Black Panther Mythos- African Science,Technology & Mathematics

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The story of Marvel comic’s Black Panther is an interesting fictional story which weaves together and draws on multiple fascinating factual elements found throughout various African cultures throughout time.  Perhaps the most important of the facts and themes in the story of the Black Panther is the significance of Metallurgy and Blacksmiths in African culture, spiritual systems, and technological development.

The Story of Black Panther and Wakanda
10,000 years ago a meteorite comprised of a metal called Vibranium crashed on earth and landed in the country of Wakanda in Northeastern Africa.  The crashed Vibranium created a mountain, or mound, which was discovered by the Panther Tribe in Wakanda who became the guardians of the Vibranium moundBast and Sekhmet are two of the feline deities of the Panther Tribe, and the King and protector of the Panther tribe is a warrior who holds the title of “The Black Panther”.  The Black Panther also has a group of female warriors who serve as his personal bodyguards called the Dora Milaje.  As guardians of the Vibranium metal mound, the Panther tribe became skilled blacksmiths and metallurgist in antiquity which translated into a highly technologically advanced and economically stable African country in the present day, where one of the major resources of the country of Wakanda is Vibranium.  Because of their high level of advanced technology, Wakanda has never been conquered, colonized, or enslaved.

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Metal from the Sky 
The earliest known iron artifacts are 9 small beads, dated to 3200 BC, from Ancient Egypt in Northeast Africa, identified as meteoric iron shaped by careful hammering.  This evidence shows the Ancient Africans in Egypt were the first to use Iron prior to the official start of the “Iron Age” in 1300 BC.  The Ancient Egyptians called this Meteoric Iron “BAA EN PET” meaning “iron of the sky” or “metal of Heaven.”  The Ancient Egyptian’s word for the Blacksmith’s Forge was “Khepesh”, and that same word was a homonym to the word for a scimitar sword shaped metal weapon casted in the forge, as well as to the constellation of the Great Bear – Ursa Major.

The Iron King:
The 7th Pharaoh of the Ancient Egypt’s 1st dynasty was named Anedjib Mer-ba-pen (spelled various in English as Merbiape, Meribiap, Merbapen, Miebîdós, and Mibampes) which literally meant “Lover of Iron”. Anedjib ruled around 2930 BC.

African Blacksmiths
Ancient Africans in Egypt who were Blacksmiths and Metallurgists had knowledge of several different types of Metals and Metal alloys as attested to in the Medu Neter from Ancient Egypt:

  • Meteoric Iron    – baa en pet
  • Iron        – benpi
  • Gold        – Nub
  • Silver        – hetch
  • Copper        – hemt
  • Tin, Lead    – anak
  • Electrum     – nub waas
  • Bronze        – ut

The Medu Neter word for “Blacksmith” was Mesen (singular) and Mesniu (plural – the 7 mythic blacksmiths of Heru who made weapons).  The Medu neter word Mesen may be related to the English word “Mason“.  The Mesniu are also called the Heru-shemsu  (the blacksmiths of Edfu).  Additionally, the word Nebi in Medu Neter meant “to smlet, to work in metals” and was also a homonym to the word Nebi or Nebibi meaning “Leopard or Panther”.

The Blacksmith deity in Ancient Egypt was Ptah, who represented the Primordial Mound, and he had two wives Sekhmet (Southern Egypt) and Bast (Northern Egypt) represented by Felines.  The Ancient Egyptian Blacksmith deity Ptah’s son by Bast was the Lion-Headed deity of war named Maahes, who was called Apedemak in Nubia and Meroe.  The “Sem” priests of Ptah (who were more scientists than “priests”) were also Blacksmiths and Metallurgists who wore Leopard Skins.  The wearing of Leopard Skins was also a custom of the Nubians of Meroe, and the Nubian Kingdom of Meroe was huge Iron smelting capital.  It is important to know that Panthers are Melanistic Leopards.

Overtime, various Leopard “Secret Societies” who were also Blacksmiths, spring up across the African Continent:

  • Ekpe – Nigeria (uses the Nsibidi script)
  • Abakuá – Cameroon and Nigeria
  • Anyoto Aniota – Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Nigeria
  • Leopard Society of Bassaland – Liberia (uses the Vai script)

In the books “African Jungle Doctor” by Werner Junge and “Jungle Pilot in Liberia” by Abe Guenter, an experience in Bassaland (Liberia) during the early to mid 1900s is described where reports were made about “Leopard Men” and people who would dress in Leopard skins and fashion and wear claws of steel with which they would use as weapons.  Brass Metal rings called ‘Dwin’, ‘tien’ or ‘nitien’, meaning “water spirits”, or ‘Gods of water’ were forged by the blacksmiths of the tribes of Bassaland and left as offerings to the “Brass God” of the Leopard Men.  The Kru and Grebo people believe these objects are living creatures that can be found in creeks, rivers and lagoons.  These objects have shared interpretive meanings with the Dikenga from the African Congo, Thor’s spinning Hammer Fylfot (also called Swastika), and Ptah’s Hammer (the Djed, Ankh, and Waas).

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Similar to the “Dwin – water spirits,” the Mande, Bamana, and Dogon Blacksmiths of Mali tell stories of water Spirits called the Nommo who are Blacksmiths of a Metal from the star Sirius called SAGALA.  The Mande Blacksmiths control a force called Nyama, which is synonymous with Nyame of the Akan people.  An important Blacksmith ancestor in Akan culture is Nana Adade Kofi.  The Mande Blacksmiths of Mali form Castes called Nummu which is phonetically similar to the Nommo water spirits spoken of by the Dogon Blacksmiths.  One of the Nommo the Dogon Blacksmiths speak of is named OGO, who is synonymous with the Orisha Blacksmith OGUN in Nigeria.  The Blacksmith culture in Nigeria has existed since 1000 BC with the NOK culture.  The Blacksmith Orisha Ogun is called GU in the Dahomey culture of Benin.  The Blacksmith Ogun, OGO, or GU is said to be married to the warrior Orisha OYA.  The 19th century Kingdom of Dahomey (present day Benin) who were practitioners of the system of Vodun which ackknowledged Oya, developed an all-female military regiment who were an embodiment of the warrior Orisha OYA.  This group of African Warrior Women had various names including N’Nonmiton or Mino (meaning “our mothers”), Ahosi (meaning King’s wives), and Gbeto (meaning “Elephant Hunters”).  European narratives referred to these women soldiers as Amazons.  This “warrior Queen” characteristic found amongst the women of the  Dahomey Kingdom was also found amongst the Kandakes, or Candaces, who ruled the Nubian Iron smelting city of Meroe (800 BC – 350 CE).

The Role of the Blacksmith has been central and integral to African Culture, Society, Spirituality, and Technology throught the ages, and the Leopard, Panther, or Feline has been one of the Symbols associated with African Blacksmiths since Ancient times.
Article by African Creation Energy

 

Who is Edward Wilmot Blyden?

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Before there was a Malcolm X, a Kwame Nkrumah, a Marcus Garvey, or a George Padmore, there was Edward Wilmot Blyden, the Father of Pan Africanism.

Edward Wilmot Blyden was born in 1832 in the territories now known as the Virgin Islands. Like most Black men of his day, Blyden’s parents were slaves and descendants of Nigeria’s Nri Kingdom.

From a young age, Blyden demonstrated exceptional intelligence, and by the age of 18, he was prepared for college.

Many of us who come into Pan-Africanism do so because we come to a gradual realization that we were born into a system that was not organized for our benefit. The same could be said of Edward Blyden. When Blyden arrived in the United States to attempt to enroll in Rutgers Theological College, he was denied admission based on race – an event that would change Blyden’ s life forever. Rather than endure the horrors of America during the 1850s, Blyden joined thousands of other Black Americans in moving to the newly established Republic of Liberia. Liberia was then one of only two modern countries in Sub-Saharan Africa without roots in the European colonization of Africa, and was created as a direct result of the Back to Africa Movement.

Pan Am Flag

Shortly after his arrival, Blyden was introduced and married to the niece of Liberia’s Vice President, Hilary Yates, giving him inside access to African politics.

At the ripe old age of 30, Blyden was appointed professor of classics at the newly opened Liberia College, a position he held until 1871. Although Blyden was self-taught after high school, he became ‘an able linguist, classicist, theologian, historian, and sociologist.’ according to biographical references.

From 1871 until 1873, Blyden spent an increasing amount of time in neighboring Sierra Leone as the editor of the world’s first Pan-African magazine titled Negro. This first foray into journalism inspired further writings of genius. “…Blyden, while in Lagos, wrote regularly for the Lagos Weekly Record, one of the earliest propagators of Nigerian and West African nationalism.

He also operated in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where he helped to edit the Sierra Leone News, which he had assisted in founding in 1884 ‘to serve the interests of West Africa…and the [black] race generally.’ He also helped to found and edit there, the Freetown West African Reporter (1874-1882), whose declared aim was, even in those early years, to forge a bond of unity among English-speaking West Africans.” – Source

Blyden would call Liberia his home for the next 30 years, and there he would become a successful Presbyterian minister, a newspaper editor, a renowned professor of classics,  Ambassador to Great Britain, Minister of the Interior, Secretary of State, and a Presidential candidate in 1885.

Although Blyden had been raised in the white Christian Presbyterian church, by 1886 he had completely renounced Christianity and had converted to Islam. The following year, he published his treatise, Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race. In it, Blyden offered a wealth of thought on the reasons Islam was more suited to the needs of Black folk than Christianity. The book was immediately hailed as a masterful achievement, and is still in print and circulation today. According to Blyden,  Christianity demoralized Blacks,whereas Islam was ‘a unifying and elevating influence’.

By then, Blyden had left his home in Liberia to spread his message to the neighboring country of Sierra Leone, holding debates among the indigenous communities that were at risk of being “whitewashed” . He warned them that they had been “de-Africanised “, and to always that “you are Africans”. In Liberia, Blyden had taken on the mantle of state work, but in Sierra Leone, he was free to become the activist that he would become known as.

There were three primary points that Blyden believed could lead to the redemption of African people worldwide:

1. Complete autonomy from White culture, colonialism, and religious influence.

2. The establishment of a major, single, modern African state, which would protect and promote the interests of peoples of African descent everywhere.

3.  The complete adoption of the African personality, including the Islamic faith, in place of Eurocentric mimicry.

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Such was his dedication to Islam, African culture, and Pan-African thought, that in 1901, Sierra Leone awarded him with the position of Director of Muslim Education –  a billet that he would hold for 5 years. With his position came the responsibility of teaching English to Muslim youths, bridging the divide between Muslims and Christians in Africa, and establishing a harmonious co-existence.

The works of Blyden had a deep, long-lasting impact on one of the greatest Trinidadian journalists to ever live,  George Padmore. Padmore, along with men like Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta, the Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah and South Africa’s Peter Abrahams. Blydens lessons were not lost on the founder of The Negro World, Marcus Garvey either.

Blyden died in Freetown on 7 February1912, at the age of 82. He still has surviving family members in Sierra Leone, who commemorate his anniversary each year.

Today, Blyden’s name is all but forgotten. In celebrating Black History Month, we should remember that it was Blyden who most profoundly impacted men like Carter G. Woodson!

Article from website http://www.panafricanalliance.com/