Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe

 Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on May 21, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Great Zimbabwe

 

The first Europeans travelers to set their eyes upon the great Zimbabwe said:

 

“Among the gold mines of the inland plains between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers [there is a]…fortress built of stones of marvelous size, and there appears to be no mortar joining them….

This edifice is almost surrounded by hills, upon which are others resembling it in the fashioning of stone and the absence of mortar, and one of them is a tower more than 12 fathoms high. The natives of the country call these edifices Symbaoe, which according to their language signifies court.—Viçente Pegado,”. Captain, Portuguese Garrison of Sofala, 1531

 

Early foreign Ignorance

 

When Portuguese traders first encountered the vast stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe in the sixteenth century, they believed they had found the fabled capital of the Queen of Sheba. Later travelers surmised that the site’s impressive stone structures were the work of Egyptians, Phoenicians, or even Prester John, the legendary Christian king of lands beyond the Islamic realm. Such Eurocentric misguided and romantic speculation held for nearly 400 years, until the excavations of British archaeologists David Randall-MacIver and Gertrude Caton-Thompson early in this century, which confirmed that the ruins were of African origin.

 

Great Zimbabwe

 

The largest ancient stone construction south of the Sahara, Great Zimbabwe was built between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries by the ancestors of the Shona, one of Zimbabwe’s many Bantu-speaking groups. The ruins cover nearly 1,800 acres and can be divided into three distinct architectural groupings known as the Hill Complex, the Valley Complex, and the Great Enclosure. At its apogee in the late fourteenth century, Great Zimbabwe may have had as many as 18,000 inhabitants. It was one of some 300 known stone enclosure sites on the Zimbabwe Plateau. In Bantu, zimbabwe means “sacred house” or “ritual seat of a king.” An important trading center and capital of the medieval Zimbabwe state, the city controlled much of interior southeast Africa for nearly two centuries.

 

Fallacies and distortion of history

 

In 1890, British imperialist and colonizer Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) Who conquered a large portion of southern Africa and had the region named after himself. Northern Rhodesia (modern Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (modern Zimbabwe) which came under British control and Rhodes argued that the Great Zimbabwe monuments were built by foreigners. To promote his goal of misrepresenting the origins of Zimbabwe, Rhodes established the Ancient Ruins Company and financed men such as James Theodore Bent, who was sent to Zimbabwe by the British Association of Science, and sponsored by Rhodes. After his investigation Bent concluded in his book, Ruined Cities of Mashonaland (1892), that items found within the Great Zimbabwe complex “proved” that the civilization was not build by local Africans. This was done irrespective of Rhodes having full knowledge of Africa’s Legacy, knowledge which he used to Gain riches from culturally sacred diamond mines in south Africa after getting the indigenous people there to show him their sacred land. This resulted in Debeers diamonds.

 

In 1902, the British continued with their falsification agenda as British archaeologist Richard Hall was hired to investigate the Great Zimbabwe site. Hall asserted in his work, The Ancient Ruins of Rhodesia (1902), that the civilization was built by “more civilized races” than the Africans. He argued that the last phase of Great Zimbabwe was the transitional and “decadent period,” a time when the foreign builders interbred with local Africans. Hall went out of his way to eliminate archeological evidence which would have proven an indigenous African origin of Great Zimbabwe. He removed about two meters deep of archeological remains, which effectively destroyed the evidence that would have established an indigenous African origin of the site. He condescendingly stated that his goal was to “remove the filth and decadence of Kaffir occupation.”

 

In 1905, soon after Hall’s destructive activity, British archeologist David Randall-MacIver studied the mud dwellings within the stone enclosures, and he became the first European researcher of the site to assert that the dwellings were “unquestionably African in every detail.” After MacIver’s assertion, which was almost equivalent to blasphemy to the British imperialists, archeologists were banned from the Zimbabwe site for almost 25 years!

 

Conclusion:

 

Ian Smith was the last major British colonial figure to falsify evidence of Great Zimbabwe’s origin. After Ian Smith became “prime minister” of Southern Rhodesia. He continued the colonial falsification of Great Zimbabwe’s origins by developing a fake history and a policy of making sure that the official guide books for tourists would show images of Africans bowing down to foreign innovators, who allegedly built Great Zimbabwe. It was not until 1980 that the native Zimbabweans overthrew Smith’s minority government and ended the colonial era. In that year, Robert Mugabe became president and the country was renamed “Zimbabwe,” in honor of the Great Zimbabwe civilization of the past.

 

This distortion of the history of Zimbabwe has had an enduring legacy. The colonial era (1890 – 1980) had a destructive impact on the daily lives of native Zimbabweans. Not only was their heritage stolen, but the best farmland and resources were also taken by British colonists. This 90 years of domination and oppressive colonial rule was fueled by the ideas of Cecil Rhodes, who wanted to colonize the entire African continent and “to paint the [African] map [British] red.”

 

This legacy has contributed to some of the modern day problems Zimbabwe faces today.

 

Given the sheer scale of Great Zimbabwe compared to its precursors, archaeologists have been at a loss to explain its sudden appearance on the southern African landscape. Interpretation of the site poses a particular problem because it was stripped of nearly all its in situ cultural material during the nineteenth century by treasure seekers and those who, believing the site to be of foreign construction, wished, in the words of turn-of-the-century excavator Keith M. Hall, “to free it from the filth and decadence of the Kaffir [South African] occupation.”

 

Mystery

 

The abundant grasslands atop the plateau were ideal for cattle grazing, but the poor soil would not have supported agriculture on a scale required to sustain Great Zimbabwe’s burgeoning population, necessitating imports of grain and other staples from distant tributary sites. Moreover, we now know that the plateau’s rich gold deposits, to which the city’s initial prosperity has often been attributed, were not exploited until perhaps a century after its founding. The question posed then is “Why here?” How could such an influential power develop in an area so ill-suited for large-scale human habitation? Could cattle wealth and trade alone have afforded the inhabitants of Great Zimbabwe a superior way of life, or was there something else, a political or religious ideology, that gave them a competitive edge over neighbors and enabled them to harness the manpower necessary for the construction of the site?

 

In summary do not let people who cannot even comprehend who you are or where you come from define you. You are soo much More, this is the same for everyone irrespective of where your origins lie.

 

Sources:

 

http://www.archaeology.org/9807/abstracts/africa.html

 

http://www.manuampim.com/ZIMBABWE.html

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/africa/features/storyofafrica/10chapter1.shtml

Pre-Colonial Medicine in Uganda

That scientific research and medical practice did exist in pre colonial Africa, and present day Uganda at that, baffles many- not only Euro-centric skeptics, but also their wannabe African cousins as well. What is even more remarkable is that evidence of this rare feat is recorded, not by Africans, but by Europeans! Let us take an example of pre colonial Bunyoro. There is evidence of outstanding medical excellence- at least judging by the international standards of the time- in this supposedly remote area inhabited by a ‘primitive’ people.

 

I will not mention, as has the distinguished historian Shane Doyle that clinical tests that have shown that their cures for eczema and post measles bloody diarrhea were more effective than Western medicines, or that their herbs have been shown to control schizophrenia. I will not even make mention of evidence of advanced hygiene control to prevent stomach infections- I wont! I will only make mention of the more subtle bits of their medical excellence.

 

Surgery

R.W. Felkin, at the time (1879) a medical student and missionary recorded a caesarean operation carried out in Bunyoro. The details, published in the Edinburgh Medical Journal 1884 xxix , 922-930, are startling. The surgical team comprised 3men; the surgeon washed the mother’s womb and his hands with banana wine (nguuli) and then water.The mother had been half intoxicated with the same wine and was laying on a bed. The surgeon made a cutting into the stomach and the baby was gotten out. The wound was sewn using iron spikes, sparingly used and tied together with skin. At various times the assistants helped with pulling out the baby, holding the intestines in place and holding her ankles and placing on the wound an absorbant grass mat. Needless to say, the patient made a full recovery after 11 days. Interestingly, at this time in the UK, caesarean operations, when they did occur, were extremely rare for theyb were considered major and there was considerable animosity towards them. Felkin went on to become the adviser to the Lancet on tropical medicine, and it wouldnt be unsafe to take his account as accurate. Some have expressed skepticism about his report on the operation but they have not expressed the same as regards the rest of his work, which is curious, considering that he translated many of the works of Emin Pasha, from German to English. In any case it would seem extraordinary that he could concoct such a story which would result in the praise a ‘primitive’ people and even take back with him the surgical knife, which has near celebrity status in the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum in the UK.

 

Inoculations/vaccinations

These were carried out in precolonial Bunyoro to protect babies and even adults from syphilis. The doctors, abafumu, argued that when the ‘virus’ was introduced to the infants’ bodies, it reduced their chances of catching the disease in adulthood. Later research showed that exposure to the disease in infancy indeed significantly reduced ones chances of contracting the disease in later life. Clearly, the bafumu were ahead of their time. As is to be expected, they were condemned by the colonial administrators and missionaries as well as converts- the latter with an an amazing cry-more- than- the- bereaved enthusiasm. The importance of vaccinations needn’t be emphasised in modern medicine.

 

Medical Research

It would be surprising for a people to attain such a high level of skill as result of a flash in the pan- there must surely be some form of order, organisation, training and apprenticeship to achieve this. If the above examples arent indicative of any form of preparation and organisation, perhaps this should. In 1902, when sleeping sickness was causing near tsunami-like death tolls to both coloniser and colonised in equal measure, information spread that there was an itinerant Munyoro doctor who was curing the disease. The man, Yangoma, told the colonial administrator- the tax collector for Busoga, who later told his boss, the commissioner, that following the sleeping sickness outbreak of 1886-7, he (Yangoma) was commisioned by Omukama Kabalega, to ‘make experiments in the interests of science’ -Grant’s words to the commissioner on 30th May 1902 [PRO/FO/2/590], and he was ‘successful in procuring a cure’. But in order to belittle whatever result the endeavour had produced, Grant made it known to the commissioner, in no uncertain that the instruction to look for a cure was ‘more probably from selfish motives’ of the Omukama! It ought to be noted that in their endeavours to cure disease, the bafumu separated their experiments from religious practice, so that this can be properly called scientific, and that the outcomes were results of repeated and tested displays.

 

Interestingly, there seems to be no evidence that this medical finesse was achieved as a result of exposure from the outside world, for much of the interior was cut off from Europe until the latter part of the 19th century, and that even then, the supposition that the Europeans who came could have passed on the knowledge is unreasonable, for Felkin himself was amazed and in any case it was the riches in Africa that caught the colonialists’ fancy. Tragically, thanks to persecution from the invaders, much of this information, hitherto passed on from senior to junior in orderly fashion, was lost. At a time when many of our hospitals on one hand and death traps on the other have a conspicuously striking similarity, such loss ought to be bemoaned

.

Lastly, the little I have found out about medical practice in precolonial Uganda is largely from Bunyoro, but I would like to convince myself that among other peoples in the country that is the pearl of Africa, there was certainly evidence of medical advancement. It may not, I would like to think, be a waste of time to dig into them.

by Mpuga Rukidi

Africa continues to amaze.

Everybody HasTo Be Involved In Project Africa.
Our mission is to unite every black family world wide ,We seek to foster a more unified and stronger black community in which our community is included and valued, by sharing ideas based on the challenges we
 
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Celebrate Akoma Day… Not Valentine’s Day

 Posted by Akoma House Initiative on December 19, 2012 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (2)

Original People! Stop celebrating St Valentine (who we don’t know at all), and celebrate black love through Akoma Day!  What is love?  What is Valentine’s Day? Most importantly what is it’s relevance to black people.   We are a people who epitomize love in all its forms; love of god, love of self and love of others. However, we have sadly lost the proper cultural context in which we do most things. The celebration of Love amongst any people is wise, especia…

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WHAT EVERY AFRICAN MUST BEGIN TO DO FROM NOW ON

 Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on October 1, 2012 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Please family, read these documents carefully. They tend to be long because you need to have information and information is power. Take your time to read these documents. Send all documents I send you to all Africans and Blacks you can reach th

rough social media groups, blogs, e-mails and so on. We love you very much and we are in this together. Time for action has come for our race. We have talked and talked enough at conferences and at home about our pains. Every African receiving d…

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 Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on August 8, 2012 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (1)

So I got this in my email this morning…

 

They call the Third World the lazy man’s purview; the sluggishly slothful and languorous prefecture. In this realm people are sleepy, dreamy, torpid, lethargic, and therefore indigent—totally penniless, needy, destitute, poverty-stricken, disfavored, and impoverished. In this demesne, as they call it, there are hardly any discoveries, inv…

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Kwame Nkrumah’s diary goes home on the 40th anniversary of his death

 Posted by Storymama on May 3, 2012 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Kwame Nkrumah’s diarygoes home on the 40th anniversary of his death

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvaniaorders the release of President Nkrumah’s diary to his daughter, the HonorableSamia Yaba Nkrumah, M.P. 

 

 

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 Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on April 11, 2012 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (5)

January 26, 1788 was the date on which Captain Arthur Phillip took formal possession of the colony of New South Wales and raised the British flag for the first time in Sydney Cove.

In 1838 white people had settled Australia for just 51 years. Pastoralists were pushing into Aboriginal land, dispossessing Indigenous people from the land that nurtured them physically and spiritually.

 

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The Dogon Tribe Of Mali West Africa,The Nommos and The Sirius Stars

 Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 7, 2012 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (4)

Far off in the brush of the West Africa there lives a tribe of people that have stirred up a lot of interest in their mythology. The Dogon, from Mali, have some interesting beliefs, elaborate rituals and myths. They believe that they are descended from ancient Egyptians and their story goes back further than 5000 years.Their stories contain actual facts about the solar system and ancient history.

               …

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Scientific Medicine In Pre Colonial Uganda

 Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on Comments comments (1)

 That scientific research and medical practice did exist in pre colonial Africa, and present day Uganda at that, baffles many- not only Euro-centric skeptics, but also their wannabe African cousins as well. What is even more remarkable is that evidence of this rare feat is recorded, not by Africans, but by Europeans! L…

Read Full Post »

 

Africa still amazes!

Everybody HasTo Be Involved In Project Africa.
Our mission is to unite every black family world wide ,We seek to foster a more unified and stronger black community in which our community is included and valued, by sharing ideas based on the challenges we

Queen Califia a Black woman with her Amazons The Naming of California

 Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on May 28, 2012 at 7:45 PM

 

Long before there was a United States, there was a myth that affected the naming of California, the myth of Califia, a black female Amazon queen.

Califia’s life and land “at the right hand of the Indies” were described in a novel written about 1510, by Garcia Ordonez Rodriguez de Montalvo, a Spanish writer, and was entitled “Las Serges des Esplandian”. To some extent, this document helped to precipitate the Spanish hunt for gold in North America. In fact, thirty years later, when the explorer Cortes landed with his crew in what is known today as Baja California, it is said that he announced to his men (of which 300 were of African descent) that they had arrived in Califia’s land. By 1770, the entire Pacific coast controlled by Spain had been given the name California, and the Spanish speaking people who lived there were called Californios. A portion of the original of this document was translated by Edward Everett Hale for The Antiquarian Society, and the story was printed in the Atlantic Monthly magazine in 1864.

The best known depictions of Queen Califia are murals done by well known artists. One seven foot high panel showing Califia as a Black woman with her Amazons is in The Room of the Dons at the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco, and was created for the opening of the hotel in 1926, by Maynard Dixon and Frank Von Sloun. Another famous depiction, created by Louise Lloyd and entitled “The Naming of California”, can be seen in Sacramento in the Senate Rules Committee Hearing Chamber on the 4th floor of the State Building.

As I think about the contributions of real women of African descent to our history, I am proud of the roles we have played in this nation, even when many of those stories are as yet untold.

We are women of many facets and identities, and the term “African-American” today encompasses not only those African ancestored women born here, but also women who have migrated here from the Caribbean, the African continent, South and Central America.

 

I am not pleased by the way we are still stereotyped by racist misogynists, who use these memes to denigrate us, and re-enforce lies about our agency and role in history.

 

 

Sister Citizen, Melissa Harris Perry

One of the most recent books to address this is Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, by Melissa Harris Perry.