Bibliotheque  West Africa...800years of World Music

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The Olmec Civilisation.

Recent discoveries in the field of linguistics and other methods have shown without a doubt that the Ancient Olmecs of Mexico, known as the Xi People, came originally from West Africa and were of the Mende ethnic stock. According to Clyde A. Winters and other writers, the Mende script was discovered on some of the Ancient Olmec monuments of Mexico and were found to be identical to the very same script used by the Mende people of West Africa.

The flowering of the Olmec Civilisation occurred between 1500 BC and 1000 BC, when over 22 colossal heads of basalt were carved representing the West African Negritic racial type. This flowering continued with the appearance of "Magicians", or Shamanistic Africans who observed and charted the Venus planetary complex.

These "Magicians" are said to have entered Mexico from West Africa between 800 BC and 600 BC and were speakers of the Mende language as well as writers of the Mende or Bambara script, both of which are still used in parts of West Africa and the Sahara.

These Shamans, who became the priestly class at Monte Alban during the 800s to 600s BC, must have travelled across the Atlantic from West Africa, for it is only in West Africa that the religious and the complex astronomical practices (Venus, the Dogon Sirius observation and the Venus worship of the Afro-Olmecs, the use of the ax in the worship of Shango among the Yoruba of West Africa and the use of the ax in Afro-Olmec worship in Mexico, as well as the prominence of the Thunder God later known as Tlalock among the Aztecs), are the same as those practised by the Afro-Olmec Shamans.

Although the carbon testing date for the presence of the Black Olmecs or Xi People is about 1500 BC, journeys to Mexico and the southern United States may have come from West Africa much earlier, particularly around 5,000 years before Christ. That conclusion is based on the finding of an African native cotton discovered in North America. Its only possible way of arriving where it was found had to have been through human hands.

At that period in West African history, and even before, civilisation was in full bloom in the Western Sahara, in what is today Mauritania. One of Africa's earliest civilisations, the Zingh Empire, existed and may have lived in what was a lake-filled, wet and fertile Sahara, where ships criss-crossed from place to place.

The ancient kingdoms of West Africa. which occupied the coastal forest belt from Cameroon to Guinea, had trading relationships with other Africans from prehistoric times. However, by 1500 BC, these ancient kingdoms not only traded along the coast of modern Cte d'Ivoire, but with the Phoenicians and other peoples. They expanded their trade to the Americas, where evidence for an ancient African presence is overwhelming. These kingdoms, which came to be known by Arabs and Europeans during the Middle Ages, were already well established when much of Western Europe was still inhabited by Celtic tribes. By the 5th Century BC, the Phoenicians were running commercial ships to several West African kingdoms. During that period, iron had been in use in Africa for about 1,000 years and terracotta art was being produced at a great level of craftsmanship. Stone was also being carved with naturalistic perfection and later, bronze was being used to make various tools and instruments, as well as beautiful works of art. This includes the regions from the coasts of West Africa to the South, all the way inland to the Sahara.

A number of large kingdoms and empires existed in that area. According to Blisshords Communications, one of the oldest empires and civilisations on earth existed just north of the coastal regions in what is today Mauritania. It was called the Zingh Empire and was highly advanced. In fact, they were the first to use the red, black and green African flag and to plant it throughout their territory all over Africa and the world.

The ancient stone carvings (500-1000 BC) of Shamans of priest-kings in Columbia, clearly show distinct similarities in instruments held and their purpose. The realistic carving of an African king, or Oni, and the stone carving of a Shaman from Columbia's San Agustin Culture, indicates diffusion of African religious practices to the Americas. In fact, the region of Columbia and Panama were among the first places that blacks were spotted by the first Spanish explorers to the Americas.

Not only do the colossal Olmec stone heads resemble black Africans from the Ghana area, but the ancient religious practices of the Olmec priests were similar to those of the West Africans, which included Shamanism, the study of the Venus complex, part of the traditions of the Olmecs as well as the Ono and Dogon People of West Africa.

The language connection is significant, as it has been found out through decipherment of the Olmec script that the Ancient Olmecs spoke the Mende language and wrote in the Mende script, which is still used in parts of West Africa and the Sahara to this day.

 Paul Barton

Bibliotheque  West Africa...800years of World Music

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