File:  <westafricanorigin.htm>

WEST-AFRICAN ORIGIN OF LANGUAGE: THE CASE OF IGBO –

DISCUSSIONS ON A NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE ON THE WEST

AFRICAN ORIGIN OF MODERN LANGUAGES

 

Professor Catherine Acholonu

 

Presented at the Conference on Indigenous Knowledge and the Challenges  of the 21st Century, Institute of African Studies, UNN, Nsukka.

 

ABSTRACT

 

          This paper was elicited by a recent article in the world renowned New York Times newspaper published on April, 14th, 2011, authored by Nicholas Wade under the title: “Phonetic Clues Hint Language is Africa-Born” (see below).

 

“Phonetic Clues Hint Language Is Africa-Born”

By NICHOLAS WADE

An Article Published in New York Times, April 14, 2011

 

          A researcher analyzing the sounds in languages spoken around the world has detected an ancient signal that points to southern Africa (meaning Sub-Sahara) as the place where modern human language originated. The finding fits well with the evidence from fossil skulls and DNA that modern humans originated in Africa. The detection of such an ancient signal in language is surprising. Because words change so rapidly, many linguists think that languages cannot be traced very far back in time. The oldest language tree so far reconstructed, that of the Indo-European family, which includes English, goes back 9,000 years at most.

 

          Quentin D. Atkinson, a biologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, has shattered this time barrier, if his claim is correct, by looking not at words but at phonemes — the consonants, vowels and tones that are the simplest elements of language.  Dr. Atkinson, an expert at applying mathematical methods to linguistics, has found a simple but striking pattern in some 500 languages spoken throughout the world: A language area uses fewer phonemes the farther that early humans had to travel from Africa to reach it.

 

          Some of the click-using languages of Africa have more than 100 phonemes, whereas Hawaiian, toward the far end of the human migration route out of Africa, has only 13. English has about 45 phonemes. This pattern of decreasing diversity with distance, similar to the well-established decrease in genetic diversity with distance from Africa, implies that the origin of modern human language is in the region of southwestern Africa, Dr. Atkinson says in an article published on Thursday in the journal Science.

 

          Language is at least 50,000 years old, the date that modern humans dispersed from Africa, and some experts say it is at least 100,000 years old. Dr. Atkinson, if his work is correct, is picking up a distant echo from this far back in time….Dr. Atkinson is one of several biologists who have started applying to historical linguistics the sophisticated statistical methods developed for constructing genetic trees based on DNA sequences.  Some linguists have regarded these efforts with suspicion.

 

          In 2003 Dr. Atkinson and Russell Gray, another biologist at the University of Auckland, reconstructed the tree of Indo-European languages with a DNA tree-drawing method called Bayesian phylogeny. The tree indicated that Indo-European was much older than historical linguists had estimated and hence favored the theory that the language family had diversified with the spread of agriculture some 10,000 years ago, not with a military invasion by steppe people some 6,000 years ago, the idea favored by most historical linguists Dr. Atkinson’s finding fits with other evidence about the origins of language. The Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert belong to one of the earliest branches of the genetic tree based on human mitochondrial DNA. Their languages belong to a family known as Khoisan and include many click sounds, which seem to be a very ancient feature of language. And they live in southern Africa, which Dr. Atkinson’s calculations point to as the origin of language. But whether Khoisan is closest to some ancestral form of language “is not something my method can speak to,” Dr. Atkinson said.

 

          A recent finding that the number of phonemes in a language increases with the number of people who speak it prompted his study. This gave him the idea that phoneme diversity would increase as a population grew, but would fall again when a small group split off and migrated away from the parent group. Such a continual budding process, which is the way the first modern humans expanded around the world, is known to produce what biologists call a serial founder effect. Each time a smaller group moves away, there is a reduction in its genetic diversity.  The reduction in phonemic diversity over increasing distances from Africa, as seen by Dr. Atkinson, parallels the reduction in genetic diversity already recorded by biologists. For either kind of reduction in diversity to occur, the population budding process must be rapid, or diversity will build up again. This implies that the human expansion out of Africa was very rapid at each stage. The acquisition of modern language, or the technology it made possible, may have prompted the expansion, Dr. Atkinson said.

 

          What is so remarkable about this work is that it shows language doesn’t change all that fast, rather it retains a signal of its ancestry over tens of thousands of years,” said Mark Pagel, a biologist at the University of Reading in England who advised Dr. Atkinson. Dr. Pagel sees language as central to human expansion across the globe. “Language was our secret weapon, and as soon we got language we became a really dangerous species,” he said.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

          In several recent articles (see www.carcafriculture.org) presented by the Catherine Acholonu Research Center at various Fora including the 2011 Igbo Studies Association Conference, Howard University, Washington DC, USA; the 2010 World Igbo Congress, Philadelphia, USA and a recent lecture at the African Studies Center, University of Nigeria, we have continued to emphasize the thesis of an Igbo origin of language, argued most convincingly in volumes 2 and 3 of the African Adam Trilogy: They Lived Before Adam: Pre-historic Origins of the Igbo, The Never Been Ruled (2009) and The Lost Testament of the Ancestors of Adam: Unearthing Heliopolis/Igbo Ukwu – The Celestial City of the Gods of Egypt and Dravidian India (2010).

 

          This recent article in New York Times, by Nicholas Wade ex-raying new research findings that use mathematical methods of biological DNA analyses to analyze phoneme frequencies (frequencies of sounds and tones of vowels and consonants) as they occur in various distant languages of the world to determine language origins, has not only lend much weight to our own conclusions, but it has made the Igbo language and cultural area a subject for international linguistic and historical discourse.

 

          The conclusion by the Atkinson research team that language originated in the Western part of Sub-Saharan Africa supports our own thesis of an Igbo origin of languages because Igbo language is based in the Western part of Sub-Saharan Africa. Also the conclusion that this ancient mother-language left Africa during the earliest ‘Out of Africa’ migrations is the same as our own conclusions that Homo Erectus left Africa with a Language and a Culture intact, and not, as animal-like ‘primitive man’. Our thesis that the San (Khoisan) Bushmen of the Kalahari were among the earliest carriers of this Proto-Proto-Igbo mother tongue, was also confirmed in the Atkinson research findings.

 

          We therefore call on Igbo scholars worldwide to seize upon this added scientific evidence provided by Dr. Atkinson’s research[1] to bring global research interest/funding to Igbo studies to save it from extinction and to restore its pride of place as the mother language of humankind. This will have powerful ripple effects on the study and development of Igbo culture, Igbo identity and on the restoration of the soul-essence of Igbo civilization as the mother of world civilizations, for as Dr. Mark Pegel, a biologist at the university of Reading, England, argues (see above), “language is central to human expansion across the globe” and as such central to human civilization.

 

EVIDENCE FROM PRE-HISTORY BACKING UP AN IGBO ORIGIN OF HUMANKIND,

LANGUAGE, CULTURE AND CIVILIZATION

 

          Our claims to an Igbo origin of language, culture and civilization are not based on spoken language alone, but on the equally compelling fact that among the archaeological discoveries at Igbo Ukwu by British archaeologist Thurstan Shaw, were several inscriptions on pottery and bronze, which when compared with ancient Middle Eastern inscriptions (Egyptian and Cretan Hieroglyphics, Hittite, Old Phoenician, Old Sumerian, Proto-Palestinian, etc)[2] show several striking similarities. This shows that there was a civilization of note, based in Igbo land, now lost, which might have birthed the Middle Eastern civilizations and writing systems, but also their spoken languages.

 

          Equally compelling is the discovery of an Early, Middle and Late Stone Age Homo Erectus (the ancestor of Homo Sapiens Sapiens or Modern Man) habitation in Ugwuele, Isuikwuato, Abia State in Igbo land in the early seventies by a team of archaeologists from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka[3]. This adds tons of weight to an Igbo origin of the ‘Out of Africa’ migrations of Early Man; but to also an Igbo origin of human language and culture; while the Igbo Ukwu inscriptions backed up by the mythologies and written records of the Egyptians, Sumerians, Dravidians, Hebrews and Kwa peoples of Nigeria lend credence to a Post-Deluge Kwa-Igbo origin of civilization[4].

 

INDELIBLE SIGNALS OF THE MOTHER-LANGUAGE ARE

RETAINED THROUGH THOUSANDS OF YEARS

 

          Dr Pegel noted[5], most interestingly, that “What’s so remarkable about this (Atkinson’s) work is that it shows language doesn’t change all that fast — it retains a signal of its ancestry over tens of thousands of years”. What we are about to demonstrate in this article is how signals of Igbo language has been retained in some of the most ancient as well as the most modern languages (and cultures) of the world, proving without any shadow of doubt that the Igbo was the mother of languages such as Sanskrit, Egyptian, Sumerian, English and Semitic languages[6], or at least that Igbo is the longest surviving child of a global mother language spoken by gods and men alike.

 

          Linguists believe that when words from two or more separate languages share similarities in sound and meaning, it is a sign of borrowing or common origin.[7] Using this method, we have found hundreds of words of similar sounds and meanings with those of Igbo language across several languages of the globe, showing, indeed that signals of the mother language are retained “through tens of thousands of years”. In fact we gave over-weighing evidence in the Adam Trilogy[8] that every language retains traces of cultural and historical experiences it has lived through in the course of millennia. We even found several traces that Igbo was the language spoken by God when he ‘spoke’ creation into being and that it was the language spoken by the first Homo Sapiens family – Adam’s.[9]

 

          Here we list words from diverse ancient and modern languages that have retained Igbo signals in the form of common sounds and meanings with the mother language, and in some cases, powerful evidence of having originated in an Igbo cultural environment.

 

EGYPTIAN WORDS OF IGBO ORIGIN

 

          The Egyptian word for ‘gods’ is NTR or Neter. It means ‘Guardian or Watcher’. Its Igbo equivalent/original is Onetara (meaning – ‘He who guards and watches’ over a thing on behalf of someone else). The Igbo original is more explicit, for it shows that these lesser gods are answerable to a Higher Being.

 

          The highest and oldest of the known gods of Egypt was Ptah. He was the father of all the other gods. His name, Ptah, means in Egyptian, ‘He who fashions things by carving and opening up”.[10] The Igbo original of this word is Okpu-atu (meaning ‘He who moulds/fashions things by carving and opening up’. Igbo word tuo/atu means both ‘to carve and to open a hole’). Ptah’s rule over Egypt began as early as 21,000 BC! If his name and the collective name for the gods of Egypt, Neter, were Igbo in origin, it implies that an ancient civilization of Igbo extraction existed in West Africa, where the gods, and not men ruled, by at least 22,000 BC; that Egypt was an originally Igbo-speaking civilization and that early Egyptians were Igbos.[11] These linguistic pieces of evidence suggest that the earliest Egyptian civilization (the time when gods and not men ruled Egypt) before Pharaohnic rule began in 3,100 BC was based in West Africa and not in North Africa – the civilization, now lost to which the Igbo Ukwu archaeological findings belong.[12] We have found several pieces of evidence supporting this assertion which will be published in subsequent articles.

 

          Ptah’s son was called Ra, meaning ‘Sun/Daylight’. It’s Igbo original was Ora (which in Afa – the cult language of Igbo native priests, also meant ‘Sun/daylight’).

 

          The grandson of Ra was called Osiris by the Greeks and Asar by the Egyptians. Osiris’ was associated with the number ‘seven’. No one knows the meaning of his name in Egypt[13], but in Igbo language Asaa means ‘seven’!

 

          The son of Osiris was called Horus. This is a Greek version of a native Egyptian word Heru, which means ‘Face’, as in ‘Face of the Sun’. Its Igbo original is Iru – ‘Face’. Horus was known as the Lord of the Horizon. The Horizon being known to the Egyptians as the land of the Rising Sun, a place located in the Southwestern direction from Egypt - the original mythological home of the gods of Egypt. Our analyses shows that this land of the Rising sun was known in several other world mythologies as the Center/Navel of the Earth. The actual cartographical center of the earth, as indicated in all old maps of the world is ‘Median Biafra’, for median means ‘Center’. Biafra is the ancient name for the place now known as Igbo land. It’s location on world maps shows that Igbo land was the true ‘navel of the earth’. Igbo land was thus, that Land of the Rising Sun/that Horizon Land to which Egyptian mythologies and pyramid records refer as the Heaven of the Egyptians. The international word ‘Horizon’ is thus derived from the name ‘Horus’, which in itself is derived from Igbo word Iru – ‘Face of the Sun’. To demonstrate their genetic claim to being the true god-men who lived in this land of the gods, Igbo initiates marked themselves with the symbol of the sun – ichi, a word derived from another name of the Sun/daylight, chi, which is also the name of the spirit of God in Man and from which originated the Greek word Christ[14].

 

          Egypt’s most ancient god is called Amun/Amen/Ammun. He is a god residing under the earth and his name implies ‘Hidden inside the bowels of Earth’. According to Martin Bernal[15] the word Amen is derived from imn which is pronounced Amana. These two words have Igbo origins. Igbo equivalent of imn (Egyptian words are usually not written with vowels) is ime ana, and means ‘inside the earth’, while amana is equally an Igbo word referring to the Earth religion, further supporting an originally Igbo-based Egyptian religion and civilization. 

 

          Egyptian words with Igbo sounds and meanings are legion. They include but are not limited to the following:

Egyptian: Musi/mose/msi – ‘to give birth’ (Igbo – mmusi ‘to give birth to many children’). From this word is derived names of Pharaohs such as Thoth-mose (‘Born of Thoth’), Rameses (‘Descended from Ra’), etc. The fact that many pharaohs of Egypt bear this word in their names would tend to add weight to an Igbo origin of Egyptian civilization and divinities.

 

Egyptian: tuf - ‘to throw away’ (Igbo:  tufuo – ‘to throw away’)

 

Egyptian: akhu – ‘fire/light’ (Igbo: oku – ‘fire/light’). Akhu is the sacred vernacular name for the Giza Pyramid – one of the greatest wonders of the world. Its native Igbo name implies that an Igbo-speaking team of ancient engineers possibly constructed it, especially because as we demonstrated in They Lived Before Adam, many key words in Egyptian Engineering lexicon are cognates of Igbo language.

 

Egyptian: aru - ‘body/form’ (Igbo: aru  - ‘body’)

 

Egyptian: ba - ‘heart’(Igbo: obi – ‘heart’)

 

Egyptian: Busiris ‘House of Osiris’ (Igbo/Nri/Nsukka dialect: ‘Obu Osiris’ – ‘House of Osiris’).

 

Egypt was known as ‘Black land’. Probably the word ‘Egypt’ could have been derived from the Igbo word Ojikputu, which means ‘Pitch Black’ (Orlu dialect)

 

Egyptian: hike – ‘power/strength’ (Igbo – ike – ‘power/strength’

 

Egyptian - hekau – ‘word of power’ (Igbo - ike okwu – ‘word of power’)

 

Eguptian xut/pronounced kut ‘sunrise’ (Igbo ukutu ‘dawn’ – Orlu dialect)

 

Egyptian sa ‘to shine’ (Igbo saa ‘to shine’ - Orlu dialect)

 

Egyptian satu ‘shine down’ (Igbo satuo – ‘ shine down’ - Orlu dialect)

 

Egyptian tua ‘glorify’ (Igbo too ‘glorify’ Orlu dialect)

 

Egyptian hru ‘the day dawns’ (Igbo horo ‘the day dawns’- Orlu dialect)

 

Egyptian xerkert (pronounced kirkir) ‘pieces’ (Igbo kirikiri ‘pieces’ - Orlu dialect

 

Egyptian transitive –k ‘you’ Igbo transitive –k ‘you’ as in si ku - ‘say to you’ - Nsukka dialect).

 

          Egyptian borrowings from Igbo are in two groups: words borrowed from Orlu/Okigwe dialectal family are far older in chronological time that those borrowed from the Anambra dialectal family since Orlu/Okigwe are held by Igbo historians[16] to belong to the autochthonous (non-migrant descendants of  Homo Erectus) group. This implies that the earliest roots of Egyptian civilization, when the gods and not men ruled Egypt, began among the autochthons of Igbo land, but did not end there. Latter-day migrant Igbo priest-kings continued to exert influences in Pharaohnic Egyptian civilization.[17]

 

SUMERIAN/SEMITIC

 

          Sumerian language is classified among Semitic languages. In The Gram Code of African Adam, we asserted, based on our findings, that we did not see any sign that Semites had a language or a culture of their own, for every aspect of their language and culture was borrowed from the Hamites. Two full-length books and one thousand pages of hard core research information later, we are even more convinced of that assertion. In fact, we have garnered more than enough clues indicating that the word ‘Semitic’ is a misnomer, and that Semites were a branch of the Hamitic stock, whose origins began precisely in the West Africa rain forest region of Nigeria. As in ancient Egyptian, some of the names of the earliest gods of Sumer were derived from Igbo language. Some of these gods, according to Sumerian cuneiform records lived on earth before the creation of human beings. One such god was called ZU. His name means in the language of the gods: ‘He Who Knows’. The word Zu has an equivalent in sound and meaning in Igbo, namely Izu, which means ‘Wise and Knowledgeable’.[18]

 

          Another Sumerian god with an Igbo name was the Stone God Ullikimmi, for his name means in Igbo ‘Stone Cable’ – Illi nkume. Also an early Storm god of Sumer, who fought a protracted war with the stone god was called Kummiya. In Igbo this name translates as Nkume Iyi. Nkume Iyi is the pebble used by rainmakers to make rain. Iyi implies ‘Rain’ and ‘Storm’. Sitchin[19] noted that Ulli Kummi means ‘He who contends with Kummi’, which in Igbo would translate into Olu Kummi ‘He who fights Kummi’. Again we see that these gods were Igbo-speaking, leading us to conclude that Egyptian and Sumerian mythological origins are traceable to one and the same place - Igbo land.

 

          A Babylonian tablet in the British Museum (No. 74329)[20] catalogued as containing an otherwise unknown myth, but narrating aspects of the story of Cain’s lineage, (the tablets call him Ka’in), says Cain’s descendants are called Amakandu – meaning ‘People Who in Sorrow Roam’. After the death of Kain, his family buried him in a place called Nudun, which means ‘Excavated Resting Place’ (Biblical ‘Nud’), also called Dunnu. The last settlement of this group of people was called Shupat, meaning ‘Judgment’. All these vernacular Sumerian words are Igbo words. In Igbo (Owerri dialect), Ama ka nduu means ‘To roam is better than to settle’. Igbo equivalent of Nudun (‘Excavated Resting Place’) is Onu Nduu, and has the exact same meaning with Nudun. Onu means in Igbo ‘mouth/excavated hole’, while nduu means ‘to rest/to sit’ in Owerri dialect. The Igbo equivalent of Sumerian Shupat (‘Judgment’) is Ishi ikpe, which also implies ‘Judgment’. There is a clan in Anambra State in Igbo land called Dunukofia. The name means ‘To settle is better than to roam’.

 

          Sumerian texts say that the first city built by the gods on earth was called Eridu. There they placed the members of Adam’s family.  Adam’s great grandson was named Yared, meaning ‘He of Eridu’, ‘person from Eridu’. Its Igbo equivalent, with the same meaning, is Oye Eridu. The father of Yared was Enosh/Enu-Esh. His name meant ‘Master of humankind’, for the first people were called Esh, Adam too was called Esh in vernacular Hebrew. In Sumerian this sacred word Esh means ‘Righteous Shepherd’. All Sumerian kings bore the title Esh.  Equally in Igbo land Esh/Eshi/Nshi is a sacred word implying divine origins of the first people, who indeed were wielders of supernatural powers.  Igbo people from the area occupied by the autochthons (Orlu and Okigwe) begin time reckoning with ‘Kamgbe Eshi’ – ‘From the time of the Eshi’. The term ‘Oha-eshi’ refers to the generality of the people descended from the autochthons. These would tend to suggest that the Hebrew Esh (‘first people’), Igbo Esh (‘First People’) and Sumerian Esh (Sumerian kings who bear the “ESH” title do so in other to legitimize their reign through association with the autochthons of Igbo land) all have the same root. In fact Sumerians called themselves ‘Black-headed people’ to distinguish themselves from the Egyptians, who were called ‘Black-footed People”. King Assurbanipal was said to have claimed to posses the secrets of writing “from the days before the Flood”.[21]

 

          Sumerian word ommia means ‘expert’. Igbo omaya means ‘the one who knows it well’.  Sumerian town of Kish, according to Sumerian records, was where the gods first handed down kingship to men. Igbo Ki ishi means ’The First’ (Orlu dialect). Actually the anglicized spelling ‘Orlu’ is derived from a word pronounced Ele. The people of Orlu town in Orlu local government believe that they are descendants of an ancestor known as Okwara Ugwu-Ele – ‘Heir of the Hill of Ele’; Ugwuele being the very place of habitation of the Homo Erectus autochthons.

 

          Sumerian word Tug means dress. Igbo tuiga means ‘dress up’ (Orlu Dialect). Like the Igbo Sumerians also wore wrappers for total wrap-round cover-up, which were called Tug-tu-she, which in Igbo (Orlu Dialect) would be pronounced tuiga tushie ‘cover-all dressing’. We have demonstrated in They Lived Before Adam that Sumerian customs, religious practices and traditional ways of life as described by Wallis Budge[22] was the same in most details with those of ancient Nigerians.

 

          Hebrew word hyssop (‘to cleanse’) derived from Sumerian word zupu (‘to clean’). Both go back to the Igbo word hisapu and sapu – ‘to clean off’ or ‘wash clean’ (Orlu Dialect). In They Lived Before Adam we listed several Akkadian, Canaanite and Hebrew words along with Sumerian ones which derive from Igbo, with several place names in Hebrew – including names of rivers and mountains. These all fall under the Semitic group of languages, leading us to conclude that Semitic languages are of Igbo extraction and that Igbo is the mother of Semitic. Cosmic words like Greek cosmos and Gaia are both derived from Canaanite qsm and gweye respectively. These two words have the same meanings in Canaanite and in Igbo, respectively: Canaanite qsm and Igbo kwasama (Owerri dialect) both mean ‘to arrange outwards’; Canaanite gweye and Igbo ngwo iyi both mean ‘ravine of water’. Greek Gaia, derived from gweye, is the name of the ancient planet which according to Sumerian prehistoric sources existed several millions of years ago, and was the mother planet of all the planets in the solar system! And Igbo goes so far back!

 

          If Igbo language goes this far back, is there any wonder why it was the language in which the creator gods uttered the words that brought creation into being in Eden. For in the Torah the vernacular Hebrew words which describe the words uttered by God during creation in Eden were Igbo words. This leads us to the conclusion that the Jews were migrants from Igbo land. These words from Eden[23] include:

 

Hebrew amar (‘commanded’), Igbo hamara ‘commanded’

Hebrew hayah (‘Let there be…’); Igbo haa ya (‘Let it be…/let there be’)

Hebrew hayah uwr (‘Let there be Light’), Igbo haa ya owuru (‘Let it be allowed to be’)

Hebrew towb (‘it is good’), Igbo Otu obu ‘It is as it should be’)

 

          Hebrew Hayawu (name of the creating deity), Igbo Anyanwu (‘Sun’). This links up with the Igbo word Ora (Sun) being the name of the Igbo god known among the Egyptians as Ra (Sun). Our research shows that this name was first borne by the Hidden god Amun (Amana) before it was usurped by the son of Enki. This would suggest that it was this God lodged inside the bowels of the earth that carried out the act of creation described in Genesis. Our findings equally suggest that the hidden God was the same being known as El (Ele among the Igbo and Ela among the Yoruba). The greater number of the Igbo words in the Genesis story belong to the Orlu/Okigwe dialectal language family, so too the words in the Sumerian group. This suggests that Sumerians were mostly of the autochthonous Igbo group, the Pre-Adamic group, and descendants of the Homo Erectus migrations. The Egypt group of Igbo words however derive mostly from Anambra dialects of latter-day Igbo land, which agrees with the Igbo/Benin/Yoruba mythology of a Post-Deluge civilization founded on a raised plateau land by a god-man called Eri, whose history and characteristics agree with those of Thoth as recorded in his book The Emerald Tablet of Thoth the Atlantean.[24] Thoth’s work demonstrates a post-deluge migration from Atlantis to Nigeria, which agrees with Egyptian mythological records of the coming of Osiris and Isis to Egypt from a sinking planet – a story taken up by Plato in Timaeus and Critias and narrated in greater detail in the Emerald Tablet of Thoth the Atlantean.

 

          Considering that Abraham’s origins were in Sumer (Ur of the Chaldees is another name for Sumer), we are inclined to think that Sumer, and not Shem, might have been the actual origin of the word ‘Semitic’. Sumer was a place unknown, however. Its origin stems from copies of “Olden Texts” assembled in the Nineveh library of Assurbanipal, many of which list kings who call themselves “king of Akkad and king of Sumer”.[25] This led to early researchers on these texts opting to call the people “Sumerians” and their land “Sumer”. The texts actually speak of “Shumerian” and not Sumerian, while the Biblical Genesis says that Babylon, Akkad and Erech were in the land of Shin’ar. We have thoroughly examined these terms in another paper titled “Sumer – A Pre-Deluge West African Civilization” and come to the conclusion that the origins of the Sumerian civilization lies in a land destroyed by the Flood, which later took root in West Africa only to be destroyed again, causing its inhabitants to disperse all over the world, some to Egypt and to Arabian lands, where they founded new cities with the same old names of their lost cities. This much is clear from the following text by Assurbanipal king of Nineveh:

 

“The god of scribes has bestowed on me the gift of the knowledge of his art

I have been initiated into the secrets of writing

I can even read the intricate tablets of Shumerian

I understand the enigmatic words in the stone carvings

from the days before the Flood…”[26]

 

          The god of scribes is Thoth, who is also known among the gods of Sumer (though by a different name). In Igbo Nri mythology, he is known as Eri. In Igbo land as in Sumer, writing was a secret and sacred art of the gods, which only the initiates were allowed to indulge in. The clan of scribes of Igbo land was called Ar/Aro. They are also the guardians of the Mouth of the labyrinthine Cave where God/Chukwu/Ukpabi (a local version of the Supreme Being and of Egypt’s Hidden God Amun) dwells unseen. Characteristically this Cave is called Obini-ukpabi, which translates into ‘Tomb Palace of God’ or ‘Underground Dwelling of God’ – a sure reference to the Egyptian Duat home of Amun, which Thoth calls Amenti (‘Halls for Listening’- Igbo exact equivalent is Amanti). Our analyses of some of their writings on cloth (nkara) shows that the step-pyramid, the crocodile, the serpent, the three-hills (horizon), the sun, the moon and several other symbols and totems of Egyptian gods are regular features.[27] Apart from that, the Ar/Aro possess their own local and very ancient version of the Ark of Tutankhamun with the exact same shape.[28] The name of the secret society of initiates of the god of writing to which the Ar/Aro belong is called Ekpe. Their headquarter happens to be the monoliths[29] circle of inscribed stones in Alok (Enoch?), Cross River State, Nigeria, which as far as the natives can tell were made by Stone Age People – dwarfs who were of the “First Age Grade of humans” to inhabit the earth (Homo Erectus). Do all these not agree uncannily with Assurbanipal’s claim about a “god of scribes”, an “initiation into the secrets of writing” and about “enigmatic words in the stone carvings from the days before the Flood…”? As if these were not enough, Shin’ar the Biblical name of Shumer actually translates into Igbo as Eshi na Ar (‘People of the Sun and Scribes of the Gods’), while Shumer translates into Igbo as Eshi Umu Eri (Sun People, Children of Thoth). Since the word Ar literally means ‘Serpent’s comb’ Shen’ar also means ‘People of the Sun and the Serpent’. Thus the full meaning of Osiris’ Egyptian name Asa-ar is ‘Seven Serpents’ or ‘Serpent with the Seven Combs’.

 

          Like the Igbo, Sumerians also have a river deity called Urashi. One of its names resh-eni means in Sumerian -‘where the waters have their source’. Igbo equivalent orashi enu also means ‘Source-waters’. The Sumerian word Babel means ‘Gate to El’s House’. The Igbo equivalent is Baa be Ele, ‘Entrance to Ele’s House’. Ele is the most ancient god of the Igbo autochthons. We know from Biblical sources that the Babel incident that brought about the separation of languages from the one original mother tongue happened at Babel. The fact that in Sumer and in Igbo land, El was associated with the heights[30] and also in Hebrew, shows a common origin of both the god and the peoples that worship it. The ancient base of El in Igbo land, according to mythology was the same place where the Homo Erectus habitation was found by archaeologists, namely Ugwu-Ele. Ugwu-ele means ‘Hill/Heights of Ele’! The Biblical term Beth-el means ‘House of El’ or ‘Lord’s House’, for El was the God whom the Jews called ‘Lord’. Its Igbo original was Be-Ele/Obi Ele ‘House of El’.

 

          Since El/Ele was also a hidden God for the Jews, we are inclined to believe that he was the same as the Egyptian god Ammun. All these converging pieces of evidence suggest that the Tower of Babel incident most likely took place in West Africa. A Recent book by Jewish historian, Jonathan Cook, When and How Was the Jewish People Invented, 2011, supports our thesis that the Jews were never a people of Palestine, and that their claim to a Palestine origin was a fabrication of Biblical scholars. Evidence that we amassed in The Lost Testament, shows that the Jews were a Nigerian tribe of scribes of the Igbo God Ele and an off-shoot of the Eri/Aro tribe of scribes, initiates and professional priests.

 

          Sumerian term Amurru (‘Westerners’)[31] is derived from Igbo Umu oru (‘People of the West’). West here implies West of the River Niger, for the Igbo distinguish between Oru and Igbo (Oru na Igbo) with ‘oru’ implying ‘those who live West of the Niger River, i.e. the Benin and the Yoruba’, and ‘Igbo’ implying those who live east of the Niger, i.e. the core Igbo and the Delta Igbo. From this term is also derived the etymology of the word Hebrew, whose literal meaning in Aramaic and in Igbo (Igbo Oru) is ‘Those who live on the Western Side of the River’! Igbo Oru actually means: ‘The Igbo Who Live West of the Niger’. This implies that originally the peoples of the Eastern and Western Niger were at least of the same political entity, before the rivalries of their gods separated them ideologically. All these linguistic piles of evidence are powerful testimonies that Sumerians and Hebrews, Benins and Yorubas were originally speaking an Igbo mother language, still spoken in Igbo land to this day, but not among the other nation states that were originally part of the mother-entity. They also suggest that the origins of civilization lie in ancient Nigeria in the area of the River Niger. One can venture further and adduce from the foregoing that the Great Benin Empire of Old and the Oyo/Owo empires of Yoruba land, of which nothing remains in present times, were perhaps offshoots of the original Pre-Deluge Sumerian civilization of ancient Nigerians.

 

          As described in Zecharia Sitchin’s book When Time Began, by 2,000 BC the land of Ur, otherwise called Sumer was beset by a military disaster such that “Sumer itself lay prostrate and desolate, the remnants of its people spread in all directions: Sumerian doctors and astronomers, architects and sculptors, cutters of seals and scribes became teachers in other lands”… “For the first time there appears in Mesopotamian inscriptions the term Munnabtutu, literally meaning ‘fugitives from a destruction’” – what would today be called ‘displaced persons” or “stateless refugees”. The Igbo original of this term is Umunna obi ntitu, which literally means ‘Kindred from a Crushed Homestead’ or ‘Citizens of a Destroyed City’.

 

          In They Lived Before Adam, we provided evidence that what destroyed the Prehistoric civilizations of West Africa was the war between the god Marduk, known in Egypt as Ra and the Supreme God of the autochthons, the Hidden God, El. In The Lost Testament, we provided initial evidence that Marduk/Ra was either backing or was himself the Yoruba God Oduduwa, the Nigerian equivalent of Egypt’s Seth, while El/Atum was the power behind Oduduwa’s rival brother, Obatala, the Nigerian equivalent of Osiris. In When Time Began, foremost oriental scholar of Sumerian cuneiform records, Zecharia Sitchen, provides added evidence from Sumerian records that indeed Marduk was the god behind the Western Nigerians (the Benin and the Yoruba monarchies).

 

          While the Amurru (Umuoru) ‘Westerners’, followers of Marduk and Nabu [his son] poured into Mesopotamia and provided the rulers that made up the first dynasty of Marduk’s Babylon, other tribes and nations-to-be engaged in massive population movements that forever changed the Near-East, Asia [Eshi] and Europe. They brought about the emergence of Assyria to Babylon’s north, the Hittite kingdom to the northwest, the Hurrian Mitanni to the west, the Indo-Aryan kingdoms that spread from the Caucasus on Babylon’s north-east, and those of the desert peoples to the south and of the ‘Sealand people’ to the southeast…They migrated to the Indus Valley to repopulate and reinvigorate it. The Vedic tales of gods and heroes that [Aryans, later] brought with them were the Sumerian myths retold. The notions of Time and its measurement and cycles were of Sumerian origin mingled into the Aryan migrations. [They brought] mysteriously abrupt changes… in China without any gradual development…[and] transformed (China from a nation of] primitive villages to one of walled cities whose rulers possessed bronze weapons [the Igbo, Benin and Yoruba have been masters in bronze casting for as long as living memory goes][32] and chariots and the knowledge of writing. The cause, all agree was the arrival of migrants from the west [western hemisphere; West Africa], the same civilizing influences of Sumer… the migrations in the aftermath of the fall of Sumer.

 

[In China] writing was introduced together with kingship by the Shang dynasty [of little people, whose ancestors were probably the Igbo-speaking Nshi dwarfs who authored the monoliths of Nigeria].[33] Brackets mine.

 

          In The Gram Code of African Adam, we pointed out that two Original Sumerian (proto-cuneiform) letters inscribed on the monoliths of Ikom, leading us to conclude that those who inscribed the monoliths were the founders of the Sumerian civilization, namely the dwarfs/autochthons who taught their sacred writings to the initiate scribes of ancient Nigeria. Igbo infusion into Chinese civilization can be seen in Chinese language which is monosyllabic and in their early writing whose letters were pictographic as in Igbo Ukwu bronze and pottery inscriptions. The Chinese I-ching divination system of trigrams has mathematical links with Igbo Afa divination system[34], and as listed in They Lived Before Adam, several Chinese monosyllabic words have same sounds and meanings with similar Igbo words. Sitchin records that consequent on the destruction original base of the Sumerian civilization, “throughout the steppes of Central Asia and all the way from India to China and Japan, the religious beliefs spoke of gods of Heaven and Earth and of a place [in the west] called Sumeruat the navel of the earth - .”[35] Chinese mythology calls this western land of the migrant gods and god-men Hsi wang mu, which in Igbo reads Eshi nwa mmuo (‘Immortal Eshi/godmen’).

 

          According to Professor E.E. Okafor, the Dean of Archaeology at the University of Nigeria, new dating of samples of slag and bloom from ancient industrial furnaces in Lejja, Nsukka in Igbo land sent to UK for dating by the Archaeology Department at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, recently returned with a shocking date of 4,000 B.C.![36] By 4,000 B.C. Sumerian civilization in the Middle East, which is supposedly older than Egyptian civilization, was in its infancy, while Igbo people were making metal in industrial furnaces and piling up masses of slag and bloom that question to this very day the generally accepted notions of the origin of civilization.

 

INDIA/HINDU WORDS OF IGBO ORIGIN

 

          Evidence of an Igbo-speaking nation of migrant peoples who laid the foundation of Indian civilization also abounds in the Indian lexicon.

 

          Manu (‘First Man’) Igbo - mmanu (human);

 

          Kash (Kwash) – First People, god-men (Igbo: Akwanshi – ‘First People/god-men’); Kush, the name of the Biblical son of Khem/Ham was the clan name of all Indians (Hindu Kush), but also of all Nubians. Egypt was named Khemet after its founding father, Khem\Ham the post-Deluge settler of the African continent, whose name means ‘Black’.

 

          Sindh (the largest and longest river in India and main source of life, agriculture, trade and sheer survival, from which originated the words India, Hindu) appears to have derived its name from the Igbo word Isi ndu ‘Source of Life’ (pronounced Isi ndhu in Orlu/Okigwe dialects).

 

          An ancient pyramid complex in Kashi, the holiest city of India, had the name Bindhu Madhu, which translates into Igbo as Obi Ndhu Mmadu (Orlu dialect) ‘Mankind’s Sacred Dwelling Place of Immortality’. Kashi was India’s ‘City of Light’, the Igbo equivalent of this word is Oku Eshi – ‘Place of gods of Light’).

 

          Sanskrit Kr means ‘to create/to make’, it is derived from Igbo kere (‘created’);

 

          Sanskrit Dev (‘god/divine’) is derived from Igbo Ide Afa/Ava (‘Demi god of Afa’), pronounced Ava in some core Anambra dialects);

 

          Sanskrit Om/Aum is said to be the first word intoned by god to bring about created life. Its Biblical equivalent is ‘I Am’. Its Igbo equivalent is Oom (‘I am/I am it/It is I’); Igbo Aum/Awu m equally means ‘I am’. Both are derived from Orlu/Okigwe dialect of the autochthons, indicating that Sanskrit, the so called Oldest language of humanity is equally owes some of its vocabulary to Igbo.

 

          Indra is the name of the solar deity of India. His name appears to have derived from Afa word Ndu Ora (‘Life of the Sun’) or perhaps it is a collective name for solar deities – Ndi Ora – ‘People of the Sun’.

 

          The India ancient city of Kashmiri is waterlogged most of the year. Its name appears to have Igbo connotations for miri means ‘water’ in Igbo and would tend to suggest a name such as ‘Kushite Water People’.

 

INTERNATIONAL WORDS (INDO-EUROPEAN) THAT DERIVE FROM

AFA CULT LANGUAGE OF THE ANCIENT IGBO PRIESTS

 

          Most European languages, including English, belong to the Indo-European family of languages. Common historical experiences have brought about borrowing across several European borders, such that most international words are found in almost all European languages. We have selected a few words as examples, though there are many more of such words with Igbo roots across several European languages, both Eastern and Western Europe:[37]

 

Eve (Ava – ‘Living Soul/God as Mother, Creative Force’)

Nature (Nne Atu Ora – Mother of the Living Word of the Sun God)

Adam  (Adaa m – ‘I have fallen’)

Order (Ora dere – cosmically established/god ordained)

Life (Ele ife – ‘Light of Ele’)

Love (Ele ovu/ofu – ‘Divine unity/oneness’)

Oracle  (Ora okala – ‘Divination’)

Caesar (Ichie Eze Ora – ‘Most High Sun King’)

Faith (Ifu etu –‘to focus on divine order’)

Chief (ichie efu – ‘Non-initiate community head’)

King (ikenga – ‘anchor of manly force/power’)

Queen (akwu nne – ‘nest of mother essence’)

Equal/equilibrium (akwu ele – ‘divine balance’)

Mind (Omi ndu- ‘Depth of spirit’)

Human (oha mmuo ana – ‘community of earth-dwelling spirits’)

Meet (etymologically derived from Old English moot – ‘gathering of elders’ - Igbo ime otu–‘gathering of elders’)

Choir (Igbo Ukwe Ora ‘Group of singers’)

Cock (Igbo Okuko ‘cock’)

Animal (Igbo anumanu ‘animal’)

Say (Igbo saa ‘to say’)

Marine (Igbo miri ‘water’), etc, etc.

 

CONCLUSION

 

          From the foregoing, we have shown that it is possible to follow through with the demonstration of the origin of languages, peoples, cultures and civilizations right into the actual dialects of Igbo that birthed these civilizations. It is also possible to demonstrate which of these world civilizations belonged with the Proto-Kwa, and which ones belonged to the Post-Kwa dispersals. We have shown that an originally IGBO-SPEAKING Proto-Kwa civilization - a Pre-Deluge, mother-pot civilization based in ancient Nigeria, peopled by the ancestors of today’s Igbo, Yoruba, Benin and related tribes, birthed great global civilizations like Egypt, Sumer Hindu-Cush, China, the Hebrew phenomenon  and beyond. In The Lost Testament, we were able to demonstrate that the Pharaohnic Egyptian civilization was a product of the same culture that birthed Yoruba/Benin/Anambra-Igbo phenomenon, and that it was post-Deluge; whereas the civilization that gave birth to it was Pre-Delude. From this study, it is possible to see early signs of a Pre-Deluge Sumerian civilization that was an offshoot of the Adamic phenomenon of human development.

 

          Ancient Nigerian languages, Igbo in particular holds much information as to who did what where and when in the birthing and sustaining of global civilizations, much of which will become clearer in further research, if Nigerian scholars will join us in sustaining this new area of study. New archaeological research has dated the Deluge around 11,000 BC and many new research works on the origins of Egyptian civilization are coming up with dates close to 11,000 BC. Dr. Atkinson’s work also comes closer to this date as the date of the dispersal of early agriculture. Our research on Igbo Ukwu’s lost civilization anchors its hay-days around 10,000 BC. All these call for serious research by Igbo scholars and serious governmental support for cultural, linguistic and historical research development and continuing education.

 

Professor Catherine Acholonu (Ph.D)

Country Ambassador UNCCD Forum of Arts and Culture and

Director, Catherine Acholonu Research Center (ikomgram@yahoo.com

www.carcafriculture.org).

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Acholonu Catherine, et. al. The Gram Code of African Adam – Reconstructing 450,000 Years of Africa’s Lost Civilizations, 2005

 

Acholonu, Catherine et.al.; They Lived Before Adam: Pre-historic Origins of the Igbo, The Never Been Ruled (2009)

 

Acholonu, Catherine et.al.; The Lost Testament of the Ancestors of Adam: Unearthing Heliopolis/Igbo Ukwu – The Celestial City of the Gods of Egypt and Dravidian India (2010).

 

Acholonu Catherine; “Igbo – A Former Global Lingua Franca and The Mother of Semitic Languages”, 2011 ISA Conference, Howard University, Washington DC.

 

Acholonu, Catherine; “Igbo The Origin of Languages and Civilizations”, 2010 World Igbo Congress, Philadelphia, USA

 

Acholonu Catherine; “Presenting The Lost Testament of the Ancestors of Adam”, Public Lecture at the Institute of African Studies, UNN, Nsukka, December, 2010

 

Anozie, F.N.; “Archaeology of Igboland: The Early Prehistory” in G.E.K. Ofomata, A Survey of the Igbo Nation, AFP, 2002

 

Atkinson, Quentin; “Phonemic Diversity Supports a Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa”, Science, 15 April 2011: p. 346-349.

 

Budge, Wallis; Babylonian Life and History, Barnes and Nobles Books, 1925

 

Cook, Jonathan; When and How Was the Jewish People Invented, 2011

 

Doreal, ed.; The Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean, published online.

Ellis Ralph; Eden in Egypt, 2004

 

Ellis, Ralph; Tempest and Exodus, 2000

 

Falola, Toyin ed.; Igbo History and Society: The Essays of Adiele Afigbo, Africa World Press, NY, 2005.

Martin Bernal, Black Athena 1, 1987

 

Onwuejeogwu, Angulu; An Igbo Civilization and Nri Hegemony, 1981

 

Ruhlen, Merritt; The Origin of Language: Tracing the Evolution of the Mother-Tongue, 1994.

 

Sitchin, Zecharia; The Twelfth Planet, Avon Books, 1978

 

Sitchin, Zecharia, The Wars of Gods and Men, Avon Books, 1985

 

Temple, Robert; The Sirius Mystery, 1987

 

Wade, Nicholas; “Phonetic Clues Hint Language is Africa-Born”, New York Times, April 14th 2011

 

 



[1] Quentin D. Atkinson, University of Auckland, New Zealand: “Phonemic Diversity Supports a Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa”, (Science, 15 April 2011: p. 346-349).

[2] See Acholonu, et. al., The Lost Testament of the Ancestors of Adam (2010)

[3] See  F.N. Anozie: “Archaeology of Igboland: The Early Prehistory” in G.E.K. Ofomata, A Survey of the Igbo Nation, AFP, 2002;  Toyin Falola ed., Igbo History and Society: The Essays of Adiele Afigbo, Africa World Press, NY, 2005. Igbo land is not the only place of Homo Erectus habitation in the world, but its proximity to the Chad-Nigeria basin where a team of French paleontologists discovered in 2002 some 7 million years-old fossil remains of Australopithecus - the direct ancestor of Homo Erectus – makes it the most likely place of earliest Homo Erectus habitation. Also the Nsukka team of archaeologists actually removed several tipper loads of Early and Middle Stone Age implements from the site and concluded that it was an international industry of Homo Erectus Stone implements.

[4] See The Lost Testament of the Ancestors of Adam; also new discoveries on Egyptian pyramid texts and Sumerian records that reveal more clues of an Igbo/Nigerian origin of Sumerian, Egyptian and Hebrew civilizations will soon be available on www.carcafriculture.org.

[5] See New York Times article by Nicholas Wade above.

[6] In our other articles on the subject, we have demonstrated Igbo origins of several languages from at least four continents of the globe.

[7] Merritt Ruhlen, The Origin of Language: Tracing the Evolution of the Mother-Tongue, 1994

[8] Acholonu et. al. They Lived Before Adam, 2009

[9] See They Lived Before Adam and The Lost Testament for details. See also “Igbo – A Former Global Lingua Franca and The Mother of Semitic Languages”, 2011 ISA Conference, Howard University, Washington DC.

[10] Zecharia Sitchin, The Wars of Gods and Men, Avon Books, 1985, p. 38

[11] Kwa is the language family to which Igbo, Benin, Ashanti, Yoruba and a number of other Niger-Congo languages belong. We have argued in The Lost Testament that Igbo has shown itself to be the Proto-Kwa language. Evidence continues to demonstrate that  Igbo is not a child of the Niger-Congo, but its mother. Chadian migration of Australopithecus to Igboland may account for Igbo being humanity’s oldest mother-tongue and for its being related to Chadic. See the work of French Professor  of  Paleontology, Michel Brunet on excavations of fossil remains of Australopithecus (direct ancestor of Homo Erectus) in the Chad-Nigeria Basin.

[12] In The Lost Testament we analyzed the Igbo Ukwu archaeological finds and compared them with amulets and symbols associated with gods of Egypt, and came to the conclusion that Igbo Ukwu  was Heliopolis - the lost mythological capital of ancient Egypt.

[13] According to Robert Temple, The Sirius Mystery, 1987

[14] See They Lived Before Adam for the etymology of the word Christ.

[15] Black Athena 1

[16] See the works of Angulu Onwujeogwu and Adiele Afigbo.

[17] This point is demonstrated in The Lost Testament.

[18] Zecharia Sitchin, The Wars of Gods and Men, p.96

[19] The Twelfth Planet. 1978

[20] Sitchin ibid., p. 112

[21] Sitchin, The Twelfth Planet, p. 22

[22] Wallis Budge, Babylonian Life and History, 1925

[23] Ralph Ellis, Eden in Egypt, p.33-35

[24] Edited by Doreal, published online.

[25] Zecharia Sitchin, The Twelfth Planet, p.22

[26] Zecharia Sitchin, The Twelfth Planet, p.22

[27] See The Lost Testament for details.

[28] See The Lost Testament for details. Ralph Ellis analysis of this ark in Tempest and Exodus, shows that it has the same features as the Hebrew Ark of the Covenant.

[29] Our study of the 350 (so far found) inscribed monoliths located in Ikom, Cross River State, Nigeria, as they pertain to Enoch, is recorded in Acholonu, The Gram Code of African Adam, 2005. Enoch wrote 365 books! Some texts identify Enoch as Thoth. We found several of Thoth’s symbols on the monoliths! For the study of the symbols as they pertain to Thoth, see Acholonu, The Lost Testament.

[30] This was also reflected in the Bible where El was called Elu Yah  – ‘He of the Heights’; Igbo word Elu means ‘Height’ and Oye Elu means in Igbo ‘He of the Heights’.

[31] Sitchin, When Time Began, 1993, p. 370

[32] When I presented a public lecture on The Lost Testament, at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in December, 2010, the Dean of Archaeology at the university, Prof E.E. Okafor, announced that samples from and ancient furnace in Nsukka, Igbo land sent to UK for dating, had just been returned with a date of 4,000 BC! By 4,000 B.C. Sumerian civilization, which is supposedly older than that of Egypt, was in its infancy. See E.E. Okafor, “Lejja Bloombank Revisited”, Nigeria Heritage: Journal of the NCMM, Vol. 7, 1998

[33] P. 360-71

[34] This we studied in They Lived Before Adam.

[35] P. 373.

[36] P. 370.

[37] See examples in They Lived Before Adam and The Lost Testament.