Pan Africanism : Azania: Past and Present

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Omowale Jabali, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Azania is the name that has been applied to various parts of sub-Saharan Africa. In Roman times -- and perhaps earlier -- the name referred to a portion of the Southeast African coast south of the Horn of Africa,[1] extending south perhaps as far as modern Tanzania. In the late 20th century, the term was used in place of "South Africa" by some opponents of the white-minority rule of that country.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/azania
     
  2. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    omowalejabali,

    Brother, what point are you making with this thread, just curious; did it come up by chance in another thread discussion?

    Nevertheless, the information is sound.

     
  3. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just giving some historical perspective. i am not trying to make a specific point, just sharing information because within the context of Pan-Africanism i did not see any threads dealing specifically with this location.

    however, i will share the following, which is based on several sources.

    Ancient Azania
    Pliny the Elder mentions an "Azanian Sea" (N.H. 6.34) that began around the emporium of Adulis and stretched around the south coast of Africa. The slightly later Periplus of the Erythraean Sea offers more details about Azania (chapters 15,16,18). From chapter 15 of the Periplus, Huntingford identifies Azania proper with the area south of modern day Somalia (the "Lesser and Greater Bluffs", the "Lesser and Greater Strands", and the "Seven Courses").[2] However, chapter 16 clearly describes Rhapta, located south of the Puralean Islands at the end of the Seven Courses of Azania, as the "southernmost market of Azania." Modern identifications of Rhapta place it on the coasts of modern-day Tanzania -- indicating that Azania referred to perhaps an area identical to the later Arab Zanj. Professor Chami has found archaeological evidence indicating that Rhapta was probably located near the mouth of the Rufiji River. Azania was known to the Chinese as 澤散 Zésàn by the 3rd century CE.[3]
    Later writers who mention Azania include Claudius Ptolemy and Cosmas Indicopleustes. Cosmas records the fact that in his time Azania was under the control of Axum, and that gold was bartered for butchered beef.

    Observations

    The Chinese maritime trade was known to have extended in the first century B.C.

    By the third century C.E. this area was known to the Chinese as Zesan.

    The "Azanian Sea" is what is now referenced as the "Red Sea".

    Azania proper was located in area of modern Somalia, which was referred to some as Puntland, or the Land of Punt (i.e. Puanit).

    Azania was at one time under the control of Axum and its extent was from "Adulis around the south coast of Africa.

    Rhapta:"Ancient trading port in east Africa, possibly in the Rufiji delta or Zanzibar channel, that is mentioned by Greco-Roman writers of the early centuries AD. It exported ivory, tortoiseshell and coconut oil, and imported weapons and iron tools from the Mediterranean."

    According to another source,

    The ancient Periplus of the Erythraean SeaPeriplus of the Erythraean SeaThe Periplus of the Erythraean Sea is a Greek periplus, describing navigation and trading opportunities from Roman Egyptian ports like Berenice along the coast of the Red Sea, and others along Northeast Africa and India...
    described Rhapta as "the last marketplace of Azania. Azania is the name that has been applied to various parts of sub-Saharan Africa. In Roman times -- and perhaps earlier -- the name referred to a portion of the Southeast African coast south of the Horn of Africa, extending south perhaps as far as modern Tanzania...


    According to Claudius Ptolemy, Diogenes, a merchant on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Bay of Bengal...
    n trade, was blown off course from his usual route from India, and after travelling 25 days south along the African coast arrived at Rhapta, located where the river of the same name enters the Indian Ocean opposite the island of Menouthis. Diogenes further describes this river as having its source near the Mountains of the Mountains of the Moon (Africa)The term Mountains of the Moon or Montes Lunae referred to a mountain range in central Africa that was long believed to be the source of the White Nile, but whose actual location was—and remains—uncertain.- Ancient testimony :...
    , near the swamp whence the Nile is a major north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world....
    was said to also have its source.
    http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Rhapta

    The trade established here was not the so-called "Silk Road" but the "Cinnamon Route"

    http://asiapacificuniverse.com/pkm/spiceroutes.htm

    This trade was an extension of the trade that occured between Alexandria and China as early as 250 B.C.

    http://nabataea.net/msroute.html

    In reference to this extention from ADULIS, it is generally postulated that AXUM civilization went only in an eastern direction while this southern extention is typically denied in modern history, or completely ignored.

    Another source illustrates the antiquity of this trade, going further back to the reign of Queen Hatshepsut.

    "As we have seen, the bulk of the trade in spices and silks between China and India was carried in the great ships of the Nanyue and Kunlun peoples. There was, however, a third major group of maritime traders who plied the waters of the South China Sea, and these were the Indonesians."

    http://www.chinese-unicorn.com/qilin/book/contents/20-the-cinnamon-route/

    This also established a connection not only with the Indonesians, but the Polynesians as well.

    "It was in these that the Polynesians also sailed eastwards as far afield as Hawaii (a corruption of ‘Java’), Easter Island, and New Zealand, distances of over 4,000 miles. In the Pacific there were intermediate islands. In the Indian Ocean the voyage was over a stretch of virtually open sea, or some 4,500 miles."

    It was the Indonesians who engaged in transoceanic voyages between Asia and the Americas in ancient times and...

    "Only the Indonesians had the knowledge and expertise to expedite this trade, for they were the great long‑distance runners of the sea. In fact, there is now undisputed biological evidence to prove the existence of transoceanic voyages between Asia and the Americas in ancient times, including the introduction of coca (Erythroxylon sp.) from South America into Egypt as early as 1000 B.C.E. (Sorenson and Johannesssen, 2006)."

    This involved a connection to the Island that is currently known as Madagascar,

    "The Indonesians, incredible as it may seem, packed the gui from south China in their huge ocean‑going sangarra (outrigger canoes), and making use of the monsoon winds, sailed 4,500 miles directly across the southern Indian Ocean to the island of Madagascar off the north‑eastern coast of Africa (map 11)."

    From Madagascar the spice reached the important entrepot of Rhapta, on the coast of present‑day Somalia, and from there it was transshipped northward up the Red Sea by southern Arabian merchants from Muza in Yemen, who controlled the coastal trade in cinnamon. This Arab monopoly was the main reason why the true source of Chinese gui remained hidden for so long.

    This brings us to the location where this trade was based in the Sudan: JUBA

    In 19th century, a trading post and a mission named Gondokoro was located in the vicinity of Juba. It was the southernmost outpost of the Turkish garisson, supported by a handful of soldiers, mostly ill due to the malaria and blackwater fever that was dominant in the region. Gondokoro was also the base of the explorer and anti-slavery campaigner Samuel Baker during his expeditions to what is now Southern Sudan and northern Uganda from 1863 to 1865, and from 1871 to 1873[2].


    Juba was also an area located in Zanzibar.

    The word Zanzibar is a modification of Zanguebar or Zinguebar, the name given by Portuguese traders to that part of the mainland of Africa between the river Juba and Cape Delgado, which is inhabited by the indigenous negro race. It is derived from Zing, the old Arabic name of the E. African negroes, and bar, the Persian or Indian word for country.

    Mining and the trade for gold was central to this trade network, and the early Phoenicians were also involved in this respect, specifically in the trade of copper and silver.

    That the Phœnicians conducted mining operations in Thasos we know from
    Herodotus,[9] and from other writers of repute[10] we learn that they
    extended these operations to the mainland opposite. Herodotus had
    himself visited Thasos, and tells us that the mines were on the
    eastern coast of the island, between two places which he calls
    respectively Ænyra and Cœnyra. The metal sought was gold, and in their
    quest of it the Phœnicians had, he says, turned an entire mountain
    topsy-turvy. Here again no modern researches seem to have been made,
    and nothing more is known than that at present the natives obtain no
    gold from their soil, do not seek for it, and are even ignorant that
    their island was ever a gold-producing region.[11] The case is almost
    the same on the opposite coast, where in ancient times very rich mines
    both of gold and silver abounded,[12] which the Phœnicians are said to
    have worked, but where at the present day mining enterprise is almost
    at a standstill, and only a very small quantity of silver is
    produced.[13]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juba,_Sudan

    http://www.fullbooks.com/History-of-Phoenicia4.html

    Prior to european colonization, much of this area centralized in Somalia, was known:

    The Ajuuraan State was a Somali Muslim empire that ruled over large parts of East Africa in the Middle Ages. Through a strong centralized administration and an aggressive military stance towards invaders, the Ajuuraan empire successfully resisted an Oromo invasion from the west and a Portuguese incursion from the east during the Gaal Madow and the Ajuuraan-Portuguese wars. Somali trading routes dating from the ancient and early medieval periods of history were strengthened or re-established, and foreign trade and commerce in the coastal provinces flourished. The Ajuuraans practiced hydraulic engineering and developed new systems for agriculture and taxation, which continued to be used in parts of the Horn of Africa as late as the 19th century. The tyrannical rule of the later Ajuuraan rulers caused multiple rebellions to break out in the empire, and at the end of the 17th century, the Ajuuraan state disintegrated into several successor kingdoms.

    As one can see, the history of "Azania" did not develop in isolation. It's a history dating back much farther than most history books will acknowledge and many will deny that it ever existed.
     
  4. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Got cha brother omo,

    Great drop, good stuff...this should come in quite handy for future source references; I learned a lot about Azania. Thanks again my brother friend, for real!

     
  5. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Berenice

    From the 1st century BC until the 2nd century AD Berenice was one of the trans-shipping points of trade between India, Arabia, and Upper Egypt. It was connected to Lower Egypt by the Via Hadriana in 137. The coastal trade from Berenice along the coast of the Indian Ocean is described in the anonymous 1st century AD handbook Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. In the 4th century Berenice again become an active port, but after the 6th century the port was abandoned. Under the Roman Empire, Berenice formed a district in itself, with its peculiar prefect, who was entitled Praefectus Berenicidis, or P. montis Berenicidis. (Orelli, Inscr. Lat. no. 3880, f.)

    In 1818 the ruins of Berenice were identified by Giovanni Battista Belzoni, confirming an earlier opinion of D'Anville. Since then, several excavations have been undertaken. The port is now nearly filled up, has a sand-bar at its entrance and can be reached only by small craft. Most important of the ruins is a temple; the remnants of its sculptures and inscriptions preserve the name of Tiberius and the figures of many deities, including a (goddess?) Alabarch or Arabarch, also the name of the head magistrate of the Jews in Alexandria under Ptolemaic and Roman rule. The temple is of sandstone and soft calcareous stone, in the Egyptian style. It is 102 feet (31 m) long, and 43 wide. A portion of its walls is sculptured with well-executed basso relieves, of Greek workmanship, and hieroglyphics also occasionally occur on the walls. Belzoni said that the city measured 1,600 feet (490 m) from north to south, and 2,000 from east to west. He estimated the ancient population at 10,000. (Researches, vol. ii. p. 73.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berenice_Troglodytica
     
  6. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Suakin

    Suakin was likely Ptolemy's Port of Good Hope, Limen Evangelis, which is similarly described as lying on a circular island at the end of a long inlet.[3] Under the Ptolemies and Romans, though, the Red Sea's major port was Berenice to the north. The growth of the Muslim caliphate then shifted trade first to the Hijaz and then the Persian Gulf.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suakin
     
  7. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Adulis

    History
    Pliny the Elder is the earliest writer to mention Adulis (N.H. 6.34), who misunderstood the name of the place, and thought its name meant that it had been founded by escaped Egyptian slaves. It is mentioned by the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a guide of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, which describes it as an emporium for the ivory, hides, slaves and other exports of the interior. It may have previously been known as Berenice Panchrysus of the Ptolemies.

    Cosmas Indicopleustes records two inscriptions he found here in the 6th century: the first records how Ptolemy Euergetes (247-222 BC) used war elephants captured in the region to gain victories in his wars abroad; the second, known as the Monumentum Adulitanum, was inscribed in the 27th year of an unnamed king of Axum, boasting of his victories to the north and south of Axum.

    A fourth century work traditionally (but probably incorrectly) ascribed to the writer Palladius of Galatia, relates the journey of an anonymous Egyptian lawyer (scholasticus) to India in order to investigate Brahmin philosophy, he was accompanied part of the way by one Moise or Moses, bishop of Adulis.

    Control of Adulis allowed Axum to be the major power on the Red Sea. This port was the principal staging area for Kaleb's invasion of the Himyarite kingdom of Dhu Nuwas around 520. While the scholar Yuri Kobishchanov detailed a number of raids Aksumites made on the Arabian coast (the latest being in 702, when the port of Jeddah was occupied), and argued that Adulis was later captured by the Muslims, which brought to an end Axum's naval ability and contributed to the Aksumite Kingdom's isolation from the Byzantine Empire and other traditional allies, the last years of Adulis are a mystery. Muslim writers occasionally mention both Adulis and the nearby Dahlak Archipelago as places of exile, the evidence suggests that Axum maintained its access to the Red Sea, yet suffered a clear decline in fortunes from the seventh century onwards. In any case, the sea power of Axum waned and security for the Red Sea fell on other shoulders.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adulis
     
  8. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Kilwa

    A document written around 1200 C.E. called “al-Maqama al Kilwiyya” discovered in Oman, gives details of a mission to reconvert Kilwa to Ibadism, as it had recently been effected by the Ghurabiyya Shia doctrine from southern Iraq.

    In the 14th century Kilwa Kisiwani was sold to a trader Ali bin Al-Hasan, and over the following centuries it grew to be a major city and trading centre along that coast, and inland as far as Zimbabwe. Trade was mainly in gold and iron from Zimbabwe, ivory and slaves from Tanzania, and textiles, jewelry, porcelain, and spices from Asia.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilwa_Kisiwani
     
  9. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The Lemba of Zimbabwe

    Scattered round Zimbabwe are hundreds of ancient stone ruins. No cement or mortar was used in their construction, so the granite bricks had to be carefully shaped and trimmed so as to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Some walls were ten metres high; many incorporated chevron, herringbone or chequered patterns. The largest complex (which may have been a temple) is known as ‘Great Zimbabwe’. A set of steps leading into it constitutes a true work of art: each course curves out of the flanking walls into the entrance, with the penetration of the curves increasing as the steps are ascended.

    Many theories have been proposed for the origin of those buildings - including some rather unlikely and exotic ones. Most contemporary historians believe that they were constructed by ancestors of the Shona (who form the majority tribe in modern-day Zimbabwe). It is indeed likely that at least some of the original Zimbabwean inhabitants were absorbed by Shona-speaking Bantu, particularly by their Makaranga branch (which occupies the area around ‘Great Zimbabwe’).

    http://www.dlmcn.com/zimsciam2.html

    http://haruth.com/jw/JewsLemba.html
     
  10. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Husuni Kubwa

    Along the coast, the Bantu people had also established their presence over extensive areas and a distinctive Swahili civilisation developed with the intermingling of Arab and Shirazi immigrants who established maritime posts at Kaole in the 12th century which thrived until the 15th century.

    Kilwa, the most famous town in the South founded in the 10th century, was one of the few African states south of the Mediterranean to strike its own coinage during medieval times.

    Shirazi dynasties ruled the region during the 12th and 13th centuries and around 1270, King Hassan bin Suleiman III built Husuni Kubwa, the largest stone construction known in those days in sub-Saharan Africa: the remains are still most impressive.
    http://www.ntz.info/gen/n00883.html
     
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