The Bantu migration from the Kongo or Niger Delta Basin began about 1000 A.D - 1800 A.D. , and is recorded as one of the largest migrations in human history. The migration carried Bantu influence to East and Southern Africa where they introduced crops such as millet and sorgum, yams, bananas and plantains. There are also many indications that iron smelting, and the production of iron tools and weapons, can be attributed to Bantu influence. Iron technology was practiced in Nigeria, The Kongo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and the Great Lakes Area from about the sixth century B.C. However, the apex of Bantu influence may possibly be found in metaphysical elements introduced during the migrations.
The Bantu also spread the knowledge of a divine force that created the world, and empowered human beings to conduct their lives according to universal principles. These principles found in nature could be employed as allies in the human quest for survival. Through an analysis of language, archeology, and anthropology, historians have determined a Bantu influence 250 miles of the coast of East Africa, on the Island of Madagascar. Studies show that twenty percent of the of the vocabulary of modern Malagasy contains words of Bantu origin. Some historians indicate that Bantu tribes settled on the west coast of Madagascar contributing to the culture of the island. Others indicate that in fact, Madagascar came into being as a result of splitting off from a land mass that joined Africa, India, Australia and South America 65 million years ago. (see maps below) In any case, Madagascar can also be included as "a Land of the Blacks".
Many anthropoligists believe that the people of Madagascar descended from Africans and Indonesians who mixed before their arrival on the island. There is obviously a fusion of Bantu and Asian culture on Madagascar.
Morengy is a traditional Malagasy boxing art. It is based in Sava though other surrounding areas practice or imitate it. All blows are allowed and it's just a striking art, no weapons. They direct all their attacks on vital points on the body. It is not rare to have one of the combatants die from a blow even in sparring. There are laws that refer to this because it's so common. On the Isle of Reunion (a neighboring island of Madagascar), the art is spelled Morenque and has a configuration resembling Capoeira (see photo below right).
YOUNG MORENGY WARRIOR( Sakalava )* MORENGUE (Reunion)
DANMYE (Martinique) LAAMB (Senegal)
*Sakalava group in a market town in Madagascar’s ‘Wild West’.
Ruling them was always, as the Merina proverb says, like even today their lordly pride still makes them the least approachable and most mysterious of all Madagascar’s eighteen tribes. carrying mud: if you hold it lightly in your open palms, it spills over, and if you close your hands firmly, it slips through your fingers.
(This is characteristic of African people worldwide, we adapt, reconfigure and synthesize, thereby recreating the foreign culture
thrust upon us by circumstances...Shaha Mfundishi Maasi)
TAMIL MARTIAL CULTURE
"The Indian sub-continent was once connected with Madagascar of East Africa and Australia by the sunken Lemurian continent of the Indian Ocean. On the African continent itself are numerous fighting styles some also in forms of dances which resemble various Kung-Fu kicks and maneuvers. In Brazil, there is a martial art called Capoeira. It is a fighting style in a form of a dance brought to South America by slaves alomg with the Yoruba religion of West Africa. These ideas of combat must have crossed both Africa and Australia through Lemuria to the Indian sub-continent which may have had an influence on the scientific Tamil martial arts thousands of years ago".... Alex Doss, Thamizar Martial Arts.
At the turn of the 6th century A.D., martial arts spread from Southern India to China by a Tamil prince turned monk named Daruma Bodhidarma. From China, martial arts have spread to Korea & Japan. In South East Asia martial arts was introduced during the naval expansion of the Chola and Pallava Empires of the Tamil Country between the 2nd and 12th centuries A.D.
In Partap Sharma’s book called ‘Zen Katha: Inspired by the Life of Bodhidarma, founder of Zen and Martial Arts’, it states that it was the art of Vajramushti Bodhidarma had introduced to Shaolin
KUTTU VARISAI TAMIL MONKEY POSTURE
Tamil Nadu means "the Tamil homeland." The capital of Tamil Nadu is Chennai, formerly known as Madras. The Tamils that I have talked to do not see themselves as Indians. They are Tamils. They have the most beautiful script that I have ever seen. And their spoken language is like music. Some of my best friends have been Tamils and I consider them a very special people. They are Black people. And while they may not consider themselves Africans they believe that Africans and Tamils come from the same place--a now submerged continent that once connected South Asia with East Africa.......Runoko Rashidi
YOGINI GODDESS(Tamil Nadu TAMIL WOMAN
The Tamils are an important branch of the Dravidians. So who are the Dravidians? The Dravidians are among the earliest, perhaps the first, people to inhabit India. The early Greeks and Romans referred to them as Eastern Ethiopians. The term "Ethiopian" is a Greek work and means "people with faces burnt by the sun." There were Eastern Ethiopians and Western Ethiopians. The Eastern Ethiopians were in Asia and the Western Ethiopians were in Africa. They were both Black people with the only real distinction being the texture of the hair. The Eastern Ethiopians had straight to wavy hair and the Western Ethiopians had tightly curled or kinky hair. The Eastern Ethiopians lived in ancient Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and probably other parts of South Asia.
In ancient times the Dravidians were responsible for the mighty Harappan or Indus Valley civilization that dominated Pakistan and parts of northern India beginning almost five thousand years ago. Among their inventions or innovations in Pakistan and India were the windmill and sophisticated city planning. They domesticated rice and probably the chicken. Their ancient cities including trash chutes and flushing toilets. They played a game similar to chess and threw dice. And they resisted the onslaught of the Aryan or white invasions of South Asia. I have no doubt that the mighty Hindu deities Krishna, Kali, and Shiva are of Dravidian origin..Runoko Rashidi.
SOME AFRICAN FACES TAMILS OF CEYLON
"Wherever we are, us is"....Maulana Karenga
MAP: COURTESY OF THAMIZAR MARTIAL ARTS
The Venetian traveler Marco Polo visited Tamil Nadu twice during the thirteenth century and commented on how the Tamils viewed with great pride their black skin-complexions. He actually said that their young were anointed with oil of sesame which made them even darker and that, "Here the darkest man is better than the others who are not so dark," that they portray their gods and saints black and the devil as white as snow." You can find this passage in Marco Polo's Travels. There are many Tamils in Sri Lanka* today and they are engaged in a fierce struggle with the Sinhalese dominated government for greater respect and even autonomy.
The Dalits are the Black Untouchables of India. Whereas the Dravidians are a ethnic-linguistic group the Dalits are a social-economic group, the majority of which by the standards of race that we use in the United States would be considered Black....Runoko Rashidi.
MODERN TAMIL WARRIOR (Sri Lanka) * ANCIENT TAMIL GRAPPLING
Kalaripayattu - The Orient's treasure trove, a gift to the modern world and the mother of all martial arts. Legend traces the 3000-year-old art form to Sage Parasurama- the master of all martial art forms and credited to be the re-claimer of Kerala from the Arabian Sea. Kalaripayattu originated in ancient South India. Kung- fu, popularized by the monks of the Shoaling Temple traces its ancestry to Bodhi Dharma - an Indian Buddhist monk and Kalaripayattu master.
Crafted in ancient South India drawing inspiration from the raw power and sinuous strength of the majestic animal forms - Lion, Tiger, Elephant, Wild Boar, Snake, and Crocodile ........ Kalaripayattu laid down the combat code of the Cholas, the Cheras and the Pandyas. Shrouded in deep mystery and mists of secrecy Kalaripayattu was taught by the masters in total isolation, away from prying eyes.
The animal forces quoted above are only a few of the elements that link African and Asian warrior discipline methods.
Some historians think millions of Africans crossed the ocean.
The African-Indians are called Sidis*.
One of the strongest remaining links they have to their roots is the damaal or drum. Otherwise Sidi culture is not significantly different to that of other poor, rural Indians.
"The damaal comes from Africa," explains Yunus, a blind man who is the chief drummer of Jambur. "The skill of playing has been passed down from father to son. It is a gift from God," he says.
"A little like an image embedded in a hologram, the African presence in the history and politics of India remains generally obscured from view. It is only when the parchment that is the past is taken in the hand and lightly moved, in the manner of a ‘beam of coherent light’ needed to train upon a hologram, that this presence reveals itself. Then names begin to emerge, some historical developments start to make sense, and the role of a number of emphatic figures can be seen in true perspective"....N. Goswamy,Tribune newspaper
PALM PRINT OF GURU RINPOCHE (PADMASAMBHAVA) IN STONE. THIS IS A SIGN OF GREAT SIDDHA. HIS PICTURE IS IN THE INSET. THIS GREAT BUDDHA IS THE FOUNDER OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM."OM A HUM VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUM"
Malik Ambar: Siddi military guru of the Marathas
Marathas are a blend of the Warrior and Agrarian classes, speaking Marathi and generally having their roots in Maharashtra. They are also found in large Nos in Karnataka, Goa, and Madhya Pradesh & Gujarat.
A few Maratha clans claim themselves to be Kshatriyas (Warriors). Some such families were the Bhosales, Ghorpades, Jadhavs, Nimbalkars, Mores, Manes, Ghatges, Dafleys, Sawants, Shirkes, Mahadiks and the Mohites
The majority of Marathas, however belong to the peasantry class. The dividing line between the Kshatriya classes and the peasantry classes has become thin with the passage of time.A lot of matrimonial alliances are also taking place amongst them, unlike those in North or South India. The Maratha army and the administration also had people from all castes taking pride in it.
The term Siddis (also called Habshi, from Arabic ḥabashi) refers to a Negroid people in India. They are the descendants of slaves first brought to parts of Pakistan and India by Arab merchants in medieval times from the Bantu-speaking parts of eastern Africa. Siddis were referred to as Zanj by Arabs, and Seng Chi (a malapropism of Zanj) by the Chinese.
Many of India's kings and princes recruited Africans as their personal bodyguards, servants and musicians. In some parts of the country Sidis even rose to be powerful generals or kings themselves.
SIDDI TRIBE (Jhambur, India) MALIK AMBER(master siddi)
* There are several ways to spell siddi, sometimes it is Sidi,Siddi, Siddhi, or Ciddi. No matter how it is spelled, it refers to "Great Accomplishment........Shaha Mfundishi Maasi
SIDDI DRUMMER (Jhambur, India) AFRICAN QUEEN (India)
SIDDI DANCERS OF EAST AFRICA SIDDI MEN(India or Pakistan)
In Western India (today's Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra), the Siddi gained a reputation as being physically powerful and fiercely loyal. This made them popular amongst the local princes as mercenaries. The 17th century saw the largest influx of Siddis, as many were sold to Muslim and Hindu Kings by Arab and Portuguese slave traders. Despite their reputation as good fighters, many were also used as domestic servants and farm labourers. Some Siddi slaves escaped into the forests to form their own communities.The ancestors of the present-day Siddis of Southern Baluchistan and Karachi in Pakistan were slaves from Tanzania, Kenya and Zanzibar brought by the Omani Arabs. Some Indian Siddis are descended from Tanzanians and Mozambicans brought by the Portuguese. The Siddis descended from slaves live in their own tightly knit communities. Most of the original Siddis live in the Sindh region of Pakistan, and the Gujarat region of India, and some mixed with local Indian people.
In Medieval India one of the most famous Siddis who elevated himself to a position of great authority was the celebrated Malik Ambar 1550-1626, whose original name was Shambu, "One cannot go into the life and career of Malik Ambar in any detail here, except for registering the fact that as the power of this rank outsider kept growing, that of the Mughals in and around Ahmednagar kept steadily declining. Ambar trained his followers in the art of guerilla warfare, raised a very considerable force that remained loyal to him, and remained defiant of the Mughals". .N.Goswamy,The Tribune, Sunday August 13,2006
" "The Mughals, meanwhile, chafed. Especially Jahangir (1605-1627) under whose skin Malik Ambar succeeded in getting. The emperor, it seems, was obsessed with Ambar, whose outstanding military skills he could understand but could not bring himself to acknowledge, given his own exalted position as ruler of what was then perhaps the world’s mightiest empire. In his Memoirs he referred to Ambar several times, but always in angry, almost abusive terms: "Ambar, that black wretch", "Ambar of dark fate", that "crafty, ill-starred one", and so on.The two never came face to face or took the field against each other. *But a painter at the Jahangiri court – the greatly gifted Abu’l Hasan – realised for his patron a triumphal dream, for he painted for him an allegory, in which the emperor is seen standing atop the globe of the world and shooting an arrow through the severed head of Malik Ambar that is impaled on a tall pike.....Jahangir, in this elaborate allegory, is clearly meant to be seen as symbolising the forces of goodness and light while Ambar those of darkness and evil. It is doubtful if the whole matter would have been seen like this by a Deccani painter working for Malik Ambar. But then nothing approaching this has survived from there."......N.Goswamy, The Tribune, Sunday August 13,2006
MALIK AMBAR *DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH ABOVE
BLACK SPIRITUAL MASTERS OF INDIA
Phadampa is Known as Bodhidharma in China. Sources say ; Bodhidharma ( 526/527 CE) was the Buddhist monk traditionally credited as the transmitter of Zen to China. Very little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend, but most accounts agree that he was a South Indian monk who journeyed to southern China and subsequently relocated northwards. The accounts differ on the date of his arrival, with one early account claiming that he arrived during the Liú Sòng Dynasty (420–479) and later accounts dating his arrival to the Liáng Dynasty (502–557). The accounts are, however, generally agreed that he was primarily active in the lands of the Northern Wèi Dynasty (386–534.
PHADAMPA ALSO KNOWN AS BODHIDHARMA ANOTHER VERSION
Daruma Bodhidharma (Chinese: Ta Mo; Japanese: Daruma) was the third child of the Pallava king Sugandan from Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. At birth he was born with a breathing disorder and was banished by his family due to the evil practice of caste system introduced by the Indo-Aryans who had migrated from Central Asia. He was adopted and trained at birth in breathing exercises and combat, namely in the arts of Varma Kalai and Kuttu Varisai. Bodhidarma also studied Dhyana Buddhism and became the 28th patriarch of that religion.
MAHASIDDHA PHADAMPA (Bodhidharma) LATER DEPICTIONS
Bodhidarma’s "muscle exercises" were surely influenced by his experiences in the Tamil martial arts. The "muscle exercises" and the "18 hands of lohan", which were developed later on, display some characteristics of Buddhist Tantric, mudras and yogic postures.
Two Mahāmudrā teachers. From a small 14th-century painting once in the Jucker Collection, presently in the collection of the Rubin Museum. Vairocanarakṣita, an important Indian teacher from Orissa, best known for his single-handed translations of Dohā (‘couplet’) songs of the Mahāsiddhas, is on your left, with Padampa on your right*. They are identified beyond any possibility for doubt by inscriptions on the reverse side of the painting. Padampa's name is given as Dampa Gyagar Nagpo ('Holy Black Indian'.
Virupa,the lord of all yogis, was born as the crown prince of a royal family in southern India, some 1020 years after the Buddha reached nirvana or enlightenment. When still a young child, he entered the celebrated Buddhist monastic academy of Somapuri. He took ordination from the abbot Vinayadeva and the teacher Jayakirti at Somapuri.He mastered all the five major sciences and became a great scholar of both Buddhist and non-Buddhist doctrines.
DRAVIDIAN YOGI ASCETICS WITH DREADLOCKS ;(like Rasta in Jamaica) CENTRAL INDIA
(courtesy of Project Guttenberg)
The principal Dravidian tribes are the Gonds, Khonds and Oraons. The Gonds were once dominant over the greater part of the Central Provinces, which was called Gondwana after them. The above three names have in each case been given to the tribes by the Hindus. The following tribes are found in the Province:
Gond, Oraon or Kurukh, Khond, Kolām, Parja, Kamār. Tribal Castes: Bhatra, Halba, Dhoba. Doubtful: Kawar, Dhanwār.
The Gonds and Khonds call themselves Koi or Koitur, a word which seems to mean man or hillman. The Oraon tribe call themselves Kurukh, which has also been supposed to be connected with the Kolarian horo, man. The name Oraon, given to them by the Hindus, may mean farmservant, while Dhangar, an alternative name for the tribe, has certainly this signification.
There seems good reason to suppose that the Gonds and Khonds were originally one tribe divided through migration.72 The Kolāms are a small tribe of the Wardha Valley, whose dialect resembles those of the Gonds and Khonds. They may have split off from the parent tribe in southern India and come northwards separately. The Parjas appear to represent the earliest Gond settlers in Bastar, who were subjugated by later Gond and Rāj-Gond immigrants. The Halbas and Bhatras are mixed tribes or tribal castes, descended from the unions of Gonds and Hindus.
THE SO-CALLED TRIBALS OF INDIA :
ADIVASI DRUMMER ADIVASI WOMAN ADIVASI STILT DANCERS
Ādivāsīs (Devanagri: आदिवासी, literally: original inhabitants) is an umbrella term for a heterogeneous set of ethnic and tribal groups believed to be the aboriginal population of India. They comprise a substantial indigenous minority of the population of India.
Adivasi traditions and practices pervade all aspects of Indian culture and civilization, yet this awareness is often lacking in popular consciousness, and the extent and import of Adivasi contributions to Indian philosophy, language and custom have often gone unrecognized, or been underrated by historians and social scientists.
Although popular myths about Buddhism have obscured the original source and inspiration for it's humanist doctrine, it is to India's ancient tribal (or Adivasi) societies that Gautam Buddha looked for a model for the kind of society he wished to advocate. Repulsed by how greed for private property was instrumental in causing poverty, social exploitation and unending warfare - he saw hope for human society in the tribal republics that had not yet come under the sway of authoritarian rule and caste discrimination. The early Buddhist Sanghas were modelled on the tribal pattern of social interaction that stressed gender equality, and respect for all members. Members of the Sanghas sought to emulate their egalitarian outlook and democratic functioning.
At that time, the tribal republics retained many aspects of social equality that can still be found in some Adivasi societies that have somehow escaped the ill-effects of commercial plunder and exploitation. Adivasi society was built on a foundation of equality with respect for all life forms including plants and trees. There was a deep recognition of mutual dependence in nature and human society. People were given respect and status according to their contribution to social needs but only while they were performing that particular function. A priest could be treated with great respect during a religious ceremony or a doctor revered during a medical consultation, but once such duties had been performed, the priest or doctor became equal to everyone else. The possession of highly valued skills or knowledge did not lead to a permanent rise in status. This meant that no individual or small group could engage in overlordship of any kind, or enjoy hereditary rights.
Tribal societies came under stress due to several factors. The extension of commerce, military incursions on tribal land, and the resettling of Brahmins amidst tribal populations had an impact, as did ideological coercion or persuasion to attract key members of the tribe into "mainstream" Hindu society. This led to many tribal communities becoming integrated into Hindu society as jatis (or castes) while others who resisted were pushed into the hilly or forested areas, or remote tracks that had not yet been settled. In the worst case, defeated Adivasi tribes were pushed to the margins of settled society and became discriminated as outcastes and "untouchables".
Adivasis who developed an intimate knowledge of various plants and their medicinal uses played an invaluable role in the development of Ayurvedic medicines. In a recent study, the All India Coordinated Research Project credits Adivasi communities with the knowledge of 9000 plant species - 7500 used for human healing and veterinary health care. Dental care products like datun, roots and condiments like turmeric used in cooking and ointments are also Adivasi discoveries, as are many fruit trees and vines. Ayurvedic cures for arthritis and night blindness owe their origin to Adivasi knowledge.
As soon as the British took over Eastern India tribal revolts broke out to challenge alien rule. In the early years of colonization, no other community in India offered such heroic resistance to British rule or faced such tragic consequences as did the numerous Adivasi communities of now Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Orissa and Bengal. In 1772, the Paharia revolt broke out which was followed by a five year uprising led by Tilka Manjhi who was hanged in Bhagalpur in 1785. The Tamar and Munda revolts followed. In the next two decades, revolts took place in Singhbhum, Gumla, Birbhum, Bankura, Manbhoom and Palamau, followed by the great Kol Risings of 1832 and the Khewar and Bhumij revolts (1832-34). In 1855, the Santhals waged war against the permanent settlement of Lord Cornwallis, and a year later, numerous adivasi leaders played key roles in the 1857 war of independence.
The Bhils are the third largest tribe in India after the Gonds and the Santhals. In the state of Madhya Pradesh, they are prominently found in the Dhar, Jhabua, and West Nimar regions. Anthropologists believe that the word Bhil is derived from the Dravidian word bil or vil, meaning a bow.
BONDA WOMAN AND CHILD BONDA WOMAN
BONDA WOMAN AND CHILD YOUNG BONDA WOMAN
The Bonda or Bondo are an ancient tribe of people numbering approximately 5000 who live in the isolated hill regions of the Malkangiri district of southwesternmost Orissa, India, near the junction of the three states of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh. In contrast with many other populations in India, the number of females among the Bondas greatly exceeds the number of males.Known to be aggressive, the Bonda have resisted the efforts of the Indian government to "manage" them.
GADABA ELDER WOMEN
GADABA ARTIFACTS GADABA MALE ELDER
The Gadabas are agricultural tribe of Ganjam and Vizagapatnam district. They were formerly employed as palanquin bearers and plantation labourers. Their population is about 30,000. They speak Mundari language and have dark skin colour and mongoloid features.
The Gondi (Gōndi) are a people in central India. The Gondi, or Gond people are spread over the states of Madhya Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra(Vidarbha), Chhattisgarh, northern Andhra Pradesh, and western Orissa. With over four million people, they are the largest tribe in Central India
KHOND ARTIFACTS KHOND WOMAN (Orissa)
The Khond, one of the Scheduled tribe of the Jharkhand State, are found in the districts of Singhbhum and Hazaribagh, they are an africoid tribe. They have probably migrated from the Orissa. In the State of Orissa, Khond is a major community.
MUNDA FAMILY YOUNG MUNDA WOMEN
MUNDA ELDER WOMAN MUNDA FAMILY
The Munda languages of India are among the most poorly known of the world’s languages. Spoken by so-called ‘tribals’ primarily in the eastern and central India states of Jharkhand and Orissa, with enclaves in adjacent states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. Despite representing the oldest known layer of population in India, predating the Dravidian and Indo-Aryan peoples that dominate the area today, the linguistic relatives of the Munda in the large Austroasiatic language family are to be found in remote mountainous regions scattered across southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, southern China, in addition to the far eastern Indian regions of Meghalaya and the Nicobar Islands), as well as the national languages of Cambodia and Vietnam.
NAGA MAN NAGA ELDER
More than four million Naga tribal peoples are found in Nagaland, parts of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in North-East India, and parts of Myanmar (Burma) such as the Sagaing Division.
The ancient Indians belonged to the Kushsite African race, still numerious in a wide area of the globe, spread from India in the East to Senegal in the West. Of this group of ancient Blacks, the Naga People were and still are the largest subgroup of the Kushitic speaking branch of the Black African race. In fact, the Nagas still retain the title "Naga" in various forms throughout Africa and South Asia even today. There are many examples of the term "Naga" still being used to describe various groups in Africa and Asia, who are all of the Kushitic branch of the Black African race. For example, the Blacks of West Africa were called "Nugarmar-ta." "Nagomina" is the name of a tribe from West Africa, who were part of a series of great civilizations which existed in the region before 1000 B.C. The "Naga," are another group of people related to India's Naga people, who live in various parts of East Africa and in the nation of Sudan, the original homeland of all Naga and other Kushitic Black peoples. The word "Nahas" is another word for "Nubian." Names of tribes and nationalities such as "Nuer," "Nuba," "Nubian" are all related to the Naga tribes of India and South Asia. Long before the barbarians infiltrated India, the Blacks (Naga, Negrito, Negroid and all those belonging to the Negroid-Australoid Black race, as well as pure Negritic racial types ruled India as well as a substantial portion of Asia from Arabia to China and the South Pacific, as well as the Indian Ocean region.......Runoko Rashidi.
SIDDI WOMAN SIDDI MAN SIDDI GIRL
YOUNG SIDDI MAN YOUNG SIDDI GIRL YOUNG SIDDI BOY
MORE ON THE SIDDIS
The people known as Siddi and other so-called tribals, represent the indominable spirit of African people who adapt to the environment in which they have been thrust. Maintaining the essential sprit and core principles in spite of external factors is the true meaning of the word warrior. With regard to the siddi people themselves, the accomplishments attributed to them have influenced a term that indicates high, unusual, rare achievement. The term is siddha, and signifies a master of high spiritual attainment in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
A siddha சித்தா in Tamil means "one who is accomplished" and refers to perfected masters who, according to belief, have transcended the (ego or I-maker), have subdued their minds to be subservient to their Awareness, and have transformed their bodies (composed mainly of dense Rajo-tama gunas) into a different kind of body dominated by sattva. This is usually accomplished only by persistent meditation.
Tamil Nadu tradition of Siddhahood
In South India, a siddha refers to a being who has achieved a high degree of physical as well as spiritual perfection or enlightenment. The ultimate demonstration of this is that siddhas allegedly attained physical immortality. Thus siddha, like siddhar or cittar (indigenisation of Sanskrit terms in Tamil Nadu) refers to a person who has realised the goal of a type of sadhana and become a perfected being. In Tamil Nadu, South India, where the siddha tradition is still practiced, special individuals are recognized as and called siddhas (or siddhars or cittars) who are on the path to that assumed perfection after they have taken special secret rasayanas to perfect their bodies, in order to be able to sustain prolonged meditation along with a form of pranayama which considerably reduces the number of breaths they take.
MAHASIDDA VIRUPA * MAHASIDDA PADAMPA*(Bodhidharma) MAHASIDDA *TILOPA
It was the Mahasiddhas* who instituted the practices that birthed the Inner Tantras of Dzogchen practiced by the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. The other schools of Tibetan Buddhism and other Vajrayana Buddhists such as Shingon Buddhism practice Mahamudra meditation, also a practice initiated by the original Buddhist Mahasiddha.
Each Mahasiddha has come to be known for certain characteristics and teachings, which facilitates their pedagogical use. One of the most beloved Mahasiddhas is Virupa,* who may be taken as the patron saint of the Sakyapa sect and instituted the Lam Dre (Tibetan: lam 'bras) teachings. Virupa (alternate orthographies: Birwapa/Birupa) lived in 9th century India and was known for his great attainments.
Best known as Machig Labdron's teacher, the Indian mahasiddha *Padampa Sangye is counted as a lineage guru by all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He brought the lineage of Chöd to Tibet, carried the Buddha's teachings to China, and is even asserted, in the Tibetan tradition, to have been the legendary Bodhidharma.
Tilopa *(Tibetan; Sanskrit: Talika, 988 - 1069) was an Indian tantric practitioner and mahasiddha. He discovered the mahamudra process, a set of spiritual practices that greatly accelerated the process of attaining bodhi (enlightenment). He is regarded as the human founder of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
MAHASIDDA NAROPA (student of Tilopa) TANTRIC YOGI
Nāropā or Naropa (Prakrit; Sanskrit: Nādapradā, 956-1041) was an Indian Buddhist yogi, mystic and monk. He was the disciple of Tilopa and brother, or some sources say partner and pupil, of Niguma  . Naropa was the main teacher of Marpa, the founder of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. As an Indian tantric Buddhist, he has a place in Vajrayana Buddhism as a whole, but he is particularly renowned in Tibetan Buddhism via his name being attached to the six yogas of Naropa, a suite of advanced yogic practices for the attainment of skills (siddhas).
MARPA (Student of Naropa) *MILAREPA (student of Marpa)
Marpa Lotsawa (1012-1097), or Marpa the translator was a Tibetan Buddhist teacher credited with the transmission of many Buddhist teachings to Tibet from India, including the teachings and lineages of Vajrayana and Mahamudra.
Marpa spent many years translating Buddhist scriptures and made a major contribution to the transmission of the complete buddhadharma to Tibet. Marpa continued to practice and give teachings and transmissions to many students in Tibet. After his third visit to India Milarepa became his disciple, who inherited his lineage in full. Marpa lived with his wife Dakmema and their sons in Lhodrak in the southern part of Tibet.
Milarepa* is one of the most widely known Tibetan Saints. In a superhuman effort, he rose above the miseries of his younger life and with the help of his Guru, Marpa the Translator, took to a solitary life of meditation until he had achieved the pinnacle of the enlightened state, never to be born again into the Samsara (whirlpool of life and death) of worldly existence. Out of compassion for humanity, he undertook the most rigid asceticism to reach the Buddhic state of enlightenment and to pass his accomplishments on to the rest of humanity. His spiritual lineage was passed a long to his chief disciples, Gambopa and Rechung.
The Mahasiddha* Tradition may be conceived and considered as a cohesive body due to their spiritual style which was distinctively non-sectarian, non-elitist, non-dual, non-elaborate, non-sexist, non-institutional, unconventional, unorthodox and non-renunciate. The Mahasiddha Tradition arose in dialogue with the dominant religious practices and institutions of the time which often foregrounded practices and disciplines that were over-ritualized, politicized, exoticized, excluded women and whose lived meaning and application were largely inaccessible and opaque to non-monastic peoples. They practiced non-violence and and-aggression.
VIOLENCE INFLICTED UPON BLACK PEOPLE IN ASSAM, INDIA (We must not remain ignorant to ethnic hatred that engulfs Black people around the world. Darfur is symbolic of the mistreatment of Black people that goes on daily across the planet). TAKE A STAND!
There are several groups of dark-skinned people who live in various parts of Asia, Australia and Oceania. They include the Indigenous Australians, the Melanesians (now divided into Austronesian-speaking populations and Papuans, and including the great genetic diversity of New Guinea), the Andamanese people of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of the Indian Ocean, the Semang people of the Malay peninsula, the Aeta people of Luzon, the Ati of Panay, the Vedda people of Sri LankaHYPERLINK \l "cite_note-andaman-83", and various indigenous peoples sometimes collectively known as Negritos.
Runoko Rashidi indicates that the first Asians were Negrito Africoid people with kinky hair, yellow to dark brown skin and short stature In his words, they were "the supreme lords of the earth" with "monumental civilizations" of advanced technology. Next, Afro-Australoids migrated into Asia 50,000 years ago. These Afro-Astraloids can still be found among the Gonds, Mundas, Veddoids and Kolarians of Sri Lanka and South India. These Australoids turned into the Mongoloid race by a process "only vaguely understood".
Rashidi identifies what he calls a "global African community" of the Africoid race Rashidi considers the terms "black" and "African" to be synonymous. Rashidi considers the Africoid race to be the first race in the world. If the first human migrations out of Africa have retained their Africoid appearance, then he considers them also to be Africoid. Rashidi cites Cheikh Anta Diop in the identification of two major Africoid races: one with wooly hair, broad flat nose, thick everted lips and the other with straight hair, aquiline nose, thin lips, and high cheekbones. Diop considers the latter type of black to include Dravidians and Nubians.
Each picture below is equal to 10,000 words!
TAMIL WOMAN MUNDA WOMAN
BLACK WOMAN OF INDIA, PRADESH BLACK MAN OF ASSAM
AGTA WOMAN (Philippines) BLACK MAN (Andaman Islands)
BLACK WOMEN OF THE PHILIPPINES BLACK PHILIPPINE MAN
SEMANG (Descendants of the aboriginal people of Southeast Asia) SCULPTURE OF SEMANG
"The Semang reside in the foothills of the Malay peninsula calling themselves Menik, Meni, Mendi, Monik,. In Thailand they are called Ngok (Ngo), or Ngok Pa, "frizzy people". Considered true negritos, the Semang are matrilineal,(with patrilineal ideas). Among them is evidence of an ancient tiger cult".........Black Jade, Brunson, Rashidi.
The Black (Africoid) race has been assaulted by the bias and corruption of human values, at the hands of caucasoid people for thousands of years. The pictures of the Black faces representing the aboriginal people of Asia is yet another page in the book that details the historical erasure of these faces from the contemporary landscape of Asia. One might ask, where have they gone? Did they just vanish into thin air?
It is truly difficult to find an unbiased account of these dwindling masses of Black people throughout the world. Many scholars and anthropologists will concede that the seed people of the world were African (Black) people, but the facts regarding their cultural contributions remain clouded by the myths of Caucasoid superiority. The introduction of the Caucasoid and Mongoloid racial elements into Asia has had a devastating effect upon the masses of aboriginal people who were there when they arrived thousands of years after the formation and development of the seed cultures. For instance, the Africoid roots of Asian spirituality have been co-opted by the dominant populations, that exclude any mention of Black spiritual masters. However, for the undaunted few who continue to "peel the onion", the voices and faces of the "Sacred Anscestors" emerge with a power and momentum that transforms them and enables the telling of "ourstory".
BLACK WOMEN OF INDIA
See below a sampling of melinated people:
ANDAMESE MAN NAGA MAN
HIMALAYAN HOLY MAN SEMANG MEN
SEMANG WOMAN SEMANG MAN
NEGRITO WOMEN OF BATAAN (Philippines) NEGRITO WOMAN OF PHILIPPINES
ASSAM (NAGA) WOMAN SOUTH AFRICAN BUSHMAN
KACHIN OF BURMA
HUNTER GATHERERS (Burma, Chin state ,embroidered cotton blanket) BURMESE BLACK WOMAN
HUNTER GATHERERS #2 KURIMA OF INDONESIA
KACHIN OF BURMA ANNAMESE HILLSMEN
DANCERS OF CEYLON
(Included are pictures of Black people from other regions of Asia and Africa to illustrate the oneness of Black people)
Symbols and principles of the African-Asian spiritual complex:
The spiritual traditions of the African continent hold the keys to comprehending the symbols that have influenced the cultural-spiritual institutions of Africa and Asia. As the forerunners of humankind, the customs and traditions of the African people worldwide, have been found to be influential in the cultural-spiritual elements found in the practices of other traditions.......'The customs and usages of some primitive African tribes can today throw some light on the meaning of these mysterious and doubtless symbolic figures"....Carl G. Jung, Man and his symbols, Anchor press pg.236.
From the Great Lakes Ancestral Homeland "Land Of The Gods"; The Twa (so called Pygmy) began a wave of migration approximately one million five hundred thousand years ago. Otherwise known as 'Homo Erectus' (upright man), the twa would eventually inhabit every continent upon the earth, and evolve into many racial and ethnic groups. These actions were instrumental in establishing certain fundamental cultural elements:
1.Pre-Totemic living (Living in large groups based upon territory).
2.Totemic living (The division of people into clans identified by symbols such as, forces of nature, plants, and animals.
3.Stellar mythos (Star veneration).
4.Solar cults (Sun veneration).
These elements were adapted and applied to regional and climactic conditions by the people who evolved from the Twa. Those who remained in tropic and equatorial regions retained dark complexions. While those settling in the colder regions with less sunlight lost pigmentation in varying degrees. Africans, Asians, Europeans, Latino and Oceanic people are all descended from the Twa people.
As human civilization evolved, Totemism became a prime element in the formation of cultures and their respective societies in which the role of the Shaman was highly influential. Shamanism has a widespread geographical range:
4. The Americas
Examples of African totemic animal symbols:
2. Panther (leopard)
11. Bull *
* THE PROMINANCE OF THE BULL AS AN AFRICAN TOTEMIC SYMBOL
The bull symbolic of 'Amen', "the hidden one" also represented 'Apis' the god of the underworld (amenta) in the Ausarian drama. In the city of Tchert, 'Menthu' was venerated as a man with the head of a bull. As a deity of war, Menthu was depicted with bow, arrow, club and knife. Symbolizing the fierce power of the sun, menthu warred against the enemies on the Sun-deity with fiery spears (symbols of the shaman). Often styled as the "Mighty Bull", Menthu was the symbol of strength and courage when in combat with an adversary. Menthu was venerated in pre-histiric times. The horns of the bull symbolized life and strength, a symbol later co-opted by the architects of 'Judaeo Christianity' to represent evil in the form of 'Satan'.
LORD OF ANIMALS PROTOTYPE OF SHIVA
A seal discovered during excavation of the Mohenjo-daro archaeological site in the Indus Valley has drawn attention as a possible representation of a "yogi" or "proto-Shiva" figure. This "Pashupati" (Lord of Animals, Sanskrit paśupati)HYPERLINK \l "cite_note-4" seal shows a seated figure, possibly ithyphallic, surrounded by animals.HYPERLINK \l "cite_note-6"HYPERLINK \l "cite_note-7" Some observers describe the figure as sitting in a traditional cross-legged yoga pose with its hands resting on its knees. The discoverer of the seal, Sir John Marshall, and others have claimed that this figure is a prototype of Shiva.
"The seal dramatized on the following page is known as "The lord of the wilderness." His horned headdress, though seemingly abstract, may very well be a prototype to later Indian symbolism. Quoting again Dr. Heinrich Zimmer, "the curious headdress resembles to a striking degree one of the most common symbols of early Buddhist art. The posture is associated also and even more characteristically with the Buddha...The cross-legged posture of the meditating yogi." Thus it is through these images we discover a new and different interpretation of the origins of the cross-legged pose so often seen in Oriental Art. We are now at a point where the civil, spiritual, and cultural, patterns begin to enlighten one as to the tremendous contribution made by the African race to India and the world at large. From Harappa to Parsava to Krishna the Buddha; from Jainism to Yoga to Sankhya and the Gita, the investment the Black race has made to Indian culture and civilization affects one with a profound and sobering clarity"..........Wayne Chandler, The Jewel In The Lotus: The Ethiopian Presence In The Indus Vally Civilization.
The quoted information above, presented by my good friend and brother, Wayne B. Chandler sheds light upon the cultural traditions of the African continent, that hold the keys to understanding the spiritual symbols common to Africa and Asia. Totemism is the prime element in the formation of early society and the African-Asian Shamanic complex. Totemism is best understood as formation of groups of people into clans or kinship units, identified by animal, elemental or plant symbols. These elements have a widespread geographic range through Africa, Asia, Polynesia, Europe and the Americas.
BISON MARIA HEADDRESS, KHOND MAN, INDIA HORNED HEADDRESS (Indonesia)
KHOND DISPLAY WITH HORNS BISON MARIA DRUMMER
BISON MARIA YOUTH WITH HEADDRESS YAMANTAKA (The Black one, Tibet)
SAMURAI ARMOR (Japan) CERRONOUS (Celtic)
BISON MARIA DANCERS APIS (Kemet)
HORN HEADDRESS(Native American) HORN MASK (Bobo tribe Burkina Faso)
APIS BULL KEMET
CAPE BUFFALO (Sub-Saharan Africa) BISON HEAD DRESS
BISON-BUFFALO MOHENJO DHARO SEAL THE BLACK BUFFALO SEAL
At this point it should be obvious that the use of bull and buffalo horns as cultural symbols , is a widespread practice. It is our contention that the practice has roots in Africa. In sub Saharan Africa, the cape buffalo and bush cow are often used in ceremonies connected with the gaining of super-normal consciousness, and the honoring of the ancestors. The horns of the mask represent antennae that empower the wearer and elevate consciousness.
In the art of mask carving, the master craftsman summoned and enshrined ancestral forces vital to clan survival. The mask symbolized the mystery of life and the discipline required to gain the power of self mastery. A specific image (mask) was formed to serve as a conduit for vital power. As a vessel of power, the mask (or headdress) was consecrated as a sacred power object by the shaman-healer to be used in healing and empowerment ceremonies.
In ancient Kemet (Egypt), the bull symbolized Ausar in the form of the Apis bull. In this configuration, the soul of the Apis bull united with that of Ausar, the God of the underworld, and transported the dead for the renewal of life. Kemetic bull veneration embodied rebirth, resurrection, fertility, and vitality.
In ancient India, the bull was closely associated with Shiva the deity of pre-Aryan culture, representing the mystery of creation-preservation-destruction. On several clay seals (mentioned above) from Harappa and Mohenjo-daro the bull is depicted as a yogi with legs in cross legged position. Depicted around the yogi are two deer, an elephant, a tiger, a rhinoceros, and buffalo. The horns represent bull-like strength and fertility, with three faces symbolizing his super human nature. This depiction suggests the yogic -Shiva as the supreme deity of the indus valley. Indologists have associated the origins of Shiva, to this early Indian bull-god.