lunes, 25 de enero de 2016

There are plenty of Jewish Roots in Africa III

Joseph Eidelberg, author of books about the lost ten tribes of Israel, discovered interesting linguistic and cultural similarities between the Hebrew language and Bambara, spoken by an African tribe in Mali, leading to the original publication of Bambara in 1972. Bambara presents a fascinating new theory of the Exodus through the Sahara desert. In a logical step by step analysis the author uncovers the mystery of the 40 year journey which the Children of Israel made 3250 years ago from Egypt to Israel. In addition, the book presents the discovery of many locations in Africa, mentioned in the Bible, as stops the Children of Israel made during their journey. The theory sounds amazing, because of the plausibility of a long 40 year journey of the Children of Israel throughout the borders of the Sahara & the Sahel deserts. A long 40 year journey makes more sense than such in a tiny area of the Sinai peninsula. I would add that the Jebel al-Lawz mountain, in Saudi Arabia, makes more sense for a Sinai (Horeb) mountain, than the so called modern Mt. Sinai, chosen by the hardly professional archaeologist, Helen, Constantine the Roman Emperor's mom. I guess some of the Israelites, that could be quite a group, left the main group & stayed troughout the trail, mingling with locals eventually.

Ma-yomba, Mayumba or Yombe
Yom means day in Hebrew. Ba is regarded as an abreviation of be, the Semitic word meaning son. Be could be another abreviation. Yombe would mean son of the day.

The ending in -di of the name Burundi is similar phonetically to the Hebrew suffix -ti meaning "land of".

The Cohen Hebrew priests blessing of the hands displays the triangle & the crown or horns.
                                   Same symbol in Ethiopia used by the great King or Negest.

The Songhai people are also known as Songoy. Goy means people in Hebrew.

The Mavumba are the Black Jews of Angola.

Fulani resembles the Arabic word & last name Fulan. If it comes from the Arabic, Fulani would mean something like "of Fulan", "from Fulan", because that's the meaning of the Semitic suffix "i". Fulan is an Irish name too.

Oron is a Hebrew name meaning: 1. Small light or simply light. 2. Joy. 3. The hebrew name of the planet Uranus.

Masai is a Hebrew name meaning "God's work". In 1 Chronicles 9:12 Masai was a priest, son of Abdid.

                                          Celebrated church in Lalibela, Semien, Ethiopia

Siemien & Semien are Ashkenazi last name. Interestingly the last Jewish kingdom in Ethiopia was called Semien. the German surname Siemens might be related to the other surnames.

Several Subsaharan peoples with Hebrew origin: Orons, Masais, Yibirs, Rendilles, GaDangmes, Ashantis, DiNkas, Sefwis, Beit Avraham, Dan, Bubis, Ekois, Efutus, Toubous, Anakaras, Bankons, Basaas, Sao Tomé Jews, Acholis, Sogas, Karamojongs, Senas, Songhais, Balubas, Madis, Yorubas, Kikuyus, Qemants, Jolas, Biafadas, Biase, Temnes & Akans

Jews who forgot their Judaism: Timne, Futa Futa, Bambara, Fante... all have the oral tradition of Maghrebim Israelite origin along with Beta-Israel.

Seems like these are the Namibian tribe with Israelite origin according to genetics: The San people (or Saan), also known as Bushmen or Basarwa – all considered pejorative to some degree – are members of various indigenous hunter-gatherer people... 

The Serer is an ethnicity of Mulattoes in Senegal's coast that are the offspring of Portuguese males that went there centuries ago & of local Negro females. The privileged class of the Serers have Jewish origins. They descend from Portuguese Jews. It's widely known that among the Portuguese there was (& still is) a high proportion of Jews, even if it was concealed to their fellow nationals. The reason why a mostly Moslem country as Senegal is tolerant with Jews, Christians... is because Senegal has a strong Sufi tradition.

It's interesting that the Tutsi had sacred drums like the Lembas. The king of the Tutsis had a council of 12 that represented different clans. Did this come from the 12 tribes of Israel? The Tutsi monarchy lasted 500 years.

Is it by chance that the Black Jews among the Wolofs & the Mandingas in Senegal during the 1500s were called Gauls, just as the Lost Israelites in ancient France? Gal is part of many European toponyms & is regarded as short for galut or diaspora in Hebrew. The name Senegal has it as well.

Apparently there is significant evidence claiming that the Bushmen are descendants of the ancient Israelites who migrated to southern Africa. They didn't think Jews among Namibian Bushmen had any credence either, not until they checked their mitochondrial DNA. Fortunately, not all of them want to emigrate to Israel.  The Himbas are part of the Hereros. They have dreadlocks just as the Rastafaris. Their name resembles Hima, an ethnicity regarded as Israelite. Hereros are one of the peoples parcticing circumcision.

The Ethiopian Israelites should be called Bene Dan & Bene Judah for these are their two regarded tribal origins.

There's a movement of renewal among the Qemant intellectuals in Gondar. This movement includes an attempt to revive the language of the Qemant. And over the last few years an Israelite identity has been proclaimed for the four million inhabitants of western Ethiopia.

Joseph eidelberg affirmed that the West African language Bambara resembles Hebrew strikingly. He proposes in his book "Bambara: In the Footsteps of the Pillar of Fire" that the clear Hebrew influence found in several areas of West Africa is because the Israelites went through this area during their 40 years in the desert. He proposes that the dessert was mainly the Sahara desert because of the long journey. He further believes that from Ethiopia they went thru Yemen, Saudi Arabia to the Holy Land. Some Israelites might have stayed in those areas leaving the main group.

Genetic science has shown that a Namibian tribe with old Jewish claims has finally proven right about her claims, being the fit strikingly close.

The African Hebraic Alliance

AHA "Aha!" It is an expression used in the English vernacular to verbally express the thrill of discovery or of uncovering a secret and publicly exposing it. This is exactly what is at the crux of Igbo Hebrews, "African Hebraic Alliance" (AHA).

The Lost tribes are a hot topic in Jewish and Christian circles and much fanfare and research has been focused on linking the peoples of Europe and the America’s with the Lost Tribes of Israel. Very little or at least downplayed emphasis, (despite the Scriptural citations and hints that some of the Lost Tribe Would end up in Africa) has been given to Africa and its peoples who claim origins from one of the Tribes of Israel.

It is clear that the 12 Tribes of Israel has touched or has come in contact with virtually every people group one earth and as a result Jews and Hebrews span the spectrum of the human rainbow as well as the gamut of ethnicities.

It is AHA’s hope to collect, document, research and confirm in an academic and scholarly way as well as recognize and establish the various Tribes and Clans of Israel that made its way and settled in Africa and unite them with their relatives and counterparts that settled in the northern hemispheres, so as to find, recognize and unite the Lost Tribes of Israel in these last days.

African ethnic groups with Hebrew origin & African convert communities

The Bakwa Dishi Jews of Congo have interestingly the very name of a Pashtun (Israelite) district (Bakwa) in Afghanistan. These Congolese Jews are part of the greater Luba or Baluba ethnicities,  also regarded as Jewish in orrigin. The Bakwas might have been the Jewish core that passed Judaizing traditions to the rest of the Balubas, but the neighboring Great Lakes area has also other Jewish tribes: Tutsis & Himas, the one century old converts to Judaism called Abayudayas.

The Hutu and the Tutsi are no more compatible than the Jews and the Arabs are in Palestine; nor are the Greeks and the Turks in Cyprus.

                                                                     Tutsi, Hutu & Twa

The costums of the zulu, Hottentots, Xhosa were similar to the ones of the Jews, so it's possible that they have Israelite origin as some people think. The celebrated Zulu chief Shaka has in his name the consonants of the name of Isaac, ancestor of Israel. Zulu might be a deformation of Zebulun, as the Igbo Ozubulu clan's name is adeformation of Zebulunu. Since the Boers had Dutch offspring there might be Zebulunite Boers. When the Zulus allied to the Boers, maybe it was  because despite color's differences they were both Zebulonites, even if they didn't know it at the time. Blood is thicker than water after all.

Do the name Samburu have any relation with Shem? Sem in Arabic is Sam after all. Ethiopia, anciently called Abyssinia, receives its name from Habasa. Habasa is believed to come from "ha" (the), "ba" (sons) & "Sam" (Shem), or in other words "the sons of Shem". This is because Ethiopia is peopled with Semites (Arabs, Jews...), obviously mixed with Blacks. History & genetics have proven the Semitic origin of many Black Africans whose ancestors went trhu Ethiopia. Perhaps the Samburus keep in their name their origin from Sem.

The head shaving of the Lemba women for purification resembles the same Igbo tradition for mourning the dead.

The favorite color of the Lemba is blue which they say represents the sky. It's also the Jews's favorite color & they give the same interpretation as the Lembas.

It's interesting there's a tribe in Chad & Sudan with the name of Mararit. Merari was one of the clans of Levi & in some Bible versions the name appears as Merarit.

Did Kom peoples receive their name from the al-Kom village near Hebron?

Did the Masa receive their name (according to Exodus 17:7) from one of the places they traveled throu during the Exodus from Egypt or from the Masiah (Meshiah)?

Did the Ana people receive their name from the Hebrew name for grace or favor?

The Hebrew word for “sound” (KOLE or QOWL) occurs four times in Exodus 32:17-18. Kalkol was an Israelite noted for his wisdom. Was this the origin of the Kole?

Maka is a Hebrew last name meaning plague. The word may come from the word maka (Hebrew) or madka (Arabic), both meaning the same, or from Makkah, Arabic name for Mecca.

Has the Baka people Hebrew or Arabic origin? Bakkah is an ancient name for Mecca, the most holy city of Islam. Most people believe they are synonyms, but to Muslim scholars there is a distinction: Bakkah refers to the Kaaba and the sacred site immediately surrounding it, while Mecca is the name of the city in which they are both located. The Valley of Baca is mentioned in Psalm 84 of the Bible. A bekah for every man (Exodus 38:26) - The Hebrew word בקי beka, from בקי baka, to divide, separate into two, seems to signify, not a particular coin, but a shekel broken or cut  in two; so, anciently, our farthing was a penny divided in the midst and then subdivided, so that each division contained the fourth part of the penny; hence its name  fourthing or fourthling, since corrupted into farthing.

The Abayudayas belong to the Baganda tribe.

Did the Bété people come from Beta Israel (also known as Bete Israel)?

Abron or Habron was a name in nacient Greece . It’s very similar to the Hebrew word Hebron & even to Ibri, Hebrew in Hebrew. In other occasions we talked about the Hebrew origin of part of Greece , especially Sparta , a name bearing the PRT or BRT of People of the Covenant. Lycurgus of Sparta gave very advanced laws of freedom & was considered to be a lawgiver like Moses. I don’t belief that this African has the interchangeable names of Abron or Habron by chance.

There are Jewish communities in Africa, in every part of the continent. These communities have ncome to Judaism in different ways and have struggled in different ways to maintain their Jewish observances and identity. "

Tivs are Hebrews according to the scholar Collis. Tiv is close to tivvah, hebrew word, meaning "to sketch" & it's also close to tov, meaning "good" in Hebrew. Jukuns & Igalas are Hebrews too.

Mozambique: European settlers seeded a small Jewish community which has the opportunity to reemerge now that the government has softened its stance on Westerners.

Sefwi Wiawso, the House of Israel

The children of Western Ghana's House of Israel community are the first generation of modern Ghanians to be raised Jewish. Yet, members of this community believe that their Sefwi ancestors descended from Jewish traders who came through Timbuktu. The current community was born 25 years ago, after a local spiritual leader had a "vision" that convinced him that his Sefwi ancestors were actually Jews. Since the community's foundation, the elders have grown their group to encompass several large families.

Most members of the Ghanian community live in Sefwi Wiawso, a small city in the country's southwestern corner, near the Ivory Coast border. Sefwi Wiawso has one main street, a dirt road that runs along the top of a ridge overlooking the region's green hills. Small shops line either side of the main strip, including a general goods store owned by community member Kofi Kwateng and a photography operation, "Vote for God Photos," run by community leader David Ahenkorah. Other community members live in a small farming village called Sefwi Sui, located approximately twenty miles from Wiawso.

Every night the House of Israel community gathers at the house of Brother Isaiah to study Judaism from books Western donors have sent. "Rabbi" Alex reads the passages in English and David Ahenkorah explains each passage to the men, women and children who sit before him. They study hard because they know they have much to learn.

Daily life in this part of Ghana is slow and simple. Everyone works hard, from dawn to dusk, on the farm or in the store or at home preparing meals and looking after the house. Shabbat is a particularly welcome break from the monotony of the week's work, as are the evening meetings at Brother Isaiah's home. The House of Israel Ghanaians appreciate a hard day's work, but they also understand the importance of taking time to greet Jewish friends and neighbors and to enjoy life with their children.

Jay Sand visited the House of Israel congregation of Sefwi Wiawso, Ghana, in November 1999, and Bryan Schwartz visited the community in December 2003. They will present its members in vivid text and photographs in Scattered Among the Nations.

The House of Israel community’s miniature Torah is housed in Tefereth Israel synagogue in a glass and wooden case, which rests on the seat of a chair and is typically covered with a tallit. The Torah, carried to the community by Washington, DC-area resident Daniel Baiden, is removed from the ark every Shabbat morning. Though it is tiny, the community loves this Torah.

At Shalom Enterprises, owned by a local Jewish businessman, children play with dreidels and stickers they received as gifts from a foreign visitor.

David Ahenkorah looks up from praying the afternoon service in the sweltering heat in Tefereth Israel, the lone synagogue of the House of Israel community in New Adiembra, Sefwi Wiawso, Ghana, in West Africa. He practically lives in the synagogue on Shabbat, when he leads services for the entire community, walking home only for meals. The heir to the vision of House of Israel’s founder, David is a Jewish missionary in his own right. “Very soon, New Adiembra will not be the only community,” he explains, mentioning two other villages in Ghana’s Western Region where he is already teaching Jewish traditions.

After helping to prepare the Shabbat meal, Kwame Armah leans out the window of his family’s kitchen and cleans his hands before nightfall. Children comprise many of the hundred or so members of Ghana’s House of Israel community. Unlike their parents, most of whom chose Judaism as their religion while they were adults, the children of the community have grown up with Shabbat, nightly meetings to learn about Judaism, and a strong connection with the Jewish people.

Shortly before sunset on Friday, Frederick Edu pounds repeatedly as Florence deftly rotates the white starchy putty inside the cassava root, using the traditional wooden pole and carved wooden block. Through this process, they will make enough fufu—Ghana’s staple food—to last the family for Shabbat.

Masais, Zulus, Endebeles, Shonas & Ancient Israelites 

Merker found significant parallels between the Masais’ myths and traditions and those of the Biblical Israelites including: similarities in the names of God; in circumcision; in a belief in the figure of Moses (whom Merker identified with the Masai Marumi or Musana); and several legends like the stories of the creation, Adam and Eve and the fall of man; the deluge; the theft of the birthright; the bronze serpent; the ten commandments... He concluded that the Masai and the “oldest” Israelites had the same ancestry. The high point of this discourse coincided with a change in the way Jews were regarded in Europe. Of the dirty, money grabbing Jew. At about the same time Treitschke derided the German Jewish historian Heinrich Graetz as an, “‘oriental’ that could never be expected to understand the Germans.”

The customs of the Zulus were “apparently of Jewish origin.” Some of them included circumcision, levirate marriage, the daubing of the lintels of homes in times of sickness, the festival of the first-fruits...

As British power was extended further east throughout the 1850s the Zulus continued to be identified as Jews. Their settled, pastoral life and their religious and social customs were evidence enough of this. G.R.Peppercorne observed that the Zulus practiced a sort of ancient Judaism: “A general type of the customs and laws of the Ama-Zulu may be found in the early history of the Hebrews.”

Peppercorne suggested that any who wanted to understand Zulu customs had only to read the Old Testament. Zulu polygamy, marriage customs, even attitudes towards work were all described in the appropriate Biblical passage.

Henry Francis Fynn noted: “I was surprised to find a considerable resemblance between many of the [Zulu] customs and those of the Jews.” Like: “War offerings; sin offerings; propitiatory offerings;... periods of uncleanness, on the decease of relatives and touching the dead; Circumcision; Rules regarding chastity; Rejection of swine's flesh.” Fynn concluded that in view of, “the nature of semblance of many of their customs to those of the ancient Jews, as prescribed under the Levitical priesthood I am led to form the opinion that the [Zulu] tribes have been very superior to what they are at the present time.”

John Colenso was convinced that the two Zulu names for God embraced perfectly the notions of the divine “contained in the Hebrew words Elohim and Jehovah.” So close indeed were the resemblances, according to Colenso, that frequently the point was made that anyone who wanted to really understand the Bible had best study Zulu customs.

Zulu “habits and even the nature of their country so nearly correspond to those of the ancient Israelites, that the very scenes are brought continually, as it were, before their eyes, and vividly realized in a practical point of view.” Practically everything about the Zulus from their lunar calendar to the order of religious feasts seemed to reflect an Israelite past. “The Zulu keeps his annual feasts, and observes the New Moons as the old Hebrew did. The very Zulus have their festivals at the beginning of the Southern Spring and at the end of their Autumn, corresponding to the ‘feast of the first fruits’ and the ‘feast of the ingathering’ of the ancient Hebrews.”

By the end of the nineteenth century the white conquest of what is today South Africa was practically complete and the Ndebele and Shona tribes of what was by then called Rhodesia had also succumbed. As white settlers moved into the fertile lands north of the Limpopo River they were astonished to discover stone buildings, old mine workings and most of all the remarkable ruins known as the Great Zimbabwe complex. These ruins had first been discovered by a German, Karl Mauch, in 1871.

Immediately Mauch declared his conviction that these ruins had been erected by the Queen of Sheba and were in fact a copy of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem and that this entire area was the Ophir of the Bible - Solomon’s gold lands. It stood to reason therefore that Jews had once lived here and within a short time the Karanga-speaking Shona people and specifically the Lemba tribe were being defined in precisely the same way as the Hottentots, Xhosa and Zulus.

MEKONEN: The Journey of an African Jew

Directed by Rebecca Shore , Israel/Ethiopia , 2015, 45 mins  


The film follows the backstory and personal journey of Mekonen Abebe, a young African-Israeli Jew, once a young shepherd in Africa and now a commander in the Israeli Defense Forces. Mekonen is one of many brave young men and women drafted into compulsory service in the IDF, to defend their homeland and the liberal values of democracy, freedom and equality.

Born and raised in an Ethiopian village, Mekonen was a 12-year-old shepherd when his father died suddenly, less than a day before his family was to move to Israel. The film accompanies Mekonen back to Africa on an emotional journey. He explores his roots, makes peace with his past and embraces his future in Israel.

After a difficult adjustment period in Israel, Mekonen was fortunate to attend the Hodayot High School, which educates children from troubled backgrounds and helps integrate them into Israeli society. Mekonen became a decorated officer in the IDF, while staying true to his Ethiopian roots and culture.

Mekonen is an uplifting and inspiring film that will move audiences and show viewers that anything is possible with the right attitude, tools and support.

Mekonen: The Journey of an African Jew is the new mini-documentary from the creators of Netflix-featured Beneath the Helmet and PBS-featured Israel Inside. The film follows the backstory and personal journey of Mekonen Abebe, a young African-Israeli Jew, once a young shepherd in Africa and now a commander in the Israeli Defense Forces. Mekonen is one of many brave young men and women drafted into compulsory service in the IDF, to defend their homeland and the liberal values of democracy, freedom and equality.

The Yorubas and other Canaanite/Israelites Nigeria

Yorubas and the neighboring nationalities located in Nigeria have this oral tradition of an origin extraneous to West Africa.

Hugh Clapperton in 1820s reported a work by Sultan Bello, the Caliph of the Sokoto Caliphate, where he asserted that the Yorubas were descended from a Canaanite tribe from Palestine.

Around the 1880s Samuel Johnson a Yoruba Christian also wrote a book that made similar claims for Yoruba origins as Sultan Bello’s. In 1880, Johson naively sent this work to the Church Missionary Society in England for review and publication.

The Church Missionary Society suppressed the manuscript upon realizing the explosive information it contained. The Society declared the book lost. It was not until 1923 that Johson’s brother was able to publish an edited copy of this work. Johnson’s thesis was that the Yorubas were descended from Lamurudu (Nimrod) the first King of Mesopotamia. Johnson died in 1901.

In 1955 S.O. Obiaku, a Nigerian historian and scholar claimed a Meroite origin (Sudan/ancient Ethiopia-Kush) for the Yorubas. Emmanuel Uguhulu another respected Nigerian scholar claimed a Hebrew origin for the Esan tribe. Esan is part of the greater Edo nation, which is related to the Yoruba nation of Nigeria.

Efik traditions claim that the Efiks originated in Palestine, crossed the Sahara and arrived Nigeria via Sudan. The Efiks are located in the south-eastern corner of Nigeria.

Iberian Jews of Yoruba Nationality

The Bnai Ephraim (“Children of Ephraim”) from Nigeria, live among the Yoruba nationalities. Their oral history tells that the Bnai Ephraim people came from Morocco after the Jews were banished from the Iberian Pennisula sometime after 1492.

They speak a dialect that is a mixture of Moroccan Arabic, Yoruba, and Aramaic. They are known by the Yoruba people as the “Emo Yo Quaim”, or “strange people”. Unlike other African Israelite communities in Nigeria, the Bnai Ephraim have the Torah, portions of which they keep in their sanctuaries.

The name Lagos borne by the former capital of Nigeria is a Portugese/Iberian name meaning the lake. Lagos is an Island carved up by lagoons, swamps and lakes. Its traditional Nigerian name is Eko.
Thousands of black refugee Jews of Iberia re-settled in the environs of Lagos and Porto Novo (as well as in Cape Verde, Guinea Buissa, and in Sao Tome either as slaves or outlaws). Some groups eventually made it deeper inland and became assimilated into one nationality or the other.

The Bnai Ephraim provides a living and irrefutable proof of this barely known history of mass Jewish re-settlement in West Africa, between 1492 and 1692, a 200 year non-stop return of Jews to Africa. This set of Moorish refugees are not to be confused with more ancient Hebrew and Canaanite tribes that had been living in Nigeria and other African countries for thousands of years. The Black Jew series on Rasta Livewire deals with the relatively more ancient Hebrews of Africa.

The Bnai Ephraim did not settle with the Yorubas by accident or chance. They recalled that a body of their people had depart Canaan in the ancient times and had settled in the present day Yoruba areas of Nigeria, just like their own group – Bnai Ephraim – had settled in Iberia (Spain and Portugal).
So, when it happened they had to leave Iberia in a hurry to protect their lives and freedom, those Moorish Iberian Jews sailed on their network of ships to Nigeria Africa, near Lagos amongst the Yorubas, their relation by blood, their greater nationality.

Sometimes you find information in a confusing way. The first time that I saw something about Lam-lam, it was in a way that sounded as they were an Ethnicity with Jewish roots living in Timbuktu. Lamlam was just a town about 100 miles west of Timbuktu in which in olden times Jews were living. Nowadays there are people in the area that despite being Muslims claim their Jewish heritage.

Yorubas – Sons of Ephraim

As stated in my books regarding the Igbos, the father of the Yoruba people, Oduduwa traveled with Gad’s sons, Eri, Areli and Arodi from North Africa, likely Egypt and settled in what today is known as Nigeria. This would coincide with Yoruba oral history that they believe to come from outside of West Africa and thus it would be no surprise that we might find Israelites, Hebrews and Jews among the Yoruba.

Oduduwa was said to be a descendant of Ham, through Nimrod also called Lamurudu, this according to Yoruba Christian Samuel Johnson in 1880. Sultan Bello, Caliph of Sokoto was quoted in 1820 by Hugh Clapperton to have said that the Yoruba people were descendants of a Canaanite tribe. And S.O. Obiaku a Nigerian Historian claimed the Yorubas to originate from the Sudan or what was known as Cush/Kush (Ethiopia).

However, some say “Yoruba” is a corruption of the name “Jacob” or in Hebrew, “Yacob.” Others assert that Yoruba is from “Yerubbaal,” the “People of Baal.” Even others claim it comes from Yeroboam, the Israelite king known in English as Jeroboam.

But the current Yoruba Jewish population who claim to come from the Israelite tribe of Ephraim was said to have been driven to Yorubaland from Morocco by Muslims and eventually mingled with Yoruba people. These black Jews in southern Nigeria are called the "Emo Yo Quaim", or "Strange People", by the native Africans, but these black Jews call themselves, "B'nai Ephraim" or "Sons of Ephraim". These Jews' claim for which their ancestors came from Morocco is supported by their language which appears to be a mixture of Maghrebi Arabic and local Negro speech. Thus abu ("father") has become Yaaba, from the Hebrew word “Abba” and “Umm” ("mother") is “Em” from the Hebrew, "Ima". Nevertheless, most of their language is similar to the Yoruba’s around them.

These Yoruba, “Sons of Ephraim” observe certain Jewish customs, among which are the great holy days, naming of children on the 8th day, etc. In almost every way, these black Jews are like the Yorubas, and are hardly distinguishable from them, except for some outstanding Hebrew observances.

But there is doubt whether any from this group exists today among the Yoruba.

There is a clan among the Yoruba People called the "Ijeeu," which is believed to be a corruption of the word “Jew.” They are looked down upon by the rest of the Yoruba for displaying Igbo-like character and traits, one of which is business prowess. There is even a town in Yorubaland called, "Ijuee-Igbo." Much if the Ijeeu people resent and deny this connection with them and Ndi Igbo.


Akra Township, Pembina County, North Dakota, a township in North Dakota, USA
Acra (fortress), a fortress in Jerusalem that existed during the Hellenistic period
Acre, Israel, a city in northern Israel
Akra, Pakistan, an archaeological site south of Peshawar in Pakistan
Akra Peninsula, a peninsula in Antarctica
Aqra (Chaldean Diocese), a diocese of the Chaldean Catholic Church
Accra, the capital and largest city of Ghana
Ptolemaic Acra or Ptolemaic Baris, a citadel maintained by Ptolemaic Egypt during its rule of Jerusalem in the 3rd century BC

It's interesting that this noun is found several times, under different variants, as a toponym & as a last name in the Middle East (including Israel). In Ghana, Scandinavia and the Americas there's an important tradition of Israelites arriving there after all.

Aakra or Åkra

Åkra, a former municipality in Rogaland county, Norway
Åkra, or Åkrahamn, a village in Karmøy municipality, Rogaland county, Norway
Åkra, Hordaland, a village in Kvinnherad municipality, Hordaland county, Norway

Åkra Church (Hordaland), a church in Kvinnherad municipality, Hordaland county, Norway
Åkra Church (Rogaland), a church in Karmøy municipality, Rogaland county, Norway
Old Åkra Church, a church in Karmøy municipality, Rogaland county, Norway
Acre & Akre are surnames. The first one found in western countries & the second one found in middle eastern countries.
Aqra, properly Aqra, is a diocese of the Chaldean Church.

Aqra may also refer to:
Jebel Aqra (properly Jebel al-Aqra), a mountain on the Turco-Syrian coast that was a center of pagan worship for millennia.

Aqrah (properly ʻAqra or Akrê), a city and district in Iraq
There was an ethnic group in olden times with the name Akra. I guess they are now known by another & that they founded the Ghanaian capital. They are regarded as offspring of Israel as several ethnic groups in Ghana are. Are they today known as Ashantees, Sefwis or perhaps Fantis?

Israel Kakungulu reviewed some of the Abayudaya history he recalled. In 1926, when his father Semei was asked the question “What will happen to us?” he prophesied that “the white Jews will come here in airplanes and teach you, so stay firm in your belief.” According to his son, Semei built the first synagogue in 1913 and bequeathed 16 acres of land to the synagogue in perpetuity. He says that a few years ago his family increased the land to 50 acres.

The Black Jews of Africa: History, Religion, Identity

This is an impressive academic work by an author with a grasp of many disciplines. To cast light on her complex subject, Edith Bruder makes use of a wide range of writings from African history, anthropology, sociology, history of religion, Biblical studies, Jewish studies, African American studies, and epistemology, the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge and its foundations.

The title of the book, The Black Jews of Africa, is somewhat misleading, for it is not a polemic offering evidence as to the legitimacy of many African groups who claim Jewish ancestry from the Lost Tribes of Israel. Rather, Dr. Bruder, a researcher at the University of London, asks the questions: why do so many African groups identify with ancient Israel and what are the antecedents of their claims? An academic treatise with voluminous citations and notes, the book seeks to provide answers from a wide variety of secondary sources in a dispassionate and evenhanded manner, exploring both external (mainly European) and internal (mainly native African) influences and their interplay.

Answers to those questions take the author first to Biblical texts and speculative commentaries about the whereabouts of the Ten Tribes “lost” in the eighth century BCE. One of the places mentioned most notably in ancient literature is the land of Kush, generally considered to be Africa. Bruder chronicles in detail how this “narrative of exile” in Africa created a potent “myth” or story. The reader should keep in mind that “myth” does not exclude a core of historical truth. Moreover, as Bruder states in the second half of the book, “myth reveals a living pattern rather than a pure fiction,” — a “sacred history and therefore a ‘true history,’” citing many studies of myth in general and in African societies in particular (page 98).

She goes on to describe the continuity and embroidery of the story through the centuries. Initially, the story was impacted by the rudimentary knowledge of geography prevalent at that time, such as confusion between India and Ethiopia. Other influences were the legend of Solomon and Sheba, which had currency in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim thought, and the wealth of Ophir mentioned in the Bible. Early Europeans who met unfamiliar peoples perceived them as “Moors” or “Jews,” and as time went by, race (non-white) became conflated with religion (Judaism) to classify “others.” Thus, explorers from Marco Polo to Amerigo Vespucci attributed Lost Tribe status to natives from China to North America. The notion that Jews were non-white (black) persisted through the nineteenth century, even into the twentieth, as Europeans encountered “exotic” societies in their colonial incursions abroad. In her chapter on “Encountering and Reinventing the Africans and the Jews,” Bruder does a good job of leading the reader through this complicated process in the history of ideas.

One of the most interesting chapters in Bruders’s book concerns African Americans and their appreciation of the Lost Tribes story. Beginning in the nineteenth century, expounded by authors and thinkers such as W.E.B. Du Bois, the idea of blacks as descendants of a great cultural heritage gained support as a response to the discrimination and cultural deprivation they experienced in the United States. Citing alternate “accusation and spiritual identification” with Jews, from the anti-Semitism of Louis Farrakhan to Rabbi Capers Funnye’s Alliance of Black Jews, Bruder’s description includes the Hebrew Israelites who went from Chicago to Israel in the 1960s and the Rastefarians of Jamaica who trace their origins to Ethiopia. The second half of the book begins with the attempt to “disentangle — in regions with little written history — the true from the likely and the unlikely” regarding the historical presence of Jews in sub-Saharan Africa. Chock full of unfamiliar geographic and historical names, this chapter must have been challenging for the author and is a challenging one for most readers, as well.

This reader was struck by the evidence of early Jewish traders and refugees throughout Africa. The long-term results of this Jewish presence are mixed, however. Some populations whose interactions with these Jews are relatively well-established (groups from Sudan, for example) have shown little interest in their possible Jewish antecedents and are unknown in the West. Other groups (such as those from Timbuktu, Mali) are slightly better known, have justifiable claims to Jewish origin, but, as Kulanu discovered in the 1980s, have little interest in living Jewishly.

African groups whose intertwined political and religious histories Dr. Bruder explores include the Igbo of Nigeria, the House of Israel of Ghana, the Tutsis of “Havilah” in Rwanda and Burundi, the well-known Abayudaya of Uganda, Jewish-Christians of South Africa and Zimbabwe, a group in Madagascar, and the Lemba of South Africa and Zimbabwe. As an associate of Tudor Parfitt, the researcher who found a genetic link between one of the Lemba clans and Jewish Cohanim (priests), she devotes several pages to the historical record of the Lemba, their self-identity based on their oral tradition and Western perceptions of them through the centuries. She cautions against the “oversimplification” of the genetic findings as fueled by the media. One would have to know more about genetics than she provides in order to explain that oversimplification in genetic terms, but perhaps she means that genetic testing does not necessarily find practicing “Jews.” One significant result of the genetic findings was increased certainty among the Lemba themselves concerning their Jewish identity. But while some Lemba have shown increased interest in learning and participating in mainstream Jewish practice, others have maintained Christian or Muslim religious traditions.

Sub-Saharan African Admixture in Ashkenazic Jews

Autosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA samples of Ashkenazic Jews occasionally reveal faint signals of descent from Sub-Saharan Africans from West, Central, South, and East Africa who belong to the Negroid race, which is typified by the Bantu peoples and differentiated from the Pygmy and Bushmen races as well as from the North African Caucasoids (white Berbers and Coptic Egyptians).

The hairstyle amusingly called the "Jewfro", sported by those rare Ashkenazim who have very curly hair of a kinky sort and don't artificially straighten it, is a probable physical indicator of this descent, but on the other hand some Assyrians from the Middle East also have that kind of hair. Most Ashkenazic Jews, however, have no genetic trace of Sub-Saharan African descent. Scientific laboratory admixture tests usually show that most Ashkenazim are basically zero percent Sub-Saharan autosomally. This page collects anecdotes from Ashkenazim who did inherit this ancestry.
Autosomal DNA

David, a full Ashkenazi who used the pseudonym "Phyllis Sharon" but signed his real name at the end of his message, wrote that all his recent ancestors were Ashkenazim and that National Geographic's Geno 2.0 told him he's genetically 2% "Sub-Saharan African."

Sean M. Silver, another person of Ashkenazi descent, was also tested by Geno 2.0. Somebody else presented Sean's results, including the finding that he's 2% "Sub-Saharan African".

The genetic company 23andMe's consumer autosomal test has brought to light even miniscule genetic components that people inherited. Peter Eisenstadt wrote: "Me, I'm, as far as I know, a pure-bred Ashkenazi Jew, which is confirmed by 23andme, which tells me than I am 93.0% of Ashkenazi descent, and a whopping 99.2% of European ancestry, with a measly 0.1% of me from sub-Saharan Africa".

Kitty Cooper wrote that her Ashkenazic husband got tested by 23andMe which assigned him a 98% Ashkenazi score and an 0.1% Sub-Saharan African score autosomally, even in the conservative view.
23andMe also provided the autosomal results for American personalities of only recent East European Ashkenazic descent who appeared on the episode "Our People, Our Traditions" in season 2 of the PBS television series "Finding Your Roots" with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The attorney Alan Morton Dershowitz and the playwright Tony Kushner were both reported to have less than 0.1% "Central and South African" ancestry. Many of Dershowitz's recent ancestors lived in the western Galician region of the Austrian Empire in towns that are now part of Poland. At least some of Kushner's ancestors also lived in Poland.

In admixture runs through Eurogenes, MDLP, and Dodecad, some Ashkenazim show small amounts in some of these tests that are attributed to Sub-Saharan ancestry, but usually well under 1% and not consistently showing across all tests, so they could be "noise", that is to say they may be elements that were assigned to the wrong ethnicity. In the comprehensive Eurogenes K36 test, Ashkenazim never show any amount of West African affinity, and almost never show any East African affinity either (not the same thing as Northeast African which is Caucasoid and does show up for some Ashkenazim in K36).

Mitochondrial (mtDNA) haplogroups

Whereas the mtDNA haplogroup L2a1c1 found in some Ashkenazim is of North African origin, and while the Sub-Saharan mtDNA haplogroups L1 and L3a aren't found in Ashkenazim like they are in Yemenite Jews, and while L2a1a in Czechs and Slovaks came from admixture about 10,000 years ago, there is a haplogroup called L2a1l2 that some Ashkenazim belong to which is apparently of Sub-Saharan origin.

Brooke Schreier Ganz, an East European Ashkenazi with roots in Galician Ukraine, Poland, and Moldova who got tested by Family Tree DNA, wrote that her haplogroup is L2a1l2 and "all my exact matches at FTDNA are Eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish (as am I), but just a teensy bit further up the tree, everyone listed at GenBank is sub-Saharan African or African-American." She explained that her HVR1+HVR2 level matches for L2, L2a, and L2a1 are fellow Ashkenazim (from central and eastern Europe) whereas her HVR1-only level matches include natives of the African nations of Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, and Sierra Leone.

Peter J. Roberts wrote that dozens of Ashkenazim with ancestors from Slovakia, Poland, Russia, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, France, and Germany carry a variety of L2a1 in Family Tree DNA's database and that other varieties of L2a1 in the database are held by tribes like the Bassa of Cameroon, the Hausa of Niger and Nigeria, the Manjaco of Guinea-Bissau, and the Kikuyu of Kenya who show as HVR1-only level matches to Ashkenazim.

Doron M. Behar, Michael F. Hammer, Daniel Garrigan, Richard Villems, Batsheva Bonne-Tamir, Martin Richards, David Gurwitz, Dror Rosengarten, Matthew Kaplan, Sergio Della Pergola, Lluis Quintana-Murci, and Karl Skorecki. "MtDNA evidence for a genetic bottleneck in the early history of the Ashkenazi Jewish population." European Journal of Human Genetics 12:5 (May 2004): 355-364. The supplementary data show that 1.8% of Ashkenazim possess the African mtDNA haplogroup L2a.

Marta D. Costa, Joana B. Pereira, Maria Pala, Verónica Fernandes, Anna Olivieri, Alessandro Achilli, Ugo A. Perego, Sergei Rychkov, Oksana Naumova, Jiři Hatina, Scott R. Woodward, Ken Khong Eng, Vincent Macaulay, Martin Carr, Pedro Soares, Luísa Pereira, and Martin B. Richards. "A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages." Nature Communications 4 (October 8, 2013): article number 2543. The authors do not assign a geographic origin to haplogroup L2a1l but note that they found it in 1.5% of all their Eastern European Jewish mtDNA samples as a whole. They found it in 0.9% of Czech/Austrian/Hungarian Jews, 2.9% of Polish Jews, 1.4% of Russian/Belarusian Jews, and 2% of Romanian/Moldovan Jews. They also found it in 2% of French Ashkenazi Jews and 1.8% of Dutch/German/Swiss Ashkenazi Jews. They didn't happen to find it in any of their Baltic Jewish or Ukrainian Jewish samples.

Jeffrey Barak, whose ancestors were Ashkenazic Jews living in Bessarabia and Ukraine, was identified as a carrier of the haplogroup L2a1l2 by 23andMe. However, his Sub-Saharan mitochondrial ancestry, representing such a tiny fraction of his overall DNA, did not show up in the estimated ancestry composition, which reported he has no autosomal DNA from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Sandra Fishman wrote how her Ashkenazi Jewish cousin with roots from Lithuania and Latvia was detected to be a carrier of L2a by National Geographic's Geno project.

Debate over a Y-DNA haplogroup

Some Ashkenazim, "Power77" whose paternal line is Ashkenazic from Romania and Kitty Cooper's husband among them, belong to the Y-DNA haplogroup is E1a1 (E-M44), but it is not frequent among Ashkenazim. E-M44 is found in Africa among some people in Mali and Sudan at rates of 2-5% for those countries as a whole but much more prevalently (44%) specifically among the Dogon people of Mali and even more prevalently (53%) among the Fulbe people of Cameroon. A relatively small percentage of people in countries like Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom also have E1a1. The specific Ashkenazic branch of E1a1 which is a grandchild of E-M44 is called E1a1a1 (Z17696) on ISOGG's March 18, 2015 haplogroup tree. While some interpret E-M44 as having a Sub-Saharan African origin, ISOGG says the root haplogroup E1 might have originated in Northeast Africa despite its high frequencies further to the southwest: "E1 and E2 are found in Northeast Africa, but surveys show E1 may actually be more prevalent in Mali than in its presumed region of origin."

SUMMARY: Genetic testing reveals that some (but not all) Ashkenazic Jews from Eastern Europe descend a little bit from Sub-Saharan African black people. Comprehensive maternal and paternal haplogroup analysis shows that a woman, rather than a man, was the source of this ancestry. (The common Ashkenazic Y-DNA haplogroup E1b1b1 originated with Caucasoid or proto-Caucasoid people living in northeast Africa or Arabia. As noted above, E1a1a1 might likewise be rooted with Caucasoids of ancient northeast Africa.)

How do we explain that Ashkenazim have west African genes? Easy. There are many traditions in those areas of black ethnicities having Israelite origin & that these areas were refuge for run away Israelites since ancient times. Apart from that an Israeli scholar proposed that the Israelites couldn't have traveled, & stay lost, through such tiny area as the modern peninsula called Sinai for the length of 40 years. Instead he proposes the Israelites went through the all over the Sahara desert & that would explain why there are people with Hebrew tradition in Saharan bordering parts of Africa & even further. Some of the Saharan-Sahelian ethnicities,like the Fulanis, have clear Caucasoid features. The Fulanis have a tradition of Israelite ancestry. The Ibos, Ashantis, Eburus...claim an Israelite ancestry, have Hebrew traditions & even words of Hebrew origin. If there's an African language with more commonalities with Hebrew, that's probably Bambara. Perhaps is even the closest apart from Semitic languages. The former Saharan empires of Songhoi, Ghana...are said to have been  empires run by black Jews.

Senegalese bush, Bani Israel tribe claims Jewish heritage

BANI ISRAEL, Senegal (JTA) — He will welcome you into his earthen-floor home, introduce you to his three wives, and let you sample their cooking. But Dougoutigo Fadiga does not want foreigners to come near the sacred tree of his village deep in the Senegalese bush.

“The tree is holy grounds,” says Fadiga, president of this remote settlement of 4,000 souls. “Our Jewish ancestor, Jacob, planted it when his people first settled here 1,000 years ago.”

The lush kapok tree towers over the parched shrubbery at the edge of Bani Israel, a dusty community in eastern Senegal near the border with Mali. The residents, all Muslims, are members of a tribe whose name means “sons of Israel,” and they trace their lineage to two clans — Sylla and Drame — they say are descended from Egyptian Jews.

Dougoutigo Fadiga outside the Bani Israel clinic near the Senegalese village’s sacred tree, May 2013.

“We are all practicing Muslims and we don’t want to become Jewish,” Fadiga says. “In fact, we don’t like to talk too much about our Jewish background, but we don’t hide it either. We know our people came from Egypt to Somalia, and from there to Nigeria, where they split about 1,000 years ago. One branch of the two families went to Mali, another to Guinea, and we settled here.”

The truth of such claims is difficult to establish, but West Africa has had a documented Jewish presence since at least the 14th century, when several Jewish merchants set up shop in Timbuktu, in western Mali. Jews kept trickling in from Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition of the 15th and 16th centuries, and later from Morocco.

Gideon Behar, Israel’s former ambassador to Senegal, says Jews maintained a constant presence in the area until 1943, when the last Jewish settlement was uprooted from Guinea-Bissau, Senegal’s southern neighbor, then a Portuguese colony under the rule of pro-fascist dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar.

“Bani Israel is a striking example because of its name, but there are many, many other ways in which this area’s little-known but rich Jewish presence has influenced it,” says Behar, one of the few Westerners to have visited Bani Israel.

Behar believes the historic presence is responsible for some of the faint Jewish traces still visible in the region. West African musicians often decorate the traditional, 21-string bridge-harp known as kora with Jewish symbols, including the Star of David. And some words in Wolof, a widely spoken language in Senegal, bear more resemblance to Hebrew pronunciation than Arabic, which is spoken in neighboring countries.

The Wolof word for cheek is pronounced “lekhi,” as in Hebrew. One of Wolof’s words for wise is pronounced the same as the Hebrew word “chacham.” A weaver or fabric merchant is called “rab,” similar to rabbi.

Dougoutigo Fadiga, president of Bani Israel, outside his Senegal home with his three wives and one of his sons, May 2013.

The Bani Israel also have a cultural trait in common with Jews: an aversion to intermarriage. According to Fadiga, the community tries not to assimilate, preferring to wed with members of the tribe who live in neighboring villages.

“I believe there is an element of truth to the tradition of the Bani Israel, especially since they have nothing to gain from pretending,” says Behar, who returned from Senegal in 2011. “They’re not seeking Israeli citizenship, nor are they claiming to be Jewish. In fact, their Jewish ancestry and name can only give them problems.”

Tambacounda is nearby Bani Israël, so in Wolof ethnic territory, although Fulanis & Mandinkas are near.

Though their Jewish association is potentially problematic in a Muslim country — according to Behar, some residents have sought to change the village name in their passports to permit travel to Mecca — the story of Bani Israel’s origin is not universally accepted in Senegal. Abdoul Kader Taslimanka, a Senegalese writer who published a book last year about the community, “Bani Israel of Senegal,” says the name has nothing to do with Jews and in fact is taken from the title of a chapter of the Koran.

Some accounts do, however, support the last leg of the journey that Fadiga describes. Bani Israel are speakers of the Jahanke dialect, the language of the Diakhanke tribe, which the International Journal of African Historical Studies says migrated down the Niger River, settling in Mali, Guinea, Gambia and Senegal.

Unlike most villages in the area, the Bani Israel live in houses made of brick instead of mud and thatch huts. It also was the first village in the area to have a clinic and electrical generators, according to Fadiga.

The school in Bani Israel is surrounded by a tall brick wall. Inside, teachers give lessons in French, math and science. The school day begins at 5:30 a.m. and finishes by noon, when the asbestos-roofed classrooms become as hot as ovens.

Such relative luxuries are financed by about 1,000 Bani Israel who live in the Senegalese capital of Dakar or in France, sending monthly donations back to the village. Unusually for the region, the money is not sent directly to relatives but is placed in a communal trust that pays for health services and schools, which in turn service not only the village but the entire remote region.

“This place is blessed and its people are chosen,” Fadiga says. “But some people resent us for it, so it’s best not to talk too much about it.”

Baga people

                                                           Baga chief Koba in 1914.

The Baga people live in the coastal lowlands of Guinea. They belong to separate tribes sharing extensive cultural characteristics (from north to south of present-day Guinea): the Mandori, the Sitemu, the Pukur, the Bulunits, the Kakissa (or Sobané), the Koba, and the Kalum. They are also closely related to the inland Landuma, to the Nalu of Guinea-Bissau and to the Temne of Sierra Leone with whom they share linguistical roots.

Baga languages

The name Baga is derived from the Susu phrase bae raka, “people of the seaside.”
In addition to the Baga languages, most of the Baga also speak the Mande language Susu, the regional trade language. Two Baga communities are known to have abandoned their language altogether in favour of Susu, namely the Sobané and Kaloum.


Mendy or Mende are diminutive formsx of the name Mendel (Yiddish) in the Hebrew language. Mendel is of Hebrew origin, and it is used mainly in the Yiddish language. Hebrew origin: It is derived from the element min da meaning 'wisdom, knowledge'. Mandel is a wester European & Hebrew last name. It's also a Belgian rier & a German town,

Mende people

Regions with significant populations Sierra Leone (Bo District, Bonthe District, Moyamba District, Pujehun District, Kenema District, Kailahun District, Western Area) Guinea Liberia Large population of Mende descendants in the United States and the Americas

Languages Mende, Krio, Sierra Leone English, French

Religion Majority Islam; large Christian minority

The Mende people are one of the two largest ethnic groups in Sierra Leone; their neighbours, the Temne people, have roughly the same population. The Mende and Temne both account for slightly more than 30% of the total population. The Mende are predominantly found in the Southern Province and the Eastern Province, while the Temne are found primarily in the Northern Province and the Western Area, including the capital city of Freetown. Some of the major cities with significant Mende populations include Bo, Kenema, Kailahun and Moyamba.

The Mende belong to a larger group of Mande peoples who live throughout West Africa. The Mende are mostly farmers and hunters.

The Mendes are divided into Kpa-Mende, who are predominantly in the South - in Moyamba district, the Golah-Mende, from the Gola (diaspora in Hebrew) forest between Kenema and Pujehun districts into Liberia - a national reservation landmark, Sewa-Mende, who settled along the Sewa Rive, Vai-Mende also in Liberia and Pujehun district, Sierra Leone and the Koh-Mende who are the dominant tribe in Kailahun district with the Kissi (Ngessi) and Gbandi both of who are in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The secret "Poro" society is for men while "Sande" society for women both of whom initiate the young into adulthood. Those who join either of the male or female secret societies are referred to as: The halemo are members of the hale or secret societies, and kpowa are people who have never been initiated into the hale. The Mende believe that all humanistic and scientific power is passed down through the secret societies. Like the free masons.

The Mende language is widely spoken in Liberia more so in areas once considered part of Liberia. Both countries have Mende, Gola, Vai, Gissi and Gbandi tribes but the Mende are the dominant population.

Mende language is also taught in Sierra Leone schools and the Alphabet is closely identical to the English Alphabet.

The Mende speak the Mende language among themselves, but their language is also spoken as a regional lingua franca by members of smaller Sierra Leonean ethnic groups that inhabit the same part of the country. Their language is spoken by around 46% of Sierra Leone's population.

Sierra Leone's politics have been dominated by the Mende, on the one hand, and the Temne and their long-time political allies, the Limba, on the other.

Regional warfare throughout the 19th century led to the capture and sale of many Mende-speakers into slavery. Most notable were those found aboard the Amistad in 1839. They eventually won their freedom and were repatriated. This event involved fifty-two free Mende tribesmen, stolen by Portuguese slavers in 1839, who were shipped via the Middle Passage to Havana, Cuba, where they were sold to Cuban sugar plantation owners, José Ruiz and Pedro Montez.

In the 1930s African-American linguist Lorenzo Dow Turner found a Gullah family in coastal Georgia that had preserved an ancient song in the Mende language ("A waka"), passing it down for 200 years. In the 1990s three modern researchers --Joseph Opala, Cynthia Schmidt, and Tazieff Koroma — located a Mende village in Sierra Leone where the same song is still sung today. The story of this ancient Mende song, and its survival in both Africa and the US, is chronicled in the documentary film The Language You Cry In.

Tradition and culture

Joseph Cinqué (c. 1814 – c. 1879), formerly known as Sengbe Pieh, was a West African man of the Mende people who led a revolt of fellow slaves on the Spanish slave ship, La Amistad.

The Mende traditionally live in villages of 70 to 250 residents, which are situated from 1.5 to 5 kilometers apart.

The Mende are patrilineal, patrilocal, and polygamous. The household unit is represented by at least one man and perhaps several of his brothers, with all of their wives and children . One or more brothers and married sisters usually leave sooner or later and are incorporated into other residential units. The senior male has moral authority—the right to respect and obedience—over the family as a whole, especially with regard to the negotiation of debts, damages, and bride-wealth.

During the seven-year initiation period, the young men converse with each other using a secret language and passwords, known only to other male members of the men's secret society. The member always knows and understands what is being said. This is part of the mystery of this secret society.
At puberty women join their own female secret society. The goals of this secret society are to teach young Mende women the responsibilities of adulthood. The girls are taught to be hard working and modest in their behavior, especially towards their elders. Sande influences every aspect of a Mende woman's life; it is present before birth and still present after.

So there is a female secret society & a male secret society. Both are secret & have a hierarchy just as in free masonry. And just as in free masonry, both these societies' goals are to improve oneself. The origin of free masonry is said to come from the Templar Knights who received it in the Holy Land. The first Christians, who were Jewish, practised it or something similar. So it was with the Essenians & other Jews. Aparently king Solomon’s Temple's masons knew of it. So did the Levites & even today rabbis with Levite origin know of it. This kind of society to advance the good is typically Israelite.

Ndoli jowei is the principal spirit for celebration. Jowei might be a derivation of Jahweh. It sounds similarly & it's their main spirit.

To the Mende, the pureness of white signifies the cleanliness and absence of imperfections. "It shows a 'harmlessness'; it is void of all things evil and is thus 'a positive and helpful color. White is symbolic of the spirit world and also of the secret parts of society where people aim for the highest standards. Perhaps in absence of clothes because of climate circumstances they started to use white chalk. In ancient Israel white color was also highly regarded. For example the Levites or the Essenians used white in their clothing.

It is well known in Sierra Leone that the Mendes, along with the Krios and Sherbros, are educationists. They are considered to favor learning than doing business. To them, education comes first. They are also known to command respect and possess leadership qualities.

The politics of Sierra Leone have traditionally been dominated by the Mende.

The Mende are a well-documented example of a non-western, pre-industrial society in which, at least historically, women were not politically subordinate to men. In the pre-colonial era, the Mende had female chiefs and war leaders.

Although it is impossible to know the extent to which other Mende women rose to leadership positions comparable to Madam Yoko's, historians believe that perhaps fifteen to twenty percent of the local leaders with whom the British negotiated at the time of colonial consolidation were women. The pattern continues to this day. According to MacCormack, "Contemporary women paramount chiefs are equally prominent, and their political influence now extends into national and international arenas.

Eket people

Eket is the second largest city in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The name also refers to the indigenous ethnic group of the region and to their language. The city itself, an industrial city that in recent years has become a conurbation engulfing separate villages, has a population of over 200,000, while entire urban area, which covers Okon, Nsit Ubium, Afaha Eket and Esit Eket, has a combined population of 364,489, the second largest urban population in Akwa Ibom state.


An oil refinery is currently under construction in the outskirts of the city along the Oron road. The city has a stadium complex, an airstrip as well as other infrastructures of importance. It also has a number of hotels such as Villa Marina, Royalty Hotels, Crystal Palace Hotel, Roseboom Hotels, Eden Hotel and others.

Eket due to its industrial nature is a relatively expensive city. The government has plans of upgrading the city by the provision of further major roads in the city and the construction of housing estates.
In the 1990s, western environmentalists were concerned over the activities of oil exploitation in and around Eket, such as Shell and Mobil. Are they Zebulonites (because of the abundant treasure-oil taken from the sands & living next to the sea? The area is now newly "oil-rich" and Eket is the thriving hub of a new oil and gas business, with more than 250 companies providing support services such as catering, flights, and exports. However, this success has caused problems, especially a reluctance by local young men to engage in traditional work such as fishing. There are vocal local campaigns to increase the percentage of oil revenue that is given to the local community. Eket as an ethnic group comprises Eket, Esit Eket, Ibeno and Onna.


The Eket are a people who live in this region. They are a sub-group of the Ibibio people. Eket is also the name of the main sub-language that they speak, a Benue–Congo language. Both languages are similar, but sufficiently distinct to give away the precise district the speaker originates from. The Eket have a form of caste or class society, with the "Amama" being the highest caste, and these are notable for undertaking traditional potlach-like feasts in which the poorer people are fed en masse. In addition to the Amama, groups of "Ekpo Ndem Isong" class rule individual villages and towns, and their will is enforced by the "Ikan" class (traditional masked police) to which entry is by merit rather than birth.

Malagasy Israelites Reconverting to their Roots

Kulanu supports isolated and emerging Jewish communities all over the world. Our newest community is one that surprises many people - it is in Madagascar! A group of families have been practicing Judaism for five years in the capital, Antananarivo.

                                                         Shabbat dinner in Madagascar

Now they are determined to formally convert and gain recognition as part of the worldwide Jewish community. More than 42 community members have prepared themselves for conversion. As an essential part of our mission, Kulanu has pledged support for this to happen. In May, three rabbis will travel from the United States and Canada as a beit din (rabbinic court) to conduct the conversion process. They will also officiate at several Jewish weddings, participate in a conference, and enjoy a concert with visiting and local musicians.

Actually there are many ethnicities in the island with Israelite origin, so these converts are just reconverting. They are not gentiles really, just Israelites coming back to their roots.

Soninke people

                                                           Soninke soldiers, 1890.

Total population ~ 1 million (2005)

Regions with significant populations Mali, Mauritania, Sénégal, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau

Languages Soninke language
Religion Islam
Related ethnic groups
Mandinka people, Bambara people, Imraguen, Jakhanke

Map of the Soninke population centers in Mali.

The Soninke (also called Sarakole, Seraculeh, or Serahuli; to remember Sarah, the great ancestral matriarch of Israel?) are a Mandé people who descend from the Bafour and are closely related to the Imraguen of Mauritania. They speak the Soninke language, a Mande language. They were the founders of the ancient empire of Ghana c. 750-1240 CE. Subgroups of Soninke include the Maraka and Wangara.

After contact with Muslim Almoravid traders from the north around 1066, Soninke nobles of neighboring Takrur were among the first ethnic groups from Sub-Saharan West Africa to embrace Islam. When the Ghana empire dispersed, the resulting diaspora brought Soninkes to Mali, Senegal, Mauritania, Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. This diaspora included Wangara, famous traders who spread far from traditionally Mande areas. Hence the term Wangara is used today in Ghana and Burkina Faso to describe the Soninke populations in cities and towns. Today, Soninke number around 1 million.



Descended from ancient Central Saharan peoples, the Mandé are an identifiable language family, with associated peoples spread throughout West Africa. They are known as having been early producers of woven textiles (by a process known as strip-weaving).

Archaeological evidence supports that they were early producers of stone settlement civilizations. These were initially built on the rocky promontories of Tichit-Walata and the Tagant cliffs of Southern Mauritania between 2500 BC and 2000 BC. Hundreds of stone masonry settlements with clear street layouts have been found in this area. Some settlements had massive defensive walls, while others were less fortified.

In a now arid environment where arable land and pasturage were once at a premium, the population grew. Relatively large-scale political organizations emerged, leading to the development of military hierarchical aristocracies. The agro-pastoral society had a mixed farming economy—millet production combined with the rearing of livestock. They had learned how to work with copper. They traded in jewelry and semi-precious stones from distant parts of the Sahara and Sahel. They are believed to be the first to domesticate African rice. An archaeologist described their ancient, abandoned sites as representing "a great wealth of rather spectacular prehistoric ruins".

Ancient history

The Soninke share a very conservative culture, inherited by the structural social organization from their forefather founders of the Ghana Empire. This empire constituted the major part of the Soninke history and lifestyle.

The first ruler of this empire was said to be Dingha Cisse, who it is said had a semi-divine status. He came with his people from "the East", either Mali or possibly what is modern day Senegal, and created a coalition against the neighboring tribes and “nomadic raiders”. Some believe that after long battles with the Berbers, Cisse married the three daughters of their leader and created an impressive alliance.


Soninke people today live throughout West Africa, but remain centered on the former homelands of the Ghana Empire and the valley of the upper Senegal river and along the Mali - Senegal border between Nara and Nioro du Sahel. Migrations seeking labor, encouraged under French colonial rule have led many Soninke to build communities in Dakar and other large cities in Africa and beyond. There is a large and growing Soninke community in Paris, France. Trade networks, famously led by the Wangara mercantile confederations, spread Soninke people and culture throughout most of Mali and Senegal, southern Mauritania, northern Burkina Faso, as well as parts of the Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. The Maraka-Soninke merchant communities and plantations (centered just north of the city of Segou, Mali) were an economic mainspring under the Bambara Empire, and built trade routes throughout the region. Today the Soninke number above 1 million.

Diobé, ruler of Bakel, and his advisors: 1887-1888. Bakel, a cosmopolitan Soninke trading town, was a target of French expansion of the mid 19th century. This photograph was taken by members of Colonel Joseph Galliéni campaign to create French protectorates up the Senegal River into modern Mali.

Social organization and politics

The ancient Soninke empire was governed by a powerful emperor who controlled the Trans-Saharan Trade. His power was limited by nobles in charge of the bureaucracy, taxes, army, justice and other duties. The central government of the empire was composed of the emperor and those nobles who can be considered as important advisors. The peripheral courts had some freedom deciding on their interior problems however they were supervised by the imperial court concerning imperial problems as well as the army. In the time of Wagadu there was an emperor at the head of the empire followed by the nobles’s families. Even after the decline of the empire the majority of the Soninke families still maintained this hierarchy in their villages. In the Soninke social organization everyone occupies a place. Being king or a smith was not by choice, it was an inherited position. This hierarchy is very important in Soninke culture and it is respected by the Soninke. This structural social organization is divided in three levels.

The first class are the ″Hooro″, the free men. They have the highest social rank. The Hooro are the rulers, they have the right to punish and dispense justice. The first class in the “Hooro” are the “tunkalemmu”, the princes. They exercise authority. Only a tunkalemmu” can become king. It's an inherited position. The next class after the princes, “tunnkalemmu”, are the “mangu”. The “mangu” are the advisors of the princes. They are their confidants. They act as mediators in conflicts between different classes of “Hooro” or free man. The “mangu” originate from the “kuralemme”, warrior class. In times of war the Mangu become heads of the army. The last class of the “hooro”, free man is the “modinu”, the priest. Their origin is from the influence of Islam in Soninke society. They dispense justice, and educate the population. They teach them Islam and protect them with prayers. They are very respected for their religious knowledge.

The second level of the Soninke organization is the “naxamala” which is also divided in many other classes. The “naxamala” are the dependent men. The “tago” or blacksmiths occupy the highest position. They make weapons and work tools. They also make jewelry. They are respected for their knowledge with iron. The next class after blacksmith is the carpenter, “sakko”. They are the friends of the inhabitants of the forest. They are the confidants and the masters of devils. They are important because of their skills and knowledge with wood. The next class is the praise-singer, “Jaroo”. During ceremonies they are in charge of animation, speaking, and singing. They are the most famous in the “naxamala” dependent class. They are the only ones authorized to say anything they want. They are the orators of the society. They tell the history of most important Soninke families. The last class in the “naxamala” class is the cobbler, “Garanko”. They are in charge of making leather shoes, saddles and saber sheaths.

The lowest level of the Soninke social hierarchy are the slaves known as ‘komo’. The “komo”, slaves work for the masters. Their masters had to take care of them but this was not always the case. The slaves have always been the major labor force in Soninke society. The prosperity of Soninke society was due to their dominance in farming. In the past there were more slaves than free-men.

People and culture


The different Soninke social classes do not marry one another. Free-men do not marry people from the dependent class or slaves. A priest can marry a princess but a prince cannot marry a priestess.
Marriage is preceded by an official courtship ritual. If a man likes a woman, he sends his parents to convince the woman's family to give her in marriage. If both families agree, the couple is engaged in a mosque. Each month after the engagement, the man pays the woman's family his contribution for their food and other spending. Every holiday, such as tabaski, he also gives them meat if he has the means. When both families agree that it is time for the couple to live together, they organize the marriage, usually on a Thursday afternoon, and the woman is sent to the man's house. The friends of the couple come to spend the day with them in separate rooms in their parent’s house. This event is called karikompe.

The newly married couple has advisors. The man’s advisor is called the “khoussoumanta-yougo” and the woman’s is called “khoussoumanta-yakhare”. After one week of celebration, the women meet to show the gifts that the couple received from their parents mostly from the woman's mother.


The Soninke practice circumcision and call it birou. Every afternoon, the boys who were circumcised the previous year organize tam-tams for the new boys in order to prepare them psychologically. Throughout the circumcision ceremony, the boys to be circumcised sit around the “tambour” called “daïné”. The other teenagers of the village, young girls, women, men, and slaves form a circle around the boys. During this time the boys are surrounded with beautiful scarves called disa sing. The author Mamadou Soumare wrote “Above its traditional surgery, the ritual of circumcision makes in evidence, the physical endurance, the pain, the courage, in one word the personality of the child.”


The Soninke have a variety of foods. As an example, breakfast foods include “fonde”, porridge made of millet, sugar, milk, and salt, and “Sombi” porridge made of rice, millet or corn. For lunch “demba tere” and “takhaya” are very common, both containing rice and peanuts, frequent Soninke ingredients. "Dere”, a stew, is a mixture of millet and beans.


The Soninke traditionally engage in both trade and agriculture. During the rainy season, men and women both cultivate. However women usually stay at home to cook and take care of their children. They also do others' work, such as dyeing cotton material. A typical Soninke color is indigo. The Soninke attained a high standard of living. Emigration took a huge place in their life. Most of the time women, children and old stay at home alone when the young men go to neighbor cities to find money. Since the 1960s, the majority of West African immigrants in France came from this ethnic group (is this why France has the second most important Black Jewish association in a white gentile country?. The Soninke are still now the backbone of countries like Gambia, Senegal and Mali. Through all history they have been traders in gold, salt and even diamonds.


The Soninke originally practiced traditional animistic spirituality. Since the 1076 Almoravid conquest of the Empire of Ghana, the Soninke maintained Sunni Islam as their religion.

Mbo people

Mbo is located in the south east of Nigeria and is a Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Iboland, the Israelite area of Nigeria.

Mbo people (Congo)

Regions with significant populations 17,000 Ituri Forest, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Languages Mbo language

The Mbo people (or Imbo) are an ethnic group of the Mambasa Territory, Ituri Interim Administration in the Orientale Province on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 1994 there were about 11,000 speakers of the Mbo language, which is similar to the Ndaka, Budu, Vanuma and Nyali languages.

In Zambia there's also a language called Mbo.

Mbo people (Cameroon)

Mbo people Regions with significant populations 67,000 Cameroon

Languages Mbo language

The Mbo people are a Bantu group of the Mbo plain, Littoral Region, Moungo Division, Nkongsamba and Melong subdivisions and in the West Region, Menoua Division, Santchou Subdivision and Upper Nkam Division, Kekem Subdivision of Cameroon.

The Bakossi Forest Reserve, which includes the Bakossi National Park, is mainly inhabited by the Bakossi people, but the population also includes Mbo as well as Manehas, Bakem, Baneka, and immigrant Bamiliki people. The Mbo and Banyangi people live in and around the Banyang-Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary. They hunt for bushmeat, which they sell fresh or smoked, and which is a good deal cheaper than other locally available forms of protein.

The Mbo of West Cameroon originate from the Sandjou area in East Cameroon. The Mbo have been restricted to the southern banks of the Betse and Betenten rivers since 1900. They have a long tradition of conflict with the neighboring Bangwa people due to disputes over boundaries, oil palm groves, and kidnappings for slavery. The Bamileke chiefdoms of Fongo Tongo, Foto, Foreke Dschang, and Fondongela all claim origin from the Mbo. In other Bangwa chiefdoms, minor subchiefs claim Mbo ancestry. The Mbo people are extremely poor.


In 2013, discovery of a previously unknown Y-chromosomal haplogroup, dubbed haplogroup A00 was announced. First found in the Y-chromosome of an African American male submitted for commercial genealogical analysis, the haplogroup was identified in eleven Y chromosomes of Mbo males (out of a sample of 174, corresponding to 6.3%).

King of Burundi Arrives in Israel; First Monarch to Visit Country

December 21, 1962 JERUSALEM (Dec. 20)

The first monarch to visit Israel, King Mwambusta IV of Burundi, was greeted last night by Mayor Mordecai Ish-Shalom of Jerusalem with the traditional Jewish bread and salt on a silver plate.

President Ben-Zvi accompanied the King from Lydda Airport to the flag-decked capital whose streets were lined with onlookers who greeted the visitor. Municipal children’s bands struck up a fanfare as the Burundi motorcade drew up.

The King met with President Ben-Zvi today and will receive a call from Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. The President is giving a state banquet for the king tonight. The monarch, who is accompanied by a ten-member entourage will stay in Tel Aviv tomorrow and Saturday.

                                                                    Tutsi Patriarch

Did thid visit confirm the Jewish brotherhood between Tutsis & Jews?

Update On Cyphers of the 21st Century Silent Tutsi Genocide

11) TUTSI EXILES BEFORE 2015 : +/- 1 Million

2) TUTSI EXILES SINCE 2015 : +/-2 Millions

                                                                        Tutsi men

3) TUTSI KILLED BETWEEN 2005-2015 : +/-100.000

4) TUTSI SINCE 2015 : +/-2 Millions

5) TUTSI STILL LIVING IN BURUNDI (for how long?) : +/-5 Millions


Are the Bushmen & Hottentots Israelites that Lost Most Traditions?

Culturally, the Khoisan are divided into the foraging San, or Bushmen, and the pastoral Khoi, or more specifically Khoikhoi, previously known as Hottentots.

Traditional foods

Game, fish, insects, flying ants, snakes, eggs, wild honey, mongongo nuts, baobab fruits, bitter melon, berries. The San know of over 100 edible wild plants that they can use as food source.
The distinctiveness of the Khoisan in both matrilineal and patrilineal groupings is a further indicator that they represent a population historically distinct from other Africans.

In modern South Africa and Namibia, a large share of the Cape Coloureds, Xhosa and Tswana is of partial Khoisan descent, by far outnumbering the unassimilated Khoisan population.

Researchers find signs of western Eurasian genes in southern African Khoisan tribes.

A team of researchers with representatives from the U.S., Germany and France has found evidence of western Eurasian genes in Khoisan tribes living in southern Africa. This suggests, the researchers conclude in a paper they've had published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that a migration from the Middle East back to Africa occurred approximately 3000 years ago.

                                               33-year-old San tribesman from Namibia.

Gene studies over the past several years has turned that thinking around, however, as its been found that many people in several parts of Africa have European or Asian gene segments in their DNA. In this latest study, the researchers have found evidence of Eurasian genes in tribespeople who were thought to have a purely African ancestry.

The Khoisan tribespeople of today still live much as their ancestors did—they are hunter-gathers who are also pastoralists —they are most familiar to westerners as the people who speak with distinctive clicking noises. Until now, they were believed to have the purest African gene pool due to their thousands of years of isolationist practices.

The team acquired DNA samples from 32 people living in Khoisan tribes in southern Africa—an analysis revealed Eurasian gene segments in all of them. But that wasn't the end of the story. To understand how the gene fragments got into the Khoisan tribespeople, the researchers turned to archeological and linguistic evidence to build a possible time-line of events. In so doing, they've found what they believe to have been a migration into Africa by people of the Middle East (ancestors of the people that migrated to Europe and Asia) approximately 3000 years ago. Those people made their way to various parts of the continent, including a part of eastern Africa from which the Khoisan tribespeople had migrated south approximately 900 and 1800 years ago.

The researchers found something else—the Khoisan tribespeople also had snippets of Neanderthal DNA in their genes as well—courtesy of their Eurasian heritage.

Abstract The history of southern Africa involved interactions between indigenous hunter–gatherers and a range of populations that moved into the region. Here we use genome-wide genetic data to show that there are at least two admixture events in the history of Khoisan populations (southern African hunter–gatherers and pastoralists who speak non-Bantu languages with click consonants). 

One involved populations related to Niger–Congo-speaking African populations, and the other introduced ancestry most closely related to west Eurasian (European or Middle Eastern) populations. We date this latter admixture event to ∼900–1,800 years ago and show that it had the largest demographic impact in Khoisan populations that speak Khoe–Kwadi languages. A similar signal of west Eurasian ancestry is present throughout eastern Africa. In particular, we also find evidence for two admixture events in the history of Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ethiopian populations, the earlier of which involved populations related to west Eurasians and which we date to ∼2,700–3,300 y ago. We reconstruct the allele frequencies of the putative west Eurasian population in eastern Africa and show that this population is a good proxy for the west Eurasian ancestry in southern Africa. The most parsimonious explanation for these findings is that west Eurasian ancestry entered southern Africa indirectly through eastern Africa.

Groups of Middle Eastern peoples moved from their homelands in the Middle East to areas in Western Europe, Eastern Africa, South Western Africa... This is what genetics say, but oral & written traditions coincide. The ones that are believed that went to western Europe were Israelites that became lost regarding their original Israelite identity. They were known as Brittons, Gallians, Celts, Cimmerians, Goths... In eastern Africa there are peoples known as Falashas, Qemants...that are assumed to descend from Israelites as well. There are other peoples that descend from other Middle Easterners, the Arabs: Somalis, Ethiopians... Further south & in inner Africa, are other peoples claiming Semitic (Israelite again) ancestry like the Tutsis, Himas, Lembas, Senas... The Khoisans, or Hottentots, as seen above, have Middle Eastern genes. Perhaps the Hottentots' Middle Eastern genes are Jewish. Are the Hottentots Lost Israelites?

The history of southern Africa involved interactions between indigenous hunter–gatherers and a range of populations that moved into the region. Here we use genome-wide genetic data to show that there are at least two admixture events in the history of Khoisan populations (southern African hunter–gatherers and pastoralists who speak non-Bantu languages with click consonants). One involved populations related to Niger–Congo-speaking African populations, and the other introduced ancestry most closely related to west Eurasian (European or Middle Eastern) populations. We date this latter admixture event to ∼900–1,800 y ago and show that it had the largest demographic impact in Khoisan populations that speak Khoe–Kwadi languages. A similar signal of west Eurasian ancestry is present throughout eastern Africa. In particular, we also find evidence for two admixture events in the history of Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ethiopian populations, the earlier of which involved populations related to west Eurasians and which we date to ∼2,700–3,300 y ago. We reconstruct the allele frequencies of the putative west Eurasian population in eastern Africa and show that this population is a good proxy for the west Eurasian ancestry in southern Africa. The most parsimonious explanation for these findings is that west Eurasian ancestry entered southern Africa indirectly through eastern Africa. 

Genetic admixture in southern Africa: Ancient Khoisan lineages survive in contemporary Bantu groups

This maps shows the historically know distribution of Khoisan (grey area) and divergent Khoisan mitochondrial DNA lineages (black dots).

An international team of researchers from the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and the CNRS in Lyon have investigated the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA of 500 individuals from southern Africa speaking different Khoisan and Bantu languages. Their results demonstrate that Khoisan foragers were genetically more diverse than previously known. Divergent mtDNA lineages from indigenous Khoisan groups were incorporated into the genepool of the immigrating Bantu-speaking agriculturalists through admixture, and have thus survived until the present day, although the Khoisan-speaking source populations themselves have become extinct.

The hunter-gatherer and pastoralist peoples of southern Africa who speak indigenous non-Bantu languages called Khoisan have intrigued researchers for a long time because their languages contain highly unusual click consonants and because they harbour some of the most deep-rooting genetic lineages in modern humans. Based on archaeological finds it is assumed that some of these Khoisan peoples are the descendants of indigenous Late Stone Age foragers, while peoples speaking Bantu languages immigrated into this area only 2,000-1,200 years ago.

From historical documents the Khoisan peoples were known predominantly in the area of what is now South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, southern Angola and bordering areas of southwestern Zambia. Genetic research has now found evidence that Khoisan peoples must have been settled further to the north in Zambia as well – but that these northern groups of Khoisan were genetically quite distinct from the Khoisan peoples known nowadays. By sequencing the complete mitochondrial genomes – which are inherited only in the maternal line - of 500 individuals speaking different Khoisan and Bantu languages from Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Angola, a team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and the CNRS in Lyon, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Botswana and the University of Porto, have discovered divergent Khoisan mitochondrial DNA lineages in some Bantu-speaking groups predominantly from Zambia. These divergent lineages are nearly exclusively found in individuals speaking Bantu languages and are practically absent from any of the peoples speaking Khoisan languages.

"Our analyses indicate that the best explanation for our findings is that the Bantu-speaking immigrants married resident Khoisan women when they first came to southern Africa, thus incorporating these divergent lineages into their maternal genepool. The Khoisan peoples with whom they came into contact probably disappeared later on, since we do not find these divergent Khoisan lineages in any of the known Khoisan peoples," says Chiara Barbieri from the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology and lead author of the study. "This is a really important finding, because it demonstrates that we might be able to learn more about the peoples who inhabited sub-Saharan Africa before the Iron Age spread of Bantu-speaking agriculturalists by studying relic lineages that were taken up by the agriculturalists through intermarriage with indigenous peoples," adds Brigitte Pakendorf from the CNRS lab Dynamique du Langage in Lyon, who coordinated the study.

Masai Warriors – “God’s Chosen People”

This is a Jewish story of Africa that I found in the most unlikely of places: the vast plains of Masai Mara and Serengeti reserves. As we drove there, we saw the light-skinned, tall, slender people dressed in red, who were as ubiquitous to the landscape as sky above and earth below. Surrounded by their herd of cattle, they leaned on their long spears or stood on one leg in a stork-like pose. Bearing remarkable similarities to ancient Romans from North Africa, most had classical profiles, wore red togas and sandals, and were equipped with Roman-style short stabbing swords. Women had shaved heads, while the young men’s hair was plated and stuck together with red clay. To us, they looked like young mythical gods. These are the proud Masai (sometimes referred to as Maasai) people of East Africa, whose mysterious past is enveloped in legends of being one of the lost tribes of Israel.

When the Europeans brought the railroad to Nairobi, the Masai were the only human inhabitants there, coming and going as they pleased with their cattle. Nomadic and highly suspicious to any strangers passing through their land, the Masai were never fond of the Europeans. In 1904, M. Merker, a German official-turned scientist stationed in Tanganyika learned the Maa language of the Masai, earned their trust (or thought he did), and collected the legends the Masai cared to share. In these legends of origin, the Masai, according to Merker, maintained that their ancestors were slaves in the land of the Nile and escaped through a parted sea, pursued by a vicious ruler. Long before arrival of missionaries, Merker stated, the Masai knew the tales of Adam and Eve, and of Noah and the Great Flood, though under different names.

“I regard the Masai as being descended from the nomadic Semites to whom the oldest Hebrew pastoralist belong,” pronounced Merker in his study. Lord Churchill called Merker’s Dei Masai “the most truly inspired investigation that ever an African people has had.” Merker’s study was well-known to the British Colonial Secretary Sir Joseph Chamberlain, who in the early 1900s suggested to Theodore Herzl, the leader of the Zionist movement, that parts of “Masailand” could be handed over to persecuted Eastern European Jews. In the following hundred years, most researchers concluded that Masai have Nilotic (from the river Nile) rather than Semitic origins, but Merker’s theory of Masai as “one the lost ten tribes of Israel” stubbornly continues to float in popular imagination.

We arranged to go to a Masai village to meet them. They greeted us with singing and dancing, dressed in their best. Unlike other African tribes, the Masai refuse to modernize; they will not drive cars or wear western clothes. A couple of young men spoke enough English to communicate with us. When asked about their beliefs, they explained that the Masai believe in one God who they call Engai. Engai, they say, has two faces: the first face is a black color, kind and benevolent, bringing thunder and rain, grass for the cattle, and good life for the Masai; the second face is red and fearsome, bringing lighting and drought, famine and death. Engai made the Masai his chosen people and gave them the land of Africa.

The word “Masai” is synonymous with “cattle,” these young people said. They translated a traditional greeting: “How are your wives and children and how is your cattle?” To own one without the other means being poor; to have an abundance of both is to be rich. Cattle do not just give meaning to Masai life, they are life.

As we went around the village, we were told of the traditions curiously resembling those of the Jews: Masai would never eat meat the same day they drank milk; they consider that to be highly unhealthy to both people and cattle whose milk was drank. More important is their firm belief that the milk of the living animal should not be drunk in the village at the same time as the meat of the same animal is eaten.

The Masai do not have chiefs. Instead, their lives are governed by the collective of elders chosen for their wisdom and moral qualities. Their assembly is called Sanhedrin and the round hut where they get together is called a Tabernacle. When a highly respected elder dies, he is buried in the ground facing east. Every passer-by places a stone on the grave as a sign of respect, and after a while a small hill appears on the landscape…

The Lunda Nation Proclaims its Historic Alliance with the Tutsim Jews

Sheba / Katanga, Septembre the 5th 2016


My name is Kayemb Uriël Nawej,  citizen of the Lunda Nation, of Lunda's ancient empire, to be precise, I'm direct descendant of Yaav Nawej, founder & first emperor of Lunda's Empire. Lunda's Empire

Spanned from Shaba (Katanga) to Angola (the provinces North Lunda, South Lunda, Moxico), in Zambia ( Kazembe-Zambeze) till Kwilu (part of Bandundu) . The Lunda nation comprises the Lundas, the Tshokwe, the Minungu, the Ndembo, the Lwena, the Mbund, the Basanga, lthe Bayéké … being a compact people of more than 15 millions subjets. Our capital is “Musumb” placed on the high planes if Shaba-Katanga. I want to adress this message in in the name of the Lunda people, & in particular in the name of the designated inheritor & pretendant imperial throne, His Imperial Highness Jimb André Tshombe. By delegation I want to transmit the imperial message, message whose content is confirmed & affirmed by our current Emperor, His Imperial Majesty, Mwant Yaav Kawel Mwin Mangad Tshombe Isoj Kabwit:

We, the Lundas from Shaba-Katanga inhabiting within the current R.D.C.'s borders, are attached to the Tutsi people forever, having the same roots than them, we are part of the same history. As a descendant of Yaav Nawej founder of the Lunda empire, I firmly testify of that. Origine we were not called ‘‘Lunda people’’, or ‘‘Lunda Empire’’ ; the Catholic Christian colonizers were the ones that took away our name of origin, which was ‘‘Ruund’’ ( Aruund, Ruwuund, Aruwuund ). It was replaced for ‘‘Lunda’’, under pretext that ‘‘Ruund’’ didn't sound well in the French language!

                                                            Tutsi & Hutu left to right

That's part of the orchestration destined to cut our us our brothers of the Havila & the Cush kingdoms, so that we would lose our links, among others with the Rwanda & Burundi Tutsis. Ruund means in our language ‘‘fraternity, or friendship , with the peoples from within our borders’’, Uruundi (Burundi) in Kushitic language or Tutsi, usually named Kirundi means: ‘‘huge space where the borders run away the horizon’’ ; Uruanda (Ruanda, Rwanda), in Kushite Rwandan language means: ‘‘huge country without borders’’. At linguistc level, Uruanda, Urundi, Uruund (therefore “Lunda”), have the same root.

Our peoples have been always more than brothers; thus the famous Tutsi king Musinga was born in Shaba-Katanga & made it great. The Tutsi prince of Burundi, Kirimamyampi, known for having disputed with arms by hand Burundi's Crown to the mighty king Mwezi (Nawez), at the beginning of the XXth century, was born and grown up at the heart of the tributary sovereign  of Bushi.

Manono, in the north of the Ruund Empire in Shaba-Katanga, made part of the Bayéké kingdom of M’Siri Mushid (Ruund-Lunda), from which ‘‘Nyamwezi’’ comes. One of the four Tutsi dynasties from Burundi who reigned since the dislocation the Empire of the Zagwe Leopards from Kitara (1270-1527) until the beginning the neo-colonial era in the 1960s, is called ’’Mwezi’’. Besides Lunda-Ruund's empire''s founder's name, Yaav Nawej, also written Yaav Nawezi. All the populations from Kivu, Shaba-Katanga, Luba-Kasaï, Kisangani, towards the east of the current du Congo, are not ‘‘Congolese’. The colonisation, arbitrary border fixation done by the colonists, the imposition of the name ‘‘Congo-Congolese’’, so those who are truly ‘‘Congolese’’, are those from ethnies from the ancient Kongo kingdom, en el Atlantic, a well known entity, distinct from the Great Lakes Kushites. We have to return to our authenticity, to our ancient traditions… to our true truth!

In the name of truth we firmly reject all absurd theories that say that the Tutsis are invaders, that are people coming from abroad, from current Ethiopia & other similar aberrations. Firstly, the Tutsis are Ethiopians, it the same mesure they are Kushites. Then, the Tutsi don't come from Israel: they are Israel's roots. If the great calvinist visionary, Isaac de la Peyrère, Prince de Condé's librarian, Preadamites' (Amsterdam,1655) theoric & author of the celebrated Rappel des Juifs (1643), had known the Tutsi, he would have died happy & reconciled with his time. We pray the eulogy that made the savant Paul Del PERUGIA about the Tutsi, even before the World knew that they came from the Jews. He speaks as he saw them: the «Shepherd Kings», the « Derniers Rois Mages » (1987). Del PERUGIA is not a taleteller. Diplomated from the Academy of International Law from The Hague, he was requested as teacher in Europe's most prestigeous universities.

                                                                       Tutsi dancers

He considered Tutsi culture & religion, as the most generous & elaborated of all times. We know nowadays that the Tutsi are members of the scattered tribe of Juda, who perpetuate the laws & badges of government,according to prophecies.

Kivu lands & dependences have belonged always to the Tutsis, we know this since the beginning of the history of our Ruund-Lunda empire. The Kivu is part of the sacred Land of Kush, or these descendants of Solomon & David, the Shepherd-King of Israel, have always had the world's largest reserve of «Red Cows», these  biblical bulls, traditionally were devoted for sacrifices at Solomon's Temple. In the golden age of the Lunda Empire (13th century), we've always known that the lands of Kivu & its dependences are in territory natural of theTutsis. All attemptive observer know that their heritage is even recognized by the World's greatest powers who are henceforth knowledgeable the Tutsis' true past as Israelites. According to many Congolese sites Joseph Kabila agreed with the American high authorities, in respecting the political & cultural autonomy of the Tutsis, in their natural space, in eastern Congo.

We accuse the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican, with all her allies, France, Belgium, the Catholic NGOs, etc … We accuse them, not only of having falsified the Tutsis' political, cultural & religious heritage & their history, but also & mostly, of orchestrating the diabolization & an unjustified hate towards them: a hate from which all the neocolonial &  AntiSemite institutions are nourished by those who have been elected in leading institutions everywhere in the world, especially in the European Union & the United Nations.

                                                                               Tutsi girl

The Tutsi have the right to reclaim their ancestral lands, they are already there in the Great Lakes Region since biblical times. This is the Roman Catholic Church which conveys & leads a campagne of desinformation, of calomny, of diffamation, of intellectual & physic terrorism towards the Tutsis. The Catholic Church , the Vatican, is who is responsible of three genocides on the Tutsi people, having given death to more than 2 million Tutsis. They are their enemies, Rome & her acolytes in Africa ( France, Omar Bongo... ). The Tutsis are not Africa's enemies. They just claim for their lands that were taken by colonists… as it's happening to the Masaï, these faithful Kushites, who demand nowadays, a just treatment, from Kenya, whose lands were taken by the British, & that the Kenyan authorities distributed illegally to other ethnic groups after independence.

The Tutsi people  are descendants from king Solomon's élite troops du Roi Salomon, being king Solomon's Court's Great Archers. We, the Lundas, assume, with the Tutsi, the mission keeping King Solomon's Mines,  stored on Sheba Lands. We the Lundas testify of all of that with pride & we take without hesitation the defense of the Tutsi Jews: Whoever attacks or discriminates the Tutsis, it's automatically attacking the Lundas: we therefore make a front with the the Tutsi against Africa's enemies & its peoples' rights.

In Katanga the great majority of people don't have hostile feelings against the Tutsis who reign in Kinshasa & elsewhere in the D.R.C.

No, the Tutsi people, has seen enough! Imagine just an instant that more than 1 million people from your ethnic group is extermiated… , how would you feel? How would you react? Half of your family exterminated for free… children & women! You would return to your true origin, if you had one.

Excellence, Lady, Lord,

Since the World was made. We'll support the Tutsis until the end! We support you, just in case you don't know, that the great majority of Tutsis[…] believe that the Tutsi don't have anything to do or to find in Kinshasa, that Kinshasa is not their home; to the contrary, Kivu, they consider, justly that it's their home. We affirm it, we confirm it!… when the World will understand it, those who let others manipulate them, those who let others mislead them to evil, return to the best feelings, for the greatest victory of the people's rights, seen through the lights; then everyone will realize what luck & what a blessing, we, the Lundas (Karuund), we are, for having developed this historic covenant with such an ancient people as the Tutsi Israelites.


Lubumbashi, September the 5th 2004

For the Imperial Prince Ruund-Lunda Jimb André Tshombe for the Sud-Kushite Nation of Shaba-Katanga Kayemb Uriël Nawej , descendant of Yaav Nawej, founder of the Empire, member of the Ditend-Tshombe dynastic clan.

Zafin Ibrahim

Off the Southeastern coast of Africa is an island called the Malagasy Republic, also known as Madacascar and near the east part of the island called St. Marie there are black Jews called “Zafin Ibrahum” being translated is “Descendants of Abraham.”

Hebraic traits of the Zafin Ibrahim is things such as, counting days from sunset to sunset, have fast days, kosher slaughter of beef, kindling fires prior to Shabbat and Holy Days, purification rituals of New Years, part of which is reminiscent of Passover by the application of blood to the doorposts.

Khoisan Linked to Ashkenazi Jews?

A documentary screened in 1994 in South Africa revealed that many South African whites have a maternal lineage (mtDNA) that can be traced back to the Khoisan people. One of them, an actor called Pieter Dirk Uys, however claimed that his maternal lineage had East European Jewish origins.
As a DNA novice I did some searching on the Internet and found a possible link in the Ashkenazic Jews, many of whom migrated from Germany to Eastern Europe:

Determination of the Gm haplotypes among the serum samples of 249 Ashkenazic Jews living in northern U.S.A. has confirmed the presence of Black African admixture and has established the presence of San (Bushman) admixture. A rough estimate indicates that the haplotypes from these sources contribute about 2% of the genome of the people sampled. The Inv allele frequency is very low (0.037 ? 0.009). This has been found in other Jewish populations and may be characteristic of Jews.?

Medieval Maps Showing Olden Jewish Kingdoms in Africa

Here are medieval African maps written in the 17th century by the conquering Europeans. On the maps are shown geographical locations of Hebrew cities and Kingdoms that were in some cases later taken into Slavery.

The First medieval African Map was Performed by the Sr. Danville Under the Patronage of the Duke of Orleans.” Revised and Improved by Mr. Bolton (1766)

And another medieval African Map called Negroland and the adjacent countries also UPPER GUINEA showing the principal European Settlements and Distinguishing by Eman Bowen 1747 West Africa

Here there is a city called Lamlam. In the 12th century Al Idrisi in his book entitled “Description of CENTRAL AFRICA,” wrote about a Hebrew colony in West Africa called Lam-Lam (or Lam-lem),. which was situated about 2 hundred miles West of Timbuktu. Kingdom of Lamlam

“In the whole land of Lam-lam there are but two small cities, or as it were villages, and those are Malel and Dau, situated at the distance of four days’ journey from each other. Their inhabitants, as people of those parts relate, are JEWS, and ; this they do to distinguish each other. All their countries and dominions are near a certain river (Niger River), flowing into the Nile. It is not known whether there is any inhabited place to the south of the king dom of Lamlam. That kingdom joins on the west to Mec- zara, on the east to Vancara (Wanagara), on the north to Ghana, and on the south to the desert; and its people use a different language from those of Meczara and Ghana” ———–AL Edrisi Of Andalusia, Spain Description of CENTRAL AFRICA (Zara might come from the Judahite clan of Zarah)

“When any of all the inhabitants of the kingdom of Lamlam comes to have the use of his reason, he is burnt in the face and temples ; this they do to distinguish each other. All their countries and dominions are near a certain river (Niger River), flowing into the Nile. It is not known whether there is any inhabited place to the south of the king dom of Lamlam. That kingdom joins on the west to Mec-zara, on the east to Vancara (Wanagara), on the north to Ghana, and on the south to the desert ; and its people use a different language from those of Meczara and Ghana” ———–AL Edrisi Of Andalusia, Spain Description of CENTRAL AFRICA

Descendants of Biblical Hebrews settled these lands and were sold into slavery by Native African tribes

According to Edrisi the Biblical Hebrews occupied a stretch of land in upper central Africa from Mec-zara, on the east to Vancara (Wanagara), on the north to Ghana, and on the south to the desert. I have a close up look at the area that Edrisi is referring to.

West Mec-zara

To the far right of the map, There existed a Hebrew Kingdom of Exiled Falafjam Jews Called SHANKALA Here was the location of SHANKALA on D’Anville Map of Africa. The Shankala wandering tribes were Falafjam Jews Exiled (Falafjam is the evolved local form of Falasha) 

Al Edrisi also mentioned that the Hebrews that inhabited this area and the adjacent cities called Malel and Dau were being attacked by native African tribes and sent to Slave Traders and then sent to Slave Trading centers and then TRADED TO ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD.

Outlined in RED Reads: According to Edrisi the land hereabouts was populated by Jews. From Wanagara were brought Gold Sena and Slaves

“To the southward of Berissa, at the distance of ten days’ march, lies the land of Lam-lam, into which INCURSIONS are made by the inhabitants of Berissa (Mende), Salla, Takrur (Fulani) , and Ghana; there they take numbers of captives, whom they carry away to their own countries, and dispose of to the merchants trading thither; these afterwards sell them into all parts of the world”.———–AL Edrisi Of Andalusia, Spain Description of CENTRAL AFRICA

Another medieval African Map by Eman Bowen 1747 called Negroland shows upper Guinea and the adjacent countries if you look close towards Guinea to the right of the Gold coast lies the Hebrew kingdom of JUDA of in French it was called Whidah.

To further prove this statement I have a quote from a scholar named J. Leighton Wilson from the book called J. Leighton Wilson Western Africa its history, condition and prospects 1856
“Whether the natives of the country have the Jewish distinction between diaboloi and daimonia in Northern Guinea is not certainly known, but the inhabitants of Southern Guinea undoubtedly have.”——–J. Leighton Wilson Western Africa its history, condition and prospects 1856 p 216
One 15th century Hebrew writer named Leo Africanus was an Andalusian Moorish diplomat and author who is best known for his book Descrittione dell’Africa. In this book he wrote about a POWERFUL HEBREW KINGDOM in the 15th century. This kingdom was located to the right of the Egyptian Nile River. Here is his quote from his book:

“Howbeit they say that upon Nilus do inhabit two great and populous nations, one of Jews towards the west, under the government of a mightie king”.—–Leo Africanus: The Description of Africa Vol 1 p 32. This Hebrew Kingdom with a mightie king to the right of the Nile river was called Kouko

Here is the Hebrew Kingdom Kouko from the medieval African Map Performed by the Sr. Danville
Their king was known to have been a mighty king during Edrisi's time, a geographer.
Trade and establishment of communities

Manuscript C of the Tarikh al-fattash describes a community called the Bani Israeel that in 1402 CE existed in Tirdirma, possessed 333 wells, and had seven leaders:

Jabroot bin-Hashim, Thoelyaman bin-Abdel, Hakim Zeor bin-Salam, Abdel-latif bin-Solayman, Malik bin-Ayoob & Fadil bin-Mzar Shaleb bin-Yousef.

It is also stated that they had an army of 1500 men. Other sources say that other Jewish communities in the region were formed by migrations from Morocco, Egypt, and Portugal. When the Scottish explorer Mungo Park traveled through West Africa in the late 18th century he was informed by an Arab he met near Walata of there being many Arabic speaking Jews in Timbuktu whose prayers were similar to the Moors. Some communities are said to have been populated by certain Berber Jews like a group of Kal Tamasheq known as Iddao Ishaak that traveled from North Africa into West Africa for trade, as well as those escaping the Islamic invasions into North Africa.

In the 14th century many Moors and Jews, fleeing persecution in Spain, migrated south to the Timbuktu area, at that time part of the Songhai Empire. Among them was the Kehath (Ka'ti) family, descended from Ismael Jan Kot Al-yahudi of Scheida, Morocco. Sons of this prominent family founded three villages that still exist near Timbuktu -- Kirshamba, Haybomo, and Kongougara. In 1492, Askia Mohammad I came to power in the previously tolerant region of Timbuktu and decreed that Jews must convert to Islam or leave; Judaism became illegal in Mali, as it did in Catholic Spain that same year. This was based on the advice of Muhammad al-Maghili.

As the historian Leo Africanus wrote in 1526: "In Garura there were some very rich Jews. The intervention of the preacher (Muhammid al-Maghili) of Tlemcen set up the pillage of their goods, and most of them have been killed by the population. This event took place during the same year when the Jews had been expelled from Spain and Sicily by the Catholic King." Leo Africanus further wrote: "The king (Askia) is a declared enemy of the Jews. He will not allow any to live in the city. If he hears it said that a Berber merchant frequents them or does business with them, he confiscates his goods."

During the 8th century, the Rhadanites (Jewish African, mulit-lingual traders) began to settle in Timbuktu, Mali. There they established a trading center from which they set up a network of trading routes throughout the desert. More Jews began to arrive in the 14th and 15th centuries, fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. Then in 1492, the local King, Askia Muhammed, threatened the Jews with death if they did not convert to Islam. As the historian Leo Africanus wrote in 1526: "The king (Askia) is a declared enemy of the Jews. He will not allow any to live in the city. If he hears it said that a Berber merchant frequents them or does business with them, he confiscates his goods." While some chose conversion, many fled from the country. In 1860, Rabbi Mordechai Abi Serour emigrated from Morocco with several Jews to trade in Timbuktu. Rabbi Serour had to negotiate with the local authorities to obtain “protected people” status. The newly arrived congregation established a synagogue and Jewish cemetery in the area. By the early 20th century no Jews remained in Mali.

In the mid-1990s, however, thousands of so called ‘Hidden Jews,’ began a Malian Jewish revival in Timbuktu, Mali; many reclaiming their Jewish heritage. In 1993, Ismael Diadie Haidara, a historian from Timbuktu, established an organization called Zakhor (Timbuktu Association for Friendship with the Jewish World). This organization is predominately composed of Malians, descendants of Jews. Over the years, much of the Malian Jewry’s history has been uncovered; it was once concealed to avoid persecution.

ZAKHOR (Heb. "Remember"), black Judaizing movement in Mali comprising around 1,000 people. It was founded in Timbuktu in 1993 by the Malian historian Ismael Daidé Haïdara, whose followers claim to be the offspring of Saharan Jews. In a manifesto published in 1996, the members of Zakhor recognize themselves as Jews and declare themselves to be descendants of the Jews of Touat. The Touat, the region at the limit of the Sahara in western Algeria, was, up to 1492, inhabited by Jews involved in trans-Saharan trade. At that time, Sheikh Abd el Krim el Meghili, a scholar and a mystic, exterminated them and ordered the destruction of their synagogues at Siljimassa and Tamentit.
Timbuktu philosopher and historian, Ismael Diadie Haidara, points out that Timbuktu, which was inhabited by Muslims, Christians and Jews for hundreds of years, has always been a center of religious and racial tolerance.

                                                             Ismael Diadie Haidara

For many years, he has been struggling to raise funds to preserve 3,000 ancient manuscripts in his library that detail the co-existence in Timbuktu of Muslims, Jews and Christians.

                                           Ismael Diadie Haidara, with Moroccan colleagues

He himself is directly descended from Spanish forefathers with Christian origins who converted to Islam and fled to the Niger Valley in 1468 and later intermarried with African Muslims and Hebrew merchants.

Mr Haidara says he is one of 1,000 Malians today who can claim in his ancestry Christian, Muslim and Jewish blood:

"All three groups co-existed peacefully in Timbuktu up until the end of the 19th century.

"If today Timbuktu is one of the poorest cities in Mali, and Mali one of the poorest countries in Africa, it is also a city that shows the way of the future - tolerance and co-existence.

"In this way, I think Timbuktu is one of the richest cities in Africa."

Hundred of Millions of dollars should be invested in Timbuctu to build hotels, museums, libraries, university, airport, shopping centers, casinos, night clubs, stadium to transform the city of Timbuctu into a modern business city. Timbuctu should copy the example of desert city like Las Vegas to modernize itself.

I am happy the Mellon foundation is financing the preservation of Timbuctu 2000 ancient books.
The descendants of the Timbuctu Rabbi Mordechai Abby Serour and the eleven member Timbuctu Jewish community are probably living now in Paris, London or New York. Except for Haidara & his group Zakhor. 

People that Practiced Hebraism in Very Old Times in Africa 

People who were practicing religions based on the laws of Musa (Moses) go way back in Africa, but they did not call themselves Jews. It is the Ashkenazi who push that term and many communities later adopted that name as a result of Ashkenazi influence. For instance the Falasha did not call themselves Jews. They also are considered to be “pre Talmudic”  because the Talmud did not apply to everyone, just those living under the Herod rule. So anyway, you have tons of “Hebraic” communities for lack of a better word, throughout North, West, East and Central Africa in antiquity. You can sort that out with some research.

So Hebrew Communities in Africa are of two types. Firstly is the original inhabitants of Africa (black peoples) who are practicing Mosaic based religions and not necessarily using the term “Jew” to describe themselves. 

The last kingdom to be able to hold out against the Arabs, were Jews, and they served under a queen. There was also a Jewish presence there as late as the time of the Second Moorish invasion. There were tons of them living in Mauritania.

Personally I have my suspicions about Mande people and their religious practices. I cannot prove anything at this time, but on the face of it, you find a lot of practices which seem to be described in the Bible and attributed to so call early Jews. But that is another story.

Tarikh Al Sudan in the introduction makes a curious comment about West African "Judaism" and its antiquity in the region.

Falasha did not call themselves Jews. What ancient word did they call themselves?

The Dead Sea scrolls found in the West Bank and date to 400 BC. Herod was born 73 BC. Even at the Herod date, that's over 2000 years of people following Moses' law in the Israel region. Herod was an Edomite who followed rhe Hebrew religion as many Edomites and Nabateans had been commingled with the Jews and adopted their customs.These "Judaized" Edomites were not considered Jewish by the dominant Pharisaic tradition, so even though Herod may have considered himself of the Jewish faith, he was not considered Jewish by the observant and nationalist Jews of Judea.

Today scholarly opinion regarding the time span and background of the Dead Sea Scrolls is anchored in historical, paleographic, and linguistic evidence, corroborated firmly by carbon 14-datings. Some manuscripts were written and copied in the third century B.C.E., source.

So if some of these manuscripts date to third century BC and were found in the West Bank it means people were practicing the Hebrew religion in the Israel region at least from that time, or further back in earlier oral history times.

The oldest Jewish city in the world is the city of Malawi or Mal Levi in Egypt. The Bible is an Egyptian book. Most of the names in the bible are Egyptian. The name of the Gods in the bible are Egyptian, The Patriarchs names are Egyptian. Story in the bible are similar to story in Egypt. The name of the country Is ra el and city Ierusalem are Egyptian.

Susu people

Total population 2.2 million  Regions with significant populations 2,042,287 in Guinea, 192,000 in Sierra Leone.  Languages Susu  Religion 99% Islam

The Susu people (Susu: Soso; French: Soussou) are a major Mande ethnic group living primarily in Guinea. Smaller communities are also located in the neighboring country of Sierra Leone. The Susu are descendants of the thirteenth century Mali Empire. They moved to their present location after 1725, when the Fulani attempted to dominate them in the Fouta Jalon.

The Susu people are farmers, traders and fishermen. The Susu live mainly in the coastal areas of Guinea and Sierra Leone. Their houses are made with mud or cement blocks, and thatched or tin roofs depending on their means.

Customs and culture

Family is very important in Susu society. The Susu often live with their extended family. Polygyny is an accepted practice since Islamic law allows men to have as many as four wives. This is not always practiced because having multiple wives requires more means than most men have. The men provide for their families by working the rice fields, fishing, or engaging in commerce. The women cook the food and take care of the children. They often engage in a small commerce, usually of vegetables they have raised in their own garden. Often women will have their own room or hut next to their husband's lodging where they will stay with their children.

Although good social relationships are valued, there are many conflicts with neighbors, especially when dealing with money or property. Each village has natural leaders, usually with a recognized chief, who help resolve conflicts.

The Susu are known to be open minded, not racial, offering his services to the more offering compared to their neighbors counterparts.


Their language, called Sosoxui by native speakers, serves as a major trade language along the Guinean coast, including the capital city of Conakry. Other large cities where Susu is spoken include Dubreka, Kindia, Forécariah, Boffa, Kamsar, and Boke. The Susu language is almost similar to the language of the Yalunka people who live near Faranah. The Susu and Yalunka believe they were originally one people group living in the Fouta Djallon region of Guinea.


The Susu are primarily farmers, with rice and millet being their two principal crops. Mangoes, pineapples, and coconuts are also grown. The women make various kinds of palm oil from palm nuts. They also make peanut oil and soap. All of the family members, including the children, are expected to do their share of the manual labor.

In addition to farming, fishing and salt production are important enterprises to the Susu economy. Salt is produced during the dry season, and it can take up to three months of intense work to produce anything substantial. The Susu are also well known as merchants and craftsmen of leather and metal.

Life style

Ancient Susu houses were typically made of either mud or cement blocks, depending on the resources available. They are generally quite large in order to accommodate extended families. In the cities, roofs are most often made of corrugated iron; whereas in the rural areas, they are usually made of thatch.

Although Western clothes can be obtained in the markets, most Susu women seem to prefer an African dress. They usually wear African-style skirts that reach to their ankles. Older men wear loose-fitting cotton robes, but the younger men prefer Western-style.

Religion and traditional

Over 99% of Susu are Muslim, and Islam dominates their religious culture and practices. Most Islamic holidays are observed, the most important being the celebration that follows Ramadan. The Susu also combine their Islamic faith with traditional beliefs, such as the existence of spirits who inhabit certain areas, and the belief in sorcerers who have the power to change into animals, cast evil spells on people, or heal people from certain ailments.

Regions with significant population

Over 75 percent of the total Susu population live in Guinea, particularly in and around the Guinean capital Conakry. The Susu predominate in the central region of Guinea and theirs is the most widely spoken language in the capital Conakry and other cities in central Guinea, including Kindia, Forekaria and Koya. The Sierra Leonean Susu live primarily in Kambia District where they form the second largest ethnic group after the Temne at about 28% of the population.

Kono people

The Kono tribe has traces of Levitical practices within their culture. Their language also has evidence of a mixture of Hebrew and Egyptian.

Total population 489,444 – 7% of Sierra Leone's population
Regions with significant populations: Eastern Province (particularly in Kono
Languages: Kono, Sierra Leone English, Krio (creole)
Christianity, Islam, indigenous religions

The Kono people (pronounced koh noh) are a major ethnic group in Sierra Leone at about 7.6% of the country's total population. Their homeland is the diamond-rich Kono District in south-eastern Sierra Leone. The Kono are primarily diamond miners and farmers.

The Kono people speak the Kono language as their first language and is the most widely spoken language among the Kono people. Many youth from the Kono ethnic group use the Krio language as the primary language of communication with other Sierra Leonean ethnic groups.

Unlike many other Sierra Leonean ethnic groups, the Kono people rarely travel outside Eastern Sierra Leone; as a result only few Konos are found in the capital Freetown and in northern Sierra Leone.

The Kono people are the descendants of Mali-Guinean migrants who are said to have moved to Sierra Leone and settled in what is now Kono District in the mid-16th century, however there is archaeological evidence of settlement in Kono District as far back as 2200 B.C.

Kono history claims that the Kono were once a powerful people in Mali and Guinea. The Kono migrated to Sierra Leone as peaceful hunters. The tribe was split during partitioning of Africa by European colonists and part of the tribe still exists in neighboring Guinea.

Attacks from the related Mende people forced the Kono to seek refuge in the Koranko territory to the north, where they were allowed to farm the land. The Mende eventually moved further south, and the Kono returned to their own land in the south-east.

Economy and culture
The Kono are primarily farmers and in some areas, alluvial diamond miners. They grow rice, cassava, corn, beans, groundnuts, sweet potato, peppers, cassava leaf, greens, potato leaf etc as their main crops, along with banana, pineapple and plantain, and cash crops such as cocoa, coffee and kola nut. They live in towns and villages and travel daily to their surrounding farm lands to work. They are a polite and hospitable people and even allow strangers to lodge with them or their chiefs.
The size of rural Kono villages varies from several houses to nearly one hundred dwellings. Kono District also contains the city of Koidu /Sefadu and several small towns. Kono houses were at one time round constructions made of mud, clay, and thatch. Although some of these houses still exist today, most are now rectangular and made of adobe blocks or cement with corrugated zinc sheet roofing. The rectangular houses have verandas where the women cook and others can enjoy the shade.

After sunset, in the open compounds (courtyards) of the villages, the entire village may sing. The people dance in a single-file circle to the beat of drums. Each person develops his own individual steps and movements in an attempt to stand out in the crowd.

The Kono year is divided into a rainy season and a dry season. Late dry season (March–April) is the time for preparation and clearing of farms and the rainy season is a time for farming. Families leave their homes early in the morning, walk to their farms, and return home at dusk. Cooking, bathing, and other household chores are done at the farms by most of the women, while the men and other women perform the agricultural tasks.

After the rice harvest, the heavy agricultural work is finished, giving way to the dry season. Most people remain in town every day during the dry season since many social events take place at that time of year. During this period, young boys are initiated into the Poro society, and young girls, into the Bondo or Sande society. These societies teach youth the Kono culture and traditions. Training for these organisations bridges the gap between childhood and adult life.

The dry season is also a time when much courting and many marriages take place. A man's wealth used to be determined by the number of wives he could support. Most men had more than one wife, and those men with many wives were shown the greatest respect and honour. Nowadays many men have only one wife although polygamy is still widely practised. During the dry season, women organise fishing expeditions and older men and women may be found outdoors weaving traditional country cloth.

Religious and spiritual beliefs

Most Konos practice Islam or Christianity. Some practice traditional religion as well. Konos invoke and pray to their ancestors and other spirits for protection, health, guidance and good fortune. They believe the ancestors are present during every activity, including eating, sleeping, and important events. Some Kono are also superstitious and use curses, omens, charms, and magic in their daily lives.

The Hebrew Heritage of Our West African Ancestors

Are Black Americans the descendants of West African Hebrews?

This question Is answered In the affirmative, with a resounding yes, by Professor Joseph J. Williams after more than eleven years of intensive research into the subject. In his book entitled Hebrewlsms of West Africa, this eminent cultural anthropologist documents the origins and extent of the Hebrew religion and culture in that part of West Africa which is the ancestral home of most black Americans. His book has 443 pages. It is documented with more than 1,400 footnotes. In reality, it is a compendium of very nearly every major treatise on the subject. Professor Williams cites over 900 different scholars and eye-witnesses in this encyclopedic effort.

Unfortunately, the original book by Joseph Williams is not available to most readers. And even if it were, it is far too detailed and expensive for most tastes. For these reasons, we have obtained the necessary consent to reproduce the most salient portions under the title The Hebrew Heritage of Our West African Ancestors, together with the rights to include our own editorial comments and supplementary information. The purpose is to bring to every reader, scholar and layman alike, an insight into and perspective of a civilization and heritage which he or she never may have realized exists. For those unacquainted with Professor Williams, his scholarly credentials are beyond dispute.

Besides devoting eleven years of research to this one subject, he held doctoral degrees in history and cultural anthropology. He was a Fellow in the British Royal Geographical Society and the American Geographical Society. He was a member of the International Institute of African Languages and Cultures. He was a member of the Catholic Anthropological Conference.

And he was the author of several books on black civilization and culture in Africa and the West Indies. The purpose of The Hebrew Heritage of Our West African Ancestors goes beyond merely providing the reader with new insights. In this age when the black man is striving to learn more about himself and his origins, this book is intended to provide a sure basis for renewed pride and confidence in his Israelite heritage. To black Jews — and white Jews alike — it should provide further evidence of the universality of their faith. And to everyone, regardless of his color or religion, this book should reveal that black culture, far from being lost in the backwaters of the African Jungle, was and continues to be very much in the mainstream of civilization as we know it today.

This book comes, as we said, at a time when black people the world over are seeking to rediscover themselves. Dissatisfied simply to learn about white European history and heroes, black people in their intellectual and cultural reawakening want — in fact need to know who they were so they can decide who they are. The whole person is, after all, a product of past and present. No one can escape his heritage entirely. Nor can anyone escape the environment in which he was born and lives. It is important to recognize at the outset that no religion or culture is created or exists in a vacuum. On the contrary, we all are products of societies influenced by events from within and without. In truth, nothing is 100% pure whether we talk about race or religion, or social or political philosophy, or any other aspect of life. What, for instance, constitutes pure or distinctively Jewish traditions to the person of European ancestry is far different from that of Jews elsewhere.

The so-called typical European Jewish foods such as bagels and matzo ball soup are not Hebrew but Slavic in origin. The lingua franca of East and Central European Jewry, called Yiddish, really is Eleventh Century High German with an admixture of Slavic and Hebrew words. The very word "synagogue," commonly used to signify a Jewish house of worship, actually is of Greek origin. Even the word "Jew" was made popular long after the Bible was completed. The words ״Israelite and "Hebrew" are of much older vintage. In the same way, the Jewish civilization of Black Africa contains much that is not exclusively Hebrew in origin. This is due to both historical and geographical factors.

The climatic and geographical differences alone could themselves account for vast differences in Judaism as practiced and lived in different countries and continents. What then can be offered as evidence of a common Hebraic background among peoples in and from black West Africa and the Middle East? Professor Williams masterfully provides us with the answers. His abundantly documented research proves once and for all times that Judaism, the religion and culture of the Hebrews, is deeply rooted in the native soil of Black Africa, Just as it is more commonly recognized to exist in Europe and America. Professor Williams' research deals primarily with the African continent and to a lesser extent with the West Indies. For this reason, we have added a section which brings into sharper focus the existence of a Black Hebrew culture in the Middle East itself.

There are numerous sources, including the Bible, which tell us that from the time of Abraham, onward, black civilization and Hebrew civilization were related. Even Professor Williams, who makes no special attempt to prove this one way or the other, alludes to this when he quotes Sir Harry H. Johnston that "negroid people with kinky hair" inhabited the Babylonian homeland of Abraham. Williams continues that this conclusion makes easier "our present endeavor to show an infiltration of the same Hebrew stook in the evolving of certain tribes in Africa."

To make our book as meaninful as possible, the schema will be for us to summarize certain portions of Williams' book and to quote exactly from other sections. Because much of his text consists of quotations from other scholars, we will refer directly to them wherever we utilize their remarks. In this way we can provide the reader with a condensed yet faithful reproduction of the thoughts and research of Professor Williams. To fully update our book, we occasionally will make grammatical changes and add editorial notes and comments of our own to make reading as smooth and pleasant as possible. Now we request our reader to settle back in a comfortable chair, with a good reading light, and enjoy the true story of The Hebrew Heritage of Our West African Ancestors...

The Broader Scene Before we reach the distant shores of Black Africa, we want to remind our reader that the pages which follow actually represent the views of more than 900 scholars and eye-witnesses. Professor Joseph Williams, to the extent that our book utilizes his, is only the editor in a sense. As a result of his more than eleven years of intensive research into the subject, he was able to piece together from a mosaic of sources enough evidence to prove once and for all times that the original Black Hebrew civilization spread throughout the length and breadth of Africa. There is a famous old saying, a rose is a rose by any other name. This means that a rose still is a rose no matter what name it is given. We who live in America are accustomed to thinking in terms of the European cultural standards which prevail. Even the black man thinks of himself by his European names — Negro, which is Spanish, or colored or black which are English words. Rarely if ever does he think of himself as Fanti or Ashanti or Fulani or Guinean. In this same sense, an Israelite is an Israelite by any other name. Because most of us are accustomed to hearing the word Jew and associating this word with white faces, it is surprising to many that black people also claim a Hebrew heritage.

This common misimpression, however, is largely due to the kind of cultural conditioning with which our European-oriented society is imbued. It should be remembered when reading the pages that follow that the black man, until recently, was denied the means to assert his own Individuality. Even where he gained the legal rights, he usually lacked the tools to effectively be his own master. These tools include a homogeneous family and community life, an unbroken tradition of education, the ability to function independently both politically and economically, and the psychological self-assurance that comes with being a first-class citizen. Moreover it should be kept in mind that the white man, as is logical, has written and interpreted history largely from his own point of view. Take this illustration as a simple example. Not long ago, a prominent American newspaper featured a story about Kinshasa, the capital city of the Republic of Congo (formerly the Belgian Congo). The article mentioned the "native quarter•״ of the city, referring to that section where its black citizens live. This description is grossly misleading if one realizes that at least 85% of Kinshasa is black and 99% of the Congo nation is too! To speak of a native quarter is to imply the existence of a black minority there.

Nothing is farther from the truth!

Contemporary recorded Israelite history is likewise almost exclusively of white Jewish and white Gentile origin. The result has been not so much errors of commission as errors of ommission. In other words, the major short-comings of European-oriented histories of Africa and the Middle East are largely what is omitted. The stress is put on what ties together and supports white European culture with that of the Middle East. They usually omit any mention of the relationships between black African and Middle East civilizations. The bias in our knowledge of history is reflected by the fact that very few if any standard textbooks deal extensively with the relationships between early Christianity and the pagan Greco-Roman religions, for Instance. Very few if any standard textbooks discuss the fact that many white Jews are descendants of Greeks, Romans, Armenians and others who adopted Judaism as their religion during the period of its greatest expansion in the Mediterranean area.

Very few if any textbooks deal with the fact that black Dravidians inhabited the region contiguous with the Middle East until the white Aryans pushed them into the southern half of the Indian peninsula. Professor Williams' book does not attempt to deal at length with every omission by white historians. He does, however, provide us with many scholarly insights so that we, the readers, can enjoy a better balanced picture of history, especially African history. We therefore are indebted to Professor Williams and the many others whose scholarship made our book possible. Black Americans now are in a position as never before to rediscover — and reclaim — a heritage which has profoundly influenced world history. To assist the reader to better understand the roots of Black America, our book attempts where possible to follow the route taken by Professor Williams. We even use his chapter headings so that our reader can picture the basic subject matter as he sees it. To begin, our next chapter is entitled ״The Ashanti of West Africa." This is followed by chapters on Ashanti Hebrewisms, the Supreme Being of the Ashanti, other Hebrewisms of Black Africa, and related topics.

The Ashanti of West Africa

Professor Williams begins his book by recalling his discoveries and observations while living for five years on the West Indian island of Jamaica, intrigued by certain similarities with certain Hebrew customs. This famous Jesuit scholar then began an eleven year search to determine if there really were affinities between Middle East customs and those found in Africa and the West Indies. The following are the words of Dr. Williams which summarize his reasons for pursuing the subject. He says that "to understand properly the spirit and aspirations of the Jamaican peasant, a close study of the (African) Ashanti themselves became necessary. And this study, in turn, led to some rather startling results and conclusions. "In the first place," he continues, "many Hebrewisms were discovered in 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 evidence of being the Yahweh (God) of the Old Testament. "The question", he says, "naturally arose, how to explain these parallels of cultural traits? Should they be ascribed to mere coincidence or independent development? Or have we here a remarkable instance of diffusion across the entire breadth of Africa? Is it possible to establish even a partial historical contact between the Ashanti of today and the Hebrews of fully two thousand years ago, or more?" The answers to these questions Professor Williams deduces can be found "by trying to trace the story of the dispersion of the Jews" from the Middle East and by studying the "tribal beliefs and practices and the records of early European travelers, particularly those who had written of the manners and customs of the African black man.": What is the geographical and historical significance of the Ashanti of West Africa about whom Dr. Williams concentrates the first part of his study? The answer is that the Ashanti represent a large grouping of peoples, not an isolated tribe, about whom a fair amount of information is known. Of equal importance, the Ashanti and related groups of people also inhabit an area roughly the same as that from which the slave ancestors of most Black Americans came.

Today this region is divided into several newly independent nations. They Include the republics of Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Dahomey, Nigeria and Cameroon. The boundaries of these nations were arbitrarily established prior to their independence through conquest and the international political intrigues of the earlier European colonial rulers. For these reasons, every tribal grouping of any consequence can be found to overlap national borders as they exist today. The result us that the Ashanti are found in a wide area of West Africa. In fact they are so numerous that practically every other tribe is in some way interrelated. According to Ernest Chantre, a director of the Anthropological Society of Lyons (France), "the Ashanti do not constitute a pure ethnic group but an aggregate of negro types.•יי The problem confronting Professor Williams was whether the lineage of these Ashanti can be traced or connected to other civilizations.

Andre Arcin Is quoted by Williams to conclude that "From Ethiopia, Middle Egypt and Central Sudan descended the Ashanti and the tribes known as Bantu. ״ Professor Roland B. Dixon, an anthropologist from Harvard University in his study of the physical characteristics of the Ashanti, notes a similarity ״to the Chad group of people in the Sudan.״ י The Sudanese Republic is in the north-eastern section of Africa, near Egypt and Ethiopia.

The black immigration, he adds, ״was in part a westerly drift from the Chad-Nile area, and in part a direct souward movement from the western Sudan and the Sahara borders forced by the expansion in the Sahara region of the Caucasian peoples who have poured into northern Africa since very early times.״" Dr. Hermann Bauman of the State Museaum of Anthropology in Berlin, West Germany, concludes that the Ashanti are to be classified with ״the strongly Sudanese Yoruba and Nupe. ״ The historian, Walter Claridge, in a book about the history of Ghana and the Ashanti concludes that ״the Fantis, Ashantis, Wassawa, and in fact all the Twi-speaking or Akan peoples were originally one tribe.״׳ In summary we find the following general observations made by Professor Williams and other leading scholars about the African origins of the Ashanti: 1.The Ashanti are an ethnic mixture of the peoples of West Africa, the ancestral home of most Black Americans. 2.The Ashanti are closely related to the Bantu, Yoruba, Fanti, Sudanese and other peoples whose combined population stretches from the west to the east coasts of Africa mainly below the Sahara.

The Ashanti tribes appear to have migrated and later pushed westward and southward by alien invaders of European origin. They appear to have emanated from the Chad-Nile region of north-eastern Africa. But the question still remains whether the earlier Ashanti and related peoples have any connection with the Hebrews of the Middle East. The answer which Professor Williams reaches is that the similarities, which are too great to ignore, can be accounted for only by the fact ״that somewhere in the remote past there was an Infiltration of the ancient Hebrews in the parent stock from which the present Ashanti evolved.״' In fact it was the ״continuous influx of Hebrew settlers, trekking up the Nile" which he says ״eventually spread itself clear across Africa to the Niger and thence over pretty much the whole of West Africa.״ There is no doubt in the mind of Professor Williams that the Ashanti are infused with the blood and culture of earlier Hebrews who migrated from the Middle East. Nor is there any doubt that these same Ashantis are related today to virtually every tribal grouping in Black West Africa. The evidence according to Professor Williams is cumulative and revealed by the many striking parallels between the civilization of black West Africa and the Hebrew Middle East. And it is reinforced, as we shall see, by similar resemblances throughout the rest of Black Africa as well.

Ashanti Hebrewisms

This chapter is devoted to a detailed analysis of the similarities between Ashanti and Hebrew customs, usages and practlces.The similarities Included in this chapter can be put into two basic categories : 1. Language usage; 2. Customs and religious practices. The study reveals many striking similarities. It also uncovers areas which appear disparate at first glance, but which are in fact very much alike on closer examination. Let us now read what Professor Williams and others have to say. Language usage Dr. Williams cites as an example of language similarities the Ashanti word "obayifo" which means a female witch. ' According to J.G. Christaller In his dictionary of the Ashanti language, this word is derived from "obayen" which in turn Is a compound of ״Ob'״ and "ayen," together meaning witch-wizard.* This word, whose West Indian equivalent is "obeah," can be traced, says linguistics expert John Bathurst Deane, "to the Cannanlte superstition of Ob."

 M. Oldfield Howey, an expert on African culture, notes more pointedly that "the witch of Endor is spoken of as an ob, and was applied to by King Saul for an oracle. Today among blacks the same is found. The ob-man or ob-woman is habitually consulted in any case of doubt and difficulty, Just as was the ob-woman of Endor by King Saul." Williams observes that "the very term used by the native, to make ob,* which has come to Jamaica from the old Ashanti slaves, is idiomatically the same as the Scriptural cASA OB found In II Kings 21:6, one of the crimes charged against King Manasseh, and which literally means •he made ob.*"׳ "The very word Ashanti has Itself a stong Hebraic flavor," says Williams. "The terminal syllable ti* in the names of West African tribes usually has the general meaning of *the race of* or *the men of' or *the children of,*" comments Louis Desplagnes in his book about the people of the central plateau of Nigeria.' Williams reaches the inevitable conclusion that "this would make Ashanti *the people of Ashan.* There was in fact a town of the name Ashan in the domain of Judah."

Dr. Gerson B. Levi talks about Ashan in his contribution of the same name found in the Jewish Encyclopedia. He says "Ashan: Town in the domain of Judah (Joshua 15142), but which was in the actual possession of Simeon (Joshua 19*7; I Chronicles 4:32)." "The primary meaning of the Hebrew word ,Ashan* is smoke," says Williams, "and it is used primarily to describe a burning city, and secondly the figurative destruction of Israel." He cites the Hebrew and English Lexicon of Brown, Driver and Briggs as his source. "The latter meaning," he continues, "would be significant and certainly applicable to fugitives from Jerusalem."" Even the word "Amen" appears in both the Ashanti and Hebrew languages. Professor Rattray, an expert in the Ashanti language, cites an Ashanti hymn of thanks to the Supreme Being in which this word is used. According to this renowned scholar, the use of the word by the Ashanti precedes the arrival of Christian missionaries to West Africa.!

The study of general Ashanti and Hebrew grammars also reveal other similarities which cannot be dismissed lightly. J.G. Christaller explains, for example, that the relative participle in the Ashanti language "serves to make up for the lack of relative pronouns, as in the Hebrew." In addition, the negative in Ashanti usually is formed by the preffix N meaning not. The noun-clause in Hebrew is made negative by the adverb EN which literally means "it is not." Williams remarks that "a careful study of Professor Rattray's Ashanti Proverbs discloses many Indications of seeming Hebrew affinity or rather influence." Moreover he observes "the parallelism so distinctive of Hebrew poetry also is found In the Ashanti." Customs and religious practices We can begin to see Just how closely the Ashanti and Hebrew are fused by examining their common cultural and religious characteristics. This chapter deals with some of the peripheral or secondary cultural and religious similarities. Some of them are as follows: 1. Inter-tribal marriage laws; 2. Marriage rites; 3. Female child-birth and menstruation. Inter-tribal marriage laws. According to Professor Williams, the Mosaic laws concerning marriages within the tribes to preserve the inheritance of daughters within the family of their fathers (Numbers 36:5-12) are very similar to Ashanti practices. And the cross-cousin marriages of the Ashanti " are "strictly similar to that of the Hebrew daughters of Salphaad ״the sons of the brothers of the fathers (Numbers 36:11).

Marriage rites.

The Ashanti marriage customs, says Rattray, require that the prospective bride and groom first satisfy themselves that their marriage will not violate the tribal laws concemlng the marriage of blood relatives. Then, after obtaining the consent of the parents of the bride, the groom offers a dowry and a wine offering. After the wine is passed to those present at the ceremony, what remains is poured on the ground. These are the only requirements. No priest is needed .'־יי Professor Williams observes that "In the ancient Hebrew marriage, the ceremony was performed in a private house without the necessary presence of a priest or rabbi. An elder Invoked the benediction and gave a cup of wine to the bride and groom who pledged fidelity to each other. The bridegroom then dashed the cup to the ground. The marriage contract was then read and attested by the drinking of a cup of wine by each person present "almost exactly as do the Ashanti."

Female child-birth and menstruation.

One of the striking similarities between Ashanti and Hebrew customs is the realm of child birth. For example, the Ashanti mother is considered "unclean" for eight days after the birth of her child. On the elgth day the child is given a name and on the fortieth day a related ceremony is observed.״ "In all this we are certainly reminded of Hebrew customs," says Williams. Even the restrictions and taboos of the Ashanti woman during her menstrual period including her seclusion "read like a page borrowed from the Book of Leviticus," he says referring no doubt to the Twelfth Chapter.־׳ In summary, we can safely say that the Ashanti language contains so much that very closely resembles Hebrew including the word Ashanti itself. Moreover we find certain important customs in common. Add to these the certainty that the Ashanti people generally migrated from the direction of the Middle East. Together we can envision a close link between the two peoples If not a common ancestry. Just how close we will more fully realize from reading the next chapter.

The Supreme Being of the Ashanti Most people outside Black Africa think of the Indigenous African religions as polytheistic and idolatrous. If asked to find similarities between native black African and Hebrew concepts of God, for instance, the answer almost always heard is that there are none. After all, they reason, Africans believe in many gods. The Jews only believe in one. Here is a perfect example of a misconception which has resulted from long-standing historical bias and a considerable lack of knowledge. A closer examination of black African religious beliefs reveals the nature and extent of this error. First it is important to recognize the nature of Hebrew religious beliefs and practices, particularly during the Biblical era. Professor George Foot Moore, a Harvard University historian, states that the Biblical forefathers had fallen away from the true religion, not only by worshipping other gods (but) by worshipping their own God in a heathen way." Dr. A.W.F. Blunt, a well-known archeologist, notes that "to a late date, as excavations prove, the Israelites continued to use models of cows and plaques of Astarte as amulets." Another historian, R.L. Ottley, confirms this view. He says "the Hebrews did not openly abandon their allegiance to Jehovah, but they coordinated and sometimes even identified their national Deity with one or other of the Canaanite gods. Thus the simple and pure worship of Jehovah was gradually corrupted by the admixtures of usages and symbols borrowed from the nature worship of the Cananites."

Illustrations of this situation are frequent in the Bible. For example, Chapter 23 of II Kings lists several examples, including the fact that King Solomon built altars to Ashtoreth, the pagan goddess of fertility. Nonetheless, F. Prêt observes that "the idolatry of the Hebrews was less an apostasy than the adoption of strange practices and ceremonies."

Thus we can see, almost at a glance, a certain parallel between the historical condition of Biblical Israel and that commonly attributed to black African religious practices. The awareness should remove the mental obstacles in our investigation of the similarities between these two traditions notwithstanding the evident corruption of them both at one time or another.

We might look to start at the conclusions of William Bosman who wrote several books on his first-hand experiences with the peoples of the Gold Coast, now Ghana, of West Africa. He notes in no uncertain words that these people, ascribe to God the attributes of Omnipresence, Omniscience, and Invisibility, besides which they believe He governs all things by Providence. By reason God is invisible they say it would be absurd to make any human representation of Him" as do Christians. For this reason, he says the idols before which they worship only represent "subordinate deities."

At this Juncture it might be well to consider whether the African concept of the Almighty God stems from Christian or Islamic Influences. Professor R. Sutherland Rattray, who Williams calls a captain and "a master of the Ashanti language and an official interpreter in several other dialects," asserts "I am convinced that the Ashanti conception of a Supreme Being has nothing whatever to do with missionary influenoe or Mohammedans." He adds: "In a sense it is true that this great Supreme Being, the concept of which is inately Ashanti, is the Jehovah of the Israelites. ״ י The views which we have stated thusfar largely are generalizations. In this very important area of theology, the question naturally arises whether there are specific proofs that the Almighty God of the Ashanti and that of the Hebrews are synonymous. We think the following evidence should satisfy all but the most incredulous that they are one and the same! First let us compare the Ashanti and Hebrew names for God. The full name of the Ashanti Supreme Being is ONYAME. The O ordinarily is not pronounced so the spelling Nyame is more exact phonetically. The A is a short vowel a s in bat . The E also is a short vowel as in met. The N is a prefix to convey the Idea of immensity. This leaves the root word YAME.

Rattray and Christaller both assert that the letter M is interchangeable with W in the Ashanti language. In other words the Ashanti name for God can be pronounced Yame or Yawe, with short vowels. We find a similar situation In Biblical Hebrew. Dr. Albert T. Clay, an archeologlcal linguistics expert at Yale University, notes that "in the Murushu archives found at Nippur, belonging to the reigns of Artaxerxes and Darius, the divine element in Hebrew names Is written Jaama for Yawa." He also mentions a clay tablet found at Taanach which "contains the divine name of Israel's God written Jami."* He concludes unhesitatingly that "some Semitic groups"~used M and others W to represent the same sound." Thus we learn that the word for the Almighty God can be spelled and/or pronounced as Yawe or Yame In both Hebrew and Ashanti.

But the similarity does not end with the precise word for the Almight God. The word for Creator in Ashanti is Bore-bore. The exact equivalent in sound and meaning is Bore יי which is the participle form for the Hebrew word Bara that means "to create." The word "bore" is used for example in Isaiah 42:5. In the Ashanti language, God also is called Nyankapon Kwame which means "God alone, great One, to whom Saturday is dedicated." This dedication to the Jewish Sabbath is verified In a letter written in 1922 by the Ashanti Queen, Amma Sewa Akota, to the wife of the British Governor to the Gold Coast. The letter reads in parte that "the great God Nyankopon...whose day of worship is a Saturday." Once again we have another similarity to a very important Hebrew concept: the observance of Saturday as the Sabbath in honor of the Almighty God (Genesis 2:1-3). Certain Christian theologians have sought to liken the visualization of the Ashanti Supreme Being with the popular Christian notion that God is represented in human form. They cite the fact that the prefix N in Nyame (Nyawe) and "im" in Elohim, a Hebrew word for God, both use a plural or collective form.

This Christian view, however, is not supported by the facts. As we learned earlier from Professor Bosman, the Black Africans "say It would be absurd to make any human representation of the Almighty God." י Moreover the plural use of the word for God was the grammatical form used in Biblical Hebrew to address any individual of royal or kingly rank. Dr. David Cooper, a fundamentalist -oriented Christian theologian, "admits frankly that in the Semitic world such usage ("of the plural noun for excellency, majesty") was common when subjects addressed their king or at times spoke concerning him." The Hebrews of course could be expected to address God, who was their King of kings, in a similar manner. In summary we can see that the Hebrew God and Creator is at the very heart of black African, and particularly Ashanti religious belief.

This belief, moreover, relates to the total black African culture because religion is and was traditionally an underlying, integral part of the fabric of its society. In ancient Israel, the belief in Almighty God was upheld as all-important. In many ways the idea of the Priesthood came second. It was the latter who maintained the Temple, interpreted the laws, and in general were responsible for giving religious direction to the early Jewish nation. Among the Ashanti they also play equally important roles. To be sure, the existence of a priesthood is a rather universal phenomenum because organized religion must have some kind of leadership. However one important outward symbol existed among the Ashanti priesthood which links it closely to ancient Israel. That symbol is the Breastplate worn by the high priests who usually were representatives of the reigning Ashanti king or queen.

Ashanti Levite, One of the Ashantee Ambassadors Wearing A Square Ephod

ASHANTI AMBASSADORS CROSSING THE PRAH (From a drawing by Sir Henry Morton Stanley)

The accompanying illustration is a reproduction of the actual drawing by Sir Henry Morton Stanley that appeared in the Illustrated London News in the article entitled "From Cape Coast to Coomassie." it was an 1874 edition. The signature of the artist is missing because that part of the illustration is omitted from our copy. However it is recorded by his wife that he made the original drawing as a newspaper correspondent for the New York Herald during his coverage of the Ashanti War of that period. >« The illustration is titled "Ashantee Ambassadors Crossing the Prah" river and shows Ashanti and British representatives of their respective governments. The illustration also appeared later in a book by Sir Stanley entitled Coomassie and Magdala. What is significant about the breastplate shown in the illustration worn by the Ashanti representative? "At first glance," says Professor Williams, "this would appear to be unquestionably a vestige of the High Priest of the Hebrews. But it is well to remember that Professor Clay observes that the breastplate was not peculiar to the Hebrews. It was to be found as well in Egypt and probably elsewhere. However the divisions of the breastplate into twelve parts is certainly distinctive" as a Hebrew symbol.

According to Dr. T. Edward Bowditch, perhaps the first contemporary European to come into close contact with the Ashanti, says "One curious evidence may be added to the former identiflcation of the Ashanti nations: It is the tradition that the whole of these people were originally comprehended in twelve tribes or families in which they classify themselves still." • This was in the early 1800*s. In addition, Dr. Friedrich Ratzel in his History of Mankind asserts that the Ashanti nation is composed of "twelve stocks...the members of which are distributed randomly throughout the tribes."• : Professor A.B. Ellis in a book written almost one half century later, in 1881, relates that the Ashanti representatives "pointed to the gold plates on their breasts as being their insignia of office" when asked by the British official of the Gold Coast for evidence of their authority. Besides the breastplate, the illustration shows another highly revealing symbol which links the Ashanti directly to the Hebrews. Williams notes that "the headdress of the herald (representative) with its gold disc in front satisfies the description of the Hebrew miznefet."? The miznefet is described in the Jewish Encyclopedia as "a tiara, or perhaps a peculiarly wound turban, with a peak the front of which bore a gold plate with the inscription *Holy unto Yhwh.*"

Does this description of the Hebrew miznefet fit the headdress in the illustration by Sir Stanley? The answer clearly is yes. Moreover it is verified by Professor Rattray who says ״The (Ashanti) headdress of a herald is a cap nyade from the skin of a Colobus monkey with a gold disc In front.״ " These two prominent articles of clothing, the twelve-part breastplate and the gold-disc tiara headdress, are found in only one other civilization as part of the priestly outfit. That is the Hebrew civilization of Biblical days. The striking similarities do not end here, however. We might pause to consider some other similarities involving the herald or representative of the Ashanti king or queen about whom we just discussed. Although the relationship between the Ashanti and Hebrew words for herald seem more vague than what we discussed heretofore, they are worth noting. In the Bible (Exodus 3:52v), the saga of the burning bush on Mount Sinai ״heralds״ the beginning of the all-important Mosaic Revelation. The Hebrew word for bush s Sene (similar to the Lemba Sena);

By the same token, Rattray tells us ״the Ashanti have a myth which states that the Creator made a herald (osene), a drummer (okyerema), and an executioner (obrafo), and that the precedence of these officials in the Ashanti court is in that order. ״ Thus the Ashanti word OSENE, whose root is SENE, is virtually identical with the Hebrew word SeNE. Both refer to a herald or heralding of an important revelation or event. To support this view, we find likenesses between the other two Ashanti words, OKYEREMA and OBRAFO, and the scene of the Mosaic Revelation on Mount Sinai. The Ashanti word Okyerema, whose root is KYEREMA sounds much like the Hebrew word Khoreb, the western height of Mount Sinai. After dropping the prefix O and the suffix FO from Obrafo, we have BRA which resembles the Hebrew word Brith which means covenant. ״The Ashanti myth might thus record progressive stages in the manifestation of Yahweh to the Hebrews: the burning bush, Sinai, and the Mosaic Covenant,״ says Williams.

We find still other similarities between the Ashanti and ancient Hebrew cultures, including observances held In early autumn, נ" the legal authority of the Ashanti TORO or law-giver, in many ways similar to the law-giving Torah of the Hebrews, and others. While these illustrations may appear more vague than some of the others, they nonetheless lend additional credence to the conclusion that the Ashanti and Hebrew cultures have common roots. In summary, we find many striking similarities between the religions and cultures of the Ashanti and the pre-Exllic Hebrews. These similarities are too many and too close to be coincidental. We find the concept and words for the Almighty God are identical. We find the words for Creator are identical. We find the same Sabbath reverence. We find the same historical view of the twelve tribes. We find the same twelve-tribe gold breastplate and headdress of the priests. We find similar meanings for the word herald which plays an important part in both cultures. We find many other concepts using similar-sounding words. We find many similarities in marriage and child birth customs, all of which play important roles in both societies. And we find the very name Ashanti derives from ancient Israel. It is important, however, to recognize that the similarities do not end with the Ashanti. They also are found among the other peoples of Black West Africa — and from Central and Eastern Africa too. For insights into the other peoples of Black Africa, the following chapter digests what Williams and other scholars have to say.

Other Hebrewisms in Black Africa

In this chapter, Dr. Williams introduces the peoples of West Africa who are the neighbors of the Ashanti. In addition, there is a discussion of the peoples who inhabit what is commonly known as Central and East Africa. We have broken the discussion into geographical parts roughly parallel to the countries of modem Africa. However we want to make It's clear once again that tribal groupings never fit neatly into one nation or another. The boundaries of the present-day nations are largely of European colonial origin, conceived for reasons often having little to do with tribal affiliation of the population. To introduce his chapter, Professor Williams says that the information which follows, together with that already discussed, confirms his conviction that there is a strong infiltration of Hebrew stock" among the peoples of black West Africa.

In addition, he re-emphasizes the "polytheistic" tendencies among Jews during different periods in their history by quoting Dr. Nahum Slouschz, a well-known white Jewish historian. He says in his discussion of religious practices in Moslem-dominated North Africa that the Jews of Morocco "often have a polytheistic character which approaches fetichism. There still are some who worship grottoes, and rocks and stones under the guise of saints."

The purpose of Williams reemphasizing this polytheistic tendency among North African Jews is to remind the reader that such reversions or abberations to more primitive religious forms do not disqualify them as Jews or Israelites, whichever term you choose to use. The proof that his conclusion is valid is that most of the Moroccan and other North African Jews have emigrated to the State of Israel where they are full-fledged citizens. With this introduction, we can better resume our investigation into the cultural affinities between black African and Hebrew civilizations in Guinea.
The observations of J. Lelghton Wilson are especially worthy of our attention for any investigation in this region. The reason is because he was a missionary in the Guinean area for 18 years.

He afterwards became a director of the American Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions indicating the high esteem with which he was held by his colleagues. His book Western Africa, Its History, Condition and Prospects was published in 1856. In the preface of his book, Reverend Wilson states that "the great body of the book is the result of my own observations and knowledge."

He observes in his book that "there are many obvious traces of Judaism, both in Northern and Southern Guinea." He also says that "In northern Guinea paganism and Judaism are united." He then explains that in the Northern region, the practice of Judaism is "prominently developed, some of the leading features of which are circumcision, the division of tribes into separate families, and very frequently into the number twelve, blood sacrifies with the sprinkling of blood upon the altars and door-posts" and other usages which he classifies of Jewish origin. Dr. William Bosman in his book about his travels in Guinea observes that the women in this region must accept an oath-drink to acquit themselves of any accusation of adultery. The law is that sickness or death which follows the taking of this drink is evidence of guilt. Bosman claims that "this drink seems very like the bitter water administered to the women of the Old Testament by way of acquitting them of the charge of adultery."

Bosman says elsewhere in his book: "The Negroes still retain several laws and customs which savor of Judaism, as their marrying of their brother״ s wife and several more. They seem the same effect, as well as the names, of which here (in Guinea) are several which occur in the Old Testament."
Mungo Park in his book entitled Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa, written in 1810, observes the legal whippings among the Teesee people in the Kassob region. He says, "the number of stripes was precisely the same as are required by Mosaic Law, forty, save one." He notes further that these people were neither Christian nor Moslem at that time." In the same book, Park notes that "on the first appearance of the new moon, the natives say a short the Supreme Being. This prayer is pronounced in a whisper, the party holding up his hands before his face. This ceremony seems to be nearly the same which prevailed among the Hebrews in the days of Job."" It is significant to note the words of Rabbi Kaufman Kohler in a Jewish Encyclopedia article on the "New Moon." He maintains "the period of the New Moon in pre-exillc times...was superior even to the Sabbath day which formed but a part of it, but lost its importance during the Exile (beginning about 586 B.C.)" He also says in this article that "in the Temple, the New Moon was celebrated by special sacrifices and by the blowing of the trumpet."


To study the Dahomian region of West Africa, we turn first to a series of articles by Professor Williams which appeared during 1936 and 1937 in the Anthropological Series of the Boston College Graduate School. These articles contain numerous scholarly and eyewitness references which do not appear in his book.

One such scholar is Professor Melville Herskovitz of North-western University who Williams describes as "one of the most distinguished American anthropologists." " Dr. Herskovltz, writing about the Ewe of Dahomey and Togo notes that "in the life of the Dahomian, Mawu is but another Vodu or Yehwe, the two (sets of) terms being synonymous."

He also says elsewhere that "Mawu is but another Vodu or Yehwe, a generic term for Great God." , Although his phonetic spelling differs somewhat, J. A. Sketcherly writing about Dahomey confirms that "their Supreme Being is called Mau or Mahu-no, and is vested with unlimited authority over every being, both spiritual and carnal."

Bishop Auguste Herman in a series of articles about the Ewe people among whom he lived provides us with a most revealing insight into their beliefs — and the similarities to those of the ancient Hebrews: He says, "This cult of Mahou presents certain particulars which resemble survivals of primitive religion of a Hebrew tradition. It teaches its followers a high idea of purity and the sanctity of God. Its ministers are clothed in white cloth. They observe the laws of continence prescribed to Jewish priests when they served in the Temple. Strict rules mark the periods when women participate in the rites of the cult. The water intended for ritual blessings can be brought only by a young woman who is a virgin. The official day of rest is Saturday. On that day the followers of Mahou (Almighty God) do not work in the fields. Once a year they offer a solemn sacrifice in an enclosure, outside the village. The priest takes in his hands a sheep which must be white. Three times he raises it towards the heavens. A part of the soup (made from the slain lamb) is poured on the ground as an offering to God."

Herman rhetorically asks "This purification, this triple oblation of the sacrifice, this sacred repast in common, this Saturday sanctified by rest, does not all this recall old Biblical tradition?"
Obviously, his answer is yes! Elsewhere in the series on Dahomey, Professor Williams talks about a map published in a 1790 edition of the Memoirs of the Reign of Bassa Ahadee. King of Dahomey by Robert Norris. It was an eye-witness account. The map shown in both the English and French editions designate the region surrounding the town of Whydah as the "Country of the Jews." In fact the town itself is called Juda or Ouidah. Here we have visible evidence of a Jewish population living in the very heart of Black Africa. As we have seen, the entire area beyond the immediate region of Whydah is also rooted in Hebrew culture. The author simply pinpoints an area which contained a Hebraic tradition which he was able to recognize.

The existence of an active Jewish community in this region is confirmed by a native of Whydah whose name is Bata Klndal Amgoza. He writes in a Scrlbner's Magazine article that the "B״nal Ephram... have copies of the Torah kept in a most holy place ....Otherwise they are simply naked negro״ people like everyone else.'' Dr. J. Kreppel in his book about Jews and Judaism also reports a large Jewish community in the interior of Dahomey. He says "they have a central temple (and) a Pentateuch written in Hebrew letters."

Besides the map in the book by Norris, we find reference to still another map, the existence of which confirms the integrity of the former. Pierre Bouche, a French historian, makes reference to an earlier map by Jean D'Anville that states the country of Nagos was formerly inhabited by Jews."

He says this view was found earlier in the writings of Edrisi, an Arab explorer of the Eleventh Century. He adds: "One finds among the black many Jewish customs."


We are told by Reverend Christian Reindorf, a black pastor of the Basel Mission on the Gold Coast, about the High Priest of the Akra people. He asserts: "A close inspection of the priest in his officiating garb leads to the conviction that his worship must be of foreign origin...One is inclined to suppose that the Jewish system of worship in the Old Testament style has been either introduced by or imitated from the people who came out first to the (Gold) Coast."


G.T. Basden was for many years a missionary among the Ibo. These people live mainly in the south-eastern region of modern Nigeria though they can be found scattered throughout the entire country. Because these people are largely non-Moslem, it is likely that their ancestors were among the slaves transported to America and the West Indies. According to Basden in his book Among the Ibo of Nigeria, "there are certain customs which point to Levitic influence at a more or less remote time. This is suggested in the underlying ideas concerning sacrifice and in the practice of circumcision. The language also bears several interesting parallels with Hebrew idiom."

He later notes that "among the Ibo people there is a distinct recognition of a Supreme Being beneficent in character -who is above every other spirit, good or evil. He is believed to control all things in heaven and earth, and dispenses rewards and punishments according to merit.

Besides the In bo, we also find reference to Judaism in the northern half of the country populated today largely by the Hausa and Fulani (Feul or Peul) peoples. Edmond D. Morel devotes considerable space to the Fulani in his book Affairs of West Africa. He concludes that after the overthrow of the Hyksos rulers in Egypt, many of their Hebrew kinsmen found their way into the interior of Africa by way of Cyrenaica (Libya).

He remarks a few pages later that "the Hebraic flavor, if one may put it so, which seem to permeate many of the "Fulani customs...has been recorded by many observers."

Perhaps even more revealing are the following comments which Morel made In his book in connection with the experiences of his friend, Captain de Guiraudon, who lived for several years among the Fulani in the Senegambia region. Morel says he "was particularly struck by their peculiar knowledge of Jewish history. So familiarly did they speak of the chief Hebrew personalities of the Old Testament, and so well posted were they with the principal events related in it that they could not have acquired their knowledge through Arabic sources.. They referred to those times as though dealing with their own national records. Moses and Abraham might have been individuals of the same race as themselves. Morel quotes Guiraudon that *in their oral legends Moses plays a very important part, and although certain passages of the Scripture are transformed or rather assimiliated, they have so intense a Biblical and Hebraic tone as to exclude all Arabic influence.*" The strongest evidence of their direct relationship to a Hebrew past rests in the fact, as Guiraudon notes, " , that their Israelite chronicles ceased after Solomon.*" Guiraudon's conclusions are best summarized in his own words. He says "It would seem as if the Fulani were at least in permanent contact with the Jewish people in remote times.

Morel himself concludes that the Fulani are the lineal descendants of the Hyksos," whom he identifies as Hebrews, "having migrated westward with the overthrow of the Shepherd conquerors....Their presence in West Africa dates back at least 2,500 years." Maurice Abadie, a French historian, asserts that "the Semitic origin of the Peuls (Fulani) of the Niger . . . cannot be questioned. " ^He believes Jews from North Africa also joined their brethren many years later In the Second Century A.D. to found the Empire of Ghana. Dr. Williams thinks it therefore is not surprising to find the Fulani also living in the neighboring lands of the Cameroons and Senegal.'

Central Africa (Congo, Angola. Kenya, etc,)

In Chapter Three, we noted on page 7 that scholars believe there is a common origin for the Ashanti and Bantu peoples. They both came, it is thought, from the northeastern part of the continent. The Ashanti eventually migrated westward below and roughly parallel to the Sahara Desert; the Bantu moved mainly in south and southwestward directions. Today we find the Bantu peoples a majority throughout Central Africa in a belt extending from Zambia and Mozambique on the east coast through the Central African Republic (formerly French Equatorial Africa) to the Congo and Angola on the west coast. Because most Black Americans are not related directly to the Bantu, we will abbreviate our discussion about them. However their significance historically (and in modern times) should not be overlooked. Our knowledge of their Hebrew traditions simply confirms what we already know about West Africa and that the Hebrew strain exists in Black Africa far more extensively than most realize. In the Congo, Herbert Ward says there exists a remarkable affinity of certain customs to ancient Hebrew law. He notes, for example, that "if adultery is committed within the village, both man and woman are considered equally guilty; outside the village boundary, however, the man only is held at fault." ״ Professor Keller of Yale University reports that many West African funeral customs are in the same class with the ritual "sackcloth and ashes" of the Old Testament.

Farther south, in Angola, we learn from W. Merlin Ennis that "there are many indications that there was at least a common source from which arose the Hebrew culture; and that this (Angolan culture) arose from that. There are many place names in Palestine and more especially in the eastern end of the Arabian peninsula (which also was inhabited by Jews in pre-Islamic times) that resemble Bantu names."

John Clarke, a British missionary, writes in 1848 that Oldendorf, an earlier traveler in the region then called French Equatorial Africa, "speaks of black Jews being in this part of Africa."

Dr. Friedrich Ratzel also speaks about the "Mavumba, renowned as potters and smiths, to whom some assign a Jewish origin."^ Father Giuseppe Clatti spent several years at the Kahetl Catholic Mission in Kenya. In a manuscript written in September, 1932, he says "it can be easily concluded that the Agekoyo have had some contact with the Hebrews after their departure from Egypt."
He then enumerates Leviticus 28:1-23, & says "is rigorous law for the Agekoyo." Exodus 21:35.36 "is scrupulously observed." The same, he says, is true of Exodus 22:10,13,18, 22 and Exodus 23:4, 19,22 which "are fully observed precisely as written." Leviticus 19:14, 26, 32, 33 "are also laws of the tribe."

In summary we see clearly that Hebrew religion and culture permeated Black Africa from coast to coast, and represents the very core of the native civilization, however much it may have become corrupted through the centuries. The interactions arose during centuries when close personal contacts were required. No radio, television or similar means of instant or mass communication had been Invented. As a consequence, there can be no doubt about the veracity and logic of Williams and many other scholars that Black Africa is infused with Hebrew blood besides being rooted in its culture. We have concentrated our analysis mainly on pre-Exlllc times. This refers to the centuries before 586 B.C. when the First Temple was destroyed. As most students of religion know, this pre-Exilic period, including the Mosaic era about 1225 B.C. and the reigns of Kings Saul, David and Solomon, the last from 972 to 933 B.C. The reason we have concentrated on this period in antiquity is to establish once and for all times that Black Africans, and their Black American descendants, are part of the "root stock" of what are commonly called the Original Israelites. We do not wish to minimize the significance of the continuous series of events which led to the establishment of the Ghanian and Songhoi Hebrew empires of later centuries. However, any attempt tell this part of the story would require many more pages, all of which simply reinforce the conclusions already reached. The remainder of our book, therefore, is devoted to a discussion of the human links between Black Africa and the Hebrew Middle East. It is a discussion which dates back to the Patriarch Abraham. In this way, we hope to contribute to a better understanding of history by everyone and particularly for black people whose spiritual and cultural reawakening has just now begun.

                                                        TEMPLE BETH EL - VIRGINIA 

African Hebrews : the Offspring of Abraham

This chapter, as we indicated at the end of the last one, is devoted mainly to establishing the human links between the Middle East and Africa, particularly that region known as Black West Africa. We established in previous chapters that Hebrew beliefs and culture are foundation stones of native black African civilization. Obviously this did not occur by magic. It happened through the course of human events. For this reason, we will explore in this chapter some of the evidence about the movements from the Middle East into Africa beginning in the ancient Biblical era. Notice we use the word ״movements״ in the plural. The reason is because Hebrew penetration into the heart and soul of black Africa came in waves over a long period of time. At best, we can divide these movements into arbitrary periods. Our purpose is not to pinpoint each and every wave or movement. That is impossible. Nor is it our purpose to discuss every important one. We simply want to bring to the attention of the reader some of the very earliest ones, particularly those dating back to Biblical days, to establish once and for all that most black Americans are, in fact, descendants of the ״original" Israelites.

To start our investigation, Professor Samuel A.B. Mercer, an expert in Biblical history, informs us that ״About 1650 B.C., Jacob and his family went into Egypt and sojourned there, according to Biblical tradition, about 430 years. ״In other words, Hebrews settled in Egypt no later than 1650 B.C. and remained at least until 1220 B.C. when Moses led them out of bondage. According to Professor Mercer, ״this was a time of great migrations; and we find that the Hyksos, a Semitic people, a branch of whom Jacob and his family may well have been, entered Egypt and became rulers of the land. To support this, Mercer observes that ״scarabs of a Hyksos ruler gave his name as Jacob-her or Jacob-el,״״ the latter name meaning God of Jacob, a common Hebrew appelatlon. Dr. Harry Orlinsky, a Professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College, says the word ״Hyksos״ means rulers of foreign countries. To the ancient Egyptians that meant people who came from the Middle East. This view is held by most historians. Professor Williams notes that ״the Pharaoh who showed friendship to Joseph and his (Hebrew) brethren must really have belonged to the shepherd race. This fact might easily explain the enmity and persecution to which the Hebrews were subjected after the expulsion of their kinsfolk, the Hyksos (about 1580 B.C.) 425״

In summary, we see that the Hebrews reached Africa no later than 1650 B.C., or more than 3*600 years ago. Their presence in Egypt, which began peacefully under so-called Hyksos' rule, eventually deteriorated through discrimination, persecution and ultimately bondage. About 1220 B.C. they gained their freedom under the leadership of Moses. It is clear, however, that not everyone left Egypt with Moses. Professor Sidney Mendelssohn in his book Jews In Africa tells us that "when the Children of Israel crossed the Red Sea . . . . the exodus was by no means universale.

Edmond Fleg in his The Life of Moses observes that there is a Rabbinic tradition that at the time of the Exodus ,״many Israelites...remained with the Egyptians.״^ What happened to those Israelites who remained in Egypt after the exodus northward into the Holy land led by Moses? The answer is two-fold: Many remained in Egypt for centuries as Mendelssohn and Fleg tell us. Others migrated south and westward into the heart of Africa as Williams and other scholars tell us. Edmond D. Morel tells us that the Fulani and related West African peoples are the ״lineal descendants״ of these Hyksos and other Hebrew migrants. " Williams says the ״gradual migration of the Jews is perhaps the simplest, if not the only plausible explanation" for finding a black Hebrew culture throughout West Africa not to overlook the Bantu country of Central and Eastern Africa. These conclusions in turn are affirmed by the fact that scholars believe the ancestors of the Fulani, Ashanti, Ewe, Yoruba, Bantu and other peoples traveled the same routes.

Another early period of Israelite migration into Africa was climaxed during the reign of King Solomon who ruled between the years 972 and 933 B.C. It was during this period that Solomon through his numerous political and marital alliances greatly extended Israelite influence in Ethiopia, the Sudan and neighboring lands. Although some historians differ in certain particulars, the Ethiopians believe themselves descended from the earlier inhabitants of the ancient kingdom established by King Solomon and his wife, the Queen of Sheba, and their son, Bayna-Lehkem or Menellk as he commonly is called. Confirmation of this general theory comes from F. Balthazaar Tellez who wrote in 1710 that ״there were always Jews in Ethiopia from the beginning. ״Professor Mendelssohn says ״this statement (by Tellez) may be conjecturally justified by the proximity of Abyssinia, Ethiopia and their dependencies to the ancient homes of the Israelites In Egypt and Palestine. ״In fact, Sir Walter Plowden, British Consul General to Ethiopia about 1868 maintains ״Two things are certain: that at a far later period, six sovereigns of pure Jewish race and faith reigned at Gondar (Ethiopia)....I think it's also highly probable that the whole of Abyssinia was of the Jewish persuasion previous to its conversion (to Christianity in the Fourth Century A .D.).

Louis J. Morle, a French historian, thinks the Falasha Jews of Ethiopia derive from the tribe of Levi. The word Falasha is the name commonly given Ethiopians who still practice Judaism. Job Leutholf, among others, says the word means Exiles, to designate their origin from the Holy Land.

And many, says Dr. George A. Barton in his Jewish Encyclopedia contribution, believes "they derive from exiles, possibly after the destruction of the Northern Kingdom (of Israel) but more probably from Judea after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.״

The Bible provides us with still more evidence that Israelites lived in Ethiopia and the Sudan. The Prophet Isaiah, who lived about 725 B.C., believed that "the Lord shall set forth his hand a second time to recover the remnant of his people...from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros (Upper Egypt) and from Cush (now Ethiopia and the Sudan).״ Only 70 years later another Hebrew prophet, Zephaniah, was to say ״From beyond the river of Ethiopia my supplicants, even the daughters of my dispersed, shall bring my offering.

That an Israelite population already inhabited the inland heart of Black Africa at this time is recorded by John Leo Africanus, a Fifteenth Century geographer and historian. In a translation of his book A Geographical History of Africa by John Pory, Africanus' records that at the beginning of the Ethiopian Hebrew Empire founded by King Solomon ״there inhabiteth a most populous nation of Jewish stock״ west of the Nile below the Sahara in a region between ״Abassin (Ethiopia) and Congo.״

A look at any map reveals that the region referred to by African inhabited by Jews in the Seventh and Eighth Centuries B.C. and afterward is precisely the ״Chad-Nile area" that Dixon" and other scholars say the root stock of Black Africans came, bringing with them the Hebrew oustoms of their forefathers as we have seen. At this point, it might be worth noting that the concept of the modern ״black״ man was largely unknown in ancient times. The modern concept to which we have reference is the one which classifies as black or colored anyone who is not pure white or does not have very distinctively Caucasian features. This concept is one of later European origin, and a distortion of historical fact. Most historians agree that the original Israelites bear little resemblance to the so-called ״white״ Jews of modem Europe and America. This is especially significant because it helps us better understand what is meant by the term ״black״ Jew. In addition, we can better accept the fact that Americans of Black African descent are related by blood and culture to the very earliest Israelites.

The conclusion that most white Jews do not descend from Israelites in the racial sense is affirmed by many scholars. Professor Karl Kautsky in his book Are the Jews A Race? summarizes the situation as follows: ״A mixed race from the start, the Jews in the course of their migrations have come into contact with a great succession of new races and their blood has become more and more mixed. ״Kautsky informs us that "As early as 139 B.C., Jews were deported from Rome because they made proselytes in Italy. It is reported from Antioch (in modern-day Turkey) that the majority of the Jewish congregation in town consisted of converts to Judaism, not of Jews by birth. Conditons must have been similar in many other places." " An Oxford University scholar, Professor Griffith Taylor, writes: "There is of course little relationship between the original Semitic Jews of Syria and the Russian Jew of Poland and vicinity." He affirms that the "Jews are not a race, but only a people." Professor Eugene Pittard summarizes the ethnic situation of white Jews in this way: "It seems to us that the least informed reader will come to the conclusion that no Jewish race exists in the zoological sense of the word. The Jews constitute a religious and social community, certainly very strong and coherent; but its (racial) elements are heterogeneous in the extreme."•*

Even Biblical evidence reveals that those who inhabited Palestine in that era were products of marriages with those of other groups. For instance, Juda, the son of Jacob, took a Canaanite wife (Genesis 38:2). Joseph married an Egyptian woman (Genesis 4:45). Samson married a Philistine (Judges 14:2f.) Solomon married wives from several different nations, including the daughter of an Egyptian Pharaoh (I Kings 3:1). And his son, Roboam, who was to succeed him, was born of an Ammonite mother (I Kings 14:31). And it is doubtful that these women ever were formally converted in any modern sense of that word. In retrospect, we see that the Hebrew peoples were a diverse people almost from the start. They had no single ethnic background. We know that the black African heritage is rooted deeply in this ancient stock.

The Bible everyone agrees serves as a source of religious inspiration for Jews as well as Christians and Moslems. More than that, it also is a source of historical information. Its main historical significance is not in the literal interpretation but in its broader implications in this framework, we might examine the Biblical account in Genesis 10:8-10 that "Cush begat Nlmrod (whose) kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." This means, according to the Encyclopedia Americana section on Nimrod, that he "was a Cushite, that he established the kingdom of Shinar (about 2450 B.C.), the classic Babylonia, (and) extended his kingdom northward along the Tigris over Assyria."* W. Max Muller, Professor of Bible Exegesis, says in his article in the Jewish Encyclopedia that Cush "evidently means the ancestors of the Nubians" who inhabited modern Ethiopia and Sudan. These facts affirm another Biblical account, Genesis 2:13, that the Sihon River bordered the land of "Ethiopia." This river today flows through the Caucasus mountains to the northern border of ancient Babylonia. Significantly, the Bible in Genesis 2:11-12 also calls this same region the "Land of Havilah." According to the section on this subject in the Encyclopedia Americana. Reference to Havilah is to a region that "was INHABITED by the sons of Cush."

In short, Babylonia at the time of King Nimrod was known variously as Shinar, Ethiopia and Havilah, the last two words signifying rule and inhabitation by Cushltes or black people. Some scholars prefer to place Havilah mainly along the Persian Gulf shores of the Arabian peninsula. This view, however, is entirely consistent with Havilah also being part of the Babylonian kingdom of Nimrod. The reason is because the two areas are next to each other or, more precisely, continuations of the same area. A.H. Sayce, a Professor of Assyriology at Oxford University, notes that the Bible in Micah 5*6 refers to the "land of Assyria" and the "land of Nimrod" as synonyms or duplicates of each other in the same verse, a common grammatical style in those days. This fact he says signifies that the domain of King Nimrod was the Empire of Assyria which then extended into and included the Arabian peninsula.' The fact that black people lived in southern Babylonia along the shores of the Persian Gulf extending into Arabia is verified by certain archeologlcal discoveries. George G. Cameron of the Department of Oriental Studies of the University of Chicago tells us that "there is some evidence that a protonegroid population once extended westward from India along the shores of the Persian Gulf."

The word "proto" is defined in the American College Dictionary as "a word element meaning *first, 1 •earliest form of•*"־•׳ Sir Harry Johnston, the noted authority on black anthropology and culture, observes "There is a curliness of the hair, together with a negro eye and full lips in the portraiture of Assyria which conveys the idea of an evident negro element in Babylonia." He also makes reference in the same section of his book to "the Asiatic negroid strain of Jews," undoubtedly referring to those living in the Persian Gulf area. Thus we have documentation that a negroid or black population lived in ancient Babylonia which the Bible says was called Shinar, Ethiopia and the Land of Havilah and which was ruled by King Nimrod about 2450 B.C. The question arises, why does the Bible put such stress on the Ethiopic origin of King Nimrod and his kingdom and what has this to do with the "original" Israelites? The answer is that his reign or dynasty coincides with certain written records about Abraham, the first Israelite, and Ur, the city-state from where Abraham came. According to both Arabic and Jewish histories, King Nimrod plays an important part in the early life of Abraham. In the Babylonian Talmud of the ancient Jews, we find for example reference to King Nimrod wanting possession of the child Abraham from the latter's father, Terah.

In Arabic history, Terah is portrayed as the chief vizier or minister of state to King Nimrod. Moreover "a statement of the Arabic writer-historian Yokut (is) that Hawil (viz., Havilah) was the dialect spoken" by the descendants of Midian, the son of Abraham.'־ The word Havilah, from which Hawil derives, refers to land inhabited by Cushites or black people as we just learned. More generally, Alfred Louis Kroeber, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, notes that "some scholars find similarities between the Sumerian of Early Babylonia and Modern African languages."^ This conclusion helps support the more specific findings that the dialect of Abraham's family was of African origin. Still another fact ties together the relationship of King Nimrod to Abraham. That is that the city-state of Ur, from where Abraham descended, was located in the southern plain of Babylonia very near the shores of the Persian Gulf. George B. Cameron says with reference to the years between 2500 and 2200 B.C. that during this period "the influence of Ur reigned supreme."

This period almost precisely coincides with the time when King Nimrod established his dynasty circa 2450 B.C. in this very same area.

Although it is difficult to postulate the exact circumstances about anyone who lived in antiquity, it seems plausible that one of the motives for Abraham leaving his home in Ur was the royal court intrigues to which he was subjected. This can be Inferred from Genesis 13 J2 which says that Abraham "was very rich in cattle. In gold and in silver" when we went to Egypt to get permission from the Pharaoh to settle in the Land of Canaan. His father appears to have been an important minister in the court of this king.

The Prophecy of Daniel (7:9) written in Babylonia refers to the Ancient of Days whose garment was snow white and "the hair on his head (was) like pure wool." Biblical scholars assign this reference to God. Even though we can tie Abraham to the Cushite dynasty of King Nimrod, the question remains about his relationship to the Semites. The answer is that the term "Semite" has come to mean something different from which it originally was intended. Historically,the ancient Semites were not a single or unified race but a group of disparate ethnic groups with, at most, a common cultural background.

For instance, the Bible in Genesis 10:22 says the Elamites were "children" of the Semites. Most scholars reject this literal interpretation. Instead, they accept the view expressed in The Biblical World that the relationship only reflects "a cultural fusion," and nothing more,; Because it is culture and not race which is basic in the historical determination of who is Semitic, it is not difficult to envision dark-skinned Semites of Cushite origin. We already have noted the Cushite antecedants of Abraham. In addition, we have the support of certain Biblical passages of later date. For example» in the writings called Lamentations, generally ascribed to Prophet Jeremiah, we have evidence that Israelites living about 600 B.C. still retained a dark-skinned appearance־ Lamentations 5:10 records that "our skin was black like an oven," as an illustration.

The close connection between Semites and Africa is further evidenced by the comments of certain scholars. For instance, G.R. Latham in his book Man and His Migrations has "the conviction ...that the Semitic tongues are simply African"*

And Dr. George A. Barton, Professor of Semitic Languages, cites in the Jewish Encyclopedia that "From Southern Arabia emigrants...established themselves in Africa....These Semites are known as Ethiopians," And they came, as you will note, from the direction of Havilah, the region inhabited by the Cushite descendants of Abraham. Without exploring other areas of Biblical and Middle East history, the preceding examples of the existence of a black proto-Israelite civilization under Abraham. There's an ultimate infusion into the blood and culture of native black Africa dating back to the eras of Moses and Solomon. The full extent of this ancient civilization is visible throughout Black Africa, not merely as subsidiary or secondary influences, but as underlying concepts in the beliefs and practices of native Black Africa« Africa is the Homeland of Judaism Too! The fact is that many, if not most of the key events that shaped Judaism and its subsequent influence on world civilization began in Africa. And these events, to the extent they underlie native black African culture and beliefs, never left Africa. Abraham first traveled to Africa where he received permis-slon to settle in the Land of Canaan. Moses, in many ways the founder of Judaism as we know it today, was born in Africa.

The scene of the all-Important Mosaic Revelation, when the Ten Commandments were given, occured in the Sinai peninsula, a part of Asia. The Levitical Laws of the Pentateuch, including the establishment of the Day of Atonement and Passover, were formulated in Asia. In addition, we have already seen the evidence that native African Hebrews settled Black Africa through their Ashanti, Fulani, Songhai, Bantu and other related ancestors. The final result is that what commonly is known as native black African civilization is rooted in a Hebrew culture as much at home in the soil of Africa as in the Middle East. To be sure, it contains much that is alien and corrupt as is true in Europe and Asia as well. But this does not negate the fact that most black Americans descend from the "root stock" of the earliest Hebrews. Black Americans can be proud of their African-Israelite ancestry. It is an integral part of their heritage, not Just an alien overlay. It has played a major role in shaping world civilization. And to the extent this ancestry is important to peoples of other races and colors, it reflects the full glory of a united humanity.

The African Israelites of the United States Rootless! This word, which means without roots, summarizes the plight of the Black man in America. Ruthlessly torn from his African roots, the black man was cast into slavery and denied his humanity. He was treated worse than an animal. Upon emancipation, he was left homeless, illiterate, impoverished, politically powerless, and without a family structure on which to draw sustenance. He had nothing but alien cultural and spiritual substitutes to comfort him in his anguish. The book THE HEBREW HERITAGE OF OUR WEST AFRICAN ANCESTORS tells the black man where his spiritual and cultural roots really are. It is, as we have seen, to be found in the Hebrew heritage of the Ashanti, and their Yoruba, Fulani, Songhoi and kindred ancestors. There are many thousands of black people in the United States who have awakened to the fact that they are descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel. There are over 250 congregations and other organizations throughout the country as testimony to this fact. Among the early pioneers of the Israelite movement Rabbi William Crowdy was among the first.

He founded the Beth El Temple association of Prophetic Judaism after Emancipation during the last half of the Nineteenth Century. Today, there are more than 50 temples which belong to this particular group. Its present Senior Rabbi is Howard Zebulon Plummer. There exist many other black Israelite congregations and centers. In 1915, there already were at least eight congregations in the New York City area alone. At that time, they had the benefit of learning about their heritage from black Hebrews who came from such far-flung places as Ethiopia, the West Indies, India, and North and West Africa. Some of the early leaders included Rabbi Joshua Ford who presided over Bnai Beth Abraham, Rabbi Israel ben Newman, Congregation Beth Zion, and Rabbi Wentworth Matthew of the Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation of Harlem. Altogether there presently are more than two dozen congregations in New York, some fifteen in Philadelphia, and temples and centers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Youngstown, Ohio, and elsewhere. There also are revitalized Israelite communities in the West Indies, Nigeria, East Africa, Israel, and other parts of the world. Besides their usual activities, most Afro-Israelite congregations have a program called "reclamation." Although similar in some respects to conversion, its purpose unlike the former is to assist the individual to reclaim for himself or herself his or her original African Hebrew heritage.

Most Israelite congregations have their own schools where they teach the Torah (Bible) for its moral, cultural and spiritual insights, as well as African Hebrew language, songs and dances, history and rituals. Emphasis is placed on education, good deeds, manliness and an equal role for women. They celebrate the major Hebrew holidays including Rosh Hashana (New Year), Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), Passover and the Sabbath. In addition to teaching African Hebrew history and culture, many congregations have instituted courses in Twi (Ashanti), Yoruba and related West African languages. In addition, the Afro-Israelites have their own schools of higher learning such as the Ethiopian Hebrew College in New York. Beth El Temple has its own seminary for training rabbis in Virginia; The Afro-Asian Israelite Cultural Center in Philadelphia also conducts elementary and advanced courses in all phases of Israelite life. To offset the negative effects of racism which has permeated our American society nearly its entire existence, Black Israel places special emphasis in its own noble heritage.

Sephardic Families Who Settled in South Africa

You actually had two or three routes and waves of migration.

-The early patterns of Jewish South African history are almost identical with the history of the Jews in the United States but on a much smaller scale, including the period of early discovery and settlement from the late 15th century to the early 19th century.

Portuguese exploration

The modern Jewish history of South Africa began, indirectly, some time before the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope, by the participation of certain astronomers and cartographers in the Portuguese discovery of the sea-route to India. There were Jews among the directors of the Dutch East India Company, which for 150 years administered the colony at the Cape of Good Hope. Jewish cartographers in Portugal, members of the wealthy and influential classes, assisted Bartolomeu Dias and Vasco da Gama who first sailed around the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 and 1497. Portugal's baptized Jews were still free until the Portuguese Inquisition was promulgated in 1536.

.... therefore, as in the Americas, the "earliest Jewish settlers" of SA would be of Portuguese / Sephardic Jewish & Converso / Ladino speaking origin. In theory anyway they would follow those marriage and naming patterns.

The Dutch Settlement

In 1652 the Dutch began the first permanent European settlement of South Africa under Jan van Riebeeck as a representative of the Dutch East India Company. It has been noted that:

A number of non-professing Jews were among the first settlers of Cape Town in 1652, despite restrictions against the immigration of non-Christians. Religious freedom was granted by the Dutch colony in 1803.

Jews did not arrive in any numbers at Cape Town before the 1820s .... The South African gold rush began after 1886, attracting many Jews fleeing Russian pogroms in the Lithuanian province of the Russian Empire.

Have the Words Malinke & Soninke Hebrew Origin Like These Two Peoples?

Sonin is an Ashkenazi last name. Malin is an Irish (the Irish are considered as Lost Israelites) town & a short form of the Hebrew name Magdala. Malin is also a Sanskrit word. In the Bible Maria Magdalene is a disciple of Jesus she was called thus because she was from the town of Magdala on the sea of Galilee the name of the city derives from the Hebrew/Aramaic word migdal, meaning tower.

Malinche is the name of a famous Mexican woman. In Hebrew the meaning of the name Che is: God will multiply. So Malinche would mean" God will multiply the tower". Was God warning the Amerindians with Malinche's name that the white man would surround them with fortresses & towers as a punishment for forgetting the Hebrew God?

"Ki" does seem to mean different things. In modern Hebrew, "ki" means the following: that, but, since, although, as, because, for. Basicly the suffix ki is the same as ke.

Ol Kalou Jewish community near Mt. Kenya, Laikipia District, Kenya

A relatively small emergent community of Black Jews has been forming in Laikipia District, Kenya, abandoning their Christian beliefs in exchange for Judaism. There are an estimated 5,000 of them at the present time. This group has connections to the Black Hebrews movement. Although at first Messianic, they concluded that their beliefs were incompatible with Christianity and are now waiting to be instructed in traditional Judaism.

Getting to the Ol Kalou community takes about four hours in a minibus 'matatu' that goes from somewhere in downtown Nairobi norhtwards to the trading center of Kasuku.

From Kasuku you take a 15 minute motorbike taxi ride. You learn the meaning of 'bumpy' and drive up to the railway tracks and over them without the driver so much as glancing from one side to the other, or slowing down.

If the road from Kasuku to Gathundia was surfaced the ride would be pleasant with hardly any other traffic and the area being quite scenic.

But the road isn't surfaced so after three and a half hours bouncing in a transit van the last thing you want is to go on a back crunching ride on a motorbike. But, if you haven't brought four of your own wheels, the motorbike is what's left.

The two founders of the jewish community of Gathundia and their children live cheek by jowl by the end of this rocky portion of road.

The synagogue is found on the land of Abraham Ndungu.

Abraham and his sons farm some 20 acres of land in their tiny community of aspiring Jews whose greatest wish is to be accepted as full Jews by the wider jewish community.

The community however lacks anyone trained in the orthodox stream of Judaism and when Avraham and Yosef made overtures to the orthodox community in Nairobi they were all but rejected. They were not given the welcome they had hoped for from the community but given a book by the rabbi and all but dismissed. This is standard procedure with converts who are only accepted into the fold after having shown great and persistant commitment to join the Jewish faith. The Jews of Ol Kalou have that commitment learning from the book which explained the jewish faith and rituals and passing their knowledge on to their children.

The Ol Kalou Jews also turned towards the Abayudaya community centered in Nabugoya near the town of Mbale in Uganda who are led by their conservative movement ordained rabbi Gershom Suzomu. When rabbi Suzomu visited the Gathundia/Ol Kalou community he was convinced of the sincerity of the community and extended the help of the Abayudayah community that was established in 1924. The rabbi facilitated the converting and educating of the children of Gathundia who make their way to the Abayudaya community in Uganda.

A number of the younger members of the Gathundia community have now undergone conversion by rabbis belonging to the Conservative movement in America. As the journey to Uganda is long and expensive for community members, it is unlikely that the older members will ever make the trip, or be recognized as Jews by any orthodox stream of Jewry. Another problem is that a bet din (religious court of three rabbis) to examine candidates for conversion is only convened in Nabugoyah the Abayudaya center every 3-5 years.

Jews of Côte d'Ivoire/Ivory-Coast

Contrary to the idea that the Jewish community in Côte d'Ivoire/Ivory-Coast is extremely tiny, it should rather be said discreet or invisible. Those who did not want to stay invisible and assimilate have emigrated to nearby Ghana and have settled there.

Otherwise, there's a congregation of about 300 members praying in a villa used as a synagogue called the Kabbalah Center. For lack of space the services are held in small groups. In the diaspora, the Jews from Ivory Coast are very active. For instance, they are in majority as African member of the FJN (Fraternite Judeo Noire).

Duala people

Total population (Total: roughly 400,000 if one includes all the subgroups (Bodiman, Ewodi, Pongo, Mungo, Bakweri, Isuwu, Bakundu...))

Predominantly Christianity and/or African traditional religion

Related ethnic groups Bakole, Bakweri, Bamboko, Isubu, Limba, Mungo, Wovea, Bakundu...

The Duala (or Douala) are an ethnic group of Cameroon. They primarily inhabit the littoral region to the coast and form a portion of the Sawa, or Cameroonian coastal peoples. Sawa is similar to Saba. Saba was an African-Arabian king encopassing modern Yemen, Eritrea & Ethiopia. Many Israelites went there & the kingdom's lands became officially Jewish. Eventually, according to traditions, many Israelites from the area went into the interior of the continent in many directions. The Duala might be part of their descendants.

They have historically played a highly influential role in Cameroon due to their long contact with Europeans, high rate of education, and wealth gained over years as traders and land owners.

The Duala are related to several ethnic groups (or tribes) in the Cameroon littoral, with whom they share a common traditional origin, and similar histories and cultures. These include the Ewodi, the Bodiman, the Pongo, the Bakole, the Bakweri (or Kwe), the Bamboko, the Isubu (Isuwu or Bimbians), the Limba (or Malimba), the Mungo, and the Wovea. The Batanga of the region of Kribi could be added to the preceding list as they claim they are descendants of Mbedi and they report some degree of mutual comprehension between their own language and malimba. Moreover, the language of the Bakundu (also called Oroko), although usually not classified as a Duala language, seems to be closely related to Bakweri (or Mokpwe), which is clearly a duala language. Thus the Bakundu may also be considered as a Duala people. The Duala have dominated the others historically, and these other groups all profess some sort of kinship to that people. In addition, many other coastal ethnic groups such as Balong, Bakossi... - who are culturally and historically more or less related to the Duala - are under Duala influence and most of these people speak Duala to some extent. Duala is also spoken by a great part of the Bassa and Bakoko people. The Bassa are regarded as Israelites. The word "Duala" may be used to refer to the Duala "proper" or to the whole set of Duala-like tribes or even possibly to some "duala-ized" Bassa, Bakoko or Manenguba tribes.


Early population movements

Early Duala history may only be conjectured from oral traditions. The Duala trace their ancestry back to a man named Mbedi, who lived in an area called Bakota in what is today Gabon or the Republic of the Congo. His sons, Ewale and Dibombo, migrated north and reached a place called Pitti on the Dibamba River. Here, the brothers parted ways after a row. Ewale moved to the mouth of the Dibamba with his followers and then northwest to the east bank of Wouri River estuary. Meanwhile, Dibongo and his companions migrated southeast to the Sanaga River and then split up, some heading upstream with Dibongo and others moving downstream with a man named Elimbe. Ewale's people became the Duala, and Dibongo's the Limba. The name Sanaga is similar to Sena, the city from which the Lemba came.

According to Duala traditions, the Bakoko and Bassa ethnic groups occupied the Wouri estuary when the Duala arrived. The Duala then drove them inland, a displacement that likely occurred in the late 17th or early 18th century.

The Duala emerged by the 16th century as the leading traders on the Cameroonian coast, though the Isubu and Limba did not trail far behind. The earliest Duala merchants were likely chiefs or headmen. The main Duala villages soon grew into a prospering township named Douala for the people who lived there. The coastal Duala purchased goods and slaves from interior groups such as the Bakweri, Mungo, Bassa and Bakoko. In turn, they sold these items to the Europeans, typically aboard their ships (and later at mainland factories or stores). In exchange, the Europeans provided alcohol, gunpowder, guns, mirrors, shoes, textiles, and tools.

Europeans traders did their best to support friendly chiefs against their rivals, adulating them with titles such as King, Prince, or Chief. In exchange, these indigenes offered trade monopolies to their patrons and sometimes ceded land. In this way, Ndumb'a Lobe of the Bell lineage propped himself up in the 19th century as King Bell. Heads of rival sub-lineages soon rivalled him, including the self-styled King Akwa (Ngando Mpondo) in 1814, King Deido (Jim Ekwalla) of the Deido (an Akwa splinter group), and Prince Lock Priso (Kum'a Mbape) of the Bonaberi.

By the mid-19th century, the British had taken the lead in trade with the Duala. This coincided with the abolition movement, and the Crown employed the traders to end slavery in the Gulf of Guinea. On 10 June 1840 and 7 May 1841, Akwa and Bell became the first to sign anti-slavery treaties. In exchange, the Europeans provided these rulers with annual gifts of alcohol, guns, textiles, and other goods. In addition, the rulers outlawed practices the British viewed as barbaric, such as sacrificing a chief's wives upon his death.

The British also wanted to mould the Duala to their own concepts of civilization. This meant educating them in Western learning and converting them to Christianity. Alfred Saker opened a mission in Douala in 1845. By 1875, numerous missions and schools sprung up in Douala and other settlements. The early missionaries learned the Duala language and invented a written form for it, as Bible translation was one of their earliest priorities. Cameroonian Pidgin English began to develop at this time.

Trade dramatically altered Duala society. European goods became status symbols, and some rulers appointed Western traders and missionaries as advisors. A high proportion of Duala grew wealthy through the new trade, and tensions arose between the haves and have-nots. Competition escalated between coastal groups and even between related settlements. Traders exploited this atmosphere, and beginning in 1860, German, French, and Spanish merchants had established contacts and weakened the British monopoly. The Duala had gained a virtual hegemony over trade through the Wouri estuary.

In response to the threat from foreign merchants, the British put pressure on the Duala kings to request British annexation. In 1879, King Akwa sent such a request; Bell followed suit in 1881 (some historians believe that these documents were faked, however).

When King Pass All of the Limba ceded his territories to the French, British traders expressed the urgency of annexing the Duala territories to the Crown. In July 1884, however, German explorer Gustav Nachtigal staged a coup by signing land-cessation treaties with Kings Akwa, Bell, and Deido. The British arrived too late and on 28 March 1885 ceded Victoria to Germany.

Opposition to German rule followed the annexation. Prince Lock Priso still favored the British and staged a rebellion in December 1884. Around this same time, King Bell faced off against his own people, who were largely opposed to the German rule. Bell then found himself up against the other Duala chiefs in the Duala War, which was fought over the killing of a Bonaberi Duala and Bell's alleged refusal to share his profits with the other sub-lineages. Germany stopped the conflict when one of its nationals was killed. Bell survived, but his power had diminished significantly. Realizing that the Duala would never again follow the rule of a single king, the Germans instead played the competitors against one another. They supported the weaker King Bell to counter the powerful King Akwa.

Despite the unrest and small land area, Duala territory became the economic and political nexus of Kamerun. The Germans initially ruled from Douala, which they called Kamerunstadt, but they moved their capital to the Bakweri settlement of Buea in 1901. Constant shipping traffic along the coast allowed individuals to move from one plantation or town to another in search of work. The coastal groups intermingled like never before, particularly the Duala and Bakweri.

German arrival on the mainland meant that the coastal peoples' monopoly on trade had ended. Most Duala turned to subsistence farming or fishing to survive. Years of contact with Westerners and a high level of literacy had allowed a literate upper class of clerks, farmers, and traders to emerge. This class were familiar with European law and conventions, which allowed them to pressure the German colonial government with petitions, legal proceedings, and special interest groups to oppose unpopular or unfair policies. A series of these began in 1910, when the German administration initiated a new poll tax, attempted to seize lands in Douala township, and then tried to oust the native population from the town completely. King Bell's successor, King Rudolf Duala Manga Bell tried to rally resistance by sending emissaries to visit the leaders of inland groups. Ibrahim Njoya of the Bamum tipped the Germans off, and Bell and his collaborators were executed in 1914 for high treason.

British and French administrations

In 1918, Germany lost World War I, and her colonies became mandates of the League of Nations. France became the new steward of Duala territories.

The Duala continued to prosper. Though the French had largely stripped their kings of power, almost half of the ethnic group's 15-20,000 members were important traders, plantation managers or owners, chiefs, or clerks in the civil service by the 1930s. The rest of the people were fishermen and farmers. By the 1940s, many Duala had attained prominence as builders, as well, servicing the growing cities of Douala and Victoria.

The new colonials maintained the German policies of ousting uncooperative rulers and of impressing workers for the plantations.

Individuals could opt to pay a fine to avoid the labor, however, which led to a dearth of workers from the wealthier areas. The French thus encouraged people from the interior to move to the coast and work the plantations (settled well away from the influence of the Duala chiefs). These immigrants were primarily Bamileke. The newcomers grew numerically and economically dominant over time, leading to ethnic tensions with the indigenes. By the early 1930s, the Duala were a minority in the town named for them.

By this time, the Duala had lost most of their reverence for Europeans. They did not hesitate to oppose new taxes and to demand their independence. On 19 December 1929, for example, four paramount chiefs sent a petition to the League of Nations asking for independence for the Cameroons. Their largest concern, however, was the return of seized Duala lands. This Duala land problem reached a head in 1925 when the French sold lands on the Joss Plateau that the Germans had appropriated. In response to pressure from the Bell clan, the French offered other territory in compensation. The Bells initially refused, but the Great Depression eventually prompted them to accept the French compromise. The Bells gained land in Bali district, and the French promised not to take any of the Akwa or Deido clans' holdings.

In the late 1930s, Alexandre Duala Manga Bell had emerged as the unofficial leader of the Duala proper. The French grew more hostile toward these Duala elites, whom they considered "precociously developed". In 1937, they expelled the Duala from Akwa town (an area of Douala), although they allowed them to maintain ownership of the land. During World War II, the French and British showed favouritism toward white-owned plantations, and many Duala-owned farms became unprofitable. Meanwhile, other Cameroonian ethnic groups had caught up to the Duala's lead in education and Westernisation. Over the next two decades, peoples such as the Beti-Pahuin and Bamileke came to rival the Duala's position.

At war's end, the United Nations set in motion the decolonisation of Africa. The Duala remained important in this process. For example, many Duala supported the pro-independence Union des Populations du Cameroun party (UPC) when it first formed. Other parties that had either Duala founders or significant backing include the Bloc Démocratique Camerounais (BDC), and Action Nationale (AN).

The Duala are primarily concentrated in Cameroon's Littoral Province in the Moungo, Nkam, and Wouri divisions. Their settlements lie largely along the coast or just inland. The Wouri estuary, where the Wouri, Mungo, and Dibamba Rivers empty, forms the centre of Duala country. Douala is their traditional capital, and many Duala live in and around the city, although today it has come to reflect the diversity of Cameroon as a whole.


The Duala today are divided into the urban and rural. Those who live in the cities, particularly Douala itself, earn a living at a number of skilled and unskilled professions. Many Duala still own parts of the city, allowing them to live off rents and development. The rural Duala, in contrast, work as fishermen and farmers, mostly at the subsistence level. Fishing is the trade of choice.

Traditional Duala society was divided into three strata. At the top were the Wonja, native Duala, with full rights of land ownership. The next tier consisted of the Wajili, either non-Duala peoples or the descendants of slaves. Finally, the Wakomi, or slaves, made up the bottom rung. Chiefs and headmen sat at the pinnacle of this hierarchy in the past, though today such figures have very little power in their own right. Instead, such individuals are more likely to own property and to have inherited wealth. Councils of elders and secret societies allow communities to decide important issues.

The Duala speak a language of the same name. The tongue is closely related to other Duala languages, which may represent a dialect continuum. For example, Malimba speakers have little difficulty understanding Duala. Duala is part of the Bantu group of the Niger–Congo language family.

Duala is used as a trade languages, due largely to the spread of the tongue by early missionaries. This is particularly true among the neighboring Wovea, many of whom speak Duala in lieu of their native tongue, and the Isubu, many of whom are bilingual in Duala.

In addition, individuals who have attended school or lived in an urban centre usually speak French, although English and German were more common in historical periods. The rate of literacy is relatively high among the Duala, though this is for reading and writing European languages.
At least until the German period, Duala men used a kind of "drum language", tapping out coded messages to communicate news over long distances.

Marriage and kinship patterns

Duala inheritance is patrilineal; upon the father's death, his property is split among his male heirs. The Duala have traditionally practiced polygamy, although with the introduction of Christianity, this custom has become rarer. The Duala have never barred marriage between sub-lineages of the same group, nor have they ever put much restriction on intertribal marriage. In fact, today, such unions have grown increasingly common, particularly in urban centres like Douala. Children of such marriages become full members of their father's ethnic group.


The Duala have been mostly Christianized since the 1930s. Evangelical denominations dominate, particularly the Baptist church. Nevertheless, remnants of a pre-Christian ancestor worship persist. As might be expected for coastal peoples, the sea also plays an important role in this faith. For example, Duala belief holds that their ancestors live in the sea. In this worldview, demi-human water spirits known as Miengu (singular: Jengu) live in the waters and mediate between worshippers and God. Other, evil sprits live in the forests and the sea, and many Duala believe that witchcraft holds a malign influence on everyday life. Traditional festivals held each year serve as the most visible expression of these traditional beliefs in modern times.

Assemblies, secret societies, and other groups play an important role in keeping the Duala unified, helping them set goals, and giving them a venue to find solutions to common problems. Chief among these is the Ngondo, an assembly of important chiefs. Another of these is the muemba (plural: miemba), a grouping of all Duala of a certain age range or tribal clan. The miemba serve to let their members network and socialise. Other secret societies include the Ekongolo, Jengu, Losango, and Munji.


The Duala are Bantu in language and origin. More narrowly, they fall into the Sawa, or the coastal peoples of Cameroon.


In addition to the tribal distinctions already noted, the Duala further sort themselves into a number of lineages or clans. Among the Duala proper, these are the Bonanjo (including the Bonapriso), the Bonaku, the Bonabela, and the Bonaberi. These names represent the principal families in each clan: Njo, Priso, Akwa, Ebele-Deido, and Bell, respectively. In addition, the Duala sometimes include the Bodiman, Pongo, and Wuri among their ranks, but not as sub-lineages.

Limba people

The Limba Sierra Leonese & Limba Cameroonese were probably once the same people.

The Limba are the earliest settlers in Sierra Leone. They came there around the second half of the first century AD. They have some similarities with the Hebrews in that they are the only tribe in Sierra Leone and I believe in West Africa today that is divided up into 12 or 13 types. Each type is named after the founder of the town they settle. For example you have the Tonkoh Limba from Tonkoh, the Selah Limba from Selah, the Mayefé Limba from Mayefé etc... Selah is a Hebrew word used seventy-four times in the Bible. It can be translated as "to lift up" or "to exalt". Is this Hebrew toponym found in Limba areas a fruit of chance or real Israelites were in Sierra Leone before?

The Limba are professional rice growers, sheep and goat herders, skilled craftsmen etc. During slavery most Limba were captured and sent to America (especially Virginia) to grow rice and work infields. Because of their skill in rice growing they where one of the most expensive groups of slaves.

The Limba of Sierra Leone are descended from a Hebrew Prophet and a Kushite (Ethiopian) Woman. They are related to Haile Selassie too.

Limba Sierra Leonese

Predominantly Christian and/or ancestor worshippers. Does this ancestral worship come from the deep love the ancient Israelites (& the current Jews) had for their ancestors?

Related ethnic groups Bakole, Bakweri, Bamboko, Duala, Isubu, Mungo, Wovea

The Limba (or Malimba) are an ethnic group of the Republic of Cameroon. They belong to the Sawa peoples, those of the Cameroonian coast. Perhaps the name Sawa is a deformation of the name Sheba/Saba. Saba encompassed the modern Yemen, Eritrea & Ethiopia & from this area are said to come the Israelite ancestors of the Limba Sierra Leonese.

Total population: 566,529 - 8% of Sierra Leone's population

Regions with significant populations: Sierra Leone

Languages: Limba, Sierra Leone English, Krio (creole)

Religion: Predominantly Christianity, large minority Islam

The Limba people are a major ethnic group in the Sierra Leone. They form the third largest ethnic group in the country, about 8.5% of Sierra Leone's total population (about 566,529 members).
The Limba are Indigenous people of Sierra Leone and speak various dialects of a language largely unrelated to other tribal languages in Sierra Leone. They are primarily found in the Northern Province, particularly in Bombali District, Koinadugu and Kambia District. During Sierra Leone's colonial era thousands of Limbas migrated to the capital city of Freetown and its Western Area. As a result, a significant number of Limbas can be found in Freetown and its surrounding Western Area. During the 16th, 17th, and 18th century, many Limba people were shipped to North America as slaves.

The Limba are mainly rice farmers, traders and hunters who live in the savannah-woodland region in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone. They predominate in 7 of Sierra Leone's 149 rural chiefdoms, and their community affairs are dominated by the local paramount chiefs.

Members of the Limba tribe believe that they have always lived in Sierra Leone in the Wara Wara mountains and were probably the first rulers of the country. It is believed by some historians that like the Temne, they are descendants of a once-powerful tribe coming from Fouta Djallon during the 12th century. They were also brilliant scholars and philosophers brought their knowledge of agriculture and trade with them and with that built a society based on this sole ideal: If you work and respect the land properly then you are worthy to enjoy the fruits of your labor. During the colonial era of Sierra Leone, many Limba people were captured and sold at Bunce Island as slaves to the Americas through the Atlantic slave trade. To escape this, many Limba people traveled to the capital city of Freetown and the Western area and as a result, most Limba are located in these places.


The Limba consider themselves to be a mountain people and have at points in their history found themselves pushed into the mountains particularly during the periods of Susu expansionism.

Historically, they also had to fight off incursions from the Fula and the Mandingo. The Limba take pride in their unique language which differs from the other languages spoken in Sierra Leone. Is this because it has more of a Hebrew component than others? As a result, Limbas strive to be very articulate with their vocabulary as a way of sticking out among the rest. They are mostly rice farmers, palm wine brewers and stone builders. They have names similar to the Temne people. They also have a past and current interest in politics, for example Siaka Stevens as the first president of Sierra Leone from 1971-1985, Christian Alusine Karamara-Taylor as a founding member of the All People's Congress and Paolo Conteh, the current defence minister and Eric Dura Sesay as the Bombali district chairman. According to folklore, Limbas make excellent political leaders because they are descendants of the original rulers of Sierra Leone. The Limba's main sport of interest is soccer which is quite common amongst nations in West Africa. Some popular Limba soccer players are Lamin Conteh and Saidu Tibati Kanu. The Limba have a spiritual home called Kakoia and they believe all Limbas return to the mountain through the town beyond a "door" through the rock. An ancient wooden figure discovered in a cave at Kakoia was probably made by the Limba people. This mountain could be the mountain Zion, a mountain that represents the Promised Land. They also have a folklore about spirits called Krifi but information about this is limited.

Religion and spiritual beliefs


The Limba in the southern province are mostly influenced by Christianity. Portuguese Christian missionary efforts began before the Protestant Reformation but had no lasting effects on the Temne. The Protestant presence accompanied the founding of Freetown in the late eighteenth century; Church Missionary Society representatives were active up the Rokel River and elsewhere in Temne country throughout the nineteenth century. In the 1890s the Soudna Mission was the first American mission in the Temne area; American Wesleyans and the Evangelical United Brethren subsequently joined the field. Today, 65% of Limba are followers of Christianity.


The Limba in the Northern Province are somewhat influenced by Islam. Muslim contacts probably go back several centuries, and fifteenth-century Portuguese were cognizant of Muslim peoples. Early traders, holy men, and warriors brought Islam into the Temne area from the north by the Susu and northeast by the Fula and Mandinka. Through the nineteenth century, as the volume of trade grew, Muslim influences increased; in the late twentieth century a significant proportion of Temne claim to be Muslim converts.

Although 30% of Limba have converted to Islam, they still practice their traditional religion, as well.
Most Limba surnames are Conteh 90%, Sesay 10%, Dumbuya 20%, Kargbo 25%, Samura 2%, Kamara 85%, Turay 4%, Bangura 4%, Thoronka 100%, Mansaray 5%, Koroma 15%, Kanu 12% and others.

At first look, without being thorough, several of these last names sound as coming from Kanaan (Kanu, Conteh) with the root Kan or they have a Hebrew part. Mansaray is composed of the Hebrew name Saray, which was the first name of Sarah, matriarch of the Israelites & Abraham's wife. Samura could derive easily from Samaria, capital of the Israelite kingdom of the north. Kamara could also be a deformation of Khumri, another from which the ancient Israelites were known. In Hebrew & Semitic languages vowels don't exist so it doesn't really matter if we find one or another vowel. Dumbuya has the typical Hebrew suffix "ya" which is short for Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac & Israel. The preffix ban in Bangura is pretty close to the Hebrew ben, meaning father.

Limba People from Cameroon

Total population in Cameroon 2,230 (2001)

Regions with significant populations: Cameroon

Languages Duala languages (Bakole, Bubea, Duala, Isu, Limba, Mokpwe, Wumboko)

Limba & Lemba are very similar names. The Lemba cohanim are called Buba & Bubea is a very similar word & name of one of the languages spoken by the Limbas. Coincidence?

The Limba (or Malimba) are an ethnic group of the Republic of Cameroon. They belong to the Sawa peoples, those of the Cameroonian coast.

History and geography

Limba and Duala oral history traces their ancestry back to a man named Mbedi. His sons, Ewale and Dibongo, parted from a place called Piti on the Dibamba River. Ewale moved to the mouth of the Dibamba with his followers and then northwest to the east bank of Wouri River estuary. Meanwhile, Dibongo and his companions migrated southeast to the Sanaga River and then split up, some heading upstream with Dibongo and others moving downstream with a man named Elimbe. Ewale's people became the Duala, and Dibongo's the Limba. Limba territory lies southeast of the Duala, east of the Wouri estuary, to the mouth of the Sanaga River, and up its course to Edéa in the Sanaga-Maritime division of the Littoral Province. Fishing is an important part of the diet.

The toponym Sanaga is also very similar to Sena, the toponym which the Lemba talk about so much. Coincidence again?

The Limba emerged as prominent traders during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Limba purchased goods and slaves from interior groups and sold these items to the Europeans, typically aboard their ships (and later at mainland factories or stores). In exchange, the Europeans provided alcohol, gunpowder, guns, mirrors, shoes, textiles, and tools. When the Limba king, Pass All, ceded his territories to the French, British traders expressed the urgency of annexing the Duala territories north of there. In July 1884, however, German explorer Gustav Nachtigal annexed all of Cameroon for the German Empire.

For the neighboring Duala a Wajili is either non-Duala peoples or the descendants of slaves. This is interesting because the Lemba use a similar word (wasenzhi) for non-Lemba. This is the very same concept that Israelites used for non-Israelites with the word gentiles.

Malimba is part of the Bantu group of the Niger–Congo language family. Malimba speakers have little difficulty understanding Duala. The Limba often utilise Duala and Mokpwe as trade languages, due largely to the spread of these tongues by early missionaries.

In addition, individuals who have attended school or lived in an urban centre usually speak French.
The Limba participate in the annual Ngondo, a traditional festival for all of Cameroon's coastal peoples, during which participants communicate with the ancestors and ask them for guidance and protection for the future. The festivities also include armed combat, beauty pageants, pirogue races, and traditional wrestling. The Mpo'o brings together the Bakoko, Bakweri, and Limba at Edéa. The festival commemorates the ancestors and allows the participants to consider the problems facing the Duala and humanity as a whole. Lively music, dancing, theatre, and recitals accompany the celebration.

Is this ngondo festival equivalent to any of the Israelite festivals?

Hadad People

Haddad or Hadad (Aramaic: , Hebrew: חדד) is an ancient Middle Eastern family name. Hadad was also a Semitic storm-god.

The original Haddad (Aramaic:  or ) name means Blacksmith in ancient Semitic languages. The Haddad name dates back to the ancient era of the Middle East. Haddad is the most commonly used surname in the Canaan region of the Middle East. People with the last name Haddad traditionally originate from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Yemen, Iran and Iraq. In the Aramaic-Turoyo dialect, the Haddads are also known as "Hadodo ". People with the surname Hadodo, are usually Assyrians from Tur Abdin. Although ancestry of the last name varies due to migration, there exists a variety of origins, and not all of the name carriers share the same blood line. There were several people in the Old Testament with this name. The name Zulu might derive from the Hebrew word zul, found in Isaiah 46:6 & meaning "lavish" despise. A primitive root (compare zalal); probably to shake out, i.e. (by implication) to scatter profusely; figuratively, to treat lightly -- lavish, despise. Perhaps the meaning scatter is because if their ancestors were Israelites they were scattered.

It's also interesting that this African people are also known as Danoa, which identically the same in Semite phonetics to Dan, an Israelite tribe that has the fame of being a very traveling one & there are are many Danite claims in Africa.

There Are Black Jews As Well As White Jews

Jewish tribal groups in Senegal are the descendants of the Tribe of Dan. The Ethiopian Jews can trace their ancestry to the tribe of Dan. The trans-migrants established communities in renowned places as Gao, Timbuktu (where UNESCO still maintains notable archives containing records of its old Jewish community), Bamako, Agadez, Kano and Ibadan.

Jewish tribes have been situated in the heart of Africa since the dawn of recorded history. Ethiopia is mentioned in the beginning of the Biblical Book of Genesis, and there is no time in history when there were not Jews living there. From Ethiopia, they went west and south into the heart of Africa. Other Jews also migrated directly west from Egypt, entering Africa along the northern coast of the continent.

Starting about AD 300, the Kingdom of Ghana began to be ruled by a dynasty of Jewish Kings known as the Za Dynasty. The founder of the Dynasty was a man named Za el Yemeni, who was descended from Jews of Yemen. He established his capital city at Gao on the Niger River, in what is now the nation of Mali.

According to the writings of Eldad the Danite, a famous Algerian Jewish author of the ninth century, Ghana was a Hebrew nation which followed the Law of Moses. The people of Ghana traced their roots to Jews of the First Diaspora of 600 BC, who were forcibly expelled from Israel by the Assyrians. In support of this, Eldad reported that the Ghanians possessed the Torah, which was compiled before the Diaspora, but not the Talmud, which was compiled in Jerusalem and Babylon much later, during the early centuries of the Christian era.

In the seventh century AD, the whole of Africa north of the Sahara desert was conquered by the armies of Islam. Subsequently, an extremely lucrative trade system developed with the Sub-Saharan Kingdom of Ghana. The commodities first traded were gold and salt. This led to the appearance of regular caravan routes across the Sahara Desert to various cities in Ghana. These cities became wealthy.

Shortly after the year AD 1000, the Kings of Ghana converted to Islam. Initially, the conversions were mainly for the purpose of fostering trade with the powerful Muslim states of North Africa, and had little to do with faith. But once Islam took root in the area, its impact grew inexorably.

The current Jewish homeland was set up on May 14, 1948, by the UN
"What I am trying to do is make the whole world safe for Jews," Harry Truman wrote as he wrestled over the decision to recognize a Jewish state in Palestine. Deeply affected by the Holocaust, Truman sympathized with Jewish aspirations for a homeland. In November 1947 he lobbied for the U.N. resolution that divided Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. Britain announced it would hand authority over Palestine to the U.N. by May 14, 1948.

The modern Ashkenazi Jews have tried to absorb all the Jews and say they are whole again and living in Israel - but that is not completely true because the 10 tribes have millions of people that are still scattered - (the U. S., the American Indians, the Chinese, the Indian Dalits, the Ethiopians, the Jamaicans...on and on).

The name Sephardim was attributed to the Jews who were forced to leave Spain and Portugal in 1492. Many of these settled in North Africa, other parts of Europe and the Ottoman Empire.

Genesis 15: Since I was a young child in the church, I remember the story of Abraham. I remember having read these very chapters and having sung the Sunday School song about Father Abraham. "Father Abraham, had many sons, many sons had Father Abraham, I am one of them and so are you, so let's just praise the Lord..." But the truth did not click for me then as it did today when I read Genesis 15 with the wealth of knowledge that I now have.

Genesis 15:13-14 from the King James Version of the Bible reads "And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance."

After having read this I said to myself, "I don't remember anytime in history where 'Jews' were enslaved for four centuries. The only people that I know of who were enslaved for four hundred years are American blacks who were taken from Western Africa." history that says that the blacks who are now inhabitants of North America are actually the descendants of Abraham. God will deliver black America as he promised Abraham.

If Jews were enslaved by the Romans for 4 centuries as blacks were, then either 1) there is a strong connection between today's Jews and American Blacks, 2) there was a conversion by some Europeans to Judaism, 3) there was a mixture with some Europeans with blacks to create white Jews with "kinky hair", or 4) some other conclusion. The other question I have is what is the span in years of a generation? I am referring to a generation because in Genesis 15:16 (Kings James Version) it reads:

"But in the fourth generation they (Abraham's descendents) shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." In the Contemporary English Version it reads: "Four generations later, your descendants will return here (this bible notes that Amorites refers to a name sometimes used of the people who lived in Palestine before the Israelites) and take this land, because only then will the people who live here be so sinful that they deserve to be punished."

The Yibir of Somalia

One of the most tragic countries is Somalia. During the latter half of the 20th century, Somalis suffered from famine, national wars, civil wars, life under warlords, and a complete lack of infrastructure. Although all Somalis have had to learn to survive troublesome circumstances, there are likely no greater survivors than the people from the Yibir tribe, who are a mysterious outcast clan in a failed state.

In predominantly Muslim Somalia, the other tribes and clans have despised the Yibir because of their alleged Jewish origins. In Somali, “Yibir” means Hebrew. If the Yibir practiced Judaism in the past, they haven’t done so for at least 800 years. In 2000, the “sultan of the Jews,” Ahmed Jama Hersi, mentioned to a reporter that he didn’t know anything about Judaism; he was a practicing Muslim. Even if given the opportunity, few would immigrate to Israel or convert from Islam. This doesn’t lessen the scorn that other Somalis heap on the tribe. Even young Yibir often decline to mention what tribe they are from as they are ashamed of their low-caste status.

It is uncertain whether the Yibir will ever make significant progress. For many years, the law forbade them an education. The so-called sultan could barely spell his name. As a result, the tribe has usually only worked in base trades, such as metalworking or shoemaking. In recent years, Somalia finally established a central government. During the preliminary proposals, the framers allotted one seat to the Yibir in the lower house of the assembly.

The Possible Hebrew Origin of the Names of the Lost Israelites known as Iberogen, Igdalen, Ingalci or Ingelshi

Meaning of the Hebrew Word Ogen of Iberogen

The Hebrew word ogen means "anchor"; the woman is "anchored," tied to a situation from which there seems to be no release.

Mishna: If a man sold a ship, he sold also the mast, the anchor (ogin) Gemara: Toren is the mast (iskarya) ... Nes is the sail (idra)...Ogin (anchor) - R. Hiyya taught: these are its anchors, as it said, "Should you wait for them to grow up? Should you shut yourselves off for them (te'agenah) and have no husbands?" (Rut 1:13)

And both Jastrow and Ben Yehuda write that ogen and aguna are related.

Igdalen might come from several different Hebrew words.

Yigdal (“may he be magnified”) is often the concluding prayer of the Friday evening service in Sephardic congregations; the Ashkenazim recite it during weekday morning prayers. This prayer, believed to be composed by R Daniel bar Judah, is based on the “Thirteen Principles of Faith” described by Maimonides in his book, Commentary on the Mishnah. Yigdal restates the first two commandments of the Ten Commandments — “I am the Lord thy God” and “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Yigdal is a powerful hymn reminding the Jewish people of the power of God.

Perhaps the Sephardi Jews leaving Spain, when they arrived in the Sahara, received this name after the worshipping of their God. Many Sephardis ended up in the Sahara indeed. Moreover, Igdal is pretty much the same as Yigdal, as it happens with Israel & Yisrael.

Igdal is a Jewish last name, but in this case is Sephardic. Igdal is also similar to the Hebrew word Migdal, meaning tower.

Ingalci or Ingelshi

The French suffix -ci can be added to nouns or demonstrative pronouns to mean this, these, or the latter.

The Akkadian language, a Semitic one, like other regional imperial languages, left an influence on later languages like Hebrew, Assyrian, Arabic... The Accadian suffix ci "land" might have passed to Hebrew. If the Ingals are Lost Israelites then Ingalci would mean "Land of the Ingals". The suffix shi is clearly another derivation of the suffix ci.

Ingall is angel in German. Ingal/Ingel are ancient forms of the Angles' tribal name. Engel is angel Dutch, Danish & Norwegian. Engel is also German last name. The name Engel, just like the name Engels, is most often a last name of Jewish or Hebrew origin. There are many Holocaust survivors with this name. Also there are several variations of Engel (ie Engels, Ingel, Ingal, Ingalls, Ingels).

Issawane is a village and rural commune in Niger. The Aissawa (also Aissawa, Issawa, Aissaoua, Issaoua) is a religious and mystical brotherhood founded in Meknes, Morocco, by Sheikh al-Kamil Mohamed al-Hadi ben Issa (or Aissa) (1465–1526), best known as the Shaykh Al-Kamil, or "Perfect Sufi Master". Sufism is regarded as a Muslim subdivision, but crypto-Jewish in a way. Is it by chance that this sect is Sufi & has the very name of these Lost Israelites' language?

As said above, the word Issawi or Issaoui can refer to: The Sawaq language, or Tasawaq, sometimes also called Ingelshi, is a northern Songhay language spoken by the Issawaghan (or Ingalkoyyu), a community surrounding Ingal in Niger.

The Israelites of Africa

(A Means to Preserve the Oral Traditions)

This book is about a large diaspora of Israelites.

“From beyond the rivers of Kush (Ethiopia) my worshippers, the daughter of My dispersed ones, shall bring My offering." (Zephaniah 3:10, ISR Translation)

PREFACE This is a brief book of the Israelites in the African diaspora. After reading this book you will know that Africa has a large population of Israelites in the diaspora. I am putting this book together, because I see an urgency of history that needs to be documented before it will no longer exists. Our Elders are dying off. Once they die the oral traditions will leave with them. As the old African proverb says," If an Elder dies it is as if a library has burned down." As you go through my book I will quote from a lot of references to further your research. Hopefully this book will end the foolish idea of calling African Israelites Hamites when "African American" Israelites share common ancestry with these people. If our brothers are Hamites that would make us Hamites too. We must understand this true fact. Many Hebrews are African. Israel is really located partially in Africa. It's culture is African. Let us not also forget that we sojourned in Africa (Egypt) for 430 years. We were Semitic people living in the continent of Africa. We need to stop listening to misinformed brethren who are pushing a false twelve tribe chart excluding our people in Africa. This is just as bad as the doctrine that all European people are Esau. How is that possible when we have a tribe in Nigeria called the Edo who are descendants of Esau? Before we begin we must understand and know the true borders of Israel. Israel is in Northeast Africa & Southwest Asia. The "Middle East as a region did not exist until the 1800s. The original borders were from the Nile to 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, ISR Translation ) Let us now begin.

The Bani Israel (Sons of Israel) community in Senegal "These Israelites are said to have migrated from Egypt about a thousand years ago. Their lineage is from the Drame and Sylla clans. Today most of them practice Islam but have not forgotten their Israelite roots. They have a sacred tree in their possession that Jacob our father planted when they first settled there. Within their culture are Hebraic customs that are clearly evident." "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 Mandingo 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"."

Dougoutigo Fadiga outside the Bani Israel clinic near the Senegalese village’s sacred tree, May 2013. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

The Yibir tribe of Somalia

"The Yibir in Somalia is one of the few known Muslim communities worldwide that maintains Jewish descent. The community is small and tightly knitted, numbering not more than thirty thousand. The name Yibir, also pronounced Yibro and Yahar, simply means Hebrews."(2) "Although the question as to how Judaism has arrived to Somalia has not been previously researched, certain Yibir cultural features seem to indicate that the community has branched out of an older Beta Israel–Ethiopian Jewish population. (As reported in Jon Entine’s Abraham’s Children, genetic evidence has confirmed that the formation of the Beta Israel goes back approximately to the fourth or fifth century). Both groups, the Beta Israel and Yibir, are perceived as outcasts by their host populations and are associated with magic and superstition."

Israelites of Cameroon (Bamileke, Basa, Mbo, Hausa, Bankon)

"Jews from Cameroon are said to originate from Egypt. In order to escape the Islamic conquest of North Africa they were pushed towards the Equator and settled in Central West Africa 1,200 years ago. The largest Israelite tribe in Cameroon is the Bassa people of Douala in the Littoral province. Most of the early migrants had built synagogues but there are no records of existing ones in Cameroon today. King Alexander Bell who ruled the Douala region of Cameroon in the late 19century was a practicing Jew. His family is said to have originated from Israel and migrated to Egypt and then Cameroon. His children are said to have been going to shul, putting a yarmulke on. By blood, they have been Cameroonian Jews for many generations. The dynasty of King Manga Bell has survived till date. The kings are crowned in ceremonies that look Jewish. The Cameroonian born Rabbi Yisrael Oriel’s grandfather is said to have built a synagogue, now in ruins, of which his uncle had been the last gabbai. According to Rabbi Yisrael, in 1920 there were 400,000 'Israelites' in Cameroon. But by 1962 the number had decreased to 167,000 due to conversion from Christian and Islamic missionaries. Other Jewish tribes in Cameroon are said to include Haussa, descended from the tribe of Issachar, who were forced to convert to Islam in the eighth and ninth centuries, and the Bamileke who are largely Christian." The Mbo tribe is the father of the Bamileke chiefdoms Fongo Tongo, Foto, Foreke Dschang, and Fondongela. This of course would also make them Israelites. "Bankon (Abaw, Abo, Bo, Bon) is a tribe related to Basaa and Rombi groups, located in the north of Douala city, Abo subdivision, Bonalea commune, in the Littoral region of Cameroon.

 The word Ban-Kon means "son of prince" in Assyrian, an Aramaic dialect. In her works "The Negro-African Languages", the French scholar Lilias Homburger concluded that Bankon language is Kum. The word Kum means "arise" or "get up!"in Hebrew; the Assyrians called the House of Israel by the name of Kumri." The capital of Cameroon is called Yauonde which is Yahudi (Jew). In modern times very often Rabbinical Judaism is a stumbling block to many Cameroonian Jews. Many Ashkenazis are pushing the lie that the Cameroonian Jews are converts and not Israelites. The same can be said in Uganda which we will address later.

Joel Abena Kono (Hebrew name: Aaron).

The Israelites of Sierra Leone (Temne, Mende, Mandingo, Kono, Limba)

There is a strong presence of the House of Judah in Sierra Leone (Lion Mountains). As I write this now they are gradually returning back to the Torah. The Temne, and Limba are said to come from the tribe of Judah with a lineal connection with King David. The Temne practice Hebrew customs such as circumcision, reverence of the Sabbath day, polygamy, purification rituals, and putting the Shema on their doorpost. " Temne people wear skullcaps called the "Kalapra" which is identical to the Hebrew skullcap "Kippah". Their prayer shawl like the Hebrew Tallit is called a "Brenea".

Traditional Temnes also wear the fringes, or tassels on the borders of their garments. 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/Guenea, and later Sierra Leone." It is well known that the Mende, Mandingo, Mande, Mandinka are related to the Temne and the Limba people. Some have said that they are descended from Bilal ibn rabah who was from the tribe of Judah. There is also evidence that the Mandingo and Mande could be from the tribe of Ephraim. "In Mauritania and Mali the Moorish Ephraimites became known as the Bafar or Bafour. This classification included the Mande tribes of which the most prominent are the Mandingo who were also known as the Malinke and Soninke."

 The Mandan Israelites have been coming to the Americas way before Columbus. Most of the tribes came to Africa after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E. The Kono tribe has traces of Levitical practices within their culture. Their language also has evidence of a mixture of Hebrew and Egyptian dialect. Even though there is a strong presence of Islam in Sierra Leone, the Hebrewism is definitely on the rise bringing unity among the tribes. The Israelite Assembly "The Congregation of YAHUAH in Sierra Leone" in Freetown Israelites of Liberia (Dei, Krahm, Kru, Kwa, Dan/Yakuba, Grebo) There are many Israelite tribes within Liberia. The Bodia among the Grebo are similar to the Levitical priest. When he is a corinated, he is anointed, a ring is put on his ankle as a badge of office.

His doorposts are then sprinkled with the blood of a sacrificed goat. The Grebo, Kwa, Kru, Krahm, and Dei are all basically the same people. They call the Creator Nyenswah. Nyenswah, as he is called, is almost identical to the name of the Hebrew Messiah YAHUSHA (Yeshua,"Jesus"). How would they know of him unless their ancestors encountered him. This reminds me of the Temne of Sierra Leone who call him Nabi Yashu when making sacrifices. The Yoruba of Nigeria call him Obatala. Obatala has a story very similar to the death, descent into underworld, and Resurrection of the Hebrew Messiah. This is definitely proves that; one: the Messiah existed: two: his early followers descendants are residing within Africa today. This also proves that the divinity of the Messiah is not a recent concept cooked up by Constantine at the Council of Nicea, as some believe. The Dan/Yakuba tribe is from, of course, the tribe of Dan. Yakuba comes from, of course, the Hebrew Patriarch Ya'aqob (Jacob).

Israelites of Mali

"During the 8th century, the Radhanites (Jewish African, multi-lingual traders) began to settle in Timbuktu, Mali. There they established a trading center from which they set up a network of trading routes throughout the desert. More Jews began to arrive in the 14th and 15th centuries, fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. Then in 1492, the local King, Askia Muhammed, threatened the Jews with death if they did not convert to Islam. As the historian Leo Africanus wrote in 1526: "The king (Askia) is a declared enemy of the Jews. He will not allow any to live in the city. If he hears it said that a Berber merchant frequents them or does business with them, he confiscates his goods." While some chose conversion, many fled from the country. In 1860, Rabbi Mordechai Abi Serour emigrated from Morocco with several Jews to trade in Timbuktu. Rabbi Serour had to negotiate with the local authorities to obtain “protected people” status. The newly arrived congregation established a synagogue and Jewish cemetery in the area. By the early 20th century no Jews remained in Mali". "In the mid-1990s, however, thousands of so called ‘Hidden Jews,’ began a Malian Jewish revival in Timbuktu, Mali; many reclaiming their Jewish heritage. In 1993, Ismael Diadie Haidara, a historian from Timbuktu, established an organization called Zakhor (Timbuktu Association for Friendship with the Jewish World). This organization is predominately composed of Malians, descendants of Jews.

Over the years, much of the Malian Jewry’s history has been uncovered; it was once concealed to avoid persecution." "There are several thousand people of undoubted Jewish ancestry in Timbuktu, Mali. In the 14th century many Moors and Jews, fleeing persecution in Spain, migrated south to the Timbuktu area, at that time part of the Songhai Empire. Among them was the Kehath (Ka'ti) family, descended from Ismael Jan Kot Al-yahudi of Scheida, Morocco. Sons of this prominent family founded three villages that still exist near Timbuktu—Kirshamba, Haybomo, and Kongougara. In 1492, Askia Muhammed came to power in the previously tolerant region of Timbuktu and decreed that Jews must convert to Islam or leave; Judaism became illegal in Mali, as it did in Catholic Spain that same year. As the historian Leo Africanus wrote in 1526: "The king (Askia) is a declared enemy of the Jews. He will not allow any to live in the city. If he hears it said that a Berber merchant frequents them or does business with them, he confiscates his goods." - The Kehath family converted with the rest of the non-Muslim population. - The Cohens, descended from the Moroccan Islamicized Jewish trader El-Hadj Abd-al-Salam al Kuhin, arrived in the Timbuktu area in the 18th century. - The Abana family came in the first half of the 19th century."

Guinean Israelites (Fula, Susu, Soninke, Baga)

Many Israelites migrated through Guinea after the end of the Mali Empire. Many of them still remain there today. The Soninke, Susu, Baga... share relation with the Mande and Temne Israelites. The Soninke Jews founded the Israelite Ghanian Empire. They and the Baga are said to come from the tribe of Judah. These tribes migrated from the East before the Mali Empire.That being the case that would mean that they share ancestry with the Ashanti of Ghana, who also come from the Southern kingdom of Israel, the House of Judah. Fulas are Israelites who some believe migrated from Assyria. "Some believe that they are from a Semitic origin. According to the tradition, the ancestors of Fulani is Jacob son of Israel, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, then 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 moved along the edges of the Sahara to Touat-Air and then to West-Africa."

Susu people with djembe and balafon (photograph of unknown origin presented at the International Colonial Exhibition of Paris in 1931)

Beta Israel and Beta Abraham of Ethiopia

The Beta Israel are from the union of King Solomon of Israel and Makeda, Queen of Ethiopia. From this union they bore a son called Menelik. This began the Solomonic dynasty in Ethiopia. More on this account can be found in the Kebra Negast (Book of the Kings). The Beta Israel were forced to let go of the traditions that they have been practicing for thousands of years so that they could embrace the traditions of the Ashkenazi Jews. Mainstream Jewry believes that these Jews are from the tribe of Dan. You can not deny that Judah is among them. We know Menelik is one proof of this. Levi is also among them since it is documented that Levite priests came to Ethiopia with Menelik. "In Ethiopia the community known as Beit Avraham has some 50,000 members. This community also claims Jewish heritage. Several scholars think that they broke off from the Beta Israel community several centuries ago, hid their Jewish customs, and outwardly adopted Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity.

Beta Israel

Beit Avraham have traditionally been on the lower rungs of Ethiopian social life and have held occupations similar to those of the Beta Israel, such as crafts. Recently, the Beit Avraham community has made attempts to reach out to the world Jewish community. They formed the Ethiopian North Shewa Zionist Organization in an attempt to save their Jewish identity. Another name of this group is Falashmura. Without reliable proof of Jewish ancestry, they are required to complete a formal conversion to be recognized by Israel or other Jewish communities as Jews and are considered converts."(11) I do not agree that these people are converts. I believe they are blood descendants of Abraham Isaac, and Jacob. It is amazing when a person from Africa proclaims their Israelite heritage it is always stated that they "claim". You will rarely hear about anyone challenging Ashkenazi Jews. I have no problem with someone converting to the Hebraic Way. To tell an Israelite to convert to "Judaism" or take a DNA test is an insult. Beta Israel

The Lemba and Zulu Israelites of South Africa

"The Lemba are a Jewish people in southern Africa. Although they speak Bantu languages similar to their neighbors, they have specific religious practices similar to those in Judaism and other Semitic traditions. They also have a tradition of being a migrant people, with clues pointing to an origin from Yemeni Jews. They have restrictions on intermarriage with non-Lemba. It is difficult for male non-Lemba to become part of the community. A significant number of individuals carry a genetic signature on the Y chromosome known as the Cohen modal haplotype, indicative of a Semitic paternal ancestry. Amongst Jews, this Y chromosome trait is particularly associated with the Kohanim or priests, a distinct subgroup of Israelites. It can also be found in other non-Jewish Y-DNA Haplogroup J populations across the Middle East and beyond. Though the Lemba are descended from Jewish ancestors, they have not practiced Judaism for many centuries. Although the vast majority of Lemba, like the eastern and western Jews who see no difficulties in claiming Jewish heritage but not practicing the religion itself, do not see a contradiction in proclaiming their Hebrew heritage while practicing Christianity or Islam. Lately, some have wanted to shift towards mainstream Judaism."

The Lemba are said to have dwelt in the Moab city Lemba. (Jos.Ant. 13.15.4.)  Unless they are digging up bones of the ancient Israelites and base the test on them. How can you base Israelite DNA test on European converts? Apparently they base the test on Jews in Tunisia. I do not believe that all Lemba’s are Levites. According to the scriptures Levi were scattered among the two Houses of Israel.

There has got to be the other Southern tribes living among them (Judah and Benjamin). Among many tribes in Africa there has got to be Levites. Only the Levites were able to practice the sacrifices. The Zulu are Israelites and rather the Lemba like to admit it are not, they are related to them. The Zulu practice such customs as circumcision, first-fruits, brother marrying the wife of dead brother. The blood on the lintel of the door posts, sin offerings, and not touching the bodies of the deceased are more evidence of their Hebraic origins. Some believe that they are from the tribe of Gad. I believe that there is a strong presence of Judah among them.

Zulu Israelite

Israelites of Uganda (The Abayudaya)

"The Abayudaya Jewish Community is a 100-year-old community of nearly 2,000 Jews who live among their Christian and Muslim neighbors in scattered villages in the fertile green hills of Eastern Uganda. The Abayudaya, whose tribal name means "People of Judah," trace their Jewish origins to the turn of the twentieth century. The Abayudaya began their journey to Judaism under the leadership of Semei Kakungulu, a powerful leader who was selected to be a Christian missionary for the British.

However, Kakungulu favored the Hebrew Bible and in 1919 the community began practicing Judaism. After Kakungulu’s death in 1928, some members drifted away. In 1971, Idi Amin Dada came to power, and banned Jewish practice. Many in the community were forced to convert to other religions. After the fall of Amin in 1979, the remnants of the Abayudaya community gathered to rebuild the community. Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, grandson of community elder "Rabbi" Samson, lives near the Moses Synagogue in the village of Nabagogye which he and others from the community's early 1980s "Kibbutz movement" built with their own hands. He was youth leader of the Abayudaya community from 1988 to 1998. Their goal was to gather what was left of the Abayudaya community back together after the devastating reign of Idi Amin Dada ended in 1979. Even though the Abayudaya regard themselves as Jews, they realized that their isolation from the Jewish world was both dangerous and an obstacle to gaining a deeper understanding of Judaism. Beginning in the spring of 2002, at the community's request, Conservative rabbis joined Rabbi Sizomu in supervising the conversion or "affirmation" of most of Uganda's Jews in the community's mikvah, a process that continues today."Once again we can see the deception of the Abayudaya being classified as converts. These people are Israelites by blood. The Town Kampala comes from the Hebrew word Palal meaning El has judged. In Ishasha there is a tradition of 33 kings in Uganda that are descended from King David. “Speaking of Uganda to the West of Lake Victoria and Northeast of the Belgian Congo. It has an organized government with a tradition of 33 kings and a legendary line that traces back to King David. It is a proud history, the legend tells of the Ugandan people crossing the Nile centuries upon centuries ago and subduing all tribes whose countries they traversed. They claim the highest civilization in Africa.”

Ugandan Israelites

Nigerian Israelites (Igbo, Yoruba, Idoma, Akwa Cross People) A large amount of Igbo (Eber, Hebrew) Israelites are from the tribe of Gad and descendants of Eri. You will also find the tribe of Levi, Zebulon, Uda/Judah among the Igbo people. Many Hebrew artifacts were found among them but were taken by the British. The British found the Shield of David among the Igbo people. This is what inspired them to mint the Nigerian coins with the Shield of David. The Igbo people have been wearing the Kippah and Tallit long before they encountered Ashkenazis. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The Yoruba people have a clan living among them called the "Emo Yo Quaim" (Strange people). They are the B'nai Ephraim/Sons of Ephraim. "The Bnai Ephraim (“Children of Ephraim”) from Nigeria, live among the Yoruba nationalities. Their oral history tells that the Bnai Ephraim people came from Morocco after the Jews were banished from the Iberian Peninsula sometime after 1492. They speak a dialect that is a mixture of Moroccan Arabic, Yoruba, and Aramaic. They are known by the Yoruba people as the “Emo Yo Quaim”, or “strange people”. Unlike other African Israelite communities in Nigeria, the Bnai Ephraim have the Torah, portions of which they keep in their sanctuaries. The name Lagos borne by the former capital of Nigeria is a Portuguese/Iberian name meaning the lake. Lagos is an Island carved up by lagoons, swamps and lakes. Its traditional Nigerian name is Eko. Thousands of refugee Jews of Iberia re-settled in the environs of Lagos and Porto Novo (as well as in Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, and in Sao Tome either as slaves or outlaws).

Some groups eventually made it deeper inland and became assimilated into one nationality or the other. The Bnai Ephraim provides a living and irrefutable proof of this barely known history of mass Jewish re-settlement in West Africa, between 1492 and 1692, a 200 year non-stop return of Jews to Africa. This set of Moorish refugees are not to be confused with more ancient Hebrew and Canaanite tribes that had been living in Nigeria and other African countries for thousands of years. The Black Jew series on Rasta Livewire deals with the relatively more ancient Hebrews of Africa. The Bnai Ephraim did not settle with the Yorubas by accident or chance. They recalled that a body of their people had departed Canaan in the ancient times and had settled in the present day Yoruba areas of Nigeria, just like their own group – Bnai Ephraim – had settled in Iberia (Spain and Portugal). So, when it happened they had to leave Iberia in a hurry to protect their lives and freedom, those Moorish-Iberian Jews sailed on their network of ships to Nigeria Africa, near Lagos amongst the Yorubas, their relation by blood, their greater nationality."(17) The Idoma people are a small tribe that are closely related to the Igbo. They have a rich Hebraic culture. Before British colonization they wore fringes on their garments like their Israelite ancestors. Circumcision, sacrifices, and paying a bride price are within their culture. What I found very interesting is that if a man cannot pay a dowry for a bride he can instead work for his future father-in law for his bride for seven years. This is exactly what Jacob/Israel did for Leah and Rachel in the Scriptures!

Akwa Cross Israelites (Annang, Efik, Eket, Ibibio, and Oron)

They are members of the Northern Kingdom of Israel who left before the Babylonian captivity and migrated to the Efik/Ibibio/Annang land of Nigeria from Egypt to Ethiopia. The Akwa Cross Jews are of the Benei Yisrael.

Ghanaian Israelites (Ashanti, Ga-Dangmes, Sefwi)

"The first traces of Judaism in Ghana appeared in 1976, thanks to a Ghanaian man named Aaron Ahomtre Toakyirafa. Living in the community of Sefwi Sui in Western Ghana, Toakyirafa had a vision and "spoke with spirits" driving him to believe that he and his fellow Ghanaian's were indeed descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel. He saw a clear connection and many similarities between his people's practices and those of Judaism. For example, it was a tradition in Sefwi for Saturday to be a day of rest. Such a strong tradition that Sefwi that didn't adhere to it were frequently punished. Sefwi also followed the Jewish dietary law restricting the consumption of pork. Members of the male community were circumcised in youth. Toakyriafa was first viewed as crazy but over time his vision became more and more readily accepted. Toakyirafa's certainty about his ancestry only grew as he traveled to the Ivory Coast. He studied the history of the population of Sefwi. The Sefwi had traveled south to Ghana but had come through what is now the Ivory Coast. He was convinced that the Jewish community of the Ivory Coast had migrated there from other documented Jewish communities."

After his trip to the Ivory Coast, Toakyriafa began educating the Sefwi Sui and Adiembra communities about their Jewish heritage. He taught them Jewish practices and traditions, integrating Judaism into their lives and preaching the study of Judaism to others. They called themselves the House of Israel."(18) The Ashanti are said to have migrated from Yemen. They don't fight on Saturday (Sabbath) but they rest instead. Like the Hebrews of old they marry within their own tribe. The Ashanti Israelites observe the laws of uncleanness after child-birth, purification rituals, menstrual seclusion law, and ceremonial ablutions. They also have a breastplate like the High Priest of Israel divided in twelve parts, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. (19) The Fanti tribe are closely related to the Ashanti Jews. I believe they are one and the same people. "Oral history had it that Ga-Dangmes people migrated from Israel about 6th Century B.C through Egypt, then to Ethiopia, having been expelled or exiled by the Assyrians (Hebrew Biblical Revelations, July 2008). In Ethiopia, they settled in the Gonder Province in northern Ethiopia, where the Blue Nile originates. That is where the name NAI WULOMO, meaning, HIGH PRIEST OF THE NILE comes from. In 640 B.C, the Assyrians attacked the Ga-Dangmes again while they were in Ethiopia. From Ethiopia, they traveled through Southern Sudan and settled for a period of time at Sameh in Niger and then to Ileife in Nigeria. They migrated again in 1100 A.D and settled at Dahome and later, traveled to Huatsi in Togo where they stayed briefly. From Huatsi, the Ga-Dangmes traveled to the eastern banks of River Volta (known as JOR). From there, they crossed the Volta River at a place between the Old Kpong and Akuse and established settlements on the plains of Tag-logo where they lived till 1200 A.D. Later, the Ga-Dangmes migrated to the plains of Lorlorvor between Lorlorvor and Osudoku Hills. The Shai occupied a settlement in Shai highlands. The Ga-Dangmes claim to be descendants DAN and GAD, the fifth and seventh sons of Jacob."

Sefwi Israelite

Congolese Israelites (Baluba)

Baluba means "Lost tribe". These Israelites are from the tribe of Judah. From the Kingdom of Luba. There are many Hebrew words within their language. They call the Creator YAH-Abe (YAH our Father). When greeting their elders they say YAH YAH. Some Baluba even call themselves Bayuda (son of Judah). They are a very strong and influential tribe that have resided there from their homeland Israel for centuries. Just like the Israelites of old, their fathers bless their children before they die (Genesis 49). They also practice circumcision and sacrifices.

A Baluba Israelite

Israelites of Benin

There were many Sephardic Jews that migrated to Benin. The Hebrew presence is very obvious. From the city Ouidah/Judah and the Slave fort called "Fort Juda" denying the presence of Jews in Benin. 

Fort Juda

Israelites of Egypt

"Egyptian Jewry traced its history back to the time of Jeremiah (Letter of Aristeas, 35), but it was not until the conquest of Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.E. that the second great wave of Jewish emigration to Egypt began. Alexander's successors in Egypt, the Ptolemid dynasty, attracted many Jews early in their reign to settle in Egypt as tradesmen, farmers, mercenaries, and government officials. During their reign Egyptian Jewry enjoyed both tolerance and prosperity. They became significant in culture and literature, and by the first century C.E., accounted for an eighth of the population of Egypt. The majority of the Jews of Egypt lived, as the Greeks, in Alexandria , but there were also very many in the ehora, the provincial districts outside Alexandria." Ptolemy I Soter (323–283) took a large number of Jewish prisoners of war in Palestine and forcibly settled them as mercenaries in Egypt to hold down the native Egyptians (ibid., 36)." "On Ptolemy I's retreat from Palestine many Jews fled with him to Egypt, where they found a haven of tolerance. Ptolemy II Philadelphus (283–44) emancipated the Jews taken captive by his father and settled them on the land as cleruchs or in "Jew-Camps" as Jewish military units. He was remembered by the Jews of Egypt as having instigated the translation of the Septuagint (see Letter of Aristeas ; Bible : Greek translation).

Since Manetho's antisemitic work was written in his reign there must have been a fair number of Jews already in Egypt." "Ptolemy III Euergetes (246–221) was said to have been favorably disposed toward the Jews and to have respected their religion. Two facts confirm this. One is the number of Jews who settled in the nome of Arsinoe (Faiyum) in his reign, and the other is the synagogue inscription dedicated to him, declaring that he granted the rights of asylum to the synagogues (Frey, Corpus 2 pp. 374–6). There is also a synagogue inscription from Schedia, which was also probably dedicated to him (Reinach in REJ, 14 (1902), 161–4)." "Ptolemy IV Philopator (221–203) attempted to institute a massacre of the Jews of Alexandria in 217 B.C.E., but was later reconciled with them (III Macc. 5–6). During the reign of Ptolemy VI Philometor (181–145) a marked change took place.

Ptolemy VI won Jewish favor by opening up the whole of Egypt to the Jews, on whom he relied, as well as by receiving Jewish exiles from Palestine such as Onias IV , to whom he granted land to build a temple at Leontopolis (c. 161 B.C.E.; Jos., Wars 1:33). The Jewish philosopher Aristobulus of Paneas was said to have advised him on Jewish affairs, and he appointed two Jews, Onias and Dositheos, to high military posts (Jos., Apion, 2:49). During the struggles of Cleopatra III (116–101) with her son Ptolemy IX Lathyros (116–80) the Jews of Egypt sided with the Queen, thus earning her esteem but alienating the Greek population from them (Ant. 13:287). She appointed two Jewish brothers, Ananias and Helkias, as commanders of her army."

Israelites in Ancient Egypt

Israelites of Morocco

"From the fifth to the third centuries B.C.E., the Carthaginian gold market was situated in Morocco. On this historical basis, an ancient legend relates that some five centuries before the Carthaginian expansion, in the days of Solomon and the Phoenicians, the Hebrews came to Sala (Chella) in the vicinity of Salé (Rabat) in order to purchase gold in large quantities. In another legend, it is related that Joab was sent to Morocco to fight the Philistines, who had been driven out of Canaan; an inscription describing this expedition is said to have existed near the present-day town of Zagora. Wadi Oued Draa and the region of Oufran (Ifran of the Anti-Atlas) are said to have been the sites of important Jewish settlements before the destruction of the Second Temple. The earliest epigraphic evidence on the presence of Jews in Morocco, however, comes from the second century C.E. It consists essentially of inscriptions on tombstones found in the ruins of the Roman town of Volubilis, between Fez and Meknès , and another inscription discovered in Salé. The latter is in Greek, while one of the inscriptions of Volubilis is in Hebrew. Morocco, like the remainder of the Maghreb, was one of the favorite territories for Jewish missionary activities. The Jews, together with those whom they succeeded in converting, appear to have originally been numerous and particularly powerful. The great Arabic historian of the 14th century, Ibn Khaldūn, names a number of large Moroccan Berber tribes who were converted to Judaism prior to the Arab conquest. These were the Fandalāwqa, Madyūna, Bahlūla, Ghiyāta, and Bazāz tribes. The capital of the last was also named Bazāz or Qulat-Mlahdī. It was completely inhabited by Jews and did not disappear until the 12th century. It was situated near the present-day town of Sefrou. Other tribes, such as the Barghwāṭa, were also heavily Judaized. Between 581 and 693 many Jews were compelled to leave Spain as a result of the persecutions of the Visigoth kings who, while forcing them to accept baptism, also adopted draconian measures against them. According to later traditions, thousands of Spanish Jews had settled in Africa by 693. It is told that these Jews, together with their Moroccan coreligionists, plotted to conquer or deliver Spain into the hands of the more tolerant Muslims (694). Some historians maintain that there were Jews among the Berber-Muslim invaders of Spain in 711" 

Moroccan Israelites

By now one should be able to put two and two together. Many of the people who were victims of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade are Israelites. We are related to the Israelite tribes that were discussed in this book. We must unite with our people in Africa. They are waiting for us. My people in Africa we are waiting for you. We must no longer fall for the Western lies. I am not saying that only so called "black" people are Israelites. What I am saying is that they were originally black and most of them still are. I am well aware that we are scattered to the four corners of the earth. We have brothers and sisters in China, Japan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, India, etc. Let us all reach out to them under one banner: YAHUSHA Messiah the Word of YAHUAH Elohim. How can you convert into a "Jew" if you are already one by blood? That is an insult and highly disrespectful.  Our people have Hebrew customs going back thousands of years. The real term for "Jew" is Yahudi or Yahudim in plural and this only applies to Israelites that are from the tribe of Judah/Yahudah. As a whole we are Israelites (Yisraelites, Yasharalites). We must go through the Son YAHUSHA Messiah. The TRUE Israelites are called to teach the nations, not the nations teaching us. We have a responsibility. Repent, my people. Shalom!

Masai – the Lost Tribe of Israel

Masai Warriors – “God’s Chosen People”
This is a Jewish story of Africa that I found in the most unlikely of places: the vast plains of Masai Mara and Serengeti reserves. As we drove there, we saw the light-skinned, tall, slender people dressed in red, who were as ubiquitous to the landscape as sky above and earth below. Surrounded by their herd of cattle, they leaned on their long spears or stood on one leg in a stork-like pose. Bearing remarkable similarities to ancient Romans from North Africa, most had classical profiles, wore red togas and sandals, and were equipped with Roman-style short stabbing swords. Women had shaved heads, while the young men’s hair was plated and stuck together with red clay. To us, they looked like young mythical gods. These are the proud Masai (sometimes referred to as Maasai) people of East Africa, whose mysterious past is enveloped in legends of being one of the lost tribes of Israel.

When the Europeans brought the railroad to Nairobi, the Masai were the only human inhabitants there, coming and going as they pleased with their cattle. Nomadic and highly suspicious to any strangers passing through their land, the Masai were never fond of the Europeans. In 1904, M. Merker, a German official-turned scientist stationed in Tanganyika learned the Maa language of the Masai, earned their trust (or thought he did), and collected the legends the Masai cared to share. In these legends of origin, the Masai, according to Merker, maintained that their ancestors were slaves in the land of the Nile and escaped through a parted sea, pursued by a vicious ruler. Long before arrival of missionaries, Merker stated, the Masai knew the tales of Adam and Eve, and of Noah and the Great Flood, though under different names.

“I regard the Masai as being descended from the nomadic Semites to whom the oldest Hebrew pastoralist belong,” pronounced Merker in his study. Lord Churchill called Merker’s Dei Masai “the most truly inspired investigation that ever an African people has had.” Merker’s study was well-known to the British Colonial Secretary Sir Joseph Chamberlain, who in the early 1900s suggested to Theodore Herzl, the leader of the Zionist movement, that parts of “Masailand” could be handed over to persecuted Eastern European Jews. In the following hundred years, most researchers concluded that Masai have Nilotic (from the river Nile) rather than Semitic origins, but Merker’s theory of Masai as “one the lost ten tribes of Israel” stubbornly continues to float in popular imagination.
We arranged to go to a Masai village to meet them. They greeted us with singing and dancing, dressed in their best. Unlike other African tribes, the Masai refuse to modernize; they will not drive cars or wear western clothes. A couple of young men spoke enough English to communicate with us. 

When asked about their beliefs, they explained that the Masai believe in one God who they call Engai. Engai, they say, has two faces: the first face is a black color, kind and benevolent, bringing thunder and rain, grass for the cattle, and good life for the Masai; the second face is red and fearsome, bringing lighting and drought, famine and death. Engai made the Masai his chosen people and gave them the land of Africa.

The word “Masai” is synonymous with “cattle,” these young people said. They translated a traditional greeting: “How are your wives and children and how is your cattle?” To own one without the other means being poor; to have an abundance of both is to be rich. Cattle do not just give meaning to Masai life, they are life.

As we went around the village, we were told of the traditions curiously resembling those of the Jews: Masai would never eat meat the same day they drank milk; they consider that to be highly unhealthy to both people and cattle whose milk was drank. More important is their firm belief that the milk of the living animal should not be drunk in the village at the same time as the meat of the same animal is eaten.

The Masai do not have chiefs. Instead, their lives are governed by the collective of elders chosen for their wisdom and moral qualities. Their assembly is called Sanhedrin and the round hut where they get together is called a Tabernacle. When a highly respected elder dies, he is buried in the ground facing east. Every passer-by places a stone on the grave as a sign of respect, and after a while a small hill appears on the landscape.

All the Masai wear bright jewelry with colors symbolizing the Masai universe: red stands for blood of a slaughtered animal; white means milk that sustains the Masai; orange stands for milk mixed with blood, a drink that the Masai like and believe to provide strength and nourishment; green is the grass that feeds their cattle; and the blue is the sky above the Masai land given by Engai to his chosen people.

They might be the remnants of the north African Hebrew people, being Jewish you must keep the Mitzvahs, The Torah absolutely forbidden the drinking of Blood . Otherwise, if it was due to contacts of the Nilotic people that led them to drinking blood, or is part of being lost?

If you try to look at their day to day life activities, a lot of what they do is so similar to what is the Bible, yet the Bible came to Maasai land a few years back.

The story of Isaac, Jacob & Esau is the same as the Maasai Mbatiany’s sons, Olonana and Senteu.

1 chronicles 9:12 is talking of the genealogy of the children of Israel. Masaai son of Adiel in the lineage of Levi is shown here. Also to my thinking some few Masaai words are borrowed from the Bible. For instance “oi pasinai”( still remembering Mt. Sinai), “eyewau mana”( something you cannot tell where it is coming from just like the Bible mana), the story of Olarinkoi ( David vs Goliath), just to mention a few.

The history of the Masai is little known and understood, meaning there is need to more studies , that need consolidation to some strong conclusions. I believe the Masai have lot of relationships in the Bible and need to investigate more. They day to day activities, beliefs, taboos... have similarities to the Bible.

There are some who say the lost ten tribes are the Ethiopians, possibly the Masai, some say the North American Indians, etc. In truth half a dozen nations around the world can trace at least a portion of their ancestry to the lost ten tribes of Israel. Some small amounts also returned to Jerusalem centuries ago. I agree with all this, but the most convincing evidence (in my mere opinion) is that they are the Northern Europeans (i.e. NOT most of Greece and NOT most of Italy). I believe worldwide, the highest concentrations of Israelite blood to be in these Northern Europeans – close to 100%.

Here are similarities between the Maasai and the Jews. Maasai do not eat meat on the day they have eaten milk or dairy products. Maasai have legends similar to the stories of Samson and Delilah, Isaac and Jacob, David and Goliah. Maasai worship one diety or God called Enkai. They worshiped him directly and also though sacrifices. Maasai do not eat meat with blood. They always pour/drain the blood from the animal. 

Blood drinking was not original part of their culture Maasai have male circumsion as part of their culture. Their physical body structure resemble those of the Jews. Their warriors were known for their bravery!

The Masai left Israel first after the end of king Shlomo reign when Ehyehowah caused Yerov’am and king Rechav’am to split the 10 tribes from the two Kingdoms. We do not claim that Maasai are Y’hudah, but we are all Israelites. The current situation of the Maasai should be considered not the past. We are returning to our roots.

Truly the Masaai tribe is among the twelve tribes of israel in the line of LEVI son of JACOB, but they rejected Gods Laws and that's why they are suffering in the wilderness, but still God is calling them ‘”my People, my holy Nation”.Deut.14;2

Ekoi People

Ekoi people, also known as Ejagham, are an ethnic group in the extreme southeast of Nigeria and extending eastward into Northern Cameroon. Ekoid Bantu languages are spoken by many groups, including the Atam, Boki, Mbembe, Ufia, and Yako (Jacob?). The Ekoi are related to the Efik, Annang and Ibibio people of southeastern Nigeria (all of them Israelite Nigerians) and have lived closely with them and also claim to have migrated from the Cameroons to their area. The inhabitants of Kwa, located near Calabar, claim to be the first Ekoi people to have migrated from the Cameroons. The Ekoi are best known for their Ekpe headdresses.

Total population 152,000

The Ekoi believe that the heirs of the first settlers of their present settlement own the land; while newcomers are not allowed to buy land, they are able to purchase rights of settlement. Ekoi men have traditionally hunted, while women have engaged in agriculture, raising yams, plantains, and corn (maize). Women also fish, and both men and women participate in weaving.

Efutu people

The Efutu are an ethnic group of Ghana. They are a branch of the Akan (the Akans are considered to have Israelites origins) people called the Guans, which includes the Larteh, Buem, Anum, Nkonya, Sene, and Mente-mente. They founded the Gold Coast kingdom in roughly 1300 C.E.

They are located on the coast near the capital Accra. People believe they are connected to the Ga-Adangmes. The main occupation is fishing along the coast.

The famous king of the Efutus is Nana Kwasi Gyan Ghartey (I). He was famous for his fishing activities, had as many as 12 wives, and had more than six children with each wife. He helped to develop the town and its people by building various structures, including the police station, the secondary school, and all the major huge buildings in the town.

The Efutu speak Efutu (also called Awutu) language, which is similar to the Ga language. The Efutu are found in the central region of Ghana in Awutu, Adina, Senya-Beraku and Winneba (Simpa).

The Efutu celebrate the Akumesi Festival (with the exception of Winneba which celebrates the Aboakyir Festival). I wonder if these festivals have any relation with the Jewish festivals. The Akumesi Festival, which is closely related to the Homowo of the Ga-Adangmes (GaDaNgmes are considered to be a mix of DaNite & GaDite Israelites), is celebrated to hoot at hunger. The Aboakyir is a festival on its own. It came about once when there was an epidemic at Winneba in about the 18th century. The elders at Winneba decided to consult their gods, who demanded human sacrifices every year to stop the epidemic. But the elders knew that was inhumane, so they reconsulted their gods to change their decision. The gods then requested for a live tiger to be sacrificed to them every year. The elders knew it was impossible, so they reconsulted the gods. This time, it was a live deer. The elders accepted this, and that was how the Aboakyir festival came about. Until now the Aboakyir festival is celebrated by the people of Winneba.

Are the Tubus originally from the homonym Israelite town of Tubu?

Tubu is the town east of the Sea of Galilee referred to in the (body) of the Amarna letters.

Tubu is the probable biblical town of Tob. In the entire group of El Amarna letters, EA 205 is the only usage of the name Tubu, and only the "Man" (or Mayor/prince) is referenced.

The scribe who wrote EA 205, visited and /or wrote from 6 towns, 5 south of or neighboring, Damascus. Three were named, as only from the "Man" of the town. Three were designated by the "Leader" of the town, and one of the 6 towns, was not mentioned by name. These Amarna letters are all written from the time centering about 1350 BCE, and written in Akkadian cuneiform on clay tablets.

The Toubous, also known as Tebo

They speak Tebu, in the Saharan subfamily of the Nilo-Saharan languages language family. The majority of Toubou live in the north of Chad around the Tibesti mountains (Old Tebu: "Rocky Mountains," whence the Toubou's own name.) Numbering roughly 350,000, they are mostly Muslim. Most Toubou are herders and nomads, though many are now semi-nomadic. Their society is clan-based, with each clan having certain oases, pastures and wells. They are divided in two closely associated people, the Teda and the Daza. Many of Chad's leaders have been Toubou, including presidents Goukouni Oueddei and Hissène Habré.

The Toubou are subdivided in two separate people, the Teda and Daza. They are believed to share a common origin, but speak now two distinct if clearly associated languages, Tedaga (Téda Toubou) and Dazaga (Daza Toubou). Of the two the Daza are the most numerous, being 312,000 persons, while the Teda are only 42,000.

Among the Teda, there are four regional subgroups, the Teda of Tibesti Subprefecture being the largest. There are more than a dozen subgroups of Daza: the Kreda of Bahr el Ghazal are the largest; next in importance are the Daza of Kanem Prefecture.

The Tebo (also Tibu, Tibo, Tibbo, Tubu, Tebbos or Toubou) are a group of tribes found to the east of Fezzan, as well as in and around Tibesti Mountain, whence the name Tibesti itself - the region from which a number of Chadian presidents were said to have come including Goukouni Oueddei and Hissene Habre. Their principal region was said to be Bilma, north of Lake Chad, and their ancient capital in Libya was Tazerbu. Today, they are mainly mentioned in association with the violent events in Kufra and most recently by the Chadian border. Their main towns include Tazerbu, Kufra, Bezzima, Qatroun and Tajerhi. Generally, the western side of the Libyan Sahara is inhabited by the Tuareg, while the eastern side is the home of the Tebo.

Ethnographically the Tibbu is the less important of the two groups inhabiting the Sahara (the Tebo and the Tuareg); although their flat nose and high forehead suggest "that the race is mixed", most of it "is probably Hamitic". The Tibbus dwell mainly in rock-shelters, caves or rough huts; and that although the Tibbus headquarters is Tibesti Mountain, they "have settlements in Fezzan".

The Tebo are without a doubt native to the region. The Tebu were said to be of Berber origin from the Lemta tribe (by al-Yaqubi) or part of the Berber Sanhaja tribe (by Agostini), in which case they would be Tuareg-related. The Berbers are Hamitic group of tribes. The Berber tribe Zghawa was the founder of the Kanem-Bornu Empire, and that this tribe together with Teda and Guran are the three main branches of the Tebu. Other sources however relate them to the Ethiopians. Berber, Chadic and Ethiopian languages are Hamitic languages belonging to the Afroasiatic phylum (the old Hamito-Semitic family). Tebu or Tbawi language, however, is a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family. The name Tebo was said to mean "Rock People" and hence Tibesti Mountain ('Rocky Mountain').

The number of the Tebo in Libya was estimated to be around 5,000 people; divided into two main groups: the Teda and the Daza, with the main tribes include the Kechad (of the towns of Abo and Tibesti); the Febabos (south west of Aujilah); the Borgou (further south); Arno (recalling Arkno Mountain nearby the Egyptrian and Sudanese borders); and the Gunda Tibbus (further southward).

Early explorers remarked that the Tibbos are not like other central African tribes, and that they appear to have been infused with other northern tribes. Their bodies are slim and their walk is light and swift. Their facial features include sharp eyes and thick lips, and their hair is not as curly as that of other African tribes. Tebo females are light and graceful, whose striking features include aquiline noses and fine lips. Their hair is plaited on each side of the face. Like the nomadic Tuareg nearby, the Tebo men rarely take any decisions without consultation with their women, and when the men are away the females take full control of the family. Tebo individuals identify with their clan, each of which has its own associated taboos. [Out of curiosity, the etymology of "taboo" traces its origin to Polynesian and other South Pacific languages, and the word had entered the English language in 1777 AD from Tongan "tapu" ('forbidden'') via Captain James Cook who visited the Friendly Islands (now Tonga).]

 Toubou life centers on their livestock (their major source of wealth and sustenance) and on the scattered oases where they or their herders cultivate dates and grain. In a few places, the Toubou (or more often members of the Haddad group who work for them) also mine salt and natron, a salt like substance used for medicinal purposes and for livestock. 

The Toubou family is made up of parents, children, and another relative or two. Although the husband or father is the head of the household, he rarely makes decisions without consulting his wife. When he is absent, his wife often takes complete charge, moving family tents, changing pastures, and buying and selling cattle. Although Toubou men may have several wives, few do. Families gather in larger camps during the months of transhumance. Camp membership is fluid, sometimes changing during the season and almost never remaining the same from one season to the next. I suggested the Hadad to be Israelites.

The Persecution of the Tebo People:

The Tebo of the Kufra in Libya were invaded by the Sanusi (Senussi) clan in 1840s, and subsequently the Arabs took control of the oasis, while some of the inhabitants fled to the southern regions where they joined other Tebo tribes. Like the native Berbers, the Tebo were also persecuted by the Gaddafi regime. According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:

"STP recalled that massive discrimination of the Toubou minority had been reported from the south eastern part of the country . . . In the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, they were treated as foreigners by the authorities. In December 2007, the Libyan Government withdrew citizenship from members of the Toubou group, stating that they were not Libyans but Chadians. Furthermore the local authorities issued decrees barring Toubou from access to education and health care services. The armed movement “Front for the Salvation of the Toubou Libyans” has opposed these measures and up to 33 people died in Kufra, during five days of fighting between the official security forces and the Toubou in November 2008 . . . Since November 2009 dozens of families lost their homes due to forced destruction by bulldozers supervised by state security forces . . . People who refused to move from their houses were beaten by security officials. Some were notified by the authorities to leave the houses only minutes before bulldozers destroyed their homes. No alternative housing was proposed to the victims of the forced evictions. Furthermore, Libyan authorities refused to renew or extend passports to members of this minority. Several times parents were prevented from registering births of their children and denied birth certificates."

First persecuted by the Sanusi clan, then by Gaddafi, now the Tebo say the new government is not doing enough to protect them, as they once more came under attack during the transitional period, despite them fighting alongside the fighters in Fazzan and even capturing Murzuk from Gaddafi's forces. On the 12th of February 2012 clashes erupted again in Kufra, where intermittent fighting was reported by the media. The fighting took place between the Arab Zwai (or Azwaya) tribe and the Tebu. At least 17 people were killed (9 Zwai and 8 Tebu) and 20 injured on Sunday and Monday. Five more people died on Tuesday during the third day of clashes.

    "An escalating tribal conflict in the strategic Kufra Oasis has revealed once more that Libya’s Transitional National Council (TNC) is incapable of restoring  . . . Though this is hardly the first clash between the African Tubu and the Arab Zuwaya tribe that took control of the oasis from the Tubu in 1840, it is certainly the first to be fought with heavy weapons such as RPGs and anti-aircraft guns, an innovation that is reflected in the various estimates of heavy casualties in the fighting . . . Well over 100 people have been killed in less than two weeks; with many hundreds more wounded."

More on Toubou people

The majority of Toubou live in the north of Chad around the Tibesti mountains (Old Tebu: "Rocky Mountains," whence the Toubou's own name.) Numbering roughly 350,000, they are mostly Muslim. Most Toubou are herders and nomads, though many are now semi-nomadic. Their society is clan-based, with each clan having certain oases, pastures and wells. They are divided in two closely associated people, the Teda and the Daza.

Many of Chad's leaders have been Toubou, including presidents Goukouni Oueddei and Hissène Habré.

Toubou life centers on their livestock (their major source of wealth and sustenance) and on the scattered oases where they or their herders cultivate dates and grain. In a few places, the Toubou (or more often members of the Haddad group who work for them) also mine salt and natron, a salt like substance used for medicinal purposes and for livestock.

The Toubou family is made up of parents, children, and another relative or two. Although the husband or father is the head of the household, he rarely makes decisions without consulting his wife. When he is absent, his wife often takes complete charge, moving family tents, changing pastures, and buying and selling cattle. Although Toubou men may have several wives, few do. Families gather in larger camps during the months of transhumance. Camp membership is fluid, sometimes changing during the season and almost never remaining the same from one season to the next.

After the family, the clan is the most stable Toubou institution. Individuals identify with their clan, which has a reputed founder, a name, a symbol, and associated taboos. Clans enjoy collective priority use of certain palm groves, cultivable land, springs, and pastures; outsiders may not use these resources without clan permission. Social relations are based on reciprocity, hospitality, and assistance. Theft and murder within the clan are forbidden, and stolen animals must be returned.

Within the overall context of clan identity, however, Toubou society is shaped by the individual. Jean Chapelle, a well-known observer of Chadian societies, notes that "it is not society that forms the individual, but the individual who constructs the society most useful" for him or her. Three features of Toubou social structure make this process possible. The first is residence. In general, clan members are scattered throughout a region; therefore, an individual is likely to find hospitable clans people in most settlements or camps of any size. A second factor is the maintenance of ties with the maternal clan. Although the maternal clan does not occupy the central place of the potential clan, it provides another universe of potential ties.

Marriage creates a third set of individual options. Although relatives and the immediate family influence decisions about a marriage partner, individual preference is recognized as important. In addition, once a marriage is contracted between individuals of two clans, other clan members are forbidden to change it. The Toubou proscribe marriage with any blood relative less than four generations removed - in the words of the Toubou recorded by Chapelle, "when there are only three grandfathers."

The ownership of land, animals, and resources takes several forms. Within an oasis or settled zone belonging to a particular clan, land, trees (usually date palms), and nearby wells may have different owners. Each family's rights to the use of particular plots of land are recognized by other clan members. Families also may have privileged access to certain wells and the right to a part of the harvest from the fields irrigated by their water. Within the clan and family contexts, individuals also may have personal claims to palm trees and animals. Toubou legal customs are based on restitution, indemnification, and revenge. Conflicts are resolved in several settings. Murder, for example, is settled directly between the families of the victim and the murderer (an eye for an eye, like in the Israelite law). Toubou honor requires that someone from the victim's family try to kill the murderer or a relative; such efforts eventually end with negotiations to settle the matter. Reconciliation follows the payment of the goroga, or blood price, usually in the form of camels.

Despite shared linguistic heritage, few institutions among the Toubou generate a broader sense of identity than the clan. Regional divisions do exist, however. During the colonial period (and since independence in 1960), Chadian administrations have conferred legality and legitimacy on these regional groupings by dividing the Toubou and Daza regions into corresponding territorial units called cantons and appointing chiefs to administer them.

Only among the Teda of the Tibesti region have institutions evolved somewhat differently. Since the end of the 16th century, the derde (spiritual head) of the Tomagra clan has exercised authority over part of the massif and the other clans who live there. He is selected by a group of electors according to strict rules. The derde exercises judicial rather than executive power, arbitrating conflict and levying sanctions based on a code of compensations.

During the civil conflict in Chad (1966–1993), the derde came to occupy a more important position. In 1965 the Chadian government assumed direct authority over the Tibesti Mountains, sending a military garrison and administrators to Bardaï, the capital of Tibesti Subprefecture. Within a year, abuses of authority had roused considerable opposition among the Toubou. The derde, Oueddei Kichidemi, recognized but little respected up to that time, protested the excesses, went into exile in Libya, and, with the support of Toubou students at the Islamic University of Bayda, became a symbol of opposition to the Chadian government. This role enhanced the position of the derde among the Toubou. After 1967 the derde hoped to rally the Toubou to the National Liberation Front of Chad (FROLINAT). moral authority became military authority shortly thereafter when his son, Goukouni Oueddei, became one of the leaders of the Second Liberation Army of FROLINAT. Goukouni was to become a national figure; he played an important role in the battles of N'Djamena in 1979 and 1980 and served as head of state for a time. Another northerner, Hissène Habré of the Daza Anakaza, replaced Goukouni in 1982, and lost eventually power to Idriss Dédy, a Zaghawa.

The Toubou minority in Libya suffered what has been described as "massive discrimination" under the leadership of Muammar Gaddafi.

In a report released by the UNHCR, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) reported "massive discrimination" against the Toubou minority, which resides in the southeastern corner of the country around the oasis town of Kufra. In December 2007, the Gaddafi government stripped Toubou Libyans of their citizenship, claiming that they were not Libyans, but rather Chadians. In addition, local authorities denied Toubou people access to education and healthcare. In response, an armed group called the Toubou Front for the Salvation of Libya (TFSL) staged an uprising in November 2008 which lasted for five days and claimed 33 lives before being crushed by government security forces. Despite resistance and public condemnation, the Gaddafi regime continued its persecution of the Toubou minority in Libya. Beginning in November 2009, the government began a program of forced eviction and demolition of Toubou homes, rendering many Toubou homeless. Several dozen who protested the destruction were arrested, and families who refused to leave their homes were beaten.

In the Libyan civil war, Toubou tribespeople in Libya sided with the rebel anti-Gaddafi forces and participated in the Fezzan campaign against forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, briefly capturing the town of Qatrun and claiming to capture Murzuk for the rebel movement a month later.

In March 2012, bloody clashes broke out between Toubou and Arab tribesmen in the southern city of Sabha, Libya. In response, Issa Abdel Majid Mansour, the leader of the Toubou tribe in Libya threatened a separatist bid, decrying what he saw as "ethnic cleansing" against Toubou and declaring "We announce the reactivation of the Toubou Front for the Salvation of Libya to protect the Toubou people from ethnic cleansing." The TFSL was the opposition group active in the unrest of 2007-2008 that was "ruthlessly persecuted" by the Gaddafi regime.

Teda and Daza

The Toubou are subdivided in two separate people, the Teda and Daza. They are believed to share a common origin, but speak now two distinct if clearly associated languages, Tedaga (Téda Toubou) and Dazaga (Daza Toubou), both Nilo-Saharan languages. Of the two, the Daza are the most numerous, being 312,000 persons, while the Teda are only 42,000.

The Daza live primarily in the Sahara regions of south-eastern Niger and north and central Chad. They consider themselves a warrior people, and are almost entirely Muslim. The increasing desertification of Africa has resulted in a reduction of their traditionally nomadic, herding lifestyle. Much of the political class of Chad are drawn from Daza. There are more than a dozen subgroups of Daza: the Kreda of Bahr el Ghazal are the largest; next in importance are the Daza of Kanem Prefecture.

The Teda live mostly in northern Chad, but are also present in Libya, Niger and Nigeria. They number more than 50,000, and are Muslims. Among the Teda, there are four regional subgroups, the Teda of Tibesti Subprefecture being the largest.


There is an island near the southeastern coast of Africa called the Malagasy Republic; the old name for this island was Madacascar. Near the eastern part of this island on the isle of St. Marie, there exists a group of black Jews who call themselves Zafin Ibrahim, "descendants of Abraham." 

Professor Allen H. Godbey says that the same alphabetic writing that was present in Palestine about 650 n.c. appeared at the same time in Malaysia. Moreover, he says, since the Hovas of Madagascar are members of the Malayan family who probably immigrated from Cambodia, this indicates the historical connection with the Jews of Madagascar. Like the Jews of Ethiopia, Uganda, and Wasambara, there are a multiplicity of Jewish cultural survivals, complexes, patterns, and traits found functioning among the Jews of Madagascar such as the following: the day counted from sunset to sunset, many fast days, the eating of beef, the New Year festival, the making of a small fire on the first evening of the feast; they have rituals of the purification of the people; they sprinkle blood of the New Year's ritual upon the doorposts. The latter ritual could be reminiscent of the Passover ceremony which is observed in the month of Abiv; this month is the first month of the Jewish civil New Year. In this month the kings of Israel were inaugurated. 

The Jews migrated up the Nile passing Memphis, Elephantine," Khartum, and then they turned west at Kordofan in central Sudan. In the region of the White Nile, Williams thinks some Jews settled in the country of the Shilluk, in the southern Sudan and Uganda. He continues by tracing the migration from Kordofan (going west) to Darfur, Lake Chad, Kano and then to the countries of the Niger River. 

The original habitation of the Songhay people was Gounguia, Koukya, or Kuka. This place was situated in the Dendi (This name could come from Dan, after all Dan is claimed to be the ancestor of many Israelites in the area) country and known as Dendina, lying near the Niger River on the northwestern border of what is now the modern state of Nigeria. Many scholars think that the Songhay people came from Kgypt or Ethiopia, because there exist many Egyptian culture complexes among them; for example, the preparation of the dead body for burial. 

When Slouschz was in this city about one hour, the men had just returned from the market: Slouschz says they are "all of a fine, dark type." The rabbi was descended from Jews who had immigrated from Morocco. 

The rabbi, at this time, informed Slouschz of the fact that there existed in the district many traces of deserted Jewish cities and cemeteries now abandoned. The Jews of this country have handed down the oral tradition that in ancient times they constituted the majority of the population but that epidemics, wars and frequent conversions to Islamism have reduced their number." On one occasion Slouschz met a Jewish itinerant merchant of Nefoussa who had just arrived from Fezzan; this Jew had traveled all the routes of the Sahara; he assured Slouschz that other Jews existed at least in the east Sudan (Chad, Sudan, and Ethiopia), "A black-skinned population which some call the Felici and which are generally known among the Touaregs as the Krit. They observe the Sabbath and are known to be of Jewish origin."  

Many of the tribes in the Sahara and in the Sudan arc Moslems in religion but are Hebrew in nationality. Nahum Slousclu says: "Numbers of these Islamized Jews may be found everywhere." They are among the Nomads of Algeria, the Smul, the Hanansha, the Traras, the Masmata, the Muajerin, the Kabyles, the Tuat; you will find them among the Ureshfana, the Ghariani, the Brami in Tripoli; you will find them in southern Morocco among the powerful clans of the Daggatuns, who control the routes to the Sudan and southward. They are non-Jewish by religion but aware of their Hebrew origin. They arc friendly to the Jewish merchants. Frequently the Jew is the only communication between these tribes and the outside world. 

The Daggatun Jews are scattered in clans through many caravan route oases of the Sahara and the Sudan. Godbey says the word Daggatun means traders; they are located near Timbuktu and hundreds of miles northward; they are also found east of Timbuktu and Gao. 

The two main factors that motivated the black Jews to penetrate into North Africa were commerce and persecution; also, these two factors impelled them to migrate into central Africa which is known as the Sudan.

The Anakara Tribe of Madagascar

The Antemoro or  Antimorona people live on the south-eastern coast of Madagascar, around the town of Manakara. By tradition, they are the descendents of Arab traders. These days they are fairly indistinguishable from other peoples of Madagascar: speaking Malagasy and of similar appearance.

There are similarities between the local language and Hebrew. There is also an historical record of a Jewish “tribe” that fled Mecca, arriving in Madagascar in 1497 (although some authorities put it as early as 1491). The head of the group was Ali Ben Forah, also known as Ali Tawarath. The descendants of the group are known as the Anakara tribe, which still exists.

Anakara could come from the Hebrew words Ana & Kara as shown further down.

Ana comes from the Hebrew name  (Channah) meaning "favor" or "grace". Hannah is the mother of the prophet Samuel in the Old Testament.

Kara in Hebrew as found in the Bible is: 1 bow על ברכים to drink Judges 7:5,6, in supplication to Elijah 2 Kings 1:13; in the worship of God 1 Kings 8:34; Ezra 9:5; with ברכים subject and ל of God 1 Kings 19:18; Isaiah 45:23; without ברכים with Psalm 22:30; Psalm 72:9; "" 2Chronicles 7:3; 29:29; Psalm 95:6, worship of God, but Esther 3:2 (twice in verse); Esther 3:5 in obeisance to Haman.

2 bow down, of the couching lion Genesis 49:9; Numbers 24:9 (both poetry). 3 pregnant with על, bow down over (in order to lie with) a woman Job 31:10. 4 bow down, of a woman in childbirth 1 Samuel 4:19, so of animals Job 39:3; idols, removed by enemies Isaiah 46:1,2;   Job 4:4 tottering (feeble) knees; of enemies in death, נפל]ו[כרע bow and fall down Judges 5:27 (3 t. in verse); Psalm 20:9 pregnant without 2 נפל Kings 9:24; Isaiah 65:12, with Isaiah 10:4. —

Hiph`il Perfect 3 masculine singular  Psalm 78:31; 2feminine singular suffix  Judges 11:35; Imperfect2masculine singular 2  Samuel 22:40 = Psalm 18:40; Imperative suffix Psalm 17:13; Infinitive absolute  Judges 11:35. —

1 cause to bow in grief Judges 11:35 (twice in verse).
2 cause to bow down in death Psalm 17:13; Psalm 78:31, with 2  Samuel 22:40 = Psalm 18:40.

Taking into account the meaning of the words ana & kara, the meaning of the two words combined could be "bow down for favor". That's what an Israelite would to God.

Bankon (Abaw, Abo, Bo, Bon) & Basaa (Bassa) from Cameroon

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.

Jews from Cameroon, he said, originate from Egypt. In order to escape the Islamic conquest of North Africa they were pushed towards the Equator and settled in Central West Africa 1,200 years ago. Yisrael, 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.

Other Jewish tribes in Cameroon, Nigeria, and Mauritania he said, included Haussa, descended from the tribe of Issachar, who were forced to convert to Islam in the eighth and ninth centuries, and the Bamileke.

He said that in 1920 there were 400,000 'Israelites' in Cameroon. But by 1962 the number had decreased to 167,000 due to conversion from Christian and Islamic missionaries. However, he admitted that these tribes had not been accepted halachically although he could prove their ,Jewish status from medieval rabbinic sources.

Yisrael, whose curriculum vitae states his birth date as 'The Year of the Beginning of 'World Redemption', told me that he is over 50. His father Hassid Peniel Moshe Shlomo (Ngimbus Nemb Yemba), a textile manufacturer, scribe, mohel and tribal leader, had been imprisoned 50 times for teaching his traditional Jewish beliefs.

In 1932 he had run away from a Catholic school because they had wanted him to train for the priesthood.

Yisrael describes the condition of Jews in Central Africa between 1920 and 1960 as "a spiritual Shoah". Because of intense missionary activity, it was "like the Soviet Union where Jews had no permission for Jewish education, no batei din, synagogues or sifrei Torah. Everything was taught by oral tradition".

Although young Yisrael (Bodol) was sent to a humanist boarding school, from which he only returned home once a year, he remembers Jewish tradition from his early life at home. His grandfather had built a synagogue, now in ruins, of which his uncle had been the last gabbai. Nevertheless, even without a synagogue, the family prayed to the one invisible God in the Ba-Saa language, which, he said, contained many Aramaic words.

Yisrael was circumcised when he was eight-days-old. The men wore stone tephillin on their arms and wood on their head. His mother Orah Leah (Ngo Ngog Lum) had a large kitchen in which milk and meat were separated by six meters. Shortly before his mother died in 1957, she told him: "My beloved child, one day you will go to 'Yesulmi'." It was not till 1980 that he realized that she must have meant Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, soon after Cameroon independence in 1960. Yisrael was awarded a UNESCO scholarship to study in Strasbourg and Paris where he established an impressive academic career in law and international relations.

He was also heavily involved in Cameroon politics, having founded his own political party, the Bantu People's Party, to oppose the Cameroon government which he considered "barbaric, monolithic and fascist". Three times, he contested the position of Cameroon president.

Yisrael considers himself the only nonviolent and noncommunist Central African opposition leader, forming a Cameroon government in exile.

Whilst lecturing in Germany, Yisrael entered into a civil marriage with a woman who claimed to be Jewish. They divorced when he became sure she could not prove her Jewish roots. Their son Osiris, he claims, was kidnapped by Cameroon agents, who have repeatedly tried to assassinate him for opposition stance.

In 1980, the German government cancelled his refugee status. His home and belongings were confiscated and he was expelled. Lecturing in Greece at the time, he was advised by his lawyers to put his case to the UN High Commission for Refugee in Geneva.

Lecturing in the Swiss city to a Jewish audience on the Jews of Central Africa, Yisrael met, Elmer Benedict, the Hungarian-born Jew who helped him return to his Jewish roots. Over a cup of coffee after the lecture, Elmer asked him why his head was not covered and invited him to his home for Shabbat. As his refugee passport was expiring and he did not have a Swiss work permit, Yisrael was becoming desperate.

A friend of Elmer's, Emanuel Gay, offered him a job as a legal consultant in his business and he was able to remain in Switzerland for seven years. During this time he made a decision to start a new Jewish life and cut back on his political and academic ambitions. Meanwhile, he was coping with his own personal tragedies. Not able to return to Cameroon, he had not seen his brother Macir since he left the country and only heard of his father's death seven years after it occurred.

He made aliya in 1988 and was ordained as a rabbi by the Sephardic Chief Rabbi and appointed rabbi to Nigerian Jews. He explained that he was not able to go to neighboring Cameroon because of the political situation.

He accuses the Israeli government, of daily persecutions including the confiscation of his belongings and preventing him from working in the country. He further claims that Israel is racist in its treatment of black immigrants and accuses the Israeli government of trying to prevent the democratic process in Cameroon. He believes that the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliya have documents on the Jewish tribes in Africa and fear that if there were democracy in the country, then they might want to rediscover their Jewish roots. Eli Yerushalmi of the Israeli Embassy in Britain would not comment on the allegations.

Despite all the alleged Israeli opposition against him, he claims to have helped most Israeli politicians from Moshe Shamir on the right to Yossi Sarid on the left., for the sake of `Jewish unity'.

He has published 12 books of Torah and set up a yeshiva and kollel in Meah Shearim to train staff to go to Nigeria to bring the 10 lost tribes back to the fold.

His mission is being supported by Israel's ultra-Orthodox Beth Din Zedek, Sephardi Beth Din and Rabbi Avrohom Pinter of London's Yesodev Hatorah Schools Manchester's Vaad Hatzdoko has also authorized his fundraising.

When I asked a spokesman for the Jerusalem Beth Din Zedek if he was sure that there were in fact halachically acceptable Jews in Central Africa, he replied that he accepted Rabhi Oriel's claims.

The ultra-Orthodox Beth Din Zedek of Jerusalem is one of the strictest in the world. Yet I am amazed at its inclusivity in welcoming with open arms supposed members of the 10 lost tribes living in Nigeria.

I have always been puzzled by the prophecy of Ezekiel that in the time of the Messiah the 10 lost tribes will be re-united with their Jewish brethren.

How, I ask myself, can this be halachically possible in an age when Israeli converts are not even recognised by British batei din, and after all the halachic problems we have had over the Jewish status of Ethiopian and Russian immigrants to Israel?

Yet it is happening, thanks to just one man. Rabbi Yisrael Oriel (alias Bodol Ngimbus-Ngimbus) was born in Cameroon, according to his curriculum vitae, in "the Year of the Beginning of World Redemption."

This self-styled messianic figure reminisces about a Jewish homelife in which his mother's large kitchen had a massive divide between meat and milk, yet he was raised in a humanist boarding school miles away from his Cameroon home which he only visited once a year.

After Cameroon independence, Bodol escaped the new regime for a European academic and political career in which he styled himself head of the Cameroon government in exile.

When things got too hot in 1980 with expulsion from Germany and his refugee permits running out, Bodol suddenly found his Jewish roots and thereby landed himself a job in Switzerland and a work permit.

He later made aliya, suddenly interpreting his late mother's words to mean that his destiny was in Jerusalem.

When I asked how he managed to make aliya, despite the fact that there seemed scant proof of his Jewish status, the politician's reply was: ''I have my methods.''

In Israel, despite alleged persecution from the Zionist state, he was ordained as a rabbi of Nigeria by the Sephardi Beth Din.

He chose Nigeria because he is politically excluded from returning to his homeland of Cameroon and is now travelling the world, armed with certificates from top batei din, fundraising for the members of the 10 lost tribes in that country.

It is a fascinating story which raises all sorts of issues about how batei din operate. Although Rabbi Yisrael Oriel is obviously an outstanding secular and Jewish academic, I would like to see a lot more independent research into the supposed Jewish backgrounds of the Central African tribes Oriel alleges are Jewish.

Reprinted from "Nihon-Yudaya, Huuin no Kodaishi" by Rabbi Marvin Tokayer, translated from Japan ese by Arimasa Kubo. Following his ordination, Rabbi Tokayer served as a U.S. Air Force Chaplain in Japan, and upon his discharge from the military, returned to Tokyo to serve for many years as rabbi of the Jewish Community of Japan as well as Vice President and Director of Culture, Religion and Education for the Jewish communities of the Far East.

The father of Yaphet Kotto, an American actor, was a Cameroon Jew. Kotto identifies as Jewish.

São Tomé e Príncipe Jews

King Manuel I of Portugal exiled about 2,000 Jewish children to São Tomé and Príncipe around 1500. Most died, but in the early 17th century "the local bishop noted with disgust that there were still Jewish observances on the island and returned to Portugal because of his frustration with them." Although Jewish practices faded over subsequent centuries, there are people in São Tomé and Príncipe who are aware of partial descent from this population. Similarly, a number of Portuguese ethnic Jews were exiled to Sao Tome after forced conversions to Roman Catholicism.

The Cohens, descended from the Moroccan Islamicized Jewish trader El-Hadj Abd-al-Salam al Kuhin, arrived in the Timbuktu area in the 18th century, and the Abana family came in the first half of the 19th century. According to Prof. Michel Abitbol, at the Center for the Research of Moroccan Jewry in Israel, in the late 19th century Rabbi Mordoche Aby Serour traveled to Timbuktu several times as a not too successful trader in ostrich feathers and ivory. Ismael Diadie Haidara, a historian from Timbuktu, has found old Hebrew texts among the city's historical records. He has also researched his own past and discovered that he is descended from the Moroccan Jewish traders of the Abana family. As he interviewed elders in the villages of his relatives, he has discovered that knowledge of the family's Jewish identity has been preserved, in secret, out of fear of persecution.

The Acholis

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.

Acholi (also Acoli) is a Luo Nilotic ethnic group from Northern Uganda (an area commonly referred to as Acholiland), including the districts of Agago, Amuru, Gulu, Kitgum, Nwoya, Lamwo, and Pader; and Magwe County in South Sudan. Approximately 1.17 million Acholi were counted in the Uganda census of 2002, and 45,000 more were living in South Sudan in 2000.

According to Latigo, prior to colonialism, "the Acholi people maintained a traditional government that was rooted firmly in their religious beliefs, norms and customs, which demanded peace and stability in Acholiland at all times, based on their philosophy of life. This structure was maintained by the real anointed chiefs of the Acholi, the rwodi moo." Although they were believed to have supernatural powers, the chiefs ruled through a Council of Clan Elders, so they never ruled singlehandedly. The Council's representatives could mediate issues between clans, and essentially covered both civil and criminal functions, like a Supreme Court. It was a system of governance fully integrated with their religion and cosmology.

It was not until 1995 that a constitutional reform recognized such cultural leaders, but they have not been fully restored to previous powers, as so much of society has changed. In the pre-colonial era, all the Acholi believed in the same superior being, "Nyarubanga, through an intermediary deity, known as the jok-ker, which meant ‘the ruling deity’." Killing of a person was prohibited but if it took place, negotiations for blood money were led by the victim's family, with agreement followed by rituals of a reconciliation ceremony to restore the killer to the community, and to bring peace between clans. In addition, the people have important rituals for cleansing homes and sites, to welcome back people who have been away a long time, to clear spirits from places where killings have occurred, and to welcome people who have been captive.

The system values peace over justice, and has retributive and restorative aspects. Most of the LRA returnees, numbering 12,000, underwent nyono tong gweno (‘stepping on the egg’) after returning to their home villages, to help restore them to home. It is important because it is intended to restore communities to balance, and to bring people back into relation in their home communities, where ideally they would return at the end of the war. Purifications or atonement practices are still performed by Acoli elders in some communities.

The religious leaders have tried to help end the conflict in the country of the last two decades and to reconcile the parties. "In 1997, the Catholic, Anglican, Muslim, and later the Orthodox religious leaders of Acholi formalized their increasing cooperation on peace issues by setting up the Acholi Religious Leaders’ Peace Initiative (ARLPI)." They have continued to work to end the war through negotiation. Kitgum, Pader and Gulu, the three districts of the Acholi sub-region, each established peace forums for continuing discussions. In addition, the peace forums have worked to help eatablish the Amnesty Commission. They have also "played a vital role in Acholi traditional reconciliation processes and in preparing the community to receive former combatants." In discussing the peace talks of 2005-2007, Latigo noted leaders who called for a revival of the traditional processes of the indigenous people by which they worked for accountability and justice, namely, mato oput. Ruhakana Rugunda, the Ugandan minister of internal affairs and leader of the government negotiating team, noted the effectiveness of the traditional system. He and others have suggested it could help the nation more than adopting the Western system of the International Criminal Court at The Hague (although some charges had already been filed against LRA leaders in 2005 there.

Achol is the Hebrew verb meaning "to eat". The suffix "i" refers to a person. Acholi could be the person that eats. 

The Sogas of Uganda

The SoGa tribe (in Uganda), neighboring the Tutsi, has the consonants of iSaaC (G & C sounds are often interchangeable) reinforcing my belief of their Israelite origin. uGaNda may have originated its name in CaNaaan, their former land. GuLu, in Uganda as well, points to their exilee status too, since GaLut in Hebrew is a similar word meaning exiles. 
                                                                                                                                                              It's interesting to notice that the king of Busoga, Uganda was called Henry Wako Muloki. It's interesting that Muloki without vowels, as it only counts in Hebrew, has the same consonants as Melek, which is king in Hebrew.  Have the Sogas Hebrew origins? Are they related to the Soga clan in Japan?

Isebantu Kyabazinga or Kyabazinga of Busoga is the title given to the ruler of the Kingdom of Busoga in Uganda. The former Kyabazinga of Busoga was Henry Wako Muloki, who was born in 1921 and died on 1 September 2008.

Soga, or Lusoga, is a Bantu language spoken in Uganda. It is the native language of the Soga people or Basoga of the Busoga region of southern Uganda. With over three million speakers, it is one of the major languages of Uganda, after English, Swahili, and Luganda. However, it is largely restricted to the Busoga region, which is mainly within the natural boundaries of Lake Victoria to the south, Lake Kyoga to the north, the Nile river to the west and the Mpologoma (Lion) river to the east of Namutumba district.

Busoga is a traditional Bantu kingdom in present-day Uganda. It is a cultural institution that promotes popular participation and unity among the people of Busoga, through cultural and developmental programs for the improved livelihood of the people of Busoga. It strives for a united people of Busoga, who enjoy economic, social and cultural prosperity. It also continues to enhance, revamp and pave the way for an efficient institutional and management system for the Kyabazinga kingship.

Busoga, literally translated to Land of the Soga, is the kingdom of the 11 principalities of the Basoga/Soga (singular Musoga) people. The term Busoga also loosely refers to the area that is generally indigenous to the Basoga. The kingdom's capital is located in Bugembe, which is near Jinja, the second largest city in Uganda. As of June 2007, Busoga Kingdom is composed of eight politically organised districts: Kamuli, Iganga, Bugiri, Mayuge, Jinja, and the newly created districts of Kaliro and Busiki (luuka district). Each district is headed by democratically elected chairpersons or Local Council Five, while municipalities are headed by an elected mayor. Jinja is the industrial and economical hub of Busoga. The Busoga area is bounded on the north by the swampy Lake Kyoga which separates it from Lango, on the west by the Victoria Nile which separates it from Buganda, on the south by Lake Victoria which separates it from Tanzania and Kenya, and on the east by the Mpologoma River, which separates it from various smaller tribal groups (Padhola, Bugwere, Bugisu, etc.). Busoga also includes some islands in Lake Victoria, such as Buvuma Island.

Before the coming of the British to Uganda, there was no uniting leadership in Busoga. When Uganda became a British protectorate, attempts were made to create a central form of administration on the model of Buganda which was a fully fledged kingdom. The Buganda King – the Kabaka had lineage going back centuries. However, in Busoga some of the chiefs had been simply appointed by the Kabaka – and it is believed that in some cases they were descendants of favored Baganda chiefs who were given authority to rule over land in Busoga. Others simply belonged to powerful landowning families in Busoga that had become self-appointed rulers over vast areas. The British brought all these chiefs into an administrative structure called the Lukiiko. The British appointed a Muganda from Buganda, Semei Kakungulu as the President of the Lukiiko and he became Busoga’s first leader, although the British refused to give him the title of 'King', as they did not regard him as a real king.

However wrangles amongst the different chiefs and clans continued, and most Basoga still retained affiliation to their chief, clan or dialect. It was also not helpful that the 'King' was from Buganda. The Lukiiko structure collapsed. The structure had however given the Basoga a taste of what influence they could muster in the protectorate if they had a King. It would elevate them to the level of Bunyoro and Buganda.

Meanwhile, the white colonial rulers were grooming Chief Yosia Nadiope, the Gabula of Bugabula to become the first permanent resident ruler of the formed Busoga federation. Nadiope had been one of the first Basoga students to study at Kings College Budo in 1906. However, catastrophe struck Busoga in 1913, when Nadiope died of malaria. The following year 1914, Chief Ezekeriel Tenywa Wako, the Zibondo of Bulamogi was completing his studies at Kings College Budo. With the support of the British coupled with his background as a Prince, Zibondo of Bulamogi, with his good educational background, was a suitable candidate for the top post. In 1919, the hereditary saza chiefs of Busoga resolved in the Lukiiko to elect Ezekerial Tenywa Wako as president of Busoga. Chief Gideon Obodha of Kigulu, a contending candidate for the post was not familiar with the British system, while William Wilberforce Nadiope Kadhumbula of Bugabula was still an infant. His regent Mwami Mutekanga was a 'mukoopi' (a commoner) who couldn’t run for the post. Eventually, in 1918-9, the title of Isebantu Kyabazinga was created and one of the chiefs, Wako took the throne. He was given a salary of 550 pounds, and permitted to collect taxes in Butembe county in lieu of the lost role in his traditional chiefdom of Bulamogi. In 1925, Ezekiel Tenywa Wako, the Kyabazinga of Busoga became a member of Uganda Kings Council, consisting of the Kyabazinga of Busoga, Kabaka of Buganda, the Omukama of Bunyoro, Omukama of Toro/Omukama of Tooro and Omugabe of Ankole.

On 11 February 1939 Owekitibwa Ezekerial Tenywa Wako (late father of the last Isebantu Kyabazinga wa Busoga, HRH Henry Wako Muloki), the Zibondo of Bulamogi was installed as the first Isebantu Kyabazinga wa Busoga which title he continued to hold until 1949 when he retired due to old age. By the time Owekitibwa E.T. Wako retired as the Isebantu Kyabazinga wa Busoga, the Busoga Lukiiko had expanded to include people other than the Hereditary Rulers. These members of the Busoga Lukiiko were elected representatives – two from each of the then 55 Sub-counties in Busoga.

When Owekitibwa E.T.Wako retired, it was necessary to replace him. The Busoga Lukiiko resolved then that the Isebantu Kyabazinga wa Busoga shall always be elected among the five lineages of Baise Ngobi (Ababiito) hereditary rulers – traditionally believed to have been the five sons of Omukama of Bunyoro who immigrated to Busoga from Bunyoro.

The source of the Nile, the second longest river in the world, marked by the discovery of one of the first European explorers, John Speke, is an internationally unique attraction. The tranquility and splendour of both Lake Victoria and River Nile embody great memories of any visitor. This among others, such as the Bujagali ancestral site for the Basoga ancestral spirits at Bujagali falls, includes the numerous rapids along the Nile, virgin nature across the region, and the culture of the people and the great Lake Victoria by no doubt gives Busoga Kingdom its distinct place in tourism. Southern Busoga is lined with the waters of Lake Victoria. The coastline starts from Jinja and goes eastwards, to the border with Kenya.

The Karamojongs

Karamojong or Karimojong, are an ethnic group of agro-pastoral herders living mainly in the north-east of Uganda. Their language is also known as Karamojong or Karimojong, and is part of the Nilo-Saharan language group.

The Karamojong live in the southern part of Karamoja region in the north-east of Uganda, occupying an area equivalent to one tenth of the country. According to anthropologists, the Karamojong are part of a group that migrated from present-day Ethiopia around 1600 A.D. and split into two branches, with one branch moving to present day Kenya to form the Kalenjin group and Maasai cluster. The other branch, called Ateker, migrated westwards. Ateker further split into several groups, including Turkana in present day Kenya, Iteso, Dodoth, Jie, Karamojong, and Kumam in present day Uganda, also Jiye and Toposa in southern Sudan all of them together now known as the "Teso Cluster" or "Karamojong Cluster".

It is said that the Karamojong were originally known as the Jie. The name Karamojong derived from phrase "ekar ngimojong", meaning "the old men can walk no farther". According to tradition, the peoples now known as the Karamojong Cluster or Teso Cluster are said to have migrated from Abyssinia between the 1600 and 1700 AD as a single group. When they reached the area around the modern Kenyan-Ethiopian border, they are said to have fragmented into several groups including those that became Turkana, Toposa, and the Dodoth. The group that became known as the Toposa continued to present day southern Sudan; the Dodoth, settled in Apule in the northern part of present day Karamoja. The Turkana settled in Kenya where they are now and today's Jie of Uganda are thought to have split from them, moving up the escarpment into today's Kotido District. The main body continued southwards, reportedly consisting of seven groups or clans who settled in today's southern Karamoja, eventually merging to become the three clans now existing: the Matheniko in the east around Moroto mountain, the Pian in the south and the Bokora in the west. However, a significant sized group went west and formed the Iteso, the Kumam, and the Langi. It was this group who were said to have used the phrase "the old men can walk no farther".

Related to Turkana: in the Karamojong language, the people and the language have the convenient prefixes ŋi- and ŋa- respectively. Lack of a prefix indicates the land where they live. All the above mentioned branches from Ateker speak languages that are mutually intelligible. (The Lango in Uganda are also ethnically and genetically close to the ŋiKarimojong, evidenced by similar names among other things, though they adopted a dialect of the Luo language).

The main livelihood activity of the Karamojong is herding livestock, which has social and cultural importance. Crop cultivation is a secondary activity, undertaken only in areas where it is practicable. Due to the arid climate of the region, the Karamojong have always practiced a sort of pastoral transhumance, where for 3-4 months in a year, they move their livestock to the neighboring districts in search of water and pasture for their animals. The availability of food and water is always a concern and has an impact on the Karamojong's interaction with other ethnic groups.

The dominant feature of Karamojong society is their age system, which is strictly based on generation. As successive generations have an increasing overlap in age, this leads logically to a breakdown of the system, which appears to have occurred after rules were relaxed in the nineteenth century among their close neighbours, the Jie. However, the Karamojong system is flexible enough to contain a build-up of tension between generations over a cycle of 50 years or so. When this can no longer be resolved peacefully, the breakdown in order leads to a switch in power from the ruling generation to their successors and a new status quo. The next changeover is expected around 2013. [Dyson-Hudson, Neville (1966), Karimojong Politics, Clarendon Press, Oxford. Spencer, Paul (1998), The Pastoral Continuum: The Marginalization of Tradition in East Africa, Clarendon Press, Oxford (pp. 99-119).]

As both a rite of passage into manhood, as well as a requirement for engagement, a young Karamojong man is required to wrestle the woman he desires to marry. If he is successful in winning the wrestling match against the woman, he is now considered to be a man and is permitted to marry the woman. This ensures that the man will be strong enough to care for and protect his wife. After a successful match, the dowry negotiations are allowed to commence. In an instance where the young man is unable to defeat the woman in the wrestling match, he will not be considered by his people to be a man and will often leave to marry a woman from a different people-group where a test of strength is not required. If a non-Karamojong man desires to marry a Karamojong woman, he is also required to go through this ceremony.

The Karamojong have been involved in various conflicts centered on the practice of cattle raids.
The Karamojong are in constant conflict with their neighbors in Uganda, Sudan and Kenya due to frequent cattle raids. This could be partly due to a traditional belief that the Karamojong own all the cattle by a divine right, but also because cattle are also an important element in the negotiations for a bride and young men use the raids as a rite of passage and way of increasing their herds to gain status. In recent years the nature and the outcome of the raids have become increasingly violent with the acquisition of AK47s by the Karamojong. The Ugandan government have attempted to broker deals for weapons amnesties, but the number of cattle the Karamojong have wanted per gun has proved too steep for any meaningful agreement to be made.

The story of Lembas & Senas with more events

Approximately 2,500 years ago, a group of Jews left Judea and settled in Yemen. The tribe was led by the house of Buba and we are told that this move was to facilitate trade. In Yemen they settled in a place and built a city called Senna 1. They were then known as the BaSenna (the people from Senna)

When conditions became unfavorable, and not being a historian, I can not give you exact details of what went wrong; but let’s just say they could no longer call Yemen home, the House of Hamisi took over the leadership and led the people across into Africa. Once in Africa, the tribe split into two sections: one group settled in Ethiopia and the other group went further south along the East Coast. They settled in what today is known as Tanzania/Kenya and built Senna 2. Here they prospered and increased in numbers.

I’m afraid the travel bug bit once again and they were on the move. A small group went and settled in Malawi and Kenya. Their descendants are still residing in these countries up to today and are generally known as Ba Mwenye (Lords of the Land) The remaining group, under the leadership of the house of Bakali, moved on and settled in Mozambique. Here they built Senna 3. Even today, the BaSenna are found in Mozambique.

After many years, part of the tribe, now under the leadership of Seremane (which is the house I belong to), moved further south to settle in Chiramba in what is known today as Zimbabwe. They were known as the Ba-Lemba. Our people still live there up to today. Some of the tribe moved south again and eventually settled in South Africa (Venda, Louis Trichadt, Pietersburg and Tzaneen).

This story has been told to all Lemba children from the time they are able to comprehend. It is told so that we know where we come from, who we are and how we live. It is told and shall continue to be told and written so that future generations are not lost, never to be found again.

We believe in only one God Nwali. He is the creator of all things. Over time, due to certain circumstances, a number of Lemba have been baptized as Christians.

Sena Tribe

Asena is the name given to people from this tribe. The Sena came from Mozambique, entering Malawi through the south and settled in the Lower Shire area in Chikwawa and Nsanje Districts where they are still found today. Their language of communication is Chisena.

The Sena people are located in central Mozambique where the Zambezi River runs through varying terrain of swamps, woodlands and savannah. The Sena people are nearly all subsistence farmers, growing mainly rice and corn, which they supplement with millet, cassava, sweet potatoes and fruit.

The Sena people live in central Mozambique where the Zambezi River runs through a varying terrain of swamps, woodlands and savannah. Intense suffering from past persecution and natural disasters has produced a spiritual hunger which has seen the church double in size between 1988 and 2000. Among the Sena, numerous denominations are working and it is estimated that 40 percent of the population calls itself Christian. The remaining population participates in traditional religious practices.

The Sena people are largely concentrated in the Southern Region of Malawi especially in the Lower Shire Valley. They are mostly distributed in the districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa and some parts of Mwanza and Thyolo Highlands. The Sena practice a number of economic strategies ranging from small scale fishing in the shire river as well as cultivating cotton, which is sold as the cash crop. The lower shire has a national park and a number of game reserves. There is Lengwe National Park, Nyala Park, Majete Game Reserve and Mwabvi Game Reserve.

The Sena people came into Malawi in the late nineteenth century. Their original home is the South Bank of Zambezi bordering with Mozambique, particularly in a town called Sena. The Sena people speak Chisena as their mother tongue. However, due to the forces of multiculturalism and globalization, some tend to have a Mang'anja accent as well as the Chichewa language, which is spoken by ethnic groups bordering the Sena.

The Sena are of patrilineal descent and practice virilocal marriage system. In this instance, after marriage arrangements the wife moves out of her parents home village and lives in the husband`s home village. The Sena also practice the Lobola marriage system. In this instance, the prospective husband pays a bride price to the parents of the wife. This is mostly in form of cattle. When this is not available he pays a certain amount of money equivalent to the number of cattle one was expected to pay with. The Sena people do practice chokolo (widow inheritance). The one who inherits the widow also inherits the all the property as well as the children. However, in the wake of HIV/AIDS, chokolo has received a lot of criticism. Alongside chokolo, is another form of marriage called nthena. This happens when a husband has successfully taken care of the family (including the father-in-law), and as a token of appreciation, the in-laws family give him a sister to his wife. However, the children of nthena are not of the same status as that of the original wife. Furthermore, the Sena people do practice polygamy. The wives can build houses adjacent to each other but do not usually have a communal meal.

The Sena have no senior chiefs of their own but only village headmen and eni mbumba (leaders of the clan). This is because they are believed to be immigrants and by the time they arrived into the country, there was already another group called the Mang`anja who claimed to be the owners of the land. Hence for the Sena to successfully live among the Mang`anja it had nothing to do with kingship but political adherence.

The Sena village consists of the paternal grandfather with his married sons and grandsons to whom he acts as a leader. The paternal grandfather acts as Nkoko Ogona (Senior Authority Figure) who sorts out and rectifies matters in times of disputes. Normally in their political organization there is a principle of seniority. Line of inheritance is patrilineal. When a clan leader dies, power goes to the deceased`s brother or his son.

Connected to hunting and it is used as a social criticism. The rationale behind Machipo is to rebuke the means and gluttons, to enable people to share either their food or other material belongings. It is performed by both sexes. The drummers sit in the middle of the circle. In the process a certain man poses as a hunter, he comes into the village and finds a group of women, he approaches them telling them about his success, they all leave for the bush; they go to a place where the hunter has hidden his kill. Together, they carry the carcass home and share it among themselves to their satisfaction.

Songoi or Songhai people 

Goi in Hebrew is people.

Alternate Names Central Songai, Hombori Songhay, Songay, Songay Senni, Songhai, Songhay, Songhoy, Songoi, Songoy, Sonrai, Sonrhai, Humburi.

Population 15,000 in Mali (1999 J. Heath). Population total all countries: 25,000.

The hat on the man resembles a Jewish Kippa. Location Mopti Region, Douentza circle, between Gao and Mopti cities; Timbuktu Region, Gourma-Rharous circle. Also in Burkina Faso (Songhay).

Classification Nilo-Saharan, Songhai, Southern

Dialects Closely related languages: Koyraboro Senni Songhay [ses], Zarma [dje], Dendi [ddn], Tadaksahak and [dsq]. Maransé dialect is 77% intelligible of Songhay of Falangountou. Lexical similarity: Maransé is 65% with Songhay of Falangoutou, 35% with Songhay of Gao.

The Songhai (also Songhay, Songhoi or Sonrai) are west Africans who speak Songhai languages, the lingua franca of the Songhai Empire which dominated the western Sahel in the 15th and 16th century. The Songhai are found primarily throughout Mali in the Western sudanic region (not the country). The name Songhai is historically neither an ethnic nor a linguistic designation, but a name for the ruling caste of the Songhay Empire. Speakers in Mali have adopted it as an ethnic self-designation but other Songhay-speaking groups identify themselves by other ethnic terms such as Zarma (or Djerma, the largest subgroup of the Songhai) or Isawaghen. The dialect of Koyraboro Senni spoken in Gao is unintelligible to speakers of the Zarma dialect of Niger, according to at least one report. The Songhay languages are commonly taken to be Nilo-Saharan but this classification remains controversial: Dimmendaal (2008) believes that for now it is best considered an independent language family.

It was from one of Mali's former conquests, the kingdom of Gao, that the last major empire of the western Sudan emerged. Although the city of Gao had been occupied by a Songhai dynasty prior to being conquered by Mansa Musa's forces in 1325, it was not until much later that the Songhai empire emerged. The empire saw its pre-eminent rise under the military strategist and influential Songhai king, Sonni Ali Ber. It began its rise in 1468 when Sonni Ali conquered much of the weakening Mali empire's territory as well as Timbuktu, famous for its Islamic universities, and the pivotal trading city of Djenné. Among the country's most noted scholars was Ahmed Baba—a highly distinguished historian frequently quoted in the Tarikh al-Sudan and other works. The people consisted of mostly fishermen and traders. Following Sonni Ali's death, Muslim factions rebelled against his successor and installed Soninke general, Askia Muhammad (formerly Muhammad Toure) who was to be the first and most important ruler of the Askia dynasty (1492–1592). Under the Askias, the Songhai empire reached its zenith.

Following Askia Muhammad, the empire began to collapse. It was enormous and could not be kept under control. The kingdom of Morocco saw Songhay's still flourishing salt and gold trade and decided that it would be a good asset.

Morgan Freeman and Kimberly Elise are some notable descendants of the Songhai.

The Baluba or Luba of Congo

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.

I have received a number of communications from the Luba who are fully aware of this discourse. One of them suggested an etymology for the name ´Luba´ which would convey the sense of Lost Tribe. The idea of a Jewish identity for the Luba has recently been described in a publication of the United State Institute of Peace. Since the early 1960s, the report observes, ´Luba administrative, social, and commercial elites have spread all over the Congo country to form an ethnic diasora that has been viewed with suspicion by the rest of the political class´. According to the report:

As early as the 1960s, the Baluba regarded themselves as the ´Jews of the Congo´, and some of their most notorious leaders (for example J. Ngalula) were called ´Moise´. They felt persecuted by most of the other ethnic constituencies, who disliked the privileges the Baluba allegedly garnered under the white administration. During the Second Republic they remained highly visible in politics: President Mobutu´s strategy was to consistently absorb the Luba elite into the highest levels of the political hierarchy in order to better control it. Since 1978 one of the harshest opponents of the regime among the Luba elite has been Etienne Tshisekedi, later named the ´Zairian Moise´, who, together with ten fellow Kasaians, led a protracted struggle against Mobutu....... In almost all the regions and provinces, the Luba diaspora is implicitly accused of wanting power only for its own people. Like the Shabans, the Luba are threatened with expulsion by the ´native ones´. The grievances fo the ´Jews of Zaire´once again resonate.

The Bakwa Dishi is a people belonging to the Luba ethnic group living today in the Kasai-Oriental Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Miabi, the Dishi Capital, is located 16 miles (26 km) West of Mbuji-Mayi. The territory of the Bakwa Dishi lies on approximately 1,900 square miles (4,900 km2), which is known as the Miabi territory.

They speak Tshiluba in spite of their history with the Lunda Empire, and their dialect is considered the oldest and purest among the Luba-Kasai.

Jews Of South 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.

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 worshipped. As in the Book of Leviticus, blood sacrifices were offered or sins. The worst sins required the sacrifice of a sheep, the ones below these a boat, 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 underreported 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 would like to see such remnants preserved, here is yet another reason to stand up for the brave people of South Sudan. William Levi Ochan Ajjugo is the President of "Operation Nehemiah for South Sudan".

Madi people

The Mà'dí people live in the Magwi County in South Sudan, and the districts of Adjumani and Moyo in Uganda. From south to north, the area runs from the from Nimule(at Sudan-Uganda border) to Nyolo River where the Ma’di mingle with Acholi, Bari and Lolubo. From the east to west, it runs from Parajok/Magwi to Uganda across the River Nile.

Blake The speakers refer to themselves and are known Madi. In standard orthography this is Ma'di; the aprostrophe indicates that d is implosive. The speakers refer to their language as madi ti, literally meaning Ma'di mouth. Among themselves, Ma'di refer to each other as belonging to a suru ("clan" or "tribe"), which may further be broken down to pa, "the descendants of," which in some cases overlap with suru. While a Madi can only marry someone from outside their clan, they must normally marry within the group that shares the Madi language. Many neighboring speakers of Moru–Madi languages go by the name of Madi.

According to one popular folk tale, the name Madi came as an answer to a question by a white man to a Madi man. When the first white person in the area asked the question 'who are you?', the bemused response was madi, i.e. a person. This was taken to be the name of the people, which came to be corrupted to the present.

Another Ma'di narrative tries to account for the names of some of the Moru–Ma'di group members. When the progenitors of the Ma'di were pushed southwards, on reaching a strategic location they declared, Muro-Amadri, i.e., "Let's form a settle here". And so they formed a cluster to defend themselves. This group came to be known as the Moru. A group broke off in search of greener pastures in a more or less famished state, until they found an edible tree called lugba ('desert dates' - ximenia aegyptiaca).

After they ate some of the fruits, they took some with them. When the time came to refill their stomachs again, a woman who lost her harvest was heard enquiring about the lugba ri 'the desert dates'. This group came to be known as logbara but the Ma'di still call them lugban. The final group on reaching fertile grounds resolved and declared ma di 'here I am (finally)'. And these came to be known as the Ma'di.

Ma’di oral history claims Nigeria as the cradle of Ma’di people – their place of origin. According to the one commonly told oral narrative, the Ma’di people left Nigeria, moved southward until they reached Amadi, a town in southwest Sudan, where they settled. The word Amadi in Ma’di language means here we are. It also means, at our place. From this storyline by then the Ma’di and Moru were still one ethnic group. Their moving to the area may have put them in contact with Israelites & receive Israelite costums.

Origin of the Yoruba and “The Lost Tribes of Israel”

Do the Yorubas have origin in Jeroboam, king of Israel? They may not be Israelites as other neighboring tribes, but they have some Israelite ancestry & even more in other Middle Eastern peoples, especially Assyrians. 

Historians tend to discard this information as fictive because it seems to press all early human history into the mould of descent from Noah. However, it can be shown that al-Yaʿqūbī was too dedicated to facts to manipulate the history of African people by inventing ex nihilo details of an early migration in order to make it fit the preconceived idea of biblical descent. Most likely he relied in this case on information obtained from travelers who had visited the Sahelian kingdoms themselves. In fact, two other writers, Ibn Qutayba in the ninth century and al-Masʿūdī in the tenth, echo similar partly independent traditions.
Today the court historians of these surviving kingdoms still relate stories of early migrations. This is the case in Kanem-Bornu, where the dynastic hero is said to have migrated with his people from Baghdad to Yemen and hence to the region of Lake Chad. In the central Hausa state of Daura, the great national tradition claims that the bulk of the people came from Syria-Palestine and that the leader originated from Baghdad. Further to the west, in Kebbi traditionalists relate the story of a legendary hero who departed from a town in the Near East and continued with his followers via Egypt and Fezzan to the present locations of the people. The heroes of these and other stories of migrations can in some cases – such as Kanem and Kebbi – be identified with the great Mesopotamian empire builder Sargon of Akkad (2334 – 2279), who mutated into an epoch hero, incorporating into his figure several, later ancient Near Eastern kings, und finally even leading his people to West Africa. In other cases, the hero of the migration corresponds to the Assyrian refugee king, Assur-uballit II (612 – 609). 

From the Babylonian Chronicle we know the major details of the fall of the Assyrian Empire: the defeated crown prince fled with his troops from the conquered city of Nineveh, was crowned as the last king of Assyria in Harran in Syria, and got military support from the Egyptians, but he became so insignificant that the Chronicle omits any mention of him in connection with the crushing defeat of the Egyptian troops at Carchemish in 605 b.c. Assuruballit II figures prominently in several West African traditions: the great Hausa legend of Daura calls him after his second name Bayajidda (uballit˙> baya-jidd(a)), relates his flight with half of the royal troops from “Baghdad” (as an actualization of Nineveh), traces his migration to Bornu (for Egypt) where the king of Bornu lent his troops little by little for his own benefit, until the hero finally travelled alone on his horse to Daura in Hausaland, where he killed the dragon, married the queen, who had earlier immigrated with her people from Syria-Palestine, had children with her, and thus became the founder of the seven Hausa states (Palmer 1928:133 f.; Lange 2004: 290 – 295). 
According to the original version of the written reports of Kanem, the leader of the great migration via Egypt and Fezzan was Arku, a name which due to its Akkadian meaning, “the second,” seems to designate Assuruballit  II (Lange 2011b: 17 f.). Hence, the traditions of major states situated north of the Yoruba refer to a great migration of state builders from the Near East, in which the heroic leader bears either some form of the name of the greatest Mesopotamian empire builder Sargon of Akkad, venerated in particular by the Sargonic kings of Assyria, or some form of the name of Assur-uballit II, the last king of Assyria.

Onomastic evidence, derived from Arabic dynastic accounts initiated by earlier Hebrew or Aramaic writings, confirms the validity of the orally transmitted migration legends. For the Near Eastern background of the history of Kanem, we have the king lists and the Diwan, a chronicle in Arabic based on an earlier chronicle written in Hebrew which can be shown to present a condensé in the form of a short king list dealing with the origin of the state builders of Kanem (Lange 1977: 66 f.). Beginning with the figure heads of the three maor states of the Fertile Crescent – Sēf/Sargon of Akkad, Ibrāhīm/ Abraham of Israel, Duku/Hammurabi of Babylonia -, it continues with four kings standing for the Neo-Assyrian expansion: Fune/Fûl (Tiglath-pileser III) and three other kings representing Urartian, Elamite, and Hittite deportees; it ends with two kings indicating the fall of the Assyrian Empire. These last kings of the ancient prehistory of Kanem are Bulu/Nabopolassar (626 – 605) and Arku/Assur-uballit II (612 – 609). 

The insertion of Nabopolassar, the Babylonian conqueror of Assyria, into a king list that otherwise reflects a pro-Assyrian view of the ancient Near Eastern prehistory of the state founders of Kanem can be explained by the ambiguous attitude of the different refugee communities of deportees towards the Assyrian state. On one hand they were indebted to the Assyrian leadership for their admission to high positions of the Assyrian state and army, but, on the other hand, they considered the Assyrian elite as their oppressors and accordingly hailed the Babylonian conquerors. By introducing the name of the Babylonian conqueror between the names of kings representing the communities of Assyrian deportees and the last Assyrian king, the ancient chronicler provides in onomastic form a fairly accurate glimpse of the fall of Assyria.

Evidence derived from the king list of Kebbi confirms the validity of this analysis based on onomastic chronologically exactly with the Babylonian conqueror of Assyria and the Assyrian refugee king, called in this case Maru-Tamau/Nabopolassar (626-605) and Maru-Kanta/Assur-uballit  II (612 – 609) (Lange 2009: 369 – 375). Therefore, it can hardly be doubted that Kanem and Kebbi – and several other great states north of the Yoruba – were founded by refugees from the collapsing Assyrian empire comprising a few Assyrians and numerous deported communities settled in the western provinces of the Empire. They were pushed westward to Syria by the advancing Babylonian – and Median – troops, where together with their Egyptian allies they were defeated in the battle of Carchemish in 605 b.c. and hence fled in the tracks of their allies to Egypt and thence to West Africa (Lange 2010a: 105 – 107). 

A word should be said about the Israelite component of these ancient Near Eastern immigrants. ThoBagwariya/Hagar, offered by the queen to the hero, just as Hagar was offered by Sarah to Abraham. She gave birth to a son equivalent to Ishmael, the ancestor of the twelve Arab tribes, who in turn engendered the ancestors of the seven non-Hausa states.

In the context of deportees from the northern Israelite state alone, the number of twelve appears to have been reduced to seven, und the contrast between the two sets of seven states seems to distinguish between Israelite and non-Israelite state founders from among immigrant Assyrian deportee groups. In Kano, the greatest town of Hausaland, the equivalent of the Ark of the Covenant – called in this case Cukana/Sakina – was destroyed in the wake of the Fulani Jihad at the beginning of the nineteenth century (Palmer 1928: 116, 127; Last 1980: 172). Interestingly this Sakina bears the name of Isaac. Other important remnants of Israelite culture can be traced in the Hausa states of Ƙatsina, Biram and Kebbi. Owing to postcolonial Afrocentrism, they have not yet attracted the attention they deserve.

Yoruba Traditions of Migration from the Near East

The Yoruba live in a tropical region too far south of the Sahara to have come to the note of medieval Arab geographers. Although now considered as a single “tribe” or people, in precolonial times the Yoruba did not form a political unit, but comprised many separate states in what is now southwestern Nigeria. “Yoruba was an alternative name for the largest and most powerful of these states, Ọyọ, in the north. The name was extended in the second half of the nineteenth century to the entire linguistic and cultural group claiming a common origin from Ile Ifẹ, the site of a remarkable myth of creation Therefore, the few remarks on the Yoruba occurring in writings of African scholars of the Sudanic belt from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century refer solely to the kingdom of Ọyọ and not to all Yoruba-speaking people.

The first and only Sudanic author to provide precise information on the origin of the Yoruba is Muh˙ammad Bello, the son of the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate and his later successor. In his “Infāq almays˙ūr,” written in 1812, he included a brief account of Yoruba origins, stating that the Yoruba were remnants of the Canaanites of the tribe of Nimrūd who were expelled from Iraq by Yaʿrub b. Qah˙t˙ān and who fled to the west before they proceeded via Egypt and Ethiopia until they came to Yoruba.

Yaʿrub b. Qah˙t˙ān, said to have expelled the Yoruba from Iraq, was probably chosen from among the ancient kings of the Yemenites on account of accidental homophony. According to Arab historians, Yaʿrubb. Qah˙t˙ān was the second king following Qah˙t˙ān/Yoktan, son of Eber, and on account of his name he was thought to have been the first Arabic speaker among these kings. Mentioned instead of Ọranyan/Jacob in some Yoruba accounts of creation, the name Yoruba itself is, however, more likely to have been derived from the name of Jeroboam, designating the founder of the northern Israelite kingdom. Bello mentions further the settlement of kindred refugees in the hill country – presumably south of Sokoto – and in the town of Yauri, people who have traditions of origin bearing great similarities to those of the Ọyọ-Yoruba (Hogben and Kirk-Greene 1966: 256 – 260). From the reading of the other traditions of origin recorded by Bello, it appears that the author credits with Near Eastern origins only those people whom he highly respects, such as his own Fulani, the Kanuri of Kanem-Bornu, and the Yoruba.

The ancestral Yoruba lived in Mecca and their king was Nimrod. Braima, i.e., Abraham, instigated a revolt against the polytheistic regime of Nimrod in the course of which Nimrod was killed. Thereupon Oduduwa, the son of Nimrod, fled with his followers and the idols to Africa and left en route some kindred people such as the Kanuri of Kanem-Bornu and the people of the Hausa kingdoms of Gobir. He settled with his people in Yorubaland, where he founded the holy city of Ile Ifẹ. under the layer of the interpretative Arab story we find some elements of an authentic tradition: though not necessarily in Mecca, the ancestors of the Yoruba once lived in the Near East; called by the biblical name Nimrod, their ancestral king was killed in the course of a popular uprising; his son Oduduwa fled with many people, some of whom settled en route to later Yorubaland. Considering the traditions of people on the possible route of migration between Syria-Palestine, Darfur, and the region of Lake Chad, we find ample references to countries of provenance and ancient figures belonging to the history of the Fertile Crescent.

In a recent and more faithfully recorded version of the dynastic tradition of Ọyọ, the original town of the ancestral Yoruba in Arabia is not called Mecca but Mọndiana. Independently from Johnson the Ọyọ prince Adẹyemi wrote in 1914 that the Yoruba together with their northern neighbors, the people of Borgu, originated from Medina. One might think that both towns, Mecca and Medina, are mentioned in Yoruba traditions simply because they had come to the note of the people in consequence of pilgrimages by their Muslim neighbors. This is only true to the extent that the geography of the Near East was reduced in the minds of landlocked Africans to those towns frequently mentioned in oral accounts. However, from recent recordings of the royal traditions of Ọyọ it appears that neither Mecca nor Medina was the name retained by the tradition for the original home town, but Mọndiana. The royal bards of Ọyọ distinguish Mọndiana from Medina and they clearly localize the town “beyond Mecca”. Such a designation of the place of origin of the Yoruba comes close to the tradition of provenance of the Kabawa, localizing the original home of the people in a town called Madayana not yet accommodated to Arab notions of Near Eastern geography (such as Baghdad or Yemen). Both Mọndiana and Madayana seem to be names derived from the Aramaic designation madīnah “town, city” referring to a great city of Mesopotamia. Similarly, several biblical authors mention Nineveh by the generic Hebrew term îr “city”.3 In the Yoruba and Kebbi tradition, the two designations could, therefore, refer to the great city of Nineveh that was left by the crown prince with his followers after a major disaster.

In the context of a general reevaluation of the ancient history of the Central Sudan it appears that the theory of a migration of the ancestral Yoruba from Mesopotamia is in line with the history of their northern neighbors in the Niger-Chad region. This theory does not postulate a massive migration of people from the Near East at an undetermined moment in time, but repercussions from the fall of the Assyrian Empire and the subsequent defeat of the Egypto-Assyrian army in 605 b.c. . There is nothing improbable in the idea that these decisive events are reflected in the traditions of people whose ancestors seem to have fled in great numbers to West Africa. Thus the parallel Hausa and Yoruba traditions, mentioning the death of the last great king in the ancestral capital, refer in all likelihood to the death of Sin shar-ishkun in his palace in Nineveh. It appears from the traditions of Kanem-Bornu, Hausaland, and Yorubaland that, although numerically not very important, the Israelites had the greatest cultural influence of all the different national groups which found their way to West Africa.

We find the epoch hero Ajaka/Isaac on the Ọyọ/Israelite throne, in whose second name Ajuwon it is tempting to see a slightly changed form of the name Jehu. From him the tradition shifts to two kings, Aganju  (6) and Kọri (7), who according to the story of the former’s wife and the latter’s mother, Iyayun/Semiramis, can perhaps be identified with the Assyrian kings Shamshi-Adad V (824 – 811) and Adad-nirari III (811 – 781).

The next king mentioned by Ọyọ tradition is Oluaso (8) who on account of his name appears to correspond to the Israelite king Joash (804 – 790). Though at first sight both names seem to have little in common, a simple transformation seems to have taken place: the theophoric part of the name Jo/Yahweh was replaced by the neutral El/olu theophoric element, while the second part of the name was only slightly changed: aš (has given) > aso. Both kings are remembered for their peaceful and beneficial reign. The last mentioned king of preexile Israel is Olugbogi (9), who by his name – the second part of the name being a dialectical variant of (yāro)bʿām “may the people be great” > (Olug)bogi – seems to be equivalent to Jeroboam II (790 – 750). He was succeeded by three further Israelite kings, reigning for more than two years – Menahem (749 – 738), Pekah (740 – 732), and Hoshea (731 – 722). These minor kings are remembered in other contexts in Ọyọ tradition as Memie/Menahem and Paku/Pekah and in other Yoruba traditions as Huisi/Hoshea.6 The deportation of Israelites began after the conquest of the major part of the northern kingdom by Tiglath-pileser III in 733 – 732 and it was continued after the fall of Samaria in 722 b.c. . It is, therefore, quite plausible that neglecting the last minor kings of Israel, Ọyọ tradition concentrates on Olugbogi/Jeroboam II as the last ruler of the Israelite kingdom before its destruction and the deportation of the people.

The second section of the corpus of Ọyọ tradition deals with the exile of the Israelites in the Igboho/ Ḫubur region. It is clearly distinguished from the preceding and the succeeding sections by the supposed burial of its kings in the town of Igboho, situated 55 km west of Ọyọ. The whole period is conceived of as an exile of the people and their successive kings in Igboho. Within the dynastic tradition of Ọyọ it apparently corresponds to the local projection of the Assyrian exile of Israelites in the Ḫubur region in eastern Syria subsequently to the Assyrian conquest of Samaria in 722 b.c. Apart from the spatial differentiation with regard to the residence of the people in Ọyọ and in Igboho, the semidivine nature of the early kings as opposed to the human nature of all the other kings introduces a distinction between two categories of kings who can be shown to have been first Israelites (with some in termediate Assyrians) and then Assyrians from the period of exile.

From this point the tradtion incorporates Assyrian rulers into a list of originally Israelite kings, and thus faithfully reflects the experience of exiled Israelites, who after deportation from their home country to Gozan/Ḫubur were no longer depending on their own but on Assyrian authorities.

The Yoruba as the “Lost Tribes of Israel”

Contrary to other African people – such as also the neighboring Igbo in southwestern Nigeria – the Yoruba never claimed an Israelite identity (Basden 1921: 411 – 423; Hodgkin 1975: 218 f.). Although several authors pointed out the existence of Israelite customs among the Yoruba, they saw them as side effects of Israelite influences and not as the result of a direct cultural transfer through migration from the northern kingdom of Israel (Johnson 1921: 6 f., 154; Biobaku 1955: 12 f.). More recently, reexamination of the Ọyọ dynastic tradition in combination with a comparison of cultural traits led to the conclusion that direct links must have existed between the northern Israelites and the Yoruba. However, owing to the incomplete study of Ọyọ tradition, this conclusion did not indicate the precise nature of the historical connection between ancient Israel and the Ọyọ-Yoruba. Avoiding the unmentionable notion of mass migration from the ancient Near East, it suggested instead that the remnants of Israelite traditions and culture traits were the result of sporadic influences from Syria-Palestine via Egypt, or of long-lasting trade relations between Phoenician North Africa and sub-Saharan West Africa.

From a comparative analysis of Ọyọ dynastic tradition and ancient Near Eastern history, it appears that Israelites migrated to West Africa subsequently to the fall of the Assyrian Empire, and that their descendants survive as the core people of the presentday Ọyọ-Yoruba. Indeed, Ọyọ tradition reveals that the ancestral Yoruba were mainly composed of Israelites, who, in the course of their history, became influenced by Assyrian views of past events. Providing precious details about the ancient Near Eastern history of their ancestors, it begins with some information on the Omride dynasty which ruled over Israel in the second half of the tenth and the first half of the ninth century. It continues by emphasizing the importance of the first Assyrian intervention in Israelite history – which took place in 841 b.c. –and at the same time it underlines the subservient role of Ọmọsanda/Jehu with respect to the Assyrian conquerors.18 Subsequently it depicts favourably some of the Israelite kings, and alluding to the Assyrian conquest of Samaria in 722 b.c., it mentions the departure of the people into exile under the leadership of Ofiran/Sargon II. From now on substituting Assyrian for Israelite kings it describes the settlement of the people under their new kings in the region of Ḫubur/Igboho, their main place of exile (situated in eastern Syria). It refers to the death of the last metropolitan Assyrian king in Nineveh in 612 b.c., and hence to the end of the Assyrian exile, first in a sympathetic and later in a hostile way, reflecting pro- and anti-Assyrian sentiments among immigrant groups to West Africa.


The magongona that Kikuyu spiritual leaders periodically offered at the fig trees, were equal to the priestly sacrifices offered in the Old Testament all culminate in the ultimate sacrifice that Christ offered on the cross. Sacrificing for God under a fig can be equated to some of the Israelites' practices and with Christianity, like when the elder who is to lead is one who is clean, so also those Priests of God of the Jews were called good and clean. Also the lamb that was used for sacrifice under a fig tree was to be unblemished. The same was done by the Israelites. Even Jesus Christ was called the unblemished lamb (John 1:29; 1Peter 1:19). Also under the fig tree Ngai was worshipped lamb (John 1:29; 1Peter 1:19). Also under the fig tree Ngai was worshipped in words and songs. Also some meat was left for Ngai in the altar and the rest divided amongst the elders. This is comparable with the Holy Communion among Christians.

Kikuyus and Jews, very similar indeed

1)Both have been persecuted for many years because of what they are.
2)Both are hardworking enterprenuers,intellectuals,le aders who get as much as they put in.
3)Both know how to fight back
4)Both are amazingly resilient
5)Most importantly both have God's unrelenting backing

The migration history of African communities is the least researched in the whole world. The very little that has been done by Scholars such as Prof. Muriuki and a few others is what has been taught in schools and what most people think is the gospel truth.

However, the truth of the matter is that there was never the so called Bantu migration from South Africa. The Only Bantu migration that took place was the south ward and East ward migration from some where in Nigeria and Cameroon.

The Bantu communities with the Jew heritage migrated East ward and initially settled in Ethiopia around Axum. They later moved southwards to settle in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. That is how Kikuyus, Tutsi, Merus, Kambas and Embus ended up in their current locations.

Tutsi Royalty

Other Bantu groups such as the Zulu, Ndebeles, Shonas etc, migrated southwards dropping some of the groups on the way until they reached the southern tip of Africa.

As for the physical appearance, I am sure that anybody would agree with me that there is little or no difference between the physical appearance of the majority Kikuyus and the majority Tutsi, both are generally tall, slender and brown, does that say something about their common heritage? I know this might be scaring and almost unthinkable to some people but the truth of the matter is that Kikuyus are actualy Jews and they do exihibit all the characteristics of the wider Jew community.

l have always wondered at the religious belief of the Kikuyu. There is a lot of similarity with the Jewish laws and ordinances. both believe in a holy mountain, one God with the same attributes, clean meat, and above all do not believe in spirit world but in curses. The Kikuyu also believe touching of a dead body is an abomination which is curiously Biblical. l know many African tribes have the same beliefs.. Hey, but so what? Maybe they are all Jewish. 

It is also believed that in the distance past, the Kuria, Logolo, Suba, Bukusu, Kikuyu, Meru Embu and the Kamba were the same people. On their way South from a country called “Misri” (Egypt), they dispersed to different directions.

About 1000 years before Christ the Israelites were scattered throughout the world. There are descendants of Israel in the whole world. l watched a film of Japanese descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph and they still kept the Israelite traditions. But they look Asian. 

Unlike you l see a lot of similarities. Where do you think they learned about a sacred tree, or sacrificing sheep or goats without blemish. The sacrificial system has so so many similarities. 
Even the choice of elders who did this and the holy smoke as it rose up. Even their prayer facing Mt Kenya. 

l know this is not just a Kikuyu thing but, we all have our roots from the middle east. 
Have you wondered why all nations and tribes of the world have a flood story? Check it out. 
What about the creation story. In all corners of the world there are similar stories some which sound like they have been copied from the Bible. Even though we know some do not believe in it. 

A point in one is the Gilgamesh poem and Ebla tablets which were written before the Bible have both the story of creation and the flood. 

Finally Kikuyu believe in life after death, but this is also in line with the Biblical belief. But they do not worship the spirits.


Professor Allen S. Godbey says that the word Tabiban means smiths; he has located these Jews in central Ethiopia. The Tabiban Jews were really Falashas, but they were forced to accept a nominal Christianity. They were like the Marrano Jews of Spain, forced to accept a religion against their will. The word Falasha in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, means immigrants. The Falashas did not call themselves by this name; they used the name "Bet Israel" (the house of Israel), but the Abyssians called them Falashas. 

Because the other tribes in Ethiopia called the house of Israel Falashas or immigrants, this would suggest that perhaps the Falasha Jews came to Abyssinia at a later date; therefore, they were ostracized because they did not accept Christianity. 

The Falashas held the monopoly on the skilled trades in Ethiopia: they were leather-workers, potters, smiths, and masons. 

The Kamant Jews were separated into two classes: the Keberti (honored), from these the priests are chosen, and the Yetanti (small or insignificant people). By the way, these two classes were called by names that are similar to the Hebrew. The Kamant Jews esteem Moses highly and many other Old Testament personalities; they observe Yom Kippur and the feasts for the dead. Because they remain isolated from other Jews, Christian, and pagans, they learn very little from the external world. 

Qemants Of Ethiopia: Are They Ancient Converts To Judaism Or Ethnic Jews?

The Qemant are another Ethiopian enigma, their religion is a mix of ancient Canaanite Paganism blended with many elements of Hebrew such as observation of a Sabbath, and observation of food proscriptions in accordance with Judaic Law.

There are believed to be between 20,000 to 25,000 Qemant people living in northern central Ethiopia.  Religion is a focal point for this community, with many members describing themselves through their religion, which has been judged as a mix of pagan and Hebraic elements.

·         In common with the Hebrew faith, an entity that encompasses all evil is also a part of the Qemant religion.  Saytan, a name apparently derived from the Satan of Hebraic belief, is the source of all evil for the Qemant people.

·         Heaven and Hell also exist for the Qemant people.  Hell is cold and fiery, while Heaven is paradise.  The soul goes to either Heaven or Hell due to the person’s behavior on earth, with a good person being rewarded in Heaven.  To go to Heaven, a person must not steal, must not do evil deeds, and must be faithful to their wife/husband.

·         They also believe in a Day of Judgment known as the Last Judgment, which could occur on any Sabbath day, which is from dusk of Friday to dusk on Saturday.  Therefore, the people must be ready for this day at all times.  During Sabbath, the people prepare for a possible Last Judgment by praying, washing, and dressing in clean clothes.

·         The Qemant religion has a High Priest, known as the Wambar, who is the chief religious and political leader.  Priests also help the Wambar perform his duties and also offer guidance to the people.  Priesthood is a hereditary position, “the priest must come from certain lineages in certain clans that have traditionally supplied the personnel for these religious positions”.

The Qemant folkloric tradition contains a narrative detailing the trip that brought both the Falasha and their own “Canaanite” ancestors to the land of Cush.

The following is a short summary of that narrative from an interview with Muluna Marsha the Wambar, or High Priest of the Qemant;

“The founder of the Qemant religion was called Anayer. He came here to Ethiopia so long ago. He came after seven years of famine, from his own country, which was far away. As he traveled on the journey, he met the founder of the Falasha religion, also traveling on the same journey”
When asked if the country of their birth was the same the Wambar replied, “Yes, it was the land of Canaan.”

Similar themes can be uncovered in the scripture regarding the “founder” of Judaism, the Hebrew patriarch Abraham...

Then Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south...there was famine in the land.

Genesis 12:9,10 Now Abram was living near the terebinth of Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eschol and Aner all of whom were allied with Abram.

Genesis 14:13 Here, is Abraham traveling to the “the south” (at least as far as Egypt), allied with a “Canaanite” (the Amorites being sons of Canaan) called Aner (a name which bears striking similarities to Anayer of the Qemant lore) and living near a terebinth or sacred grove. It should be noted that the Qemant also venerate sacred groves, which they call degegna. Continuing in this line of thought there is also a genealogy of the sons of Abraham by his second wife Keturah that includes...

Jokshan the father of Sheba...

Genesis 25:3 If we take all of these similarities together, we come to the conclusion that the “children of the Ethiopians” are indeed as the children of Israel, children of Abraham even, and that Abraham through his long forgotten wanderings founded a “cultural exchange” if you will, that lasted long after his death, which would culminate in the removal to Ethiopia of that most sacred of relics, The Ark of the Covenant!

For years, biblical scholars have debated the merits of the Ethiopian claim to posses the Ark, usually coming to the conclusion that there could be no truth to it because there aren’t any scriptural “proof texts” which concur... but there are, and it’s been staring us in the face all along!

There is a land of whirring wings, along the rivers of Cush, which sends envoys by sea in papyrus boats over the water. Go, swift messengers, to a people tall and bronzed, to a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers. All you people of the world, you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, you will see it, and when a trumpet sounds, you will hear it. This is what YHVH says to me; “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest” for, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, and cut down and take away the spreading branches. They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey and to the wild animals; the birds will feed on them all summer, the wild animals all winter. At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord of Hosts. From a people tall and bronzed, from a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers...

Isaiah18:1-7 The above passage can be construed as an allegoric representation of specific events, in a time frame that although compressed chronologically, can be identified by the “signs” of the events that would take place. As well as a prophetic “clue” as to the location of the Holy Ark during such a tumultuous time. A time when...He will cut off and take away the spreading branches. Isaiah18:5 The branches here represent the “remnant”, the dispersed tribes being “spread” out through the Diaspora who will be left cut off amongst the “wild animals”, the foreign nations. But an assurance is made, that the Ark would be cared for during the time of the dispersion... I will look on from my dwelling place...Isaiah 18:4

For according to ancient tradition YHVH was enthroned between the gold cherubim above the Ark...
So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of Hosts, who dwelleth between the cherubim...

1 Samuel 4:4 So the dwelling place of the Lord of Hosts, the Ark of his covenant would remain...Along the rivers of Cush I will look on from my dwelling place. At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord of Hosts from a people tall and bronzed, from a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers...

Isaiah 18:1,4,7 Until... A banner is raised...Isaiah 18:3 For...In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. In that day YHVH will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from lower Egypt, from upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hammath and from the islands of the sea. Isaiah 11:10, 11

Poptime=Est. 172,000 in 1994 (of whom only 1,650 retain the language.) Popplace=Ethiopia Languagess=Qimant (an Agaw language)

Related=Agaw, Beta Israel, Falas Mura, Qwara, Amhara, Tigrays, Jews

The Qemant are a small ethnic group in Ethiopia, who, despite their close historical and ethnic relationship, should not be confused with the Beta Israel.

The ethnicity's population is roughly 172,000 (according to the census of 1994). However, only 1,625 people still speak Qimant, and it is considered endangered, as most children speak Amharic; likewise, adherence to the traditional religion has dropped substantially, as most of the population has converted to Christianity. Converts often consider themselves to have become Amhara - which they see as a desirable goal.

The Qemant live along an axis stretching from Chilga to Kirakir north to Lake Tana; most remaining speakers of the language are near Aykel, about 40 miles west of Gondar. They are mainly farmers.
The Qemant traditionally practiced a religion which is often described as "Pagan-Hebraic," combining elements from both Judaism and paganism (Zar). According to the American scholar Frederic C. Gamst, their "Hebraism is an ancient form and unaffected by Hebraic change of the past two millennia". A recent sociolinguistic survey notes that the Qemant religion is in a very precarious situation since very few people still adhere to it. According to this study, the ratio of those who follow the Qemant religion vs. those who are baptized and converted to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity is about 1% vs. 99%. [Leyew (2002), p. 8.]

Their religious observances include a literal reading of the 11th chapter of Leviticus ("see Kashrut"). As with mainstream Judaism, even permitted animals can only be consumed if they are properly slaughtered ("see Shechita"). Their practices include animal sacrifices, and the tending of sacred groves (called "degegna").

Worship is conducted outdoors, usually at a site near a sacred tree (called "qole"), wrapped in variously-colored strips of cloth. This appears to be an emulation of a biblical tradition::"Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there the name of God", Genesis 21:33.and:"..where the women wove hangings for the grove", II Kings 23:7.

Their name for God is Adara, who is regarded as omnipresent. The Sabbath is observed on Saturday, when it is forbidden to light a fire. The extent to which other prohibitions, as are found in Judaism, are observed, is unclear. The highest religious leader among the Qemant is their High Priest, called the "Wember" (also transliterated "Womber"), an Amharic term meaning "seat." The Womber is highly respected and considered the head of all Qemant people. The Qemant belief system includes angels, of whom the most respected is Jakaranti. Next in importance after Jakaranti are Mezgani and Anzatatera. Other angels include Kiberwa, Aderaiki and Shemani.

The origins of the Qemant are unknown, for they lack a written history. According to oral tradition, the founder of the Qemant was a man called Anayer, who is said to have been a grandson of Canaan, son of Ham, son of Noah. After seven years of famine in his own country, he is said to have come to the area of Lake Tana, in Ethiopia. As he traveled with his wife and children, he met the founder of the Beta Israel, whom tradition states were traveling in the same direction.

According to Wember Muluna Marsha, they were from the same country (which they called Canaan).
A marriage was intended between the two groups (or between their founders), although this plan was apparently never realized. This could mean that the founder of the Beta Israel was a woman.
According to the early 19th century missionary Samual Gobat, their Amharic-speaking neighbors considered the Qemant "boudas", or sorcerors, along with "the Falashas or Jews [Beta Israel] , most Mussulamns [Moslems] , and some Christians." Gobat knew little more about this "small Pagan people inhabiting the mountains in the vicinity of Gondar."

Some Comments on the Ashanti

It’s interesting that the Ashanti god creator is called Big Massa, having the very same roll of creator that many Christians attribute to the Messiah. It’s even more remarkable the similarity of names between Massa & Masiah, which is another word for Messiah. The fluent speech & oratory of the Ashantees reminds one of the same ability the Jews have, as in the case of rabbies or interpreters of the Law. It’s considered that the Ashantis, Fantis, Wassawas & Akans were originally one tribe. Therefore, are all four Hebrews? The pastoral all these four ethnic groups make them closer to the ancient Hebrews.

White was or is considered a sacred color by the Ashanti people (and their king& subjects did wear it, except the poor), Egyptians, Ibos, Japanese shinto priests, Israelite priests. Even a traditional Brazilian dance of clear west African origin has all its dancers dressed in white clothes, including a white hat in the costume. The image that I had these musicians parading in my city reminded me of the clothes (especially the white hat) of the wedding of Joseph marrying Asenath in the cartoon made by Dreamworks. The white color os also a symbol of purity for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS (or Mormons). The white color is used by LDS male priests weekly & it’s also the color LDS use in clothes in the baptismal font & in other places for other ordenances. Most LDS temples are painted in white too. Even the most widespread color for weddings worldwide is the white. There’s a city in northern Spain called Pamplona in which for its festivals everybody (without distinguishing races, ages, classes…) wears white & red, predominating the white over the red by far. In other words the clothes are white with with a little bit of red on the neck& hip. The white could be a symbol of unity & equity. I believe that equity & unity is also the symbol in this Brazilian festival & in Africa, priestly Israel& in other ceremonies, regions etc… 

It's interesting the description of the Ashanti's nose as aquiline & their lips as thin (Characteristics more common among the higher classes) proves further their Semitic origin. It's also interesting that their priesthood is hereditary & that they don't pay taxes in the same manner the Levites didn't.

The Yam Festival ( similar to the Shavuot or Feast of Weeks).
The Yam Festival is like Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) whereas the Ovala Festival in the fall is like Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).

Oron people

Oron was in existence in the pre-colonial period in Nigeria and was formerly a part of the province called the South-Eastern state. Natives of this area speak the dialect also known as Oron. Most Oron people also speak and understand the Efik language fluently. The Oron also have some dialectical similarities with the Ibibio and Annang people, hence their communication in Ibibio and Annang languages is very proficient.

History has it that by 2370 BC Oron also known as Oro Nation had already been settled down in the present location known as Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria on the West Coast of African Sub Region, Akwa Ibom Gulf Line to Gulf of Guinea Atlantic Ocean South, after the Great flood (Noah`s deluge). The Community as at then and up until this moment is embedded with their dialect Language originated by them as far back as 2370 BC, not borrowed elsewhere or from the Bantus, Cameroun and/or Palestinian. The mass movements raided by Bantus the warriors, into many Communities did not mean that Oro people migrated from the Bantus, the Cameroun or Palestinians. Neither the Bantus attire nor any other cultural equivalent anywhere portrays that of Oro language or names. None of Oro Nation culture or names was derived from Bantu or any language elsewhere as immigrant. The Oros are peculiar people, strong contenders in nature wherever they are found, with the accolade `Oro Ukpabang Okpo`. Oro man complexion is not reflecting other ethnic nationalities or immigrant somewhere into Oro Nation. Their complexion is not as fair as the Palestinians or of the Israelis nor as dark as people residing around Cameroon mountain when Oro Nation had already come into being after creation of the world, even before pre colonialism came to being, when Nigeria and Cameroon did not come into existence as Countries. Abang was a warrior so powerful with huge muscles, the Head and Chief wrestler known as `Mbok'. The wrestling known as (Mbok) was originated by Abang the warrior from Africa which was displayed by the African slaves after a day`s job, to the admiration of the Guards who watches over them at work thereby creating relaxation chances for them at work before it spread and developed as wrestling around the whole world today. Abang the warrior with his group gallantly fought against the slave masters who were in the area for slave trade business. One day, he was over powered and captured with few of his group and were taken to the present day Israel of what was then Egypt. This is perhaps why it may be more than a mere coincidence that the only two nations on earth with places named “Oron” are Israel and Nigeria.

Later, he escaped from Egypt during the Moslem celebrations period through River Nile as a strong contender in boat regatta with few of his men . He sailed down to Sudan via Lake Chad and settled within the North East now Jigawa State, Nigeria in a small area and named it `Oron` which was written and pronounced as `Oronny` in line with Oros` phonemes migrations. As he was not comfortable with Islam, he escaped to a place call Usahadit area in the present day Cameroon. There, Abang begot Do, Do begot Doni, Doni begot Oro and Obolo. That is why there is a prevalence of Cameroon names as Akan, Ekang, Abang, Etong, Osung, and Etang in Oron today. Among the Oronians, there is a saying that the farthest point in the world is Usahadit which is in the Cameroon. He did not know that other people were already established on that land and due to dispute over farmland, the group later returned home to their original homeland of Oro Nation. <(BAKASI AND PENINSULA REDRESS/APPEAL; Godwin Ekpo, Crude Formations and Survey Oil Exclusive Worldwide, 2012)>

It is this return of Abang that has made some historian believe that Oro Nation is one of the Palestinian and Bantu ethnic nationalities that migrated from somewhere around Israel through Egypt (North Africa) to North Eastern Africa through Ethiopia (Abyssinia) to Central Africa (around the present-day Congo Republic & Democratic Republic of Congo) and through the southern Cameroons to the present day Niger Delta region of South-Southern Nigeria. On their return, Doni moved to establish the present day Andoni in Rivers State while Obolo established the present day Eastern Obolo of Akwa Ibom State. Oron people own up to the fact that the Ibeno, who dwell among the Ekids share similar ancestral history with them.

Oron is rich in oil and natural gas. Most of its oil reserves are off-shore. There are 25 corked oil wells. Oron is presently rated as having one of the highest supplies of natural gas deposits in sub-Saharan Africa with large amounts of untapped natural gas and oil at Ukpata, Udung Okung, and Edik Ekpu.

The region is extremely fertile and is known for its topographical Oil Palm Belt, tropical rainforest, swamps, and beaches. The mangrove forests also provide timber and raw materials for medicinal purposes. There are also deposits of solid minerals such as iron, free silica or glass sand and gravel. Seafoods such as crayfish, snipers, oyster and periwinkle abound richly in all coastal areas.

The Masais claim to be One of Lost 10 Tribes.

How It Is Affecting Israel?

For the little state of Israel, being only 8,000 square miles big, and under constant threat of attack, there are a lot of people and tribes claiming to be one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. Right now it could use the original boundaries as given to Moses from G-d as to just how big Israel should be.  Today's Israel missed out on the original size as decided by the mandate given to Britain to create the Jewish Homeland. Jews only wound up with 20% of what was planned.

"Thousands more are desirous of coming.  Other claims waiting in line are the Ibos of Nigeria, the Berbers of North Africa, various Armenian, Afghan and Persian groups of the Black and Caspian Sea regions, the Chiang-Min of Tibet, Khazars and Karaites.  Now the Masai of southeast Africa have claims and references as well as Yemenis, Abyssinians, Ganges Indians, Karens of Burma, the Shindai tribe of Japan and Indian groups in the New World (America)."

The Masais, monotheistic, numbering 841,622 in 2009, were recently visited by an Israeli who reports that they have long considered themselves as one of the Lost Ten Tribes, or Israelites. They are known as warriors and cattle rustlers as they raise and eat cattle. A Maasai religious belief relates that God gave them all the cattle on earth, leading to the belief that rustling cattle from other tribes is a matter of taking back what is rightfully theirs, a practice that has become much less common. They have adopted customs from their neighbors, a Cushitic group, such as circumcision. Originally they came from the lower Nile Valley. "Maasai" is found in Chronicles I, chapter 9, verse 12. Adaiah son of Jeroham, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malkijah; and Maasai son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer." A custom they share with Jews is the use of the shofar (ram's horn blown on high holidays, wars and Jubilees).

The Massai also do not mix milk and meat. They have an aversion to eating game and birds. They do not eat the sciatic nerve as according to Genesis 32,36-33, part of the laws of Kashrut (keeping kosher) They are Christians today, mostly Pentecostal but always have Israel in their daily prayers. DNA testing shows the Ydna to be 50% of E1b1b of 26 men tested.  Also A3b2 and E1b1a (E-P1) was found. My Israeli contact said she heard some ladies repeat in their morning prayers, "Yesu, Israel, Maasai" which was asking G-d to keep Israel and the Maasai safe and strong.One thing that is not acceptable in orthodox Judaism is the eating of blood.  "Traditionally, the Maasai rely on meat, milk and blood from cattle for protein and caloric needs. People drink blood on special occasions. It is given to a circumcised person (o/esipolioi), a woman who has given birth (entomononi) and the sick (oltamueyiai). Also, on a regular basis drunk elders, ilamerak, use the blood to alleviate intoxication and hangovers. Blood is very rich in protein and is good for the immune system. However, its use in the traditional diet is waning due to the reduction of livestock numbers.  This would tell me that they are not from one of the Lost Tribes.  Also, they borrowed circumcision from their neighbors who were Cushites.  Can it be that some of Judaism's practices were carried over in intermarriage with others and only some things were remembered?

This can also be a genealogist's and genetic dream. Lots of American Jews have been taking dna tests to find out their background. The Cohen gene (directly presumed from Aaron and his brother, Moses,) has been discovered among Jews. Personally, I know of a man who is a Cohen in the synagogue who tested and is a J1 Y haplogroup (Cohen gene).

The Masais have lost the Judaism practice, those who have visited and lived with Masais do observe Sabbath & keep Kosher, etc. The Maasai Worship one God, they also do sacrifice of a bull, and placing 12 stone, when pray they face Jerusalem, and they Mention Mt Sinai, Enkai pa Sinai my God gave me order in mt Sinai, its not true that the Maasai learned the male cut from the Cushite, the thing was the Maasai before used to practice a Male cut seven days after the birthday, but they learned from the Cushite that they can wait until 12 years so as to have an age set. Lastly but not least, I am Jewish & I have visited the Holy Land several time but I never wished to settled there and leave my properties in East Africa. Even all the Maasai share the same with me that let the Rabbi of Jerusalem recoginise us but we do not want to leave east Africa as we are very proud to be in the land that we bought by blood using only a spear and a shield. Shalom

Maasai are immigrants from North Africa and Middle East. Except for one verse in the bible and some cultural similarities, there is really no hard evidence on the connection between us and the Jewish people.

It is wonderful to find out about the connection between Jews & Masais and that some Masais are still practicing Judaism from the time they were disconnected from the rest of the Jewish population. It only takes one generation to lose this connection somehow, so to keep it up for possibly thousands of years is wonderful. To learn that the Maasai have E1b which is also a main haplogroup for many Jews is absolutely exciting.

It is written in DEUT 30:3 and 4, That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. 4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee.

What happened to create Israel? There happens to be an ingathering of all the lost happening right now.. There are ways of making sure through our history and DNA to make sure these are the Lost Tribes of Israel. The rabbis of Israel have the say about it, not you or I. Right now DNA is the science that is being used for finding out more about  Israel's history and migratory patterns. The Masais that have returned happen to have the dna that proves their oral history. Not all are nor want to be. The Ethiopians don't at the level dna has developed so far, but they have other factors that prove their right to be in Israel, but are not one of the 10 tribes. There's a lot of facts known to decide this. Then again, we seem to have found some lost members who are happy to be Muslims and want no part of claiming to be one of the Lost tribes.

The Yibir/Yahhar/Yeber/Yibro are Israelitish. How about the Darod, Issaq & other Somali clans?

The sultan of the Jews in Somalia is a handsome, silver-haired man named Ahmed Jama Hersi who somalia does not know the first thing about Judaism. He is a Muslim, as were his ancestors back at least 800 years. But he and his people are treated badly, cursed as descendants of Israelites. The name of the tribe is Yibir, or Hebrew.

 "Even our young people," he said, "they are ashamed when you ask them what tribe they belong to. They will not say Yibir."

 Not much is known about the lineage of the Yibir, one of Somalia's "sab," or outcast, clans. But if Somalis succeed in creating a new central government -- as they have been trying to do since March -- the Yibir will for the first time taste political legitimacy and respect. In the 225-member assembly envisioned for a new Somalia, the Yibir get one seat.

 A conscious effort is being made to broaden political power in Somalia, traditionally held by old men from the four major clans. In the new assembly, women, the bedrock of Somali economic and family life, have been allocated 25 seats.

 Minority clans like the Yibir, Midgan and Tomal will have 24 seats, if the assembly is ever translated from a nice idea at a peace conference here in neighboring Djibouti to an actual government in Somalia, which has been without one since 1991.

 "This is the most broad-based process that Somalia has ever known," said David Stephen, the representative of Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general, at the peace talks. "Never before have women and minorities taken part in discussions about their country."

 The question is whether this means anything. It is far from certain that any new government will ever actually sit in Somalia, though hopes are high. Perhaps more important is whether the elderly men from the major clans will cede any of their authority. Mr. Stephen said some men bluntly say that they "are only doing this to please the United Nations."

 But still the minority groups, who prefer to be called the Alliance, and women are talking about the power they theoretically hold if they vote as a bloc.

 The top positions in any new government are likely to be doled out to the major clans, and any clan that makes alliances with the women and minorities in the assembly is more likely to win.

 "We have to have one voice and one interest as women," said Asha Haji Elmi, leader of the women delegates to the conference. She conceded that there would be pressure for women to vote with their clans rather than as women. Twenty of the women's seats are assigned to the four major clans and the remaining five to the minority clans.

 "It's difficult," she said, "but we have to overcome the obstacles."

 It is, at any rate, a high-minded exercise, pushed strongly by the peace conference's host, President Ismael Omar Gelleh of Djibouti -- though Somalis are quick to point out that Mr. Gelleh's own government is not nearly so liberal as his vision for Somalia's.

 "It is not in our tradition," said Mahmoud Imam Omar, an elder in one of the major clans, the Hawiye, speaking of the inclusion of women. "President Gelleh has made us do it. But we have accepted it."

 A Somali businessman, Muhammad Ali Muhammad, said it was an experiment worth trying. "We have seen how the men have devastated the country," he said. "So maybe the women and minority groups would be better."

 A new government is, of course, no guarantee of equality. Then again, the Yibir do not have much to begin with.

 Mr. Hersi, 68, who has been the elected leader of the Yibir for 22 years, was asked to speak at one of the opening sessions of the peace conference two months ago. He noted that the Yibir had suffered terribly during the years of war but wanted badly to forgive and move on.

 "In the civil war I lost my son, my wife, my brother, my dignity and my self-respect," he told the delegates. "But still I have come here to work for reconciliation."

 Part of the bad treatment, he concedes, is the support of many Yibir for the dictator Muhammad Siad Barre. When he was overthrown in 1991, Mr. Hersi fled the country with surviving members of his family to live in Nairobi, Kenya's capital.

But part of it is simply that they are one of the low castes of Somalis, and particularly that they are believed to be ethnic Jews in a strongly Muslim country.

 "We were never given our rights," he said.

 For many years the Yibir were forbidden to be educated, and Mr. Hersi says he can barely spell his name. They do work that is considered to be base, like metalworking and shoemaking.

 Traditionally many earned money through the Somali belief, stretching back perhaps centuries, that it is lucky to give the Yibir a small amount of money when a son is born or at a marriage.

 Mr. Hersi cannot say exactly how or when his ancestors made it to Somalia, though he believes that about 25,000 Yibir live there and in neighboring countries like Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. Stories passed down from his forefathers have it that they came as Arabic-speaking teachers more than 1,000 years ago.

 He said there was no relation between them and the Jews of neighboring Ethiopia, many of whom still practice Judaism. It is hard to say exactly how the Yibir are Jews, or why they treated so badly because of it.

 The Yibir not only know nothing about Judaism, but they also say they have no intention of converting or, like the Ethiopian Jews, seeking resettlement in Israel.

 "That would only make more problems," said another Yibir, Muhammad Ali Hassan, a trader in the emirate of Dubai on the Persian Gulf.

 The process of getting their one seat has been typically difficult. Mr. Hersi said he had never received an invitation even to come to the conference, though he made it here with the help of the United Nations. In negotiations with other outcast clans, the Yibir originally were given two seats in Parliament, but a few days ago, one was stripped from them. Still, he said, one seat is a start.

 "Before we had nothing," he said. "This is the beginning, the first step."

Yibir (also spelled Yeber and Yibro) 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. They say that Yibir means "Hebrew" in their language. The Yibir tribe claim that they are decesnded of Hebrews who were ruling Somalia before the arrival of the nomadic Somali tribes of the north.

The word Yibir itself is Semetic. The Arabic term for Hebrew is Ibir and the Hebrew term for Hebrew is Ivri/Ibri/Ibriyyim (Hebrews). 

In Somalia and Djibouti there are 20,000 members of a group called `Ivru Adokeit,´ who see themselves as part of the Jewish people.”

The Gabboye, the Madhiban along with the Yibir and Tumaal (collectively referred to as sab) have political representation within Somalia, and their general social status has improved with the expansion of urban centers. Gaboye (Muse, Dhariye, Madhiban, Tumal,Yibir, Hawle) are relative tribes. The Yibir are also spelled Yibbir.

The Origin of the Somali people has been debated for sometime. Ethnogenetics show that the Somali population constitue 85% Cushitic and 15% Eurasian. This Eurasian blood includes 5% Arab, 5% Hebrew, and another 5% Southern European (Greeks, Italians, Spanish, etc.). But what about the non-Somali tribes like the Sab who are not descended of Samaale.

That word which is prescribed for a whole clan is pretty strange. It's very strange that there are many Somali clans which start with names like Issa, Ya'qub, Ismail, Ishaq, & even the Darod clan in Arabic transliteration is Banu Dawud or the clan of David.

This is where people make mistakes of Jewry. Being Jewish means two things either following the Jewish religion Judaism, or being Jewish ethnically. There are Arab Jews, Ethiopian Jewish, North African Jews, Yemeni Jews, Ashkenazi Jews (Eastern European Jews), Sephardic Jews (Hispanic and North African Jews), so why can't some Somali tribes be Jews ethnically. There are many Jews who are Muslim. The Jews are the Children of Israel (Prophet Jacob) who was the son of Isaac and the Arabs are the Children of Ishmael and now Isaac and Ishmael were Prophets of God and so was their father Abraham.

Somali clans: Haawiye 25%, Isaaq 22%, Darood 20%, Raxanweyn 17%, Dir 7%, Digil 3%, Ethnic minorities 6%.
Rendille Are of Jewish Descent

Rendille peepl

The oral history of this Cushitic tribe indicates they are of Jewish descent. They traveled through the Suez Canal through Ethiopia to their present homeland. They descended through the Cushitic family lines with the Somali people. When the Somali people were traveling from the Suez Canal through Ethiopia the Somali people chose to go toward Somalia for good pastures. The Rendille people refused to go with them and separated to their present homeland around Marsabit.In terms of creed, many Rendille practice a traditional religion centered on the worship of Waaq/Wakh. In the related Oromo culture, Waaq denotes the single god of the early pre-Abrahamic, montheistic faith believed to have been adhered to by Cushitic groups.The Rendille are believed to have originally migrated down into the Great Lakes area from Ethiopia in the more northerly Horn region, following southward population expansions by the Oromo and later the Somali.

The Ga-Adangme, Gã-Adaŋbɛ, Ga-Dangme, or GaDangme

They are an ethnic group in Togo and the Greater Accra Region in Ghana. The Ga and Adangbe people are grouped respectively as part of the Ga–Dangme ethnolinguistic group. The Ga-Adangbe people primarily live in the Greater Accra Plains, while others inhabit the Aného area in Togo. The modern day Adangbe include the people who live in Osu, Shai or Se, La, Ningo, Kpone, Krobo, Osudoku, Gbugbla (Prampram), Ada and Agotime who speak similar dialects. The Ga also include groups occupying Anecho area in Togo, and Ga-Mashie (Is this the Hebrew name of the Mashiah in an evolved way?) in the central part of Accra, Nungua, and other Ga speakers who migrated from Anecho area in Togo, and surrounding areas.

When we examine and discern Biblical prophecies (1 Peter 1:1; Genesis 15:13; Acts 7:6) that describe the "scattering" of the nation of Israel, we come to the realization that GOD (YAH) has fulfilled HIS divine promise to scatter HIS Israel people throughout "ALL" nations and countries, and among all tribes, especially, throughout the African continent.  Deuteronomy 28:64 states, "And the LORD shall scatter (disperse) you among all people, from one end of the earth even unto other."  There are some African tribes that identifies themselves and can be identified as Hebrew Israelites through their oral histories and cultural practices.

There are tribes in Africa, whose Hebraic customs and oral histories identify them as authentic descendants of the nation of Israel.  Throughout the culture and history of the Ga-Dangmes of Ghana, is a very strong conclusive evidence that they are direct descendants of the Hebrew Israelties that migrated to West Africa by way of Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, Lake Chad, Ile-Ife, Dahome, Togo and to the Gold Coast (modern Ghana).  Their cultural practices, laws and customs and even, some of their names are so identical to those described in the Holy Bible.  Thus, the only logical conclusion to make is that they are, as they claim descendants of Biblical Hebrew Israelites.

 Yet, debate goes on unabated as to the true origins of the GaDangmes of Ghana.  Historians, anthropologists, geneticists, etc., may attempt to answer the question as to the origins of GaDangmes through different research methodology.  Here, Dr. Josesph Nii Abekar Mensah attempts to respond to the question through Biblical history, oral history, scientific or logical reasoning. Consider an animal cell, for example, we may be able to identify it by staining techniques, and then examine it under a microscope. The presence of such structures as the cytoplasm,  cytoplasmic membrane, nucleus and the nuclear membrane, nucleolus, golgi bodies,  mitochondria, ribosomes, centriole, centrosome, fat globules, metaplastic inclusions, etc., may lead  the scientist to infer that more likely than not the specimen or structure under examination in an animal cell.

Similarly, if we consider the Holy Bible, we find names of GaDangmes, their customs and tradtions, such as the Homowo Festival (see, Exodus 11:4-7; Exodus 12:1-50; Exodus 13:1-9; Numbers 9:1-5), names of some of their towns and villages (such as Tema (Job 6:19, Isaiah 21:14), Ada, Hebron, La, Osu, etc);  GaDangme proverbs and laws (similar to the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20: 1-17) etc., are so identical to  those in the Bible, and along with their oral history, the only logical conclusion one may make is that the GaDangmes are, as they claim descendants of Biblical Hebrews Israelites.  The reader will find examples of GaDangme names,  GaDangme cities, towns and villages, GaDangme proverbs and laws, customs and traditions on this website that are so similar to those in the Holy Bible in support of Dr. Mensah's contention.

Oral history had it that Ga-Dangmes people migrated from Israel about 6th Century B.C through Egypt, then to Ethiopia, having been expelled or exiled by the Assyrians (Hebrew Biblical Revelations, July 2008; see also: OMANYE ABA by A.A AMARTEY).  In Ethiopia, they settled in the Gonder Province in northern Ethiopia, where the Blue Nile originates.  That is where the name NAI WULOMO, meaning, HIGH PRIEST OF THE NILE comes from. In 640 B.C, the Assyrians attacked the Ga-Dangmes again while they were in Ethiopia.  From Ethiopia, they travelled through Southern Sudan and settled for a period of time at Sameh in Niger and then to Ileife in Nigeria.  They migrated again in 1100 A.D and settled at Dahome and later, travelled to Huatsi in Togo where they stayed briefly.

From Huatsi, the Ga-Dangmes travelled to the eastern banks of River Volta (know´n as JOR). From there, they crossed the Volta River at a place between the Old Kpong and Akuse and established settlements on the plains of Tag-logo where they lived till 1200 A.D. Later, the Ga-Dangmes migrated to the plains of Lorlorvor between Lorlorvor and Osudoku Hills.  The Shai occupied a settlement in Shai highlands.

The Ga-Dangmes claim to be descendants DAN and GAD, the fifth and seventh sons of Jacob.  Biblical history suggests that Jacob, whom God named YISRAEL had Leah as his wife who gave birth to four sons for him.  When Leah noticed that she had passed child-bearing age, she gave her maid servant, ZILPAH, to Jacob to wife. Through Zilpah, Jacob had and Gad and four more sons.  Jacob has two sons with Rachel.  Rachel gave her maid servant Bilha to Jacob to wife when she passed her child-bearing age. Jacob had Dan with Bilha.   Gad’s fifth son was Eri who later formed a clan known as Erites (Genesis 30:9, Genesis 46:16, Numbers 26:15-19 and Deuteronomy 3:12; Genesis 30:4-8, 3:12.The descendant of Eri, son of Gad are believed to have founded the Nri Kingdom around 900 A.D of the South Eastern and parts of the mid-western Igboland in Nigeria with other tribes of Levi, Zebulon, Ephraim and possibly more.   In the Book of numbers, the Bible had made extensive references to the children of Israel, which includes Gad and Dan and their children (Numbers 1:1-54).

Gad was the full brother of Asher (Genesis 35: 26; Genesis 46:16-18; Exodus 1:4;
I Chronicle 2:2).  Gad (1749 BCE) was the 7th son of Jacob, first born of Zilpah (Leah's maid) and uterine brother of Asher.  Numbers 26:15 cites the "son of Gad.  The sons of Gad by clans: Zephlon and the Zephonite clan; Haggi and the Haggite clan; Suni and the Shunite clan; Ozni and the Oznite clan; Eri and the Erite clan; Arondi and the Arondite clan; Areli and the Arelite clan.  The clans of Gad numbered about 40, 500 men (20 years and older, able to serve in the army of Israel.

Areli was the son of Gad according to Genesis 46:16 and Numbers 26:17.  Areli was one of the 70 souls that migrate to Eqypt with Jacob (Genesis 46: 27).  The GaDangmes of Ghana claim to be descendants of Gad and Dan according to their oral history and supported by their ancient Israelite traditions.  Eri was the 5th son of Gad.  The descendants of Eri were believed to have founded the Nri Kingdom about 900 A.D in Nigeria.  The Igbos practice many of the same laws that GOD(YAH) gave to the Israelites.

Hosid Levi (2005) suggested in his writing, THE LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL IN AFRICA, that  the name Igbo is a form of the name HEBREW. In many ways, the affinity between the native Igbo law and the Mosaic legal system is remarkable, according to Levi (2005).

The GaDangmes of Ghana are believed to be related by blood to the Igbos of Nigeria.  However, in his book, GA HOMOWO, Charles Nii Ammah (1982) stated that according to oral tradition, the Ga believe they migrated from Israel.  Ammah suggested that the Ga people are descendants of Cush (Benjamin) from the twelfth tribe of Israel.  He contends that the Ga people were really 'JEWS' who migrated from "Egypt" and settled on the land they now occupy.  However, it is   believed that the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were left behind in Israel following the attack of Israel by the Assyrians in 6th Century B.C.  Ten of the twelve tribes were exiled by the Assyrians.  If the GaDangmes were decendants of Benjamin as  Charles Nii Ammah claims, they would probably have remained in Israel with tribes of Benjamin and Judah following the attack by the Assyrians. Regardless of whether one accepts Ammah's assertion or not, it is clear that the GaDangmes are Hebrew Israelites as suggested by their oral history, Hebrew names, customs and traditions.

Biblical history strongly lends support to the claim by Ga-Dangmes that they are HEBREW ISRAELITES due to the fact Ga-Dangme names are found throughout the OLD TESTAMENT.  Examples are: NIIKOILAI (Rev:2, 6, 15); AMASA (2 Samuel 17, 25; 1 Chronicle 33 20-21 DJAANI/JANNE, 2 Timothy 3: 8;  AMON, 2 Chronicle 33: 20-21; ASHALE (ASAHEL), 1 Chronicle 2:16, 2 Samuel 2: 18-19.

King AYI KUSHI, spelled Cush in Hebrew, Genesis 10: 6 Jeremiah 13:23, Isaiah 18:12) led the Ga-Dangmes from Cush in Jerusalem to Ayawaso and was the founder of the GA DYNASTY. It is believed that the Ga-Dangmes Kingdom at AYAWASO was the first Kingdom in GHANA.  It is interesting that Queen Dode (Dodi) Akaibi’s name DODI is a Hebrew Name.  Also, the name of the hunter, KADI, who found a group people at OSU DOKU and introduced them to the Nungua Mantse, is a Hebrew name.  The Nungua Mantse, in consultation with the Ga Mashi Mantse gave Osu lands to the “KADI GBOI” or " guests of KADI as people of Osu were referred to.

Ga-Dangmes custom of circumcision (Luke 2:21; Acts 15:1-2,7,10; Romans 2:17-19; Romans 3:1; Col.2:8-14) of their male born; their Outdooring/Sanctification (Kpodjiemo) and naming of the GaDangme newly born baby on the eight day after birth, is in accordance with ancient Hebrew custom (Matthew 2:1-12); and their patriach or patrilenial traditions (Gen.15:5; Gen.25:19; Gen,12:2) further lend support to their claim that they are of Hebrew Israelites origins (Genesis 17: 1-12). The HOMOWO FESTIVAL ( FEAST OF PASSOVER, Matthew 26:17); (Exodus 11:4-7, Exodus 12: 1-50, Exodus 13: 1-9, Numbers 9 1-5) celebrated by the Ga-Dnagmes supports their claim that they are Hebrew Israelites, descendants of children of Jacob. One may note that in traditonal Ga Mashi (Accra) and other areas of Greater Accra, the GaDangmes used to paint the door posts of their houses with the blood of a lamb during the Homowo Festival.  This was done to commemorate what the angel of God told Moses to ask the Israelites to do when they were under bondage of Pharoah.  That way, the angel of God would only kill the first male born  Egyptians babies and not the Hebrews (Exodus 11: 4-7).  The door posts of houses painted with the blood of the lamb would let the angel of God know that those houses belong to the Hebrews; and thus, the angel would not  enter those houses to kill the first male born. After the angel of God had passed, the Hebrews were to feast (Exodus12: 1-50); Exodus 13:1-9); Numbers 9:1-5). This is exactly what the GaDangmes do during the Homowo Festival.  In subsequent years, the GaDangmes replaced the blood of the lamb with a red mud known as "ntsuma", when the lamb became too expensive for most GaDangmes to afford.

According to Abbey in his book KEDZI AFO JORDAN (1968), Ga-Dangmes tradition during which they put money in the coffins of their deceased relatives prior to burial is an ancient Hebrew Israelite custom. In ancient Israel of the Bible, the deceased were said to had been  buried across the river Jordan.  Coins were placed in the coffins of the deceased believing that their spirits will use it in “paying” for their passage across the River Jordan. The GaDangmes still  practice this custom by placing coins in the coffins of their deceased relatives.  The “abayan”, a cloth belonging to the deceased, which is torn to pieces, and each piece placed on the left wrist of the deceased relatives and very close friends, is believed to be an ancient Jewish custom.  Also, the DIPO or OTUFO female initiation custom of the GaDangmes is said to be ancient Hebrew Israelites customs.  These and other ancient Hebrew Israelites traditions and customs still observed by Ga-Dangmes clearly lend credence to their claim that they are of Hebrew Israelites origins and which is supported by Tamar Kemp.

                                             Traditional elders of the GaDangme State
Tamar  Kemp in his writing, "The Lost Tribes Of Israel" states that the GaDangmes did not just woke up to realize that they are Hebrew Israelites.  Kemp contends that the ancestors of the GaDangmes knew all along that they are Hebrew/Israelites.  Tamar Kemp describes the GaDangmes as authentic Hebrews Israelites whose ancestors once reigned supreme in the motherland -- Israel. Kemp assertion that the GaDangmes are of Hebrew Israelites origins is supported by Joseph J.Williams (2003) in his book, "The Hebrews of West Africa". New York, The Dial Press, 2003; and by Hosid Levi (2005) in his writing, "The Lost Tribes of Israel In Africa".  That the GaDangmes are authentic Hebrew Israelites of the Bible is  further supported by "Hebrew Biblical Revelations" of July 20, 2008

Since the Hebrew Isrealites origins of GaDangmes of Ghana is a matter still subject to debate, there are those who may say that the oral tradition of the GaDangmes is far-fetched (though the oral tradition of the GaDangmes strongly suggest that they are who they say their ancestors were Hebrew Israelites. We are at a point, therefore, where it will be helpful if the oral tradition of the GaDangmes of Ghana is backed by science (geneticsts) as in the case of Lemba of Southern Africa (Tudor Parffit 2000).

Ga–Dangme is made up of just two languages: Ga and Adangme. They are closely related and have sometimes been considered as a single language. Ga–Dangme is a branch of the Kwa language family.

Adangme is a Kwa language, part of the Niger–Congo family. It is very closely related to Ga, and together they form the Ga–Dangme branch within Kwa. It is the aboriginal language spoken in Ghana by the people of Ada, Osudoku, Manya Krobo, Yilo Krobo, Shai, Ningo, Prampram and Kpone. It is true to say that at Kpone, though a Dangme town, the people speak Ga more than their indigenous language. However, this enigma brought about by their close association with the Gas is being solved gradually with the introduction of Adangme as a school subject in the Dangme areas. The land of these different tribes stretched from the coast northward to the Akwapim hills and has all the Dangmeland on the east and the Ga villages to the west of it. Bawaleshi, which is about 4.8 kilometers southwest of Dodowa, is the last Dangme town which is close to the Akwapim and the Ga boundaries. There are six main dialects which coincide with political divisions. The coastal dialects are Ada, Ningo and Prampram (Gbugbla). The inland dialects are Shai (Sɛ), Krobo (Klo) and Osudoku. The Dangme language, Adangme, is a Kwa language spoken in south-eastern Ghana by 800,000 people.

Ga is a Kwa language spoken in Ghana, in and around the capital Accra. Ga is a Kwa language, part of the Niger–Congo family. It is very closely related to Adangme, and together they form the Ga–Dangme branch within Kwa. Ga is the name of the Tribe. Ga is the language spoken. Gamashie is the name of the capital of the Ga tribe in Ghana. Ga is spoken in south-eastern Ghana, in and around the capital Accra. It has relatively little dialectal variation. Although English is the official language of Ghana, Ga is one of 16 languages in which the Bureau of Ghana Languages publishes material.

The Ga-Adangme, Gã-Adaŋbɛ, Ga-Dangme, or GaDangme are an ethnic group in Ghana and Togo. The Ga and Adangbe people are grouped respectively as part of the Ga–Dangme ethnolinguistic group. The Ga-Adangbe people primarily live in the Greater Accra, Eastern Region, Ghana and others inhabit the Aného area in Togo. The modern day Adangbe include the people who live in Osu, Shai or Se, La, Ningo, Kpone, Krobo, Osudoku, Gbugbla (Prampram), Ada and Agotime who speak similar dialects. The Ga also include groups occupying Anecho area in Togo, and Ga-Mashie in the central part of Accra, Nungua, and other Ga speakers who migrated from Anecho area in Togo, and surrounding areas.

The modern Ga is an ethnic group of several origins including possibly some distant origin with the Volta-Niger speakers. Genetic studies indicate that the modern Ga-Adangbe are closer to Akan genetically. Linguistically the Ga-Adangbe speak a kwa language which is closest to Akan and are a patrilineal people. Due to the Geopolitical significance of the Land the Ga occupy the ethnic group has historically mixed with Akans thus aspects of the Akan culture can be seen within Ga culture. The Ga people celebrate the Homowo festival, which literally means "hooting at hunger." This festival originated several centuries ago. It is celebrated in remembrance of a great famine that hit the Ga people in the sixteenth century. It is mainly a food festival which celebrates the passing of that terrible period in Ga history. It takes place in August every year and is celebrated by all the Ga clans. Total population approximately 1.8 million.

Ashanti Israelites 

The Ashanti (Asante) people of West Africa are definitely Hebrew Africans; as are the Fulani, and elements of the Yoruba people. The Ashanti claim they are the dispersed descendants of the biblical inhabitants of Ashan (ref. Josh. 19:7 & 2Ch. 6:59). 

Although the Ashanti have picked up many Hamitic customs, their Israelite customs are equally practiced. Among these Israelite practices are:

A. - Slavery for debt (ref. Exo. 25:39)
B. - Purification ceremony after childbirth (ref. Lev. 12:1-5)
C. - Menstrual seclusion (ref. Lev. 16:19-24)
D. - Belief in ONE Supreme Almighty Power (ref. Exo. 20:3)
E. - Extreme reverence for the Holy Name (ref. Exo. 20:7)

                               Notice his head cover, and especially his breastplate necklace.

The breastplate contains twelve jewels, set three across, in four horizontal rows. This is exactly according to the Breastplate made for the High Priest of Israel (ref. Exo. 28:15-27). And, although any Israelite may wear a head cover; Israelite Priests "must" wear head covers (a.k.a. bonnets) when on duty (ref. Exo. 28:40 & Exo. 39:28).

Of the more than 600 million Africans enslaved and shipped across the Atlantic Ocean, relatively few actually came to the United States. Many of these rich plantation owners were Masons, and they wanted only one type of slave: Hebrew. They believed, and rightly so, that having Hebrew slaves would guarantee their sucess. They well understood the "Curse of the Ancient Israelites."

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 which is akin to Adam, whose name means red earth and David who was said to have a ruddy (reddish) complexion and both of which were of a dark complexion to boot. I have already established in my earlier works regarding the Igbo (which I have linked to Gad and other Israeli Tribes) that the first Hebrews and Jews were of a dark and reddish complexion.

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.

DiNka DaNites?

The relation between snakes & the deity in the DiNka religion is similar to when the wicked Israelites worshipped the brass snake, a tradition influenced by the Egyptians.

A reason why DiNkas might be DaNites is that they dwell in southern suDaN, close to an area of Africa with DaNite claims: Qemant, Beta Avraham, Tutsis...Moreover, there are several topnyms with DaN's name: TaNa, suDan, ogaDeN...

The DiNkas give their cattle a central roll in their worldview & culture, so much that a man would identify with an ox (to the point of receiving the ox's name) for his initiation to adulthood. This idolatry of the DiNka for their oxen resembles the very same idolatry of the ancient Israelites towards the golden calf. Another costum practised by DiNkas common with ancient Israel is levirate marriage (a widow marries the brother of her deceased husband). This is done in order to support widows & chidren.

                                                                      Dinka woman

Although forbidden by the Israelite law, some Israelites shaved their hair. So do DiNka women. DiNka men are good blacksmiths like the Jews. They are also monotheistic like them. The praising song the DiNkas sing for their ancestors show their rooted love they feel for them as ancient Israelites did have.

Nhialac, the only DiNka god, has two spiritual intermediaries, according to them: Yath & Jak. Yath is very similar to Yah, a short form for the Yahweh of ancient Israel, whereas Jak resembles Jacob, the father of the 12 tribes of Israel. It's like if the DiNkas had lost & changed in the move some pieces of their original Israelite religion. This would have been done by placing the important patriarch Jacob as an intermediator to God giving him another important roll & by naming their god as an intermediator. Well, Christians believe the Messiah in which the Jews believe & consider Jesus Christ to be the promised Messiah. Some Christians believe that Jesus Christ before his birth was Jehova, the God of Israel, acting on behalf of his father Elohim. Therefore the DiNka have placed Jehovah in the intermediating roll as some Christians do.

The DiNkas also perform animal sacrifice, prefering cows, but they use sheep sometimes too. Their rytuals are performed by healers & diviners that might be a corruption of the priests of ancient Israel. As well, as olden Israel tey are a nomadic pastoral people.

The altetnative names of the DiNkas' language or dialects can give us a clue of their origin. I'll mention the only names which might be Israelitic, leaving in brackets an explanation of its possible meaning  remarking the consonants related with Hebrew names: DiNka (DaN), aGaR (GaLut, GoLa), DoNGioL (DaNGaLut), paDaNg (DaN), Rut (Ruth), GhoL (GaLut), Abiem (Abiama or Abraham), Ruweng (Reuben), Alor.

Sefwi Jews (House of Israel) of Ghana

The House of Israel community of Sefwi Wiawso and Sefwi Sui in the Western Region claim that their Sefwi ancestors are descendants of Jews who migrated south through Côte d'Ivoire. The continuous practice of Judaism in this community, however, dates back to only the early 1970s.

Sefwi Wiawso where Jews from Ethiopia that via Mali ended up in Ghana. The community  may be connected with the Yemenite migration. 

In Ghana, the House of Israel Community of 70 Jewish families claim descent from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, but they too are not recognized as Jewish by mainstream Judaism. This community was evidently established in antiquity through migrations into western Africa by Jewish traders, merchants, and others, which are documented by Arab, Jewish, and European travelers and historians. These migrations crossed the Sahara desert into Mali, where there has been a documented Jewish community in Timbuktu (this community has long ceased to exist due to migration and assimilation). From Mali, Jewish migration continued though the Ivory Coast and into Ghana. For centuries, Ghanaian Jews observed such customs as avoidance of pork, observance of a day of rest on Saturdays, male circumcision eight days after birth, and the separation of man and woman during female menstruation. In the late 20th century, the Jewish community in Ghana has established ties to worldwide Jewry.

The first traces of Judaism in Ghana appeared in 1976, thanks to a Ghanaian man named Aaron Ahomtre Toakyirafa. Living in the community of Sefwi Sui in Western Ghana, Toakyirafa had a vision and "spoke with spirits" driving him to believe that he and his fellow Ghanaian's were indeed descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel. He saw a clear connection and many similarities between his peoples practices and those of Judaism. For example, it was a tradition in Sewfi for Saturday to be a day of rest. Such a strong tradition that Sewfi that didn't adhere to it were frequently punished. Sewfi also followed the Jewish dietary law restricting the consumption of pork. Members of the male community were circumcised in youth. Toakyriafa was first viewed as crazy but over time his vision became more and more readily accepted.

Toakyirafa's certainty about his ancestery only grew as he traveled to the Ivory Coast. He studied the history of the population of Sewfi. The Sewfi had traveled south to Ghana but had come through what is now the Ivory Coast. He was convinced that the Jewish community of the Ivory Coast had migrated there from other documented Jewish communities.

The House of Israel Community, Sefwi Wiawso & Sefwi Sui

After his trip to the Ivory Coast, Toakyriafa began educating the Sefwi Sui and Adiembra communities about their Jewish hertitage. He taught them Jewish practices and traditions, integrating Judaism into their lives and preaching the study of Judaism to others. They called themselves the House of Israel.

The Sefwi of Ghana (Igbo Hebrew web)

The Sefwi of Ghana, a people of approximately 1500, who reside in the southwest mountainous region of the country, bordering Uganda, about 400 miles away from Ghana’s capital Accra, are believed to be Jews from the post second Temple era.

They had always kept Kosher, eating only chicken, sheep and goats. They do not eat cattle because they said 400 years ago in Mali they, being Jews, were forbidden to have cattle and thus eventually forgot how to properly slaughter them according to kosher law. They also circumcise their males on the 8th day, rested and worshiped on Sabbath (Saturday), and separated their menstruating women. They also celebrate a feast that resembles Passover.

The Sefwi Jewish “New Adiembra” village of 300 or so are called by the surrounding peoples, “the proverbial wandering Jews.” The Sefwi believe that they come from ancient Israel and first came to Mali 400 years ago and then proceeded to the Ivory Coast and then 150 years ago settled in Ghana. 

In fact, the Sefwi believed they were the only Jews left on earth until a Jewish Sefwi man in the 1980’s traveled Accra and inquired at an embassy if there were any other Jewish peoples in the world. By this he was put in touch with the Israeli Embassy and the Sefwi and the Israelis have had a working relationship ever since. Through the support of a Jewish synagogue in Iowa the Sefwi Jewish community is now thriving.

In Ethiopia the community known as Beit Avraham has some 150,000 members. 

This community also claims Jewish heritage.

Several scholars think that they broke off from the Beta Israel community several centuries ago, hid their Jewish customs, and outwardly adopted Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity.

Beit Avraham have traditionally been on the lower rungs of Ethiopian social life. They have held occupations similar to those of the Beta Israel, such as crafts.

Recently, the Beit Avraham community has attempted to reach out to the world Jewish community. They formed the Ethiopian North Shewa Zionist Organization in an attempt to save their Jewish identity.

This group identifies as the Falashmura. As they do not have reliable proof of Jewish ancestry, Israeli religious authorities and other religious Jewish communities require them to complete a formal conversion to be recognized as Jews. Those who do so are considered converts.

Apart from that leaders of a group of four million Ethiopians living in the northern Gojam region, recently contacted the Israeli authorities requesting recognition that they too are descendants of the ancient Israelites.

The Dan tribe, speakers of Yakubu

It's interesting that the Gola people of Liberia, meaning diaspora in Hebrew, have the Gio or (Dan) as neighbors (explained before the possibility of them being Danites) & the Bassa (name of one king of Israel) which has the name of one Palestinian town & it's similar to Bashan.

Is it a coincidence that the Dan people are also called Yakuba like the tribe of Dan & Jacob/Israel?
The Gio or Dan people is an ethnic group in north-eastern Liberia and in Côte d'Ivoire. There are approximately 350,000 members of the group, united by the Dan language, a Mande language. The Dan originally came from the western Sudan region to the north, part of present-day Mali and Guinea. The location and movements of the Dan, Mano, and We can be reconstructed from as early as 1300, at which time the Dan and Mano were located in the savanna region of the northern Ivory Coast. In the sixteenth century, political turmoil, population growth and land depletion caused the Dan to migrate south of the Nimba range and into the high forests. The Dan had a reputation as a fierce warrior society.

The Dan have complex animist religious tradition believing in Zlan, a Supreme God who created the universe and everything in it. They believe that no one can reach him or see him physically. Instead, they worship du, an independent spiritual power. Du is said to really be the spirit located in each person. The majority of the people believe in reincarnation, through which du can enable a person to pass into another person or even an animal after death. The Dan believe that Du is present in all aspects of the universe and is appealed to for many kinds of help. The Dan believe in reincarnation, in which the Du, or spirit, of a person can pass into another person or even an animal after death. Du is harnessed through masquerade or divination practices; the Dan harness du by creating an object for du to embody. Dreaming is the means through which people communicate with du.

Although the village or town chief administers authority over the whole village, the real power comes from the council of elders who assist the chief in all decisions.

Dan is a Mande language spoken primarily in Ivory Coast (~800,000 speakers) and Liberia (150,000–200,000 speakers). There is also a population of about 800 speakers in Guinea. Alternative names for the language include Yacouba or Yakubasa, Gio, Gyo, Gio-Dan, and Da.

After finding out that several African tribes have Hebrew origin, I thought I could expect yet others among the tribes shown in an ethnical map of Africa. I found a people named Dan, the very name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel.

This tribe is known by other names too: Gio, Gio-Dan... I believe the nouns Gio and Gio-Dan are corrupted forms of the main river where they lived: Jordan.

This might sound as an imaginative conclusion but then I found out that their language is called Yakubu. I was ashtonished.

Yakubu sounds like a corrupted way of the name Jacob/Israel, father of Dan and of the rest of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Yakubu is indeed way of the Hebrew name Ya'akov.

Are the Bubis/Eris Israelites?

The Bubi people are from Ecuatorial Guinea. Eri is the Bubi name of their main island. Eri was a clan of the Israelite tribe of Gad which the Igbos claim to descend from. Eri, o Erie, is another name for Ireland, which is called Island of Destiny & it's said to be a place of important Israelite colonization. Bubi sounds similar to the Lemba priestly clan Buba. The Lemba come from the tribe of Levi, at least this is their main Israelite tribal ancestry. 

Bubi Y DNA IS HAPLOGROUP E1B1A7A WHICH MATCHES some Jewish gene, so ARE THE BUBI PEOPLE & ANNOBONE PEOPLE OF SEPHARDIM ISRAELITE DESCENT? ARE THE KINGDOM JUDAH? perhaps is not coincidence that the name Buba resembles the name Bubi after all.

It's also interesting that the Eri/Bubi have two horns as their symbol. And these two horns look like two Israelite Shofars. 

Bubis is an Ashkenazi Jewish last name. Is it a coincidence?

Many tratadists degrade the Bubi people as tribalist, with expresions as "BÖOBE" & "BÖTYO" but their ancestors, with both words, denoted the "ERIAN" authenticity of the person & not the name of a tribe; they were expresions that meant "being autochtonous of People of ERI".

Bubi folklore (singing & dancing) is the only one in the African continent in which musical instruments are not used (Tam-Tam or the like).
The Bubi people, also known as Voove, Pove, Bobes, Boobes, Boobees, Boobies, Boubies, Adeeyahs, Adeejahs, Adijas, Ediyas, Eris, Fernando Poans, Fernandians, and Bantu Speaking Bubi are a Bantu group of Central Africa who are indigenous to Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. 

The Bubi people are subdivided into a number of tribes and subtribes that go back centuries. Indigenous Bubi folklore indicate that the tribe immigrated to Bioko Island some 3,000 years ago as a means of escaping servitude. Where they Israelites running away from their Mesopotamian captivities?

One perspective offers that the Bubi were once enslaved by a single continental African tribe, likely another Bantu ethnic group that once occupied areas along the shores of West Africa.

Many present-day Bubi have inherited bloodlines from:

Slaves who escaped from Sao Tome in the 19th century; Krio people, descendants of Americo-Liberians, also known as Fernandinos who arrived in the 19th century; Cuban indentured servants/slaves brought to the region during the 17th century, and again in the 19th century; Efik people who were instrumental businessmen on the island, as well as in Christian mission work; Brazilian indentured servants/slaves brought to the region during the 17th century; Asian workers who were brought to the island during the 19th century; Spaniards and Portuguese; Fang people who began immigrating in large numbers by the mid 20th century. Many helped run the Roman Catholic missions; Krumen people from Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire, as well as servants from Angola who worked the once lucrative maritime industry during the colonial era; Other ethnic groups indigenous to Equatorial Guinea and West/Central Africa. Furthermore, a part of the population may have bloodlines inherited from North African slaves traded into the region over centuries. Studies have shown considerable evidence of North African genetic markers among the region's indigenous population. As a result, the former city of Santa Isabel (Malabo) features a Creole cocktail of natives.

Traditionally, the Bube people had their own monarchy that emerged long before 17th century. At the beginning of 19th century, the island was divided into territories called cantons ruled by 'Botukus' or counts. The king ruled through 'Lojuá', recruiting a militia armed with spears.

In the post-colonial society the Bubi hold little political power even though the Prime Minister of Equatorial Guinea Miguel Abia Biteo Boricó and other Cabinet members are Bubi, as the tribe has become politically dominated by the ethnic majority Fa or Fang.

Tracing Black People’s Movement From the Middle East

In Egypt the contribution of the children of Israel was great particularly in their institutions of religion and learning. Joseph once ruled in Egypt and his position was second only to Pharaoh. They had statues and drawings of Israelites.

A story is written in the Kebra Nagast of how the queen of Sheba who was a virgin, slept with King Solomon and conceived Menyelek who after being crowned king of Ethiopia, ruled the land of Sheba and sailed widely to the coastlands of Asia with the ark of God in his possession. That is the story of how the house of Solomon is found in Africa.

The sons of Solomon and the house of David ruled and conquered Asia and Africa and spread the belief in the one God of Heaven who has been known by many names through time. These include; Yahweh, Yehovah, Elohim, Eli, Allah, Yala, Mwali, Mwari etc. Many of which have a similar sound and expression but differ because of linguistic adaptation.

The house of Judah entered Africa and Asia in antiquity and the influence they left led to the eventual rise of religions such as Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Shivaism and so on.

We have several religions today when they probably came from one common belief in the one God of Heaven.In Africa, which was all known as Ethiopia, meaning, ‘land of burnt faces’In folklore the name Sheba was derived from the name of the first man to be created. He is known as Adam in the Bible. This is the same man known as Adi Buddha from which the Buddhist religion comes.

This is also the same man referred to in the ancient books of Nepal as, ‘Before everything, Sambhu was.’ Archeologists are agreed that the original man was African and black.There are several versions of the name Sambhu and many places in Asia are named after it, for example Sambujudasia.
The name means power and from it came names like Simha, Shiva Sheba and Saba.

The kingdom of Sheba was large and wealthy but by the time of King Solomon, the people of Sheba had lost the true knowledge of God.According to the Kebra Negaski, Makeda the Queen of Sheba was in deep search of spiritual enlightenment for her people worshipped the sun until King Solomon told her to believe in the God of Israel who is the creator of the sun.

In the Arabian Peninsula there was a special place where the queen Makeda was said to have rested on her way to see the King Solomon for the first time. This land was named after the great name Sheba and was later known as Saba and Sabea.

It was in the region of Yemen and that is where the sons of Menyelek eventually lived and were known as great traders who often travelled into Africa to places like Ophir for gold and wood and would bring ornaments and wine in exchange.

Ophir was the name of the land in Southern Africa called Zimbabwe today. This is why many can link the Great Zimbabwe monuments to the lost kingdoms of Solomon to this day.

The Sabeans were known as vaShabi/vaShavi in Zimbabwe and Mozambique and kushava became a verb meaning to trade because the Sabeans were the great traders that were known to Africans.

These people were also known as va-rungu/va-lungu which meant God and also the whitened/enlightened ones. Today there is a tribe of people in Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa who still use these same titles and are the descendants of the wealthy Sabeans of Yemen.

The vaRemba people who are also known as the Sena in the east of Africa came from Yemen and from a city called Sena. They are called vaShavi and va-rungu to this day and have practices which greatly resemble those of ancient Israelites.

The Sena people in Mozambique and Malawi are also from Arabia and several ancient mosques which their ancestors built can still be found in places like Zanzibar in Tanzania. They were the Amirs (Leader) from Arabia who greatly contributed to the Swahili language through the merging of bantu languages with Shemitic ones like Arabic. Words like Changamire (in reference to leader) in Shona seem to have their origin in the word Amir.

The varemba people are now found scattered in almost all the countries of Southern Africa although their main concentration is in Mberengwa a district of Zimbabwe. Although some local historians contest the point vigorously, it is believed that the VaRemba played a big role in he construction of the ancient stone buildings found in many parts of Zimbabwe and the region.

These structures have a very close resemblance with similar structures found in Yemen and other parts of the Middle East.

In many parts of Africa today, we find tribes who claim Arabian origins and yet they are indistinguishable to the indigenous Africans. The Chewa and the Sena people from Mozambique and Malawi all trace their history back to Arabia. There are full blooded blacks in Zanzibar and the Swahili coast who say they came from Persia and they have ancient mosques their forefathers built to prove it, along with their unique culture.

The word Falasha originally meant ‘strangers’ since they came into Ethiopia from elsewhere.They are also known as the Amhara and the language they speak is Shemitic and known as Amharic. Its origins can be traced back to the Ge’ez and Aramaic languages of old.

The history of how these people got to Ethiopia from Arabia was documented in books such as the original Kebra Nagast and such early writings have helped a lot of other Africans from the Middle East in confirming their identity and even establishing their kingdoms. Their forefathers take root in Menyelek the first son of King Solomon of Israel.

When Menyelek returned with the Ark of the Covenant, he laid it at a place called Axum and it was in the land of Abyssinia which is present day Ethiopia. The empire which then arose was called the Axumite Empire and all the Emperors were to be from the descendants of the sons of Solomon.

The empire of Axum has a lot of recorded achievements in terms of early civilisation.
Even today, there remain numerous stone buildings and monuments that clearly show the high intellectual capacity of the ancient blacks.

The kingdom of Axum was related to the Sabeans, which were in Yemen and all the regions currently surrounding Ethiopia today, namely D’mt, Eritrea, Somalia and parts of Sudan were united. While the Sabeans were great traders and strategically positioned between Africa, India and the Western world; the first currency was established in Axum and was known to many nations of that time.

The Axumite Empire is also famous for being the first great world power to become a Christian nation. This was around 320 AD. The emperor behind this conversion was known as Ezana and the church which came forth was and still is known as the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Ezana had grown up with a Syrian servant, who was a Christian and this is when the people of the land of Axum took up Christianity and emulsified it with their Judaic culture. Rome and the rest of the churches, which arose in the West caught up only hundreds of years later and yet now they try to make it seem as if the whites were the first Christians.

The Christianity we see today is largely Westernised and thus seems unfitting for Africans. It is said that the sons of Solomon ruled until a certain tribe known as the Zagwe took over and this act is remembered in Ethiopia as a breach of the law because since the days of Menyelek, it was dictated by the queen of Sheba herself that “…no woman shall be allowed to rule this land anymore.

“Only the descendants of Solomon would be allowed to rule.” This was an ordinance which was to never change. However, by 1260 AD the Falasha people ruled again and this kingdom was preserved up to very recent times. Their conversion to Christianity was not swift and may have very much contributed to the breaking down of the empire because there are numerous battles that kept arising between the Axumites and the Sabeans and these were over religion.

By the time of Muhammad the prophet of Islam, the Negus (King) of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) was referred to as the lion of Judah. After rescuing the followers of Muhammad who had been persecuted in Arabia, the two became good friends and Nejashi the King said that the difference between Christianity and Islam is like two rays from the same light. He allowed the Muslims to live in his land and their descendants are there to this day.

It is also said that although the Kingdom of Ethiopia remained Christian, Nejashi may have secretly accepted Islam. When the king passed away, the prophet of Islam wrote a letter of lamentation.
He also wrote a letter to the Sabeans which can be found in the Quran and confirms that the people of that land were sons of Solomon and also great traders who were linked to the queen of Sheba.

Ehiopians celebrating victory against Italy

In more recent times, the nation of Ethiopia under their King Ras Tafari was unsuccessfully attacked twice by Italy under Mussolini.Ethiopia remains the only African country to never be wholly colonised. Ethiopia has become an empowering name for black people around the world and the name appears several times in the Bible.

Nowadays, the Falasha are referred to as black Jews and Beta — Israel.

There are languages such as Akan which have strong links with Hebrew which is used in central and West Africa to this day. Most of the names of rivers and places in West Africa make use of the word ‘naga’ in different forms. Names like Senegal, Nigeria, Niger and so forth are but a few examples. People called nagas were in places like India.

The Israelites of West Africa are as black and diverse as their African neighbours, but their Shemitic features, i.e.; tall and broad stature, have led them to be distinguished as negroes instead of Bantus by the white man.

Their black people who were sent to America as slaves were referred to as niggers for over 400 years after which they were called negroes. Today Afro-American youths quite often refer to themselves as the niggas in their social circles.Naga in Asia means sage/genie.These are the titles they give to the servants of God who the English would refer to as prophet. In Zimbabwe we also use the word n’anga which also shares a similar meaning. In Ethiopia it means serpent and also king.

For this reason this land and people is associated with the word naga. Israel literally means Prince (Ishe) ra (of) El (Mwari).

Evidence shows that the Israelites came to West Africa by way of Egypt, across Sudan and then settled along the Niger River.Others used the Phoenician trade routes which circled the Mediterranean Sea.

It was an old route that had been previously used by Canaanites and led to Carthage and North Africa. Fleeing persecution, the Isralites, crossed the Sahara desert and inhabited the fertile lands of West Africa. They were very warrior like because of the experience which had led them to flee their homeland.

They kept their culture and multiplied in number for they were safe from their persecutors who had no knowledge of the western interior of Africa at that time and referred to it and the rest of the southern most regions as darkest Africa. When the Isralites entered, West Africa was scarcely inhabited and they lived peacefully with the Africans they found there.

They were famous for their advanced weaponry which was made of iron and were renowned for their extensive knowledge which they had developed and acquired up north and shared it with the Africans. The Africans also helped them in locating raw materials in the new land such as salt and gold.

In the year 70 AD a wave of an estimated one million Isralites of the tribe of Judah, fled the land of Judea after heavy Roman persecution. Jerusalem had been captured by Rome under General Pompey in 65 BC and it was a general named Vespian and his son Titus who later put an end to the Isralite state, with genocidal slaughter.

They had to flee and West Africa by then was a known place of refuge for Isralites. The Romans renamed the land of Israel, Philistina (Palestina) in mockery of Israel for the Philistines were their enemies, and thus the land is called Palestine to this day.

By 300 AD, the people of the west were now trading smoothly with people from the east. Rivers such as the Niger allowed them to maintain strong bonds from Senegal all the way to Somaliland. This region was known as black Africa and also Sudan.

The Isralites of Yemen continued crossing into Ethiopia and their largest Exodus inland was in the 7th century AD. This was after the death of Muhammad the prophet of Islam and his followers persecuted the Israelites who did not convert to Islam. The first well known civilisation in West Africa arose from a people known as Songhay from Kouka, in a land called Dendina which can be found on the northwestern border of modern day Nigeria.

Many believe this people originated from Egypt or Ethiopia.A man called Za el Yemen came to Kouka around 300 AD. He established a line of kings known as the Za, Dja or Zha dynasty. He has also been known as Za al Ayaman and Dza min el Yemen, the latter meaning ‘He is come from Yemen’.

He came into Nigeria by way of Wargla and he eventually founded his capital at Gao.The establishment of the first empires, the erection of the first public buildings, the construction of the first canals and irrigation systems and the system of a social economic regime can all be credited to the black Hebrews of West Africa.

Sankore was one of the first institutions of higher learning in the world which was found in Timbuktu, Mali. Around that time the bulk of the literature being used in the institution was to do with the history of the eastern Solomonic kingdoms which had stretched to Ethiopia, Saba (Arabian Peninsula), India, Southeast Asia and parts of China.

The culture that this Solomonic lineage inspired in the coastlands of the above mentioned regions to which they sailed regularly for more than a thousand years was legendary. Their achievements particularly in architecture and technology inspired the people of West Africa.

It became necessary for the Timbuktu scholars to translate the Greek texts into Arabic and other local African Languages.To understand how education developed in this part of Africa which the whites used to refer to as darkest Africa, we need to look at the historical events which were the basis of the legacy we see today.Timbuktu is in Mali. The word Mali means freedom and it is derived from the breaking away of a faction of the Songhai Kingdom, which was known as the Mandingo.

They rebelled against their brothers, who were of the Za dynasty of kings and they named the city Mali (free) to commemorate this event. Books became more and more important in places like Timbuktu and when the Quran finally got into the hands of the West Africans, it was obvious that organised learning institutions and book trade were destined to develop in that area.

The story of how Islam got into West Africa is as follows. After the breakdown of the Ghana Empire into several states and the proclamation of independence by influential groups such as the Mandingo, the Za dynasty kings were left ruling in Gao, the capital of Ghana while other independent operations under the Mandingo to do with trade were excelling in the north. The trade was with various groups, but mostly with Arabs who were now mostly Muslim.

The Mandingo found that the Arabs were great in their trade and culture and the driving force behind this strength was their religion.When they inquired of it, they found the Muslim beliefs no different from their own and this led to a swift transportation of Islam from North Africa, across the Sahara desert and finally into the fertile West Africa.

The Mandingo State rose to imperial status in 1240 AD. The King credited with establishing and organising an imperial system in Mali was known as Sundiata. Almoravides from Mauretania had subdued the Kingdom of Ghana and had imposed tax on the people. Sundiata won a decisive victory against Sumanguru the leader of the Almoravide and this is when the Mandingo State arose. The Malian rulers were of this tribe called Mandingo.

Sundiata eventually accepted the teachings of the Quran. His State increasingly became prosperous.The inhabitants of Timbuktu were highly educated. They abhorred injustice and put more value on human life than all other things. The top commodity was neither gold nor salt but books for they were in high demand. Among them were doctors, translators and writers.

This was at a time that northern Europe was largely illiterate and the likes of Britain had no real knowledge of the bible for it had yet to be translated into their language. The West Africans were using both Arabic and their indigenous languages for written communication.

Many were bilingual and viewed learning as a way of escaping the ignorance of the world.
The driving force of this positive attitude was faith in Allah, and this led to peaceful coexistence.
Mali enjoys the reputation of being one of the last known great places of civilisation in Africa before European domination.

When the emperor of Ghana (Songhay) was away on a pilgrimage to Mecca, a Mali army general called Sagamandir took over Gao, the capital of Ghana. Several Za kings and their kinsmen were imprisoned and among them was one known as Ali Kolon. For a while the kingdom of Ghana was under the political authority of Mali, but it was not long before the kings of the Za dynasty escaped the Mali court and regained control of their kingdom.

It was Ali Kolon who would later be known as Sonni Ali, the liberator, who prevailed against the Malians and gave Songhay her last dance of grace. He refused to pay tribute to Mali and later led a military force against Niani the capital of Mali. When he prevailed, the Songhay dynasty that arose after him was known as the Sonni and Shi dynasty and it had in total a line of 18 Islamic-Hebrew kings.

Sonni Ali though Muslim did not rely on Islamic powers as allies to preserve his power. He relied on his popularity among the people. He, unlike most Islamic converts, practised and respected indigenous customs. Timbuktu eventually came under his hegemony.

Sonni Ali made war with many neighbouring lands to consolidate power, but on one of his expeditions he drowned in a river. His body was preserved in the way of the ancient Egyptians; i.e., embalming, de-bowling and smearing honey.

While the Mandingo and the Za dynasty rulers were of Hebrew origin Mohammad Toure was a native African who had worked closely with Sonni Ali the liberator. When he succeeded in chasing Sonni Barra into exile, Sonni Ali’s daughters yelled out “Askia!” This meant usurper and from that day onwards, Mohammad Toure decreed that everyone should refer to him as Mohammad Askia.
The Askia dynasty came in 1492 marking the end of the reign of the black Hebrew kings of West Africa. Interestingly, 1492 also marks the end of the Moorish reign in Europe.

We have been looking at the black Israelites of West Africa.To this day, some of them observe Mosaic dietary laws such as not eating pork and the slaughtering of beasts by the neck. They also observe festivals which correspond with the likes of Passover and Feast of Harvests. Because Islam once thrived in that region and to a large extent still does, some of the cultural practices of these West Africans are often confused with being Islamic. Islam is a way of life which some term a religion. It literally means ‘submission’ to the will of Allah.

Muhammad’s parents died when he was young and he was raised by Ethiopian guardians.He was also in constant personal contact with the Israelites of the land of Saba (Sheba) which was in neighbouring Yemen. The Ishmaelites and the West Africans (Israelites) were eventually known as the Moors in Europe.

Currently, in North Africa and Arabian lands we find blacks applying gel to their hair so as to look less African and more Arabic. This is because of an inferiority complex which has its roots in our colonial experience. Because people of mixed race are lighter in complexion than the average African, whites ranked Arabs higher than black Africans on the social scale. This is what is known as racial profiling.

The Moslem most of the people know is an Arab man or woman with long robes and, in the case of a woman, with a covered face. In West Africa there are followers of Islam called the Murid, who present a different face. ‘Murid’ is Arabic for ‘one who desires’ and it signifies a disciple of a spiritual guide.

They are mostly found in Senegal and Gambia but their strain of Islam has spread to the Diasporas of Europe and America through emigration. Upon first glance one would think they are Rastafarians because most of them wear dreadlocks and keep unshaved beards. Yet the Murid movement began long before the man called Ras Tafari was even born.

The founder was Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbakke (1853–1927) and he was also affectionately known as Khadīmu ‘l-Rasūl (Servant of the messenger). He was a mystic and religious leader who produced a large quantity of poems and writings on meditation, rituals, work, and the Qur’an.

The Murid brotherhood was founded in 1883 in Touba of Senegal, a place which would later become a religious site of pilgrimage for the Muriyyads (followers) after the death of Ahmadou Bamba. He was a scholar at Timbuktu and wrote over 66 books in Arabic. He became a legend and a symbol of liberation at a time when Senegal was facing colonial oppression.

His form of fighting foreign domination was largely spiritual and for Zimbabweans, he can be identified with the likes of Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi. For the people of Islam and West Africa, such was this black sage who in Zimbabwe would be known as Mhondoro. He taught people to emulate the Prophets of the Quran and the Scriptures.

Teaching them to value work and that one should reap what they sow. Even in today’s Senegal, if one runs into a dreadlocked man in rags offering work for food, he is probably a Murid. The French were the ones who colonised Senegal and through written testimony, some of the powers of Cheikh Bamba and the effectiveness of his movement are confirmed.

Although non-violent, he taught black liberation and submission to none, but Allah. This made him a constant threat in the mind of the colonisers for there was no one more influential among the blacks of Senegal and Gambia at that time. If he wanted to, Bamba could successfully lead a war against them. Thus at one point he was sent into exile in Gabon for over seven years.

He led a spiritual struggle against the colonial powers and although he did not wage outright war on them, he taught what he called the jihād al-’akbar or ‘greater struggle’, which was fought, not through weapons, but through learning and fear of Allah (Mwari).He is remembered as a Mujjadid (renewer) of Islam and has more than four million disciples in Senegal alone today.

They are known for their industriousness and good manners. Their characteristics are very much similar to Rastafarians, particularly the Murids that are known as the Baye Fall. Sheikh Ibrahima Fall (1855–1930) was a disciple of Cheikh Bamba. Baye Fall means Baba Fall and he would eventually be called Lamp Fall for he became the light of the way of Murid.

To the Murid, he is the perfect example of a disciple. Fall reshaped the relationship between Talibes (disciples) and their guide. He also instituted the culture of work among Murids. He learnt the Quran at an early age and the turning point of his life was when he met Sheikh Bamba. He left all he was doing and went under Bamba’s guidance.

Fall achieved major Arabic sciences such as theology, grammar and rhetoric. He too was a mystic and had a reputation for ferocity and extraordinary strength. Fall along with Bamba, wore matted dreadlocks and smoked what the Senegalese call pone.The two are well respected and have become important spiritual figures in Islam and West Africa. They were Islamic mystics yet their tales are as indigenous as Chaminuka’s.

Shambaa or Wasambara people

The Shambaa (also called Wasambara, Wasambaa, Washambaa, Sambaa, Shambala, Sambala, or Sambara) are an ethnic and linguistic group based in the Usambara Mountains of northeastern Tanzania. In 2001 the Shambaa population was estimated to number 664,000.

About thirteen hundred miles south of the territory of the Falashas live the Wasambara people. They are a variety of colors from light brown to black. In their land are found asylum institutions (cities of refuge),  they are like the Levitical cities found in the Old Testament. Professor Godbey says, "Taken with sacrifices, wherever Judaism is acknowledged, there must have been introduced by Yemenite or Himyaritic Jewish traders in very ancient times." 

Concerning the Wasambara people along the east coast of Africa opposite the Island of Zanzibar we know very little. But it is a known fact among scholars that Jewish merchants from Yemen traded along that coast. It is possible that Jewish colonics were established there at an early date. It is also a probability that Jewish tribes migrated from the north. I have shown previously that Jewish immigrants crossed the Red Sea into Ethiopia and that Jewish immigrants migrated from Egypt to Ethiopia. My conclusion is this: the nation of Ethiopia became a confluence or crossroad of a wave of Hebrew culture and settlements. Here in Ethiopia was the great center of the black Jews; they exchanged ideas, some settled down to stay, others departed 
to the west and south. 

Kishambaa is the Sambaa word for the Shambala language, Wasambaa are the people (Msambaa for a person), and Usambaa or Usambara is used for Sambaa lands. The Shambaa call their lands Shambalai.

The language is mutually intelligible with Bondei and Zigua, with the three groups sharing significant overlap in territory and a long history of intermarriage. The similarity between them has prompted some to refer to themselves as "Boshazi" (the first syllable from each of the three groups).

Sambaa belongs to the North East Coastal Bantu languages. A group which includes Swahili, however Swahili is not mutually intelligible with Sambaa.

The WaSambaa were ruled by the Kilindi dynasty from the mid-1700s to the end of the 19th century. The founder of the dynasty was Mbegha, and his son Bughe established the hilltop capital at Vuga. The kingdom reached its greatest extent under Kimweri ye Nyumbai. After he died in 1862 a civil war broke out over the succession, fueled by competition for the new wealth that the caravan trade in the Pangani valley had brought to the region. Smallpox and slave trading contributed to the disintegration of the kingdom, and in 1898 a fire destroyed Vuga.

Traditional farming in this area was based on a highly sustainable multi-story agroforestrysystem which evolved through a process of gradually replacing less desirable species in thenatural forest while useful indigenous plants were preserved. During this process theWasambara accumulated a vast body of knowledge of wild plants and their uses. Feierman (1990) reports that the Wasamabara identity is tied to the mountain ecosystem so that theyactually define themselves as ‘people who live in a particular botanical environment’. Thecolonial period brought a loss of diversity and soil erosion with mass coffee farms on unsuitablesoil followed by resettlement programmes to reduce the numbers of subsistence farmers. Independence saw the forests being distributed as a way of relieving pressure for land andduring Ujamaa few were relocated as their permanent crops would have necessitatedcompensation. Lushoto as an important forestry and agricultural district has tolerated its fair share ofinternational and national interventions to halt the land erosion from inappropriate farmingtechniques. The benefits of moving from a top-down ‘developmentalist’ approach to a bottom-up system which listens to local people and incorporates their local knowledge into successfulimplementations is stated by Johansson (2001:91) “for the first time they were out to learn frompeople rather than to teach them.”


The Banyankole society stratified into Bahima (pastoralists) and the Bairu (agriculturalists). A caste-like system of the Bahima over the Bairu existed. The society was a dual pyramid with pastoral and agricultural legs. Within the two groups or castes ( I call them castes not classes because within the Bahima and Bairu, there were those who had some thing in common), the clans cut across both the Bairu and the Bahima.The two groups recognized a common ancestry. There was a general belief that what made a mwiru (singular Bairu) what he is was a hoe and what made a Muhima (singular Bahima) what he is  was a cattle. This kind of belief was not very accurate because merely acquiring cows would not immediately transform one from a Mwiru into a Muhima nor would the loss of cows transform a Muhima into a Mwiru. A Muhima who owned few cattle would be called a Murasi. A Mwiru who owned cattle was called a Mwambari.

The two groups lived together and they depended on each other. The Bairu exchanged cattle products with Bahima and the Bahima equally received agricultural goods fro the Bairu.  This was because the Bairu needed milk, meat, hides and other cattle products form the Bahima, while the Bahima would also need agricultural products from the Bairu, equally local beer.

Traditionally, the normal pattern was for both the parents of the boy and the girl to arrange the marriage, sometimes without the knowledge of the girls concerned. The initiative was normally taken by the boy’s parents and upon the payment of an appropriate bride wealth; arrangements would be made to fetch the bride. Customarily, a girl could not be offered for marriage when her elder sister or sisters were still unmarried. If a marriage offer was made for a young sister, it is said that the girl’s parents would manipulate issues in such a way that at the giving- away ceremony, they would conceal and send the elder sister. When the bridegroom would come to know it he was not supposed to raise questions. He could go ahead and pay more bride wealth and then go ahead and marry the young sister if he could afford it. It was the responsibility of the father to pay in full the bride wealth and meet all the other costs of arranging his son’s marriage (just as Jacob did for Rachel).

Girls were supposed t be virgins until marriage. If the parents of the girl were aware that their daughter was not virgin, this information was formally communicated to the husband by giving the girl, among the other gifts, a perforated coin or another hollow object.

The child could be named immediately after birth. The normal practice was after the mother had finished the days if confinement referred to as ekiriri. The woman would confine her self for four days of the child was a boy and three days if the child was a girl. After three or four days, as the case may be the couple would resume their sexual relationship in a practice known as okucwa eizaire. The name given to the child depended on the personal experience of the father and the mother, the time when the child was born, the days of the week, the place of birth, or the name of an ancestor.

Burial was usually done in the afternoon and the bodies were buried facing the east (Jerusalem). A woman was made to lie on her left while a man was made to lie on his right. After burial, a woman was accorded three days of mourning while a man was accorded four days. During the days of mourning, all the neighbors and the relatives of the deceased would remain camping and sleeping at the home of the deceased. During this period, the whole neighborhood would not dig or do manual work because it was believed that if anyone dug, or did manual work during the mourning days, he would cause the whole village to be ravaged by hail storms. Such a person could also be regarded as a sorcerer and could easily be suspected of having caused the death of the person who had just been buried. However, the abstinence of the neighbors from digging and doing manual work was meant to console the relatives.

There were special burials for spinsters and those who committed suicide. It was considered taboo for one t commit suicide. The burial of one who committed suicide was very complicated.

Tradition has it that at times; the corpses of suicide victims could not be touched. A grave was dug directly under the corpse so that when cutting the rope, the corpse would fall into the grave. The grave was then covered and that was all. There would be neither mourning nor the normal funeral rites. The tree on which the victim has hugged himself would be uprooted and burnt. The relatives of the suicide victim would not use any piece of that tree for firewood.

There were also particular formalities for the burial of a spinster (resembling ancient Israel).

The Banyankole’s idea of Supreme Being was Ruhanga (creator). The abode of Ruhanga was said to be in heaven, just above the clouds. Ruhanga was believed to be the maker and giver of all things.

The ancient CWEZI PEOPLE of Uganda and Rwanda

As Cwezi intermarried with Bantus, their off springs formed modern East Africa’s Royal lineages. Their gene is reported dominant in the Bahima, Batusi (Tutsi), Batoro, Banyoro, Nyamulenge, northern Tanzania clans i.e Mburu, Masaai, Royal Baganda of Uganda,Hereros and Himba of Namibia and Sidama of Ethiopia.

They were great cattle keepers and  are still credited for introducing the long horned Ankole Cows  around the Nile source region.

Were Cwezi Jews?

The term Cwezi is a variant  of word Jews

Jwes, Jwezi, cwes, “Giwis,” “Giws,” “Gyues,” “Gywes,” “Giwes,” “Geus,”(

If so ,..the original Jews came from the Fallopian tube of the Nile valley.

It is said that the Cwezi were iron and mineral smelters and practiced jewelry.In Kinyarwanda to smelt is known as to: guCURA .Therefore, smelters are abaCUZI (very close to word aba CWEZI)

The same trade  is largely associated with Jews.They are known globally as a people that mostly trade in  Jewelry and other precious stones

Cweziman or SCHWATZMANN in German language describes black or Jewish  with a dark-skin or black-hair.

Travelling through Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa and comparing phonetic and semantic similarities in the Bantu languages also raises interesting questions as does watching marraige ceremonies as well as dances such as those of the Himba people of Namibia whose song and dance reminds one of the Bahima of western Uganda and Banyarwanda not to mention the phonetic similarities in their names!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What evidence is there, you might rightly ask?

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

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

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

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

Temne People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Temne rebellion/Hut Tax War of 1898

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kingdom of Loango

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Israelite Diaspora: The "Unknown Hebrews"  

Kush, Ethiopia

Many tribes of Arabia show an evident Hamitic, not Semitic origin. Yishmael's mother and wife were Egyptians, and he settled with his family in territories inhabited by Kushitic and Semitic tribes, in Arabia. Yishmaelites might have been identified as an Egyptian tribe by the pure Semitic Assyrians. Therefore, the association between Kush and Mitzrayim existed on both shores of the Red Sea. The Hamitic Arabian tribes were subdued by Semitic peoples (Midyanites, Lihyanites, Sabeans, etc.), but some typical Kushite features prevailed, for example, many Arabian kingdoms were usually ruled by queens, like the early Ethiopic kingdoms.

The Ethiopians claim an ancestral link to Israelites, and some historical facts apparently support any evidence, but most of such tradition is based on legendary accounts. Most of the historical facts (in which Kushites had anyway some participation) were transferred by Aksumite Ethiopians from the original scenery in Arabia to their own land. Indeed, the Aliyah projects that allowed Ethiopian Jews to resettle in Eretz Yisrael, "Operation Moses" and "Operation Solomon", were called that way after Ethiopian legends and not according to historical accounts. Such legends concern the Kushite wife of Mosheh and the Queen of Sheva (who was not Ethiopian but Yemenite).

Besides all the tales written about this Kushite wife of Mosheh, it might be likely that Tzipporah, being a Midyanite, may have had an Arabian Kushite servant that Mosheh took as his wife; this was a common custom previously practised by Avraham and Yakov.

We can conclude that from Mosheh and his Kushite wife there is not any recognizable lineage, and if there was a descent, it was completely included in the people of Israel that settled in Kanaan, not in Africa, since that Ethiopian wife was with him during the Exodus. 

The Queen of Sheva, whose real name is still unknown, has inspired many fanciful tales and exotic stories in a "1001 Nights" style, and is contended by Arabia and Ethiopia as their own queen. Her historical personality has been obscured by the myth, and most of what is said about her belongs to the legendary accounts. Indeed, the only known historical record is reported in the Hebrew Scriptures, in Melakhim I, 10:1-13 and Divre HaYamim II, 9:1-12. Her visit to King Shlomoh is perhaps the only source from which we have known of her existence, because the Sabeans did not keep history records in those times until they had relationships with Assyria, about three centuries later. Consequently, what is said of her besides what is written in the Bible might have been transmitted through oral tradition or more likely depicted by romantic writers. Her country, Sheva - also known as Teyman, Yemen - was wealthy and highly developed, rich in precious stones, gold, wood, frankincense, myrrh, fragrant oils, spices, and every sort of expensive goods. Their high-technology irrigation network allowed them to have luxurious gardens and a flourishing agriculture. Marib, the capital of the kingdom, was a magnificent city. Sheva's camels travelled the "Incense Road", the way along the Red Sea that from Marib reached Midyan and Israel across the Arabian desert. That was also the way that the Queen herself travelled to visit King Shlomoh in Yerushalaym. She sealed with him an alliance that established the most important commercial exchange in that time, between the two wealthiest countries of the world. Such alliance allowed King Shlomoh to settle a Jewish colony in Sheva, and a safe haven for his fleet in Aden. The Kingdom of Sheva was not limited to the Southern Arabian Peninsula, but extended over the opposite shores, in Africa: The land of Punt, (the "Horn of Africa"), Seva (Abyssinia), and most of Ethiopia between the Red Sea and the Nile were subject to the Yemenite Kingdom (see map above). This allowed Sabeans to exert complete control of any trade between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, and having Sheva as an allied nation meant for Shlomoh to have the gate of the Indian Ocean open for his fleet . Sheva held then an active trade with Ophir, India, and Shlomoh enlarged his trade network with Sheva's commercial partners, too. 

This is what we know regarding the Queen of Sheva. She was a sovereigness of ancient Yemen that ruled also over Ethiopia, but she was not a Kushite. Concerning her love story with King Shlomoh, the Scriptures do not say anything; though it might be implied. Indeed, many interpreters understand that the Hebrew verb "to come" in the phrase "she came to Shlomoh" (1) is often used in the Scriptures with the meaning of entering a house for the purpose of sexual relations. Also the statement "King Shlomoh gave to the Queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked" (2) may imply that he also satisfied her sexually. A further element that may support the idea that both sovereigns were lovers would arise if the Shir HaShirim composed by Shlomoh refers to her; indeed, the beloved lady perfectly fits the description of a Yemenite noblewoman: dark complexioned (3), coming from the desert, perfumed with myrrh, incense and fragrant spices (4), adorned with gold, pearls, etc. Notwithstanding, the Queen of Sheva was not Shlomoh's wife, and she returned back to her country after her visit to Yerushalaym. 

Besides the Bible account, that is the only contemporary record concerning this Queen, a good deal of tales flourished some centuries later, that became part of the legendary heritage of Ethiopia and Arabia, and was even included among their sacred literature.

The Kebra Negast, an Ethiopian sacred book, asserts that Sabeans were tall and black people, like Ethiopians, and that she was a black Queen. Historically, Sabeans were a Semitic people (so, rather dark complexioned though not black), mixed with Kushitic Arabians, consequently, they may have been the darkest among Semites, yet, not black; this is in agreement with the description of the dark woman to whom the Shir HaShirim is dedicated.

Arabs have given her the name Balqish, Ethiopians call her Maqeda, but none of these names has still been confirmed by archaeology, and they are to be considered purely imaginary. 

Aksum emerged as kingdom contemporarily with the Roman Empire, and in the fourth century c.e. conquered and destroyed Meroe, the legitimate heir of the ancient Kush. It is indeed Meroe the Biblical Ethiopia. Less than two centuries later, the Aksumites were engaged by Byzantine Romans to conquer and destroy the Sabean Himyarite Kingdom of Yemen. Then, the Aksumites might have adopted for themselves the story of the Yemenite Queen, if not much later, as the legend of the Solomonic lineage does not appear to be known before the restoration of the Axumite dynasty in 5030 (1270 c.e.). 

Nevertheless, admitting the possibility that any real heritage from the Queen of Sheva may have been transferred to Ethiopia, this would be a likely explanation: The Sabean rule over African lands was probably exerted by members of the Sabean royal family. The Queen's dynasty may eventually have come to an end in her own kingdom, but a branch of her royal house may have continued to rule in Ethiopia; in fact, many scholars agree that Aksum was an offshoot of a Southern Arabian Semitic kingdom, and inherited some Yemenite traditions. 

The Hebrew presence in Ethiopia dates back to ancient times. When the Hyksos ruled over Egypt, they engaged in a fluent trade exchange with the land of Kush, achieving mutual benefits. The Hyksos established a Semitic colony at the southern border of Egypt, in the Nile Island of Elephantine, as their commercial outpost with the African kingdoms. This island remained the main gathering point for Jews in Egypt along the centuries, and it is likely (though not proven) that some Israelites settled there in the Hyksos period. So, the Kingdom of Kush might have hosted the first Israelites even before the Exodus.

If this is true, such Hebrews were however unaware of the Mitzvot given to the people of Israel through Mosheh, and would not have been recognized as Israelites in later times. Nevertheless, they may have kept any contact with their people and successive Jewish migrations would have contributed to complete their Israelite identity. A consistent number of Jews eventually settled in Elephantine soon after the destruction of the first Temple by Nebukhadnetzar's army, and it is not excluded that Prophet Yirmeyahu, who was carried by the rebel Jews to Egypt, would have been among them. He could have instructed the earlier Semitic settlers in the knowledge of Torah. Some time later, Nebukhadnetzar conquered Egypt, and the Jews dwelling there would have fled to Ethiopia in order not to be deported to Babylon or executed for their rebellion against the King. 

It is historically proven that an important Jewish community existed in Elephantine since long time before the Persians conquered Egypt, and that they had even a Jewish Temple much alike that of Yerushalaym.

The Assyrian and Persian conquest of Egypt favoured in some way the development of the independent kingdom of Meroe, that kept the ancestral friendly relationships with the Semitic communities of Egypt. The Meroitic rulers followed the Egyptian religion, but the Jews were respected and probably also influent. According to the Christian Scriptures, the Ethiopian Queen Kandake had servants and ministers of Jewish belief (Acts 8:27). It was a Meroitic tradition to have female rulers, who were often elected within members of the royal family, so it is possible that she was a queen of Meroe - commonly called Ethiopia in Biblical language - as well as she may have been a queen of Abyssinia (Aksum). Meroe held active trading with Arabia and India through the Red Sea ports, and Jewish merchants that reached this kingdom may have chosen to settle. Other accounts assert that the Ethiopian royal house of Aksum was Jewish prior to their conquest of Meroe.


The Scriptural references concern two different peoples having the same name, one Kushite, the other Semite - Bereshyit 10:7,28-29 -. 

According to some Scriptural records, one of the lands of Havilah was undoubtedly in Northern Arabia, between Egypt and the Euphrates, and was inhabited by Yishmaelites (Bereshyit 2:18) and Amalekites (Shmu’el I, 15:7). However, that seems not to be the Havilah that was plenty of gold mines.

The Semitic Havilah is connected with Sheva and Ophir, two names often mentioned together, and has been identified with the land of Khawlan, in Yemen.

The Hamitic Havilah is related to Seva (Abyssinia) and Southern Arabian peoples. The original land of the Kushite peoples was Southern Mesopotamia and Arabia, and many scholars place the ancient Hamitic Havilah in the north of the Persian Gulf area, either in Elam, beyond the Hidekel, or south of the Euphrates.

The mention of the land of Havilah as plenty of gold mines is the main element that points out to an African country. In this chapter, the land south of Ethiopia that we call Havilah is the one conventionally accepted by some scholars as such.

"From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, the daughter of My dispersed ones, shall bring My offering." Tzephanyah, 3:10

The land, which this prophecy refers to, has been identified by scholars and Rabbis as the White Nile Basin, and according to the Prophet’s words, it is expected that some descendants of the Israelites have to be found there. That is the region assumed to be one of the Biblical lands called Havilah. Yet, the expression "beyond the rivers of Ethiopia" may imply any country farther in the south. Havilah is also related to precious materials like gold, which indeed existed in great amount in the southern end of the African rift. Therefore, the prophetic statement may refer to some tribes dwelling in those regions, which are acknowledged to be immigrated from the north many centuries ago. 
We will consider here two peoples having evident Hebrew elements in their culture and traditions, one of them in the White Nile Basin, the Watutsi, and the other in South-eastern Africa, the Lemba.

1) The Watutsi are well known by their impressive tallness rather than their culture and history. Their features clearly indicate that they came from the northern land of Kush or even from Egypt, and some enigmatic elements of their culture suggest that they had any relationship with the Israelites, for example:

* monotheistic belief
* dietary rules very similar to Kashrut
* laws that recall the Mosaic Torah
* the celebration of a festival that resembles Sukkot

The Watutsi traditions include the legends regarding King Shlomoh and the Queen of Sheva, acquired during their sojourn in Ethiopia before they settled in the White Nile Basin, but as it has already been analyzed, such myths lack of any historical support. 

Even though some claim to be the descendants of Israelite Tribes, their belief is closely related to the Egyptian monotheism of the Hyksos Dynasty rather than to Judaism properly, but it is very likely that they were still in Egypt contemporarily with Mosheh. In fact, these elements present in the Watutsi culture are also ascribable to the Mosaic influence on Egypt during the 18th Dynasty, when a "mixed multitude" followed Mosheh (Shemoth 12:38). 

2) The Lemba have interesting characteristics that link this people with some ancient cultures apparently unrelated to each other: the Israelites trading with the Kingdom of Sheva or settled there, the mysterious land of Havilah, and the Great Zimbabwe civilisation. In order to establish the connection between these different entities, it is necessary to resume some concepts already exposed in this essay.

The Kingdom of Sheva was plenty of gold wealth, and gold was also a consistent part of the Sabean export products. Yet, where did they extract such great amount of that precious metal is still not known with certainty. Sheva had a very well developed fleet that allowed a fluent trade with India as well as along most of the East African coast. Sabean commercial ports were established in Zanzibar and very likely far beyond southwards.

The ancient Great Zimbabwe civilisation seems to provide a solution to the enigma regarding the source of Sheva’s gold: Some records attest that Sabeans extracted it from a country where it was winter when in Yemen it was summer. This means, that their gold mines were to be found in the Southern Hemisphere, and archaeological discoveries indicate that there were many of them in ancient Zimbabwe, built as complex systems of tunnels and shafts. Sabeans were skilled builders and water engineers, and it is their technology that was also applied in Great Zimbabwe; for example, the terrace system for agricultural development. Also the elliptical temples in ancient Yemen and Zimbabwe were built in a very similar way. It is known with certainty that Sabeans rivalled Phoenicians as seafarers and that they were gold traders. It is also evident that Yemenite architecture and engineering has been developed in Zimbabwe; therefore, it is very likely that the Zambesi Basin.

Are the Sokoro People Isakkarites? 

They speak Sokoro, a Chadic language. A neighboring Chadic language is called Bidiya, just like a Palestinian town. They include their name Yah, short for Yahweh, the God Of Israel. Another of the local languages is called Saba, an area of Yemen peopled by many Jews. Finally another language of the vicinity is the Dangaleat, resembling Dangalut or diaspora of Dan. In fact the tribe of Dan is pretty present in northern Africa.

African Zion

A.A. Jaques noted in 1931 that the whites of the northern Transvaal claimed to be able to distinguish a Lemba from his features and Jacques agreed that “many Lemba have straight noses, rather fine features and an intelligent expression which distinguish them from the ordinary run of natives… One of my informants, old Mosheh, even had what might be termed a typical Jewish nose, a rare occurrence in any real Bantu”.

The general racial classification in apartheid South Africa was a tripartite system of black, white and colored. The Lemba were never considered officially as “colored” but they derived certain benefits in much the same way as did colored people, from not being altogether black. It should also be stressed that by being constructed as Jews they were being inserted into a highly ambiguous racial category. European Jews may not have been black but they were racially much less desirable than Nordics or Anglo-Saxons, and Jewish immigration was not encouraged on these racial grounds. Indeed as Oren Stier has shown European Jews in South Africa were not considered by white South Africans to be white at all.

Whites in the region of what used to be called the Transvaal in South Africa would often comment on the Lembas’ money grubbing, on their sharp business skills, on their reluctance to spend unnecessarily, on their success, on the unusual number of Lemba who became university teachers, doctors and lawyers, viewed by them as “Jewish” professions. Some of these ideas were internalized by the Lemba themselves. In a South African compilation of “vernacular accounts” M.M. Motenda, a Lemba, observed: “The Lemba in respect of their faces and noses are well known to have been very handsome people, their noses were exactly like those of Europeans”.

The Fulani Jewishness

Most marriages are arranged by the families or the clan (as in biblical Judaism). The child is always named after someone (just like the ancient Jews). Circumcision is an obvious Jewish tradition too.

Most marriages are arranged by the families or the clan (as in biblical Judaism).

The child is always named after someone (just like the ancient Jews).

Circumcision is an obvious Jewish tradition too.

The Mbaka People of Central Africa

“The Mbaka people of Central Africa had one supreme God called 'Koro" and they knew also of Koro's Son who was sent into the world to do something wonderful for all mankind, but they but they forgot (over time) yet did know somehow that a 'white brother' would come to restore this knowledge. They also had "rituals of passage" and blood sacrifices and baptismal immersions that paralleled the Judeo-Christian tradition” 

“The Baka are African Traditional Religionists that believe in the power of bark and metamorphosis. The Baka people worship Komba and believe him to be god above all. The spirit plays the role of the mediator between the supreme being, Komba, and the Baka people"

 “Even tribal "rites of passage" among the Mbaka show Judeo-Christian parallels. First, the elders offered a blood sacrifice for the initiate. Then they baptized the initiate by immersion in a river. For several days following his baptism, the initiate must behave like a newborn child! In keeping with the imagery, he is not permitted to talk.

Baka male initiation is an almost completely secret rite (occurring in secret places of the African rainforest), forbidden to foreigners. 

The Fulani People

The Fulani people call themselves Fulve* (Pullo, in singular). 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 significant role 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 moved along 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 neighboring regions where they were rejoined by Fulani groups from Morocco. It has established that about 700AD, Fulani groups from Morocco, moved southward, and invaded the regions of Tagout, Adrar, Mauritania, and Fuuta Tooro. 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.

                                                                      African kingdoms

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 Sahalian 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 Fulani descended 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 countries in 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 in Fulani regions, such as present-day Senegal and the Gambia. They have also found clusters of stone circles, (See Gambia Stone Circles in filefototraite) some nearly 2,000 years old thatprobably had religious significance. Archeologistshave also found iron-smelting sites dating to the4th century C.E., indicating the development of metal 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 the4th century C.E. may have contributed to the rise of the region's first centralized state, the Tekruurkingdom in the Senegal River valley. 
This kingdomstretched across the central savanna into the Sahara to the north. Tekruur, who was mostly populated by Fulani, had extensive contact with peoples from North Africa, including the Zenaga Berbers. After their conversion to Islam beginning in the 8th century C.E., Berbers brought Islam to Senegambia.The Zenaga founded a monastery, probably along the Senegal River, around 1040. This hermitage housedan ascetic Islamic sect known as the Almoravids who swept 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, and many 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 hassurrounded the widely divergenthypotheses of the origin of theFulani. Tauxier (1937) lists themajority of these.

Jewish or Syrian origin and suggested a migration westwards along the 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).

Ethiopian affinities and inferred a prehistoric movement westwardfrom Ethiopia into the West- Africa. According to Mollien, 1820; Seligman, 1930; Barth, 1857-8.

Fulani were North African Berbers, According to. Passarge, 1895; Meyer, 1897; Crozals, 1883.

Compromised between the Berber and Ethiopian theories. According to Bayol, 1887; Machat, 1906; Gautier, 1935; Palmer, 1923, 1928,1936) which Hindu Origins According to Golberry, 1805; Binger, 1892, Malayo-Polynesian Eich Tall, 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 linking them with events of the Classical or Near Eastern world. They often describe the marriage of a Muslim Arab or Moor with a negro-African woman which is blessed with children. One infant is left in the care of an elder brother while their 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 the Fulani. In some versions his brothers learn the new language, Fulfulde, from him and found the four great branches of the Fulani people. In all its versions this myth relates the racial affinities of the Fulani, their linguistic peculiarities, and their historical role in the West-Africa.

A common version of the Origin of Fulanic ommon version runs somewhat 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. Awater spirit appears and tells himthat if he obeys his orders he willacquire great wealth and be theenvy 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 relations of 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, and Near Eastern history. Mass Migration Although the details of these migrations may be open 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 bycolonial 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 less completed 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 conservativ enature, 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 tracts which might be defended by force. Thus herds have been maintained, not by cattle-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 sceneof war, excessive tribute, and the like. Pastoral Fulani have remained pastoralists, in the sense we have described, only by continuous seasonal movement, which develops imperceptibly into migratory drift , and byperiodic migration. They have left behind them Fulani populations moreclosely 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 to 1900 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 name.

Pan-African Jewish Alliance

Pan-African Jewish Alliance (PAJA) is an international non-profit, non-political organization that seeks to unite historic and emerging African and African-American Jewish communities around the world. PAJA also seeks to integrate African and African-American Jews into the mainstream of the Jewish community.

The immediate goals of PAJA are to document the history and current structure of African and African-American Jewish communities, assess community needs, take steps to address those needs, and plan and convene future gatherings.

PAJA held its first multi-national meeting on July 11, 2008 with participants from Jewish communities in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and the United States. The community representatives gathered in Uganda to celebrate with Rabbi Gershom Sizomu on the occasion of his installation as head rabbi of the Abayudaya Jewish Community.

Rabbi Sizomu is the first black rabbi from sub-Saharan Africa to be ordained by an American rabbinic school. He attended the Zeigler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism, Los Angeles from 2003-2008 with the support of Be’chol Lashon. He recently established a yeshiva in Uganda that will train Africa’s next generation of Jewish leaders.

Representatives of PAJA are also involved in a variety of research projects. Dr. Rabson Wuriga, for example, is writing about the oral traditions of the Lemba Jews of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Botswana.

The Pan-African Jewish Alliance is an initiative organized by Be’chol Lashon.