sábado, 20 de septiembre de 2014

There are plenty of Jewish roots in Africa III

Igbo Jews – Fascinating!

Members of the Jewish community mostly come from the Igbo tribe, which is the third largest ethnic group in the country. Members of the Igbo believe that they are descendants of Jews who had migrated to western Africa over many centuries via migrations south into sub-Saharan Africa, as well as west across North Africa, possibly following the path of the Arab conquests. Some Nigerian Jews hold that families amongst the community are descendants of Kohanim and Levites, the Jewish priests and their assistants who functioned in the Temple of Jerusalem. Descendants could also have arisen from migrants from Djerba, Tunisia who had fled to North Africa after the destruction of the 1st and 2nd Temples in Jerusalem. The Jewish community is said to be comprised almost entirely by descendants of Kohens.

Several Israelite/Jewish tribes settled in Western Africa during the glorious days of the Songhai, Mali and Ghana empires. As the early Jews were mainly traders, it is quite likely that Jewish traders made the treck across the African continent and eventually settled in various places of West Africa, just as Jewish traders had settled in Kaifeng, China due to their activity in trade along the Silk Route. Some sources have explained that a Jewish presence was present in Nigeria as early as 638 BCE. The Igbos are not the only group that claims such a heritage; the Sefwi people of Ghana too believe they are descendants of Jews that made their way to West Africa.

In Mali, there had been a documented community for quite some time until all Jewish families were forced to convert to Islam and till today there remains a Jewish Culture Society in Mali where those descendants of Jews seek to explore their culture and heritage.

Perhaps the Jews of Nigeria suffered the same fate and with the arrival of Islam were either forced to leave the territory or submit to the Islamic domination. It is believed that Judaism first came to the region many centuries ago, as many as 1500 years by traders, a profession that Jews during that time were prolific at. The Igbo Jews traditionally claim descent from three particular Israelite tribes: Gad, Zevulun, and Menashe. The Jews of Manipur and Mizoram, the Bnei Menashe, also claim descent from the tribe of Menashe. It is thought that these Jews fled to Africa after the destruction of the biblical Temples in Jerusalem and established communities all across the African continent.

Israel has, to date, not recognized the Igbo as one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. It took many years before the Chief Rabbinate recognized the Bnei Menashe as Jews, and it is thought that in due time the Igbo will also be recognized as descendants of Israel. One of the theories as to why Israel is reluctant to recognize the Igbo is because it has enjoyed good relations with Nigeria, and as the Igbo are a secessionist tribe, recognizing them as part of Israel may injure political and economic ties between the two countries.

Lineages

According to the Igbo lore of the Eri, Nri, and Ozubulu families, Igbo ethnic groups with Israelite descent comprise the following 3 lineage types:

Benei Gath: Igbo people said to have descended from the Tribe of Gath ben-Ya`aqov ( Gad), who was the 8th son of the Israelite patriarch Ya`aqov (Jacob). This group traces its lineage through Gath’s son Eri ben-Gath. The groups from this lineage comprise the Aguleri, Umuleri, Oreri, Enugwu Ikwu, Ogbunike, Awkuzu, Nteje, and Igbariam clans.

Benei Zevulun: Igbo people said to have descended from the tribe of Zevulun ben-Ya`aqov (Zebulun), who was the 5th son of Ya`aqov (Jacob). These groups comprise the Ubulu Okiti and Ubulu Ukwu clans in Delta State who settled in Ubulu Ihejiofor. According to oral tradition, it is said that a descendant of the Tribe of Zevulun named Zevulunu, on the advice of a certain Levite, married a woman from Oji, who was descended from the Tribe of Judah, and from this union was born Ozubulu ben-Zebulunu. It is said that Ozubulu then went on to have 4 sons of his own who settled in other regions. These sons were: Amakwa, from whom a clan in Neni, Anambra State is descended, and Egbema, from whom the Egbema Ugwuta clan in Imo State and the Ohaji Egbema clan in Rivers State are descended.

Benei Menashe: Peoples whom Igbos theorize may be descendants of the Tribe of Menasheh ben-Yoseph (Manasseh). Menasheh who was one of the grandsons of Ya`aqov (Jacob) through his 11th son Yoseph ( Joseph). According to the Torah, Jacob claimed both Menasheh and his brother Ephrayim as his own sons. It is theorized that the Igbos of the Amichi, Ichi and Nnewi-Ichi clans are descended from this lineage.

Argument for the Historical Migration of the Igbo Jews

The Igbo Jews are said to have migrated from Syrian, Portuguese and Libyan Israelites into West Africa. Historical records shows that this migration started around 740 C.E. According to UCLA Jewish Historian Chinedu Nwabunwanne of Aguleri, “the migration started when the forces of Caliph Mohammed—the last leader of the Umayyads—and his Qaysi-Arab supportes defeated the Yamani-Arab Umayyads of Syria in 744 C.E; sacked the Yamanis and their Jewish supporters from Syria. The Syrian-Jewish migrant tribes Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher resettled in Nigeria where they became known as Sambation Jews.[citation needed] In 1484 and 1667 Judeans and Zebulonians from Portugal and Libya respectively joined Sambatyon Jews of Nigeria. Thus, Nigerian Jews originated from the following six Israelite tribes: Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher and Zebulon.

It is interesting to note that these six tribes are the same tribes Moses repeated their names twice when he blessed the Children Of Israel. These six tribes mentioned above are The House Of Judah and the children of Israel his companions (Ezekiel 37:16). Those remaining six tribes not mentioned above are The House Of Ephraim and the children of Israel his companion (Ezekiel 37:16).”

Historical Scrutiny

Stories affirming relationships between peoples now widely separated in spatial, historical, and cultural terms persist today, not only in Igboland but throughout Nigeria, in other parts of Africa, and in Europe, the United States, and beyond. Their roots in the example under consideration here lie in the assumption of a Judeo-Christian (and Islamic) Biblical framework as applicable to all of human history. In reference to West Africa this has taken the form of the “Hamitic hypothesis” (originally so-called for the putative descent of Africans from Noah’s son Ham), a model which firmly centered the beginning of West African history in the Near East rather than in West Africa itself.

Remarkably, for the Igbo, a very early (and widely influential) statement of this point of view came from an Igbo man, Olaudah Equiano, a Christian-educated freed slave who remarked in his autobiography of 1789 on “the strong analogy which… appears to prevail in the manners and customs of my countrymen and those of the Jews, before they reached the Land of Promise, and particularly the patriarchs while they were yet in that pastoral state which is described in Genesis — an analogy, which alone would induce me to think that the one people had sprung from the other.” For authoritative support, he gives reference to “Dr. Gill, who, in his commentary on Genesis, very ably deduces the pedigree of the Africans from Afer and Afra, the descendants of Abraham….

Contemporary Outreach

Outreach to Nigerian Jews by the wider Jewish world community gained official status in 1995–1997, when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin sent a team to Nigeria in search of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Western rabbis and educators such as Rabbi Gorin have visited the community at times and Jewish communities in the West support those in Nigeria by sending books, computers, and religious articles. However, the State of Israel has, to date, not officially recognized the Igbo as one of the Lost Tribes.




Religious Practices

Many Igbo practices pose striking similarities with Jewish customs mentioned in the Torah and even in the present day. Such customs include: circumcision 8 days after the birth of a male child, a ban on eating un-kosher animals, separating men from women during the female cycle of menstruation, donning of the Tallit and Kippah, and the celebration of holidays such as Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. In recent times, the communities have adopted holidays such as Hannukah and Purim, holidays that only were beginning to be observed after many of the tribes of Israel had already dispersed. For example, the Ethiopian Jews and the Benei Menashe had no knowledge of such holidays.

Judaism in Nigeria Today

There are currently several Jewish communities across Nigeria and the structure is getting stronger. There are 26 synagogues across the country and the community is estimated as many as 40,000 individuals. Some of the larger and significant communities include the Gihon Institute in Abuja, as well as communities in the south such as Port Harcourt. Western rabbis and educators have visited the community at times and Jewish communities in the west support those in Nigeria by sending books, computers, religious articles and many more periodically. Western Jewish communities have been instrumental in establishing Jewish libraries in Nigeria and there is hope that some members of the Jewish community in Nigeria will be granted visas to go study Judaism in the United States, just as Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, leader of the Abayudaya in Uganda has done. By doing this, the leadership and knowledge of Judaism in Nigeria will continue to increase and the stability of the community with be strengthened as well. The Nigerian Jews are particularly interested in maintaining an Orthodox Jewish lifestyle and, as a result, western communities have refrained from sending ritual objects that have come from Reform congregations. However there is a dearth of religious books and many are photocopied or stapled together.

Similarly, as of yet, women have not taken an active, or have taken a minimal role in the leadership of the community, although this may change as has been the case amongst the Ugandan Jews. One of the individuals at the forefront of reclaiming the heritage of the Igbo people has been working on a second volume that details the Hebraic origins of the Igbo peoples and answers questions that may not have been answered in the first volume titled “The Igbo: Jews in Africa?”

Additional Information

Evidence of such communities includes the oral traditions of Hebraic lineage ranging from tribes in Sudan, all the way to Ghana, to the west. It is known that in the region of the Niger river, there is a group of people who, although they practice Islam today, are also believed to be of Jewish origin. These people are referred to as Iddao Ishaak. Some Igbo Jews claim they are descendants of the Temple priests and in accordance, wear similar garments of turbans and white robes, just as the priests of biblical times did. Although tests to determine the claims to Cohen priesthood have not been done, such as the tests that have been done amongst the Lemba in South Africa, there is strong evidence that such claims have validity and should be accepted as such. Perhaps additional convincing evidence that Jewish tribes arrived in Nigeria is the fact that there are a people amongst the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria referred to as “Strange People” or Bnei Ephraim who have retained certain portions of the Torah and Judaic practices. This evidence only confirms the Jewish origin of the Igbo Jews. Learned elders of the community serve as rabbis and western rabbis and other members of the worldwide Jewish community periodically visit Nigeria to teach and instruct the community in the ways of mainstream Judaism. However, the liturgy of the Igbo Jews has blended African music with Jewish prayers to produce a distinct Jewish-Nigerian melody during Shabbat services and other Jewish observances.

In addition to Jewish communities, Messianic Jewish communities have sprung up in Nigeria and although they believe in Jesus, they claim to be full Jews. This makes any census counting Jews residing in Nigeria more problematic. However, trends indicate such communities over time often abandon their belief in Jesus and accept mainstream Judaism. This has been the case with several communities and appears to be occurring to several more. Such trends also appear to be occurring in other communities around Africa including Rusape, Zimbabwe, and Kenya.

There are other communities in Nigeria that are not of the Igbo tribe that are practicing Judaism, such as those in Yorubaland. Thus, Jewish practice is not restricted to one ethnic group or location. The Igbo are Nigeria’s third largest ethnic group and many reside in many neighboring countries including Cameroon.


Over 60% of us African-americans are of Igbo descent. I have read that some Nigerian Igbo males have tested positive for the Cohen Modal Haplotype, which would confirm patrilinieal descent from Levite clans. Genetic testing can be used to verify haplotypes, and the CMH has found to have several variants, which would cover various clans of Levites and/or Cohanim. I am having my brothers DNA tested for this marker and I suspect that, if African-american and Afro-caribbean males tested for the CMH, there are most likely cluster populations found in various New World locations, including the Caribbean.

Jewish foundation to Bambara, Malinke, Sunufu, Dogon, Bobo Cultures of Mali

It's said that the Malinke are Jews & Arabs so they might mix in which blacks are mixed with Jews & Arabs so we can find Arab Malinke pockets & Jewish Malinke pockets. The Bafur Ephraimites were part of the Malinke once.

Partially Israelite tribes are the Hausa, the Dogon, Yoruba, Zulu... Contrary to to Igbos that are believed to be Israelites in origin, Yorubas are believed to have Arab origin, but among them there are some Israelite pockets  or clans like the ones called "Strange People" or "Bnei Ephraim". Even the name "Yoruba" might come from the Israelite king Jeroboam

When God afflicted Egypt with the Ten plagues by the hand of Moses, the Knowledge of the God of the Jews spread throughout the known world!

On a Sunday night in January 2002 during our return to Mali after 14 years absence that I discovered the Jewish base to many culture groups of Mali. This precious jewel of knowledge surfaced during a discussion with Pastor Matthew and a Nigerian brother of the IBO culture. They both declared that their cultures were based on the Old Testament, that they both had a Jewish heritage. The Ibo of Nigeria never lost the knowledge that they were Jewish and this past century all have become Christian. But the Jewish based cultures of Mali have lost the knowledge that they are practicing the Jewish faith. Though it is mixed with animism.

How can this conclusion be reached, that there was a Jewish influence??

From the Books of Moses in the OT, we read of the Exodus of the Jews with Moses, the 10 plagues which God worked on the Egyptians, and that Pharaoh drowned in the Red Sea as the Israelites were delivered from the slavery of Egypt. Just think, Egypt and its power were known across the world at that time. Each plague was used to destroy each of the 10 different false gods which formed the Egyptian religion.

The Old Testament also refers many times to the fact that many nations knew of God and Israel through the 10 plagues. The news would travel within a few months along trade routes, across Northern Africa, down to Nubia, then Ethiopia, then west to Mali. More than 5 major cultures in Mali received the teachings of the laws of Moses. These include the Bambara, Malinke, Dogon, Sunufou, Bobo.

Pastor Matthew grew up in this culture as a member of the clan of preists. Matthew became a Christian in 1980 and then trained to be a pastor going to bible School. There he deduced that the Bambara culture had a strong Jewish influence as he studied the Exodus, Leviticus and Deutoronomy in the Old Testament.

What evidence is there, you might rightly ask?

Among the practices which Pastor Matthew Fané and others have verfied to be in their culture are:
1- the passover sacrifice of Moses in which the blood is placed on the door lintel.
2- the litany of other sacrifices to cover the sins of the people
3- the scapegoat offering,
4- a preisthood consisting of the blacksmiths within the Bambara culture, serve as the Levitical & Aaronic preisthood.

But the most significant is the application of social values that were withing the Books of Moses. Among these are:
- to care for the orphan,
- to take care of the widow,
- to welcome the stranger or sojourner within your land,
- not to oppress your workers,
- to watch over the prosperity of your brother.

How are these social values seen within the Bambara Malian culture?

There are next to no orphanages within Mali.
Widows are cared for in Malian society, by family and neighbours. But most valued within Malian culture is the welcome of the stranger and sojourner in Mali. For Malian to learn how different their country, they have only to visit a neighbouring country. There they must fend for themselves but back in Mali, travellers, strangers are always offered food and lodging, even in the capital.

Temne people

The Temne people are currently the largest ethnic group in Sierra Leone, at 35% of the total population The Temne are predominantly found in the Northern Province and the Western Area, including the national capital Freetown.

The Temne are rice farmers, fishermen, and traders. Temne culture revolves around the paramount chiefs, and the secret societies (this might come from the secrets kept by the priestly Israelites), especially the men's Poro society and the women's Bondo society. The most important Temne rituals focus on the coronation and funerals of paramount chiefs, and the initiation of new secret society members. During the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Temne were captured and shipped to the Americas as slaves.

Today the Temne are mostly Muslim at about 85% of their population; they interweave Islamic beliefs with traditional African practices (syncretism). About 14% of Temne are followers of Christianity.

Before British domination, Temne were ruled by a king called the Bai or Obai. In 1898, the Temne fought against British rule, in what is known today as the Hut Tax War of 1898.

The English word cola (as in Coca-Cola, which originally contained extracts of the kola nut), is said to derive from the Temne word aŋ-kola, meaning kola nut. The Temne people speak Temne, a language in the Mel branch of the Niger–Congo languages. The Temne language, along with the creole Krio, serve as the major trading languages in northern Sierra Leone. As well as being spoken by the Temne people, Temne is spoken by other Sierra Leonean ethnic groups as a regional lingua franca, especially in Northern Sierra Leone; the language is spoken by around 40% of Sierra Leone's population.

Sierra Leone's national politics centers on the competition between the north, dominated by the Temne and their neighbour and political ally, the Limba; and the southeast, dominated by the Mende, who are a Mande people like the Mandinka, Bamana, and Malenke (of Guinea, Senegal, Mali, etc.). The current president of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, is the first Sierra Leonean president from the Temne ethnic group; he receives most of his support from Temne-dominant areas in the north and western regions of Sierra Leone.

It is said by some Temne elders and chiefs that the Temne's ancestral home is Israel. You can find many traces of Hebraic customs whithin their culture. Most Temne acknowledge their ancestral home as Fouta Jallon, in the territory of present-day Guinea. Like other minority ethnic groups in Fouta, such as the Yalunka, the Susu, the Kurankoh, the Temne started to emigrate from the Fouta into what is now Sierra Leone to secure a settlement along the salt trade route from the coast to the north and north east. On their way, the Temne fought and forced the Limba to the northeast and the Bullom southwards to secure the new trade route. It reached from Bakeh towards the northern part of the Pamoronkoh River (today known as the Rokel River). They followed the Rokel River from its upper reaches to the Sierra Leone River, the giant estuary of the Rokel River and Port Loko Creek, which forms the largest natural harbor in the African continent. Historians believe the Temne were involved in the long-distance kola nut trade during the period of the Mali and Songai empires, when West African trade was directed north across the Sahara Desert. They used their commercial expertise gained during that earlier period when they embarked on the new coastal trade with European traders, beginning in the 15th century.

According to some oral traditions, the history of the Temne migration toward present-day Sierra Leone begins in ancient Israel. From Israel the Temne migrated to Ethiopia, from Ethiopia to the Mali Empire. After the Mali Empire, they migrated to Jalunkandu Empire in the 11th and 12th centuries, mainly due to the fall of the Jalunkandu Empire in what latter become Fouta Jallon, in the High Lands of present-day Republic of Guinea. It is said that the Temne are from the tribe of Judah.

There were Temne speakers along the coast in what is now Sierra Leone when the first Portuguese ships arrived, in the 14th century. Temne were indicated on subsequent Portuguese maps, and references to them and brief vocabularies appear in the texts. Trade began, albeit on a small scale, in the fifteenth century with the Portuguese and expanded in the late sixteenth century with the arrival of British traders, and later traders of other nations. Slaves, gold, ivory and local foodstuffs were exchanged for European trade goods—mostly cloth, firearms, and hardware.

Temne traders had relationships with representatives at the permanent European "factories" in the river mouths. Similarly, they established trading relationships with the settlement at Freetown after its founding in 1792. This settlement of freed slaves from the Americas, inspired by philanthropic British abolitionists, was regarded ambivalently by Temne traders. The freedmen developed a different culture, incorporating their traditions from lives in the American colonies and Caribbean; they became known as Creoles or Krios, after the language they developed. The Temne had long been involved in the profitable export of people for the slave trade, typically taken as captives in warfare or from competing groups. During the early years, they sometimes raided Freetown trying to take back slaves.

In the nineteenth century, following British abolition of the African slave trade, its crews often took liberated slaves from illegal ships to Freetown for resettlement, adding new African groups to the culture of the Creoles. Freetown became the primate trade entrepot on the coast. It attracted trade caravans from Temne and beyond. Creoles (Krios) from Freetown moved progressively up-county to trade in the second half of the nineteenth century. Their relations with the Temne and other indigenous ethnic groups in the country were not always amicable, as they had competing cultures.




In addition, the British colonial government at Freetown followed a policy of "stipendiary bribery," punctuated by threats to use armed force, in an attempt to prevent Temne and other chiefs from hindering trade from and with areas farther inland. When diplomacy failed, British expeditions invaded the Temne area of Yoni (anything to do with the Hebrew prophet Yonah) in 1889 and then at Tambi in 1891.

The British proclaimed the Protectorate of Sierra Leone in 1896, which annexed the interior territories. Colonel Frederic Cardew was appointed as military governor, but all his experience was in the armed forces. Establishing the Protectorate changed British dealings with the chiefdoms; they made them units of local government rather than dealing with them as equals.

Temne rebellion/Hut Tax War of 1898

In 1898 Colonel Cardew instituted a hut tax and requirement that chiefs put together work crews to maintain roads. This threatened the local subsistence culture.

Britain's imposition of a hut tax sparked off two rebellions in Sierra Leone in 1898, the most notable one led by Temne chief Bai Bureh. the military governor, Colonel Frederic Cardew, had decreed that the inhabitants of the new "protectorate" should be taxed on the size of their huts (this resembles the American rebellion against the British that was motivated because of the taxes the Brits imposed. In this case Americans are white Israelites). The owner of a four-roomed hut would pay ten shillings a year, those with smaller huts would pay five shillings. Colonel Cardew was not an administrator, but a professional soldier who had spent years in India and South Africa. First imposed on January 1, 1898, the hut tax aroused immediate and intense opposition.

Bai Bureh, a Temne war chief, and 23 other chiefs unsuccessfully petitioned the governor for relief from the tax, demonstrating its adverse effects on their societies. Bai Bureh had long been an ally of the British and made numerous peace overtures, which they ignored. The colonial authorities reacted to rumours and suspicions, firing the first shots at his followers in an attempt to arrest him. After that, Bai Bureh led the defense against the British colonialists. There was related resistance by the Mende in the southeast of the country.

The operations against Bai Bureh, from February to November, involved "some of the most stubborn fighting that has been seen in West Africa," according to a British commander. Several British troops were killed. .

When the British Governor to Sierra Leone Sir Frederic Cardew offered the sum of 100 pounds as a reward for his capture, Bai Bureh reciprocated by offering the sum of five hundred pounds for the capture of the Governor. Bai Bureh had the advantage over the vastly more powerful British for several months of the war. By 19 February, Bai Bureh's Temne warriors had completely severed the British line of communication between Freetown and Port Loko by blocking the road and the river from Freetown. Wrote Colonel Marshal, the British commander. "No such continuity of opposition had at any previous time been experienced on this part of the coast."

After 1898, the colonial government expanded its administration and increased penetration of the hinterland. Railway construction and, later, feeder roads were pushed in an effort to increase exports. Towns developed to meet the needs of government and increased trade. Expatriate firms, Sierra Leonean-Lebanese and Krio traders expanded their activities throughout Temne areas. Schools developed slowly under Christian missionaries.

The government established the Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Board (SLPMB) for exports, to increase revenues. Gold, most of it produced further inland than the Temne territory, had been traded from Sierra Leone since the 15th century. It reached its last peak in the 20th century in the 1930s. British groups discovered new resources; the Sierra Leone Development Company (SLDC/DELCO) exported iron for the first time in 1933, from the mine at Marampa.

Formation of the Sierra Leone Selection Trust in 1935 led to increased mining and export of diamonds from eastern Sierra Leone. The number of jobs attracted large numbers of Temne as wage laborers. Initially the business was illegal, conducted in Kenema District, a predominantly Mende land, and Kono District, an area largely inhabited by the Kono people.

Domestic slavery in Sierra Leone ended in 1926, but, before then, wealthier Temne used slave workers as well.

The chief of each chiefdom is said to "own" the land comprising it, given that he "bought it" and the people on it during that part of his installation ceremonies usually called Makane. The land or chiefdom was originally secured by the chiefly kin group by occupation of vacant land or by conquest. According to tradition, chiefs "gave" portions of land to people to farm. They reciprocated with a return gift to the grantor-chief as the seal on their agreement. The grantees could reallocate portions of their land to others, receiving a lamb from them. Such transfers were regarded as permanent. After 1900, as the best farmland became shorter in supply, temporary land-use rights were negotiated with the chief to seal the deal.

Most Temne are staunch Muslims, although like other West Africans, they combine their Islamic faith with a strong adherence to traditional African religious beliefs and practices (read Israelism or ancient Judaism).

Temne culture places great emphasis on individualism, hard work, and personal initiative. Sierra Leoneans sometimes refer to their Temne neighbors affectionately as "Germans" because of their reputation for aggressiveness.

Sierra Leone's national politics centers on the competition between the north, dominated by the Temne and their neighbors and allies, the Limba, Loko and Kuranko and the south-east dominated by the Mende and their political allies, the Sherbro, Kissi and Kono, etc.

Traditionally, Temne resided in villages that varied in size and plan. During the nineteenth century, the village of a Temne chief was larger and included people from several clans, which were patrilineal in terms of kinship. Often it was either palisaded or had a walled fortress/redoubt built nearby, where the population could reside in times of emergency. Other villages in a chiefdom were built by those given land-use rights by the chief. The initial grantee could give land-use rights to other patrikin groups as well.

If a household farmed land at some distance, people would build a hamlet near the land to reduce travel. the main paths connecting villages were often paralleled by secret paths used only by local people. During the colonial era, public paths were cleared and secret paths fell into disuse. Village palisades and mud walls were left to deteriorate. When the motor road system developed, villages cut paths to the roads, and some Temne villages, in whole or in part, relocated along them. The compact village plan gave way to a linear pattern along the roads, where larger garden areas separated houses.

The traditional Temne house was round, of varying diameter, with walls of mud plastered over a stick frame; the roof frame, of wooden poles connected by stringers, was conical and covered with bunches of grass thatching. Rectangular houses with a gabled roof became more commonplace during the colonial era. Houses became larger—and also fewer—after the "Hut Tax" was instituted. Chiefs and some subchiefs had rectangular, open-sided structures with thatch roofs, which they used for hearing court cases and for various ceremonies. Some associations had small buildings for regalia. Adobe-brick and cement-block structures were introduced during the colonial era, along with iron-pan and tile roofs.

Muslim contacts probably go back several centuries. The 15th-century Portuguese explorers and traders recorded contacts with Muslim peoples. Early traders, holy men, and warriors brought Islam into the Temne area. The Temne have combined Islam with their traditional religion in syncretic practice. Many of the Temne believe in witches, who can be either male or female. These witches are believed to derive pleasure from causing accidents and spreading sickness among the tribe. As a result, many people fear the witches and carry charms or medicines to ward off their evil acts.

Portuguese Christian missionary efforts began before the Protestant Reformation but had no lasting effects on the Temne. Protestant missionaries accompanied the founding of Freetown in the late eighteenth century, and most of the new settlers were Protestant Christians. Church Missionary Society representatives were active up the Rokel River and elsewhere in Temne country throughout the 19th century. In the 1890s the Soudna Mission was the first United States mission in the Temne area; American Wesleyans and the Evangelical United Brethren subsequently joined the field. Gradually, some Temne adopted Christianity. Today, 5 to 10% of Temne are followers of Christianity.

NAZARENES: These group of Salone Jews who some would label Messianic Jews, are a small minority in Sierra Leone, but are rapidly growing in numbers. "The Congregation of YAHUAH in Sierra Leone" was founded by a Temne descendant from the U.S.A., Yahshurun Obai Agyemang. When interviewing Temne elders, chiefs, and elders Yahshurun discovered that the Temnes and other tribes in Salone, were Jews that were in the diaspora who had lost there identity. This led him to write a book titled: "The Hebraic Origins of the Temne: According to Biblical and Oral History". Yahshurun, Samuel Turay, Abu Fofana, Gideon, Ugochukwu Timothy, Gideon, and others have established the Israelite culture back to the people of Salone.

The traditional Temne creator God is Kurumasaba (meaning God in English), who, in judging the Temne, is thought to be kind, generous, just, and infallible. Kurumasaba is never approached directly, only through patrilineal ancestors as intermediaries. These ancestors also judge their descendants. Sacrifices are offered to them to obtain help for the living. Various nonancestral spirits, some regarded as good and helpful, others as mischievous and even vicious, also receive sacrifices and make agreements to help or—at least not to harm—the living. 

Traditional diviners used various methods and made protective charms for individuals to protect farms from thieves and to protect a house or farm from witches. These specialists paid for the necessary knowledge from established practitioners during an apprenticeship. Morimen, itinerant Muslims, provided the same range of services with different methods. Officials of the major associations (Poro, Ragbenle, Bundu, and so on) used techniques particular to their group. Confidence in particular practitioners and particular techniques varies over time.

Ceremonies are held for most life-stage transitions for both sexes. For women, circumcision, coming of age, initiation into the Bundu society, marriage, and giving birth are paramount. For men, circumcision, initiation into the Poro society, marriage, and fathering children are most important. The primary public ceremonies are those that mark the end of initiation of groups into Bundu and Poro, both for ordinary initiates and the rarer initiation of officials, and those that are part of the installation or burial of a chief. The principal Christian and Muslim holidays are also marked by ceremonies (e.g., Christmas and the end of Ramadan).

Relatives assemble after a death, and the corpse is washed, oiled, and dressed in good clothing. Burial usually occurs in or near the deceased's house. Mourning periods and the number and form of sacrifices vary with the status of the deceased. Divination of the cause of death was usual in the past.

Graphic and plastic arts are essentially limited to the adornment of utilitarian objects and the masks and other items used by the various societies. In the past, the Ragbenle masks, especially, were many and varied. The verbal arts are stressed, and Temne use riddles and proverbs in instruction, engage in storytelling that verges on dramatic performance, and employ vocal music and drumming on various occasions. Jewelry is becoming more popular.

Although the incidence of polygynous marriages has declined since the 1950s, especially in urban areas, nearly four of every ten married men still had two or more wives, and six of every ten married women were part of a polygynous family. A polygynously married man's first wife becomes the head wife. Co-wife tensions can lead to discord but usually do not. The man is responsible to provide for his whole family.

Since the 1950s, divorce rates have increased in urban areas; There are generally accepted grounds for a husband, and also for a wife, to secure a divorce in the urban areas and among the Temne Christians, but a wife usually do not have the power to divorce her husband in the rural areas, particularly among Temne Muslims.

The Temne were traditionally organized into fifty-odd chiefdoms, each lead a chief (called bai in the Temne language), whom the British would later call a paramount chief. Some of the larger chiefdoms were sectioned, but usually each large village or group of smaller villages had its own untitled subchief. Each village also had an elected headman. In the chief's village there usually resided four to six titled subchiefs, who served their chief as advisors and facilitators. One of these, usually titled kapr me se m, served as interim ruler after his chief's demise. A chief selected his subchiefs, and they were installed with him. Each subchief, titled or not, selected a sister's daughter as his helper (mankapr), and each chief selected one or more sister's daughters to help him. These "female subchiefs" had only ritual—not administrative—duties.

The intrachiefdom power game was primarily a struggle between the chief and those elders who supported him and those elders who opposed him. In some instances, the chief and his supporters ruled tyrannically; in others, the chief became a manipulated figurehead. Some chiefs were well liked and had a broad base of popular support; others were disliked, distrusted, and generally opposed.

With the proclamation of the Protectorate in 1896, the chiefdoms became units of local government, and the chiefs, on stipend, became low-level administrative bureaucrats. Some small chiefdoms were amalgamated to make fewer, economically more viable units. Each British district commissioner worked with and through the paramount chiefs of the chiefdoms comprising his district. As chiefly administrative responsibilities widened, nonliterate chiefs had to hire literate assistants, chiefdom clerks. After the Native Administration (N.A.) system was implemented, the chiefs' courts were more closely regulated, and, in the larger chiefdoms, N.A. messengers/police were hired. In 1951 a district council was created in each district, composed initially of the paramount chiefs and an equal number of elected members and chaired by the district commissioner. When political parties were first formed in the 1950s, they dealt with the chiefs and depended upon them as "ward healers" to turn out their voters for elections.

Among nineteenth-century Temne, the law did not have the preeminent place in the resolution of disagreements and conflicts in the way court systems do in twentieth-century democracies. There was no separate, largely independent judiciary; sociopolitical leaders tried certain cases as a prerogative of their positions. Rather than applying abstract ideals of justice, equity, and good conscience, these leaders made decisions in light of the particular political and social settings in each specific instance. Disagreements and conflicts between individuals and groups were adjudicated at, first, the kin-group and residence-group level; second, at the association level (especially the Poro and Bundu societies); and third, at the chiefdom and subchiefdom level (in a chief's court). The first level used primarily moot proceedings, the second usually inquisitory techniques, and the third, a kind of adversarial contest. In the colonial court system, only courts of those chiefs recognized as paramounts served as local courts. Somewhat modified, the system continues today.


Raiding and warfare among Temne and between Temne and people of other groups were long-standing. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries raids were carried out to steal foodstuffs and people, both disposed of in domestic and foreign trade. People on and near the coast tried to prevent inland traders from having direct contacts and thus preserve middleman profits for themselves. A period of "trade wars" occurred in the second half of the nineteenth century, and a body of professional warriors developed then. These were full-time, itinerant mercenaries, known for their cruelty and fearlessness, who inspired terror and specialized in quick, surprise raids. For defense, Temne surrounded larger villages with walls of tree trunks and mud and built separate fortresses, to which people from several smaller villages could retire in times of emergency. The establishment of the colonial overgovernment put an end to Temne raiding and warfare.

Kingdom of Loango

The Kingdom of Loango (different sources attest of the Jews of Loango, the Vili or Bavili ethnicity), also known as the Kingdom of Lwããgu, was a pre-colonial African state from approximately the 15th to the 19th century in what is now the Republic of the Congo. At its height in the seventeenth century the country stretched from Cape St Catherine in the north to almost the mouth of the Congo River.

Loango exported considerable copper to the European market, and was a major producer and exporter of cloth.

Historical evidence is uncertain, but it is widely believed that Njimbe was the founder and first ruler of the kingdom. With the death of King Buatu in 1787, the succession of leadership is uncertain. The kingdom came to end after the Conference of Berlin (1884–1885), when European powers divided most of Central Africa between them.

The inhabitants, who are a branch of the Bakongo, spoke a northern dialect of the Kikongo language also spoken in the Kingdom of Kongo. Missionaries who visited the Loango coast at the end of the nineteenth century often called the people of Loango Bafiote, and their language Fiote. Their ethnic name today is usually given as Vili or Bavili. This term is attested as early as the seventeenth century, where it was usually spelled "Mobili" (plural Mobilis). This term is from the singular form (Muvili today) pluralized according to the rules of Portuguese.

The origins of the kingdom are obscure. The most ancient complex society in the region was at Madingo Kayes, which was already a multi-site settlement in the first century CE. At present archaeological evidence is too scarce to say much more about developments until the late fifteenth or early sixteenth centuries.

Loango is not mentioned in early traveler's accounts of the region, nor is it mentioned in the titles of King Afonso I of Kongo in 1535, though Kakongo, Vungu, and Ngoyo, its southern neighbors. It is therefore unlikely that there was a major power on the coast of Central Africa north of the Congo River.

The earliest reference to Loango in a documentary source is a mention around 1561 by Sebastião de Souto, a priest in Kongo, that King Diogo I (1545–61) sent missionaries to convert Loango to Christianity. Duarte Lopes, ambassador from Kongo to the Holy See in Rome in 1585, related that "Loango is a friend of the King of Congo and it is said that he was a vassal in past times" which is consistent with Loango's origins from Kakongo, a vassal of Kongo.



Dutch visitors recorded the first traditional account of the kingdom's origin in the 1630s or 40s. In their account as reported by the geographer Olfert Dapper, the region where Loango would be constructed was populated by a number of small polities including Mayumba, Kilongo, Piri and Wansi, "each with their own leader" who "made war on each other." He recorded that the founder of Loango, who boasted hailing from the district in Nzari in the small coastal kingdom of Kakongo, itself a vassal of Kongo, triumphed over all his rivals through the skillful use of alliances to defeat those who opposed him, particularly Wansa, Kilongo and Piri, the latter two of which required two wars to subdue. Once this had been effected, however, a range of more northern regions, including Docke and Sette submitted voluntarily. Having succeeded in the conquest, the new king moved northward and after having founded settlements in a variety of places, eventually built his capital in Buali in the province of Piri (from which the ethnic name "Muvili" eventually derived).

The English traveller Andrew Battel, wrote that when he was there in about 1610, that the predecessor of the unnamed king ruling at that time was named "Gembe" or Gymbe (modernized as Njimbe), A Dutch description published in 1625 said that a ruler who had died sometime before that date had ruled for 60 years and thus had taken the throne around 1565. The documentary chronology thus makes it very likely that Njimbe was the founder and first ruler mentioned in the traditions, and this supposition is supported by traditions recorded around 1890 by R. E. Dennett which also named Njimbe as the first ruler.

On the basis of later traditions from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that linked the founding of Loango to that of Kongo, Phyllis Martin posited a much earlier foundation, the late fourteenth or early fifteenth centuries. She then argues that the absence of Loango from early titles of the king of Kongo is evidence that Loango was already independent at that time.

Njimbe had created a rule of succession which was in place around 1600, in which the king gave command over four provinces to members of his family, called the provinces of Kaye, Boke, Selage, and Kabango,and the king was to be chosen from a rotation between them. When the king died the ruler of Kaye took over, as he did indeed in the pre-1624 succession, and if the rule was followed then the ruler of Boke took his place; the other two provincial rulers advanced as well, and the king appointed a new ruler for Kabango.[15][16]

In 1663, the king ruling then was baptized as Afonso by the Italian Capuchin priest Bernardo Ungaro, but there was considerable opposition to this from within the country, and indeed when he died, a non-Christian took over, but this one was himself overthrown by one of the Christian party in 1665. This civil war that was still on-going in the 1670s. In the aftermath of this civil war, a number of the Christian party fled to neighboring territories, one of whom, known to history as Miguel da Silva, was elected ruler of Ngoyo and was ruling there in 1682.

When Nicholas Uring, an English merchant came to Loango to trade in 1701,he reported that the king had died and the power of the administration was in the hands of the "Queen or Chief Governess of that Country," named "Mucundy" and with whom he had to deal as if with the ruler. This title, referred to a woman had a regular role in the administration as overseer of women's affairs.

Many years elapsed before we have another snapshot of Loango's government, during this time the rules of succession, whether formal or informal seem to have changed. When the French missionaries directed by Abbé Liévin-Bonaventure Proyart came to Loango in 1766, they noted that there was no clear succession to the throne, that anyone born of a person regarded as a princess (only female succession mattered) could aspire to the throne. Moreover, the death of a king was cause for a frequently long interregnum; the king ruling in 1766 had come to power only after an interregnum of seven years, during which time the affairs of the country were managed by a regent called Mani Boman. The Mani Boman was appointed by the king during his lifetime, usually two were appointed to cover the eventuality of the death of one of the two. They, in turn received the petitions of a number of eligible candidates for the throne.

Eventually, the electors of the kingdom, who were those who held offices appointed by the late king, met to decide on the next king. In theory, as the old constitution maintained, the king named his successor as well and placed him as ruler of Kaye, to succeeded him at his death, but as there was so much contention as to who should hold the position, the late king died without naming a Ma-Kaye.

Historian Phyllis Martin contends that the external trade of the country had enriched some members of the nobility ahead of others and had thus put pressure on older constitution as wealthier upstart princes pressed their case forward. She argues that important members of the council were people who had obtained their positions through contact with external trade, particularly the slave trade, and they had come to share power with the king. She posits that this alteration in relative power allowed the council to dominate the king by forcing longer and longer interregna. In fact, after the death of King Buatu in 1787, no king was elected for over 100 years. However, to some extent royal authority remained in the hands of a person entitled the Nganga Mvumbi (priest of the corpse) who oversaw the body of the dead king awaiting burial. Several of these Nganga Mvumbi succeeded each other in the late eighteenth and through the nineteenth centuries.

In theory the kings of Loango had absolute and even divine power. In the seventeenth century, the king appointed a number of provincial governors to office, choosing them from among his own family. Olifert Dapper's description of the government in about 1640 is the only comprehensive one in existence for the seventeenth century. The king ruled closely over a cluster of villages and small territories around the province of Loangogiri. Other districts lying further away were typically ruled by their own elite, and followed their own rules, but were overseen by officials from the court. Mayumba, Dingy and Chiloangatiamokango, for example were overseen by nobles appointed from the court, while Gobby was not under any royal supervision.

In the central district, each village or neighborhood was ruled by a noble appointed by the king, and in addition he had a substantial number of councilors, also appointed by him.

Reports on the government in the later eighteenth century show little change in the theory of Loango's government; royal despotism still had the feel of Divine Right, and his religious power was considerable. Free people within the country were obliged to pay taxes on their persons, the extent of land they cultivated, the number of slaves they possessed and the livestock they owned. Royally appointed officials governed at the provincial and village level, they collected taxes and carried out judicial tasks in the king's name. The sometimes overcharged the taxes, taking four goats for example, when they were only supposed to collect three . The royal council had a number of bureaucratic offices: Magovo and his associate Mapouto was in charge of foreign affairs, Makaka was the minister war and commander of the army, Mfouka was the minister of commerce, Makimba was the "grand master of waters and forests" as well as a number of others. Each minister in turn employed a number of slaves to carry out their tasks.

The king took a strong interest in the administration of justice, much of his time was spent in hearing cases and resolving disputes, though the Abbot Proyart, who recorded these institutions believed that royal officials, acting in the king's name, often abused his decisions and made too many demands, inflicting "trouble and desolation on an entire province."

Dutch visitors of the first half of the seventeenth century left a detailed description of Loango's religion, especially as reported by Olfert Dapper. They noted that the people of Loango believed in god, whom called "Sambian Ponge" (modern Kikongo: Nzambi a Mpungu) but he claimed they only knew his name and did not wish to know more about him.

Cosmology was not handed down from a centralized authority. For example, there were various opinions current in the seventeenth century concerning the fate of those who had died, some held they were reborn as in reincarnation, others that the soul simply ends, others still that it becomes a deified "hero."

According to Dapper, for whom all African divine beings were manifestations of the Devil, their principal worship was devoted to what he called "field and house devils (velt en huisduivelen) which they made "in various forms, and each had its own name." However, he also noted that an nkisi ("mokisie") was neither good nor bad, but a general term for all types of divinity. Although these deities had specific jurisdictions in the natural world, they were also localized to a particular place, though they might travel with people as well. New ones were made all the time, and they competed for authority, or people judged them effective or not according to their performance. Priests, ("devil hunters" to Dapper) called "Enganga Mokisie", (modern Kikongo e nganga nkisi), used an elaborate ceremony to achieve possession by a divinity, and thus created a continuous revelation to identify a protector for a household or community.

He also provided descriptions of many other regional shrines. Thiriko was in a village of the same name, it was a large shrine made of a house shaped like a man, which protected the general welfare of that country. nkisi had a square pouch of lion's skin filled with shells, stones, iron bells and other ingredients. It was portable, travelers and merchants carried such a pouch with them on their journeys. In the town of Kiko there was the nkisi called Lykikoo, which was a wooden statue in the shape of a man. He preserved the people of Kiko from death, and was able to make the dead do work for him. Malemba was in the form of a mat on which baskets full of various ingredients were hung, and which protected the health of the king. Other nkisi such as Makongo, Mimi, Kossie, Kitouba, Kymayi, Injami, Panza, Pongo, Moanze were all equally regional or town shrines, typically including carved staffs, baskets and other items filled with the same sort of ingredients, shells, horns, vegetable material and the like that were characteristic of such shrines.

Virtually from the beginning of its independent existence, Loango had an engagement with Christianity. Diogo I of Kongo sent missionaries to Loango during his reign (1545–61) which coincided with the Loango's expansion and independence. According to an account of a priest in Diogo's court, the king and "all of his people" converted, as did the king's brother "Manilembo" a priest of "pagan idols." In 1583, Carmelite missionaries on their way to Loango were told that the king had sent to be baptized and to ask for missionaries for his people, a request that was repeated to Jesuits in 1603. Yet another Jesuit report noted the conversion of the country to Christianity in 1628.

In 1663, the Hungarian Capuchin priest baptized the king as Afonso and also 6,000 of his subjects. Upon his death there was a civil war, and an alternation of kings, but the Christian party was defeated in 1665.

Loango was again seeking Christianity in 1773 when French missionaries came to the country.

In spite of all these attempts, there was never a permanent, state sponsored Christian church in Loango as there was in Kongo. There is little doubt that some of the population was Christian including those who lived near Portuguese merchants, traders who had worked in Kongo and been converted there, and so on.

Already in the seventeenth century, Vili merchants were traveling some distance from their homeland in search of commercial opportunities. Among the earliest noted were voyages to copper mines in Mindouli and the territory of "Bukkameale" (perhaps the Niari valley) where copper could be obtained. Early Dutch commercial records indicate that Loango exported considerable copper to the European market during this period. Loango was a major producer and exporter of cloth, both to the interior and to the Portuguese in Luanda, where thousands of meters of Loango cloth were imported in the early seventeenth century.

In the late seventeenth century and beyond, Vili merchants also engaged in the slave trade. Loango did not export many slaves in the earlier part of its contact with European merchants, but eventually the country did export slaves in considerable quantities. While some of these slaves were acquired locally, many more were acquired from various regions in the interior. An early slave trade led to the Kingdom of Kongo, where merchants there saw opportunities to export slaves to Dutch and English merchants and avoid taxes and regulations that hindered the market in Portuguese controlled Luanda. Communities of Vili were reported in São Salvador, Kongo's capital in 1656, where some converted to Christianity. By 1683, they were operating in the Mbundu-speaking regions of eastern Angola; a treaty with Queen Verónica I (1683–1722) of Ndongo-Matamba specified that she would promise not to continue trading with them.

However, efforts on the part of Portugal to prevent their commercial contacts failed,and Vili communities could be found all over Kongo and Ndongo-Matamba as well as neighboring regions between them. In addition to buying and selling slaves, the Vili became involved in local industry, specializing in smithing.

Vili trade also extended inland into the lands of the Teke Kingdom and territories beyond that on the Congo River. By the late eighteenth centuries slaves from the "Bobangi" area beyond the Teke area were a significant percentage of exports.


Although European shippers visited Loango regularly, they did not establish a permanent presence in the form of factories, as happened in some other parts of Africa. Rather, shippers anchored off shore and made arrangement with local officials, the mafouks, who managed trade in the royal interest and kept direct European influence at arms' length. Mafouks also benefited commercially from the arrangements,and were at times able to influence royal policy toward them and toward trade.

IGBO-ISRAEL: ORIGINS, HISTORY AND CULTURE. 

This brief survey introduces the Igbo people, traces the origin of the Igbo people, and talks about why the Igbos must invest all their energy, strength and resources to know who they are, and reconnect to their source.

Presently the Igbos are a sub-Saharan African people numbering up to 40 millions that are autochthonous/indigenous in the territory that is currently called the South East of Nigeria. The term ‘South East’ is a political designation. The South East in Nigeria means the area called the ‘core’ Igbo states. These are Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo. These states are also regarded, and referred to as the Igbo heartland.

There are also Igbos that are autochthonous/ indigenous in Edo, Delta, and Rivers states of Nigeria.
The Igbos are Igbos today, but what were they before they became Igbos? The word ‘Igbo’ is helpful in the quest to answer the question.

The tribal/national name of the people in discussion ‘Ibo; or ‘Igbo’ is derived from Ibri. Interestingly a foreigner dropped the hint which helped me to unravel the puzzle, in my opinion.

According to the foreigner; one of the missionaries who worked in Igboland: ‘All my attempts to trace the origin of the name Ibo have been unsuccessful. My most reliable informants have been able to offer no other alternative than that it is most probably an abbreviation of a longer name connected with an ancestor long since forgotten.’

Abraham is the ancestor of Israel. And Abraham was specifically referred to as ‘Abram the Hebrew’ (Gen.14:13). Many Igbos have suggested that the word ‘Ibo’ which virtually all non Igbos use to address the Igbos is a corruption of ‘Hebrew.’ I know that they mean Ibri or Ivri which are the Hebrew language equivalents of Hebrew which itself is a Greek-Latin-English translation of Ibri or Ivri.

If as Genesis 14:13 posited, Abram is the Ibri. And his descendants from Isaac and Jacob went on to retain the name ha-Ibri (the Hebrews), we do not have to go far to know where the name/word ‘Igbo’ came from. The people known as the Jews today were known as the Israelites, and also as ha Ibri (the Hebrews), after their ancestors Israel and Abraham. All that we have seen in Igbo culture indicate that the Igbos emanated from the twelve tribes of Israel. Logic tells the rest of the story. It is a tradition for the Igbos to bear the names of their ancestors. All Igbos are from one clan or the other, and all the clans or most of them bear the names of their ancestors/founders, or at least names formed from those of the founding fathers or in a few cases mothers. One could ask; why won’t the Igbo people as a whole assume the name of their ancestor- ha Ibri? Listening to a modern Jew pronounce Ibri, you would conclude that he/she is saying Igbo. With all the aforesaid we can say that the Igbos simply retained the earliest name of/designation for the people of Israel, and the name that all the tribes would feel comfortable with. Perceptive modern Jews have observed that Igbos may feel more comfortable if identified as Hebrews rather than as Jews, because they didn’t all descend from the Jews (from the tribe of Judah). This deserves more talk though. The term ‘Jew’ is also used to represent the Israelites and the Hebrews presently, just as England stands for Great Britain, and the United Kingdom. And the U.S.A., and Russia respectively stand and stood for the American continent, and the defunct U.S.S.R.

So the above having been said and done with I repeat that the Igbos are of Hebraic descent. 99.9% of the Igbos know that the Igbos came from Israel. One would be right to wonder about why 0.1 % of the Igbos would not know about their origins. The explanations would be multifaceted. One could say that all the Igbos know that the Igbos were Hebrews a few years ago, because the knowledge of who the Igbos are was more in previous years, and in fact it recedes year by year. Knowledgeable Igbo elders who did not have the benefit of the European type education that became fashionable after the British conquest and colonization of the Igbos knew that the Igbo people are ha Ibri (Hebrews), because their fathers told them. I talked with some of them at Nri clan, and preserved their testimonies for posterity in the Igbo Israel Video Interview series. Today the knowledge is receding because Igbo history as a subject of instruction has been absent from the curricula of all the educational and religious institutions that have ‘catered’ to the ‘needs’ of the Igbos, since the Igbos were defeated and colonized. A close reading of the earlier works of Chinua Achebe, John Munonye, Chukwuemeka Ike, and Remy Chukwukaodinaka Ilona will reveal that the Igbo people began to develop feelings of inferiority, and self-hate, after the colonial authorities had intervened, and branded Igbo culture pagan.

The event or process that I described above led to severe losses. The same can be said about most of the mass media that have sold their products to the Igbo people. Save the National Times newspaper, no newspaper in Nigeria talks about Igbo history and culture. And Nollywood! The film industry which was built up with Igbo sweat and money but which the Igbo builders have virtually handed over to people from the competing peoples of Nigeria, because the Igbo film marketers/producers as they are called want to make money. Nollywood has excelled! It has excelled in distorting Igbo history, and ridiculing the Igbos! Even though Omenana has room for egalitarianism and republicanism only, Igbo film-makers specialize in making ’Igbo films’, which portray this Igbos as corrupt feudalists with still more corrupt monarchies. And interestingly as the film producers stray they get more destructive. Presently they use non Igbo film actors to play the roles of Igbo ‘kings’. So would anybody be surprised if a few Igbos do not know that the Igbos are Israelites. And a great majority of those that know that the Igbos are Israelites do not know that Omenana (Igbo culture) is Israelite culture, i.e, their knowledge of their origins is not really meaningful, because they do not know what Omenana is, and that the Hebrew Bible is extracted from Omenana. However there is a minority that retain the knowledge that the Igbos are Jews, as the modern Hebrew is more regularly addressed, in a meaningful way, i.e, they know that the Igbos are Jewish, and that that sets them apart as people of God, and gives them the responsibility to live differently from their neighbours; i.e, demands that they live according to the dictates of the Written and Oral Laws of God (the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the Mishna and the Gemarah). This minority is the Igbo-Israel.

This minority is working to heal the Igbo people, and rebuild Igbo intellectual, spiritual, and material heritage.

I have been privileged to work with this section of the Igbos. That the Igbo people are in trouble is the best kept secret in the world. In Nigeria the catch-phrases for the Igbos today is ‘Igbo problem’, and ‘marginalization’. Where the Igbos live in exile the story is not different. The situation is bad to the extent that it prompted an Igbo intellectual, one of the most productive minds of the Igbos; who lives in the United States to write the following missive:

“Anybody who sees the Igbo situation in simple linear perspective either is ignorant of the profound realities or dishonest. The Igbo has entered an emergency phase, and it requires good old political and social organizing to restore it. One of the most critical problems in Ala-Igbo today is the nature of its human and ecological environment:social instability - that is, difficulties in the prospects of settling has made it impossible for Igbo young men and women now to marry at the natural age - between 25-35. Young men now marry at the average age of 40 years. Many Igbo women are without prospects of marriage, having crossed certain thresholds. The implication is that 45% of Igbo people are not reproducing a new generation. Those who get married are suffering from curious stages of infertility as a result of environmental degradation and chemical pollution- through oil exploration activities and groundwater toxification. An epidemiological survey carried out in the whole of Igbo land today will reveal a most deadly truth: a huge number of the Igbo are dying from AIDS, new forms of Cancer, and Diabetes - from poor nutrition.These are issues that we must address holistically because they flow from the nature of the relationship between the PEOPLE and their government. The Igbo themselves have not sat down to confront their elected representatives with an action plan, and with suggestions of the means to carry it out, and a timeline and oversight. The problem of insecurity occasioned by new waves of kidnapping only complicatesthis: but to put this simply, our greatest problem is not the problem of this new wave of selective and directed terrorism. It is that the Igbo as a people have learnt to be DEPENDENT on some external factor orfigure whom they expect to solve their problems. I have said this before, WE ARE ALL GUILTY - either by silence, inaction, or directcomplicity. All those who wish to participate in the restoration and rebuilding of Igbo land must begin to re-think our relationships with that land.Anaghi ano uti agba ntele ukwu. We must get active”.

The situation is as bad, or even worse than as portrayed in the missive above, but only some elements among the Igbo-Israel have really seen the handwriting on the wall. That there is danger! That there is no time to waste! The generality of the Igbos feel helpless, because they are helpless. Disarmed by ignorance, and illiteracy in Igbo studies, Igbos with even post-graduate degrees do not know what to say or do to stem the decline of the Igbo nation. Fortunately Igbo-Israel is growing!

In recognition of the above problems, and inspired by the action plan and road map laid out in books: The Igbos: Jews In Africa-With Solutions To The Most Critical Igbo Problems and Introduction To The Chronicles Of Igbo Israel-And The Connections Between The Afro Americans and the Jews, a group of Igbo scholars, professionals, businessmen, artistes, and bureaucrats have come together as The Igbo Origin and Culture Research Society to contribute to the positive growth and development of the Igbo people, and Igboland. The Society will very likely present its programmes to the Igbo people in the month of October, in 2010. It will use the opportunity to present some of the afore-mentioned books and premiere the Igbo-Israel Video Interview to the Igbo, Jewish and general public. It is also organizing an Igbo summit where solutions would be found to many of the ills that plague ndi Igbo today; such as brother kidnapping of brother which is alien to Igbo culture. In addition it will also appraise ndi Igbo about some programmes that it is working on; such as the preservation of the Igbo migration story in film. And the Igbo-Israel International Music Festival, an initiative of Moore Black Chi Mmadike, an Igbo reggae artiste, and Vice President (International) Igbo-Israel Union (Society), who is based in Australia.

miércoles, 2 de julio de 2014

There are plenty of Jewish roots in Africa II

Jews who forgot their Judaism: Timne, Bambara, Fante, Mandara, Mandeka. All have the oral tradition of Maghrebim Israelite origin along with Beta-Israel. This is evidence of the ressurection bone and the neshama. The allotment of the right of return is chronicled in our time Judaism is our Halakhic heritage .

Some toponyms from Igboland: Calabar (like Caledonia the beginning CaL or CaLa might come from GaLut, diaspora in Hebrew & Bar is son in Hebrew. So Calabar would mean "Son of the Diaspora"). Umuahia (like Ushuaia, Argentina, the end ia is possible Yah, or Yahweh)

Some Habbanis (from Habban, Yemen) moved to areas on the Indian ocean (India & the Swahili coast of Africa) along typical Hadhrami (from Hadhramut, Yemen) settlements. If t's true that native Americans (Lamanites for Mormons) come from Hebrews, as Mormons & some non Mormons believe, then Habban & La Habana (Havana) may have the same Hebrew root. After all Yemen has been a Hebrew kingdom. The Habbanis & Hadhramis that I just mentioned were Jews. The Swahili coast encompasses most of the eastern African coast, a coast whose people are a mixture of African & Arab ancestry with a little bit of Persian ancestry. Swahili is an Arabized Bantu language. It's interesting that several of the Arab ancestors of these coastal peoples were really Jews (the mentioned Hadhramis & Habbanis).

It's interesting to find Ahmadis, Alevis, Yazidis, Druzes... among the Kotoko because is not usual in Africa, let alone in Black Africa. They are regarded as Israelites & so are these sects are regarded crypto-Judaic sects. Maybe their name comes from Kohat, one of the three main priestly clans of ancient Israel. Druzes & Alevis are some of the sects that are said to derive from Israelite priesthood.

Seremane, which has been identified as a Bantuized form of Suleiman, the Arabic form of Solomon is in addition to a clan name a designation for the whole Lemba ethnic group. Lemba are also known as Mwenye & even as Kruger's Jews after pres. Kruger (Pres.of Transvaal), that considered them as Jews. One of the cities called Sena by the Lemba is taken to be Sayuna, the Judeo-Arabic form of Zion.

THE HEBREW ISRAELITES AND THE TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE CONNECTION

Throughout the Bible the Israelites constantly rebelled against the Most High by disobeying his Commandments.In the book of Deuteronomy Moses forewarned the Israelites of the punishments that would befall them if they did not observe His commandments. Part of that punishment was that the Israelites would be scattered throughout the different parts of the Earth. In Deuteronomy 28: 64 the Bible says this:

‘And The Most High shall scatter thee among all people, from one end of the earth even unto the other…’

                                                                          ASSYRIA

In 721 B.C. Shalmanesser, the King of Assyria conquered the Ten Northern Tribes. They were deported out of the land of Israel and into the land of Assyria. In II Kings 18: 11-12 it says this:

‘And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. Because they obeyed not the voice of the Most High, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the Most High commanded, and would not hear nor do them’
                                                                                             
BABYLON

In 586 B.C. approximately 200 years later, the same fate happened to the three Southern Tribes when Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and lead thousands of Israelites into captivity in Babylon.

 PERSIANS

After serving captivity for 70 years in Babylon the Persian King Darius conquered the Babylonians and allowed a remnant of Israelites to return and rebuild the kingdom.

GREEKS

In the year 331 B.C. Alexander the Great conquered the Persians. The Greeks became the next world power. After Alexander’s death, his kingdom was divided. Around 176 B.C. Antiochus came against Israel and destroyed it. The city was burned down and the women and children were taken captive. He also wrote a decree to his entire kingdom that people should abandon their practices and adopt the customs of the Greeks. All people should be one.

During this time the Maccabbean revolt took place against the Greeks and in the year 165 B.C. the Greek empire fell to the Romans.

 ROMANS

The Romans persecuted the Israelites just as the Greeks, forbidding them from circumcising their boys, observing the Sabbath and reading the Bible. In Matthews 24: 15-16 Christ foretold the destruction of the Temple and the overthrowing of Jerusalem by the Roman armies:

‘When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whosoever readeth, let him understand). Then let them which   are in Judea flee into the mountains.’

This destruction of the Temple and the final dispersion of the Israelites took place in 70 A.D. as Christ had prophesied.
In Luke 21: 24 Christ also says this:

‘And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led captive unto all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.’

                               AFRICA

In his book ‘From Babylon to Timbuktu’ Rudolf R Windsor
gives an account of this scattering of the Israelites:

‘In the year 65B.C. the Roman armies under General Pompey captured Jerusalem. In 70 A.D. General Vespasian and his son, Titus put an end to the Jewish state, with great slaughter. During the period of the military governors of Palestine, many outrages and atrocities were committed against the residue of the people. During the period of Pompey to Julius, it has been estimated that over 1,000,000 Jews (Israelites) fled into Africa, fleeing from Roman persecution and slavery. The slave markets were full of black Jewish slaves.’

Millions of Israelites who escaped the persecution of the Roman-Jewish War fled into the interiors of Africa. In his book ‘Jewish Roots in Africa,’ Mr Litchtblau, speaking of the Israelites that ran into Africa, says this:

‘Pressed under sweeping regional conflicts, Jews settled as traders and warriors in Yemen, the Horn of Africa, Egypt, the kingdom of Kush and Nubia, North African Punic settlements (Carthage and Velubilis), and areas now covered by Mauritania. More migrants followed these early Jewish settlers to Northern Africa…’

Rudolf R Windsor in his book ‘Babylon to Timbuktu points out:

‘The black Jews who migrated to the Sudan from the North converged with the Jews migrating from the eastern Sudan to the countries of the Niger River…There is much proof, and still much more to be revealed by scholars, that there existed prior to the slave trade and subsequent to it many tribes, colonies, and kingdoms in West Africa’. pg 120

1600 years later their descendants were rounded up and captured by African and the Arabs slave traders and sold to the Europeans, fulfilling the curses that were written in Deuteronomy the 28th chapter. Rudolf R Windsor in his book ‘From Babylon to Timbuktu’ goes on further to explain on pg 132:

‘As persecuted communities, they were rather more in danger than other Negroes of being raided by war-parties and sold as slaves…’

 FORETELLING BY MOSES

Moses forewarned the Children of Israel of the curses that would befall them if they did not follow the commandments of The Most High. In Deuteronomy 28:15 it says this:

‘And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt not harken (listen) unto   the voice of the of the L_rd  thy  G_d, to observe to do all his commandments and his statues which I command thee this day that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.’

The particular curses that would befall the Children of Israel for  not keeping the commandments of G_d is that they would suffer slavery similar to the type of slavery they suffered in Egypt and that they would be transported into this new slavery on ships and that the places where we would be transported they would be sold as slaves to their enemies. In Deuteronomy 28:68 it says this:

‘And the L_rd shall bring thee into Egypt (slavery) again (a second time) with ships (Cargo Slave Ships), by the way whereof I spake unto thee, thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen (slave men) and bondwomen, (slave women) and no man shall buy you’.

This is the missing link between the Hebrew Israelites and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. It explains how the Israelites fled into the interiors of Africa as refugees after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. They were rounded up on the African continent and shipped all over the western hemisphere to be sold as slaves. This is the history that has been omitted from the pages of history.

Rabbi Paris Returns to Ethiopia After 60 Years

[Rabbi Hailu Paris is an Ethiopian-born rabbi of the Israelite Community. He is a graduate of Yeshiva University, teaches Talmud and Ethiopian History in the Israelite Rabbinical Academy, was the spiritual leader of Mt. Horeb E.H. Congregation in the Bronx, New York, and is a member of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis.]

Our trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia started on November 9th, 2005. We arrived on November 10th with the help of The Almighty safely. We checked in at the Hilton Hotel and immediately went to our rooms to get ready for the evening meal. On Friday morning, we attended the conference with a number of Christian ministers who were gathered together by Center of World Missions and the African-American Church. The purpose of this conference is to review the unique relationship that Judaism and Christianity has played in Ethiopian History.

At the conference (held at the Hilton Hotel) we viewed slides of maps that outlined the area that the Bible speaks of. The slides showed ample evidence of the influence of the Bible upon its development. There were ancient temples before Christianity; i.e., the ruins of the castle of the Queen of Sheba in Axum, the stalae of Axum, and Temple of Yeha.

 At the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, the group was met and welcomed by Professor Richard Pankhurst. Using the Palaeontological finding of ancient skulls and bones he made the claim that Ethiopia could be the cradle of civilization. It is certainly from this area of the world that humankind finds the foreparents of all humans. The Axumites developed a language called Ge'ez written with a form of ancient alphabet called Sabean. The ancient Torah of Ethiopia was written in Ge'ez. The Ethiopian clergy still pray in this language. This Torah, called Orit, are found in book form with pictures of the prophets and sages that look like Africans.

On Shabbat, Monica went with Daniel Workneh, an Ethiopian Jew who was introduced to us by Professor Ephraim Isaac, to see the Adenite synagogue in Addis Ababa. There are still a few Adenite Jews living in Addis Ababa, but not enough for a minyan on Shabbat, so their synagogue is closed for services. However, the synagogue is open on special occasions and on the Holy Days. Aden Yemen, right on the Red Sea and across from Ethiopia. About 80 years ago, the location of the synagogue was full and flourishing with Jews from Aden.

On Sunday morning, Monica and I, along with Minister Richard Honeywell, went to visit the Beta Israel community at their camp in Addis Ababa. We found there are some 16,000 to 20,000 who are now called Falash Mura, descendants of Ethiopian Jews who converted to the country's dominant Orthodox Christian religion a century ago.

With the rebirth of the State of Israel, they desired to return to the Jewish faith. Many of the community that reached Addis Ababa for the Operation Solomon airlift to Israel were left behind. Since 1991, they have tried to get the Israeli government to bring them to Israel in order to be unified with their families. They were left without any resources by the main organization who was helping them since the 1980s.

Rabbi Paris Ethiopian TripThe training programs run by the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ), which comprised of Hebrew classes, mikvah, computer training, lunch program and grain distribution are no longer available and the classrooms were emptied of classroom material. The material to make Tallism and pray shawls were not available to the community after NACOEJ left. We were told after NACOEJ left the community found aid in receiving medical care from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. We heard them express fear over the prospect of not receiving approval to settle in Israel.

A two day mission that brought some 100 Jewish leaders from Israel and the Diaspora for a first hand look at the living conditions of the Falash Mura, caused the New York based United Jewish Communities to launch Operation Promise, a $100 million initiative of the UJC in cooperation with the Jewish Federations of North America, the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, and the Jewish Agency of Israel to bring them to Israel as soon as possible.


On Tuesday evening, we went to visit another community who call themselves Beit Avraham. The following letter was written by their spiritual leader, Mesfin Assefa, and best describes this community in his own words (his English is a little broken):

Shalom,

We are the lost tribes of Israel, black Jewish (Beit Avraham) living in North Shewa parts and Kechene Village in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We were born with and grow up with suffering, persecution, and discrimination. In the past hundred years our families have suffered discrimination and death because they are Jewish. Our ancestors led their lives with handcraft works such as blacksmithing, weaving and pottery, but other peoples count us as animals. They called us Buda (possessors of the evil eye or hyene eyes). But we are the children of God, the tribes of Judah, the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel). Our families practice Judaism...in secret in the forest, cave and remote desert parts of North Shewa because we are hiding ourselves to keep our generation safe from persecution and death and to continue the offspring of God's peoples. Our identity will be lost and unknown by the world Jewish community.

To emancipate our communities from suffering, persecution and discrimination and to walk together with our brothers in the world, we the young Jews have established the "Ethiopian North Shewa Zionist Organization" officially to practice Judaism, to study Hebrew and history, to improve our living standard, to help each other, and to fulfill our Zionism dream with the help of God of Israel (HaShem).

But now, we have no sufficient capacity and resources to accomplish our mission or objective. So we request your organization to give us advice, information and material support related to our mission objectives and we want to announce our Jewish community (Beit Avraham) in your website and newsletters. Please hear our voices in the world Jewish community!

We are looking forward to your attention and support.

Sincerely yours,
Ethiopian North Shewa Zionist Organization

Efik Eburutu of Nigeria  

THE EFIK PEOPLE; ORIGIN, MIGRATION AND SETTLEMENT

THE ORIGIN

The Efik people, as hinted on by the early Scottish missionaries and early Efik balladists, came from the Orient. Our indefatigable historian the late Elder Chief Efiọñ Ukpọñ Aye Eyo Nsa in his book “The Efik People”, tried to demystify this “Orient” and pointed quite specifically and intelligently too to Nubia; one of the ancient outgrowths of Egypt peopled by the Falashas. The Falashas have been identified by world historians as black Jews who, feeling disenchanted by the inhuman treatment of the Israelites by the Egyptians of the time, moved out to establish on their own. From Nubia, movement reached ancient Ethiopia which at some point in time became a world power. The birth, death and resurrection of Christ ushered in a new world view and religion called Christianity and the Ethiopians and Egyptians both went that way. At a point in time another religion, Islam, was born out of Arabia, a religion which sought to take things by force. It swept through Egypt and conquered it, with lots of death on its toll. When the Ethiopians (the Falashas) heard of the intention of the Muslims to invade Ethiopia, majority of their ancestors pulled out and thus begun the famous migration story of the Efik people. These migrations took them through Sudan to Lake Chad where the group became fragmented and went into different regions. The peoples now called Oron and Uruan went into Cameroun. Some went into Ghana while others went into Congo and Equitorial Guinea.

Another group entered present day Nigeria through Adamawa plains where a few settled in the Igbo country of the Aros in a village called Ututu and majority at a place they named Gibbom (now corrupted as Ibom), after their God Almighty (where they placed their God basin) in the early 13th century AD. Here they told their hosts, when asked, that they were Hebrews. By the Igbo reference to the Falasha fragment among them as Hebrew Ututu, the name Eburutu was derived as we have it today. The tribal name was Eburutu and Iboku, its people.

MIGRATIONS

EVENTS IN AROCHUKWU

History is not certain whether Iboku was the leader who brought his people into Nigeria or the one who actually led them out of Ethiopia. What is certain is that he was so important a personality that the group (majority of whom were his descendants) accepted him as their father. At least the first six Ndidem of the Eburutu tribe were named after him and his name adopted for the group. Some claimants who wish to trace the origin of the Efik people to the Igbos have tried to create a meaning for this name as quarrelsome Igbos, but Efik is Efik. History gives the number of children derivable from this man to be two and we know for certain that he never lived in the Igbo country of the Aros, except of course, through his children. There was a son named Eno who settled at Gibbom or Ibom as we know it today, and was referred to as Eno Ibom, Ibom Eno or Ibom Iboku. The alternative name, Ibom Iboku, was not his personal name as erroneously believed in most circles but referred to the Iboku group who lived at Gibbom. Edidem Ibom Eno or Iboku is regarded as the first Edidem of the Eburutu tribe. He had two children namely Abatim Ibom Eno and Atai Ibom Eno (known simply as Atai Iboku). The Efik talking drum reminisces their relationship as ‘Idibi aman Abatim enye aman Efik, Efik Ete Ete nditọ Atai Ibom Enọ’ (The man that begat Abatim begat Efik, Efik are descendants of Atai Ibom Enọ). There was also Ọtọñ, the leader of the group that settled in Ututu village. His children were Ikpoto, Ama and Ebughu. Ama was the father of Ọtọñ Ama of the famous Amaku story for school children. Ikpoto and Ebuhu became the ancestors of Efiat and Ebughu respectively, now domiciled in the Oron region of Akwa Ibom State 19, 36. Ọtọñ Ututu, popularly called Ọtọñ Iboku was the second Edidem of the Iboku people.

                                          Cover of the book "The Palestine origin of the Efiks"

Disagreements over objects of worship caused a lot of problems between the Iboku people of the Eburutu tribe and their Igbo host and Iboku people left Igbolands in families. Foremost on the migration road were the Ọtọñ Iboku descendants, at least the ones who did not get themselves muddled up in marriages with the host. Secondly, there were the descendants of Abatim Ibom Eno who founded the various Eniọñ sub-clans including Asañ, Obio-usiere and Atan. Thirdly, some older children of Atai Ibom Eno or Atai Iboku broke off from their father to found places like Itu which first settled at an Igbo village called Mbauzo, hence the name Itu Mbauzọ. Traditional history posits that from Itu-Mbauzọ, some adventurous families sailed down to present day Itu Township and the surrounding towns of Obot-Etim, Akunakuna, Umọn and Ikot Ana. Others include Ito and its offshoot like Idere; Eki and Ukwa. Finally Edidem Atai Iboku, the third Edidem of the Iboku people, left the Igbo country for Uruan with two sons and a daughter namely Ema Atai, Ekpe Atai and Ekei Atai Iboku in the last quarter of the 13th century AD.

EVENTS IN URUAN

In Uruan, an important event occurred viz the entrance of a personality by name Efiom Ekpo into the history of the Iboku people. The story of his entry is laden with a lot of romance. Ekei Atai Iboku got married to an Uruan Chieftain by name Ibaña Ñkanta and a son Ekpo Ibaña was born out of the union. His Efik contemporaries or cousins at the time were Odo Ema Atai, Atai Ema Atai and Inyañ Ekpe Atai Iboku. Ekpo Ibaña Ñkanta married Ema Atai’s daughter, Odo and fathered Efiom Ekpo by her. This Efiom Ekpo became the 7th Edidem of the Iboku people. His genealogical chart traces him to Iboku by maternal connections.

While Edidem Atai Ema Atai had four men namely Ukpong Atai Ema, Ema Atai Ema, Atai Atai Ema and Adim Atai Ema, Edidem Inyañ Ekpe Atai had Ekpe Inyañ Ekpe, Ndem Inyañ Ekpe and Osukpọñ Inyañ Ekpe. The summary of these events is that the two males of Edidem Atai Iboku, namely Ema and Ekpe produced eight grand children in Uruan; Ema Atai having five and Ekpe Atai having three . These became the ancestors of the proverbial ‘Esien Efik Itiaba’ (seven Efik clans) in Uruan namely Iboku, Obutọñ, Adiabo, Mbiabo, Eñwañ, Abayen and Usukakpa. Table 1 below simplifies the seven clans and their founding ancestors.



The deductions to be made from the table above are that while Ema Atai Iboku descendants were responsible for the founding of four Efik clans, Ekpe Atai, the younger brother was responsible for founding three, and that about three of the four Ema Atai clans were founded by descendants of Ukpọñ Atai Ema Atai Iboku.


EXODUS FROM URUAN; IKPA ENE AND NDODOGHI EVENTS

Disagreements and disenchantments in Uruan over objects of religious worship as in the country of the Igbos generated a lot of bad feelings between the Iboku people and their Uruan host which came to a head during the famous axe story. There were skirmishes which led to a war and the Efik people had to leave Uruan in their clans led by Edidem Ukpọñ Atai Ema Atai Iboku in the second half of the 14th century AD. All seven clans went to Ikpa Ene from where Mbiabọ left to establish on their own. So Mbiabọ clan left from Ikpa Ene in two groups, one heading up and the other down. The one that headed up is Mbiabọ Edere and the one that headed down is Mbiabọ Usuk. The name Ikọt Ọfiọñ is a more recent name for the Mbiabọ group who specifically derive from Ani Etọn Ukpọñ Atai Ema. While Etọn Ani Eton is reputed to have had many children notably Ukpọñ and Okonañwan, Ọfiọñ Ani Etọn is said to have had none. Out of courtesy, the children of Etọn Ani decided to name the colony after their great uncle, so that his name may be remembered for ever 5, 6. The grandson of Etọn Ani Etọn called Oku Ukpọñ Etọn Ani Etọn was Jean Barbot’s 1698 William King Agbishera of Mbiabọ Ikọrọfiọñ and the founder of Tom Curcock House in the 1690 Efik House system. Efiom Ukpọñ Atai Ema had a grandson Añkọt (Ñkọt) Odo Efiom who had two children; Eniañ and Eseku. Eniañ Ñkot Odo had two sons (Ani and Añwadet) and a daughter. The daughter, Añwaret (Arit of today) was given in marriage to Etinyin Oku Abasi Oku Atai Atai Ema and the union produced a son (Ekpe Oku) and a daughter (Ibọk Oku). Eniañ Ñkot Odo’s son, Ani Eniañ Ñkot Odo Efiom was Jean Barbot’s 1698 slave trader for Mbiabọ Ikoneto referred to as Robin King Agbishera and the founder of Ikọt Ani and Robin Curcock House of the 1690’s when the Efik people established the house system.

The other six clans moved out of Ikpa Ene to create some distance between them and their Ibibio and Uruan enemies. They got to Ndodoghi Island. At Ndodoghi, three unfortunate events occurred. The first was the great malaria epidemic which nearly wiped out the entire race. The second was a disaster that befell two of the three Ekpe Atai clans namely Abayen and Usukakpa. It is said that one day, at a meeting under a large cotton tree, a branch of the tree fell on the Abayen and Usukakpa clans and greatly depleted them. Notable among the surviving children of those clans were Esien Ndem Inyañ for Abayen (now Obomitiat) and Ntekim Osukpọñ Inyañ for Usukakpa (now Idua).

The third disaster was the appearance of the Halley’s comet ‘Akpan Ntafiọñ’ in 1378 AD which claimed the lives of Ema Atai Ema Atai and other nobles as recounted in the Efik ballad of 1910 by Princess Ebi Etim Añwa Añwa (Adiaha-Akpan) of Ikoneto.

SETTLEMENTS; THE FOUNDING OF CALABAR AND CREEK TOWN





As stated earlier, six Efik clans went to Ndodoghi and suffered a whole lot of mishap there. The Ekpe Atai clans of Eñwañ and their grossly depleted brothers in Abayen and Usukakpa left the Ema Atai clans in Ndodoghi for Calabar and thus became the founders of the region called Calabar today in the 3rd quarter of the 14th century AD. They therefore did not witness the disaster of the Halley’s comet of 1378 AD. The Eñwañ clan spread out by reason of their numerical strength to live in two villages. Anantigha Ekpe Inyañ had obtained two deities from God-knows-where, a male and a female. He named the male after himself as Anantigha Eñwañ and the female after his only sister Anansa Ekpe Inyañ. This man built a shrine for the male deity at Iyonde which is present day ‘Esuk Anantigha’ (Anantigha beach) and a similar shrine at Eñwañ spring head where Calcemco is today, his female deity, Anansa. He placed his nephew Esemin Esu Ekpe Inyañ in charge of Anansa as her first priest and taught him the esoteric rituals, while he tended to his male deity at Iyonde. The Abayen survivors (Obom-itiat) stayed at Afia-Obom; a place named after their deity obtained by Esien Ndem Inyañ Ekpe Atai Iboku. That place is the famous NPA cat-walk disaster or what some people call Elder Dempster today. The Usukakpa remnants (Idua) stayed at present day Tete Street. These were the formative years of the great historic city of Calabar.

The three Ema Atai clans of Iboku, Obutọñ and Adiabọ founded Creek Town in the late 14th century AD 20. In Creek Town Efiom Ekpo Efiom Ekpo settled where Adak-ukọ is today while Edidem Eyọ Ema and his people stayed where Otuñ is still. Obutọñ occupied where Mbarakọm Ekpe lodge is and Adiabo stayed in the region of Idim Mbe, Ndomndom and Idim Esa.

All Efik clans were arranged in family units and each unit had her own trade canoe. Only blood descendants of founding ancestors had the privilege to own such canoes and negotiate trade. The trade canoes in later years, especially during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, evolved into family groups called houses which grew naturally from the patriarchal character of the Efik social system. Below is a table of Efik house arrangement as documented by the Dutch slave merchant of the late 17th century, Jeane Barbot and presented for posterity by Prince Magnus Duke (Ekpenyong Efiom Edet Nsa Efiom) on 12th June, 1890. An Efik person is therefore defined as anyone who can trace his genealogy paternally or maternally to Iboku, the founding ancestor of the Efik kingdom, through the various major ancestors and founders of the twelve Efik ancestral clans, houses or family units.


NOTABLE EVENTS

It is imperative to write briefly about a certain man Asibọñ-Ekondo by virtue of the key role he played in shaping Efik history. This man was born Asibọñ Anatiñ Ekpe Inyañ Ekpe Atai Iboku from Enwañ clan. His mother was Uyi Ntekim Osukpọñ Inyañ Ekpe Atai Iboku of Usukakpa (Idua) clan. He preferred to join forces with his mother’s depleted clan Idua and so his children know themselves today as Idua sons and daughters.



In 1821, Great Duke Ephraim (Eyamba IV) sent out a clarion call to all Efik families to make an effective occupation of Akpabuyo which had been vacated by the Idua-Asang and Asang-Eniọñ groups in the 1st half of the 18th century 24. We had earlier hinted that this region was left unoccupied but for the frequent visits of few Idua fishermen. The entire area is named after Oboyo Ntekim Esu as “Akpa Oboyo (Oboyo’s River)”.

Oboyo’s cousin, Aya Iyo Aka was murdered in Akpabuyo by his trusted friend from Duke Town (Iboku Clan) in the 1790s and the place was held in contempt by the Iduas. When Great Duke Ephraim heard that an overzealous and adventurous King Akwa from the Cameroons had plans to take over Akpabuyo, he called on Efik gentries of the time to effectively occupy the area. And so Akpabuyo became officially a consolidated group of Efik villages in the 1st quarter of the 19th century AD.

In the last quarter of the 19th century, Prince James Egbo Bassey (Okon Ekpo Abasi Ekpo) set sail to found James Town in the Oron region by reason of the kingship tussle of the 1880s. Prince Archibong III (Asibong Edem Asibong Ekpo Efiom) also led his family out of Duke Town to found Archibong Town in the Bakassi Peninsula by reason of the same kingship tussle which King Duke Ephraim Eyamba IX (Orok Ededem Ekpo Efiom) won. Prince Esien Etim Ofiong Esien Abasi Ofiong Okoho in the late years of the 19th century also founded Esien Town in Obutong through maternal connections, when there was family disagreement between him and his two brothers as well as with the Coco-Basseys in the Eyamba ward of Duke Town.

Kuria people

The Kuria (also known as AbaKuria, as they prefer to call themselves) are a community of Bantu people who inhabit Kenya.

The people now known as Abakuria are of diverse origins and clans. Before the twentieth century they did not know themselves as the Abakuria but by either their various clans or by "provinces" from which they came. Fred Maseke who is a student in the university of Nairobi school of business, a non-History field has taken the initiative to research on the Kuria tribe, origin of the name and other aspects. The name Kuria seems to have been applied to the whole group by the early colonial chiefs mainly to distinguish them from the other Luoised groups along the southern shores of Lake Victoria who were known as Abasuba – a name which at times also included the Abakuria proper. The Abakuria live in both Kenyan and Tanzanian territories. In Kenya they live in Kuria district east and kuria west districts and in Tanzania they live in Serengeti, Tarime (very similar to Tarim, Yemen, an area with Jews), Musoma town, Musoma rural, Bunda and some parts in mwanza districts. Mara as province is mostly occupied by the Abakuria of late.

The homeland of the Abakuria is between River Migori to the east and the estuary of River Mara (the name of the river containing water might have the same origin as the Waters of Mara, found by the Israelites in Exodus) to the west. On the eastern side the area stretches from Migori district in south Nyanza to Musoma district of Tanzania on the western side. To the south the land borders the Transmara district on the Kenyan side and the Nguruimi area in Tanzania. To the north is Lake Victoria with a small corridor occupied by the Luo and some other Bantu peoples. The immediate neighbours of the Abakuria are the Maasai, Ngurueme, Zanaki, Ikoma, Luo and Suba of south Nyanza (Suba district).

The Abagusii state that their ancestors originally came from "Misiri" (this is Misr or Mizraim, Egypt in Semitic languages, where the Israelites got their conscience as a people) and that they migrated with the ancestors of the Abakuria, Abalogoli, Ababukusu, and Abasuba and that they lost contact with these people in the Mount Elgon area. The Abagusii and Abalogoli followed river Nzoia Valley which eventually took them to the northern shores of Lake Victoria probably between AD 1500 and 1560. At this early stage there doesn't seem to have been significant differences between the Abagusii, Abakuria, Abalogoli and Abasuba among others. Their distinctive names and identities appear to have developed much later when they had separated into their present homelands.The origin of the name Kuria is a thorny point in Abakuria history. The major Abakuria sub-tribes such as Abanyabasi, Abatimbaru, Abanyamongo, Abakira, Abairegi, Abakenye, Abanchaari, and Abagumbe have traditions to the effect that their ancestor was Mokuria (or Mukuria) who lived in "Misiri". His descendants migrated from "Misiri" and after many years of wandering on the other side of Lake Victoria, they eventually reached and settled in the present Bukuria.

According to this tradition, the Abakuria have been divided from time immemorial into two families: the Abasai of the elder wife of Mokuri (is this Mokuria the Manassehite clan of Makir? He could be some descendent carrying the clan's name) and the Abachuma of the younger wife. But this tradition does not explain how the Abakuria people got their generation sets, such as Maina, Nyambiriti, Gamnyeri on the Abasai side, and Mairabe (Norongoro), Gini, Nyangi on the Abachuma side. These generation set names are also found among other people such as the Ababukusu, Kalenjin, Agikuyu, Aembu/Ambeere and Ameru. It is therefore most probable that the early Abakuria people who brought the generation set system into Abakuria society were a splinter group from a much larger community living in the area of Mount Elgon from which the Kalenjin people, a section of the Ababukusu and the Agikuyu clusters emerged. Paul Aseka Abuso in his book A Traditional History of the Abakuria has written thus: Abakuria section of the Abagumbe, Abapemba, Abaasi and Abasonga also state in their tradition that they travelled together with the ancestors of the Kikuyu among other people from Misiri to Lake Baringo in the Kenya Rift Valley where they finally separated. Although Kikuyu history does not corroborate this point it looks as if at one time the ancestors of these people originally lived together in some area north of Mount Elgon. Perhaps the people known as Sirikwa mentioned above were part of that larger ancestral community — or possibly their descendants. This is not yet clear.



The other view of the origin of the name Kuria is as follows. Between about 1774 and 1858, some of the Abakuria people were living in Musoma district in the present Tanzania and were settled in a hilly area north of the River Mara then known as Korea hill. The inhabitants of that area in time became known as Korea people after the name of the hill, which eventually changed to Kuria hill whereby the people became known as the Abakuria. The divergent views on the origin of the name would explain why the name had not gained wide acceptance among the Abakuria even at the beginning of the last century, as people still largely identified themselves by the sub-group names. During the colonial period, it was the name Abatende (after the Abatende clan in Bugumbe area) rather than Abakuria, which was in common use among the Kenya Abakuria. Those living in Tanzania continued to be known by their totems. It is only in about the 1950s that the name Abakuria gained wide usage. In a similar manner the Mijikenda, Abaluyia and Kalenjin became generally accepted as collective ethnic names in the 1940s and 1950s, at a time when in Kenya they were seeking political recognition by the colonial authorities.

The Abakuria are divided into several clans which include the following; the Abagumbe, Abairege, Abanyabasi and Abakira who live in Kenya (a total of 4 clans) Abapemba, Ababurati, Abakira, Abamera, Simbete, Abanyabasi, Watobori, Abakunta, Wiga, Kaboye, Abakenye, Abagumbe and Wasweta, Abatimbaru among others (a total of 13, like the 13 Israelite tribes) who live in Tanzania.

The Abakuria people appear to have sprung from too many directions to have a common historical origin, although a number of clans claim to have come from Egypt. The culture of the present Abakuria therefore is an amalgam of many different cultures which may originally have been opposed to each other in content and practice. Among the Abakuria today are found people who were originally from the Kalenjin, Maasai, Bantu and Luo speaking communities.

Between AD 1400 and 1800 when migrations into Bukuria took place, the foundation was laid for the future Abakuria cultural and political developments. Early inhabitants of Bukuria came from both Bantu and Nilotic speakers who brought into Bukuria their peculiar cultures. Predominantly agricultural Bantu came into close contact with predominantly Nilotic pastoralists. Thus a blend of cultures took place among the early inhabitants of Bukuria from the start by combining agricultural practice with pastoral pursuit as well as tendencies towards nomadic life. Today elements of Abakuria agriculture is much like that of the Abagusii and the Luo while in cattle keeping they have borrowed the practices of the Maasai, Zanaki and Nguruimi.

Before the population had increased very much, it appears that a number of the Abakuria communities developed independently without many interactions with the others. Many of those who lived at the foothills of such places as Gutura, Maheta and Gwasi tended to carry on with their mode of life as if there were no other people around them. During the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, more and More immigrants settled into the region and whether they liked it or not, the earlier communities were forced to interact with the new arrivals or at any rate to confront them. Some of the newcomers were aggressive and would not let their neighbours live in peace as they engaged in raiding for cattle and at times fought for dominance in the region. This meant that the small family clusters that had hitherto lived peacefully in the region shifted location and internal migration and resettlements were a continuous and repetitive process within and around Bukuria. In this way new social groups were formed. Many of these new societies were often swelled by splinter groups running away from other broken-up communities as a result of disruptions of war and raids. The Abamerani, for example, are said to have swallowed up many other clans.

Currently The Kuria are resident in the Tarime, Musoma, Bunda and Serengeti districts of the Mara Region in Northern Tanzania, and the west and east districts of the former Nyanza Province in southwest Kenya. In 2006 the Kuria population was estimated to number 609,000, with 308,000 living in Tanzania and 301,000 in Kenya. The latest (2012) anthropological research estimate the population of the Abakuria in Kenya to be about 650,000 and those of Tanzania to about 700,000.

The Kuria people were mainly pastoralists in the pre-colonial era but currently the Kenyan Kurians lean towards crop production and the Tanzanian Kurians lean more towards pastoralism. The Abakuria are said to have abandoned Pastrolism after they were forced to do so by the Germans when they landed in the modern-day Northern Tanzania. The Kurians in the Serengeti district are distinctly pastoralist. Details on how Abakuria started crop production and abandoned pastoralism will be available as a researcher is currently working on the same.

The Kuria are closely related to the Kisii people of Kenya both in language and psyche.

Kuria also name their children after the names of the ancestors (Abhakoro). Such naming will occur if the wish of the dead grandfather or mother requested to be named a boy or girl.


Traditionally, circumcision was done at the age around 13 years, but this differed significantly from one clan to another. The Abairege had most of their men circumcised at 15–18 years and above. However, this has changed to the onset of puberty. To this date, various organisations are working to ensure the tradition of female genital mutilation is aborted. Also, due to increased spread of HIV/AIDS organisations advocate for care during circumcision rituals. Many families are opting to take their children to hospitals and the traditional circumcision experts have now opted to use individual razors for each person during circumcision. After the cut, the boys or girls that have undergone the practice are normally led back home by fellow villagers amidst singing and dancing and money is pinned onto their shukas. The shukas are one-piece coloured sheets that the circumcised tie around themselves so as to let the blood drip freely to the ground. Once circumcision has taken place, according to tradition, the boy or girl is deemed ready for marriage. Kurian people are from the Bantu-speaking group of Kenya. They are traditionally farmers, mainly planting maize, beans and Cassava as food crops. For cash crops, the Kuria community mainly grows tobacco. They also keep cattle and this has led clashes with the neighbouring tribes, mainly the Maasai, over cattle rustling.

The Levites, known as Haitians

Haitians are Hebrew/Israelites.
Jeruslaem destroyed and Israel ceased to exist as a nation.66 to 70 A.D or 1940 Years ago, the Romans sieged, capture, then turn Jerusalem into a city of fire. Those who were inside of the City were not allowed to leave and those who tried to escape were either killed with sword or crucified.

About 950 people died per day during the 4 year siege.

So the total number is 136 000 people who died trying to escape during the siege.

This is only those who tried to escape, not including the soldiers who were resisting the Romans.


This was predicted by Jesus (Y'ashua HaMashiach) in Luke 21:20-23
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21:21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.

Those who are inside the city must depart.

Those who are out in the country must not enter it, 21:22 because these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.

21:23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days!

For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people.

The Israelites fled to Africa
After the destruction of Jerusalem, 1000 000 Israelites fled to Africa.

The primary reason they fled to Africa was because they looked like Africans, they were and they are still blacks.

The desolation of Jerusalem was predicted in the book of Daniel, but then Yahshua (Jesus) predicted the same thing before he ascended to heaven.

The word desolation means un-inhabitation or the state of being desolate.

Because only 3 tribes were left, the Jews from the tribe of Judah and the Benjamites from the tribe of Benjamin and the Levites, whom were not counted as a tribe because they were living among all the Israelites to minister as priests to the Lord, it was obvious that if Israel didn't repent from their sins, the nation of Israel would one day cease to exist.

The desolation of Jerusalem was predicted in Daniel 9:2 and in Luke 21:20-24. The desolation was in reference to Israel not being a nation.

The Israelites would be scattered throughout the world.

The most important thing is, bible already predicted how the rest of the Israelites (Benjamin, Judah and Levi) would go in slavery.

The condition they would be living, where they would be living and how Yah would bring them back to their homeland.

Trans-Atlantic slave trade predicted in the bible
In Deut 28:68, the bible predicted that the Israelites would go back to Egypt in ships and no one would buy redeem them from the hands of the enemy.

In deuteronomy 5:6, the bible clearly states that Egypt, for the Israelites means a place of slavery. The so called Negroes in America, the Haitians, the West Indians are the only group of people to have ever gone in slavery in ships.

Read the Curses predicted for the Israelties if they didn't keep the Torah in Deut 28:15-68. That's why the negroes, the hispanics, the natives, the Haitians are so downtrodden
Slavery (Amos 7:17, Hosea 10:10,)
Israel scattered (James 1:1, Hosea 8:8, Amos 7:17,
Jesus predicted that all the Israelites would not die, in other word being completely wiped out until he comes back (Luke 21:32)

10 tribes dispersed by Assyria 722-721 BC, The so called native Indians, Indigeno-AmericIndians and the Hispanics.

Remember, 10 tribes were already brought away 722-721 BC by Salmanasar, King of Assyria .

(2nd Esdras 13:40-47 of the Apocrypha) and this was predicted in (Amos 5:27) which says “and I will drive you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord. He is called the God who commands armies!.For those who did Geography, you should know that Damascus is the capital of Assyria(Syria).

God says that the Israelites would be driven beyond Damascus.

This was the prophecy concerning the Israelites who would end up here in the American Continent 722-721 BC.

They're modern day descendents of the Aztecs (known as Mexicans), Mayans (from Guatemala to Panama), Arawak, Taino (Puerto Ricans), Mapuche (Argentina-Chile), Indigeno-AmerIndians (Cupisnique, Chavin, Paracas, Mochica, Nazca, Wari, and Chimu, Tiwanaku Auake, Caquetio, Mariche and Timoto-Cuicas) (from Columbia to Uruguay) and the natives of Dominican Republic and Cuba.

All these people are descendents of Israel who were conquered by Europeans (white people) and were violently killed or enslaved; awaiting the rest of their brothers that would be killed in enslaved just like them (Rev 6:10-11).

They are discriminated against just as the negroes are discriminated against.The curses in Deut 28:15-68 are upon them too.

The Haitians, the descendants of Levi. Read the Curses upon the Levites in (Malachi 2:8-9)(Malachi 2:3) (Duty of a priest-Malachi 2:5)
First black free nation, the poorest in the Americas, why?

The Haitians (Levites) were never supposed to be brought together but the Europeans targeted specific places where they lived and brought most of them in Haiti.

Some came from Kongo, some come from Guinea and some come from Benin.

The Haitians are priest, they were separated in Israel but still they minister the work of the Lord but when they are brought together, they fight each other for power, and for that reason, Haiti can never go forward.

Rara, the forgotten passover
Exactly during the period of passover, the Haitians celebrate something called RaRa.The way the celebrate is exactly how the Hebrews celebrated it, which prove that they are Hebrews.

First, they spend an entire week, in other words 7 days, dancing and celebrating every year during the period Jesus was crucified, which is also the period of passover.

The play drums, dance and they blast trumpets.

They wear many of handkerchiefs around their wrist as fringes (Numbers 15:37-39) and some kill goats to eat during the time. Sometimes they carry a dummy and beating the dummy, which represent them beating Baron Samedi(Master of Shabbat) or the master of the sabbath, in order words, they showing how they hated Jesus.

Remember Jesus called himself the Master of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8)

The Kingdom of Dahomey
Despite the Dahomean leader opposed slavery, he was still selling a bunch of people.

Doesn't that sound weird to you. Well the people he was selling were the Levites from the Tofunu clans(people who migrated to West Africa and posed a threat to the Dahomean kingdom) who ended-up in Haiti.

Despite they look like Africans, they refuted African leadership and some of them separated themselves from Africans.Most of the Africans leaders contributed in selling the Hebrews to the Europeans.

Haitian, Levites Priesthood spoiled with African rituals known as voodoo
For most people, Haiti is just an ordinary country but that's not true. Haitians came here and paying a high price for a lot of things they fail to do and a lot things they have done. The Haitians are the descendents of Levi, a tribe of Israel.

The Kohanim spirituality(Priesthood) still exist in the Haitian culture but it's known as voodoo.

For most people, the religion the Haitians practice is the same rite as the African voodoo, that's not true. The Haitian voodoo is different.

In the Haitian voodoo, they have strong ability to heal, Africans don't have that. They can create Zombies by using a strong sedative to immortalize a body for a certain amount of time and revive it, Africans don't have that. To reverse they sedative(drug), they use salt. In Haiti, there is a proverb known as “Zonbi Pa Goute Sel (Zombies don't taste salt).

If the zomibe ever taste salt, the sedative would be powerless and they would regain consciousness and know who they are, where they come from and their family even if it was after 10 years.That requires strong knowledge about medicines, which the Levites had.
The Haitians, who are the true levites were among each scattered Israelites clan throughout africa.From there, they learn certain African rituals and eventualy, the Kohanim priesthood was referred as the same thing as voodoo, the African religion.That's becaue the Levites learn a lot of their rituals.The africans were sacrificing their children, buring them into fire or slaughter them to their evil spirit, good thing the Haitians didn't learn that from them but they were also drinking blood, which unfortunately some of the so called Haitians learn from them.
Sacrifices.

Differences between the Spoiled Levitical priesthood of the Haitians and the African voodoo & the influences
1)In the Haitian voodoo they only sacrifice goats, chicken, lamb or bull.
2)In the African voodoo, they sacrifice dogs, cats and everything they could find.
1)In the Haitian voodoo, there are zombies
2)In the African voodoo, there are no zombies
1)In the Haitian voodoo, the bokor's firstborn become the next bokor( That's the true bloodline of Aaron but unfortunately, they're wicked)
2)In the African vodun, there is no such a thing as bloodline to bloodline
1)In the Haitian voodoo, all the priests and priestess(manbo) dressed in all white with franges except the high priest(bokor) who have a blue shirt most of the time(Remember Aaron had to wear a blue ephod(Exodus 28:31) and surprising they still wear franges
2)In the African vodun, they wear pretty much everything they can.
Why Haitians should not practice voodoo
The first reason Haitians should not practice voodoo is because it's a mixed up religion and it's full of witchcraft.

The second reason is, it is used to commit crimes instead of righteousness, such as healing (the work of a priest).

Haitians can heal pretty much any type of sickness but they refuse to use the priestly knowledge to heal but instead they concentrate on the rituals they learn from Africans to do evil.The third reason is because the time has come for the Levites, the Haitians to lead the Israelites to the most High God.To reject all pagan customs, all wicked rituals and turn to the levitical duties of a priest according to the bible.

The Marasa Legend in the Haitians Culture according to the bible (Kote Bagay Marasa ap mare moun Soti dapre Labib).

In the Haitian culture, there is something called Marasa, or twins but the noticeable thing about marasa is that they have power to mare(tie) people.

When they tie you, not with a chord but it's either in their mind or in their genes, they hurt you with headaches if you get them jealous.Even a 1 year old marasa(twin) can tie someone.

That's for sue!

They get jealous only if you give one of their twin brother or twin sister something and you don't give them the same thing or something as valuable as what you give the other twin-brother or twin-sister.

This Marasa issue(Twin) is absolutely recorded in the bible.

Read in Exodus 38:28-30
The jealousy between twins began with Perez pulling in Zerah, who was tied up with a thread and came out first.

That's why in Haiti, if you give one twin something, the other twin might think you favor his twin brother or sister more than him and he may think that you consider his twin brother to to be older than he is. Therefore, he will get jealous and use his power to hurt you. Moreover, if the parent of the twin beg the twin for quote on quote forgiveness, he or she will tell her some types of plants to make tea out of it and drink it.And she will be alright.

Even if the twin was 2 year old, they will still be able to direct their parent to the plant that can heal them.
The Moses Experience
Haitians can't united themselves to be one nation as I outstretched above but if you're not a Haitian and you strike a Haitian in front of another Haitian, believe me or not, the other Haitian brother will attack you. It doesn't matter what the Haitian did wrong to you, don't strike him in front of another Haitian, especially if you're not Haitian.

This is in the blood of the Haitians.

That's exactly why Moses killed the Egytian for the Israelite brother(Exodus 2:12)
The Shape of the Hispaniola, Symbol of Kohanim (levites) blessings
The shape of Haiti is a shin, a Hebrew letter which equals 300. But the most important thing about the shin, it used to be a sign made with two hands by the kohanim (The Levites) when they're blessing the Israelites.When they're reciting the blessings, which you can find in Numbers 6:22-27
How will a Haitian know for sure that he is not a Hamite (African) and that he is a Levite
The only way you'll know for sure that you're a Levite is the spirit of God that's within you. You'll see that you'll dramatically change.

You'll only think of reaching out to other Haitians and other Israelites, to teach them righteousness and about their identity and you'll never stop preaching the Law of the Most High. At least that's the way I am.Once you read this, you'll find out until you see all the lies that your pastors have been teaching you;you'll research until you have enough proof and that you're convinced that you're an Israelite.

Advices
My advice to all my brethren is, return to the Most High. Keep all his laws and statutes and he we remember his covenant with us.

Black Simeon & Barnabas
Simeon & Barnabas were called Niger (Act 13:1).

The original word was black, but they remove it so that we wouldn't know who we are but thank God!, there was “nigger”, “niger”, Nigeria”, Neg (Haitian creole) and Negre (French) and Negro (Spanish) all mean black!

Studying Leviticus in Sudan

“I admit it: I know nothing about animal sacrifice,” I said to my class on Torah’s Vision of Worship at Renk Theological College (July/August 2007). After a week on Exodus, we had reached the beginning of Leviticus. Looking at those first seven chapters, a detailed account of Israelite sacrifice, I realized that the teacher was the only person in the room—and there were 35 or 40 of us—for whom the biblical text was opaque. “So,” I said, “you tell me how animal sacrifice has been practiced in your tribe, and what it means to your people.” Many hands flew into the air for the first time; for the rest of that day and on into the next we heard accounts, as detailed as those in Leviticus, of sacrificial practices among the Dinka, Moru, Shilluk, Zande, and Nuer. In some cases these were based on first-hand experience; many Southern Sudanese Christians grew up in families and villages that practiced African traditional religions. In other cases the students were recounting rituals they themselves had never witnessed. The Moru, for instance, have been Christians for a century, yet Mama Ludia, a diminutive priest with wrinkled face and sparkling eyes, could speak at length about the sacrificial practices of her ancestors. This, I realized, is the power of the oral tradition in a culture that has treasured it over centuries, maybe millennia.


Even more striking to me than their detailed knowledge was the speakers’ excitement. They were drawing upon the common memories of their people, recalling ancient cultural habits that had been first transformed by European missionaries and indigenous evangelists, and then shattered entirely by the genocidal war and exile perpetrated by the Government of Sudan, with its program of militant Islamization of Southern Sudan. If the Sudanese were eager to remedy my ignorance, maybe it was because they sensed that a cultural heritage that had been despised could now be valued among us, though all of us are Christians, and none of us is interested in restoring animal sacrifice! The students spoke sensitively about elements of continuity and discontinuity between African traditional religions and Christianity, acknowledging that some practices (e.g., the use of drums) can enhance Christian worship, that some traditional notions of reverence before divinity can be useful, as long as the focus is held firmly on the true God. Listening, I realized that their process of recollection and discriminating appropriation of elements of indigenous religion might resemble the process that underlies biblical religion. For the early Israelites, many of whom likely came from Canaanite families and towns, radically separated their worship of one God from the worship of Canaanite gods, while at the same time they brought some “traditional” elements into their new faith.

Our discussion deepened my appreciation of a remark made years ago by Daniel Deng Bul, Bishop of Renk Diocese and newly elected Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan. “We live in the Old Testament,” he said of his people, explaining why he wanted me to come and teach in Renk. “Our people need to know their story.” And listening as they engage their story instructs me. Parts of the Bible that are of merely “academic” interest (if that) to my North American students become riveting when read with Sudanese students and colleagues—the lengthy descriptions of sacrifice in Leviticus being an outstanding though not isolated example.

But does this experience of studying Leviticus in Sudan have any significance beyond the interest and edification of those of us in the room? To put the question boldly: Does the 21st-century church stand to gain anything from it? Perhaps. For it challenges the assumption long established and widespread in the Western church that it is our task to teach Africans how to read the Bible with understanding and critical insight. When British missionaries began translating the Old Testament into tribal languages, they omitted Leviticus altogether—fearing that the new converts would find too much similarity between African traditional religion and biblical faith! Yet ironically, the Western church itself has produced little theological insight into that book. So I suggested at the end of our week of study that maybe it is time for Christians in Sudan to write a commentary on Leviticus, and on other books—Isaiah, Psalms—that have guided and sustained their faith through much suffering. It is time for us to begin reading the Bible through Sudanese eyes.

Imraguen, Shnagla, Ouled Ahmed ben Dahman  & Haratin 

It's interesting that in the Shnagla land one of their towns is called Akka, a name very similar to the Israelite city of Akko or Acre.

Imraguen, Shnagla, and Ouled Ahmed ben Dahman are descendants of the ancient Bafour, being the Bafours Ephraimites. Imragen are also known as Hawata & according to some Shnagla is another name, therefore they are not another people as the title suggests according to a book from 1978. The name Hawata reminds one of Hawaii.

There is a majoritarily Pashtun district called Shangla that is often mispelled as Shnagla. The Pashtuns & the Shnaglas are Israelites so it might not be a coincidence.

The oral tradition that presents the fishermen of the Mauritanian coast, the Imraguen, Shnagla, and Ouled Ahmed ben Dahman, as descendants of the ancient Bafour, corroborates al-Idrissi's account, and observers noted that they concealed their Jewish origin.


Kanuri people?

Total population 10 million (2013 estimate)

Regions with significant populations Nigeria, southeast Niger, western Chad and northern Cameroon.
Nigeria 6,980,000(2013) Does not include Mangari. Chad 1,100,000 (2013) most of which are Kanembu subgroup. Niger 850,000 (2013) Includes Mangari, Tumari, Bla Bla. Cameroon 56,000 (1982)

The Kanuri people (Kanouri, Kanowri, also Yerwa and several subgroup names) are an African ethnic group living largely in the lands of the former Kanem and Bornu Empires: Bornu state in northeastern Nigeria, southeast Niger, western Chad and northern Cameroon. Those generally termed Kanuri include several subgroups and dialect groups, some of whom feel themselves distinct from the Kanuri. Most trace their origins to ruling lineages of the medieval Kanem-Bornu Empire, its client states or provinces. In contrast to neighboring Toubou or Zaghawa pastoralists, Kanuri groups have traditionally been sedentary, engaging in farming, fishing the Lake Chad basin, and engaged in trade and salt processing.

Kanuri peoples include several subgroups, and identify by different names in some regions. The Kanuri language, which derived from Kanembu, was the major language of the Borno Empire Kanuri remains a major language in southeastern Niger, northeastern Nigeria and northern Cameroon but in Chad it is limited to handfuls of speakers in urban centers.

The largest population of Kanuri reside in the northeast corner of Nigeria, where the ceremonial Emirate of Borno traces direct descent from the Kanem-Bornu empire, founded sometime before 1000 CE. Some 3 million Kanuri speakers live in Nigeria, not including the some 200,000 speakers of the Manga or Mangari dialect. The Nga people in Bauchi State trace their origins to a Kanuri diaspora.

In southeastern Niger, where they form the majority of the sedentary population, the Kanuri are commonly called Beri Beri ( a Hausa name). The 400,000 Kanuri population in Niger includes the Manga or Mangari subgroup, numbering some 100,000 (1997) in the area east of Zinder, who regard themselves as distinct from the Beri Beri. Around 40,000 (1998) members of the Tumari subgroup, sometimes called Kanembu in Niger, are a distinct Kanuri subgroup living in the N'guigmi area, and are distinct from the Chadian Kanembu people. In the Kaour escarpment oasis of eastern Niger, the Kanuri are further divided into the Bla Bla subgroup, numbering some 20,000 (2003), and are the dominat ethnic group in the salt evaporation and trade industry of Bilma.

Kanuri speak the Kanuri language, or one of its related languages a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family. Divisions include the Manga, Tumari, and Bilma dialects of Central Kanuri, and the more distinct Kanembu language.

Inheriting the religious and cultural traditions of the Kanem-Bornu state, Kanuri peoples are predominantly Sunni Muslim.

In Chad, Kanembu speakers differentiate themselves from the large Kanuri ethnicity. The Kanembu are centered in Lac Prefecture and southern Kanem Prefecture. Although Kanuri, which derived from Kanembu, was the major language of the Borno Empire, in Chad Kanuri language speakers are limited to handfuls of speakers in urban centers. Kanuri remains a major language in southeastern Niger, northeastern Nigeria, and northern Cameroon.

In the early 1980s, the Kanembu constituted the greatest part of the population of Lac Prefecture, but some Kanembu also lived in Chari-Baguirmi Prefecture. Once the core ethnic group of the Kanem-Borno Empire, whose territories at one time included northeastern Nigeria and southern Libya, the Kanembu retain ties beyond the borders of Chad. For example, close family and commercial ties bind them with the Kanuri of northeastern Nigeria. Within Chad, many Kanembu of Lac and Kanem prefectures identify with the Alifa of Mao, the governor of the region in precolonial times.

Originally a pastoral people, the Kanuri were one of many Nilo-Saharan groups indigenous to the Central South Sahara, beginning their expansion in the area of Lake Chad in the late 7th century, and absorbing both indigenous Nilo-Saharan and Chadic (Afro-Asiatic) speakers. According to Kanuri tradition, Sef, son of Dhu Ifazan of Yemen, arrived in Kanem in the ninth century and united the population into the Sayfawa dynasty. This tradition however, is likely a product of later Islamic influence, reflecting the association with their Arabian origins in the Islamic era. Evidence of indigenous state formation in the Lake Chad area dates back to the early first century B.C. (ca. 800 B.C.) at Zilum.

Kanuri became Muslims in the 11th century, Kanem became a centre of Muslim learning and the Kanuri soon controlled all the area surrounding Lake Chad and a powerful empire called Kanem-Bornu Empire which reached its height in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when they ruled much of Middle Africa.

Following the downfall of the Kanem-Bornu Empire and the Scramble for Africa in the 19th century, the Kanuri were divided under the rule of the British, French and German African empires.


Despite the loss of the Kanuri led state, the Shehu of Borno continues as ruler Emirate or Sultanate of Borno. This traditional Kanuri/Kanembu Emirate at Borno maintains a ceremonial rule of the Kanuri people, based in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria, but acknowledged by the 4 million Kanuri in neighboring countries. The Shehu ("Sheikh") of Borno draws his authority from a state founded before 1000 CE, the Kanem-Bornu Empire. The current ruling line, the al-Kanemi dynasty, dates to the accession of Muhammad al-Amin al-Kanemi in the early 19th century, displacing the Sayfawa dynasty which had ruled from around 1300 CE. The 19th Shehu of Borno Mustapha Umar El-Kanemi, died in February 2009, and was succeeded by Alhaji Kyari Garbai.


KaNembus & KaNuris


It's interesting that the KaNembu & KaNuri peoples don't only have the root KN of CaNaan, old name of the Land of Israel, but they neighbor the Toubous. I say this because the Toubous are considered to have Israelite origin by the Havila Institute. The Havila Institute is in Brussels & it's run by the Tutsi Burundian proffesor & scholar Jonathan (Jean) Bwejeri, having himself Jewish Ethiopian Zagwe ancestry. So if the Toubous are neighbors of the KaNembus & KaNuris & their name is taken from the Holy Land they are good candidates to have Israelite origin. The languages of the three peoples are not Nilo-Saharan, but they are of the same subdivision (the Saharan), therefore very related. 

Kanembu people?

Is their entrepeneurial spirit inherited from Jewish ancestors?

The Kanembu are an ethnic group of Chad, generally considered the modern descendants of the Kanem-Borno Empire. The Kanembu number an estimated 655,000 people, located primarily in Chad's Lac Prefecture but also in Chari-Baguirmi and Kanem prefectures. They speak the Kanembu language, from which is derived the Kanuri language, with many speaking Arabic as a second language.

For over a thousand years the Kanem-Bornu Empire exerted its influence over central North Africa. Its influence covered eastern Nigeria and Niger, the northern half of Chad and Cameroon, and Libya. It traded with Egypt and sponsored Islamic schools as far as Alexandria. It's camel caravans reached the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Until the beginning of the 1900s and the French conquest of this area, the Kanem-Bornu Empire was the major power in the heart of north central Africa.

Flag of Kanem also known as Organa from Dulcerta atlas 1339


At the end of the twelfth century, the Kanembu moved into what is today Kanem Prefecture. They gradually became sedentary and established a capital at Njimi; at the same time, they continued to expand militarily establishing the Kanem Empire. The peak of this early kingdom came with the rule of Mai (King) Dunama Dabbalemi of the Sayfawa dynasty, who reigned from 1221 to 1259. He was the first of the Kanembu to convert to Islam and he declared jihad against the surrounding tribes and initiated an extended period of conquest. After consolidating their territory around Lake Chad they struck north at the Fezzan and west at the Hausa lands.

By the end of the fourteenth century, however, internal division had severely weakened the Kanem empire, forcing the Sayfawa dynasty to relocate to Borno on the western shore of Lake Chad. The intermarriage of the Kanem with the local people of this area created a new ethnic group, the Kanuri; the Kanembu retain close family ties with the Kanuri to this day.

Today the Kanembu people are one group of the descendants of this once great empire, and their sultans and traditional rulers are still more influential than government authorities. Along with the related language group Kanuri, they make up the majority population found in a band between the northern shores of Lake Chad and the Sahara Desert. Living in mud brick houses, their culture, and clothing much the same as in ancient times.

The Kanembu are Chad's merchant tribe. 75 to 80% of all merchants in Chad are Kanembu, making them, in a relative way, one of Chad's wealthiest groups. They are a sedentary group who also engage in agriculture and raising livestock. Wheat, millet and corn are raised near the lake, but with the country being landlocked and having a poor road system, little agricultural trade has developed. Living on the edge of the Sahara, famine is also a frequent threat with rain only coming during July, August and part of September.


For most of its history the Kanem-Bornu Empire has been Muslim, adhering to the laws of Islam. Today, this has mixed with traditional African beliefs and has become a ritual conformity to Islamic worship, but depending on spiritism to meet daily problems. Men, women, and especially infants can be seen wearing small leather pouches or amulets containing special verses of the Koran or cowry shells to ward off evil. Marabous, spiritual teachers, are often sought for their healing power or for their ability to communicate with the spirits.

Ashanti Empire

The Ashanti (or Asante) Empire (or Confederacy), also Asanteman (1701–1957), was a West Africa sovereign state of the ethnic Akan people of Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central region, Eastern region, Greater Accra region and Western region, currently South Ghana. The Ashanti (or Asantefo) are of Akan origin. They are a martial and highly disciplined society of West Africa inhabiting an area known as "Akanland". They used their military power, which came from effective strategy and an early adoption of European firearms, to create an empire that stretched from central Ghana to present-day Benin and Ivory Coast, bordered by the Dagomba kingdom to the north and Dahomey to the east. Due to the empire's military prowess, wealth, architecture, sophisticated hierarchy and culture, the Ashanti empire was studied and had one of the largest historiographies by European, primarily British, sources of any indigenous Sub-Saharan African political entity.


                                                          Map of the Kingdom of Ashanti

From the 17th century AD, Asanteman king Osei Tutu (c. 1695 – 1717), along with Okomfo Anokye, established the Kingdom of Asanteman, with the Golden Stool of Asante as a singular unifying symbol. Osei Tutu engaged in a massive Asante territorial expansion. He built up the army based on introducing new organization and turning a disciplined royal and paramilitary army into an effective fighting machine. In 1701, the Asanteman army conquered Denkyira, giving the Ashanti access to the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean coastal trade with Europeans, notably the Dutch. King Opoku Ware I (1720 – 1745) engaged in further Akan territorial expansion, and king Kusi Obodom (1750 – 1764) succeeded king Opoku Ware I. Asante king Osei Kwadwo (1764 – 1777) imposed administrative reforms that allowed Asanteman to be governed effectively. King Osei Kwame Panyin (1777 – 1803), and King Osei Tutu Kwame (1804 – 1824) continued Asanteman territorial consolidation.

Asanteman is the location of Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana's only natural lake. The state's current economic revenue is derived mainly from trading in gold bars, cocoa, kola nuts and agriculture; clearing forest to plant cassava, maize and yams.

Today the Ashanti monarchy continues as a constitutionally protected, sub-nation state and traditional state within Ghana. The current king of Asanteman is Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Asantehene.

Asanteman is the Akan translation of the Asante Kingdom, from Asante aman (ɔman) ("Asante land, nation and state").

Legal system
The Ashanti state, in effect, was a theocracy. It invokes religious, rather than secular-legal postulates. What the modern state views as crimes, Ashanti view as sins. Antisocial acts disrespect the ancestors, and are only secondarily harmful to the community. If the chief or King fails to punish such acts, he invokes the anger of the ancestors, and is therefore in danger of impeachment. The penalty for some crimes (sins) is death, but this is seldom imposed; a more common penalty is banishment or imprisonment.

The King typically exacts or commutes all capital cases. These commuted sentences by King and chiefs sometimes occur by ransom or bribe; they are regulated in such a way that they should not be mistaken for fines, but are considered as revenue to the state, which for the most part welcomes quarrels and litigation. Commutations tend to be far more frequent than executions.

Ashanti are repulsed by murder, and suicide is considered murder. They decapitate those who commit suicide, the conventional punishment for murder. The suicide thus had contempt for the court, for only the King may kill an Ashanti.

In a murder trial, intent must be established. If the homicide is accidental, the murderer pays compensation to the lineage of the deceased. The insane cannot be executed because of the absence of responsible intent - except for murder or cursing the King; in the case of cursing the king, drunkenness is a valid defense. Capital crimes include murder, incest within the female or male line, and intercourse with a menstruating woman, rape of a married woman, and adultery with any of the wives of a chief or the King. Assaults or insults of a chief or the court or the King also carried capital punishment.

Cursing the King, calling down powers to harm the King, is considered an unspeakable act and carries the weight of death. One who invokes another to commit such an act must pay a heavy indemnity. Practitioners of sorcery and witchcraft receive death but not by decapitation, for their blood must not be shed. They receive execution by strangling, burning, or drowning.

Ancestor Veneration establishes the Ashanti moral system, and it provides the principal foundation for governmental sanctions. The link between mother and child centers the entire network, which includes ancestors and fellow men as well. Its judicial system emphasizes the Ashanti conception of rectitude and good behavior, which favors harmony among the people. The rules were made by Nyame (God) and the ancestors, and one must behave accordingly.

Geography
The Ashanti Empire was one of a series of kingdoms along the coast including Dahomey, Benin, and Oyo. All of these states were based on trade, especially gold, ivory, and slaves, which were sold to first Portuguese and later Dutch and British traders.

Asanteman had mountains and large agricultural surpluses. The southern part of Asanteman is covered with moist semi-deciduous forest whilst the Guinea savanna covers the northern part of Asanteman. The Guinea Savanna consists of short deciduous and fire resistant trees. Riparian forests also occur along the Afram River and streams of the savanna zone. Soils in Asanteman are mainly of two types, forest ochrosols in southern Asanteman whilst the savanna ochrosols are confined to northern Asanteman.

The predominant fauna or food rich wildlife and animal species encountered in Asanteman were the hen, chicken, sheep, goat, duck, turkey, rabbit, guinea fowl, fish, and the porcupine national symbol of Asanteman, as well as about thirty multipurpose flora species of trees and shrubs and over thirty-five ornamental plants beautifying the Asanteman environs. These tree/shrub-crop-animal (hen/fish) components were intensively integrated spatially and/or sequentially on the same land unit of individual Asante houses.

Resources
The lands within Asanteman were also rich in river-gold, cocoa and kola nuts, and the Ashanti were soon trading with the Portuguese at coastal fort Sao Jorge da Mina, later Elmina, the Songhai, and with the Hausa states.

The Ashanti prepared the fields by burning before the onset of the rainy season and cultivated with an iron hoe. Fields are left fallow for a couple years, usually after two to four years of cultivation. Plants cultivated include plantains, yams, manioc, corn, sweet potatoes, millet, beans, onions, peanuts, tomatoes, and many fruits. Manioc and corn are New World transplants introduced during the Atlantic European trade. Many of these vegetable crops could be harvested twice a year and the cassava (manioc), after a two-year growth, provides a starchy root. The Ashanti transformed palm wine, maize and millet into beer, a favorite drink; and made use of the oil from palm for many culinary and domestic uses.

Infrastructure
Infrastructure such as road transport and communication throughout Asanteman was maintained via a network of well-kept roads from Asanteman to the Niger river and linking together other trade cities.

Communication in Asanteman
The Ashanti invented the Fontomfrom, an Asante talking drum, and they also invented the Akan Drum. They drummed messages to the extents of over 200 miles (321.8 kilometers), as rapidly as a telegraph. Akan and Asante dialect (Twi), the language of the Akan Ashanti is tonal and more meaning is generated by tone.



The drums reproduced these tones, punctuations, and the accents of a phrase so that the cultivated ear hears the entirety of the phrase itself.

The Ashanti readily heard and understood the phrases produced by these “talking drums.” Standard phrases called for meetings of the chiefs or to arms, warned of danger, and broadcast announcements of the death of important figures. Some drums were used for proverbs and ceremonial presentations.

Demography
The population history of Asanteman was one of slow centralization. In the early 19th century the Asantehene used the annual tribute to set up a permanent standing army armed with rifles, which allowed much closer control of Asanteman. Despite still being called a confederacy it was one of the most centralised states in sub-Saharan Africa. Osei Tutu and his successors oversaw a policy of political and cultural unification and the union had reached its full extent by 1750. It remained an alliance of several large city-states which acknowledged the sovereignty of the ruler of Kumasi and Asanteman, known as the Asantehene. Asanteman had dense populations, allowing the creation of substantial urban centres. By 1874, the Ashanti controlled over 250,000 square kilometers while ruling approximately 3 million people.

Police and military
The Asantehene inherited his position from his queen mother, and he was assisted at the capital, Kumasi, by a civil service of men talented in trade, diplomacy, and the military, with a head called the Gyaasehene. Men from the Arabian Peninsula, Sudan, and Europe were employed in Asanteman civil service, all of them appointed by the Asantehene. At the capital, Kumasi and in other Asanteman towns, the ankobia or special police were used as Asanteman special forces and bodyguards to the Asantehene, as sources of Asanteman intelligence, and to suppress rebellion. For most of the 19th century and into the 20th century, the Asanteman sovereign state remained powerful.

The Ashanti military
The Ashanti armies served the empire well, supporting its long period of expansion and subsequent resistance to European colonization.

Armament was primarily with firearms, but some historians hold that indigenous organization and leadership probably played a more crucial role in Ashanti successes. These are, perhaps, more significant when considering that the Ashanti had numerous troops from conquered or incorporated peoples, and faced a number of revolts and rebellions from these peoples over its long history. The political genius of the symbolic "golden stool" and the fusing effect of a national army however, provided the unity needed to keep the empire viable. Total potential strength was some 80,000 to 200,000 making the Ashanti army bigger than the better known Zulu, comparable to Africa's largest- the legions of Ethiopia. 


                                                    The breastplate & fringes could be Jewish

The Ashanti army was described as a fiercely organized one whose king could "bring 200,000 men into the field and whose warriors were evidently not cowed by Snider rifles and 7-pounder guns" While actual forces deployed in the field were less than potential strength, tens of thousands of soldiers were usually available to serve the needs of the empire. Mobilization depended on small cadres of regulars, who guided and directed levees and contingents called up from provincial governors. Organization was structured around an advance guard, main body, rear guard and two right and left wing flanking elements. This provided flexibility in the forest country the Ashanti armies typically operated in. The approach to the battlefield was typically via converging columns, and tactics included ambushes and extensive maneuvers on the wings. Unique among African armies, the Ashanti deployed medical units to support their fighters. This force was to expand the empire substantially and continually for over a century, and defeated the British in several encounters.-

Wars of the Asante
From 1806 until 1896, the Asanteman was in a perpetual state of war involving expansion or defense of its domain. The Ashantis exploits against other African forces made it the paramount power in the region. Its impressive performance against the British also earned it the respect of European powers.

Asante-Fante War
In 1806, the Ashanti pursued two rebel leaders through Fante territory to the coast. The British refusal to surrender the rebels led to an Ashanti attack. This was devastating enough that the British handed over a rebel; the other escaped. In 1807 disputes with the Fante led to the Ashanti–Fante War, in which the Ashanti were victorious under Asantehene Osei Bonsu ("Osei the whale").

Ga-Fante War
In the 1811 Ga–Fante War, a coalition of Asante and Ga fought against an alliance of Fante, Akwapim and Akim states. The Asante war machine was successful early on defeating the alliance in open combat. However, Asante were unable to completely crush their enemies and were forced to withdraw from the Akwapim hills in the face of unconventional warfare. They did, however, manage to capture a British fort.

Ashanti-Akim-Akwapim War
In 1814 the Ashanti launched an invasion of the Gold Coast, largely to gain access to European traders. In the Ashanti–Akim–Akwapim War, the kingdom faced the Akim-Akwapim alliance. After several battles, some of which went in favor of the Asante and, some of which went in favor of the out numbered Akim-Akwapim alliance the war ended. Even though the outnumbered Akim-Akwapim won some key battles and had moments of glory by 1816, Asanteman was established on the coast.

Anglo-Ashanti Wars

First Anglo-Ashanti War
The first of the Anglo-Ashanti wars occurred in 1823. In these conflicts, Asanteman faced off, with varying degrees of success, against the British Empire residing on the coast. The root of the conflict traces back to 1823 when Sir Charles MacCarthy, resisting all overtures by the Ashanti to negotiate, led an invading force. The Ashanti defeated this, killed MacCarthy, took his head for a trophy and swept on to the coast. However, disease forced them back. The Ashanti were so successful in subsequent fighting that in 1826 they again moved on the coast. At first they fought very impressively in an open battle against superior numbers of British allied forces, including Denkyirans. However, the novelty of British rockets caused the Ashanti army to withdraw. In 1831, a treaty led to 30 years of peace, with the Pra River accepted as the border.

Second Anglo-Ashanti War
With the exception of a few Ashanti light skirmishes across the Pra in 1853 and 1854, the peace between Asanteman and the British Empire had remained unbroken for over 30 years. Then, in 1863, a large Ashanti delegation crossed the river pursuing a fugitive, Kwesi Gyana. There was fighting, casualties on both sides, but the governor's request for troops from England was declined and sickness forced the withdrawal of his West Indian troops. The war ended in 1864 as a stalemate with both sides losing more men to sickness than any other factor.

Third Anglo-Ashanti War
In 1869 a European missionary family was taken to Kumasi. They were hospitably welcomed and were used as an excuse for war in 1873. Also, Britain took control of Ashanti land claimed by the Dutch. The Ashanti invaded the new British protectorate. General Wolseley and his famous Wolseley ring were sent against the Ashanti. This was a modern war, replete with press coverage (including by the renowned reporter Henry Morton Stanley) and printed precise military and medical instructions to the troops. The British government refused appeals to interfere with British armaments manufacturers who were unrestrained in selling to both sides.

All Ashanti attempts at negotiations were disregarded. Wolseley led 2,500 British troops and several thousand West Indian and African troops to Kumasi. The capital was briefly occupied. The British were impressed by the size of the palace and the scope of its contents, including "rows of books in many languages." The Ashanti had abandoned the capital after a bloody war. The British burned it.

In the end the British and their allies suffered considerable casualties in the war losing numerous soldiers and high ranking army officers. but, in the end the firepower was too much to overcome for the Ashanti. The Asantehene (the king of the Ashanti) signed a British treaty on July 1874 to end the war.

Fourth Anglo-Ashanti War
In 1895, the Ashanti turned down an unofficial offer to become a British protectorate.

Asanteman wanting to keep French and European colonial forces out of Asanteman territory (and its gold), the British were anxious to conquer Asanteman once and for all. Despite being in talks with the kingdom about making it a British protectorate, Britain began the Fourth Anglo-Ashanti War in 1895 on the pretext of failure to pay the fines levied on the Asante monarch after the 1874 war. The British were victorious and Asanteman was forced to sign a treaty.




Culture and society

Family

Standing among families was largely political. The royal family typically tops the hierarchy, followed by the families of the chiefs of territorial divisions. In each chiefdom, a particular female line provides the chief. A committee from among several men eligible for the post elects that chief.

Education and children
Education in Asanteman was conducted by Asante and imported scholars and Ashanti people would often attend schools in Europe for their higher education.

Tolerant parents are typical among the Ashanti. Childhood is considered a happy time and children cannot be responsible for their actions. The child is not responsible for their actions until after puberty. A child is harmless and there is no worry for the control of its soul, the original purpose of all funeral rites, so the ritual funerals typically given to the deceased Ashanti are not as lavish for the children.

The Ashanti adored twins when they were born within the royal family because they were seen as a sign of impending fortune. Ordinarily, boy twins from outside of it became fly switchers at court and twin girls potential wives of the King. If the twins are a boy and girl, no particular career awaits them. Women who bear triplets are greatly honored because three is regarded as a lucky number. Special rituals ensue for the third, sixth, and ninth child. The fifth child (unlucky five) can expect misfortune. Families with many children are well respected and barren women scoffed at.
           Asanteman traditional priest of the Ashanti in performing an Akan religious ceremony, c. 1873.

Menstruation and impurity (many Ahanti traditions like the menstruation have clear Israelite origin)
The Ashanti held puberty rites only for females. Fathers instruct their sons without public observance. The privacy of boys was respected in the Ashanti kingdom. As menstruation approaches, a girl goes to her mother's house. When the girl's menstruation is disclosed, the mother announces the good news in the village beating an iron hoe with a stone. Old women come out and sing Bara (menstrual) songs.

The mother spills a libation of palm wine on the earth and recites the following prayer: “Supreme Sky God, who alone is great, Upon whom men lean and do not fall, Receive this wine and drink." "Earth Goddess, whose day Of worship is Thursday, Receive this wine and drink, Spirit of our ancestors, Receive this wine and drink" "O Spirit Mother do not come, And take her away, And do not permit her, To menstruate only to die.”

Healthcare and death in Asanteman
Sickness and death are major events in the kingdom. The ordinary herbalist divined the supernatural cause of the illness and treated it with herbal medicines.

If the patient fails to respond to medicine, the family performed the last rites. Then a member of the family poured water down the throat of the dying person when it is believed the soul is leaving the body recite the following prayer: Your abusua [naming them] say: Receive this water and drink, and do not permit any evil to come whence you are setting out, and permit all the women of the household to bear children.



People loathed being alone for long without someone available to perform this rite before the sick collapsed. The family washes the corpse, dresses it in its best clothes, and adorns it with packets of gold dust (money for the after-life), ornaments, and food for the journey "up the hill". The body was normally buried within 24 hours. Until that time the funeral party engage in dancing, drumming, shooting of guns, and much drunkenness, all accompanied by the wailing of relatives. This was done because the Ashanti typically believed that death was not something to be sad about, but rather a part of life. Of course, funeral rites for the death of a king involve the whole kingdom and are a much more elaborate affair.

Ceremonial in Asanteman

The greatest and most frequent ceremonies of the Ashanti recalled the spirits of departed rulers with an offering of food and drink, asking their favor for the common good, called the Adae. The day before the Adae, Akan drums broadcast the approaching ceremonies. The stool treasurer gathers sheep and liquor that will be offered. The chief priest officiates the Adae in the stool house where the ancestors came. The priest offers each food and a beverage. The public ceremony occurs outdoors, where all the people joined the dancing. Minstrels chant ritual phrases; the talking drums extol the chief and the ancestors in traditional phrases. The Odwera, the other large ceremony, occurs in September and typically lasted for a week or two. It is a time of cleansing of sin from society the defilement, and for the purification of shrines of ancestors and gods. After the sacrifice and feast of a black hen—of which both the living and the dead share, a new year begins in which all were clean, strong, and healthy.

I'm sure, Igbo are Descendants of the Jews

He may not be a genealogist, but Noam Katz, Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, strongly believes that there are some common cultures and customs that bond the Igbo with Israel. He also identified with the belief that Igbo are descendants of the Jews. 

Katz told Sunday Sun in Abuja:“I’m aware and sure that we have unique traditions, culture and strong bonds that link us to the Igbo people. It has been proved that these unique bonds are helping in creating ties between us. There are some traditions that the two peoples have in common. I was told by some Igbo friends about common cultures and customs that we have together, some linguistic connections between Hebrew and Igbo.”

Katz started his education in Jerusalem after his military services as required in Israel for every citizen to serve in the Army.

He rose to the rank of Major, went to the university and became a teacher in a high school. He later joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and started as a cadet. So far he has been to Nigeria twice.

Forty-year-old envoy who is in Nigeria for the second time can hardly hide his love for the country: "I love Nigeria. I am very happy to be here in Nigeria. Nigeria was the first country that I served abroad. It’s like first love, you know you never forget your first love. I found the people of Nigeria very warm, cordial and friendly with a great sense of humour.” 

Reflecting on his first time in Nigeria, Katz said a lot has changed: "The political atmosphere is different. There is no longer military dictatorship. This has brought Nigeria back to the family of democratic nations. It has brought Nigeria back to its right position in the international arena and specifically, Africa.”

While advising Nigerians to take full advantage of of the new order, the envoy said: “Nigerians should work hard for the success of democracy and for the success of the Nigerian economy, for the welfare of the Nigerian people and also for the integration of Nigeria as a leading country in the world."

On his country’s relation with Nigeria, Katz observes: "We started diplomatic relations in 1992 and since then we can see a lot of progress which are beneficial to both sides.

We have sent thousands of Nigeria to be trained in Israel in specific areas where we have advantages. We do programmes here in Nigeria in agriculture, medicine, human enterprises, human development, education and many others. There are more than 50 Israeli companies in Nigeria, in constructions, communications, agriculture and many other fields. 

“We recently had a very intensive programme in Minna, where we did dairy cattle course and seminar for people. The idea was to train Nigerians on the most sophisticated updated technologies and methods. We are also considering medical project in some states. We have just concluded a working visit in Abia State which was to explore areas of possible corporation. And it has some very positive results which I hope we will be able to promote later in the year.”

Genesis chapter 46 Vs. 16 state clearly the origin of the Igbo nation. Jacob was the father of Gad who was his eleventh son. And Eri the fifth son of Gad founded the Igbo nation. Gad had the following seven children, Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi and Areli.

In Anambra State, Aguata Local Government Area to be precise, a town called Ora-Eri was said to have hosted Eri and his group. On arrival, they came with the Hebrew symbol an artifact which was discovered by Professor Shaw in Igbo-Ukwu about 26 years ago. The age of that Hebrew symbol was put at 1800 years both in the surface and on the ground from the date of its discovery.


From what I understand, only Ethiopians and people from Northwest Cameroon share any type of history with the Jews. 

The Ashanti of Ghana

The Ashanti, the predominate tribe in Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast is predominately believed to have come from North Africa and many fingers point to Egypt or Assyria.  It has been pointed out by the first white men that came to Ghana and met the Ashanti noted the Egyptian like architecture and design, but just as equally some of these so called Egyptian and or Assyrian traits could also point to a Hebraic origin. For Israel was captive in both places and left an indelible mark on both as well as a little Egyptian and Assyrian influence rubbed off somewhat on Israel. Also noted by such men was the Semitic or Arabic appearance (facial features) of the Ashanti as well as the reddish hue to their brown skin, which is also an Igbo trait.

Some believe and has voiced that the Ashanti may be related to the Yoruba and if so, no wonder they have things in common with the Igbo because the father of the Yoruba people was a traveling companion to Eri, the father of the Igbo people. Both the Igbo and the Ashanti holy men cover themselves in white chalk.

African tribal names usually mean, “The People of…” The name Ashanti may come from the Hebrew word “Ashan” meaning, “smoke” which is usually used in the context of the destruction of a city and may hint of the destruction of Israel by the Babylonian and Assyrian exiles or even the Roman ransacking of Israel. There was indeed a town in Judea called Ashan (I Chron. 6:59) corresponding to Joshua 21:6 where the word Ain according to the Jewish Encyclopedia may be a corruption or variant of Ashan. If this all be true it would mean the Ashanti may possibly predominately be Jews (Judah) Levites, Simeonites and Benjamites. 

But much of this is still very circumstantial and possibly coincidental, though I myself am not a huge believer in coincidence. Are there more substantial links the Ashanti have with Israel?  

The Evidences

Briefly, few striking Hebraic traits that are attributed to the Ashanti are morning baths in the river which is much like mikvah’s (ritual baths/cleansings) by the Jews. Their sanitations laws closely mirror that of what is written in the Torah. They were originally a pastoral people until they were forced to move into the bush, which is similar to what has happened to the Igbos. The selling of prisoners of war as slaves or the enslavement of their fellow man in order to pay off a debt as it is found in the Torah, the five Books of Moses. Also when one dies, the place in which a person has expired is cleansed and locked up for nine days, which is  like how in Leviticus 14 a room is shut up for seven days. They never fought on Saturday (Sabbath) they started their calendar in the fall like Jews and Hebrews. The Ashanti society is a Patriarchal one. There is a stool of authority which is uncannily similar to that of what is called in synagogues as the Seat of Moses and the Chair of Elijah. They practice intra-tribal marriages (Num. 36:5-12). They also had cross-cousin marriages (Num. 36:11-12). The preservation of the family line is of the utmost importance and it is considered a curse if a line dies out or if a woman is infertile, miscarries or a man dies with no sons. This is a very Hebraic trait, for we see the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Scripture struggled with infertility and the Patriarchs often pleaded to God for sons. So in Israel, the preservation and perpetuation of the family line was very important to them as it is with the Ashanti. The whole process of the rituals and customs surrounding marriage is much like that of How Isaac married Rebecca (Gen. 24), insomuch as we even find a post Temple tradition; a cup of wine is given to the contracting familial parties and the drained cup is then smashed under the feet of the groom. This seems to indicate that if the Ahsanti are indeed Israelites, they come from the post second Temple era, and the Babylonian and Assyrian exile era. An Ashanti mother is separated and considered unclean 8 days after child birth and it is on the eighth day that the child is thus named (Lev. 15:19-29), all as we see are Hebraic customs and laws. Joseph J. Williams, S.J, PH.D, Litt.D. author of “Hebrewisms of West Africa” cites many more evidences, but has an interesting piece on how the Ashanti language is very similar to that of Hebrew and even how the name of their Chief Deity is a corrupted variant of the Hebrew Yahweh (pg. 56-60, 74-76). His book is definitely worthy of a read for more extensive information on the Ashanti. An Ashanti Herald wears a monkey skin cap, which is reminiscent of a Jewish yarmulke or kippah (skull cap). 


Some argue that because they do not circumcise they cannot be of Hebraic descent, but Moses did not circumcise his son until God forced his hand and there was a time in the wilderness when Israel stopped circumcisions for a time. Such a ritual can become easily lost due to wanderings and the distance of time, from ones people and into that of another land and culture. Having the naming ceremony on the 8th day seems to be a hint that they used to circumcise their male infants. 



Though other gods were recognized in Ashanti religion there was recognized a Supreme Deity called Nyame who was in character much like the Yahweh of the Hebrews. The Ashanti Priesthood had a turban with a circular metal piece very much like the Levitical priesthood that read “Holy unto YHWH.” Not only that, but that had a square, 12 sectioned breastplate, similar to that which was worn by the Levitical priests! The Ashanti priests have a common saying regarding Nyame, “No priest may look upon the face of his God and live.” We find this almost verbatim in Exd. 33:20. It was not forbidden to say God’s Name as it became post Babylonian exile, which could indicate that if the Ashanti are Hebrews/Jews/Israelites, they came to Africa before or during the Babylonian Captivity! 

The altar of Nyame is like that of a Hebrew altar, four cornered with a horn protrusion going slightly inward. 

As I have noted with the Igbos, paganism is actually an indicator that an African tribe, coupled with other evidences may indicate that they are indeed Hebrews/Jews/Israelites. Why? Because in both the Igbo and Ashanti they not only worshiped a Supreme Deity, the lower gods under Him was sometimes seem more as ambassadors or manifestations of the One Supreme Being and or His attributes, and admittedly some were separate gods in and of themselves, but this should not concern us or surprise us, because Israel worshiped YHWH but in their depravity which caused them to be taken by Babylon and Assyria and dispersed, they worshipped the Canaanite gods of the neighboring peoples.  

The greatest of Ashanti gods that was said to walk the earth and be the son of the Supreme Deity is Ta Kora, a type of redeemer which is uncannily similar to the personage of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.  

The Ashanti as has been said, starts its year in the fall as do the Jews and has a New Year and harvest festival much like that of the Jewish Rosh Hashanah/Yom Teruah (New Year/Feast of Trumpets, Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), there is even a libation ceremony like was done in Yeshua’s day in the Temple, once again possibly indicating that if the Ashanti are Jews/Hebrews/Israelite they likely came to Africa after the Temple was destroyed. 

The Ashanti has elephant tusk horns that resemble the shofarim (ram’s horns) blown in Judaism. 

There is also a type of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonements) in which the whole nation; land and people, goes through a cleansing and purification ceremony. 

A Growing Community Of Jews In Nigeria

Nigeria is about half Muslim and half Christian. Animism is practiced as well. But now, thousand of Igbos – an ethnic group of southeastern Nigeria – have adopted Judaism.

In his book, “Jews of Nigeria: An Afro-Judaic Odyssey,” Miles shares life stories from the community, as well as his own experiences, as he celebrates Hanukkah and a Bar Mitzvah with “Jubos” in Abuja.

Interview Highlights
How large is Nigeria’s Jewish community?



“The definition of what is a Jew is a very complex one. It’s complex in Israel, it’s complex in the diaspora, and it’s complex in the Nigerian diaspora as well. So depending on how rigorous a definition one wants to use, one is either in the lower thousands, or if you want to follow the more expansive Nigerian newspaper number, you can see figures up to 50,000. I’m actually more conservative and I tend to stay with the smaller thousands, in terms of a good number, although numbers are hard to come by.”

How did this group of Nigerians become Jewish?

“Through a history of colonialism and proselytisation through Christian missionaries. Most Igbos became Christian. Some of them in the 1970s, 1980s, were proselytized – from the United States, actually – by what in the American setting would be often called Jews for Jesus, what in Nigeria they still call Messianic. Now, having practiced Messianic Judaism for many years, which is all of the customs and the practices of Judaism – Sabbath, prayer on Saturdays, wearing of the tallit, the prayer shawl – but they also believed in Jesus, which for normative Judaism, regular Judaism, just doesn’t fit. And after some years of questioning – because Nigerians are really religious people, they take religion seriously, they go to bed thinking about it – some of them started to say, ‘this doesn’t compute. If we’re supposed to believe in one God, then this theology of a son of God in addition to God doesn’t make sense.’ And then the Internet arose and they were exposed for the first time to world global Judaism.”

The world’s first “Internet Jews”

“They had exposure to Hebrew language, to how Jewish ritual is practiced throughout the world. The Internet arrived in Nigeria at the same time that many of these Igbos were breaking away from Messianic Judaism, as they thought of it, and were able to learn and had this great access to whatever is out on the Internet. And everything is out on the Internet! Including Rabbinic Judaism.”

A very close observance of Judaism


“Most Jews in America were born into it, didn’t have much of a choice. And they practice in very varying degrees of religiosity and observance and worship. But the Jews of Nigeria have chosen not only to believe something that other Nigerians don’t believe, but to live their lives in a Jewish way. They want to be – and they are – as authentic as they can be. So that whereas for even observant Jews in the United States, much of it is confined to what they do in the home or on Saturday on the Shabbat, there they try to live the entire day and the entire week by calling each other on the cell phone with ‘shalom,’ with prayers throughout the day, with constant reminders of this special – for the Nigerian context – religion that they have chosen.”

African Hebraism

All throughout Africa the Children of Israel have been scattered. 

Any serious student of Biblical History will know about Babylonian and Assyrian Captivities respectively and they will tell you that after King Solomon, Israel split into two kingdoms; the Northern Kingdom called Israel, made up of what are now known as the Lost Ten Tribes and the Southern Kingdom of Judah, comprised of mainly three tribes; Judah, Levi and Benjamin. The Southern Kingdom of Judah was carted off into Babylonian captivity in three waves 597, 587 and 581 B.C. The Biblical Book of Daniel was partially about the Babylonian captivity and Nehemiah and Ezra was written about Judah returning to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity (538 B.C.) 70 years after they were first carted off into exile.

The Northern Kingdom of Israel sometime referred to as the House of Ephraim, went into Assyrian captivity under Tiglath-Pileser 732 B.C. (II Kings 17) Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh were taken away into Mesopotamia and in 722 B.C. (I Chron. 5:25-26) the remaining tribes were taken captive and exiled by the hands of the Assyrians but unlike Judah, Israel’s captivity never ended and as a result, until this day, the 10 Tribes of Israel have been scattered worldwide and have faded into the landscape and peoples of the nations of the world, lost their Hebraic identity and for all intents and purposes are  living as Gentiles. And so the 10 Israeli Tribes have been lost to the eyes of man, but not the eyes of GOD.

Actually time relative to creation 2000 years is not that great amount of time and it has only been 2000 years since we lost track of where the 10 Tribes ended up. Because Ya’akov (James), the Jewish leader of the Messianic/Natsari Movement in the 1st century and half-brother of Messiah Yeshua addressed his letter found in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) “to the twelve tribes scattered abroad… (James 1:1b)”

Seeing as we know that the people we recognize worldwide as Jews today, whether they live in Israel, North America or elsewhere are descendants of those taken into the Babylonian captivity and choose to return. Meaning some of Judah, Benjamin and Levi stayed behind and living in Babylon (Ezra 1:5, 2:1) the reason for the census’ in Ezra and Nehemiah to show who left Babylon to return to Jerusalem. Those who stayed behind in Babylon created a great center of Jewish learning which produced the Babylonian Talmud. It is safe to say some Jews/Judeans wound up in both captivities, were scattered and lost as the 10 Tribes were due to the Assyrian captivity.

The Prophets tell us that an end time Exodus will occur for the 10 Tribes lost to the Assyrian captivity.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. - Jer. 16:14-16

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. – Isa. 11:11

This will be done with great pomp and circumstance with help from the Gentiles.

Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. – Isa. 49:22-23

Some of these 10 Tribes eventually ended up in Africa.

From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. – Zeph. 3:10 

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. – Isa. 11:11

Cush is an ancient name for Africa, specifically Ethiopia.

And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. – Gen. 2:13 (KJV)

The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. – Gen. 2:13 (NIV)

Jeremiah 16:14-15 and Zephaniah 3:10 coupled together speak of Assyrian captives taken to all four corners of the globe, “North” (Jer. 16:14-15) and “South” (Cush/Ethiopia) Zeph. 3:10 and all over the world, “and from all the lands whither he had driven them (Jer. 16:14-16).”

Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. – Jer. 16:16 

This prophecies’ that the LORD YHWH Himself will call His people to hunt and “FISH” for the Lost Tribes. What was one of the objectives of Yeshua (Jesus) and His Talmidim (Disciples)? 

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. – Matt. 4:18-20

And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. – Mark 1:17

These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. – Matt. 10:5-7


Clearly Yeshua wanted His Disciples to hunt for sheep and fish for men. Specifically hunt for the lost sheep of the House of Israel and fish for the 10 Tribes of Israel. And when Yeshua sent His Talmidim out to hunt and fish for these Israelite Tribes, they knew where to find them because Yeshua’s half-brother Ya’akov (James) knew where they were (James 1:1b).

Finding the Lost Tribe of Gad

Eri son of Gad

The following are verses which mention Gad and the sons and descendants of Gad.

Gen. 46:16 And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.

Jasher 59:14 And the sons of Gad were Ziphion, Chaggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi and Areli.

Here are the meanings of the names of the seven sons of Gad in order of their birth:

1 (G-d/Unity). Ziphion: Watchtower   
2 (House/Couple). Haggi: Holiday, Celebration, Feast Day
3 (Family/Tri-unity of G-d). Shuni: Seashore or Harbor
4 (Four Directions). Ezbon: Wild Rosebush
5 (Law and Grace). Eri: My Guardian
6 (Man power). Arodi: Bronze
7 (Perfection/Completion). Areli: Messenger and or Lion of God

Gen. 49:19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.

Num. 2:14 Then the tribe of Gad: and the captain of the sons of Gad [shall be] Eliasaph the son of Reuel. (Also rendered Eliasaph the son of Deuel in Numbers 1:14, 7:42, 10:20; a possible scribal error as a Resh and Dalet in Hebrew could easily be mistaken if not written correctly)

Num. 13:15 Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi.

Num. 26:15-18 The children of Gad after their families: of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites: of Haggi, the family of the Haggites: of Shuni, the family of the Shunites: Of Ozni (Ezbon), the family of the Oznites: of Eri, the family of the Erites: Of Arod (Arodi), the family of the Arodites: of Areli, the family of the Arelites. These are the families of the children of Gad according to those that were numbered of them, forty thousand and five hundred. 

Num. 32:34-36 And the children of Gad built Dibon, and Ataroth, and Aroer, And Atroth, Shophan, and Jaazer, and Jogbehah, And Bethnimrah, and Bethharan, fenced cities: and folds for sheep. 

Rev. 7:5 … Of the tribe of Gad [were] sealed twelve thousand.

Ya’akov (Jacob) prophetically blessed the children of Gad.

GAD’S SONS ERI, ARELI AND ARODI

In Genesis 46:16 we read that three of the sons of Gad are named Eri, Areli and Arodi.

As stated earlier…

Num. 26:1-4, 15-18 And it came to pass after the plague, that the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying, Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, throughout their fathers' house, all that are able to go to war in Israel. And Moses and Eleazar the priest spake with them in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, Take the sum of the people, from twenty years old and upward; as the LORD commanded Moses and the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt… The children of Gad after their families: of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites: of Haggi, the family of the Haggites: of Shuni, the family of the Shunites: Of Ozni (Ezbon), the family of the Oznites (Ezbonites): of Eri, the family of the Erites: Of Arod, the family of the Arodites: of Areli, the family of the Arelites. These are the families of the children of Gad according to those that were numbered of them, forty thousand and five hundred. 

These verses tells us that at least a portion of all of Gad’s sons left with Moses and the rest of the children of Israel during the Exodus, despite the legend of a pre-exodus-exodus from Egypt by Gad’s son Eri, Areli and Arodi.

The legend and oral tradition goes that while in Egypt living among many other nations who also resided there to escape the famine that a portion of Gad’s son Eri, his younger brothers Areli and Arodi, along with Eri’s wife, Ishamal and other relatives Ijaw (believed possibly to be an offspring of Zebulun), Edo, Igala, Idoma (Possibly and likely descendants of Esau/Edom) saw the coming persecution of the future Egyptian bondage and left with an Arab man named Oduduwa (a Babylonian and said father of the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria) and his relatives and journeyed further down into Africa crossing the Nile River into Sudan (Old Ethiopia) to Chad and eventually Lokojia which is now the present day Nigeria by way of River Benue and then through the River Niger where they eventually landed in Aguleri in what is known today as Nigeria around 1305 BCE.

Ogbuefi Madubueze Enemmou said on Radio Nigeria Enugu National Station on July 13, 1996 that in Nri, there is a long standing tradition of a man called Eri who fell from heaven, and this Eri was a contemporary of Moses and lived during the reign of the 5th Pharaoh but left with an entourage before the Exodus and went across the Nile into the Sudan and eventually made their way south and settled where the Anambra and Niger rivers meet.

“The Igbo Jews are said to have migrated from Syrian, Portuguese and Libyan Israelites into West Africa. Historical records shows that this migration started around 740 C.E. According to UCLA trained amateur Jewish Historian and Rio Hondo Police Academy trained Forensic investigator Chinedu Nwabunwanne of Aguleri, who resides in Los Angeles and has researched this subject for more than 15 years at the UCLA libraries in Los Angeles, "the migration started when the forces of Caliph Mohammed -the last leader of the Umayyads- and his Qaysi-Arab supporters defeated the Yamani-Arab Umayyads of Syria in 744 C.E; sacked the Yamanis and their Jewish supporters from Syria. The Syrian-Jewish migrant tribes Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher resettled in Nigeria where they became known as Sambatyon Jews. In 1484 and 1667 Judeans and Zebulonians from Portugal and Libya respectively joined Sambatyon Jews of Nigeria. Thus, Nigerian Jews originated from the following six Israelite tribes: Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher and Zebulon. It is interesting to note that these six tribes are the same tribes Moses repeated their names twice when he blessed the Children of Israel. These six tribes mentioned above are The House of Judah and the children of Israel his companions (Ezekiel 37:16. Those remaining six tribes not mentioned above are The House of Ephraim and the children of Israel his companion (Ezekiel 37:16)."”

The Igbo (also rendered: Ibo, Ibu, Ebo, Ebu, Obu etc.) tribe of Nigeria has staked claim to be the descendants of the Israelite tribal patriarch Gad. But some Swedes, Spaniards and Arabs among other peoples claim to be of Gad as well. So who is right? Who is of Gad? Can all, if any of them be of Gad? Remember Gad had sons who became the head of the clans of Gad and these clan heads could have scattered all over the world after the Assyrian captivity instead of sticking together.

Gen. 35:26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these [are] the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram.

From this verse we may also be able to determine some of the possible genetic features of a child of Gad. We know that Noah had three sons; Ham, Shem and Japheth.

We know that Jacob and Leah were of the descendants of Shem, but we do not know for certain the identity of Zilpah the handmaid, and thus she could very when have been black, a Hammite. If so, this means Gad and Asher would have been darker than their other brothers.

Also, it is interesting to note that the stone representing Gad in the Priestly breastplate was an onyx stone, which is black (Ex. 39:6-14). And in December 1997 an onyx stone found at the palace of Obu-Gad, the traditional site where Gad’s son Eri settled was found an onyx stone that bore the Paleo-Hebrew inscription “GAD” upon it which the King Solomon Sephardic Federation confirmed the authenticity of the inscription. 

And if Gad was black, it would stand to reason that when they left they would have naturally gravitated to a place with people that shared similar genetic features as they so they would blend in and not appear to be strangers of the land.

Also, even if Gad was originally lighter, after generations living in Nigeria they would have turned a darker skin tone so as to adapt to their environment, as well as it could be expected that some would have intermarried with the dark people who were indigenous to that area of the African continent.

“(Israel) include those whose skins range from the lightest to the darkest in colors and within it a broad range of cultural diversity is represented.”

It should come as no surprise that the Igbo people of Nigeria are of Gad. Other African tribes such as the Lemba of Ethiopia claimed to be of Levi and DNA tests confirm the presence of the Cohen gene in their DNA, proving them to be the descendants of Levi and Aaron.

Gen. 46:16 And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.

The Igbo’s in Nigeria are said to come from Eri, Arodi, Areli and possibly Ezbon (Because Ezbon is a common Igbo name). So it is very possible other peoples around the world who claim to be from Gad are of Gad also.

Gen. 10:21 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were [children] born.

Igbo (and its various renderings) is said to be derived from Shem’s descendant Eber, where we get the word “Hebrew” from. Interestingly enough The Igbo’s were once known as, and called by white slave traders as, “Heeboos.” Now with linguistics and the evolution language we know that things tend to get shortened over time, rather than lengthened, it is sort of like the 2nd law of thermodynamics as it applies to the spoken word.  Just like “What’s up,” has become, “Whad’up” or “Wassup,” in American English, so too “Eber” or “Heber” became know as “Hebrew” and from there in Nigeria it became “Heeboo” which was eventually was shortened to “Igbo” (the “g” is at times silent).

According to Igbo Scholars and Authorities, Eri is said to have had six children; Agulu, Atta, Oba, Igbo, Meneri and his only daughter, Adamgbo. Eri. He blessed and then settled each of his children in different places and left his firstborn at Obu-Gad (Compound/Camp of Gad) where Eri ended up settling and building a throne and altar in honor of his father Gad unto YHWH, the G-d of His father.

Agulu inherited Eri’s Ofo (scepter) to rule over his brothers. Adamgbo also stayed at Obu-Gad in Aguleri to help her brother. Agulu had three wives; Ada, Omali and Eke. He ended up having four sons from these three wives; Ivite (which by the way closely resembles the word Ivrite which is Hebrew word for the Hebrew Language), Igboezunu, Enugu and Ezaim which are today components of the modern day town of Aguleri. Agulu is said to have lived 140 years.

Atta was settled to the north in what is known today as Umekete in Aguleri, later Atta made his way to Igala in Kogi State. Atta’s kingdom was raided by the Agala where Igala takes its name, but the Agala agreed to leave Atta’s throne to Atta’s descendants.

Oba’s settlement was south of Eri called Ugwu Ogodo (Ogodo hill), Edom ended up taking over Oba’s kingdom. The territories of the modern day Edo and Benin tribes of Nigeria is said to originally belong to Oba.

Igbo resided in a place which use to be known as Mbito and is known today as Aguleri. Igbo was said to have developed the art of herbal medicines. Such places as Igboetti, Igbooda, and Igboeze were formed by Igbo’s descendants.

Menri occupied a place east of Eri (Obu-Gad) called Okpu. Menri is said to have founded Nri, Enugu, Ukwu, Amanuke Nawfia and Enugu-Agodi, and Igboukwu.

Agulu before he died took the Ofo given to him by his father Eri to his third son Enugu and that Enugu’s descendants should hold and pass down the Ofo and have the rights of kingship and to be able to appoint other kings. But neither Eri, Agulu or Enugu made them selves kings during their life, but  were content to be the elder, cultural and spiritual leader of their people.

The Aguleri dynasty can be traced back to Engugu’s son and hence from there all the way back to Eri, the son of Gad.

Eri is listed in Gen. 46:16, Num. 26:16-18 as a descendant of Gad and this name is still in the official title of the King of the Ebo people today in Nigeria; His Royal Majesty Eze (King) A.E. Chukwuemeka-Eri.

In Aguleri, Anambra State, Eastern Nigeria is where the King resides and it is officially called Obu-Gad, meaning, “The Palace/Compound/Camp of Gad.” It has been frequented by Rabbi’s and Jewish scholars and archeologists alike. Found next to the palace is the ancient stone throne of the Igbos which at the foot of it is a Paleo-Hebrew inscription made from a specific seas shell used as ancient currency which reads, “Give” or “Gift.” Eri built it in honor and as gift to his father Gad and to YHWH the God of Gad. I have been there myself and can personally verify this to be true.

Also on the palace grounds are three trees joined above ground by the roots to form a concave fence under which is said to lie the second Igbo-King who died during a time when the people were off working in the fields and when the rivers overflowed their banks during the rainy season it prevented their return home. When they finally made it they discovered their King had been dead a few days and so they buried him quickly very close to the palace and shortly thereafter these three trees miraculously sprang up to for a memorial like headstone. I too have seen this and can verify this as well.

Arodi

When Eri trekked from Egypt to Nigeria he took his younger brothers Arodi and Areli (Gen. 46:16) along with him. When they arrived and settled in Nigeria they lived in harmony with each other and worked together to develop one language, tradition and culture. Eventually Arodi and Areli left their older brother Eri to branch out on their own. Arodi is the father of the Arochukwu kingdom and was developed industrious pursuits in the land, such crafts and manufacturing. This tradition still carries on today through the Igbo people who live in Aba Ngwa which has the nickname, “the Taiwan of Nigeria.”

Arodi is also said to have developed the Nsibidi writing system made of glyphs which aided in developing trade among all the peoples of Nigeria and the surrounding areas. The further development of this unique indigenous language was stunted and died when the British came to colonize Igboland.

The descendants of Arodi are the peoples and tribes of; Ibibios, Anang, Ogoni, Afikpo, Abakariki, Umon, Yako, Nembe and Arochukwu.

Areli

Areli when he departed from Eri and the Obu-Gad kingdom went on to become the father of the Owerri. Other descendants of Areli include the people and tribes in Umuahai, Diobu, Okigwe, Orlu, Ohoada, Mbiaeri, Eleele and Port Harcourt.

Eri’s Son: Menri

Nnamoko Ogbodudu, one of Menri’s descendants is said to have been consecrated priest during the first year of Eze Anyiamigbo Ezeora I. He was then sent away with bronze family heirlooms inherited from Eri, Gad and Jacob (Israel) in order to find a safe place for these items so they wouldn’t be taken by raiders or invaders. He found a secure place know today as Agulu Lake.

Nnamoko married Mgbankwo and had a son he called, Agulu and is the founder of the town named after him.

Nnamoko’s second son was Diani and is the ancestor of the Umudiani, the first to settle in Aguukwu land.

Nnamoko’s third son was Nwankwo ancestor of the ones who settled in Umunwankwo known today as Enuguukwu land.

Eze Anyiamigbo Ezeora I crowned Nnamoko a Nri (King) around 1090 BCE. After, Nri Nnamoko relocated from Agulu Lake to what is today known as Oraeri in Aguata Local Government Area in Anambra State of Nigeria. This is where he gave his first son Agulu a Bronze Mogen David (Star of David) which was unearthed in Agulu 500 feet underground in 1917. This event was commemorated by the Star of David being minted on Nigerian kobo coins.

Nri also was a town Kingdom in Agu-ukwu land founded by Obuka, son of Ifikwanim who was a son of Menri. Obuka was said to be like Eri in many ways, was blessed by Eri and made a priest. He married two women; Agbomma and Adaora and had seven sons and  a daughter. The people desired to have a king and chose Obuka son of Ifikwanim and he took on the Nri title of king. His kingship was consecrated and approved by Eze Agwuve Ezeora II in Aguleri where Obuka went to be blessed and take an oath of office. A unique tradition is that the last male born child becomes the next Eze Nri.

Nri Ifikwanim (Obuka) fought for justice and human rights and against superstition. He did away with the Osu caste system and forbid the killing of twins and dwarves and made dwarves the messengers of the Kings. He also was seen as a cleanser of the land and he and his descendants still are called to towns in Igboland to clear them of abominations (Ikpu aru).

Ijaw of Zebulon


Ijaw was a traveling companion of Eri, Areli and Arodi as they fled Egypt. Oral tradition states that Ijaw is a son of Zebulon who was the 10th son of Israel (Jacob). However, Ijaw is not listed in any Cannonical Biblical genealogies. But this should come as no surprise as one person could go by different names and it may be that Ijaw was know by another name in Biblical Writ. Or it could be Ijaw was a son of one of Zebulun’s sons, and therefore not recorded in any Biblical genealogy. He was said to be the water scout and river navigator of the group, and even today the Ijaw tribe and land can be found near water.

DISCOVERING THE JEWS OF NIGERIA

How did I discover that up to 30% of the Nigerian population are of Jewish descent?

In 2002 I began to seriously investigate the origins of the Igbo people of Nigeria who have also been known as “Ibos”, and during the Nigerian Civil War as the “Biafrans”. I began by studying the lore of the Igbo people. Their lore is intriguing. Most of their lore mention droughts, famines, hunger, and relief when the rains began to fall, in ancient times. This is abnormal and unusual for a people who have 'always lived in the rain forests of Nigeria', where the real worry is about flooding and erosion. Most parts of Igbo-land have heavy rainfall for up to ten months every year, and irregular rainfall for the remaining two months. So for draughts and famines to become ingrained in the collective memory certainly raises questions. The people must have passed through experiences that were remarkable and compelling enough to make them to save stories of draughts, and famines in their lore. And definitely those experiences were not undergone in the Igbos present location, but in a place where draughts and famines occur. After making this observation I decided to take a closer look at the lore of the Igbos.

I saw what could be seen as an Igbo version of the “had gadya”, a rhyme sung by Jews on the Passover Night. At this stage I began to think that perhaps the Igbo claim of an Israelite origin might have some substance.

A large section of the Igbo population that live in the western part of the Nigerian Igbo state of Anambra believe that they are descendants of Eri, one of the sons of Gad, who was a son of the Biblical Jacob. Interestingly the names of some of the families/clans of the claimants have the prefix eri. Prominent examples are Umuleri, and Aguleri (Umu-eri, and Agu- Eri). There is talk that the later were their names, and that the l's were added by the colonizing British who could not pronounce the Igbo names. Unlike most other Igbos who just believe that they are 'Jews', the Igbos that dwell in this section assert that they are descendants of a particular Hebrew patriarch. Reflecting on these actually spurred me to begin a systematic study of the Igbo people. With American Jewish and Ethiopian Jewish support I began to compare the Igbo, and the Jewish cultures. I can recall a great Ashkenazi Jew saying that the research is worthwhile, and that the 'differences' between the Igbo and the Jewish cultures will disappear if the Igbos actually came from Israel, because according to him; 'the Beta Israel culture which was not influenced by Rabbinic Judaism has been found to be incredibly similar to Rabbinic Jewish culture'. What he was saying in effect was that if Igbo culture was Israelite, even though the Igbos were not influenced by Rabbinic Judaism, that the similarities to Israelite culture would still be manifest. While one of the Ethiopian Jews recommended that we look seriously at the agricultural, food storage, and religious practices of the Igbos, because they would yield evidence of Judaism if the Igbos actually came from Israel. And one of my associates, an Afro-American Israeli suggested that we should look at everything, and explore every cultural practice, because for the Igbos to be believed to be descendants of Israel, the cultural similarities have to be found to be so many that they could not be said to be merely coincidental. I like to think that what he meant was that the Igbo culture should be proved to be more similar to Judaism than Arab culture. Arabs, Edomites and some other peoples are believed to be ethnically close to Jews, and thus that their cultures are similar to Jewish culture.

We began to work in earnest. The first fruit of our labor was entitled “Uri's Travels”. The book is a compilation of many Igbo legends centered around a legendary Israelite soldier called Uri who migrated to what is now Igbo-land, and produced the Igbo people. This book will be published soon, and a screen play of it is been written by an American Igbo- Israel activist. We then began to look at the cultural similarities. The results came out, and are still coming out in stages. While working on my second book “The Igbos: Jews in Africa”, I visited a clan of the Igbos called Nri. The Igbos generally agree that the Nri priests take precedence over priests from other Igbo clans in performance of certain rituals. I interviewed many of the priests and elders. I asked them questions about the origins, history and culture of the Igbos. Their answers were very enlightening.


All the interviewees said that the Igbos were Hebrews. I recorded some of the sessions with the priests and elders on DVD. I published the book in 2004, and updated and revised it two years later. In 2007 I revised it again. The revisions were primers for what I like to see as my most definitive work so far: my latest book; “The Igbos And Israel: An Inter-cultural Study of The Oldest And Largest Jewish Diaspora” which was released as an eBook on the 1st of June 2012. This book was reviewed by many authorities on Afro-Jewish studies including a professor emeritus of the Harvard University, a don of the University of Basel who earned his doctorate with his work on the contemporary relationship between the Igbos and the Jews. In this book I looked at and compared Igbo culture and Jewish culture comprehensively. As the Anthropologist put it in his review of the book; 'In his book, Ilona focuses on Igbo rituals during life cycle events (chapter one). Those include the rituals surrounding the birth of children, eight-day circumcision of males, seclusion of newly delivered mother, marriage, levirate marriage and so on. Remy also enters the long debate about the Igbo conception of a supreme God, (chapter two); Igbo rituals surrounding death (chapter three); feast and festivals (chapter four); Igbo social organization (chapter five); Igbo understanding of clean/unclean (chapter six); Igbo sacrifices and offerings (chapter seven); Igbo classes (chapter eight); socio-religious customs (chapter nine); Code of moral behavior (chapter ten); Igbo code for crime and other offenses (chapter eleven); sexual behavior (chapter twelve); the Igbo connection to the land (thirteen); the importance of ritual cleanliness (chapter fourteen); the distinction between clean and unclean food and ritual slaughter (chapter fifteen); similarities between Igbo and Semitic manners of dress, (chapter sixteen); parallels between the Igbo and the Hebrew reckoning of time (chapter seventeen); joining the Igbo and Jewish peoples and leaving them (chapter eighteen), a detailed study of the organization of the Igbo society (chapter nineteen), and concludes (chapter twenty) with an Igbo rhyme that actually resembles the Jewish had gadya sung during the Passover; the section that relates what the Igbos and non Igbos have said and written about the Igbos Israelite origins; and finally using Igbo agricultural practices and lores he makes a case that the Igbos actually migrated into what is called Igbo-land presently, from somewhere drier'. The quest to discover the Jews of Nigeria has led me to the modern synagogues of the Igbos, in Igbo-land, and in other parts of Nigeria. I have also traveled extensively in Igbo-land while looking for the Igbos who are still practicing Omenana. The Igbo culture is Ome na ana, pronounced Omenana; (things that will be done in the land/country). In 2008/9 I visited some communities in the west of Anambra State, close to the eri clans. There the elders who are mainly those still at home as the rural-urban migration trends affect the Igbos more than proportionately, are still adherents of Omenana, i.e, they did not become Christians. Their territory has not been materially developed. The houses are primitive. The roads are unpaved. There are no satellite TV channels, and no state of the art cars. But the area is crime free. They are spared the scourge of kidnappings and assassinations plaguing the rest of Igbo-land. It is not clear if they would know that the religion that they are practicing is akin to the religion of the ancient Israelites. With passage of time they might have forgotten, but I will recommend the area as a good location to anthropologists, historians, rabbinic students, and other scholars who are interested in studying how ancient Israelite communities lived. In addition to the Social Anthropologist, some other Jews have joined the effort to discover the Jews of Nigeria.

Efik people

The Efik are an ethnic group located primarily in southeastern Nigeria. 'Efik' is also the name of their language which is a variation of the Ibibio language. The Efik migrated down the Cross River from Cameroon in the 16th century and founded numerous settlements in the Calabar area in present-day Cross River State. This area along with present-day Akwa Ibom State are usually referred to as Calabar, and Calabar people accordingly, after the European name Calabar Kingdom given to their state of Akwa Akpa. Calabar is not to be confused with the Kalabari Kingdom in Rivers State which is an Ijaw state to its west. Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State were formerly one of the original twelve states of Nigeria known as the Southeastern State.

The Efik people as well as their Annang and Ibibio brothers and sisters also occupy Southwestern Cameroon including Bakassi. While in the then Eastern Region of Nigeria prior to the civil war, the region allowed Southwestern Cameroon to be partitioned out of Nigeria into Cameroon through the 1961 plebiscite which divided them (Efik, Ibibio and Annang) into Nigeria and Cameroon.

Although their economy was originally based on fishing, the area quickly developed into a major trading centre and remained so well into the early 1900s. Incoming European goods were traded for slaves, palm oil and other palm products. The Efik kings collected a trading tax called comey from docking ships until the British replaced it with 'comey subsidies'.

The Efik were the middle men between the white traders on the coast and the inland tribes of the Cross River and Calabar district. Christian missions were at work among the Efiks beginning in the middle of the 19th century. Even by 1900, many of the native peoples were well educated in European ideologies and culture, professed Christianity and dressed in European fashion.

The Efik are related to the Annang, Ibibio, Oron, Biase, Akampkpa, Uruan, and Eket people by common ancestors. They all speak the same language with different dialects. Most importantly, regardless of the dialects, they share common names with same spelling.

A powerful bond of union among the Efik, and one that gives them considerable influence over other tribes, is the secret society known as the Ekpe, the inventor of the Nsibidi, an ancient African Writing.

The Efik and indeed the people of the Old Calabar kingdom were the first to embrace western education in present day Nigeria, with the establishment of Hope Waddel Training Institute, Calabar in 1895 and the Methodist Boys High School, Oron in 1905.

In 1884 the Efik kings and the chiefs of the Efik placed themselves under British protection. These treaties and attendant territorial economic rights, are documented in CAP 23 of Laws of Eastern Nigeria, captioned 'Comey subsidies law'. The Efik king, also known as the Obong of Calabar, still (as of 2006) is a political power among the Efik.


The Efik people speak the Efik Language. Various dialects of their language include Oron, Biase, Annang and Ibibio, Eket (Ekid) a subgroup of Ibibio was also one recognised dialect of the people.

Biafrans - Who they are

The name Biafra like the name Africa can be traced back to the Moorish Tribe of Bani Ifran, a name meaning the Children of Ephraim. In this setting Ephraim refers to their descent from the Israelite tribe of Ephraim being the House of Joseph.

The Bani Ifran or Biafrans were also known as the Bafar tribes and it is they who established the Black Moorish Kingdoms of Ghana,Mali and Songhai. From Mali many of the Biafrans migrated to the areas of present day Nigeria where they became the leaders of the Igbo Nation. 



In this regard the authority of the Biafrans was symbolized by the donning of the Moorish Red Fez which became the sign of an Igbo Chief. The Bani-Ifran also established the " Divination System " known to the Yoruba as IFA and to the Igbo as EFA or AFA. This Ephraimite Divination System was practiced by the Prophet Joseph in Egypt and was passed on to his son Ephraim being the progenitor of the Bani-Ifran or Biafran people.

The original Biafrans were members of a Moorish tribe in Morocco known as the Bani-Ifran. A name referring to their descent from the Israelite tribe of Ephraim. Those who settled in Mauritania and Mali became known as the BAFOUR or BAFAR (BIAFAR,BIAFRAN) tribes. They were at times referred to as Black Moors or Black Berbers. They were members of the Mande tribes from which the Mandingo based Soninke and Malinke belonged. In this regard they were amongst the founders of the Ancient Ghana,Mali and Songhai. 

To this day there is a tribe in Guinea-Bissau called the Biafada and they are alternatively known as the Biafara. They speak a Mande based language. Traveling from Mali many of the Biafrans settled in Southrern Nigeria. As recently as 1930 a remnant of the Bene-Ephraim (Bani-Ifran) who maintained the original identity were found to be living amongst the Yorubas in the Ondo District. Amongst the Igbo the Biafrans (Ephraimites) became a ruling class whose authority was symbolized by the wearing of the Moorish Red Fez which to this day is a sign of an Igbo Chieftain.

During the 1990's an Igbo man named Chima petitioned the Israeli Courts for recognition of the Igbo as Israelites. His petition was presented with evidences of Ephraimite(Biafran) origins. Hausa states were founded by Bani-Ifran (Biafran Refugees) during the 10th Century. In understanding the tribal origins of the BIAFRANS it can be further understood that not only are the Igbo counted amongst the Biafrans but the Yoruba and Hausa as well.

It is through the ancient origin or understanding of Biafra as Bani-Ifran meaning of the tribe of Ephraim that the Hausa and Yoruba are connected to Biafra. It was Bani-Ifran refugees who settled in what is now Northern Nigeria who founded the Hausa States:Bayajidda was a representation of the followers of ABU YAZID of the Bani-Ifran who were the founders of the Hausa states. The Bani-Ifran(Bene-Ephraim) also settled amongst the Yoruba.

The indigenous inhabitants of the Southwest were at one time known as the Igbo. A Yoruba tribe living in the Kwara (an Ethiopian town has this name & there live Cushi Jews) State is still known as IGBO-MINA. However there is a more ancient tribal origin which can be traced from the Bani-Ifran through the Bafour,Bafar and Biafar tribes. There is only one tribe who still uses Biafara as their tribal name. This is the BIAFADA of GUINEA-BISSAU WHO ARE ALTERNATIVELY KNOWN AS THE BIAFAR. 

According to the port areas found within the Bight of Biafra maybe not as the article suggests. However most of the " Non-Igbo " of South Southeast Nigeria such as the Efik, Kwa, Ibibio of whom the article identifies as being "Authentic Biafrans" were at one time part of the " Greater Igbo Nation". The modern Biafran Republic is solely remembered as an "Igbo movement" because of the fact that the Igbo happen to be the majority living in the Southeast. However it definitely included ALL OF THE BIAFRANS OF THE SOUTHEAST INCLUDING THOSE WHO DID NOT CONSIDER THEMSELVES IGBO.

THIS IS VERIFIED IN THE FACT THAT THE 2ND PRESIDENT OF THE BIAFRAN REPUBLIC WAS AN OBONG OF THE EFIK: PHILLIP EFFIONG 


IN THIS REGARD AND IN CONTRAST TO THE AIM OF THE ARTICLE,THE NAME BIAFRA MAY HAVE BEEN ADOPTED AS A NEUTRAL AND UNIFYING NAME FOR ALL OF THE VARIOUS TRIBAL ENTITIES FOUND IN THE SOUTHEAST. SINCE THE IGBO WERE THE MAJORITY IN THE SOUTHEAST THEY BORE THE BRUNT OF THE ANTI-BIAFRAN BACKLASH AFTER THE WAR.OUT OF THE INSTINCT TO SURVIVE SOME OF THE " NON-IGBO" BIAFRANS BEGAN TO DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM THE IGBO. IN ADDITION OTHERS WHO EVEN IDENTIFIED THEMSELVES AS IGBO AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR NOW BEGAN TO DISAVOW ANY IGBO CONNECTION.

Origin Of Various Igbo Clans - Nairaland

NRI KINGDOM is the oldest Kingdom in Nigeria. It was founded around 900AD by the progenitor, Eri, the son of Gad. According to biblical accounts, Jacob had Leah as his wife who begot four sons for him. When  Leah noticed she had passed child-bearing age, she gave her maid – servant, Zilpah to Jacob to wife, and through Zilpah he had a son named Gad. Gad then bigot Eri, who later formed a clan known as Erites vide Genesis Chapter 30 verse 9; 46 verse 16 and Numbers chapter 26 verses 15-19. Eri was therefore amongst  the twelve tribes of Israel via Gad.

During their stay in Egypt Eri became the high priest and spiritual adviser to Pharaoh Teti, the fifth dynastic king of Egypt around 2400 BC.

During the Exodus, which marked the beginning of the mass movement of the tribes of Israel, the tribe of Eri was amongst the tribe that left Egypt following the injunction from God to the Israelites (see Deuteronomy chapter 28 verses 58 – 68). Some of these tribes founded settlements in the southern part of Sudan, where they established the “Nok” culture, which is similar to that of other (sun Cult) culture, like Nri, Fiji, Samoa, and Jukun in the Northern part of Nigeria and elsewhere. But others who could not remain in the Southern Sudan traveled further South, some branched off to Jukun, in Northern part of Nigeria, others continued and arrived at the confluence of Rivers Niger and Anambara known as “Ezu-na-Ọmambala” and settled there while some veered off to the Island of Fiji in the South Pacific Ocean. An intelligence report notes that the Fijians have the same sun culture with the people of Nri.

When Eri arrived at the confluence of “Ezu-na-Ọmambala” he had two wives, namely Nneamakụ and Oboli, Nneamakụ begot five children, namely (a) Nrifikwuanịm-Menri being the first son (b) Agụlụ (c) Ogbodudu (d) Onogu and (e) Iguedo the only daughter. Oboli begot Ọnọja, the only son who founded the Ịgala Kingdom in Kogi State. Meanwhile, Nri-Ifikwuanịm begot Agụkwu Nri, Enugwu-Ukwu, Enugwu-Agidi, Nọfịa, and Amọbia, while his brother Ogbodudu who later became Nrinaoke N’Ogbodudu had founded the Diodo Dynasty, while his brother Ezikannebo founded Akamkpịsị and Amanuke. Onogu Begot Ịgbariam, while Iguedo, the only daughter, begot Ogbunike, Ọkuzu, Nando, Ụmụleri, and Nteje, Known today as Ụmụ-Iguedo clan, while the former are better known as Ụmụ-Nri clan. According to Nri Oral tradition recently substantiated by archaeological findings of Ọraeri/Igbo-Ukwu objects, the unification of Agukwu, Diodo, and Akamkpịsị was enacted constitutionally during the beginning of reign of Nribụife (AD 1159 – 1252) who was the first Eze Nri to observe the Ịgụ-Arọ Festival as a pan – Igbo affair in 1160AD (Prof. M.A. Ọnwụejeọgwu 2003).

Nri-Ifikwuanịm took after his progenitor Eri, and became a high priest among his people. He left Agụleri in search of a better living place, according to Mr. M.D.W. Jeffreys report, and settled at present Nri site. He started performing what Eri did at Egypt, cleansing of abominations, giving titles such as prestigious Ọzọ title, to his people, proclaiming the New Year (Ịgụ-Arọ) etc. 

ỊGỤ-ARỌ: Ịgụ-Arọ is an annual festival of the Nri people. It is during this festival that Eze Nri proclaims the New Year to all the Igbo communities under his jurisdiction, and he then announces the Nri calendar to the people. The Nri calendar is made up of thirteen (13) Lunar months .

What many historians seem to skip is the influence of Nri on Benin's Igu'Oba.

Origin of Afikpo (Ehugbo)

The geographical entity known as Ehugbo (Afikpo) is situated in the southern part of Ebonyi State, Nigeria. It is bounded to the north by the town of Akpoha in Amoha Local Government Area, to the south by Unwana and Edda in Ubeyi and Afikpo South Local Government Areas respectively, to the East by the Cross River and to the West by Amasiri in Amaoha Local Government Area. Afikpo spans an area approximately 164 square kilometers in size.


The first settlers in Afikpo, according to oral tradition, were the Egu and Nkalu. Let’s take them one after the other.

The Egu

It is officially known that the first human settlement in Afikpo dated from 5000 – 3000 BC (Later Stone Age) – Official Radio Carbon date of the first human settlement in Afikpo). This date came from the excavation carried out at Ezi Ukwu rock shelter by Professor D.D. Hattle in 1966. Unfortunately, this information did not indicate the race that settled in Afikpo then.

However, oral tradition establishes that Egu were the first settlers in Ehugbo, followed by the Nkalu. So whatever be the case, it is now known that the Egu inhabited Afikpo a very long time ago.

The Egu were very wonderful people. Their mode of life, their skill in handicraft and their creative ingenuity in every human endeavour ranked them the most talented among their contemporaries of the time. In fact, all the intricate artistry seen in the articles they produced (such as pots, masquerade faces and decorations associated with Ogo Cult, including Isiji Cult initiation) which form part of Afikpo Culture today, were fabricated and introduced to Afikpo by the Egu. As a matter of fact, typical Afikpo culture and tradition owe their origin to the Egu.

The people of Egu were hard working. They were also fearless, daring and adventurous. Whatever they made were very durable. Their daring and adventurous nature often induced them to surmount all odds in order to attain their desired goal. This probably accounts for their successful movement towards the northern part of Ehugbo to inhabit Orie Elu, Ogbugbu Ugwuegu up to Akpu-eba, in spite of the barrier posed by natural phenomena like rocky hills and forests infested with wild creatures.

The areas formerly inhabited by the Egu are now part of present day Ugwuegu arable lands.

Traceable Features of the Egu Areas

1. Ebor Egu (Egu palm tree plantation). It is now Ugwuegu Elu Community Palm Tree Plantation.
2. Ulo Ubi Orie Elu: (former Obi Ogo or Ulo Ogo Egu). Now modern farm hut which serves as shelters for farmers.
3. Ogbugbu Umuruma (land where children were massacred). Now a farm land.
4. Nsusu Ede Egu at Akpu-eba (holes carved on a ground stone along Akpu-eba farm land road used by the Egu for playing native draft, “ede”)

Nkalu

While the Egu inhabited the northern part of Ehugbo, another formidable group called Nkalu settled at the south. As there are not available records to determine the time of their settlement, it is not possible to say much about their origin and their way of life. However, it is believed that the Nkalu migrated from Akoi, including probably Ekuri, Erei, Agwugwuna (Akunakuna), etc. on the eastern part of Cross River State. They wandered around for some time until they crossed the Cross River and settled at the basin of the Cross River around present day Ehoma Lake (near Otu Eke) hundreds of years ago. From here they spread northwards and occupied the geographical areas of the present Enohia Nkalu, Nkpoghoro and Amaozara.

Numerically, Nkalu was greater than Egu but not as ingenious. The Nkalus were skilled farmers and Spartan warriors. It is said that Nkalu brought yam to Ehugbo. It is because of the notion that Nkalu brought yam to Ehugbo and the fact that their population was greater than that of Ehugbo (Igbo people) that there is a saying in Afikpo dialect: “Ji diri Igbo diri Nkalu ma nke Nkalu karia.”

Apart from farming, the Nkalus also undertook fishing and canoe building. Although they were great warriors, the Nkalu people were hospitable and easy going. Their mode of life included merry-making, particularly at New Yam Festivals. Their boisterous celebrations often attracted the attention and excitement of their neighbours (the Egu) who settled north-wards at the present Ugwuegu. There appeared to be mutual interaction between the two peoples that made it possible for the Nkalu to imbibe the Ogo Culture of “Isubu” initiation of Egu people. This was the state of affairs before the emergence of what we know geographically as Afikpo.

Igbo Etiti

One of the engaging topics in the book is the gallant attempt made by contributors to trace the origin of the various communities in Igbo-Etiti: Ikolo, Onyohor and Ukehe trace their origin from communities in present Udi area. Onyohor and Ikolo are said to be descended from Ugwunye and therefore blood relations of Affa, Egede and Nike, while Ukehe is one of the seven children of Ojebe Ogene (Ebe, Abor, Ukana, Awhum, Okpatu, Umulumgbe and Ukehe). Udueme claims Igalla paternity while Aku and Ekwegbe claim to be a mixed race of Igbo and Igalla.  A majority of Aku are said to be of Nshi (Nri in Awka) origin while some Ohemje people are said to be of Igalla.  In the case of Ekwegbe, part came from Akpugo, Ikem, Agulu (Awka) and Igalla. It is instructive that the black-smiting village in Ekwegbe answers Agulu (Eguru) while all black smiths are called Umu Eguru (Agulu).  Diogbe and Umunko claim to come from Eha-Amufu and Ikem (Isi-Uzo) respectively.  Ohodo claims to be blood relations of Obimo and Ogbodu Abba while parts of Ozala claim to come from Nkitiba Udueme. Ochima claims to be the father of all Igbo people so that Ochima is the central locus of dispersal of all Igbos.  Very interesting! Belief and acceptance of blood relationships among communities can be exploited fruitfully for political, social and economic ends. The very influential Nwodo family of Ukehe exploited the Ojebe Ogene identity to win overwhelming votes in the area during the governorship elections of 1990.

The relationship between Aku and Ekwegbe needs to be further explored.  It is claimed that Ekwegbe formed part of the Igalla descendants of Aku from where they moved to their present position through Umunna.  In fact there is a special relationship between Aku and Ekwegbe in which it is believed that all people who die in Aku pass through a special road in Ekwegbe on their way to the land of the spirits. While Ekwegbe people use the road, no Aku person has ever walked on the road.  By listening to the conversation and instructions from such dead people using the road, Ekwegbe people are able to inform and warn Aku people to observe or desist from certain behaviours or songs.  Twice in the life of the writer, Ekwegbe had sent word to Aku to stop certain popular songs and dances.  Within a few days of the recept of the news, the songs and dances were discontinued throughout the length and breadth of Aku.

The Odo masquerade cult is a dominant cultural feature of Igbo Etiti area. With regard to the origin of the Odo, there is a puzzling unanimity.  All the contributors on this topic claim that Odo appeared first to a woman with a male child on her back.  If so, why are women not eligible for initiation into the cult? Another question is why the ten Odo towns represented in the book point to a woman as the first to see the Odo on its first apparition? It is worth investigating whether other Odo towns outside Igbo Etiti such as Neke, Ikem, Eha-Amufu and Ojebe Ogene Zone have the same story of origin of the cult.

Abiriba

TRADITION OF ORIGIN AND MIGRATION OF THE ABIRIBAS:

The Abiribas are part of the Agunaguna sub-tribe of the main Ekoi group. They are part of the larger Yakurr group that can also be traced up to Ikom and other parts of the upper Cross River basin. The present Yakor (Yakurr) Local Government Area of the Cross River State includes Ugep, Agunaguna, Nko, Usukpam (Urukpam), Ubaghara and others. In these areas are such other settlements as Ebiribara, Ebom-Ebiriba et cetera. As a matter of fact, the Ebom-Ebiribas in Yakor simply changed their name to Ebom because the present Abiriba (Ebiriba) was virtually eclipsing them such that even mails meant for them found their way into Abiriba of Abia State. The Abiribas are said to have lived in that part of Enna clan where there were plenty of Uda trees (xylopia aethiopica) hence the name Ena-Uda. The shrine of the Abiriba royalty is still standing at Usukpam-Ena. From events and available data, the Abiribas were said to have crossed the river at Usukpam, hence they are often referred to as Usukpam-Etete, a nostalgic name for that ancient home. Usukpam (Urukpam) as called by the natives there now is part of Akpaa-Erei clan of the larger Ena clan. The Abiribas lived here for long when they left mainland Ena-Uda under the leadership of Nnachi-Oken, hence the nomenclature, Ebiriba Enachi-Oken. From here they travelled through Okon-Ohafia and settled at Udara-Ebuo, a stretch of land between Amekpu-Ohafia and Okagwe-Ohafia. This long sojourn in the present day Ohafia area explains the numerous relationships between this area of Ohafia and Abiriba.

Equally the Abiriba-Ena royalty have affinity with Akanu Ohafia. Nnachi Oken died at Udara Ebuo and Ntagha continued the journey to Uranta where much later he too died. After the demise of Ntagha, Igbokwu became the leader. From here, Udara-Ebuo, the Abiribas now led by Igbokwu passed by Nkwu-ebu (Nkwebi) Ohafia to Uranta near Oboro en-route OzuAbam. Nkwu-ebu is the Palmyra palm, botanically/scientifically known as Borassus aethiopum which grew abundantly here. From here they moved right (north) and found their way into Ihe and Agboha about 1700. These two communities are near the present Binyom village of Abiriba. Agboha up till today is referred to as Agboha-Igbokwu, after the leader Igbokwu. This date of arrival is well estimated from later recorded events of early European visitors and estimating backwards from the number of Abiriba Kings remembered in our history. It is interesting to note the name Binyom which sounds Ekoi and has no Igbo meaning. The Abiribas brought their gods from Ekoi, the main god being the Otisi, (Otusi, Otosi). The Otisi is the royal symbol of authority over the Abiriba people. Otisi, Otosi is Ekoi name and many other Igbo Cross Riverine communities equally have this name and as gods too. The name is common in Afikpo areas, Edda, Ohafia, Aro, Abam, Item and others. In these areas, the royal families are referred to as Ndi-Otisi, that is, the people of Otisi. It is so too in Item and some other places. It is also equally noteworthy that one of the feared juju gods is Otisi Binyom of Abiriba. Apart from this god, we have Kalu, the god of war or thunder. One of these gods is at Ozua-elu (Kalu Ozua Elu) after Amamba village on the road that takes and brings back men who have made journeys, be it war or trade on that route.

The other is at Ndi Ebe, Kalu Ndi Ebe of Umu e'Chuku Amogudu. These Kalu gods are sacrificed to with cocks and rams.The Abiribas lived for long at ihe and Agboha from where they fanned out to establish modern day Abiriba villages and city. The Abiribas developed Agboha and built up a big market here. Because of their mercantilism, blacksmithing, weaving, crafts manship in ivory et cetera, Abiriba attracted marketers from neighbouring communities that stretched all the way to Ozuitem, Ozuakoli, Ahaba-Imenyi, Item and others. When the current and new market (Afia-nkwo) was founded people still referred to the portion on the western flank of Binyom, namely Agboha, as Afiankwo-ochie that is, the old market place. After several years of sojourn at Agboha, the royal group moved to the part of Umueso village called Amelunta today. The compounds that make up Amelunta are Ndi Ekpe, the main royal compound, Ndi Ezema and Ndi e'Mbaeku. The kings that ruled Abiriba and from Ndi Ekpe, Amelunta, were Ekpe, Itu, Uduka Oko (Uduka uku) Egbara uku and others. One of the sons of the royalty, Oko Uduka, alias Okonta Ogba-enwo (Oko the monkey shooter) in later years in his hunting expeditions located the valley after Isi-Olara and thought it was a natural fortress and also attracted by the water moved the royal compound there while retaining the majority of the royalty at Ndi-Ekpe.

This new compound is known as Ndi Oko-ogo, that is, the people of the home of Oko. The new royal compound not only accommodated the royalty but other sojourners that sought refuge in Abiriba for protection by the Abiriba King. From Ndi Okogo and Ndi Ekpe, the royalty developed Ameke Echichi and the other Ameke villages. The royalty installed the first Nkwa in Mgbala Ekpe at Ameke Echichi. Nkwa is a wooden carving in a compound hall of the royalty or in the Ekpe cult hall of the royalty. Nkwa is an arm of the Otisi god. In the olden days a replica of this carving formed part of the equipment given to a princess as a wedding gift and placed in the small hall, Obu, of the compound where she is married to. There are among others recently two such compounds where replicas of the nkwa small effigies, child bearing goddesses, were given to daughters married at Ndi Okoronkwo and Umuaga compounds both of Udanta Amogudu. The whole idea of these human-looking replicas, large dolls, is that the daughter may by the grace of the goddesses produce children. Umuaga compound at the end of the civil war sought permit from Ndi EkpeAmelunta to replace this wooden replica at their Obu compound, having been destroyed by the recently ended civil war. This was granted and the accompanying traditional ceremonies and rites accomplished. The expansions of the Abiriba people from Agboha to Amelunta and the new king's fortress compound, Ndi Oko-ogo as well as the other Ameke villages were not smooth ones. In their expansions into the current city, the Abiribas encountered other settlers, Umuhu, who were at Ihebu and Amamba, Nkporo At Kirii of Umueso and part of Item were near Ogbu, each group moving towards more fertile terrains.

The Abiribas expanded to found the villages of Ameke, Amogudu, particularly Umu -e’Chukwu, and Agboji under Ebiri. In later years when parts of Amelunta needed expansion, the then Enachioken, Oko Uduka -requested Egboji, now under Nwagu Efa to provide present day Amaukughukughu, (the place of the owls) for that purpose. Because of this gesture, the king rewarded Egboji with Nkwa-Otisi and that is why the Mgbala Ekpe of Ama-Ebia of Egboji has Nkwa. Ama-Ebia is the home of the Egboji village head.

Ohafia

The ancestors of the Ohafia people must have had a beginning somewhere. Obviously, they must also have had some connection with other groups that are not identified as Ohafia people. Since, Ohafia is Igbo, it goes without saying that Ohafia has a common origin with other Igbo Ethnic groups. In their quest to finding a permanent home of abode, they sojourned through many lands, namely Benin Empire, Ndoni, Ibeku, Bende etc. A prominent happening at their Ndoni home (Ndoni is in present Rivers State) was the demise of their ancestral leader, Akpo Uku. This bequeathed the responsibility of leading the Ohafia people to his son Atita Akpo Uku. From Ndoni the journey continued to Isieke Ibeku.

At Isieke Ibeku, some Ohafia persons soon resorted to acts of mischief. Deprived of the influence of their dead leader, minor disagreement with their Ibeku and Leru neighbours easily got out of hand. The laying of sharpened knives across footpaths for offensive rather than defensive reason became very rampant. The ringleader in this overture was a man called ‘Ukoha". Both the Leru and the Ibeku people were getting uncomfortable living with their Ohafia neighbours because of this mischievous propensities. During this period, there was fighting between sections of Umuahia ad Ossa Ibeku people. He Ossa people sought refuge with the Ohafia people of Umuajiji in Isieke Ibeku. An attack was being planned against the Ohafia people by the Ibeku people. The son-in-law of Ukoha (the trouble-maker) who was present at the meeting of the Ibeku people revealed the conspiracy to Ukoha. Ukoha took immediate action, alerting the Ohafia people about the planned attack against them. Although the Ohafia people beefed up security, an ominous event occurred that ended their stay in Ibeku.

Several accounts exist as to the reason for this exodus. One account said that it was the barking of a dog caught in a trap that frightened an Ohafia woman called Mgbo to raise an alarm. This alarm led to a stampede that evacuated Ohafia people from Isieke Ibeku. Another version of the story was that a string of calabashes (food containers made from the
dried skin of gourds) suddenly collapsed making shattering noise. This later version seems to be more correct. This is because the idiomatic tongue twister coined by the fleeing Ohafia made reference to the incident of the collapsed string of calabashes.

IKWERRE

From the foregoing it will be seen that except for the general classification of the Akpor communities as one of the seven major groups in Ikwerreland and the linguistic evidence the people stand out distinct in the present state of our knowledge of lkwerre origins and migrations. For the Obio people. however. without any specific reference to the Benin tradition it is acknowledged that Obio is one of the descendants of Iwhuruoha (Ikwerre). Some traditions mention Ochichi as the great ancestor of the people; others lack the Ochichi element. All, at any rate. regard Obio as the common ancestor of the Evo and Apara communities. Evo being the senior partner and made up of the present day Oro-Evo. Oropotoma and Oroesara. The Apara themselves whose founding father is variously named Apara or Worlu or Ekwubudike include Rumuigbo. Rumuepirikom. Eneka. Rumuadaolu. Rumuorosi. Rukpokwu.Rumuola. Rumuokwuta. Rebisi and Rumueme.26The traditions suggest that Ikwerre is a nickname given to the Iwhuruoha people by the 1gbo. Except for the OzuzuElele-Obio movement discussed under the Etche theory of Ikwerre origin. the traditions are not specific about the routes of migrations. names of places. incidents on the way and relative length of stops in the course of migrations of the ancestor of Obio as well as Obio himself. But it is agreed that from Obio's alicestral home a combination of factors including fratricidal dissension. local wars and population pressure led the Evo and Apara to establish and painfully consolidate their present-day settlements. The traditions throw some light on the early history of the people in other ways. Reference is made to neighbouring groups. probably pre-existing communities. known as Rumuopara. Akeleke. Rumuchikwee and Rumuezo against whom the ancestors fought long wars which ultimately led to the extermination of some of these earlier inhabitants. their absorption into the new settlements and their forceful movements elsewhere across the creeks. This issue calls for further research in spite of the reluctance of the traditional historians to supply detailed information on such an interesting aspect of the peopling of the area. Taken together with the traditions from Ogbakiri and43 Isiokpo. the traditions in the Obio-Akpor area clearly show evidence of internal migrations within Ikwerre in pre-colonial times. The Rumuoro and Rumuokani communities today in Ogbakiri trace their origin to migrations ftom the Obio area. The former were led by Echichimo. an enterprising hunter, from Rumuigbo whose "knowledge of the gun attracted the others to come and live close to him for protection against invaders and wild animals." The latter regard their ancestor as a man by name Okani. also a hunter and friend of Echichimo from Rumuokwuta.

Internal migrations within the Obio - Akpor axis include the movement of the Rumuolumeni people as a result of internal friction in Rumuoparali to their present abode where fierce wars were fought with the pre-existing people of Rumuokwuta. There is also the case of sections of Eneka people who moved into Ogbogoro thus forming a group in the area which recently fought for recognition as a separate entity vis-a-vis the wider Ogbogoro community. The coming of the Rumueme people from Isiokpo to Apara territory is another landmark in the early history of the Obio area. The traditions agree that their ancestors were invited as allies in the war between Ozuruha, a descendant of Epirikom and kinsman of the Isiokpo, and his uncle, Inenta, one of the sons of Apara. In the ensuing conflict the Rumueme warriors showed remarkable valour and succeeded in saving the Rumuepirikom group from imminent doom. The common enemy was eliminated. And it is said that the remnants of the Inenta-group were scattered and today have been integrated in other communities such as Rumuolumeni (Mgbuakara), Bukuma in Kalabari and Isaka in Okrika.28 Rumueme in recognition of its role in times of war and peace eventually emerged as a distinct community in Apara. This is the background to the claim to autonomy within the group which has become a serious ground for controversy in recent times.It is of historical interest to mention the evidence obtained from Chief John Ogbondah which states that Obio actually had three sons, namely Evo, Apara and Ngwa. Ngwa was forced to leave their father's domain owing to the persistent quarrel and misunderstanding between his half-brothers, Evo and Apara. over the traditional burial of their father and the sharing of the common patrimony. Feeling increasingly insecure he moved northwards and finally settled across the lmo River where he established. his own entity known in the traditions as Ngwa Owhuhu and Ngwa Gbaka. This suggestion of a close relationship between the lkwerre of Obio and the Ngwa people also invites further investigation.

It is of historical interest to mention the evidence obtained from Chief John Ogbondah which states that Obio actually had three sons, namely Evo, Apara and Ngwa. Ngwa was forced to leave their father's domain owing to the persistent quarrel and misunderstanding between his half-brothers, Evo and Apara. over the traditional burial of their father and the sharing of the common patrimony. Feeling increasingly insecure he moved northwards and finally settled across the lmo River where he established. his own entity known in the traditions as Ngwa Owhuhu and Ngwa Gbaka. This suggestion of a close relationship between the lkwerre of Obio and the Ngwa people also invites further investigation.

The cradle of Igbo civilization is most probably Nri/Awka.But in the coming years,there were three more pulls that formed the present Igbo culture as we know it.The rise of Benin empire and also slave trade caused movement of people from Benin,Cross river and coastal areas into Igboland.So our culture is quite diverse in the four angles of the pull.

The riverine Igbos are a result of Coastal upward migration of a people once referred to as the Orus who moved deep in to Isu and moved back southwards to found Ndoki and Bonny.These Oru are found in Eastern end of Delta as well as the western end of Imo and Rivers States.

The western Igbos were a mix of Nri/Awka/Isu and a massive migration of people out of the ancient Benin and Igala owing to the various crisis in the then empire which also had Igbos. 

Some of the eastern Igbos were once non-Igbos but over the centuries fell to the numerical strength of Igbos who most probably came from Nri/Awka/Isu.Many of them belonged to some of the now extinct groups that once existed around the Cross River and Cameroun mountains.

The Northern Nri/Awka/Isu Igbos are the probable father of the proto Igbo culture.Their major influence is Idoma and Igala who by the way are of the same root with Nri according to traditions.

The Southern Igbo is the most difficult to define because their influence came from all angles and they also hosted slave markets.

Taking the Ikwerres for example,there is an element of all other Igbo dialects in their language but none is exactly thesame.This I believe has a lot to do with slave trade.

History of Otolo Nnewi by Onwutalobi Anthony Claret

Nnewi was founded in the fourteenth century, and consists of four Quarters (large villages) and these four Quarters of Nnewi are Otolo, Uruagu, Umudim, and Nnewichi. Otolo, a premiere quarter of the four quarters in Nnewi has been outstanding in all aspect of human endeavors. In it seated the mantle of leadership that governs the other quarters for the past decades. Its central success is figured in commercial trade but not limited to it, as its cultural heritage has always been the beacon of light to other neighboring village.

Digbo, one of the sons of Nnewi, had two sons – Otolo and Ikwuabo. It is a custom in Nnewi that a married woman who has no child belongs theoretically to the woman – husband but practically to the man – the husband of that woman husband. One of the wives of Digbo had no child and she therefore married another woman who gave birth to a male child known as Ukwabo.

Otolo the first son of Digbo had many sons – Enem the first son followed by Nnofo, Eziogwugwu alias Eziegbelu, Diaba whose descendants are generally known Umuzu and Nnangana alias Nganaga. Before Otolo begot these, he himself was one. By Otolo originally is meant the descendants of Otolo. Later as consequent upon the success of Eze Agha, Ezekwuabos came under the umbrella of the name. Later still, Amilibas followed suit and so did the rest at appropriate times. It was in this way that Otolo as a quarter was made up

Otolo is the premier quarter in Nnewi. This is true in terms of population, seat of political power and, apparently even, concentration of wealth. There are facts recognized by the other three quarters of Nnewi. These factors have perhaps influenced it in its attitude. In Nnewi affairs, Otolo conduct is one of a leader and a bully. Otolo people have in them a belief that every Otolo man is infallible. Because of this belief, an Otolo man defends his fellow Otolo men in the face of obvious culpability.

Igbuzo (Ibusa) people

Igbuzo is a city in Delta State, south-south, Nigeria with an estimated population of 452,300 people in 2007. The Ianguage of the people is referred to as Enuani. The community forming the process of Igbuzo can be linked to the first wave of the movement of Igbo migrants into the West Bank of River Niger, this adventure which took place in the 15th century resulted in the settlement of Ibusa people led by Edini from Nshi (Nri) The second of the two waves of the migrations that resulted in the formation of Ibusa was led by Umejei from Isu.

Pre-colonial history

Pre-colonial history of Ibusa indicates that the name Ibuzor is more precisely accurate as regards to the location of the town 6 kilometers west of the Niger River than the view which holds that the pre-colonial name of Ibusa originated from the whimsical view that the initial settlers are Igbos who live by the road side.

Igbo historians such as Emeka Esogbue (of Ibusa origin) and C. N. Ugochukwu (Nnewi origin) share the opinion that groups who left Benin with Ezechima and journeyed Eastward might have settled in Ibusa considering the geographical location of the town. The implication of this therefore is that this new set of settlers could have been sick or generally lacking in interest in furthering their journey, this could also have resulted in their final settlement in not too distant Onitsha. This new group of settlers in Ibusa might have become assimilated by the Umejei and Edini groups.

Oral history
Ibusa is a federation of two units known as “the Umejei and Ogboli Factors. According to the oral history of the town, Umejei Nwa Eze Isu (Prince Umejei of Isu) at Isu in the South-Eastern region of Nigeria killed his opponent in a traditional wrestling bout, an act considered “Alu” (Abomination) in the land and punishable by death. However, his death was commuted by his father who was also Eze Isu) the king of Isu and he was encouraged to go on exile with a gourd prepared and given to him by his father. Umejei was emphatically instructed to settle wherever the pot dropped, he thus set-off with friends, relations and symapathizers who accompanied him. The gourd however dropped at the present site of Ani-Oshe in Omeze (Umueze) where he founded Ibusa.


The Ogboli factor has it that at Nshi (Nri) Odaigbo slept with one of his father’s wives but rather than face the mandatory death sentence Eze Nshi commuted the death sentence to exile. His father, mother and younger brother, Edini voluntarily opted to accompany him. Odaigbo and Edini were given one pot each and charms by Eze Nshi with the instruction to settle wherever the pot fell and on crossing the River Niger, Edini’s pot fell at Ani-Oshe (Umueze) the present site of Ibusa while he founded Ibusa. Odaigbo’s pot was to fall at the present site of Ogwashi-Uku where he also settled. The groups (Umejei and Edini later became one and known as Ibusa) The Ogboli of Ibusa are thus regarded as part of the larger Nri (Nshi) community.

The Igbo and Anioma people of Delta state, regard and praise Ibusa as group of people who often refuse food in other to prosecute wars (Isu (Igbuzo) fu ogu ju nni). This statement authenticates the bravery of these people in wars. Igbuzo historians are currently conducting researches on the history of wars fought by the Igbuzo people especially in the homes of their Isu kiths and kin in Nnewi, present Anambra State.

"Ibusa" is an Anglicisation of "Igbuzo" and/or Ibuzo by the early British missionaries and visitors to the town as a result of difficulty in pronunciation. The Anglicization of the name of the town may have been effected in the 19th century following the Ekwumekwu Wars that the community led. The "Ibusa" was considered more distinctive by the British thus adopted as the official name of the town and made to appear in all the official documents of the colonial government. The name "Igbuzo" (Igbo bi na uzor) meaning the Igbo living along the way or road is however the native name of the town as used today.


The nickname of the town is however "Isu Na Mba Ogu" (Warriors from Isu) or colloqually Igbuzo-Isu (The Igbo-uzo(r) from Isu). Ibusa is uniquely addressed with different names and even made noticeable with different spellings such as Ibusa, Igbuzo, Igbouzo, Igbuzor, Ibuzor, Ibuza and Ibuzo. This is believed to have been necessitated by the strategic location of the town along the busy roads and the history of the settlement of the people.

Absorption of the Tribes


Regardless of what other Tribes of Israel are blended into the Igbo people, one thing is abundantly and irrefutably clear, and that is the Igbo’s are a portion of the Lost Tribe of Gad through his son’s Eri, Areli and Arodi. Just as in other times throughout Hebraic History, where a Tribe swallows another such as in the times were Benjamin and Simeon were absorbed into Judah; so too whatever Danites, Judeans, Zebulonites, Reubenites or those from any other of the 12 Tribes  may be among the Igbo, for the most part they have been absorbed and may at this point be indistinguishable from Gadite Igbos.

The color wheel of a son of Israel has become diverse

The color wheel of a son of Israel has become diverse, spanning one end of the melanin color scale to the other. Because of early intermarriages with Canaanites, and intermarriage within the Babylonian and Assyrian captivities, the color of a Jew, Hebrew and Israelite varies. 


Also recall the Torah law of taking a captive as a wife (Deut. 21) the marrying of converts, the influx of Gentile converts in the 1st century, the rapes during pogroms, holocausts and wars as well as the various migrations of Jewish communities all must be factored in for us to correctly conclude that Israel is black and white and every color in between. So does it matter? No, after all it is just melanin and nothing more.

So let us all refuse to argue and abandon the tug of war some of us have been caught in and have been cornered and forced to choose sides between Black Hebraism and British Israelitism and admit, confess, acknowledge and proclaim the evidences that has been presented, that Jews, Hebrews and Israelites, sons of Abraham, whatever you want to label it, is and spans the color of the human rainbow.

I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven
images. – Isa. 42:8 It first must be stated, unlike the African tribes surrounding the Igbo, that the
Igbos believe in one, all-powerful, all-knowing, pre-existing, indescribable, unseen, invisible God and Creator who is called Chukwu (The Great God) or Chineke (The God Who Creates). 

A compound name of Chukwu is Chukwu Abiama which means, “The God of Abraham.” Is this not also the description of YHWH God of the Jews and Christians? There are images missionaries found in Igboland which have been mistaken for idols, when in actuality they were images of ancestors, such as Eri, etc. But there were no images found designated as Chukwu or Chineke. Igbo Nri preists have confirmed this by first deeming there is no God but Chukwu Abiama and that the images represent the Igbo ancestors because before the white man, there was no photography and the carved image was the way the Igbo preserved the image and memory of their ancestors.

Some claim that Eri was a minor deity of the Igbo. We see that it is mostly foreigners commenting on the Igbo who misinterpreted Eri as being a god and mostly not the Igbo themselves. I am not denying that paganism was never a part of the Igbo people. Just like Israel when they entered the Promised Land and failed to expel all the Canaanite nations before them who eventually became their downfall and divine reason for expulsion from the Land through the Assyrian and Babylonian Captivities.

Likewise, the further the Igbo, who were descendants of Gad, Judah, Levi and various other Israelite tribes, got from Israel through time and distance the easier it was for some Igbo to fall into forms of paganism. Outsiders who witnessed this, as well as misunderstood the various image of Igbo ancestors that they had seen erroneously wrote and taught that the Igbo had many gods and the Afro-centric pseudo scholars have monopolized on these facts to perpetuate their falsehoods and agenda.

Today in Igbo culture, images are rarely used, because of the advent of photography; photos have now taken the place of carved images in obi’s (Igbo shrines). This is similar to the board of names with a light bulb beside each name found in Jewish synagogues today. It is believed that Chukwu heeds those who honor and respect their ancestors who have gone on before to be with Him.

Sadly, this has been mistaken by missionaries and anthropologists as idol worship or at best ancestral worship. Some have mistook the word “Chi,” equivalent to the Hebrew word “El” meaning “God,” to be one’s “personal deity” instead of recognizing that “Chi” means that Chi/Chukwu is personable to them. It literally means “My God.” So in other words, Chi means that each Igbo person has a personal relationship with Chukwu.

Chi also brings the connotation of “life” or “life force” and is very much like the Hebrew word for life which is Chai. True, paganism and false gods have been found among the Igbo but only as a result of being influenced by other tribes which were their neighbors. Even this should cause us to connect the Igbo to Israel because why was Israel exiled out of the Land in the first place? Because of their inclination toward idolatry.

True, paganism and false gods have been found among the Igbo but only as a result of being influenced by other tribes which were their neighbors. Even this should cause us to connect the Igbo to Israel because why was Israel exiled out of the Land in the first place? Because of their inclination toward idolatry.

I should also mention here what is in Igboland is called the Ikenga which is likened unto the angels on the Ark of the Covenant or one’s own guardian angel. In Judaism, as in Igbo culture, one’s home (obi) is considered a temple, modelled after the Tabernacle or Temple in Jerusalem; it is not uncommon to see replicas of what is found in the Tabernacle/Temple such as Menorahs or even images of angels. Angels were in the Temple, In the Igbo obi there is an image called the Ikenga and it is a type of guardian angel mistaken by outsiders as one’s personal household deity.


The angels in the Jerusalem Temple were made of aromatic cedar overlaid with gold. The Ikenga is usually made from the ogirisi tree, sacred to the Igbo, which is an aromatic evergreen tree. The Ogirisi are also used as grave markers.

First and Second Wave of Gadites to Nigeria

As we have discussed earlier, there appears to be a pre-exodus, exodus excursion to Nigeria by Gad’s son Eri and his traveling companions. There is evidence to suggest that there was a second wave of Hebrew and Gadites to Nigeria after the destruction of the First Temple to join the first Gadites of Eri, Arodi and Areli that were already there. As it says in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) letter of Ya’akov (James):

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

Again, this means that during the first century, prior to the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE (AD) it was generally known where the 10 tribes taken into Assyrian Captivity were. So it is reasonable to believe that Gadites in the Jerusalem and surrounding areas knew where their brother Gadites were in Africa and stayed in contact with them and decided to join their brothers after the Temple was destroyed.


Prof. O. Alazei in his book “Ibo Exodus” page 74-75 that this second wave of Gadite and possibly other Hebrew and Jews first passed through Egypt, Libya and Sudan and eventually camped at Chad Basin in North Eastern Nigeria. From there some settled around Zaria, Benue, Ingala, Idoma, Uburu and the Delta regions. Some went as far as Cameroon to settle. But what is consistent in every account is that many made it to Aguleri, where the first wave settled and fanned out from there.

Linguistic Evidence Linking the Igbo to Gad

Jud. 12:6 Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.

Speech can betray a person. When I travel I like to listen to travelers speech and try and determine where they come from, what part of the world, or what part of North America they come from just by listening to their accent and pronunciation of words.

A good detective will take note of the written and verbal language of a victim and or suspect, paying close attention to enunciation, dialect and slang in order to determine their origins in an attempt to better trace and tract such persons of interest. For instance, In the Northern U.S., people call a carbonated beverage “pop,” in the Southern U.S. all carbonated beverages, no matter what brand is called “coke.” In the some parts of the Eastern U.S. a carbonated beverage is called a “soda.” Knowing the slang may help give away a where a person comes from.

As stated earlier in the above, we explored where the word Igbo came from and how it is related to the word Hebrew. Even Jewish historian Josephus a contemporary of the Rav Sha’ul (Apostle Paul) wrote in Antiquities of the Jews that, from Eber (Gen. 11:16-22, 14:13, I Chron. 1:25-27) came the word Hebrew which what Jews were first called.

It is said that when the warrior clan of the Igbo, the Ohafia warriors came to Nigeria, the locals asked them who they were and they responded, “We are Hebrews.” According to Eze Chukwuemeka-Eri (the present King who rules over all the Igbo), his Cabinet member Chief Ikenga, said the Ohafia warriors has a war song they sing prior to going to war which tells there they came from. The song basically says that they are “Ibrou (An obvious corruption of Hebrew)” who strikes fear into the enemy and scatters them. It tells how they journeyed over water and desert and reached Benien, Andoni, Ebeku and finally Aguleri and as a people branched out from there.

We know that regardless if Gad’s sons left before or after the Exodus or both, and regardless of how Paleo-Hebrew differs from Biblical and Modern Hebrew, you would think if these people really are connected to Israel, that some linguistic remnants would remain in the Igbo language.

It has been noted that the name “Igbo” in the Igbo Language also may have its origins in the word, “Ipugbo” and the phrase, “I pulu Gboo tupu ndi ozo,” meaning, “Those who left earlier.” Hinting that Gad’s son Eri, the father of the Igbo people and his companions left Egypt prior to the enslavement of the Hebrew People and the Exodus.

Eri, one of the sons of Gad is said to have built an altar in honor of the G-d of his father and that night Eri had a dream in which he was given a new name, “Igbo.” He adopted this new name and also named his fourth son Igbo in honor of this event and new name.

Igbo, in English had been give an interpretation; I-GO-Before-Others.

The etymological root of the name “Igbo” was rediscovered by an Anglican missionary and Archdeacon who worked among the Igbo in the 1900’s; Rev. G.T. Basden who also was a respected historian and ethnographer. He too asserted and agreed that the word “Igbo” was a corruption of the word “Hebrew.” 

Examples of Hebrew words surviving in the Igbo Language

The author noted that this is not an exhaustive list, that some words have more than one meaning and that some words have changed so much in meaning and pronunciation that this is the reason some words have not Biblical reference.

Names/Titles of G-d:
YHWH, Yah, El, Elohim

·        ELiYAHhu (Elijah) = Yah is my G-d
·        YEHoshua (Joshua) = Yehovah Saves
·        Sh’muEL (Samuel) = G-d Hears.
·        AriEL = Lion of G-d

Igbo:

Names/Titles of G-d:
Chi, Chukwu, Chineke

·        Chidi/Chuwudi = There is a G-d, G-d Exists.
·        Chizoba = G-d Saves
·        Chidinma = G-d is Good
·        Chibueze = G-d is King
·        Chukwuemeka = G-d has done Great things

There are some phrases that linguistically link the Igbo to Israel/Gad/Eri.

The Igbo’s kept a historical based, oral history that one can trace back to Gad’s son Eri; unlike the other peoples around them who used legend and myth to establish the origins of their people, claiming their progenitor fell from heaven to establish their people. A phrase heard in Igboland is, “Eri fell from heaven (Igwe).” It seems that the Igbo adopted the mythos phraseology of the peoples around them and is a perversion of, “Eri came from Israel (Jacob) and migrated from Egypt.”

“Mgbe Eri” or “Eri Mgbe” meaning “Since/at the time of Eri” to signify something a long time ago.

Nigeria has 374 ethnic groups, 500 spoken languages and most have some connection to the Igbo tongue.

According to the EBS (Edo Broadcasting Service) Fact File in Nigeria said that at least 250 identifiable tribes have distinct dialect yet share many commonalities with the Igbo Language.

Oduduwa a companion of Eri as he journeyed from Egypt to Nigeria, father of the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria proves a close Igbo-Yoruba connection and lends credence to the stories because of the close relationship in language that they share.

“The Jewish origin of the Igbos of Nigeria is as real as Oduduwa (of ancient Babylon) origin of the Yorubas or the Saudi Arabian origin of the Hausa-Fulah’s, without of course any prejudice to their (the Ibo’s) full Nigerian citizenship.” – Pof. O. Alazi

Please note that some words may appear as duplicates, but though spelled the same some words when pronounced or inflected differently carries a different meaning.

“It is significant to note that while the Ika can communicate with other Igbo people with some of whom they are separated by as much as two hundred and fifty miles, the Ika can never communicate with Ishan, their nearest neighbors – a few miles apart – except through Ishan. While the Ika does not have to learn the other dialect of Igbo to communicate with the Igbo man. All he does – and this is usually mutual – is adjust. No amount of adjustments short of learning Ishan, can make an Ika communicate with the Ishan, without using Ishan.” 

“On realizing the Ibo people’s Jewishness, the British Colonial masters began to refer to the Ibo, the Ifites, the Ivites, as Hebrew (English version of Ibrit, Ivrite or Ifite) – a name that was corrupted as Heebo, Eboe and finally Ibo. The name “Hebrew” from where Ibo is derived is simply the English version of the Jewish word “Ibrit” (pronounced Ivrit). In Hebrew, “b” is often pronounced as “v.” For instance, Tel Aviv is written as Tel Abib (see Ezekiel 3:15), but pronounced and now also written as Tel Aviv. In the same way, the name Gavriel in Hebrew is written as Gabriel in English. Interestingly, “b” is also pronounced as “v,” in some parts of Ibo nation – for example, ibu (load) or ivu (load); edule (ram) or evule (ram); abu (song) or avu (song), and so on.”

Cultural Evidences Linking the Igbo to Gad

A good detective in stiffing out the truth must pay close attention to body language and culture of a people; this also may give away a person’s origins. For example, Germans often uncovered American spies by the way they counted on their fingers, where the use of the thumb comes in.

By the way people act you can usually guess with fair accuracy where they may come from for example:

“Yes Ma’am, Thank you Miss.” Cultural protocol of the Southern U.S.

People of Oriental and Asian cultures often bow to greet one another.

Some cultures like some Middle Easter and European cultures will kiss the cheek and embrace. These same cultures may spit when disgusted at someone or something.

Some cultures in the Orient and in Canada require people remove their shoes at the door upon entering their home.

In 1789 Olauda Equiano, an Igbo and former slave who lived in London said in his autobiography that the Igbos were one of the lost tribes of Israel and cited the many identical cultural similarities between them and the Jews.

Missionaries when they came to Nigeria were dumbfounded to discover when they came to evangelize the Igbo People that the Igbo’s practiced many Hebraic/Jewish customs which they could not have learned from anyone else, it had to come from ancient practice of their people from antiquity; for they had no Bibles and met no one with a Bible until the missionaries came along.

They found that the Igbo’s practiced:

·        Eating of animals that meet the Biblically clean requirements as well as the complete draining of blood from the animal as well as other laws concerning Kashrut
·        The use of ritual washings like unto the mikvah
·        Washing of Hand before and after meals
·        Has a concept of clean and unclean, acceptable and abominable or taboo
·        Animal sacrifice like unto the Levitical sacrificial system
·        Believe in a Supreme, All-Powerful Deity (Chukwu) above all other deities
·        Circumcision on the 8th day as well as had the naming ceremony of the 8 day old child
·        Giving names that bear the name or title of G-d within it
·        Separation of menstruating women
·        Adah or Ada the name of the second woman mentioned in the Bible after Eve/Chavah (Gen. 4:19-20) and is also the title used to address the first born daughters of Igbo families
·        The keeping a lunar calendar
·        Shemita and Jubilee years: The annulment of debt and servitude every seven and fifty years
·        Burying their dead facing East, the direction of Jerusalem and the Promised Land
·        Burying their dead as quickly as possible
·        Sitting Shiva (seven day mourning period where one sits on low stools, remains unkempt and shave their head in grief)
·        Belief in a resurrection
·        Send the body’s home of Igbos who die outside of Igboland to be buried, like Joseph and Jacob desiring not to be buried in a pagan or foreign land
·        Lengthy funeral ceremonies such as found in Gen. 50:1-3
·        Preference of Inheritance and leadership was given to the first born and passed down through the fathers
·        Sung prior too and carried a type of Ark into battle when they went to war
·        Hospitality like unto the traditions and legends know of Abraham Offering water, meal and lodging to travelers
·        Converse and deliberate among men and leaders like that of Rabbi’s and students in a Yeshiva
·        Levirate type marriages, brothers marrying deceased brothers wives to carry on the brothers name
·        Marriage negotiations (Onye-aka-ebe) between families, like unto the story of Isaac and Rebecca
·        Polygamy
·        A type of, “Cities of Refuge,” where an Igbo who has committed a crime can seek refuge in his mother’s natal home, known in Igbo as, “Ikunne”
·        The concept of Sanctuary, similar to the Igbo Osu caste concept where a victim of violence may flee to the altar (alusi) for divine protection (I Kings 2:28-30)
·        Shunning of those who willingly break Igbo laws
·        Shunning of those who marry outside of the Igbo people
·        Laws against sexual perversion, incest and the like, they had to marry among their people but outside their immediate tribal clan
·        Justice and punishment for certain crimes followed the lines of,  “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”
·        A rule of Torah (Law) was developed and was passed down by Eri
·        No jails or penal system
·        Rite of passage into adulthood
·        Governance of the people by a conglomerate of tribal elders and judges prior to the institution of kingship dynasties
·        The coronation of the Kings have rituals and customs that closely remember that of the coronation of Kings of Judah and Israel
·        Symbolic attire and accessories of the Kings and Elders closely resembled that of Kings and Tribal leaders of Judah and Israel

These among many other Jewish laws and customs were found to be kept by the Igbo people and sadly, the Christian missionaries forced them to abandon many of these Hebraic practices because though they resembled Biblical worship of G-d, they believed many have been done away with due to the advent of Messiah and they believed they practiced these customs unto pagan gods and as such should be abandoned. The Igbo’s are slowly beginning to return to the pre-missionary practices, desiring to return to their Hebraic roots.

One Igbo man named Avraham , a Cantor of the Natsari Jewish community in Nigeria said,

“In a nutshell, every law as stated in the Torah was being practiced by our forefathers before the advent of Christianity. Except that our fathers went into idol worship, but they still kept the tradition as was handed over to them by their forefathers.”


And should not the idolatry too be seen as possible evidence of their connection to Gad and Israel because did not all Israel have a problem with Idolatry when one reads the Tanak!?

Another unique cultural fact is that the 7th day Sabbath was not observed by the Igbos until the 1940’s promoted by a revelation given to an Igbo man named De Okeke from Akwa-ete presently known as Abia State in Southeast Nigeria. Prior to this the Igbos observed a 4 of 8 day rest believed to have been adopted from the apostasy of Jeroboam. But such a Sabbath was nonetheless observed by an abstaining from work and commerce.

The Igbo also have always believed that they came to Nigeria from someplace else and are not indigenous to Nigeria. They have been often seen by other tribes in Nigeria as strangers in the land and outsiders because though they looked like them, their customs and cultural practices were strange and foreign to the ways of people that were indigenous to Nigeria.

“The idiosyncary that distinguish the other Hebrews in the Diaspora are also boldly visible on the character of the Igbo, their brethren in Nigeria. These apply to their culture, work ethic, value system, vocabularies, social institutions and traditional religion.” 

Culturally world wide Jews are known as enterprisers and business minded, so much so that many anti-Semitic conspiracy theories claim Jews run Hollywood and the Banking system. Gani Fawehinmi, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights activist said, “The Igbos, by their contribution to the economic development of this country are otherwise called the JEWS of this country.”

Many Jews are famous personalities and entertainers of all sorts in Hollywood and Nigeria is considered the Hollywood of Africa. Many African American Entertainers and Personalities are of Igbo descent; Rev. TD Jakes, Sammy Davis Jr., Ice Cube, Kobe Bryant, Vivica A. Fox, Blair Underwood, Gabrielle Union, Nia Long, Brandy Norwood, Johnny Gill, Whitney Huston, Keisha Night-Pulliam (Rudy from Cosby show), Tempest Bledso (Vanessa from Cosby show), Anita Baker, Missy Elliot, Forest Whitaker, Queen Latifah, American Idol contestant Chikezi, NFL’s Nnamdi Asomugha, NBA’s Emeka Okafo, author Nnedi Okorafor, among many, many others.

Parts of Nigeria such as Nnewi are known for its automotive and computer savvy-ness and is called the “Japan of Nigeria.” And it is an Igbo American man, Philip Emeagwalu who is credited to have created the internet.

Another culturally consideration is the Igbo predisposition to Abrahamic religions. The Igbos have been called, The Gospel Tribe of Nigeria” because the Igbo attraction to G-d and religion moreso then any other tribe in Africa. They are considered the easiest people evangelized by missionaries. The majority of religious institutions in Nigeria are mostly made up of Igbos. Atheism is regarded as a strange philosophy or worldview among the Igbo.

Culturally it also must be noted the parallel histories of the Jews and Igbos/Hebrews of Nigeria how they have been scattered world wide and where ever they go they are considered strangers and are persecuted by the indigenous peoples they find themselves around.

Israel was taken into slavery by Egypt and the Igbos one of the first of the African peoples to be taken into slavery by the white men of the west. An old slave trading advertisement read, “To be sold…. Fine Heeboes.” There were some Igbo slaves so tenacious and uncontrollable that they were put onto separate boats to Haiti and Jamaica to be exiled. Haiti still has a proverb that says, “The Igbo has hung Himself,” meaning one would rather die than to be forced into doing something. They have the folklore song called “Ibu Lele.” And anything of value is referred to as, “Ibu.” They have a place called Ibo Beach. In Jamaica they have a place called Ibu Town.  Ebo Landing is located in St. Simons Georgia (1850’s) is known for a slave ship landing on its shores and the Igbo slaves refused to disembark, but rather fell over board in their chains and drown. They would rather die than to be slaves. They believed their souls would fly back to Igboland to rest. Some accounts say they actually made it to shore and conspired a suicide pact and ran into the water and drown. Why would they do this? Maybe because they knew of the slavery of their ancestors in Egypt and refused to allow history to repeat itself?

Jews underwent the infamous persecution of the Jews during the many pogroms and holocaust of World War II. Igbo underwent a type of holocaust during the Nigerian Biafran War (6th of July 1967–15th of January 1970) where many Igbos were slaughtered by the surrounding peoples of Nigeria.


The Igbos history uncannily parallels much of Jewish history in so many ways. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Archeological Evidence Linking the Igbo to Gad

For example, a picture or drawing of a snake in one culture may be a symbol of wisdom or eternal life and in another culture it may mean evil, danger or death.

Paleo-Hebrew Script has been found in various places in the Igbo Territories of Nigeria.

Drawings like unto the Mogen David, Star of David have been found in various places of Igboland prior to missionary arrival to Nigeria.

“One scholar who visited Iboland, saw a swastika there and questioned how the Ebos/Hebrews could have this symbol and be Jewish. Sar Amariel answered the question stating, ‘This is an ancient Hebrew symbol that represents the sun…’” – Document: Tabernacle Congregation Prayer Yeshiva to HRM A.E. Chukwuemeka-Eri (Ezerora 34th and KAK Ji Ofor Igbo) King of the Igbos

And indeed swastikas have been found on the relieves of ancient synagogues in Israel. No wonder the Nazis adopted this symbol to imply they were like the sun and greater that the Star of David.

It has already been mentioned earlier regarding the Stone Throne at Obu-Gad with the Paleo-Hebrew Inscription at the foot of the throne as well as the onyx stone.

In 1917 the British discovered, about 500 ft below the soil on the palace grounds a solid bronze Star of David indicating the Igbo people may have migrated from the ancient city of David. To commemorate this event, Nigerian kobo coins were minted with a Star of David on it.
                     

Between 1938-1959 Archeologists led by Thurston Shaw at an Igbo-Ukwu excavation near Oaeri town unearthed what is believed to be a mask portraying an Igbo face. Also unearthed were bronze items, pots, bowls, etc.,  including a pot believed to be used in the coronation of Igbo Kings. Also found were bronze intricate beads that reflected wealth and artistic skill as well as attests to international trade by ancient Igbos. Some archeological dating tests suggest Igbos have occupied Nigeria as early as 3,000 BCE. Radio carbon dating of the objects suggests that Igbos occupied Nigeria before 800 CE.

Finding Gad

The Tribe of Gad. Gad was the 7th son of Jacob, the 1st son of Jacob and Zilpah the handmaid of Leah (Gen. 30:9-11) and was considered Leah’s 5th son . Wow, pretty significant and meaningful biblical numbers; 1, 5, 7. One = Unity/YHWH, Five = Torah and Grace, and Seven = Completion and Perfection. Gad means. An army or a troop and also implies good fortune, for there is a pagan deity named Gad, pronounced, “Gawd"

The following are verses which mention Gad and the sons and descendants of Gad. Could these give us a clue to who now comprises the Tribe of Gad? I do believe so.

Gen. 30:11 And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad.

Gen. 35:26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these [are] the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram.

Gen. 46:16 And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.

the meanings of the names of the Sons of Gad

Ziphion: Watchtower
Haggi: Holiday, Celebration, Feast Day
Shuni: Seashore or Harbor
Ezbon: Wild Rosebush
Eri: My Guardian
Arodi: Bronz
Areli: Messenger and or Lion of God

Gen. 49:19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.

Num. 2:14 Then the tribe of Gad: and the captain of the sons of Gad [shall be] Eliasaph the son of Reuel. (Also rendered Eliasaph the son of Deuel in Numbers 1:14, 7:42, 10:20; a possible scribal error as a Resh and Dalet in Hebrew could easily be mistaken if not written correctly)

Num. 13:15 Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi.

Num. 26:15 The children of Gad after their families: of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites: of Haggi, the family of the Haggites: of Shuni, the family of the Shunites:

Num. 32:34 And the children of Gad built Dibon, and Ataroth, and Aroer,

Rev. 7:5 … Of the tribe of Gad [were] sealed twelve thousand.

Ya’akov (Jacob) prophetically blessed the children of Gad

Gen. 49:19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.

Moshe (Moses) prophetically blessed the children of Gad

Deut. 33:20 And of Gad he said, Blessed [be] he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head.

GAD’S SONS ERI AND ARELI

In Genesis 46:16 we read that two of the sons of Gad are named Eri and Areli.

The Ibu (also rendered: Ibo, Igbo, Ebo, Ebu, Obu etc.) tribe of Nigeria has staked claim to be the descendants of the Israeli tribal patriarch Gad. But some Spaniards, Arabs among other peoples claim to be of Gad as well. So who is right? Who is of Gad? Can all, if any of them be of Gad? Remember Gad had sons who became the head of the clans of Gad and these clan heads could have scattered all over the world after the Assyrian captivity instead of sticking together.

Gen. 46:16 And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.

The Ibu’s ancestors and the related tribe of the Idoma of Benue State in Nigeria are said to come from Eri and Areli. So it is very possible other peoples around the world who claim to be from Gad are Gad also.

Ibu (and its various renderings) is said to be derived from Shem’s descendant Eber, where we get the word “Hebrew” from.

“The Igbo Jews are said to have migrated from Syrian, Portuguese and Libyan Israelites into West Africa. Historical records shows that this migration started around 740 C.E. According to UCLA trained amateur Jewish Historian and Rio Hondo Police Academy trained Forensic investigator Chinedu Nwabunwanne of Aguleri, who resides in Los Angeles and has researched this subject for more than 15 years at the UCLA libraries in Los Angeles, "the migration started when the forces of Caliph Mohammed -the last leader of the Umayyads- and his Qaysi-Arab supportes defeated the Yamani-Arab Umayyads of Syria in 744 C.E; sacked the Yamanis and their Jewish supporters from Syria. The Syrian-Jewish migrant tribes Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher resettled in Nigeria where they became known as Sambatyon Jews. In 1484 and 1667 Judeans and Zebulonians from Portugal and Libya respectively joined Sambatyon Jews of Nigeria. Thus, Nigerian Jews originated from the following six Israelite tribes: Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher and Zebulon. It is interesting to note that these six tribes are the same tribes Moses repeated their names twice when he blessed the Children Of Israel. These six tribes mentioned above are The House Of Judah and the children of Israel his companions (Ezekiel 37:16. Those remaining six tribes not mentioned above are The House Of Ephraim and the children of Israel his companion (Ezekiel 37:16)."”

 They interpret their name “Ibo” as a mispronounced “Hebrew” and till today, the members pray to “Chuku Abiama” - Abraham’s God. The Ibos, well known for their struggle for independence in the Biafra war, are now considered the “Jews of Nigeria” and have contributed greatly to the intellectual and economic development in that country.”

“Outreach to Nigerian Jews by the wider Jewish world community gained official status in 1995 – 1997, when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin sent a team to Nigeria in search of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Western rabbis and educators such as Rabbi Gorin have visited the community at times and Jewish communities in the West support those in Nigeria by sending books, computers, and religious articles. However, the State of Israel has, to date, not officially recognized the Igbo as one of the Lost Tribes.

Israel Today originally reported in 2006 how Chief Rabbinate recognized the Ebos as sons of Israel descended from Gad. And indeed, there is an Ebo-Gad community in Tel Aviv Israel who have their own synagogue. There has been great debates in the Israeli courts, secular and religious regarding the identity of the Ebo’s; many immigration and deportation legal battles. The argument is not necessarily are they truly of Gad, but should they be considered returnees or new converts and it was eventually decided to allow them to make Aliyah as a returning tribe.

Har Ararets magazine in Oct, 12, 2005 article declared the Ebos to be sons of Israel through Gad. Dr. G.T. Basden, an Anglican missionary and anthropologist, along with Prof. Elisabeth Isichei an Australian historian and Melville Merrskovits, an American writer all strongly believe there is enough evidences to link the Ebo’s of Nigeria to the Israeli tribe of Gad. Among Ebo authorities, Prof. O. Alezi and ex-slave Olaudah (Ikwuano) Equiano also strongly believed that the Ebos were descendants of Gad.

In several editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1929 connects the Ebo people to Gad. A Torah commentary on Sh’mot in 1922 makes the Ebo-Gad connection also.

Ohafia warriors from Abia state in Nigeria when they first came to Nigeria, the locals asked them who they were and they responded, “We are Hebrews.”

Eri is listed in Gen. 46:16, Num. 26:16-18 as a descendant of Gad and this name is still in the official title of the King of the Ebo people today in Nigeria; His Royal Majesty Eze (King) A.E. Chukwuemeka-Eri.

In Aguleri, Anambra State, Eastern Nigeria is where the King resides and it is officially called Obu-Gad, meaning, “The Palace of Gad.” It has been frequented by Rabbi’s and Jewish scholars and archeologists alike. Found next to the palace is the ancient stone throne of the Ebos which at the foot of it is a Paleo-Hebrew inscription made from a specific seas shell used as ancient currency which reads, “Give” or “Gift.” I have been there myself and can personally verify this to be true. Also on the palace grounds are three trees joined above ground by the roots to form a concave fence under which is said to lie the second Ebo-King who died during a time when the people were off working in the fields and when the rivers overflowed their banks during the rainy season it prevented their return home. When they finally made it they discovered their King had been dead a few days and so they buried him quickly very close to the palace and shortly thereafter these three trees miraculously sprang up to for a memorial like headstone. I too have seen this and can verify this as well.

A Messianic Rabbi from Nigeria who now resides in Florida wrote:

“I was doing my morning devotion, the Lord led me to read from the book of Genesis: “The sons of Gad were Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli” (Genesis 46:16). As I read this verse, the name Eri literally jumped out of the book and hit me in the face!

I thought, what if this whole dream, and the accompanied Torah verse of Genesis 46:16, which confirmed it, were all a figment of my imagination? Who will believe my report since there is no so called “empirical evidence?” Could any other human being still alive evercorroborate this finding? These questions, and many others, ran through my mind even as I felt a tingling of excitement in my heart. When I arrived at my office that morning, I telephoned two Nigerian friends of mine. First, I called Attorney Innocent Chinweze (from Aguleri) and inquired of him if the name Eri meant anything to him and his town folks. He informed me that Eri was the first Hebrew man to settle in Nigeria. Eri was the father of Aguleri and other sons who together became great ancestors of the Ibos. The compound where Eri settled in Aguleri is called Obu Gad and has become a historic site in Aguleri. Obu Gad when translated from Ibo language means, “The Compound of Gad.”Attorney Innocent Chinweze shared a great multitude of facts with me concerning His Royal Majesty, Eze A.E Chukwuemeka-Eri, Ezeora 34th & Aka Ji Ofor Igbo the Traditional Ruler of Ifite Aguleri who was ordained king at 21 years of age. To my amazement, he informed me that in 1995, a number of Jewish Rabbis came to Nigeria in search of their lost brother, Eri. Their search took them to Aguleri where there was a very emotional ceremony and reunion of kindred.

Secondly, I contacted my other friend born in Umueri, a neighboring town of Aguleri in Nigeria. Felix Eziagulu confirmed much of what Attorney Innocent Chinweze narrated to me.“Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, the Counsel of the Lord is established.” I wondered why no one ever told me about Eri while I lived in Nigeria. In fact, I wondered why throughout my entire educational career in Nigeria, achieving to the master’s level, I never came across any literature or individual who knew about this and why the information was never shared with me from the time of my birth to the writing of my testimony. Also, I pondered whether my father (Late) Gabriel Udeorah Ogugua (O-goo-gwa) knew about this, and why he never shared the information with his son. Astonished by the account of Eri and the Ancestral Hebrew Heritage of the Ibos, I decided to visit my Dad and the people of Aguleri in December of 2003. Sadly, on October 2, 2003, just a few days after I received the revelation and made plans, I was devastated when I received a call from Nigeria. My father had moved on to be with God on October 1, 2003!! Grieved by the loss of my father because of who he was in my life, and the lost opportunity to explore the one question that meant everything – Eri. I asked the Lord why he chose to take my father home at the time He did. To my greatest astonishment, the Lord impressed upon my heart that the business concerningEri and the Heritage of the Ibos is between Him and me and not between me and my earthly father. I “sucked it up” and went home on November 23, 2003 to bury my father. On the night of November 24, 2003, my first night in Nigeria, the Lord spoke to me in the following words,

“Reveal My name to My people according to the Tabernacle of David and you shall declare the Year of Jubilee in the land.”

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob wanted to reveal Himself to the Ibos afresh as‘Chukwu Abiama’ (God of Abraham) through a renewed revelation of Yeshua ben David (Jesus, son of David).” – Rabbi Gavriel Ogugua

The British found in 1917, about 500 ft below the soil on the palace grounds a solid bronze Star of David indicating the Ebo people may have migrated from the ancient city of David. Also, in a booklet given to be by the King of Obu-Gad, it says,

“One scholar who visited Iboland, saw a swastika there and questioned how the Ebos/Hebrews could have this symbol and be Jewish. Sar Amariel answered the question stating, ‘This is an ancient Hebrew symbol that represents the sun…’”


And indeed swastikas have been found on the relief’s of ancient synagogues in Israel. No wonder the Nazis adopted this symbol to imply they were like the sun and greater that the Star of David.

It should come as no surprise that the Ebo people of Nigeria are of Gad. Other African tribes such as the Lemba of Ethiopia claimed to be of Levi and DNA tests confirm the presence of the Cohen gene in their DNA, proving them to be the descendants of Levi and Aaron.

Among such archeological evidence, Ebo cultural evidence also points to them being Hebrews. For missionaries were dumbfounded to discover when they came to evangelize the Ebo’s that they practiced circumcision on the 8th day, naming ceremony, separation of menstruating women. They kept a lunar calendar and had an annulment if debt and servitude every seven years as well as buried their dead facing East and believed in a resurrection. Preference of Inheritance and leadership was given to the first born and passed down through the fathers, this among many other Jewish laws and customs were found to be kept by the Ebo people and the Christian missionaries forced them to abandon many of these Hebraic practices.

One Ebo, Avraham, a canter of the Natsari Jewish community in Nigeria said,

“In a nutshell, every law as stated in the Torah was being practiced by our forefathers before the advent of Christianity. Except that our fathers went into idol worship, but they still kept the tradition as was handed over to them by their forefathers.”

And should not the idolatry too be seen as possible evidence of their connection to Gad and Israel because did not all Israel have a problem with Idolatry when one reads the Tanak!?

Another unique cultural fact is that the 7th day Sabbath was not observed by the Ebos until the 1940’s promoted by a revelation given to an Ebo man named De Okeke from Akwa-ete presently known as Abia State in Southeast Nigeria. Prior to this the Ebos observed a 4 of 8 day rest believed to have been adopted from the apostasy of Jeroboam. But such a Sabbath was nonetheless observed by an abstaining from work and commerce.

So you see the Ebo people’s claim of being Gad is not a fly by night claim based on fiction but archeological, historical and cultural evidences in which new facts are uncovered year after year.


As I said earlier, Gad did have sons who became the head of the clans of Gad and these clan heads could have scattered all over the world after the Assyrian captivity instead of sticking together. So it is very possible other peoples around the world who claim to be from Gad are from Gad, but these claims need to be heavily scrutinized and investigated in order to find ample solid evidence to substantiate such claims. The culture, customs, tradition, legends, literature, genealogies and archeological artifacts must be investigated and scoured tediously if any such the claims are ever to be substantiated.

The Tribe of Reuben and the Igbo

Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. – Gen. 49:3-4

Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be few. – Deut. 33:6

Some speculate that even a portion of Reuben may have traveled with Eri son of Gad to Nigeria, seeing as Gad camped under Reuben’s banner while in the wilderness. 

Reuben is the tribe that occupied the other side of the Jordan with Gad and Manasseh, so it is possible that with such a close tribal affiliation of these tribes that what remained of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh when the Assyrians attacked to take them off into exile, that Reuben and Manasseh may have traveled with the next wave of Gadites to join their brothers already in Nigeria, therefore it is very possible Reubenites may be among the Igbo. 

Reuben, given his Biblical history and character was known for pride, rebellion and romance both of which fit France and Quebec to a “T”. France has had more coups and rebellions against monarchs and governments than any other country in the world. They truly have been “unstable as water.” France is also known for its romance and sexual appetite which got Reuben in trouble with his father for lying with his concubine Bilhah. The French, like Reuben is known as a very prideful people.


It also should be of great interest that France was one of the few countries that stood in solidarity with Biafra during the war and that this camaraderie influenced many Biafrans to learn and speak French! If Biafra would have won and carved out a homeland in Nigeria, the official languages would likely have been Igbo, English and French.

The Tribe of Manasseh and Ephraim and the Igbo

And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son. – Gen. 30:24

And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. – Gen. 41:51

And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him. –Gen 46:20

And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. – Gen. 48:5

And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh. – Gen. 48:20

Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)  Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren. - Gen. 49:22-26 – italics mine  

And of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) he said, Blessed of the LORD [be] his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, And for the precious fruits [brought forth] by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh. -Deut. 33:13-17 – italics mine  

Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand…. tribe of Joseph (Ephraim) were sealed twelve thousand. – Rev. 7:6, 8 – italics mine 

Manasseh is the son of Joseph, and he and his brother Ephraim were adopted as sons of Jacob/Israel in order to make the tribes 12, because, Levi, although a son of Jacob/Israel, had no inheritance in the Land of Promise, but the service of the priesthood unto GOD was to be their inheritance. 

Jacob blessed Josephs sons breaking somewhat with tradition and putting the younger above the elder, but clearly indicating both sons would become two massive tribes that would prosper and be scattered abroad. 

Ephraim, being made greater, was sometimes used to indicate all of 10 tribes of Israel’s Northern Kingdom. So, could Manasseh, being Ephraim’s brother also be used to indicate the 10 tribes or is the name Manasseh strictly used to only refer to the tribe. This has been a cause for much speculation and debate. Even the Book of Revelation seems to indicate Joseph is Ephraim and Manasseh is a separate tribe. Although I have heard that some argue that Manasseh in this passage was really Dan as they are mysteriously missing from the list of sealed tribes.

The Igbo’s of the West African country of Nigeria have claimed to be remnants of the lost tribes of dominantly of Gad, Zebulon, and Manasseh:

It has also been suggested that the Jewish Ibo people originated from a migration of Israelites who fled to West Africa. They claim to be descended from three tribes; Zebulon, Gad and Manasseh.

The Igbo Jews traditionally claim descent from three particular Israelite tribes: Gad, Zevulun, and Menashe. The Jews of Manipur and Mizoram, the Bnei Menashe, also claim descent from the tribe of Menashe. It is thought that these Jews fled to Africa after the destruction of the biblical Temples in Jerusalem and established communities all across the African continent. 

Yet evidence, either hard or circumstantial to firmly establish this belief is hard to come by. I have no problem believing Manasseh to be among the Igbo, but if so, they have likely been swallowed up by Gad, the dominate Hebraic tribe among the Igbo. I can understand the possibility that Manasseh may be used as the name Ephraim sometimes has been, in a generic term to denote Israelites from all 10 tribes that have migrated to be with their brethren in Nigeria. Or it could literally mean the tribe of Manasseh, because Manasseh, being black, or at least darker than some of his Semitic Hebrew brethren, finding himself in Assyrian exile and captivity and escaping, would find themselves migrating to countries that more closely resemble their visual ethnos so as to blend in to the peoples around them, skirting certain types of persecution, while at the same being able to practice their faith without trouble. 

However, there is a linguistic connection the Igbo clans have to Manasseh. Igbo clans who have the word “Ichi” or “chi” in their names believe they are from Manasseh. In Nnewi there is the Ichi-da and Ichi sub clan.  In Anambra State there is the Ichi clan. In Enugu State we have the Ame-chi Awkunanan clan, all of which have traces of Manasseh’s name within them. 

Manasseh in India?

The Israeli authorities have officially recognized and gave allowance of aliyah (immigration) status (with the understanding that they have to officially convert) to the Kuki-Chin-Mizo people of Northeast India, also known as Bnei Menashe, in 2005 by the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel.

The Indian connection to Manasseh has also been confirmed by the Jewish Canadian Archeologist Simcha Jacaobovici in his A&E documentary “Quest for the Lost Tribes” This documentary also reveals that a portion of all 12 tribes the Afghan Pathan’s who are now Muslim, carry the names and some of the traditional traits and practices of the 12 tribes of Israel.  This documentary also tells of the Jews of Kaifeng China who believe they are from Manasseh.

Manasseh and Ephraim who were prophesied to become very large, and like Simeon and Levi were to be scattered among all the tribes. So I think it is a likely possibility that Manasseh and even Ephraim could be among the Igbos. But just the same, I am sure we can find them among many other people groups of the world. 

Manasseh in Europe?


British Israelite Scholars such as Steven M. Collins and Yair Davidiy have written extensive volumes on the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh alone that is too complex to get into here, but suffice it to say the main gist of their research and belief point to Britain having absorbed much of the Ephraimites and the United States absorbing much of Manasseh.  I am not here neither support nor debunk such claims, but leave it to the reader to research and decide this for themselves. I have even ran across those who believe that Cubans are Manasseh and Puerto Ricans are Ephraim, but have never seen any convincing evidence, circumstantial or otherwise to verify this, though it is never out of the realm of possibility. 

The Tribe of Zebulon and the Igbo

The following is a brief Scriptural synopsis of Zebulon, his birth, what was prophesied about him and his end as a patriarch and as a tribe in the future. 

And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun. – Gen. 30:20

The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun. – Gen. 35:23 

Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon. – Gen. 49:13

Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob… Zebulun Exd. 1:1, 3

 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. (Exd. 13:19/Jasher 80:62) The children of Israel also brought up, each man his father's coffin with him, and each man the coffins of his tribe. Jasher 80:63

The Tomb of Zebulun is located in Sidon, Lebanon. In the past, towards the end of Iyyar, Jews from the most distant parts of Palestine would make a pilgrimage to this tomb.

And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. – Deut. 27:13 

And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand. – Deut. 33:18-19

Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer. – Jud. 5:14

Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field. – Jud. 5:18 

Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: [they were] not of double heart. – I Chron. 12:33

And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. – Gen. 46:14

Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. – Rev. 7:8a

Zebulun was the 10th son of Jacob and the 6th son of Jacob and Leah, brother of Reuben, Simon, Levi, Judah, Issachar , Dan, Naftali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin and Dinah; and father of Sered, Elon, and Jahleel (Genesis 35:23-26; Genesis 25:26-34).

The number 6 represents man, or just shy of perfection and we were made in G-d’s image, yet a little lower than the angels as the Bible tells us. 6 is also the letter Vav in Hebrew which is symbolic of a stake or tent peg, symbolizing groundedness and security. 10 is the number of law and order. Ten is represented by the letter Yod, which is symbolized by the hand. Could this mean Zebulun was a hard worker with his hands with farming, shipbuilding, warfare and business? Could this numerology collectively also hint of his military naval prowess by ordering men at sea or in battle?  The tribal symbol and banner for Zebulon after all is a fleet of ships.

The name Zebulon means, or carries the meaning of, Dwelling, Habitation, and Exaltation. 

Zebulon is spelled: Zayin-Beit-Vav-Lamed-Vav-final Nun. Each Hebrew letter has a symbolic meaning and a pictorial meaning.  

·      Zayin (Z) Sickle, Weapon = Food, Cut, Nourish, #7: The blood of Messiah overcomes the powers of Hell (cancels sin).  

·      Bet (B) Tent, Floorplan = Home, Family, #2: The Messiah is the habitation of his people.  

·      Vav (V/W) Tent Peg, Nail = To Hang, To Secure, To Fasten, To Add, #6: The Messiah grips and tears the evil of the flesh.  

·      Lamed (L) Shepherd staff = Teach, Yoke, Bind, #30: The Messiah is the Great Teacher of discipline through twelve Tribes and Apostles.  

·      Nun (N) Seed, Son, Heir, #50: The Messiah is the steadfastness of His people. The Heavenly Yehoshua (Joshua) the son of Nun.  

So we can say that Zebulon is the Protector and Provider of the House/Family and Secures such with Teaching and Secures the future with Seed and or Sons.  Zebulon were navel warriors, tradesmen and fishermen. The Book of Judges speaks of them handling the pen which could mean they were as seamen they were traders and made treaties which kept them prosperous and safe for generations to come. Handling the pen also could indicate they could have been great teachers and scholars or that they were very good at passing down knowledge to their children or others.  This fits well with the prophecies given them my Jacob (Israel) and Moses. 

The general meaning of their name means that they exalt, lift up, praise or improve the places where they dwell and inhabit, which again hints of their being skilled explorer, tradesmen and possibly agriculturists. Because they dwelt by water they knew how to harness it through irrigation and or the use of it to generate power.  This does fit the people I will talk about in this study.

Rabbinic legends tell that Zebulon were successful seamen that brought in income to Issachar in order for them to stay home and study Torah and be great teachers, lawyers and diplomats (Genesis Rabbah 72:5). 

There is a pseudopigraphal book called, “The Testament of Zebulun” which is supposedly what Zebulun said to his children and grandchildren before he died. The main theme was being compassionate and charitable towards others, that what goes around comes around. In this book also tells how he was became a sailor and was a fisherman by summer and a shepherd by winter. So far fits with what we know of Zebulon from other documents, legends and accounts.

Zebulon’s tribal stone in the Levitical Breastplate is the Amethyst – Hebrew – ahlama.  The Amethyst symbolizes power, protection and healing.  The Greek meaning means “Not Drunk.” The Hebrew means, “Dream stone.”  The Hebraic meaning of the letters of this word means, “Strong fence and yoke upon the watery home.”  Could all this hint of Zebulon’s hard sailor attitude and hence the Testament of Zebulun’s focus on the need for compassion? However, Exodus Rabbah 38:5 says the stone representing Zebulon was a diamond. Diamonds are the hardest precious gem known to man. Sailors are known for being hardened men, Zebulon were hardened sailors and warriors, again reason for the Testament of Zebulun’s focus on the need for compassion?

Mystically speaking, Zebulun in Jewish mysticism is represented by the Hebrew Month of Sivan and is symbolic of Movement. Zebulon, a quiet tribe is all about action, movement through hard work. The Hebraic month of Sivan falls within the Counting of the Omer, representing agricultural abundance and growth.  Shavuot, the harvest festival and the festival celebrating the given of the Torah at Sinai are both celebrated in this month. This would tie in with how Zebulon participates in the spreading of Torah by quietly assisting the scholars in working to fund their studies. 

And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. – Gen. 46:14

We already know what the Name Zebulun means, but what of that of His sons?

·      Sered – To tremble. Obviously a name of ferocity to strike fear into the heart of his enemies.

·      Elon/Ilon – Some argument to the exact meaning, but my sources say, God most High, Or Oak Grove, either way it is a name of strength and security of immovableness. 

·      Jahleel/Yahleel – Expectant of God. A name that gives hope to its bearer to expect God to do mighty things for him.  

As a sailor, merchant, warrior or farmer, you need all these traits to stand immovable in the face of the enemy and expect God to fight with and for you, or to not take no for an answer in business, or to expect God for a good harvest, even in the most adverse conditions. 

Other than what we just uncovered, not a lot is known about Zebulon. He is a mysterious patriarch.  He seems to be a quiet fellow in Scripture, maybe because he was a way at war or on the sea or busy in his fields most of the time.

The Scattering of the 10 Tribes

There is an imbalanced view fueled by racial prejudice and supremacy that says the Lost Tribes either have to be black or white. They have to be found either in Africa or the Northern Hemisphere of Europe and the Americas. You have the two opposing camps of Black Hebrewism and British Israelitism. Both have their extremists and bias embellished propaganda, and both equally have their grains of researchable and verifiable truth. I have no problem accepting that a portion of both camps are true. Why? Because the 10 tribes which made up the Northern Kingdom of Israel that went off into Assyrian captivity has never returned and these peoples were transported, sold, traded, migrated, scattered and settled everywhere; having mingled through marriage and assimilation into virtually every people group on the planet and thus Hebrews have become a part of virtually every nationality, and ethnicity. 

Though portions of Judah and Levi has been scattered with the other 10 tribes, who we recognize as Jews today come from Judah and Levi who went off into Babylonian captivity and eventually returned and this is who we recognize as Jews today.

I think it is undeniably clear that the first Hebrews were of brown to black in complexion and many of Shem’s line married into the dark complexion of the Hammitic line, genetically producing dark skinned Hebrews. But through the two captivities and scattering in the diaspora, Hebrews (Israelites) and Jews, as I said earlier, have mingled with many peoples of the world and have migrated to unfamiliar climates and through the centuries some Jews and Hebrews/Israelites have lost much of the darker skin tone and so we have descendants of Jacob (Israel) of every color, shape and size. I believe HaShem has allowed this to happen to break down racial barriers and the dividing wall between Jew/Hebrew/Israelite and Gentile and as a way of reversing the effects of the Tower of Babel. Instead we have perverted this purpose to fortify disgusting racist diatribes. Therefore, it would be prejudice and foolhardy of us to dismiss either side of the debate because of issues of bias or race. Let us glean the truth that inherently resides in both sides of the issue. 

Where in the World is Zebulon?

We know according to Revelation that in the End of Days Zebulun will be found and accounted for.

Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. – Rev. 7:8a

So where will they be found?

Some speculate that he is in Nigeria among the Igbos and Ijaws. Others say he ended up in Holland, also known as the Netherlands as well as South Africa. Are any of these claims true? Granted, hard evidence is difficult to come by, but the circumstantial evidence is incredibly striking and compelling, so much so that it makes claiming sheer coincidence sound as if one is grasping desperately at straws to deny the plain and clear truth and succor their own religiously prejudice views.

Zebulon in West Africa; Nigeria:

It is said that Ijaw (Ujo) was a traveling companion of Eri, Areli and Adodi as they fled Egypt. Oral tradition states that Ijaw is a son or some descendant of Zebulon. Others say he came from Egypt, which is where Eri and his traveling companions set out from! However, Ijaw is not listed in any Canonical Biblical genealogies that I could find. But this should come as no surprise as one person could go by different names and it may be that Ijaw was known by another name in Biblical Writ. Or it could be Ijaw was a son of one of Zebulun's sons, and there for not recorded in any Biblical genealogy. He was said to be the water scout and river navigator of the group, and even today the Ijaw (Ijo, Izon) tribe and land can be found near water and many are fishermen.

Ijaw (Ijo, Ojo, Ejo, Ujo, Izon) means, “Real, Good or Palm tree;” could this relate to Zebuon’s son Elon, meaning, “Oak Grove”? Could this Ijaw be Elon or Ilon or at least a descendant of his? 

We know from history that the Ijaw and Igbo are fierce warriors as well as the people in general have a positive or “expectant” attitude toward the work of the divine in their life, no matter how bad things get around them.

Could it be that Elon/Ilon, Sered and Jahleel or at least their descendants traveled with Gad’s sons Eri, Areli and Arodi to Nigeria?

Some Ubulu in Igboland Nigeria claim that they know they came from Zebulon.  Ubulu in Igbo is the name of and means a “huge tree,” could this relate to Zebuon’s son Elon, meaning, “Oak Grove”? I ask, could Ubulu be named after Elon or Ilon of Zebulun or at least a descendant of his?  The word in Igbo zebulu means to protect, hide or save oneself.  This sort of relates to the Hebraic meaning of Zebulon, dwelling and habitation, because both carry the connotation of a hidden and protective place. 

Ubulu oral tradition states categorically that the grand-parents of Ezemu (a famous Hunter, Marksman and Herbalist) migrated from Israel and settled at Ife hence Ezemu was often referred to as the king with long hairs – “Ezi Isi Iyomiyo”. From Ife Ezemu and his relations migrated to Afor a village in present day Ndokwa Local Government Area of Delta State.

“Legend that one of the descendants of Eri (from Gad) who first settled in Onitsha, at the bank of River Niger, near the domain of his relatives from the descendants of Zebulun (Ozubulu in Anambra State) had to travel across the River Niger to the ancient city of Benin or kingdom to prepare war medicine, talisman or charm for a prospective contender to the stool of Oba of Benin.” -  Prof. O. Alaezi, Ibo Exodus, pg.  25 – italics mine 

“The Igbo Jews are said to have migrated from Syrian, Portuguese and Libyan Israelites into West Africa. Historical records shows that this migration started around 740 C.E. According to UCLA trained amateur Jewish Historian and Rio Hondo Police Academy trained Forensic investigator Chinedu Nwabunwanne of Aguleri, who resides in Los Angeles and has researched this subject for more than 15 years at the UCLA libraries in Los Angeles, "the migration started when the forces of Caliph Mohammed -the last leader of the Umayyads- and his Qaysi-Arab supportes defeated the Yamani-Arab Umayyads of Syria in 744 C.E; sacked the Yamanis and their Jewish supporters from Syria. The Syrian-Jewish migrant tribes Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher resettled in Nigeria where they became known as Sambatyon Jews. In 1484 and 1667 Judeans and Zebulonians from Portugal and Libya respectively joined Sambatyon Jews of Nigeria. Thus, Nigerian Jews originated from the following six Israelite tribes: Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher and Zebulon. It is interesting to note that these six tribes are the same tribes Moses repeated their names twice when he blessed the Children of Israel. These six tribes mentioned above are The House of Judah and the children of Israel his companions (Ezekiel 37:16. Those remaining six tribes not mentioned above are The House of Ephraim and the children of Israel his companion (Ezekiel 37:16)."”

The tribe of Zevulun ben-Ya`aqov (Zebulun), who was the sixth son of Ya`aqov (Jacob). These groups comprise the Ubulu Okiti and Ubulu Ukwu clans in Delta State who settled in Ubulu Ihejiofor. According to oral tradition, it is said that a descendant of the Tribe of Zevulun named Zevulunu, on the advice of a certain Levite, married a woman from Oji, who was descended from the Tribe of Judah, and from this union was born Ozubulu ben-Zebulunu. Ozubulu then went on to have four sons of his own who settled in other regions. These sons were: Amakwa, from whom a clan in Neni, Anambra State is descended, and Egbema, from whom the Egbema Ugwuta clan in Imo State and the Ohaji Egbema clan in Rivers State are descended. 

It has also been suggested that the Jewish Ibo people originated from a migration of Israelites who fled to West Africa. They claim to be descended from three tribes; Zebulon, Gad and Manasseh (Hebrew Qaraim Community). 

The Igbo Jews traditionally claim descent from three particular Israelite tribes: Gad, Zevulun, and Menashe. The Jews of Manipur and Mizoram, the Bnei Menashe, also claim descent from the tribe of Menashe. It is thought that these Jews fled to Africa after the destruction of the biblical Temples in Jerusalem and established communities all across the African continent. 

It should be noted that the majority of Ndi Igbo can be traced back to Gad through his sons Eri, Areli and Arodi, or Levi who became the Nri priests.  A small percentage stake claim to Judah, Zebulon, and some even believe they are from Manasseh, Asher, Dan and even Naphtali. But we see in ancient Israel that at times Benjamin and Simeon were a small remnant living among Judah and were thus absorbed into Judah. In similar fashion these other tribes which make up the Igbo have been absorbed into the majority of Gad.  Prof. O. Alaezi in his book “Ibo Exodus” also recognizes this custom. “Other exiled Hebrews descendants (e.g. Judah and Zebulun) are not as many and have been swallowed up by the Eris.” 

  Zebulun in Holland and South Africa and their connection to the Igbo’s and Ijaws:

There are those who prescribe to the British Israelite theory that the 10 Lost Tribes scattered north and spread throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. 

Steven M. Collins and Yair Davidiy are the two main proponents of British Israelitism, though not agreeing 100% with their views, as well as not agreeing with 100% of Black Hebrewism views, I have stuck to the uncanny connections that ties Zebulon to both camps and allow the reader to decide for themselves where Zebulon is.

To get a clue why some feel Zebulon made it to Holland (Netherlands); we must first look at the prophecies given about them by Jacob and Moses.  These prophecies will give us clues to their whereabouts in the last days.

Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon. – Gen. 49:13

And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand. – Deut. 33:18-19

Because the prophecies connect Zebulon to the coast and the sea and one should look to famous and heavily trafficked sea ports one of which is the port of Rotterdam in Holland. It handles the largest freight in the world and is considered the gateway of Europe.  It should also be noted that Ijaws and Igbos who claim Zebulonic descendancy also live close to and on the coast. In fact Ijaws pagan expression of worship is tied to water and water spirits. Ijaws are known as fishermen and tradesmen in Nigeria. Many live in the Delta and River states that are close to the sea.

The phrase in Gen. 49:13, “haven of the sea” can mean shelter and or refuge and Holland, via its system of dikes is quite literally “sheltered” from the sea. This same phrase also lends to the fact as mentioned before of Holland’s great and world renowned sea ports.

Moses’ prophecy (Deut. 33:18-19) speaks of the “sucking of the abundance of the sea” and “treasures hidden in sand.” It is of interest to note that the Dutch of Holland literally “sucked out” the sea with their system of dikes and windmills which made the land “abundantly” fertile. The treasure in the sand is believed to be the black gold, the oil that the Royal Dutch Shell company has “sucked” from its “hiding” place in the sand.  It also should be noted that Nigeria is also an oil rich country, especially in the places where the Zebulonite Igbo’s and Ijaws live! And Ducth oil companies have set up shop in oil rich Nigerai too. 

Some even feel that the description of Zebulun’s “borders” being “Zidon” is also a clue, because the word for border also means thigh which includes the pubic region. Many feel this hints of the Holland being the “red light district” of the world with its abundance of pornography, prostitution and tolerance of sexual promiscuity. Zebulon’s territory in the Promised Land was previously occupied by the ancient S(Z)idonian fertility cults of Baal and Ashtaroth.  The Wicked Queen Jezebel, known as a sexual temptress was a S(Z)idonian.

It should also be brought to the reader’s attention that the tribal symbol for Zebulon is the Ship which fits well with the Dutch, the Ijaw and a portion of the Igbo who claim Zebulon is their forefather.  

The Dutch Coat of arms of the original seven provinces of the Netherlands (1579) is a ship with a Bible on its prow.

Their Levitical breastplate stone some say was the diamond and many Dutch relocated and colonized South Africa and are in the diamond mine and trade business; so would say is an  amazing coincidence.  I am one who does not believe in mere coincidence.  And though diamonds are not known to be found in Nigeria, Amethysts are and are mined! Recall that this is the other gem supposedly in the Levitical breastplate that represents Zebulun.

Linguistically speaking it is said that Middle East and Turkish people who may have possibly been related to the Sidonians of Phoenicia settled around Holland and Belgium and are believed by some to be the ancestors of the Dutch which would include Hebraic ancestors from Zebulon because of the mingling of the Zebulonites and Sidonians in the Promised Land. And it is obvious that the Zebulonites were influenced they the pagan ways of the Sidonians and hence why the L-RD took them away into captivity. 

The Sabalingoi of ancient Frisia which is north of Holland is said to mean Zebulon’s People or the Nation of Zebulon; Sabalin = Zebulon and Goi = from the Hebrew, meaning people or nation.

Davidiy explains through linguistics that he believes that the Chali which were the people north of the Sabalingoi were descendants of Jahleel and that the Suardeni were the descendants of Sered and the Alans the children of Elon. 

The Amish culture and religion, though “Christian” is very Jewish in its dress, traditions and customs and way of life. Many Dutch Amish have Jewish last names and or married Jewish women; this would never happen if the Jewish communities of the Holland did not see the Amish as “brethren” i.e. blood relation. 

With what has been presented, I do believe it is very likely that Zebulon and his sons ended up both in Africa and in Northern Europe. The linguistics, region and character traits of the peoples mention do fit the Jacobic and Mosaic prophecies concerning them.  I personally would like to see more hard, archeological evidence or become more familiar with the oral traditions of said lpeoples so as to better tie these people to Zebulon or totally rule them out. 


All I know and believe is that there are people roaming the earth to day who are Hebrews and don’t even know it, after all the 10 tribes had to go somewhere, they just didn’t die off of disappear!  That would mean G-D is unable to keep His promises and it would mean the Scriptures are a lie and we know G-D and His Word is TRUTH manifest!  So why not the Ijaw, the Igbo and the Dutch? Anyone have any better candidates?

The Ga-Dangme of Ghana

The Ga-Dangme claim to be the descendant of the Israelite tribes of Gad and Dan (GA-DANgme) and if so, no wonder that on their way to Ghana they passed through Nigeria where the Igbo, who are predominately descendants of Gad, but has among them other tribes of Israel such as Dan, Judah, Levi, Zebulon, etc. Ga-Dangme’s oral history states that they came from Israel about or around the 6th century B.C. through Egypt to Ethiopia by the Assyrians. While in Ethiopia they occupied the Gonder Province in the north. The Assyrians attacked them there which forced them to Sudan’s south and then onto Niger proceeding to Nigeria. Possibly because they knew or had heard that their relatives Gad through his son Eri who founded the Eri and Nri Kingdoms. From Nigeria they are said to have settled in Dahome then Togo. From Hustsi Togo they went along the eastern bank of the Volta (Jor, similar to Jordan) River, crossed between Old Kpong and Akuse and stayed for a time on the plains of Tag-logo until approx. 1200 A.D. which they then migrated to the plains between Lorlorvor and the Osudoku hills.

Interestingly enough both the Igbo and the Ga-Dangme have Osu clans. 

Many names or derivatives thereof are Biblical names: Amasa (II Sam. 17:25, I Chron. 33:20-21) Amon (II Chron. 33:20-21) Ashale (I Chron. 2:16, II Sam. 2:18-19), etc. 

Some Ga-Dangme village and towns have Biblical Names like Toma (Job 6:19, Isa. 21:14), Hebron (Gen. 13:8, II Sam. 2:11)

The following is a list of names and words found in the Ga-Dangme tongue that is also in the Bible:

GADANGME NAME OR WORD                              HEBREW NAME OR WORD

 1.   ARYEH   (Means, My brother")                           ARYEH (Hebrew Bible, 2 Sam.1:14; 1King 5:15))

2.     AFRA    (An Israelite settlement)                        OFRA (Torah, Tihilim 116:15)

3.     OTTO  (Meaning, "Who is Mighty")                   YISHAI  (1 Sam. 16: 8-18; (Psalm 46)

4.    ARYELLE/AYELE   (Means, "Lion of God")    ARYELLE (Acts 27:27)

5.    OFEI                                                                      OFER (Hebrew 13:15; Rev. 3:20; Luke 6:29)

6.    ADA    (Reference to Adam, the first MAN)       ADA  (1Corinthians 15:45)

7.   TEMA                                                                    TEMA (Job 6:19;Isaiah 21:14)

8.    NUNU                                                                   NUNU (Num. 14:16; Num.14:38)

9.    DODOO                                                                DODO (Judges 10:1); 1 Chron. 11:26

10.   ASHI                                                                     ASHI (Leviticus 12:8)

11.  DANGME (Dan means "a Judge" in Hebrew)      DAN (Genesis 30:5-6); Judges 18:27-29

12    ANNAN  (One of those who sealed the Covenant)  ANAN (Nehemiah 10:26)

13.   GAD  (Gad means, "good fortune")                  GAD (Genesis 30:9-12; Gen.10:11-13

14.   ABE                                                                   AVRAHAM/ABRAHAM (2 Timothy 3:8)

15.   SAKA/SAKA. (Father of AHIA in the Bible).  SACHAR (1 Chron. 11:35)

16   DODE (DODI)    ("Beloved")                   DODI (Solomon Song of Songs 2:16 Hebrew Bible; 
                                                                                                                                      Isaiah 51:9)
17.  KADI                                                           KADI

18.  NERLE      ("Who is like God" )                NERLI (Is another word for Rebeka in Hebrew, 
                                                                                           Genesis 22: 20-23)

19. AYAH/Aiah. ("to ascend"in Hebrew)         AYAH/AIAH (female), Gen.36:24; Chron.7:28.Sam3:7)

20. AYAA        (Male or female name in Hebrew).  AYA 

21. ADAMA        ("First man on earth")                  ADAM (Genesis 1:26; 1Cor. 15:21; 1Cor. 15:45)

22. NETE                                                                  NATHANIEL  (Ezra 8:15; 2 Kings 24:8

23. ACHIMOTA                                                       ACHIMOT (1 Chronicles 6:25-27)

24. NMATI                                                                MATTAHIAS

25. AMAA   (Amal means "Heavy Labor in Hebrew). AMAL (1Chron.7:35)

26. ABEKA   ("Half a Sheke in Hebrew")          A'BEKAH (Exodus 38:26; Gen.24:22; 1Sam 9:8).

27  OMANYE  (Means, "Good Omen)               OMEN (John 1:45; Romans 1:12;  1Peter 4:6)

28. AKU  ("Who is what God is" )                     AKU (Hebrew Bible, Matthew 1:1; Dan.1:6-9;  
                                                                                       Dan.3:1-30; Leviticus 8; Mark 1:1)

29. AYE                                                                AYELET

30. SHORME  (Means,"The right spirit")             SHOR' ME. (Hebrew Bible, Isaiaah  56:2,6; Song of 
                                                                                                     Songs Hebrew Bible)

31. NAATE/NARTEY.( Means, "Gift of God")  NATHAN/ NATE, (John 1:45; psalm 19:14; 2 Sam.12)

32. LADJE                                                              LADJE (Croatian Bible, Matt.6:7-9; Isaiah 23:1-4

33. GAMA  (derivative of GAMALIEL)               GAMA (Lamentations 4:4; Judges  16:4)

34. ACHI  ("My brother; leader of the Gad tribe).  ACHI. (Jeremiah 17:9; 1King 5:15)
                                                                                 
35. ASHITEY     (Derivative of ASHI)                   ASHI (Leviticus 12:8}

36. ADODOADJI   ("pleasant news" in Hebrew) ADODOADJI                                                         

37.  ADE   (Means, "Wonderfully made")           ADE, (Psalm 139:14; Isaiah 66:17; Eccl.7:14)

38. AMAA            ("Heavy labour in Hebrew).    AMAL. (1 Chronicles 7:35)

39. AMON                                                             AMON. (Matthew1:10; 2 Chronicle 33:20-21)

40. KOTE       ("over the top")                            KOTE (Leviticus 4; James 1:27; Gen.35:8; Isaiah 59:19

41. ABBA     (Means, "Father" in Hebrew)           ABBA

42. MOE  (Means, Crucified on the cross)             MOE (Gad) Provebs 17:22, John 4:41; Num.12:15)
                                                                                 Matthews 22:14)
43  SAI     (Means,"personification of truth)           SAI (Roman 3:5-8; Leviticus 12:1)

44. KOI                                                                    KOI (Rev. 20:10); Matthew 4:19

45. AYE                                                                   AYE (Gen. 1:33)

46 ABELE     (Means, "Peace" )                              ABELE (Hebrew 2:1)

47 KWEI                                                                   KWEI (Luke 2: 1-7)

48 ABAN                                                                  ABAN

49. BOTE                                                                  BOTE (Job 1:14 in Luther Bible; Psalm 120: 1-2

50. KOSHI  (Means, "Difficult", also place in ancient Israel that flooded).   KOSHI (John 14:6)

50. KOSHI  (Means, "Difficult", also place in ancient Israel that flooded).   KOSHI (John 14:6)

51. TOSHI  (Refers to Biblical Astrology)         TOSHI  (Deut. 21: 10-14)

52. MANSA                                                         MANSA, (mention  both in the Bible  and the Koran)

53. AHIA (One of those who sealed the Covenant). AHIA (the prophete) Nehemia 10:26;1Chron.11:35)

54. TAKI  ("Take" in the Bible)            TAKI (Hebrew Bible, Genesis 22:24: Gen.22:2; Job 38:1-7)

55.  AMU      ( a deity)                                       AMU  (Rev.21:1-5)

56. OKUAKU                                                    OKU AKU. (Maori Bible, Job 29:5; John 3: 16; Job 
                                                                                                                             28:29; Acts 13: 1-25
57. ARMA      (Reference to Armageddon)       ARMA (Romans 13:12; Isaiah 54:17; Joshua 19:4)

58. ADO /Edith ("Fruit of the spirit/patience"or Lot's wife).   ADO. (Book of Jasher 9:52 in the  Hebrew 
                                                                                                              Bible; Mark 5:39; Galatians 5:22)

59 YABOI                                                         YA BOI

60. SOWA                                                         SOWA

61. AKO    ("God has sent us a message")       AKO (Exodus 10:4; 1Chron.4:36; Exodus 5)

62. ENYO ("Goddess of War in Greece/a girl name in  Hebrew). ENYO   (In Hebrew and Kabbalah)

63. DEDE     ("Walk with God")                        DEDE (Gen. 1:3; Gen.4:7; Gen,26:28)

64. DEEDEE ("I spread my hands out to you"). DEE DEI (Proverbs 15:1; Ephesians 6:1; Matt. 5-9)

65. WAYO  (Means, the "Way")                  WAYO (John 14:6; Isaiah 43:19; Matthew 7:14; John 3:16)

66. OSA  (A common title of God in the Hebrew Bible).  OSA, (Amos 5:8) 
                                                                                   
67. KOME                                                           KOME, (Hebrew Bible, Song of  Songs)

68. BOI (Boye)                                                    BOY (Joel 3:3)

69. AZU ("Thunder, Lighting, Wind")       AZU (1King 22:42; 1Chron.2:19-29; Jeremiah 30:1-24)

 70. ANOR                                                           ANOR (Isaiah 1: 39; Ezekiel chaps 25-48)

71. AKAI     (Means, "Love")                              AKAI (2 Corinthians 5)

72. OLENU/OLLENNU ( "God is my judge")    OLENUS, (Hebrew Bible; Genesis 19:26    
                                                                                                                of the English Bible )

75. LOMO  (Means, "The right spirit")                 LOMO (Hebrew Bible, Song of Songs) 
                                                                                    
74. SHAMO                                                           SHAMO (Hebrew Bible)

75. ALA                                                                  ALA, (Song of Songs in the Hebrew Bible)

76. KOOKO  (Means, "God's Promise)                  KOKO, (Gen, 13:17; Book of Revelation)

77. SABAN                                                             SABAN, (psalm 137, King James  Bible)

78. NII KOLAI                                                        NICHOLAITANS, Revelation 2:6, 15)

79. AMASA                                                             MASA, (2 Samuel 17:25; 1Chronicle 2: 17)

80.KUSHI (Cush)                                                    CUSH. (Gen. 10:6;Jeremiah 13:23; Isaiah 18: 12 )       

81. JAANI(DZAANI)                                               JANNE. (2 Timothy 3:8)

82. ASHALE   (Son of Jacob with Bilhal)                ASHER 1Chronicle 2:  Samuel 2:18-19; Gen.30:13)

83. ADU  (Anacronym for by the Hebrew letters, alef"). ADU (Leviticus 23:5)

84. MENSA   ( Means, "Devine Spirit")                       MENSA (Genesis 8:20)      

85  ATO (Attoh)                                                            ATO ( Rev. 22:13;  Hebrew Biblle, 1 King 9:26)  

86 . NAI                                                                         NAI (1Chronicle 3:23; 1Samuel 19:18)

87 NENE    (Adeity other than God); A river in ancient Israel),   NENE 

88   BOI/BOYE ("Handsome man in ancient Israel).    BOI                                                                   
                                                                                           
89.  SAKUMO  (In Biblical Statistic and history)       SAKUMO (Acts 8:26-40)

90  LARBI                                                                     LARBI

91  LARTE                                                                     LARTE  (Luke 23:46; Matthew 5:20)

92. ATTO                                                                      ATTO (Ecclesiasticus 28: 17-18); (Genesis 35:16)

93. AYI                                                                          AYI   (Acts 17:6; Nehemiah 4)

94 LOKKO                                                                    LOKKO (Torah of Hebrew Bible)

95 NOI                                                                           NOI   (Jeremiah 3:13)

96 TEI                                                                             TEI  (Matthew 5); (Luke 6)

97 NAA                                                                           NAA  (Gen.8:4); (Genesis 2:7)

98 OSU                                                                           OSU 

99. NII  or NENE                                                             NII  (A deity other than God)

100. SHAI  (Means, "Gift" in both Hebrew and Arabic)  SHAI    (male name)

101 LOMO  ( means, "right spirit)                     SH' LOMO. (Song of Song of the Hebrew of the Bible)

102. LA                                                                      LA

103. HEBRON (Ancient town of Israel)                    HEBRON. (2Sam.2:11; 1Chorin.2:155; Num.13:22)

104. SAAKA. (means "There is a reward").                ISSACHAR (Gen. 30:18)

105. AWULE                                                                AWULE  (Matthew 16:25; Matt. 10:40)

106. ABLORH   (Used in the New Testament)            ABLORH

107. MARTE  (Means, "Appraised By").                     MARTE  ( Ezekiel 27:14; Eccl. 11:4

108. MERLE ("Do not let your heart be troubled").     MERLE (John 14:1-6; 1Col.1:6; 1Thesa.1:3-4)

109. AMERLE  (Cited both in the Bible and Quran).    AMERLE (Hebrew 10:19-26; John 8:31).

110. KOLE (From the Hebrew word, Eshcol, meaning cluster of grapes. KOLE. (2Cor.1-14-18)

111. MOMO (Means, "God is omnipresent)                    MOMO (Gen.9:25-27; Gen. 9: 31-33)

112. MANTE  (Means, a "Mantle)                                   MANTE (1Kings 19:16-21; Matt.24-18; I 
                                                                                                   Sam.15:27; 2 Kings 2:6-15; Acts. 1:4-9.

113. AFOTE (Means, "Afoot")                                         AFOTE (Mark 6:33; Acts 20:13)

114 ADJIN (Means, "God is with us"                               ADJIN (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

115 BATSA                                                              BATSA (Leviticus 11:19; Deut. 14:18; Isaiah 2)

116.POBI (Means, "ewe" in Hebrew)                             POBI (2 Tim.3:15; Hebrew 4:12; Judges 8:17

117. NAADU                                                                  NADU.

118. AGO                                                                       AGO (2Cor.2:10; Isaiah 25:1)

119O. ODAI (Means, "Spritual Song")                         ODAI. (Matthew 13:46; James 2:14 Jewish Bible)

120.YAHU )"an Israelite god")                                YAHU. (Judges 18:30; Jeremiah 36:1-7; Matthew 3:3).

121. NYAHO                                                                    NYAHO  (Proverbs 2:1; 1Tim.2:3).

122. KLOTE  (Means , "Who is like God")                     KLOTE

123. MAMELE  (Means, "Their Little Mother")             MAMELE (Deut. 30:8; Deut.30:5; Isaiah 37:3)

124 LANTE                                                                      LANTE (Deut 28:22; 1Tim.1:7; John 1:18)

125.LAMELE  (Mentioned in the Amharic Bible)           LAMELE

126. TEIKO    (Mentioned in the Quran)                          TEIKO

127 TAGOE                                                                       TAGOE  (Leviticus 18:12)

128.NYAM   (Means,"No one like God")              NYAM  (Lam 3:49; Isa 6:11; Job 28:12;Gen.29:14).   

129. KABU.    (Means, "Great House; Tribe of Asher)      KABU (Joshua 19:27; John 3:16)

130 HUWA.   (Means "Alla or the Most High or Lord)     HUWA (Arabic Bible, Exo:3:6; Mathew 1:21)

131 NAKO    (Means, "It is time")                                     NAKO (Luke 18:1; Matthew 24: 27-31

132.AHUMA   (Means, "Meadow of waters")                  AHUMAI( 1 Chronicles 4:2)

133. AMAKU                                                                      AMAKU

133. YEHWEH  (Means, "Lord" or "God the Father")       YAHWEH (Exodus 6:3; Gen.2:4)

134.AYIN  (Means, "Spring or Fountain")                         AYIN (1 Sam.29:1; Psalm 119:121; Gen. 2:4; 
                                                                                                          Zacharia 4:10; 1 Sam.5:12.

135. TAKO (Means, "Biblical passages or verses)               TAKO/TACO  (John 3:16; Gen.1:6).

136. AGBENU ( mean "The promise, Exhalted").               AGBENU (Hebrew Old Testament) 

137. AMARNOR                                                                  AMAR, NOR (Book of Exodus).

138. TIAKUA    (Means,"Leaders of people of God")    TIA KUA (Book of John)    

139. BAN.       ("devoted to God")                                   BAN (1Peter3:15; Deut.7:12; Jos.6:7

140. BORNE                                                                     BORNE ( John 3:6; Luke 2:11; Gen.17:13).

141.DJOMAA                                                                  DJOMAA

142.JoMERLE                                                                  JoMERLE

143. KABUKI                                                                   KABUKI

144.KONE                                                                        KONE  (1Tim.3:12;  1Cor. 13:13)

145.KOME                                                                       KOME (Matthew 24:17; Mark 13:26-28).

146.ADAKU                                                                    ADAKU (Gen.1:1-14;  1Corinthians 10:25)

147.ADA   (Means, "ornament or adorned")                   ADAH  (Genesis :23; Gen.36:2-4)

148 ADELA     (means, good memory)                           ADELIA.  (Esther 9:8)

149.KORDEI                                                                    KORDEI (Matt.2:17, Matthew 27:9

150.KORKOR                                                                  KOR KOR (Ezekiel 45:14)

151.ANYE     (Means, "Who is in Heaven")                    ANYE (James 5: 13-14Matthew 29:9)

152.ANYETE                                                                    ANYE TE (James 5:13-14; Matthew 29:9)

153.ANYELE                                                                    ANYE LE (James 5:13-14; Matthew 29:9)

154.ANYEMA                                                                  ANYE MA

155.OBILI                                                                  OBILI  (Exodus 22:29; Genesis 42:26; Deut.23:25)

156. OBILITE  (is a derivative of OBILI)                         OBILITE (Exodus 22:29)

157.KIRUJA    (Means "God is with us")                          KIRUJA (Gen.31:54; 1Kings:3:34).

158.AKUNOR                                                                    AKUNOR (Acts 24:4; 2 Kings 2:1-12)

159. YAHWEH    (means, "The Trinity")                          YAHWEH   (Psalm 110:1).

160. LAHWEH  (Means "God will provide")                    LAH WEH.

161. ODJIDJA                                                                    ODJIDJA

162.KPAKPA                                                                     KPAKPA (Dangme Bible, Genesis 1).

163.FOFO      (Lamentations)                                             FOFO (Job 3:3; Eccl. 4:10; John 14:10)

164. SAKI                                                                           SAKI (Isaiah 48:9; 1Timothy 3:1-15).

165.AKWEI (Female Biblical name, meaning "Bee"in Hebrew). AKWEI (Genesis 35:8).

166. NMAI                                                                           nMAI

167 AMUI                                                                             AMUI (Matt.13:42; Isaiah 53; Psalm 119).

168 ABOSE                                                                           ABOSE (Luke 12:42).

169.TSATE                                                                            TSATE  (John 12:13; Acts 27:32; Mark 11:8

170.TSAKI     (Means "His faithfullness")                             TSAKI  (Psalm 91:1-8).

171.DZAKU                                                                           DZAKU (2Cor.7; Luke 10:38-42)

172. NARH    (Means, "flight" in Hebrew)                            NARH  (Genesis 4:30).

173.TEYE                                                                               TEYE  (John 3:16; Deut.13:1).

174. NYAUNU                                                                        NYAUNU (Luke 10:38-42).

175. TSAHI (In the Bible, and name of Israel Minister)         TSAHI (Matthew 13: 24-30).

176 TZCHI                                                                               TZCHI.

177. ABESE                                                                             ABESE

178. AFIEYE  (An ancient Nubian Divinity)                           AFIEYE.

179. LAAYE                                                                             LAYE (Mark 2:4; Matthew 3:12).

180.AYOKO  (Is a female Biblical name)                                AYOKO

181.ASHON (Hebrew Shemuel, meaning "God has hearkened")  ASHON (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).

182.AYIKU   (Meaning,"Who is like God")                               AYIKU.

183. LARTE                                                                                LARTE (Luke 23:46; Matthew 5:20)

184. AMARTE                                                                            AMARTE

185.KAI (Kai means "LORD"; Also, name of Adam and Eve first son. KAI (Job 2:11; Philippians 2:1-4;

186.ALA (Means God; mentioned in all Arabic Bible)            ALLAH (Job 42:14)

187 AKWELE (Simply passionate)                                           AKWELE (1Timothy 5:8; Acts 16)

188 SEKOR                                                                                SEKOR (Malachi 5:2, Hispanic Bible).

189.YEMOTE                                                                             YEMOTE (2Samuel 13:33

190. YEMOLE                                                                             YEMOLE (Mentioned in Genesis, Job)

191 AGO                                                                                      AGO (2Corinth. 8:10; Isaiah 25:1)

192.KONE                                                                    KONE (1 kings 6:8; 1Tim. 3:12;1Peter1:7

193.ABETE  (Also mentioned in the Quran)                               ABETE (2Chron.2:7; Isaiah 60:13).

194.ABELE (References to Biblical Abel)                                  ABELE (Genesis 4:1-8)

195.BONTE                                                               BONTE (1Chron.19:2; Romans 2:4;Proverbs 20:28)

196.OKANTA                                                                OKANTA (Romans 3:27; Luke 6:13; Luke 15:9)

197.KINKA  (Means "God is my judge")                      KINKA (Gen.6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2Tim.4:16)

198 DIPO                                                                       DIPO (Exodus 9:4; 2Chronicle 30:19

199.SANSHI                                                             SANSHI (Luke 9:2-13; Yah5 :2-21, Van Dych Bible

200.AKOBLA                                                           AKOBLA

201.BOTSWE                                                          BOTSWE (Matt 27:56; 2Sam. 3:1-39; Jeremiah 52:5)

202.NUEH                                                                NOAH (Gen.9:20-25; Gen.5:25-29

203.MUALA                                                            MUALA (Isaiah 33:1-24, Tedim Bible)

204.MLE                                                                   MLE (Matthew 25:41)

205.CHAWE                                                             CHAWE (John 3:16).


206.TEKI                                                                   TEKI (Torah Numbers:10:6-8)

Culturally the Ga-Dangme is a patriarchal society which circumcises their male children on the 8th day. Very rarely are there a people that circumcise their males that are not descendants of Abraham.  Their Homowo Festival is virtually the same as Passover. 

The Ga-Dangme also has idioms and sayings that are very much like Proverbs and other Biblical sayings.

"Let us consider or evaluate few of GaDangme values and proverbs in the light of Biblical teaching, which point to their Hebrew Israelite origins.

The GaDangmes call to make the right use of opportunity and act appropriately is affirmed in Biblical texts like the popular passage that there is time for everything under the sun (Ecclesciates 3: 1-8), Bei ye keha nofeeno”

Again, the Bible teaching on cause and effect and the boomerang (like the Dharmic concept of Karma) reaction are echoed in Deuteronomic principle which runs throughout the Bible. The Bible teaches that we reap what we sow (Galatians 6: 7-10) GaDangmes say, “Noni oduo le, no obaakpa”

Justice, fairness and impartiality are counseled in GaDangme proverbs: “Ke okee nwei no le, okei shikpon no”. The idea expressed here is essentially the same as the one expressed in Deuteronomy 16: 18-20 concerning the appointment of judges and administration of justice in ancient Israel.

The Dangmes also acknowledge that blessings come from the truth as stated in their saying: “Anokwale joo ka tsui he”, meaning telling the truth cools down the angry heart”. The Bible teaches that knowing the truth makes one heart free. (John 8: 32), and speaking the truth to one another makes for harmony (Ephesians 4: 20-32)

The desire and counsel for peace and reconciliation is expressed in the Ga proverb: “Ajo ajo le esee be sane” This means that peace brings no trouble in its wake. Similar sentiments are expressed in Mathews 5: 25-26; Romans 12: 14-21, where people are advised to make peace and not seek litigation or revenge.


Knowledge and wisdom are NOT the monopoly of any one person. This means that we should confer with others in order to benefit from their wisdom. The Dangme proverb: “Yi kake ye da mi” or the Ga proverb: “Yitso kome eyaa ajina”, meaning one head does not sit in counsel. Proverbs 3: 7 and Romans 12: 16 advise us not to claim any special wisdom, and in 1 Corinthians 1 and 2, the Apostle Paul shows the limitations of human wisdom."

Kahen (Beta Israel)

Kahen (Ge'ez: ካሀን - "priest"; plural ካሀንት - Kahenat) is a religious role in Beta Israel second only to the monk. Their duty is to maintain and preserve the Haymanot among the people. This has become more difficult by the people's encounter with the modernity of Israel, where most of the Ethiopian Jewish people now live.


The Liqa Kahenat (ሊቀ ካሀንት - "High priest"; plural ሊቃነ ካህናት - Liqana Kahenat) is the leader of the priests in a certain area. An aspiring Kahen must spend time studying as a debtera before being ordained. As a debtera, he will be closer to the laypeople and serve as an intermediary between them and the clergy. Upon becoming a Kahen, he will no longer perform the services of a debtera, though he make take them up again if he gives up his position or is deposed.


The term Qesis (Ge'ez: ቀሲሰ, Amharic: ቀሰ - Qes; Tigrinya: ቀሺ - Qeshi which refers to married priest in the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Churches became among the people and over the time a synonym with Kahen, an unmarried priest. This synonym entered into Beta Israel and the term began to describe the community Kahen. With the Aliyah of Beta Israel to Israel the Amharic word for Qesis "Qes" Hebraized to Kes (Hebrew: קס or קייס ;plural: קסים or קייסים - Kessim).


Ethiopian Jews Beta Israel


Beta Israel (Hebrew: בֵּיתֶא יִשְׂרָאֵל‎ - Beta Israel, Ge'ez: ቤተ እስራኤል - Bēta 'Isrā'ēl, modern Bēte 'Isrā'ēl, "Betä Əsraʾel", "House of Israel") also known as Ethiopian Jews (Hebrew: יְהוּדֵי ‏אֶ‏תְיוֹ‏פְּ‏יָ‏ה‎, Yehudei Atiopia, Ge'ez: "የኢትዮጵያ አይሁድዊ", "ye-Ityoppya Ayhudi", "the Jews of Ethiopia"), are the names of Jewish communities which lived in the area of Aksumite and Ethiopian empires (Habesh or Abyssinia), nowadays divided between Amhara and Tigray Regions.


Other terms by which the community have been known include Falasha (Ge'ez: "Exiles"), Buda (Ge'ez: "Evil eye"), Kayla (Agaw language spoken by them), Tebiban ("possessor of secret knowledge"), Attenkun (Ge'ez: "Don't touch us") which is considered derogatory and the Hebrew Habashim, associated with the non-Jews Habesha people (Abyssinians).


Nearly all of the Ethiopian Beta Israel community, comprising more than 120,000 people, reside in Israel under its Law of Return, which gives Jews and those with Jewish parents or grandparents, and all of their spouses, the right to settle in Israel and obtain citizenship. The Israeli government has mounted rescue operations, most notably during Operation Moses (1984) and Operation Solomon (1991), for their migration when civil war and famine threatened populations within Ethiopia. Some immigration has continued up through present day. Today 81,000 Ethiopian Israelis were born in Ethiopia, while 38,500 or 32% of the community are native born Israelis. The absorption of the Ethiopians into Israeli society marks a unique, and mostly successful attempt to incorporate a nonwhite group as equal citizens with full rights as part of a Western predominantly white country.


The related Falasha Mura are the descendants of Beta Israel who converted to Christianity. Some are returning to the practices of Judaism, living in Falash Mura communities and observing halakha. Beta Israel spiritual leaders, including Chief Kes Raphael Hadane have argued for the acceptance of the Falasha Mura as Jews. This claim has been a matter of controversy within Israeli society.


The Ethiopian history described in the Kebra Negast, or "Book of the Glory of Kings," relates that Ethiopians are descendants of Israelite tribes who came to Ethiopia with Menelik I, alleged to be the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (or Makeda, in the legend) (see 1 Kings 10:1-13 and 2 Chronicles 9:1-12). The legend relates that Menelik, as an adult, returned to his father in Jerusalem, and then resettled in Ethiopia, and that he took with him the Ark of the Covenant.


In the Bible there is no mention that the Queen of Sheba either married or had any sexual relations with King Solomon; rather, the narrative records that she was impressed with his wealth and wisdom, and they exchanged royal gifts, and then she returned to rule her people in Kush. However, the "royal gifts" are interpreted by some as sexual contact. The loss of the Ark is also not mentioned in the Bible.


The Kebra Negast asserts that the Beta Israel are descended from a battalion of men of Judah who fled southwards down the Arabian coastal lands from Judea after the breakup of the united Kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms in the 10th century BCE (while King Rehoboam reigned over Judah).


Although the Kebra Nagast and some traditional Ethiopian histories have stated that Yodit (or "Gudit"), a 10th century usurping queen, was Jewish, it's unlikely that this was the case. It is more likely that she was a pagan southerner or a usurping Christian Aksumite Queen.


Most of the Beta Israel consider the Kebra Negast legend to be a fabrication. Instead they believe, based on the 9th century stories of Eldad ha-Dani (the Danite), that the tribe of Dan attempted to avoid the civil war in the Kingdom of Israel between Solomon's son Rehoboam and Jeroboam the son of Nebat, by resettling in Egypt. From there they moved southwards up the Nile into Ethiopia, and the Beta Israel are descended from these Danites.


Other sources tell of many Jews who were brought as prisoners of war from ancient Israel by Ptolemy I and also settled on the border of his kingdom with Nubia (Sudan). Another tradition handed down in the community from father to son asserts that they arrived either via the old district of Qwara in northwestern Ethiopia, or via the Atbara River, where the Nile tributaries flow into Sudan. Some accounts even specify the route taken by their forefathers on their way upstream from Egypt.


Public appeal of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel to save the Jews of Ethiopia, 1921, signed by Chief Rabbis Abraham Isaac Kook and Jacob Meir.


The 9th century Jewish traveler Eldad ha-Dani claimed the Beta Israel descended from the tribe of Dan, claiming Jewish kingdoms around or in East Africa existed during this time. His writings may represent the first mention of the Beta Israel, but his accuracy is uncertain; scholars point to Eldad's lack of firsthand knowledge of Ethiopia's geography and any Ethiopian language, although he claimed the area as his homeland.


Rabbi Ovadiah Yare of Bertinoro wrote in letter from Jerusalem in 1488:

Some Jewish legal authorities have also asserted that the Beta Israel are the descendants of the tribe of Dan, one of the Ten Lost Tribes. In their view, these people established a Jewish kingdom that lasted for hundreds of years. With the rise of Christianity and later Islam, schisms arose and three kingdoms competed. Eventually, the Christian and Muslim Ethiopian kingdoms reduced the Jewish kingdom to a small impoverished section. The earliest authority to rule this way was the Radbaz (Rabbi David ben Zimra, 1479–1573).

Radbaz explains in a responsum concerning the status of a Beta Israel slave:

In 1973 Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, then the Chief Sephardic Rabbi, based on the Radbaz and other accounts, ruled that the Beta Israel were Jews and should be brought to Israel. He was later joined by a number of other authorities who made similar rulings, including the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Shlomo Goren.

Other notable poskim, from non-Zionist Ashkenazi circles, placed a halakhic safek (doubt) over the Jewishness of the Beta Israel. Such dissenting voices include rabbis Elazar Shach, Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, and Moshe Feinstein.


Similar doubts were raised within the same circles towards Bene Israel Jews, and Russian immigrants to Israel in the 1990s. In the 1970s and early 80s the Beta Israel were forced to undergo a modified conversion ceremony involving immersion in a ritual bath, a declaration accepting Rabbinic law, and, for men, a "symbolic recircumcision". Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapira later waived the "symbolic recircumcision" demand, which is only required when the halakhic doubt is significant. More recently Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar has ruled that descendants of Ethiopian Jews who were forced to convert to Christianity are "unquestionably Jews in every respect". With the consent of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Rabbi Amar ruled that it is forbidden to question the Jewishness of this community, pejoratively called Falashmura.


At present, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel requires ritual immersion prior to marriage, from Jews of Ethiopian or any other ancestry alike.


Scholarly view

In the past, secular scholars were divided on the origins of the Beta Israel; whether they were the descendants of an Israelite tribe, or converted by Jews living in Yemen, or by the Jewish community in southern Egypt at Elephantine. In the 1930s Jones and Monro argues that the chief Semitic languages of Ethiopia may suggest an antiquity of Judaism in Ethiopia. "There still remains the curious circumstance that a number of Abyssinian words connected with religion, such as the words for Hell, idol, Easter, purification, and alms– are of Hebrew origin. These words must have been derived directly from a Jewish source, for the Abyssinian Church knows the scriptures only in a Ge'ez version made from the Septuagint." Richard Pankhurst summarized the various theories offered about their origins as of 1950 that the first members of this community were according to Menachem Waldman, a major wave of immigration from the Kingdom of Judah to present-day Ethiopia dates back to the Assyrian Siege of Jerusalem, in the beginning of the 7th century BC. Rabbinic accounts of the siege assert that only about 110,000 Judeans remained in Jerusalem under King Hezekiah's command, whereas about 130,000 Judeans led by Shebna had joined Sennacherib's campaign against Tirhakah, king of Kush. Sennacherib's campaign failed and Shebna's army was lost "at the mountains of darkness", suggestively identified with Semien Mountains. This account is supported by the letter of Aristeas (13), which also describes several later occasions in which Judean armies were sent against Ethiopian forces. According to Jacqueline Pirenne, numerous Sabaeans crossed over the Red Sea to Ethiopia to escape from the Assyrians, who had devastated the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the eighth and 7th centuries BCE. She further states that a second major wave of Sabaeans crossed over to Ethiopia in the sixth and 5th centuries BCE to escape Nebuchadnezzar. This wave also included Jews fleeing from the Babylonian takeover of Judah.

In 1987 Steven Kaplan stated:

Richard Pankhurst stated in 1992 "The early origins of the Falashas are shrouded in mystery, and, for lack of documentation, will probably remain so for ever."

By 1994 modern scholars of Ethiopian history and Ethiopian Jews generally supported one of two conflicting hypotheses, as outlined by Kaplan: An ancient Jewish origin of the Beta Israel, as well as some ancient Jewish traditions later conserved by the Ethiopian Church. Kaplan lists Simon D. Messing, David Shlush, Michael Corinaldi, Menachem Waldman, Menachem Elon and David Kessler as supporters of this hypothesis.


A late ethnogenesis of the Beta Israel between the 14th to 16th Centuries, from a sect of Ethiopian Christians who took on Biblical practices, and came to see themselves as Jews. Steven Kaplan lists himself along with G.J. Abbink, Kay K. Shelemay, Taddesse Tamrat and James A. Quirin as supporters of this hypothesis. Quirin differs from his fellow researchers in the weight he assigns to an ancient Jewish element that the Beta Israel have conserved.


In 1860, Henry Stern, a Jewish convert to Christianity, traveled to Ethiopia to attempt to convert the Beta Israel to Christianity.


Many Ethiopian Jews whose ancestors converted to Christianity have been returning to the practice of Judaism. Such people are known as the Falash Mura. They have been admitted to Israel, although not as Jews. The Israeli government can thus set quotas on their immigration and make citizenship dependent on their conversion to Orthodox Judaism. Although no one knows precisely the population of the Falash Mura in Ethiopia, observers believe it is approximately 20,000-26,000 persons. Recently, some reporters and other travelers in remote regions of Ethiopia have noted finding entire villages where people claim they are Jewish or are Falash Mura, that is, Jews who have been practicing Christianity.


In the Achefer woreda of the Mirab Gojjam Zone, roughly 1,000-2,000 families of Beta Israel were found.[citation needed] They have not petitioned to immigrate to the Jewish state. There may be other such regions in Ethiopia with significant Jewish enclaves, which would raise the total Jewish population to more than 50,000 people. Israel has approved the immigration of the Falash Mura at 300 per month. The Ethiopian Jewish community and its supporters have petitioned to increase this number to 600 per month, citing the high mortality rate among Jews waiting to emigrate from Ethiopia. An economic analysis conducted for the JAI by David Brodet, former director general of the Ministry of Finance, concluded that an increased rate of immigration to Israel "is highly logical and has economical and social advantages" over the present immigration rate.‏‏[


 Religious traditions

The holiest work is the Torah — Orit. All the holy writings, including the Torah, are handwritten on parchment pages that are assembled into a codex. The rest of the Prophets and the Hagiographa are of secondary importance. The language of their holy writings is Ge'ez. In addition to the Rabbinical Biblical canon, the Beta Israel hold sacred the books of Enoch, Jubilees, Baruch and the books of Ezra as well. The basic wording of Beta Israel Biblical writings was passed down through ancient translations like the Septuagint, which incorporates the Apocrypha (as called by Protestant Christians) including all the books noted by Catholics as Deuterocanon as well as other Rabbinical Jewish Apocrypha.

The Beta Israel possess, but do not consider canonical, several other books, including the Arde'et, Acts of Moses, Apocalypse of Gorgorios, Meddrash Abba Elija, and biographies of the nation's forebears: Gadla Adam, Gadla Avraham, Gadla Ishak, Gadla Ya'kov, Gadla Moshe, Gadla Aaron, Nagara Musye, Mota Musye.


Ethiopian women at the Kotel in Jerusalem during Hol HaMoed (the week of) Passover.


Leaders of the community consider especially important a book about the Shabbat and its precepts, Te'ezaza Sanbat (Precepts of the Sabbath). The leaders of the Beta Israel also read liturgical works, including weekday services, Shabbat and Festival prayers, and various blessings. Sefer Cahen deals with priestly functions, while Sefer Sa'atat (Book of the Hours) applies to weekdays and Shabbat. The Beta Israel religious calendar is set according to a treatise known as the Abu Shaker, which was written around 1257 CE. It covered the computation of Jewish holidays and chronological matters. The Abu Shaker lists civil and lunar dates for Jewish feasts, including Matqe' (New Year), Soma Ayhud or Badr (Yom Kippur), Masallat (Sucot), Fesh (Passover), and Soma Dehnat (Fast of Salvation) or Soma Aster (Fast of Esther).


The Beta Israel have a unique holiday, known as Sigd on the 29th of Cheshvan. Sigd or Seged is derived from the Semitic root, meaning "to bow or prostrate oneself." In the past the day was called Mehella. The acts of bowing and supplication are still known as mehella. Sigd celebrates the giving of the Torah and the return from exile in Babylonia to Jerusalem under Ezra and Nehemiah. Beta Israel tradition holds that Sigd commemorates Ezra's proclamation against the Babylonian wives (Ezra 10:10-12). In Ethiopia, the Sigd was celebrated on hilltops outside villages. The location was called by several names, including Ya'arego Dabr (Mountain for making prayers) and in Amharic Yalamana Tarrara (Mountain of Supplication). The Kessim, or elders of the community, drew a parallel between the ritual mountain and Mount Sinai. Another source described Sigd (calling it Amata Saww) as a new-moon holiday, after which the Kessim withdrew for a period of isolation.


Social contact between the Beta Israel and other Ethiopians was limited. It was not because of the laws of Kashrut, since all Ethiopians share the same food taboos. Ethiopian Jews were forbidden to eat the food of non-Jews. The Kessim were more strict about the prohibition against eating food prepared by non-Kessim. Beta Israel who broke these taboos were ostracized and had to undergo a purification process. Purification included fasting for one or more days and ritual purification before entering the village. Unlike other Ethiopians, the Beta Israel do not eat raw meat dishes like kitfo or gored gored.


 Languages

The Beta Israel once spoke Qwara and Kayla, closely related Cushitic languages. Now they speak Amharic and Tigrinya, both Semitic languages. Their liturgical language is Ge'ez, also Semitic. Since the 1950s, they have taught Hebrew in their schools; in addition, those Beta Israel currently residing in the State of Israel use Hebrew as a daily language.

Ethiopian Jewry gets its first Haggada

Historic saga will be incorporated into mainstream Pessah story for first time.

The historic saga of Ethiopian Jewry, with its unique traditions and customs, will be incorporated into the mainstream Pessah story for the first time in a new Haggada written by Ethiopian-Jewish history expert Rabbi Menachem Waldman.

Set to reach bookstores this weekend, the 195-page Haggada features prayers and commentaries on the story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt translated from Amharic into Hebrew, as well as an account of how Ethiopia’s Beta Israel community escaped to Israel first via Sudan in Operation Moses in 1984-85 and later during Operation Solomon in 1991.


An illustration from the Haggada.

The book also includes extensive photographs and detailed explanations of Ethiopian Jewish traditions and customs connected with Pessah.

“I have written many books about Ethiopian Jewry,” Waldman, director of the Shvut Am Institute and a frequent visitor to the East African country, told The Jerusalem Post Thursday. “But this is the first time that we are putting the story of the Ethiopian Jewish community onto our Seder table.”

The book, he said, is not aimed at the Ethiopian community per se, but is meant to demonstrate to the Israeli public that “the community has a very long and deep history that is firmly connected to Judaism.”

“Oftentimes we think that Ethiopian Jews arrived here with no connection to Judaism and we need to teach them how to be Jews,” continued Waldman, who is deeply involved in the fight to allow thousands of Falash Mura – Ethiopian Jews whose ancestors were forcibly converted to Christianity – to immigrate to Israel. 

“However, they actually did come with a Jewish background,” he pointed out. “They celebrate Pessah in their own way. It’s different from the way we celebrate it, but it is still Pessah.”

Waldman explained that while Ethiopian Jews recount the Pessah story in their own version of the Seder, their texts do not include what has become accepted as the mainstream version of the Haggada, because Ethiopian Jewry had been severed from Talmudic Judaism.

According to Waldman, many versions of the standard Haggada are available in Amharic, translated in an attempt to include Ethiopian Jewry in reading the accepted text, but there is no recognition of the community’s own way of marking the festival.


Aviad Mozes, marketing director for Koren Publishers, which published the new Haggada, told the Post that the aim was “for Israelis to understand and recognize the traditions and history of Ethiopian Jewry.”   

The Long Road Home - Quara Jews

Mullu Trunech was a young soldier in the Ethiopian army when he first heard that Ethiopian Jews were secretly crossing the border into Sudan in order to reach Israel. Trunech wanted to go too, but he could not get out of the army. When he was finally demobilized, he organized a group to cross into Sudan. It was a difficult trek, through extremely arduous terrain. Some of the members of his family died on the way. When the group finally reached Sudan, they were accused of being spies and beaten. But the worst moment came when they realized that the window of opportunity to reach Israel through Sudan had closed.

"We had to flee for our lives back to Ethiopia," Trunech recalls."We had to flee for our lives back to Ethiopia," Trunech recalls.

In1991, when during Operation Solomon, more than 14,000 Ethiopian Jews were dramatically airlifted to Israel in the space of less than 48 hours, Trunech once again missed out. In his home province of Quara, one of the most remote regions of Ethiopia, the news of Operation Solomon only reached the Jewish community after the fact.

"The Jews of Quara may have missed out on Operation Solomon, but it helped us to believe that one day we, too, would eventually reach Israel," he states.

It was following Operation Solomon that members of the Quaran community started to sell their meager possessions and move to Gondar, a region where the Jewish community had contact with Israeli officials.

Two years ago, Trunech, married and the father of two young children, moved his family to Gondar to join the other Quaran Jews waiting to come to Israel.

"Conditions in Gondar were terrible," Trunech relates. "There was disease and malnutrition. The water was not clean. People got dysentery and died. I almost died. One of my brothers died. I lost my three-year-old son. The hardest part was that there was no place to bury our dead. There was no Jewish village with a cemetery near where we were."

Sitting in the Jewish Agency’s Lod Absorption Center, Trunech, who arrived in Israel at the end of July 1999, still can’t believe he is truly home. "For me, being here is like a dream come true. I thought it would take years to realize. My parents are still in Gondar and I worry about their fate. I only hope that very soon, they too can join us in Israel."

Trunech is one of more than 2,500 Quaran Jews who have been brought to Israel since the end of April 1999 as part of an urgent rescue operation undertaken by the Israeli government at the initiative of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI). Hundreds more, trapped for the duration of the rainy season, are expected to join their brethren later this year.

Joint Israeli government-JAFI teams in Ethiopia are working round the clock to expedite the immigration procedure. Conditions in Ethiopia are very difficult and the community suffers from dire poverty and poor health. Over the years, more than 200 Quaran Jews have died from illnesses while waiting to make aliyah.

The Quaran Jews come from one of the most isolated regions of Ethiopia, with no paved roads, no hospitals, almost no telecommunications. The community has been cut off from the main centers of Ethiopian Jewry since the late 1970s, in part because Quara was the last bastion of guerilla groups fighting the Ethiopian government.

Absorption of Quaran Jews into the State of Israel is a major challenge. They come from a rural, tribal, pre-industrial society. Literally overnight, these new immigrants are being asked to make a leap of centuries into the modern technological world at the end of the 20th century.

Even before they leave Ethiopia, the Quaran Jews receive a two-week, crash course to help familiarize them with the basic workings of life in Israel. Once in the country, they are housed in five JAFI absorption centers around Israel - in Nahariya, Kiryat Yam, Lod, Kiryat Gat and Beersheva, plus the Israeli government center in Mevasseret Zion.

Building on its long-standing experience in immigrant absorption, JAFI provides the staff and essential services necessary to help the new arrivals make the transition into Israeli society.

Since most of the Quaran Jews arrive with little more than the clothing on their backs, JAFI provides the basic necessities - clothing, shoes, blankets, linens, pots and pans, etc. - they need to start their new lives in Israel.

Trunech is one of 77 Quaran Jews who arrived at the Lod Absorption Center at the end of July/beginning of August 1999. They range in age from a tiny baby girl born the morning after the first group arrived to a couple well into their 70s.

The Lod Center, like its counterparts around the country, provides housing, Hebrew-language ulpan classes and pre-school activities for the Quaran immigrants, as well as social clubs. It is estimated that, on the average, Quaran Jews will stay for about two years. During that time, they will be assisted in attaining the skills and tools necessary to find work, buy their own apartments and move out to independent lives.

In making the transition from Quara to Israel, the new immigrants are being assisted by a JAFI staff which includes many veteran Ethiopian olim to Israel, who not only speak the new arrivals’ language but understand what they are going through.

"These olim have to make a very acute transition from outback Africa to a modern, western country," explains Rachel Adgraychue, a social worker at the Mevesseret Zion Absorption Center near Jerusalem, who immigrated to Israel from Gondar 15 years ago. "This is not an easy process. It is very difficult for them to adapt to what is going on in Israel. Most were never in a bank before in their lives. Many used barter and not money in their day-to-day transactions. In Ethiopia, they grew most of what they needed. Here, they have to buy everything. Most of the children were never in school on a regular basis. We do want we can, providing staff to help them every step of the way."

On the front lines are the translators and support personnel, all veteran olim from Ethiopia, who accompany the Quarans in their encounters with Israeli life. The support personnel are there from day one, explaining to the new arrivals everything from how to use the gas stoves in their apartments, public transportation or an ATM machine, to how to cross a busy urban street with traffic lights. They go with the olim to the banks, to the clinics, to the supermarkets, etc. They explain what the children need for school.

Akiva Elias, 61, was one of the first Ethiopian Jews to reach Israel. That was in 1956. He remained in the country eight years, studying agriculture, before returning to Ethiopia, where for 20 years, he was an agricultural advisor to the Ethiopian government. In July 1985, he returned to Israel. A year ago, he was recruited by JAFI to serve as a translator for Ethiopian immigrants.

"The focus is on preparing these olim to find jobs, buy apartments and become integrated into Israeli society," Elias says. "It will not be easy for them, but the Ethiopian olim who have come before them have done it and they serve as an example for the Quarans."


Nevertheless, most of the older Quarans realize that they are "the generation of the desert" and their hopes are pinned on the future for their children. "My five-year-old daughter is in kindergarten and is being given every opportunity to learn," says Trunech. "I know that she will grow up to be a real Israeli."

The Story of the Ethiopian Jews


Ethiopia is the land of ancient Hebraic people. These Hebraic people are a major part of the Jewish Diaspora. They are descendants of Hebraic Israelites of long ago. They have been given different names by different people. Some writers have called them the “Black Jews of Africa.” Many, including the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, refer to them as the “Falasha,” and some refer to themselves as “Beta Israel.” Most recently, some Israeli officials have called a group of Ethiopian Jews stranded in Gonder and Addis Ababa as “Felas Mora” (“Falasha”).


“Beta Israel” means “From the House of Israel.” For political reasons, the census on the Beta Israel population has been defined narrowly to include only a small number of people. The Jews of Ethiopia prefer being called Ethiopian Jews, or better yet, “Ethiopian Beta Israelis.” Judaism is their religious and ethnic identity.


From the earliest days of historical records, historians have tended to show that one of the earliest footholds of Judaism was in Ethiopia. Archaeological records also indicate frequent physical and cultural migration of Hebraic culture and people from both sides of the Red Sea and along the Nile River basin. Archaeological remains of the old cities of Metehara, Axum, Hawolti, Adigelemo, the Temple of Yeha, and the port of Adulis in Ethiopia provide very convincing evidence as to the strong and earliest presence of Hebraic people and culture in Ethiopia. Epigraphic research has also put forth evidence that suggests that Ethiopia is the

origin of the Semitic script. Ethiopic, the language spoken by the early Ethiopian Jews, is the only Semitic language which has never been changed. Rather, it developed into the present day Ge’ez and Amharic. Some scholars consider Ethiopic the ancestral language of Hebrew, Arabic, Geez, and Tigrinya.

In terms of religion, from the earliest days to the present, Ethiopian Jews have practiced the earliest forms of Judaism, which existed in the pre-Judaic Culture of early Israelites and preTalmudic Judaism. This is confirmed by archaeological findings in many parts of Ethiopia, such as from early Axumaite culture, the incense burners and animal sacrifices objects discovered by archaeologists. There is additional supporting evidence, including the island of Tana Kirqos in Lake Tana. Ethiopia is the land of Metsehafe Orit (The Tanakh or Old Page 1 of 5 Testament) and the keeper of the Tslate Musi (the Ark of the Covenant). The Tslate Musi was in the hands of the Ethiopian Jews up until 330 AD.


Perhaps the earliest Hebraic people came to the land of Ethiopia during the time of the prolonged drought and famine in Canaan at the time of Abraham. These are ancestors of the Qemant, who worship the Lord in the same manner as Abraham did. They pray and make sacrifices in selected tree groves and practice biret mila. A second group of Hebraic people arrived in Ethiopia during the 400 years of Israelite bondage in Egypt. According to our elders,  a large contingent of Israelites came and settled in Ethiopia during the time of Moses, the  Prince of Egypt. According to oral tradition, Ethiopian historians believe that Moses visited  Ethiopia as Pharaoh’s emissary on several occasions and eventually married an Ethiopian princess. A large group of Levites also came to Ethiopia carrying the Ark of the Covenant, or Tslate Musi, during the time of Emperor Manasseh of Israel, who sought to desecrate the Temple and forcibly convert the children of Israel into pagans. The Tslate Musi was kept on the island of Tana Kirqos in Lake Tana for more than 900 years. These Levites are believed to be ancestors of the Quara Jews. There is also the legend of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. It is told that the first-born of the tribes of Israel came to Ethiopia accompanying Menilik I, the son of King Solomon. This traditional history was the history of the Ethiopian monarchy, of which it was claimed that they were converted to Christianity with the belief that the messiah was Christ. Therefore, they saw no contradiction with the Old Testament and indeed believe more in the Old Testament and considered themselves Judeo-Christian. The State was called “King of Kings from the tribe of Judah.” The Star of David is their symbol of power and ordination. It was the highest ordination for the country until the time of the last emperor of Ethiopia, who clamed that he was the direct descendant of King Solomon of Israel and the Queen of Sheba. Other Hebraic people arrived at different points, including at the time of the destruction of the Temple and the persecution of the Jews in Babylon.


The history of Ethiopian Jews has never been told in a way that is based on archaeological and historical facts. Most writers have recognized the fact that Ethiopian Jews were the founders of the early Ethiopian state and the Church of Ethiopia. But they have been denied credit for their contributions to the history and civilization of Ethiopia and world Jewry. In the past, the history of Ethiopian Jews was told by different groups of people including: (a) foreign scholars using particular methods of data-gathering, analysis, interpretation, and presentation, (b) the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which sought to annihilate and demonize the Ethiopian Jewish population as the Antichrist, (c) foreign missionaries who sought to convert the Ethiopian Jews to Christianity, (d) the Italian invaders of Ethiopia who forced a large number of the Judaic Qemant to accept Catholicism, (e) Egyptian and Arabic scholars who sought to deny the presence of Jewish people in Ethiopia, and (f) travelers who passed through the scattered Jewish communities of Gonder without conducting in-depth observation. Often, the stories told are incomplete, or distorted to fit the writers’ political agendas, viewpoints and/or personal experience. In fact, many “scholars” have written about the “Beta Israelis” as if they are an isolated group who lived in the mountains of Ethiopia, were later discovered by European travelers, and then became the subject of “world politics.”


The earliest forms of state government and the state super-structure were the contributions of Ethiopian Jews. Ethiopia as a state has been on the map of the world since the history of the fertile crescent and the Greek or the Oriental world. We see Ethiopia mentioned several times in the tanakh, the Old Testament; in Greek and Oriental inscriptions; and in Egyptian hieroglyphics. If we trace back from the original, highly complex society, we can find evidence of early Neolithic civilization all over Ethiopia. This society was transformed into a proper state around the 7th century BC. This early period is called the pre-Axum civilization, but we prefer to call it the Zion-Axum period. During the Zion-Axum period, Judaism was introduced into Ethiopia and it quickly replaced the worship of the Sun God and the Serpent. Up till 330 AD, Judaism was both the state and popular religion of the Ethiopia Empire. During this period, hundreds of temples were built in Metehara, Yeha, Axum, and Adulis. Around 330 AD, Zion-Axum dynasty was succeeded by Christian-Axum dynasty with the conversion of Emperor Ezana to Christianity by a Syrian missionary from Egypt. The Christian-Axum dynasty survived until the 9th century and was then replaced by a Jewish kingdom headed by Queen Yeodit, the beautiful daughter of Gideon.


The treatment of Ethiopian Jews during the Christian-Axum period was very brutal and destructive. Between the 7th and the end of the 9th century, Ethiopian Jews repeatedly rebelled against the repressive Christian emperors. Finally, they defeated the Christian forces and established a Jewish kingdom under the leadership of Queen Yeodit. Eventually, the state capital was moved to Adeyva (Roha, now called Lalibela) by a descendant of Zage, and the Zagwe Dynasty was established. Zage was the half brother of Menilik I, the son of Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. Zage was also a son of King Solomon born from the Queen of Sheba’s escort or lady-in-waiting. Thus, the founders of both the Zagwe and the Solomonic dynasties were descendants of King Solomon of Israel.


After three hundred years of rule, (from the end of 10th century to the end of 12th century), the Zaguyes were very powerful, focused on fighting for greater Ethiopia and on building a large metropolitan center and controlling the Red Sea. The architecture of this period is the most outstanding work in the history of the world. The Zagues were competing with the Egyptians over the development of the Nile valley, resulting in Egypt coming to the conclusion that this Jewish leadership had to be moved from power and vanquished. The Zagwe Dynasty was defeated by the Solomonic group with the active help of Egypt through the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. (When the Egyptians took control of the patriarchy of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Church fell under Egyptian Coptic leadership and this continued until Emperor Haile-Selasse come to power and removed the church from the direct control of Egypt.) After the fall of the Zagwe Dynasty, a large number of Ethiopian Jews were forcibly converted to Christianity, killed, or sold into slavery. Those who managed to escape these atrocities fled to central and southern Ethiopia and settled in Gonder, Tigray, Gojjam, and other parts of Ethiopia. From the 14th century AD onwards, the majority of

Ethiopian Jews were ostracized, isolated, and forced to live as landless peasants.

From the 14th-16th centuries, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church amassed great wealth and political power. It owned one-third of the land in the empire and forty percent of local governmental appointments were made by the church. This gave the Ethiopian Orthodox Church tremendous power and influence on affairs of state. The Ethiopian emperors were powerless without the recognition and support of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.


Due to the nature of church doctrine and its policy of forced conversion, the silent Islamic population was forced to rebel against Emperor Lebne Dengel. Emperor Lebne Dengel was killed during the Islamic uprising and the central government collapsed. The Islamic uprising was defeated only with the assistance of the Portuguese, who provided arms, training and a few combat soldiers. By this time, the center of political power had shifted to Gonder in northcentral Ethiopia, which was inhabited by Ethiopian Jews. Gonder became the capital city of Ethiopia.


In 1747 the Gonderian dynasty collapsed and the kingdom was divided among various feudal lords. Once again, in 1847, a Jewish emperor, Tewodros II, appeared and begun to reunite and modernize Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church, especially the Egyptian Patriarch, would not recognize Tewodros as the legitimate Emperor of Ethiopia. First of all, Tewodros was born to a Jewish family in Quara. Secondly, he sought to separate church and state. Third, Tewodros wanted to introduce technological change in Ethiopia. The church was very backward in its thinking and could not reconcile technological changes with religious faith. It saw Tewodros’s attempt at introducing technology as an act of blasphemy. Fourth, Tewodros wanted to educate the masses. The church resisted this because it saw education of the masses as a threat against church doctrines and its control of the populace. There were many church-instigated uprisings and bloodshed in several parts of the kingdom.


After Emperor Tewodros committed suicide rather than be captured by the British invaders, Emperor Yohannes VI took the reigns of power. Emperor Yohannes was a Christian fundamentalist and he ordered the forced conversion of the Jewish and Muslim populations of Ethiopia. Once again, Ethiopian Jews were subjected to brutal religious persecutions.


Currently, there are more than 100,000 Ethiopian Jews living in Israel. There are more than a million Hebraic Ethiopians still living in Ethiopia, a large number of who practice Judaism. However, Ethiopian Jewry is in a precarious situation. There are more than 800 synagogues and temples scattered across Ethiopia. Many of these synagogues are now empty and abandoned. Unless we quickly move to protect our synagogues, burial grounds, and sacred places, we are bound to lose our Jewish identity and heritage. The immediate action needed is the establishment of Jewish community centers in Addis Ababa and Gonder, and the provision of access to modern academic, scientific, and religious education.


The Last Jews of Ethiopia?

 
A page has been turned in the history of Jews in Ethiopia. But despite what Israel may think, the page doesn't mark the end of the book, but merely a new, uncertain chapter.
 
On 28 August, two aeroplanes carrying 450 Ethiopian migrants took off from Addis Ababa, headed for Israel. Their arrival at Ben Gurion airport shortly after was commemorated with an outpouring of joy from their relatives already in the country and a short welcome ceremony. And with that, Operation Dove’s Wings – and the Israeli government’s attempts to bring Ethiopian Jews over to Israel – was officially over.



Since it began in November 2010, the operation has brought over around 7,000 Ethiopian Jews. And the ending of the programme suggests the mission to relocate the Jewish population from the Horn of Africa nation has been successfully realised. "Completing the journey of Operation Dove's Wings brings to a close a historic journey that began three thousand years ago," said Jewish Agency Chairman, Natan Sharansky, suggesting Ethiopian Jews were all now in Israel.


However, some would beg to differ. According to some estimates there could be another 7,000 people left behind in Ethiopia who practice Judaism, who are treated as Jews, and who had been desperate to be involved in Aliyah (the immigration of Jews to Israel).


The Falash Mura


The majority of those who immigrated to Israel under Operation Dove’s Wings belong to a community known as the Falash Mura, Feres Mura, or Zera Israel. The history of Jews in Ethiopia stretches back 2,000 years, but in the 19th century, European missionaries arrived in the country and began pressuring the Jewish population to convert to Christianity, particularly targeting those suffering from discrimination.


Some Jews converted voluntary and others were forced to do so, but many of these ‘new Christians’ tended to stay in their villages and did not integrate with the established Christian community. Instead they kept in contact with their Jewish cousins and some returned to Judaism. The Falash Mura today, mostly from Northern Ethiopia, are descended from those who converted in the 19th and 20th centuries.


In the 1980s and 1990s, members of Ethiopia’s Jewish community moved to Israel en masse, most famously in Operation Moses – in which 8,000 Jews were airlifted from Sudanese refugee camps during the 1984-5 famine – and Operation Solomon – in which some 14,000 Jews were rescued from Addis Ababa as Eritrean and Tigrean rebels closed in on the capital.


Some Falash Mura reportedly attempted to board these flights but were rejected by the Israeli authorities on account of their officially Christian faith. The Falash Mura aren’t considered Jewish according to Jewish law, and those who have moved to Israel as part of Aliyah since the 1980s and 1990s haven’t done so by applying for automatic Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return – a piece of legislation which allows Jews around the world to gain citizenship and live in Israel – but have had to apply for a separate kind of visa and undergo a special conversion process once in Israel.


A political hot potato


Since the 1980s and 1990s, thousands of Falash Mura, or Feresmura – many of whom feel marginalised and discriminated against in Ethiopian society – have left their villages and moved to Addis Ababa and the northern town of Gondar to take up their ancestral faith and apply for Aliyah. In 2010, the Israeli government began Operation Dove’s Wings to expedite the migration of Falash Mura to Israel.


However, the community’s attempts to migrate have long been vulnerable to political changes of direction in Israel where the issue of the Falash Mura is fiercely contested. Many established Ethiopian Jews have campaigned for them to be brought over to Israel, though some object believing they should be punished for abandoning their faith.


Meanwhile, amongst political parties, the more religious and right-wing groups tend to favour Falash Mura immigration as, after conversion, they will increase the Jewish majority in Israel; whilst it is usually secularist politicians who are the most outspoken opponents of the policy, arguing that the financial and social cost of integrating Ethiopians is not worthwhile.


As a consequence, state policy on the Falash Mura has been a tortuous and ever-changing compromise. Despite rulings in their favour by leading Rabbis, Falash Mura are not recognised as Jews by the State, and can only gain citizenship once they have converted after a year’s residence in the country. And their Aliyah has progressed in fits and starts as successive governments have declared a decisive end to their immigration only for it to be restarted at a later date.


One government decision, however, has had a lasting and significant impact. In 2003, Israel decided that only those with a matrilineal Jewish descent going back seven generations would be permitted in the Aliyah. In Ethiopia, a child inherits its father’s religion, and the result was that thousands of Falash Mura who had already been approved for Aliyah were now delisted.


Abandoned in Gondar


But despite this blow, many stayed put in Gondar, attending synagogue and sending their children to the Jewish school in the hope the policy would change. But unfortunately for them, it never did, and with the completion of Operation Dove’s Wings, thousands of dreams look more unlikely to be realised than ever.


Those left behind are angry and frustrated at being denied entrance to Israel while their close relatives – in some cases even parents or children – have been eligible for Aliyah. Many Falash Mura previously left their farms and villages and moved to Gondar in the belief that being in the town would expedite a move; instead, many have been waiting there for over 10 years.



Furthermore, with everyone who was officially eligible for Aliyah now in Israel, the Jewish infrastructure in Gondar is being shut down. The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), an NGO tasked with preparing future migrants for their trips, has withdrawn from the synagogue it was running and has closed down the local Jewish school. A private donor has provided the rent for the synagogue to remain open for this month, but the school has already been handed over to the Ethiopian government to function as a state school.

The remaining Falash Mura – of whom there are estimated to be a few thousand – have formed an association called Hatikva (Hebrew for ‘hope’) and have taken over the running of the synagogue. A British charity called Meketa is providing some training, tools and loans to help them make a living in Gondar, and has offered its building as an alternative site for the synagogue when the lease on the present one expires.


But for the time being, it looks like the Falash Mura have been left in limbo. The Israeli government refuses to recognise them as Jews. And they cannot return to their villages as they have sold their land and livestock.


The Falash Mura could disperse into Gondar and assimilate into the surrounding Christian society, but this seems to be a highly unrealistic option. The Falash Mura feel passionately about their Jewish faith; they practice the religion piously, they have formed their identities around it, and are seen – and in many cases discriminated against – by the rest of Ethiopian society as Jews.


In the long-term, Israel could perform another U-turn, but in the meantime, and despite the view the government, the story of Jews in Ethiopia is still being played out.


Bamileke people

The fact that Bamilekes trace their origin in Egypt, are related to the Ebos & have great entrepeneurial spirit (very remarkable in Cameroon's economy) makes good candidates to be Israaelites. The roll of the queen mother resembles the one of the UK.


The Bamileke is the ethnic group which is now dominant in Cameroon's West and Northwest Provinces. It is part of the Semi-Bantu (or Grassfields Bantu) ethnic group. The Bamileke are regrouped under several groups, each under the guidance of a chief or fon. Nonetheless, all of these groups have the same ancestors and thus share the same history, culture, and languages. The Bamileke have a population of over 3,500,000 individuals. They speak a number of related languages from the Bantoid branch of the Niger–Congo language family. These languages are closely related, however, and some classifications identify a Bamileke dialect continuum with seventeen or more dialects.

The Bamileke are organized under several chiefdom (or fondom). Of these, the fondoms of Bafang, Bafoussam, Bandjoun, Bangangté, Bawaju, Dschang, and Mbouda are the most prominent. The Bamileke also share much history and culture with the neighbouring fondoms of the Northwest province and notably the Lebialem region of the Southwest province, but the groups have been divided since their territories were split between the French and English in colonial times.

Following Ethnologue classification, we can identify 11 different languages or dialects:

Variants of Ghomala' are spoken in most of the Mifi, Koung-Khi, Hauts-Plateaux departments, the eastern Menoua, and portions of Bamboutos, by 260,000 people (1982, SIL). The main fondoms are Baham, Bafoussam, Bamendjou, Bandjoun.

Towards southwest is spoken Fe'fe' in the Upper Nkam division. The main towns include Bafang, Baku, and Kékem.

Nda'nda' occupy the western third of the Ndé division. The major settlement is at Bazou.

Yemba is spoken by 300,000 or more people in 1992. Their lands span most of the Menoua division to the west of the Bandjoun, with their capital at Dschang. Fokoué is another major settlement.

Medumba is spoken in most of the Ndé division, by 210,000 people in 1991, with major settlements at Bangangte and Tonga.

Mengaka, Ngiemboon, Ngomba and Ngombale are spoken in Mbouda.

Kwa is spoken between the Ndé and the Littoral province, Ngwe around Fontem in the Southwest province.

Bamileke belongs to the Mbam-Nkam group of Grassfields languages, whose attachment to the Bantu division is still disputed. While some consider it a Bantu or semi-Bantu language, others prefer to include Bamileke in the Niger-Congo group. Bamileke is not a unique language. It seems that Bamileke Medumba stems from Ancient Egyptian and is the root language for many other Bamileke variants.

The Bamileke are the native people three regions of Cameroon, namely West, North-West and South-West. Though greater part of this people are from the West region, it is estimated that over the 1/3 of Bamileke are from the English speaking regions, the majority of which are from the North-West region (there are 123 Bamileke villages in this region, against 06 in the South-West). The Grassfields area therefore encompasses the West and North-West and small part of the South-West region of Cameroon. Apart from the Bamileke, there are other tribes that are historically more or less linked to the Bamileke, such as the Igbo's of Nigeria whether by blood or through certain cultural intercourse, (D. Toukam, “Histoire et anthropologie du peuple bamiléké”, p. 15).

The Bamileke speak a semi-Bantu language and are related to Bantu peoples. Historically, the Bamun and the Bamileke were united. The founder of this group (Nchare) was the younger brother of the founder of Bafoussam. Bamiléké are a group comprising many tribes. In this group, there are at least eight different cultures, including Dschang, Bafang, Bagangté, Mbouda and Bafoussam.

During the mid-17th century, the Bamiléké people's forefathers left the North to avoid being forced to convert to Islam. They migrated as far south as Foumban. Conquerors came all the way to Foumban to try to impose Islam on them. A war began, pushing some people to leave while others remained, submitting to Islam. This marks the division between the Bamun and Bamiléké people.

Bantu refers to a large, complex linguistic grouping of peoples in Africa. The Cameroon-Bamileke Bantu people cluster encompasses multiple Bantu ethnic groups primarily found in Cameroon, the largest of which is the Bamileke. The Bamileke, whose origins trace to Egypt, migrated to what is now northern Cameroon between the 11th and 14th centuries. In the 17th century they migrated further south and west to avoid being forced to convert to Islam. Another reason for migration was to resist enslavement during the Atlantic Slave Trade. Today, a majority of peoples within this people cluster are Christians.

The Bamileke's settlements follow a well organized and structured pattern. Houses of family members are often grouped together, often surrounded by small fields. Men typically clear the fields, but it is largely women who work them. Most work is done with tools such as machetes and hoes. Staple crops include cocoyams, groundnuts and maize.

Bamileke settlement are organized as chiefdoms. The chief, or fon or fong is considered as the spiritual, political, judicial and military leader. The Chief is also considered as the 'Father' of the chiefdom. He thus has great respect from the population. The successor of the 'Father' is chosen among his children. The successor's identity is typically kept secret until the fon's death.

The fon has typically 9 ministers and several other advisers and councils. The ministers are in charge of the crowning of the new fon. The council of ministers, also known as the Council of Notables is called Kamveu. In addition, a "queen mother" or mafo was an important figure for some fons in the past. Below the fon and his advisers lie a number of ward heads, each responsible for a particular portion of the village. Some Bamileke groups also recognise sub-chiefs, or fonte.

The Bamileke are renowned for their skilled craftsmen and great sense of business. Their artwork is highly praised, though since the colonial period, many traditional arts and crafts have been abandoned. Bamileke are particularly celebrated carvers in wood, ivory, and horn. Chief's compounds are notable for their intricately carved doorframes and columns.

The Bamileke trace ancestry, inheritance and succession through the male line, and children belong to the fondom of their father. After a man's death, all of his possessions typically go to a single, male heir. Polygamy (more specifically, polygyny) is practiced, and some important individuals may have literally hundreds of wives. Marriages typically involve a bride price to be paid to the bride's family.

"Succession and inheritance rules are determined by the principle of patrilineal descent. According to custom, the eldest son is the probable heir, but a father may choose any one of his sons to succeed him. An heir takes his dead father's name and inherits any titles held by the latter, including the right to membership in any societies to which he belonged. And, until the mid-1960s, when the law governing polygamy was changed, the heir also inherited his father's wives--a considerable economic responsibility. The rights in land held by the deceased were conferred upon the heir subject to the approval of the chief, and, in the event of financial inheritance, the heir was not obliged to share this with other family members. The ramifications of this are significant. First, dispossessed family members were not automatically entitled to live off the wealth of the heir. Siblings who did not share in the inheritance were, therefore, strongly encouraged to make it on their own through individual initiative and by assuming responsibility for earning their livelihood. Second, this practice of individual responsibility in contrast to a system of strong family obligations prevented a drain on individual financial resources. Rather than spend all of the inheritance maintaining unproductive family members, the heir could, in the contemporary period, utilize his resources in more financially productive ways such as for savings and investment. [...] Finally, the system of inheritance, along with the large-scale migration resulting from population density and land pressures, is one of the internal incentives that accounts for Bamileke success in the nontraditional world".

Donald L. Horowitz also attributes the economic success of the Bamileke to their inheritance customs, arguing that it encouraged younger sons to seek their own living abroad. He wrote in "Ethnic groups in conflict": "Primogeniture among the Bamileke and matrilineal inheritance among the Minangkabau of Indonesia have contributed powerfully to the propensity of males from both groups to migrate out of their home region in search of opportunity".

HEBREWISMS OF WEST AFRICA: From Nile to Niger with the Jews

A Review of Joseph J. Williams' 1931 anthropological work by Israelite Heritage



Editor's Note: Other sources are quoted as well to validate the presence of Judaism in West Africa for hundreds and even thousands of years.

It's a historical fact that the mass majority of captive slaves brought to the Americas, came from West Africa, although some were brought from East Africa, they were the minority. The west African tribal nations that our forefathers were taken from, have many ancient Hebrew customs in their culture. The KAFFIR, BO, GREBO, MARIBUCK, MAVUMBA, AKRA, FANTI, AKIN, YORUBA, KONGO, AND ASHANTI. Just to name a few of the many sub-Saharan nations that engage in ancient Israelite rituals. 

Such rituals include: CIRCUMCISION, THE DIVISION OF THEIR TRIBES INTO TWELVE, BLOOD SPRINKLING UPON THEIR ALTARS AND DOOR POSTS, MARRYING OF THEIR BROTHER'S WIFE AFTER DEATH, SEPARATION AND PURIFICATION AFTER CHILD BIRTH, UNCLEANNESS DURING CHILD BIRTH, UNCLEANNESS DURING MENSTRUATION 
NEW MOON CELEBRATIONS. Plus many more. 

Among the ASHANTI tribe the priesthood is hereditary to a specific family such a family has little or no possessions, is exempt from all taxes, supplied with food and advises the king. Compare this with the Levities of ancient Israel and you will see that both are exactly the same. 

The name ASHANTI has Hebrew origins, the "TI" at the end means race of or people of, Ashan was the name of a city located in southern Israel Judah (Joshua 15:42 - 19:7 / 1st chronicles 4:32 - 6:59). 

The word Ashan in Hebrew means smoke city / burning city. ASHANTI means the people of Ashan or the people of the smoke city, This was the reference to the city of Ashan after the Romans destroyed it in 70 C.E. 

In a very informative book entitled HEBREWISMS OF WEST AFRICA By Joseph J Williams. He gives detailed descriptions of the Hebrew customs in many of the west African tribes. These were the tribes who were the main suppliers of slaves during the slave trade. And these are the tribes that the majority of Hebrews in the West are descendant from. I will present a few excerpts from his book, and this should further convince you of who the children of Israel are. 

NOTE: I must say here that this book was written in the 1930's and the author who is white quotes some "racist" authors, from as far back as the 1700's. He also makes some misguided comments himself, as he tries to find out how so much Hebrew culture and lifestyle, got to West Africa. He would have known the answer to that had he known the prophecies. But nonetheless there is still A LOT OF useful information contained in HIS book. 

PAGE 22 In the first place, many Hebrewisms were discovered in the ASHANTI tribal customs. Then, several ASHANTI words were found to have a striking resemblance to those of equivalent Hebrew meaning. finally the supreme being of the ASHANTI gave a strong indication of being the "Yahweh" (YHWH) of the "Old Testament". 

PAGE 23, It was indeed surprising how many HEBREWISMS, either real or at least apparent, were to be found among the unIslamised tribes. 

PAGE 52 In both ASHANTI and Hebrew the traditional vowel sound is equally important for the true signification of words. 

PAGE 56, Thus in conjugation of the verb the ASHANTI prefix the personal pronouns to the verb stem, the same as it is found in the imperfect of Hebrew. 

PAGE 61, One cannot help being impressed by the number of customs and practices there described that find their counter part among the ancient Hebrews. Thus, for example the Mosaic law of intra-tribal-marriages, which was devised expressly to preserve the inheritance of the daughters in the tribe and family of their father (NUMBERS 36:12) finds a close verification among the ASHANTI of today. And the cross-cousin marriages, so characteristic of the latter, are strictly similar to that of the daughter of salphadd who wedded the sons of their uncle by their father (NUMBERS 36:2). Again the preserving of certain names in a family is as much sought after by the ASHANTI as it was of old among the Hebrews, as shown in the case of naming of John the Baptist when the objection was made, "there is none of your Kindred that is called by this name" (Luke 1:61). 

PAGE 62, So also the remarkable simplicity of the ASHANTI marriage and the distinctive part that wine plays in the ceremonial reminds one of the ancient Hebrews. 

PAGE 63, Not only in the marriage ceremony itself but also in after marriage customs there is a strange similarity between the ASHANTI and the Hebrews. Thus, for example, for 8 days after the birth of a child the ASHANTI "mother is considered as unclean". It is only on the 8th day, at the Ntetea that the child receives its personal name, and on the 40th day a still further ceremony has to be observe. In all this we are certainly reminded of Hebrew customs. Further, the ASHANTI women at the menstrual period, even to the retirement to the bara hut, read like a page borrowed from the book of Leviticus, (15:19-20). And the system of ASHANTI ablution to prevent legal uncleanness constantly brings to mind similar practices which were common among Hebrews. 

PAGE 66, Thus far, however, we have shown certain cultural elements common to the ASHANTI and the ancient Hebrews, such as the ob cult, religious dances, use of "Amen", vowel value, patriarchal system, parallel symbolism of Authority in "stool" and "chair", endogamy, cross-cousin marriages, familiar names, exogamy, simplicity of marriage rite and the part wine plays in the ceremony, uncleanness after child birth, purification ceremony, Menstrual seclusion. and ceremonial ablutions; besides ASHANTI loan words of apparent Hebrew origin. 

PAGE 70, For they ascribe to God the attributes of omnipresence, omniscience, and Invisibility, besides which they believe that he governs all things by providence. By reason god is invisible, they say it would be absurd to make any corporeal representation of him. Wherefore they have such multitude of Images of their Idol gods which they take to be subordinate deities to the supreme God. 

PAGE 72, In the very fact that the Hebrews, despite their service of the true god frequently relapsed into idolatry. Captain Rattray, finds a parallelism with the ASHANTI, where, as Bosman noted, one finds a belief in a supreme being side by side with multitudes of their idol Gods. 

PAGE 78, And there is a common saying among the ASHANTI: no priest may look upon the face of his God and live which sounds remarkably like an echo of "Yahweh's" (YHWH) warning to Moses at Mount Sinai "Thou canst see my face for man shall not see me and live".


PAGE 82, The breastplate on the central figure, the Herald (Osene), who is called by Stanley the Town-Crier, is strikingly similar to the breast plate of the High Priest among the Ancient Hebrews, even to its division into twelve parts. The head dress of the Herald, too with its gold disc in front satisfies the description of the miznefet as given in the Jewish Encyclopedia. "A tiara, or perhaps a peculiarly wound turban, with a peak, the front of which bore a gold plate with inscription "Holy unto YHWH". However, the division of the breast plate into twelve parts is certainly distinctive. So also is the head dress with gold disc in front. 

PAGE 83, The ASHANTI Myth might thus record progressive stages in the manifestation of "Yahweh" (YHWH) to the Hebrews; the burning bush; Sinai and the Covenant, that established the Nation as God's Chosen People.

This is only a few of the many comparisons he found out that existed among just ONE of the tribes that we (in the west) are descendant from. It would be way to lengthy to include all the tribes of west Africa who have Hebrew culture.

Today all of Africa has been lumped into one, Meaning that "All black skinned people are of the same culture, customs, etc." So as a consequence all this Hebrewism has went unnoticed by the world at large. Most of the customs that are taught to us as being "Traditional" African culture are actually cultural traits that can be found right in the first five books of your Bible. 


“Others” and Other Strangers

For Western, Christian civilization, there have been two groups that have historically represented the perfect Other: Jews and people of African descent. For more than two millenia, each has been viewed as alien, despite, or because of, the fact that Jews and blacks lived in physical and cultural intimacy with the dominant group, white, Christian, and (mostly) European. For the classical world, Jews and Africans were different, but were hardly “other” in the sense of utter alien-ness that the term implies. 

Once, however, Christianity came to define Western civilization, and once truly black (i.e., sub-Saharan) Africans were encountered--and almost immediately enslaved--beginning in the mid-fifteenth century, this former familiarity and degree of grudging acceptance faded away. By early modern times, and until today, Jews and blacks have become the West’s Other, the “not” that explains what “we” are. Given this, it is not surprising that the two groups have come to have a similar identity, not in the sense of being the same (though, as we will see, this has in fact happened) but in being the group against which the dominant group defines itself. But, surprisingly, these two “othered” groups have in many cases come to identify with each other. Especially in the case of Africans, both on the continent and in the Diaspora, identification with Judaism (if not with actual Jews) has become a means of both creating an identity and rejecting the subordinate place in society to which the dominant culture and faith has consigned them. 

This historical, cultural, sociological, and religious evolution is the subject of the two books considered here. The first, by Tudor Parfitt, looks deeply and with fascinating historical detail at the place of Jews and blacks in Western culture from biblical times until today. It notes the little-known but important ways in which Africans have come to identify with Jews, or more exactly, with the ancient Israelites, to the point of claiming actual biological descent from them. The second work, by Jacob Dorman, closely investigates a subset of this phenomenon, the rise of many groups within African American society (including the Caribbean islands as well as mainland North America) that while not often claiming Israelite biological descent, have come to identify with Jews and Judaism. They have adopted--and adapted--Jewish rituals and beliefs into a syncretic faith that by design resembles what first-century Christianity was assumed to be, essentially a Jewish messianic movement that honored and worshiped Jesus but had little use for the organized church that eventually triumphed in the Western world, both in Europe and its daughter civilizations in the New World.

Parfitt begins with a consideration of the Lemba, an African group living in modern Zimbabwe. The Lemba have famously claimed to be descendents of Jews.

He returns to the Lemba at the end of his book, after completing a deep and analytical survey of what Jews and blacks were seen as by the dominant white and Christian culture of the West. Parfitt notes that in medieval times, there were many discussions concerning the relationship of Jews and blacks, usually dividing over the question of whether or not those two peoples were part of the same creation (“monogenesis”) or were created separately (“polygenesis”), not part of the Edenic creation described in the Bible. 

In chapter 6 of his book, Parfitt switches his view to the rise of black Pentecostalism in America, which is the subject of Dorman’s work described below. He notes that attempts to fit Native Americans into the Christian narrative led to the common belief that the Indians were descendents of the Lost Tribes, an idea that was not confined to the Mormons. Equally, the descendents of African slaves also took up the idea that Africans were of Jewish (more properly, Israelite) descent, which would provide a powerful linkage to another but more honored people whose history was also one of endless suffering capped with eventual redemption. This identification became one of the key parts of black Pentecostalism, the assertion that African Americans were Jews, not because they in any way practiced the Jewish faith (though some actually did) but because they had a presumed common ancestry and a very real common oppression. The Old Testament, therefore, became the focus of many black religious movements because of its emotional and eschatological relevance to the African American experience. Jesus, in this view, was not the universal Messiah of the New Testament but the promised Jewish redeemer of the Old. It was, Parfitt notes, a new version of older faiths that he refers to as “Afro-Judaism.” It legitimized the African American quest for dignity and respect by combining the identity of the two groups that had been most scorned and marginalized throughout Western history, blacks and Jews.

Inevitably, Parfitt turns (as all such studies must) to the “Falasha” of Ethiopia, a group that calls itself Beta Israel, the “House of Israel.” The origin and identity of this group has been one of the most controversial in all of African studies, and in modern times their identity as Jews has not been seriously questioned; thus, the development of “Operation Magic Carpet,” which carried most of them to Israel to escape from local oppression over the past forty years. The Beta Israel origin myth is well known:they are descended from Jewish settlers who came from ancient Israel in the time of King Solomon, accompanying his son Menelik, fathered with the “Queen of Sheba,” who was assumed to be in fact Ethiopian. 

It was only in the nineteenth century that the Beta Israel came to be regarded as “black Jews,” for the simple reason that before that time a “black Jew” was a contradiction in terms. 

Finally, this brings Parfitt back to his starting point, the origin and identity of the Lemba. He notes the astonishing fact that DNA evidence now confirms that the Lemba are linked genetically to peoples of the Middle East, and that they are to a significant degree genetically different from their otherwise physically identical neighbors. How is this possible? Here Parfitt engages in a bit of speculation, but his conclusions are at least plausible. He believes that since sailors from Arabia extensively traded with and settled on the coast from pre-Islamic times, it is not hard to imagine that some of them settled there, moved inland for trade purposes, and then encountered local Bantu speakers with whom they may have intermarried. Since there would be little genetic difference between such people and the inhabitants of the ancient Middle East, that would explain how “Semitic” (“Jewish”) DNA ended up as a substantial part of an African people’s gene pool. It would also explain why some Lemba are said to “look Jewish,” especially in regard to the shape of their noses (which is ironically one of the enduring tropes of Anti-Semitism). 

It is one thing to claim Jewish ancestry, but another to be observant Jews. Parfitt notes that today the vast majority of the Lemba are practicing Christians, but that the claim, or accusation, that they are of Jewish descent has led some Lemba to study, and in some cases practice, Judaism in its modern guise, which is largely a product of the central and eastern European “Ashkenazi” community as developed over the past thousand years.

Parfitt’s work raises some profound questions, the answers to which lie outside of his admirable study. The most central, which “real Jews” have been wrestling with for centuries, is what constitutes Jewishness, and thus who counts as a Jew? Is it a question of descent, or “blood,” or practice, or belief, or even residence? And, a question that is fraught with every possible danger and controversy, is it possible for blacks to be Jews, or for Jews to be black? In a masterly survey of the two great “Othered” groups of Western history, Parfitt brings these questions to the forefront, offering not so much answers (there may not be any) but historically based insight into the fundamental question of who anyone actually is.

Dorman looks at the same phenomenon as Parfitt, but from a different angle and in a different place. He is interested in how some African American religious groups have come to embrace the idea that they are “Israelite” (but not necessarily Jewish in terms of doctrine or worship), and, like many African peoples, claim a descent, either biological or cultural or both, from the ancient Israelites. Just as African American Israelitism is a variant of similar movements in Africa, Dorman demonstrates that it is also a variant of uniquely American phenomena, Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism. Beginning in the nineteenth century, the Evangelical movement spread far and wide in the United States (and also in the English Caribbean) and inevitably drew to it black Americans; many of them were former slaves, most of them were descendents of slaves, and nearly all of them daily experienced the humiliations and brutality of Jim Crow America. 

Dorman begins with William Saunders Crowdy, a former slave who ended up as a farmer in Oklahoma. One day in 1890, while out plowing his fields, he claimed to have had a sudden revelation, that black Americans were in fact the descendents of ancient Jews (or Israelites--the difference is significant). Acting on this, Crowdy began to preach, creating the Church of God and Saints of Christ in the process. Crowdy’s church was only one of many, black and white, that emerged in these decades, nearly all of them part of the growing Evangelical and Pentecostal movements that flourished throughout America. It is also noted that such things were driven as much by technology as by faith; railroads allowed cheap and rapid travel across the country; newspapers spread news and ideas equally quickly; and steamships (often manned in part by black sailors from both sides of the Atlantic) permitted a flow of such ideas and movements across the ocean, cross-fertilizing religious ideas and social movements for many. 

In the United States, many of these groups began to adopt Jewish practices, such as the Passover Seder, the Saturday Sabbath, and ritual bathing and foot washing, not because they wished to become Jews, but because these were assumed to be the common practices of Christians in the first two centuries after Christ. They were modeling themselves after “real Christians” whose beliefs and rituals had since been subverted, corrupted, and discarded by the emerging institutional Christianity centered on Rome and Constantinople. Such beliefs, Dorman notes, were reinforced by the experiences of blacks in the generations before and after the Great War. Massive migration within America, travel to and sometimes combat in such “exotic” locales as Europe and the Near East, and meeting with Africans and Afro-Caribbeans all contributed to a sense that to be a black American was to be something more than a member of an oppressed minority in one country, but rather part of a much wider cultural world that spanned continents and centuries. 

Out of this ferment, Dorman argues, came such seemingly different but deeply related movements as Rastafarianism, Garveyism, and even the Nation of Islam, as well as hundreds of new Christian churches. What bound them together was the search for a legitimizing identity that the dominant racist culture was bound to respect to some degree. For some, it was primitive Christianity; for others, it was Islam, for still others it was an Africanizing that led to the adoration of Ethiopia and the near-deification of Haile Selassie; for most, as Dorman notes, it was Judaism, the source faith of Christians (and Muslims) and the faith of a people who, like them, had endured centuries of contempt, oppression, and brutality, the symbolic and real incarnation of the Other. For most, this led to a borrowing of Jewish ideas and practices while remaining Christian, but claiming either literal or symbolic descent from ancient Jews; this was Israelitism. For a few such groups, it meant going all the way, fully adopting contemporary Jewish beliefs, rituals, and customs; the prime example of this was the life and career of Rabbi Arnold Josiah Ford, whose Harlem congregation eventually became almost indistinguishable from white, Ashkenazi ones; not coincidentally, it also raised the question that Parfitt, and many contemporary Jewish organizations and theologians, raise: how is Jewishness defined? 

A not-inconsiderable side-note to all of this, Dorman observes, was the nineteenth-century rise of “Anglo-Israelitism,” which asserted that the English were in fact descendents of the ancient Israelites; being thus descended, this would explain the English success in taking over much of the world politically and economically in that century. After all, if they are descended from the “Chosen People,” and enjoy divine protection, then their success is both explicable and morally justifiable. Peoples of African descent, in North America, the Caribbean islands, and in Africa, would naturally draw on such beliefs since as English speakers, they too could see themselves as in a sense “chosen,” and part of a superior ethnic group that might scorn or oppress them but whose biblical antecedents they allegedly shared. Added to this was the influence of Freemasonry, whose quasi-biblical, Old Testament alleged origins and rituals were familiar to many African Americans. Another thread was “Orientalism,” the fascination with and borrowing from supposed cultures, beliefs, and rituals of the Near East, whose exotic nature could be easily adapted to Evangelical claims, both black and white, of ancient, “mysterious,” and sacred descent and beliefs. (A white example of this is the charitable service organization, the “Mystic Knights of the Shrine,” or “Shriners,” with their orientalist, pseudo-Islamic symbols and rituals.)

Dorman is at pains to point out that while black Israelitism was assembled out of many cultural, social, and religious strands, it is not mere syncretism. Instead, the huge ferment of African American religious thought and cultural creation (one aspect of which is the more widely known Harlem Renaissance) led to true cultural innovation in both ideas and practice. While most of the black Israelite churches have splintered or vanished, and most of their founders largely forgotten, Dorman asserts that their influence remains. Not because, he says, many African Americans have become Jews in the conventional sense (though some have) or have even preserved an “Israelite” strain in their worship and belief, but because they have used such things as source materials to both enhance their own culture and to help them deal with the larger society that even after many centuries, still insists on seeing black people as the Other.

While the history narrated by both Parfitt and Dorman is fascinating, scholars will find their sources and bibliographies even more useful. For Dorman’s work especially, the bibliography is massive and can lead others into documentation and areas of study that few would ever know existed. Both volumes have copious notes that by themselves would make these books worth having for any scholar of African, Israeliteist, or African American religion and culture. It should also be noted that both books are very well written, and accessible to the lay reader; the language is vivid, the terminology clear (and explained where it is not), and the jargon kept to an absolute minimum.


But the value of the two works goes beyond the world of scholarship. General readers, and to be frank, especially Jews and African Americans, will find in them aspects of their history and culture that they scarcely knew existed. Relations between the two peoples have had their ups and downs for well over a century, especially in the United States. Perhaps these two works, and others inspired by them, will help the two historic Others of Western and American history see that their pasts and futures are intertwined in ways that few can imagine. If so, the value of Parfitt’s and Dorman’s work will go far beyond the conventional bounds of historical scholarship. 

Bali Israelites?

The Balis are also known as Abaali, Maya... The high regard for human life & the great welcome the Nigerian tribe of the Balis (a name that means "from Baal" in Hebrew) give to newborn babies resembles the same high regard for human life given by the ancient Israelites.

Adamawa (from first man Adam?) & Taraba (Tara, the name of a place in Ireland, is considered to derive from Torah) are the two states with higher concentration of Balis. Salem, a local toponym, is the former name of Jerusalem.

In the slave Narrative by Olaudah Equiano, He tells of how his native customs parallel to the Hebrews customs found in the Bible, "Like the Israelites in their primitive state, our government was conducted by our chiefs or Judges, our wisemen, and elders; and the head of a family, enjoyed a similar authority over his household with that which is ascribed to Abraham and the other patriarchs. The law of retaliation prevailed almost universally with us as with them; and even their religion appeared to have shed upon us a ray of its glory, though broken and spent in its passage. or eclipse by the cloud with which time , tradition, and ignorance might have enveloped it. For we had our circumcision ( a rite I believe, peculiar to that people) we had also our sacrifices and burnt-offerings, our washing and purification, on the same occasions as they had". 

"I came at length to a country, the inhabitants of which differed from us in all these particulars. I was very much struck with this difference, especially when I came among a people who did not circumcise, AND WHO ATE WITHOUT WASHING THEIR HANDS".
Olaudah Matthew 15:1-2,”Then came to Yahshuah scribes and Pharisees which were of Jerusalem, saying 

(2) Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the Elders? FOR THEY WASH NOT THEIR HANDS WHEN THEY EAT BREAD. 

In a article by William Levi Ochan Ajjugo who is a member of the Madi tribe in the country of Sudan. He tells of the Hebrew customs among his and other tribes in the Sudan: 

"When most people think of Judaism in black Africa, they think of the so-called Falashas, Bet Israel, Ethiopian Jews who have kept the essentials of biblical Judaism despite being isolated geographically from other Jews for thousands of years. 

The Falashas are in fact the tip of the iceberg. Judaism came to Africa long before Islam or even Christianity, itself an early arrival. Hebrews have been in Africa hundreds of years before the exodus from Egypt. So influential was ancient Judaism in northern and eastern Africa that anthropologists have devised a test to tell whether a given tribe or people has Hebraic roots: It does so if males are circumcised at age of 1 or earlier. 

I am from South Sudan, the largely Christian, African portion of the Sudan, which has long been dominated by Arab Muslims to the north, in Khartoum. I am from a tribe called the Madi, and while we did not retain Judaism as thoroughly as did the Falashas in neighboring Ethiopia, I am amazed as I look back at how many of our customs seem to have come from the Hebrew Scriptures. 

Among Christians and non- Christians like, one G-d was worshiped. As in the Book of Leviticus, blood sacrifices were offered for sins. The worst sins required the sacrifice of a sheep, the ones below these a Goat, and the "least" sins a chicken. A hereditary group of elders or priests decided which to sacrifice, and presided over these and other ceremonies. 

Dietary laws were practiced; certain animals were "unclean" and could not be eaten. Ceremonial washing of hands was required when leaving home. Certain days of the year were set apart as holy. On such days, all was pledged to the one G-d of the heavens who forgave sins. 

The Madi also use a ram's horn ("bilah") to call people together for various purposes. My father, who was an hereditary elder, would often blow the bilah to gather the people together for a ceremony or to discuss a matter of importance. 

If a man died, his brother married his widow. This is in Leviticus, and also is imbedded in Madi culture, as is the "kinsman-redeemer" custom found in the Book of Ruth in connection with Boaz's marrying Ruth. In Ruth 4:7, it says that "in earlier times in Israel", the redemption and transfer of property became final when one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This is precisely what the Madi did when I was growing up. 

In Deuteronomy 15:19, the children of Israel were commanded to set apart for the L-rd all first-born males of their herds and flocks. None were to be put to work or, in the case of sheep, shorn. Again, this is a Madi custom as well. 

Many of these customs are also practiced by other tribes in the Sudan. One Madi custom, though, is most striking in its obvious implication: All males are circumcised -- as I was -- on the 8th day. 

When I was growing up, I did not know that any of these were "Jewish" customs. It was only when I began studying the Bible that the connection became clear. Most tribes who practice these customs do not know what "Jewish" means; they only know that these are the ways of their own forefathers. 

Christian missionaries have long misinterpreted these "ways", especially missionaries from denominations which de-emphasize the "Old" Testament. Many labeled groups like Madi "pagan", "animist", or, incredibly, "without religion."


Today, the Islamic fundamentalists who rule the Sudan use similar terms to describe the tribes of South Sudan, including the Madi. Unlike the Christian missionaries of the past, however, the Islamicists know better. On more than one occasion, I was called "Jew" in a disparaging way by Muslims when I was living in the Sudan. 

The current Islamic regime in Sudan is waging a jihad -- a war of extermination -- against the people and tribes of South Sudan. Almost 3 million of my people have been butchered in a genocide that is worse than anything the world has seen since the Holocaust. Those who know of this under reported slaughter rightly see it as religious in nature -- a war of Islamic imperialism against largely Christian South Sudan. It is also a cultural war of Arab- dominated culture against African culture. And part and parcel of African culture -- at least in this area of Africa -- are the remnants of Judaism. 

For those would like to see such remnants preserved, here is yet another reason to stand up for the brave people of South Sudan". 

Those brothers and sisters in the Southern Sudan are Israelites, These Hebrews are still being taken captive and put into slavery in the Sudan, they are suffering the curses of Deuteronomy 28: 

In another article By George E. Lichtblau entitled, "Jewish Roots in Africa", he gives a details about the Hebrews in west Africa: 

"Claims of a historic presence of Jewish communities in certain regions of Africa, notably West and Southern Africa, seem esoteric when first mentioned. This presence goes back not just centuries, but even to biblical times. 

Of course in two areas such a communal presence on the African continent remains a firmly acknowledged part of Jewish history and experience (North Africa and Egypt/Ethiopia). A Jewish presence in Egypt and the former Kingdom of Kush are described in the Book of Exodus. Yet even after their exodus from Egypt and their settlement in the land of Israel, the Jewish tribes retained certain nomadic characteristics which are reflected throughout their history. 

For example, in the 10th and 9th centuries B.C.E. Kings David and Solomon sought to expand Jewish influence and trade throughout the Mediterranean, including North Africa, Egypt, the Arab Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, as well as Persia. Often such trade promotion and colonizing drives were arranged in cooperation with the Canaanite and the neighboring Kingdom of Tyre. These kingdoms often lent their military backing to these colonizing efforts, which led to the establishment of numerous settlements by Jewish artisans and traders throughout these regions. 

But the subsequent scattering of a Jewish presence and influence reaching deep into the African continent is less widely acknowledged. 

Pressed under sweeping regional conflicts, Jews settled as traders and warriors in Yemen, the Horn of Africa, Egypt, the Kingdom of Kush and Nubia, North African Punic settlements (Carthage and Velubilis), areas now covered by Mauritania. More emigrants followed these early Jewish settlers to Northern Africa following the Assyrian conquest of the Israelites in the 8th century B.C.E., and again 200 years later, when Jerusalem was conquered by the Babylonians, leading to the destruction of the First Temple. 

This catastrophic event not only drove many Jews into exile in Babylon, but also led to the establishment of exile communities around the Mediterranean, including North Africa. Then, with Israel coming under Greek, Persian and later Roman rule and dependence, renewed waves of Jewish traders and artisans began to set up communities in Egypt, Cyrenaica, Nubia and the Punic Empire, notably in Carthage, whence they began to scatter into various newly emerging communities south of the Atlas mountains. Several Jewish nomadic groups also started to come across the Sahara from Nubia and the ancient kingdom of Kush. 

The Jewish presence in Africa began to expand significantly in the second and third centuries of the Christian era, extending not only into the Sahara desert, but also reaching down along the West African coast, and possibly also to some Bantu tribes of Southern Africa (where some 40,000 members of the Lemba tribe still claim Jewish roots). The names of old Jewish communities south of the Atlas mountains, many of which existed well into Renaissance times, can be found in documents in synagogue archives in Cairo. 

In addition, Jewish, Arab and Christian accounts cite the existence of Jewish rulers of certain tribal groups and clans identifying themselves as Jewish scattered throughout Mauritania, Senegal, the Western Sudan, Nigeria, and Ghana. Among notable Arab historians referring to their existence are Ibn Khaldun, who lived in the 13th century, a respected authority on Berber history; the famous geographer al-Idrisi, born in Ceuta, Spain in the 12th century, who wrote about Jewish Negroes in the western Sudan; and the 16th century historian and traveler Leon Africanus, a Moslem from Spain who was raised by a Jewish woman working in his family's household, who is said to have taught him Hebrew and emigrated with the family to Morocco in 1492. Leon Africanus later converted to Catholicism but remained interested in Jewish communities he encountered throughout his travels in West Africa. 

Some evidence can also be derived from surviving tribal traditions of some African ethnic groups, including links to biblical ancestors, names of localities, and ceremonies with affinities to Jewish ritual practices. Moreover, the writings of several modern West African historians and two personal anecdotes indicate that the memories of an influential Jewish historical past in West Africa continue to survive. 

I still remember from my assignments in the 1960's as a Foreign Service Officer an encounter with Mr. Bubu Hama, then president of the National Assembly in Niger and a prolific writer on African history. He told me that the Tuaregs had a Jewish queen in early medieval times, and that some Jewish Tuareg clans had preserved their adherence to that faith, in defiance of both Islamic and Christian missionary pressure, until the 18th century. In several of his books Hama even cites some genealogies of Jewish rulers of the Tuareg and Hausa kingdoms. 

A related story about surviving memories of Jewish roots in West Africa was told to me around 1976 by former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres. He had just returned from a meeting of the Socialist International, during which he had met with then president Leopold Senhor of Senegal. In the course of their discussion about the possibility of normalizing Senegalese-Israeli relations, Senhor had told him that he too had Jewish ancestors. At that time we both smiled somewhat incredulously. Yet, indeed, there are a number of historical records of small Jewish kingdoms and tribal groups known as Beni Israel that were part of the Wolof and Mandinge communities. 


These existed in Senegal from the early Middle Ages up to the 18th century, when they were forced to convert to Islam. Some of these claimed to be descendants of the tribe of Dan, the traditional tribe of Jewish gold and metal artisans, who are also said to have built the "Golden Calf". 


Origins & History Of The Tribe of Falasha

Falashas, native Jewish sect of Ethiopia.The origin of the Falashas is unknown. One Falasha tradition claims to trace their ancestry to Menelik, son of King Solomon of Israel and the queen of Sheba. Some scholars place the date of their origin before the 2d century bc, largely because the Falashas are unfamiliar with either the Babylonian or Palestinian Talmud. The Bible of the Falashas is written in an archaic Semitic dialect, known as Geez, and the Hebrew Scriptures are unknown to them. The name Falasha is Amharic for "exiles" or "landless ones"; the Falashas themselves refer to their sect as Beta Esrael ("House of Israel"). 

The religion of the Falashas is a modified form of Mosaic Judaism unaffected generally by postbiblical developmentsThe Falashas retain animal sacrifice. They celebrate scriptural and nonscriptural feast days, although the latter are not the same as those celebrated by other Jewish groups. One of the Falasha nonscriptural feast days, for example, is the Commemoration of Abraham. The Sabbath regulations of the Falashas are stringent.They observe biblical dietary laws, but not the postbiblical rabbinic regulations concerning distinctions between meat and dairy foods. Marriage outside the religious community is forbidden. Monogamy is practiced, marriage at a very early age is rare, and high moral standards are maintained. 

The center of Falasha religious life is the masjid, or synagogue. The chief functionary in each village is the high priest, who is assisted by lower priests. Falasha monks live alone or in monasteries, isolated from other Falashas. Rabbis do not exist among the Falashas.

The Falashas live either in separate villages or in separate quarters in Christian or Muslim towns, in the region north of Lake Tana. They are skilled in agriculture, masonry, pottery, ironworking, and weaving. Under Haile Selassie I, a few Falashas rose to positions of prominence in education and government, but reports of persecution followed the emperor's ouster in 1974.

More than 12,000 Falashas were airlifted to Israel in late 1984 and early 1985, when the Ethiopian government halted the program. The airlift resumed in 1989, and about 3500 Falashas emigrated to Israel in 1990. Nearly all of the more than 14,000 Falashas remaining in Ethiopia were evacuated by the Israeli government in May 1991.

The Falashas themselves say that they are direct descendants from the family of Abraham, the first Jew. Terah, Abraham's father,came from the land of Ur of the Chaldees which was located in the southern part of the Euphrates. The Chaldees were one of many Kushite tribes of the region and Kushite means Black according to the Bibical dictionary.The Kushites were descended from Kush a son of Ham. Godfrey higgins, an English expert on antiquities stated in his book : "The Chaldees were originally Negroes"

Falasha (or Beta Israel), a Jewish Hamitic people of Ethiopia who claim descent from Menelik I, the son of the queen of Sheba and King Solomon; have no knowledge of Talmud but use a Bible and a prayer book written in Ge'ez, the ancient Ethiopian language. They follow Jewish traditions including circumcision, observing the Sabbath, attending synagogue, and following certain dietary and purity laws.

Recognized in 1975 by the Chief Rabbinate as Jews and allowed to settle in Israel. In 1984-85 thousands of Falashas resettled to Israel from refugee camps in Sudan as part of the Israeli government's "Operation Moses" and the U.S. government's "Operation Sheba.

The Igbos come from several tribes of Israel as several of their neighboring tribes: Ijaws, Efiks (Eburus), Anaangs, Ibibios & Igalas

Tivs are Hebrews according to the scholar Collis. Tiv is close to tivvah, hebrew word, meaning "to sketch" & it's also close to tov, meaning "good" in Hebrew. Jukuns & Igalas are Hebrews too.

Important rabbinical institutions have recognized the Igbos as Lost Israelites. Even the Israeli main Israeli Sephardi rabbi has recognized the Hebrew origin of the Ibos. The State of Israel has made official visits to the Ibos living in the southeast of Nigeria filming  the people utensils & even texts found in paleo-Hebrew, but they haven't recognized their Hebrew origin. The reason Is Ibos are counted in the millions & if they are accepted as Israelites under the Law of return the rest of Jews living in Israel would become a Jewish minority within the Jewish society. Something similar happens with the Pashtuns & other ethnic groups. In a Greater Israel (from the Nile to the Euphrates) all or many Lost Israelites would fit though. 1967 was remarkable year for the Jews & other Israelites. It was the year in which several nations of the Arabophony waged war against the tiny State of Israel. Israel didn't start the war but overcame her enemies & recovered her ancient & beloved Jerusalem. That eventful year of 1967 Spain proclaimed the Law of Religious Freedom putting an end to the infamous Edict of Expulsion for which the Jews weren't allowed to practice their religion. This was also the year Biafra (populated by the proven Israelite people named Igbo) declared independence from Nigeria. The State of Israel tried to help her fellow black Israelites to no avail. They had a war at home after all. The Igbos were massacred suffering another holocaust against another Israelite people, this time by the Nigerian government with the collaboration of different tribal groups & powerful non-African nations.

One shouldn’t expect to encounter the majority of Igbos practicing rabbinical Judaism. Most belong to a variety of Christian churches and know relatively little or nothing about the difference between Judaism and Christianity. Nevertheless, there is a deep resentment against the Christian missions to the Igbos, and the Igbo hunger for information on Judaism and Israel is what every Jewish community in the Diaspora dreams of.


From Abuja we left for three Igbo states (Enugu, Anambra and Abia) in the Southeast of the country. We went to Awka, Nnewi, and Okigwi and visited the priests of NRI as a first stop. Being the only white for a week was a special experience at first, but I never had an unfriendly encounter and I almost forgot about it in time. I felt especially welcome as a Jew and Israeli. I particularly remember a driver of the famous okada bikes in the city of Enugu asking me which tribe I was from. Replying that I came from Israel, he responded that he was Jewish too and that we are all one.

A highlight of my visit was my meeting with NRI elders, said to parallel the priestly clan of the Levites, near the town of Awka. The NRI are often described as the most important keepers of Igbo traditions, responsible for performing rituals of purification in other Igbo clans. The meeting was accompanied by the traditional breaking of the cola nut, the palm wine offering, and prayers to Chukwu.

A popular saying in Nigeria is that a place is not fit for human habitation if no Igbo man can be found there. In most of Nigeria’s cities a considerable proportion of the population is Igbo. Thus many Igbo people up north may have witnessed the recent introduction of Islamic Sharia law and fear the repetition of ethnic persecution under the pretext of religion. The memories of Biafra are still an open wound, and every family has a story to tell.

Speaking also to non-Igbo resembles talk about the Jews in Europe. Their economic power is feared and they are said to control positions of power. Does this sound familiar to you? Many Igbo are traders and “overrepresented” in Nigeria’s growing “Nollywood” film industry.

There I had some last interviews with leaders of the congregations I had visited the week before plus another visit to an “ultra-Orthodox” community. My argument then that Western Jewry is probably not too eager to proselytize seemed to be out of place when encountering so many people waiting for more information on Judaism and emphasizing that they are already Jews and wouldn’t need to convert. Considering the economic power of the Christian churches in Nigeria (it is a whole industry where big money can be made) and the reluctance that parts of Western Jewry may show towards accepting the Igbo as brothers and sisters, the struggle of Judaizing Igbo will be a long one. But those people I encountered were very dedicated to a Jewish (re)naissance, and we know of other people who have dedicated their lives to dreams that became reality.



Parallel histories of the Jews and Igbos/Hebrews of Nigeria

Culturally it also must be noted the parallel histories of the Jews and Igbos/Hebrews of Nigeria how they have been scattered worldwide and whereever they go they are considered strangers and are persecuted by the indigenouspeoples they find themselves around.We have already discussed a great length how the Babylonian and AssyrianCaptivities mirror the slave trade of the Igbos and how this fulfills Deuteronomy 28, but to recap; Israel was taken into slavery by Egypt and the Igbos one of thefirst of the African peoples to be taken into slavery by the white men of the west. An old slave trading advertisement read, “To be sold…. Fine Heeboes.” There weresome Igbo slaves so tenacious and uncontrollable that they were put ontoseparate boats to Haiti and Jamaica to be exiled. Haiti still has a proverb that says,“The Igbo has hung Himself,” meaning one would rather die than to be forced intodoing something. They have the folklore song called “Ibu Lele.” And anything of value is referred to as, “Ibu.” They have a place called Ibo Beach. In Jamaica theyhave a place called Ibu Town. Ebo Landing is located in St. Simons Georgia (1850’s) is known for a slave ship landing on its shores and the Igbo slaves refused to disembark, but rather fell overboard in their chains and drown. They wouldrather die than to be slaves. They believed their souls would fly back to Igbolandto rest. Some accounts say they actually made it to shore and conspired a suicidepact and ran into the water and drown. Why would they do this? Maybe becausethey knew of the slavery of their ancestors in Egypt and refused to allow history torepeat itself? And is this not reminiscent of the Jews who committed suicide atthe wilderness fortress of Masada rather than be conquered by the Romans?Also it is necessary for me to bring to the readers attention how Israelite Judaismafter the Babylonian Captivity became Rabbinic Judaism we know today and how this is very much like how Igbo culture transitioned from the way it was before thewhite man came and what it turned into after the Colonials left.Jews underwent the infamous persecution of the Jews during the many pogromsand holocaust of World War II. Igbo underwent a type of holocaust during theNigerian Biafran War (6th of July 1967–15th of January 1970) where many Igboswere slaughtered by the surrounding peoples of Nigeria.The Igbos history uncannily parallels much of Jewish history in so many ways. Coincidence? I don’t think so.In Nigeria’s North, the Islamic Extremists dwell and are usually made up of theHausa tribe. They habitually use terrorist tactics, mostly aimed at Igbo Christianand Jews and send suicide bombers to anywhere a mass of Igbo can be found.This creates a fury of anger and desire for retaliation from MASSOB (TheMovement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra). This is just mirror image of the tension in Israel between Zionist Jews and Palestinians, this is just one more way Igbos are like Jews.The late, great General Emeka Ojukwu himself compared the Biafrans (Igbos), toIsraelites. “The Israelites are hardworking people. So are we. They suffered frompogroms. So have we. In many ways, we share the same promises and the sameproblems.”At this time I wish to compare Moses the leader of the Israelites in the Wildernessand General Emeka Ojukwu, the Biafran leader. The parallels are most striking.


MosesOjukwu
Egyptian Royal Prince Nigerian Royalty/Prince
Killed and Egyptian - Defended Igbo woman’s honor at King’s College
Royal EducationRoyal Education Oxford
Refused RoyaltyWent into Civil Service
Consulting PharaohAburi Summit
Exodus/NationDeclaration of Biafra
First Leader of the Nation of Israel First and only leader of Biafra
Was a Law GiverWas a Law Giver
Was a General Was a General exiled prior to the ExodusExiled after the War
Died outside of Promised LandDied outside of Igboland (Biafra)
Had 2 WivesHad 3 Wives

Failed Meetings with PharaohOjukwu and Gowon’s failed talksI would also like to compare other events regarding Israel and the Igbo. The first and second coup of the Biafran war is comparable to pogromssuffered by Jews in the Diaspora. As mentioned before the Biafra war is in many ways like WWII and the Naziregime against the Jews. 1 million Igbos were murdered in the Biafra war and 6 million Jews died inthe Holocaust.


The Israelites had the Promised Land of Canaan and Biafra was like theIgbo’s Promised Land.It is a curious and interesting thing to acknowledge that the arms used by Biafrawere supplied by Israel from arms confiscated from Israel’s enemies during the1967 Israeli 6 Day War.Also the following African countries that recognized and supported Biafra has/hada Jewish population as well as African peoples who believed they were Hebrewsfrom the Lost Tribes. These countries were: Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Gabon and Zambia Countries of the world to recognize and support and or gave aide to Biafra arecountries believed to contain Lost Israeli Tribes, some of which were believed tobe of Gad: Scandinavia (Gad, Asher, Dan, Benjamin) West Germany (Gad), Israel(Judah, Levi), France (Reuben, Gad), Switzerland (Gad, Issachar), Haiti (Gad).One must also keep in mind that Igbos have been blamed by their enemies forsocio-political and social-economic problems, as well as things such as plaugesand natural disasters in much the same way the Jews in Europe and Russia wereduring the black and bubonic plague, the pogroms and blood libals. They arevillanized by the people of the surrounding nations and tribes and their religionand culture.I am sure we can compare other finer points of History; that is likely another bookin and of itself, but these big main events solidifies a shared parallel history of Israel and the Igbo.



Igbos have the Cohen gene as well.

IGBOS OF NIGERIA AND ANCIENT KEMITIANS OF (KEMIT) EGYPT

It has been pointed out that during the Exodus, which marked the beginning of the mass movement of the tribes of Israel, the tribe of Eri was amongst the tribe that left Egypt following the injunction from Jehova to his devotees, the Israelites (Deuteronomy 28:58–68).

The main Eri group continued until the confluence of Rivers Niger and Anambara known as “Ezu-na-Omambala” and where it settled and founded the Agulu-Eri community.

Indeed, due to the calibre of its earliest founders and the sciences they set up, the network of nationalities that make up the country Nigeria, is a veritable invisible Muurish Empire about to manifest on the face of the earth.

Due to the influence of Eri and his civilization, many distinct aspects of Kemitian culture and science are found among the Igbos of Nigeria. For example, the Igbos were famous giant mound builders, constructing many structures similar to the Kemitian and Kushitic pyramides, like those that used to be at Nsude.

The religious pantheon of the Igbos and the ancient Kemitians share many similar ancestors and ancestresses many of them bearing identical names.

They shared the sun-god worship of Ra, Chukwu Ra; Kemitians were similarly fetishistic about circumcision, and menstrual periods like the Igbos. Similar hair styles, similar martial arts and self defense schools, similar social structures.

But for now, we will focus on some observed ligusitic similarities that exist between ancient Kemitian language and present day Igbo language, for many Kemitic Egyptian words yet survive in the Igbo la+nguage today. This is a current topical area of research in linguistics and history. If they sojourned Egypt they should have Egyptian words.

A small list of Ancient Egyptian words which survive in the Igbo language are as follows:

EGYPTIAN | IGBO (Onitsha and Uburu dialects used) KAKA(God) | Ka (greater, superior)
Khu (to kill, death) | Nwu/Gbu (die/to kill)
Em (smell) | Imi/Emi (nose, associated with smell)
Bi (to become) | Bu (to become)
un (living being) | Ndu (life)
Feh (to go away) | Feh (to fly away)
Budo (dwelling place) | Obodo/ubudo (country, dwelling place)
Dudu (black image of Osiris) | Mmadu (person)
Un (living person) | Ulo/Uno (living area, house)
Beka (pray/confess) | Biko/Beko (to plead, please)
Aru (mouth) | Onu (mouth) & kooh/Kwue (to speak)
Dor (settlement) | Dor-Nor (sit down, settle)
Ra -Shu (light after darkness) | La -Shu (sleep)
Aru (rise) | Anu/Kulie (up, rise)
Wu (rise) | KWu-ni/Kunie (rise)
In- n (negation) nh-n (negation)
Ma (to know) | Ma, Ma-li (to know)
Se (to create) | Ke (to create) & Se (to draw)
Hoo (rejoice) | Goo, ta-Goo (dance, rejoice)
Omijener (deep water) | Ime-me (deep inside)
Nen (the primeval water mother) | Nem (mother)
Ro (talk) | Kwo (to talk)
Penka (divide) Panje (break it)
Ala (Land of) | Ala (Land of, ground, boundary)
Amu (children) | Umu (children)
Ani (ground land below) | Ani (ground land below)
Ka (higher) | Ka (greater, higher, stronger, above)
Pa (open) | Meghee (open)
Isi (leader) | Isi (leader, head (body part), female name as in igbo: “Isioma”)
Oni (AE City) | Oni-tsha (Igbo City)
Ikhenaten (name of a Pharaoh) | Ikh-em (Igbo name for a male representing high power)
Au-nu (Crocodile) | Anu/Anu-Ma-nu (animal, beast)
Miri (water) | Miri (water)
Nahasu (other Blacks) | Ahasi/Ani-hasi (Evening, night)
Ak (man) | Ok-a (man)
Ehn/Hen (yes, nod head) | Eh (yes, nod head)
Paa/Faa (fly) | Feeh/Faa (fly)
Utcha (dawn) | Uchi-chi/Utchi-chi(night)
MM (among) | Imme (inside, among)
W (they) | Uwe (they, them)

Anambra State

Anambra State is a state in south-eastern Nigeria. Its name is an anglicized version of the original 'Oma Mbala', the native name of the Anambra River. The Capital and the Seat of Government is Awka. Onitsha and Nnewi are the biggest commercial and industrial cities, respectively. The state's theme is "Light Of The Nation". Boundaries are formed by Delta State to the west, Imo State and Rivers State to the south, Enugu State to the east and Kogi State to the north. The origin of the name is derived from the Anambra River (Omambala) which is a tributary of the famous River Niger.

The indigenous ethnic group in Anambra state are the Igbo (98% of population) and a small population of Igala (2% of the population) who live mainly in the north-western part of the state.

Anambra is the eighth most populated state in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the second most densely populated state in Nigeria after Lagos State. The stretch of more than 45 km between Oba and Amorka contains a cluster of numerous thickly populated villages and small towns giving the area an estimated average density of 1,500–2,000 persons per square kilometre.

Anambra is rich in natural gas, crude oil, bauxite, ceramic and has an almost 100 percent arable soil.

In the year 2006, foundation laying ceremony for the first Nigerian private refinery Orient Petroleum Refinery (OPR) was made at Aguleri area. The Orient Petroleum Resource Ltd, (OPRL) owners of OPR, was licensed in June 2002, by the Federal Government to construct a private refinery with a 55,000 b/d capacity.

Furthermore, Anambra state is a state that has many other resources in terms of agro-based activities like fishery and farming, as well as land cultivated for pasturing and animal husbandry.

Currently, Anambra State has the lowest poverty rate in Nigeria (typical among this industrious people: Igbos).

With an annual population growth rate of 2.21 percent per annum, Anambra State has over 60% of its people living in urban areas making it one of the most urbanized places in Nigeria.

The major urban centres of Anambra state are Onitsha including Okpoko, Nnewi, and Awka. Awka and Onitsha developed as pre-colonial urban centres with Awka as the craft industrial centre of the Nri hegemony; and Onitsha the city state on the Niger and a river port and commercial centre.

Onitsha is a fast-growing commercial city, and has developed to become a huge conurbation extending to Idemili, Oyi and Anambra East LGAs with one of the largest markets in West Africa. Nnewi (the Taiwan of Nigeria) is a rapidly developing industrial and commercial centre; and Awka, by becoming the state capital is, as it were, regaining its precolonial administrative eminence.

Other main towns of Anambra state are: Aguleri, Awka-Etiti, Awgbu, Lilu, Azigbo, Igbariam, Enugwu Aguleri, Omor, Aguluzigbo, Umumbo, Nkwelle-Ezunaka, Abatete, Achina, Agulu, Amorka, Aguluezechukwu, Ogidi, Obosi, Ihiala, Amichi, Uga, Uli, Ubuluisiuzor, Abagana, Alor, Nsugbe, Atani, Nkpor, Eziowelle, Ezinifite, Oba, Ichi, Ojoto, Oraifite, Ozubulu, Umuawulu, Umunze, Umuoji, Umunachi, Umudioka, Unubi, Umunya, Umuleri, Awkuzu, Utuh, Ogbunike, Nteje, Ekwulobia, Igbo-Ukwu, Ichida, Ora-Eri, Ihembosi, Akwaukwu, Uke, Ukpo, Ifitedunu, Okija, Mbosi, Ajalli, Oko, Oraukwu, Osumenyi, Nnobi, Nnokwa, Ideani, Adazi-Nnukwu, Adazi-Enu, Umuanaga, Adazi Ani, Nanka, Nimo, Nneni, Mmiata Anam, Awkuzu, Ebenebe, Enugwu Ukwu, Enugwu-Agidi, Umueze Anam, Nawfia, Amawbia,Ikenga,<Ikenga> Agukwu, Nando, Nanka, Nnokwa, Amansea, Amanuke, Achalla, Mgbakwu, Ugbenu, Umunya, Ugbenne, Umuchu, Umuomaku, Isuaniocha, Azia, Utuh, Akwaeze, Omogho, Akpu, Amesi, Ebenator, Nibo, Mbaukwu, Nise, Achala, Ukpor, Akpo, Okpeze, Amaetiti, Iseke, Anaku, Isuofia, Oba-Ofemili, Okpeze, Nawfija, Isulo, Ufuma, Aguluzoigbo, Ogbunka, Orsumoghu, Ezinihite, Ezira, Obeledu, Ndiukwuenu, Nawgu, Awa, Nkpologwu, Amaokpala, Owellezukala, Ndi-okpaleke, Ndikelionwu, Abba, Ekwulumili, Anaku, Igbakwu, Umuerum, Umumbo, Ifite-Ogwari, Omasi, Umueje




Professor Chinua Achebe - a native of Ogidi (Anambra) and best known for the classic, Things Fall Apart was the first African writer whose books are standard curricula in schools and universities across the world.

Emeka Anyaoku - the first black Secretary-General of the Commonwealth and recipient of South Africa's Order of the Companions of Oliver Reginald Tambo for his role in initiating talks between the apartheid state and the African National Congress (ANC). He had things in common with both: he was black like the ANC people & he was an Israelite like the Boers.

What does the word 'Biafra' mean?

Bia (come) fra (Efraim) - meaning "coming from the tribe of Efraim". "Biafra" is a shortened form of "Bani Ephraim" which I believe is saying "Biani Ifraim" expression calling together descendants of Ephraim (son of Jacob), one of the lost tribes of Israel.

Archeologists and facts prove that ancient Egyptians were Negros ("black people". Egypt = Land of Ham = Kem. Kemet (word for Egypt) means black land.

BIAFRA: BI = Bisection. AFRA = Africa. So. Biafra means equaliterally dividing Africa. Which implied the middle of Africa Or the heart of Africa. Though I am not quite sure, I am incline to believe this word was coined by the western navigators or explorers because this word equally means the EQUATOR. Which is the natural equilateral bisector of Africa. So this word must have been used by sailors to indicate the Equatorial latitude or regions of Africa.

Are The Igbos Of Nigeria Jewish?

The Igbo are one of the larger ethnic groups in modern Nigeria, a nation of 170 million people and over 250 such ethnic configurations. For much of the region’s history, they have been referred to as “the Jews of Nigeria,” a band of overachievers who are the source of much of the brainpower of the country and a subject of much persecution. When they attempted to form a separate nation, Biafra, in the late 1960s, the resulting civil war had dire consequences for the Igbo but, for a moment, they were on the world’s mind, if only as the victims of an attempted genocide.

There have long been rumors of a more direct connection between the Igbo and Judaism, and in a country currently torn apart by Christian-Muslim sectarian violence the idea that a third religious element could emerge is certainly intriguing. And there are many Igbo who believe that those historical rumors are rooted in fact. “I’ve always known the Igbo are Jews,” says Shmuel Tikvah.

And he has been acting on that belief for many years now, exploring Judaism through the Internet, teaching himself Hebrew and moving slowly from the Catholicism with which he was raised to Sabbatarianism, a hybrid apparently unique to Nigeria, and finally to Judaism itself. He is one of about 3,000 Igbos (out of a population of 25 million) who are practicing Jews.

These Nigerian Jews are a warm and welcoming group, eager for knowledge of and contact with the rest of the Jewish world, vocal supporters of Israel and spirited worshippers, a small but charming community. 


Shmuel is a wonderfully earnest young man, determined to get a bona fide Jewish education (he aspires to study for the rabbinate at Jewish Theological Seminary) and to become his nation’s first rabbi. His relationship with the elders of the tiny community is pleasing to watch, and the elders are nothing less than the Nigerian equivalent of the tough but tender Sisterhood ladies and Men’s Club old-timers that you admire in your own congregation.

The Tribe of Zebulon, the Igbo & the Dutchmen

The following is a brief Scriptural synopsis of Zebulon, his birth, what was prophesied about him and his end as a patriarch and as a tribe in the future.

And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun. – Gen. 30:20

The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun. – Gen. 35:23

Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon. – Gen. 49:13

Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob… Zebulun Exd. 1:1, 3

 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. (Exd. 13:19/Jasher 80:62) The children of Israel also brought up, each man his father's coffin with him, and each man the coffins of his tribe. Jasher 80:63

The Tomb of Zebulun is located in Sidon, Lebanon. In the past, towards the end of Iyyar, Jews from the most distant parts of Palestine would make a pilgrimage to this tomb.

And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. – Deut. 27:13

And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand. – Deut. 33:18-19

Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer. – Jud. 5:14

Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field. – Jud. 5:18

Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: [they were] not of double heart. – I Chron. 12:33

And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. – Gen. 46:14

Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. – Rev. 7:8a


Zebulun was the 10th son of Jacob and the 6th son of Jacob and Leah, brother of Reuben, Simon, Levi, Judah, Issachar , Dan, Naftali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin and Dinah; and father of Sered, Elon, and Jahleel (Genesis 35:23-26; Genesis 25:26-34).

The number 6 represents man, or just shy of perfection and we were made in G-d’s image, yet a little lower than the angels as the Bible tells us. 6 is also the letter Vav in Hebrew which is symbolic of a stake or tent peg, symbolizing groundedness and security. 10 is the number of law and order. Ten is represented by the letter Yod, which is symbolized by the hand. Could this mean Zebulun was a hard worker with his hands with farming, shipbuilding, warfare and business? Could this numerology collectively also hint of his military naval prowess by ordering men at sea or in battle?  The tribal symbol and banner for Zebulon after all is a fleet of ships.

The name Zebulon means, or carries the meaning of, Dwelling, Habitation, and Exaltation.

Zebulon is spelled: Zayin-Beit-Vav-Lamed-Vav-final Nun. Each Hebrew letter has a symbolic meaning and a pictorial meaning.

·      Zayin (Z) Sickle, Weapon = Food, Cut, Nourish, #7: The blood of Messiah overcomes the powers of Hell (cancels sin).

·      Bet (B) Tent, Floorplan = Home, Family, #2: The Messiah is the habitation of his people.

·      Vav (V/W) Tent Peg, Nail = To Hang, To Secure, To Fasten, To Add, #6: The Messiah grips and tears the evil of the flesh.

·      Lamed (L) Shepherd staff = Teach, Yoke, Bind, #30: The Messiah is the Great Teacher of discipline through twelve Tribes and Apostles.

·      Nun (N) Seed, Son, Heir, #50: The Messiah is the steadfastness of His people. The Heavenly Yehoshua (Joshua) the son of Nun.

So we can say that Zebulon is the Protector and Provider of the House/Family and Secures such with Teaching and Secures the future with Seed and or Sons.  Zebulon were navel warriors, tradesmen and fishermen. The Book of Judges speaks of them handling the pen which could mean they were as seamen they were traders and made treaties which kept them prosperous and safe for generations to come. Handling the pen also could indicate they could have been great teachers and scholars or that they were very good at passing down knowledge to their children or others.  This fits well with the prophecies given them my Jacob (Israel) and Moses.

The general meaning of their name means that they exalt, lift up, praise or improve the places where they dwell and inhabit, which again hints of their being skilled explorer, tradesmen and possibly agriculturists. Because they dwelt by water they knew how to harness it through irrigation and or the use of it to generate power.  This does fit the people I will talk about in this study.

Rabbinic legends tell that Zebulon were successful seamen that brought in income to Issachar in order for them to stay home and study Torah and be great teachers, lawyers and diplomats (Genesis Rabbah 72:5).

There is a pseudopigraphal book called, “The Testament of Zebulun” which is supposedly what Zebulun said to his children and grandchildren before he died. The main theme was being compassionate and charitable towards others, that what goes around comes around. In this book also tells how he was became a sailor and was a fisherman by summer and a shepherd by winter. So far fits with what we know of Zebulon from other documents, legends and accounts.

Zebulon’s tribal stone in the Levitical Breastplate is the Amethyst – Hebrew – ahlama.  The Amethyst symbolizes power, protection and healing.  The Greek meaning means “Not Drunk.” The Hebrew means, “Dream stone.”  The Hebraic meaning of the letters of this word means, “Strong fence and yoke upon the watery home.”  Could all this hint of Zebulon’s hard sailor attitude and hence the Testament of Zebulun’s focus on the need for compassion? However, Exodus Rabbah 38:5 says the stone representing Zebulon was a diamond. Diamonds are the hardest precious gem known to man. Sailors are known for being hardened men, Zebulon were hardened sailors and warriors, again reason for the Testament of Zebulun’s focus on the need for compassion?

Mystically speaking, Zebulun in Jewish mysticism is represented by the Hebrew Month of Sivan and is symbolic of Movement. Zebulon, a quiet tribe is all about action, movement through hard work. The Hebraic month of Sivan falls within the Counting of the Omer, representing agricultural abundance and growth.  Shavuot, the harvest festival and the festival celebrating the given of the Torah at Sinai are both celebrated in this month. This would tie in with how Zebulon participates in the spreading of Torah by quietly assisting the scholars in working to fund their studies.

And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. – Gen. 46:14

We already know what the Name Zebulun means, but what of that of His sons?

·      Sered – To tremble. Obviously a name of ferocity to strike fear into the heart of his enemies.

·      Elon/Ilon – Some argument to the exact meaning, but my sources say, God most High, Or Oak Grove, either way it is a name of strength and security of immovableness.

·      Jahleel/Yahleel – Expectant of God. A name that gives hope to its bearer to expect God to do mighty things for him.

As a sailor, merchant, warrior or farmer, you need all these traits to stand immovable in the face of the enemy and expect God to fight with and for you, or to not take no for an answer in business, or to expect God for a good harvest, even in the most adverse conditions.

Other than what we just uncovered, not a lot is known about Zebulon. He is a mysterious patriarch.  He seems to be a quiet fellow in Scripture, maybe because he was a way at war or on the sea or busy in his fields most of the time.

The Scattering of the 10 Tribes

There is an imbalanced view fueled by racial prejudice and supremacy that says the Lost Tribes either have to be black or white. They have to be found either in Africa or the Northern Hemisphere of Europe and the Americas. You have the two opposing camps of Black Hebrewism and British Israelitism. Both have their extremists and bias embellished propaganda, and both equally have their grains of researchable and verifiable truth. I have no problem accepting that a portion of both camps are true. Why? Because the 10 tribes which made up the Northern Kingdom of Israel that went off into Assyrian captivity has never returned and these peoples were transported, sold, traded, migrated, scattered and settled everywhere; having mingled through marriage and assimilation into virtually every people group on the planet and thus Hebrews have become a part of virtually every nationality, and ethnicity.

Though portions of Judah and Levi has been scattered with the other 10 tribes, who we recognize as Jews today come from Judah and Levi who went off into Babylonian captivity and eventually returned and this is who we recognize as Jews today.

I think it is undeniably clear that the first Hebrews were of brown to black in complexion and many of Shem’s line married into the dark complexion of the Hammitic line, genetically producing dark skinned Hebrews. But through the two captivities and scattering in the diaspora, Hebrews (Israelites) and Jews, as I said earlier, have mingled with many peoples of the world and have migrated to unfamiliar climates and through the centuries some Jews and Hebrews/Israelites have lost much of the darker skin tone and so we have descendants of Jacob (Israel) of every color, shape and size. I believe HaShem has allowed this to happen to break down racial barriers and the dividing wall between Jew/Hebrew/Israelite and Gentile and as a way of reversing the effects of the Tower of Babel. Instead we have perverted this purpose to fortify disgusting racist diatribes. Therefore, it would be prejudice and foolhardy of us to dismiss either side of the debate because of issues of bias or race. Let us glean the truth that inherently resides in both sides of the issue.

Where in the World is Zebulon?

We know according to Revelation that in the End of Days Zebulun will be found and accounted for.

Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. – Rev. 7:8a

So where will they be found?

Some speculate that he is in Nigeria among the Igbos and Ijaws. Others say he ended up in Holland, also known as the Netherlands as well as South Africa. Are any of these claims true? Granted, hard evidence is difficult to come by, but the circumstantial evidence is incredibly striking and compelling, so much so that it makes claiming sheer coincidence sound as if one is grasping desperately at straws to deny the plain and clear truth and succor their own religiously prejudice views.

Zebulon in West Africa; Nigeria:

It is said that Ijaw (Ujo) was a traveling companion of Eri, Areli and Adodi as they fled Egypt. Oral tradition states that Ijaw is a son or some descendant of Zebulon. Others say he came from Egypt, which is where Eri and his traveling companions set out from! However, Ijaw is not listed in any Canonical Biblical genealogies that I could find. But this should come as no surprise as one person could go by different names and it may be that Ijaw was known by another name in Biblical Writ. Or it could be Ijaw was a son of one of Zebulun's sons, and there for not recorded in any Biblical genealogy. He was said to be the water scout and river navigator of the group, and even today the Ijaw (Ijo, Izon) tribe and land can be found near water and many are fishermen.

Ijaw (Ijo, Ojo, Ejo, Ujo, Izon) means, “Real, Good or Palm tree;” could this relate to Zebulon’s son Elon, meaning, “Oak Grove”? Could this Ijaw be Elon or Ilon or at least a descendant of his? In 2 Chronicles 16:4 says that king Asa of Israel conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim and all the store cities of Naphtali. Of the places from which the Israelites were taken by the Assyrians is mentioned Ijon (In the Land of Israel). Is it related to the Ijo (or Ijaw) in Nigeria?

We know from history that the Ijaw and Igbo are fierce warriors as well as the people in general have a positive or “expectant” attitude toward the work of the divine in their life, no matter how bad things get around them.

Could it be that Elon/Ilon, Sered and Jahleel or at least their descendants traveled with Gad’s sons Eri, Areli and Arodi to Nigeria?

Some Ubulu in Igboland Nigeria claim that they know they came from Zebulon.  Ubulu in Igbo is the name of and means a “huge tree,” could this relate to Zebuon’s son Elon, meaning, “Oak Grove”? I ask, could Ubulu be named after Elon or Ilon of Zebulun or at least a descendant of his?  The word in Igbo zebulu means to protect, hide or save oneself.  This sort of relates to the Hebraic meaning of Zebulon, dwelling and habitation, because both carry the connotation of a hidden and protective place.

Ubulu oral tradition states categorically that the grand-parents of Ezemu (a famous Hunter, Marksman and Herbalist) migrated from Israel and settled at Ife hence Ezemu was often referred to as the king with long hairs – “Ezi Isi Iyomiyo”. From Ife Ezemu and his relations migrated to Afor a village in present day Ndokwa Local Government Area of Delta State. (http://www.nairaland.com/63003/origin-ubulu-uku)

“Legend that one of the descendants of Eri (from Gad) who first settled in Onitsha, at the bank of River Niger, near the domain of his relatives from the descendants of Zebulun (Ozubulu in Anambra State) had to travel across the River Niger to the ancient city of Benin or kingdom to prepare war medicine, talisman or charm for a prospective contender to the stool of Oba of Benin.” -  Prof. O. Alaezi, Ibo Exodus, pg.  25 – italics mine

“The Igbo Jews are said to have migrated from Syrian, Portuguese and Libyan Israelites into West Africa. Historical records shows that this migration started around 740 C.E. According to UCLA trained amateur Jewish Historian and Rio Hondo Police Academy trained Forensic investigator Chinedu Nwabunwanne of Aguleri, who resides in Los Angeles and has researched this subject for more than 15 years at the UCLA libraries in Los Angeles, "the migration started when the forces of Caliph Mohammed -the last leader of the Umayyads- and his Qaysi-Arab supportes defeated the Yamani-Arab Umayyads of Syria in 744 C.E; sacked the Yamanis and their Jewish supporters from Syria. The Syrian-Jewish migrant tribes Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher resettled in Nigeria where they became known as Sambatyon Jews. In 1484 and 1667 Judeans and Zebulonians from Portugal and Libya respectively joined Sambatyon Jews of Nigeria. Thus, Nigerian Jews originated from the following six Israelite tribes: Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher and Zebulon. It is interesting to note that these six tribes are the same tribes Moses repeated their names twice when he blessed the Children of Israel. These six tribes mentioned above are The House of Judah and the children of Israel his companions (Ezekiel 37:16. Those remaining six tribes not mentioned above are The House of Ephraim and the children of Israel his companion (Ezekiel 37:16)."”-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igbo_Jews

The tribe of Zevulun ben-Ya`aqov (Zebulun), who was the sixth son of Ya`aqov (Jacob). These groups comprise the Ubulu Okiti and Ubulu Ukwu clans in Delta State who settled in Ubulu Ihejiofor. According to oral tradition, it is said that a descendant of the Tribe of Zevulun named Zevulunu, on the advice of a certain Levite, married a woman from Oji, who was descended from the Tribe of Judah, and from this union was born Ozubulu ben-Zebulunu. Ozubulu then went on to have four sons of his own who settled in other regions. These sons were: Amakwa, from whom a clan in Neni, Anambra State is descended, and Egbema, from whom the Egbema Ugwuta clan in Imo State and the Ohaji Egbema clan in Rivers State are descended. - http://www.transparencyng.com/index.php/about-nigeria/49-ethnic-groups/1290-the-igbo-

It has also been suggested that the Jewish Ibo people originated from a migration of Israelites who fled to West Africa. They claim to be descended from three tribes; Zebulon, Gad and Manasseh (Hebrew Qaraim Community). - http://www.helium.com/items/1432748-nigerian-history-history-of-the-ibo-people

The Igbo Jews traditionally claim descent from three particular Israelite tribes: Gad, Zevulun, and Menashe. The Jews of Manipur and Mizoram, the Bnei Menashe, also claim descent from the tribe of Menashe. It is thought that these Jews fled to Africa after the destruction of the biblical Temples in Jerusalem and established communities all across the African continent. - http://www.mywesternwall.net/2012/06/01/igbo-jews-fascinating.html

It should be noted that the majority of Ndi Igbo can be traced back to Gad through his sons Eri, Areli and Arodi, or Levi who became the Nri priests.  A small percentage stake claim to Judah, Zebulon, and some even believe they are from Manasseh, Asher, Dan and even Naphtali. But we see in ancient Israel that at times Benjamin and Simeon were a small remnant living among Judah and were thus absorbed into Judah. In similar fashion these other tribes which make up the Igbo have been absorbed into the majority of Gad.  Prof. O. Alaezi in his book “Ibo Exodus” also recognizes this custom. “Other exiled Hebrews descendants (e.g. Judah and Zebulun) are not as many and have been swallowed up by the Eris.”

  Zebulun in Holland and South Africa and their connection to the Igbo’s and Ijaws:

There are those who prescribe to the British Israelite theory that the 10 Lost Tribes scattered north and spread throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Steven M. Collins and Yair Davidiy are the two main proponents of British Israelitism, though not agreeing 100% with their views, as well as not agreeing with 100% of Black Hebrewism views, I have stuck to the uncanny connections that ties Zebulon to both camps and allow the reader to decide for themselves where Zebulon is.

To get a clue why some feel Zebulon made it to Holland (Netherlands); we must first look at the prophecies given about them by Jacob and Moses.  These prophecies will give us clues to their whereabouts in the last days.

Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon. – Gen. 49:13


And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand. – Deut. 33:18-19

Because the prophecies connect Zebulon to the coast and the sea and one should look to famous and heavily trafficked sea ports one of which is the port of Rotterdam in Holland. It handles the largest freight in the world and is considered the gateway of Europe.  It should also be noted that Ijaws and Igbos who claim Zebulonic descendancy also live close to and on the coast. In fact Ijaws pagan expression of worship is tied to water and water spirits. Ijaws are known as fishermen and tradesmen in Nigeria. Many live in the Delta and River states that are close to the sea.

The phrase in Gen. 49:13, “haven of the sea” can mean shelter and or refuge and Holland, via its system of dikes is quite literally “sheltered” from the sea. This same phrase also lends to the fact as mentioned before of Holland’s great and world renowned sea ports.

Moses’ prophecy (Deut. 33:18-19) speaks of the “sucking of the abundance of the sea” and “treasures hidden in sand.” It is of interest to note that the Dutch of Holland literally “sucked out” the sea with their system of dikes and windmills which made the land “abundantly” fertile. The treasure in the sand is believed to be the black gold, the oil that the Royal Dutch Shell company has “sucked” from its “hiding” place in the sand.  It also should be noted that Nigeria is also an oil rich country, especially in the places where the Zebulonite Igbo’s and Ijaws live! And Ducth oil companies have set up shop in oil rich Nigerai too.

Some even feel that the description of Zebulun’s “borders” being “Zidon” is also a clue, because the word for border also means thigh which includes the pubic region. Many feel this hints of the Holland being the “red light district” of the world with its abundance of pornography, prostitution and tolerance of sexual promiscuity. Zebulon’s territory in the Promised Land was previously occupied by the ancient S(Z)idonian fertility cults of Baal and Ashtaroth.  The Wicked Queen Jezebel, known as a sexual temptress was a S(Z)idonian.

It should also be brought to the reader’s attention that the tribal symbol for Zebulon is the Ship which fits well with the Dutch, the Ijaw and a portion of the Igbo who claim Zebulon is their forefather.

The Dutch Coat of arms of the original seven provinces of the Netherlands (1579) is a ship with a Bible on its prow.

Their Levitical breastplate stone some say was the diamond and many Dutch relocated and colonized South Africa and are in the diamond mine and trade business; so would say is an  amazing coincidence.  I am one who does not believe in mere coincidence.  And though diamonds are not known to be found in Nigeria, Amethysts are and are mined! Recall that this is the other gem supposedly in the Levitical breastplate that represents Zebulun.

Linguistically speaking it is said that Middle East and Turkish people who may have possibly been related to the Sidonians of Phoenicia settled around Holland and Belgium and are believed by some to be the ancestors of the Dutch which would include Hebraic ancestors from Zebulon because of the mingling of the Zebulonites and Sidonians in the Promised Land. And it is obvious that the Zebulonites were influenced they the pagan ways of the Sidonians and hence why the L-RD took them away into captivity.

The Sabalingoi of ancient Frisia which is north of Holland is said to mean Zebulon’s People or the Nation of Zebulon; Sabalin = Zebulon and Goi = from the Hebrew, meaning people or nation.

Davidiy explains through linguistics that he believes that the Chali which were the people north of the Sabalingoi were descendants of Jahleel and that the Suardeni were the descendants of Sered and the Alans the children of Elon.

The Amish culture and religion, though “Christian” is very Jewish in its dress, traditions and customs and way of life. Many Dutch Amish have Jewish last names and or married Jewish women; this would never happen if the Jewish communities of the Holland did not see the Amish as “brethren” i.e. blood relation.

With what has been presented, I do believe it is very likely that Zebulon and his sons ended up both in Africa and in Northern Europe. The linguistics, region and character traits of the peoples mention do fit the Jacobic and Mosaic prophecies concerning them.  I personally would like to see more hard, archeological evidence or become more familiar with the oral traditions of said lpeoples so as to better tie these people to Zebulon or totally rule them out.

All I know and believe is that there are people roaming the earth to day who are Hebrews and don’t even know it, after all the 10 tribes had to go somewhere, they just didn’t die off of disappear!  That would mean G-D is unable to keep His promises and it would mean the Scriptures are a lie and we know G-D and His Word is TRUTH manifest!  So why not the Ijaw, the Igbo and the Dutch? Anyone have any better candidates?

Nri-Igbo

Nri is an ancient Igbo city-state in Anambra State Nigeria. The Kingdom of Nri was a center of learning, religion, and commerce in pre-colonial West Africa. Historians have compared the significance of Nri (The Israelite peoples are the salt of the earth, therefore they are not average peoples, but remarkable), at its peak, to the religious cities of Rome or Mecca: it was the seat of a powerful and imperial state that influenced much of the territories inhabited by the Igbo of Awka and Onitsha to the east; the Efik, the Ibibio, and the Ijaw to the South; Nsukka and southern Igala to the north; and Asaba, and the Anioma to the west. The rulers of Nri did not use military conquest, but used religious authority and control of commercial routes as tactics in the spread of their city-state. Politically, Nri is known to be the most ancient origins of the Eze kingship in Igbo societies. But Nri and its rulers were also known for their reverred traditional religious institutions that instilled both awe and fear in those who made pilgrimages to the shrines. The religious practices believed in the existence of one God, 'Chukwu Okike'; but the Eze Nri was seen as a potent who had powers to undo evil and cleanse the land from abominations and taboos.

Commercially, Nri was against slave holding (Contrary to non-Israelite surrounding peoples). "Osu" was the name of outcasts of other communities who migrated and were accepted in Nri. Some Osu became eunuchs. During the colonial period, Nri and the regions under its political, religious, or commercial control became international markets for palm oil. In the heart of Nri influence was the Igbo Ukwu bronze castings.

The origin of Nri people is still a subject of much speculation. The Nri clan existed from as far back as the 9th century. Nri (the founder of Nri clan) was the son of Eri (founder of Aguleri) and had migrated to the present day Nri from the Anambra (Ama-Mbala) river valley in Northern Igboland. Nri was said to have inherited spiritual powers from his father. The Nri people belong to the Umueri clans who trace their origins to Eri. Northern and Central Igboland is the homeland of Igbo people.


Speculation starts when one starts to trace the origin of Eri. In the Nri mythology, Eri descended from the sky, sent by God to make peace (settle disputes and cleanse abominations) and provide Igbo people food (yam and cocoyam). Some historians speculate that Eri may have migrated to the Anambra area out of the Igala dynasty of central Nigeria. But there is convincing evidence that Onoja Oboli, the founder of the Igala dynasty was actually another son of Eri.

A large section of the Igbo population that live in the western part of the Nigerian Igbo state of Anambra believe that they are descendants of Eri, one of the sons of Gad


A large section of the Igbo population that live in the western part of the Nigerian Igbo state of Anambra believe that they are descendants of Eri, one of the sons of Gad, who was a son of the Biblical Jacob. Interestingly the names of some of the families/clans of the claimants have the prefix eri.
 Prominent examples are Umuleri, and Aguleri (Umu-eri, and Agu- Eri).

There is talk that the later were their names, and that the l’s were added by the colonizing British who could not pronounce the Igbo names.
And the Nri clan which traditionally provides a certain class of priests for the Igbos very interestingly bears an attribute that was allotted to Levi; the priestly tribe of Israel. Every knowledgeable Igbo agrees that the Nri priests take precedence in certain ritual matters among the Igbos.
The Igbos have been addressed as “Jews” by their Nigerian neighbours, and by many foreigners before, and especially during the anti-Igbo Pogroms in Nigeria, and the Nigerian Civil War which occurred in 1966, and 1967-1970 respectively, and in which millions of Igbos died from bullets, strafing and starvation.
Also worthy of mention is what I call “Igbo Christianity”: the Sabbatharian Movement, because unlike the other brands of Christianity that predominate among the Igbos, it is Igbo inspired, and in it could be found some evidence of the Igbos’ Israelitishness.
It has some distinctive features that are remarkably Jewish. Igbo Sabbatharians observe all the feasts that are in the Old Testament. And they rest, shun work, and pray on the seventh day of the week.
This is in sharp contrast with its equivalents which were founded by the neighboring Yorubas, Binis, Ishans, and other Nigerians.
 My discovery is that the Christianized Igbos who founded this movement threw off “Christianity”, sought to return to what they thought was the Igbo religion, and stopped midway.
 They came up with a distinct and new religion which has elements of Judaism and Christianity. At least one million Igbos belong to this religion.
Mami Wata (Mammy Water) is venerated in West, Central, Southern Africa, and in the African diaspora in the Caribbean and parts of North and South America. Mami Wata spirits are usually female, but are sometimes male. Although this veneration is pagan it's interesting that is related to serpent worshipping cult. Moses, commanded by God, made a brazen serpent so that the Israelites could be healed at looking at it. Some centuries later king Hezekiah of Judah broke the snake because became an object of idolatry. This cult was taken with the idolatrous Israelites & might the origin of the Mammy Water & other Snake based cults.
“Majority of Igbos accept the Israel hypothesis"

A popular version of the narrative holds that Gad, the seventh son of Jacob, had three sons who settled in present-day southeastern Nigeria, which is predominantly inhabited by the Igbo. Those sons, Eri, Arodi and Areli (as mentioned in the book of Genesis), are said to have fathered clans, established kingdoms and founded towns still in existence in southeastern Nigeria today, including Owerri, Umuleri, Arochukwu and Aguleri. In fact one of the Ibo clans is called Aro probably coming from Arodi. Eze A.E. Chukwuemeka Eri, the king of a community in Aguleri, claims he presides over the throne of Gad's son, Eri.Throughout history, large populations of dispersed Jews also became "lost" through forced conversions and cultural assimilation."When I grew up I heard, like virtually every Igbo here, that the Igbo people came from Israel," the Abuja-based lawyer says. His field work in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Mali led him to conclude that Igbo and Jewish culture are not just similar, but "identical."Some historians have noted that the Igbo were practicing these customs before their exposure to the Bible and missionaries. Daniel Lis, from the Institute for Jewish Studies, University of Basel, Switzerland, is one of the foremost researchers on Jewish identification among the Igbo. He says there has been a clear continuity of Jewish identity among the Igbo. "It's not just something that happened yesterday," he says.


King Eri, like many, claims that the Igbo are the Jews of West Africa. They believe they are descendants of at least one of Israel's lost tribes. In the eighth century B.C. the Assyrians invaded Israel's northern kingdom forcing 10 tribes into exile. Historians say it is not unlikely that these tribes migrated westward to Africa.The Swiss-Israeli anthropologist says that Igbo-Jewish identity can be traced back to the 18th century. Cross-cultural comparisons have been documented by people ranging from George Thomas Basden, the influential Anglican missionary and ethnographer who proposed that the word "Igbo" evolved as a corruption of the word "Hebrew," to Olaudah Equiano, a freed Igbo slave living in 18th century British society. Peter Agbai, says he is a "proud Igbo man," strongly disagrees. He started practicing Judaism in 1991 after leaving the Methodist church. He says that the more he followed the commandments in the Torah, the more he realized that he was doing what his parents had always done as followers of traditional Igbo culture and spirituality.

These ethnic groups are neighbors of the Igbos & are related with them: Ibibio, Efik, Annang & Ogoni. It's that they are Israelites as well.

In Nigeria, the Ibos are often identified with Jews because of their business acumen, their attachment to family and education, and the discrimination to which they have been subjected, most tragically during the Biafran civil war of the late 1960s. During that war, they received Israeli military aid, fueling speculation of secret ties between the Ibos and the Hebrews.

Ọdinani, also Ọdinala, Omenala,Omenana, Odinana or Ọmenani is the Ibo religion

With the revival of the Igbo religion, Igbos know why they were/are circumcised on the Covenant Day. That Igbo religion, whose name is Omenana, has gone by the names Hebrewisms, Mosaism, Israelism and now Judaism because it has a direct correlation with some Deuteronomical provisions.

























Igbo people

The Igbo people have had fragmented and politically independent communities. Before knowledge of Europeans and full exposure to other neighbouring ethnic groups, the Igbo did not have a strong identity as one people. As in the case of most ethnic groups, the British and fellow Europeans identified the Igbo as a tribe. Chinua Achebe, among other scholars, challenged this because of its negative connotations and possible wrong definition. He suggested defining the Igbo people as a nation similar to the Cherokee Native Americans or Japanese, although the Igbo do not have an officially recognized physical state of their own.

Due to the effects of migration and the Atlantic slave trade, there are descendant historical Igbo populations in countries such as Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, as well as outside Africa; many African Americans and Afro Caribbeans are believed to be partially of Igbo descent.

The most common name for the Igbo in English was formerly "Ibo". They have also been known as the "Iboe", "'Ebo", "Eboe", "Eboans", or "Heebo". Their territory and main settlement has often been known by their name as well.

The Nri people of Igbo land have a creation myth which is one of the many creation myths that exist in various parts of Igbo land. The Nri and Aguleri people are in the territory of the Umueri clan who trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri. Eri's origins are unclear, though he has been described as a "sky being" sent by Chukwu (God). He has been characterized as having first given societal order to the people of Anambra. The historian Elizabeth Allo Isichei says "Nri and Aguleri and part of the Umueri clan, [are] a cluster of Igbo village groups which traces its origins to a sky being called Eri."

Archaeological evidence suggests that Nri hegemony in Igboland may go back as far as the 9th century, and royal burials have been unearthed dating to at least the 10th century. Eri, the god-like founder of Nri, is believed to have settled the region around 948 with other related Igbo cultures following after in the 13th century. The first Eze Nri (King of Nri) Ìfikuánim followed directly after him. According to Igbo oral tradition, his reign started in 1043. At least one historian puts Ìfikuánim's reign much later, around 1225 AD.

Traditional Igbo political organization was based on a quasi-democratic republican system of government. In tight knit communities, this system guaranteed its citizens equality, as opposed to a feudalist system with a king ruling over subjects. This government system was witnessed by the Portuguese who first arrived and met with the Igbo people in the 15th century. With the exception of a few notable Igbo towns such as Onitsha, which had kings called Obi, and places like the Nri Kingdom and Arochukwu, which had priest kings; Igbo communities and area governments were overwhelmingly ruled solely by a republican consultative assembly of the common people. Communities were usually governed and administered by a council of elders.

Most Igbo slaves were not victims of slave-raiding wars or expeditions, but were sometimes debtors and people who committed what their communities considered to be abominations or crimes. Igbo slaves were known to the British colonists as being rebellious and having a high rate of suicide to escape slavery. For still unknown reasons, there is evidence that traders sought Igbo women.

Contrary to common belief, European slave traders were fairly informed about various African ethnicities, leading to slavers' targeting certain ethnic groups which plantation owners preferred. Particular desired ethnic groups consequently became fairly concentrated in certain parts of the Americas. The Igbo were dispersed to colonies such as Jamaica, Cuba, Saint-Domingue, Barbados, the United States, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago, among others.

Elements of Igbo culture can still be found in these places. For example, in Jamaican Patois, the Igbo word unu, meaning "you" plural, is still used. "Red Ibo" (or "red eboe") describes a black person with fair or "yellowish" skin. This term had originated from the reported prevalence of these skin tones among the Igbo but eastern Nigerian influences may not be strictly Igbo. The word Bim, a colloquial term for Barbados, was commonly used among enslaved Barbadians (Bajans). This word is said to have derived from bi mu in the Igbo language (or bem, Ndi bem, Nwanyi ibem or Nwoke ibem, which means "My people"), but may have other origins (see: Barbados etymology). A section of Belize City was named Eboe Town after its Igbo inhabitants. In the United States, the Igbo were imported most commonly to the Chesapeake Bay colonies and states of Maryland and Virginia, where they constituted the largest group of Africans. Since the late 20th century, a wave of Nigerian immigrants, mostly English and Igbo-speaking, have settled in Maryland, attracted to its strong professional job market.

A series of ethnic clashes between Northern Muslims and the Igbo, Ibibio, Efik and other ethnic groups of Eastern Nigeria Region living in Northern Nigeria took place between 1966 and 1967. Elements in the army had assassinated the Nigerian military head of state General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi (29 July 1966) and peace negotiations failed between the military government that deposed Ironsi and the regional government of Eastern Nigeria at the Aburi Talks in Ghana in 1967. These events led to a regional council of the peoples of Eastern Nigeria deciding that the region should secede and proclaim the Republic of Biafra on May 30, 1967. General Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu made this declaration and became the Head of state of the new republic. The resultant war, which became known as the Nigerian Civil War or the Nigerian-Biafran War, lasted from July 6, 1967 until January 15, 1970, after which the federal government re-absorbed Biafra into Nigeria. Several million Eastern Nigerians, especially Igbo, are believed to have died from the pogroms against them and the civil war. In their brief struggle for self-determination, the people of Biafra earned the respect of figures such as Jean-Paul Sartre and John Lennon, who returned his British honor, MBE, partly in protest against British collusion in the Nigeria-Biafra war.

After the Nigerian–Biafran War, Igboland was devastated. Many hospitals, schools, and homes were completely destroyed in the war. In addition to the loss of their savings, many Igbo people were discriminated against by other ethnic groups and the new non-Igbo federal government. Some Igbo subgroups, such as the Ikwerre, started disassociating themselves from the larger Igbo population after the war. In the post-war era, people of eastern Nigeria changed the names of both people and places to non-Igbo-sounding words. For instance, the town of Igbuzo was anglicized to Ibusa. Due to discrimination, many Igbo had trouble finding employment, and during the early 1970s, the Igbo became one of the poorest ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Igboland was gradually rebuilt over a period of twenty years and the economy was again prospering due to the rise of the petroleum industry in the adjacent Niger Delta region. This led to new factories being set up in southern Nigeria. Many Igbo people eventually took government positions, although many were engaged in private business. They still constitute the bulk of Nigerian informal economy. Since the early 21st century, there has been a wave of Nigerian Igbo immigration to other African countries, Europe, and the Americas.


Igbo is a tonal language and there are hundreds of different Igbo dialects and Igboid languages, such as the Ikwerre and Ekpeye languages. In 1939, Dr. Ida C. Ward led a research expedition on Igbo dialects which could possibly be used as a basis of a standard Igbo dialect, also known as Central Igbo. This dialect included that of the Owerri and Umuahia groups, including the Ohuhu dialect. This proposed dialect was gradually accepted by missionaries, writers, publishers, and Cambridge University.

The Igbo people have a musical style into which they incorporate various percussion instruments: the udu, which is essentially designed from a clay jug; an ekwe, which is formed from a hollowed log; and the ogene, a hand bell designed from forged iron. Other instruments include opi, a wind instrument similar to the flute, igba, and ichaka. Another popular musical form among the Igbo is Highlife. A widely popular musical genre in West Africa, Highlife is a fusion of jazz and traditional music. The modern Igbo Highlife is seen in the works of Dr Sir Warrior, Oliver De Coque, Bright Chimezie, and Chief Osita Osadebe, who were among the most popular Igbo Highlife musicians of the 20th century.

There are many Igbo dance styles, but perhaps, Igbo dance is best known for its Atilogwu dance troops. These performances include acrobatic stunts such as high kicks and cartwheels, with each rhythm from the traditional instruments indicating a movement to the dancer.

One of the unique structures of Igbo culture was the Nsude Pyramids, at the town of Nsude, in Abaja[disambiguation needed], northern Igboland. Ten pyramidal structures were built of clay/mud. The first base section was 60 ft. in circumference and 3 ft. in height. The next stack was 45 ft. in circumference. Circular stacks continued, till it reached the top. The structures were temples for the god Ala/Uto, who was believed to reside at the top. A stick was placed at the top to represent the god's residence. The structures were laid in groups of five parallel to each other. Because it was built of clay/mud like the Deffufa of Nubia, time has taken its toll requiring periodic reconstruction.

Chukwu is the supreme deity in Odinani as he is the creator, and the Igbo people believe that all things come from him and that everything on earth, heaven and the rest of the spiritual world is under his control. Linguistic studies of the Igbo language suggests the name Chukwu is a portmanteau of the Igbo words: Chi (spiritual being) and Ukwu (great in size). Alusi, alternatively known as Arusi or Arushi (depending on dialect), are minor deities that are worshiped and served in Odinani. There are many different Alusi, each with its own purpose. When an individual deity is no longer needed, or becomes too violent, it is discarded.

The Igbo believe in reincarnation. People are believed to reincarnate into families that they were part of while alive. Before a relative dies, it is said that the soon to be deceased relative sometimes give clues of who they will reincarnate as in the family. Once a child is born, he or she is believed to give signs of who they have reincarnated from. This can be through behavior, physical traits and statements by the child. A diviner can help in detecting who the child has reincarnated from. It is considered an insult if a male is said to have reincarnated as a female.

Children are not allowed to call elders by their names without using an honorific (as this is considered disrespectful). As a sign of respect, children are required to greet elders when seeing them for the first time in the day. Children usually add the Igbo honorifics Mazi or Dede before an elder's name when addressing them.

The process of marrying usually involves asking the young woman's consent, introducing the woman to the man's family and the same for the man to the woman's family, testing the bride's character, checking the woman's family background, and paying the brides' wealth. Sometimes marriages had been arranged from birth through negotiation of the two families.

In the past, many Igbo men practiced polygamy. The polygamous family is made up of a man and his wives and all their children. Men sometimes married multiple wives for economic reasons so as to have more people in the family, including children, to help on farms. Christian and civil marriages have changed the Igbo family since colonization. Igbo people now tend to enter monogamous courtships and create nuclear families, mainly because of Western influence. Some Western marriage customs, such as weddings in a church, take place after the lgbo cultural traditional marriage.

The yam is very important to the Igbo as the staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iwaji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. During the festival, yam is eaten throughout the communities as celebration. Yam tubers are shown off by individuals as a sign of success and wealth. Rice has replaced yam for ceremonial occasions. Other foods include cassava, garri, maize and plantains. Soups or stews are included in a typical meal, prepared with a vegetable (such as okra, of which the word derives from the Igbo language, Okwuru) to which pieces of fish, chicken, beef, or goat meat are added. Jollof rice is popular throughout West Africa. Palm wine is a popular alcoholic beverage among the Igbo.

The Igbo in Nigeria are found in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Delta and Rivers State. The Igbo language is predominant throughout these areas, although Nigerian English (the national language) is spoken as well. Prominent towns and cities in Igboland include Aba, Umuahia, Enugu (considered the 'Igbo capital'), Nsukka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Awka, Abakaliki, Afikpo, Owerri, Orlu, Okigwe, Agbor, Asaba and Port Harcourt among others. A significant number of Igbo people have migrated to other parts of Nigeria, such as the city of Lagos.

Southeastern Nigeria, which is inhabited primarily by the Igbo, is the most densely populated area in Nigeria, and possibly in all of Africa. Most ethnicities that inhabit southeastern Nigeria, such as the closely related Efik and Ibibio people, are sometimes regarded as Igbo by other Nigerians and ethnographers who are not well informed about the southeast.

Some white people say there can not be any black Israelites


Some white people say there can not be any black Israelites. Some black people say there can not be any white Israelites. After researching without prejudice I have discovered there are white & black Israelites both being of the same blood. If a black guy marries a white woman & has white kids(as I've seen before) they are not any less the black guy's kids because they're white. The same is the other way around.

Israel has, to date, not recognized the Igbo as one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. It took many years before the Chief Rabbinate recognized the Bnei Menashe as Jews, and it is thought that in due time the Igbo will also be recognized as descendants of Israel. One of the theories as to why Israel is reluctant to recognize the Igbo is because it has enjoyed good relations with Nigeria, and as the Igbo are a seccessionist tribe, recognizing them as part of Israel may injure political and economic ties between the two countries.

White Jews from the State of Israel are of the same genetic of origin as black Jews abroad & the DNA proves it.


From a quick search amongst the tipical black African hats the Ibo hats are the one one that resemble the most like the kippah.

The obsession that the Jews have with planting trees is also found among the Ibos. Should we consider the Israelites as the first treehuggers (ecologists)?

The Ebo, consist of the tribes of Gad, Zebulun, Ephraim and Issachar.


Ijaw (also known by the subgroups "Ijo" or "Izon") are a collection of peoples indigenous mostly to the forest regions of the Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers States within the Niger Delta in Nigeria. Some are resident in Akwa-Ibom, Edo, and Ondo states also in Nigeria. Many are found as migrant fishermen in camps as far west as Sierra Leone and as far east as Gabon along the Western Africa coastline.

The Ijo people number about an estimated 3.4 million. They have long lived in locations near many sea trade routes, and they were well connected to other areas by trade as early as the 15th century.

                                                                       Ijaw/Ijo/Izon tribes


It is believed by some that the descendants of Arodi are the peoples and tribes of: Ibibios, Efik, Anang, Ogoni, Afikpo, Abakariki, Umon, Yako, Nembe, and Arochukwu.

What Israel says about the Igbo

We know since at least 1789 CE that Jews have been interested in the possible Igbo-Israel connection when a former Igbo slave named Olauda Equiano, living in London first proposed the Igbo-Israel relationship in his autobiography. Some Igbos, including a Dr. Ikedife recalls Israelis visiting Igboland and investigating such claims during the Biafran War.

Prophecy states:

Jer. 16:14-16 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. 

It basically says that a hunt would be on one day for the lost tribes scattered abroad. This prophecy has been and is still being fulfilled.

Under direction of Israeli Prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, in October of 1995 and in May 1997 under Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli government sent delegates, looking for a long lost brother Eri. They went to Nigeria, state to state, town to town, tribe to tribe, quietly observed to see if any recognizable Hebraic traits or customs will pop out. When they made it to Obu-Gad their search ended as they seen the Igbo there display Hebraic-ness in their culture. They even seen the ancient stone throne of Gad and immediately recognized the script at the foot of the throne as Paleo-Hebrew. They also visited many sites that have been connected to Eri and the Igbo people. This was documented on film and later shown on Israeli Television. I have been given a DVD copy of this documentary by Eze A.E. Chukuwuemeka-Eri.

On March 28th 1996 Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria visited Nri and cried acknowledging that the Igbo’s were among the Lost Tribes of Israel. Before he left he gave Eze Nri a gift of olives and oil stating that such gifts were only given to Kings of Israel.

In October 23rd 1997 Yitzhaq David an American Jew and Program Director of King Solomon Sephardic Federation was televised visiting the King in Nwewi (Also a King I have personally visited myself, pictured below), Igwe Kenneth Orizu III. It was said during that visit by Zagi David, another delegate which came with the K.S.S.F. “After much research work on the origin of the Igbos, the archaeological findings indicate that Israel is the true home and they should make a quick come back for historical reunion.” 

Today in Israel there is an Igbo synagogue in Tel Aviv. The problem is not necessarily are Igbo’s Hebrews, the issue is how the Israeli government recognize will recognize those Igbo who make Aliyah to Israel. For now they return as converts, but the Igbos want to return being officially recognized as Hebrews. Converts would imply they were never really of Gad, they want to officially be recognized as a Lost Tribe who has been found and is coming home.

What Others Have to Say about the Igbo Being of Israel

“Ibo Tribe of Nigeria”
The wild landscapes of Africa, its exotic rhythms and mask dances provide the picturesque background for this tribe, who believes itself to be the descendants of the Israelite tribe of Gad.
They have numerous legends which explain their origins, many of which don’t exactly fit in with the others.  But this doesn’t seem to bother the Ibo, whose powerful faith allows them the flexibility of accepting what is considered by Western man as a logical contradiction. They interpret their name “Ibo” as a mispronounced “Hebrew” and till today, the members pray to “Chuku Abiama” - Abraham’s God. The Ibos, well known for their struggle for independence in the Biafra war, are now considered the “Jews of Nigeria” and have contributed greatly to the intellectual and economic development in that country.”

Outreach to Nigerian Jews by the wider Jewish world community gained official status in 1995 – 1997, when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin sent a team to Nigeria in search of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Western rabbis and educators such as Rabbi Gorin have visited the community at times and Jewish communities in the West support those in Nigeria by sending books, computers, and religious articles. However, the State of Israel has, to date, not officially recognized the Igbo as one of the Lost Tribes.

In 2004-2008, Rabbi Yaacov Behrman made numerous trips to Nigeria to help the Israeli community with Jewish community development. During those visits Rabbi Behrman met with Igbo leaders and visited their community centers. Rabbi Behrman concluded that they lack evidence and refused to recognize them as Jews.”

Israel Today originally reported in 2006 how Chief Rabbinate recognized the Ebos as sons of Israel descended from Gad. And indeed, there is an Ebo-Gad community in Tel Aviv Israel who have their own synagogue. There has been great debates in the Israeli courts, secular and religious regarding the identity of the Igbo’s; many immigration and deportation legal battles. The argument is not necessarily are they truly of Gad, but should they be considered returnees or new converts and it was eventually decided to allow them to make Aliyah as a returning tribe.

Har Ararets magazine in Oct, 12, 2005 article declared the Igbos to be sons of Israel through Gad. Dr. G.T. Basden, an Anglican missionary and anthropologist, along with Prof. Elisabeth Isichei an Australian historian and Melville Merrskovits, an American writer all strongly believe there is enough evidences to link the Igbo’s of Nigeria to the Israeli tribe of Gad. Among Igbo authorities, Prof. O. Alezi and ex-slave Olaudah (Ikwuano) Equiano also believed without a doubt that the Igbos were descendants of Gad.


In several editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1929 connects the Igbo people to Gad. A Torah commentary on Sh’mot in 1922 makes the Igbo-Gad connection also.

The Efik people also often referred to as Efik Eburutu, Eburutu, or Eburu

The Efik people were often referred to as Efik Eburutu. Eburutu (or Eburu) being a corruption of the word “Hebrew,” and Ututu which is one of the early settlements of the Efik people in the coastal southeastern part of Nigeria.

The Efik are an ethnic group located primarily in southeastern Nigeria. 'Efik' is also the name of their language which is a variation of the Ibibio language. The Efik migrated down the Cross River from Cameroon in the 16th century and founded numerous settlements in the Calabar area in present-day Cross River State. This area along with present-day Akwa Ibom State are usually referred to as Calabar, and Calabar people accordingly, after the European name Calabar Kingdom given to their state of Akwa Akpa. Calabar is not to be confused with the Kalabari Kingdom in Rivers State which is an Ijaw state to its west. Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State were formerly one of the original twelve states of Nigeria known as the Southeastern State.
                                                                      Eburutus or Efiks

The Efik people as well as their Annang and Ibibio brothers and sisters also occupy Southwestern Cameroon including Bakassi. While in the then Eastern Region of Nigeria prior to the civil war, the region allowed Southwestern Cameroon to be partitioned out of Nigeria into Cameroon through the 1961 plebiscite which divided them (Efik, Ibibio and Annang) into Nigeria and Cameroon.

The Efik people speak the Efik Language. Various dialects of their language include Oron, Biase, Annang and Ibibio, Eket (Ekid) a subgroup of Ibibio was also one recognised dialect of the people. The Efik/Eburu are 568,000 people.

The Annang or Anaang

The Annang (also spelled Anaang) is a cultural and ethnic group that lives in the Coastal Southeast Nigeria (also known as Southeastern Nigeria or former Southeastern State of Nigeria). At present, the Annangs have eight local government areas of the present thirty-one local government areas in Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria (Akwa Ibom State Local Government Areas), namely Abak, Essien Udim, Etim Ekpo, Ika, Ikot Ekpene, Obot Akara, Oruk Anam and Ukanafun in the Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. They were formerly located in the former Abak and Ikot Ekpene Divisions of the Annang Province, in the former Eastern Region of Nigeria.


The Annang people are located in the Coastal Southeastern Nigeria and Southwestern Cameroon which was a part of the present Akwa Ibom State and Cross River State. However, during the then Nigerian Regional era, the then Eastern Region of Nigeria allowed Southwestern Cameroon to be partitioned out of Nigeria into Cameroon through the 1961 plebiscite. In this action the Annang, Efik and Ibibio people were divided into Nigeria and Cameroon.

Annang society is patriarchal. Individuals locate their place in the social world from the Idip, literally translated as, womb. Thus a brother/sister from the same Idip means that they can trace their origin to the same mother or father. Since polygamy is practised in the society, those who can so trace their ancestry to the same parents form Ufok (literally a house or compound). Several ufoks make up Ekpuks or extended family and several Ekpuks (extended families) make up "Idung" (meaning village) and several villages make up the "abie" or clan. The Anaang are 2,367,000 people.

Leadership at the family, lineage, village, or clan level remains the prerogative of the men, and lineage ties extends to women even after marriage. There are many societies and associations (URIM) for men and women which are very important in traditional village life. Individuals are measured by both the number and types of memberships in Urim and by the achievements of one or more Urims. Governance is done by elderly males who act as the legislative arm called Afe Isong, directed by the Obong or Abong Ichong (Village Chief and Clan Chief) who is the head and the chief executive but without the authority beyond what the Afe Ichong gives.

                                                            Annang elders

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Annangs have a rich oral tradition. It is believed that the group have their origins in Egypt and settled in Ghana before arriving in the present area. The name Annang in Twi in Ghana means fourth son. It is believed that Annangs started their migration from Egypt around 7500 BC. The Abiakpo came to the northern range of Annang from Eka Abiakpo. They were quickly followed by the Ukana clan, the Utu, Ekpu, Ebom and Nyama (The British would lumped these together and gave the name Otoro), and other Annang clans.

Oral tradition has it that the Annang and the entire people of akwa Ibom and Cross River States of Nigeria (AKwaCross people) have occupied their land in the coastal Southeastern Nigeria thousands of years before the birth of Christ.

The same oral tradition has it that their ancestors were Israelites (Jews) of the Northern Kingdom who left Israel to Egypt before the Babylonian captivity and that the ancestors of the Annangs and other people of Akwa Ibom and Cross River States (the Efik, the Ibibio, etc.) of Nigeria were the products of marriages of the people of Israel and Egyptians who migrated from Egypt to their coastal southeastern land in Nigeria via Ethiopia and Sudan.


The Ibibio people

The Ibibio are a people of southeastern Nigeria. They are related to the Anaang and the Efik peoples. During colonial period in Nigeria, the Ibibio Union asked for recognition by the British as a sovereign nation. The Annang, Efik, Ekid, Oron and Ibeno share personal names, culture, and traditions with the Ibibio, and speak closely related varieties of Ibibio-Efik.

The Ibibio have lived in the Cross River area of modern day Nigeria for several hundred years, and while written information about them only exists in colonial records from the late 19th century on, oral traditions have them in the region much earlier than this.



"Ibio-ibio" means short or brief and doesn't have anything to do with "ulok" and while it is called "ufok" by some other Ibibio groups. The name "Ikot" often replaces "the house of... or the people of ", referring to their origin or ancesstors. Another meaning for Ikot in Ibibio land is bush.

Ibibio religion was of two dimensions, which centered on the pouring of libation, worship, consultation, communication and invocation of the God of Heaven (Abasi Enyong; Elohim?) and God of the Earth (Abasi Isong; Satan?). The Ibibio are over 5 million people.


Igala people


The Igalas have Israelite origin as their Ibo neighbors. They have a town called Idah which relates to Judah. It doesn't seem to be by chance that that the name Igala is so close to the Hebrew name Igal (Yigal, Yig'al). In modern Hebrew, the name "יגאָל" sounds just like the verb "יגאַל" (the future tense masculine singular form of the verb לגאול [lig'ol]), which means: (he) will liberate. Igal is the name of one of the spies Moses sent to search Canaan. This is also the name of one of King David's heros.

Numbers 13, 1-7 "And the Lord spake unto Moses saying: Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan which I give unto the children of Israel, of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them... Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph." 

Igala territory in Nigeria
Igala are an ethnic group of Nigeria. Igala practice a number of different religions, including animism, Christianity, and Islam.

The home of the Igala people is situated east of the river Niger and Benue confluence and astride the Niger in Lokoja, Kogi state of Nigeria. The area is approximately between latitude 6°30 and 8°40 north and longitude 6°30 and 7°40 east and covers an area of about 13,665 square kilometers (Oguagha P.A 1981) The Igala population is estimated at two million, they can also be found in Delta, Anambra and Edo States of Nigeria. The Igala language is closely related to the Yoruba and Itsekiri languages.

The Igalas are ruled by a figure called the "Attah". The word Attah means 'Father' and the full title of the ruler is 'Attah Igala', meaning, the Father of Igalas (the Igala word for King is Onu). Although "Attah" means "father"', female rulership is recognized and Igala has had female rulers in the past (Boston 1968). Among the most revered Attahs of the Igala kingdom are Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko and Atta Ameh Oboni. According to oral tradition, Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko offered his most beloved daughter, Inikpi to ensure that the Igalas win a war of liberation from the Jukuns' dominance. Attah Ameh Oboni is known to be very brave and resolute. He is revered for his stiff resistance of the British and his struggles to uphold some ancient traditions of the Igalas. When he got wind of a plan to depose and exile him by the British, he committed suicide by hanging himself to forestall the plan, he is regarded by most Igalas as the last real Attah Igala. There is an Igala association in the United States, called Igala Association USA. The new Attah of Igala is HRM Idakwo Michael Ameh Oboni II.

The traditional Igala society is largely agrarian, although fishing is also a mainstay of the people especially the Igalas of the riverine Idah area.

Boston (1968) believes that the central geographical location of the Igala people has exposed them to a wide variety of linguistic as well as cultural influences from other ethnic groups in the country. Notable among these are the Igbira, the Bini, the Igbo, the Hausa, the Idoma and the Yoruba ethnic groups. However, the most significant relationship, by far, is that between the Igala and the Yoruba peoples.

Ebonyi State

Ebonyi State is a state of Nigeria, in the south of the Eastern region. It is inhabited and populated primarily by Igbo. Its capital and largest city is Abakaliki. It is one of the six states created in 1996 by the Abacha government. Ebonyi was created from parts of both Enugu State and Abia State. It is the location of the Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu.

There are nine primary languages spoken in Ebonyi State: Afikpo, Mgbo, Izzi, Ezaa (Eza means raise in Hebrew), Ikwo, Kukele, Legbo, Mbembe, and Oring. These languages are all subgroups of the Igbo language and are commonly spoken throughout south eastern Nigeria.

Ebonyi is primarily an agricultural region. It is a leading producer of rice, yam, potatoes, maize, beans, and cassava in Nigeria. Rice and yams are predominantly cultivated in Edda, a region within the state. Ebonyi has several solid mineral resources, including lead, crude oil, and natural gas, but few large-scale commercial mines. The state government has, however, given several incentives to investors in the agro-allied sector to encourage production. Ebonyi is called "the salt of the nation" (as Israelites, the Igbos are the salt of the earth) for its huge salt deposit at the Okposi and Uburu Salt Lakes (Israelites are often close salt lakes). 

The Tribe of Asher and the Igbo

Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties. - Gen. 49:20

And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil. Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be. – Deut. 33:24-25

Asher is also said to be among the Igbos and this is a strong possibility because Gad and Asher were brothers, they had the same mother, the handmaid Zilpah.

The Jewish virtual library says that Eldad the Danite claims Asher to be one of the Tribes who made it to Africa along with Gad, Dan and Naphtali. The JVL also tells of a theory that Zebulun and Asher traveled from North Africa to West Africa either by Jewish trading caravans or by way of Carthage who some believe were descendants of Zebulun and Asher (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/Nigeria.html)

Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties. - Gen. 49:20

Asher is spoken of as catering to the luxury of Kings in food and accessories. They are the miner or mining tribe. This could indicate the Igbos and other African and white South Africans who mine diamonds and precious metals and stones fit for royal diadems.

Other British Israelite theorists place a part of Asher in the British Isles.

The Scattering of the 10 Tribes

There is an imbalanced view fueled by racial prejudice and supremacy that says the Lost Tribes either have to be black or white. They have to be found either in Africa or the Northern Hemisphere of Europe and the Americas. You have the two opposing camps of Black Hebrewism and British Israelitism. Both have their extremists and bias embellished propaganda, and both equally have their grains of researchable and verifiable truth. I have no problem accepting that a portion of both camps are true. Why? Because the 10 tribes which made up the Northern Kingdom of Israel that went off into Assyrian captivity has never returned and these peoples were transported, sold, traded, migrated, scattered and settled everywhere; having mingled through marriage and assimilation into virtually every people group on the planet and thus Hebrews have become a part of virtually every nationality, and ethnicity. 

Though portions of Judah and Levi has been scattered with the other 10 tribes, who we recognize as Jews today come from Judah and Levi who went off into Babylonian captivity and eventually returned and this is who we recognize as Jews today.

Many of Shem’s line married into the dark complexion of the Hammitic line, genetically producing dark skinned Hebrews. But through the two captivities and scattering in the diaspora, Hebrews (Israelites) and Jews, as I said earlier, have mingled with many peoples of the world and have migrated to unfamiliar climates and through the centuries some Jews and Hebrews/Israelites have lost much of the darker skin tone and so we have descendants of Jacob (Israel) of every color, shape and size. I believe HaShem has allowed this to happen to break down racial barriers and the dividing wall between Jew/Hebrew/Israelite and Gentile and as a way of reversing the effects of the Tower of Babel. Instead we have perverted this purpose to fortify disgusting racist diatribes. Therefore, it would be prejudice and foolhardy of us to dismiss either side of the debate because of issues of bias or race. Let us glean the truth that inherently resides in both sides of the issue. 

Where in the World is Zebulon?

We know according to Revelation that in the End of Days Zebulun will be found and accounted for.

Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. – Rev. 7:8a

So where will they be found?

Some speculate that he is in Nigeria among the Igbos and Ijaws. Others say he ended up in Holland, also known as the Netherlands as well as South Africa. Are any of these claims true? Granted, hard evidence is difficult to come by, but the circumstantial evidence is incredibly striking and compelling, so much so that it makes claiming sheer coincidence sound as if one is grasping desperately at straws to deny the plain and clear truth and succor their own religiously prejudice views.

Zebulon in West Africa; Nigeria:

It is said that Ijaw (Ujo) was a traveling companion of Eri, Areli and Adodi as they fled Egypt. Oral tradition states that Ijaw is a son or some descendant of Zebulon. Others say he came from Egypt, which is where Eri and his traveling companions set out from! However, Ijaw is not listed in any Canonical Biblical genealogies that I could find. But this should come as no surprise as one person could go by different names and it may be that Ijaw was known by another name in Biblical Writ. Or it could be Ijaw was a son of one of Zebulun's sons, and there for not recorded in any Biblical genealogy. He was said to be the water scout and river navigator of the group, and even today the Ijaw (Ijo, Izon) tribe and land can be found near water and many are fishermen.

Ijaw (Ijo, Ojo, Ejo, Ujo, Izon) means, “Real, Good or Palm tree;” could this relate to Zebuon’s son Elon, meaning, “Oak Grove”? Could this Ijaw be Elon or Ilon or at least a descendant of his? 

We know from history that the Ijaw and Igbo are fierce warriors as well as the people in general have a positive or “expectant” attitude toward the work of the divine in their life, no matter how bad things get around them.

Could it be that Elon/Ilon, Sered and Jahleel or at least their descendants traveled with Gad’s sons Eri, Areli and Arodi to Nigeria?

Some Ubulu in Igboland Nigeria claim that they know they came from Zebulon.  Ubulu in Igbo is the name of and means a “huge tree,” could this relate to Zebuon’s son Elon, meaning, “Oak Grove”? I ask, could Ubulu be named after Elon or Ilon of Zebulun or at least a descendant of his?  The word in Igbo zebulu means to protect, hide or save oneself.  This sort of relates to the Hebraic meaning of Zebulon, dwelling and habitation, because both carry the connotation of a hidden and protective place. 

Ubulu oral tradition states categorically that the grand-parents of Ezemu (a famous Hunter, Marksman and Herbalist) migrated from Israel and settled at Ife hence Ezemu was often referred to as the king with long hairs – “Ezi Isi Iyomiyo”. From Ife Ezemu and his relations migrated to Afor a village in present day Ndokwa Local Government Area of Delta State. (http://www.nairaland.com/63003/origin-ubulu-uku) 

“Legend that one of the descendants of Eri (from Gad) who first settled in Onitsha, at the bank of River Niger, near the domain of his relatives from the descendants of Zebulun (Ozubulu in Anambra State) had to travel across the River Niger to the ancient city of Benin or kingdom to prepare war medicine, talisman or charm for a prospective contender to the stool of Oba of Benin.” -  Prof. O. Alaezi, Ibo Exodus, pg.  25 – italics mine 

“The Igbo Jews are said to have migrated from Syrian, Portuguese and Libyan Israelites into West Africa. Historical records shows that this migration started around 740 C.E. According to UCLA trained amateur Jewish Historian and Rio Hondo Police Academy trained Forensic investigator Chinedu Nwabunwanne of Aguleri, who resides in Los Angeles and has researched this subject for more than 15 years at the UCLA libraries in Los Angeles, "the migration started when the forces of Caliph Mohammed -the last leader of the Umayyads- and his Qaysi-Arab supportes defeated the Yamani-Arab Umayyads of Syria in 744 C.E; sacked the Yamanis and their Jewish supporters from Syria. The Syrian-Jewish migrant tribes Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher resettled in Nigeria where they became known as Sambatyon Jews. In 1484 and 1667 Judeans and Zebulonians from Portugal and Libya respectively joined Sambatyon Jews of Nigeria. Thus, Nigerian Jews originated from the following six Israelite tribes: Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher and Zebulon. It is interesting to note that these six tribes are the same tribes Moses repeated their names twice when he blessed the Children of Israel. These six tribes mentioned above are The House of Judah and the children of Israel his companions (Ezekiel 37:16. Those remaining six tribes not mentioned above are The House of Ephraim and the children of Israel his companion (Ezekiel 37:16)."”-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igbo_Jews

The tribe of Zevulun ben-Ya`aqov (Zebulun), who was the sixth son of Ya`aqov (Jacob). These groups comprise the Ubulu Okiti and Ubulu Ukwu clans in Delta State who settled in Ubulu Ihejiofor. According to oral tradition, it is said that a descendant of the Tribe of Zevulun named Zevulunu, on the advice of a certain Levite, married a woman from Oji, who was descended from the Tribe of Judah, and from this union was born Ozubulu ben-Zebulunu. Ozubulu then went on to have four sons of his own who settled in other regions. These sons were: Amakwa, from whom a clan in Neni, Anambra State is descended, and Egbema, from whom the Egbema Ugwuta clan in Imo State and the Ohaji Egbema clan in Rivers State are descended. - http://www.transparencyng.com/index.php/about-nigeria/49-ethnic-groups/1290-the-igbo- 

It has also been suggested that the Jewish Ibo people originated from a migration of Israelites who fled to West Africa. They claim to be descended from three tribes; Zebulon, Gad and Manasseh (Hebrew Qaraim Community). - http://www.helium.com/items/1432748-nigerian-history-history-of-the-ibo-people 

The Igbo Jews traditionally claim descent from three particular Israelite tribes: Gad, Zevulun, and Menashe. The Jews of Manipur and Mizoram, the Bnei Menashe, also claim descent from the tribe of Menashe. It is thought that these Jews fled to Africa after the destruction of the biblical Temples in Jerusalem and established communities all across the African continent. - http://www.mywesternwall.net/2012/06/01/igbo-jews-fascinating.html 

It should be noted that the majority of Ndi Igbo can be traced back to Gad through his sons Eri, Areli and Arodi, or Levi who became the Nri priests.  A small percentage stake claim to Judah, Zebulon, and some even believe they are from Manasseh, Asher, Dan and even Naphtali. But we see in ancient Israel that at times Benjamin and Simeon were a small remnant living among Judah and were thus absorbed into Judah. In similar fashion these other tribes which make up the Igbo have been absorbed into the majority of Gad.  Prof. O. Alaezi in his book “Ibo Exodus” also recognizes this custom. “Other exiled Hebrews descendants (e.g. Judah and Zebulun) are not as many and have been swallowed up by the Eris.” 

  Zebulun in Holland and South Africa and their connection to the Igbo’s and Ijaws:

There are those who prescribe to the British Israelite theory that the 10 Lost Tribes scattered north and spread throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. 

Steven M. Collins and Yair Davidiy are the two main proponents of British Israelitism, though not agreeing 100% with their views, as well as not agreeing with 100% of Black Hebrewism views, I have stuck to the uncanny connections that ties Zebulon to both camps and allow the reader to decide for themselves where Zebulon is.

To get a clue why some feel Zebulon made it to Holland (Netherlands); we must first look at the prophecies given about them by Jacob and Moses.  These prophecies will give us clues to their whereabouts in the last days.

Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon. – Gen. 49:13

And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand. – Deut. 33:18-19

Because the prophecies connect Zebulon to the coast and the sea and one should look to famous and heavily trafficked sea ports one of which is the port of Rotterdam in Holland. It handles the largest freight in the world and is considered the gateway of Europe.  It should also be noted that Ijaws and Igbos who claim Zebulonic descendancy also live close to and on the coast. In fact Ijaws pagan expression of worship is tied to water and water spirits. Ijaws are known as fishermen and tradesmen in Nigeria. Many live in the Delta and River states that are close to the sea.

The phrase in Gen. 49:13, “haven of the sea” can mean shelter and or refuge and Holland, via its system of dikes is quite literally “sheltered” from the sea. This same phrase also lends to the fact as mentioned before of Holland’s great and world renowned sea ports.

Moses’ prophecy (Deut. 33:18-19) speaks of the “sucking of the abundance of the sea” and “treasures hidden in sand.” It is of interest to note that the Dutch of Holland literally “sucked out” the sea with their system of dikes and windmills which made the land “abundantly” fertile. The treasure in the sand is believed to be the black gold, the oil that the Royal Dutch Shell company has “sucked” from its “hiding” place in the sand.  It also should be noted that Nigeria is also an oil rich country, especially in the places where the Zebulonite Igbo’s and Ijaws live! And Ducth oil companies have set up shop in oil rich Nigerai too. 

Some even feel that the description of Zebulun’s “borders” being “Zidon” is also a clue, because the word for border also means thigh which includes the pubic region. Many feel this hints of the Holland being the “red light district” of the world with its abundance of pornography, prostitution and tolerance of sexual promiscuity. Zebulon’s territory in the Promised Land was previously occupied by the ancient S(Z)idonian fertility cults of Baal and Ashtaroth.  The Wicked Queen Jezebel, known as a sexual temptress was a S(Z)idonian.

It should also be brought to the reader’s attention that the tribal symbol for Zebulon is the Ship which fits well with the Dutch, the Ijaw and a portion of the Igbo who claim Zebulon is their forefather.  

The Dutch Coat of arms of the original seven provinces of the Netherlands (1579) is a ship with a Bible on its prow.

Their Levitical breastplate stone some say was the diamond and many Dutch relocated and colonized South Africa and are in the diamond mine and trade business; so would say is an  amazing coincidence.  I am one who does not believe in mere coincidence.  And though diamonds are not known to be found in Nigeria, Amethysts are and are mined! Recall that this is the other gem supposedly in the Levitical breastplate that represents Zebulun.

Linguistically speaking it is said that Middle East people who may have possibly been related to the Sidonians of Phoenicia settled around Holland and Belgium and are believed by some to be the ancestors of the Dutch which would include Hebraic ancestors from Zebulon because of the mingling of the Zebulonites and Sidonians in the Promised Land. And it is obvious that the Zebulonites were influenced by the pagan ways of the Sidonians and hence why the L-RD took them away into captivity. 

The Sabalingoi of ancient Frisia which is north of Holland is said to mean Zebulon’s People or the Nation of Zebulon; Sabalin = Zebulon and Goi = from the Hebrew, meaning people or nation.

Davidiy explains through linguistics that he believes that the Chali which were the people north of the Sabalingoi were descendants of Jahleel and that the Suardeni were the descendants of Sered and the Alans the children of Elon. 

The Amish culture and religion, though “Christian” is very Jewish in its dress, traditions and customs and way of life. Many Dutch Amish have Jewish last names and or married Jewish women; this would never happen if the Jewish communities of the Holland did not see the Amish as “brethren” i.e. blood relation. 

With what has been presented, I do believe it is very likely that Zebulon and his sons ended up both in Africa and in Northern Europe. The linguistics, region and character traits of the peoples mention do fit the Jacobic and Mosaic prophecies concerning them.  I personally would like to see more hard, archeological evidence or become more familiar with the oral traditions of said lpeoples so as to better tie these people to Zebulon or totally rule them out. 

All I know and believe is that there are people roaming the earth to day who are Hebrews and don’t even know it, after all the 10 tribes had to go somewhere, they just didn’t die off or disappear!  That would mean G-D is unable to keep His promises and it would mean the Scriptures are a lie and we know G-D and His Word is TRUTH manifest!  So why not the Ijaw, the Igbo and the Dutch?

Tutsi

The Tutsi (/ˈtʊtsi/;[1] Rwanda-Rundi pronunciation: [tūtsī]), or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group inhabiting the African Great Lakes region. Historically, they were often referred to as the Watutsi, Watusi, or the Wahuma. The Tutsi form a subgroup of the Banyarwanda and the Barundi peoples, who reside primarily in Rwanda and Burundi, but with significant populations also found in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania.

They are the second largest population division among the three largest groups in Rwanda and Burundi, the other two being the Hutu (largest) and the Twa (smallest). Small numbers of Hema, Kiga and Furiiru people also live near the Tutsi in Rwanda. The Northern Tutsi that reside in Rwanda are called Ruguru (Banyaruguru), while southern Tutsi that live in Burundi are known as Hima, and the Tutsi that inhabit the Kivu plateau in the Congo go by Banyamulenge.

The definitions of "Hutu" and "Tutsi" people may have changed through time and location. Social structures were not stable throughout Rwanda, even during colonial times under the Belgian rule. The Tutsi aristocracy or elite was distinguished from Tutsi commoners, and wealthy Hutu were often indistinguishable from upper-class Tutsi.

When the European colonists conducted censuses, they wanted to identify the people throughout Rwanda-Burundi according to a simple classification scheme. They defined "Tutsi" as anyone owning more than ten cows (a sign of wealth) or with the physical feature of a longer nose, or longer neck, commonly associated with the Tutsi.

The Europeans believed that some Tutsis had facial characteristics that were generally atypical of other Bantus. They sought to explain these purported divergent physical traits by postulating admixture with or partial descent from migrants of Caucasoid stock, who usually were said to have arrived in the Great Lakes region from the Horn of Africa and/or North Africa.

By contrast, the Europeans considered the majority Hutu to be characteristic Bantu people of Central African origin.

The Tutsi have lived in the areas where they are for at the very least hundreds of years, leading to considerable intermarriage with the Bantu / Hutu people in the area. Due to the history of intermingling and intermarrying of Hutus and Tutsis, ethnographers and historians have lately come to agree that Hutu and Tutsis cannot be properly called distinct ethnic groups.

Y-DNA (paternal lineages)
Modern-day genetic studies of the Y-chromosome suggest that the Tutsi, like the Hutu, are largely of Bantu extraction (80% E1b1a, 15% B, 4% E3). Paternal genetic influences associated with the Horn of Africa and North Africa are few (1% E1b1b), and are ascribed to much earlier inhabitants who were assimilated. However, the Tutsi have considerably more Nilo-Saharan paternal lineages (14.9% B) than the Hutu (4.3% B).

Prior to the arrival of colonists, Rwanda had been ruled as a Tutsi dominated monarchy. Beginning in about 1880, Roman Catholic missionaries arrived in the Great Lakes region. Later, when German forces occupied the area during World War I, the conflict and efforts for Catholic conversion became more pronounced. As the Tutsi resisted conversion, the missionaries found success only among the Hutu. In an effort to reward conversion, the colonial government confiscated traditionally Tutsi land and reassigned it to Hutu tribes.

The area was ruled as a colony by Germany (before World War I) and Belgium. Because Tutsis had been the traditional governing elite, both colonial powers kept this system and allowed only the Tutsi to be educated and only they could participate in the colonial government. Such discriminatory policies engendered resentment.

When the Belgians took over the colony, they believed the colony could be better governed if they continued to identify the different populations. In the 1920s, they required people to identify with a particular ethnic group and classified them in censuses. European colonists viewed Africans in general as children who needed to be guided, but noted the Tutsi to be the ruling culture in Rwanda-Burundi.

In 1959, Belgium reversed its stance and allowed the majority Hutu to assume control of the government through universal elections after independence. This partly reflected internal Belgian domestic politics, in which the discrimination against the Hutu majority came to be regarded as similar to oppression within Belgium suffered from the Flemish-Walloon conflict, and the democratization and empowerment of the Hutu as a just response to the Tutsi domination. Belgian policies wavered and flip-flopped considerably during this period leading up to independence of Burundi and Rwanda.

The Hutu majority in Rwanda had revolted against the Tutsi but was unable to take power. Tutsis fled and created exile communities outside Rwanda in Uganda and Tanzania. Since Burundi's independence, more extremist Tutsi came to power and oppressed the Hutus, especially those who were educated. Their actions led to the deaths of up to 200,000 Hutus. Overt discrimination from the colonial period was continued by different Rwandan and Burundian governments, including identity cards that distinguished Tutsi and Hutu.

In 1993, Burundi's first democratically elected president, Melchior Ndadaye, a Hutu, was assassinated by Tutsi officers, as was the person entitled to succeed him under the constitution. This sparked a genocide in Burundi between Hutu political structures and the Tutsi military, in which "possibly as many as 25,000 Tutsi" were murdered by the former and "at least as many" were killed by the latter. Since the 2000 Arusha Peace Process, today in Burundi the Tutsi minority shares power in a more or less equitable manner with the Hutu majority. Traditionally, the Tutsi had held more economic power and controlled the military.

A similar pattern of events took place in Rwanda, but there the Hutu came to power in 1962. They in turn often oppressed the Tutsi, who fled the country. After the anti-Tutsi violence around 1959-1961, Tutsis fled in large numbers. In 1965, 130,000 (one third of all Tutsis) lived in exile in Zaire, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.

These exile Tutsi communities gave rise to Tutsi rebel movements. Exiled Tutsis attacked Rwanda in 1990 with the intention of liberating Rwanda. The fighting culminated in the Hutu mass killings of Tutsi and Hutu in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, in which the Hutu then in power killed an estimated 500,000–1,000,000 people, largely of Tutsi origin.

At the same time in 1994, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), mostly made up of diasporic Tutsi in Uganda, advanced to Rwanda. It had experience in organized irregular warfare from the Ugandan Bush War, and got much support from the government of Uganda. The initial RPF advance was halted by the lift of French arms to the Rwandan government. Attempts at peace culminated in the Arusha Accords. The agreement broke down after the assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian Presidents. Victorious in the aftermath of the genocide, the RPF came to power in July 1994.

Tutsis speak Rwanda-Rundi as their native tongue, which is a member of the Bantu subgroup of the Niger–Congo language family. Rwanda-Rundi is subdivided into the Kinyarwanda and Kirundi dialects, which have been standardized as official languages of Burundi and Rwanda. It is also spoken as a mother tongue by the Hutu and Twa. Additionally, many Tutsis speak French, the third official language of Rwanda and Burundi, as their lingua franca. The Hima speak the same language, but call their language Hima.

Contrary to some erroneous writings, the Banyamulenge are neither an ethnic group nor a tribe from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The term Banyamulenge, which means people of Mulenge in Kinyarwanda, is rather a collective denomination of descendants of Tutsi migrants from Rwanda most of whom are concentrated on the Itombwe Plateau of South Kivu, close to the Burundi-Congo-Rwanda border. This term owes its origins to Fuliiru village, which, in 1924, received the first group of Tutsi migrants before their dispersion in the highlands of South Kivu, where they were later joined, from 1959 to 1962 by successive waves of Tutsi refugees fleeing persecution. Its use has been controversial, but since the late 1990s, following the Rwanda Genocide, it has been used by Congolese Tutsi, formally known as Banyarwanda (people of Rwanda) to avoid being seen as foreigners.

The Banyamulenge have an ambiguous political and social position in Congo, which has been an issue of contention with other ethnic groups. They played a key role in the run-up to the First Congo War in 1996-7 and Second Congo War of 1998-2003.

The Lemba & the Sena are Israelites from Austral Africa

Web about Africa: http://www.ikuska.com

luSaKa, Zambia's capital, is not far from Lemba lands & bears the SK consonants from which Israelites were named after their forefather iSaaC.

How about if the SeNa of Yemen, from which the Lembas came, is SaNa , current capital of Yemen ?

Mwali or Mohéli: name of the only Lemba god. Is it by chance that this island is in the Comoros, a country close to Lemba & Sena lands? Are the CoMoRans, or part of them, related to the Lembas? The ancient Israelites were called "House of Khumri" (after one of their kings) by the Mesopotamians & later they were known by this name. CoMoRos has the consonants of KhuMRi, so some Israelites, the Lembas perhaps, may have founded a colony in these islands. Moron means our lord in Hebrew. The ending of "i" means from or of. For example Israeli is from Israel, Iraqi from Iraq & so on. Then Moron or Moran means "Our Lord". Moroni or Morani "of Our Lord" or "from Our Lord". Is it a coincidence that Moroni is the capital of the Comoros? Moroni is found in two places. In the Book of Mormon, the capital of Comoros & somewhere else. It's also the name of a Masai warrior, also called Ol-murrani.   

Emlembe is the highest mountain in Swaziland. It is located in the east uKhahlamba (or Drakensberg) mountain range, on the border with South Africa. Both emLeMBe & ukhaLaMBa have the LMB consonants of the LeMBas & are not far from the LeMBa areas.

Wuriga, a Lemba leader,  tells of old map which locates a town called “Lemba” in Israel during the Hasmonaean kingdom (134-63 BCE), and cites oral history of gold and ivory traders coming to Africa from the area of Yemen. Wuriga says, “They did not part ways with their Jewish practices,” although they picked up Arab and African customs during their migrations. 

Findings & origins on  the Lemba

A fascinating Jewish group in Africa is the Lemba, or Lembaa, who number 50,000-70,000 in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and the South African region of Venda. According to their legends, Lemba ancestors came by boat from a northern town called Sena. It is not entirely clear where that legendary town is located as towns with similar names abound in Israel, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Yemen, but the latter seems the most likely possibility. Lemba tombstones are decorated with Stars of David. Like other Jewish groups, Lemba encourage endogamy and have specific conversion practices for non-Lembas. 

The Lemba are a traditionally endogamous group speaking a variety of Bantu languages who live in a number of locations in southern Africa. They claim descent from Jews who came to Africa from "Sena." "Sena" is variously identified by them as Sanaa in Yemen, Judea, Egypt, or Ethiopia. A previous study using Y-chromosome markers suggested both a Bantu and a Semitic contribution to the Lemba gene pool, a suggestion that is not inconsistent with Lemba oral tradition. To provide a more detailed picture of the Lemba paternal genetic heritage, we analyzed 399 Y chromosomes for six microsatellites and six biallelic markers in six populations (Lemba, Bantu, Yemeni-Hadramaut, Yemeni-Sena, Sephardic Jews, and Ashkenazic Jews). The high resolution afforded by the markers shows that Lemba Y chromosomes are clearly divided into Semitic and Bantu clades. Interestingly, one of the Lemba clans carries, at a very high frequency, a particular Y-chromosome type termed the "Cohen modal haplotype," which is known to be characteristic of the paternally inherited Jewish priesthood and is thought, more generally, to be a potential signature haplotype of Judaic origin. The Bantu Y-chromosome samples are predominantly (>80%) YAP+ and include a modal haplotype at high frequency. Assuming a rapid expansion of the eastern Bantu, we used variation in microsatellite alleles in YAP+ sY81-G Bantu Y chromosomes to calculate a rough date, 3,000-5,000 years before the present, for the start of their expansion.


A number of genetic studies have been conducted on the Lemba. In 1996, Spurdle & Jenkins showed that more than 50% of the Lemba Y-DNA is Semitic in origin, approximately 40% is sub-Saharan African, and the ancestry of the remainder cannot be resolved. Perhaps surprisingly, a parallel study of mtDNA exhibited a very different pattern: practically no evidence of female ancestry from the Middle East can be found, as the female forebears of the Lemba were overwhelmingly African. Such findings indicate that the Lemba descend from the intermarriage of Semitic—though not necessarily Jewish—males and local African women.


A further study by Thomas et al. (2000) showed that a substantial number of Lemba men carry a particular polymorphism on the Y-chromosome known as the Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH). This genetic signature is associated with Jewish lineages that trace their descent from the priests, known as cohanim in Hebrew. According to the Jewish tradition, these men are direct male descendants of the Biblical Aaron, the older brother of Moses. (While many of the Cohanim bear last names like Cohen, Kogan, Katz, and the like, the correlation between the last name and whether a given man is a cohen is far from perfect). Curiously, the priestly sub-clan within the Lemba, the Buba, carries most of the CMH found in the ethnic group. However, another study has shown that some 34% of men in Yemen also exhibit close similarity to CMH, despite being found not to be closely related when more microsatellite markers are taken into account. Therefore, a larger number microsatellite markers would need to be tested in order to verify whether the Lemba Y-DNA is indeed derived from Jewish cohanim rather than other possible Semitic ancestors.
The Lemba have clan names like Sadiqui and Hamisi that are clearly Semitic and have an enigmatic identity that traces their origins to an ancient Jewish community in what is now Yemen. Although scholars had long dismissed their claims as having been adopted from tales spun by missionaries, research now confirms that the black-skinned Lemba are genetic cousins of white Sephardic Jews. A team of geneticists has determined that many Lemba carry in their male chromosome a set of DNA sequences that is distinctive of the Jewish priests believe to be the descendants of Aaron, one of the twelve original Jewish tribes.

The Lemba of Southern Africa

"We came from Sena, we crossed Pusela, we rebuilt Sena. In Sena they died like flies. We came from Hundji, to Chilimani. From Chilimani to Wedza. The tribes went to Zimbabwe. They built the walls and lived on the hill. Mwali sent the star. From Zimbabwe to Mberengwe. From Mberengwe to Dumghe. We carried the drum. We came to Venda, Solomon led us. Baramina was our ancestor." -- Ndinda Song



The Lemba are a paradoxical population of tens of thousands of self-proclaimed Jews who live in mostly in Malawi, Zimbabwe and the South African region of Venda. Their tribal lore, as told through the above "Ndinda song" which some Lemba sing during funerals and harvest festivals, is extensive, muddled and complex. "We came from Sena," they claim, though none of them can say exactly where Sena is. Is it a town in Israel north of Jericho, as some Lemba claim? Is it a region of Yemen, as some ethnographers suggest, or a village on the Zambesi River in Mozambique, as British explorer and Orientalist Tudor Parfitt, who lived with the Lemba for six months to try to determine their true origin, believes? According to tribal lore, the Lemba are descendants of attendants of the Perspectives

My letter to a Lemba friend & his response


Me: I found very interesting to find Israelite in the South of Africa although I believe it. I researched lately about the Lemba but couldn't find as much info as wanted to. Since you are a Lemba I would like to receive some responses about it if you don't mind. Can you give me the of every Lemba village, Lemba town, Lemba city including the region, province, district, state & country where that particular village, town or city is placed? Can you give the amount of Lemba people living in that particular village, town or city? To finish this can you give a complete list of Lemba last names & Lemba remarked indviduals? That's my long list of information on the Lemba. I hope I didn't bother you. Hurrah for Israel!



Lemba man:  Shalom, No problem at all . Lembas are much concentrated on the mining belt from Mozambique to South Africa. In Zimbabwe , we are found in the areas of Wedza, Buhera ., Gutu , Majiri, Mapakomhere, Renco Mine, Chivi, Mberengwa and Dande. These places I have mentioned are not far from each other. These places are found in the Manicaland province, Masvingo province and the Midlands province. There are leaders whom you can approach in these communities , eg the Lemba chiefs, or the Lemba headman. Currently , because of my influential public office, I am their spokesman. You can find the Lemba last names if you go to one of our Facebook groups, Lemba cultural association LCA. In South Africa, you find them at a place called, Mussina and Thouyandou. Lemba villages are found in these places. Sorry I cannot know all their names. I hope I have given you the information that you needed. But, tell me something about yourself, what you do, where from, and why you need all this information. I would be more comfortable to deal with someone I know his back ground and his motives. Shalom.

Me: I just wanted to know where's Dande? This is what I found. Dande is In the Mt Darwin area. 


Lemba man: The place is actually called Chitsungo. The Lemba there are the one who recently moved there from Gutu and Buhera during the Ian Smith regime. They immigrated there.


Me: This respectable Lemba man told me he had a dream of the Lemba making Aliyah to Israel. I felt this was a God's sent revelation. I couldn't deny what I felt about his dream was true. It reminded me of the scripture...


Joel 2:28  "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.


The Lemba/Vhalemba/Varemba are scattered all over South Africa and they are directly related to the Varemba in Zimbabwe and the Mwenye in Mozambique and elsewhere. I decided to conduct my field research from a qualitative research point of view, mainly in three geographical areas, namely Sekhukhuneland , Venda and the southern parts of Zimbabwe .There are 100,000-member Lemba tribe of southern Africa. Lemba practice circumcision and don´t eat “impure” animals, which include pigs and creatures without split hooves. One Lemba version of their past claims the tribe left ancient Israel for Yemen and then wandered down Africa (The Jerusalem Report, July 15).




The oldest, recorded oral tradition of origin of the Lemba, also known as, musavi (buyer/trader), nyakuwana (the man who finds the things which are bought), or mulungu (white man or the man from the north) holds that their Israelite ancestors came by boat to Africa as traders, from a remote place, a city called Sena, on the other side of the Phusela. They do not know where or what 'Phusela' was, but in Africa , they erected trading posts at different places, and each time some of their people were left behind to take charge. They were in search of gold and after each trading expedition they went back to their country by sea. They kept themselves separate from the local peoples, but after a war broke out in their country they, (the savi [merchants]) could not return. They did not bring their wives along and now had to take wives from the local peoples ( w/vhazendji , 'heathens') - Rozwi, Karanga, Zezuru and Govera tribes. In Africa they rebuilt Sena in more than one place.

Parfitt investigated and indeed found a ancient city named Sena, at the end of the wadi Hadramaut, just before the valley turns away towards the sea. It was situated on the trade route, from the sea to Terim. The valley that leads from Sena in the eastern Hadramaut to an old port on the Yemini coast called Sayhut, is the Wadi al-Masilah. Parfitt believes that Masilah may be the 'Phusela' of Lemba oral tradition.

Further investigation showed that some of the clan and sub-clan names of the Lemba such as Hadzhi, Hamisi, Bakali, Sadiki and Seremane correlate with commonplace names in the eastern Hadramaut. Not one of them had the means to ascertain in advance, whether their clan names correlated with the commonplace names in the Hadramaut. One conclusion is that their oral traditions are very old.

From DNA samples, taken specifically from their priestly clan, the Buba, a very close relation has emerged between them (the Buba) and those of the cohaniem (priesthood) in Israel and all over the world.

 

Lemba clan names & some last names seem as semitic as their DNA

  • 1Sadiki 2Mposi 3Malange 4Mabogo 5Hadzhi/Haji 6Raulinga 7Mathivha 

    8Thuvhakale/Thovhakale/Tovhakale/Thobakgale 9Ranneyeni 10Hamisi 

    11Ramashidzha 12Bakali 13Tshidada 14Mutobvu 15Kudzingana 16Radzuma 

    17Rantete 18Luvhengo 19Malima 20Ramanyimi 21Bale 22Rankhododo 

    23Devhula 24Magwalivha 25Mabege 26Rabinda 27Mbelengwa 28Tloubatla 

    29Sathekge 30Rametse 31Rameetse 32Senoamadi 33Ndoubada 34Doubada

    35Mange/Maake 36Hamandishe 37Dhuma 38Maramwidze 39Madzingira

    40Ramunyenyewa 41Ravengani/Ravengai 42Ratisai 43Maeresera 44Takure

    45Zvakavapano 46Manhando 47Pfumbidzai 48Mugumbate 49Musanhu 50Maupa

    51Maswera 52Chipara 53Senderai 54Mushayabasa 55Hwingwiri 56Marazane

    57Magondo 58Chatora 59Kutadzoushe 60Kurudza 61Mutazu 62Foroma 63Adik 

    64Tshinyaladzi 65Gundula 66Mushedzh 67Wuriga 68Gangashe 69Mathelemusa

    70Ambani 71Zifungo 72Hamandisha 73Juda 74Ratshibaya 75Mangale 76Milubi 

    77Ratshilingana 78Seremane 79Raluzwizwo 80Rangolo 81Guluvha 82Sikhwari 

    83Mphilo/Mpilo 84Rambuwani 85Mammburu 86Mphaphuli 87Ndwammbi 

    88Ndouvhada 89Tshirangwana 90Mabukule/Mapokgole 91Mpaketsana 92Kuva  

    93Munonde 94Phathela 95Ramushweu 96Ramunenyiwa 97Tshilamulele 98Sena 

    99Vhalungu 100Vhahulu 101Vhano 102Mushavhi 103Mudogwa 104Rasalanavho

    105Madima 106Ramadi 107Buba/Bubha 108Mahni 109Selefu/Serlef 110Ndiwo 

    111Selamolela (Solomon) 112Makotore 113Hwingwiri 114Zvandasara 115Mabhodho

    116Rufurwokuda 117Chibaya 118Nhundu 119Tshinyaladzi (Mange) 120Rusena

    121Ramutiyi 122Rambowani 123Rasitatura 124Madoba/Matopa 125Sediela

    126Rasebechele 127Rapakgadi/Pakgadi 128Siringwanie etc...

    Ovakale Dzimbabwe- meaning the ones who built Great ZIMBABWE. Va Hasani -from HASSAN, Vaseremani-from SULMAN, Va Hadzi- From HADJI, Va Sarifu-from SALIFF, Va Hammadi- from MUHAMMAD, VaHamisi- from HAMMISH, Va Mhani-from MANNI. So you can see the link between these names and our ISRAEL and YEMEN Counterparts.
    Madula, the oldman, was buried at bandliekop next to makhado he was Sadiki. None of his kids has used sadiki.

    From royal kraal at Yemen before Africa it was Saddik, Hadji, Tovakal, Hammis, Bhubha, Sereman, Mannih...Then comes to Africa some of them begging to change their names that's why we have Mposi, Hamandishe, Siavhe, Mathivha, Sathege and so on. Our language perterpd by our location, that's why speak Venda, Zulu, Sotho, Tsonga and other languages ...

    That is the name that has never changed since we dwelled in Yemen city saana the one we build in israel we weh called Tzadik but in other places like Egypt, Tunisia, France etc Sadiki or Sidikie. Ngavhi/Zungunde is under Dumah clan. Dumah means silence in Hebrew.

    Ngavi isn't Zungunde. Ngavi falls under Madi/Madhi. They also use Chihora. Ravengai Zungunde are Dumhas not Ngavi. Ngavi is Chihora, Vamupfure, vekuGato....and Zungunde are Zungunde Matanda Warukorerwemvura.... Are These people related? Marimazhira, Malima, Malema, Karimanzira, Chirimanzira, Raulinga, Wuriga?

    Zhou Takavafira Mposi is rarely used as surname now. Mposi is now a ruling title or dynasty for the Sadiki. They use Sadiki, Zhou, Chamakofa, Zimi, Matandu, Makotore, Madziva, Mawerewere, Machimba, Simari, Chinyoka, Nangani, Rusvanhu, Maezere, Mazvinganye, Machingamidze etc. There are more than 5000 surnames used by lembas in Zimbabwe.                   


    Is Ra. a prefix of some sorts, are people who are called Ramadi....in actual fact Madi with the Ra prefix added to it Ra -Madi and Ra- Mashidzha Ra- Ulinga etc, This would help us link them to their Zimbabwean counterparts and to their Lemba houses. Mathivha the late suggested in his book that Ra is some prefix, normally given when one is initiated.

    Then so we can safely assume Ramani is a Mani/Madi and Raulinga is most probably Wuriga. I heard the Raulingas are Hamis too, just like the Wurigas. Can Mashidhza be linked to Kushizha, Shona for Slaughtering. However we need to be careful when linking words and names to their sound alikes in other languages, coz more often than not every word will have a sound alike in every other language and therefore we might end up linking the unlinkable. Raulinga is indeed a Hamisi.

    Out of the edited posted Lemba surnames which once are under the MANGE (Tshinyakadzi) Clan-age? Ramashidzha is indeed a Hadzhi (Haji).

    We have Chibayas in Masvingo. Can these be related Silaigwana, Surungwani, Sillingwani, Ratshilingana. I understand the Surungwanis are Seremani Warerwas how about the others above. The Manges are Zvandasara, Hwingwiri, Marazane, Marazanye, Nhundu, Rufurwekuda, Museba/Museva, Mushayabasa.

    Chibaya and Ratshibaya are one thing but are under Mange (Tshinyaladzi). Ndouvhada & Mzezewa are Hdji. Rasikhanela is Sadiki all in Zimbabwe.  

    Shavira, Mfandaedza, Goka/Kgoka, Mashavakure, Tichivangani, Nkamba, Majinkila, Matore, Kure, Mhani. All these are Mhani/Manis houses in Mbelengwa.

    I strongly believe that Lemba people & Igbo people are related.We look alike in our faces, & our writing languages are related too, shalom. Sadiki comes from Tzaddik which is the Hebrew for a Saint.                                                                                                                                      
  • Does Harar in Ethiopia have any relation with Harare in Zimbabwe? Harare in Zimbabwe was founded as Salisbury & in 1982 changed its name taking it from a village near called Harare Kopje which was called in turn after the Shona chief Neharawa. 
  • The Lemba came from Yemen thru Ethiopia. It's believed they built the ancient city of the Great Zimbabwe. The Lemba speak Shona in Zimbabwe. They intermingled with local Shona & Venda after centuries but preserving their Jewish genes & traditions. If they were so remarkable some would have intermingled with the local Shona nobility, therefore that could be the reason for the name Harare after the Ethiopian city of Harar from where the Lemba passed thru. 
  • Let's remember that in Hebrew vowels are what really count. I wouldn't think either that it's by chance that Harar in Ethiopia is not very far away from the Red Sea the Lemba crossed. It's ironic that the ancient Israelites crossed over the Red Sea & their Lemba offspring did the same farther south in the opposite direction. Harar was founded between the 7th and the 11th century (according to different sources) and emerged as the center of Islamic culture and religion in the Horn of Africa. This is centuries after the Lemba crossed from Yemen thru Ethiopia. 
  • The interesting point is that the founders of this city came from the same area of the Lemba: Yemen. In other words, the founders of Harar, Ethiopia, came from Yemen as the possible founders of the village of Harare, from which the Zimbabwean capital received its name later. The current inhabitants of Yemen, even if they are Moslems, have a large proportion of the Cohen gene. 
  • Yemen was a Jewish kingdom called Hymiar founded in 110 B. C. Since the time of King Solomon of Israel & the queen of Sheba/Saba many Israelites settled there. Harar is the capital of the region of Harari, Ethiopia. The Hararis are Semite Ethiopians. Most Ethiopians are Semitic or Hamitic. It's also interesting that Harari is a Jewish last name. There's also a Harare in Lebanon, & all of current Lebanon was part of the Solomonic-Davidic Empire of Israel.
The construction of the Great Zimbabwe is claimed by the Lemba. This ethnic group of Zimbabwe and South Africa has a tradition of ancient Jewish or South Arabian descent through their male line, which is supported by recent DNA studies, and female ancestry derived from the Karanga subgroup of the Shona. Are the Shona (or part of them) Israelites, being the Lemba the only ones or the core that preserve Hebrew costums?

The Lemba are considered to be Black African Semites. They spoke Lemba, nowadays extinct. Today they speak Shona, Venda, English & Portuguese. Sometimes they are considered as part of the Venda although it is known their Semitic origin. Venda & Shona are the southern Bantu languages & peoples that neighbor the Vharemba.

They came from Jews that came from Yemen. Some scholars think they come from Arabs because of their last names & some costums. The truth is their ancestors were Jews from Yemen & Yemen hosted a large Israelite population since ancient times. That's probably why Yemeni Moslems still have as high percentage of 67% of the Cohen genes. The Israelite numbers in Yemn were so large that this might be the reason why Yemen became officially Jewish under the name of Kingdom of Himyar.

Inspite their preference for endogamy there must have been some marriages out of the Lemba community with their Shona & Venda neighbors as DNA proves it. Some of their Bantu neighbors may have some Lemba DNA too. Blowing the shofar is a typical Israelite costume. I believe the Lemba coexistence & neighboring with Bantu (Shona & Venda) peoples must have had an impact in those peoples. So you could find several individual Shonas & Vendas with Lemba genes & even Israelite traditions like the blowing of the shofar.

                                                                 Shona witch doctor

There are numerous versions of their myths of origin, but they generally tell of migrating from the North (which is common to many African ethnicities.) According to Lemba tradition, their male ancestors were Near Eastern Jews who left Judea about 2,500 years ago and settled in a place called Senna in the Arabian peninsula (present-day Yemen). Much later, they migrated into North East Africa.

According to the British scholar, Tudor Parfitt, who published a book on his findings in 1993, the location of Senna was more than likely in Yemen, specifically, in the village of Sanāw within the easternmost portion of the Wadi Hadhramaut. The city has had a Jewish population since ancient times, but since 1948 and the founding of the State of Israel, as well as later wars, it has dwindled to a few hundred. In Lemba tradition, Sena has the semi-mythical status of a sacred city of origin and hopes for eventual return.

According to Lemba oral tradition, their male ancestry originally comprised several male "white people from over the sea” who came to southeast Africa from a country which boasted large cities in order to obtain gold. After becoming established in Africa, at some point, the tribe split into two groups, one staying in Ethiopia and the other travelling farther south, along the east coast.

The Lemba claim that this second group settled in Tanzania and Kenya, building what was referred to as another Sena, or "Sena II". Others supposedly settled in Malawi, where their descendants reside today. Some settled in Mozambique, eventually migrating to Zimbabwe and South Africa. They claim to have constructed Great Zimbabwe, now a monument. Ken Mufuka, a black Zimbabwean archaeologist thinks that the Lemba may have contributed but would not have been solely responsible. Tudor Parfitt and Magdel le Roux think that they at least helped construct the massive city. But, most academics[citation needed] agree that the construction of the enclosure at Great Zimbabwe is largely attributable to the ancestors of the Shona, who were first to displace the indigenous Khoi-San Bushmen from the region. Such works were typical of their ancestral civilisations. 

The Lemba have endogamous marriage patterns, discouraging marriage to non-Lemba. Normative Orthodox Judaism today recognises only matrilineal descent as determining Judaism from birth . Patrilineal descent was once the norm among the Israelites. The restrictions on intermarriage with non-Lemba make it nearly impossible for a male non-Lemba to become a member. Lemba men who marry non-Lemba women are expelled from the community unless the females agree to live according to Lemba traditions. A woman who marries a Lemba man must learn and practice the Lemba religion, dietary rules and other customs. The woman may not bring any cooking equipment from her previous home. Initially, the woman may have to shave her head. Their children must be brought up as Lemba. If the Lemba had Jewish ancestors, the requirement to shave the head may date back to rituals associated with converting the first Lemba women to Judaism, the means for the Jewish males to acquire women. Genetic MtDNA data (see below) has shown no connection among the women with Jewish ancestors.

According to Tooke, in the 19th and early 20th centuries the Lemba were highly esteemed by surrounding tribes in the Zoutpansberg region of South Africa for their mining and metalwork skills. He wrote in his 1937 book that the other tribes regarded the Lemba as outsiders. According to articles written durin the early 1930s, in the 1920s the Lembas' medical knowledge earned them respect among tribes in South Africa. Parfitt claimed in his article on the Lemba in his 2002 book that colonial Europeans had their own reasons for distinguishing some tribes instead of others as indigenous to Africa, because it gave them a greater right to be in the continent. Modern DNA evidence, however, confirms the extra-African origin of some of the Lembas' ancestors. By contrast, the lead anthropologist in Zimbabwe firmly places them among African peoples, ignoring the DNA evidence.

Sena Israelites from Mozambique

It's interesting that in Mozambique, not far from Lemba Inhabited areas, there's a tribe with the very name of the location from which the Lemba claim to come from: Sena. Do Senas in Mozambique, or part of them, have Lemba ancestry? According to Lembas this is the case, although the Senas didn't preserve thair Israelite traditions.


The Sena are major people of Mozambique. Historically the autocephalous Sena groups were situated between the two major centralised kingdoms of Monomotapa (cf. Great Zimbabwe) and of Maravi (in today's Malawi) or between the two cultures of Shona and Nyanja-Chewa. In the 16th century, Portuguese traders and missionaries arrived in the Zambezi valley (stations in Sena, Tete, Zumbo, Quelimane); during the 19th century, Portuguese descendants built even small military states involved in the ongoing slave trade. Finally during the scramble for Africa the weakened Portuguese crown leased this region to British compagnies, which built the railway connections between the Indian Ocean and their colonies, in this case the TZR, Trans-Zambezi-Railway, between Beira and Njassaland/Malawi via Sena. Once Portugal under Salazar during the 1940s had gained control over the region, then it introduced forced cotton growing and forced labor "contracts" with British colonies.

Thus Sena people, who had no opportunities to receive formal education beyond the first classes of primary school, underwent exposure to social and political organisation in the mining centres of neighbouring English speaking colonies and acquired civic awareness through domestic oppression and even massacres. Therefore Sena were very involved in passive resistance to the colonial system and in the active liberation struggle, which led to independence in 1975.

The region suffered soon again very heavily from the global East-West confrontation, from a proxy-war first of Rhodesia and then of apartheid South Africa against the Frontline States, which led finally to an internal civil war between Renamo and Frelimo.

Although Mozambique has a recent record of economic growth, this is not evenly distributed and the Sena especially claim not profiting at all from this development. This and various other forms of social polarisation and division have constituted a major challenge; the country still hasn't implemented a commission along the lines of post-apartheid South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. An ambitious reconstruction process was started in 2006, reaching slowly sensitive zones of Central and Northern Mozambique.

Mozambique  1,710,000  Zimbabwe  134,000 
POPULATION ALL COUNTRIES 1,844,000

A possible Semitic origin for ancient Zimbabwe 

It is beyond dispute that the Indian Ocean, including much of its African coastline, has been travelled for more than two thousand years. For instance, there is a record of Phoenicians circumnavigating Africa in about 600 BC (Herodotus, c450 BC). This claim is bolstered by their report that the midday sun was on their right while they were sailing westwards – which Herodotus refused to believe – but that would of course be a feature of the southern hemisphere.

Arab traders were certainly visiting Zanzibar and Dar-es-Salaam before the beginning of the Christian era, and around 60 AD the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea was compiled (in Greek) as a guide to East African, Arab and Indian sailors. Most scholars doubt whether its coverage extended beyond Tanzania, but Peters (1902) argues that the "Fire Islands" mentioned there, could well have been the volcanic Comoro group, because they are placed at the entrance to the "Channel". The description in the Periplus continues further southwards, although names of rivers and harbours can no longer be identified with certainty.

Many centuries ago, there was actually a mass migration from the East Indies to Madagascar – evidenced by the relationship between Malay and a main language of that island; thus, it seems likely that Asian explorers were already well acquainted with the southwest Indian Ocean when the Periplus was written.

In the sixth century AD there was a reference by the Alexandrian merchant Cosmas Indicopleustes to gold acquired by trade with southeast Africa – where "winter occurred during northern hemisphere summer" (McCrindle, 1897). Mas'udi and Ibn Al Wardy confirm that gold was apparently being exported during the ninth and tenth centuries from Sofala (de Maynard and de Courtaille, 1864; Kenyon, 1931; Hall, 1909) – which is an old Arab trading post on the coast, east of Great Zimbabwe.

It is possible that some early seafarers would have made a point of testing river effluent for auriferous deposits – in which case they would probably have detected something in the alluvial mud at the mouths of the Zambezi and Save.

Citing the Yemeni writer Al-Hamdani of 942 AD, Horton (1987) alludes to a policy of deliberately keeping secret that southeast African gold source. 

The Lemba tribe in the extreme north of South Africa could well be the remnant of a Semitic community which once occupied Zimbabwe, and which managed to flee when that territory was overrun. They have an oral tradition that their male ancestry originally comprised "white people from over the sea” who came to southeast Africa – from a country which boasted large cities – in order to obtain gold.

The MaLemba refuse to eat pork, rabbit, hare, carrion and scaleless fish, exactly as laid down in Leviticus chapter 11 When preparing meat for consumption, they always kill in the kosher manner by bleeding.  The Lembas also have a distinctive New Moon ceremony. A ritual of sacrifice that the Lembas call the "Pesah", which seems similar in many ways to the Jewish Pesach or Passover. A number of words and clan-names used by Lembas must have had a Semitic origin:  Sadiki, Hasane, Hamisi, Haji, Bakeri, Sharifo and Saidi (which is one of their words for "master"). Furthermore, some Lembas possess aquiline noses and narrow, non-Bantu lips. (Here, it is relevant to mention that there are also indications of Semitic blood, although more diluted, in Vendas and Karangas – implying that traces of the original Zimbabwean genetic material survive in these other communities too).

The Reverend A.A. Jaques (1931) tells us that Lemba prayers were ended by saying "Amin" - which is of course a Jewish custom as well as a Christian one. However, their liturgy bore absolutely no resemblance to any of the Christian liturgies. On the contrary, Jaques cited what might be a reference to Moses in one of the Lemba prayers. He also mentioned that the Lemba had a taboo about eating with the left hand. Van Warmelo (1966) recorded other examples of Lemba prayers uttered in a completely alien, non-Bantu tongue. Those devotees had absolutely no idea what the words meant – but claimed nevertheless that they represented the language of their forefathers.

The MaLemba claim that their ancestors constructed Great Zimbabwe; in fact, there is evidence that they continued to build in stone even after they had fled across the Limpopo. 

During the early 20th century, the Lembas were markedly different in many ways from the other tribes around them. In particular, the Lembas were renowned for their mining and metallurgical skills. For many decades, the Lembas continued to provide neighbouring tribes with metal tools and containers – using copper obtained from deposits in their area.

The Lembas bury their dead in an extended position, in contrast to the "crouched" posture adopted by other Bantu peoples. In that respect, the Lemba custom resembles the one which was followed by the ancient Zimbabweans – whose graves can readily be identified by the presence of gold jewellery

Stone spindle whorls found at Great Zimbabwe indicate that cotton was spun and woven with greater sophistication there, than was displayed in other regions occupied by Bantu tribes. Cotton is of course not indigenous to southern Africa, but a few (now wild) cotton trees nevertheless seem to have been planted near that ancient city.

Two reports cited by le Roux (2003, pp. 46-47) are consistent with the theory that the Lemba (or their ancestors) created the ancient Zimbabwean civilization. William Bolts (1777) had been sent to southeast Africa by the Austrian Habsburg authorities to search for gold; he wrote: "A people called MaLembe resort to [Sofala] at stated periods from a country ... said to be several weeks' journey [away]". Punt (1975) refers to another letter sent to Vienna in 1777 by Bolts which described "a big and important city called Zimbabwe where gold was mined and gold articles were manufactured by a tribe known as the BaLemba". And in a later account compiled by Anderson (1887) after visiting the area, we read: "The natives state that the gold was worked and the forts were built by white men who once occupied this country, and whom they call Abberlomba"; (elsewhere in his book, Anderson spells this "Abberlemba").

The old Lemba language was a variation of Karanga – i.e., the dialect of Shona which is spoken today in the area around Great Zimbabwe and Masvingo. This supports the Lemba tradition that they migrated from that region. If, earlier, there had been a mass immigration from the Middle East to southeast Africa, then it is likely that males would have outnumbered females, such that wives and concubines would have been taken from the local population – with this process continuing for several centuries; indeed, this was reflected in the genetic analyses carried out by Spurdle and Jenkins (1996). It is a well-known fact that children learn their mother’s language more easily than their father’s one, which could explain why that community eventually adopted the Karanga language.

The ancient irrigation systems in the Zoutpansberg in South Africa have been described by Trevor (1930), and may be compared with those found in Nyanga in northeast Zimbabwe. Trevor believes that those in the Zoutpansberg had previously been utilised by the BaVenda people (with whom the MaLemba were closely associated). 

Gayre (1972) and Bent (1896) suggested that the male ancestry of the ancient Zimbabweans was derived from the Sabaeans of southern Arabia (adding that the Abyssinians probably took over the gold trade eventually). Many questions still need to be answered, but Sabaeans certainly were wealthy gold miners (Pliny the Elder, c70AD) – although it is not known where their mines were – with substantial commercial interests in East Africa (Gayre, 1972, pp. 20-21, 31; Murdock 1959). They spoke a Semitic language – closely related to Arabic – and followed a Judaistic type of religion (including circumcision) between the fifth and seventh centuries AD. Like the Lembas, they lived by the Moon; [both Gayre (1972, pp. 155, 159) and de Barros (1552) mention a tradition that there was once a moon dynasty in Zimbabwe]. Furthermore, the Sabaeans constructed dams to serve their terraced agriculture, and built elliptical unroofed dry-stone temples at Marib and at Sirwah (Doe, 1971). 

The current 'consensus' in academic circles is that the ancient Zimbabwean civilization was created by Shona-speaking people – based on the fact that in recent decades nothing whatsoever has been published to support the alternative (Semitic-based) theory. However, after the identification – in the late 1990s – of Jewish DNA in the Lembas, it is now appropriate to reopen the debate.

Who Are Lembas?

Recent genetic analyses have established a possible Middle-Eastern,Semitic origin for a portion of the Lemba population. The name "Lemba" may originate in chilemba, a Swahili wordfor turbans worn by East Africans or lembi a Bantu word meaning "non-African" or "respected foreigner".

In the Zoutpansberg region in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Lemba were so highly esteemed for their mining and metalwork skills that surrounding tribes regarded them as an almost alien (but very welcome) community.

Mendez et al. (2011) observed that a moderately high frequency of the studied Lemba samplescarried Y-DNA Haplogroup T, which is considered to be of Near Eastern origin. However, the Lemba T carriersbelonged exclusively to T1b*, which is different from the Jews of Near East and Africa but share a similar estimateexpansion time with the T1* Somalis. 

The Great Zimbabwe Synagogue
The Lemba community of  Zimbabwe has taken the first steps to build a synagogue, an amazing "first" for a community that traces its origins back to ancient Jews. They have the land, donated labor, and some building materials, and now are in great need of funds to proceed with this historic initiative. 

Kulanu has formed a supportive partnership with the Lemba of Zimbabwe, a landlocked country in the southern part of Africa, to build the synagogue.

The location of the land on which the synagogue will be built, a donated property in the 
rural village of Mapakomhere, about 350 kilometers from the capital Harare, is particularly 
significant. The synagogue will be called The Great Zimbabwe Synagogue, as it is close to the 
site of The Great Zimbabwe, a famous world-heritage archaeological site. Lemba oral tradition 
says the site was built by Lemba residents of the area.

The synagogue is crucial to the preservation of an ancient Jewish community weakened by 
harassment that demanded secrecy in their religious practices, proselytizing by Christians and 
Muslims, and inroads of modernization into traditional village life.

Since a nationwide gathering of the Zimbabwe Lemba Cultural Association in 1994, the decision was made to join the world of mainstream Judaism. Kulanu believes that the construction of the Great Zimbabwe Synagogue will stand as a powerful symbol that will lead to a resurgence in Jewish practice and learning among many Lemba communities throughout Zimbabwe. 


Kulanu has agreed to partner with the Lemba to preserve their traditions and to join the mainstream Jewish world.

According to the oral history of the Lemba, they had male ancestors who were Jews who left Judea about 2,500 years ago and settled in a place called Senna, later migrating into East Africa.

Possible Lemba migration to southern Africa

After entering Africa, the tribe is said to have split off into two groups, with one staying in Ethiopia, and the other traveling farther south, along the east coast. The Lemba claim this second group settled in Tanzania and Kenya, and built what was referred to as “Sena II.” Others were said to have settled in Malawi, where descendants reside today. Some settled in Mozambique, and eventually migrated to South Africa and Zimbabwe, where they claim to have constructed or helped construct the “great enclosure.”

The Lemba. A lost tribe of Israel in Southern Africa

The Lemba are scattered all over South Africa and they are directly related to the Varemba in Zimbabwe and the Mwenye in Mozambique and elsewhere.

The Lemba's enthusiasm for sacred hills, animal sacrifice, ritual slaughtering of animals, food taboes, their circumcision rites and endogamy - all seemed to suggest a Semitic influence or resemblances, imbedded in an African culture.

The oldest, recorded oral tradition of origin of the Lemba, also known as, musavi (buyer/trader), nyakuwana (the man who finds the things which are bought), or mulungu (white man or the man from the north) holds that their Israelite ancestors came by boat to Africa as traders, from a remote place, a city called Sena, on the other side of the Phusela. They do not know where or what 'Phusela' was, but in Africa , they erected trading posts at different places, and each time some of their people were left behind to take charge. They were in search of gold and after each trading expedition they went back to their country by sea. They kept themselves separate from the local peoples, but after a war broke out in their country they, (the savi [merchants]) could not return. They did not bring their wives along and now had to take wives from the local peoples ( w/vhazendji , 'heathens') - Rozwi, Karanga, Zezuru and Govera tribes.

Parfitt investigated and indeed found a ancient city named Sena, at the end of the wadi Hadramaut, just before the valley turns away towards the sea. It was situated on the trade route, from the sea to Terim. The valley that leads from Sena in the eastern Hadramaut to an old port on the Yemini coast called Sayhut, is the Wadi al-Masilah. Parfitt believes that Masilah may be the 'Phusela' of Lemba oral tradition.

Further investigation showed that some of the clan and sub-clan names of the Lemba such as Hadzhi, Hamisi, Bakali, Sadiki and Seremane correlate with commonplace names in the eastern Hadramaut. Not one of them had the means to ascertain in advance, whether their clan names correlated with the commonplace names in the Hadramaut. One conclusion is that their oral traditions are very old.

One informant in Soweto remembered that his grandfather told him that they originally had come from a place, called Sena 'somewhere south of Jericho '. A place called 'Sena', 'south of Jericho ' can not be found on ancient maps of Israel or Moab , but surprisingly, a city called 'Lemba' is indicated. It was also found that the historian Josephus referred to this city of 'Lemba' on more than one occassion.

The Lemba could not remember the name of their country but they know they were masters of iron and copper smelting and working. In their country they made pots, grew and wove cotton and were masters of timber work, because they had to build their own ships for their maritime undertakings and they have the tradition that they were very much involved in the building of Great Zimbabwe.

Only some of the most salient concurrences will briefly be mentioned here: One of the most important dietary laws of the Lemba is that they have to separate themselves, the'chosen people' from the vhasendzhi or 'heathen, because the latter are uncircumcised and are the 'eaters of dead meat'. They are not allowed to eat pork or the food of the gentiles. Do do not mix meat and milk. Burial practices correspond remarkable with that of early Israel . Repeating names of ancestors - reminds one of the creed of the Israelite clans which was repeated at important events.

According to him, Judaism was imposed on the sities of ancient Moab by Alexander Janneus in c. 103-76 BC of which Lemba was one (Ant XIII). Whether this city has anything to do with the Lemba people here in Southen Africa, one would never know. And elsewhere Josephus refers to a group of priests and Levites who fled from Palestine into Egypt at the persecutions of Anthiochus IV Epiphanus almost a hundred years earlier, in 175-163 BC and who most probably established a kind of Judaistic influence in the north of Africa . Nothing could have stopped some of these priestly groups from migrating further southwards into Africa .

I compare the Lemba with early Israel (1250-1000 BC), since: (I) their communities function according to a segmented clan system without a common leader; (ii) this period is interesting for the study of oral cultures; and (iii) they regard themselves as 'children of Abraham' who at one stage or another stage came to Africa and because they are available.

The Lemba came from Sena

 NARRATOR: Parfitt may uncover more clues to the Lemba's origins if he can find Sena. Did Jewish populations live there in the past? Do today's inhabitants have any genetic similarities to the Lemba or the Cohanim? His next stop is the village of Sintamule to visit a local expert on Lemba history, William Masala.

TUDOR PARFITT: William, what proof is there that the Sena that you talk of, the people of Sena that you talk of, are connected in any way with the people of Israel?

WILLIAM MASALA: It's in the Bible.

TUTOR PARFITT: In the Bible? Where?

WILLIAM MASALA: Nehemiah 7, verse 38.

TUDOR PARFITT: This is talking about the children of Israel coming back from Babylon, is that right?

WILLIAM MASALA: That's right, yes.

TUDOR PARFITT: And there is a reference to Sena there?

WILLAIM MASALA: Yes, yes, in the Bible. "The children of Sena, 3,930."

TUDOR PARFITT: Now, you talk about Sena. Where is - where is Sena?

WILLIAM MASALA: This book tells us that Sena is in Jericho.

TUDOR PARFITT: In Jericho, in Israel - in Palestine actually, it's part of the Palestine authority.

WILLIAM MASALA: Yes. Jericho, near Jerusalem.

NARRATOR: Based on his biblical dictionary, William Masala places Sena near Jerusalem. But the Lemba oral tradition is much less specific.

 TUDOR PARFITT: Even at the beginning of Islam there were Jews in Arabia. There are references in the Islamic texts of Jews living here at the time of Mohammed. In this area there was a Jewish kingdom and the legendary king, Dhu Nuwas, who fought against the Ethiopians and died driving his charger into the Red Sea. So the whole place is redolent with Jewish history.

NARRATOR: The following day, Parfitt continues on to what he hopes will be the legendary homeland of the Lemba - Sena. Today Sena is dusty and dry - not the sort of place one would think of as paradise. But according to local legend, the city once was lush and teeming with life - until its great stone dam cracked, leaving the town without proper irrigation. About a thousand years ago, people began to leave in great numbers - including, perhaps, the Lemba.

Black-Jewish Relations: The Black Jewish or Hebrew Israelite Community

This essay attempts to bear witness to true diversity that exists within the Jewish world. Though the focus is necessarily on those communities that I am most family with, I attempt to give a broader insight and offer some analysis of the unique dynamics that are at work. It is also important to remember that not all of these groups accept the terms used to describe them. Some, in fact, reject the term "Jew" precisely because it connotes, in the minds of most people, a white ethnic group. Therefore, the use of this appellation could be misinterpreted as a desire to be white or a denial of African heritage. In either case, its application could be regarded as an affront by some. The groups who feel this way prefer the term Hebrew or Israelite because they believe it avoids a connection with "whiteness," or conversely, implies a connection with "blackness." It is with these two caveats concerning "race" that I use the term Jew as a de-racialized description of people who are neither Christian nor Muslim but who profess to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. No offense is intended by my choice of terms and I hope that none will be taken. I offer a fuller exploration of the "racial question" in Judaism elsewhere on this homepage. The information that follows comes from my dissertation research at Columbia University and from my personal knowledge as a rabbi in one of the oldest and largest communities of Black Jews in America.

Estimates for the total number of Black Jews in America range from 40,000, reported by the Encyclopedia of Black America, to 500,000 as stated in a feature story about Black Jews in Ascent magazine. Unfortunately, none of the sources reveal how they arrived at their figures.

The problem of determining a reliable estimate of the number of Black Jews in America is made more complicated by the difficulty of determining who is a "Black Jew." For instance, Arthur Huff Fauset in his pioneering study, Black Gods of the Metropolis, used a Philadelphia-based group called the "Church of God" as the basis for a chapter about "Black Jews." If one simply took an affinity with the Old Testament and the observance of a few customs as a definition of being Jewish, as do Fauset and others, then one's figures could be quite high; though very inaccurate because they would count as Black Jews segments of what is usually considered the Black Church.

On the other hand, if one used Orthodox Jewish Law, called "Halackah," as the basis for defining who is a Jew, one would have to know the religion of the mother of each person; because, by this law, one cannot decide to be a Jew unless one's mother is a Jew. If the person or group claimed to have converted to Judaism, then one would have to know if they underwent certain rituals that involve the taking of special baths, (mikvot) and in the case of a man, the symbolic pricking of his penis.

Halakhic Law offers a very precise definition of who is a Jew. However, since fewer than ten percent of the 5.3 million white Jews in America observe Orthodox Jewish Law, this standard cannot be applied to Black Jews, nor could I verify baths or pricked penises if I wanted to. In addition, I am aware of a number of African American individuals and one New Jersey congregation that have undergone formal conversion only to find that the "legitimacy" of their conversion was not universally accepted.

Since the particular Halakhic ceremony described above is not found in the Torah, nor is it referred to in any of the biblical instances where people joined the Hebrew faith, (Ruth for example), we do not believe that it has the weight of law. Also, we feel that it denies the concept of divine intervention and selection referred to in Isaiah 11:11-12 and Jeremiah 3:14. In these passages the Hebrew prophets state that God will be responsible for the gathering of His people which He shall choose from the "four corners of the earth" and the from "islands of the sea." This process is described as a selection of individuals rather than of groups, "I will take you one from a city, and two from a family, I will bring you to Zion." The fact that Orthodox rabbis hold that they are the sole arbiters of deciding who is a Jew negates the existence or exercise of a divine will that is not channeled through them first. In contrast, the ceremony we use serves as a public acknowledgment of a spiritual transformation that has already taken place within the individual.

Beyond this type of problem, however, there are a number of political reservations that we hold regarding the way that people are "accepted" into Judaism. The Halakhic procedures require recognition of and acquiescence to Orthodox authority. Further, the Halakhic standard conflates membership in a religion (a belief system or way of life accepted on faith) with acceptance or approval of a particular religious body. An appropriate analogy, that comes very close to describing our situation, is that the Pope or Catholic Church can decide who is a Catholic but, he can not decide who is a Christian. [The fact that some have tried notwithstanding.] Similarly, various boards or councils may decide who is an "Orthodox Jew" for instance but, they can not presume to act as God in judging the content of a person's heart or the sincerity of one's faith.

Judaism, as many of us understand and practice it, is not a race. If it were, then no one could join it or leave it without being genetically altered. Judaism is a creed; a living culture with an ancient history. Those who practice it belong to communities that often have unique traditions. Though it may not appear as such, most Jews belong to definable communities which have traditions that come out of their own histories. Sadly, some of the more influential communities attempt to exercise a hegemony over the others. Black Jews generally reject the presumptive authority of such groups--though they accept many of their traditions and interpretations on other matters. Because of this, Black Jews exist on the margins of Jewish society though well within the pale of principled disagreement.

Rather than inventing an arbitrary definition or imposing a contested definition of Judaism onto the Black Jewish community, I have chosen instead to discuss those groups that describe themselves as either Black Jews, Hebrews, or Israelites. This approach will allow the reader to understand how they, the subjects of this study, define Judaism and practice it. In this regard, I have found that a variety of very interesting, complex, and still evolving notions of Judaism exist. It is my goal to analyze the major theological, cultural, and political views that circulate within these congregations in order to understand how they are informed by issues of race, religion, and historical circumstances.

Rabbi W.A. Matthew -- The Black Jews of Harlem
My background and most of my data come from working with those congregations that derive from the late Chief Rabbi Wentworth Arthur Matthew (1892-1973). Rabbi Matthew founded the Commandment Keepers Congregation in Harlem, New York in 1919. He trained and ordained many of the rabbis who later founded synagogues in various places of the United States and the Caribbean. Rabbi Matthew, it turns out, was a close associate of Rabbi Arnold J. Ford who was the musical director of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) which was organized by Marcus Garvey in 1911.

The emergence of Judaism among people of African descent in the first half of this century was made possible by a combination of the following factors: (1) A strong religious tradition in the background of the person who became Jewish that embodied Jewish practices from an early but unclear source. When interviewed, many of the older members of this community recall memories of their parents observing certain dietary laws, such as abstaining from pork or salting their meat. Others recall traditions related to observing the Sabbath or festivals such as Passover and Sukkot. In most cases these practices were fragmentary and observed by people who simultaneously practiced Christianity.

The possible origins of these Hebraic traditions could be traced to West Africa were a number of tribes have customs so similar to Judaism that an ancient connection or maybe even descent from one of the "ten lost tribes" is believed. Other possibilities for these well-documented practices are through association with Jewish slave owners and merchants in the Caribbean and North America. In this case, the number of Jewish slave owners is known to have been small and proselytizing by Jews was not common. Yet, these Jews can not be excluded as one possible source either through isolated conversions, intermarriage, or providing an opportunity for observation.

Many African Americans who practice Judaism today maintain that they have always had a close affinity with the Hebrews of the Old Testament. This is true whether or not they recall particular rites that remind them of the Jewish traditions they now follow. Scholars such as Albert Raboteau have described in books such as Slave Religion that the biblical struggles of the Hebrew people--particularly their slavery and exodus from Egypt--bore a strong similarity to the conditions of African slaves and was therefore of special importance to them. This close identification with the biblical Hebrews is clearly seen in the lyrics of gospel songs such as "Go Down Moses" and remains a favorite theme in the sermons of black clergy today.

What all this proves is that there was a foundation, be it psychological , spiritual, or historical, that made some black people receptive to the direct appeal to Judaism that Rabbi Matthew and others made to them in this century. If black people were fertile ground for the harbingers of Judaism, then the philosophy of Marcus Garvey was the seed that helped to bring it to fruition. Put most simply, Garvey's message was one of Black Nationalism and Pan Africanism. His goal was to instill pride in a people who were being humiliated through institutionalized racism and cultural bigotry. Garvey and Matthew attempted to challenge old stereotypes that either minimized a black presence in history or the bible, or, that completely excised black people from these texts. They argued that such distortions and omissions were harmful to the self-image that many black people had of themselves. They debunked these myths by extolling the contributions that black people made to the development of human civilization. To some extent this meant focusing on the achievements of African societies such as Egypt and Ethiopia in highly rhetorical and romantic way. It also meant attacking the false image that all the people in the bible looked like Europeans. They pointed out that by normative standards the dark hues of the ancient Hebrews would cause them to be classified as black in today's world. This was a revelation to thousands of black people who had previously accepted the all white depictions without question.

Rabbi Ford and Rabbi Matthew took Garvey's philosophy one step further. They reasoned that if many of the ancient Hebrews were black, then Judaism was as much a part of their cultural and religious heritage as is Christianity. In their hearts and minds they were not converting to Judaism, they were reclaiming part of their legacy. This fit very neatly with the biblical prophecies that spoke of the Israelites being scattered all over the world, being carried in slave ships to distant lands, and of being forced to worship alien Gods. (Deut 28)

Rabbi Matthew found himself in the peculiar position of having to both justify his small following of black Jews in Harlem, and also to explain the presence of so many white Jews. His position on this subject went through various stages. He always maintained that the "original Jews" were black people-or at least not European; however, he did not deny the existence or legitimacy of white Jews. In fact, as his services, synagogues, and attire show, he deferred to orthodox conventions on many matters. For example, he maintained separate setting for men and women, he used a standard siddur (prayer book) to conduct his services, worshippers wore tallitzim and kippot (prayer shawls and yarmulkes), they affixed mezuzot, wore tefillin, used standard texts in their Hebrew and rabbinic schools and read from a Sefer Torah.

Rabbi Matthew believed that although the "original Jews" were black people, white Jews had kept and preserved Judaism over the centuries. Since we, black Jews, were just "returning" to Judaism it was necessary for us to look to white Jews on certain matters--particularly on post-biblical and rabbinic holidays such as Hanukkah which could not be found in the Torah. However, it is important to note that Rabbi Matthew felt free to disagree on matters where he had a strong objection. He also recognized that since many customs, songs, and foods were of European origin, that he had the right to introduce some African, Caribbean, and American traditions into his community. Of course, his right to do this was often challenged, sometimes by Jews who were "Americanizing" Judaism themselves. Rabbi Matthew was constantly aware of apparent double standards within Judaism. After decades of trying to find common ground with white Jews by speaking at white synagogues around the county and at B'nai Brith lodges internationally, and after repeated attempts to join the New York Board of Rabbis, Rabbi Matthew concluded that black Jews would never be fully accepted by white Jews and certainly not if they insisted on maintaining a black identity and independent congregations. Since his death in 1973, there has been virtually no dialog between white and black Jews in America.

Brief Description of Other Communities

Other Israelite sects that exist within the United States but are not affiliated with the community founded by Rabbi Matthew are: The Church of God, founded by Prophet Cherry in Philadelphia; the Church of God, founded by Elder William S. Crowdy in Kansas in 1896; the Nation of Yahweh, a black nationalist group founded by Yahweh Ben Yahweh in Florida; the Kingdom of God, founded by Ben Ammi Carter in Chicago in the 1960s (this group is now in Israel); Rastafarians, who originated in Jamaica in 1935 (today this group is most known for creating Reggae music, but their religious beliefs have caused some to associate them with Judaism; the Nubian Islamic Hebrews, formerly located in Brooklyn, New York who have a blend of Islamic, Judaic, and black nationalist beliefs; and the Israeli School of Universal Practical Knowledge, also known as the Twelve Tribes, a paramilitary group located in Harlem [Ed: The Church 12 Tribes of Israel is not associated with the ICPUK in any way]. These groups differ widely on issues of religious practice, cultural dress, and political views. There is no umbrella organization that unites them, but most consider themselves to be Black Jews, Hebrews, or Israelites.

Black Jews seek unity, acceptance in France

By Cynthia Weisfield

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — I’m going to share some memories with you. One took place in1968, one in 1974; both were in different cities, but both involved a request by a black Jew to take part in synagogue-sponsored activities: services and a social event. In both cases, there was much discussion before he was let in. Women clutched their purses a little closer to their bodies. Men stiffened. The black man generally sat alone. Full disclosure: I did try to make conversation at the social event, but the gentleman was as nervous as I. In each instance, when the man left, there was an audible sigh of relief. My emotions were mixed, but they circled around feeling unsettled.

The above should not really be surprising. We all thought then of Jews as being white Ashkenazi, right? Or maybe white Sephardic. Perhaps we’d give a thought to the Moroccan or Yemeni Jews who were air-lifted into Israel in the ‘forties and ‘fifties. But black Jews?

All of that was about B.K.E., Before Kulanu Era. Now we – that is, Jews everywhere — know that there are black Jews, Indian Jews, Chinese Jews, Jews around the world of all stripes and nationalities. We embrace them. Or do we?

French black Jews would say otherwise. They speak about feeling the discomfort in French mainstream synagogues. Of seeing astonishment, sometimes incomprehension on the faces of their white coreligionists. Sometimes there’s a feeling of rejection, of “mockery.”

Enter Nduwa Guershon of Paris. Nduwa was a Congolese who converted to Judaism at age 28. He is the leader of a group of black Jews, the FJN, Fraternité Judéo-Noir or Jewish-Black Fraternity, which he founded in 2007. FJN was formed not as a statement of separation but to become another component of Judaism along with Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews.

Theirs is a group where all Jews are welcome. To emphasize the point, this is a committed group of Orthodox Jews who are seeking full meshing with the “customary” Ashkenazic/Sephardic communities while maintaining their own presence. In that sense, they are just participating in the time-honored Jewish practice of forming synagogues, for whatever reason. They do have rabbis coming from Israel and London to assist.

Sidney Davis, a Master’s Degree student in Jewish Studies at Hebrew College in Newton Center, MA, and a black Jew, has corresponded with Nduwa. Davis puts the case eloquently.

Nduwa Edouard Guershon seeks to raise the consciousness as well as the conscience of the broader Jewish community to the plight of the black Jewish community in France and the pan African Jewish community at large. He seeks to do thiswithin the context of Judaism’s ethical ideal of social justice by forging alliances with Jews of goodwill everywhere in addressing racism and anti-Semitism. His organizing effort connected with the Fraternité Judéo Noire is an effort to bring African Jews out of the religious and social isolation that they have experienced historically as the result of their perception as the “ultimate other” and to present them alongside the rest of the diverse Jewish community as one people.

There are now 170-250 FJN members of whom 50 are children; there is no Sunday school as yet. Although some members still attend established synagogues, the group typically meets at members’ homes.
It is interesting to take a moment to consider why there is a certain prejudice against blacks in Judaism. Guershon reasons that much of this prejudice stems from the story of Ham, who saw his father, Noah, naked. The descendants of Ham were said to be black because of their sins — in reality, the sin of their father.

Laurence Thomas, a member of FJN who flies between his homes in Paris and Syracuse, NY, where he is a professor at Syracuse University, has found anti-black biases in religious texts. Yet as he points out in his article “Social Justice and Jews” on the FJN Web site: “The Torah does not designate skin color as even a remote indication of who counts as a Jew. It is time that we stop doing so.”

There is no absolute theory about why blacks are not fully accepted as Jews. The Torah tells us that Moses married an Ethiopian or Kushite woman. That has been interpreted by Nduwa as Hashem frowning on discrimination.We also remember that the Queen of Sheba was  black and well regarded by King Solomon.

The French have a longstanding history of anti-Semitism which, although quiescent for many years, is never far from the surface. They are still debating the Dreyfus Affair. The anti-Semitic “comic” Dieudonné has a large following. An increase in Muslim population and influence has cracked the quiet, as it has throughout Europe. The American Jewish Congress has reported an increase in attacks on Jews.
Shirli Sitbon, who writes in the Paris-Chronicler, reports on a rising tide of gang warfare against Jews in mixed ethnic neighborhoods.

Young men such as Rudy Haddad and Mathieu Roumi were beaten and tortured; Ilan Halimi died after his torture of three weeks’ duration. French Jews are worried. Indeed, my husband and I spoke with a Parisian couple who said that they figured they would have to emigrate to the United States at some point.

In this French cultural context, FJN efforts are courageous. Not only are they reaching out to mainstream Jews, who themselves may be afraid, but they are vocal in their various activities. A recent fundraising concert was held at l’Espace Rachi, a major venue in Paris.

They have a vibrant Web site (fjn-123.fr) that also has an English section) where they speak out vociferously on all manner of topics related to Judaism. They participate actively in demonstrations related to Israel, such as demanding the release of Gilad Shalit.

Despite the obstacles, Nduwa has great hopes. “We think…that we are in a favorable juncture where one can reconstruct a certain united community around important points such as questions linked to the Torah, study and life together,” he said. He realizes that it’s a long road, but he is committed to the journey of making all Jews comfortable with each other.

Meet a Non-Lemba Bantu Jew

We entered Africa to live with other Semites, Hamites and Kushites, descendants of our great-grandfather Noah. Some of us went to Yemen and lived with Arabs who influenced us, as did the Koi and San later on, but we kept very Jewish and discernible until we reached our southern African destination along the eastern coastline of Africa. This movement, circa 2500 years ago, was later nicknamed the Bantu migrations. Today we are known as Bantus and all too often "gentiles," too. This is misunderstanding as to our actual identity. About 70 percent to 80 percent of southern Bantus are not gentiles, nor are we simply Hamitic-Pygmy admixtures producing Negroes, as current history may purport. Our oral traditions suggest that we are Jewish, with songs like “Jerusalema” and places like "Dombo Ra Mwari /Nwali" ("Rock of God") in the Epworth district, as outstanding features and proof of our spiritual past, let alone our bloodlines. Yes, we have mixed with many people and nations, but we have remained basically dark / black in complexion throughout the ages.

Over 70 years ago Zimbabwean elders started tracing our origins, and Great Zimbabwe seemed a logical place to start. This search led to my own research and, like most looking for our true history, I arrived at the same conclusion. We are the 12 tribes of Yisrael in their entirety, descendants of Avraham, Isaac and Yakov, who built a temple Dzimba dze ma bge (Houses of Rocks) out of a rock called "Bgwe" and then around it a trading center -- very Jewish,huh?

We are Jews. Witness this by what we do and how we live, as the Good Book suggests, and not by what we look like – besides, original Jews were dark and still are, to this there can be no mistake. We believe we are the living, breathing Torah and have kept Torah in our hearts. “Torah” in Shona (the main Zimbabwean language) translates as "take" or Tolah in Zulu/Xhosa, and was "given" on Mt. Sinai to be "taken" by the Yisralites. This pattern of similarities permeates Bantu culture and languages, which are merely offshoots of original Hebrew. We still pay "lobola" to the parents of a bride, as Isaac and Yakov did by working their fields for seven years, or some form of labor and gifts, but now cows as a sign of wealth are acceptable. Jews resident in Yisrael and Europe have forgotten its practice. We keep one day of the week sacred called "Tshisi" in Zimbabwe. Many of us have forgotten all the old ways mainly due to colonization, Diaspora and Christian missionary education that slowly but surely has eradicated our identity and knowledge of it, so once again it is in great jeopardy.

However, 70 years ago we started to rekindle our culture and with it its inseparable religion. Congregation Betel was formed and is now led by Rabbi Cohen Maguwazah from our Rusape Synagogue as head rabbi of southern African Jews. We now have branches in South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and are associated with Betel in America. We are just black Jews, now called Bantus, and we are finding the truth about who we are and how we ended up south of the equator. Generally speaking, a negative myth and mistaken identity have plagued Jews throughout our history. That is why we left Palestine in the first place and lived in Diaspora for centuries. Our failure to show objects as our "Almighty" got Romans and Greeks to regard
us as pagan or heathen, yet they are the gentiles. Later Arabs called us kifers (nonbelievers) because they could not understand how we knew of blood separation in animal slaughter (kosher killing) if we hadn’t read their "book," the Koran, that has echoes of our Torah which for us is written in our hearts.

We should never underestimate the power of the "Almighty." Our tribe is much bigger than we think. There aren’t hundreds of thousands of Jews in Africa, but millions. And millions more in India and China, etc. I have relatives and friends from the Lemba tribe and we have always known that not all Bantu are Israelite but many more than just the Lemba are Jews. The Lemba are just one major group of Jews that settled in southern Africa, but like our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia, it is not just one small group of people; a much larger picture can be drawn of our entire inheritance.

I foresee Judaism coming alive in Africa and India in the new century. Many of these new Jews will want to immigrate to the two main Jewish population centers, Israel and America. But many will remain in their Third World countries forming Jewish communities the likes of which we have not seen in millennia. Large new Jewish centers could sprout up around the world at any time. The experts who put together the population projections did not consider the possibility of millions of Jews in East India in what could be a virtual Jewish state there later in this century. They did not foresee countless African Jews in the new century, either. But we may be witnessing the beginnings of this phenomenon now with the Abayudaya Jews in Uganda who already live totally Jewish lives. Let us also consider the Lemba in South Africa who are starting to explore their ancient, lost, recently rediscovered Judaism.

Thousands Flock to Jerusalem for Traditional Festival of Sigd

Last week several thousand Ethiopian Jews gathered in Jerusalem for a celebration of the traditional holiday of Sigd.

The holiday of Sigd was a fundamental element of the Jewish experience in Ethiopia. The holiday that falls on the 29th day of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, exactly 50 days after Yom Kippur (similar to the 50-day cycle of the days of the Omer preceding the giving of the Torah), is dedicated to fasting and prayer, evoking the connection to Jerusalem and the covenant between G-d and the Jewish people. 

According to Avraham Negousi, Director of the Ethiopian immigrant organization, South Wing to Zion, the Sigd celebration helped the Jewish community in the faraway exile of Ethiopia maintain their yearning to return to Zion.

The source of the holiday is in the book of Nehemiah when the exiled Jews prayed“ toward Jerusalem. The Ethiopian Jews prayed together 'Next year in Jerusalem'. The holiday was about connecting to the receiving of the Torah and the promise that one day we will reach Jerusalem," recalled Negousi. 

In Ethiopia, Jews, while still fasting, set out during the morning hours of the day on a march to the peak of a nearby mountaintop, led by their spiritual leaders, Kessim, and carrying the traditional torah scrolls. Continued prayer and worship accompanied the ascent to the mountaintop where selected readings from the Torah were read in the language of Gaaz and then translated into the vernacular Amharit. In the afternoon the participants would descend to local villages where the fast was broken with joyous meals amidst festive dancing celebrations. 

Last week's Sigd festivities were held in Jerusalem, where thousands of Israeli Ethiopian Jews gathered from across the country at the Armon Hanatziv promenade overlooking the Temple Mount. In attendance at the event were government representatives, Ethiopian community leaders and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, who commended the Ethiopian Jews' dedication to upholding their traditions. "It is amazing that after the long journey you made from Ethiopia to Jerusalem, you did not leave behind this glorious tradition," said Immigrant Absorption Minister Tzipi Livni.

Although the nature of the celebrations has changed since their arrival in Israel, Ethiopian leaders continue to maintain the importance of the Sigd holiday. "Once we came here we decided to continue this holiday on top of East Talpiot, toward the western wall, praying and thanking G-d for fulfilling his promise, for realizing our dream and giving us the opportunity to be in Jerusalem and also to pray for those left behind in Ethiopia to come and join us," Negousi stated. 

Our dream is to be in the state of Israel and Jerusalem. Today more than 100,000 “Ethiopian Jews are proud citizens of Israel, however the Aliyah of Ethiopian Jewry is not completed. There are still 20,000 Jews in Ethiopia waiting to come to Israel to rejoin their brothers, parents and families," Negousi said, adding, "The government has decided to bring them to Israel by the end of 2007, but there is a government quota of only 300 a month. An agreement has been made to double the number to 600, but sadly this has not yet been implemented." 

Negousi denied claims that many of those awaiting immigration to Israel are not halachically Jewish. "Rav Shlomo Amar visited in Ethiopia and declared that they are Jews without a doubt and they must be brought to Israel. Every Jewish community has passed through a different historical process. The Ethiopian Jewish community also went through difficulties including persecution and drought," Negousi explained.

Ethiopian leaders, including Negousi, remain optimistic about the future of their people among their Israeli peers. "Most of my community comes from remote areas so it is not easy for them to integrate into modern society and urbanization, but our community is doing well, we are going in the right direction," stated Negousi. 

For Negousi the contemporary Sigd festivities resonate with deep spiritual meaning and offer an opportunity to express his appreciation that the dream of his people of returning to Zion has been realized. "Our fathers and grandfathers told us that we will go to Jerusalem. As a child I remember being told that the Prophets say that all the Jews will be returned to the Land of Israel. We love Israel and we love Jerusalem. Once a year thousands come to Jerusalem to say thank you," said Negousi.

THE BIAFRANS 

   The name Biafra like that of Africa can be traced back to the North African Moorish tribe of Banu-Ifran. Banu Ifran is a tribal name meaning the Children of Ephraim and refers to descent from the Israelite Tribe of Ephraim and the House of Joseph. Over 2,000 years ago the Banu Ifran established an Ephraimite Kingdom in what is now known as Oufrane, Morocco. There they were led by an Ephraimite King named Abraham Ephrati. The Ephrati and Afriat families found among present day Moroccan Jews claim descent from within the Ephraimite Kingdom.

     Those among the Banu-Ifran who settled in Mauritania became known as the Moorish Bafur tribes. In present day Mauritania they are more specifically referred to as the Haratin and the Imraugen. The Bafur tribes were also among the founders of the ancient Moorish Kingdoms of Mali, Ghana and Songhai. In this regard the designation Bafur was inclusive of all the Mande tribes of which the most prominent were the Mandingo. In Mali the founding Bafur were Malinke, while in Ghana they were called the Soninke. The Soninke were also influential in the great expansion of the Songhai Empire. The name Mande is Aramaic in origin and means knowledge or wisdom. 

     The Bafur Moors were also known by the variant Biafar. To this day there exists a tribe living in Guinea-Bissau who are called by the tribal names of Biafar and Biafada. The Biafar are almost exclusively Muslim and live side by side with their neighbors the Mandingo. 

During the 10th Century  Banu-Ifran refugees fleeing North Africa under the leadership of Abu Yazid arrived in the areas of present day Nigeria and founded the 7 Hausa States. In the late 15th and early 16th centuries the Bafur or Biafran Moors of the Songhai Empire moved eastward and reinforced Moorish ruling authority among the Hausa. They also established authority in Northern Benin. To this day 25% of the population of Benin is Muslim and its a fact that the Islamic presence in Benin is largely due to the expansion and influence of Songhai and its Moorish Bafur(Biafran) tribes. 

    There can be no question that a significant amount of affluent Bafur (Biafran) tribesmen reached Igboland via Benin during the years in which the Songhai Empire was actively impacting upon the people of Benin. However Moorish Bafur(Biafran) influence in Southeastern Nigeria must have first begun around the time the Banu-Ifran refugees first reached Northern Nigeria and founded the Hausa States during the 10th century and continued through the influence and expansions of the Malian Empire.
    
       In 1930, Dr. Allen Godbey documented the presence of Moorish Ephraimites in Yorubaland. The Bene-Ephraim(Banu-Ifran) as they called themselves maintained memories of an ancient migration that took them from Morocco and Mali(Timbuktu) and into Southern Nigeria.  

Rudolph Windsor in his book:From Babylon to Timbuktu (pp.131) discusses the Bene-Ephraim who lived among the Yoruba in the Ondo District of Yorubaland.  

  There are Black Jews in Southern Nigeria who are called the "EMO YO QUAIM" or  "Strange People" by the native Africans but these Black Jews call themselves by the Hebrew name "B'nai Ephraim" or "Sons of Ephraim". These Jews claim that their ancestors immigrated from Morocco,a fact which Godbey says is supported by their language, a mixture of Maghrebi Arabic and local Negro speech....Nevertheless, most of their language is similar to the Black Yorubas around them...'

   Among the Igbo, the Biafrans became an influential and respected class of nobles whose authority was demonstrated by the wearing of the Red Fez. The Red Fez was a status ad cultural symbol reflecting their earlier Moorish origins in Morocco and Mali. The Moorish Biafrans also developed and initiated the respected Kolanut Ceremonies. Upon returning to Mali they introduced the sacredness of the Kolanut which is to this day highly valued and revered. 

  The Kolanut practices  of the Igbo were developed by the original Biafrans who came from Mali the same people who ruled by the authority of the Red Fez.

Many of the original Biafrans (Ephraimites) settled in what is now known as the Imo State. In 1993, Chima Onyeulo of the Imo State became the first Igbo to petition the Israeli Government for recognition of the Israelite origins of the Igbo as a means of accessing entry under the Law of Return. Chima's petition was presented with evidences of the Ephraimite origins of the Igbo and the history of their migration through Morocco and Mali. Interestingly Chima married an Israeli Jew of North African origins from Libya. 

Chief Rabbi Confirm Ebos Jews and Hebrews as lost Tribe of Ephraim
www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsHYdL0UTR4

Who can deny the Israelite origin of many Africans?

“We feel safe then, in formulating our first conclusion:–Somewhere in the dim past, a wave, or more probably a series of waves, of Hebraic influence swept over Negro Africa, leaving unmistakable traces among the various tribes, where they have endured even to the present day.” 

Joseph J. Williams
HEBREWISMS OF WEST AFRICA, p. 319

“In the year 65 BC the Roman armies under General Pompey captured Jerusalem. In 70 AD, General Vespasian and his son Titus put an end to the Jewish state, with a great slaughter…many outrages and atrocities were committed against the residue of the people. During the period from Pompey to Julius, it has been estimated that over 1,000,000 Jews fled into Africa, fleeing from Roman persecution and slavery. The slave markets were full of black Jewish slaves.” 

“Black Americans now are in position as never before in modern history to rediscover, and reclaim if they wish, a heritage which has profoundly influenced world history and mankind: the Hebrew heritage of Black Africa.” 

-Steven Jacobs, European Jewish historian
Author of? The Hebrew Heritage of Black Africa: Fully Documented

TRIBAL CUSTOMS OF WEST AFRICA BY J. WILLIAMS

Hebrewisms were not just limited to the Ashanti in Jamaica but were plentiful in the land from which they came: Africa. Williams notes the following irrefutable evidence of Hebrewisms in Africa:

• The Floggings, the traditional number of strokes: forty less one • The common practice of New Moon festivals • The oath drink • The expectation of a Moshiach • Jewish distinction between diaboli and demonia • The duodecimal division of tribes into families• Exogamy • Blood sacrifices with the sprinkling of blood upon the altar and door-posts • Mourning Customs • Obsessions 
• Legal defilement • Jewish octave • Law on adultery • Sabbath rest • Levirate marriages •Circumcision • Priestly garb

ZEPhANIAH 3: 10. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia (Nile) my suppliants, [even] the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.

I don't believe all black people are Jews, I dont even like using that word Jew, I prefer Hebrew Isralite. Certain West african Tribes are Hebraic not all. There is no Isralite anywhere with PURE DOMINANT GENES, ESPECIALLY EuroPE. I dont think god ever gave a percentage of how much DNA one needs to be the people of the book. Ancestry is Ancestry. Also scripture identifies Jacobs seed going into captivity which we did, spread throughout the earth, the lowest, ridiculed, lost heritage, which we are. 

My point is this: West African Kigdoms of were at its best under Mosiatic law first and then forced Islam. once we live by the laws of the most high we can begin to improve ourselves and our status in the world. But all of that is impossible if we dont know who we were.

Kingdom of Judah in west Africa 

WHYDAH belongs by right of CONQUEST to Dahomey since 1725, when it received its name GLEHWEH, or "The Farm", indicating the part it played in supplying the capital with provisions.

On the route to Agbomey the first station is SAVI (Xavier), former capital of the Kingdom of WHYDAH, whose sovereign was said at one time to command two hundred thousand troops. Beyond Savi the route passes by Tolli, and Allada, the ancient Adara, also formerly the capital of a state, and still regarded as the metropolis of Dahomey, one of the royal titles being "Lord of Allada." 

Yet the place was ruined by the Dahomey people themselves in 1724, when they conquered the seaboard route and massacred the inhabitants of Allada.

The British surveyor William Smith, who visited Whydah in 1727, reproted that "all who have been here allowed this to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world."

Smith described the inhabitants of Whydah as gentlemanly people who abounded in good manners and ceremony to one another. All of them, he said, wer enaturally industrious and found constant employment . The men in agriculture and the women in spinning and weaving cotton to make cloth.

What surprised visitors who had observed the sparse population elsewhere in West Africa was the incredible density of the population. Chevralier Des Marchais, who mapped the Kingdom of Whydah in 1725, noted the poepulation was so dense that the Kingdom could almost be said to comprise a single village, and William Smith wrote that "this place is so well inhabited that a man here cannot fail of being in sight of ten or twent N**** towns anywhere within twenty miles of the seaside."

The population was fed by a thriving agriculture that was based on the production of millet but also included New World crops such as maize and sweet potatoes. 

European visitors wrote of agriculture in Whydah in rapturous terms. William Smith noted that "the natives were so industrious that no place that was thought fertile could escape being planted, though even within the hedges that enclose their villages and dwelling places, and they were so very anxious in this particular, that the next day after they had reaped they always sowed again without allowing the land any time to rest".

The export of many slaves out of Whydah, which was one of many slave ports, without any visible signs of depopulation , because slaves who were shipped out did not only come from those they took from Whydah Kingdom itself. Instead, the slaves arrived via the trade routes from the inland regions and from the North.

The captives represented as many as thirty different ethnic groups.

The slaves whom the Europeans purchased usually bore scarification, or "country marks," that had been incised into their flesh when they went through initiation as youths. The European slave traders used them to identify the ge