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Old November 10th, 2017, 01:59 AM   #21

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The thread starter specifically mentioned "Black Africa." So I doubt he's talking about Tunis.
That was a general point about the blanket use of the word "Africa" and covering any aspect.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 02:01 AM   #22

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Originally Posted by Ighayere View Post
The thread starter specifically mentioned "Black Africa." So I doubt he's talking about Tunis.
This is the delimitation I Was mentioning.


If we have to consider this perspective, my opinion that Egyptian religion was Egyptian sounds the most correct: as I’ve briefly mentioned, African [meaning Black African] aspects were present in the early Egyptian culture, but its development has been well unique. And since the composition of the Neolithic cultures in prehistoric Egypt was already quite “rich”, this development cannot be ascribed to “Black Africa”, but we cannot cut the Black African roots [among them I would note that from South it came a megalithic cultural stream with astronomical interests and applications … think to the Neolithic site at Nabta Playa].
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Old November 10th, 2017, 02:19 AM   #23
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That is correct about Europeans in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, though I would refer you to my post on the first page of this thread about the Dogon and how a false impression was caused due to them having been "contaminated" by Europeans some fifty years prior to Marcel Griaule meeting them.
The literature I'm referring to goes way beyond the case of the Dogon though, so I wouldn't say that that particular case is that important. The comparisons that have been made are far more extensive than that one case.

Many years ago when I was trying to find a bit more about areas of sub-Saharan Africa besides the places I was already familiar with I came across far too many references to supposed/alleged similarities with Egyptian culture/beliefs. I didn't bother to write down the names of every author who made such comparisons though because the issue didn't really interest me.

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The lack of any pre Arab or European written record of sub Saharan religions means that we can only go by what modern adherents of the various religions can tell us as passed on by oral tradition,
Actually, the religions of some groups were described by those very outsiders that you mention (Arabs and Europeans). Plus there is some physical evidence for some groups in addition to written descriptions by non-Africans.

Also, while there are not that many "modern adherents of the various religions", for those groups that were pagans rather than Muslims or Christians before colonization, many of their religious beliefs were documented well before any significant conversion to foreign religions occurred.

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and this is not a basis for a true record by a million miles. That most people in sub Saharan Africa are Christian or Muslim, or mix this with their own native religions, means that we cannot extrapolate anything of value that can illuminate the past,
This is far from the truth, really. I think if you actually read some accounts/studies of native religious traditions from black African groups you would see that there is a huge amount of material that has been documented that has nothing to do with Islam or Christianity.

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and in the context of this thread it would need to tell us about their religions well over five thousand years ago. It just cannot be done and no meaningful correlation between Egyptian and any other religion south of Elephantine can be made.
Perhaps. . .but this does raise the question of why some European writers spent several decades arguing for the existence of numerous correlations between the beliefs of numerous groups "south of Elephantine" and those of Egypt.

Last edited by Ighayere; November 10th, 2017 at 02:33 AM.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 03:10 AM   #24

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Originally Posted by Ighayere View Post
The literature I'm referring to goes way beyond the case of the Dogon though, so I wouldn't say that that particular case is that important. The comparisons that have been made are far more extensive than that one case.

Many years ago when I was trying to find a bit more about areas of sub-Saharan Africa besides the places I was already familiar with I came across far too many references to supposed/alleged similarities with Egyptian culture/beliefs. I didn't bother to write down the names of every author who made such comparisons though because the issue didn't really interest me.

Actually, the religions of some groups were described by those very outsiders that you mention (Arabs and Europeans). Plus there is some physical evidence for some groups in addition to written descriptions by non-Africans.

Also, while there are not that many "modern adherents of the various religions", for those groups that were pagans rather than Muslims or Christians before colonization, many of their religious beliefs were documented well before any significant conversion to foreign religions occurred.

This is far from the truth, really. I think if you actually read some accounts/studies of native religious traditions from black African groups you would see that there is a huge amount of material that has been documented that has nothing to do with Islam or Christianity.

Perhaps. . .but this does raise the question of why some European writers spent several decades arguing for the existence of numerous correlations between the beliefs of numerous groups "south of Elephantine" and those of Egypt.
What documentation exists for sub Saharan religions before the advent of Arabs and Europeans with a writing system who could write down what they were told and gave the ability to those people to write themselves?

You may dismiss the Dogon, others do not, and use the incorrect assessment of them to say very clearly that Egyptian astronomy came from the Dogon. It cannot be from the Dogon and the Nubians, so there is a conflict here. This is rather like pyramidiots with conflicting fantasies never arguing amongst themselves in order to present a united front against reality.

We are talking here about presumed Black African influences on Egyptian religion, so we would need to find evidence of religious practices that are the same, or recognizably similar, to those we find in Egypt, but predating Egypt. Where can we find any mention of these non Egyptian religious practices that are contemporaneous with those practices, over five thousand years ago. Just what are these Black African religious practices that have influenced Egypt. It cannot be a king's name as we would need to know what names were used by people outside of Egypt but within Africa, not just in the early days of Egypt, but before the creation of Egypt. Do we have a single name of any person in all of Africa before Narmer, and if not, then how can his name be said to be influenced by Black Africa. Many cultures around the world use the names of animals as a personal name, Adler and Bjorn come immediately to mind, are they influenced by Black Africa, of course not.

How can the discovery of a cow horn core in a grave in Nubia be said with any degree of seriousness to be the progenitor of Hathor, particularly when the latest research shows that cattle herding came from Mesopotamia and moved into Egypt before spreading further south. Chicken and egg situation here, and Egypt is the egg as far as cattle herding in Nubia goes. What solid evidence is there to say that Black Africa had any influence on Egyptian religion, sufficient evidence to actually seriously debate this, a smoking gun.

Last edited by Corvidius; November 10th, 2017 at 03:32 AM.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 03:52 AM   #25
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I have heard that Egypt's religion seems fairly similar to sub-Saharan Africa's. I don't know if that stems from sub-Saharan influence or if they just happened to think of similar ideas.

Sometimes people can think of similar ideas without being influenced by each other.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 04:05 AM   #26
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What documentation exists for sub Saharan religions before the advent of Arabs and Europeans with a writing system who could write down what they were told and gave the ability to those people to write themselves?
All such documentation that existed was probably destroyed or can no longer be clearly interpreted. I'm not denying that. However, I'm not sure what the point really is here. Are you claiming that there were no indigenous religious beliefs and practices that were described by outsiders? If one were to read, for example, the book Religion and Art in Ashanti by R.S. Rattray, what in there that is described by the author is specifically Arabic or European or Islamic or Christian that cannot be distinguished from what is actually the native belief system?

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You may dismiss the Dogon, others do not, and use the incorrect assessment of them to say very clearly that Egyptian astronomy came from the Dogon. It cannot be from the Dogon and the Nubians, so there is a conflict here. This is rather like pyramidiots with conflicting fantasies never arguing amongst themselves in order to present a united front against reality.
I don't think that any astronomical or non-astronomical similarities that might have existed would necessarily be due to one group influencing the other. That is just an assumption that was/is usually made by people pursuing a particular agenda. Even the reference to the Dogon in the opening post doesn't really talk about one group influencing another.

The larger point however is that the case of the Dogon is just a drop in the bucket of groups which authors used to make comparisons for decades.

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We are talking here about presumed Black African influences on Egyptian religion,
Actually, from the opening post, I would conclude that what is being discussed is a possible "common substratum" of beliefs and cultural practices. At least that is what Troodon's wording suggests to me.

The issue of "presumed black African influence" strikes me as an entirely distinct topic, and I think that if the thread starter wanted to discuss that issue he probably would have just mentioned it
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Old November 10th, 2017, 04:07 AM   #27
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Anytime a people are near another group of people there will be a lot of back and forth influence. Why can't we just accept Egypt is its own thing, but was influenced but Near Eastern, North African, "Sub Saharan" African and likely European peoples very early on or even prior to its even becoming what we know as Egypt?

And can someone please start a more interesting topic, something unrelated to Egypt? It's so boring.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 04:28 AM   #28

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Originally Posted by Ighayere View Post
All such documentation that existed was probably destroyed or can no longer be clearly interpreted. I'm not denying that. However, I'm not sure what the point really is here. Are you claiming that there were no indigenous religious beliefs and practices that were described by outsiders? If one were to read, for example, the book Religion and Art in Ashanti by R.S. Rattray, what in there that is described by the author is specifically Arabic or European or Islamic or Christian that cannot be distinguished from what is actually the native belief system?
We can only tell if the religion of Egypt was influenced by another by knowing what the other was. The case in question is about if Egyptian religion was influenced by Black Africa. There is no documentation of any Black African religion until a writing system was introduced by Arabs and Europeans. They had an oral tradition, and does not leave anything concrete behind, all we have is what the current generation have passed down to them by the preceding one. Certainly there can be an archaeological record, but that cannot tell you more than what a person was buried with, and it cannot be extrapolated from that what their religion was, let alone that it influenced Egypt. Humans at early stages do very similar things no matter where they are. Any religious beliefs and customs that were related to outsiders to write down are simply an ending to the oral tradition as it then becomes a writen tradition, history, but before that point of writing something down it was still just an undocumented oral tradition from which nothing substantial can be extrapolated, not least from 5,000 years ago.

What possible documentation could exist before the introduction of writing, and even being generous and going back as far as Ancient Egypt, there is nothing to suggest that their writing ever moved beyond Nubia, we find no hieroglyphs in Kinshasa for instance. So what documentation.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 04:46 AM   #29

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I have heard that Egypt's religion seems fairly similar to sub-Saharan Africa's. I don't know if that stems from sub-Saharan influence or if they just happened to think of similar ideas.

Sometimes people can think of similar ideas without being influenced by each other.
What similarities specific between Ancient Egypt religion and Black African, which are not just common to all people, like burying the dead with various items of ritualistic and personal significance, have you heard.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 04:54 AM   #30

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We have to keep in mind that the Egyptian civilization has got its roots in late Neolithic ... it's in that period that we have to look for eventual initial similarities.

And here comes a problem: as for Africa, there are only two Neolithic religious areas which are documented in a sufficient way: Nile Valley and Northern Africa [Sahara]. Central and South Africa, so far, haven't offered enough sources to evaluate this aspect in deep.
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