We are not Jews or descended from Jews. We are Ga!!!

We are not Jews or descended from Jews.  We are Ga!!!  by Ade Sawyerr

London January 2013

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Far too many times have I heard the myth repeated that the Ga are descended from Israel and in fact Jews.  I have always restrained myself from responding lest I trample on the sensibilities of those who want to believe in myths.

Let me state here emphatically that all the folklore of our people may have pointed to the fact that we migrated from afar but no one has been able to provide the evidence of this unfortunate myth.  I do not even know why it started, perhaps in the mind of some of our elders who felt so culturally inferior that they seek to boost their esteem by likening themselves to people who they felt were culturally successful and superior.  I sincerely think as we search for answers for our problems we need to be proud of our heritage, more importantly we need that positive make that will shake us out of our self perceived marginalisation so that we can help to build a better Ghana and Africa.

We cannot be Jews and we also cannot be descended from Israel and the earlier we wake up to that the better.

Let me categorical about this.  The Ga were there at the time of Creation even if we migrated from afar.  We are not lost and therefore we cannot be part of a lost tribe of Israel.  The State of Israel came for the Falashas from Ethiopia some decades ago and I do not know what really happened to them thereafter, but I am more than certain that if they felt that Ga people were from Israel they would have made attempts to come for us given all the numerous complaints about our being marginalised and what would have happened would have been our becoming the hewers of wood for them.

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There is an interesting book – HEBREWISM OF WEST AFRICA by Joseph J Williams. It was written in 1930 and it discusses the ASHANTI without any mention of the Ga as a possible Jewish tribe.  It is still in print and those who want to perpetrate this myth should go and read it.

I have read here and elsewhere about the tribes of Gad and Dan; who became Gadangme.  I know where that came from and would not comment here on it save to say that I know that it was manufactured and contrived much in the same way as the concept of Akan has been contrived. In any case I have been told that the Jews were those from the tribe of Judah and all the other tribes cannot be Jews though they were Israeli

The Ga have a rich language full of beautiful and elegant figures of speeches, alliteration double onomatopoeic, similes, proverbs that are nowhere near whatever the Jews speak.  Linguistically we cannot be Jews or Israeli.

Some have cited the great book ‘Omanye Aba’ on outdooring by AA Amartey.  He did not say we were descended from Jews he made certain postulations that I wish to deal with.

1. Outdooring and naming of children on the 8th Day.  Exodus. 12:19. The Ga are not the only tribe in the world who name their children.  I will be very surprised that if we were there at the time of creation we will have to go and learn how to name our children from another tribe.

2. Naming of the children by the paternal side.  Indeed even for tribes that are matrilineal, the children are named by the father.

3 Pre-ordained family names.  In many societies there are set names that are used within the families.  My great-grandfather on my paternal side was Jacob Williamson, my father was Jacob, and I was named Jacob Williamson.  On my maternal side, I have many who are named William Jacob.  I am not a Jew neither do I come from Israel.

4.  The role of Chief priests and similarities with our wulomei.  Yes we are a spiritual people but our religion is not the Judaism.

5. Celebration of Homowo on the second Saturday in the month of August as in Exodus 12:18 –

6. Our New Year greeting! Arcane issue about why Kpokpoi is not eaten after the day of the Homowo or else the eight day will not meet with them.  Kpoikpoi actually tastes better if it is fried the next day.  Is our Kpoikpoi the unleavened bread for the Passover?

7.  The mud over the lintel of homes at Homowo denotes a Passover event.  – My understanding is that in most cultures, there are festivals and there are preparations for the festival days.  We must have in the past, when we lived in mud houses renewed our homes with mud and it is most likely that some would have spilled onto the lintel

8.  The Passover again!!???

The Ga may be a theocracy and not worship many gods but only the one Everlasting God, but all tribes of the world have their religion, most are similar because after all we cannot have a total plurality of religions systems. My other contention is that if those who came to colonise us had realised that we were indeed Jews, they would have left us on our own.

Culturally, we are nowhere near being Jews, linguistically we are nowhere Jews, our ethnicity is quite different and scientifically it has been proved that the first humans were found in Africa.  How can we have migrated the other way?

Let me translate from a Kpele song that Armar Amartey quotes in Omanye aba.

We came from afar

We come from the sea

The forest belongs to us

We came from somewhere

We went and sojourned in another place

We are in Ga

We came from Ga

We came and met the Ga

We are in Ga!!!!

If we were around at the time of creation and were made by the God that we believe in, why do we have to be Jews to justify our existence?

In this coming year let us work to project our language and our culture, let us be better at researching our history even if we accept some folklore, but let us cut out the myth.

We are not Jews, we were there at the time of creation.  We are Ga!!!

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66 thoughts on “We are not Jews or descended from Jews. We are Ga!!!

  1. Thank you for what I regard as living Water for avery Thirsty Kinkanwenyobi!!!..May you be Blessed with more wisdom as you continue in this Noble Service of ENLIGHTENMENT of Ga Natives.

    1. Thank you for what I regard as LIVING WATER FOR A VERY THIRSTY “KINKANWENYOBI”!!!
      May you be Blessed with more Wisdom and Knowledge as you continue this NOBLE SERVICE of ENLIGHTENMENT of GA Natives.

      1. This author writes nonsense. He need to read his bible and do proper research… it’s idiots like this why we as a race remains in the dark.

      2. Anyai,
        It would seem that you judge your enlightenment by your ability to quote the Bible and that you lay claim to being of Jewish descent. if that is what makes you hold your head high, that is fine by me.
        But your claim about my writing nonsense is not proven by your intervention. culture is as important as religion and it would seem that you have bought into a cultural and religious identity that you try to sustain by the history of others. It was the Basel people who brought as the Bible not the Jews. If they had not bothered to translate it into the Ga we will have been none the wiser about what it says. i hope that you will come up with facts to rebut what i wrote.
        best regards

  2. Sami, I watched you speak on a video at the opening of an exhibition in Ghana last year or the year before. i have been learning over the years to do a bit of our culture and to help preserve it as much as we can. It may lead us to solution of some of problems if in posing the questions we take the culture into account. i can say that the culture is very rich and vibrant and the traditional underpinning are very solid but we need to understand them before we can adapt them.
    as the old Ga proverb suggests – Gbɔ hiŋɛ mli kplɛkplɛ shi enaa maŋ mli. A stranger with the brightest eyes still cannot see what happens in the town. It is only he people in the town who can project their stuff and explain it.

    1. You are not who you said you are. Your name has nothing to do with Ga. The name Jacob Williamson is a slave master’s name and that is what you had used as an example in denouncing Ga people as Hebrews. Shame on you. Be very careful at what you are doing. God is not mocked… I encourage you to stop lying to the world. Please don’t waste your precious time in falsifying ideas into the minds of people. The state of Israel today does not represent the true Hebrews. The state of Israel today are Europeans and other Weston societies. That means the People claiming the land of Israel (State of Israel) today are false Hebrews. Ga people know who they are. Do you know who you are. What Ga people (the Hebrews) need to do right now is to repent and turn to YAHWEH, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB. This applies to all Hebrews in the world. The true HEBREWS ARE BLACK PEOPLE INCLUDING THE GA PEOPLE. YOU SOUND VERY INTELLECTUAL BUT YOU ARE NOT USING IT TO PROFIT ANY GOOD. IF I HAD KNOWN NOTHING ABOUT THE BIBLE AND HISTORY OF THE TRUE HEBREW PEOPLE I WOULD HAVE BELIEVE YOU. STOP DECEIVING PEOPLE WITH YOUR FALSE IDEAS ABOUT GA PEOPLE. YOU DON’T KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HEBREW PEOPLE, THE Ga People.

      1. Actually, i am very much who i say i am without the need for a pseudonom to hide behind. i cherish my slave name as much as i cherish my very rich heritage. But let us not get into a discussion about my person or yourself and let us not trade insults because my purpose was not to offend or insult anyone – that only gets in the way of the intellectual search that we are all concerned with. This discussion has never been about the state of Isreal; most people would know that it was settled by people who came mainly from Eastern Europe and that they could have been settled anywhere including the initial proposed Uganda. this discussion is about the often suggested assertion without any proof that the Ja are Jewish or indeed a lost Hebrew tribes and that they have been recently been discovered. If we keep the discussion devoid of insults we mmay all learn something. Bringing God into this discussion and citing the Bible only confuses more people. The Bible talks about the origin of all people and that we are all descended from one source. So for you to say that Ga are hebrew and others are not negates your own assertions. I am willing to learn so provide me with some proof. and let us be courteous with each other. thanks

      2. Well said my brother. He is still in mental slavery.. The original hebrews are blacks who flee to Africa Ghana included. Some remained while many were taken to America, Caribbean…during the slave trade…. they are nie dotted all over the world as said in the bible.

      3. ANYAH, I do not have a problem about what colour the Jews are and where they are spread around the world. i have limited my piece to the Gs people and i am really seeking proof that they are indeed Ga. Grateful if you can supply that proof

  3. What is your opinion of the theory of migration of the Ga from the Nile Valley? Many of the traditions of Ga appear to mirror those of ancient Egypt (Kemet) and Kush. There is also linguistic evidence of the migration of West African ethnic groups from the Nile Valley (see “Ancient Egypt and Black Africa” by Theophile Obenga, “Pre-colonial Black Africa” by Cheikh Anta Diop, and “Eloquence of the Scribes” by Ayi Kwei Armah.

    P.S. My family is from Jamaica, and my great-great Grandmother was called Quattie from which I understand is a Ga name. Are there any comprehensive histories of the Ga people which I can read? Are there any DVD’s of Ga ceremonies?

    P.P.S One of the leaders of the largest slave revolt in Jamaica was Tacky, who led Tacky’s rebellion, whom many say was a Ga Chieftain.

    1. Kwame,
      Thanks very much for this. My thesis really is that we the Ga are also an ancient people and based on our own creation stories, we were there at the time of creation. So you may say that some of the ancient Egypt tradition mirror those of the Ga and not the other way round. If luminaries such as Cheikh Diop and AyiKwei Armah has spent more of their time studying their ow cultures, i am sure that there is a lot that they would unearth about their own people and not constantly suggest that we were part of what they and the West regards as more cultured parts of Africa!
      I am sure that there has been migration – the linguistic evidence would be laughed out of any court any day. it is not just there and has been made up as many times. there are many Ga names that are found in the Bible but there are certainly many more in Japan! No one says we are Japanese, Why? Because all our evidence points to our being there at the time of creation.
      I hope that others who are interested will delve more into our culture and not leave it to Westerners who have done very well but who often need reference point to authenticate their findings and give rise to making these comparisons. Kwate is differently a Ga name from Asere and Taki is also a Ga name from Abola.
      Unfortunately there are no DVDs of many Ga ceremonies but it is not too late for us to do this.
      If you are interested in coming to ask questions and to participate – there is a growth in internet forums devoted to this work and there are organisations such as Gadangme Nikasemo Asafo in London who have tried to project our culture.
      Thanks again.

      1. Thank you for your reply Ade, your information will help me in my search for my roots. I must respectfully disagree with you on your point that linguistics do not withstand scrutiny. There are certain words called root words, such as tree, sun and home that are difficult to inherit from other languages. For instance the Greek word for tree “drus” is similar to the Slav, “drewo”, Indo-Iranian, “daru”, and the Anglo-Saxon, “treow”. The Pharaonic Egyptian word for sun, “ra”, is the same word used for sun among the Songhay, Vai, Susu, Numu, and Samo among many others (Obenga).

        There are ancient settlements of the Ga in the Great Lakes region (Diop, p. 213). Finally, there are common oral histories among disparate West African groups telling of a great migration from the Nile Valley, and, many of these groups settled in Wagadou in ancient Ghana before migrating to other places in West Africa. Armah cites the works of Wa Kamissoko (a griot), Tata Cisse, Bassirou Deng and Lilyan Kestleloot which compiles these migration stories (Eloquence pp.181 – 198). Sometimes these accounts mentioned specific ancient Egyptian towns.

      2. Kwame,
        Whilst I respect the intellect of Diop and Ayikwei Armah, ,y view is that they framed their research questions wrongly. If they had gone to seek traces of Ga custom and tradition amongst the Egyptians and found the same, i would have been more impressed with their scholarship. As it stands i am clear that as a ga i am not descended and neither did i migrate from Egypt of the Nile. The ga language has been classified as Kwa which is quite different from any kemetic language but i recognise that all languages borrow from one another. In In the ga language we even have kowtowshi which arrived came to us from the English who must also have borrowed it from the Chinese or some other.
        Creation stories all over the world are similar and most claim that they came from sommewhere. My contention is that the ga were there at the time of creation and for as lnng as there is no weighty evidence to prove that we came from stock other than Ga, i will not givecredence to the stuff of Ayikwie Armah. Afterall we are all the human race – one human race scientifically originating from Africa.
        For us to believe that Egypt or The Garden of Eden was the origin of the ga is to suggest that because they had a literary tradition, their stories should be believed more that our folklore. The more you delve into our religious cults the more you realise that we also had an aboriginal grouping. If you but understood the Ga language i would have provided you with numerous proof of what i am stating. We say we come from far – we did not say we come from Egypt or the Nile or the Eden. I am sure in time when we are no longer fazed with the stories of the greatness of the Pharoahs and such like we will come to realise that our own social organisations were so resilient that there is no need for us to align or affiliate ourselves with any great tradition before we can thrive.
        Your comments on this piece will be valued
        https://adesawyerr.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/is-it-time-to-ditch-the-colour-black-for-our-true-heritage-african/
        best regards

      3. Sir, if you consider population dynamics the Ga cannot be as ancient as you say. The Ga, with a population of possibly only 2-4 million, if we extrapolate backwards 1000s of years, would have been non-existent then, even considering non-uniformity. They must be an offshoot of a broader parent ethnic group, otherwise over 1000s of years, their population should have been much more. Note the linguistic similarity between Ga-Adangme and many other groups in west africa. These are kindred languages with fairly recent divergences, more obvious when we limit investigation to Ada-Krobo-Ga.

        It i quite disappointing that you attempt to belittle the works of prominent Africans like Cheikh Anta Diop, Theophile Obenga, etc. These were and are intellectual giants who confronted racism on our behalf and bravely tackled the issue of historicity of the African contrary to western social propaganda.

        If you have a different perspective, as you obviously decry the insulting words by a previous contributor,, kindly try to show respect for our leaders who have done more to educate the african worldwide than many africans since independence.

      4. Kwamena,
        I have not in any way sought to belittle the works of prominent Africans. Indeed, i have not even read their works at all. I am not an Egyptologist really only a guy passionate in Ga culture and history. I also know that i in my own small way have fought and still continue to fight racism and i think that you cannot chose for me who my heroes are or indeed ask me not to question the theories of your heroes. Knowledge in my view has never been static and certainly the way to advance knowledge is to challenge. Now back to your thesis. I am confident that the Ga were there at the time of creation. if you have proof that they were not, i would be grateful if you could provide me with that proof so that i can advance my learning. My beef in writing this piece was really not about western racism, it was more about how we Africans cannot realise that at the end of the day, there is only one human race and it originated from Africa and nowhere else. Your exhortation that i must show respect to others is redundant in this case since in my book disagree with someone is not about disrespecting that person.

    2. I was born in Jamaica and was told my maternal side of the family is Ga so I am interested to learn more about the Ga tribe in Ghana and in Jamaica and the migration patterns. From my research so far I would have to say the Israelite theory is a very plausible one and this is from someone who is very African focused. More research will lead us into more truth

  4. I believe strongly that this piece of article shows the author’s own ignorance to the issues of migration. The least said, the better. Why not rather go conduct a better geographical research and spare me this piece of lame story as told by you.

    1. Grateful if the learned Nii Gakpo can point me to some hard evidence from a peer researched historical article since all the assertions I have heard so far are pure noise.

      1. YOU ARE NOT A Ga person. You don’t even know who you are. So how can you possibly talk about the Ga People You don’t even know. You are just creating controversy about the true Hebrew people, the Ga People. So people can follow you on your blog to make money or be famous and for that, you’ve stoop very low. Find something better do. Go and ask the State of Israel who are they? and ask the slave masters of whom did they enslaved. At least the slave masters could not capture all the Hebrews. LOOK AT YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR AND ASK YOURSELF WHOM AM I?

      2. Thanks for your note. the last person who headed the institute of ghanaian languages at the university of Ghana was not a Ga person and several nonGa people have written very informative books about the Ga people, Parker, Kilson, Kropp Dakubu, Roberstson, Farmer Sells etc. I am surprised that you can determine that i am not Ga and i certainly do not need your endorsement about my heritage. i have written extensively about my heritage on my blog – nothing to hide at all. the fact of the matter is that i know where i come from. we advance knowledge if we stick to the issues. please let us have a discussion and then when your provide facts to buttress your claims we can move to the next stage of learning. I will not take your advice of finding something else to do. thanks but no thands

  5. I do not support the writers view. I think he is just being self analytical and making asumptions which sound just sensible but not factual. I have traces my source recently to Aneho and to Benin which clearly shows the source of our migration. I intend to do same to Nigeria and to kush. some people who have gone to Israel and seen priest dressed like our present day wolomei, their pouring of libation, similarities in culture and traditions and names with reference to the bible, clearly points to our relationship to the Jews

    1. Nii Nikoi, thanks for your comments. Actually, it is for you to prove that you are Jewish and i leave that to you and others. All i am saying is that i have not seen that proof. Aneho can be explained – we went back there. Kush is probably not where you think it is. I have just posted a piece on the Ga virtual facebook page – a people blessed. No evidence was offered in that. Irene Odotei, the foremost GaDangme historian of note in Ghana found no evidence and yet her writing was dismissed as…
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      Equally, Quaye’s reasons for doubting a Jewish origin of the Gá-Dangme seem suspect. Her argument is two-fold: the Ga-Dangme cannot be Jewish in origin since they are a negroid people; and cultural and linguistic characteristics among two peoples cannot be conclusive evidence a common origin.

      In response to the first part of this argument it suffices here to point to the acceptance of the Falasha or Ethiopian Jews as part of the original twelve tribes of Israel. The Falasha are not a semitic people; they were largely accepted as Jews simply on the grounds of their religion and culture. As to the second part of the argument, convincing evidence need not be conclusive; it suffices to show that similarities between two groups of people are not incidental.
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      So the ball is really in your court! Facts are backed by evidence and there is none.

      when people use the Bible as a reference point i like to remind them that the Bible was only recently brought to us and translated into Ga fairly recently in our existence. What were we before the whiteman brought us the Bible? Jewish and we did not know it?

  6. “Our relationship to the Jews”. Why not the “Jews’ relationship to us”.? And therein lies the inferiority complex.

    Had the Jews been some “ordinary” people with no notable achievements to speak of, I doubt that folks would be contorting themselves just to associate with them. Indeed, there are people who may take offence for being associated with Jews!.

    Enough of this cultural grafting. Let us build our own greatness and let someone else seek a lineage to it.

  7. With respect to Ga’s not being Jews you are right because Jews follow Judaism and are not really Israelites. The Europeans have taken the Israelite belief for there own. They also introduced Xtianity which sadly most Ga’s adhere to (following false laws is what got is in trouble in the first place, this includes Judaism/Jewry as it is derived from Mans laws and not the Torah). Not all Ga’s are Israelites and some migrated into the Ghana Empire region before and during the first exile from Israel.

    I am a Ga and I can trace my roots back to Israelite heritage Old Testament only and not the addition of any new testament or man god.

    The Europeans would have you believe that Africans had no history before slavery and were savages but that is only the Europeans history that degrades our heritage. They have even tried to take on our heritage and lots of science and advancement’s were adopted from black African communities including the black Egyptians (who have been replaced by Arabs and Europeans) influenced the Advanced Greek culture. Th Arabs also oppressed Africans and some of these were Israelites albeit adopted into their new countries.

    There is actually lots of history to support some Ga’s are Israelites but in line with Torah prophecies we have gone into captivity even if things appear to be good (just like the Babylonian captivity things were Ok for Israelites).No other race can prove there heritage is Israel with supporting text from the Torah other than certain black people’s.

    I understand one wants to identify with our own heritage but due to Jews claiming this title some Africans don’t want to associate with it, Israelite’s and Jews are not the same. Even if you look into history Africa had a good relationship with Israel as did Africans. In the Torah text is often misquoted to give the impression that Blacks are cursed or an evil people when it is the contrary i.e Nimrod the mighty hunter was not a rebel but the text actually supports a good man before the Lord.

    I will not go further into detail but know that the current rulers of this World are not going to promote that blacks have a rich culture or that the Israelites were a black people.

    1. Anim, i think that if the Ga are Jews, it would be so easy to offer proof of this to settle the matter once and for all. we all learn to unlearn but there are also several myths around us. Indeed the minute you go into the Torah to offer proof, it really means that you are justifying after the fact. The Ga did not have the Torah with them. Indeed it was the likes of Zimmerman and other Europeans who helped to us to start writing and reading and brought the Bible with them.
      But i will concede any point you make is you offer me that proof. we learn to unlearn

  8. Great ! but the writer left us in the “wilderness” without telling us out origin.Migration is something that has happen to many tribes. History tells us the it is only the Guans who were the original inhabitants of Ghana. Can we research where we come from ? I will love to help……ANCIENT GHANA EMPIRE IS ON MY MIND

    1. Henry, Like you I am also interested in our origins. i am however satisfied that we may have migrated from somewhere but find it difficult to accept that we are Jews. I will leave the genealogists and historians to resolve that for all of us. i would also be willing to participate in your search though i am not sure that we should be going the route of the ancient Ghana Empire

      1. Please sir what about guans thay are all over in the regins n in togo,benin,cote de voir n bokina faso why is it so ?

      2. The Guans are scattered all over Ghana as you suggested and they include the Awutu or Obutu or Efutu or Shinkpa or Nkonya or Kete Krachi or Gonja or Larteh or Kpeshi amongst the Ga who were the original aboriginal people that the Ga met but who were incorporated into the Ga polity.
        But the Ga indeed are also diffused around Togo, Benin and Nigeria where they are referred to as the Ge, Guin, Gbe and Fon.
        The point i made is that we may be different people but really our cultures are all mixed up based on our settlement in Ghana. But we certainly are not Jews

    2. I would like to know myself about the GA people. I’m a Jamaican n recently found out by dna testing that I’m related to the Tettey people of Accra Ghana. My dna results said 88% subsaharan African n 79.9western Africa. Where does the leads me

  9. The whole of West Africa was ruled by the Hebrews, YAHUWDAH in particular Maps, history, books, what other evidence do u need… In fact the Hebrew Yahuwdah tribes in Africa are uncountable… Evidence is all over in maps, download 1747 Emmanuel Bowen map of West Africa, 1743 heriters d Homan map of West Africa, 1829 Bruce Bennet etc barthlow… All show the kingdom of Yahuwdah clearly in West Africa…

      1. The writer is not well informed. Our knew ewhere they came from. They would not claimed be something they were not. He must be thinking that those whites are Israelites. They are not.

    1. King Ayi of Togo a professor of theology in one the universities in USA went to Israel last four month if my memory sets me right on a program to Israel and categories stated that west Africa was called The Hebrew king of western Africa. Present day Benin was called Danhome meaning the belly of Dan who was one of the ancestors of Yaakov(Jacobs) twelve sons.

      1. Thanks Oko, I very much welcome all these visits and further research on this issue of the African relationships with other peoples. My problem is that why would anyone wanting to research Africans go to Israel, a nation that was created for Eastern Europeans in 1948. so if Togolese and Benonians have Jewish links, how does this affect the Ga people who may have different cultural practices? I would be very grateful for a link to the writings of King Ayi – best regards Ade

  10. Our ancestors have never claimed to be Jewish, the Jewish clamour is from later day revisionists who have decided that we become special is we become something that we are not. My challenge is about asking people those people to provide their evidence – i am still waiting and now the suggestions are that Israelites are black and Jewish are black and the original Jews inhabited what is now West Africa so we are Jewish. Let us deal with more cogent and substantive arguments and then we may be leading to positive direction

  11. Emmanuel bowen maps as evidence of Judaism in west Africa have been debunked. I agree with the author. It’s far past due time that we abandon the fantasy and mythology of religion and proclamation of any spiritual or cultural system outside of an African system. You’ve abandoned timeless spiritual system for one that’s relatively new and furthermore illogical, impractical and completely falsified.

    1. “any spiritual or cultural system outside of an African system”
      First of all who named you AFRICAN? the same DEVIL(white man) that colonized you and enslaved some of your people when you were too busy sacrificing to spirits and demons. where was that African system when the white devils were killings your ass. Now how did the Europeans get the land of America, by mass genocide of the native so should tell you that people do migrate.
      You’ll always believe the white devils than your own people.SMH

  12. Thumbs down 👎👎👎they are Jews in Africa if they say their not Jews then where not talking about them but the ones who call themselves African Jews like me.

  13. Superiority complex and pride in own. I personally do not trust most books written by white people on Africa heritage. A lot of them are whitewashed. I thing the writer would be more happy if you tell him the Jew originated from he Ga! A case of reverse pride. Not want to be the descendants but otherwise

    1. well, waiting for the proof of our descending from some other tribe. The Bible stories are powerful but afterall are we not but one race and tribe?

  14. Israel wasnt even a country until recently.The last 50 years beacuse of the jews stubborness towards God.

  15. I never even heard of the GA.Thats how stupid this article is.Im an educated Christian.I say this because the Ga are so not cared for or talked about Biblically nor theologically.That this article is so irrelevant and of course God hating.

    1. Just because you’ve never heard of something doesn’t make it stupid. That is very ignorant statement, sir. Your statement proved you’re not even an “educated Christian.” And guess what? American are European for that matter is not biblical either. The term “theology” was created by European to set themselves up as authority over Israelite records. And anything that doesn’t fit in your Americanize way of life is considered hate….Ugh

  16. It’s without a doubt civilization began in Africa, and Africa certainly had a rich culture and ways of life before Europeans raped it dried. Now listen carefully my brother. I think you are confusing Hebrew Israelites (which is the biblical term) with “Jewish.” The people in Israel today don’t have ine drop of Israelite blood in their veins. Israelites are people of color brother – the’re not Europeans. According to the Bible (which I don’t know you believe in) the true Israelites have gone into captivity due to the disobedience of our forefathers. We are NOT in our own land. Gentiles have took on our identity and possessed the land while we’re suffering an identity crisis. I am from the island of Haiti, and we came from Benin. The African-American came predominately from Nigeria and Ghana. In fact, I have an old map showing the “Kingdom of Juda, and Kingdom of Benin” which is from the west part of Africa. Understand that historically the west part of Africa was not inhabited. Africa was given to the land of Ham, and I have the old map to show this to you. The sons of Ham (Mitzraim, Phut, Cush and Canaan) possessed the north, lower north, east and south Africa. There is a book call “From Babylon to Timbuktu” by Rudolph R. Windsor, on page 84, it explains how the the residue of the southern kingdom of Israel migrated to the west part of Africa; fleeing from Roman persecution in the year 70 A.D. The true Israelites have not been in their own land sir. They are scattered, and a high number of them are predominately in west Africa. Many from Ghana have kept their Hebrew traditions. Of course because they’ve lost their identity over time, they have adopted new ways of life, and some even took on identities such as “Ga” the Bible foretold this would happen, and they would be a proverb and a “byword” amongst the nations wither they go. Our captivity are written in the Bible. If you google “Transatlantic Slave Trade Map,” you’ll see that the Europeans only took slaves from the west part of Africa (from the coasts of Senegal to Angola). Why do you think they only took slaves from the west part of Africa? The people from west Africa didn’t come from the same bloodline of the other African tribes. Look up “Ham” in a Zondervan Bible Dictionary, and it will tell you that he’s the progenitor of the dark races, but “NOT THE NEGRO” but Mitzraim, Phut, Cush and Canaan. This means sir, that the negros from west Africa are not Hamites. The Europeans labeled us negros to distinguish us from the African tribes. Some of the diciples were called “Niger” which means black in the book of Acts, the 13th chapter. I have all of the information for you right here to prove that the people in West Africa are Israelites, and “Ga” is just a byword they’ve place on themselves. Apologies if there are any typos because I didn’t have the time to proof read this comment. Bless you!

  17. To Yasharalah I love you statement and thoughts and to Ga Mantse you know the truth. You Yahawashi said my sheep here my voice and a stranger they shall not follow. It’s a shame most black peoples not all do not know any thing about their history apart from the o es the so called white man has given them. Most of them including Oberseber worship a false God who has no know even though he says we should call upon his name to be saved, not forgetting they worship his son called Jesus who is a representation of Serapis Cristus(Christ) it saddens me to see my own people due to brainwash from the white man deny to find truth for them self. Why would someone who hates you so much to put you in slavery and rule you till date and think they as better than you give you a God and a son for you to worship and call them Lord which by their own definition means BAAL which is pagan oh not the least celebrate Christmas which is around the corner a pagan deity Mitras birth day and day you are Worthing the true Creator YAHAWAH BA HA SHAM YAHAWASHI, you see if you don’t believe who you are according to your own history book the bible that’s fine for us who believe we will follow the laws, status and commandments of YAHAWAH, he left us with his Rauch so that even though people like me were fooled today we are awakening and know we are the TRUE HEBREW YASHARALAH. Shalawam

  18. Hello, Ade. Thanks very much for your beautifully-written article, and above all – kudos for having been so courteous with some of the rather rabid commentators here. I challenge the naysayers to expound at length on a saying or principle from the Ga-Adangme or Akan or other African group of languages, and to relate that to their tendentious viewpoints. Keka ko.

  19. Hello, Oberserber, Ade Sawyerr
    I like your general approach and insistence on evidence. I hope my researched contribution isn’t overly redundant. If you need sources, let me know and I shall do my best to pull them together for you.
    This list is largely from the Krobo perspective of the GA-Dangmes (GAD) tribes, possibly Ewes, and would include shared customs and rites by the general GAD collective, as well any other tribes as applies. My research is ongoing. I welcome others contribution.
    Following are some Krobo/GAD Pre-Christian facts, customs and rites:
    1. The name Yehowah Mawu or Yehowah Nyomno is well known among the people of Krobo/GAD preChristians. We find this translated into the 1907 Ga Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) by J. Zimmermann. J. Zimmermann had to learn the GAD vocabulary from the indigenous people then documented it for them, as it were. He considered Krobo to be less adulterated and more difficult with fewer readership, so chose to translate the bible into GA, which works for us all, and I am still very grateful for his efforts.
    His use of Yehowah in the Ga bible interested me immensely, so I researched it as best as I could, and discovered that: the first Akan Bible indicates Awurade Nyankopon in Genesis 2.4, where the Hebrew translation first mentions YHVH God, indicating that, the missionaries would have obtained the natives understanding and knowledge of the Most High God, their reference to him, to then record in their translation. Failing to obtain this in the case where a people have no such knowledge, the missionary would have to teach that information, in much the same way they’d teach about Jesus. In so doing, the various small and major translations around the world in that time, from the Geneva, Tyndale, Wycliff, 1611 KJV, Martin Luther German Bible, Greek Septuagint and even English translation of Jewish publication all noted something other than Yehowah/Jehovah/Iehowa in Genesis 2.4 and the rest of the Tanakh (Old Testament). The KJV 1611 notes Jehovah once in Isaiah somewhere.
    If Zimmermann’s use of Iehowa Nyomno/Mawu is to be credited to the Basel mission or missionaries, then why was the same not done for the Akan Genesis 2.4 translation or other Basel translations outside of GA-Dangme lands? I would be interested to know the answer to that question as relates to other African tribes with regards to their first bible translations. Just part of educating ourselves in these historical matters. The JWs had not yet come up with their translations of liberally using Jehovah’s name. Orthodox and Karaite Jews were not using it. Karaite Jews now do, thanks largely to modern day Karaite Jews, especially Nehemia Gordon.
    2. Krobo/GAD are a people of the circumcision by heritage. Circumcision takes place on the 8th day, barring some major unforeseen circumstance.
    3. Krobo family and Societal setup was noted by early missionaries to be reminiscent of old testament (Torah) patriarchal hierarchy.
    4. It has been noted that the Djemelii (priests) do not arbitrarily shake hands with strangers. I am not sure why this is, and do not know if it is a practice going back to Kloyom. But it is interesting to note that orthodox Jews seem to have a similar practice, which one may only guess must be rooted in some sort of ritual cleanliness as specified in the Torah. PreChristian Krobos were illiterate and had no access to physical Torah, so would have largely carried on such practice through customs, without necessarily having Torah rationales.
    5. As with the Ancient Israelites and barley, millet still plays an important part in Krobo rituals, calendar, and to a lesser extent now, diet.
    6. GAD biblical names have already been mentioned. As in the Tanakh (Old Testament), We do have meaningful names like Maulede (It is God that said) plus defined naming systems, e.g. birth order, generation, clan, whether a twin, day of birth, circumstance surrounding birth in some cases.
    7. As in the Torah, birth rank features strongly in Krobo society. Sibling TITLES of “awetse and awenye” (father or mother of the house), “Tsegnua/tsewayo” and “Nyegnua/Nyewayo,” refer to uncles and aunts; these are not taken lightly. We do not merely say uncle or aunt. An Uncle or aunt who is older than one’s parent, has even more honor, as he/she would be looked up to by one’s own parent.
    I believe it illustrates the Torah model to a T. Though largely composed of males, these are the people who would sit in on judiciary matters, from the various households or clans, depending on the gravity of a situation. Women of course have their honored places within the society.
    8. Dorm/Kloyom to a Krobo is akin to Ancient Israelites and their gathering at the Tabernacle of Meeting, or coming together for passover and such at set times of the year. What more can I say?
    9. Patrilineal inheritance laws as in Torah. Children born out of Wedlock (Judges 11.1f – case of Judge Jephthah, for example) in Kroboland automatically have their inheritance with their maternal grandfather, who also retains the privilege to name such child. Krobos do not stigmatize such children as do some other societies. They are considered children of women, and have a place to belong with their mother’s people.
    A child’s natural father may REDEEM him (or her) through the La Pomi ritual and restoration process, at which time he will have the right to name his child(ren) and give him an inheritance among his own clan. Married women bear children for their husband’s home and he gets to name them directly.
    10. All Krobos consider themselves to be one people and this extends to the entire GAD clans. Having said that, they respect and honor their various clans, W3tsos and so on. This is largely reflected in the culture of ancient Israel, even when they are arguing about not notifying the other of something or other.
    11. PreChristian Krobos had dietary laws, ranging from not eating snails to eating unfermented corn/maize/millet products. Nothing was said about pigs or pork in my Krobo home but it was not part of our livestock or diet, so I never ate it in Krobo land. I also have no recollection of seeing any in Kroboland growing up. Can some one add to this, one way or other?
    12, Drink offerings/libations with prayers to Yehowah Mawu (or some pagan deity depending on who is praying), animal sacrifices and sprinkling of blood on certain parts of the dipo initiates body for example is something I recall. It also reminds me a lot of Exodus 29.20f.
    13. Similar marriage process (not done in a day); the man provides the dowry to the bride’s father.
    14. Levirate marriage: Not largely enforced. It is voluntary, but whether or not the widow marries her deceased husband’s brother or appropriate kinsman, if she choose to remain single, such a kinsman would be regarded as her customary husband and generally keep an eye out for her well being and support his brothers children (or should). If the widow chooses to remarry another man, her brother/kinsman in law is he who gives her hand into marriage and accepts the dowry, because, his (brother in-law) home, (i.e. her husband’s home) is her actual home until she transfers to another marriage. Children born to her deceased husband remains with their father’s people. Very much Torah, in every way.
    15. Menarche/Menstruation in preChristian times: J. Zimmermann literally noted this in his Ga dictionary as: ‘Tsu Se’ (back of house); Krobos till this day know it as: ‘We se yam’ (going to back of the house). Enough said on that. If that isn’t in Torah, I don’t know what is. My grandparents generation definitely went to back of the house…. they had their cookware, bedding and all that set up out there for those times. It took Europeans to put an end to that I think.
    16. Missionaries thought Krobos were heatherns, but they also seemed very impressed by how humanely Krobos generally treated their slaves as members of their own families— eating and working alongside them, giving them into marriage to their sons or daughters, integrating them into Krobo families and society.
    17. PreChristian Krobo women covered their hair. Oh, they may be bare chested feeding their infant, but hair would be covered. Very different from scenes of Asante women (?Akan), shown while mourning their dead, when their hair is customarily uncovered.
    18. J. Zimmermann notes the Ga word for MESSENGER and/or angel, to be ‘Bɔfo.’ Compare to the Hebrew ‘Malak’ h4397 word for angel/messenger. Tsorlor or Bɔfo for krobo. Words are different of course, but concept is same. Linguistically, American modern digital age english is quite different from Shakespeare’s or Chaucer’s… which is why few Millenials care to read Shakespeare, or even read the KJV, as compared to the NIV. Therefore, we can’t become too hung up on linguistics. Linguists to my knowledge have not explained why there are Chinese people called Kwao and Tei/Teye as Dangmes… and Kumah, Koryo in India and Korea as in Kroboland. There’s a reason, I am sure.
    19. Krobos and other African tribes build houses/booths with palm branches and other things (Feast of Booths) in Torah; they also wave palm and leafy branches in times of jubilation, singing celebratory non-christian songs through the huza, e.g. when twins are born. Lev 23.40.
    20. Yes, Deuteronomy 28.68 tells us that, Israelite would have at some point in their exile, made their way again TO Africa, then be led into captivity FROM Africa. The fact that they look Black is irrelevant. Between my grandparents generation and my own children’s generation, we have African and Caucasian looking descendants who have a direct line of descent…. all it takes is a generation or two to change how a people may look.
    My educated guess is that, descendants of the sons of Jacob, regardless of their complexion or culture, are still biologically Hebrew or Israelites, if not in a relevant spiritual way because they have unwittingly or not parted ways with Torah and joined the Apostasy, which is ironically, Christianity, since it is they who parted ways with Torah and Yehowah, embracing Jesus instead. If any of my people are reading this, I am no longer a Christian. I am now Torah observant, and I can tell you all that it is a lot easier than Christianity or Judaism. It is the GAD way that we were generally brought up with. Return to the ancient paths.
    Jeremiah18:15-17
    Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;…
    Kloyo

    1. Dear Klo Yo, fascinated by your examples of similarities that you provide of how our culture is very much like what you have read from the Bible. It is still nowhere near the proof that i require. Your discussion actually strengthens my view that we were there at the time of creation and may have existed somewhere before the Jews and the Israelite. i had hoped that your reference point would have been our own stories of creation rather than the Biblical story which is religion meshed with culture and i am sure that if you had used that as a backdrop for the discussion you would have unearthed a richer and more resilient tale of our people. You confirm to me that most peoples in the present world come from the same source and our heritage may be similar if not the same. most of the rituals that you state in the similarities are evident in several other cultures and several other religions where they is monotheism or that believe in a theocracy – circumcision, naming, festivals, oral tradition etc etc are all features of whatever culture you want to discuss. Case is still not proven despite the many sources provided using the Bible. Is there another source outside the Bible that we can use/ Do we have to give up our culture before we can become Christians and as Christians do we then have to prove that we are descended from Israel? If Teitse Zimmerman had not translated his Germaniac Bible into the Ga language, we would still have continued to practise our culture and our religion and would not be even considered that we are similar to Jews in our religion! As some who knows not too much about the Krobo customs but would like to know more, i would be interested in some of the customs that Nene Matekole banned and the concepts around Praŋbi. those are more edifying and interesting than trying to prove that we are originated from a source that we are richer than. let us please continue this discussion and thanks again for your informative response. Ade

  20. Please pardon the errors…. it took a while to write, and I was really trying to keep it as brief as possible. I do wish to mention about what you said regarding our being there at the Creation. Actually, everyone on the face of the earth was represented by their ancestors… and were were already told that we are originally of the same parentage. Esau & Jacob were full blood brothers, but have parted ways. Still, it is as important as any endeavor, that we should maintain our histories, to connect the dots, to the extent we all can, because it just may lead us all back again to our starting point.
    Best regards to you and all,
    Klo yo

  21. Hello Ade,

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I see where you are coming from. Nonetheless, it may be argued that (taking the biblical narrative) following the dispersion from the Tower of Babel, the three sons of Noah and their respective descendants, would have started out with a common and shared history belonging to us all, which would have only changed ideological/physical hues as the peoples ventured outwards and developed varying cultures.

    Oh, I’d forgotten to add #21 to my previous list:

    21. Krobo Huza Land acquisition was unique among Krobos, leading to much being written about it by scholars and researchers of times past. The only previous mention of this type of land acquisition known till date was in the Torah, with the only difference being that the Krobos purchased theirs, but used the same format. How did they know to do this without the Torah in hand except by historical tradition? There is no evidence that other tribes/peoples were doing before them. Quite to the contrary by objective observers. I don’t think that preChristian Krobos were aware of writings, good or bad, about themselves.

    Numbers 34.16-19
    16 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “These are the names of the men who shall divide the land among you as an inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun. 18 And you shall take one leader of every tribe to divide the land for the inheritance. 19 These are the names of the men….”

    *Huzas are UNIQUELY acquired in this manner by Dadematse/Zugbanyadalor who takes the respective princes of each family ( etse or tsegnua/tsewayo or awetse) to go assess and negotiate for the desired land. The princes are usually kinsmen to varying degrees, and as said before, all Krobos/GAD are kindred.

    Numbers 33.54f – And you shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families… to the more you shall give the more inheritance, to the few ye shall give the less…. Every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth, according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.

    *Huza strips are historically distributed along similar lines, so that the one who paid more, has more, and all have their fair share. The land is divided in such a way as to offer access to its crucial benefits to all e.g. streams etc. If the land must be sold, it is first offered to the closest kins of one’s w3tsos, and in so doing, is not generally transferred across W3tsos . Exceptions may now exist.

    The land is not any generation’s property to sell to outsiders. Each generation has a right to it, and must arrange terms of usage or permission with the presiding head of family – awetse or tsegnua/tsewayo where fathers and grandfathers are deceased. Unmarried daughters are generally provided for and have their lot, as are their children.

    Leviticus 25.23f – The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine (YHWH’s), for you are strangers and sojourners with me and in all the land of your possession you shall grant redemption of the land.

    *Ga Mantsemei may have to do more of this, to amend the current situation. I am sure that their land deeds hold such clauses, to revert back to the Ga peoples after so many years (Jubilee, biblically).

    Now back to your response.

    The typical household today has members with varying viewpoints and belief systems, aided strongly by the fact that, we live in a time when families no longer share basic information/intelligence/knowledge. We all seem to have more in common with unknown peoples around the world due to the internet. Take music for instance. I have no idea what various groups my Generation Z kid listens to… those doggone plugs seem to always be in her ears, thus if the modern age is any analogy, we may begin to see where those who recall people like African Brothers, Hedzolleh, Masakela, Jimmy Cliff, Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel intersect in time. It is not a question of which is better or first, as it is more a point of finding those points of connection in the historical past, and perhaps identifying lost relatives/cohorts along the way.

    If our histories are a testimony to the Torah & Tanakh, as it is largely understood that the European Jews’ history does not entirely reflect Deuteronomy 28.15-68 to the extent African history cum Slave Trade does, then the global evidence speaks for itself. Remember that YHWH God said in Deuteronomy 28.15-68 that Israel’s punishment (curses) would be obvious to the world. If our history does not reflect the evidence, whose does? And how do we explain our history?

    Put another way:

    *Certain matrillineal, matrilocal societies, as well polyandrous ones – within Africa, Asia and elsewhere, have vastly different customs than those of us in patrilineal and/or even polygamous societies.
    *Tree dwelling Korowai and the dark Jarawas of Asia may look like us but could not be more different in customs.
    *How about the customs of this people group who live and interact with their dead?

    These groups seem to have parted ways with the rest of mankind shortly after our ancestors left the Garden or got off the Ark. Either that or they must have been frozen in a time warp…. or lived in some alternate earth atmosphere until their discovery! You do realize that people were wearing fabric clothing at least since Abraham and the Pharoah’s day? That Egyptians had chariots and wheels? Where have these civilizations been hiding ?

    The evidence indicates that certain people groups in the world simply have shared customs, ideologies and and histories with one another, than with others. Some people happen to share Torah customs across the world. Sankofa is not an adoption of someone’s culture when it is one’s own.

    My GAD studies are ongoing. I have enjoyed exploring it from a Torah perspective and found the experience validating. Regarding Nene Matekole, do you mean the Wɔdom which I understand is abolished? I don’t know much about that or Praŋbi … unless you mean that there was a location mostly inhabited by escaped slaves, whom the GAD likely provided land and refuge for in the Kpong area? The Wɔdom would have been banned following British and Christian crack down on head hunters, a practice which I believe was largely in response to the Asante wars and slave traders.

    The ball is now in your court, Ade. I have demonstrated that not all peoples share the same customs.

    Best regards, until next time.

    Kloyo.

    1. Dear Kloyo,
      I cannot fault your knowledge of the Old Testament and also your knowledge of the Krobo customs, but i still think that you are stretching it a bit when you suggest that the Krobo went without reading their Holy Book for some many years till Zimmerman came and wrote the Bible for them and then those who said they were Christians then abandoned their customs because of Christianity.. We cannot be Israelities and Christian at the same time though we can be Krobo and Christian. Soo your origin of the world traced according to the Bible more than baffles me and your examples of the similiarities worry me more. Mixing religion wih culture and then with anthropology to determine the krobo roots is a bit wild. I agree that not all cultures are the same but the fact of similiarities between rituals of different cultures does not make them the same or that one is descended from the other.. I would suggest to you that the Huza system is original and to assert that it could have been practised during biblical times sells the krobo short, very short. I am sure that if you start delving into Eastern cultures you will start finding some similiarities with the krobo and for you to insist on continuing to use the Bible as the base point fascinates me more since the bulk of the Krobo people do not practice the jewish religion. indeed that is where you completely lose me and indeed that is the thesis of my piece that we cannot as a unique people with a rich culture and heritage decide that we want to be like others or are descended from others whose culture is not as rich. Please think about it and frame the discussion outside the Bible and then let us discuss the culture of the Jews and Israelites or the Hebrews against the culture of the Krobo…. As i have stated elsewhere and continue to do so, i knwo where this Gad and Dan heritage came from, i know how it was embellished much in the same way that when i came to England initially and i was told by someone that i was a Kemet, i just could not fathom our what he was saying till he told be that i had Egyptian roots. i had to tell him that i was Ga and he said that there was no such thing as Ga though he was aware that i was Ghanaian which he knew of. He continued to talk to me about Ashanti and Ghana and then i realised that he did not have a clue. On the other hand yoouare so well versed in your culture and would wish that you project it rather than suggest that it originated from Israel. May be we should discuss this under a different construct of race and you may wish to comment on another of my pieces https://adesawyerr.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/is-it-time-to-ditch-the-colour-black-for-our-true-heritage-african/

      please come back to me on this – thanks Kloyo

      PS. what is kotokloko and what is the explanation behind prabi

  22. Hello Ade,

    My response may be in two parts. I have just read your highly informative article on African heritage that you linked me to, and have learned a lot. Thank you. I could not get to the first imbedded link to your other article, or the comments, due to time constraints, but hope to revisit it all again soon.

    You covered much that needed to be said. As I see it, there is no one all-encompassing designation, all have their pluses and minuses, but I would agree that ‘African’ embodies something more, but then again, ‘black’ might just capture a nuanced emphasis, in ways African might surprisingly not. At the end of the day, we have to use one or more adjectives to identify ourselves and where we fit it, as with the term WASP or the ACAME, which you proposed.

    You said it yourself that the general understanding that homo sapiens originated from Africa, is accepted. If so, then one might dismissively conclude that ‘after all, we are all Africans’, with much the same air they would say, ‘we are all humans.’ I have actually heard it said by certain people of European (white) heritage, such as, Rachel Dolezal, that they are black or African. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7146sy0AZdE
    Africanism is increasingly being accepted by other people groups as their own, subsequent to matters of DNA and ABO RH factor blood groupings, which indicate that approximately 85% of the world is RH D+, for the shared Rhesus protein.

    We are all products of various mixtures, expressed dominantly and/or recessively. You said it yourself that some ‘whites’ are darker than some fairer-skinned blacks, and that we have various subdivisions on the continent. Additionally, we have long settled immigrants like the Afrikaans, Indians and others who have been born in Africa for generations now. While they are Africans politically and geographically, their cultures are distinct from ours and may not be said to be blacks. In this sense, saying one is black at once brings to mind our particular brand of Africanism, geography, ancestry and passes unnecessary hurdles, but admittedly, it is not as rich or colorful a term, pun intended. It too has its drawbacks, disenfranchising “blacks” of MIXED ethnic heritage, like mulattoes,….octoroons, hexadecaroons etc that may or may not be readily identifiable by appearance. These people are often marginalized on both sides, more usual than not, forced into hypodescent status within their larger societies, such as with the ‘one-drop rule’ of years gone by, which I think dictated who one could or could not marry, couples living out of wedlock, forcing their respective children to be denied their fathers’ names by legislature.

    I love my own ethnicity and respect every one else’s right to theirs….which is why I am against the push by Akans to impose their language and culture and overshadow others’. I am not into multiculturalism, if it means homogenizing to the extent that everybody loses their uniqueness and distinctiveness. What worries me is that, after we may have found the right designation to identify ourselves, we would still be held back by further breakdowns in tribal differences. If we can feel this way without need to undercut one another’s greatness with our tribal prejudices, we would have achieved something great.

    See you in a few days with my 2nd response, Ade, perhaps around the weekend.

  23. Ade,

    I have some down time, so here are some further thoughts on the names. I agree African is ideal to cover everyone as a main category. We could leave it at that. However, Where specificity is desired, we may always add one or more subcategories like: African/Afro/Afri-Bantu, /Berber, /Caribbean, /Saharran, /SubSaharran, /Indian, /Asian, /American, /Oceanic, /Pacific, /Atlantic, /Islander, /European etc. We may also make more use of terms like North, East, South and West African. The problem is that there is a country called South Africa, which then leaves its neighboring countries in the region out. The former may have to consider a name change, or a shared regional name may need to be considered for all. I usually say I am a West African by origin, but would start using SubSaharran African for added flavor!

    Would get back to the other conversation next week.

    Regards.

    1. Awenye Klo Yo,
      Thanks for you comments. this piece was in response to a debate by a friend who runs a black African history movement when he posed -The Black or African Question? http://taobq.blogspot.co.uk/
      i had to struggle a bit to understand all the concepts myself and it was quite refereshing for me that i was able to come to a conclusion based on geography. it kind of informs my discussion on where we are descended from. i just like it that we came from afar and any attempt to pin us down or even suggest a middle eastern or european descent worries me. why can we not just be who we are.
      but i accept some element of prejudice 0 cannot relate to our being of the same stock as russian jews or indeed american jews knowing full well that the mass of the people now assembled in Israel are pure Europeans. i have also totally dismissed the Egyptian angle altogether because their history is filed up with what the pharoahs did and such like. i like the history of a people to be about the people and not the leaders or so called leaders.
      i must admit that you are knowledgeable in the discussion and wondered whether you are an academic somewhere or the other involved in the social sciences.
      best regards
      Ade

  24. Wonderful article and I agree on every count. It is sad that any African would want to claim foreign heritage as his. Is it because we feel so inferior as black Africans that we must claim to be Jews or do those people think being Jewish will give them an automatic place in heaven? One way or another, only they themselves seem to see themselves as Jews. The Jews and the white world just see you as black. Be proud of it and research your black history and culture and use your heads people! Every black African tribe and nation is a proud one that deserves to be glorified and claim its place in world culture. We do not need to justify our existence by claiming to be Jews.I am half Ashanti half Ga and I read the ludicrous book about Ashantis being descendants of Jews. Even the flaws in connecting the cultures were funny: both being patrilineal societies…Ashanti is not a patrilineal society at all.

  25. Might I point out that a lot of things that are considered customs to one group of people are really just general things a great many tribes and peoples do even in obviously diverse geographical locations. It is like saying that Australian Aborigines farmed so they are the same people or descendants of Europeans that farmed too. Or war paint that Native Americans had makes them the same as Scottish warriors. Humanity developed and for some strange reason, a lot of tings seemed to happen at the same time or in a given period, much as if humankind learnt things gradually, simple examples being from modern times: the idea of the telephone coming to two or three men in vastly different regions or the idea of conducted electricity, engine-powered transport and much more. Similarities and coincidences have existed throughout human history and in many cases knowledge has been shared by living close or next to another tribe or peoples, or by trading with them. Cultures have been adopted and adapted. If any black African people were of Hebrew descent, their language would reflect this as does Yiddish (descendants of Jews that moved to Europe and later to the Americas and Asia) and Hebrew (spoken and script) would be the sacred language of their liturgy, literature and philosophy as is and as always been a requirement of the Hebrew peoples. Lets face facts: Black Africa is not Hebrew/Jewish derived.

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