Pitts River Museum

Gun-flint maker’s kit (1914.76.33)

 This kit belonged to a Shawia gun-flint maker and consists of finished and unfinished flints, flakes and a miniature pick.

The Shawia (Chaouia) are a nomadic Berber group living in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria. The ethnologist Melville Hilton-Simpson made studies of the Shawia before the First World War. In his book about them, he recalled meeting a native man who made a living from carving flints for flintlock muskets. He used a large stone to chip flakes from the core and a small pick (gedum) for trimming and screwing up the jaws on the lock. A single flint would last up to twenty shots. The flintlock had become obsolete in Europe by the mid-1800s but was used in parts of Asia and Africa until the 20th century.

Flissa (1884.24.121)

This flissa or flyssa is the distinctive weapon of the Kabyle Berber people of Algeria. Since they vary in length they are sometimes classed as swords, sometimes as knives. Unlike many North African swords which are fitted with European blades, the flissa blade is without exception of local manufacture.

Such weapons were used to break open chain mail, which was still worn in this part of the world until the 19th century. The blade is single-edged for cutting but also has a tapering point for stabbing. This typical example has an octagonal grip, animal head pommel and decoratively incised blade.

Read morehttp://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/weapons/index.php/tour-by-region/oceania/africa/arms-and-armour-africa-2/index.html

Fighting Ring (1922.12.8)

The distribution o finger hooks and finger knives coincides closely with that of fighting bracelets. These are found among several Nilotic and Nilo-Hanitic peoples of the Sudan, northern Kenya and Uganda and among some West African peoples in, for example, northern Nigeria.

Read morehttp://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/weapons/index.php/tour-by-region/oceania/africa/arms-and-armour-africa-22/index.html

Crossbow (1884.16.2)

This wooden crossbow was used by the Fang and Mpongwe peoples of Gabon in west-central Africa. It has a rare and archaic ‘split stock’ trigger mechanism and was used with either iron-headed or poisoned arrows. This crossbow played a central part in anthropologists’ understanding of the spread and development of crossbows. Its acquisition in the mid 19th century also featured, on a wider scale, in a study on hitherto relatively unknown region and peoples in equatorial Africa.

Read morehttp://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/weapons/index.php/tour-by-region/oceania/africa/crossbow-1884162-224/index.html

Bakatwa (1905.45.1)

The bakatwa is a double-edged sword of the Shona people of Zimbabwe, used in religious ceremonies. This example dates to the 19th century. It has a distinctive blade, one half being recessed and painted a dark colour, a carved ebony scabbard and a hilt plaited and bound in brass wire.

Read more: http://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/weapons/index.php/tour-by-region/oceania/africa/arms-and-armour-africa-10/index.html

This Museum is amazing; the PittsRiver Museum goes into depth on armor/weaponry of Africa and much more. Checkout all the pieces: http://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/weapons/index.php/tour-by-region/oceania/africa/arms-and-armour-africa-39/index.html http://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/weapons/index.php/tour-by-region/oceania/africa/index.html

Home/Galleries by Region: http://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/weapons/index.php/tour-by-region/oceania/index.html

 

The distortion of African history

Ancient Africa A History Denied

One correction; there is written history in Eastern and Northern Africa.

Dahomey Women: Amazonian of West Africa

For the better part of 200 years, thousands of female soldiers fought and died to expand the borders of their West African kingdom. Even their conquerors, the French, acknowledged their “prodigious bravery.”

As Father Borghero fans himself, 3,000 heavily armed soldiers march into the square and begin a mock assault on a series of defenses designed to represent an enemy capital. The Dahomean troops are a fearsome sight, barefoot and bristling with clubs and knives. A few, known as Reapers, are armed with gleaming three-foot-long straight razors, each wielded two-handed and capable, the priest is told, of slicing a man clean in two.

The soldiers advance in silence, reconnoitering. Their first obstacle is a wall—huge piles of acacia branches bristling with needle-sharp thorns, forming a barricade that stretches nearly 440 yards. The troops rush it furiously, ignoring the wounds that the two-inch-long thorns inflict. After scrambling to the top, they mime hand-to-hand combat with imaginary defenders, fall back, scale the thorn wall a second time, then storm a group of huts and drag a group of cringing “prisoners” to where Glele stands, assessing their performance. The bravest are presented with belts made from acacia thorns. Proud to show themselves impervious to pain, the warriors strap their trophies around their waists.

The general who led the assault appears and gives a lengthy speech, comparing the valor of Dahomey’s warrior elite to that of European troops and suggesting that such equally brave peoples should never be enemies. Borghero listens, but his mind is wandering. He finds the general captivating: “slender but shapely, proud of bearing, but without affectation.” Not too tall, perhaps, nor excessively muscular. But then, of course, the general is a woman, as are all 3,000 of her troops. Father Borghero has been watching the King of Dahomey’s famed corps of “amazons,” as contemporary writers termed them—the only female soldiers in the world who then routinely served as combat troops.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/dahomeys-women-warriors-88286072/#8MQTUpWzJhYapIY0.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

Music: “Legacy (feat. Braille)” by Golden Disciples

Africans and The Making of the Americas: Part 4, Agriculture

There was a desperate need for African agricultural skills in the Americas.

Diverse groups of Africans from the coastal regions were highly skilled at clearing and cultivating forest land, an expertise that was unknown to Europeans at the time. One African technique involved burning delineated sections of forest and later using the ash for fertilizer, this had to be done carefully. Many also knew how to raise crops in semi-tropical and tropical soils; high temperatures and heavy rains cause nutrients to seep out more quickly than they do in temperate climates.

The complex art of rice cultivation practiced by West Africans for centuries rescued the U.S. The technique and technology used for rice cultivation was unknown by Europeans outside of southern Italy at the time. Rice cultivation was one of the most difficult types of work one could do, working in knee-deep water every day. By 1750, South Carolina became the rice-growing center of North America; rice was the colony’s major export. Other crops introduce by Africans include, black-eyed peas, pumpkins, sesame seeds, kola nuts, cotton, yams, sorghum, muskmelon, and water-melon.

The agricultural skills of Africans and African-Americans garnered extraordinary wealth for the Americas and Europe.

List of Crops Introduced by Africans/African-Americans

black-eyed peas

pumpkins

sesame seeds

kola nuts

cotton

yams

sorghum

muskmelon

water-melon

okra

tania

kidney beans

lima beans

millet

red peas

Source:

http://www.nypl.org/locations/schomburg

http://slaverebellion.org/index.php?page=crops-slave-cuisines

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140301-african-american-food-history-slavery-south-cuisine-chefs/

 Part 1: http://sincereignorance.com/2015/01/27/africans-and-the-making-of-the-americas-part-1-exploration/

Part 2: http://sincereignorance.com/2015/01/27/africans-and-the-making-of-the-americas-part-2-mining/

Part 3: http://sincereignorance.com/2015/02/03/africans-and-the-making-of-the-americas-part-3-herding/

Comic Republic Media

000

Our flagship character is Guardian Prime. A Guardian is born once every 2000 years. Most live their lives without ever knowing who they truly are. The Gaya, the Mother Nature, awakens the Guardian within a host when the world needs it most. This time…the Guardian is Nigerian. Such is The Might of Guardian Prime.

The Fifth Issue of the Digital Comic featuring a super-powered Nigerian Hero bestowed with powers to become a Guardian of Nigeria and it’s people is out.

comic-republic-vanguards-series-715x335

Joshua martins had always dug his nose deep in the books, marvelling at the nature of science never did he know that he would one day be part of one of sciences great anomalies, discovering that he was born with the ability of teletechnopathy and magnetism, this would eventually lead to him becoming the supersmart and witty hero and member of the extremes known as Nutech.

Homepage

http://www.comicrepublicmedia.com/index.php

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/ComicRepublic/timeline

Shango, Shaango, and Chango: Thunder God

(more…)

Benin Plaques: Lost Kingdoms

Music by Blackalicious

Dambe Martial Arts

Based on the ancient boxing traditions of Egypt, Dambe is a deadly striking art developed by the Hausa people of West Africa, many of whom traveled the land as butchers, moving from village to village performing combat ceremonies and taking on any challengers.

The primary weapon in Dambe is the strong-side fist, also known as the spear, which is wrapped in a piece of cloth covered by tightly knotted cord, while the fighter’s favored leg is wrapped in a thick chain. It’s as if kicking people in the face just wasn’t quite hardcore enough for the butchers of West Africa. They had to start wrapping their legs in jagged metal to really get their blood going.

Interesting side-note: Many of the modern-day Dambe fighting companies who travel the land performing for villages engage in the ritualistic smoking of marijuana before bouts.

http://listverse.com/2013/07/02/10-badass-martial-arts-youve-never-heard-of/

http://ejmas.com/jcs/2010jcs/jcsart_murray_1007.html

http://www.scifighting.com/2014/08/25/32379/dambe-art-african-butchers-boxing/

Keepers of History: Griot and Griottes

Photo Design Credit: Zess 

Griots—masters of words and music, Tom Hale calls them in his book, Griots and Griottes—have been around for a millennium. Over time, the griots’ function has changed as society evolved. Once, the male griots and female griottes were historians, genealogists, advisers to nobility, entertainers, messengers, praise singers—the list goes on.

Educational sources

http://news.psu.edu/story/140694/2002/05/01/research/keepers-history

http://www.amazon.com/Griots-Griottes-Masters-Expressive-Cultures/dp/0253219612

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/486433?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21105324033883

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/cls/summary/v038/38.4rasmussen.html

Modern Griots

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29162685

http://rasgriot.webs.com/

http://davidadeogun.com/THE-GRIOT-SERIES

%d bloggers like this: