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Ras ben comebussus1

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Ras ben comebussus1

  1. 1. Ethiopians in the Americas Before Columbus
  2. 2. It is said that Columbus “discovered” the Americas and that prior to this there was no contact with “The Old World” and the Western Hemisphere
  3. 3. However, he and all other European colonists came to the Americas looking for gold. Why?
  4. 4. It is because the Eurasian trade network Columbus represented learned from the famous hajj of Mansa Musa in 1324 that there was a fabled gold rich paradise in the West.
  5. 5. Mansa Musa inherited the throne in 1312 after his father Abu Bakr II sailed off to a secret paradise in the West with thousands of ships. It is rare in history that a king willingly gives up the throne of a prosperous and expansive empire. Furthermore, what prompted Abu Bakr II to sail west with 1,000 ships full of men and resources? What did he know?
  6. 6. Mansa Musa’s Account of Abu Bakr II • The ruler who preceded me (that is, Abu Bakr II) did not believe that it was impossible to reach the extremity of the ocean that encircles the earth (the Atlantic Ocean). He wanted to reach that (end) and was determined to pursue his plan. • So he equipped two hundred boats full of men, and many others full of gold, water and provisions sufficient for several years. He ordered the captain not to return until they had reached the other end of the ocean, or until he had exhausted the provisions and water. • So they set out on their journey. They were absent for a long period, and, at last just one boat returned. When questioned the captain replied: "O Prince, we navigated for a long period, until we saw in the midst of the ocean a great river which was flowing massively. • My boat was the last one; others were ahead of me, and they were drowned in the great whirlpool and never came out again. I sailed back to escape this current." But the Sultan would not believe him. He ordered two thousand boats to be equipped for him and his men, and one thousand more for water and provisions. Then he conferred the regency on me for the term of his absence, and departed with his men, never to return nor to give a sign of life.
  7. 7. However, one of the titles of Mansa Musa plus other historical facts reveals a clearer idea of Abu Bakr’s intention. Mansa Musa held over twelve titles, including "Conqueror of Ghanata" and the "Emir of Melle". The title of relavance is "Lord of the Mines of Wangara". The mines of Wangara is not one single mine. Many assume that Mansa Musa had one source of gold – the deposits coming out of the Gold Coast of Africa. However, the mines of Wangara were scattered throughout the world, with ones in east and south Africa.
  8. 8. However, the mines of Wangara were scattered throughout the world, with ones in east and south Africa. In the Tarik al Sudan, or the History of the Sudan, a 17th century account of the Malian Empire it is said the Wangara are ones “who engages in trade and travels from one horizon to another." There is actually a location called Wangara in southern Australia. One may say it is coincidental except for the fact that it is a gold-rich area of the continent and mines have been found there from antiquity. Tradition is that the Mines of Wangara network was established in the days of King Solomon and is known historically as King Solomon’s mines.
  9. 9. The Wangara were silent traders, meaning they did not speak when bartering for gold and other commodities. Some historians attribute this to Wangara merchant’s inability to speak foreign tongues. However, many recognize the custom of silent trade as a way of keeping the Wangara’s sources of gold a well-kept secret. If they were silent traders, why would the Lord of the Mines of Wangara reveal their most cherished secret - That there is a mother load of gold west of the Atlantic under dominion of the Mali empire.
  10. 10. Think about it: Abu Bakr II was king of one of the prosperous kingdoms in the world. Would he abdicate his throne and travel west with thousands of ships on hearsay and a whim? Or does it make more sense that Mansa Musa - the Lord of a silent trading network - was protecting one of their most precious secrets by saying Abu Bakr simply sailed west because he believed he might find land?
  11. 11. Did Abu Bakr reach the Americas and if so what was his fate? There is great debate about this topic, and it cannot be settled here? However, it is hard to resist seeing a link between Abu Bakr leaving Mali with 2,000 ships around 1310 and the subsequent appearance of what is termed Azteca city-states around the exact time in Mexico. Researchers have found many Mande loan words within the Nahuatl language shared among Azteca city-states. Azteca grew into an empire in the early 1400’s, primarily through friendly relationships and inter-marriage rather than military conquest. By its heights in 1510 it spanned from the Atlantic to Pacific coasts; south into modern-day Guatemalan and north into Southern California, Nevada, Arizona and Texas.
  12. 12. Aztec means “people from Atzlan”, a mythical kingdom, the location of which is hotly debated. Most scholars say Atzlan is in the North American continent and that Aztec founders migrated South by foot to establish the early city-states. However, in the “Depiction of the departure from Aztlán” in the 16th-century Codex Boturini, Aztlan is depicted as being in a far-away sea. It has step pyramids in the style of Sakkara, Egypt and people making salat, probably muslims. There is a large man – probably representing a great king - in a large boat rowing towards another land, which has footprints leading up and away from where the trajectory of the boat would have it land.
  13. 13. Another connection to consider: It is said that during Hajj, Mansa Musa had an all female security detail comprised of melanin-rich women who were bare except for gold-metal adornments on their arms, breasts and loins. The leader of the detail is named Khalifa. This is significant when considering the first account of Queen Califa of California: The legend of Queen Califia appears to date back to the novel Las sergas de Esplandián (The Adventures of Esplandián), written around 1510 by the Spanish writer Garci Rodríguez de
  14. 14. It is known that to the right of the Indies there exists an island called California very near the terrestrial paradise; and peopled by black women among whom there was not a single man since they lived in the way of the Amazons. They had beautiful robust bodies, spirited courage and great strength. Their island was the most impregnable in the world with its cliffs and headlands and rocky coasts. Their weapons were all of gold . . . because in all the island there was no metal except gold. And there ruled over that island of California a queen of majestic proportions, more beautiful than all others, and in the very vigor of her womanhood. She was not petite, nor blond, nor golden-haired. She was large, and black as the ace of clubs. But the prejudice of color did not then exist even among the most brazen-faced or the most copper- headed. For, as you shall learn, she was reputed the most beautiful of women; and it was she, O Californias! who accomplished great deeds, she was valiant and courageous and ardent with a brave heart, and had ambitions to execute nobler actions than had been performed by any other ruler — Queen Califia.
  15. 15. When Mansa Musa made Hajj in 1324, he was said to have traveled with 12,000 servants each with 4 pounds of gold bars. He was also said to have 80 camels with 50-300 lbs of Gold dust each. He made several stops on his year-long journey to Mecca. He traveled North along the Niger river delta, and stopped in many significant trade centers including Meme, Tuat, Walata and Taghaza. From the Niger delta he crossed the Sahara north to Fez, then traveled along the southern rim of the Mediterranean coast east to Egypt. From Cairo he made his way down to Mecca. At each stop Mansa Musa showered the hosting markets with gold.
  16. 16. Concerning the gold market, Mansa Musa’s manipulation made him the first and only man to solely control the price of gold in the Mediterranean world. This gave him leverage to reroute key east-west trade paths through regions controlled by the Wangara and circumvent Judaic merchants of the Mediterranean world. Prior to his hajj, Mali’s connection to the Mediterranean market was Judaic merchants who facilitated trans-Saharan routes. These Judaic merchants, with African bases of Fez and Joppa, suffered economically as a result of Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage. Who are these merchants historically?
  17. 17. Generally speaking, they could be called a network Sephardic merchants – from Sephora which is the biblical name for modern day France, Spain and Portugal. That is because their economic and cultural roots stem from these lands. However, this merchant network runs throughout Europe and is connected to the power center in Prague in the east and has nexus along the entire Silk Road of Asia into modern-day China. In this context, historically these Judaic merchants are referred to as the Radhanites. Radhanites were medieval Judaic merchants in a trans-Eurasian trade network. They maintained several trade routes of classical Rome after its demise from 476AD through the Great Interregnum. Their network and trade routes are accounted for by Ibn Khordadbeh’s Book of Roads and Kingdoms, written around 870AD. Here is account of Radhanite routes.
  18. 18. These merchants speak Arabic, Persian, Roman, the Frank, Spanish, and Slav languages. They journey from West to East, from East to West, partly on land, partly by sea. They transport from the West eunuchs, female slaves, boys, brocade, castor, marten and other furs, and swords. They take ship from Firanja (France), on the Western Sea, and make for Farama (Pelusium). There they load their goods on camel-back and go by land to al-Kolzum (Suez), a distance of twenty-five farsakhs. They embark in the East Sea and sail from al-Kolzum to al-Jar and al-Jeddah, then they go to Sind, India, and China. On their return from China they carry back musk, aloes, camphor, cinnamon, and other products of the Eastern countries to al-Kolzum and bring them back to Farama, where they again embark on the Western Sea.
  19. 19. Some make sail for Constantinople to sell their goods to the Romans; others go to the palace of the King of the Franks to place their goods. Sometimes these Jew merchants, when embarking from the land of the Franks, on the Western Sea, make for Antioch (at the head of the Orontes River); thence by land to al-Jabia (al-Hanaya on the bank of the Euphrates), where they arrive after three days’ march. There they embark on the Euphrates and reach Baghdad, whence they sail down the Tigris, to al-Obolla. From al-Obolla they sail for Oman, Sindh, Hind, and China. These different journeys can also be made by land. The merchants that start from Spain or France go to Sus al-Aksa (in Morocco) and then to Tangier, whence they walk to Kairouan and the capital of Egypt. Thence they go to ar-Ramla, visit Damascus, al-Kufa, Baghdad, and al- Basra, cross Ahvaz, Fars, Kerman, Sind, Hind, and arrive in China. Sometimes, also, they take the route behind Rome and, passing through the country of the Slavs, arrive at Khamlidj, the capital of the Khazars. They embark on the Jorjan Sea, arrive at Balkh, betake themselves from there across the Oxus, and continue their journey toward Yurt, Toghuzghuz, and from there to China.
  20. 20. Mansa Musa’s hajj created the global relationships needed to completely circumvent the Radhanite merchants and allow the Wangara network to connect directly to the east into China, thus allowing the traders to engage in “trade and travels from one horizon to another" as described in the Tarik al Sudan. The complex dynamics of these trade routes can be traced to Solomonic times and are recounted in Kings 9- 10. It recounts how Hiram, King of Tyre and a great merchant of the Queen of Sheba. Hiram furnished Solomon with cedar and fir trees as well as all the gold he desired. This is what Solomon used to build his temple and palace. In return, Solomon gave Hiram 20 cities in the land of Galilee. Furthermore, Pharaoh had conquered neighboring Canaanite territory and allied with Solomon, giving the conquered cities and his daughter to Solomon as a gift. Solomon’s kingdom thus could connect both the Mediterranean world with Sheba. Moreover, Solomon then built a naval fleet along the coast of the Red Sea and partnered with Hiram of Tyre. As chapter nine of Kings concludes:
  21. 21. And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions. And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold… And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones. And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the Lord, and for the king's house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day. And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants. Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold, Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffick of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country. And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target. And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold. The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays. And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: there was not the like made in any kingdom. And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom. And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart…
  22. 22. Kings 10 gives great insight to the global trade route established between the Ethiopian merchant Hiram and King Solomon. Through the Red Sea ports they had unfettered shipping routes to India and China. The navy of Tharshish, which is Gibraltar at the Western ridge of the Mediterranean world, provided Solomon and Hiram access to the Americas. They describe the Tarshish navy as returning every three years bringing gold, silver, and ivory. No doubt that three-year voyage included a trans-Atlantic leg. Since the days of Solomon there has been trade with the people of the Americas, and Hiram’s Ethiopian merchants facilitated the trade. Is there evidence? The legacy of Columbus’ voyage to the Americas in 1492 provides some. History has noted that Martin Pinzon was a de facto leader of Columbus Expedition. Born around 1441, Martin Alonso Pinzon was a prominent man in his hometown of Palos, Spain. Descended from people who made their living on the sea, he was an able pilot, shipbuilder, ship owner, and trader who sailed extensively before ever meeting Columbus. In 1488 Martin as a pilot on an expedition exploring the African coast accidently traveled to the Americas. Once past Cape Verde, their ship got swept in a strong Atlantic current across the ocean and eventually carried to what would later be named Brazil. Finding a reverse current, they were able to navigate back across the great waters. Having been to the Americas and knowing a route that utilized the ocean’s own current gave Pinzon needed experience. Moreover, being fluent in archaic Hebrew, Pinzon acted as interpreter when natives were encountered. As captain of the flagship Pinta, Pinzon’s contributions to the success of the expedition was great. However, Pinzon was ethnically Moorish, and he and Columbus did not relate well. Pinzon died shortly upon returning in 1493 and his family brought charges against Columbus in court. They claimed the expedition was actually Pinzon’s idea and that he also partly financed it. Moreover, Pinzon was robbed of credit for the success as well as promised financial compensation.
  23. 23. Having been to the Americas and knowing a route that utilized the ocean’s own current gave Pinzon needed experience. Moreover, being fluent in archaic Hebrew, Pinzon acted as interpreter when natives were encountered. As captain of the flagship Pinta, Pinzon’s contributions to the success of the expedition was great. However, Pinzon was ethnically Moorish, and he and Columbus did not relate well. Pinzon died shortly upon returning in 1493 and his family brought charges against Columbus in court. They claimed the expedition was actually Pinzon’s idea and that he also partly financed it. Moreover, Pinzon was robbed of credit for the success as well as promised financial compensation. In the testimony against Columbus, Martin’s son, Arias Perez Pinzon claimed he and his father visited the Vatican in Spring of 1492. Supposedly, a great ‘cosmograph’ and friend at the Vatican showed Pinzon an Ethiopian manuscript. The Vatican Library document shown to Pinzon asserted that in the time of King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba sailed westward in the Atlantic, visiting lands more beautiful than Africa and Europe. Referred to as Cipango, this land was said to be reached by sailing ninety-five degrees westward. Arias’ testimony was affirmed by several others, and stands as historical evidence that it was Ethiopians who first explored and charted the Americas.
  24. 24. More evidence can be found within Ethiopian manuscripts themselves. The Kebra Negast, Ethiopian Book of Kings describes the Americas as part of the dominion of the Negust Negast: And thus the eastern boundary of the kingdom of the King of ETHIOPIA is the beginning of the city of GÂZÂ in the land of JUDAH, that is, JERUSALEM; and its boundary is the Lake of JERICHO, and it passeth on by the coast of its sea to LÊBÂ and SÂBÂ; and its boundary goeth down to BÎSÎS and ’ASNÊT; and its boundary is the Sea of the Blacks and Naked Men, and goeth up Mount KÊBÊRÊNÊYÔN into the Sea of Darkness, that is to say, the place where the sun setteth; and its boundary extendeth to FÊNÊ’ÊL and LASÎFÂLÂ; and its borders are the lands of the Garden (i.e., Paradise), where there is food in plenty and abundance of cattle, and [near] FÊNÊḲÊN; and its boundary reacheth as far as ZÂWÊL and passeth on to the Sea of INDIA; and its boundary is as far as the Sea of TARSÎS, and in its remote part lieth the Sea of MEDYÂM, until it cometh to the country of GÂZÂ; and its boundary is the place where [our enumeration] began. And moreover, the dominion of the King of ETHIOPIA belongeth to him and to his seed for ever.
  25. 25. The Americas are described as the place where the sun setteth (the West) and the Garden where there is food and cattle in abundance. Its boundaries are the Sea of India (the Pacific) and the Sea of Tarsis (the Atlantic). This is where the three-year voyage of Solomon’s navy of Tarshish was traveling based on Hiram’s guidance… The Kebra Negast also gives insight into the way the global trade network should be arranged and the Radhani, who are referred to as the Jews of Nagran. The Negus of Ethiopia intended to ally with east Rome/Byzantium to maintain the global trade network, while the Radhanite network worked to interject themselves at key points to break the trade routes. Once in strategic lands, they could tax and surcharge all trade coming and going. Here are the key verses:
  26. 26. Chapter 20 says: From the middle of JERUSALEM, and from the north thereof to the south-east is the portion of the Emperor of RÔM; and from the middle of JERUSALEM from the north thereof to the south and to WESTERN INDIA is the portion of the Emperor of ETHIOPIA... The Emperor of RÔM is the son of SOLOMON [from Rehoboam], and the Emperor of ETHIOPIA is the firstborn and eldest son of SOLOMON. Rom is Byzantium/Eastern Rome, which concerning the Negust, is the legitimate Rome. “And we will begin to tell you what we have heard, and what we have found written, and what we have seen concerning the King of RÔMÊ. The kingdom of RÔMÊ was the portion and dominion of JAPHET, the son of NOAH. And sitting down they made twelve great cities, and DARIUS built the greatest cities of their kingdoms: ’ANṬÔKYÂ (ANTIOCH), DÎRESYÂ (TYRE ?), and BÂRTONYÂ (PARTHIA ?), and RÂMYÂ (ROMA ?), and those who reigned dwelt there; and King CONSTANTINE built CONSTANTINOPLE after his own name. “ (chapter 72).
  27. 27. Ethiopia and Byzantine were to unite to create the global trading network connecting Africa to Asia. And those two kings, JUSTINUS the King of RÔMÊ and KÂLÊB the King of ETHIOPIA, met together in JERUSALEM. And their Archbishop was to make ready offerings and they were to make offerings, and they were to establish the Faith in love, and they were to give each other gifts and the salutation of peace, and they were to divide between them the earth from the half of JERUSALEM, even as we have already said at the beginning of this book. And for love's sake they were to have jointly the royal title [of King of ETHIOPIA]. They were to be mingled with DAVID and SOLOMON their fathers. The one whom in faith they chose by lot to be named from the Kings of RÔMÊ was to be called "King of ETHIOPIA", and the King of RÔMÊ likewise was to bear the name of "King of ETHIOPIA", and he was to have part in the lot whereby he should be named with DAVID and SOLOMON their fathers…
  28. 28. The Negus and King of Byzantium unite to eliminate Radnite influence among the global trade network. And the King of RÔMÊ, and the King of ETHIOPIA, and the Archbishop of ALEXANDRIA—now the men of RÔMÊ were orthodox—were informed that they were to destroy them. And they were to rise up to fight, to make war upon the enemies of God, the JEWS, and to destroy them, the King of RÔMÊ ’ÊNYÂ, and the King of ETHIOPIA PINḤAS (PHINEHAS); and they were to lay waste their lands, and to build churches there, and they were to cut to pieces JEWS at the end of this Cycle in twelve cycles of the moon.
  29. 29. The Radhani attempted to overtake two key locations – Armenia which would give them control over the Eurasian land bridge; and Nagran the modern-day Saudi peninsula, thus giving control of Red Sea traffic. Chapter 116 says:. A few JEWS shall lift up their heads against our faith in NÂGRÂN and in ARMENIA in the days after this, and this God will do by His Will so that He may destroy them, for ARMENIA is a territory of RÔMÊ and NÂGRÂN is a territory of ETHIOPIA." The Negus and King of Byzantium unite to eliminate Radnite influence among the global trade network.
  30. 30. The Negus and King of Byzantium unite to eliminate Radnite influence among the global trade network. And the King of RÔMÊ, and the King of ETHIOPIA, and the Archbishop of ALEXANDRIA—now the men of RÔMÊ were orthodox—were informed that they were to destroy them. And they were to rise up to fight, to make war upon the enemies of God, the JEWS, and to destroy them, the King of RÔMÊ ’ÊNYÂ, and the King of ETHIOPIA PINḤAS (PHINEHAS); and they were to lay waste their lands, and to build churches there, and they were to cut to pieces JEWS at the end of this Cycle in twelve cycles of the moon. MANSA MUSA’S HAJJ WAS A CONTINUATION OF THIS POLICY ESTABLISHED BY THE NEGUS.

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