BLACKS IN ANCIENT CHINA
In accordance with the oral traditions of China, the founders of Chinese civilization were Huangdi and Fu
Xi. These legendary rulers like Dai Hao, were all buried in zhiu (burial mounds). The presence of this mound
culture in China supports the traditions of burial of elects in mound tombs.
The skeletal remains from southern China are predominately negroid. (Chang 1964, p.370) The people
practiced single burials.
In northern China the blacks founded many civilizations. The three major empires of China were the Xia
Dynasty (c.2205-1766 B.C), Shang/ Yin Dynasty (c.1700-1050 B.C) and the Zhou
Dynasty. The Zhou dynasty was the first dynasty founded by the Mongoloid people in China called Hua (Who-aa).
The founders of Xia and Shang came from the Fertile African Crescent by way of Iran. According to Chinese
legends the first man Pan Gu, used a hammer 18,000 years ago to make man.
The Chinese legends designate various culture heroes as the inventors of various aspects of Chinese
civilization. The Chinese term for emperor is Di. Huang Di (Yellow Emperor), is the Chinese culture hero
credited with introducing boats, carts 'chariots, the bow and arrow, ceramics, wooded houses and writing.
Chinese civilization began along the Yellow river . Here the soil was fertile and black Chinese farmers grew
millet 4000 years ago, and later soybeans. They also raised pigs and cattle. By 3500 B.C., the blacks in
China were raising silkworms and making silk.
The culture hero Huang Di is a direct link of Africa. His name was pronounced in old Chinese Yuhai Huandi or
Hu Nak Kunte. He was supposed to have arrived in China from the west in 2282 B.C., and settled along the
banks of the Loh river in Shanxi. This transliteration of Huandgi, to Hu Nak Kunte is interesting because Kunte
is a common clan name among the Manding speakers.
The Africans or blacks that founded civilization in China were often called li min "black headed people" by the
Zhou dynasts. This term has affinity to the Sumero-Akkadian term sag- gig-ga "black headed people". These
li min are associated with the Chinese cultural hero Yao.
In the Annals of the Bamboo Books, we learn that Yao devised a calendar to help regulate agrarian work
through proper use of ritual and music and created a rudimentary government. The Annals of the Bamboo
Books, makes it clear that Yao "he united and harmonized the myriad states [of his dominion], and the [li min]
black headed people were reformed by his cordial agreement".
We also read that Shun, the successor of Yao, distinguished by his reputation as an obedient devoted son,
noted to : "Ki [that] the Black headed people are suffering the distress of hunger". To help relieve the people
Shun gave his throne over to Yu, the founder of the Shang Dynasty. Yu, in the Annals of the Bamboo Books, is
reported to have noted that "...when a sovereign gives response to the people, he is kind, and the Black
headed people cherish him in their heart".
We know very little about the sounds of ancient Chinese because Ancient Chinese was different from Old
Chinese and Middle Chinese and the modern Chinese dialects. (Ramsey 1987, pp.137-138) This results
from the fact that the Chinese dynasties were founded by diverse ethnic groups e.g., Xia and Shang li (i.e.,
Black Shang) were founded by Dravidian and Manding speakers. Shang-Yin was founded by classical
mongoloids, and the Zhou by the contemporary Chinese. ) This explains the difference in pronunciation for
Ancient Chinese spoken by the Xia and Shang peoples and Old and Middle Chinese or a variant there of,
which was probably spoken by the Zhou people.
The Shang characters compare favorably to the ancient Proto- Saharan script used by the Harappans in the
Indus Valley and the Manding script used in the ancient Sahara and Crete . Winters (1985c) outlined the
spread of the Proto-Saharan script to Harappa, and throughout Saharan Africa and Asia by the Dravidians
Evidence of Chinese writing first appears around 2000 B.C. as pottery marks. The shell-and-bone characters
represented writing they were not pictures. The Shang symbols compare favorably with ancient Manding
symbols. Although their are different contemporary pronunciations for these symbols they have the same
meaning and shape. This suggest a genetic relationship between these scripts because we know that the
present pronunciation of the Chinese symbols probably has little relationship to the ancient pronunciation of
Chinese spoken in Xia and Shang times when these characters were first used. This cognation of scripts
supports the proposed Dravidian and Manding migration and settlement of ancient China during Xia times.
The identification of the first hero of China, Hu Nak Kunte as a member of the Kunte clan of the Manding
speakers of Africa is supported by the close relationship between the Manding languages and Chinese. Even
though we do not know the ancient pronunciation of many Chinese signs many Chinese and Manding words
share analogy and suggest a Manding substratum for Chinese.
Chinese and Manding share many typological features. These features include reduplication for emphasis
and the use of suffixes to form words.
In Chinese the -zi suffix, is joined to many nouns e.g., 0 qizi # 'wife'; 0 tizi # 'ladder'; and 0 jinzi # 'gold'. This
-zi, suffix corresponds to the Manding use of si 'that, that one, those' e.g., kye si 'that man'.
The suffix -tou is used to form place words e.g., 0 litou # 'inside' and 0 qiantou # 'front'. In Manding the word for
place was -ta. The Chinese -r suffix is used to form nouns e.g., 0 hua # 'to paint' and 0 huar # 'picture'. This corresponds to
the Manding suffix -ra which transforms verbs into nouns, e.g., 0 kyi # 'to send' and 0 kyira # 'messenger'.
There is also some analogy between Chinese and Manding pronouns:
Language I You he,she
Chinese wo ni ta
Manding ne ni, i a
These languages also share the interogative pronouns:
Chinese English Manding
0 ho # who,which,what 0 o #
In addition to cognate writing and grammatical features the Chinese and Manding share many lexical items.
Below we compare Chinese and Manding terms. The Chinese terms are written in the Pinyin (phonetic
alphabet) which is popular in China today.
There are numerous examples of phonetic correspondence between Chinese and Manding.
Chinese English Manding
di bend down ti 'negation suffix
da to cut down, destroy te 'negative particle'
dai to alter ta 'to put in'
du rot toli
da hill, hillock te-mbo
di Supreme Ruler tigi
da great,noble dya, da
di child di
da big dya,di 'several'
bu 'negative' bu 'to be in decrease
bo to break bo, bu 'to give a blow
ban great ba
bi to press,make impression pe
bai white, clean po
do cut bo, bu
ho 'everywhere' o 'void'
ho who, which, where o
fa 'kill' fe 'to be void'
shan 'mountain sande 'the sky region near water'
sa loose sa 'to die'
su 'to pound' --- su 'to mix'
su to suck susu
kan stem ka, kala
ku to cut open,rip up kulo 'to soften'
yu abundant,excessive yo 'perfect'
wa hollow wo
nu women musu
mu eye nya
ma mother na
do cut bo
bo 'break' ---- bo 'to five a blow'
rou flesh soro
da big dya
da great da
sa 'to loose' --- sa 'to die'
ban great ba
ma mother ma
so to grind su
yu 'abundant' --- yo 'perfect'
du rot toli
do cut bu
niu cow ni
xin 'heart' --- si 'breast'
di child di
iu give di
da 'to destroy' te 'negative particle'
tien cultivated field de-n
bu 'negative' bu 'to be decreased'
nu woman musu
du earth dugu
lu house lu
Above we have compared forty-six cognate Chinese and Manding terms. These terms can be divided into
three sets of cognate items, (1) words in both languages with equivalent meanings with full correspondence,
(2) words with consonants showing assimilation and (3) words with equivalent meanings but lacking similar
phonetic values. Using this criteria we find that the cognate rate for corresponding Chinese and Manding
terms are the following percentages 54% of the terms show full correspondence; 30 % show cognate terms
with alternating consonants e.g., d=/=t, p=/=b , and etc.; and 15 percent of these terms are unrelated.
The analogy between the Manding and Chinese languages suggest that Manding is a substratum of Chinese.
This also supports the view that some early rulers of China came from the Kunte clan and were Manding
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This article is from the
Web site of Dr. Clyde Winters. It is reprinted with his permission.
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