Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Were the Ancient Egyptians Black?

Egypt's Copts, who have been in the news recently, have long claimed to be the descendants of the original people of the country before the Islamic conquest and Arabization. I've always found them to be blacker in appearance than their Muslim compatriots, as this photo of Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria and his fellow churchmen may show:

Also, Rastafarians have long connected themselves not only to Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church but also the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, as, for example the Bad Brains' song Coptic Times indicates.

In Joshua D. Smith's Egypt and the Origin of Civilization: The British School of Culture Diffusion, 1890s-1940s (Volume 1), which I have just finished reading and will review soon, we read that the main thinkers behind the British school of diffusionism, which "concluded that all aspects of civilizations, from technology to religion, originated in Egypt and diffused to other cultural areas," also concluded that "the Egyptians were a peaceful, authochthonous, Nilotic group," as their "analysis of physical traits pointed to a Nilotic origin for Egyptian civilization." Nilotic peoples refer the "ethnic groups mainly in southern Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and northern Tanzania."

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Blogger Pints in NYC said...

Egyptians are some of the most unique looking people I know.

I know plenty of Arabs, Berbers, and Greeks; Egyptians have some elements of resemblance to all of the above; but they are unique.

I know Copts who are both light and dark. I find no resemblance of any Jamaicans with these people. Though those people from the Caribbean who have mixed with Indian have their own exotic features.

One of the most exotic looking people I've ever met was an Ethiopian woman whose family had been in the court of Haile Selassie. Ethiopians, by the way, have very interesting last names.

3:59 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Two of the most exotic (and attractive) co-eds from my college days were an Ethiopean Jewess and an Afro-East Indian Guyanese women.

Speaking of Ethiopians, I recall a scene from a mainstream action movie that took place in your city, which I liked but was denounced as racist.

I am talking about The Siege (1998), and the scene in which the Denzel Washington character, is confronted at a derention center ar which arabs are being rounded up by a fellow-FBI agent who says, half-jokingly, half-threateningly, "You look kind of Ethiopian."

The Denzel Washigton charecter replies, "You're so ignorant that you you think that's an insult."

I also remember Pat Robertson, of all people, during President Clinton's Somalian troubles, going on about how handsome the Somali people were, saying, "They're a biblical people!"

10:10 PM  

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