Angola Under the Portuguese: The Myth and the Reality

“Freyre and others maintain that there was considerable miscegenation between the Portuguese and the Moors and Jews which reputedly resulted in a Portuguese tolerance of, even preference for, dark complexioned women. This miscegenation, however, may have been more common during the Moorish occupation. Unquestionably the most peaceful and tolerant relations between the Portuguese, Moors, and Jews transpired under the Moorish rule of Portugal.”

“Ironically, Portugal manifested its most intolerant and brutal behavior towards its own ‘infidels’ at the very time the Portuguese were meeting and colonizing the African and Indian ‘infidels’. In fact, prior to the end of the Inquisition in 1769, Jews, Moors, and Negroes were frequently referred to in official documents as racas infectadas (infected races).”

“If there was a legacy of amicability among the Portuguese towards the Moors after seven centuries of contact in Iberia, it was not apparent in their relations with the Moors they encountered in Africa. Beginning with the conquest of the Moroccan coast town of Ceuta in 1415 and until the middle of the eighteenth century, Portugal was engaged in almost constant warfare with the Moors. At times these battles reached the proportion of a holy crusade; personal accounts of some of the battles reveal that the Portuguese soldiers often made no distinction between combatants and civilians since none of the infidels was deemed worthy of human consideration.”

 “A richly detailed narration of these voyages by Henry’s personal chronicler, Gomes Eanes de Azurara, recounts the initiation of the African slave trade with the exons of Antao Goncalvez and Nuno Tristao to Senegal in 1441 and 1442 respectively. By 1446 there were nearly a thousand African slaves in Portugal. Azurara, who witnessed the return of many of the early slave ships, described the anguish which overcame the Africans as families and friends were separated indiscriminately, ‘faces bathed in tears…[while] others struck their faces with the palms of their hands, throwing themselves upon the ground.”

 “Slavery, however, was not the only objective of the Portuguese explorations. They also sought minerals, ivory, spices, and souls as they searched for a land or sea route to the fabled riches of the Orient. Their experience in the Maghreb provided them with important knowledge which fed these ambitions: they learned of gold on the Guinea coast which was beyond the control of their Muslims enemies, and of Arab navigation on the East African coast, confirming that the continent was surrounded by water.”

 “By 1471 Portuguese sailors had arrived in Ghana and found it so rich in gold that a decade later they built their first fort in West Africa (Elmina), in order to deter other European explorers from following in their wake. Another fort was built at Benin (Nigeria), where Portugal found not only more wealth but a well-developed kingdom which greatly impressed the crown. The Portuguese and Benin kings exchanged gifts and diplomatic missions and the latter’s son even adopted Christianity. Further down the coast, along the northern frontiers of Angola, the Portuguese encountered in 1482 the undisputed leader among the coastal states of Central Africa–the vast Kongo Kingdom. In a letter directred to Joao III (1526) Afonso wrote, ‘there are many traders in all corners of the country. They bring ruin to the country. Everday people are enslaved and kidnapped, even nobles, even members of the King’s own family.” 

“Portugal, the native inhabitants of Portugal were influenced and shaped by a variety of cultural, ethnic, racial and religious groups. From the arrival of the Phoenicians in the eighth century BC until the final expulsion of the Moors in the thirteenth century AD, the Iberian tribes absorbed at least seven major civilizations including the Greeks, Celts, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, and Moors. Each left an indelible mark on the emerging Portuguese society.”

“Unfortunately, there is scanty information concerning miscegenation in Portugal during the period when blacks formed a part of its population. In fact, most histories of Portugal contain little more than passing references to the presence of African slaves. Yet, African slaves constituted an important segment of Portuguese society, being an integral part of the labor force, for more than three centuries–long than the period of slavery in the United States.”

“In a 1533 letter written from Evora, a Flemish priest wrote, undoubtedly exaggerating that ‘slaves were swarming all over. All the work is done by captive blacks and Moors. Portugal is being glutted with this race. I’m beginning to believe that the slaves in Lisbon outnumber the Portuguese. Actually, from about the middle of the sixteenth century until at least 1620 approximately 10 percent of Lisbon’s 100,000 inhabitants were Africans.”

“Although slavery was abolished in Portugal (not in the colonies in 1761, as late as the mid-nineteenth century Lichnowsky reported seeing ‘thousands of blacks on the streets in Lisbon’, noting that they were not treated as men by the Portuguese ‘but as an inferior race of domestic animals’.”

 Source: Angola Under the Portuguese: The Myth and the Reality By Gerald J. Bender

 

Three principal tribes of Aethiopians, the Hesperi, Garamantes, and Indians

Dana Reynolds Marniche article published an article titled: AFRO-ASIAN DISPERSALS: How Scholarship has Come Around to the Truth about the Roots of Semitic Speech and Culture  which provides the following commentary: “The name Berber was thus known not only in Africa but throughout “the Orient” as a name that applied to certain populations of Africans of the Horn, Sudan, and the Sahel from an ancient period. It is also a fact that Berbers and other Africans, in fact, stretching to the Atlantic in the ancient world were often indiscriminately referred to as Indi, Arabians, Ethiopians and thus “according to Isidore in the ninth book, there are three principal tribes of Aethiopians, the Hesperi, Garamantes, and Indi (Burke, 2002, p. C-331).”

“In consideration of the Greek and Roman acquaintance with the Negroid type as revealed by the literary evidence, and in view of the use of the word Ethiopian, it is reasonable to assume that a given passage refers to a Negroid type in the following instances: (2) whenever a consideration of the evidence indicates that Afer, Indus, or Maurus is the equivalent of Aethiops; (4) whenever an individual is designated as belonging to one of the several Ethiopian tribes such as Blemmyes, Megabari, Troglodytes, Nubae, et cetera.”

Source: Afer, Indian, and Aethiops are Equivalents of Maurus

Philostratus claimed that “The Indians are the wisest of mankind. The Ethiopians are a colony of them”. Source: Philostratus Vit. Apol. II:33f.  

Source: Edmund Dene Morel, pages 141–142

 

“Black” in the study titled Black Lives in the English Archives, 1500–1677 is thus “Negro,” “Ethiopian,” “Egyptian,” “moor”/“blackamoor,” “barbaree”/“barbaryen,” and “Indian” (including orthographic variations thereof for all of them). The study’s use of the word also includes geographic names by themselves, such as Guyana or Guinea, where for the early modern English they function openly or implicitly as regional identifers of people of color. Anthony Gerard Barthelemy in Black Face, Maligned Race (pp. 1–17), Michael Neill in “‘Mulattoes,’ ‘Blacks,’ and ‘Indian Moors’” (pp. 273–77), and Margo Hendricks in “Surveying Race” (pp. 15–20) all offer useful demonstrations of the propriety of adhering to a taxonomic looseness in tracing sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English constructions of colored people. At the same time, hidden in the vast archives of parish churches within London and without, all through the Tudor and Stuart reigns, are voluminous cryptic citations of “nigro,” “neger,” “neygar,” “blackamore,” “blackamoor,” “moor,” “barbaree,” “barbaryen,” “Ethiopian,” and “Indian.” The discussions of the records are organized in five chapters dealing with records of black people in early sixteenth-century Britain, in Elizabethan London, in seventeenth-century London, and elsewhere in England, with the last two chapters examining records of black people in the English provinces, and East Indians and other people of color in London and in the countryside.”

Source: Black Lives in the English Archives, 1500–1677 Imprints of the Invisible IMTIAZ HABIB

Odyssey 1.21-25: But now Poseidon had gone to visit the Ethiopians worlds away, Ethiopians off at the farthest limits of mankind, A PEOPLE SPLIT IN TWO , one part where the Sungod sets and part where the Sungod rises.  Source: Homer on the Ethiopians
Etymology: late 14c., from Latin Æthiops “Ethiopian, negro,” from Greek Aithiops, long supposed in popular etymology to be from aithein “to burn” + ōps “face” (compare aithops “fiery-looking,” later “sunburned”). late 14c., from Latin Æthiops “Ethiopian, negro,” from Greek Aithiops, long supposed in popular etymology to be from aithein “to burn” + ōps “face” (compare aithops “fiery-looking,” later “sunburned“).  Who the Homeric Æthiopians were is a matter of doubt. The poet elsewhere speaks of two divisions of them, one dwelling near the rising, the other near the setting of the sun, both having imbrowned visages from their proximity to that luminary, and both leading a blissful existence, because living amid a flood of light;  and, as a natural concomitant of a blissful existence, blameless, and pure, and free from every kind of moral defilement. [Charles Anthon, note to “The First Six Books of Homer’s Iliad,” 1878
Qouting Dr. Aisha Khan author of Islam and the Americas (New World Diasporas) :
“The Spanish conquistador Hernon Cortez arrived in Mexico in 1519 and referred to the Aztecs he encountered as Moors, and one priest in Cortez part said that the indigenous peoples of northern Mexico reminded him of al Arabes or Arabs, Spaniards called Aztec and Inca temples mosques and drew parallels between some Indian and Islamic rituals that involved animal sacrifice.”  

The color of the Indians of the California missions seen by La Peyrouse (Voyage, ii. 197, 212,) “Very nearly approaches that of the Negroes whose hair is not woolly; and in another place, the “colour of these Indians which is that of negroes.”  Langsdorf, who visited San Francisco on the coast of California, confirms the observations of La Peyrouse; for he says, (Voyage, 440,) The Indians there, “are of a very dark complexion, approaching to Black; they have large projecting lips, and broad flat, Negro like noses indeed many of their features, as well as their physiognomy, and almost their colour, bear a strong resemblance to the negroes: their hair, however, is long and strait.” 


“In another part of America, if reliance can be placed upon the correctness of the relation, a race of blacks were seen at so early a period of our history, that it seems impossible to avoid the conclusion that they were aboriginal. Peter Martyr, {2>d Decade, ^j«^e 97,) in describing the journey of Balboa across the Isthmus of Darien, A. D. 1511, gives the following history: “There is a region not above two days’ journey from Quarequa, in which they found only blackamoors; and those exceeding fierce and cruel. “^ The circumstance of finding them there, he attempted to explain, by the conjecture that they were Ethiopians, who had crossed the Atlantic to I’ob the country, and that after having been shipwrecked, they had been compelled by the natives to take refuge in the mountains. But all this is pure guesswork, which we shall not attempt to disprove, for it is not more plausible than the supposition that they were aboriginal.”

“If I am not much mistaken, however, we shall be able to shew, that the relation of Peter Martyr, concerning the blackamoors, as he calls them, seen by Balboa, was substan- tially correct: for we learn from Stevenson, [Travels in South America, ii. 387,) the following singular facts, which we shall quote at length. “The natives of Esmeral- das, Rio Verde, and Atacames,” (Republic of Columbia,) ”

Source: Researches, philosophical and antiquarian, concerning the aboriginal history of America

PORTRAIT OF A MAN FROM STANISLAUS COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

The words Moor*, blackamoor, in the same sense, are much older in E.] I. n. ; pi. negroes (-groz). A black man: specifically, one of a race of men characterized by a black skin and hair of a woolly or crisp nature. Negroes are distinguished from the other races by various other peculiarities — such as the projection of the visage in advance of the forehead ; the prolongation of the upper and lower jaws ; the small facial angle ; the flatness of the forehead and of the hinder part of the head ; the short, broad, and flat nose ; and the thick projecting lips. The negro race is generally regarded as comprehending the native inhabitants of Sudan, Senegambia, and the region southward to the vicinity of the equator and the great lakes, and their descendants in America and elsewhere ; in a wider sense it is used to comprise also many other tribes further south, as the Zulus and Kafirs. The word negro is often loosely applied to other dark or black-skinned races, and to mixed breeds.As designating a “race,” it is sometimes written with a capital. Toward the south of this region Is the kingdom of Guinea, with Senegal, Iaiofo, Gambra, and many other regions of the blacke Moores called Ethiopians or Negros, all which are watered with the river Negro, called in olde tyme Niger R. Eden. See First Three English Books on America [(ed. ArberX p. 374. H. a. Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of black men or negroes: as, negro blood; negro dances. It is often asked what Races are Negro, as the meaning of the term is not well defined. . . .The word is not a National appellation, but denotes a physical type, of which the tribes In North Guinea are the representatives. When these characteristics are not all present, the Race is not Negro, though black and woolly-haired. R. N. Oust, Mod. Langs, of Africa, p. 53.

“These translations( More, vide Moro, a blacke Moore; Morisca, a women Moore that is become a Christian; Morisco, a blacke Moore made or become a Christian; Morado color, murrey or iron colour, dark colour; Morel, brown duskish colour; a Moore, v. Moro; a Blacke moore, vide Arabe, Negro; Negrillo, a little blacke Moore, somewhat blacke; Negrito, idem; Negro, blacke Also, a blackMooreofEthiopia; Prieto, or negro, blacke, browne) reveal a great deal of flexibility, in that both moro and negro are equated with “blackmoore” while “blackmoore” is equated with “Arab” as well as morisco and negro, and prieto and negro are equated with “browne” as well as black. In 1617 Minsheu equated Latin maurus with “Niger, black” and in another place stated: “Moore or Neger = a Moore, or one of Mauritanie, a black Moore, ore Neger…vid. a Neger and Black Moore and Ethiopian”.

Source: Africans and Native Americans: The Language of Race and the Evolution of Red …By Jack D. Forbes

“Maurus” was synonymous with “Moor,” “negro,” and “Aethiops”. See  John Etick’s A new English-Latin dictionary (1783). 

“In 1878, his attention as directed to its former presence at the Belvidere Museum by a notice in Baron von Sacken’s descriptive catalog of the Imperial Ambras collection printed in Vienna in 1855, wherein, among rare objects from various parts of the world, it is mentioned as follows: “No. 3—A Mexican head-dress about 3 ft. in height composed of magnificent green feathers studded with small plates of gold. This specimen was termed in the inventory of 1596 ‘a Moorish hat.” Guided by this note, Herr von Hochstetter with the assistance of Dr. Ilg, the custodian of the Ambras collection, found the precious relic and rescued it from an obscure corner of a show-case where it hung, folded together, next to a medieval bishop’s mitre and surrounded by sundry curiosities from North America, China and Sunda Islands. On folio 472 of the ancient document, it is cataloged with other objects in feather-work contained in a chest (No. 9) and is described as a Moorish hat of beautiful, long, lustrous green and gold-hued feathers, bedecked above with white, red and blue feathers and gold rosettes and ornaments. In front, on the forehead, it has a beak of pure gold. The term Moorish, as here applied can scarcely be regarded as a deceptive one inasmuch as “Montezuma, the king of Temistitan and Mexico,” is subsequently designated as “a Moorish king” in this same inventory of 1596. (See p.9) It is interesting to note the gradual changes that occur in the wording of the subsequent periodical official registrations of this “Moorish hat.” In 1613 its description was faithfully reproduced. In 1621 the word “Indian” was substituted for “Moorish:” with this single alteration, the original text was transcribed in 1730. In 1788, however, a remarkable transformation was effected, the hat became “an apron” and the official record reads An Indian apron of long green feathers. It is garnished above with a narrow band of white feathers, followed by a broad one of green, then there is a narrow stripe of red and broad one of blue. The bands are studded with crescents or horseshoes, small circular plates and other than gold pieces. The old inventory designates this object as an Indian hat.” The Inventory of 1596 affords the corrobative proof of a previously existing method of labelling the articles in the Archducal Musuem by the reference (after its brief entry) to ” a slip of paper attached to it,” for further details concerning the history of an Indian axe ” that had belonged to a Moorish king. This weapon belonged to Montezuma II, king of Temistitan and Mexico. It was sent by the Spanish Captain Ferdinand Cortes to the Pope whence it came as a present to Archdule Ferdinand.”

“Thus, also certain peoples of Nubia and Abyssinia were at times known as Indians such as the Blemmyes of Nonnus text, Dionysiaca. Meanwhile Abyssinia was referred to as “the third Indiawell into the medieval period (Pankhurst, 2003, p. 8; also seep. 87 of the “Transactions of the Bombay Geographical Society”) and southern and northern Arabia called “India Minor”, and Kus or Kush or Ethiopia by Greeks, Syrians, and others.”
“In fact, the original eponyms Hind and Sind in Arabian lore were peoples of Kush from Kuth or Phut son of Ham, while for earlier writers such as Strabo the region of Abyssinia and everything east of the Nile in Africa is referred to as “Arabia”. These same Berbers or Berberia of Cusha-Dwipa were identified as Kushites in Arabic texts from Kush who is either said to be “son of Canaan”, or else son of Ham. But more of this subject of the Berber Kushites as Canaanites and the “Indians” as “Ethiopians”, and vice versa, will be discussed in future postings – as the Canaan spoken of in recent Western legend is not the early Canaan of early Berber or Afro-Asiatic tradition.”

“The strongest evidence of African presence in America before Columbus comes from the pen of Columbus himself. In 1920, a renowned American historian and linguist, Leo Weiner of Harvard University, in his book, Africa and the discovery of America, explained how Columbus noted in his journal that Native Americans had confirmed that “black skinned people had come from the south-east in boats, trading in gold-tipped spears.”

“One of the first documented instances of Africans sailing and settling in the Americas were black Egyptians led by King Ramses III, during the 19th dynasty in 1292 BC. In fact, in 445 BC, the Greek historian Herodotus wrote of the Ancient Egyptian pharaohs’ great seafaring and navigational skills. Further concrete evidence, noted by Dr. Imhotep and largely ignored by Euro-centric archaeologists, includes “Egyptian artifacts found across North America from the Algonquin writings on the East Coast to the artifacts and Egyptian place names in the Grand Canyon.”

“In 1311 AD, another major wave of African exploration to the New World was led by King Abubakari II, the ruler of the fourteenth century Mali Empire, which was larger than the Holy Roman Empire. The king sent out 200 ships of men, and 200 ships of trade material, crops, animals, cloth and crucially African knowledge of astronomy, religion and the arts.”

Source: Before Columbus: How Africans Brought Civilization to America

Source: Full text of “The journal of Christopher Columbus (during his first voyage, 1492-93) and documents relating to the voyages of John Cabot and Gaspar Corte Real [microform]”

“On 1he 3d of February 1845, he introduced his resolutions, and spoke in explanation of them; and, on the subject of the boundary, said: “The stupendous deserts between the Nueces and the Bravo rivers are the natural boundaries between the Anglo Saxon and the Mauritanian races. There ends of the valley of the west. There Mexico begins. Thence, beyond the Bravo, begins the Moorish people, and their Indian associates, to whom Mexico properly belongs; who should not cross that vast desert if they could, as we, on our side, too ought to stop there, because interminable conflicts must ensure our going south, or their coming north, of that gigantic boundary.

Source: Speech of Mr. Geo. Ashmun on the Mexican War By George Ashmun

“Armond de Quartrefages, an anthropologist at the Museum of National History in Paris, in his book The Human Species, wrote that black inhabitants were found in small numbers and isolated areas in America. Some examples were the Jamassi (Yamassee) of Florida, the Harruas of Brazil (Uruguay), the black Caribs of Saint Vincent on the Gulf of Mexico and the black Zuni of present Arizona and Mexico. In Columbus Journal of the Third Voyage, he said he wanted to find out about the black people the Indians told him about. Indians were found farming yams and taro, an African food, while the Portuguese explorers in Africa saw natives cultivating maize, an Indian product. The Pima Indian tribe, Arizona members of the Uto-Aztecan family of languages of the Southwestern area of the United States, now living in Southern Arizona, have been identified as speaking a Semitic language. Analysis of the language of the Pima Indians revealed that it may be derived from Phonecian Iberian Punic colonist who settled in America from the Basque area of Spain between 800 and 600 B.C. Inscriptions in the Zuni language of Mimbres pottery as well as certain mystic symbols have been discovered to bear a close resemblance to the North African group of languages used in the ancient kingdom of Libya.” Source: Are Moors Indigenous To South Carolina?
“They go completely naked except that around their loins they wear skins of small animals like martens, with a narrow belt of grass around the body, to which they tie various tails of other animals which hang down to the knees; the rest of the body is bare, and so is the head. Some of them wear garlands of birds’ feathers. They are dark in color, not unlike the Ethiopians, with thick black hair, not very long, tied back behind the head like a small tail. As for the physique of these men, they are well proportioned, of medium height, a little taller than we are. They have broad chests, strong arms, and the legs and other parts of the body are well composed. There is nothing else, except that they tend to be rather broad in the face: but not all, for we saw many with angular faces. They have big black eyes, and an attentive and open look. They are not very strong, but they have a sharp cunning, and are agile and swift runners. From what we could tell from observation, in the last two respects they resemble the Orientals, particularly those from the farthest Sinarian regions.”
“Compare English cot, cote, and cottage: also Gaelic cot, cota, a cottage; cota, a coat, a petitcoat. The radical meaning of this word would seem to be “something that covers or encloses.” In its Gaelic sense of a covering for the body, it is found among the “Moors” of North America, as, for example, in the matchecota or principal female garment [referred to by Longfellow in a note to “the principal garment” and the under garment.” (There are other so-called “Indian” words, which are still to be found in English dictionaries, and where the resemblance increases to absolute identity.”
  1. “We reached a very large island called Sumatra, where pepper grows in considerable quantities. . . . The Chief is a Moor but speaking a different language.”-<-> Santo Stefano, in India in the X Vth Cent.

 

  1. “Adì 28 zugno vene in Venetia insieme co Sier Alvixe de Boni un sclav moro el qual portorono i spagnoli da la insula spagniola.” —  in Museo Civicoat Venice. Here the term Moor is applied to a native of Hispaniola!Source: Moor Also Applied To Natives of Hispaniola [Haiti and Dominican Republic]

“The several Nations that now offers Brazile, besides its native inhabitants, are Portuguese, English, Hollanders, Germans, and French, which the Brazilians by a general Name call Ajuru-juba; otherwise they call all Strangers Caraiba or Pero. But the commixing of several Nations proceeds the fifth fort, for one that is born of European Parents in Brazile is called Mozombo; of an European Father and Brazilian Mother, Mameluc; of an European Father and a Moor, Mulatto; of a Brasilian and Moor, Curiboca, or Cabocles, of two Negro’s, Criolo.”

 

Source: AMERICA: LATEST, MOST ACCURATE DESCRIPTION OF THE NEW WORLD ORIGINALS

“This usage outlasted Shakespeare by at least two generations. In a brief narrative of the encounters between the early colonist of New England and the nativeIndians,” I find it stated that “…..these unfortunate gentlemen were intercepted by 700 Moors, with whom they fought for the space of four hours, till not only they two, but Capt. Sharp and fifty-one Christians more lay dead upon the place.” And again that “at Woodcock[s[, ten miles from Seconch, on the 16th May, was a little skrimage betwixt the Moors and Christians, wherein there was of the later three slain and two wounded, and only twoIndians kild.” (“News from New-England, 1676, reprinted at Boston and Albany, U.S., 1850 and 1865.)”

 

Source: Moors Have Always Asserted Their Rights As A Distinct Nationality

“Lempriere gives several nations bearing names beginning with Mor: the Morei or Morienses in India, and the Moruni in that country also, and the Morini, a people of Belgic Gaul, on the shores of the British Ocean, are examples. The Mauri* of Mauritania are perhaps the most notable examples of a nation bearing this name, though in a slightly altered shape. The consideration of this word, and of the localization of races thus named, is not irrelevant at this point. For although it may not be easy to trace their route hither, and the date of their arrival, a branch of this family did inhabit Britain, and are not only known as Mauri and Moors, but also as Moravienses, Morienses (identical with the name of those in India), Murray0men, and people of Moray or Moravia. This name Moravia was given to two districts in Scotland, one of the most important in the north-central, and the other in the southern portion of the country. That the Picts, known to the Romans as Mauri, were finally divided into two sections inhabiting these localities, is a speaking fact which it is well to remember at this juncture. The smaller district in the south has been the name-father of a family distinguished in Scottish history, the Murrays of Philiphaugh in Selkirkshire, whose ancestor, Archibald de Moravia, was among those who subscribed fealty to Edward I. of England, in 1296. One of the estates of this clan bore the significant name of the Black Barony. Of course, the race of Archibald de Moravia many have been that of an intruding army, and not necessarily that of the Moravienses, as he was simply Archibald [lord] of Moravia. “Sir Charles a Murre” who fought at Chevy Chase, of the same clan, shows the name in its modern form or approximately.”

 

Source: Ancient and Modern Britons: A Retrospect, Volume 1 By David MacRitchie Page 50 

“Though America possesses some dark brown men, approaching to black, yet it has been almost universally believed that there were no aboriginal blacks or negroes found on this continent. But from considering the peculiar circumstances under which a black race was found in North America, I hold it more than probable that the common opinion is erroneous. Torquemada says, the Californians shewed no manner of surprize at the sight of some negroes that accompanied Viscanio on a voyage to this coast, A. D. 1602. As I have never seen Torquemada’s Monarquia Indiana, I can only quote from Vcnega (California.) ii. 239,) who says from Torquemada, that when a negro was ordered to distribute some biscuit to the Californians at the bay of St. Barnabas, ‘The natives seemed greatly pleased at the sight of the negro, and signified to him, that they lived in friendship and correspondence with a people of his color, and that not far from thence was a negro village.”
“In another part of America a race of blacks were seen at so early a period of our history, that it seems impossible to avoid the conclusion that they were aboriginal.”
“The colour of the Indians of the Californian missions, seen by La Peyrouse, {Voyage, ii. 197, 212,)”very nearly approaches that of the negroes whose hair is not woolly; and in another place, the “colour of these Indians which is that of negroes.”
“Langsdorf, who visited St. Francisco on the coast of California, confirms the observations of La Peyrouse; for he says,[Voyage, 440,) the Indians there, “are of a very dark complexion, approaching to black; they have large projecting lips, and broad flat negro like noses; indeed many of their features, as well as their physiognomy, and almost their color, bear a strong resemblance to the negroes: their hair, however, is long and straight.”
“You promise, in your letter of October the 23rd, 1787, to give me in your next, at large, the conjectures of your philosopher on the descent of the Creek Indians from the Carthaginians, supposed to have been separated from Hanno’s fleet, during his periplus. I shall be very glad to receive them and see nothing impossible in his conjecture. I am glad he means to appeal to the similarity of language, which I consider as the strongest kind of proof it is possible to adduce. I have somewhere read, that the language of the ancient Carthaginians is still spoken by their descendants, inhabiting the mountains interior parts of Barbary, to which they were obliged to retire by the conquering Arabs. If so, a vocabulary of their tongue can still be got, and if your friend will get on of the Creek languages, the comparison will decide. He probably may have made on this side the Atlantic, I offer him my services cheerfully; may wish being, like his, ascertain the history of the American aborigines.”

Source: Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies, from the Papers of …, Volume 2 By Thomas Jefferson

“1. Professor Barry Fell, retired lecturer from Harvard University and also a member of the American Academy of Science and Arts, the Royal Society, the Epigraphy Society and the Society of Scientific and Archeological Discoveries, is adamant about the arrival of Islam in America in the 650s,2 predicating this argument upon the Cufic calligraphy belonging to that era found in various diggings across America. If the words of Professor Fell have truth-value, then the Muslims had arrived in America during the era of Uthman, or at least that of Ali, the fourth caliph.” “Professor Fell again uses the results of various archeological diggings undertaken across many regions in the states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Indiana to assert the construction of Muslim schools during 700-800 CE. Writings, drawings, and charts inscribed on rocks discovered in the most remote and untainted terrains of Western America are relics bestowed by the elementary and intermediate systems of Muslim education at the time. These documents were written in the old Cufic letters of North African Arabic, covering subjects such as reading, writing, arithmetic, religion, history, geography, mathematics, astronomy, and navigation. The descendants of these settlers are thought to be the current native tribes of Iroquois, Algonquin, Anasazi, Hohokam, and Olmec.”

“2. The second evidence offered by Professor Fell is that the inscription of “In the Name of God” (picture 1), found on a rock during archeological work in Nevada, belongs to the seventh century, when the haraka sign system had not yet been developed. Likewise, the stone bearing the inscription “Muhammad is the Prophet of God” (picture 2) is pertinent to the same era. As seen by comparison of the two pictures, the inscriptions are not in the style of Modern Arabic; conversely they are in a Cufic style relevant to the seventh century.3”
“The Arabs, according to the findings of Professor Fell, settled in Nevada during the seventh and eighth centuries. The earlier existence of a school, which taught Islam and science, particularly navigation, has come to light following the archeological investigation undertaken by Professors Heizer and Baumhoff of California University around site WA 25 in Nevada.
The excavations in Nevada have uncovered writings in Naskhi Arabic and Cufic style that are inscribed on rocks which carry information about this school (picture 3). The application of the mathematical formula “five diamonds equal an alif” (alif is the first letter of Arabic alphabet) may be seen in this picture (pictures 3b and 3c). The Arabic letters in pictures 3b and 3c, found amid excavations in Nevada, are in exactly the same style as North African Arabic. Again similarly, another rock was found in Nevada bearing the name “God”, the style of which is yet again reminiscent of the prevalent technique of seventh and eighth-century North Africa. The calligraphical similarities between various writing styles of the Prophet’s name over diverse periods, particularly those relating to Africa and America, found during archeological investigations are striking indeed.
Figure A of picture 4 was found in al-Ain Lahag, Morocco and figure B in East Walker River; both are currently at the University of California. Figure C was discovered in Nevada and figures C and D were located in Churchill County and are also currently preserved at the University of California; likewise figure F was discovered in al-Haji Minoun, Morocco, while figure G, inscribed on ceramic, was revealed in al-Suk, Tripoli, Libya and figure H, at the University of California, was discovered at Cottonwood Canyon, while finally figure I was located on the border of Morocco and Libya. All these inscriptions belong to the eighth and ninth centuries, clearly illustrating the resemblance in style between North America and North Africa, as well as overtly suggesting a migration that occurred from Africa to America.”
“3. In the twelfth century the Athapcan Tribe, comprised of native Apaches and Navajos, raided the area inhabited by the Arabs, who either ended up fleeing or were exiled toward the South. These illiterate natives were spellbound by the schools founded by the Arabs, and, perhaps with the assistance of captives, attempted to imitate the same subjects, transforming the geometrical shapes into mythical beasts, which carried on for centuries.”
“4. Picture 5 is the Cufic writing found in 1951 in the White Mountains, close to the town of Benton on the border of Nevada. The words Shaytan maha mayan, i.e. the Devil is the source of all lies, have been written in a Cufic style peculiar to the seventh century.”
“5. Once more, a rock inscription belonging to post-650 CE, bearing the Cufic letters H-M-I-D of the word Hamid (picture 6), is another Arabic script discovered on the Atlata rocks in the Valley of Fire in Nevada.”
“6. While traveling from Malden to Cambridge in the state of Massachusetts in 1787 (on what is now RT. 16), the Reverend Thaddeus Mason Harris noticed some coins discovered by workers during road construction. The workers, not putting much value on these coins, presented him with a handful. Consequently, Harris decided to send these coins to the library of Harvard College for examination (picture 7). The study yielded that these were in fact Samarqand dirhams from the eighth and ninth centuries. As can be seen in the picture, the coins manifestly display the inscriptions La ilaha ill-Allah Muhammadun Rasulullah (There is no deity but God, and Muhammad is His Messenger) and Bismillah (in the name of God).”

“7. Picture 8 shows a piece of rock discovered in a cave in the region of Corinto in El Salvador, bearing the inscription Malaka Haji mi Malaya; this has been identified as belonging to the thirteenth century, suggesting a possible arrival of Muslims in South America, perhaps coming from somewhere near Indonesia.”

“8. During his second voyage, Columbus was told by the natives of Espanola (Haiti) of black men who had appeared on the island before him and they showed him the lances that had been left there by these Africans to support their assertions. The tips of the lances were of a metal, an alloy of gold, which they called guanin, a word which is semantically remarkably similar to the Arabic word ghina, meaning richness. Columbus had in fact brought some of this guanin back to Spain, recording that it was composed of 56.25% gold, 18.75% silver and 25% copper, ratios that were prevalent in African Guinea as standards for the processing of metals.”

“9. On his third voyage to the New World, Columbus visited Trinidad, where the sailors noticed the symmetrically patterned cotton and colorful handkerchiefs of the natives. Afterward, Columbus realized that the handkerchiefs, which the natives called almayzar, were all much the same in color, style, and use as the headscarves and waist bands used in Guinea. The word almayzar is Arabic, and denotes a cover, tie, apron, or skirt, and is a component of the regional costumes of the Moors, Arabs and, Berbers of North Africa, who had conquered Spain in the eighth century. Columbus observed that the local women wore cotton garments and wrote in astonishment that they had learned of the concept namus, i.e. chastity. In much the same vein, Hernan Cortes, another Spanish explorer, later recorded that the clothing of local women consisted of long veils and skirts decorated with ornaments that were similar to those of the Moors. Ferdinand, Columbus’ son, was also quick to notice the resemblance between the cotton dresses of the natives and the ornamented shawls fashioned by Moorish women in Granada. The cradles used by the natives, furthermore, very closely resembled those of North Africa.”

“10. Columbus recorded on 21 October 1492 that he had noticed a mosque on top of a mountain while sailing around Cibara on the northeast coast of Cuba. Relics of mosques carrying Qur’anic inscriptions on their minarets have been found in Cuba, Mexico, Texas, and Nevada since these times.”

“11. Leo Weiner, a well-known Harvard historian and linguist, stated in his book The Discovery of Africa and America, written in 1920, that Columbus was aware of the existence of Mandinka, an ethnic group of West Africa, in the New World. The same book also affirms that Columbus was aware that West African Muslims were living across North America, including the south, middle regions and Canada, as well as in the Caribbean, and that they had marital and commercial ties with the native tribes of Iroque and Algonquin.”

“12. A preponderance of the voyages embarked upon by Columbus and other Spanish and Portuguese explorers toward the other side of the Atlantic were undertaken only in the light of the geographical and navigational knowledge prepared by Muslims. Al-Masudi’s (871-957 CE) work Muruj’uz-Zahab, for instance, was written with this sort of data compiled by Muslim traders from across Africa and Asia. Two of Columbus’ captains on the first voyage, in actual fact, were Muslims: Martin Alonso Pinzon was in charge of the Pinta, while his brother Vicente Yanez Pinzon was the designated captain of Nina; both were from the Moroccan Marinid dynasty, descendants of Sultan Abu Zayan Muhammad III (r. 1362-1366). Formerly well-to-do ship riggers, they assisted Columbus in organizing his voyage of exploration, preparing the Santa Maria, the flagship, and covering all its expenses.”

“13. Christopher Columbus has recorded the custom of nose piercing, which used to be and still popular in the Middle Eastern and Arab countries, as being prevalent in some islands across the Atlantic also mentions the writing of letters in Arabic.”

“14. In the account of sixteenth century missionaries in America, the local copper mines, found particularly in Virginia, Tennessee, and Wisconsin were not operated by the natives, but instead by people from the Middle East, towards whom the natives nurtured a profound sympathy.”

“15. A sum of 565 names, 484 in America and 81 in Canada, of villages, towns, cities, mountains, lakes, rivers and etcetera, are etymologically Arabic, designated by locals long before the arrival of Columbus. Many of these names are in fact the same as names of Islamic places; Mecca in Indiana, Medina in Idaho, Medina in New York, Medina and Hazen in North Dakota, Medina in Ohio, Medina in Tennessee, Medina in Texas, Medina and Arva in Ontario, Mahomet in Illinois and Mona in Utah, are just a few noticeable names at the outset. A closer analysis of the names of native tribes will immediately reveal their Arabic etymological ancestry; Anasazi, Apache, Arawak, Arikana, Chavin, Cherokee, Cree, Hohokam, Hupa, Hopi, Makkah, Mohician, Mohawk, Nazca, Zulu, and Zuni are only a few.”

House and building Structures
“Archeological excavations conducted throughout North America and North Africa reveal a corresponding architectural resemblance between ninth century buildings. The structure of a Berber house of the Atlas Mountains, Morocco (picture 9), for instance, is exactly the same as that of a house in New Mexico (picture 10).
The same similarity can be traced between the Castle of Montezuma discovered in Arizona and the remnants found in Mesa Verde in Colorado and the general structure of Berber buildings (picture 11-12).”
“The research undertaken by Professor Cyrus Thomas of the Smithsonian Institute shows that a small cabin built from piles of rock found in Ellenville, New York is virtually the same as the cabin, again of rock, found around Aqabah, Southern Arabia, both of which are thought to have been built around the start of the eighth century (picture 13).”

“Arabic words prevalent among natives prior to the arrival of Europeans The pervasiveness of many Islamic words across the continent prior to European influx is verified by the following terms discovered in the regions currently known as New England and Nova Scotia, in America and Canada respectively. Fell pointed to some words as example of Arabic influence on Native Americans. All of the words listed below are derived from the Arabic language. However, time had eroded their original meanings, and most are not used in Arabic today.”

“The last Muslim stronghold in Spain, Granada, fell just before the Spanish Inquisition was established in 1492. Non-Christians were forced to either convert to Catholicism to save themselves from the tyranny of the Inquisition or were exiled from the country. Documents exist which prove the existence of immigrant Muslims in Spanish America before 1550. In 1539 an edict from Spanish King Charles V was put into practice which forbade the immigration of Muslims to settlements in the West. This edict was later expanded to expel all Muslims from overseas Spanish colonies in 1543. The existence of Muslims in overseas islands and regions was known along with the fact that the Spanish king issued such an edict. Again, in many Islamic sources, it is noted that Muslims living in Spain and North Africa made overseas voyages during the Andalusia period. Scientific research on this subject will bring out many documents into the daylight, documents which have escaped the notice of both Muslims in America and those throughout the world, which will perhaps serve, in the future if not immediately, as a starting point for a re-evaluation of the history of America.”

Notes
1. Trento, Salvatore Michael. The Search for Lost America, p.15 Penguin Books, New York: 1978.
2. Fell, Dr. Barry. Saga America, p. 190, Time Books, New York: 1980.
3. ibid. p. xiv.
4. ibid. pp. 332-333.
5. ibid. pp. 333-334.
6 ibid. p. 182.
7. ibid. p. 243.
8. ibid. p. 26.
9. ibid. p. 276.
7. Teacher, John Boyd. Christopher Columbus, p. 380, New York: 1950.
8. Columbus, Ferdinand. The Life of Admiral Christopher Columbus, p. 232 Rutgers Uni. Press, 1959.
6. Obregon, Mauricio. The Columbus Papers, The Barcelona Letter of 1493.
10. The Landfall Controversy, and the Indian Guides, McMillan Co., New York: 1991.
11. Weiner, Dr. Leo. Africa and the Discovery of America, Vol.2 p. 365-366 Philadelphia: 1920.
12. Obregon, 1493.
13. Trento, 1978, p. 23.
14. ibid. p. 29.
15. ibid. p. 65.
16. Fell, 1980. 250-252.
17. Trento, 1978, p. 15.
18. Fell, 1980. p. 400-403.

The Spanish Conquest in America: and its Relation to the History of Slavery and to the Government of Colonies: Volume I

“As to the Canary islands “Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, Genoese, Normans, Portuguese, and Spaniards of every province (Aragonese, Castilians, Galicians, Biscayans, Andalusians) have all made their appearance, in these islands.* The. Carthaginians are said to have discovered them and to have reserved them as an asylum in case of extreme danger to the state. Sertorius, the Roman general, who partook the fallen fortunes of Marius, is said to have meditated retreat to these “islands of the blessed,”…

“We learn that Prince Henry had conversed much with those who had made voyages in different parts of the world, and particularly with Moors from Fez and Morocco, so that he came to hear of the Azenegues, a people bordering on the country of the negroes of Jalof. Such was the scanty information of a positive kind which the prince had to guide his endeavors. Then there were the suggestions and the inducements which to a willing mind were to be found in the shrewd conjectures of learned men, the fables of chivalry, and, perhaps, in the confused records of forgotten knowledge once possessed by Arabic geographers. The story of Prester John, which had spread over Europe since the Crusades, was well known to the Portuguese prince. A mysterious voyage of a certain wandering saint, called Saint Brendan, was not without its influence upon an enthusiastic mind. Moreover, there were many sound motives urging the prince to maritime discovery, among which a desire to fathom the power of the Moors, a wish to find a new outlet for traffic, and a longing to spread the blessings of the faith, may be enumerated.”

“In the course of Prince Henry life he was three times in Africa, carrying on a war against the Moors; and at home, besides the care and trouble which the state of Portuguese court and government must have given him.”

“A contemporary chronicler AZURARA, whose work has recently been discovered and published, tells the story more simply, and merely states that these captains were young men, who after the ending of the Ceuta campaign, were as eager for employment as the prince for discovery, and that they were ordered on a voyage having for its object the general molestation of the Moors, as well as that of making discoveries beyond Cape Name.”

“In 1442, the Moors whom Antonio Goncalvez had captured in the previous year promised to give black slaves in ransom for themselves, if he would take them back to their own country; and the prince, approving of this, ordered Goncalvez to set sail immediately, “insisting as the foundation of the matter than if Goncalvez should not be able to obtain so many negroes (as had been mentioned) in exchange for the three Moors, yet that he should take them; for, whatever number he should get, he would gain souls, because they (the negroes) might be converted to the faith, which could not be managed with the Moors. Goncalves obtained ten black slaves, some gold dust, a target of buffalo hide, and some ostriches’ eggs, in exchange for two of the Moors, and, returning with his cargo, excited general wonderment on account of the color of the slaves. These, then, we may presume, were the first black slaves that made their appearance in the Penninsula since the extinction of the old slavery.” * BARROS does not say of what race these slaves were, but merely calls them” almas.” Faria v Sousa gives them the name of”Moors,” a very elastic word. I imagine that they were Azenegues.”

“In 1444, a company was formed at Lagos, who received permission from the prince to undertake discovery along the coast of Africa, paying him a certain portion of any gains which they might make. This has been considered as a company founded for carrying on the slave-trade. The expedition accomplished, successfully attacking the inhabitants of the islands Nar and Tider, and to bring back about two hundred slaves. Prince Henry awarded Lancarote large honors for this and received his own fifth of the slaves. We have an account from an eye-witness of the partition of the slaves brought back by Lancarote, which, as it is the first transaction of the kind on record, is worthy of notice, more especially as it may enable the reader to understand the motives of the prince, and of other men of those times. “
“From Ca da Mosta the reader at once learns the state of things with regard to the slave-trade. The Portuguese factory at Arguim was the headquarters of the trade. Thither came all kinds of merchandise, and gold and slaves were taken back in return. The “Arabs” of that district (Moors the Portuguese would have called them) were the middlemen in this affair. They took their Barbary horses to the negro country, and “there bartered with the great men for slaves,” getting from ten to eighteen slaves for each horse. They also brought silks of Granada and Tunis, and silver, in exchange for which they received slaves and gold. These Arabs, or Moors, had a place of trade of their own, called Hoden, behind Cape Blanco. There the slaves were brought, “from whence, Ca da Mosto says, they are sent to the mountains of Barka, and from thence to Sicily, part of them are also brought to Tunis, and along the coast of Barbary, and the rest to Argin, and sold to the licensed Portuguese. Every year between seven and eight hundred slaves are sent from Argin to Portugal. Before this trade was settled,” says Ca da Mosto, “the Portuguese used to seize upon the Moors themselves (as appears occasionally from the evidence that has before referred to), and also the Azengues who live father toward the south; but now peace is restored to all, and the Infante suffers no farther damage to be done to those people. He is in hopes that by conversing with Christians, they may easily be brought over to the Romish faith, as they are not, as yet, well established in that of Mohammed, of which they know nothing but hearsay.”