WHEN ARABIA WAS EASTERN ETHIOPIA (Part 3) – by – Dana Marniche

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When Arabia was Eastern Ethiopia (Part 3) – by – Dana Marniche

It should be understood that many of the names of Cushitic speaking tribes today in the horn of Africa – Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia/Eritrea – were also known in early Arabia. In Somalia such clans as the Yahar, Darood, the Mahra or Maheyra of Somalia and the Yemen, Makhar or Makir (Machir), Bin Sama’al or Somali(or Sam’al and El Sama of Yemen), Rahawein (ancient Rahawiyyin or Ru’ayn or Rahawi of Yemen) and smith clans such the Hubir (Heber), Yubir, Sabi, Tumal and Wubar (or Wabar) are mentioned in ancient times and through the early Islamic period as Himyarite and Sabaean tribes in South Arabian inscriptions., They are in fact, found in earlier Mesopotamian inscriptions and later Arabic documents. The phrase as divided as the Sabaeans as Diop mentioned has everything to do with this dispersal.

Other tribes located today both in Arabia and in Africa claiming descent from Himyar and Kahlan, descendants of Qahtan, through Abd Shams Saba or Saba and his sons Himyar and Kahlan are the Afar (Afari or Afariyyah in Arabia), and Danakil or Anagil, (Nakh’l, Nakhawila or An-Nakha al Nakha of Arabia) and many other tribes. Thus, the bulk of the tall Cushitic speakers of Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Puntland are likely derived from African peoples who had settled in ancient times in south Arabia. This settlement very likely began during the Neolithic and/or Copper Age (between 7th and the 3rd millennium B.C. )when elements of the Doian neolithic of Somalia begin to appear in the Rub al Khali and tall, oval-headed “Negroids” as Anati put it, begin to appear in the rock art of the Central Arabian and Syrian Arabian deserts.

Another group of African affiliation appeared in the rock art along the coasts of Arabia, and this population was tied to the smaller or shorter-statured populations that appeared in the deserts of Egypt and Sudan as well as along the Nile in both places in the proto-dynastic period. This group was no doubt related to the Beja or Bega populations and the names of the Beja or Bega or Buga as they were called in earlier writings appear on both sides of the Arabia Sea as well. They include the Beza’a or Bayzan , Beni Amer or Amir, Abdah or Ababdah, Huweitat, Atmaan, Umar’ar, Hada or Hadandowa, Bishari, Erigat, Orteyga, Bediyat,. The Beja of Sudan of modern Eritrea and Egypt are descendants of ancient Afro-Arabian bedouin who had intermixed with later Islamic Arabians coming from Hejaz through Sinai during the hegemonic period of Islam. They in fact have always extended up to Sinai and into the area of Transjordan. They are also traditionally called Matat or Madid which may be related to the ancient Egyptian name for peoples in these same regions – “Madjayu”.

The most recent wave of Arabian origin to enter the region of Sudan and East Africa are the people whose names are still found on both sides of the Nile are the Sudanese Arabs who came after the birth of Muhammed and until the 18th century. They include the Manasse’ir (Mansour), Kababish or Kabsh, Beni Amer, Ja’aliya or Ja’aliin, Bishari’in, Humr, Muzeina, Haweitat, Hamar, Rufa or Ruwafa, Khuzam, Salamat,, Hamid, Gerar, Hamran, Mugharba, Lahawi, Ma’aza. Habbaniyya, Mahass, Rashaida, Djerafin (Terapin), Hawara, Kuwahla, Bayza’a, Rikab, Shaikyia, Dhubaniyya and Mesiria to name just a few. These tribes are in part and in full the descendants of tribes of the Arabian bedouin of North Africa Rabia, Sulaym, Hilal, and Ghatafan who began emigrating from the Hejaz area of northwestern Arabia into Egypt as early as the 9th c. A.D. and continued their immigration as late as a few centuries ago. They had originally conquered Egypt and North Africa and finally moved southward into Sudan, Chad and Eritrea.

The Last Living Descendants of Shem

Early Muslim writers outside of Arabia were often confused on the origin of the true Arabs. They sometimes divided them into Ishmaelites and Qahtanis or northern Arabians and southern ones. But most northern Arabian bedouin had traditions of coming from the Yemen from the kingdom of Himyar or Humayr and Saba who were descendants of Qahtan, while the dark skinned tribes of Qahtan in the Yemen in fact claimed an African origin.

Qahtan is sometimes said to be a child of A’abar or Abir (Biblical Eber or Heber) and otherwise of Asmah who was apparently the Isma’il of later writings. In addition Qahtan (Joktan) son of Abir (Eber) whose brothers were Aram (Aram), Awza or Aus (Uz) had fathered Amalek and A’d (the latter’s name was derived from Adah) are all closely related peoples in Arabian tradition. Amalek in particular ruled from Sana’a in the far southwest corner of Arabia in modern Yemen to Syria at one time. All historical accounts state that the near descendant (great grandson) of Qahtan was Saba (Seba) whose two sons according to most accounts were Himyar (or Humayr) and Kahlan (Nakhete Kalnis of Ethiopian genealogy). These went on to populate the whole of Arabia and to rule a great part of the ancient world under leaders such as Numayr ibn Qassit (Nimrod), the Amelekite rulers Cathim (Heth of the Hittites or Cetimus of Mythology), Anak and Sheshi the Hittite rulers of Canaan, Ak (Og), Kabus, Djurham or Darim (Hadoram) and the Sabaeans or Adite kings of Himyar such as Murath’ad from whom came the name of the Banu Murad (Amurath or Amorites), Akk ( Og the Amorite king of the Rephaim), Al Modad or Al Matat(Almodad), Numan, Ma’afir , and the later Himyarite rulers Awal (Hevila) Dhu’l Karnein and Afrikus who colonized Africa. Incidentally the rulers Anak and Sheshai have been identified as names of the Hyksos rulers Nakhi and Sheshi in Egypt by archeologist David Rohl.

1872A.D. -On the inhabitants of southwest Arabia in Yemen, “The inhabitants of this part of Arabia nearly all belong to the race of Himyar. Their complexion is almost as black as the Abyssinians,” see p. 121 in “Geography of Southern Arabia” by Baron von Maltzan, in Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Vol. 16, No. 2 , pp. 115-123.

1900 – In this year the sultan of the tribe of Yafa’a described as of “greenish brown” color See Mabel and Theodore Bent Southern Arabia p. 403

1932- Bertram Thomas describes individuals of southern Arabia. Men of the Yafi’i or Yafa’a clans of Ahl Yazid fuzzy haired, greenish–brown and Yahar tribe of the Yafa’a as dark chocolate Anthropological Observations in South Arabia, Bertram Thomas in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Insdtitute of Great Britain and Ireland Vol. 62 83-103 Jan-June 1932. On a sultan of the Yafa’ai tribe who claim descent from Himyar ibn Qahtan through the tribe of al Haf. They are likely the Haiappa or Chayafa who figure in Assyrian inscriptions circa 8th c. B.C.. and the Ephah of the Bible.

1927 – “The people of Dhufar are of the Qahtan tribe, the sons of Joktan mentioned in Genesis: they are of Hamitic or African rather than Arab types…” See page 236 in “A Periplus of the Persian Gulf”, Arnold Wilson. The Geographical Journal Vol. 69l, No. 3 March 1927, pp. 235-255. (The Dhufar talked about here are the mountains of Oman.)

1929- Bertram Thomas on the modern remnants of the ancient Qahtan tribes: “…these tribes – with the exception of the Harasis – have a tradition of African origin, the order of their local antiquity being Shahara, Bautahara, Mahra, Qara.” Found in The South Eastern Borderlands of Rub-al Khali, Bertram Thomas vol. 73 (LXXIII) No. 3 March 1929.

1932 – Bertram Thomas also observed individuals from a number of clans in the Yemen a man from a tribe called Mashai’a man is described as “very dark brown” The Shahara are “dark brown” and the Bait Marhum of the Kathiri (Keturah) tribe are similarly described. Found in Anthropological Observations in South Arabia The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 62, (Jan. – Jun., 1932), pp. 83-103 The photos of a Mashai’a man and Shahara (of Sheherazade fame) and Kathiri children, Mahra and Qara can be found in Bertram Thomas books. The Shahara are a clan affiliated with the Mahra. The Mashai’a are those mentioned in Assyrian inscriptions. It has also been written or translated as Maasaai.

2001 – “Mahra is the Arab name for the Bedouin tribes who are different in appearance to other Arabs, having almost beardless faces, fuzzy hair and dark pigmentation – such as the Qarra, Mahra and Harasis… Also on “…the Qarra, Mahra and Harasis with parts of other tribes. The language is derived from the language of the Sabaeans, Minaeans and Himyarites. The Mahra with other Southern Arabian peoples seem aligned to the Hamitic race of north-east Africa… The Mahra are believed to be descended from the Habasha, who colonized Ethiopia in the first millennium BC” p. 250-251, Peoples on the Move by David Phillips, 2001.

Ancient Origins of the Afro-Arabian Qara tribes (also written Qarra, Gara, Kara)

The Qara or Kara claim descent from the Azdites of Kindah kingdom which existed in Central Arabia and the Persian Gulf. The Azd are descendants of Qahtan through Kahlan son of Himyar. They are among those remnants of peoples who claim they came from Africa at a remote period. The dialects of the Qara is related to the pre Arabic dialects of ancient Saba, Himyar and Ethiopia.

1929 – Bertram Thomas describes the Qara or Kara as “the most prosperous tribe of all the Hamitic group, possessing innumerable camels, herds of cattle and the richest frankincense country. They resemble the Bisharin tribe of the Nubian desert. Men of big bone , they have long faces long narrow jaws, noses of a refined shape long curly hair and brown skin.” Quoted on p. 200 in Richmond Palmer’s, The Bornu Sahara ans Sudan 1970 originally published 1936 by John Murray of London. The Qara are actually rather short in stature as well.

2004 On the Qara, “European observers have made much of their physical resemblance to Somalis and Ethiopians, but there is no historical evidence of any connections.” P. 261 J. E. Peterson “Oman’s Diverse Society: Southern Oman”, Middle East Journal Vol. 38, No. 2 Spring 2004.

Claudius Ptolemy mentions the town of “Gerra” in the Geographos (2nd cent CE). Strabo appears to have referred to them as Gerraeans salt traders in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea says they were the Chaldeans pushed from Harran (which was apparently Arabian Hauran) by Nebudchadnezzer. He wrote, “the Gerrhaeans have become the richest of all; and they have a vast equipment of both gold and silver articles, such as couches and tripods and bowls, together with drinking vessels and very costly houses; for doors and wall and ceilings are variegated with ivory and gold and silver set with precious stones.” (Frankincense and Myrrh, A Study of Arabian Incense Trade, Nigel Groom, p. 67).

“The city of Gerrha played a central role in the interchange of commodities of certain regions of the ArabianPeninsula during the reign of the Seleucid King Antioch III (223 – 187 BC) of Syria. Most notable was the frankincense and myrrh of southwestern Arabia in the Yemen and Hadramawt regions. Juba and Pliny refer to the city of Gerrae as Carra as mentioned in his Natural History 1.161-62 an Arabian tribe called Carrae or Carraeans who had the most extensive and fertile agricultural lands in Arabia.

The Qarra or Kara tribe also carry on a salt trade that was one of the hallmarks of the ancient Gerrhaeans or Carrae. Some have tried to relate the name of Carraeans to that of Hagar while others probably more accurately see some correlation with the Korahites of Southwest Arabia who appear to be the Biblical Korah.

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59 thoughts on “WHEN ARABIA WAS EASTERN ETHIOPIA (Part 3) – by – Dana Marniche”

  1. Tel me the true story rasheeda ??! it look all of you in this site have the only true stories ?! lol . like your teacher Dana ok keep repeating the true stories and the facts in your minds and according to your wishes and all of them will justify nothing but the assumptions in your minds .. my opinion about all your stories , facts , thoughts , are just a debate built on afalse base to suit your false stories and you are doing exactly the same thing done by your executioner ( European settlers ) so keep on your god job . For me no use of continuing this useless urgement . may god help us all

    1. You have no arguments, beggar. No facts, no logic, just wishful thinking. Now that you have been beaten bad and sore with knowledge on Rasta Livewire, its time you either confess up to the truth or to climb back down to your pale souless world of lies and ignorance.

      Welcome to Rasta Livewire, where we burn and shock ignorance to oblivion!

    2. I understand your concern assumptions. But my statements are based on fact not on wishful thinking and exagerrating. For example I would never be one to say most African Americans are descendants of Olmecs. obviously from the records of slave ships that we have they were not. That doesn’t mean there were not Africans here before the slave ships with the other Native American groups. The skeletons found among early Olmec include numerous African ones and the heads are found on top of some of the earliest pyrmaids. Now its a matter of putting two and two together. Modern Natives in that area are an obviously descended from both African and Asiatic people that came in that ancient period. The reason that offends people around the world is that they in their countries have been taught that the black people were only slaves, and thought they must be better then them. Now they are enraged, confused and angry, but there is nothing that can be done about that because true history of ancient civilization is coming not only from so-called Afrocentrics but from a number of European scholars who have been able to deal with the issue without nationalistic impulses and distortions. Its judgement day! lol!

      1. Dana,

        I appreciate your articles and your interviews. The information presented is well written and easy to understand (even for those who refuse to read the historical record). This is very informative and fills in historical gaps instilled by those who want us subservant.
        I would like to state this, some “African-Americans” are descended from the Olmecs. We are all aware that Natives, Indians, North Africans, etc. had their classifications changed by William Plecker and his gang in the 1800’s to “black”, “negro”, “colored”, etc. Now, all of their descendants are called “African Americans”. Not all of us came from African Slaves. Many of our ancestors were right here.
        Prime examples of those of us descended from the Olmecs are Yamassee, Witchitaw, Arawak, Carib, Muskito, et. al. During the Yamassee War, many Arawak tribes like the Timucuan of Florida were taken a sold as “Negro slaves” in South Carolina. Today, we assume they were from Africa as slaves. Then, when we hear about the millions taken from Africa as slaves, we put the two together, falling into the mental trap set by Europeans. Others were taken to Africa and Europe by Columbus and sold as “negros” or “moors”. We then see “negro” and assume these were African Slaves. Even Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. admitted that it was rare for us to find an actual slave ship. I say, just like proving NA ancestry, until you find an actual slave ship, don’t assume your ancestors came in chains. Many Africans came of their own free will and have descendants today claiming to be descended from slaves.

        I am just saying we should not generalize our history to fit a story we were told by our oppressors. I have read many slave narratives from South Carolina and only about two of them actually mention being from Africa. The rest state that they were told they came from Africa but a grandmother or great-grandmother said otherwise. They make mention of everyone in the family being native to this land and the one father or grandfather being from Africa and talking funny.
        They went on to separate us from our history and gave us a different one that promotes their superiority over us. I have noticed the slave story neglects to include the wars we fought with the Europeans and the multiple of POW’s taken and enslaved. What about those who live here and were enslaved?
        I guess the best thing to ask is please define what an African American is so that we can be on the same page. If the term only applies to those descended from W. African slaves, then we have to find out who is and is not and AA. What of those descended from the Egyptian Army that came over here with the French Army? They weren’t slaves.
        I mention this because I am referred to as an AA; however, my ancestry is Arawak, Egyptian, Algerian/Moroccan, and East Indian. Of course, some of them were also called Hebrews. Yes, I have found slave records, but I also found how they got here and it was not in chains on a slave ship. So, yes, I am descended from the Olmecs since the Arawak are. While I don’t embrace the term “African-American”, I am referred to as such.

  2. LOL , sadooooooh… what can we do this is the facts whether you accept them or keep swimming in your dreams sea which will lead to nowhere but keep accusing people who disagree with you of ignorance and inhuman . you people live in a lake of low self esteem . You are spreading the pathetic and need doses of self confidence … god help you brothers. …..haahaaaaaha loleen

    1. ^Animal chattering….

      It appears that the intellectual beating you just got has been too much for you. You sound like you lost it. Now you are reduced to making monkey noises…

      See how facts and logic can quickly send each one of us back to our origins…


  3. where are you from mr. jahdey which country you are from and from which race or ethnic group if you are Ethiopian ( Oromo , Amhara , tigrean , sidamo , shankella , Somali , afar , gurage ) can you please specify thanks

  4. you are black mr. jahdey I mean you have African roots are not you? if you are African American that mean your ancestors came to America not more 400-450 years am I correct ? and if you European African that mean not more 200 years

    1. You are incorrect. Just because some was classified as “black” or “African American” does not mean their ancestors came here 400-500 years ago. Read about William Pleckert and how his office changed vital records. Some of us have always been here; others came over various periods of time.

  5. @ Dana

    We’re still waiting for your book, you know so much about ancient arabs (and ancient mesopotamians) that you should write and publish something to educate people (me the first)

    Kind Rgds

  6. i thought this article might interest you.
    What do Haile Selassie and Mandela have in common? Among other things, both are Africa’s most prominent politicians who have come to be considered as inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Though one was a symbol of regal and feudal power and the other a revolutionary with Marxist inclination, both have come to demonstrate great political ability and astuteness during their period in office. Both suffered colonial oppression, and both of them mobilized their respective peoples against oppressors that violated their freedoms. Both are cool, self-contained men, who managed to stay calm and graceful under pressure.

  7. Dana

    * I’ll be the first to buy it 🙂 Guess what ? Few weeks ago there was a radio show in Senegal / Dakar , and they cited/quoted you (Dana M – R) as a reference for Ancient Arabia history , i.e. Ancient Arabs as Kushites, with Bertram Thomas, Al Jahiz, Strabo, François Lenormant, Drusilla Dunjee Houston etc,

    * Ancient Arabia is part of our history, it was also the land of the Anous ( according to Cheikh Anta DIOP), the brethen of the great ancestors Djehuty , Wsr, Ast, Heru who were also Anous .

    * Anous lived in Arabia Petra according to the French Egyptologist Gaston Maspero, and Emile Amélineau described them as black people in his books “Prolégomènes” and “Fouilles D’Abydos”. Anous lived also in Southern Egypt, Nubia, Sinai, Libya, Arabia


  8. Hi Nehesy _ I didn’t even see this and its almost a year later. Of course, that is a real honor to have been named in the same sentence with such individuals. But most important is that the ancestors continue to receive justice and are honor with the truth. : )

    I still wonder if the Zaghawa/Izghan/Zawaga were in part descended from the Anu. Richmond Palmer mentions that they were called Anu by the Tuareg and Anu is a common surname among them. Or is this just the same as the prefix N used among so many other Nilo-Saharan speaking Africans. Anu were perhaps one of several great populations of African-affiliation that once extended to Arabia – and further east.

    BTW – is the wysinger.homestead your site?! I’ve always recommended as one of my favorites for ancient Africa.

  9. And I hope you come back here assumptions so I can answer your ignorance with facts – “…girl I told you Arabs have fair skin color when they exposed to the sun their skin will turn to black but their features never and ever will be black . ”

    We need to discuss the “black features” of the Ansar and Azd and other tribes of the early Arabs that you can only wish never existed. And I will “repeat it again and again” if you only would ask. ; )

    The Quraishites as exemplified by men like Saad bin Waqaas were described as not only near black, but flat nosed. The Aus people like Nabtal ibn El Harish are described as nappy haired with red eyes aside from being very black. So what kind of “black features” are you talking about?

    Muhammed’s adopted son was Zayd ibn Haritha was also a pure Arab from Nejd short with a flat nose and very dark skin like the other Kalb and Tayy clans he came from.
    So you don’t know what you are talking about. Black features are Arab features. Case closed.
    The remnants of these peoples in places like Jericho and al- Yamamah are still black like tar and not tanned or half-Syrian, Persian and Turkish people now occupying Arabia north to south.

    So your statements are just the fantasy of people like yourself who can really neither be described as either of the black nor white (“red”) and would like to consider yourself a “race”. And since you don’t like the complexions and features of the ancient Arabs you would be better off considering yourself belonging to another group rather than Arab. “Arab” can only be considered your nationality and not your mother tongue or culture. you will “never and ever” be considered to belong to the true Arabs of the medieval history books. : )

    BTW – I just noticed you said something about my mother tongue. As far as I know a large number of my direct ancestors spoke the English language going back 1,000 years. Speak for yourself, you don’t know me well enough to speak for me.

    And, sorry if that sounds impolite ; )

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