infante, the captain of the second ship. Here, his men compelled him to return them to Portugal because they were exhausted and frightened and their provisions were running out. Historians first assumed his turning point to be the mouth of the Great Fish, but it is now thought to have been the Keiskamma River at Hamburg, 50 km south-west of East London. On 12 March 1488, a little west of Bushman's River mouth, they dropped anchor at a headland, formerly called False Islet, now known as Kwaaihoek. Here, Diaz erected his farthest stone pillar, the padrão de São Gregorio and then resumed his homeward journey. Eric Axelson excavated fragments of this padrão in 1938.
Again, Diaz's caravels sailed into Algoa Bay. They anchored at Struisbaai Bay on 23 April, naming it Aguada de San Jorgy. They probably stayed here for some time renewing their supplies of fresh food. They saw Cape Agulhas on 16 May, but were unaware that this unimpressive point was the southern extremity of Africa, as all later maps indicate the Cape of Good Hope as being the tip of the continent. The caravels then sailed into Walker Bay, beyond which lies modern Hermanus.
Sailing on past a backdrop of mountain ranges, they rounded Cape Hangklip, and entering False Bay, naming it Golfo dentro das Serras (the bay between the mountains). Diaz sailed for some days in False Bay and it is very likely that he saw Table Mountain from here, as the side of the mountain is clearly seen fro this position. On 6 June, Diaz erected a second padrão somewhere on the Cape Peninsula. Legend has it, Dias called Cabo Tormentosa —Cape of Storms —, and the Portuguese king supposedly renamed it Cabo da Boa Esperanca. Professor Axelson scotches this with reference to Pacheco Pereira's statement:
It was not without good reason that this promontory received the name Cabo da Boa Esperanca because Bartolomeu Diaz, who discovered it at the command of the late King João in the year 1488, saw that the coast here turned northwards and north-eastwards towards Ethiopia-under-Egypt and on to the gulf of Arabia, which gave indication and expectation of the discovery of India, and for this reason gave it the name of Cabo da Boa Esperanca.
Moreover, a note in a book of Christopher Columbus records that Dias gave an account to King João of how he navigated `to the promontory called by him Cabo da Boa Esperanca'. (Axelson, 1972: 149). Diaz's chroniclers record that a padrão dedicated to São Filipe was placed on a prominence of the Cape of Good Hope on 6 June 1488 (Saint Philip's Day). But no trace of it has ever been found.
From the Cape of Good Hope, Diaz sailed northward. On St Christopher's Day, 34 July, he rejoined the storeship they had left behind at Luderitz Bay. Of the nine men who had remained, six had been killed in attacks by Khoikhoi hostile to their presence, and the three survivors were so weak that the purser, Fernão Colaco, apparently died with joy at the sight of the returning ships. After setting fire to the store-ship, Diaz erected his last padrão to the west of the bay that he called Golfo de São Cristovão. By the 1820s, the limestone pillar had been overthrown.
Professor Axelson identified the original site on the foghorn knoll in 1953 and he recovered many fragments of the padrão at the foot of the hill and in the adjacent channel and shallows. Diaz probably put in at the mouth of the Congo. He certainly anchored at Principe Island in the Gulf of Guinea, where he rescued Pacheco Pereira and the survivors of an expedition, which had been sent to explore the waterways entering the Bight of Biafra. These explorers had fallen ill with fever and had lost their vessel after a fruitless search for a navigable route to the land of Prester John[Who professor Hendrik Clarke, the Doyen Guru and Master Teacher of African History disputes that Prester John never really existed-he sees it as ruse to colonize Africa by these early thugs and seafarers].
Diaz dropped anchor at the river Tagus in December 1488 after a voyage of sixteen months and seventeen days, and having discovered 350 leagues of coastline unknown to Europeans. According to Christopher Columbus, who said he was present at the time, Dias sketched and wrote in a chart for the king, league by league, the voyage he had just completed. This chart has since vanished.
In the same decade that Diaz had reached the Cape of Good Hope, Christopher Columbus had sailed across the Atlantic, also looking for a sea route to the Indies. To settle conflicts between Spain and Portugal arising out of Columbus's first voyage, Pope Alexander VI drew up the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494 to demarcate the boundaries of the spheres of influence of the Spanish and Portuguese kings[According to Prof. Clarke, the Pope decreed and gave these sailors the right to enslave Africans, and that they should stop feuding amongst themselves-the chronicles on the Slave Trade have a lot to say about this fact nd issue]..
Nine years were to elapse before the next Portuguese fleet under Vasco da Gama sailed around Africa in search of India. During that time, João II died (1495) and was succeeded by his cousin and brother-in-law, Manuel, who took a keen interest in exploration. Dias accompanied Da Gama's fleet as far as the Cape Verde islands where he left it to command the fort at Mina. Dias gained experience in trading at Mina and brought back with him a cargo of gold and slaves, which were sold to provide finances for further expeditions.
When Da Gama returned to Portugal in 1499 with news about the extent of Muslim gold trading on the east African coast, King Manuel became determined to send a strong armada to take advantage of these discoveries. The fleet, under the command of Admiral Pedro Alvares Cabral, included a squadron of four caravels under Dias, who had been selected to found a fortress-factory at the gold-exporting port of Sofala on the east coast. On 9 March 1500, the armada set out on the Atlantic and turned south-westward to take advantage of the south-east trade winds.
Cabral may well have been secretly instructed to explore the western area allotted to Portugal under the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494. Sailing westward, the fleet came upon the bulge of South America. Dias thus became an active participant in the first discovery of Brazil. In order to test the mood of the local inhabitants Dias was ordered to land a longboat at an anchorage they named Porto Seguro (the present Baia Cabralia). As the natives proved friendly and attractive, the Portuguese went ashore and danced and made merry with them, visited their village, and afterwards celebrated mass on the beach.
Cabral and his fleet sailed from Brazil on 2 May 1500. On 24 May, while re-crossing the South Atlantic, a cyclone suddenly overwhelmed the fleet. Four ships were swallowed up, including the caravel of Bartolomeu Dias.
Cabral secures the sea route to India for Portugal. Cabral eventually found himself off Sofala with only six battered ships, all stripped of sail. Realizing it was now impossible to establish a fortress at Sofala, he pressed on to Cochin and other ports where he traded for spices and formed alliances with the local rajas, finally securing the Portuguese sea route to India that Diaz had done so much to establish.
Despite his success at sailing around the southern tip of Africa, Diaz was not given credit within Portugal for locating and mapping the Cape of Good Hope -- probably because he had failed to reach India. Nevertheless, in 1494 he was appointed to oversee the construction and outfitting of a fleet of ships for an expedition to reach India by way of the Cape of Good Hope. This expedition, led by Vasco da Gama, left Portugal in 1497; Diaz accompanied the voyage, but in a subordinate position and only as far as the Cape Verde Islands. Upon reaching the islands he was sent to establish trading posts in present-day Mozambique.
In 1500, Diaz was given command of a caravel in Pedro Ãlvares Cabral's expedition to civilize, Christianize, and trade with India. Due to a miscalculation in longitude the expedition sailed so far to the southwest that it saw land and forests never seen before. The trees were bright red, like glowing embers, hence the name given to the new territory -- Brazil. The grand discovery came at a price, however. On May 29, the expedition was overtaken by a sudden storm that overwhelmed four vessels, one of which was that of Dias.
Vasco Da Gama
Explorer Vasco da Gama was born in Sines, Portugal, around 1460. In 1497, he was commissioned by the Portuguese king to find a maritime route to the East. His success in doing so proved to be one of the more instrumental moments in the history of navigation. He subsequently made two other voyages to India, and was appointed as Portuguese viceroy in India in 1524.
Explorer Vasco da Gama was born into a noble family around 1460 in Sines, Portugal. Little is known about his upbringing except that he was the third son of Estêvão da Gama, who was commander of the fortress in Sines in the southwestern pocket of Portugal. When he was old enough, young Vasco da Gama joined the navy, where was taught how to navigate.
Known as a tough and fearless navigator, da Gama solidified his reputation as a reputable sailor when, in 1492, King John II of Portugal dispatched him to the south of Lisbon and then to the Algarve region of the country, to seize French ships as an act of vengeance against the French government for disrupting Portuguese shipping.
Following da Gama's completion of King John II's orders, in 1495, King Manuel took the throne, and the country revived its earlier mission to find a direct trade route to India. By this time, Portugal had established itself as one of the most powerful maritime countries in Europe.
Much of that was due to Henry the Navigator, who, at his base in the southern region of the country, had brought together a team of knowledgeable mapmakers, geographers and navigators. He dispatched ships to explore the western coast of Africa to expand Portugal's trade influence. He also believed that he could find and form an alliance with Prester John, who ruled over a Christian empire somewhere in Africa. Henry the Navigator never did locate Prester John, but his impact on Portuguese trade along Africa's east coast during his 40 years of explorative work was undeniable. Still, for all his work, the southern portion of Africa—what lay east—remained shrouded in mystery.
In 1487, an important breakthrough was made when Bartholomew Diaz discovered the southern tip of Africa and rounded the Cape of Good Hope. This journey was significant; it proved, for the first time, that the Atlantic and Indian oceans were connected. The trip, in turn, sparked a renewed interest in seeking out a trade route to India.
By the late 1490s, however, King Manuel wasn't just thinking about commercial opportunities as he set his sights on the East. In fact, his impetus for finding a route was driven less by a desire to secure for more lucrative trading grounds for his country, and more by a quest to conquer Islam and establish himself as the king of Jerusalem.
Jan Van Riebeck
On 24 December 1651, accompanied by his wife and son, Jan van Riebeeck set off from Texel in The Netherlands for the Cape of Good Hope. Van Riebeeck had signed a contract with the Dutch East India Company (VOC) to oversee the setting up of a refreshment station to supply Dutch ships on their way to the East. Sailing on theDromedaris with two other ships, the Rejiger and De Goede Hoop, Van Riebeeck was accompanied by 82 men and 8 women.
When Van Riebeeck left The Netherlands in 1651, the Council of Policy, a bureaucratic governing structure for the refreshment station, had already been established. On board the Dromedaris Van Riebeeck conducted meetings with his officials – minutes of the meetings of the Council of Policy, dated from December 1651, have been carefully archived.
Land was sighted on 5 April 1652 and the ships docked the next day. Within a week of the arrival of the three ships, work had begun on the Fort of Good Hope. The aim was to establish a refreshment station to supply the crew of the Company's passing trading ships with fresh water, vegetables and fruit, meat and medical assistance. However, the first winter experienced by Van Riebeeck and his crew was extremely harsh, as they lived in wooden huts and their gardens were washed away by the heavy rains. As a result their food dwindled and at the end of the winter approximately 19 men had died.
The arrival of Van Riebeeck marked the beginning of permanent European settlement in the region. Along with the Council of Policy, Van Riebeeck came equipped with a document called the ‘Remonstrantie’, drawn up in the Netherlands in 1649, which was a recommendation on the suitability of the Cape for this VOC project.
Van Riebeeck was under strict instructions not to colonise the region but to build a fort and to erect a flagpole for signaling to ships and boats to escort them into the bay. However, a few months after their arrival in the Cape, the Dutch Republic and England became engaged in a naval war (10 July 1652 to 5 April 1654). This meant that the completion of the fort became urgent. Fort de Goede Hoop – a fort with four corners made of mud, clay and timber – was built in the middle of what is today Adderley Street. Around this a garden was planted and meat was bartered for with the Khoikhoi (who were initially called Goringhaikwa, and later Kaapmans). The construction for Castle of Good Hope which stands today only began in 1666, after Van Riebeeck had left the Cape, and was completed 13 years later.
Although the VOC did not originally intend to establish a colony at the Cape, permits were issued in February 1657 to free nine company servants (who became the Free Burghers) to farm along the Liesbeeck River in order to deal with a wheat shortage. They were given as much land as they could cultivate in three years but were forbidden to trade with anyone other than the VOC. With the number of private farms increasing, by 1659 the station was producing enough to supply any passing ship. The station also began to experience a chronic labour shortage and because the Khoisan were seen as ‘uncooperative’, slaves were imported from Batavia (now northern Jakarta) and Madagascar in 1657.
The land on which the Dutch farmed was used by the Khoikhoi and the San, who lived a semi-nomadic culture which included hunting and gathering. Since they did not have a written culture, they had neither written title deeds for their land, nor did they have the bureaucratic framework within which to negotiate the sale or renting of land with strangers from a culture using written records supported by a bureaucratic system of governance. Hence Van Riebeeck, coming as he did from a bureaucratic culture with a unilateral, albeit written, mandate to establish a refreshment station, refused to acknowledge that land ownership could be organised in ways different from the Dutch/European way. He denied the Khoisan rights and title to the land, claiming that there was no written evidence of the true ownership of the land. Consequently in 1659 the Khoikhoi embarked on the first of a series of unsuccessful armed uprisings against the Dutch invasion and appropriation of their land – their resistance would continue for at least 150 years.
In response to the growing skirmishes with the local population, in 1660 Van Riebeeck planted a wild almond hedge to protect his settlement. By the end of the same year, under pressure from the Free Burghers, Van Riebeeck sent the first of many search parties to explore the hinterland. Van Riebeeck remained leader of the Cape until 1662. By the time he left the settlement in May 1662 it had grown to 134 officials, 35 Free Burghers, 15 women, 22 children and 180 slaves.
The people who came to the Cape of Good Hope under Commander Van Riebeeck were very simple folk, common soldiers and sailors who cared more about comfort than fashion. Their clothes were necessarily as simple as their persons. For the first few months after their arrival they lived a camping life, and their European-made clothing probably became soiled and bedraggled, eventually to be replaced by crude home-made garments cut from rolls of imported cloth until the Burghers became settled and until tradesmen were allowed to ply their trades.
Men would probably dress in crude leather buff-coats with a plain cotton or linen shirt beneath and tubular or knee breeches; and women in simple full-skirted gowns tucked up over short petticoats. But the patterns for even these home-made clothes would have been based on the modes fashionable at the time of the departure from Holland.
These notes and illustrations do not attempt to reconstruct the makeshift clothing of the pioneering period of the first years at the Cape but to give some idea of the clothing worn by merchants, soldiers, sailors and simple people in Holland and in the service of the Dutch East India Company at that time, such as might have been at the Cape with Jan van Riebeeck.
The dominant influence of the 16th century was powerful Spain; during the first two decades of the 17th century Spanish fashions prevailed abroad; in the third they began to make way for other modes, yet certain articles of Spanish costume were retained, not for decades but for centuries.
By Van Riebeeck's time Holland was at her zenith of political power and enjoying immense wealth, and this may account for the change of influence in fashion. Holland now took the reins and from then until the end of the century dictated what was to be worn. Holland demanded increasing simplicity in dress and exerted similar influence on colour, for black rapidly became the fashionable wear.
The day of Jan Van Riebeeck’s arrival became a public holiday with the 300th anniversary in 1952 and was celebrated as Van Riebeeck’s Day until 1974. During the tercentenary celebration on 6 April 1952, the Joint Planning Council (made up of members from the ANC, SAIC, SACP and COD) held mass meetings and demonstrations throughout the country as part of the lead up to the Defiance Campaign. The ANC and TIC issued a flyer entitled ‘April 6: People Protest Day’.
In 1980 the public holiday was changed to Founder’s Day. The holiday was abolished in 1994 by the democratically elected ANC government. However, statues of Jan van Riebeeck and his wife remain in Adderley Street, Cape Town. The coat of arms of the city of Cape Town is also based on that of the Van Riebeeck family, and Hoërskool Jan van Riebeeck is a popular Afrikaans high school in the centre of Cape Town.