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The Nubians and Olmecs
Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour (1997) have argued that Olmec civilization was not influenced by Africans and therefore Afrocentrism should have no standing in higher education, but in fact it can be illustrated that the facial types as sociated with the Olmec people and Meroitic people are identical; and that Olmec figurines such as the Tuxtla statuette excavation are inscribed with African writing used by the Mande people of West Africa (Wiener, 1922; Winters, 1979 , of Manding writing provide the "absolute proof " recovered by archaeologists from "controlled excavations in the New World" demanded by Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour (1997: 419) to "proof"/confirm Olmec and African contact.
The failure of Haslip- Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour (1997) to realize an African presence in PreColumbian America, is the result of their ignorance of the normal science of ancient Afrocentric studies (Winters, 1996). Haslip-Viera, Ortiz d e Montellano and Barbour (1997: 419) assume that ancient Afrocentric research is the result of the "cultural nationalism of the 1960's and 1970's. This view is false. The ancient Afrocentric studies research tradition was developed before the 1960's (Wint ers, 1994, 1996). The ancient Afrocentric studies research tradition reflects almost two hundred years of original research in the area of ancient Afrocentric studies ( Winters, 1994, 1996). Contrary to the views of Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour (1997) ancient Afrocentric historical research makes ancient Afrocentric area studies a valid field of research (Winters, 1994). Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour (1997) criticized the view held by many Afrocentrist that the Olmec peo ple were Africans, due to the research of Ivan van Sertima. Use of van Sertima (1976) by Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour (1997: 419) to denigrate Afrocentrism is unfair, because this researcher has made it clear since the publication of his book They came before Columbus in 1976, that he is not an Afrocentrist. Although Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour (1997: 431) acknowledge this truth in there rebuttal of van Sertima, the authors refer to Afrocentrist as purveyors of "ras m", interested only in denying the authentic role of Native Americans in the rise of American civilizations.
Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour (1997: 419, 423-25) argue that the claims of the Afrocentrists claims that the Olmecs were Africans, must be rejected because 1) the Olmecs do not look like Nubians, and 2) the absence of an African artifact recovered from an archaeological excavation. These authors are wrong on both counts, there are numerous resemblance between the ancient Olmec people and ancient Nubians, and an African artifact: Manding writing, is engraved on many Olmec artifacts discovered during archaeological excavation (Winters, 1979, 1997)
Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour (1997) argue that the Olmecs could not have been Nubians or Kushites of the Napata-Meroe civilization, as claimed by van Sertima (1976) because the Olmec civilization preceded the civilization of the Kushites by hundreds of years. They also claim that the Olmecs had flat noses, while the Nubians had "thinner noses" because they lived in the desert (Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano " Barbour, 1997:423).
This view is false. The ancient Nubians like African- Americans today were not monolithic, they had different hues of skin, facial features and nose shapes (Keita, 1996: 104). This is evident in from the wall-painting from the tomb-chapel of Sebekhotep at Thebes, c.1400 BC, which show Nubians, of different types bringing rings of gold, incense and other luxury items to the Egyptian Pharaoh (Taylor, 1991).
One of the major Pharoahs of Egypt and Nubia/Kush was Taharqo. The Sphinx of Taharqo c. 690-664 BC, found in Temple 1 at Kawa and the shabti (tomb figure) of Taharqo in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is strikingly similar in facial features, including, the short round face, thick lips and flat nose associated with the Olmec people (Taylor, 1991).
Moreover a comparison of Olmec heads and a bust of Taharqo illustrated striking similarities when they were placed along side each other (Winters, 1984b:47). The iconographic evidence of the ancient Nubians clearly indicate that there were many round faced, thick lipped, flat nosed Nubians described in the Classical literature (Snowden, 1996: 106) that fit the archtypical Olmec ruler type ( Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour, 1997).
Although the Olmec and Meroitic iconographic documents share many analogous facial features , we must admit that the Nubian hypothesis for the Olmecs must be rejected. It must be rejected because the Kings of Meroitic Kush, and the Olmec Kings existed during different historical eras. The Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour (1997) argument regarding van Sertima's Egypto-Nubian hypothesis has merit . It highlights the failure of van Sertima (1976) to critically read the sources of Africans in ancient America and study the archaeology of West Africa and the Sahara. A cursory reading of Wiener (1922) would have made it clear that the founders of the Olmec civilization were Mande/Manding speaking people.
Comparison of a Nuba and Olmec Head
I was misrepresented by Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour (1997: 421). They claim that I support the Egypto- Nubian hypothesis of van Sertima, and belong to the so-called "extreme" Afrocentric position on Olmec civilization (Haslip- Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour, 1997: 421)
Granted, van Sertima (1976) was wrong about the identity of the Olmecs , but he was correct in claiming that the Olmecs were of African origin. And, there is no denying the fact that Africans early settled the Americas ( Wiener, 1920-1922; von Wuthenau, 1980).
Never in any of my publications on Olmec and African contact have I ever claimed that the Egypto-Nubians had contact with the Olmecs (Winters, 1979, 1981/1982,1983, 1984a, 1984c, 1997). Following Wiener (1922) I have maintained all along the traditional Afrocentric view of Olmec and African paradigm that the Manding speaking West Africans had contact with the Olmec.
Wiener (1922) based his identification of the Manding influence over the Olmecs (eventhough he was unaware of this people at the time) through his identification of Manding writing on the Tuxtla statuette which was created by the Olmecs (Soustelle, 1984; Tate, 1995).
The major evidence for the African origin of the Olmecs comes from the writing of the Maya and Olmec people. As mentioned earlier most experts believe that the Mayan writing system came from the Olmecs (Soustelle, 1984). The evidence of African styl e writing among the Olmecs is evidence for Old World influence in Mexico. The Olmecs have left numerous symbols or signs inscribed on pottery, statuettes, batons/scepters, stelas and bas-reliefs that have been recognized as writing ( Soustelle, 1984; von Wuthenau, 1980; Winters, 1979). The view that the Olmecs were the fir st Americans to 1) invent a complex system of chronology, 2) a method of calculating time, and 3) a hieroglyphic script which was later adopted by Izapan and Mayan civilizations, is now accepted by practically all Meso-American specialist (Soustelle, (1984).
In 1979, I announced the decipherment of the Olmec writing (Winters, 1979). It is generally accepted that the decipherment of an unknown language/script requires 1) bilingual texts and/or 2) knowledge of the cognate language(s). It has long been felt by many Meso-Americanist that the Olmec writing met non of these criteria because, no one knew exactly what language was spoken by the Olmec that appear suddenly at San Lorenzo and La Venta in Veracruz, around 1200 B.C.
The view that Africans originated writing in America is not new. Scholars early recognized the affinity between Amerindian scripts and the Mande script(s) (Wiener, 1922, v.3; Rafinesque, 1832). In 1832, Rafinesque noted the similarities between the Mayan glyphs and the Libyco-Berber writing. And Leo Wiener (1922, v.3), was the first researcher to recognize the resemblances between the Manding writing and the symbols on the Tuxtla statuette. In addition, Harold Lawrence (1962) noted that the "petroglyphic" inscriptions found throughout much of the southern hemisphere compared identically with the writing system of the Manding.
The second evidence pointing to the Manding origin of the Olmec writing was provided by Leo Wiener in Africa and the Discovery of America (1922,v.3). Wiener presented evidence that the High Civilizations of Mexico (Maya and Aztecs) had acquired many o f the cultural and religious traditions of the Malinke-Bambara (Manding people) of West Africa. In volume 3, of Africa and the Discovery of America, Wiener discussed the analogy between the glyphs on the Tuxtla statuette and the Manding glyphs engraved on rocks in Mandeland.
Up until 1995, there were only a few published Olmec inscriptions (Winters, 1979). Today there are many Olmec inscriptions published in Jill Gutherie (1995) catalogue for the exhibition "The Olmec World: Ritual and Rulership", organized by the Art Mu seum of Princeton University. Manding Origin of Mayan term for Writing
The linguistic evidence (Brown, 1991), forces us to aknowledge that the Mayan term *c'ib is probably derived from Manding *Se'be. This provides the best hypothesis for the origin of the Mayan term for writing given the fact that the Mayan /c/ corr eponds to the Manding /s/, and the archaeological and linguistic evidence which indicate that the Maya did not have writing in Proto-Mayan times. And as a result, the term for writing had to have come into the Mayan languages after the separation of Proto -Maya. This would explain the identification of the Olmec or Xi/Shi people as Manding speakers. In addition to the Manding origin of the Mayan term for writing, there are a number Mayan terms that are derived from the Olmec language .
In conclusion, the Manding speaking ancestors of the Olmecs came from the Saharan zone of North Africa (Winters, 1983, 1984c, 1986). Here the Proto-Olmecs left their earliest inscriptions at Oued Mertoutek (Winters, 1979,1983). They took a full fledged literate culture to Mexico.
This view is supported both by 1) our ability to read the Olmec inscriptions; 2) confirmation that the Mayan term for writing *c'ib, is of Manding origin; and 3) the symbols for Mayan writing are cognate to the Manding writing systems used in Africa . Moreover, the evidence presented in this paper makes it clear that the people who introduced writing to the Maya when they met at Nonoulco, may have been Manding speaking Olmecs.. Discovery at Olmec sites such as LaVenta Offering No.4 , of Manding writing provide the "absolute proof " of African and Olmec contact. The presence of readable African writing on Olmec celts, masks and statues, is the genuine African artifact found "in controlled excavations in the New World" demanded by Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour (1997: 419) that confirms the Afrocentric claim of ancient African and Olmec contact.
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nubians olmecs anna martinez haslip viera ortiz montellano barbour have argued that olmec civilization influenced africans therefore afrocentrism should have standing higher education fact illustrated that facial types sociated with olmec people meroitic people identical that olmec figurines such tuxtla statuette excavation inscribed with african writing used mande people west africa wiener winters manding writing provide absolute proof recovered archaeologists from controlled excavations world demanded haslip viera ortiz montellano barbour proof confirm african contact failure haslip viera ortiz montellano barbour realize african presence precolumbian america result their ignorance normal science ancient afrocentric studies winters assume ancient afrocentric research result cultural nationalism this view false ancient afrocentric studies research tradition developed before wint studies research tradition reflects almost hundred years original area winters contrary views historical makes area valid field criticized view held many afrocentrist were africans ivan sertima sertima denigrate afrocentrism unfair because this researcher made clear since publication book they came before columbus afrocentrist although acknowledge this truth there rebuttal sertima authors refer afrocentrist purveyors interested only denying authentic role native americans rise american civilizations argue claims afrocentrists claims olmecs were africans must rejected because olmecs look like nubians absence artifact recovered from archaeological excavation these authors wrong both counts there numerous resemblance between nubians artifact manding writing engraved many artifacts discovered during archaeological excavation argue could have been kushites napata meroe civilization claimed because civilization preceded kushites hundreds years they also claim flat noses while thinner noses they lived desert view false like americans today were monolithic different hues skin facial features nose shapes keita evident from wall painting tomb chapel sebekhotep thebes which show different types bringing rings gold incense other luxury items egyptian pharaoh taylor major pharoahs egypt nubia kush taharqo sphinx taharqo found temple kawa shabti tomb figure taharqo museum fine arts boston strikingly similar facial features including short round face thick lips flat nose associated with taylor king taharqa moreover comparison heads bust illustrated striking similarities when placed along side each other iconographic evidence clearly indicate there many round faced thick lipped flat nosed described classical literature snowden archtypical ruler type although meroitic iconographic documents share analogous features must admit nubian hypothesis must rejected rejected kings meroitic kush kings existed during different historical eras argument regarding egypto nubian hypothesis merit highlights failure critically read sources america study archaeology west africa sahara cursory reading wiener would made clear founders mande manding speaking comparison nuba head misrepresented claim support egypto nubian hypothesis belong called extreme position granted wrong about identity correct claiming origin denying fact early settled americas wiener wuthenau never publications contact ever claimed egypto contact following maintained along traditional paradigm speaking west based identification influence over eventhough unaware time through identification tuxtla statuette which created soustelle tate major evidence origin comes maya mentioned earlier most experts believe mayan system came soustelle evidence styl among world influence mexico left numerous symbols signs inscribed pottery statuettes batons scepters stelas reliefs been recognized soustelle wuthenau americans invent complex system chronology method calculating time hieroglyphic script which later adopted izapan mayan civilizations accepted practically meso american specialist announced decipherment generally accepted decipherment unknown language script requires bilingual texts knowledge cognate language long been felt meso americanist these criteria knew exactly what language spoken appear suddenly lorenzo venta veracruz around originated america scholars early recognized affinity between amerindian scripts mande script rafinesque rafinesque noted similarities between mayan glyphs libyco berber first researcher recognize resemblances symbols tuxtla statuette addition harold lawrence noted petroglyphic inscriptions found throughout much southern hemisphere compared identically system second pointing origin provided africa discovery presented high civilizations mexico maya aztecs acquired cultural religious traditions malinke bambara volume discovery discussed analogy glyphs glyphs engraved rocks mandeland until only published inscriptions today inscriptions published jill gutherie catalogue exhibition world ritual rulership organized seum princeton university term linguistic brown forces aknowledge term probably derived provides best term given fact corr eponds archaeological linguistic indicate maya proto times result come into languages after separation proto would explain identification speakers addition number terms derived conclusion speaking ancestors came saharan zone north here proto left their earliest oued mertoutek took full fledged literate culture mexico supported both ability read confirmation symbols cognate systems used moreover presented paper makes clear introduced when nonoulco discovery sites such laventa offering provide absolute proof presence readable celts masks statues genuine artifact found controlled excavations demanded confirms claim references anselin samba guadeloupe editions unirag brown hieroglyphic literacy mayaland inferences linguistics data current anthropology clegg first black scholar heartland evolution ideology sharer grove regional perspectives york cambridge university press delafosse leur langue leur systeme ecriture anthrpologie dubois gift black folks boston gutherie ritual rulership princeton university museum robbing native american cultures current anthropology islamic bulletin institut fondamental afrique noire ifan number bull ifan number jelinek tillizahren site fezzanese rock anthropologie keita diversity indigenous egypt theodore celenko bloomington indianapolis museum indiana press landa yucatan before after conquest trans william gates york dover publications lawrence explorers crisis lhote gravures pourtour occidental centre editions recherche civilisation memoire paris cnrs mccall cultural time profile paper dalby bloomington indiana press mcintosh mcintosh initial perspectives prehistoric subsistence inland niger delta mali archaeology mcintosh prehistory scientist morley brainered sharer stanford standford norman izapa sculpture pouligny olmeques archeologie rafineque second letter champollion graphic systems ololum palenque central elements atlantic journal sahagun historia general casas nueva espana city editoria nueva espana schele freidel forest ofkings york william morrow company smith izapa relief carving washington dumbarton oaks library collection snowden physical characteristics egyptians their southern neigbors classical egypt theodore celenko bloomington indianapolis indiana stross hieroglyphic mixe zoquean anthropological linguistics tate culture gutherie ritual rulership princeton taylor nubia cambridge harvard thompson columbian presence western hemisphere negro history bulletin tozzer relacion casa yucatan peabody archaeology ethnology columbus random house wiercinski inter intrapopulational racial differentiation tlatilco cerro mesas teothuacan monte alban yucatan congreso international americanistas lima wiercinski jairazbhoy diffusionist influence mnade scripts systems bulletin ifan part journal appendix jade celts laventa wuthenau unexpected faces edition december january black heritage collegian blacks science modern london transaction books blacks colorlines first monitor inspiration harappan talismanic seals tamil indus valley dravidian journal tamil culture dravidians sumerians tamil indus valley related scripts millennium india past present migration routes mankind quarterly harappan harappan copper tablets indian history grammar dravido dravidian archiv orientalni sahara dravidian encyclopaedia trivandrum india international school linguistics afrocentrism valid frame reference foundations history curriculum negro educational review april decipherment paper presented meeting central states anthropological society milwaukee wulsin prehistoric northwest papers peabody ethnology cambridge harvard unexpected faces edition
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