African presence in America & US before Christopher Columbus - CVIEW NEWS

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Sunday, 18 January 2015

African presence in America & US before Christopher Columbus

In a book written by Floyd W. Hayes III , ''The African Presence in America'' and another book by anthropologist,  Constance Irwin, ''Fair Gods and Stone Faces'', it can be deduced that there is a great possibility that Africans arrived the American continent before Christopher Columbus came there.
The Maya Empire, centered in the tropical lowlands of what is now Guatemala, reached the peak of its power and influence around the sixth century A.D.
The Maya excelled at agriculture, pottery, hieroglyph writing, calendar-making and mathematics, and left behind an astonishing amount of impressive architecture and symbolic artwork. Most of the great stone cities of the Maya were abandoned by A.D. 900, however, and since the 19th century scholars have debated what might have caused this dramatic decline.
The Maya civilization was one of the most dominant indigenous societies of Mexico and Central America before the 16th century Spanish conquest. Unlike other scattered indigenous populations of Mesoamerica, (Mexico and Central America).
Researchers have also proven that many contemporary Mayans may appear to have African features as a result of the conjugation with Africans after slavery was introduced to the New World.
They also found out that some Mayan people have genetic markers, which point to African ancestors. For example: Underhill, et al noted that:" One Mayan male, previously has been shown to have an African Y chromosome."
Underhill, et al (1996) " A pre-Columbian Y chromosome specific transition with its implications for human evolutionary history", Proc. Natl. Acad. Science USA, Vol.93, pp.196-200.
The mixed Mayans were often called Zambos. They share many features with the young Mayan
According to anthropologist Constance Irwin, in his book 'Fair Gods and Stone Faces', : "Distinct signs of Negroid ancestry in many a New World skull..."
In 1972, Dr. Andrzej Wiercinski these claims with skeletal evidence from several Olmec sites where he found skeletons that were analogous to the West African type black.
Wiercinski claims that some of the Olmecs were of African origin.
 To determine the racial heritage of the ancient Olmecs, Dr. Wiercinski (1972b) used classic diagnostic traits determined by craniometric and cranioscopic methods. These measurements were then compared to a series of three crania sets from Poland, Mongolia and Uganda to represent the three racial categories of mankind.
The The Olmec were the first 'major' civilization in Mexico. They lived in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, in the present-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco. Olmec is also the first elaborate pre-Columbian civilisation of Mesoamerica (c. 1200–400 bce) and one that is thought to have set many of the fundamental patterns evinced by later American Indian cultures of Central America, notably the Maya and the Aztec.
Wiercinski discovered that 13.5 percent of the skeletons from Tlatilco and 4.5 percent of the skeletons from Cerro de las Mesas were Africoid (Rensberger,1988; Wiercinski, 1972; Wiercinski & Jairazbhoy 1975).
He found African skeletons at the Olmec sites of Monte Alban, Cerro de las Mesas and Tlatilco. Morley, Brainerd and Sharer (1989) said that Monte Alban was a colonial Olmec center (p.12). Diehl and Coe (1996) admitted that the inspiration of Olmec Horizon A, common to San Lorenzo's initial phase has been found at Tlatilco.
 Diehl and Coe (1995, 12) of Harvard University have made it clear that until a skeleton of an African is found on an Olmec site he will not accept the art evidence that there were Africans among the Olmecs.
 He supports this claim with skeletal evidence from several Olmec sites where he found skeletons that were analogous to the West African type black. Many Olmec skulls show cranial deformations (Pailles, 1980), yet Wiercinski (1972b) was able to determine the ethnic origins of the Olmecs.

 Marquez (1956, 179-80) made it clear that a common trait of the African skulls found in Mexico include marked prognathousness ,prominent cheek bones are also mentioned. Fronto-occipital deformation among the Olmec is not surprising because cranial deformations was common among the Mande speaking people until fairly recently (Desplanges, 1906). 
Many African skeletons have been found in Mexico. Carlo Marquez (1956, pp.179-180) claimed that these skeletons indicated marked pronathousness and prominent cheek bones.
The Olmec came from Saharan Africa 3200 years ago. They came in boats which are depicted in the Izapa Stela no.5, in twelve migratory waves. These Proto-Olmecs belonged to seven clans which served as the base for the Olmec people.
Physical anthropologist use many terms to refer to the African type represented by Olmec skeletal remains including Armenoid, Dongolan, Loponoid and Equatorial. The evidence of African skeletons found at many Olmec sites, and their trading partners from the Old World found by Dr. Andrzej Wiercinski prove the cosmopolitan nature of Olmec society.
 This skeletal evidence explains the discovery of many African tribes in Mexico and Central America when Columbus discovered the Americas (de Quatrefages, 1836).
With all these, one can have a rethink about where African have been to and since when they have started their voyage..

By Dotun Ibiwoye 

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