I wanted to take the time to examine some concepts within 120 degrees. I have done and continue to do indepth studies of Native American culture and history and I wish to present some of this information as to further expound on our paradigm's perspective of our Native American brothers and sisters, one of the cornerstones of the so-called "Latin" American identity, in relation to other Original people globally.
The origins of the Native Americans had long been a mystery amongst the world's scholars and historians. The true science behind our brothers and sisters arriving in this land has been revealed to us in our 120 degrees. However, much time and research has to be put into sifting out opinion from fact. The purpose this article is to illustrate some of the cultural similarities between the Native Americans and their/our family in Asia, in attempt to restore a lost link of identity. The importance of this is critical in the unification of the Original people across the planet earth.
Elijah Muhammad, in his book "Theology of Time", spoke of the origins of the Indians in North America being the result of an exile from the Indian sub-continent around 16,000 years ago. For this reason it appears in the 3rd degree in the Lost Found Muslim Lesson No. 1 (1-14):
"…The people who he found here were 'Indians', who were exiled 16,000 years ago from India. They are Original people."
He purported that this exile took place because the Indians did not keep and obey the laws of Islam, which forbade the worship of idols. This worship of idols can be referred to as shamanism in this day and time. Shamanism is the worship of nature through various rituals and ceremonies and embraced through man's connection with nature and the universe. We often hear Native Americans refer to animals such as the fox or bear as being human at one point. This aspect of animism, animals having not just souls but possessing human-like qualities, is apparent in the religion of Hinduism. One of the major principles of shamanism is the respect for the earth. It is this element of shamanism along with other elements of Native American culture that helps us trace their origin back to Asia and more specifically India. Although the majority of my research has concentrated the Native American’s origin more towards the steppe region of Central Asia (Central China and Mongolia), I am sure that with more time one would ultimately obtain more information which grounds the Indian origin of the Native Americans.
According to popular theory, the Native Americans (Indians) were said to have migrated across the Bering Strait during the Pleistocene period (Ice Age) 20,000 to 30,000 years ago. At that time the climate caused the water in the oceans to freeze and form huge glaciers that covered the northern halves of North America and Asia. The Indians being "hunter-gatherers" at that time, followed the herds of animals across the land bridge exposed by the lowered sea level, and made their way into North America and then down into South America. The controversy has been within the grounds that a lot of the skeletons found do not seem to resemble the Indians in this day and time. Thus the scientific community has perpetuated the idea of America being at one point, an ancient "melting pot" of various peoples including pre-historic Europeans. We can not forget that these are no doubt the same people (scientific community) who think that the people of Egypt have looked the same throughout history as well, regardless to the numerous invasions and occupations by Greeks, Romans and Indo-Europeans. A good number of skeletal remains have been found across throughout the Americas. One of them being the Kennewick man, found on July 28, 1996 near Columbia River in Washington. Many scientists quickly claimed his origin as being that of European due to the shape and structure of his face. Further research has revealed that the man actually resembles a cross between the Ainu peoples of Japan and the Polynesians. Another is the Spirit Caveman which was found in Nevada. It has been said that the Spirit Caveman doesn’t really resemble any other ethnic group except the African Bushmen and the Aboriginal Ainu along with other East Asians. That is because of his long head, wide nose and strong chin (3). Another point brought about by the discovery of these different skeletons found, is that of the multiple migrations to America by various ethnic groups at different time periods. Ivan Van Sertima addressed these some of these skeletons in his book "Early America Revisted", cited the African skeletal remains found in Indigenous American graves, that predate the imported enslaved Africans of the late 1400’s on. Skeletal remains of Aborigines have also been found in Mexico and Central/South America which bear a DNA imprint of about 12,700 years old according to anthropologist Silvia Gonzalez of John Moores University in Liverpool, England. The Chinese had been reportedly having interaction with the Americas and left a number of cultural remnants even prior to their documented discovery in 1421 A.C.E. Tales have circulated amongst Chinese and Japanese fisherman for a couple hundred years. Author Sultan A. Latif , "When Nations Gather", notes that the Tlingit Indians of the Northwestern Coast of America had supposedly taken Japanese fishermen hostage and enslaved them, according to one tale. The Tlingit look similarly phenotypical to modern-day East Asians. The garments they used to adorn themselves bear a striking resemblance to those worn by Mandarin diplomats. It is additionally interesting to note that the Shawnees of the Ohio River valley claim an origin harkening back to Asia. They believe that is was their people who came from Asia across the "western sea on the back of the Great Turtle" and founded North America. Additionally, many Native American peoples refer to the North American continent as "Turtle Island", including the Taino Arawak (who referred to the land as "Amekikia" interesting enough).
Concerning the "Spirit Caveman", the Navajo and Hopi Indians of the southwest have been genetically traced back to the Ainu of Japan as well. Having been whitewashed in many encyclopedias and references regarding their ethnicity, Runoko Rashidi unveils the origins of the Ainu in his book "African Presence in Early Asia". He speaks of the Ainu as being clearly a Negroid and Mongoloid admixture very similar to that of the Maori's in New Zealand. They were referred to as "Children of the Bear" and it is known of a Bear cult in ancient China. It is also added in the article, originally written by James Brunson, that the origin of the Ainu is in Mesopotamia where there are references given to the "Striking Down of the Anu" which sounds as if they were expelled (exiled) from that area. This may or may not nor lend some credence to Elijah Muhammad’s theory that the Indians came to India by following Buddha, who left from the Holy City of Mecca. This then poses the question: "Which Buddha?" Ancient Pali documents from India indicate that there were 27 "Buddha’s" before Siddartha Guatama, the supposed founder of Buddhism. This subject is more accurately discussed in Swapan K. Biswas' "Mohenjodaro and the Harappan Cities".
Again, the strongest element amongst the Indians of North America and Northern East Asia is 'Shamanism'. Shamanism is also a bonding link amongst many Indigenous peoples across the planet and represents the understanding of one's relationship to the universe, prior to authoritarianism and disconnectedness of Western religions. It has been preserved amongst some tribes and mainly amongst those in the Northern regions of North America and Eastern Asia, with such peoples as the Chukchi, Buryat, Inuit, Khakass and the Nganasan. They have various myths about animals with human characteristics and spirits. All this was a means to get in tune with the world around them, once they had 'fell from grace' and strayed away from civilization. We must remember that once our people became dissatisfied, they began to search outside of themselves for the definition of themselves as well as an understanding of the universe. A lot of the mythologies the Indians had (as well as other peoples around the world) were methods of transferring knowledge from one person to another. For instance, the shamanistic people have a great love and respect for the earth, especially trees. The Tlingit used the tree as a symbol to represent the Milky Way (6). Another aspect of shamanism that was practiced amongst most tribes of Indians from Asia to America is the use of mind-altering substances drawn from plants to produce states of trance, which they believed would aid them in speaking to ancestors and gods. Plants were used such as the Coca leaf (from which is derived Cocaine) in South America, Cannabis Sativa and the Peyote Cactus. The most unique of the trance traditions comes from the shamans of Mongolia where the shaman goes into a trance and travels through a what is believed as realms of heaven and 77 realms of earth (2).
Shamanism in Eastern Asia seems to have strong origins in Mongolia. The Mongols were a society culturally influenced by Indo-Europeans (Turks/Hittites) who moved across the continent and entered into the steppe region of Central Asia. Some of the linguistic patterns found in Mongolia are of the Turkic-language branch b-u-t the Mongols were no doubt originally "black". Although the Turks mixed with the Mongols, records show the black origin of the Mongols along with other groups such the Khakass, Buyrat, Chinese and other Asians. At the date of this writing the Khakass are caste aside in Russian society and referred to as the "blacks". The Mongolian state was first established in the year 200 B.C.E as the Hun (Hunnu) state, by a tribe known as the Huns who were actually comprised of ancient nomadic tribes from China such as the Xianyu, Xianyung, Hun Yi, and the Di. In the first century C.E. they managed to invade India (Pakistan) which began the expansion of their power and empire (4). They were referred to by the Chinese as "Yueh-chih" and the "Kusanas" in India (7). There was a lot of warring between tribes and societies in the early years of development within Eastern Asia which would definitely leave reason for a people to leave, migrate, and search for a peaceful abode especially when a lot of the tribes were nomadic. Warring states and kingdoms it is said to be the reason why Abraham left the city of Ur, correlating with the exile reference made by Runoko Rashidi regarding the Anu. Abraham is considered the patriarch of the Western religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The theory of the Native Americans being the "Lost Tribe" has been viewed by some as their reason for coming to the Americas. This theory is shared by the Black Hebrew Israelites as well as the Mormons (who have a very intriguing account of what they consider the 'fall' of the Native Americans, as they strayed further from 'Israel'), who believe that Jesus traveled to North America to teach the "Lost Tribe of Israel". There are those who also believe that the Kasmiri people of India are the Lost Tribe of Israel and the idea of the Indians leaving from India adds on to an interesting topic of a "wandering people without a home" unfortunately not to be discussed in this article (1,8).
Making them other than their own selves, shamanism did evolve into more complex and scientific forms of religion amongst the Native Americans. This is seen particularly over a period of time as well as what appears to be the undeniable contact with other people ('non-American' so to speak). The more advanced civilizations in the Americas appeared across the Americas, and although what is usually recalled is the civilizations of Meso-America (Mexico, Central America and Upper South America), other advanced peoples must also be recognized such as the Mississippian and the Anasazi, who dealt with astronomical and mathematical sciences and who left behind intriguing architecture and art. These cultural elements such as literature, science and religion are said to have reached their zenith with civilizations such as the Olmecs, Aztecs, and Mayans. It is thought that the Anasazi left there home in the area of Arizona and New Mexico to move south and mix with African travelers, to produce the Olmecs (5). This area is also the land the Aztecs (Mexica) referred to as their land of origin, Aztlan, from which our modern day term for them is derived. Such high forms of mathematics and sciences was thought to be influenced by outsiders like the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians especially with the puzzling similarities between Mayan and ancient Egyptian alphabets (5). Archeologists have uncovered ceramics from the Valdivia culture of Ecuador (3000-1500 B.C.E) which are very much like the Jomon ceramics of south Japan (3000-2000 B.C.E). Both the Aztecs and the Mayans used to put jade stones in the mouths of their dead, a tradition no where else but China (5,6). The cultural similarities between the American Indians and the people are Asia are to great to deny. When looking at the pyramids built by the Mayans and Aztecs we can see the resemblance to the 'ziggaruts' and step-pyramids of Mesopotamia. In a June 1995 issue of "Hinduism Today" there was an article that researched the structures and art of Meso-America in comparison with those of India and South Eastern Asia. The conclusion was that the Indians of Asia and those of the Maya were one in the same according to the engineers, scientists, and anthropologists that met and discussed the matter. There are some people who say that the art appears to have specific influence of the Khmer people of Cambodia (6).
As I had stated earlier, the religion of the Indians has been shamanism, which aided them in their striving to stay in tune with universe. In one Mayan temple in Palenque, there is a statue of a goddess, Coatlicue who is directly identified with the Hindu deity Kali (5). There were, however, those people whose efforts with spirituality took them a little closer to their true selves. The ideas espoused are not themselves one with Allah's teachings as we understand them, yet ring with remnants of their origin in this world. The Chukchi believe in a supreme being, a Creator. The Creator is the personification of the life force that moves through the human and animal worlds. The Inuit call this principle the inua along with sila. Sila is supposedly the the individual powers and forces of nature and permeates the natural world. Sila is also said to be manifest in each and every individual and is the vital force which connects a person entirely with their immediate environment (2).
The purpose of this article was to make way for a clearer understanding of our brother and sisters, the Native Americans (Indians). It was a look at the elements involved and around the movement of a people across two continents. Mainly cultural, the similarities and evident relationship of origination goes beyond art and custom, raising it’s more undeniable claim in the people’s biology. In a December 2004 issue of Discover Magazine, a popular science magazine, the cover story was an in depth look into the "Y" chromosome. It is through the Y chromosome that scientists can trace Man’s history back to his biological origin. The case study that was used in the article was Genghis Khan and the genealogical roots he spread throughout Asia and Europe. The DNA information from the Y chromosome passes virtually untouched from father to son, as does with mitochrondrial DNA in women. It was through the collection of blood sample from thousands of groups of people that they ended up tracing the Native American origin back to Asia. They found that they were able to somewhat narrow down an area of origin as well, which ultimately found to be in Mongolia in the steppes of the Altai Mountains. Of course scientific knowledge changes as technology evolves and more is to be revealed. However, what has been manifested thus far is that the Native Americans have both a cultural and biological foundation in the rugged terrain of Eastern Asia. I attempted to show the similarities between different groups of Indians as well as their relationship to some neighboring groups display the common bond amongst original people. Including the climatic conditional effect on physical characteristics and the charted geography of the people occupying the said territory (India’s boundaries could have been stretched as far north as Mongolia, being that the current boundaries were British enforced) more research has yet to be done to conclude whether or not the American Indian actually traveled from the Indian sub-continent. Lastly, the above article, while underlining numerous cultural similarities, does not mention or attempt to fully account for the biological aspects of Native Americans in relationship with other Original people. I personally, take a similar stance on the populating of the Americas as my brother Supreme Understanding, in that there wasn't one particular movement of people but several migrations, 4 in total. People travelled over from various places in Asia- across from Siberia, on boats from the Southeast of Asia and the South Pacific islands, and from what we now call Australia. All of these people intermixed to form the modern diversity we have amongst the First Nations from Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego. And the 'shades of black'- black, brown and yellow, are present amongst all Original people.
This article was an attempt to examine and expound upon ideas I received as building blocks of my 'cultural' foundation. The lessons studied by the Nation of Gods and Earths were transitioned over into our paradigm due to our founding father's experience and influence from the Nation of Islam. Elijah Muhammad, one of the founders of the Nation of Islam was largely pro-Asian, especially during the beginning of the Nation of Isla-then called the Temple of Allah. He emphasised Afro-Asian unity and relationships during a time when Japan and the U.S. were at war and the idea of Mecca and India being the two most advanced civilizations in Asia provided both a religious and cultural grounding for his movement. Especially since the movement's primary founder, W.D. Fard is regarding by many as of Pakistani descent and which Pakistan was once 'India'. Studying and investigating history will reveal more.
(2) Auerbach, Loren, et al. Encyclopedia of World Mythology.London: Paragon, 1999
(3) Begley, Sharon The First Americans.23 July 2001 http://www.cabrillo.cc.ca.us/~crsmith/firstamer.html
(4) http://www.espritnomade.atfreeweb.com/mongolia_history.htm#prehistory http://www.espritnomade.atfreeweb.com/mongolia_history.htm
(5) Gilbert, Adrian and Maurice M Cottrell. The Mayan Prophecies.Great Britain: Barnes & Nobles, 1996
(6) Hultkrantz, Ake. The Religions of the American Indians.London: University of California Press, 1967(7) http://www.mettanet.org/pali-utils/Pali-Proper-Names/kaniska.htm