miércoles, 2 de julio de 2014

There are plenty of Jewish roots in Africa II

The area of the Great African Lakes is regarded by different scholars as an area peopled by ethnicities of Israelite origin. Not by chance there are toponyms with Hebrew sounding names (including some names of local kingdoms): Sheema, Igara... The local Banyankole people or Ankole are regarded as Israelites sometimes, but the truth is they are two peoples with different roles but the same roles as the Tutsis (herders-aristocrats) for the Himas & as the Hutus (agricultors-servants) for the Bairus. The Tutsis are identified as Hebrews just as the Himas are.

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 .

The Tutsi, just like the Pathans, will get ready to fight if you call them Jews.

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 word Ban-Kon means "son of prince" in Assyrian, an. Aramaic dialect.

Kanuri could be a combination of the Hebrew words Kan & uri. Kan is short for Kanaan, the Promised Land. Uri means fiery. Uri is also the name of three Israelites in thw Old Testament.

Jola has a Hebrew meaning which is "Jehova is God".

The Kemants are also known as Tabiban Kamant.

From a quick search amongst the tipical black African hats the Ibo hats are the 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.

The black Jews of Dahomey, Dr. J. Kreppel reported in 1926, were a large Hebrew community of black Jews in the interior Dahomey (current Benin), West Africa. He says "they have a central temple (and) a Pentateuch written in Hebrew.

Tudor Parfitt, in a discovery trip in Zimbabwe, went through a barricade with armed men. The men shot at him several times, but he survived & ran away with the car he was driving. The Lembas were known for their Israelite ancestry claim. Tudor not only made the Lembas more popular, but found hard evidence, including genetic one, for their claim of Israelite ancestry. The Ngoma Lugundu, the Lemba "Ark of the Covenant" was taken from the Zimbabwe's national museum by the national dictator Robert Mugabe for his personal collection. If Tudor survived the shootings he went through  is because God protected him for the sake that the Lembas would be known by world leaving no doubt about their Israelite origin.

Masani comes from Manasheh. The inversion of syllables ("Mas-ani" for "Men-eseh") is a common phenomenon. Manmasi is variant rendered by the Kuki Israelites after centuries of some isolation from the Middle East Jews. Masani is similar to Masai. Losing nasal sounds is common in languages. Perhaps Masani (Manases) is the original name of the Masais, so the Masais could be Manasehites.

Tel Amarma was an ancient Egyptian city. There were found the celebrated "Tel Amarma Letters or Tablets". In there was found the name "Jerusalem" as "Urushalim". The Tutsis call this city "Urusha".

Harar means mountain or hill in Hebrew. There is a Harar in Ethiopia & a Harare in Zimbabwe. Harari is Lebanese last name.

Gideon lead the Falasha Jews against the Christians. He was regarded as a hero by the Falashas as Palestine Jews regarded Bar Kokhba.

An Israeli ambassador to São Tomé Islands observed that the local descendants of the slave Jewish children are still a very distinguishable segment of the population recognizable by their lighter skin. They're also proud of their historical past & desirous to be in contact with other Jews.

Abuja took the name from the historic Hausa emirate of Abuja, itself named for the fourtified settlement founded in 1828 near Zuba by Abu Ja ("Abu the Red"). How about if the name Abuja comes from the Jewish rabbi Elisha ben Abuyah?

According to professor Slouschz there was as far as the 10th Century a Jewish kingdom spanning from the hills of Ethiopia, through the 1vast expanses of the Sudan to the Atlantic. The Israeli scholar Joseph Eidelberg proposed that the 40 years of wandering thru the desert of the Israelites it was not in the Sinai, but thuout all the Sahara. There are many peoples in this area with clear Israelite traditions, including genealogies... For example there are clear Hebrew loanwords in Tutsi Kinyarwanda, Ashanti,  Hausa, Igbo, Bambara...

Are the Tutsis the Descendants of Hebrews that Stayed Behind & Became Egyptianized?

Amasunzu & Egyptian helmet

There are many indications (intore attire, amasunzu [like the Egyptian helmet] & other hairstyles, female hairbands, women dances, inyambo cows, traditions...) that point the Tutsis at an Egyptian origin, nevertheless so were the Israelites dwelling there. 

There's a tradition for which a certain important number of Israelites stayed behind while Moses left with the main group. Those would be Egyptianized Hebrews.

Blue, white, red shield of Rwanda. These were three quintessential Israelite colors as portrayed in both the Tabernacle & the Temple.

Intore Dance

The traditional Ballet of Rwanda is one of Africa's longest established and least exposed musical traditions. The use of the word Ballet is a product of Belgian colonial rule. In fact, the art form was refined over centuries in the courts of the Rwandan Mwami (kings).

There are three main components to Rwandan Ballet, and a standard performance by a group will contain all three. These are the songs/dances that are the essence of the art form (and are referred to here as 'the Ballet'), Intore (dance of heroes) and Ingoma ('drums').
The 'Dance of Heroes' is performed by men wearing grass wigs and carrying spears. The background is a dance performed by returning warriors, celebrating victory in battle. The dancers move from side to side combining grace and complex choreography with a raw aggression. At certain stages the dancers stop, with arms outstretched and make blood-curdling battle crys.

These calls are individual to each dancer and represent warriors declaiming the details of how many he had slain in battle. Battles traditionally involved Hutu, Tutsi and Twa fighting alongside each-other against a common enemy. The performance of Intore therefore has always consisted of warriors of all groups dancing together.

The Lemba Varemba

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 depends on 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, contrary to consonants. 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.
                                                                Shona witch doctor

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.

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.


With the explanation in the paragraphs below we can deduce that the word Hottentot might come from the Hebrew word "hoten" plus the Egyptian word "tot". It's clear that during the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt, many words were taken to Hebrew from the Egyptian language.

The Hebrew word hoten implies strong family links & that's the case of the nomad Hotentots. As hinted later in this text, tot would be an Egyptian name for the typical Israelite tefillin. Many times the Jews have used a foreign word for the same Hebrew word. For example the Ashkenazim used the Yiddish word rebbe inspite having the Hebrew word rabbi. They have done the same with many other words in many different countries. So Hotentot could mean "the people attached under blood covenant that wear tefillin" or simply "the people of the tefilin". An who are "the people of the tegilin" other than the Israelites?

Hoten חותן (father in-law) and Hotenet חותנת (mother in-law).

Ernst Kutsch notes that the root htn refers to relationships of affinity rather than blood relationships. He writes, "This relationship is brought into being by marriage between one spouse (or by extension the spouse's family) and the blood relatives (cognates) of the other spouse".

In Exodus 2:18 the father (Hebrew, av) of Zipporah is called Reuel, but eight lines later, in Exodus 3:1, the family patriarch is identified as Jethro, the "father-in-law" (Hebrew, hoten) of Moses.

The Hebrew word hoten in consonantal Hebrew is htn. Modern-day translators have a tendency to assume that the sociological family structure of the ancient world was defined by the same range of relationships that we refer to in English (husband, wife, aunt, uncle, cousin, father-in-law, mother-in-law, etc.). Those who are familiar with non-Western languages (Arabic, for example) recognize that non-Western peoples often use a different set of relational terms. Therefore, the assumption that the ancient Hebrew language even had a word that equates to the English "father-in-law" may be incorrect. To understand what hoten meant, we must examine how it is used. Even though hoten is rendered as "father-in-law" in most English translations, a close study of the actual usage of the word suggests that the word refers more generally to close relationships outside a blood relationship. 

Usually it refers to a marriage relationship The form hoten is apparently applied to the relationship between a woman's husband and every male member of her family. Thus Terence C. Mitchell, the former keeper of Western Asiatic antiquities at the British Museum, concludes his study of this word by writing, "Indeed, I would here suggest that htn in the Old Testament, instead of carrying only particular meanings such as 'father-in-law' or 'son-in-law,' which vary according to context, has some such general meaning as 'relation-by-marriage,' which it bears in every context in relation to a male ego."The closest concept to this in English is "in-law," but this Western term does not convey the strong family alliance of hoten.

This term (hoten of Moses) is used to refer to Jethro no fewer than 16 times. The point of using the term, however, is not to stress who Jethro is, but rather to stress who Moses is and what his relationship is with these Midianites. They are now his kinfolk. He has a formal alliance with them, sealed by marriage.

The word for bridegroom is hatan, a close derivative of hoten. In this context, the term hatan is probably intended to emphasize that Moses is not just Zipporah's husband, but is related to her entire family; he is hoten. Of course, the weakness of the hoten relationship is that it is not a blood relationship. So when Zipporah sheds her son's blood (for circumcision), she may be trying to seal with blood the relationship between Moses and her family.

Aaron is not hoten, but the true blood relative of Moses, and he welcomes Moses back into the family with open arms.

In ancient Egyptian tot can denote a gathering, resemblance, divine, or hard leather. Hence, totafoth may have had the connotation of a fourfold amulet, made of leather, as the Tefillin indeed are.


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…’

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’

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.


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.


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.


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.’


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…’


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.

Efik Eburutu of Nigeria  



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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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 Are Among the Haitians in Part

Haitians are Hebrew/Israelites.

Jerusalem 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.

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.

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 

The word Haratin could be derived from the Hebrew word harat, related to pregnancy & birth. The end "in" could be just a suffix added. Below there's further explanation of the word harat & its Jewish use nowadays.

Harat Olam
After blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah we say hayom harat olam. The word harat is connected to pregnancy and birth. Herayon means pregnancy in modern Hebrew, and horeh is the name for a parent. The medieval commentator Rashbam, on Genesis 49:26, further connects the word to har meaning mountains -parents and ancestors being the ancient mountains from which we are hewn.

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.

                                     Parts of Ephraim, Gad & other Israelite tribes in West Africa.

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.

Imraguen could come from the Arabic word Imram or Imram, which comes from the Hebrew name Amram, meaning "exalted nation". In the Old Testament, Amram is the father of Moses. The ending in guen could be a local suffix added.

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.

Shnagla could derive from the Hebrew words shana & gola. In Semitic languages consonants don't count really. Shana or shanah means to change, alter (1), beam (1), change (2), changed (4), changing (1), different (1), disguise (1), disguised (1), given to change (1), pervert (1), transferred (1), various (1). Gola means diaspora.

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.


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.


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 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.


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


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.

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. 

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.

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)

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)

119. 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.

                                                            Eldad ben Mahli ha-Dan

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. 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.


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.

Israelite Falashas

Ethiopia’s Beta Israel, who now live in Israel, are often called “Black Jews.” Yet their Judaism differs in origins from the “Black Jewish” sects that emerged early in the twentieth century primarily in the U.S. After World War I, Black Christians, usually belonged to Holiness or Pentecostal sects, sought to “purify” their religion by adopting Jewish rites and rituals; they also sometimes claimed that people of African ancestry are the only true descendants of the biblical Jews. In addition to the U.S., such “Judaizing sects” appeared in a scattered arc of locations from the Caribbean to Africa to New Zealand. Not all “Judaizing sects” were made up of nonwhites.

In the nineteenth century, white English Protestants joined the “Anglo Israelite” movement which claimed that Judaism’s Lost Tribes had settled the British Isles. Their same ideology asserting that white people from the UK are “true Jews” was later perverted into a white supremacist by Christian Identity churches in the U.S.

Arnold J. Ford, who met with a member of the Ethiopian trade mission around 1919, was affected when he also learned of the existence of Ethiopia’s “Black Jews” from Jacques Faitlovich. A Polish-born Jew and Zionist, Faitlovich devoted his life to the cause of the or Beta Israel, establishing the American Pro-Falasha Committee in 1922 and bringing Emmanuel Taamrat, the first Ethiopian Jew to come to the New York, to study in the U.S. around 1931. In the 1920s, American Jews debated whether the Falashas or Beta Israel should accepted as “Jewish.” Faitlovich influenced these debates among “white Jews.”

In Arnold Ford’s mind, all Ethiopians ultimately derived from the marriage between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Ford viewed white Zionists’ “Back to Palestine” movement and his own “Back to Ethiopia” movement as complementary “Zionist” enterprises. Ford had been the first Black-Jewish leader to urge the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine to be shared by whites and blacks. He supported the Palestine Foundation Fund, showed Holy Land movies to his congregation, and promoted Jewish-Arab reconciliation efforts.

In 1930 after a friendly meeting with Faitlovich (who visited Harlem in order to investigate the origins of its “Black Jewish” congregations), Ford accepted an invitation to attend the coronation of Emperor Hailie Selassie. He then decided to move his Harlem congregation to Addis Ababa.

There, Ford established a school, but never got around to visiting the isolated Falasha or Beta Israel villages in the Ethiopian countryside. He died in 1935 just before the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. Among the handful of African American followers who accompanied Ford to Ethio was Eudora Paris.While in Addis Ababa, Paris adopted an Ethiopian Coptic Christian child, known as Hailu Moshe Paris, whom she converted to Ford’s faith of Black Judaism. The young man accompanied his mother back to New York in 1936. Graduating from Yeshiva University, Hailu Moshe Paris later spent time in Israel as well as Ethiopia where he worked with Falashas or Beta Israel before returning to the U.S. In New York. Black-Jewish Mt. Horeb Congregation in the Bronx.

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. 


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". 


Sena-ah is thorny in Hebrew. The "children (i.e. the inhabitants) of Senaah" are enumerated among the "people of Israel" who returned from the captivity with Zerubbabel. Ezr 2:35; Ne 7:38 (B.C. 536.) The Magdal Senna of Eusebius and Jerome denotes a town seven miles north of Jericho ("Senna"). Sena is also an ancient Arabic for Sion/Zion.

According to their oral tradition, the Lembas founded a town called Sena in today's Yemen. Then they traveled in ship & landed in Mozambique were they founded a new Sena. They ended up in Zimbabwe & nearby countries. Centuries ago a group of Lembas separated from them & stayed in southern Mozambique. This group is called nowadays as Sena, after their beloved Sena/Sion of their ancestors. Nevertheless, as we saw before, Sena happens to be also a Hebrew term.

The Sena people were neighbors & are related to the Lemba.

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 suffix in "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. Masais have an israelite origin claim. In fact we can read in 1 Chronicles 9:12 and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah, and Masai the son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer.

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 an Israelite in the South of Africa although I believe it. I researched lately about the Lemba but couldn't find as much info as I 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 name 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 me the amount of Lemba people living in that particular village, town or city? To finish this can you give me 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 Dande is? 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.

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 

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.

Lemba Clan Names & Some Last Names Seem As Semitic As Their DNA

                                           Sathekge is another one of the Lemba last names.
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.

Some Black Civilisations Navigated World Wide

There was sea trade and land trade which connected many different countries on continental Africa and Asia eg, frankincense trail, gold trade etc...

Ancient customs as well, like masters screwing their female slaves eg Abraham, contributed as well in the mixing of genes.

I also believe that the Olmec civilization in North America came from Africa based on evidences so far, and then there's the Polynesians in the middle of the Pacific.

Physical proof thus far suggests that the blacks of Africa criss crossed the oceans of the world way before Americo Vespucci and Colombus great grand parents were born.

It may not be something significant enough to change common misconceptions but if the ancient Blacks were able to roam the world's oceans without any problems then the possibility of Jews tacking along in many of this forays, like the hard core ones from the diaspora is a possibility.


Haplogroup E3B

The E3b haplogroup has been observed in all Jewish groups world wide. It is considered to be the 2nd most prevelent haplogroup amoung the Jewish population.

All the major studies agree that E-M35 is the second highest in prevalence next to J, for “Founding Jewish Lineages”.

It is found in moderate amounts in all Jewish populations, from Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Kurdish, Yemen, Samaritan and even among Djerba Jewish groups.

The scientific consensus is that Haplogroup E3b (M35) appears to have originated in East Africa, but has been carried from there to the Near East and then on to North Africa and Europe. Today it is most common in East Africa, North Africa, the Near East and around the Mediterranean.

Haplogroup J

Haplogroup J (previously known as HG9 or Eu9/Eu10) is a Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. t is subdivided into two subclades: haplogroup J2, defined by the M172 marker, and haplogroup J1, defined by the M267 marker.

Of special interest are maps that show the geographical spread of the J haplogroup. J1 and J2 are both common in southern Europe, central Europe, the Mediterranean region, and Africa. The J haplogroup is considered to be a signature gene of Jewish ancestry and the cohen modal gene happens to be a subgroup of J.

In fact, the highest frequencies of J1 (M267) are seen in the Middle East, north Africa, and Ethiopia. See (Thomas et al. 1999). J2 (M172) also exists in significant proportions across Africa especially among the semitic speaking peoples of Tigriniya, Amhara, and Oromiya.

The J1’s from the Middle East and North Africa seem to be distinguishable from the rest of J’s by having YCAII=22,22. Behar et al found that a significant proportion of the Jewish population of Europe (more than 20%) carry the J1 haplogroup. The other 20% carry the J2 haplogroup.

The Dan of Eburnie (Ivory Cost)

The tribe of Dan is one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. We believe that a part of this tribe had settled in Ivory Coast (Eburnie), This is the subject of our research. The Dan or Danites of Ivory Coast were called « Yacouba » by the French colonists. Of Hebraic origin, after a peregrination in Ethiopia, they arrived in the 16th century to settle in the mountainous western area of Ivory Coast. The main ethnies, Gouro, Gagou, Wan, …gave birth to smaller ethnical groups among more than 70 groups living in Eburnie. Three issues will be exposed : Were do the Dan people come from ? Why, among all the tribes of Eburnie are they called Dan ? Why have this people so many similarities with the Hebrews ? Eburnie resembles Hibernia, which is said to mean "Hebrew land".

Ethiopian North Shewa Zionist Organization, Ethiopia Revitalization of Bet-Avraham Jews in Ethiopia

“Their hidden agenda reveal their Jewish Identity”.

After long centuries of terrible struggles to survive, at the end of sixteen century, Ethiopian Bet Israelites defeated by the Christian rulers of Ethiopia. Following their (Bet – Israelites) defeats, the Christian kings of Ethiopia gave them two inseparable choices. To die or accepting Christianity.

According to evidence of Jacques Faithlovic an early advocate for Ethiopian Jews, other scholars and travelers :- From the large sects of Bet-Israel who survives from long years of war , death and humiliation located in the province of Denbya , Gonder ; some groups of Jews sect Journey and settled to the North Shewa parts of Ethiopia. These sects of community called Bet Avraham Jews community.

It was there, the Bet – Avraham Jews became under direct influence of Christian kings and surrounding. As a survival mechanisms and to be under the law of Christian rulers of Ethiopia, “Conversation” have been forced or simply a means to survive in the mainstream society to elude discrimination and persecution.

Therefore, on that terrible times they converted outwardly on some way or practice Christianity to pretend as to be converted. But through all times they retained their forefathers ancient Jewish practice for almost three centuries under an eyes of Ethiopian Christians by establishing more than 40 hidden synagogue at the far remote countryside of North Shoa Province. Why? When? How and How? This mysterious survival strategy preserves the very ancient Mosaic Judaism practices and now it reveals their black Jews identity to the 21 century survivals.

Celebration among the Tambahoaka peoples of Madagascar

After attending this celebration in 1979, a group of researchers from the University of Antananarivo wrote a pamphlet describing this tradition that they refer to as “Antambahoaka Sambatra”. They propose that this is only the beginning of documentation in a joint research about “Antambahoaka” society, whereby they are encouraging the study of “Sambatra” tradition among the Tambahoaka peoples, by asking “what are the possible meanings of each aspect of the customs involved in this “Sambatra”, and what are the reasons each element or object used is needed in the accomplishment of this ritual? Specific questions that the researchers ask (translated from the French) are: How is the “Antambahoaka Sambatra” similar to the celebrations of circumcision in other parts of Madagascar and how is it different? What are the possible meanings of each aspect of the customs involved in this “Sambatra” (as above)? Seventeen rites are listed in the pamphlet obtained from the Museum of Art and Archeology of Madagascar, including such rites as: Water ablution done three times, in different places; Seven-day celebration (announced by blowing of a conch shell) leading to boys entering into the ‘community'; Raising the peak of the house later dismantled after one week; Simulation of crossing over of rivers, while being pursued. To be noted is that these Malagasy researchers state: “Many questions are posed and remain, but this is our history that is revealed to us by a study of this ancient institution (“Sambatra”)”.


All over Western Sudan one comes across different cities or districts named Nasr or Nasara, i.e. Nasareth the country of Nasarenes. Usually those districts had been at some point in history a settlement of a group of Africans who collectively practiced what has come to be knkown as the Nasarene culture. There is a Nasreth in Ethiopia, and there is a district of Nasr in the Nassarawa (Nasarene) State of modern Nigeria. Similarly there were various Nasar settlements in modern day Mali, Mauretania, Senegal, and Niger. It is only in Africa that one finds towns and districts named Nasr time and again.

The Nasarene culture is thus an age old Saharan African order which precepts premeated some cultures of the North East Africa including ancient Israel and Arabia. This group and its rites are well known in the books of the Bible and Koran from such famous tales as the life and death of Samson.

The Nasarenes were persons dedicated either from birth or by personal commitment to the pursuit of universal principles of truths and justice. They usually end up as wise men, master of natural and scientific laws, and very knowledgeable scholars of history and spirituality. They were often the last line of defence for the principles of balance and righteousness. Often many Nasarenes wore the dreadlocks natural hair coiffure, as it was a symbol that fit their emphasis on natural spirituality as opposed to some human contrivance.

These special breed of holy people were widespread in traditional Africa before the spread of Islam. Some have claimed it is an order as old as life itself with Melchizadek the famous ever-living Priest of the book of Genesis as its founder.
Nasarene culture as such is a relic of ancient Africa which due to the vibrancy and strenght of its philosophical principles has been adopted by all shades and colors of religion and nationalities. It is an order of spiritual masters not particularly affiliated with any religion or organization.

Nasarenes are a rough equivalent of a Levite-like priestly order dedicated to guarding and promoting truth and righteousness and keeping the balance of justice. In today’s world, the Nasarenes would be similar to many aspects of the Rastasfari philosophy and reasoning framework.

Nasarene culture was a part of the Lamtuna culture of Western Sudan. It was not surprising that many practising Nazarenes were counted as stauch supporters of Ibrahim and Yasin.ç

Among the prominent corps and ranks of the students, teachers and martial artists who rallied round and accompanied Ibrahim and Yasin on their world changing mission, one found Murabitums or the Marabouts, and the Nasarenes. Yasin was the ideologue of the group whereas Yahaya ibn Ibrahim became the military organizer.

The word Almoravid is a poor European transliteration of the Arabic word Al-Murabitum. It describes a learned and righteous Moorish warrior. Some people believe that the Almoravid empire was a Muslim, but Israelite empire. 

Decline of the Black Jews of Africa

Many reasons have been sought for the decline and virtual disappearance of Africa’s once thriving Jewish communities of black Jews. Many see the beginning of this decline as contemporaneous with the advent of the Islamic religion in Africa.

Some historical accounts highlight the fact that black Jews were die-hard nationalistic traditionalists and had led the black African resistance against the influx of the black muslim jihadists and their new interpretation of morality.

Cameroon There are some who believe that a Jewish presence may have at one time existed in Cameroon via merchants who arrived from Egypt for trade. According to some accounts these communities observed rituals such as separation of dairy and meat products as well as wearing tefillin. There are also claims that Jews migrated into Cameroon after being forced southward due to the Islamic conquests of North Africa.

The claims of a Jewish presence in Cameroon are made by Rabbi Yisrael Oriel. Rabbi Oriel, formerly Bodol Ngimbus-Ngimbus, was born into the Ba-Saa tribe. The word Ba-Saa, he said, is from the Hebrew for ‘on a journey’ and means blessing. Rabbi Oriel claims to be a Levite descended from Moses. Reportedly, Rabbi Oriel made aliya in 1988 and was ordained as a rabbi by the Sephardic Chief Rabbi and appointed rabbi to Nigerian Jews.

Rabbi Oriel claims that in 1920 there were 400,000 ‘Israelites’ in Cameroon, but by 1962 the number had decreased to 167,000 due to conversions to Christianity and Islam. He admitted that these tribes had not been accepted halachically, although he claimed to prove their Jewish status from medieval rabbinic sources.

African Hebrewisms

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 strong indication of being the Yahweh of the Old Testament. It was indeed surprising how many Hebrewisms, either real or at least apparent, were to be found among the unislamised tribes."

Taken from the book Hebrewisms of West Africa, by Joseph J. Williams (copy written in the 1930's) Pages 22 & 23

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 there 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 includes

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 HEBREWISM OF WEST AFRICA By Joseph J Williams. He gives detailed description 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 Hebrewism 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 HEBREWISM, 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 80, The supreme being of the ASHANTI is identical with the god of the Christians, the Yahweh of the old testament: and further that their tribal worship is strangely parallel to that of the divided worship that existed in Jerusalem immediately prior to the Babylonian exile, as we will see later in more detail.

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.

A Shofar is a horn (Trumpet) Made from a Ram's Horn. It was used in Ancient Israel to announce the gathering of the people for different events, Such as war.

JOSHUA 6:4-5- And Seven priest shall bear before the ark seven shofar's of rams' horns: and the seventh day you shall compass the city seven times and the priest shall blow with the shofar's And It shall come to pass, That when they make a long blast with the ram's horn and when you hear the sound of the shofar, all the people shall shout with a great shout.....

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.

In the slave Narrative by Olaudah Equiano, He tells of how his native customs is parallel to the Hebrews customs found in the bible.

He says: "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, with, 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 couldn't believe these people ate without washing their hands. Just as it states to us in the book of Matthew 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), and 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".

Israel in Africa

In Rwanda, 'Jewish' has mysteriously ended up becoming shorthand for 'Tutsi'.

Much of the world came to learn of Rwanda in 1994, when the majority Hutu people went on a three-month killing spree against the minority Tutsi.

The genocide ended with the victory of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, formed by Tutsi refugees who grew up in Uganda. With the conquest came drastic change. A great many members of the English-speaking diaspora flowed in; mostly from Uganda, but also from Africa, Europe and America. The two words that had seemingly started it all, Hutu and Tutsi, were banned from public use.

It is how the country lives now, nearly 16 years later; with a heavy burden upon each individual to suppress at almost any cost the impulse to identify him or herself by ethnicity, or for that matter – because the two are so tied – recent history.

Other than historical references to the genocide and testimony heard in controversial local Gacaca courts, ethnic labels are unheard of. The government acknowledges that identities still exist, but an overarching nationalism is always played up.

So I was surprised when, at the tender age of 22, I arrived in this emerald-green country to find people treating me like a brother. I was greeted with a fist-pound and a touch to the heart by the money changer, who called me a fellow Jew. I took up dinner conversations with newspaper colleagues who loved me for being American.

But what caught my attention most were the references to Israel, the references to the Jews. At first it seemed obvious; as historical cousins of genocide Israel and Rwanda had a special bond. Like Israel, Rwanda had escaped genocide to become a shining example in a troublesome part of the world.

But the reference and affirmation was much more than historical contingency; it was, according to them, true blood. According to some historians and Tutsi scholars, the group originally came to Rwanda from Ethiopia in the 15th century. Although played down by the current government, the belief persists. To Tutsis, the genealogical lineage to Ethiopia connects them to a greater constellation including ancient Hebrews.

For people like Claude Bizimana, a former soldier who fought alongside President Paul Kagame, the link has become a useful shorthand.

"That's where the Jews lived," he says , pointing to a shadowy suburban Kigali home in the dark starry night. "Those were all non-Jews," he says, moving his finger all around. When he introduces me to his friends he begins with a familiar greeting. "He is also a Jew," Claude says to me. "Josh is an Israelite too," he says to his friend.

Genealogical proof of Tutsi descent from Israelites is impossible to find, but among the diaspora, survivors, and even at times the government, the association to ancient Abyssnia is common. The first person to remark on it – John Speke in 1860s Uganda – was also the first European to visit the Great Lakes Region.

That ethnicity remains hugely sensitive is clear from the reaction to presidential hopeful Victoire Ingabire's candidacy in this year's elections. After claiming that many Hutu were also killed during the time of the genocide and are not being remembered, she has been accused in the media of being an ideological descendent of the racist post-independence Hutu regimes that caused thousands of Tutsis to flee the country.

To a degree, the current administration's strict rules on expression seem to be working. Rwanda's economy was one of the fastest-growing in the world last year. It is one of the few countries meeting targets for the United Nations millennium development goals; it is one of the safest countries in the world and President Kgame has become a poster-boy for the developing world.

Most people who speak confidentially about the security situation in the country say the public ban on ethnicity is a necessary evil, but that it doesn't stop people from knowing who they are.

Eldad ben-Mahli HaDani

"It was towards the end of the ninth century C.E. that the Jewish community at Kairwan in North Africa was aroused by a visitor from heart of Negro land with a stranged story to relate. Eldad ben-Mahli (son of Mahli) the Danite alleged that he was the descendant of the tribe of Dan. He related that his tribe had migrated from their Palestinian home so as not to take part in the civil war at the time of Yeroboam's succession, and were residing in the land of Havilah beyond the Rivers of Ethiopia. Three other tribe, Naphtali, Gath and Asher, were with them; these had joined them in the times of Sennacherib. They had an entire body of Scriptures barring Ester and Lamentations. They know nothing of the Mishna nor the Talmud; but they had a Talmud of their own in which all the laws were cited in the name of Y'hoshua ben-Nun (Joshua son of Nun) as he had received them at the hands of Mosheh Rabbinu (Moses our Teacher). Eldad exhibited a Ritual dealing mostly with the rules pertaining to the killing of animals for food. It was written in Hebrew containing many strange expressions with a slight Arabic coloring, though Eldad himself professed that he knew no other tongue but Hebrew, in which alone conversed."

                                                                    Eldad the Danite

Hear now that in Sepharad (Hesperides or Spain) in the year 883 CE one Rabbi Eldad haDani (the Danite) came amongst the Jews there or so says Rabbi Hhisdai ibn Shapruth. Eldad had also been in Iraq and in Tunisia he was with Rabbi Y*hudah ben Qorash. The Karaite Rabbi Y*hudah haDassi says Eldad visited Egypt and returned to Ethiopia before travelling to the aforenamed countries. Read now what Eldad wrote to Jews of Spain in the 11th paragraph of his letter: 

"We have a tradition from father to son that we, the sons of Dan, were aforetime in the land of Yisra'el dwellers in tents and among all the tribes of Yisra'el there were none like us men of war and mighty of valour. And, when Yeroboam, the son of Nebat, who caused Yisra'el to sin and made two golden calves, arose over them, the kingdom of the house of David was divided and the tribes gathered together and said, "Come and fight against Rehoboam and against Yerushalem." They answered, "Why should we fight with our brothers and with the son of our D'mar, Dawith King of Yisra'el and Y'hudah? Elohim forbid!" Then said the elders of Yisra'el, "You have not in all the tribes of Yisra'el mighty ones like the tribe of Dan". At once they said to the children of Dan, "Arise and fight with the children of Y'hudah." They answered, "By the life of Dan our father, we will not make war with our brothers and we will not shed blood." At once we the children of Dan took swords and lances and bows, and devoted ourselves to death to go forth from the land of Yisra'el, for we saw we could not stay, "Let us go hence and find a resting place but if we wait until the end they will take us away." So we took heart and counsel to go to Egypt to destroy it and to kill all its inhabitants. Our princes said to us, "Is it not written, ye shall not continue to see it again for ever? How will you prosper?" 

They said, "Let us go against Amalek or against Edom or against Ammon and Moab to destroy them and let us dwell in their place." Our princes said, "It is written in the Law that the Qadesh, Barukh Hu, has prevented Yisra'el from crossing their border. Finally we took counsel to go to Egypt, but not by the way that our fathers went and not to destroy it, but only to go there to cross the River Pishon to the land of Ehtiopia and, behold, when we came near to Egypt, all Egypt was afraid and sent to us asking, "Is it war or peace?" and we said, "For peace; we will cross your country to the River Pishon, and there we will find a resting place," and, behold, they did not believe us, but all Egypt stood on guard until we crossed their country and arrived in the land of Ethiopia. We found it a good and fat land, and, in it, fields, enclosures, and gardens. They could not restrain the children of Dan from dwelling with them, for they took the land by might and, behold, though they wished to kill them all, they had to pay tribute to Yisra'el, and we dwelt with them many years, and increased and multiplied greatly and held great riches."

Having read this Ethiopian Danite's own hand written word, we continue on with the rabbis responsa. But first note that Eldad wrote on the location of all tribes. He said of the places he visited that Spain had Y'hudah; barbarian Europe had Benyamin; Yissachar, Zebulun and R'uven in Iran; Ephraim and M'nashsheh in Saudi Arabia; Shim`on and more of M'nashsheh in Iraq. He tells how Asher, Naphtali and Gath escaped Syria/Iraq after Sennacherib's death and journeyed to Eritrea where they fight with the people of the land "unto this very day". The sons of Leywi are also beyond the rivers of Kush.

Eldad first set out to visit his Hebrew brethren in Africa and Asia. His vessel was wrecked, and he fell into the hands of cannibals; but he was saved by his leanness, and by the opportune invasion of a neighbouring tribe. After spending four years with his new captors, he was ransomed by a fellow-countryman, a merchant of the tribe of Issachar. He then (according to his highly fabulous narrative) visited the territory of Issachar, in the mountains of Media and Persia; he also describes the abodes of Zabulon, on the  other side  of the Paran Mountains, extending to Armenia and the Euphrates; of Reuben, on another side of the same mountains; of Ephraim and Half Manasseh, in Arabia, not far from Mecca; and of Simeon and the other Half of Manasseh, in Chorazin, six months  journey from Jerusalem. Dan, he declares, sooner than join in Jeroboam s scheme of an Israelite war against Judah, had migrated to Cush, and finally, with the help of Naphthali, Asher and Gad, had founded an independent Jewish kingdom in the Gold Land of Havila, beyond Abyssinia. The tribe of Levi had also been miraculously guided, from near Babylon, to Havila, where they were enclosed and protected by the mystic river Sambation or Sabbation, which on the Sabbath, though calm, was veiled in impenetrable mist, while on other days it ran with a fierce untraversable current of stones and sand.

Eldad, a celebrated Jewish traveller and philologist; who flourished c. AD. 830 890; to whom the work above noticed is ascribed; who was a native either of S. Arabia, Palestine or Media; who journeyed in Egypt, Mesopotamia, North Africa, and Spain; who spent several years at Kairawan in Tunis; who died on a visit to Cordova, and whose authority, as to the lost tribes, is supported by a great Hebrew doctor of his own time, Zemal~i Gaon, the rector of the Academy at Sura (A.D. 889 898). It is possible that a certain relationship exists (as suggested by Epstein and supported by D. H. Muller) between the famous apocryphal Letter of Prester John (of c. AD. 1165) and the narrative of Eldad; but the affinity is not close. Eldad is quoted as an authority on linguistic difficulties by the leading medieval Jewish grammarians and lexicographers.

The work ascribed to Eldad is in Hebrew, divided into six chapters, proba,bly abbreviated from the original text. The first edition appeared at Mantua about 1480; the second at Constantinople in 1516; this was reprinted at Venice in 1544 and 1605, and at Jessnitz in 1722. A Latin version by Gilb. Ghn brard was published at Paris in 1563, under the title of Eldad Danius - - - de Judaea is clausis eorumque in Aethiopia- . imperio, and was afterwards incorporated in the translators Chronologia Hebraeorum of 1584; a German version appeared at Prague in 1695, and another at Jessnitz in 1723. In 1838 E. Carmoly edited and translated a fuller recension which he had found in a MS. from the library of Eliezer Ben Hasan, forwarded to him by David Zabach of Morocco.

Ancient Black African Relations

Judaic Presence in Darkest Africa
Mr. George E Lichtblau, while on duty as labor attache and political officer at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv, came across intriguing references to the Judaic presence in ancient Black Africa. Piqued by titillating allusions to an undocumented aspect of Judaic history, Lichtblau gathered information about this hidden history while carrying out assignments as a Foreign Service Officer for the U. S. Department of State to francophone West Africa. During his travels and meetings with African dignitaries privy to surviving evidence and credible folk-lore of the region, he gathered much information, lectured on the subject, and submitted the information he had gathered to the HHF.

Albeit the tribal memories Lichtblau culled from a variety of sources are not definitive, they are consistent enough to manifest that a significant Judaic involvement took place in Black Africa at a time when Europeans were ignorant of the vast continent beyond the Mediterranean shore. 

Documentation of Judaic pioneering in the "Dark Continent" is sparse but supportive of the existence of substantial intercourse.

Mr. Lichtblau refers first to the two northern African areas where a Judaic communal presence on the continent is acknowledged as part of Judaic history and experience. He refers to the relatively well-known history in the Maghreb extending from Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria to Libya past Cyrenaica, Namibia, Egypt, the Kingdom of Kush as well as in the Horn of Africa and Ethiopia (Discussed in Fact Paper 19-1).

There are biblical references to Judaic sojourns in Egypt and in the Kingdom of Kush in the Book of Exodus. Also, as far back as the 10th century BCE, in alliance with the sea-faring Canaanites of Tyre and Sidon, kings David and Solomon sought to expand Judaic trade throughout the Mediterranean including North Africa, Egypt, the Arab Peninsula and the Horn of Africa as well as Persia.

The Judaic association with the Toureg tribes who dominated the trade routes across the Sahara, led to contacts with black tribes to the south and down the West African coast. Documentation of this penetration is found in Judaic, Arab, and Christian accounts. They describe Jewish rulers of certain tribal groups and clans who identi-fy themselves as Jews scattered throughout Mauritania, Senegal, the Western Soudan, Nigeria and Ghana.

Evidence of Judaic presence extends as far as an association with the Bantu tribes of southern Africa. Mr. Lichtblau found that some 40,000 members of the Lemba tribe still claim Judaic roots! The association of Jews with such tribes is evident from the names of old Judaic communities south of the Atlas mountains in documents recovered from the Geniza of the Ben Ezra Synagogue of Fustat (Cairo). The names of many of these ancient Judaic communities survived through the Renaissance.

Four members of the Ganda tribe of Uganda, a typical central African musical company. Some African instruments evidence the peaceful penetration deep into Africa by Judaic tradesmen and artisans long before the European invasion. The first musician plays a kihembe ngoma, a percussion instrument common to all cultures. The third musician is playing a kissar, a plucked lyre (Hebrew kinnor - King David's instrument). The lyre was introduced into Africa from the Near East. The bowed lyres, tube fiddles, played by the second and fourth musicians are also of Near Eastern origin. Trumpets made of animal horns are likewise African instruments reminiscent of the Judaic shofar, used in Judaic religious rites.

There are other Judaic, Arab and Christian accounts citing the existence of Judaic rulers of certain tribal groups identifying themselves as Jews scattered throughout Mauritania, Senegal and Western Soudan.

For example, among the notable Arab chroniclers citing the existence of these Judaic communities is the 12th century geographer al-Idrisi. Born in Ceuta, Spain, he wrote about Jewish Negroes in the western Sudan.

There was also the 13th century Ibn Khaldun, a respected historian of the Berber tribes. He refers to the Judaic association with the Touregs for trade beyond the Sahara, a commerce facilitated by the Touregs.

Then there was the early 16th century historian and traveler Leon Africanus, a Moslem from Spain, who was raised by a Jewish woman working in his father's household. She taught him Hebrew, and migrated with the family to Marakesh, Morocco, in 1492. Africanus thereafter converted to Catholicism, but remained interested in and reported on the Judaic communities he encountered throughout his travels in West Africa.

Mr. Lichtblau met Bubu Hama while performing his job as an American Foreign Service Officer. Mr. Hama, then president of the national assembly in Niger, was also a prolific writer on African history. Hama affirmed that the Touregs had a Jewish queen in early medieval times; he was undoubtedly referring to Kahena, queen and military commander of the Berbers, tribes that converted to Judaism in the seventh century.

Hama stated that some Judaic Toureg groups preserved their adherence to their faith in defiance of both Islamic and Christian pressures until the 18th century. A fascinating facet of his account is that the Touregs claim to have originated in Yemen, and that the Judaic communities among them likewise originated from the Arabian peninsula. The genealogies of Jewish Toureg rulers, as well as those of the Hausa kingdom, are cited in several of Mr. Hama's books.

In 1976 or 1977, Shimon Peres, leader of the Israeli Labor party and a former Prime Minister, told Mr. Lichtblau about surviving memories of Jewish roots in Black Africa. Peres had just returned from a meeting of the Socialist International during which he met with President Leopold Senghor of Senegal about the normalization of relations between the two countries, Senghor told him that he too had Jewish ancestors!

Indeed, Mr. Lichtblau found records of small Senegalese Judaic kingdoms and tribal groups known as the Beni Israel. They were part of the Wolof and Mandige communities of Senegal until forced to convert to Islam in the 18th century. Members of these groups claim to have been descendants of the tribe of Dan, i.e., the tribe of artisans in gold and other metals. They were still carrying on that ancient, traditionally Judaic occupation. Curiously, the sophisticated jewelry produced by Beni Israel artisans strikingly resemble the exquisite Yemenite products.

Ethiopian Jews likewise trace their ancestry to the tribe of Dan. Some of these transmigrants established communities in such renowned places as Gao, Timbuktu, where UNESCO maintains notable archives. They contain records of the city's ancient Judaic community as well as of the Jews in Banako, Agades, and Ibadan, "a few" commented Lichtblau|, of numerous villages and towns throughout the area which retain some record of Judaic presence. Notable also among the tribes converting to Judaism were not only the Toureg, but tribes from the Peuhl and Ibadya groups. It can be assumed that the metalworking arts were transmitted south and west by the Jewish artisan/traders from Ethiopia as well as by those who had traversed North Africa from Arabia and Judah.

Gold also figures in historical accounts that report that Jewish travelers from Persia had organized exchanges of silk fabrics for gold in the kingdom of Ghana. The tradition of the production of "Kenti" cloth by the Ashantis of Ghana appears to trace back to this intercourse. "To this day," comments Lichtblau, "it is said that the Ashanti words for numbers relate to those in Farsi, a language employed by the Judaic/Persian traders."

"Kenti" cloth designs have much in common with the Persian/Chinese designs on silk. The information garnered by Lichtblau dovetails with the observation made by HHF member Lois Rose Rose of Los Angeles. She reported on the curious use of the "Seal of Solomon" as a standard pattern in ancient fabrics woven in West Africa.

The impact of Judaic influence led to the conversion to Judaism by a number of ruling families in Ghana, notably among the Peuhl, Foulani, Mossi, Fanti and Soughay tribes. Similar conversions had taken place among several Nigerian Yoruba and Hausa groups. No studies of these con versions are extant, yet it is a matter of record that the kingdom of Ghana was ruled by Judaic kings for nearly two hundred years!

Senegalese goldsmiths, jewelers and smiths likewise carry on in a powerful tradition introduced by Judaic artisans. The name of an old Senegalese province is still "Juddala." The Judaic seminal influence on Black Africa is confirmed by surviving accounts of Portuguese and other European visitors who first came to the area in the 14th and 15th centuries; they found that Judaic merchants and artisans had long preceded them. These accounts confirm what was reported centuries earlier by North African and Arab historical records.

"Most of these communities disappeared," notes Lichtblau. "Having existed largely in isolation there was a good deal of intermarriage which for a while reinforced their influence.... As a result they were increasingly viewed as a threat by Muslim rulers... [they] were either forced to convert to Islam or were massacred, with those remaining fleeing to North Africa, Egypt or the Sudan and a few also to Cameroon and even Southern Africa."

A significant factor in the spread of Judaism is the influence of Karaite Jews. A substantial community of Karaites settled in Egypt, and some of their precepts appear to have filtered through Africa. The Karaites rejected adherence to the rulings of the hierarchical orthodox authorities. They played a significant role in the expansion of Judaism and as advocates of a greater religious role for women, factors that became evident in surviving religious customs of the Judeo-Berber communities and among the West African tribes who still claim some ties to Judaism.

The first maps which included large segments of Black Africa were made by Abraham Cresques of Majorka in the 13th century. The Cresque family derived their information from Jewish traders visiting the strategically placed Mediterranean island. These maps, and the tales filtering down from the traders themselves spurred the Portuguese, Spanish, and other European regimes to search for new countries to plunder and enslave in Black Africa.

Mr. Lichtblau came upon intriguing references to "glassmakers in Niger who claim Jewish ancestry and trace their roots back to Hebron." In fact, such craftsmen were found by Rene Gardi, and reported on in his book African Crafts and Craftsmen, which was translated from the French and published by Litton Educational Publishing Co., NY, 1969.

The book contains dramatic color photographs of an African boy selling necklaces composed of vari-colored beads and bracelets executed in fairly sophisticated patterns by his father. "One does not usually expect to read about glassmakers in conjunction with Africa," the author notes, "but in the Nigerian city of Bida the art of transforming miserable beer or medicine bottles into brightly colored bracelets and beads is still practiced."

Bida is the capital of the old kingdom of the Nupe, now a Muslim people. The author visited the glassmakers in an outlying quarter of the city, where "live a few families bound together in a strict guild, that of the glassmakers, who even now know how to guard their trade secrets well... [They] say that they come from the East and are not Nupe. Way-stations in their wanderings were the Bornuland in Chad, and lastly Kano, before they settled down with the Nupe in Bida... The glassmakers are regarded as strangers among the Nupe."

Gardi refers to the research of Leo Frobenius, a German ethnologist, who visited the Bida glassmakers in 1911, an earlier period in which the community's traditions were less distorted by the Islamic and Christian prejudices of more recent times. Frobenius found the glassmakers originally of the Jewish religion. The author also refers to an article by Manfred Korfman, who observed that the workers of a Hebron glass factory (no longer in existence), "produce their bracelets in the same fashion as the people of Bida."

The glassmakers were formed into an autonomous commune. About twelve "huts" [families] were still in operation.. When Gardi was there, the chief was named Daniyalu, "a man who commanded enormous respect." Note that the name appears to be a combination of Daniel and Yahu, transcribed into Yalu. It is a peculiarly Judaic name and construction!

The titillating references to a dimly apparent, symbiotic relationship of Jews with black African tribes indicate that a rich mine of both Judaic and African history remains to be researched.

Paralleles Between Jews & Tutsis

If the Palestinians are merely engaged in a nationalist struggle for self-determination, then why are they inciting genocide of Jewry? In the midst of Operation Protective Edge, Hamas released a music video in Hebrew calling for the Palestinians to bomb Israel and kill all Israelis.

“Raze it [Israel] to the ground, exterminate the cockroaches’ nest, and banish all the Zionists,” the lyrics read.

Some human rights activists and lawyers may get a sense of déjà vu upon reading these words. Back in 1994, there were several radio broadcasts calling for the extermination of human cockroaches.

They were in Rwanda. When the Hutus began their genocide of the Tutsis on April 6, 1994, the most popular radio station in the country was RTLM, owned by relatives and friends of Rwandan president Juvenal Habyrarimana.

That day, RTLM exhorted its listeners, “You have to kill the Tutsis, they’re cockroaches. All those who are listening, rise so we can fight for our Rwanda. Fight with the weapons you have at your disposal: those who have arrows, with arrows, those who have spears, with spears.

We must all fight. We must all fight the Tutsis. We must finish with them, exterminate them, sweep them from the whole country. There must be no refuge for them.”

RTLM continued to incite for genocide throughout the war. And as the invading Tutsi army came in from Uganda, RTLM staff fled to Zaire with a mobile radio transmitter to continue broadcasting.

The "Bahutu Manifesto" was a political manifesto produced by nine Rwandan ethnic Hutu intellectuals on 24 March 1957. The document was around 10 pages, addressed to the vice-governor general of Rwanda, and denouncing the "exploitation" of the Hutus by the ethnic Tutsi.

This document called for a double liberation of the Hutu people, first from the race of white colonials, and second from the race of Hamitic oppressors, the Tutsi. The document in many ways established the future tone of the Hutu nationalist movement by identifying the "indigenous racial problem" of Rwanda as the social, political, and economic "monopoly which is held by one race, the Tutsi."

This manifesto could be compared to Hitler's "Mein Kampf". The result was the same. Jewish African, the Tutsis, were slaughtered en mass. In Nazi Germany there was German hero,  Oskar Schindler, that risked his life for the Jews, saving many. In Rwanda the Hutu hero was  Paul Rusesabagina. He also risked his life & saved many Tutsis from certain mass assasination.

Jews Of Africa - History

More than 2,700 years ago, on a tiny strip of fertile land on the far eastern edge of the Mediterranean, a small band of farmers, metalworkers and merchants lost a war and, at least temporarily, their land. A haughty Assyrian army swept in from the north, and as they advanced through Sameria they ravaged the communities of Hebrews who dwelled there. The Hebrews fought to protect their homes but in the end they had no choice but to flee. Some took their families and escaped to the east, disappearing into unfamiliar Asian nations. Others fled southinto Africa, through the desert that their people had crossed in the other direction five hundred years before while escaping enslavement Egypt. A tiny group of Hebrews did remain in nearby Judea, but a century later the Babylonians conquered them, laying waste to their capital city, Jerusalem, and their most sacred structure – the Temple at which they worshipped God. The Hebrew people were homeless, wandering as they had through the Sinai, taking root, as they had become accustomed, in foreign lands. Such devastation would have marked the end of most peoples, but the Hebrews did not allow their defeat to finish them. Perhaps their Jewish religion made them different enough from the people who conquered them that they had to cling to one another to retain it. Perhaps those who opened their lands to the Hebrews distrusted, disliked or feared them enough to keep them separate. Whatever quirks of culture and history allowed them to maintain their identity, the Jewish people were able to survive domination by Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians and Romans, as well as Muslim conversions, Catholic Crusades, centuries of Inquisition, even the Nazi Holocaust.

Though Jews maintained their own religious beliefs, rituals and core customs through these
tribulations, they did not remain entirely separate from the people whose lands they inhabited. In fact, Jews often intermarried with other peoples, bringing local genetic characteristics (and often local cultural traits) into their community. When the Jewish people began their journey they were dark-skinned people, like any other tribe that originated in the so-called "Fertile Crescent," who spoke Hebrew and dressed in the robes and fabrics of the region. In the Diaspora, some Hebrews found themselves in Asian and African countries; over centuries, their collective skin darkened, they began to speak local languages and live, work and dress in a local fashion. As they developed over centuries into a substantial European population, the Jews there became white as their fellow countrymen, adopting their languages and day-to-day culture. This wandering nation may have maintained its identity through shared history, core beliefs and religion, but it could not reliably define itself by superficial characteristics like skin color, language or style of clothing.

Even today, when more than three quarters of the fourteen million Jews live in North America, Europe, and the largely white nation of Israel, one certainly does not have to have white skin and be identifiable as a "European" to be Jewish. In fact, there are more then a hundred thousand people self-proclaimed Jews in Africa today. Some of the Jews of Africa are white as their Western cousins, but others are dark-skinned as other North Africans, or as black as any African dwelling in the heart of the continent. They dress and speak like their neighbors, live in the same kind of dwellings, work the same type of jobs – upon a cursory glance one might not be able to tell that they are different.

But they are different – religiously different from other Africans, culturally different from the Jews who live in other parts of the world and substantially different from one another, for each Jewish community in Africa has its own history, character and view of what exactly "being Jewish" means. Many African Jews are "transplanted" Jews, those who have come to Africa from European nations. Some of them, like the Spanish Jews fleeing the Inquisition who arrived in North and West Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries, have intermingled with the local community so entirely that one can no longer call them "European." Others, like the clearly European Jews of Mozambique, seeded a Jewish community which remained when the political climate of the nation became unfavorable to non-Africans. Still others, like the white Jews of South Africa, have built their community on the African land but, so far, have retained their European identity.

There are "Jews by choice," such as the Abayudaya in Uganda and the Jews of Rusape, Zimbabwe and of Sefwi Wiawso and Sefwi Sui in Ghana, Africans who acknowledge their non-Jewish lineage but in recent years have chosen to practice Judaism. Some of them want Israel’s Orthodox Rabbinate to accept them as Jews, others do not seek others’ recognition of their faith. These Africans find solace in Judaism and identify with some aspect of the rituals, history or culture of the Jewish people. There are Jews by lineage, black Jews who some researchers call, "African Hebrew Israelites," such as the Beta Israel of Ethiopia and the Lemba of Southern Africa, who still practice some Jewish rituals of the ancient Hebrews or Jewish traders who they claim seeded their communities. There are also Moroccan, Tunisian and Egyptian communities which have been practicing Judaism continuously since the ancient Hebrews fleeing Babylonian or Roman domination founded them almost two thousand years ago. While the variety of Jewish communities in Africa today may confound those who have a narrow concept of Jews and Judaism, such a variety is only natural considering that the history of Jewish influence on Africa is a complex, often contradictory jumble of roaming tribes, crusading traders and proselytizing marauders who crisscrossed the continent imposing their own way of life.

According to some historians, Jews first crossed into the Nile Valley nearly two thousand years before the birth of Jesus, perhaps in some relationship with the Hyksos "Shepherd Kings" who may have originated in ancient Canaan. The Hyksos arrived in Egypt in the Second Intermediate period in the 17th century B.C. and roamed the Northeastern region of Africa for centuries. There is scant archaeological evidence to verify the Jews’ wanderings, but there is a general agreement that a substantial number of Israelites settled in ancient Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs. The Exodus from Egypt led by Moses most likely took place during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II (1279-1212 BC). After the Jews fled Egypt they settled in Canaan. The twelve tribal families of Hebrews unified under the Kingdoms of Saul, David and Solomon in the 10th and 9th centuries B.C. The Hebrew kings were powerful rulers who expanded their empires’ influence by trading throughout North Africa, Egypt, the Arab Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. By the 7th century B.C. the Jewish state had already split into the two kingdoms of Judea in the south and Samaria in the north. The Assyrians attacked this divided kingdom in the 6th and 7th centuries B.C. defeating the ten tribes that comprised Israel and scattering them so widely that no one, not political leaders, historians, anthropologists, theologians nor even the true believers, all of whom have claimed to have known their whereabouts to suit their own purposes or satisfy their own needs, has been able to prove to have found them.

The Babylonians destroyed the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and exiled the southern Hebrew kingdom in the 8th century B.C. Some of the defeated Hebrews settled in Babylonia itself, others set up Jewish communities all around the Mediterranean, including Egypt, where they set up a Temple in Elephantine, and on the North African coast, especially in the Tunisian city of Carthage and on the island of Djerba. The Jews used these footholds as a base from which they could explore (and, in some cases, exploit) African tribes further inland and into the Sahara. There are recorded accounts of Jewish traders in ancient Ghana, Tekrur and Tuat in the first centuries after the birth of Jesus. Some historians believe that in this period Jews from either Elephantine or Yemen moved into present-day Ethiopia and gave root to the Beta Israel, and perhaps into the Bantu lands of Southern Africa that
are home to today’s Lemba.

Many of Jewish merchants moved further inland as Muslims conquered North Africa in the 7th century -- Jews were in Tamentit by then; one can still see traces of Jewish architecture today. By the 8th century there were also reports of Jewish merchants in the Saharan regions of Mzab, Tafilalet and Sijilmasa. In this time Jews (and with them, through intermarriage and some proselytizing) influenced nomadic Berber tribes in the Atlas Mountains both economically and culturally. The Spanish-born, 12th century geographer al-Idrisi, 13th century Arab historian Ibn Khaldun, and the 16th century historian Leon Africanus, wrote extensive tomes about Berber and black Jews they encountered in their research and travels in Africa. The Jewish population in North Africa, Cape Verde and the Guinea coast swelled in the 15th and 16th centuries as both Jews fleeing the Inquisition and those who had "converted" to Catholicism, many of whom still practiced Judaism secretly, settled there. The Jewish communities thrived, especially in North Africa, and though they faced repeated waves of persecution at the hands of Muslim rulers, there were Jews throughout the region until the 20th century. Today most former Jews – especially those in the Sahara and West Africa – have long since converted to Islam or Christianity, leaving only travelers’ legend, tribal lore and the odd artifact of their centuries of Jewish observance. A substantial number of the Jews in Africa, especially those in Northern Africa, emigrated to Israel after 1948. The Beta Israel followed suit in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, leaving only a portion of the community in Ethiopia. Even many white South African Jews have left Africa for Israel or the West.

Despite nearly two millennia of persecution, forced conversion and the constant drain of migration, once can still find Jews in most every part of Africa. Perhaps the Jews have been so determined to stay in Africa because they penetrated the continent slowly – they chose Africa as their land with purpose, and have struggled to remain there because, after all, over centuries Africa became their home.

Akan People

Akans (does the name come from CaNaan) are an ethnic group residing in the southern regions of what are today the republics of Ghana and the Ivory Coast in West Africa. Akans are the largest ethnic group in both countries and have a population of roughly 20 million people. The Akan language (also known as Twi–Fante) is a group of dialects within the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo language family. Also included under the term "Akan" are the Bia languages (in which case it is common to speak of "Akan languages", as a group of languages).

Subgroups of the Akan proper include: Asante, Akuapem and Akyem (the Asante, Akuapem and Akyem dialects are together known as Twi), Agona, Kwahu, Wassa, Fante (Fanti or Mfantse: Anomabo, Abura, Gomua) and Brong. Subgroups of the Bia-speaking groups include: the Anyin, Baoulé, Chakosi (Anufo), Sefwi (Sehwi), Nzema, Ahanta and Jwira-Pepesa. The Akan subgroups have cultural attributes in common, notably the tracing of descent, inheritance of property, and succession to high political office.

The Akan people are believed to have migrated to their current location from the Sahara desert and Sahel region of West Africa into the forested region around the 6th century, and many Akans tell their history as it started in the forested region of West Africa as this is where the ethnogenesis of the Akan as we know them today happened.

Oral Traditions of the ruling Abrade (Aduana) Clan relate that they originated from ancient Ghana. As a result of the introduction of Islam in the Western Sudan, and the zeal of the Muslims to impose their religion, their Ancestors left for Kong (i.e. present day La Cote d'Ivoire). From Kong they moved to Wam and then to Dormaa (these are both on present day Brong Ahafo Region). The movement from Kong was necessitated by the desire of the people to find suitable Savannah conditions since they were not used to Forest Life. Around the 6th century, they moved from Dormaa South Eastwards to Twifo-Hemang, North West Cape Coast. This move was commercially motivated.

The kingdom of Bonoman (or Brong-Ahafo) was established as early as the 11th century, and between the 12th and 13th centuries a gold boom in the Akan area brought wealth to numerous Akans.

During different phases of the Kingdom of Bonoman groups of Akans migrated out of the area to create numerous states based predominantly on gold mining and trading of cash crops. This brought wealth to numerous Akan states like Akwamu, (1550-1650) and ultimately led to the rise of the most well known Akan empire, the Empire of Ashanti, (1700-1900), the most dominant of the Akan states.

From the 15th century to the 19th century the Akan people dominated gold mining and trading in the region and, from the 17th century on, they were among the most powerful groups in west Africa.

This wealth in gold attracted European traders. Initially the Europeans were Portuguese but, eventually the Dutch and British joined in the quest for Akan gold. Akan states waged wars on neighboring states in their geographic area to capture people and sell them as slaves to Europeans (Portuguese) who subsequently sold the enslaved people along with guns to Akans states in exchange for Akan gold.[17] Akan gold was also used to purchase slaves from further up north via the Trans-Saharan route. The Akan purchased slaves in order to help clear the dense forests within Ghana. About a third of the population of many Akan states were enslaved people. The Akans went from buyers of slaves to selling slaves as the dynamics in the Gold Coast and the New World changed. Thus, the Akan people played a considerable role in supplying Europeans with slaves for the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Ghana later apologized to the descendents of slaves for the role some of its people may have played in the slave trade.

Akan people, especially the Ashanti, fought against European colonists to maintain autonomy including many Anglo-Ashanti wars: the war of the Golden Stool, and other similar battles.

By the early 1900s all of Ghana was a colony or protectorate of the British while the lands in the Ivory Coast was under the French. On 6 March 1957, following the decolonization from the British under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah, the Gold Coast was joined to British Togoland, and the Northern region, Upper East region and Upper West region of the Gold Coast to form Ghana. Ivory Coast gained independence on 7 August 1960.

Akan subgroups and ethnic identity
The Akan people comprise the following subgroups: Ashanti, Abbe, Abidji, Aboure, Adjukru, Ahafo, Ahanta, Akuapem, Akwamu, Akye, Akyem, Alladian, Anyi, Aowin, Appollo, Assin, Attie, Avatime, Avikam, Baoule, Brong, Chokosi, Coromantee, Denkyira, Ebrie, Ehotile, Evalue, Fante, Kwahu, M'Bato, Ndyuka, Nzema, Sefwi, and Wassa.

The identity of an Akan nation or ethnicity is expressed by the term Akanman. The Akan word ɔman (plural aman) which forms the second element in this expression has a meaning much of "community, town; nation, state". It has been translated as "Akanland".

Akan refers to the language of the Akan ethnic group and the Akan language in which was and is the most widely spoken and used indigenous language in the Ghana. Akan is officially recognized for literacy in Ghana, at the primary and elementary educational stage (Primary 1–3) K–12 (education) level, and studied at university as a bachelor degree or masters degree program. The Akan language spoken as the predominant language in the Western, Central, Ashanti, Eastern, Brong Ahafo regions of Ghana. A form of Akan Ndyuka is also spoken in South America, notably Suriname, French Guiana, Guyana and Jamaica with the Akan language coming to these South American and Caribbean places through the trans-Atlantic trade and Akan names and folktales are still used in these South American and Caribbean countries. With the present state of technology, one can listen to live radio broadcasts in Akan from numerous radio stations and receive mass media and public broadcasts in Akan from numerous multimedia and media broadcasting. Akan is studied in major universities in North America and United States, including Ohio University, Ohio State University, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Harvard University, Boston University, Indiana University, University of Michigan, and the University of Florida. The Akan language has been a regular language of study in the annual Summer Cooperative African Languages Institute (SCALI) program and the Akan language is regulated and administered by the Akan Orthography Committee (AOC).

Akan has some unique linguistic features like tone, vowel harmony and nasalization. Akan culture is one of the traditional matrilineal cultures of Africa, like the current Jews.

 Akan Empire of Ashanti army engaged in Warfare and Military Combat with the British forces under the command of Coll. Sutherland, July 11th 1824

Concepts of Akan philosophy and inheritance

These are the basic concepts of Akan philosophy and inheritance:

Abusua (mogya) – What an Akan inherits from his mother

Ntoro – What an Akan gets from his father, but one does not belong to a Ntoro; instead one belongs to one's Abusua

Sunsum – What an Akan develops from interaction with the world
Kra – What an Akan gets from Onyame (God)

Many but not all of the Akan still practice their traditional matrilineal customs, living in their traditional extended family households. The traditional Akan economic and political organization is based on matrilineal lineages, which are the basis of inheritance and succession. A lineage is defined as all those related by matrilineal descent from a particular ancestress. Several lineages are grouped into a political unit headed by a council of elders, each of whom is the elected head of a lineage – which itself may include multiple extended-family households.

Public offices are thus vested in the lineage, as are land tenure and other lineage property. In other words, lineage property is inherited only by matrilineal kin. Each lineage controls the lineage land farmed by its members, functions together in the veneration of its ancestors, supervises marriages of its members, and settles internal disputes among its members.

The political units above are likewise grouped into eight larger groups called abusua: Aduana, Agona, Asakyiri, Asenie, Asona, Bretuo, Ekuona and Oyoko. The members of each such abusua are united by their belief that they are all descended from the same ancient ancestress – so marriage between members of the same group (or abusua) is forbidden, a taboo on marriage. One inherits, or is a lifelong member of, the lineage, the political unit and the abusua of one's mother, regardless of one's gender or marriage. Members and their spouses thus belong to different abusuas, with mother and children living and working in one household, but their husband/father living and working in a different household.

According to one source of information about the Akan, "A man is strongly related to his mother's brother (wɔfa) but only weakly related to his father's brother. This must be viewed in the context of a polygamous society in which the mother/child bond is likely to be much stronger than the father/child bond. As a result, in inheritance, a man's nephew (his sister's son) (wɔfase) will have priority over his own son. Uncle-nephew relationships therefore assume a dominant position."

"The principles governing inheritance, generation and age – that is to say, men come before women and seniors before juniors."... When a woman’s brothers are available, a consideration of generational seniority stipulates that the line of brothers be exhausted before the right to inherit lineage property passes down to the next senior genealogical generation of sisters' sons. Finally, "it is when all possible male heirs have been exhausted that the females" may inherit.

Certain other aspects of the Akan culture are determined patrilineally rather than matrilineally. There are 12 patrilineal Ntoro (spirit) groups, and everyone belongs to his or her father's Ntoro group, but not to his family lineage and abusua. Each Ntoro group has its own surnames, taboos, ritual purifications and forms of etiquette. A person thus inherits one's Ntoro from one's father, but does not belong to his family.

A recent (2001) book provides an update on the Akan, stating that some families are changing from the above abusua structure to the nuclear family. Housing, childcare, education, daily work, and elder care etc. are then handled by that individual family, rather than by the abusua or clan, especially in the city. The above taboo on marriage within one's abusua is sometimes ignored, but "clan membership" is still important, with many people still living in the abusua framework presented above.

Akan influence
Elements of Akan culture can generally be seen in many geographic areas. Specific elements of Akan culture are especially seen in neighboring West African peoples and some Central African populations. Akan culture has also been historically important in the New World, where Akan names are or were common, for example among the Coromantins of Jamaica, and the descendants of the Akwamu in St. John. Kofi, the leader of the 1763 slave revolt and violent revolt against the Dutch people in Guyana was an Akan.

Among the individuals of Akan origin are Kwame Nkrumah (born September 21, 1909), who started the pan-African movement which liberated many states from European colonialism; Kofi Annan (born April 8, 1938), is the first black man to head the United Nations organization and was awarded the Nobel Prize; others of Akan origin include Arthur Wharton (born October 28, 1865), is the first black professional footballer in the world; Paul Cuffee (born January 17, 1759), built a lucrative shipping empire and by the first years of the nineteenth-century was one of the wealthiest men in the United States. His largest ship, the 268-ton Alpha, was built in 1806, along with his favorite ship of all, the 109-ton brig Traveller.

Akan religion

The Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast believe in a Supreme Being who takes on various names depending upon the region of worship. The deity is referred to as Brekyirihunuade ("almighty"), Nyame "the one who knows and sees everything", Otweidiampon, Okokroko, Onyame, Awurade and Odomankoma. There are no priests that directly serve Brekyirihunuade, as it is an attribute and people believe that they may make direct contact to God (Nyame) via this name.

According Akan mythology, at one time the god interacted with man, but that after being continually struck by the pestle of an old woman pounding fufu, a traditional Akan food, he moved far up into the sky.

The supreme being in the pantheon of the Ashanti is Nyame (also Nyankopon), the omniscient, omnipotent sky god. He and Asase Ya, his wife, have two children: Bia and Tano.

Adinkra symbol representing the omnipotence and omnipresence of Nyame

The creator of the universe in Ashanti mythology is most often referred to as Odomankoma ("infinite inventor") however there is research that suggests this could refer to a role or attribute of Nyame rather than a separate deity. Other examples in the creation story include Oboadee ("creator") and Anase Kokuroku ("the great designer" or "the great spider").

The Ashanti believe lower gods or (angels), more akin to spirits, assist humans on earth. Onyame was traditionally supposed to be aloof and away from the Earth as the Supreme Being. As the Ashanti adopted Christianity, they used the word Onyame as a general name for God, also used amongst Ashanti's in Christianity as well.

Anansi the Spider is a folk hero who plays no role in Ashanti mythology. He is, however, prominent in Ashanti folktales where he is depicted as a trickster. Besides this focus on theism, Akan mythology shares animism and ancestor worship with the other African traditional religions: Spirits are known as abosom. They receive their power from the supreme god and are most often connected to the world as it appears in its natural state. These include ocean and river spirits and various local deities. Priests serve individual spirits and act as mediators between the gods and mankind. Many of those who believe in these traditions participate in daily prayer, which includes the pouring of libations as an offering to both the ancestors who are buried in the land and to the spirits who are everywhere.

The earth is seen as a female deity and is directly connected to fertility and fecundity.

Finally there is the Nsamanfo ("ancestors"), an example of ancestral worship; the Akan traditional religion pays respect to their ancestors.

Biafada, Biafar in Guinea-Bissau


The Biafada of Guinea-Bissau are commonly regarded as a sub-group of the Tenda. They are spread over a wide area, a small group located on the north bank of the Geba river (Gool dialect), the two large groups (dialects of Guinala and Bubwas) in the province of Quinará, south western part of the country, and another small group, detached from the others, in the southernmost province of Tombali, extending over the border into Guinea Conakry, the Bagandada dialect.

Most of Guinea-Bissau is a low-lying, swampy coastal plain. The land rises gradually to form a plateau region in the east. The maximum elevation of about 1,017 feet is found in the southeast. Within the country, there are about 37 different ethnic groups, the major ones being the Balante, the Fulani, the Papel, the Mandinka, and the Mandyak. Cape Verdians form a small but significant, minority.

The official language of Guinea-Bissau is Portuguese, but Crioulo, a mixture of Portuguese and African, is more commonly spoken. The Biafada speak a Niger-Congo language that is also known as Biafada. (In their own language it is called Ganjoola and they name themselves Bijoola.)

What are their lives like?
The early history of Guinea-Bissau is obscure, but some of the major ethnic groups of the country were apparently established there by the 12th century. In 1446, the area was visited by a Portuguese slave trader and it became an important slave center.

Like most of the people in West Africa, the Biafada are farmers. They grow a variety of crops, using very basic tools. Maize, manioc, and rice are the staples, but squash, melons, sweet potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes are also grown. Major tree crops include cashew nuts, bananas, mangoes, and papayas. The Biafada raise sheep and goats but do not use their milk. Hunting is of less importance than agriculture, but there is considerable gathering of wild fruits and roots, berries, and kola, shea, and palm nuts.

Their houses are rectangular. They do not live in compound clusters, but in villages, although family live often in adjoining houses. The villages are generally rectangular. There is generally one house of the village elder at one end of the rectangle; sometimes this place was occupied by the mosque. In recent years this model has changed as the Biafadas tend to build their villages along both sides of a road, with traffic going though the middle of the villages. There aren't any mudwalls or fences around compounds or villages.

In the Biafada community, men hunt, fish, clear the land. The women do the gathering and help in the agricultural work.

There is generally a village elder or chief, considered as the person of authority. There used to be a structure with chieftains governing larger areas. This had all but disappeared during the colonial days and the war of independence. In some areas it is in the process of being reinstated, though it's influence is limited to matters pertaining to traditional land rights and such.

Circumcision of males is practiced, and some female circumcision is also continued. These practices are mainly associated with initiation ceremonies at puberty and typically involve a period of instruction in an isolated "bush school."

In family right there were always heavy punishments known as 'justisa di minjer' (literally: 'women's justice') for premarital sex resulting in pregnancy, both for the male and the female offender. This was outlawed by the government in the seventies. Though it is true that -- as with most people groups here -- premarital sex is not a great problem as long a you are not discovered and do not get pregnant. Nowadays there is a lot of promiscuity, resulting in many children born outside wedlock and also in an increasing percentage of HIV. Polygyny is very common among the Biafada, probably encouraged by their conversion to Islam. The man and his different wives all live in the same house, with each wife generally having her own room.

What are their beliefs?
A large percent of the population of Guinea-Bissau are ethnic religionists, following their traditional beliefs. Less than half (primarily the Fulani, Mandinka and Biafada) are Muslims. A small number of the people are Christians. Among the Biafada, the majority are Sunni Muslims. The rest are either Christians or animists, believing that non-living objects have spirits.

The Biafada are nearly 100% Sunni Muslims, having gone over to Islam over the past century. Underneath, many still practice old animist rites to some extent, though they will seldom admit this. Their believe is a mixture of Islamic doctrine and animistic convictions. Their Islamic believes and practices have been considerably strengthened over the past 20 years, turning them into staunch Muslims. Although there are undoubtedly a few Biafada Roman Catholics in the capital Bissau, the Roman Catholic church has not made any inroads among them in the tribal areas. There are about a dozen known evangelical/protestant Biafada believers, all but four or five of them living outside Biafada territory. There isn't a Biafada church. Though there are a number of churches in the Biafada territory due to the fact that the population is very mixed, Biafada are not attracted to these churches as they consist mainly of people from animistic background. Pork consumption and the use of drums in the church generally prevent any really interest in the evangelical churches from the side of the Biafada. There is one young Biafada man in Bible Institute training to be a pastor with a vision of reaching his own people group.

There aren't any resources in the Biafada language, except for old gospel cassettes.


Biase is a Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Akpet Central. It has an area of 1,310 km² and a population of 169,183 at the 2006 census.

The people of Biase are direct descendants of Obutong town in Calabar. History has it that they migrated to present day Biase due to a brief conflict with their Efik brothers. The ancient killing twins was widely practiced by Biase people and their Efik brothers before Mary Slassor stopped it more than a century ago.

Biase people observed all Efik traditions and dance including Ekpe, Ekombi and Abang. The Ekpe Society is the authority in some parts of Biase whilst Agban is observed in Ubaghara, while Abbu is observed by the Erei north mostly which comprises (Umuolor, Ipene, Elu, Egbor, Obum) and Ijom across the River.

The Efik language is the main language of Biase people but several variations of the Efik language, such as Ubaghara and Ukwa, are also spoken in Biase.

Another major language spoken in Biase is the Erei language which is the original language of the Erei and Biase people, which comprises ten groups of communities or towns, namely, Abanwan, Afono, Edu/Elu (there must be pockets of Esauites [Edomites] among them), Egbor, Etana, Ibini, Ipene, Obum, Umuolor and Urugbam, which is the capital, and Abayong people on the other side of the river. Erei (this name is probably related to Eri, the Gadite ancestor of the Igbos) is also spoken by the Etono people in Ugbahara and partially spoken by the Abini people. The Agwuagwune and Adim people also understand and speak Erei at a basic level.

"The Hebraic Origins of the Temne": According to Biblical and Oral History

I found that I share DNA with the Temne people of Sierra Leone on my maternal and paternal lines. Because I knew nothing about theTemne and there was limited information available on the internet, I decided to reach out to my brothers from Sierra Leone and other African countries via social media and my diverse neighborhood. The first of many items of information to be uncovered is the multiple spellings of the tribe; Timmannee/Temne/Temeni/Temani. From then on, I began to conduct interviews with knowledgeable elders and friends, regarding customs, traditions, and migrations. Through further evaluation, I realized a strong similarity between the Temne and Hebrew peoples.

Sierra Leone is located in West Africa. The Temne are one of the largest tribes in Sierra Leone. Many trace the Temne history to Futa Jallon, a place located in modern Guinea. The word Guinea actually derives from the Hebrew word “Guinath”, meaning protection. (1Kings 16;22)(1). Some can trace their migration further to the Mali Empire, once located in western Sudan. It means circumcised in a  Bantu dialect. Sudan originally comes from the word So-Yuda “Land of Judah”(2)There are also quite a great number of Temeni that know of their migration from the East, in Yemen. Yemen was originally part of the land mass of Ethiopia. There is a saying that the Temne greeting “Topia” comes from the word Ethiopia. As a matter of fact, there is a certain group of people in Ethiopia where the natives speak Temeni. According to Christian Friedrich Schlenker, in his book “Grammar of the Temne Language” he quotes, “Philology will find ample materials to bring forward some striking analogies between the Temne and other, not only African but SEMITIC and European languages.”

There are Yemenite Jews/Yahudim that are called Temani. The word Temani in Hebrew means southward. I believe that there is a strong possibilty that there is a connection between the Temeni of Sierra Leone and the Temani of Yemen. Especially since the Temeni of Sierra Leone once sojourned in that area. Before we go any deeper we must understand a couple of facts: The land of Israel’s location was not originally called the “Middle East”. Israel’s location was originally called northeast Africa. Israel was not seperated from Africa until the late 1800s when the Suez Canal was built. The original borders of Israel stretched between the Nile and the Euphrates.

"On the same day YAHUAH made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'I have given this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates….' " (Genesis 15:18) One can now easily see that there was a large migration of Hebrews into Eastern Africa and Saudia Arabia. There is historical documentation in the Kebra Negast that Hebrews that came back with Menelek, Solomon’s son, to Ethiopia. When the Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E., over a million Israelites fled into Africa. These are only a few accounts of Hebraic presence within these borders.

Now that we have put ourselves in a historical mindset, we can continue. According to
oral traditions, the Temne are from the tribe of Yahudah/Judah. They left Israel after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E. They then went to Yemen/Ethiopia, to Mali/Western Sudan, then Futa Jallon/Guinea, and later Sierra Leone. What I found in the Bible was very interesting. There is a descendant of Judah with the name Timmannee. 1 Chronicles 4:16 reads:

"The sons of Yahudah (JUDAH): Perets, Àtsron, and Karmi, and Hur, and Shobal. 2And Re’ayah son of Shobal brought forth Yahath, and Yahath brought forth Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Tsorathites. 3And these were of the father of Eytam: Yizre'el, and Yishma, and Yidbash. Andthe name of their sister was Hatselelponi; 4and Penu’el was the father of Gedor, and Ezer was the father of Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, the first-born of Ephrathah the father of Beyth Lehem. 5And Ashhur the father of Teqowa had two wives, Helah and Na'arah. 6And Na'aarah bore him Ahuzzam, and Hepher, and TEMENI, and Ha’ahashtari. These were the sons of Na'arah." The Temne always refer to their chiefs as the Lion. The Lion is the symbol of Judah (Genesis 49:9, Revelation 5:5). Israel’s kingship belonged to the tribe of Yahudah/Judah(Genesis 49:10). It is known among the Temne that their kingship originates in the east. There was a Temne chief named Alhaji Bai Shebora King David Kamara. Even though he was a Muslim by religion, he chose the name King David because he knew about the Temne's kingship originating from the tribe of Yahudah/Judah; the lineage of King David.

The Temne say the following words when honoring the chief.
E laftheh ro thoron

“I turn to the east” (The Israelites, wherever they sojournered in exile, always turned to the East towards Jerusalem. This is where the Temple once stood.( Daniel 6:10, 2 Chronicles 6:34-39)
E nessa enswella “I fear the Lion” E kori kori mu “I praise you” Lantha Karabai “So be it to the king”

When Hailie Salassie, the former king of Ethiopia, visited Sierra Leone and was honored in this way. This man was a known descendant of King David from the tribe of Judah. Hailie Salassie is still referred to as the “Lion of Judah”. The Temne also practice the Hebrew custom of circumcision on the eighth day, as it was given to Abraham by the Creator, YAHUAH:

“And Elohim said to Abraham, “As for you, guard My covenant, you and your seed after you throughout their generations. 10“This is My covenant which you guard between Me and you, and your seed after you: Every male child among you is to be circumcised. 11 “And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall become a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12“And a son of eight days is circumcised by you, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with silver from any foreigner who is not of your seed. 13“He who is born in your house, and he who is bought with your silver, has to be circumcised. So shall My covenant be in your flesh, for an everlasting covenant”.(Genesis 17:9-13)

Some Temne even name their children on the eighth day, according to the Israelite custom:

“And when eight days were completed for Him to be circumcised, His Name was called YAHUSHA, the Name given by the messenger before He was conceived in the womb”.(Luke 2:21)

What is also amazing is that the Temne believe in one supreme Deity, and they believe that this Diety originates from the East. This is truly in line with Hebraic thought. There is also a Temne ritual called Rabai de Temne, which means "Kingdom of Temne". The word Rabai is identical to the Hebrew title Rabbi, which means great one, teacher, or master. The Temne have always known that the earth was created in six days, but by influences from other tribes they forgot what the true seventh day rest is. Unknowingly they have been keeping the Seventh day Sabbath set-apart after all. On Saturday, which is the seventh day, they have a custom that no farming or traveling is done. They believe that if they do not rest or travel on that day, a great misfortune will come upon them. Some believe that they will be overcome by spirits. The Temne's Seventh day rest is truly in line with the Scriptures. It is a sign of the covenant between YAHUAH and his people, the Israelites. 13“And you, speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign n between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, YAHUAH, am setting you apart. 14‘And you shall guard the Sabbath, for it is set-apart to you. Everyone who profanes it shall certainly be put to death, for anyone who does work on it, that being shall be cut off from among his people. 15‘Six days work is done, and on the seventh is a Sabbath of rest, set-apart to YAHUAH. Everyone doing work on the Sabbath day shall certainly be put to death. 16‘And the children of Israel shall guard the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant. 17‘Between Me and the children of Israel it is a sign forever. For in six days YAHUAH made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ”(Exodus 31:13-17) Polygmy is a custom that the Temne today still practice. Just as the ancient Hebrews, so the Temne practice immersions for atonement and ritual cleasensing. "…he shall wash all his flesh in Water….”(Leviticus 15:16)

The Temne also pour out drink offerings and practice sacrifices on certain feasts and celebrations. 14”And Jacob set up a standing column in the place where He had spoken with him, a monument of stone. And he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it. 15And Jacob called the name of the place where Elohim spoke with him, Bethth
El.”(Genesis 35:14)

Unfortunately my people have lost the knowledge of the origins of these rituals and have done them in idolatry. Israelites practiced the blowing of horns for celebrations, gathering of peoples, and the arrival of kings. The Temne do the same. The only difference, is that in ancient times the Hebrews made their horns out of ram horns or silver, while the Temne use elephant tusks to make their horns. ” And YAHUAH spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Make two silver trumpets for yourself, make them of beaten work. And you shall use them for calling the congregation and for breaking camp. 3“And when they blow both of them, all the congregation shall meet before you at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 4“And if they blow one, then the leaders, the heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather to you.”(Numbers 10:1-4)

Chief's Horn

Spring begins the New Year for the ancient Israelites according to the Scriptures. This month is called Abib. The Children of Israel were delivered out of Egypt by the hand of YAHUAH in this month.

month is the beginning of months for you, it is the first month of the year for you." (Exodus 12:2)

you are going out, in the month Abib."(Exodus13:4)

On the fifteenth of this month, the Israelites would eat unleavened bread for seven days. Temne people celebrate their new year originally in spring, and go through a sort of "mikveh" (immersion in water), and eat unleavened bread on the first day of the month. Migrations and influences of other tribes have caused the differing time frames regarding the eating of unleavened bread in the month of Abib. The Temne Hebrews believe in separate afterlives for the righteous and unrighteous, mirroring that of the Israelites. The Israelites called one place "paradise" for the righteous and the other "sheol", the abode of the dead. Just as the Israelites of old, the Temne believe in a great judgement and everything to be made anew by the Creator himself. ” And I saw a renewed heaven and a renewed earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more.”(Revelation 21:1) According to the Law of Moses, if a man takes a woman for his wife and finds her deflowered, he may send her away. “When a man takes a wife and shall marry her, then it shall be, if she finds no favour in his eyes because he has found a matter of uncoveredness, in her, and he shall write her a certificate of divorce, and put it in her hand, and send her out of his house…(Deuteronomy 24:1) Also if he takes a virgin as his wife he must first pay a dowry.

16“And when a man entices a maiden who is not engaged, and lies with her, he shall certainly pay the bride-price for her to be his wife. 17“If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he pays according to the brideprice of maidens. (Exodus 22:16,17)

The Temne practice these exact same customs! Dear reader in conclusion I would like to say “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established”.

The Temne/Temeni/Timmannee/Themne are really Israelites by blood. Many customs have remained the same, while a lot of traces of foreign worship have infiltrated our culture. This by no means discredits us from reclaiming our lost heritage. This is the key for my brothers' and sisters' salvation. Once you know your origins you will know your responsibility to be a light to the nations.

The Temne have been hidden for centuries, in West Africa, in exile, from their native land Israel. Now, we are waking up to who we are, and hopefully soon, all of our Hebrew brothers in Sierra Leone will wake up also. There are other tribes in Africa and hopefully their stories will soon be told. Somehow I know the Creator YAHUAH will gather his people from the four corners and bring us back into our land just as He promised. But first there must be repentance. We must leave idols, religion, and witchcraft alone. These are the reasons we as a people are exiled and cursed. We must unite under YAHUSHA Messiah, our King and Master. He is our Salvation and the Torah (Word,Law) manifested.

African convert communities to Judaism: Kasukus, Laikipias, Beth Yeshourun, Abayudayas, Rusapes, Jiosy Gasy

Kasuku Jewish Community of Kenya

Deep in the rolling hills of Kenya's rift valley, there is a tiny Jewish community where some 20 families have embraced Judaism as their own religious tradition. About ten years ago, the men and women of the community became disenchanted with the Messianic tradition they had been following, and, after a brie interaction with Western Jews in Nairobi, decided they wanted to be Jewish. Although the Nairobi community made it clear they weren't interested in supporting or fostering new Jewish communities in Africa, the members of the Kasuku community pushed on nonetheless. Though they faced obstacles with the ex–pat community in Nairobi, Rabbi Gershom and his brother JJ Keki of the Abayudaya reached out to them and have been helping the Kenyans build a dedicated community with knowledge of ritual and practice. It is through this relationship that my friend Samson came to study in the Ugandan Jewish high school.

After four months in Uganda, and feeling that it was time to move on, Samson and I headed out on a Thursday afternoon in order to reach his home outside of Okalau, Kenya in time for Shabbat (Sabbath). The first 12 hours of our trip was spent on an overnight bus from Mbale, Uganda to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. From there, Samson and I rode for the next four hours crammed into a minibus overflowing with bodies and baggage to reach a tiny trading center about two miles from his home. Unfortunately, we arrived in the middle of a heavy down pour, which filled the road with ankle deep mud and made it almost impassable. After a considerable wait and multiple negotiations, we were able to beg our way into a ride with two motorcyclists who would take us up the hill.

When we finally reached Samson's house, I knew instantly the long trip was worth it. We were met by his parents. His father Joseph had dawned a beautiful hand-made kippah, (kcull cap) and his mother Ruth greeted us with the words Baruch Hashem (Blessed be G-d), thankfully rejoicing in our safe arrival.

Because of the wet and muddy roads we were unable to go to the synagogue that night. And so we made Kabbalat Shabbat (welcoming the Sabbath) at home as a family. In addition to Joseph and Ruth, there were 13 children plus me in their small country house. Like many of the homes I have become familiar with in Africa, Samson's house was more than modest, assembled like a quilt of sheet metal held together on a frame of 2 x 4's. But this tiny carcass of a home held within it a spiritual energy that left a smile on my face and an imprint on my soul that I can't fully describe.

In the dim light of one kerosene lantern I can see the elegant silhouette of Ruth, dressed in her very best Shabbat clothes, lighting our Shabbat candles. We are all gathered now in the small sitting room, huddled around a charcoal stove for warmth. There are only two siddurim (prayer books) for us to share. The text is illuminated by our Shabbat lights. As our service unfolds I feel as though I am in the midst of a truly heartfelt devotion not only to prayer but to being Jewish. As I sing the Kabbalat Shabbat, surrounded by this huge family absolutely full of love, my smile is uncontrollable. Then, in the most wonderful moment of human interaction, my eyes meet Joseph's and together we acknowledge how grateful we are for each other's presence here, right now, and the true wonder of Shabbat.

I can see that much of the liturgical structure has been brought here by the Kenyan high school students who are studying in the Abayudaya schools in Uganda. Although the proficiency of ritual practice I have become accustomed to in Uganda has not fully come to fruition here only ten years after this community's inception, nevertheless, the kavanah (spiritual intention) is as palpable as anywhere I have ever been.

The next morning we head to the synagogue. The structure looks more like a sukkah (temporary dwelling used during the holiday of Sukkot) then a building. It is made of tree limbs, scraps of tarp and a thatched roof, with the words synagogue, Beit Midrash (House of prayer) and drawings of Jewish stars and menorahs (candelabras) on the outside. What I didn't realize until now is that I am only the second white person to ever visit this community. The service is all in Hebrew, and it is led by Samson's 17-year-old brother with the assistance of his father. There are only about 15 of us this morning, because the roads are still impassable for many in the congregation. According to Joseph, there are usually about 25 additional congregants on Shabbat morning.

Though the community is certainly still in its infancy, I am touched by their devotion and commitment. Many of the things we take for granted are not present here. The congregation does not have a Torah (hand written scroll containing the five books of Moses), yet the reverence and affection they show for the single chumash (Pentateuch) they do have is overwhelming. After the service, we sit and talk for hours as each member asks more and more in-depth questions about liturgy, theology and the basics of Jewish practice.

Though some members of the community have officially converted before a Beit Din (Jewish Court) in Uganda, most of the community has not. And yet the knowledge and commitment to learning by members of this community is deep and sincere. What I find most striking and wonderful is the three requests they ask of me. Not one is for money. Can you leave us your copy of the tanach? (Of course, I did). Can you send us a Jewish calendar? (I will.) And, most importantly, can you help us find a teacher who will come here and teach us to learn Hebrew and improve our Jewish literacy? (I will try.)

Though I know many in the broader Jewish community would not consider these people part of Klal Yisrael (literally the entire house of Israel), I do. Two small encounters affirm my belief that they are. The community's founder is an elderly man named Avraham who said to me, "Ten years ago I had a dream that one day we would be members of the children of Israel and today there is a Jew in my house celebrating the Shabbat with me and this is the most wonderful thing I could ever imagine." As I benched (said the blessing after meal) with this man at the completion of our meal, I couldn't help but be aware of my own expanding sense of Klal Yisrael and all that it means for me as an individual, and for us as a community, to be apart of such an special covenant.

And then there is Ruth, Samson's mother, who displayed not only her devotion to, but her knowledge of Judaism when she said "I chose the name Ruth because of her story. I was not born a Jew, but I love this people and this Torah." Quoting from Megilat Ruth (scroll of Ruth), she said, "where you go I will go, where you die I will die, your people shall be my people, and your God my God?"

For those who don't know the story of Ruth, she is for me the most central figure in understanding the power and importance of building bridges with our African communities. Ruth is a Moabite, a widow, who fights for her place in the community of Israel, much like the Jews in Kenya are doing. And through her perseverance and her love she becomes the matriarch of the Messianic lineage through King David. For the Kasuku Jews in Kenya, her story is their story, and in just two short days I discover what the power of faith and love really look like.

Laikipia Jews of Kenya

The Laikipia is not an ethnic group but a geographic identification. I don't find any data about the ethnic groups of this community, but by numbers, the Kikuyu today form the biggest population group, with the balance composed of several other ethnicities, including Laikipia born Maasai, Samburu, Meru, Borana, Kalenjin, Turkana and Somalis.

The small group of about five thousand black Hebrew believers in Kenya, takes to the hymns of Israel-that echoes across the plains of Laikipia, to the cradle of their faith in Jerusalem.

Since early 1960’s, a small group of Kenyan men, women and children has been travelling a spiritual journey, first travelled physically by the children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land.

Tucked in the bleak corners of the timeless plains of Laikipia, a Hebrew culture has been growing like the biblical mustard seed.

According to the community elder, Rabbi Stephen Mbatia, the current population of the black Hebrew believers stands at 5,000 people.

“My father tried to establish a closer relationship between his mission here in Jerusalem and the Kenyan community but the roots of their faith in the Hebrew culture was never documented,” says Mrs Naomi Fauth, an elderly woman living in Jerusalem.

Like the black Jews of Dimona in Israel who migrated from America and West Africa to live in Israel, the hope of the Kenyan Hebrew community is to migrate and live in Israel too. “Our hope is not yet lost,” reads a banner in their house of prayer.

The community members speak of their gratitude to the Israeli Embassy in Nairobi for it’s constant remembrance to the community. “Once in a while the Embassy officials visits the community and shares the joy of Israel with us,” members say enthusiastically.

For the last five years the Kenyan Hebrews express their warm gratitude’s to the Jewish families working in Kenya for “their kindness in sharing the story of the Passover through packets of Israeli Mazzot-unleavened bread that they offer to the community.”

The community will converge in Laikipia to commemorate the historical journey that marked the physical liberation of the children of Israel and the spiritual redemption of the children of God.

Beth Yeshourun of Cameroon

A relatively "new" community, Beth Yeshourun was founded in 1998 when its leaders turned away from Christianity. Increasingly observant and deeply committed to Jewish rituals and practice, the 50-member community has made amazing progress, educating themselves through the Internet by downloading Jewish liturgies and prayers, and studying Judaism, Hebrew, and Torah on Jewish websites.

Isolated from mainstream Jewry, the community had its first visitors when Rabbi Bonita Sussman, a Kulanu board member, and her husband Rabbi Gerald Sussman went to Cameroon during the summer of 2010. These emissaries from Kulanu were welcomed warmly. Their reports reflect astonishment at the level of Jewish knowledge and practice they observed during their ten-day visit.

The Cameroon Jewish community numbering some 60 practicing Jews has been ardently practicing Judaism for about 15 years. This community has not a resident rabbi, but has inspired leadership, men and women who are devoted to Judaism and committed to transmitting the Jewish faith to their communities. The Cameroon community looks to Kulanu volunteers Rabbis Bonita and Gerald Sussman of Staten Island, New York as their spiritual mentors.

The Abayudayas of Uganda

It's interesting that the Bayudayas were founded in 1917, the very same year of the Balfour Declaration for which a Jewish State would be founded.

The Abayudaya (Abayudaya is Luganda for "People of Judah", analogous to Children of Israel) are a Baganda community in eastern Uganda near the town of Mbale who practice Judaism. They are devout in their practice, keeping their version of kashrut, and observing Shabbat. There are several different villages where the Ugandan Jews live. Most of these are recognized by the Reform and Conservative movements of Judaism. However, the villagers of Putti are still seeking an Orthodox conversion and practice strict Rabbinical Judaism.

Their population is estimated at approximately 2,000 having once been as large as 3,000 (prior to the persecutions of the Idi Amin regime); like their neighbors, they are subsistence farmers. Most Abayudaya are of Bagwere origin, except for those from Namutumba who are Basoga. They speak Luganda, Lusoga or Lugwere, although some have learned Hebrew as well.

The sect owes its origin to Muganda military leader Semei Kakungulu. Originally, Kakungulu was converted to Christianity by British missionaries around 1880. Kakungulu belonged to the Baganda or Ganda tribe. He believed that the British would allow him to be king of the territories, Bukedi and Bugisu, that he had conquered in battle for them. However, when the British limited his territory to a significantly smaller size and refused to recognize him as king as they had promised, Kakungulu began to distance himself from them. In 1913, he became a member of the Bamalaki sect following a belief system that combined elements of Christianity, Judaism and, most notably, a refusal to use western medicine (based on a few sentences taken from the Old Testament). This led to conflict with the British when the Bamalaki refused to vaccinate their cattle. However, upon further study of the Bible, Kakungulu came to believe that the customs and laws described in the first 5 books of Moses (Torah) were really true. When, in 1919, Kakungulu insisted on circumcision as is prescribed in the Old Testament,the Bamalaki refused and told him that, if he practised circumcision, he would be like the Jews. Kakungulu responded, "Then, I am a Jew!" He circumcised his sons and himself and declared that his community was Jewish. According to Henry Lubega, "he fled to the foot of Mt. Elgon and settled in a place called Gangama where he started a separatist sect known as Kibina Kya Bayudaya Absesiga Katonda (the Community of Jews who trust in the Lord)." The British were infuriated by this action and they effectively severed all ties with him and his followers.

Semei Kakungulu founder of the Abayudayas in 1917, the same year the Balfour Declaration was proclaimed

The arrival of a foreign Jew known as "Yosef" in 1920 whose ancestral roots are believed to have been European, contributed much towards the community's acquisition of knowledge about the seasons in which Jewish Festivals such as Pesach, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Succot, and others take place. A source in the Abayudaya community confirms that the first Jew to visit the community was Yosef, who stayed with and taught the community for about six months, and would appear to have first brought the Jewish calendar to the Abayudaya community.

Furthermore, the laws concerning Kashrut were first introduced to the community by Yosef. The community continues to practice kashrut today. Yosef's teachings influenced Semei Kakungulu to establish a school that acted as a type of Yeshiva, with the purpose of passing on and teaching the skills and knowledge first obtained from Yosef.

After Kakungulu's death from tetanus in 1928, Samson Mugombe Israeli, one of his disciples, became the spiritual leader of the community. They isolated themselves for self-protection and survived persecution, including that of Idi Amin, who outlawed Jewish rituals and destroyed synagogues. During the persecutions of Idi Amin, some of the Abayudaya community converted to either Christianity or Islam in the face of religious persecution. A core group of roughly 300 members remained, however, committed to Judaism, worshipping secretly, fearful that they would be discovered by their neighbors and reported to the authorities. This group named itself "She'erit Yisrael" — the Remnant of Israel — meaning the surviving Ugandan Jews.

In 1962, Arye Oded, an Israeli studying at Makerere University, visited the Abayudaya and met Samson Mugombe. This was the first time the Abayudaya had ever met an Israeli and the first Jew they had met since Yosef. Oded had many long interviews with Mugombe and other leaders and explained to them how Jews in Israel practised Judaism. Oded then wrote a book ("Religion and Politics in Uganda,") and numerous articles on the community and their customs which introduced them to world Jewry. The community underwent a revival in the 1980s.

"Approximately 400 Abayudaya community members were formally converted by five rabbis of the Conservative branch of Judaism in February 2002", and conversions by conservative rabbis continued during the following years.

As of 2009, most of the community lives around the Moses synagogue on Nabugoye Hill outside Mbale or the nearby synagogue in the village of Namanyoyi. Others live several miles away from Mbale in Nasenyi and Putti (both in Pallisa District). A fifth synagogue is in Magada village (Namutumba District), approximately 70 km distant.

Currently the She'erit Yisrael community is looking for help in its desire to undergo an orthodox giur (conversion to Judaism) and make aliyah (move to Israel). This community is centered around the Putti synagogue and consists of roughly 130 members.

Gershom Sizomu, the spiritual leader of the Abayudaya and the Rosh Yeshiva, was enrolled in the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies a five-year graduate program at the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism) in Los Angeles, California where he studied Hebrew, rabbinic literature, the Bible, Jewish philosophy, and other subjects. The program entailed studies in both the USA and Israel. Upon completion of this program, Sizomu received his ordination as a rabbi under the auspices of the Conservative Movement on May 19, 2008, and returned to Uganda to lead its Jewish community.

An interesting latest development occurred in 2012 with the possible recognition of the Putti Abuyadayas by Israel and the Othodox Jewish world, thanks to the efforts of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, founding Chief Rabbi of Efrat and Chancellor of Ohr Torah institutions and Rabbi Aaron Malinsky from the Jewish community of Antwerp, Belgium and also thanks to the new local leaders Enosh Keki Mainah and Adam Hirschfield. A new synagogue and a new mikva (ritual bath) has been built.

Besides the five synagogues (Nabugoye, Namanyonyi, Nasenyi, Namutumba and Putti), Jewish schools have been established with outside help from individuals and organizations such as Kulanu where secular as well as Jewish themed subjects are taught. What is unique is that unlike many Christian run schools, learning Hebrew and Judaism is merely optional for non-Jewish students. Christian, Muslim and Jewish students attend these schools. Scholarships given by outside sources have enabled some students to attend Universities as well. The following are the currently existing community institutions:

The Hadassah Primary School located between Nabugoye and Namanyonyi. The Semei Kakungulu High School (Nabugoye Hill). A Guesthouse (Nabugoye Hill). A Yeshiva (Nabugoye Hill). The building of the Yeshiva is being funded by a grant from the United Synagogue Youth Tikun Olam program. A new Jewish Hospital (Kampala with a direct link to Putti village)Galilee Community General Hospital. A new Jewish Orthodox synagogue Located right in the center of Kampala. The Tobin Medical Centre located in Mbale Funded by B'chol Lashon.

Some of the Islamic doctrines seem to be a misconception of Judaism. For instance, Islam is not clear on the characteristics of Kosher and non-kosher animals; camels and rabbits are “Kosher” to Muslims. This is a consequence of the misconception of the idea of a divided hoof and chewing of the cud. The idea of Jihad (“Holy War”) eliminates the possibility of peace from Islam.

The other reason is that the Torah protects individuals who observe it from behaviours and conducts that might be dangerous to their life, both spiritually and physically. For instance, the prohibition against adultery/promiscuity protects people from contracting HIV and from family instabilities. The prohibition against marriage with a close relative protects individuals from genetically transmitted illnesses. Circumcision is somewhat protective against the spread of HIV. Proper observance of Shabbat reduces exhaustion and body wear and tear; while the numerous festivals are times of joy, happiness and spiritual relaxation which are necessary for mental health. The Ten Commandments are a great gift to world peace and harmony without which men would “eat” each other in broad daylight.

Lastly, the world of Judaism is a world of brotherhood, where, despite ideological and doctrinal differences, every Jew is responsible for the other. Judaism is the fabric that is common to many different cultures. We wish to be part of the people who over centuries have faced the most ugly hatred, mistreatment and attempted extinction but have persistently continued to exist. To be part of a People whose existence is miraculous in itself. To be part of a People whose doctrine served as the foundation of faith for the world's major religions.

The Rusapes, practitioners of "Prophetic Judaism"

There is a community of self-proclaimed Jews centered in the village of Rusape, about two hours from Harare, Zimbabwe. The Rusape Jews claim to be spiritually, though not genetically, descended from one of the lost tribes of Israel, exiled from the Jewish homeland by the Assyrians in 722 BCE.

According to the Jews of Africa website, the Rusape Jews trace their recent incarnation back to a 1903 meeting between a former American slave named William Saunders Crowdy who was also a former Baptist deacon, and Albert Christian who eventually brought Crowdy’s teachings to Southern Africa.

The Rusape community have built their own “tabernacle” about seven kilometers out of town, where they come together to pray. They follow the same holidays as Western Jews, are learning Hebrew, and are devoted to the Jewish laws and culture that stems from the Old Testament. The community numbers several thousand individuals.

Their observance of Judaism is generally in accordance with that of mainstream Judaism practiced in other countries with the exception of a few key aspects. The Rusape Jews, believe that although Jesus was not the messiah, he was a prophet. They believe that he did not rise to heaven as is taught in Christianity, but was rather buried in Israel as a regular man.

Mindi Cohen and Paul Zeitz visited the Rusape Jews several years ago. They arranged to stay with Shlomo Guwazah and his family. Shlomo shared a lot about his past journeying into Rastafarianism, Christianity, and Judaism for the last 15-20 years. The Jewish congregation he attends practices “prophetic” Judaism, which originated in Virginia about 100 years ago; it is affiliated with African American Beth El Congregations. They define prophetic in the sense of their leaders and the fact that each one of us is truly a prophet of God. Shlomo described how he and the Rusape Jews feel a connection with Judaism that harmonizes with their historical Shona heritage of a belief in one God. They described the need to reconnect to their ancient past in order to find the strength and the framework to take control of their lives and fulfill the vision of the African Renaissance. Individuals are trying to buck centuries of oppression by traditional leaders, colonialists, and modern-day cultural imperialism to assume ownership and control of their own destinies. Shlomo believes that Judaism is the path.

After we left the tabernacle we went with Shlomo and Daniel to the village that he grew up in and where his mother still lives. The village was about 20 minutes outside of Rusape. Her house was well developed for a village home, with several rooms in the main house. She had traditional rondovels (round huts) — one was the kitchen and another was where her maize is stored. As we approached the house, Shlomo’s uncle and grandmother welcomed us. His grandmother took an immediate liking to Paul, flirting with him. She had been drinking way too much of their homemade brew and she was stumbling through the maize fields. We were given a traditional welcome inside her living room where she and three other relatives bent their knees and clapped their hands. We then had drinks outside since she has no electricity and it was quite dark inside. Outside her house she had a large maize field and beautiful rock-formed hills. The children ran around chasing her goats.

Several days later we rejoined the Rusape tabernacle for the celebration of the Convocation of the Feast of Tevet. This gathering recalls the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the migration of Jews into Africa. This is one of their high holidays. The tabernacle was even more crowded than before, and the choir was complete, with about 70 people. The energy was overwhelming! The whole congregation stays together for eight days with prayers beginning at 4 am. Each day they pray in a different position, beginning with standing; on the last day they are lying flat on the floor.

The  Jiosy Gasy of Madagascar 

Madagascar is the home of Kulanu’s new correspondent, Raherimasoandro Andriamamonjy. Nicknamed Hery, he is a one-man tour de force for Judaism and Israel in his country.

Hery’s initial visit to Israel was in 1991. In 1992, he founded the “Club Shalom Madagascar,” of which he remains the president. The group’s mission, according to Hery, is to serve as an “interface or a trait d’union between Madagascar and Israel,” especially “to favor the cultural ties with the Malagasy people and the Israeli people.”

The group is made up of former interns who attended education programs in Israel. Many of those programs were through MASHAV-Israel and mostly geared to agricultural studies.

Hery returned to Israel in 1999 despite the fact that Madagascar did not have diplomatic relations with Israel at that time. On his return, Hery was part of the effort that resulted in Daniel Saada being recognized as the Israeli Ambassador to Madagascar in 2006.

Not all members of the “Club Shalom Madagascar” are Jewish. The “Diaspora Jiosy Gasy,” of which Hery is also the president, is the group for Jews and those who may wish to convert. He says that there are about 100 Jews registered with the club.

Hery reports that there have been no native-born Jews in Madagascar to this point. Some of those on the list are expatriates, some are returning to their roots, and some simply became interested in Judaism. Many follow the “ways and customs” of Judaism, including circumcision and not eating pork, according to Hery.

Madagascar Jews are spread throughout the country, although Hery could organize about 50 to meet in the capital city of Antananarivo for religious study. A core group currently meets as possible in a “large room of a house of one of our members for worship on the Sabbath.” Unfortunately, there is no rabbi or teacher, and they have limited knowledge of Hebrew, few books and very limited religious regalia. They know when Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Purim, and Passover occur. Attendees read the Bible on an informal basis at meetings.

As if all of the preceding activities weren’t enough, Hery also does research on Jewish history in Madagascar, even participating in academic seminars at local institutions. He reports that there are similarities between the local language and Hebrew.

Hery and the members of the “Diaspora Jiosy Gasy” are passionate about becoming fully educated and recognized Jews. They wish, as Hery puts it, to “live in unison with all the children of Israel scattered across the world.” They want to develop an appreciation of Jewish culture and to receive Jewish education.

Why do people hate the Agaws?
During the history the Agaws migrated from their lands to Northern Ethiopia (Tigray) and Eritrean highlands and lowlands, they are descendants of ZeAgwe Dynasty..There are many names of villages in Tigray that bare Agaw names such as, Adwa (Adi Awi) =ye agere awi, Aksum, and also Tembien probably there is many more Villages in Tigray with Agawe names and Ancestry. In Eritrea there are several villages with Agaw ancestry, Adi Teklezan meaning tekle zion north of Hamasien, Dembezan meaning Dembe Zion..There is also Logo chiwa, Liban and Zaul.. In Seraye there are a few agaw settlements aswell, and also in Akele Guzay.

When the Agaws came to Eritrean highlands the Below and Kelow who are 2 Beja tribes from ancient Egypt lived in Eritrean highlands before the arrival of the Agaws( i suspect it was them who build Adulis)..The below and kelow also looked different from Kushitc beja because they where a mixed race..Their woman rarely married non Below kelow men and so did the woman of Orginal Eritrean highlander tigringa speakers aswell..But the men of these 2 groups often married Agaw woman, even in the Lowlands the Tigre man often married an Agaw woman from Bilen... Matter of fact the Eritrean Agaws are of Ethiopian ZeAgawe, Kebessa, Below and kelew, and Tigre ancestry.

The Agaws who migrated to Eritrean lowlands adopted the Tigre/beja customs and culture and Became "Blen" which is a name given to them by Saho pepole, and it means Christian.. Those that migrated to Eritrean highlands and Tigray adopted Tigrinya language and customs and assimilated into their culture.

The Kebessa, Below and kelew, and Tigre that mixed with Eritrean agaw decent changed the Orginal Agaw look into something called "Ayni Bilen", some Blen did not mixed At all with these groups and they still look orginal Agaws, its easy to tell between "mixed blen" and original kushitic blens. The mixed Blen Agaw are more in number than the Original kushitc looking Blen agaws

                     The Face of a Bilen who have Kebessa, Below and kelew, or Tigre ancestry

Orginal Bilen Agaw not mixed with Kebessa, Below and kelew, and Tigre.

The Bilen are 50% muslim and 50% christians but they all dress the same similar to Islamic fashion, this picture was taken at a Christian Holiday in Keren called "Mariam dearit" for Virgin Mary a holiday made by Blen, Kebessawian, and Tigre christians of the lowlands located near a tree!! 

If there is any agew ancestry in Eritrea besides the Bilen clan, please post your sources. The whole Tigray has a very strong agew ancestry. I do believe that some of the habesha clan wondered south and mixed with the agews. Immigration was southward historially. Even if you look at the border with Tigray, the Kohain and the Senafe /Zalambesa area are very light skin beautiful habeshas with no agew mix whatsoever. You go down south into central Tigray, the agew face comes into fruition. 

The Agaws did migrate to Kebessa and assimilated to our culture so we can not tell who is agaw and who is not, they are deeply assimilated into our culture but they are usually darker skin. The only one who kept their language was the Bilen!!...The word GUYLA is an Agaw word meaning (echo of the dance).. Before the arrival of Agaws in booth Eritrea and Tigray, the Agaws of Zagwe dynasty had knowledge about the Geez language, ZaAgwe is said to be a GEEZ/Tigrinya word meaning Ze-Agwye (the chaser) ..That's why some of their villages has Geez/ Tigrinya names...


After the decline of the Axumite Kingdom in Eritrea, it remained limited to southern Ethiopia and was not functioning as a kingdom and there was a lot of looting and chaos ensued in the region. As a result the Agaw people migrated northward and settled in Keren. Those settled in the Keren are the ancestors of the present day Bilen Ethnic group.

The direct descendants of the Agaw people in Eritrea are the Bilen Ethnic group, but there were also other descendants that settled in the former Seraye, Hamassien and Akleguzai provinces. 

After the fall of Axumite kingdom another Agaw kingdom, known as the Zagwe Kingdom was established in Lasta (present day Ethiopia). After ruling for 600 years, the Zagwe kingdom was replaced by another kingdom from the Amhara region and this gave additional reason for the Agaw people to migrate again to the north and settle in the former Seraye province, parts of Hamasien and Akuleguzai districts. Despite the continuous migration of the Agaw people towards north, the Bilen were the only ethnic group that kept the language of their ancestors, while the others intermarried with the people of their surroundings and lost their ancestral language.

African Jews

Due to certain aspects of Orthodox Jewish marital laws, Rabbi Yosef ruled that upon arrival in Israel, the Beta Israel had to undergo a pro forma conversion to Judaism. They had to declare their allegiance to a halachic way of life and the Jewish people, in conformity with practices followed by Orthodox Rabbinical Judaism. He did not demand the normal formal requirements that the halacha imposes on potential gentile proselytes, (such as a brit milah or immersion in a mikveh). Few Ashkenazi rabbinic authorities consider the conversions to be actual conversions, not pro forma.

Over time, due to their community's isolation from those in Europe and the Middle East, the practices of the Beta Israel developed to differ significantly from those of other forms of Judaism. In Ethiopia, the Beta Israel community was for the most part isolated from the Talmud. They did have their own oral law. In some cases, they had practices similar to those of Karaite Judaism, and in others more similar to rabbinical Judaism.

The Yibir (also spelled Yeber) are a tribe that lives in Somalia, eastern Ethiopia, northern Kenya, and Djibouti. Though they have been Muslim for centuries, they assert they are descendants of Hebrews who arrived in the Horn of Africa long before the arrival of Somali nomads.

Manuscript C of the Tarikh al-Fattash described a community called the Bani Israel; in 1402, it lived in Tindirma, possessed 333 wells, and had seven princes as well as an army.

The Annnag, Efik and Oron and Ibibio people of Akwa Ibom and Cross River States of Nigeria have had ancient religious practices that strongly resembled some of the Jewish Torah. These include their traditional sacrifice of animals (rituals) by the presiding male of each village, or of a group of villages, for purification, especially during times of sickness.

Eburutu was a gloss on "Hebrew" and Ututu. Ututu was one of the early settlements of the Efik people in the coastal southeastern Nigeria. The Efik/Ibibio/Annang people were known in early history as being of Hebrews who settled in Ututu.

Rabbi Yisrael Oriel, formerly Bodol Ngimbus-Ngimbus, was born into the Ba-Saa tribe. He is one who says there were historically Jews in the area. The word Ba-Saa, he said, is from the Hebrew for 'on a journey' and means blessing. Rabbi Oriel claims to be a Levite descended from Moses. Reportedly, Rabbi Oriel made aliya in 1988 and was ordained as a rabbi by the Sephardic Chief Rabbi and appointed rabbi to Nigerian Jews.

Rabbi Oriel claims that in 1920 there were 400,000 'Israelites' in Cameroon, but by 1962 the number had decreased to 167,000 due to conversions to Christianity and Islam. He said these tribes had not been accepted halachically. But he believes that he can prove their Jewish status from medieval rabbinic sources.

The Acholi, a Luo-speaking people in northern Uganda and southern Sudan, have what appear to be some historical Hebrew practices as part of their traditions.

Tutsis & related ethnic groups: Furiiru & Hima

Furiiru people

The Furiiru people (also known as the Fulero, Fuliru, Kifulero, Kifuliiru, Bafuliru and Bafulero) are an African ethnic group, a sub-group of the Kivu.

The Furiiru mainly inhabit the east-central highlands of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), in the South Kivu province south of Lake Kivu and north and northwest of Uvira, along the Ruzizi plain near the border with Rwanda and Burundi, where some Furiiru also live. In 2009, their population estimate numbered over 250,000. A 1999 estimate of Furiiru-language speakers placed the number at 300,000. The Furiiru are connected to the Vira in a Furiiru-Vira culture cluster. Both groups are interlacustrine, living between the African Great Lakes.

The Fuliiru speak the Fuliiru language, a Bantu language. They are predominantly farmers, although they also own and raise cattle for milk and meat. Traditionally the Furiiru were the only highland Bantu-speaking people to be organized into a "single, relatively small state" which was highly centralized.

In June 2014, 35 Fuliiru were killed in an attack on the town of Mutarule. The attack was believed to be ethnically motivated.

The Hema, or Hima, are an ethnic group with about 160,000 members located in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular the Ituri region and Orientale Province, as well as parts of Uganda and Rwanda. The Hema are pastoralists and the preferential treatment given to them by Ugandan officials is blamed for igniting the recent Ituri conflict.

The northern Hema speak Lendu, the language of the neighbouring Lendu people. The southern Hema still speak Hema, a Bantu language, and the closely related Hima dialect of Nyankore of western Uganda, which are also related are such languages as Luganda and Lusoga. Most Hema are Christians.

Where does Hamite belong?

It is in the light of this general historio-graphical framework that we should ap-proach current literature about the role of the Bachwezi, which is essential to an understanding of interlacustrine history ofreligion. The court—centred oral traditional histories in present day western Uganda aredominated by the short-lived Bachwezi dynasty, accredited to be the founders of the Bunyoro-Kitara empire. Oral traditions connect this dynasty to the most famous archaeological remains in Uganda, the earth- works of Bigo bye Mugenyi (”the cattle en- closure of the Stranger”), recently dated to around 1 100 AD. When the Bachwezi dynasty succumbed tointernal and external problems the last of their rulers, Wamara, later change to dominate the spirit possession cult in large areas of the Great Lakes’ region. Bachwezi traditions, especially remembered by their pastoral Bahima followers, fitted well into the stereotype of the Hamitic light-skinned, conquering empire- builder from the north. . In reaction to the Hamitic myth there came a tendency to "indigenize" the Bachwezi (The Bachwezi were regarded as white ancestors of the Tutsis) and their Bahima followers. The pastoralist “Hamitic” culture-bearers were, in the case of the Bahima in Nkore, declared to be of indigenous Bantu origin. ‘ 

The American archeologistPeterSchmidtuses structuralist theories developed in thecontext of the Buhaya kingdoms to show that the Bachwezi were purely spiritual beings connected to Earlylron Age sites over 2000 years ago. In Bachwezi or Embandwa spirit possession cults these spirits voiced ' the opposition ofthe oppressed against the ruling dynasties. Iris Berger also brings up the relevanttheme of resistance to political oppression in her research about the Bachwezi, but comes to the conclusion that the Bachwezi may have been identical to the "deep-black Wichwez‘i paria of wandering gipsies” that early European travellers like Emin Pasha had observed as remnants of an indi population. Berger reviews the opinion of Wrigley, who was the first to suggest that the Bachwezi should be interpreted as spir_its not connected to a human dynasty; ...he may be correct in denying the existence Ufa Mytorical human dynasty called Abacwezi, since their reputation as historical figures developed as a result European misinterpretations of African statements that happened to reinforce erroneous colonial theorim of the African. 

She continues to explain how these misconceptions arose, when the Africans who first saw the Europeans arriving thought that they were the Abachwezi who came back. The Europeans misunderstood thesestatements and took them as "evidence thatthe Abacwezi had been an ancient dynast of light-skinned kings”, when "the Africans undoubtedly were referring to the association of the colour white with the world of spirits”. It is the contention of the present re-searcher that these interpretations of the Bachwezi are not only symptomatic for the trend of reaction against the Hamitic myth,but also explanations that draw mainly on the historiography itself,from outside of thecontextof the people themselves. The matter for concern seems to be the assertion thatthe Bachwezi were not connected to any"light—skinned” conquering dynasty fromthe north that could be reminiscent ofHamitic racist theories. Therefore it seems that current scholarship is still fixed in an attitude of defence against the racist inter-pretations of the African past.

Jolas or Diolas

The Jolas or Diolas are very industrious people like the Jews & were the most opposed people of their area against conversion from their traditional religion to Islam.

Does the Jola (or Diola) name come from the Hebrew name Joel?

It's noticeable the title "the Master of the Universe" they give to their only god, their intense relation with their ancestors and their belief in the after life. They also had an egalitarian society unlike most societies.

It's also interesting their taste for palm wine inspite being Muslims nowadays

It's a widespread belief that many Black slaves brought to the Americans Had Israelite origin & the Jolas were taken to the New World in the thousands.

The have the same origin as the Diolas, therefore they would be Israelites too.

A Visit with the Jews of Rusape, Zimbabwe

Shlomo shared a lot about his past journeying into Rastafarianism, Christianity, and Judaism for the last 15-20 years. The Jewish congregation he attends practices “prophetic” Judaism, which originated in Virginia about 100 years ago; it is affiliated with African American Beth El Congregations. They define prophetic in the sense of their leaders and the fact that each one of us is truly a prophet of God. Shlomo described how he and the Rusape Jews feel a connection with Judaism that harmonizes with their historical Shona heritage of a belief in one God. They described the need to reconnect to their ancient past in order to find the strength and the framework to take control of their lives and fulfill the vision of the African Renaissance. Individuals are trying to buck centuries of oppression by traditional leaders, colonialists, and modern-day cultural imperialism to assume ownership and control of their own destinies. Shlomo believes that Judaism is the path.

Central and South America

Deuteronomy 32:26  I said I would scatter them and blot out their memory from mankind. The earliest trade and commercial activities between prehistoric and ancient Africa and the Americas may have occurred from West Africa and may have included shipping and travel across the Atlantic. The history of West Africa has never been properly researched. Yet, there is ample evidence to show that West Africa of 1500 B.C. was at a level of civilization approaching that of ancient Egypt and Nubia-Kush. In fact, there were similarities between the cultures of Nubia and West Africa (Where the Israelites reside), even to the very similarities between the smaller scaled hard brick clay burial pyramids built for West African Kings of Israel at Kukia in pre- Christian Ghana and their counterparts in Nubia, Egypt (captivity) and Meso-America.

Although West Africa is not commonly known for having a culture of pyramid-building, such a culture existed although pyramids were created for the burial of kings and were made of hardened brick. This style of pyramid building was closer to what was built by the Olmecs in Mexico when the first Olmec pyramids were built. In fact, they were not built of stone, but of hardened clay and compact earth.

The similarities between Olmec and West African civilization includes racial, religious and pyramid building similarities, as well as the similarities in their alphabets and scripts as well as both cultures speaking the identical Mende language, which was once widespread in the Sahara and was spread as far East as Dravidian India in prehistoric times as well as the South Pacific.

During the early years of West African trade with the Americas, commercial seafarers made frequent voyages across the Atlantic. In fact, the oral history of a tradition of seafaring between the Americas and Africa is part of the history of the Washitaw People, an aboriginal Black nation who were the original inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley region, the former Louisiana Territories and parts of the Southern United States. According to their oral traditions, their ancient ships criss-crossed the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and the Americas on missions of trade and commerce..

Some of the ships used during the ancient times, perhaps earlier than 7000 B.C. (which is the date given for cave paintings of the drawings and paintings of boats in the now dried up Sahara desert) are similar to ships used in parts of Africa today. These ships were either made of papyrus or planks lashed with rope, or hollowed out tree trunks.

These ancient vessels were loaded with all type of trade goods and not only did they criss-cross the Atlantic but they traded out in the Pacific and settled there as well all the way to California. In fact, the tradition of Black seafarers crossing the Pacific back and forth to California is much older than the actual divulgance of that fact to the first Spanish explorers who were told by the American Indians that Black  men with curly hair made trips from California's shores to the Pacific on missions of trade.

Journeys by ship along the coast of West Africa toward the North, through the Pillars of Heracles, eastward on the Mediterran to Ports such as Byblos in Lebanon, Tyre or Sydon would have been two to three times as lengthy as taking a ship from Cape Verde, sailing it across the Atlantic and landing in North-Eastern Brazil fifteen hundred miles away, or Meso America about 2400 miles away. The distance in itself is not what makes the trip easy. It is the fact that currents which are similar to gigantic rivers in the ocean, carry ships and other vessels from West Africa to the Americas with relative ease.

Although archeologists have used the name "Olmec," to refer to the Black builders of ancient Mexico's first civilizations, recent discoveries have proven that these Afro-Olmecs were West Africans (Possibly Israelites before the slave trade) of the Mende language and cultural group. Inscriptions found on ancient monuments in parts of Mexico show that the script used by the ancient Olmecs was identical to that used by the ancient and modern Mende-speaking peoples of West Africa. Racially, the colossal stone heads are identical in features to West Africans and the language deciphered on Olmec monuments is identical to the Mende language of West Africa.

The Mende nation is located in the eastern part of the Sierra Leone Protectorate. As to its origin I have been unable to obtain any information, but if its recent movement be any indication, the general direction of its migration would seem to have been southerly. In the fourth decade of the nineteenth century Mendes were apparently little known on the seaboard, except as slaves brought down from the interior. (Make no doubt about it these are Israelites.)

The late Reverend Dr. Schoen, of the Church Missionary Society, and the author of books on the Hausa, Ibo, and Mende languages, states (1882) that "it seems that the nation is pressing on to the seashore, as they occupy at present the country where, in 1839, the slave-dealers had their depots of slaves in the Sherbro country. Their baracoons were destroyed on the bunks of the great river Bum by Captain Denman, of the British Navy, in 1840 or 1841, and since that time the country is open to British commerce and missionary operations, and the Mende are the principal occupants of the place, and their language has all but superseded, and will ere long supersede, the Sherbro altogether." This movement has continued, but the Sherbro language still exists.

The Color Lie (By-words create confusion)

Isaiah 1:3 Oxen know their owners, and donkeys know where their masters feed them. But Israel doesn't know [its owner]. My people don't understand.

Evidence of the early Africans (Israelites) is widespread and varied. Dozens of majestic stone heads have been found at ancient sacred sites, such as La Venta and Tres Zapotes in southern Mexico (See photograph). Ranging up to 9 feet and 4 inches in height, with a circumference of 22 feet, and weighing 30 to 40 tons, these colossal statues depict helmeted Black men with large eyes, broad fleshy noses and full lips. They appear to represent priest-kings who ruled vast territories in the ancient New World from provinces near the Gulf of Mexico.  

In the holy city of La Venta, dating back to at least 1500 BC, four of these large stone heads were discovered on a ceremonial platform featuring a miniature step pyramid and a conical pyramid - the earliest of such monuments to appear in the Americas. 

Other art-work also serves as evidence of Africans (Israelites) in America before Columbus. For years the late art historian, Alexander Von Wuthenau, collected ancient clay figurines that provide clues regarding the diversity of America's pre-Columbian population. His remarkable African collection depicts priests, chiefs, dancers, wrestlers, drummers, beautiful women and stately men - a collage of Black people who occupied every stratum of society from Mexico to South America.  

Negroid skulls and skeletons have also been found throughout the New World. Polish professor Andrzej Wiercinski has revealed the discovery of African skulls at Olmec sites in Tlatilco, Cerro de las Mesas and Monte Alban. Furthermore, very ancient African skeletons have been unearth in California, Mexico, Central and South America.  

The best evidence of the Black presence in America before Columbus comes from the pen of the "great discoverer" himself. In his Journal of the Second Voyage, Columbus reported that when he reached Haiti the native Americans told him that black-skinned people had come from the south and southeast in boats, trading in gold-tipped medal spears. At least a dozen other European explorers, including Vasco Nunez de Balboa, also reported seeing or hearing of "Negroes" when they reached the New World. 

Nicholas Leon, an eminent Mexican authority, recorded the oral traditions of his people. Some of them reported that "the oldest inhabitants of Mexico were blacks. The existence of blacks and giants is commonly believed by nearly all the races of our sail and in their various language they had words to designate them."  

Early Mexican scholars were convinced that the impact of the Black explorers on the New World was profound and enduring. One author, J.A. Villacorta, has written: "Any way you view it, Mexican civilization had its origin in Africa." Modern excavations throughout Latin America appear to confirm Villacorta's conclusions.

Whoever these Black people were, they most certainly sailed to America in ancient and medieval times and left a profound imprint on New World soil. As Jairazbhoy notes: "The black began his career in America not as slave but as master."  

Deuteronomy 28:28 The LORD shall strike you with madness, and blindness, and confusion of mind:

Much of the African (Israelite) diaspora was dispersed throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas during the Arab and the Atlantic Slave Trades. Beginning in the 9th century, Arabs took African slaves from the central and eastern portions of the continent (where they were known as the Zanj) and sold them into markets in the Middle East and eastern Asia. Beginning in the 15th century, Europeans captured or bought African (Israelites) slaves from West Africa and brought them to Europe and later to the Americas. Both the Arab and Atlantic slave trades ended in the 19th century. The dispersal through slave trading represents the largest forced migrations in human history. The economic effect on the African continent was devastating. Some communities created by descendants of Israelite slaves in Europe and Asia have survived to the modern day, but in other cases, blacks intermarried with non-blacks, and their descendants blended into the local population.

Between 1500 and 1900, approximately four million enslaved sraelites were transported to island plantations in the Indian Ocean, about eight million were shipped to Mediterranean-area countries, and about eleven million survived the Middle Passage to the New World. Their descendants are now found around the globe. Due to intermarriage and genetic assimilation, just who is a descendant of the African diaspora is not entirely self-evident.

The First Atlantic system was the trade of enslaved Africans(Israelites) to, primarily, South American colonies of the Portuguese and Spanish empires; it accounted for only slightly more than 3% of all Atlantic slave trade. It started (on a significant scale) in about 1502 and lasted until 1580 when Portugal was temporarily united with Spain. While the Portuguese traded enslaved people themselves, the Spanish empire relied on the asiento system, awarding merchants (mostly from other countries) the license to trade enslaved people to their colonies. During the first Atlantic system most of these traders were Portuguese, giving them a near-monopoly during the era, although some Dutch, English, and French traders also participated in the slave trade.  After the union, Portugal came under Spanish legislation that prohibited it from directly engaging in the slave trade as a carrier, and become a target for the traditional enemies of Spain, losing a large share to the Dutch, British and French.

The Second Atlantic system was the trade of enslaved Israelite by mostly British, Portuguese, French and Dutch traders. The main destinations of this phase were the Caribbean colonies and Brazil, as European nations built up economically slave-dependent colonies in the New World. Only slightly more than 3% of the enslaved people exported were traded between 1450 and 1600, 16% in the 17th century.

It is estimated that more than half of the slave trade took place during the 18th century, with the British, Portuguese and French being the main carriers of nine out of ten slaves abducted from Africa. The British were the biggest transporters of slaves across the Atlantic during the 18th century. The 19th century saw a reduction of the slave trade, that accounted to 28.5% of the total Atlantic slave trade.

Daniel 9:7 O Master, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. In other words Daniel is saying, "My, my, my, It's hard to tell who is all Israel these days. Whither we are far from you are near to you, I now it is because we broke your laws and commandments that this has happened to us.

European colonists initially practiced systems of both bonded labour and "Indian (Israelite)" slavery, enslaving many of the natives of the New World. For a variety of reasons,  West Africans a.k.a. Israelites replaced Native Americans as the main population of enslaved people in the Americas. In some cases, such as on some of the Caribbean Islands, warfare and diseases such as smallpox eliminated the natives completely. In other cases, such as in South Carolina, Virginia, and New England, the need for alliances with native tribes coupled with the availability of enslaved Africans at affordable prices (beginning in the early 18th century for these colonies) resulted in a shift away from Native American slavery.

The first side of the triangle was the export of goods from Europe to Africa. A number of African (Hametic lineage)  kings and merchants took part in the trading of enslaved people from 1440 to about 1833. For each captive, the African rulers would receive a variety of goods from Europe. These included guns, ammunition and other factory made goods. The second leg of the triangle exported enslaved Africans (Israelites) across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas and the Caribbean Islands. The third and final part of the triangle was the return of goods to Europe from the Americas. The goods were the products of slave-labour plantations and included cotton, sugar, tobacco, molasses and rum.

Africans themselves played a role in the slave trade, by selling their captive or prisoners of war to European buyers.  Selling captives or prisoners was common practice among Africans and Arabs during that era. Throughout the ancient world, including Europe, making slaves of captives was a common practice. The prisoners and captives who were sold were usually from neighboring or enemy ethnic groups. Most other slaves were obtained from kidnappings, or through raids that occurred at gunpoint through joint ventures with  the Europeans.

Although Europeans were the market for slaves, Europeans rarely entered the interior of Africa, due to fear of disease and fierce African (Israelite) resistance. The enslaved people would be brought to coastal outposts where they would be traded for goods. Enslavement became a major by-product of internal war in Africa as nation states expanded through military conflicts in many cases through deliberate sponsorship of benefiting Western European nations.

African languages with possible Israelite (sometimes Arabic or Berber) ancestry:

Ebira (Nigeria), Basa (Nigeria), Saxwe gbe (Benin) Akaselem (Togo), Kasem (Ghana), Moure (Burkina Faso), Bassa (Liberia), Saba (Chad), Idakho (Kenya), Beti (Camerún), Joba--)Job? (r.d. Congo), Hema (Congo), Sake (Gabon), Seki (Gabon), Yaka (Congo), Lamba (RD Congo & Zambia), Sakata (Rd Congo) Yaka (RD Congo), Iraqw (Tanzania), Bena--)ben?(Tanzania), Lambya (Tanzania), Manda (Tanzania) Tonga (Malawi), Shakara (Nigeria), Dera---)Syria (Nigeria), Antaisaka (Madagascar), Sakalava (Madagascar), Merina (Madagascar).

Zimbabwe's Shona Jews

After Shabbat services outside of Rusape, Zimbabwe, Grace sits by herself in the empty tabernacle.

Such joyous harmonies are not often found traditional Jewish choirs. Then again, the Rusape Jews are not members of a traditional Jewish community. The Jewish community centered in Rusape, Zimbabwe, claims both ancient and contemporary origins. According to community lore, the Shona people, a Bantu group that had migrated to Southern Africa from the north, were actually Jews. The community compares traditional symbols, burial rites, circumcision patterns, marriage customs and agricultural practices to those of the ancient Israelites. 
Young "Cantor" Martin leads the Rusape Tabernacle community choir in prayer. The choir practices several times and week and works dilgently to perfect its intricate harmonies and choreographed marches.

The community's more contemporary origin is equally surprising. In the 1880s, a former American slave and Baptist deacon named William Saunders Crowdy had a "visitation" from God who told him that he should lead black people to Judaism. "Prophet" Crowdy understood that his being black and openly Jewish could scare people away from his mission so he started a church and named it the "Church of God and the Saints of Christ." 
Solomon Guwazah, a railway clerk and musician who lives in the small Zimbabwean city of Rusape, converted from Rastafarianism to Judaism several years ago when he decided that his people, the Shona people of Southern Africa, very likely descended from the ancient Jews. He, and many other community members who have come to the same conclusion, based this belief on the fact that many Shona cultural practices are more similar to those found in the Old Testament than to those practiced by Zimbabwean Christians. He is shown here blowing a shofar made of a kudu horn.

"In the early 1900s, an African visitor brought Crowdy's teachings back from America. Today there are several thousand members of Crowdy's Jewish community spread across Central Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia. While some Church of God members have been reluctant to abandon prayers invoking Jesus, the Rusape group no longer considers Jesus the Messiah. They contend that all men are Sons of God - not just Jesus - and attempt to follow the Old Testament the way they believe Jesus did. 
"Rabbi" Ambrose Makuwaza leads the congregation in prayer. The sermon of the day explains the origin of the ancient Jewish custom of washing the feet before entering a house. Makuwaza explains the tradition, identified in the area with Jesus and Christianity, as a custom that was popular among the ancient Jews. Many members of the congregation have Christian relatives or used to be Christians themselves. Makuwaza often emphasizes the Jewish origin of "Christian" traditions.

Today the Rusape community has begun to connect with Western visitors who have provided them with Jewish objects and have encouraged them to pursue their Jewish studies. Despite the uncertain political climate in Zimbabwe, the Rusape Jews are no longer afraid that they must hide their religion. They claim that they are Jews today, and that their past and future are with the Jewish people.

Every Saturday morning over a hundred members of the Rusape, Zimbabwe, Jewish community gather at their "tabernacle" for Shabbat prayers. Members of the community, young and old, wear their absolute best -- brown three-piece suits for the men and brilliant turquoise blouses and jeweled hair wraps for the women.

The Fulani People

The Fulani people call themselves Fulve* (Pullo, in singuler). They were originally nomadic herders, traders and farming people living throughout West Africa. Today the majority of fulani people live urban centers.While their origins are disputed, Arab writers recorded their existence over 1000 years ago.  However experts believe that they originated from a region that occupied the present day Northern Senegal. Over the centuries, they migrated with their cattle to occupy vastareas in the Sahel and Savannah regions of West Africa and evolved into many subgroups with a variety of designations including Fulve, Jelgove, Gurma, Gorgave, Fellata, Fula, Fulakunda, Bororos, Wodaabe, Peul, Pulaar, Halpulaar, Liptaako, Toucouleur, and Tukolor. Presently, they live in communities throughout much of the West-Africa, from Senegal to Cameroon and as far east as Sudan and Ethiopia. The fulani range coversan area larger than continental United States and western Europe.
Historically, the Fulani played a significantrole in the rise and fall of ancient African empires such as Ghana, Mali, Songhai and the Mossi states.

Some believe that they are from a Semitic origin. According to the tradition, the ancestors of Fulani is Jacob son of Israel, son of Issac, son of Abraham When Jacob left Canaan and went to Egypt where Joseph was established. The Israelites prospered and grew in population while living in Egypt. Fulani people descended from them. After a long time a new Pharaoh who did not know about Joseph's fame in Egypt, came to power. He made the Israelites work hard at slave labor. The Pharaoh oppressed the people, including Fulanis who were rich in cattle. They emigrated from Egypt, some of them went back to Palestine and Syria under Moses guidance and the other crossed the Nile with their cattle and headed west. They took the name of fouth or foudh meaning those who left. 

A group from the latter movedalong the edges of the Sahara to Touat-Air and then to West-Africa.Those who came to Masina (in present day Mali) spread to the neighboringregions where they were rejoined by Fulani groups from Morocco. It has established that about 700AD, Fulani groups from Morocco, movedsouthward, and invaded the regions of Tagout, Adrar, Mauritania, and FuutaTooro. The cradle of the Fulani group is situated in the Senegal River valley,where Fulanis established kingdoms. Until the beginning of the IX th Century. Around that period they continued their migration in the regions of Bundu, Bambouk, Diomboko, Kaarta, and Bagana.

Finally those who where concentrated in the Ferlo from the XI to the XIV century moved in various groups to the Fuuta Jalon, to the Volta river basin, to the Gurma, to the Haussa land, and to the Adamawa, Boghirme, Ouadai.

Other versions of the Fulani origin include:

The mixing between the proto-Berber from North Africa, and the Bafur (the people who populated the Sahara & regarded as Ephraimites) 

Issued from Asiatic pastoral tribes that invaded Africa, crossed the Sahara and dispersed through all the West-Africa Sahelian zone.

The Anthropologists declare that the study of many Fulbe cranian structure has indicated that they are intimately linked to the Ethiopians and that both types are very similar to the Egyptian crane structure. According to the eminent Anthropologist Mr. Verneau, the Fulbe origin has to closely link the Egypt.

The early origin of Fulani People is most fascinating and shrowed in mystery with widely divergent opinions. However, it is generally recognized that Fulanidescended from nomads from both North Africa and from sub-Sahara Africa.They came from the Middle-East and North Africa and settled into Central and West Africa From the Senegal region they created the Tekruur empire which was contemporary to the Ghana empire. Then, they spread in all the countriesin West-Africa, continuing to lead their nomadic life style. They created here and there mixed states where they sometimes were the dominant group. But more often, they were absorbed by the indigenous population whom they had dominated.

Archeologists have found stone tools indicating ahuman presence dating back over 10,000 years inFulani regions, such as present-day Senegal andthe Gambia. They have also found clusters of stone circles, (See Gambia Stone Circles in file foto traite) some nearly 2,000 years old that probably had religious significance. Archeologists have also found iron-smelting sites dating to the 4th century C.E., indicating the development of me Tall working skills among the region's people. By this time speakers of West Atlantic languages (which belong to the larger Niger-Congo family of languages) had probably settled in West Africa.

The late Senegalese scholar Cheikh Anta Diop discovered linguistic andcultural similarities with ancient Egypt, indicating that most of West African people had migrated from the Nile River valley. The development of metal working technology by the 4th century C.E. may have contributed to the rise of the region's first centralized state, the Tekruur kingdom in the Senegal River valley. This kingdom stretched across the central savanna into the Sahara to the north. Tekruur, who was mostly populated byFulani, had extensive contact with peoples from North Africa, including the Zenaga Berbers. After their conversion to Islam beginning in the 8thcentury C.E., Berbers brought Islam to Senegambia.The Zenaga founded a monastery, probably along the Senegal River, around 1040. This hermitage house dan ascetic Islamic sect known as the Almoravids whoswept north and, over the course of the century, conquered Morocco and established a Muslim kingdom in Spain. The sect's leader, 'Abd Allah ibn Yasin, converted the Tekruur king, War Jabi, andmany of the Fulani people to Islam.During the 13th century, as Tekruur fell under the dominance of the Mali empire to the east. Later on through nomadic life styles and holy wars,Fulani expanded their living range further east to Fuuta Jalon, Macina,Bhundu, to Adamawa.

Versions of Fulani Origins

Ethnologists and others havebeen provoked to seek theorigins of the Fulani far outsidetheir present habitat, in remoteperiods and states of society,and to describe the successivemigrations which are supposedto have brought them into theirpresent habitat beforedocumentary evidence from theWest and Central Africa becameavailable. Considerableethnological debate has surrounded the widely divergenthypotheses of the origin of theFulani. Tauxier (1937) lists themajority of these.

Jewish or Syrian origin and suggested a migration westwards alongthe North African littoral, southwards into the West-Africa and,thence, in historical times, eastwards. According to Some writers (e.g. Guiraudon, 1888; Delafosse, 1912; Morel, 1902) they have Ethiopian affinities and inferred a prehistoric movement westward from Ethiopia into the West- Africa. According to Mollien, 1820;Seligman, 1930; Barth, 1857-8, the Fulani were North African Berbers, According to. Passarge, 1895;Meyer, 1897; Crozals, 1883 they were between the Berber and Ethiopian theories. According to Bayol, 1887; Machat, 1906; Gautier, 1935; Palmer, 1923, 1928,1936) they had Hindu Origins. According to Golberry, 1805; Binger, 1892), Malayo-Polynesian  (EichTall, 1841). Gypsy (Gypsies are believed to have Israelite origins as well) theories complete the list of elaborate surmises on Fulani origins.

The myths of the Fulani themselves do little to confirm hypotheses linkingthem with events of the Classical or Near Eastern world. They often describethe marriage of a Muslim Arab or Moor with a negro-African woman which isblessed with children. One infant is left in the care of an elder brother whiletheir mother goes to draw water. It cries and is comforted by its brother inan incomprehensible language which the mother overhears on her return.She runs to tell the father, who takes this as a sign, predicted by the Prophet, that the child will be the founder of a new people who do not speak Arabic, but will be the saviors of Islam. This child is the ancestor of theFulani. In some versions his brothers learn the new language, Fulfulde, fromhim and found the four great branches of the Fulani people. In all its versions (e.g. Madrolle, 1885; de St. Croix, 1944) this myth relates the racial affinitie of the Fulani, their linguistic peculiarities, and their historical role in theWest-Africa.A common version of the Origin of Fulanicommon version (de St. Croix,1944; Stephani, 1912) runssomewhat as follows. 

The first Fulani to own cattle is expelled from a Fulani settlement. The context of this expulsion is not stated. He wanders alone in thebush, enduring great hardship. A water spirit appears and tells him that if he obeys his orders he will acquire great wealth and be the envy of those who despised him. In one version he waters all thewild animals in turn, until finally,in reward for his exertions, the spirit sends him cattle to water. In another version the Fulaniis enjoined to wait patiently by a lake until the source of his future wealth appears. The water spirit then tells him to lead the cattle away and never tofail to light a fire for them at dusk, lest they revert to their wild state and leave him. The settled Fulani despise the nomad and pour ridicule upon hisharsh way of life. But he takes a wife from them, and his progeny are eventually able to pursue their pastoral existence without intermarriage with those who spurned their ancestor. While explaining and justifying the way of life of the cattle-owning Fulani, this myth retails a stereotype of the relation sof Pastoral and sedentary Fulani.The search for the origins of the Fulani was based on racial and linguistic criteria, and attempts were made to link these with Classical, Biblical, andNear Eastern history. 

Mass Migration 

Although the details of these migrations may beopen to doubt, their general sense is quite clear.The general mass movement of the Fulani (known by one or other of their various names) within the West-Africa has been from Senegal eastwards.The periods at which stages of this movement were accomplished are not so clear. It appears that the exodus of the Fulani from the kingdom of Tekruur in Senegal occurred in the eleventh century A.D. (Delafosse, 1912). It is clear that by the time of the rise of the Fulani Muslim States inthe eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the Fulani formed more or less substantial minorities in the various regions in which their Holy Wars were fought, since these were in no case invasions, but insurrections. Since that period, largely owing to the pacification of hitherto inaccessible areas by colonial administrations, Fulani have penetrated farther into areas such as the Jos Plateau in Nigeria and parts of British and French Cameroons. 

It maybe concluded that the present distribution of the Fulani was more or lesscompleted during a period of at most eight hundred years.There is little doubt that the main impetus of this vast ethnic movement was provided by the pastoral elements of the population. The transhumance systems of the Pastoral Fulani have probably always been of a conservative nature, involving close knowledge of the grazing potentialities of relatively limited tracts of country. The independence of the simple or compound family with its own herd has militated against the formation of extended kinship groups having well-defined grazing and water rights in specific tractswhich might be defended by force. Thus herds have been maintained, not bycattle-raiding, feud, and war, but by the continuous adjustment of transhumance patterns to subtle changes of an ecological nature. The resultant movement may be described as migratory drift, and it is this type of movement which accounts for the spread of Pastoral Fulani populations. 

Indeed, Pastoral Fulani have always formed minorities within wider societies, and intolerable political conditions within these have been countered by a more dramatic form of movement migration from the scene of war, excessive tribute, and the like. Pastoral Fulani have remainedpastoralists, in the sense we have described, only by continuous seasonal movement, which develops imperceptibly into migratory drift , and by periodic migration. They have left behind them Fulani populations more closely wedded to the soil, the semi-sedentary and sedentary populations. 


The Prophet Muhammad began preaching in Mecca Saudi Arabia. After his death in 632. Islam grew, and little by little reached lands far from Arabia in Asia, Europe, and Africa.Islam spread in West - Africa through commerce. Timbuktu, Jenne, and Gao in present day Mali became great cities of commerce. Both as a sedentary and as a nomadic people, Fulanis have played an important part in the history of West- Africa. A number of West-African kingdoms and empires had strong Fulani influence. The Fulani became Muslims in approximately the 11th cententury AD. With the Almoravids they conquered lands all the way to Southern Spain and destroyed the Empire of Ghana. From 1750 to1900 they engaged in many holy wars in the name of Islam. During the first part of the 19th century the Fulani carved out two important empires. One, based on Massina, for a time controlled Timbuktu; the other, centered at Sokoto , included the Hausa States and parts of Bornu and W Cameroon. The Fulani emir of Sokoto continued to rule over part of Northern Nigeria until the British conquest in 1903.

Usman Dan Fodio was a Fulani from Degel in Gobir. Do the Fulani come from the tribe of Dan? Dan is very present in the area after all. Not only the name Dan of Usman but Denianke, the name of one of the royal dynasties has DN of Dan.

As the ancient Jews, the Fulanis give great importance to people's names.

There are still 70,000 thousand Ethiopian Jews left in Ethiopia (20,000 Beta Israel & 50,000 Beth Avraham)

The Beta Israel of Ethiopia

There are three kinds of Ethiopians: 1)Christian 2)Muslims 3)Jews. The Beta Israel has been recognized by Israel as Jewish descendents. These people have kept the Mosaic laws over the centuries by a strict observance of the Shabbath; keeping the holidays; circumcision on the 8th day; sacrificing the Passover lamb and eating unleavened bread; observing the dietary laws; distinguishing between the clean and unclean; and the laws of purity. In 1984 and 1991, the Israeli governement airlifted about 22,000 of them. They left their homes in the mountains of northwestern Ethiopia with the hope of beginning a new life in their Homeland of Israel. Not all of them were airlifted and today, there still are about 20,000 members of Beta Israel remaining in camps in Addis Ababa and in remote northern villages.
Image The Beit Avraham of Ethiopia

Beit Avraham is the community that lived dispersed in many regions of Ethiopia. The Beit Avraham moved to Addis Ababa when the capital was moved there from Gondar. They seem to have been originally part of the Beta Israel and consider themselves as belonging to them even still. Originally the Beth Avraham might come from the northern part of Ethiopia and settled in Addis Ababa and the mountains of Gondar. Historically, because of the persecution these people encountered by other religion followers, they wandered from place to place to protect themselves from attacks. Today 50,000 Beit Avraham, remain. Most of them live in Kechene, a community in Addis Ababa and they still encounter persecution, oppression, and discrimination that is social, economic, and religious.

Beth Avraham -Picture from Kulanu

Beta Israel-Ethiopia

In the latter part of the twelfth century, a legend appeared which persisted for several centuries and reached Egypt, Palestine and Europe. According to this legend, a Christian priest named Prester John ruled as monarch over a vast and wealthy Christian Empire.

According to many traditions, Ethiopia was the land of the powerful Prester John's kingdom, as well as the home of the ten lost tribes. Persistent rumor had it that these African Israelite kingdoms were at constant war with Prester John, and that their armies were advancing on Rome.

Who are these African-Jewish tribesmen so central to the Prester John legend? These are the Ethiopian Jews known both as Falashas, the Amharic word for landless, wandering Jews, and as Beta Israel, the house of Israel. In Ethiopia, they engaged primarily in agriculture, but were known also for their exquisite crafts and jewelry.

Today, most of the Beta Israel live in the state of Israel. In the 1970's and 80's, the Israeli government airlifted thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, rescuing them from political and economic distress.

According to one tradition, the Ethiopian Jews are the descendants of one of the ten tribes, as their religion is an ancient form of biblical Judaism. Their religious practices are prescribed by the Orit, the Torah translated into their Gez dialect. They possess none of the post-biblical laws.

The Tutsi Jewish genocide

Being Americans is an enormous burden and opportunity. Being American Jews is all the more so. In the short term and long term, an enhanced U.S. interest is critical. Our State Department has had great faith in the shaky and muchpostponed “democratic process” that has been imposed upon Burundi. But can democracy provide the restraints that make human rights reliable in a country where human rights died under the stranglehold of Belgium colonialism? I doubt any American life insurance company would want to write policies on the Tutsi of Burundi any more than they would have wanted to sell life insurance to Jews in Germany after Hitler was elected amidst the noise of Nazi hate rallies. Unless, of course, they assumed that no survivors would arise to make claims. Many of us believe that there needs to be some kind of partition.

The Hutu Interahamwe killers seen in the movie remain organizationally intact and armed in the Congo and Tanzania. Remember the failure of the U.N. and the Burundian government to protect refugees from the fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo this past summer, and the resultant slaughter of Congolese Tutsi in Gatumba, Burundi? Funds for the Hutu militias, once funneled into Burundi by the Catholic Church, are now dwarfed, according to my informants, by funds from Arab lands. 

Among the hundreds of thousands of Hutus returning to Burundi from Tanzania, Congo, and the other countries to which they fled after the massacre of Tutsis in 1993, many, including a large percentage of those who have influence within the FDD, now have Islamic names (and will likely be able to vote in the coming national election under both their old names and their new ones). The Tutsi need to have a Tutsi state no less than European, North African, and Middle Eastern Jews needed the Jewish state of Israel. It is not a question of nationalism or pride but of dire necessity. They need a state in their Central African Homeland in which they can successfully defend not only their right to live as part of the heritage of Israel but also their very right to live. The Tutsi of Burundi are one of several Kush communities in the Great Lakes region. 

There are large reservoirs of Kush in the eastern provinces of Congo, where the father of my friend King Kigeli lived when he was exiled by Belgium. They are also dehumanized and murdered, threatened no less than the Tutsis of Burundi, and they also look for common ground. The ground they occupy is bizarrely recognized as part of a nation state, which is the last thing that the Democratic Republic of the Congo could be called.

Questions About the Luba

My name is Tshibasu Bilomba and for the past three years I have been doing research on a group of people known as the Luba. This group is located in central Congo-Zaire. In my childhood, I used to hear stories about how these peop le originated from ancient Israel. Since the stories are still going on, I thought it would be interesting toverify it, especially after seeing the Lemba example. I thought it would be wise to share my findings with you in order to get a second opinion on their origins. I have references I am ready to share and questions I wish to ask you and answer to the best of my ability. I have a quote here that might interest you. It comes from Dugald Campbell, In the Heart of Bantuland, Negro Universities Press: New York, 1969, p.266: "Northward [of Katanga] lives one of the greatest tribes of Central Africa, the Baluba, who are of undoubted Semitic origin. The name Baluba means 'the lost tribe,' and their language and customs have many Hebrew affinities. Their name for, and idea of, God, with their word for water, and people, and many other words and ideas, show their Semitic strain."

This meaning makes sense to Luba people as shown in a reaction I received: "Here is what could be a possible explanation of this statement linguistically. The source is potentially correct if we take the verb kulubakana. Mwana mulubakana = a confused child, or a lost child. Muluba, shorter form of mulubakana, means a ‘lost person.’ Baluba, the plural, would thus be ‘lost people.’" Another quote is from Leo Africanus, The History and Description of Africa and of the Notable Things Therein Contained, Burt Franklin: New York, p 1004: "So that at this day also the Abassins affirm, that upon Nilus towards the west, there inhabiteth a most populous nation of the Jewish stock, under a mighty King. And some of our modern Cosmographers set down a province in those quarters, which they call The land of the Hebrews, placed as it were under the equinoccial, in certain unknown mountains, between the confines of Abassia, and Congo." So far archeological evidence and oral history point towards a North-Easternly direction of their current location for Luba origins. Could these be part of the same people Africanus mentions? I have someone with me (a Luba elder) who would be interested in discussing with you as well. He is very much knowledgeable on the Luba and can probably help more than I can. Any help you can give me through book references or people I can contact will greatly be appreciated. Our goal is to arrive at a final answer for a century-old Luba question: "How come we have the same customs as the Jews?"

Dan, the travelling man

The question of the whereabouts of the Lost Tribes is an important one in that as we have stated before, all the prophesies in the Bible apply not just to the tribe of Judah but to all the descendants of the Children of Israel.

One tribe above all others has been cited as showing its ubiquitous nature. The Tribe of Dan and the vast numbers of geographical names which include D-N has been used as evidence by some that this tribe passed that way. Thus the rivers Don and Danube, as well as the lesser known Danaper and Danaster. Denmark itself of course and the Welsh and Spanish connections with Don have all been used to prove that the Tribe passed that way in its wanderings even before their exile by the Assyrians. 

Probably originally from southern Arabia, Eldad visited Mesopotamia, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain and caused a stir by his account of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. He himself claimed to be a descendant of the Danites, who, together with the tribes of Naphtali, Asher, and Gad, were said to have established a Jewish kingdom in Cush (Kush), variously interpreted as Ethiopia or, roughly, present-day Sudan."

It is how and when the tribe of Dan got to Ethiopia which is fascinating for our chronology.

The account can be found in Louis Ginzberg's monumental work. 

Eldad recounts that at the time of Jeroboam after his return from Egypt and the breakup of the Kingdom into two parts (Judah and Benjamin under Rehoboam in the South and the rest of the tribes under Jeroboam in the North) the Northern King had a plan to attack Judah and once again have a United Kingdom. Jeroboam put that plan to the elders of the 10 tribes.

The elders suggested that the job of attacking the south should be placed in the hands of the Tribe of Dan who were referred to as "the most efficient of their warriors".

The tribe of Dan however refused the request to attack the South believing it a sin to attack and shed the blood of their fellow Children of Israel. They actually threatened to attack Jeroboam instead, according to Eldad.

This was averted only because "God prompted the Danites to leave the promised land" ....their destination, Egypt!

It should be a simple task to confirm this story therefore in the Egyptian records. Is there any historical document in Egypt that shows the tribe of Dan invading? Well under the conventional chronology this would have been at the end of the 21st dynasty and there is no such record...

However under the revised chronology we are in for a tremendous surprise.

5 comentarios:

  1. The Efik are indeed an off-shoot of the Ibibio. That means the Ibibio, the majority ethnic group in the entire Cross River Basin, are their forebears.

  2. The Efik are indeed an off-shoot of the Ibibio. That means the Ibibio, the majority ethnic group in the entire Cross River Basin, are their forebears.

  3. Please tell me the relationship between Nembe and Arodi a Jewish descent

  4. I mean what number do Nembe occupy among the children of Arodi the founder of Arochukwu kingdom?

  5. Culturally, Ibibio is a priestly monarchy with deep Jewish roots. Ibibio culture and traditions are essentially Jewish with flavors of traditions borrowed from others with whom they came in contact throughout history. Ibibio is the root of Efik and no amount of conjectures can asperse the truth of that fact. Yes, the Ibibio people of whom the Efik are an integral part, are a semi-Bantu people of Jewish descent. Like the late great Peter Tosh said, we've got to build our love on ONE FOUNDATION, folks.

    1. The priestly monarchy:https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155254644752436&set=a.10150653864112436.415633.519477435&type=3&theater

    2. Efiks are an off-shoot of the Ibibio: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155253352647436&set=a.10150653864112436.415633.519477435&type=3&theater

    3. Efiks are an Ibibio-speaking people who adopted EFIK as a new name when, following a devastating defeat in a tribal civil war, migrated to Calabar--- originally land of the Efut, Qua and Ekoi tribes:

    The civil war was likely triggered by the Efik's refusal to uphold the authority of the Ibibio double-headed Axe god.