Header: Tieguai - one of the nine immortals of Taoism
who lived during China's “Golden Age.” An accomplished martial artist, Tieguai was known as the
“Iron-Staff Immortal.” Hand painted on silk, early Yuan Dynasty, 13th century C.E.
Top row: (1) Black Buddha from Early China. (2) Botswana, Bush People. (3) Black dignitary in Yuan Dynasty, China. Courtesy of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. (4) Early painting of Black Huns.
Bottom row: (1) Wedding party in Seoul, 1900. (2) Photos of Chinese people. (3) A Black man
in the Tang dynasty, China. Photo by Runoko Rashidi. (4) La Tigresse. The Chernushi Musee, Paris.
Photo by Runoko Rashidi.
“For the complexion of men, they consider Black the most beautiful. In all the kingdoms of the southern region, it is the same.”
Ancient Chinese Record
Although quietly ignored and surreptitiously downplayed by most contemporary historians, a significant African presence is evident in China’s earliest historical periods. Reports of major kingdoms ruled by Africans are frequent in Chinese documents. China’s first dynasty, the Shang, are described as having “Black and oily skin.” Lao-Tze, the famous Chinese sage (ca. 600 B.C.E.), was “Black in complexion.”, and described as “marvellous and beautiful as jasper.” He was so revered that he was more-or-less deified inside the magnificent temples built in his honor. The man credited with introducing martial arts to China, Bodhidharma (440 A.C.E), was a Black sage that travelled from India and taught the Shaolin monks of southern China’s Songshan province Zen Buddhism. “Funan is the name given by Chinese historians to the earliest kingdom of Southeast Asia. Their records expressly state that, “For the complexion of men, they consider Black the most beautiful. In all the kingdoms of the southern region, it is the same.”
Recent studies by an international team of scientists reveal that the population of modern China owes its genetic origins to Africa. This research emphatically dismisses any theory that China’s inhabitants originated independently. It was conducted using advanced tools of DNA analysis to uncover the roots of complex chronic diseases among China’s ethnic groups. The research involved creating detailed genetic profiles of 28 of China’s official racial groups, collectively amounting to 90% of the country’s population.
Because every human being’s cells carry genetic hints about their ancestral history, the research also revealed vital information regarding the population’s ancestry and the journey of their forebears. In summary, the results conclusively brought to light the fact that the modern Chinese population are the descendents of Black Africans. Due to the abundance of research and evidence in this area, today most scholars would agree that modern humanity, the world over, has its genetic origins in Africa.
It is believed that Black Africans arrived in China over 100,000 years ago and dominated the region until a few thousand years ago when the Mongol advance into China began. There were some Africans that managed to escape the onslaught, pockets of these refugees can be found in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands; an example of these people are the Agta of the Philippines. Unfortunately, the millions of Africans that survived these earlier Mongol invasions into the twentieth century, were to face yet another vicious attack by way of Chairman Mao’s obnoxious program of cultural cleansing. Between 1951 and 1956 this brutal and dim-witted regime was responsible for exterminating literally millions of Africans.
It is now widely acknowledged that the modern inhabitants of China (the yellow race type) were undoubtedly built upon a purely Black foundation. Ethnologists found skeletal remains at Chou-Koutien, in a cave near Peking the evidence of a remote pygmy or Negroid population. Furthermore, it is believed that the Mongoloid types of remote antiquity were a primitive form of Mongol; according to one scholar: “Mongolian humanity seems to have evolved from a darker prototype.”
On these primitive Mongolians, in the classic book African Presence in Early Asia, historian James Brunson remarked:
“The missing element to this puzzle may be found in ancient Chinese legends. They describe in their annals, a primitive, “hairy” race of people, whom scholars now identify as the Ainu. These Ainu, who live predominately in Japan (some still live in the mountains of China) show signs of Negroid and Mongolian admixture. Some anthropologists consider them Caucasoid. However, a leading authority remarked: Their noses are too flattish and thick. Their hair which is long and thick is coarse.”
La Tigresse. The Chernushi Musee, Paris. Photo by Runoko Rashidi.
“Resembling Mongolian peoples in few ways the closest relative to the Ainu are the Negroid Maori peoples. A final note of interest is the recording of the Anu (Ainu?) in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Churchward emphatically noted that the Ainu came out of Egypt and settled in Persia, India, China, and Asia. They are described as “Children of the Bear”, and evidence shows a Bear cult in prehistoric China. In Egypt and Mesopotamia, we come across references to the “Striking Down of the Anu”, perhaps some legend of their expulsion from these areas.”
The earliest Neolithic sites south of the Yangtze River are found in the provinces of Szechwan, Kwangsi, Yunnan and the western parts of the Kwangtung as far as the Pearl River. Negroid skeletal remains have also been found in central Shensi, southwestern Shansi, and western Honan. According to Brunson, a continuous occupation of Black types existed in this region as late as the Chin Dynasty (221 B.C.E. - 206 B.C.E.). This is corroborated by the scholar Carrington C. Goodrich, that stated:
“Negritos whom the Chinese call “Black Dwarfs” are reported in the mountains districts south of Yangtze; after the third century of our era, however, they are not mentioned.
Some emigrated, but others remained and were assimilated by the dominant southern Mongolian stock, as witness to kinky hair and swarthy skin noticeable among a few southern Chinese.”
On this Brunson added:
“The Negritos in question appear to have been the ancestors of the Australian aborigine stock and Papuan people, known as Melanesians. During the Neolithic period, the Australian Negroids maintained a “shoulder axe” (shoulder celt) culture that extended from its base in Szechwan and Yunnan towards India in the west, and from Nanking to Tonking, and Yunnan to Fukien as far as the coasts of Korea and Japan. These Austroasiatics, who are also known as the Black Pottery people (or Eastern I culture), would later be called the “Squatting Barbarians.” On the East coast, stretching north to far south was an oval axe culture of the Papuan peoples.”
The historian Armand De Quatrefages, in his work The Pygmies, 1885, described “the earliest inhabitants of China as having straight and woolly hair; jet black and glossy skin; thick lips, flat noses, and protruding bellies.” Quatrefages continued:
“The Negro type was originally characterized in southern Asia, of which, no doubt, it was the sole occupant for an infinite period of the time.
From there, the various representations of the type migrated into various directions.... Invasions or infiltrations of various yellow and white races have separated the Negro populations which formerly occupied a continuous area.... The Negrito subtype is one of the oldest of the race, and was at least predominant in India and Indo-China when the racial crossing began.”
Central China’s Huangho Basin gave birth to three major cultures, Yang-shao, Hsiao-t’un, and Ta-p’enk’eng. Out of the three, two are of particular interest: “The Hsiao-t’un culture, which can be associated with Austroasiactics and Papuans, is considered an indigenous phenomenon. It is believed that the Yang-shao culture may be indentified with immigrants from western Asia. These people, who had painted pottery, influenced western Honan, western Hopei, and eastern Szechwan.” On these cultures “three things are apparent after 3200 B.C.: (1) The human skeletal remains were primarily non-Chinese or Proto-Chinese, (2) The cultural transformation that emerged from this basin was the Lungshanoid culture (Black Pottery), and (3) The first three Chinese Dynasties grew out of this cradle-Hsia, Shang (Chiang), and Chou.”
According to Chinese legend, the very earliest dynasties, known as the Epoch of the Five Emperors, were ruled by Gods. “The first emperor, Fu-Hsi/Fu-hi (2953 B.C.E.-2838 B.C.E.), is described as being a woolly haired Negro.” He is known as the first emperor to establish government, social institutions and creating cultural inventions.
He is also credited with teaching his people how to fish with nets and rear domestic animals, similar to the Egyptian God Thoth, who is also credited with similar attributes. In addition, Fu-Hsi is also credited with developing writing, organising sacrifices and teaching the worship of spirits.
China’s “second emperor Shen-nung (2838 B.C.E. - 2806 B.C.E.) is associated with the introduction of agriculture.” It is said that “during the age of Shen-nung, people rested at ease and acted with vigour. They cared for their mothers and not their fathers. They lived among deer, they ate what they cultivated and wore what they wove. They did not think of harming one another.”
Regarding this matriarchal approach to society, Brunson said:
“An appraisal of pre-patriarchal China seems in order. In the pre-historic periods, the status of women was one of dominance. Among the more primitive Ainu people, the “wives dictate to their husbands and make them fetch and carry”. The Tungus (ancient Manchus) and the Tartars (Mongols) also exhibit remnants of the matriarchal state. One ancient writer remarked that, "the custom of counting genealogies [is derived] from the female side.”
According to Brunson “the ancient Tartars were an aboriginal, platyrhinne-nosed, black-skinned people.
This Veddic people (Australoid type), are described in Oxford’s Dictionary as the Dasyus. They were considered outcasts of the tribes of Brahma. Tartar women were not only equal with their men, but fought alongside of them. However, [Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop] has emphasized distinct cultural phenomena for matriarchy and the emergence of the Amazonian spirit. Among ancient Chinese, it was the privilege for men to have as their great wife a Tartar.”
Although Fu-Hsi is credited with introducing the institution of marriage in China, he considered himself “born of mother, and knew no father.” “Based upon the recommendations of his sister and wife, Niu-Kua, this allowed Fu-Hsi to penetrate into “the mystery of the maternity of primary matter (Yin-Yang or Male/Female Principle).” He was eventually succeeded by his sister-wife, who reigned for 130 years. All the early dynasties trace their descent from women alone: the Shang Dynasty descended from Princess Kien-Tsi, the Chou Dynasty from Princess Kiang Yun, and the Ts'u Dynasty from Niu Sheou. Matrilinear societies still exist in southern China, and to some extent, women work while men care for the children and the home.”
At this point an important distinction needs to made, whilst ancient African societies were no doubt matrilineal in character (a system in which descent is traced through the mother and maternal ancestors, which often involved the inheritance of property and/or titles); it is not always evident that matriarchal societies existed, in other words, a society where women ruled over men.
What is evident in these societies is gender balance as opposed to dominance of one over the other. There was a deliberate and scientific rationale behind the roles selected for both male and female within these societies. A good example of gender balance and crossover is that in ancient Kush, the Queen Mother had the responsibility of choosing the next male Pharaoh.
The divine dynasties were followed by the Epoch of the Three Dynasties: Hsia, Shang, and Chou. The home of the Hsia dynasty (2205-1766 B.C.E.) was in the region of south-western China, which encompassed the earliest Yang-Shao sites found in central Shensi, south-western Shansi and western Honan. This dynasty, which was founded by Yu-Hsia, were facing a growing threat from the north which forced them to continuously build walls to keep their aggressive neighbours out. Yu-Hsia was known as a great hydraulic engineer. “Prehistoric hydraulics is often associated with agriculture, and again tradition locates its cradle in the southern Shensi.”
The Hsia dynasty is divided into nine great divisions, although archaeological evidence on this dynasty is minimal, we know that one of these divisions was known as Li-Chiang. “The Chiang, who may have originally come from the west, were black. A present-day people, known as the Nakhi/Nasi consider themselves descendants of the Chiang.
The name Nahki was apparently given to the Chiang by the Moso people, due to their darker complexion. Nahki means black man (Na=black; Khi=Man). The Moso were also dark, but not as dark as the Nahki. These people currently live in the Tibetan mountains. Southwestern Shansi, the stronghold of the Hsia Dynasty, and the southern province Shensi were occupied by the Chiang.”
The Hsia dynasty has yielded significant evidence of contact with the west during the second millennium B.C.E. A decorative motif of intertwining animal forms of Egyptian/Mesopotamian origin was found in a tomb from Hsiao-t’un. According to Brunson: “This was evidently a degenerated version of the famous Hero and Beast motif, which also originated in Mesopotamia and Egypt.”
Further evidence of western contact found at Hsiao-t’un was in the form of a jar cover, with a phallic shaped handle, comparable with types found at Mohenjo-Daro and Jemdet Nasr. On this evidence scholar A.C. Haddon commented that “the conventional pottery (of China) bears a close resemblance to that of Pre-Sumerian Babylonia, the eastern borders of Persia (Susa), Anau I, and Asia Minor.”33 This would roughly bring us to the period of 3000-2500 B.C.E. which as is known in these areas at that time resided a numerically large Black population.
The dynasty credited with putting China’s history on the map proper is the Shang (Chiang or Chi’ang) dynasty (1766-1100 B.C.E.). This dynasty is credited with bringing together all of the distinguished and primary elements of China’s earliest known civilisations. They were “initially matrilineal in culture, worshipping a Mother Goddess, and practising agriculture. They had a priesthood, and practiced religious ceremonies that included a form of sati burial (ritual sacrifice).”
In addition, the Shang dynasty is associated with metal-working in bronze, the making of a form of porcelain ware, and a particular invention of southern China, silk-weaving. “This royal house is considered an off-shoot of the Neolithic Lungshanoid culture, giving it a long unbroken tradition. Many Chinese archaeologists are convinced that the Shang settlement at Erh-li-tou (in southern Shansi, and northwestern Honan), is the earliest evidence of their existence. Traditionally, the territory of the Hsia dynasty, Erh-li-tou, is believed to be the site of Po, capital of King T'ang or Ta, founder of the Shang Dynasty.”
During this latter period in China’s history the inhabitants appear to be of two distinct racial types, one Mongoloid, and the other Negroid.
The Chou, however, that conquered and usurped the political power of the Shang, described the inhabitants of the area as having “Black and oily skin.” Brunson concluded that “the Shang were a diminutive Black race. Those that migrated from the west amalgamated, perhaps into the indigenous population, and infused new cultural ideas.”
“The patrilinear Chou clans, after taking the Shang capital, Anyang, integrated fully with the matrilinear Shang population. Before the demise of the Shang Dynasty, one can witness vestiges of the patrilinear culture emerging. Inheritance through the female began to play a decreasing role, until the cultural element finally disappeared. This process of infiltration or amalgamation with a dominant culture has been seen in Egypt and Western Asia (Sumer).”
Some deluded Eurocentric historians have suggested that when the Chou saw the Shang, they designated them the “Black haired people.” On this absurd and desperate notion, Brunson quite rightly remarked: “this is perplexing, in that the Chou, considered Mongoloids, should have had Black hair as well.”
On this absurd and desperate notion, Brunson quite rightly remarked: “this is perplexing, in that the Chou, considered Mongoloids, should have had Black hair as well.”
“The Shang depicted human types in thousands of their figurines: Most of them [sculptural figurines] were so realistically portrayed that two distinct racial groups may be recognized. One is characterized by a broad face, low forehead, wide open eyes, broad nose, a wide mouth and a short chin. Figures of this type... Li Chi calls Melanesian. Of the many sculptured figurines I discovered, while researching this paper, a surprising number fit into the above mentioned category. From the Shang's last capital, Anyang, many Negroid images in stone, metal, and jade have been found. A stone figure from the site of Ssu-p’an-mo, and a jade figure from Henan, offer intriguing contrast and possibly emphasize the transitional period between dynasties. Semi-reclining figures are associated with the Austroasiatics and Papuans. This pose is associated with the "Squatting Barbarians" mentioned earlier. A kneeling figurine of jade, from Lady Fu-Hao’s tomb (14th century B.C.), displays the sitting habit or pose of royalty, later known by the Japanese as Seiza. Whether they (Shang) learned this from the Egyptian scribes or developed it independently remains to be investigated. Lady Fu-Hao was a royal consort and female general who led military expeditions on behalf of her emperor: The Tartar and Mongol women of central Asia have long been noted as active and warlike viragoes.
Their horsemanship surpasses that of men in most countries, and their bows and arrows, are the rings and jewels... They accompany their husbands in the wars, and many times charge with them into the very midst of the enemy's battalion.”
At Hsiao-t’un and Hou-chia-chuang another miniature jade figurine also suggest “Negroid” features: “flattened” nose, prominent chins and foreheads, and a lack of the epicanthic fold that Mongoloids possess. There is a strong animal and human representation reflected in the art work during the Shang dynasty that characterises the period. Brunson explains the consequences of the Chou’s victory over the Shang:
“Though subdued by the Chou, the Shang culture was basically assimilated. Curiously, some historians suggest an ethnic affinity between the Shang and the Chou. The Shang, who placed their beginning before the Hsia Dynasty, allege that a mythological Queen swallowed an egg of a Black bird, giving birth to Chi', Lord of Shang. The Chou Dynasty (1100 - 225 B.C.) utilized the organized priesthood of the Shang to teach their royalty and perform religious ceremonies. Shang women served as priestesses in rituals of worship and sacrifice also. Chou kings imitated the Shang in burying their kings in large, subterranean, cross-shaped tombs outside the city.
They were lavishly buried. Human sacrifice, however, was abolished. The Shang priesthood became “scholars” for the Chou Dynasty and formed an independent, though non-royal class. After a major Shang revolt, a large part of the population was transferred from Anyang to its twin capital Loyang.”
The extensive work done by the scholar Dr. Joseph Rock on the Black kingdom known as Nahki has been instrumental in shredding light on the existence of Africans in the Asian continent. “During the Shang and Chou periods, those members of the Chiang clan living southwest of Honan province were called Hsi-nani or barbarians. They (the so-called barbarians) were always at war with both dynasties. The Shang apparently frowned upon them even as the imperial Romans frowned on their colonials or those outsiders with a different way of life. As a result a name later applied to blacks in general was Wu-man (Tien-hsi), a derogatory term meaning “Black savages”. The chronicles of the Han and Tang Dynasties speak of these Black kingdoms in southwest China.”
Although a Buddhist practice was known earlier in China, the cult was not officially recognised until the Han dynasty. An emissary known as Chang Chien was sent to a country west of China known as “Tien Chou” (India), around 100 B.C.E. “It is further related that of the thirty apostles sent to China, ten were Yellow, ten Brown, and ten were Black. This is a curious statement, in that initially, only those from the “western region” or India could become monks.”
The huge growth of the Buddhist cult is evident by the fact that by 518 A.C.E. more than 30,000 monasteries were built in China alone. On its enormous expanse historian Godfrey Higgins in his book Anacalypsis said:
“The doctrine of the Buddha extends throughout China and its tributary nations; over the great empires and states of Cochin-China, Cambodia, Siam, Pegu, Ava, Assam, Tibet, and Budtan...”
He also remarked that “the most ancient people throughout Asia preserve [Buddhas] features as the Black-faced, thick lipped, and curly haired Negro.”
There have been numerous images of Buddha in stone and metal in cave temples scattered throughout Asia. The earlier Negroid statues that possessed woolly hair, thick lips, broad noses etc, were gradually replaced over the centuries with Caucasoid features. Despite these desperate attempts to disguise the true racial identity of this deity, 19th century scholar Gerald Massey emphatically stated:
“It is certain that the Black Buddha of India was imaged in the Negroid type. In the Black Negro God, whether called Buddha or Sut-Nashi, we have a datum. The people who first fashioned the divine image in the Negroid mould of humanity must according to all knowledge of human nature, have been Negroes themselves.”
Tieguai - one of the nine immortals of Taoism who lived during China's “Golden Age.” An accomplished martial artist, Tieguai was known as the “Iron-Staff Immortal.” Hand painted on silk, early Yuan Dynasty, 13th century C.E.
Photo courtesy of Wayne B. Chandler.
Although it is widely thought that martial arts in China was born and developed independent of outside influence, the facts tell a completely different story. Martial arts in China can be traced back as early as 1500 B.C.E. but it’s purely Chinese incarnation did not start until the fifth century A.C.E., brought to China by a Black man known as Bodhidharma. In China he is also known as Talmo, and in Japan as Dharuma.
Bodhidharma was an Indian sage that journeyed to China with the knowledge of Indian martial arts that once permeated Indian society. He was “born in 440 A.C.E. in the southern Indian kingdom of Pallava and resided in Kanchi, one of its largest cities. He was Dravidian, a member of the Black aboriginal population that during his time dominated most of Asia.”
In his senior years he became the founder and first patriarch of Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism, and was responsible for first introducing martial disciplines to the Shaolin monks of southern China’s Songshan Province.
During Bodhidharma’s time India enjoyed a long tradition of martial arts. Epics such as Ramayana, Rig Veda and Mahabharata tell of fierce heroic battles of a warrior epoch. “This was the tradition that Bodhidharma carried into China.” On this man’s remarkable achievements and contribution to martial arts, historian and author Wayne B. Chandler remarked:
“Bodhidharma redefined the Chinese approach to Buddhism. His contribution, now known as Zen, required long periods of meditation rather than adherence to a particular doctrine or scripture. He also taught the monks breathing exercises to help them develop their mystical power base, or chi, and movement techniques to foster strength and self-defence skills. Thus was born the Shaolin ch'uanfa, or "temple boxing," one of the most renowned of the Chinese martial arts.”
Runoko Rashidi, Ivan Van Sertima, African Presence in Early Asia, Transaction Publishers, USA, Seventh printing 2009.
Sex and Race Vol. 1 (1967) - J.A. Rogers.
Runoko Rashidi, African Star Over Asia, The Black Presence in the East, Books of Africa Limited, United Kingdom, England, 2012.
Jung Chang, Jon Halliday, Mao: The Unknown Story, Anchor, November 14, 2006.
Cheikh Anta Diop, Precolonial Black Africa: A comparative study of the political and social systems of Europe and Black Africa, from antiquity to the formation of modern states. New York, Lawrence Hill Books. 1987.
Godfrey Higgins, Anacalypsis.
Gerald Massey, A Book of the Beginnings Vol.1, Cosimo Classics, New York, 2007.
Images above: (1) People of Southern Africa. (2) Chinese terracotta warrior. (3) People of China. (4) Black people of Asia.
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