A disambiguation of the origins of man based on onomastic evidence from the Ifa literary corpus and the oral history records of the Aku people


Abstract

Many historians posit that the origins of modern man are traceable to the continent of Africa. This is supplemented with the genealogical data from the bible, especially the biblical table of nations, in addition to biblical and Mesopotamian accounts of the great deluge. But it is problematic as the widely accepted interpretations of these data are in conflict with empirical evidence from molecular anthropology, archaeology and geology, and the growing arguments of black Africans that the interpretations have been biased against them. An onomastics-based attempt is made to demonstrate the potential of comparing information from these two sides with that from the Ifa literary corpus of the Aku people and their oral history records, which includes details of the origins of man and the great deluge, in resolving these conflicts. Overall, the results indicate that not all humans descended from a single woman and that widely accepted anthropological studies are riddled with fallacies in favour of and for the promotion of white supremacy and privilege over and against black Africans. They also show that the Ifa literary corpus and the oral records of the Aku people are rich repositories of information quite useful in gaining clarity about human origins and world history, and that an overhaul of anthropological studies is via the lens of the anthologies of the intended victims of the oyinbo protagonists is urgently required.

Introduction

One of the most discussed topics via the mass media in the world today is the origin(s) of mankind, and the prevailing consensus is that the African continent is the birthplace. This is due in no small part to the endless unearthing of the earliest bones and tools from same. There are also the consistent results of genetic analyses of various human populations which show that the oldest human genetic sequences are possessed by the dark-skinned peoples of Africa (Kaessmann and Paabo 2002). But before the prevalence of this position was a contrary view propagated by those fair-skinned peoples like those who call themselves Semites and the Indo-Europeans who have the bible as their holy book. They alleged from the book of Genesis of the bible that the earliest humans were fair-skinned like themselves and that dark-skinned Africans were the offspring of an individual named Ham who was victim of a curse that resulted in their devolution from fair- to dark-skinned, thus making them the youngest of human families. They also claimed to be the descendants of Japheth and Shem of the Table of Nations in Genesis 10 of the bible.

As scientific inquiries like those described earlier and awareness of the existence of other dark-skinned peoples outside Africa increased, the bible devolution proponents adjusted their position, asserting that the dark-skinned Africans whom they labeled Afro-Asiatic who had physical features similar to theirs like thin lips and straight noses and practiced the same bible religions – Christianity, Islam and Judaism–are the Hamites. They also added that the other dark-skinned Africans are sub-human and of lower evolution while they are the ones who reached the level of intelligence needed to dominate the world (Sanders 1969). Moreover, one of their popular claims is that we all descended from a single woman whom they label Eve (Cann, Stoneking and Wilson 1987)who, according to the book of Genesis, is the first woman (Genesis 2:18-3:20), and that there was a population bottleneck due to a global flood of which somebody called Noah, his unnamed wife, and his three sons named Shem, Ham and Japheth from this woman were the sole survivors (Genesis -9:19).This is the prevailing view which the fair-skinned ones have been promoting using their dominance of the global mass media. Voices of protest have however been on the increasing rise due to its very obvious racist connotation and inconsistencies and inconsistencies (McCarty and Stauffer 2006)with studies in molecular anthropology, archaeology and geology.

For instance, molecular anthropology studies have indicated that the Fulani of northern Cameroon have not always been situated there but did migrate thereto from Asia and/or Eurasia (Cruciani, et al. 2002). This seems to be a confirmation of the position of the bible proponents that Ham’s portion of the earth is Africa and that all his children except Canaan migrated there from Mount Ararat in Turkey where the flood survivors allegedly emerged from the ark (Genesis 8:4). However, the Fulani have admitted that the West African people called Aku who claim to be heirs of Oduduwa and thus call themselves Omo Oduduwa (Offspring of Oduduwa)and of whom those in western Nigeria are known as Yoruba are the Canaanites who originated from Mesopotamia (Johnson 1921). If the Aku truly began their journey from Mesopotamia, then the claim of the fair-skinned that they have always been in Africa, more precisely West Africa, is false. Curiously, this testimony from the Fulani which was published in 1812 by Sultan Muhammadu Bello, the son and successor of Uthman Bello the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, which was copied in in the early 19th century Clapperton, an European, has not been denied by his fair-skinned ones.

The conflict with archaeological studies is just as bad. An example has to do with the Edo kingdom of West Africa whose ancient name is Idu, whose kings bear the title Oba, and who migrated to their present location from a place of now obscure memory. In 2013 a paper was published announcing the discovery in Mesopotamia of an ancient kingdom called Idu (van Soldt, et al. 2013). The study gave the names of some of her kings as Ba’ilanu, Abbi-zeri and Ba’auri. A comparison of the first parts of these names Ba- and Abbi- reveals a curious similarity with Oba: (O)ba > Ba and Oba > Abbi. Also, the Edo people are neighbours of the Aku who are the Canaanites, and the Oyo tribe of the Akus has been identified by the anthropologist Dierk Lange (Lange 2011)as of the biblical lost tribes of Israel. The ancestor of the Aku [Aku > (J)aco(b)?]who inherited their present homeland along the former Slave Coast in West Africa is Oranmiyan and his twin brother is the ancestor of the Edo. If the Aku who are the Canaanites are really the biblical Israelites, then (1)the identities and origins of the Jews, Palestinians and Arabs who are all fair-skinned must be questioned, especially as molecular anthropology studies have revealed that Africans like the Aku have almost no Neanderthal DNA unlike like the fair-skinned ones who possess it in abundance; (2) the suggestion by Lange that other tribes of Israel mixed with the Akus must be questioned as it would have resulted in the Akus carrying a lot of Neanderthal DNA; (3) the Edo must be the biblical Edomites aka Idumeans and they must have migrated to Edom in the Levant from Idu of Mesopotamia.

Then there is the issue of the definition of the northeast extent of the African continent by geologists most of whom are fair-skinned. They have acknowledged that the landmass called the Arabian Peninsula used to be part of Africa but then separated leading to the formation of the Red Sea (Swartz and Arden Jr 1960). But they do not mention anything about the southwest extent of Asia prior to this separation. The oral histories of some West African peoples that they migrated thereto c.5th century CE from southern Arabia and the region of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa (Lange 2011) appears to be a confirmation of that the width of the sea separating the Arabian and Africa plates used to be much shorter and easier to cross until less than two thousand years ago. An example is the Borgu people who say someone who died for the sins of the world led them across a river on dry ground away from their enemies who were in hot pursuit and when they had finished crossing the river became much wider and their enemies perished therein. Curiously, it tallies with the Arab account of the development of the Bab al-Mandab (Gate of Grief), a strait that connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean where many of their brethren perished. And it implies that the separation is quite recent rather than millions of years ago as claimed by those geologists. Today, this Arab account is suppressed as legend and any document where it is mentioned in detail seems impossible to find.

An interesting implication of the geological continuity of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula is that the regions of Syria-Palestine region all the way to Mesopotamia which are all geographically continuous with the Arabian Peninsula are all part of Africa. And the acknowledgement by Sultan Bello and Arab historians prior to the 10th century CE, i.e., before the emergence of Archeology, Anthropology, History and Geology as we know them today, that the progeny of Ham originally came from Mesopotamia (Lange 2011), would thus be a confirmation of this geography.

Onomastic Analysis

Onomastics is a tool that has been used successfully by anthropologists of repute like Lange in putting together the jigsaw puzzle of the origin stories of man by comparing all proper names like toponyms and anthroponyms. Since the Aku allegedly once lived in Mesopotamia and then Canaan, they should have records of their time there which might prove useful in verifying the bible accounts of the origin and genealogy of mankind and associated scientific data. Such records of the Aku are found in the literary corpus of their spiritual system called Ifa which has 256 divisions each with over a thousand accounts.

A useful place to illustrate the potentials of an Ifa-based view of the origins of man is the bible account of a popular extinction event, the great deluge which covered the whole earth. Such is recorded from different perspectives in various odus including Owonrin Osa, Otura Ika, Irete Ogbe, Oturupon Oyeku. In one of such, Ifa teaches that Olodumare the Supreme Being used the flood to wipe out a group of errant beings who had been destroying this planet and other planets, but some survived. Another set of beings which we call humans were created after this flood, similar to the previous set of beings but lacking their level of esoteric abilities. This account was narrated by Solagbade Popoola who is the current President of the International Council for Ifa Religion (ICIR) and was published on a now defunct website (http://ifatraining.weebly.com/library.html) of the International Ifa Training Institute (IITI) of which he is the Rector. Thankfully, it is retrievable here. This narrative also includes an account from the odu Oyeku Ogbe of a mandate given by Olodumare to someone called Oduduwa who is also known as Eniyan and Oluiwa to populate the earth with humans. The first human to exist was a woman whom he personally created and brought to this world and gave to Oduduwa as a wife. Her name was Eni-bi-eni (one like us) which was also called Ninibinini and she bore a total of sixteen children for him.

These are inescapably similar to the popular account in the bible of a similar deluge and therefore suggesting that they are of the same event. Genesis chapter 6 and 7 has it that prior to the deluge there lived some errant beings on and in the planet and that God decided to use a flood to wipe them out except a male individual named Noah and his family. But it seems some other persons were able to escape the deluge as the giants on the earth at that time are also noted as being around afterward, which is supported by later biblical references like  Numbers 13:33 and Deuteronomy 1:28.

Genesis 6:4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward,

Additionally, the bible account has it that God decided to save a male person named Noah and use him to repopulate the earth. He allegedly had only three children, all males, born to him prior to the deluge and their names were Shem, Ham and Japheth. They and their unnamed wives were all saved and all humans on this planet today allegedly descended from him via his three sons.

From this brief comparison, both must refer to the same event, an observation supported by the similarity of the names of this bible patriarch and that of Ifa: (O)lui(w)a > Noa(h). So, are both independent records or is one copied from the other? If the latter is the case, then which is the original?

An important detail which appears to distinguish the two is the number of his children. While the bible account mentions three children only, the Ifa account above mentions sixteen whose names were not given. Not to be left out is the important detail that Oduduwa, this wife and all their sixteen children were all adulawo which is the Aku word for blacks. In addition, more and more adulawo were created, and then the red and yellow peoples, while the last to be created – sometime later and not part of the original plan – and were the oyinbo which is the Aku term for the fair-skinned ones popularly called whites (Ogbe Ofun) and that all were created in a place called Ile-Ife. This contrasts sharply with the unscientific – unproven and impossible to reproduce – allegation of some oyinbo that Canaan and/or Ham transformed from oyinbo to adulawo due to a curse. And Aku history has it that the oyinbo were expelled due to their incorrigible love for unnatural abominations, refusal to serve Ifa, and rejection of Olodumare (Wyndham 1921). Their expulsion did not result in any physical transformation but it appears they became known as Epe which is Aku for curse.

Oduduwa ruled the world as his divine inheritance from a place called Ile-Ife and did acquire other wives. In the odu called Owonrin Meji is a story of how he sired three other children, all males, via a particular woman :

Arota lo lawo Ajimota

Arota lo is the priest of Ajimota

Sokoloro lawo ode Igede

Arota lo is the priest of Ajimota

Oojo taa bi Epe laa pa Ashe

It was on the day that Epe was born that we killed Ashe

Oojo taa bi Ohun laa pa Epe

On the day we had Ohun was when we killed Epe

Okuta bela mo seje

The granite breaks into halves without bleeding blood

A difa fun Ohun ti somo Olofin

Cast Ifa for Ohun the child of Olofin

A difa fun Olofin nijo ti Obinrin e loju e sinu…

Cast Ifa for Ohun the child of Olofin…

The first child posed a problem for his parents and the society as soon as he learned to talk as whatever he said whether good or bad came to pass, so he was nicknamed Ashe (authority, command). Oduduwa had him executed the day the second child was born, but he too proved to be a menace so he was nicknamed Epe (curse) and was executed the day the third child was born. Nonetheless, he too began to display the same trait but this time it was worse, so he was nicknamed Ohun (speech). Oduduwa then concluded that he couldn’t go on like that and he remembered the recommendations of Ifa whom he consulted prior to the birth of Ashe, and he sought his Ifa priest for interpretation and he was told to send Ohun away. He thus complied, sending the child away in the company of some hunters to an uninhabited place east of Ile-Ife where they founded a new settlement which he named Idanre and whose rulers have descended till date from Ohun. But Ashe and Epe did not bear any children, except they reincarnated by birth which would have been to the same family. And they were all adulawo.

Curiously, the names Shem, Ham and Japheth all appear to be cognates of Ashe, Ohun and Epe; and it should be noted that the oyinbo also spelled Japheth as Yepet and Japetos.

  • (A)she > She(m)
  • (O)hun > Ham
  • Epe > (J)aphe(th) or Epe > (J)ape(t) or Epe > (Y)epe(t)

This, along with the incontrovertible etymologies of the Ifa names and the speculative etymologies of the bible names lends further credence to the assertion here that Noah is Oduduwa and implies that the bible version was derived from Ifa. In the bible, transgressors who committed abominations were punished with curses that could result in a disease that manifested in a vitiligo-like loss of skin pigmentation and/or ostracism, excommunication, and death (Leviticus 24:10-23, Numbers 12, 25:1-9, Deuteronomy 11:26-28, 27:14-28:68 Joshua 7, 2 Kings 5, 2 Chronicles 26:16-23, Acts 5:1-11). In one particular instance when some Israelites went after alien gods and alien women that had been described as abominations of which the punishment was being cursed, they were said to have transmuted into equivalent abominations like the aliens (Hosea 9:10). Note that these persons committed the same transgression as the oyinbo who were expelled from Ife. The implication is that being cursed thus was regarded as becoming epe. If truly these Israelites are the Aku people, then the associated transmutation would have been from adulawo to oyinbo which is scientifically possible. Impossible however is the adulawo or oyinbo to “white as snow” transmutation which is impossible and a hyperbole and/or mischievous description by the oyinbo bible compilers.

Hosea 9:10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal Peor, and separated themselves to that shame; they became an abomination like the thin they loved.

Also, the bible story about the fates of Shem, Ham and Japheth is that one of them was punished with a curse on one of his sons. Ham is named as the transgressor and Canaan his cursed son, and the oyinbo taught for centuries that Ham consequently became transformed from oyinbo to adulawo and became the ancestor of all adulawo including Canaan who was the one cursed. How come? When these oyinbo later came across other adulawo like the Polynesians whose ancestry could not be traced to Ham, and lots of evidence began emerging that the oldest human DNA is of adulawo, it became obvious that the bible account was faulty and was an attempt to justify the denigration of adulawo (Sanders 1969). Added to this is the absence of any other bible account of oyinbo-to-adulawo transformation but the presence of accounts of the opposite (Numbers 12).

And the Ifa account above about Shem (Ashe) and Japheth (Epe) has no indication that when they sired any offspring, except for died with any progeny. So, the oyinbo never descended from Noah but were created like other modern humans after the flood, were regarded after their expulsion from Ife as the epitome of epe and were thus referred to as Epe, and they made a schizoid attempt to modify the Owonrin Meji story in order to claim a legitimate and divine heritage. This is not an improbable stretch of imagination as the language known today as Modern Hebrew has been shown not to be of the biblical Israelites but of Slavic origins (Wexler 1991), and the family of Jews known as Ashkenazi are mentioned in Genesis 10:3 as not being Semites as they claim but offspring of Japheth.

Conclusion

A lot of the anthologies about the story of mankind being bandied around in the global mass media are fraudulent and tools of confusion. Most are based on bible data like the Table of Nations which has details that are incongruous and twisted to favour oyinbo protagonists. It is therefore a begotten fraud which should not be completely discarded but the truth sifted from the lies in line with the African saying, “do not throw the baby away with the bath water”. But these lies have also been propagated by Africans who have also been doing same to themselves. The Ifa literary corpus and other oral records of the Aku can be used to achieve this filtering. Some results of using this filter are that not everyone on earth descended from the same father or mother, which implies that not everyone’s Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA have been inherited from a single man or woman respectively; and that a lot of the anthologies of various ancient peoples which have been based on the bible book of Genesis have to be reviewed entirely, and that the bible and other anthologies derived from it are schizoid tools used by certain groups for supremacist aims. The most important is that the Akus possess the actual data that all peoples of various fields can use to piece together the story of mankind.

References

Cann, RL, M Stoneking, and AC Wilson. “Mitochondrial DNA and human evolution.” Nature 325, no. 6099 (1987): 31-36.

Cruciani, Fulvio, et al. “A Back Migration from Asia to Sub-Saharan Africa Is Supported by High-Resolution Analysis of Human Y-Chromosome Haplotypes.” American Journal of Human Genetics, no. 70 (2002): 1197-1214.

Johnson, Samuel. The history of the Yorubas : from the earliest times to the beginning of the British Protectorate. Edited by Obadiah Johnson. Lagos: C.M.S. (Nigeria) Bookshops Lagos, 1921.

Kaessmann, H, and S Paabo. “The genetical history of humans and the great apes.” Journal of Internal Medicine, no. 251 (2002): 1-18.

Lange, Dierk. “Origin of the Yoruba and “The Lost Tribes of Israel”.” Anthropos, no. 106 (2011): 579-595.

McCarty, Timothy Patrick, and John Stauffer. Prophets Of Protest: Reconsidering The History Of American Abolitionism. New York: The New Press, 2006.

Salami, Ayo. Yoruba Theology and Tradition: The Genealogy. Lagos: NIDD Publishing and Printing Limited, 2000.

Sanders, Edith R. “The Hamitic Hypothesis; Its Origin and Functions in Time Perspective.” Journal of African History 10, no. 4 (1969): 531-532.

Swartz, Daniel H, and Daniel D Arden Jr. “Geologic history of Red Sea Area.” AAPG Bulletin 44, no. 10 (1960): 1621-1637.

van Soldt, WH, C Pappi, A Wossink, CW Hess, and KM Ahmed. “SATU QALA:A PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE SEASONS 2010-2011.” Anatolica XXXIX (2013): 197-239.

Wexler, Paul. The Schizoid Nature of Modern Hebrew: A Slavic Language in Search of a Semitic Past. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1991.

Wyndham, John. Myths of Ífè. London: Erskine MacDonald Ltd., 1921.

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