Caste in PreColonial AfRaKa

PreColonial Africa

My Commentary from the book

Chapter One: ANALYSIS OF THE CONCEPT OF CASTE

KEY COMENTARY POINTS:

  1. Division of Labor vs Supremacist Slavery
  2. No Nobles No Caste
  3. Matriarchal Tribes Evolve
  4. Prisoners of War
  5. District Communities
  6. Land Ownership Feudalism

There have been many misconceptions taught and accepted that pre-columbian AfRaKans of the motherland captured and sold each other for profit. This confusion has created anxiousness between Pan-AfRaKans across the world. But slavery, as exercised in the United States and other lands of abusive colonization; was not the norm practiced in pre-columbian AfRaKa by the children of the Sun.

Point1: Division of Labor vs Supremacist Slavery

Pre-columbian AfRaKans mostly practiced something better described as a caste system that arose for distinguishing the divisions of labor. So that, as high civilizations evolved; villagers organized themselves by the career paths they chose or inherited. There were basically two divisions of labor: Slaves and Free-PherSuns (persons). The free pherSuns were even more distinguished by descriptors like “gor”, “ger”, and neno.” The Ger were nobles; manual professionals; and agriculturist (a sacred activity). Neno described artisans; shoemakers; blacksmiths; and goldsmiths. And unlike the abusive behaviors of supremacist slave owners; the ger could loose respect for exploiting others in a different caste. Because all caste, including slaves, were associated with some sort of power structure.

AfricanLabor

Point2: No Nobles No Caste

There are pre-colonial writings that describe that before the invasions of North Africa; no kings were found of the clans or tribes. I’m going to take privilege here to make an assumption that this may have been the case where a Euro-centric thinking author totally disqualified matriarchal ruler-ships. But either way; where there were No nobles; there was no caste system.

Point3: Matriarchal Tribes Evolve

The book suggests tribal systems began to be delineate as early as 1352 AD. And as groups of AfRaKans expanded into vast communities and societies; they organized into specialized professions that created a division of labor. Before then, the clans were indeed purely matriarchal. PherSuns were named after their mothers and father’s sister. Male inheritances went to the nephews. And names included a description of their clan.

Point4: Prisoners of War

What is usually not emphasized to AfRaKan-Americans is that AfRaKan slaves brought to the Americas; via the trans-atlantic slave trade; were mostly the result of becoming a prisoner of war, POW. As a result of their tribe/clan loosing a major battle; the defeated would be brought to the village of the victor after their own village was dismantled. Because their home became a conquest; they could be traded, gifted or sold. Many times, the leadership of a defeated clan would be purposely sent/sold far away as to not resurrect an uprising. While those with more passive attitudes could take on labor duties for the victor.

But the book makes it very clear that slaves to the mothers households were never POWs. Instead natives of the clan took on roles to serve the mothers. Whereas POW slaves could be used in fathers activities. This distinguishes further evidence how important the womben of any tribe or nation was. That the pre-columbian AfRaKan safe guarded its womben from potentially dangerous pherSuns.

AfricanPOW

Point5: Districts Communities

The book lists 7-classes of free pherSuns in Kemet, ancient Nubian Egypt. The households lived in districts (nomes) associated with their class: -priest, -warriors, -herdsmen, -swineherders, -tradesmen, -interpreters, and -pilots. Since the book did not explain the roles of the classes; I’m going to provide what I’ve learned of Kemet:

Priest – Before the union of Upper and Lower Kemet, spiritual guidance was the role of the Sibyls. The Sibyls were all womben dedicated to the Great House or Pharaoh. After the union, male priest from Lower Kemet; which had already been integrated with Euro-centric thought; were allowed to provide guidance. I’ve read and viewed images of Kemetic locations; and re-member areas described as districts. One area that is of particular interest is situated near the Amenhotep III temple in Luxor; an abandoned area desribed as the District of MU or Womben’s District where statues of Goddess Sekhmet were found and stolen.

Warriors – The armies consisted of both a cavalry and infantry. PherSuns trained in the art of military and war made up the cavalry like the officer ranks we are familiar with. And non-professional laborers, including POW slaves, served as infantrymen. These warriors lived in a specific district; not unlike the military bases of today.

Herdsmen – This is most likely who we call ranchers that tend to domesticated animals. Like today, these districts were probably far from the cities; and included housing in the midst of grazing land. Since agriculturist are not pointed out; I’m assuming they lived in these rural districts as well.

Swineherders– This group was considered of the most un-pure and lowest of the classes by “Muslim religious” standards. But they were not any less wealthy or powerless than any other herdsmen. No other classes intermarried with the swineherders. Superstitions insisted Egyptians not touch pig or anyone who touched pig. It is my assumption the Muslims of Lower Kemet insisted on making the distinction between herdsmen. Swineherders districts were probably located in rural areas with other Upper Kemetic herdsmen who hadn’t converted to Islam.

Tradesmen– Sales pherSuns and market managers might have made up the tradesmen district. I can imagine community activity centered around this district for pherSuns to purchase goods and services.

Interpreters- From what I’ve learned about Kemet; interpreters would be todays master teachers. I’m also going to assume those practicing medicine and other science lived in these districts. In Kemet; medicine was considered an art; and every physician practiced a specialty by disease.

Pilots- Even though some would think aircraft didn’t exist during Kemetic ages; there are indeed words and art left in the stone that describe very advance means for transportation.  So that a pilot’s district probably included those in roles for transporting pherSuns and goods whether it be by land, water or air.

KemetAirplane

Point6: Land Ownership Feudalism

Every caste system was involved in cultivation of the soil; even the ruling classes. But the pre-columbian AfRaKan believed land could Not be owned or conquered. Instead, the respected poor of the village were entrusted with the spirit of the land. Earth was considered divinity; and it would be “sacrilege” to try and own it. The book suggests concepts of private land ownership didn’t begin on the continent until a sea port was developed by Europeans at the Cape Verde peninsula. And thus feudalism entered AfRaKa.

As I continue reading the book; I’m glad the author provided an analysis of pre-columbian caste systems in the first chapter. He makes it clear that slavery in AfRaKa was not as we know it in the Americas. But rather more so a division of labor… even though POW servants don’t seem to have had an easy life.

Looking forward to the next chapters.

Asante Ashe.

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