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Tuesday, January 13, 2015




Here are some of the sources you can use to document your African history.

I tried to place documents about my family document in Keeper of the Fire in my UGRRQuiltCode Blogspot so that listeners of the 1/15/2015 radio program would be able to follow along and join our 1/15/2015 discussion.

 Our wonderful host, Bernice Bennett's on-line Geneaology BlogTalk Radio Program did her best to assist in clarification and a orderly presentation of thousands of years of history in one hour.  

This is the 2nd on-line radio interview I have done and I what to thank her for having me (Mrs. Teresa R. Kemp) as a guest. I will continue adding documents and more primary sources and Methodology. These post are part of the documents we will be discussing. I put the information here for your study & review. It continues my mission

To document, discuss preserve our families cultures and contribution to World & American History.

Code de Hammurabi -
The Code of Hammurabi is one of the known tablets of Babylonian Law Code of ancient Mesopotamia, dated to about 1754 BC. It is one of the oldest
deciphered writings of significant length in the world.

The sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi enacted the code.
It discusses slavery as an existing institution.
Partial copies exist on a human-sized stone Stele and
various clay tablets. The Code consists of 282 laws.

Known in other areas, Mesopotamia from the
Ancient Greek: Μεσοποταμία "[land] between rivers"
Arabic: بلاد الرافدين‎ (bilād al-rāfidayn) Syriac: ܒܝܬ ܢܗܪܝܢ Beth Nahrain "land of rivers") is a name for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system   corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait. The northeastern section of Syria and to a lesser extent southeastern Turkey  and smaller parts of southwestern Iran.

(I had to go to a source to find the free image 
& fonts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesopotamia)

Sumerian Writing 26th Century BC Adab

Ikom monoliths Cross River State, Nigeria Africa over 200+ there
Ikom monolith Cross River State, Nigeria Africa
Ikom monoliths Cross River State Nigeria 
Al-Hassan ibn Muhammad 1494 – 1554 c. documented his life in autobiographical works. Born in Granada, his family relocated while he was an infant to Fez, Morrocco where he grew up and attended جامعة القرويين (Arabic for The University of al-Qarawiyyin or al-Karaouine). The al-Qarawiyyin mosque religious college in 859 c. was founded by Fatima al-Fihri with an associated madrasa (school) which became one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the world. Note: I usually see it categorized as the educational center of the Muslim world. (There is not one University in America founded in the 9th century.)

(Below) Books by حسن ابن محمد الوزان الفاسي  (Arabic for al-Hassan ibn Muhammad al-Wazzan al-Faswere written in 1556 in Latin and translated into old English in 1600. They document his travels in Africa and is one of the oldest surviving records of African Kingdoms he visited.

There are still original accounts from this Andalusian Berber explorer detailing his explorations in Southern Europe & in Africa. He traveled with his uncle on recorded diplomatic missions as far as Timbuktu, Africa in 1510, which was part of the Songhai Empire.

In 1517, when returning from a diplomatic trip on behalf of the Sultan of Fez to Constantinople, he was at the Port of Rosetta during the Ottoman conquest of Egypt, Africa. He traveled through Cairo and Aswan across the Red Sea to Arabia where he completed a pilgrimage to Mecca. Returning to Tunis, he was captured by Spanish corsairs near the island of Djerba (near Crete) and was taken to Rome. Initially held in the Castel Sant’Angelo, he was released when his importance was realized and presented as a gift (freed?) to Pope Leo X. Al-Hassan ibn Muhammad al-Wazzan al-Fas’s name was changed to Leo Africanus.
Portrait of a Humanist by Sebastiano del Piombo, c. 1520, 

assumed to be of Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad Al-Wazzan, 

known in the west as Leo Africanus.

He also took the names al-Asad al-Gharnati (Arabic), Joannes Leo de Medicis (Latin), Giovanni Leone (Italian), and Yuhanna. Leo Africanus spent the next four years traveling through Italy after leaving Rome. While staying in Bologna he wrote a Latin, Hebrew and Arabic medical vocabulary. Only the Arabic part has survived, and a grammar for the Arabic language, (only an eight pages has survived). He returned to Rome in 1526, under the protection of Pope Clement VII

According to Africanus, he completed his manuscript on the African geography in 1526. The work, titled Della descrittione dell’Africa ET delle cose notabili che iui sono, per Giovan Lioni Africano (written in Italian) was published in 1550, by the Venetian publisher Giovanni Battista Ramusio. The book was reprinted five times due to its popularity. It was also translated into French and Latin editions that were published in 1556. An English version was published in 1600, titled A Geographical Historie of Africa. The Latin edition, which contained many errors and mis-translations, was used as the source for the English translation.

Little is known about his later life but at the time he visited the west African city of Timbuktu, it was the center of commerce carried on by international traders in African products, gold, spices, Islamic books, printed cottons and slaves. While I was ill, 2007 to last year, I’d travel daily, on-line to exotic places. The first place I wanted to go was “Timbuktu” in present day Mali. It is import here to include something about the archives and libraries of Timbuktu.

There are several open to the public: Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research (IHERI-AB) Government of Mali – Holdings of over 30,000 manuscripts. The government of Mali had instituted the Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research (CEDRAB-the abbreviated title it is generally referred to in French) in Timbuktu in 1973. The origins of the Centre go back to a meeting convened by UNESCO, in 1967 in Timbuktu.

The Mamma Haidara Memorial Library Abdel Kader Haidara, custodian of Mamma Haidara Library. The Mamma Haidara Library was started by Abdul Kader Haidara, former employee of the Ahmed Baba Institute (IHERI-AB). After leaving the Centre he devoted all of his time and energy to preserve his own family’s manuscript collection and was successful in setting up the Mamma Haidara Memorial Library, which was the first of its kind in Mali. The Haidara family is renowned for its scholars and judges. Abdul Kader’s father, Mamma Haidara, was not only a Qadi (judge), but also a scholar who taught classical Islamic sciences such as Jurisprudence and Arabic Grammar. His personal library dates back to the 16th century and is one of the largest and oldest collections in the city. This library was established by Mamma Haidara’s forebear, Mohamed El Mawlud, and was handed down to his descendants, generation after generation. Mamma Haidara added to it substantially, buying manuscripts while studying in Egypt and Sudan. He also studied under local scholars in the village learning Centres of Arawan and Boujbeyha, procuring manuscripts there as well. In addition to his Timbuktu library, Mamma Haidara had also established an archive in the village of Bamba. Abdul Kader began cataloguing his inherited collection and was assisted by the al-Furqan Heritage Foundation in London, which agreed to publish his catalogue. Currently four of the projected five volumes in the catalogue have been published. 

The Timbuktu Andalusian Library (Fondo Ka’ti)                    Fondo Ka'ti Library - The Biblioteca Andalusi de Tombuctu, less elaborately referred to as the Fondo Ka’ti Library was officially opened on September 27th, 2003, with generous funding from the Spanish government because of the links of the Ka’ti family, the founders of the library, with Spain. The library was started by Ismael Diadié Haidara, descendent of Mahmud Ka’ti, the famous Timbuktu chronicler renowned for his Ta'rikh al-Fattash. Ismael claims that his paternal family descends from Roderique the Goth, the Christian ruler of Spain at the time of the arrival of the Arabs under the leadership of Tariq ibn Ziyad. The Christian rulers were split over whether to welcome the Arabs or to oppose them and he explains that his ancestors welcomed the Arabs and were amongst the first to embrace Islam. His ancestor ‘Ali ibn Ziyad finally left Andalusia in the 1460’s and settled in the village of Goumbou, on the border of Mauritania and Mali. ‘Ali ibn Ziyad married Khadija, sister to the Songhai ruler, Askia Muhammad. In this way Spanish, Arab and African lineages were mingled and finally found abode in Timbuktu.

The al-Wangari Manuscript Library                                           al-Wangari Library - The al-Wangari Manuscript Library was officially opened on September 26 2003 and is overseen by Mukhtar bin Yayha al-Wangari. The library consists of approximately 3000 manuscripts and is based on the original library of Shaykh Muhammad Baghayogho, a distinguished 16th-century shaykh and jurist originally from the town of Jenne. This collection contains many works by Sudanese and Moroccan scholars. The oldest document consists of copied parts of the Qur’an and is dated to 1695. Besides religious texts, it also contains some important historical documents.

The library was established sometime between Shaykh Baghayogho al-Wangari’s settlement in Timbuktu and his death in 1594. Although the library was preserved by the shaykh’s son and then several generations after him, it ultimately dissolved over time. The manuscripts were scattered amongst various family members in Jenne, Goundam and also Timbuktu. It was through the efforts of Mukhtar bin Yayha al-Wangari that a comprehensive attempt to recollect these manuscripts was made. Through research involving oral testimony and primary written documentation, as well as meetings with the entire family, he managed to revive Shaykh Muhammad Baghayogho’s Library. There are other libraries open to the public like Imam Soyuti with 800 manuscripts and Jingere-Ber with 500. All of these and the manuscript digitization project can be found at www.tombouctoumanuscripts.org/. Tombouctou Manuscripts Project is supported by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung (https://www.gerda-henkel-stiftung.de/foundation) and the University of Cape Town (http://www.uct.ac.za/).

  Tree Bark was use as the canvas for this painting of an African woman that was gifted to the UGRR Secret Quilt Code African Artifact Collection

(Below) Gift from the Zambian vendor Joseph Kosa to the UGRR Secret Quilt Code Museum so we would know & tell about Zambia Slavery to North America
Tree bark fabric map showing slaving route from
Zambia slave tree thru Tanzania to the Coast
Don't look in English even in America.
Many languages exisited prior to English and there are records throughout Africa in many know and also unknow languages. Here are just a few that have been given to our archive or museum over the years to compare to the symbols in our textiles.

Comparison of Early Writing Forms 
Old Persian Cuneiform Writing
The Bible, Torah & Korarn, explorers and missionaries documented the existence of schools in all parts of Africa for centuries. Many are documented in photos and sketches prior to 1800's and then the British has a Colonial Archive of videos of Africa and Areas they colonized,

School in street Sahel Africa
School in Yoruba Area Nigeria Africa
A school at Jenne, Mali Africa
School group being taught in Sudan Africa
There are songs and legends of the Awka Metalsmiths
that have been passed down from generation to generation in my family

The above information are excerpts from my book
"Keeper of the Fire"

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Igbo: E kwere m ị me ọke m. 
English Translation: "I agree to do my part."‏

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