Monday, November 8, 2021

Happy Indigenous People Month!

According to renowned American historian and linguist Leo Weiner of Harvard University, one of the strongest pieces of evidence to support the fact that Black people sailed to America before Christopher Columbus was a journal entry from Columbus himself. In Weiner’s book, “Africa and the Discovery of America,” he explains that Columbus noted in his journal that the Native Americans confirmed “black skinned people had come from the south-east in boats, trading in gold-tipped spears.” Even the Algonquin tribes had gold-tipped spears made from Egyptian gold and writings of Egyptian cities in their catalog of explorers hidden in the Grand Canyon.

According to a number of sources, Abubakari II, Mansa (King) of the Mali Empire in the 14th century, led Malian sailors to the Americas, specifically present-day Brazil, almost 200 years before Columbus arrived, circa 1311 A.D. Malian sailors then continued up the coast of South America into Central America, Mexico and southern portions of what would become America.

In the book, Lost Explorers by Ed Wright (Murdoch Books, 1819, [republished by Pier 9, 2008]), "More than a hundred years before the Portuguese had cleared Cape Bojador in the Western Sahara, and almost two hundred before Columbus 'discovered' the Americas, there is some evidence to suggest that Abubakari II, Emperor of Mali, crossed the Atlantic and visited the Americas. The idea even received support from Columbus himself, who wrote in his journal about African journeys from the Guinea coast to the Americas and supposed this was how the South Americans had learned techniques of alloying gold.

"At the time, the Malian empire was arguably the richest state on earth. Founded in 1235, by 1310 when Abubakari II came to the throne it had control of most of western Africa, form the inland trading cities of Timbuktu and Gao on the fringes of the Sahara to the Guinea coast. The empire ruled millions of subjects, its three gold mines were responsible for producing more than half of the Old World's gold and it also profited from the extremely lucrative salt trade. ...

"[It is from] Inslamic historian al-Umari's conversations with Mansa Musa [Abubakari II's successor] that we have our best account of Abubakari's mission. Apparently, when Abubakari came to the throne in 1310, he ordered two hundred boats to set out to check whether, like the Niger River, the Atlantic Ocean had a far bank. In order to maximise the chances of success, a variety of boats was constructed.

"Some of them would have been pirogues, which resembled a canoe, while others were probably based on Arab boats such as the dhow. Each of the two hundred vessels had a supply barge attached, with enough dried meat grain and preserved fruit in ceramic jars to last for two years, as well as cotton goods and gold for trade.

Read more exciting connections between African and Native Indigenous Tribes here.

Without further intellectual adieu, here's the library's November newsletter. I hope you enjoy and best wishes for your family as this nation comes together to honor Otsaliheliga (prounounced oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah, Cherokee for gratitude). Aho.

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