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Old April 29th, 2017, 02:59 PM   #101

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Originally Posted by kandal View Post
Sub Saharan Africa, that was not influenced from the outside never developed civilizations of its own. It remained too tribal and primitive.
kandal your conception of Africa is entirely wrong and based upon stereotypes. It was neither too primitive nor too tribal as others have mentioned there have been various complex states found.

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Originally Posted by Tuthmosis III View Post
And ultimately beside the point. Complex, urbanized, environmentally taxing "civilization" is simply not always the best survival strategy for a people in a given place.
(Jared Diamond gets that much right on the broad scale. A more nuanced comparative work, which I heartily recommend to any who have not read it, is Civilizations: Culture, Ambition, and the Transformation of Nature by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (2001). Fernandez-Armesto starts with environment but shows how reasonable human choices in the face of environment shape tradition more so than determinism. Of any kind.)
Yes, I mentioned this in another thread, but people have a conception that all civilization is linear and that if your society is not developing technology like how it happened with Europe, then that society is deemed "primitive". It's a misconception that needs to go.

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There was a reason for that. It was not merely a matter of choice in most instances but had to do with what material was available to build with.



Not to come across as a nitpicker but that picture, from Olfert Dapper's book Description of Africa, is not truly an exact depiction, but more like one artist's visualization of one of the more important descriptions of the city. The city was probably more impressive looking than that, going by the way European visitors described it over the centuries. But perhaps you already knew that and you're just trying to keep things simple for others.

Your point about it being a very large city is understood though.



This will perhaps seem like more nitpicking - and perhaps it is - but that is the capital of a different kingdom: the kingdom of Loango:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Loango

The capital of Kongo - called Mbanza Kongo and later Sao Salvador - was described in positive terms by the first Portuguese that visited it. It was said to be as large as the city of Evora in Portugal was at that time and they also stated that its houses were well built. This is an artist's rendering of the city based on a written description, also from Dapper's book:

Click the image to open in full size.

It might be a bit hard to make out the houses but you can maybe find a larger or zoomed in image elsewhere.




I appreciate your effort in attempting to correct the misconception that only North Africa had large, thriving cities (in fact Africa south of the Sahara had many, even if not as many as some regions of Asia), but I do feel that there is something you are ignoring here. In most parts of Africa stone simply did not exist in appreciable quantities that would have allowed those people to even build numerous houses - not to talk of large monuments - in stone. It happened sometimes that stone was used, when it was available, but it often could not simply have been a matter of choice. This is certainly the case for Benin, which you mentioned earlier, which is not in a region and not near a region where usable stone is available in significant quantity.

And consider this description of the city of Kano and its original wall (Kano was invaded multiple times over the centuries; the impressive city wall that the British saw when they conquered Northern Nigeria was not likely to be the original structure), from the early 16th century:

"Cheuno, a city which others call Cano is one of the three (major cities) of Africa. The two others are Fes and Cairo. About them, the Moors say that there is no product in this world which cannot be found there. Cano is equi-distant from both Fes and Cairo, a journey of about two months. The city (of Kano) is bigger than Ninive [Nineveh] was, as described by the traders who come to Algiers. It is the only city of the Africans with a wall and this wall has been built with so many stones that none are to be found any more in the area. The wall has 18 gates and the city is the most civilized in these countries. People are living in great luxury. . ." - Vincenzo Matteo

The statement that it was the only African city with a wall is obviously untrue but of course Matteo's knowledge of the rest of Africa would necessarily have been somewhat limited. Anyway what is relevant here is how there was not even enough stone in the area for the builders of Kano to be able to build anything in stone after using all that there was for part of the city wall. Much of Africa was like this and it wasn't simply an issue of choice in many cases.


Anyways, Ighayere, I have a question for you. In regards to building materials you make a good point, my question concerns West Africa and more particularly the Sahel. They built in mud brick, however, I read about a settlement named Tichitt-Walata, which iirc is the oldest stone settlement in sub-saharan Africa. Would a site like this be an exception (maybe they had more wealth) or maybe it would be one of the instances where at that time that had more access to stone?

Last edited by royal infanta; April 29th, 2017 at 03:01 PM.
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Old April 29th, 2017, 03:12 PM   #102
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I don't see Eastern European Slavs clamoring to recognize their ancient contributions to civilization, if any. They don't even mind the name 'Slav' bestowed upon them because of the slave trade that they were the source of. I don't see Eskimos clamoring to recognize their civilization. Neither do I see it with the Aborigines or the Papuans. So why this obsession when it comes to the sub Saharan Africa/Africans, especially when whatever that could be claimed there be easily challenged and debunked.

Then there are objections if one uses the term 'Black Africa'. How about if one uses the terms Yugoslavia, Slovenia, Slovakia?

When people visit Peru most come to see the Incan ruins. Same with people who visit Central America (for Mayan ruins) or Mexico City (for Aztec ruins). When people visit sub-Saharan Africa they do it mainly to watch the wild life. I have never ever heard of anyone visiting sub-Saharan Africa to see ruins of its ancient civilizations. I have been to all these places.

So my request is to stop exaggerating, and start calling spade a spade.

Last edited by kandal; April 29th, 2017 at 03:22 PM.
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Old April 29th, 2017, 03:23 PM   #103

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kandal View Post
I don't see Eastern European Slavs clamoring to recognize their ancient contributions to civilization, if any. They don't even mind the name 'Slav' bestowed upon them because of the slave trade that they were the source of. I don't see Eskimos clamoring to recognize their civilization. Neither do I see it with the Aborigines or the Papuans. So why this obsession when it comes to the sub Saharan Africa/Africans, especially when whatever that could be claimed there be easily challenged and debunked.

Then there are objections if I use the term 'Black Africa'. How about if I use the terms Yugoslavia, Slovenia, Slovakia?

When people visit Peru most come to see the Incan ruins. Same with people who visit Central America (for Mayan ruins) or Mexico City (for Aztec ruins). When people visit sub-Saharan Africa they do it mainly to watch the wild life. I have never ever heard of anyone visiting sub-Saharan Africa to see ruins of its ancient civilizations. I have been to all these places.

So my request is to stop exaggerating, and start calling spade a spade.
The problem is you haven't debunked anything. You have been told that you were wrong and it was back up with evidence.

And well, if people have a misconception of Africa as nothing but mud huts and tribes, which is a popular misconception, then yeah, pretty much they aren't going to go visiting Africa for the ruins that are there. What do you have to say about the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, Tichitta Walata, Ouadane?

Africa (and more so Black people) has been historically derided with people saying they had no civilizations and were primitive, etc. Why? Because of racism, colonialism, attempts to justify atrocities committed by white people, etc. Point-blank, There were civilizations in Africa (and this includes sub-saharan Africa), and what other groups do has nothing to do with Africa. Just because someone else may tolerate being called uncivilized or not contributing to civilization (as you claim aboriginals and slavic peoples do which I am skeptical of), does not mean other people have to tolerate it.
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Old April 29th, 2017, 03:26 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kandal View Post
I don't see Eastern European Slavs clamoring to recognize their ancient contributions to civilization, if any. They don't even mind the name 'Slav' bestowed upon them because of the slave trade that they were the source of. I don't see Eskimos clamoring to recognize their civilization. Neither do I see it with the Aborigines or the Papuans. So why this obsession when it comes to the sub Saharan Africa/Africans, especially when whatever that could be claimed there be easily challenged and debunked.

Then there are objections if I use the term 'Black Africa'. How about if I use the terms Yugoslavia, Slovenia, Slovakia?

When people visit Peru most come to see the Incan ruins. Same with people who visit Central America (for Mayan ruins) or Mexico City (for Aztec ruins). When people visit sub-Saharan Africa they do it mainly to watch the wild life. I have never ever heard of anyone visiting sub-Saharan Africa to see ruins of its ancient civilizations. I have been to all these places.

So my request is to stop exaggerating, and start calling spade a spade.
This thread was made as a rebuttal to the OTHER threads on here that were created by folks ignorant on ANY aspect of African history, you came in here to tell them that they are trying too hard to rep it. No offence, but have you EXPLAINED anything you know about African history? I am still stuck on that.

I get how you see civilization, but to get so bothered by a thread trying to detail African civilizations that are well documented (by others, & fellow Europeans) to the point of discrediting them to make your point.... Ok

Last edited by Artsy; April 29th, 2017 at 03:28 PM.
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Old April 29th, 2017, 05:55 PM   #105

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Originally Posted by royal infanta View Post
The problem is you haven't debunked anything. You have been told that you were wrong and it was back up with evidence.

And well, if people have a misconception of Africa as nothing but mud huts and tribes, which is a popular misconception, then yeah, pretty much they aren't going to go visiting Africa for the ruins that are there. What do you have to say about the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, Tichitta Walata, Ouadane?

Africa (and more so Black people) has been historically derided with people saying they had no civilizations and were primitive, etc. Why? Because of racism, colonialism, attempts to justify atrocities committed by white people, etc. Point-blank, There were civilizations in Africa (and this includes sub-saharan Africa), and what other groups do has nothing to do with Africa. Just because someone else may tolerate being called uncivilized or not contributing to civilization (as you claim aboriginals and slavic peoples do which I am skeptical of), does not mean other people have to tolerate it.
Before it was destroyed, my second cousin dreamed of visiting Timbuktu one day.
It's usually not the ruins, rather; it is the cultural tradition that matters.
Although not my cup of tea, I am aware of the kora tradition of West Africa.
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Old April 29th, 2017, 06:30 PM   #106

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Timbuktu manuscripts:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Hopefully they will all be fully translated and published before more are destroyed. We have lost so much already. Unfortunately, humans prefer to stick with what they know, so historians dissect, regurgitate, and summarize books that have been translated many times over, but very little effort is made for those from regions unfamiliar.

Last edited by HackneyedScribe; April 29th, 2017 at 06:37 PM.
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Old April 29th, 2017, 09:12 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by kandal View Post
I don't see Eastern European Slavs clamoring to recognize their ancient contributions to civilization, if any.
Eastern Slav here. Ever heard of Kievan Rus?

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They don't even mind the name 'Slav' bestowed upon them because of the slave trade that they were the source of.
One of many etymological sources for the name.

Quote:
I don't see Eskimos clamoring to recognize their civilization. Neither do I see it with the Aborigines or the Papuans. So why this obsession when it comes to the sub Saharan Africa/Africans, especially when whatever that could be claimed there be easily challenged and debunked.
Africans have historically been denied their place in history. We know from primary sources that Africa was and remains home to great civilizations and polities that appear in ancient, classical, medieval, and early-modern literature such as Aksum, Mali, Numidia, Benin, and the Swahili city-states, and yet none of their achievements were given to the indigenous populations, but Arabs or Europeans despite neither of them having any impact on African civilization in general in these regions or time-periods.

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Then there are objections if one uses the term 'Black Africa'. How about if one uses the terms Yugoslavia, Slovenia, Slovakia?
Yugoslavia and et. all are actual countries. "Black Africa" is an amorphous concept that can easily apply to the entire African continent if the term was stretched enough.

It should also be stressed that genetically and linguistically, Africa is the most diverse continent in those areas despite being third in population, so such a term is intellectually dishonest.

Quote:
When people visit Peru most come to see the Incan ruins. Same with people who visit Central America (for Mayan ruins) or Mexico City (for Aztec ruins). When people visit sub-Saharan Africa they do it mainly to watch the wild life. I have never ever heard of anyone visiting sub-Saharan Africa to see ruins of its ancient civilizations. I have been to all these places.
That's probably because information on African civilizations are rather rare and new since genuine study of pre-colonial Africa, without racist narratives, have only been around since the 1980's.

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So my request is to stop exaggerating, and start calling spade a spade.
So we agree to call racism, racism. Now we have a start.
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Old April 30th, 2017, 03:34 AM   #108

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Originally Posted by kandal View Post
I don't see Eastern European Slavs clamoring to recognize their ancient contributions to civilization, if any. …
I suppose it's because You simply haven't came across with.

In fact, now and then, Eastern Slavs do have , not to clamour nor defend, but debunk misconceptions as "inferior Eastern European culture/civilisation" vs "superior Western one".

Absolutely everyone has an self-centred view of the world. Up to a limit it isn't only logical but normal too. But at a certain level it's no longer normal.

If a civilisation formed and developed in a different manner than mine, it doesn't mean it is not a civilisation. If we are to go on that standard, the conclusion would be that there is no civilisation and never had been, as reciprocal denials would result into the annulation of the civilisation concept.

IDK why this is reminding me a very serious, high level, scientifically argumented debate a couple of centuries ago on whatever Amérindiens are or not humans …
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Old April 30th, 2017, 06:49 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by royal infanta View Post
The problem is you haven't debunked anything. You have been told that you were wrong and it was back up with evidence.

And well, if people have a misconception of Africa as nothing but mud huts and tribes, which is a popular misconception, then yeah, pretty much they aren't going to go visiting Africa for the ruins that are there. What do you have to say about the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, Tichitta Walata, Ouadane?

Africa (and more so Black people) has been historically derided with people saying they had no civilizations and were primitive, etc. Why? Because of racism, colonialism, attempts to justify atrocities committed by white people, etc. Point-blank, There were civilizations in Africa (and this includes sub-saharan Africa), and what other groups do has nothing to do with Africa. Just because someone else may tolerate being called uncivilized or not contributing to civilization (as you claim aboriginals and slavic peoples do which I am skeptical of), does not mean other people have to tolerate it.
Black people having been "historically derided for having no civilizations, and were primitive", are no justifiable reasons why one should cook up, exaggerate, and make mountains out of molehills to deceive others into believing otherwise. Standards of civilization as applied to other peoples are to be applied to the Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). The examples brought up here simply fail the test.

As I have stated earlier nothing that has been brought up here of SSA can even be compared to the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Indian, Chinese, Greek, Roman, Maya, Aztec, Inca, and so on.
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Old April 30th, 2017, 06:59 AM   #110

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Originally Posted by kandal View Post
Black people having been "historically derided for having no civilizations, and were primitive", are no justifiable reasons why one should cook up, exaggerate, and make mountains out of molehills to deceive others into believing otherwise. Standards of civilization as applied to other peoples are to be applied to the Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). The examples brought up here simply fail the test.

As I have stated earlier nothing that has been brought up here of SSA can even be compared to the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Indian, Chinese, Greek, Roman, Maya, Aztec, Inca, and so on.
No one right now is exaggerating or cooking up any false stories in regards to SSA. It has been proven to you otherwise multiple times yet you refuse to listen and read and respond when people give you examples to disprove your bias. If you don't know something it is wise not to speak upon it.

Last edited by royal infanta; April 30th, 2017 at 07:06 AM.
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