Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Somali and Ancient Egyptians Languege - Words that are similar

These are the pre-Islamic God's of the Somalis. The word on the left is the one used by Ancient Egyptians and the one on the right is the Somali word:

Ra Ra (The sun)

Neter Neder (divine being)

Hipo Hibo (the sound b doe not exist in Hamitic languages - gift)

Horus Huur (a stork)

Tuf Tuf (spit)

Habi (the Nile) Wabi ( a river)

Ar Ar ( a lion)

cb kab (shoe)

brq biriq (lightning)

ayah Dayah (moon)

dab dab (fire)

anka aniga (I)

su, asu usi (he)

Ka Ka, Kaah (spirit)

medu muud (liquid

Culturally, the similitudes between the present day Somali culture and that of Ancient Egypt are undeniable.:
1) the use of the dance zaar, recorded on the Rosetta Stone.
2) The use of the head-rest (wooden usually) found in African. It was used then and now to keep elaborate African coiffure from crumpling during sleep. It is one of the most common articles found in ancient Egyptian sites.
3) The practice of circumcision including female circumcision.
4) The practice of sacrifice and ritual after a house is completed.
5) The practice of washing and touching the bodies of dead persons.
6) From the vestimentary (dress) code: the White kilts, the broad bracelets, the chest and neck ornaments, etc.

All the things you describe here Ethiopia has it to culuraly. The Head rests can be found all over ethiopia and Ethiopians are known for animal sacrafises during special ocassions and a lot of groups have the same kind of chest and neck ordiments like the egyptians. Plus the boats of the ancient egyptians which is called Paypares boats http://homepage.powerup.com.au/~ancient/boats... the sam as the boats ethiopians still use in lake tana.

 I Would like to add to this list:

Habi- Wabi= River
Bastat= Bisad= Cat
Ra= Qo-rah= Sun

Richard Burton First footsteps in East Africa Chapter IV

Richard Burton

First footsteps in East Africa



Before leaving Zayla, I must not neglect a short description of its inhabitants, and the remarkable Somal races around it.

Eastern Africa, like Arabia, presents a population composed of three markedly distinct races.

1. The Aborigines or Hamites, such as the Negro Sawahili, the Bushmen, Hottentots, and other races, having such physiological peculiarities as the steatopyge, the tablier, and other developments described, in 1815, by the great Cuvier.

2. The almost pure Caucasian of the northern regions, west of Egypt: their immigration comes within the range of comparatively modern history.

3. The half-castes in Eastern Africa are represented principally by the Abyssinians, Gallas, Somals, and Kafirs. The first-named people derive their descent from Menelek, son of Solomon by the Queen of Sheba: it is evident from their features and figures,—too well known to require description,—that they are descended from Semitic as well as Hamitic progenitors. 1 About the origin of the Gallas there is a diversity of opinion.2 Some declare them to be Meccan Arabs, who settled on the western coast of the Red Sea at a remote epoch: according to the Abyssinians, however, and there is little to find fault with in their theory, the Gallas are descended from a princess of their nation, who was given in marriage to a slave from the country south of Gurague. She bare seven sons, who became mighty robbers and founders of tribes: their progenitors obtained the name of Gallas, after the river Gala, in Gurague, where they gained a decisive victory our their kinsmen the Abyssins.3 A variety of ethnologic and physiological reasons,—into which space and subject prevent my entering,—argue the Kafirs of the Cape to be a northern people, pushed southwards by some, to us, as yet, unknown cause. The origin of the Somal is a matter of modern history.

“Barbarah” (Berberah)4, according to the Kamus, is “a well known town in El Maghrib, and a race located between El Zanj—Zanzibar and the Negrotic coast—and El Habash5: they are descended from the Himyar chiefs Sanhaj ([Arabic]) and Sumamah ([Arabic]), and they arrived at the epoch of the conquest of Africa by the king Afrikus (Scipio Africanus?).” A few details upon the subject of mutilation and excision prove these to have been the progenitors of the Somal6, who are nothing but a slice of the great Galla nation Islamised and Semiticised by repeated immigrations from Arabia. In the Kamus we also read that Samal ([Arabic]) is the name of the father of a tribe, so called because he thrust out ([Arabic], samala) his brother’s eye.7 The Shaykh Jami, a celebrated genealogist, informed me that in A.H. 666 = A.D. 1266-7, the Sayyid Yusuf el Baghdadi visited the port of Siyaro near Berberah, then occupied by an infidel magician, who passed through mountains by the power of his gramarye: the saint summoned to his aid Mohammed bin Tunis el Siddiki, of Bayt el Fakih in Arabia, and by their united prayers a hill closed upon the pagan. Deformed by fable, the foundation of the tale is fact: the numerous descendants of the holy men still pay an annual fine, by way of blood-money to the family of the infidel chief. The last and most important Arab immigration took place about fifteen generations or 450 years ago, when the Sherif Ishak bin Ahmed8 left his native country Hazramaut, and, with forty-four saints, before mentioned, landed on Makhar,—the windward coast extending from Karam Harbour to Cape Guardafui. At the town of Met, near Burnt Island, where his tomb still exists, he became the father of all the gentle blood and the only certain descent in the Somali country: by Magaden, a free woman, he had Gerhajis, Awal, and Arab; and by a slave or slaves, Jailah, Sambur, and Rambad. Hence the great clans, Habr Gerhajis and Awal, who prefer the matronymic— Habr signifying a mother,—since, according to their dictum, no man knows who may be his sire.9 These increased and multiplied by connection and affiliation to such an extent that about 300 years ago they drove their progenitors, the Galla, from Berberah, and gradually encroached upon them, till they intrenched themselves in the Highlands of Harar.

The old and pagan genealogies still known to the Somal, are Dirr, Aydur, Darud, and, according to some, Hawiyah. Dirr and Aydur, of whom nothing is certainly known but the name10, are the progenitors of the northern Somal, the Eesa, Gudabirsi, Ishak, and Bursuk tribes. Darud Jabarti 11 bin Ismail bin Akil (or Ukayl) is supposed by his descendants to have been a noble Arab from El Hejaz, who, obliged to flee his country, was wrecked on the north-east coast of Africa, where he married a daughter of the Hawiyah tribe: rival races declare him to have been a Galla slave, who, stealing the Prophet’s slippers12, was dismissed with the words, Inna-tarad-na-hu (verily we have rejected him): hence his name Tarud ([Arabic]) or Darud, the Rejected.13 The etymological part of the story is, doubtless, fabulous; it expresses, however, the popular belief that the founder of the eastward or windward tribes, now extending over the seaboard from Bunder Jedid to Ras Hafun, and southward from the sea to the Webbes14, was a man of ignoble origin. The children of Darud are now divided into two great bodies: “Harti” is the family name of the Dulbahanta, Ogadayn, Warsangali and Mijjarthayn, who call themselves sons of Harti bin Kombo bin Kabl Ullah bin Darud: the other Darud tribes not included under that appellation are the Girhi, Berteri, Marayhan, and Bahabr Ali. The Hawiyah are doubtless of ancient and pagan origin; they call all Somal except themselves Hashiyah, and thus claim to be equivalent to the rest of the nation. Some attempt, as usual, to establish a holy origin, deriving themselves like the Shaykhash from the Caliph Abubekr: the antiquity, and consequently the Pagan origin of the Hawiyah are proved by its present widely scattered state; it is a powerful tribe in the Mijjarthayn country, and yet is found in the hills of Harar.

The Somal, therefore, by their own traditions, as well as their strongly marked physical peculiarities, their customs, and their geographical position, may be determined to be a half-caste tribe, an offshoot of the great Galla race, approximated, like the originally Negro-Egyptian, to the Caucasian type by a steady influx of pure Asiatic blood.

In personal appearance the race is not unprepossessing. The crinal hair is hard and wiry, growing, like that of a half-caste West Indian, in stiff ringlets which sprout in tufts from the scalp, and, attaining a moderate length, which they rarely surpass, bang down. A few elders, savans, and the wealthy, who can afford the luxury of a turban, shave the head. More generally, each filament is duly picked out with the comb or a wooden scratcher like a knitting-needle, and the mass made to resemble a child’s “pudding,” an old bob-wig, a mop, a counsellor’s peruke, or an old-fashioned coachman’s wig,—there are a hundred ways of dressing the head. The Bedouins, true specimens of the “greasy African race,” wear locks dripping with rancid butter, and accuse their citizen brethren of being more like birds than men. The colouring matter of the hair, naturally a bluish-black, is removed by a mixture of quicklime and water, or in the desert by a lessive of ashes15: this makes it a dull yellowish-white, which is converted into red permanently by henna, temporarily by ochreish earth kneaded with water. The ridiculous Somali peruke of crimsoned sheepskin,—almost as barbarous an article as the Welsh,—is apparently a foreign invention: I rarely saw one in the low country, although the hill tribes about Harar sometimes wear a black or white “scratch-wig.” The head is rather long than round, and generally of the amiable variety, it is gracefully put on the shoulders, belongs equally to Africa and Arabia, and would be exceedingly weak but for the beauty of the brow. As far as the mouth, the face, with the exception of high cheek-bones, is good; the contour of the forehead ennobles it; the eyes are large and well-formed, and the upper features are frequently handsome and expressive. The jaw, however, is almost invariably prognathous and African; the broad, turned-out lips betray approximation to the Negro; and the chin projects to the detriment of the facial angle. The beard is represented by a few tufts; it is rare to see anything equal to even the Arab development: the long and ample eyebrows admired by the people are uncommon, and the mustachios are short and thin, often twisted outwards in two dwarf curls. The mouth is coarse as well as thick-lipped; the teeth rarely project as in the Negro, but they are not good; the habit of perpetually chewing coarse Surat tobacco stains them16, the gums become black and mottled, and the use of ashes with the quid discolours the lips. The skin, amongst the tribes inhabiting the hot regions, is smooth, black, and glossy; as the altitude increases it becomes lighter, and about Harar it is generally of a cafe au lait colour. The Bedouins are fond of raising beauty marks in the shape of ghastly seams, and the thickness of the epidermis favours the size of these stigmates. The male figure is tall and somewhat ungainly. In only one instance I observed an approach to the steatopyge, making the shape to resemble the letter S; but the shoulders are high, the trunk is straight, the thighs fall off, the shin bones bow slightly forwards, and the feet, like the hands, are coarse, large, and flat. Yet with their hair, of a light straw colour, decked with the light waving feather, and their coal-black complexions set off by that most graceful of garments the clean white Tobe17, the contrasts are decidedly effective.

In mind the Somal are peculiar as in body. They are a people of most susceptible character, and withal uncommonly hard to please. They dislike the Arabs, fear and abhor the Turks, have a horror of Franks, and despise all other Asiatics who with them come under the general name of Hindi (Indians). The latter are abused on all occasions for cowardice, and a want of generosity, which has given rise to the following piquant epigram:

“Ask not from the Hindi thy want:
Impossible that the Hindi can be generous!
Had there been one liberal man in El Hind,
Allah had raised up a prophet in El Hind!”

They have all the levity and instability of the Negro character; light-minded as the Abyssinians,—described by Gobat as constant in nothing but inconstancy,—soft, merry, and affectionate souls, they pass without any apparent transition into a state of fury, when they are capable of terrible atrocities. At Aden they appear happier than in their native country. There I have often seen a man clapping his hands and dancing, childlike, alone to relieve the exuberance of his spirits: here they become, as the Mongols and other pastoral people, a melancholy race, who will sit for hours upon a bank gazing at the moon, or croning some old ditty under the trees. This state is doubtless increased by the perpetual presence of danger and the uncertainty of life, which make them think of other things but dancing and singing. Much learning seems to make them mad; like the half-crazy Fakihs of the Sahara in Northern Africa, the Widad, or priest, is generally unfitted for the affairs of this world, and the Hafiz or Koran-reciter, is almost idiotic. As regards courage, they are no exception to the generality of savage races. They have none of the recklessness standing in lieu of creed which characterises the civilised man. In their great battles a score is considered a heavy loss; usually they will run after the fall of half a dozen: amongst a Kraal full of braves who boast a hundred murders, not a single maimed or wounded man will be seen, whereas in an Arabian camp half the male population will bear the marks of lead and steel. The bravest will shirk fighting if he has forgotten his shield: the sight of a lion and the sound of a gun elicit screams of terror, and their Kaum or forays much resemble the style of tactics rendered obsolete by the Great Turenne, when the tactician’s chief aim was not to fall in with his enemy. Yet they are by no means deficient in the wily valour of wild men: two or three will murder a sleeper bravely enough; and when the passions of rival tribes, between whom there has been a blood feud for ages, are violently excited, they will use with asperity the dagger and spear. Their massacres are fearful. In February, 1847, a small sept, the Ayyal Tunis, being expelled from Berberah, settled at the roadstead of Bulhar, where a few merchants, principally Indian and Arab, joined them. The men were in the habit of leaving their women and children, sick and aged, at the encampment inland, whilst, descending to the beach, they carried on their trade. One day, as they were thus employed, unsuspicious of danger, a foraging party of about 2500 Eesas attacked the camp: men, women, and children were indiscriminately put to the spear, and the plunderers returned to their villages in safety, laden with an immense amount of booty. At present, a man armed with a revolver would be a terror to the country; the day, however, will come when the matchlock will supersede the assegai, and then the harmless spearman in his strong mountains will become, like the Arab, a formidable foe. Travelling among the Bedouins, I found them kind and hospitable. A pinch of snuff or a handful of tobacco sufficed to win every heart, and a few yards of coarse cotton cloth supplied all our wants, I was petted like a child, forced to drink milk and to eat mutton; girls were offered to me in marriage; the people begged me to settle amongst them, to head their predatory expeditions, free them from lions, and kill their elephants; and often a man has exclaimed in pitying accents, “What hath brought thee, delicate as thou art, to sit with us on the cowhide in this cold under a tree?” Of course they were beggars, princes and paupers, lairds and loons, being all equally unfortunate; the Arabs have named the country Bilad Wa Issi,—the “Land of Give me Something;”—but their wants were easily satisfied, and the open hand always made a friend.

The Somal hold mainly to the Shafei school of El Islam: their principal peculiarity is that of not reciting prayers over the dead even in the towns. The marriage ceremony is simple: the price of the bride and the feast being duly arranged, the formula is recited by some priest or pilgrim. I have often been requested to officiate on these occasions, and the End of Time has done it by irreverently reciting the Fatihah over the happy pair.18 The Somal, as usual amongst the heterogeneous mass amalgamated by El Islam, have a diversity of superstitions attesting their Pagan origin. Such for instance are their oaths by stones, their reverence of cairns and holy trees, and their ordeals of fire and water, the Bolungo of Western Africa. A man accused of murder or theft walks down a trench full of live charcoal and about a spear’s length, or he draws out of the flames a smith’s anvil heated to redness: some prefer picking four or five cowries from a large pot full of boiling water. The member used is at once rolled up in the intestines of a sheep and not inspected for a whole day. They have traditionary seers called Tawuli, like the Greegree-men of Western Africa, who, by inspecting the fat and bones of slaughtered cattle, “do medicine,” predict rains, battles, and diseases of animals. This class is of both sexes: they never pray or bathe, and are therefore considered always impure; thus, being feared, they are greatly respected by the vulgar. Their predictions are delivered in a rude rhyme, often put for importance into the mouth of some deceased seer. During the three months called Rajalo19 the Koran is not read over graves, and no marriage ever takes place. The reason of this peculiarity is stated to be imitation of their ancestor Ishak, who happened not to contract a matrimonial alliance at such epoch: it is, however, a manifest remnant of the Pagan’s auspicious and inauspicious months. Thus they sacrifice she-camels in the month Sabuh, and keep holy with feasts and bonfires the Dubshid or New Year’s Day.20 At certain unlucky periods when the moon is in ill-omened Asterisms those who die are placed in bundles of matting upon a tree, the idea being that if buried a loss would result to the tribe. 21

Though superstitious, the Somal are not bigoted like the Arabs, with the exception of those who, wishing to become learned, visit Yemen or El Hejaz, and catch the complaint. Nominal Mohammedans, El Islam hangs so lightly upon them, that apparently they care little for making it binding upon others.

The Somali language is no longer unknown to Europe. It is strange that a dialect which has no written character should so abound in poetry and eloquence. There are thousands of songs, some local, others general, upon all conceivable subjects, such as camel loading, drawing water, and elephant hunting; every man of education knows a variety of them. The rhyme is imperfect, being generally formed by the syllable “ay” (pronounced as in our word “hay”), which gives the verse a monotonous regularity; but, assisted by a tolerably regular alliteration and cadence, it can never be mistaken for prose, even without the song which invariably accompanies it. The country teems with “poets, poetasters, poetitos, and poetaccios:” every man has his recognised position in literature as accurately defined as though he had been reviewed in a century of magazines,—the fine ear of this people22 causing them to take the greatest pleasure in harmonious sounds and poetical expressions, whereas a false quantity or a prosaic phrase excite their violent indignation. Many of these compositions are so idiomatic that Arabs settled for years amongst the Somal cannot understand them, though perfectly acquainted with the conversational style. Every chief in the country must have a panegyric to be sung by his clan, and the great patronise light literature by keeping a poet. The amatory is of course the favourite theme: sometimes it appears in dialogue, the rudest form, we are told, of the Drama. The subjects are frequently pastoral: the lover for instance invites his mistress to walk with him towards the well in Lahelo, the Arcadia of the land; he compares her legs to the tall straight Libi tree, and imprecates the direst curses on her head if she refuse to drink with him the milk of his favourite camel. There are a few celebrated ethical compositions, in which the father lavishes upon his son all the treasures of Somali good advice, long as the somniferous sermons of Mentor to the insipid son of Ulysses. Sometimes a black Tyrtaeus breaks into a wild lament for the loss of warriors or territory; he taunts the clan with cowardice, reminds them of their slain kindred, better men than themselves, whose spirits cannot rest unavenged in their gory graves, and urges a furious onslaught upon the exulting victor.

And now, dear L., I will attempt to gratify your just curiosity concerning the sex in Eastern Africa.

The Somali matron is distinguished—externally—from the maiden by a fillet of blue network or indigo-dyed cotton, which, covering the head and containing the hair, hangs down to the neck. Virgins wear their locks long, parted in the middle, and plaited in a multitude of hard thin pigtails: on certain festivals they twine flowers and plaster the head like Kafir women with a red ochre,—the coiffure has the merit of originality. With massive rounded features, large flat craniums, long big eyes, broad brows, heavy chins, rich brown complexions, and round faces, they greatly resemble the stony beauties of Egypt—the models of the land ere Persia, Greece, and Rome reformed the profile and bleached the skin. They are of the Venus Kallipyga order of beauty: the feature is scarcely ever seen amongst young girls, but after the first child it becomes remarkable to a stranger. The Arabs have not failed to make it a matter of jibe.

“’Tis a wonderful fact that your hips swell
Like boiled rice or a skin blown out,”

sings a satirical Yemeni: the Somal retort by comparing the lank haunches of their neighbours to those of tadpoles or young frogs. One of their peculiar charms is a soft, low, and plaintive voice, derived from their African progenitors. Always an excellent thing in woman, here it has an undefinable charm. I have often lain awake for hours listening to the conversation of the Bedouin girls, whose accents sounded in my ears rather like music than mere utterance.

In muscular strength and endurance the women of the Somal are far superior to their lords: at home they are engaged all day in domestic affairs, and tending the cattle; on journeys their manifold duties are to load and drive the camels, to look after the ropes, and, if necessary, to make them; to pitch the hut, to bring water and firewood, and to cook. Both sexes are equally temperate from necessity; the mead and the millet-beer, so common among the Abyssinians and the Danakil, are entirely unknown to the Somal of the plains. As regards their morals, I regret to say that the traveller does not find them in the golden state which Teetotal doctrines lead him to expect. After much wandering, we are almost tempted to believe the bad doctrine that morality is a matter of geography; that nations and races have, like individuals, a pet vice, and that by restraining one you only exasperate another. As a general rule Somali women prefer amourettes with strangers, following the well-known Arab proverb, “The new comer filleth the eye.” In cases of scandal, the woman’s tribe revenges its honour upon the man. Should a wife disappear with a fellow-clansman, and her husband accord divorce, no penal measures are taken, but she suffers in reputation, and her female friends do not spare her. Generally, the Somali women are of cold temperament, the result of artificial as well as natural causes: like the Kafirs, they are very prolific, but peculiarly bad mothers, neither loved nor respected by their children. The fair sex lasts longer in Eastern Africa than in India and Arabia: at thirty, however, charms are on the wane, and when old age comes on they are no exceptions to the hideous decrepitude of the East.

The Somal, when they can afford it, marry between the ages of fifteen and twenty. Connections between tribes are common, and entitle the stranger to immunity from the blood-feud: men of family refuse, however, to ally themselves with the servile castes. Contrary to the Arab custom, none of these people will marry cousins; at the same time a man will give his daughter to his uncle, and take to wife, like the Jews and Gallas, a brother’s relict. Some clans, the Habr Yunis for instance, refuse maidens of the same or even of a consanguineous family. This is probably a political device to preserve nationality and provide against a common enemy. The bride, as usual in the East, is rarely consulted, but frequent tete a tetes at the well and in the bush when tending cattle effectually obviate this inconvenience: her relatives settle the marriage portion, which varies from a cloth and a bead necklace to fifty sheep or thirty dollars, and dowries are unknown. In the towns marriage ceremonies are celebrated with feasting and music. On first entering the nuptial hut, the bridegroom draws forth his horsewhip and inflicts memorable chastisement upon the fair person of his bride, with the view of taming any lurking propensity to shrewishness.23 This is carrying out with a will the Arab proverb,

“The slave girl from her capture, the wife from her wedding.”

During the space of a week the spouse remains with his espoused, scarcely ever venturing out of the hut; his friends avoid him, and no lesser event than a plundering party or dollars to gain, would justify any intrusion. If the correctness of the wife be doubted, the husband on the morning after marriage digs a hole before his door and veils it with matting, or he rends the skirt of his Tobe, or he tears open some new hut-covering: this disgraces the woman’s family. Polygamy is indispensable in a country where children are the principal wealth.24 The chiefs, arrived at manhood, immediately marry four wives: they divorce the old and unfruitful, and, as amongst the Kafirs, allow themselves an unlimited number in peculiar cases, especially when many of the sons have fallen. Daughters, as usual in Oriental countries, do not “count” as part of the family: they are, however, utilised by the father, who disposes of them to those who can increase his wealth and importance. Divorce is exceedingly common, for the men are liable to sudden fits of disgust. There is little ceremony in contracting marriage with any but maidens. I have heard a man propose after half an hour’s acquaintance, and the fair one’s reply was generally the question direct concerning “settlements.” Old men frequently marry young girls, but then the portion is high and the menage a trois common.

The Somal know none of the exaggerated and chivalrous ideas by which passion becomes refined affection amongst the Arab Bedouins and the sons of civilisation, nor did I ever hear of an African abandoning the spear and the sex to become a Darwaysh. Their “Hudhudu,” however, reminds the traveller of the Abyssinian “eye-love,” the Afghan’s “Namzad-bazi,” and the Semite’s “Ishkuzri,” which for want of a better expression we translate “Platonic love.”25 This meeting of the sexes, however, is allowed in Africa by male relatives; in Arabia and Central Asia it provokes their direst indignation. Curious to say, throughout the Somali country, kissing is entirely unknown.

Children are carried on their mothers’ backs or laid sprawling upon the ground for the first two years26: they are circumcised at the age of seven or eight, provided with a small spear, and allowed to run about naked till the age of puberty. They learn by conversation, not books, eat as much as they can beg, borrow and steal, and grow up healthy, strong, and well proportioned according to their race.

As in El Islam generally, so here, a man cannot make a will. The property of the deceased is divided amongst his children,—the daughters receiving a small portion, if any of it. When a man dies without issue, his goods and chattels are seized upon by his nearest male relatives; one of them generally marries the widow, or she is sent back to her family. Relicts, as a rule, receive no legacies.

You will have remarked, dear L., that the people of Zayla are by no means industrious. They depend for support upon the Desert: the Bedouin becomes the Nazil or guest of the townsman, and he is bound to receive a little tobacco, a few beads, a bit of coarse cotton cloth, or, on great occasions, a penny looking-glass and a cheap German razor, in return for his slaves, ivories, hides, gums, milk, and grain. Any violation of the tie is severely punished by the Governor, and it can be dissolved only by the formula of triple divorce: of course the wild men are hopelessly cheated27, and their citizen brethren live in plenty and indolence. After the early breakfast, the male portion of the community leave their houses on business, that is to say, to chat, visit, and flaner about the streets and mosques. 28 They return to dinner and the siesta, after which they issue forth again, and do not come home till night. Friday is always an idle day, festivals are frequent, and there is no work during weddings and mournings. The women begin after dawn to plait mats and superintend the slaves, who are sprinkling the house with water, grinding grain for breakfast, cooking, and breaking up firewood: to judge, however, from the amount of chatting and laughter, there appears to be far less work than play.

In these small places it is easy to observe the mechanism of a government which, en grand, becomes that of Delhi, Teheran, and Constantinople. The Governor farms the place from the Porte: he may do what he pleases as long as he pays his rent with punctuality and provides presents and douceurs for the Pasha of Mocha. He punishes the petty offences of theft, quarrels, and arson by fines, the bastinado, the stocks, or confinement in an Arish or thatch-hut: the latter is a severe penalty, as the prisoner must provide himself with food. In cases of murder, he either refers to Mocha or he carries out the Kisas—lex talionis—by delivering the slayer to the relatives of the slain. The Kazi has the administration of the Shariat or religious law: he cannot, however, pronounce sentence without the Governor’s permission; and generally his powers are confined to questions of divorce, alimony, manumission, the wound-mulct, and similar cases which come within Koranic jurisdiction. Thus the religious code is ancillary and often opposed to “El Jabr,”—“the tyranny,”—the popular designation of what we call Civil Law.29 Yet is El Jabr, despite its name, generally preferred by the worldly wise. The Governor contents himself with a moderate bribe, the Kazi is insatiable: the former may possibly allow you to escape unplundered, the latter assuredly will not. This I believe to be the history of religious jurisdiction in most parts of the world.

1 Eusebius declares that the Abyssinians migrated from Asia to Africa whilst the Hebrews were in Egypt (circ. A. M. 2345); and Syncellus places the event about the age of the Judges.

2 Moslems, ever fond of philological fable, thus derive the word Galla. When Ullabu, the chief, was summoned by Mohammed to Islamise, the messenger returned to report that “he said no,”—Kal la pronounced Gal la,—which impious refusal, said the Prophet, should from that time become the name of the race.

3 Others have derived them from Metcha, Karaiyo, and Tulema, three sons of an AEthiopian Emperor by a female slave. They have, according to some travellers, a prophecy that one day they will march to the east and north, and conquer the inheritance of their Jewish ancestors. Mr. Johnston asserts that the word Galla is “merely another form of Calla, which in the ancient Persian, Sanscrit, Celtic, and their modern derivative languages, under modified, but not changed terms, is expressive of blackness.” The Gallas, however, are not a black people.

4 The Aden stone has been supposed to name the “Berbers,” who must have been Gallas from the vicinity of Berberah. A certain amount of doubt still hangs on the interpretation: the Rev. Mr. Forster and Dr. Bird being the principal contrasts.

Rev. Mr. Forster.
Dr. Bird
“We assailed with cries of hatred and rage the Abyssinians and Berbers.
“We rode forth wrathfully against this refuse of mankind.”
“He, the Syrian philosopher in Abadan, Bishop of Cape Aden, who inscribed this in the desert, blesses the institution of the faith.”

5 This word is generally translated Abyssinia; oriental geographers, however, use it in a more extended sense. The Turks have held possessions in “Habash,” in Abyssinia never.

6 The same words are repeated in the Infak el Maysur fl Tarikh bilad el Takrur (Appendix to Denham and Clapperton’s Travels, No. xii.), again confounding the Berbers and the Somal. Afrikus, according to that author, was a king of Yemen who expelled the Berbers from Syria!

7 The learned Somal invariably spell their national name with an initial Sin, and disregard the derivation from Saumal ([Arabic]), which would allude to the hardihood of the wild people. An intelligent modern traveller derives “Somali” from the Abyssinian “Soumahe” or heathens, and asserts that it corresponds with the Arabic word Kafir or unbeliever, the name by which Edrisi, the Arabian geographer, knew and described the inhabitants of the Affah (Afar) coast, to the east of the Straits of Bab el Mandeb. Such derivation is, however, unadvisable.

8 According to others he was the son of Abdullah. The written genealogies of the Somal were, it is said, stolen by the Sherifs of Yemen, who feared to leave with the wild people documents that prove the nobility of their descent.

9 The salient doubt suggested by this genealogy is the barbarous nature of the names. A noble Arab would not call his children Gerhajis, Awal, and Rambad.

10 Lieut. Cruttenden applies the term Edoor (Aydur) to the descendants of Ishak, the children of Gerhajis, Awal, and Jailah. His informants and mine differ, therefore, toto coelo. According to some, Dirr was the father of Aydur; others make Dirr (it has been written Tir and Durr) to have been the name of the Galla family into which Shaykh Ishak married.

11 Some travellers make Jabarti or Ghiberti to signify “slaves” from the Abyssinian Guebra; others “Strong in the Faith” (El Islam). Bruce applies it to the Moslems of Abyssinia: it is still used, though rarely, by the Somal, who in these times generally designate by it the Sawahili or Negro Moslems.

12 The same scandalous story is told of the venerable patron saint of Aden, the Sherif Haydrus.

13 Darud bin Ismail’s tomb is near the Yubbay Tug in the windward mountains; an account of it will be found in Lieut. Speke’s diary.

14 The two rivers Shebayli and Juba.

15 Curious to any this mixture does not destroy the hair; it would soon render a European bald. Some of the Somal have applied it to their beards; the result has been the breaking and falling off of the filaments.

16 Few Somal except the citizens smoke, on account of the expense, all, however, use the Takhzinah or quid.

17 The best description of the dress is that of Fenelon: “Leurs habits sont aises a faire, car en ce doux climat on ne porte qu’une piece d’etoffe fine et legere, qui n’est point taillee, et que chacun met a longs plis autour de son corps pour la modestie; lui donnant la forme qu’il veut.”

18 Equivalent to reading out the Church Catechism at an English wedding.

19 Certain months of the lunar year. In 1854, the third Rajalo, corresponding with Rabia the Second, began on the 21st of December.

20 The word literally means, “lighting of fire.” It corresponds with the Nayruz of Yemen, a palpable derivation, as the word itself proves, from the old Guebre conquerors. In Arabia New Year’s Day is called Ras el Sanah, and is not celebrated by any peculiar solemnities. The ancient religion of the Afar coast was Sabaeism, probably derived from the Berbers or shepherds,—according to Bruce the first faith of the East, and the only religion of Eastern Africa. The Somal still retain a tradition that the “Furs,” or ancient Guebres, once ruled the land.

21 Their names also are generally derived from their Pagan ancestors: a list of the most common may be interesting to ethnologists. Men are called Rirash, Igah, Beuh, Fahi, Samattar, Farih, Madar, Raghe, Dubayr, Irik, Diddar, Awalah, and Alyan. Women’s names are Aybla, Ayyo, Aurala, Ambar, Zahabo, Ashkaro, Alka, Asoba, Gelo, Gobe, Mayran and Samaweda.

22 It is proved by the facility with which they pick up languages, Western us well as Eastern, by mere ear and memory.

23 So the old Muscovites, we are told, always began married life with a sound flogging.

24 I would not advise polygamy amongst highly civilised races, where the sexes are nearly equal, and where reproduction becomes a minor duty. Monogamy is the growth of civilisation: a plurality of wives is the natural condition of man in thinly populated countries, where he who has the largest family is the greatest benefactor of his kind.

25 The old French term “la petite oie” explains it better. Some trace of the custom may be found in the Kafir’s Slambuka or Schlabonka, for a description of which I must refer to the traveller Delegorgue.

26 The Somal ignore the Kafir custom during lactation.

27 The citizens have learned the Asiatic art of bargaining under a cloth. Both parties sit opposite each other, holding hands: if the little finger for instance be clasped, it means 6, 60, or 600 dollars, according to the value of the article for sale; if the ring finger, 7, 70, or 700, and so on.

28 So, according to M. Krapf, the Suaheli of Eastern Africa wastes his morning hours in running from house to house, to his friends or superiors, ku amkia (as he calls it), to make his morning salutations. A worse than Asiatic idleness is the curse of this part of the world.

29 Diwan el Jabr, for instance, is a civil court, opposed to the Mahkamah or the Kazi’s tribunal.

The Wonderings of Cushitic pastoralists : Somali Oromo Afar in Pre-History

 Cushitic pastoralists
Explorations in the Prehistory
of Central Africa
Roger Blench
The origin and homeland of the major linguistic groupings in Africa,
has been a subject of controversy since the first tentative attempts to
classify the more than 2000 languages of the continent. Although
most scholars are now agreed on the assignment of most languages
to one or other of the phyla present in Africa, the intemal arrangement
of the subgroups within each phylum is very much open to discussion.
Models of interna1 structure influence the historical interpretation of
ethnolinguistic diffusion; if one branch of a phylum is considered
especially close to another then historical models must account for
its speakers' contiguity at some time in pi-ehistory.
Of particular interest in this respect is the Afroasiatic phylum, both
because it is so widespread in Africa and the Near East and because
its intemal structure is as yet very unclear. Afroasiatic has a somewhat
ambiguous status among the major language phyla of the world. As
the grouping that includes not only several languages sanctified by
major world religions, but also the earliest written language, it has
benefited from a massive research and publication effort in certain
rather specific areas. It also has old-established traditions of scholarship
that have not always had a positive effect on innovative research.

40 V L'homme et l'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
One branch of Afroasiatic that presents a specific problem is Chadic,
the family of 150 + languages centred on Lake Chad but spreading
from the borders of Sudan to northwestein Nigeria. Chadic is clearly
the most intemally diversified subgroup of Afroasiatic and perhaps
for that reason might be considered as the most ancient branching.
However. linguistic geography suggests rather strongly that it is indeed
an intrusive group reaching the region after the establishment of the
Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Congo phyla (see maps in Perrot 1988;
Crozier & Blench 1992; Blench 1993a, 1997a). Since its nearest
relatives are geographically remote (Berber or Cushitic) it has often
been suggested that speakers of the Proto-Chadic were mobile
pastoralists of some type. This has never been substantiated either
linguistically or archaeologically and no date has been proposed for
such a movement.
The purpose of this paperl is to put forward a mode1 to account for
the position of Chadic within Afroasiatic and to suggest a time and
a route whereby Chadic pastoralists could have ai-rived at the Lake
Chad area. Linguistic support foi- this hypothesis is presently limited
to livestock tei-minology; full confirmation of this idea could only
come from much more detailed comparative work within Afroasiatic.
The paper explores the history of ideas concerning the interna1
classification and membership of Afroasiatic and to a lesser extent of
Nilo-Saharan, since the two phyla intei-penetrate in the crucial region
of Central Africa. It then considers the domestic stock in this region
of Central Africa and sets out the linguistic evidence for connections
between Afroasiatic subgroups. Finally, archaeological evidence that
can be linked to the pioposed migrations is reviewed.
1 I would like to thank the organisers of Méga-Tchad for allowing me to
present this long and somewhat complex paper, a preliminary version of
which was given at SOAS in 1995.1 would like to thank David Appleyard,
Jean-Charles Clanet, Richard Hayward, Hermann Jungraithmayr and Kay
Williamson who have commented on various versions of it. Lionel Bender
has been the source of stimulating debates on the subject of the classifi-
cation of Nilo-Saharan and Afroasiatic, while not commenting directly on
the text of the paper.

R. BLENCH-The westward wanderinqs of Cushitic pastoralists 41 V
Afroasiatic and Nilo-Saharan
Historical Views of Afroasia tic
Ruhlen (1 987: 87 ff.) gives a useful concise history of the classification
of the languages that constitute the phylum. The kinship of Hebr-ew,
Arabic and Aramaic was recognised as early as the 1530s, and Ludolf
pointed out the affinity of Ethiosemitic with the near Eastern languages
in 1702. The name "Semitic" was proposed in 178 1 by von Schlozer.
Berber and some of the Chadic languages, notably Hausa were added
during the course of the nineteenth century. The earliest version of
Afroasiatic as presently understood probably appears in Müller (1 876-
87) who linked Egyptian, Semitic, Berber, Cushitic and Hausa, the
only known Chadic language at the period.
A phylum under the name Afroasiatic goes back to Joseph Greenberg
(1963). Previously, the preferred name was "Hamito-Semitic", an
unfortunate conjunction both clumsy and redolent of suspect racial
theories. Hamito-Semitic is by no means expunged from the lexicon:
hence the confus in^ titles of various collections of conference
proceedings (cf. Bynon 1984). Even disregarding the "Hamitic
hypothesis" Hamito-Semitic gives a primacy to Semitic that is entirely
without linguistic justificationz. Other proposed names include
Afrasian, Lisramic (Hodge 1976) and more strangely, Lislakh. These
have not been widely adopted and Afroasiatic will be used here.
Afroasiatic has been the subject of a number of overviews, beginning
with Müller (op. cit.). Historically, the most important of these have
been Cohen (1947) and Diakonoff (1988). Hodge (1 971, 1976)
represents a summary of the situation in the early 1970s. In 1995,
two very different perspectives on Afroasiatic were published, both
accompanied by substantial data tables (Ehret 1995: Orel & Stolbova
2 Much the same has been the case with Sino-Tibetan, where the written
record of Chinese came to be regarded as evidence for its primary split
with the largely unwritten Tibeto-Burrnan languages. As Van Driern (1995)
has recently shown, this is not supported by the linguistic evidence, which
suggests that Chinese should be classified with Bodic.

42 V L'homme et l'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
1995). The implications of these works have yet to be fully absorbed,
but the contrast between them is that Ehret is concerned to justify a
particular view of Afroasiatic phylogeny (Fig. 2, p. 43), while Orel
and Stolbova are oriented towards etymologies. Ehret argues for a
particular version of Afroasiatic phonology while Orel and Stolbova
take for granted that proposed by Diakonoff.
An aspect of Afroasiatic that is worth noting is the important role
played by scholars whose focus has been text. Inteipretations have
been, even more than usual, a miiror to the intellectual preoccupations
of each scholarly generation. Ancient Egyptian has always been
inteipreted by Mediterraneanist scholars and this is reflected in the
interpretations of the sound-system. The undoubted African
contribution has been largely ignored or implicitly denied.
Despite this, it is fair to Say that there has been a revolution in the
treatment of Afroasiatic largely brought about by the massive growth
in studies of African languages. Greenberg (1 963) was responsible
for the establishment of this phylum in its pi-esent foi-m. His particular
contribution was the dethronement of Semitic fi-om its foimerly central
position. and the emphasis he placed on its i-elations with the languages
of Africa.
The Interna1 Phylogeny of Afroasiatic
Gi-eenberg's hypotheses marked an important development, but in
one way they remained resolutely old-fashioned; they left the inteinal
stiucture of Afroasiatic unexplored. Greenberg's classification allowed
five CO-ordinate branches, with Cushitic subdivided into five further
CO-ordinate branches. This is represented in Figure 1.
I I I I l
Semitic Berber Ancient Egyptian Cushitic Chadic
l I l I I
Northern Central Eastern Western Southern
1 Figure 1
The principal subdivisions of Afroasiatic in Greenberg (1963).

R. BLENCH-The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralisls 43 V
This scheme broadly follows Cohen (1 947) although Cohen included
only Hausa as an example of a Chadic language and offered no specific
hypothesis about Cushitic. Greenberg was undoubtedly the first
researcher to outline Chadic as a distinct language family, eliminating
the typological elements that had confused Lukas' classification.
The most significant development since this period has been the
recognition that Greenberg's "Western Cushitic" is quite distinct from
other branches of Afro-Asiatic. To mark this, it has been renamed
Omotic (Bender 1975, 1988). Most scholars have accepted the
coherence of Omotic as a group and agree on its assignment to
Afroasiatic. Some researchers would prefer to retain Omotic within
Cushitic, but these are now in a minority. In the case of the other
branches of Cushitic, there has also been considerable discussion
about whether it really constitutes a family and Beja, Ethiopian
Cushitic and Southein Cushitic are often treated as distinct branches.
Ehret (1987) has proposed a "proto-Cushitic" making explicit the
hypothesis that these branches form a unity. New data on Dahalo have
made its usual classification with South Cushitic less evident and
some writers now wish to make it an independent branch of Cushitic
(Tosco 1991 ).
Despite a wealth of documentation, attempts to put a structure to the
groupings within Afro-Asiatic have been relatively few. Within Chadic,
the interna1 classification of the most ramified of the subgroups of
Afroasiatic has proved particularly complex. Greenberg (1963) left
Chadic with nine rather ill-defined subgroups, but Newman and Ma
(1966) made a major breakthrough in proposing three divisions.
Newman (1977) later expanded this to four with the separation of the
Masa group, although Tourneux (1 990) has argued that Masa should
be re-incorporated in Central Chadic. Barreteau and Jungraithmayr
(1993) in a study combining lexicostatistics with proposed lexical
innovations, have split West Chadic into two CO-ordinate groups,
opposing Hausa and the Plateau Chadic languages, such as Ron, with
the Miya-Warji and other northeastern languages such as Ngizim.
It is interesting to note from the point of view of intellectual history
that the first proposa1 to specifically link Cushitic and Chadic seems
to have been made in 1909 by Leo Reinisch, the great Austiian scholar
of the languages of the Hom of Africa. Reinisch noted that these
languages were linked with Semitic and Egyptian and concluded on

44 V L'homme et l'animal dans le bassin (lu lac Tchad
ground of linguistic geography that Afroasiatic ("Chamitische" in his
terminology) must have originated in Africa. Reinisch's conclusions
are rarely cited and were probably far more unwelcome in 1909 than
Greenberg in the 1950s and even Greenberg had to face considerable
opposition. Arelated and challenging view of the Afroasiatic homeland
was put fonvard by Behrens (1985) who used linguistic evidence,
especially livestock terminology, to suggest that the homeland of
Berber was far from its present centre of gravity. Behrens argued for
a region of Western Sudan with subsequent diffusion both West and
north some 6000 years BC.
Most recently, there have been a number of developments that have
yet to be fully evaluated. The most important of these are:
a) The proposal that Ongota, a moribund language 3 of southwestem
Ethiopia constitutes a valid seventh branch of Afroasiatic (Fleming
et al. 1992).
b) Blaiek (in press) has proposed that Elamite. an extinct language
of the Ancient Near East, either constitutes a seventh branch of
Afroasiatic or is CO-ordinate with it. Elamite is usually classified
with Dravidian, spoken in South India, but does show clear
resemblances with Afroasiatic. Blaiek proposes a structure where
Afi-oasiatic is related to Dravidian at a higher level and Elamite
foims a bridge between the two. Whether the links between Elamite
and Afroasiatic reflect a genetic relationship or are simply a case
of extensive loanwords, remains to be explored.
Ehret's (1995) schema of the intemal structure for Afroasiatic is fairly
similar to the models proposed formally or informally by other
researchers and 1have adapted sonle of his proposed names for the
nodes (e.g. North Afroasiatic and Erythraic). Figure 2 shows a
composite view of Afroasiatic incorporating my own views and some
of the recent proposals made conceining Elamitic, On, Dota etc.
Bender (1 997) has also proposed a radically new structure for
Afroasiatic ("upside-down Afi-asian" in his teiminology). His revised
tree is as follows (Figure 3).
3 Ongota has only 6 speakers as of 1997, down from the 15 reported in

R. BLENCH-The weslward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists 45 V

~esl-1 East Beja Aga* E. Cushitic S. Cushitic erter Egyptian Semitic OmoÉ Ongola?
1 Figure 2
Proposed Revised Afroasiatic Classification
Chadic Egyptian-Coptic Berber Sernitic Cushitic Ornotic
1 Figure 3
The lnternal Structure of Afroasiatic according to Bender (1997)

46 V L'homme et l'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
Bender proposes a homeland for Afroasiatic (the region where Chad,
Sudan and Libya meet today) and a date (10,000 BP). Perhaps even
more startlingly, he canvases the possibility that Indo-European is
somehow an offshoot of his "Macro-Cushitic". Whether these
suggestions will be taken on board by the scholarly commiinity will
depend on the presentation of fuller evidence than is given in his short
The Nilo-Saharan language phylum remains the least-known and most
controversial of African language groupings. Since its initial delineation
by Greenberg (1963) there have been a series of studies, piincipally
by Bender (1991 b, 1996a, b) and Blench (1995a). An unpublished
classification by Ehret is reviewed in Bender (1 996a). Figure 4 shows
one mode1 of the relationship between the various branches of Nilo-
Saharan; quite different structures are given in some of the literature
cited. This is a much more controversial topic: but for the present
argument, this is marginally relevant: al1 that needs to be taken on
trust is that there are large numbers of fragmented Ni1o.-Saharan
languages presently in the region between Chadic and Cushitic.
Berta Kunarna Kornuz
Fur Maba
Saharan Songhay 1
(= Kadugli-Krongo)
Central Sudanic East Sudanic
1 Figure 4
Interna1 Phylogeny of Nilo-Saharan: Minimal Hypothesis.

R. BLENCH-The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists 47 V
Trees, Peoples and Origins
This paper treats non-phylogenetic views with limited sympathy.
Languages are spoken by people and communities split and diversify
in real historical time for a multiplicity of reasons. Although the
interplay of factors that underlie these processes remains only partly
understood, it is only by seeking to apply sociological models of
known processes that we can hope to mode1 the past. Historically
speaking, divisions in communities are a common process. Apastoral
society divides as one group goes to seek pasture and water elsewhere.
An agricultural community divides as one body of villagers go to
seek new agricultural land.
Languages usually spread by two complementary processes, language-
shifting and physical expansion. The Hausa and Fulfulde languages
of West Africa are good examples of these processes at work. Hausa
has largely spread in historical time through the Hausaization of
agricultural populations, a process still at work today. Fulfulde,
however, has spread across West-Central Africa through the physical
movement of pastoralists with their herds. There is no reason to suppose
these processes were not as common in the past as they are today.
The Inter-Saharan Hypothesis
Much of the conventional literature on the diffusion and spread of
Afroasiatic assumes, implicitly or explicitly, a trans-Saharan route
for the development of Chadic. Links with Berber and Egyptian
abound in the literature and the analogy with the medieval Islamic
trade-routes is extended into an unknown past. This paper argues,
that while trans-Saharan routes were of importance. the present-day
distribution of Chadic languages and their immediate affinities in
Afroasiatic can best be understood by assuming that speakers of the
proto-language migrated from east to West. from the Nile to the Niger.
to exaggerate slightly. To distinguish this from the conventional view
1 propose to cal1 this the "inter-Saharan" coi-ridor.
If Chadic and Cushitic languages do have a privileged relationship.
then this is best explained by the assumption that Chadic speakers

48 V L'homme et i'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
broke away from a branch of Cushitic and moved westwards. In view
of the intemal diversification of Chadic this must have been several
thousand years ago. Given the long distances involved, it seems likely
that this migration took place in the context of a pastoral subsistence
system. In other words, a group of Cushitic speakers, herding cattle,
sheep and goats, began to drift westward (Blench 1995b).
The inter-Saharan coi-ridor is today largely in the Republics of Sudan
and Chad. Today and presumably in the past it was inhabited by Nilo-
Saharan speakers. If such a migration took place, then one
confirmatory piece of evidence should be the scattered presence of
livestock terms in Nilo-Saharan languages al1 the way between the
Nile and Lake Chad. The data tables given below provide some
evidence that this is indeed the case.
Leo Reinisch pointed out in the early part of the century that there
are striking lexical correspondences between Nile Nubian and
Cushitic. Work on the prehistory of Nubian and the languages of the
Nile Valley by Bechhaus-Gerst (1 98415, 1989, 1999) has made this
more historically probable. She shows that when Nobiin speakers
reached the Nile Valley (by Ca. 1500 BC) they encountered resident
speakers of Cushitic languages from whom they borrowed a large
number of words, most strikingly those connected with livestock
production (goat, sheep, hen, pig, dung, stock enclosure, milk etc.).
The languages that are apparently the source of these loanwords are
Highland East Cushitic (Haddiya etc.) rather than Beja or the Agaw
languages which are today geographically closer.

P Pastoralism and Domestic Aninials
Why Domestic Animals?
One approach to exploring the history of a language phylum is to
examine in detail a semantic field that illuminates some aspect of the
subsistence strategies of its assumed speakers. In the case of Khoisan,
for example, it would be sensible to look in detail at animal names
and hunting technology. In the case of Afroasiatic, livestock
terminology provides a useful window, since it has long been obseived

R. BLENCH-The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists
49 V
that many lexical items are widely distributed through the phylum.
Livestock is also useful because:
it is probably older than cultivation in Africa: cattle, donkeys, cats
and guinea-fowl are indigenous domesticates:
it is represented in rock-art and it is bettes attested archaeologically
than cultivated plants;
maRy Afroasiatic speakers are still pastoralists.
Terms for domestic animals occupy a curious halfway house between
cultural and basic lexicon. Domestic animals are ancient, but their
exact antiquity is often in question. Therefore their presence at the
period when a hypothetical proto-language is spoken remains doubtful.
The Principal Pastoral Species:
Cattle, Sheep and Goats
The ancestry of domestic cattle remains one of the most disputed
topics in the broader debate over domestication. The most
comprehensive overviews of the origin of the traditional cattle breeds
of Africa are Epstein (1971) and Epstein and Mason (1984). Wild
cattle seem to have been present in the Ancient Near East and
Northeast Afi-ica as late as 5000 B.C. and the earliest African cattle
presumably derive from these. Muzzolini (1983b) has reviewed the
evidence for cattle in Ancient Egypt and Gautier (1987) has
synthesised the archaeological evidence for Northern and Middle
Africa. Blench (1993b) represents an oveiview of the existing evidence
from cattle breeds and races. MacDonald and MacDonald (1 999)
represents a comprehensive recent summary of the archaeozoological
evidence for West-Central Africa.
Very early dates, before 9000 BP, are postulated for cattle in the
Eastern Sahara (Gautier: 198 1: 336, 1984: 69). Wendorf & Schild
(1984: 420) note comparable domesticated cattle from Syria by the
tenth millenniurn BP. Breunig et al. (1993) and Breunig and Neumann
(1996) give dates of > 3000 BP (uncalibrated) for the bones of
domesticated cattle in Boino.
Many early representations in rock-art of cattle in the Ancient Middle
East, Egypt and the Sahara show cattle with some sort of hump.

50 V L'homme ef l'animal dans le bassin tlu lac Tchad
Muzzolini (1983a. 1991) concludes that there are sorne apparently
early images of humped cattle in Saharan rock-art which do not fit
with the late introduction of zebu and therefore advmces the hypothesis
of an independent evolution of humpedness in the Sahara. The present-
day humped breeds of West Africa almost certainly cornbille genetic
rnaterial from the indigenous breeds and the incorning zebu. Recent
work on the cattle DNA does appear to suggest a dual domestication
in the Indian and NE Afi-ical Near Eastern regions (Loftus et al. 1994).
The goat. Capra I~ircus aegagrus, evolved 7 million yeass ago. but it
was probably not dornesticated until 10,000 years ago in the Mesolithic
period of the Ancient Near East (Gautier 198 1 : 336: Mason 1984b).
Goats were certainly kept in Egypt after 5000 BC and presumably
spread to sub-Saharan Africa shoi-tly after that. The site at Haua Fteah,
Cyrenaica in North Afi-ica, has srnall ruminant bones datiny from the
6800 BP with no associated cattle and Kadero. near Khartum. has
both cattle and small iurninants at 6000 BP (Gautier 1981 :336).
As with goats. sheep are descended from an ancestral Near Eastern
wild sheep and domestic foms xe recorded in Iraq as early as 11,000 BP.
In Africa, they first occur as domesticates in the eastern Sahara at
7000 BP and at Haua Fteah in North Africa at 6800 BP (Gautier 198 1:
336). Muzzolini (1990) has reviewed the evidence for sheep in Sahasan
rock ait and his revision of the chronology placing the first appearance
of sheep rather later. at 6000 BP, seems generally accepted.
Associated Species:
Donkeys, Dogs and Guinea- fo wl

The wild ass, Equus asinus africanus, is indigenous to the African
continent and is usually divided into a chain of races of subspecies
spi-eading from the Atlas rnountains eastwards to Nubia, down the
Red Sea and probably as far as the border of present-day Northein
Kenya (Groves 1966, 1986: Haltenorth & Diller 1980: 109; Kingdon

R. BLENCH-The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists 51 V
1997). Four notional races, atlanticus. africanus, taeniopirs and
somaliensis are located approximately as shown in earlier studies
(e.g. Haltenorth & Diller 1980). However, two of these, atlanticus
and tueniopus have been rejected more recently and indeed the
proposed arlanticus race tuins out to have been based on misidentified
zebra bones (Kingdon 1997: 311). The extent to which the wild ass
penetrated the interior of Africa is controversial, but it is generally
considered unlikely that it evei- occurred in sub-Saharan regions.
Groves (1986) argues that the wild ass extended into the Near East
in ancient times and CO-existed with the onager, Equus hemionus.
Blench (1999 a) summarises the recent evidence for the history of
the donkey in Africa.
The main features differentiating races of wild ass are the amount
and type of stripes and the shoulder crosses. However, their charac-
terisation may be somewhat bluired, since populations that survived
into historical times have almost cei-tainly crossed with feral donkeys,
leading to a merger of characteiistics. Civil war in both Somalia and
Eritrea may mean that the fragile populations marked have
disappeared or are severely threatened. There are two doubtful
populations of wild ass near Siwa oasis in Egypt and further south
towards the Sahara proper.
Records of domestic donkeys begin in Egypt in the fourth millennium
B.C. with cleai. representations of working donkeys by the middle of
the next millennium (Epstein 1971: 392). At about the same period
there are textual records of extremely large herds of donkeys, many
of which were apparently used for portage. The expeditions to Punt
(Ethiopia) consisting of large trade caravans usually included
numerous donkeys (Kitchen 1993). Donkeys from the second
millennium BC occur at Shaqadud in the Butana grasslands of Sudan
(Peters 1991). Donkeys were found in the faunal assemblages at
Carthage in the Roman period (1-4th centuries AD) (Levine 1994).
The earliest record of a donkey in West Africa is at Siouré in
Senegambia (MacDonald and MacDonald 1999). The stratigraphy
of this site appears to be reliable and the donkey bone is dated to
between 0-250 A.D. After this? the next finds of donkey bones are at
Akumbu in Mali with a date of 600-100 A.D. However, such finds
are extremely rare even in sites, such as Tegdaoust, where there have
been extensive finds of other domestic species.

52 7 L'homme et l'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
The ancestry of the domestic dog remains uncertain and a number
of canids may be implicated in present-daytypes (Clutton-Brock,
1984). The dog is not native to Africa and was introduced at an
unknown period in the past. Epstein (1971, 1) who reviewed this
question at length, shows that dogs were known in Egypt in the pre-
Dynastic period and so could have been brought across the desert in
prehistoric times. It is likely that there have been multiple
introductions from different sources, although the only race found
in Central Africa is what Epstein calls the "pariah dog". Dogs are
kept everywhere in Africa for hunting and security purposes. Frank
(1 965) has exhaustively reviewed the literature on domestic dogs in
Africa, and Epstein (1 97 1) has examined the evidence for the
evolution of the African dog.
The crested or helmet guinea-fowl, Numida meleagris galeata, Pallas,
is part of the native fauna of West Africa. It is distributed from
Senegambia to Cameroon and is also found in a part of Western Zaire.
It was presumably domesticated long ago, although the larger domestic
races closely iesemble their wild countei-parts. There are several wild
species and geneia of guinea-fowl in West and East Africa, notably
N. nzeleagris nzeleagris in Sudan and Ethiopia, but apparently only
N. nzekagris galeata has been domesticated (see Donkin 199 1, Map 1).
Wild guinea-fowl are still regularly trapped as a source of food and
their eggs are raided in the bush. Mongin and Plouzeau (1 984) present
an overview of recent scholarship on the guinea-fowl worldwide while
Ayeni (1 983) summarises existing infoimation for West Africa. Donkin
(1991) is an "ethnogeographical" study of the guinea-fowl that
synthesises a great deal of scattered material, especially on the
iconography of the guinea-fowl in the Mediteiranean. Blench (1999 b)
summarises the recent evidence for the history of the guinea-fowl in
The history of the domestic pig in Africa remains highly controversial.
Although the wild pig, Sus scrofa, is native to north Africa, and its

R. BLENCH-The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists 53 V
range extends along the Atlantic Coast to the Senegal River, there is
no evidence that it was ever domesticated in Africa (Epstein 1971, II).
Pigs are usually thought to have been domesticated in Anatolia and
the earliest archaeological finds of pigs date back to 7000 BC.
Domesticated pigs were kept in the Ancient Near East and Egypt from
the end of the fifth millennium BC (Epstein 197 1, II: 340). Pigs were
known along the North African littoral, and seem to have spread down
the Nile at least as Sennar, where they are still kept (Spaulding &
Spaulding 1988). Pigs cannot be herded and are generally not kept
by pastoralists unless they settle. Since pigs cannot survive by grazing
for more than part of the year and depend on grown food they are
usually kept by settled farmers. There is evidence that semi-feral pigs
spread into the Omotic-speaking regions of the Ethiopian borderland
and westward at least as far as Kordofan (see map of sites where pigs
were recorded in Spaulding & Spaulding (1988)) and may have spread
to West-Central Africa along a corridor from Darfur to Lake Chad.
Blench (1999 c) summarises the recent evidence for the history of
the domestic pig in Africa.
!Linguistic Evidence
This section sets out the principal base forms proposed to illustrate
the inter-Saharan connection. 1have given apparent or actual cognates
in Berber, Egyptian and Semitic where these have been proposed
rather than omit evidence that may run contrary to the argument
proposed here. I have not given the source of the data for each
attestation to keep the references to manageable length. In most cases
these are standard published sources and are listed in the references.
#+a,"cow, cattle"
West and Central Chadic attest a form something like $a-with likely
cognates in East Chadic (Jungraithmayr and Ibriszimow 1994,I: 43).
Southein Cushitic also has a voiceless lateral: #J-, in the same Ci slot
(Ehret 1987: 80).
Related terms seem to be found in Semitic but not in Berber or
Egyptian, if the 411 coi~espondence holds. Cohen (1 947: 182) presents
an #1-series for Semitic, including Akkadian lu and Soqotri le3e:

54 V
L'homme et l'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
Acronyms/Toponyms etc.
'Central Africa' here refers to the area presently
encompassed by Chad, Cameroon and Central
African Republic.
Spellings can be phoneniic (where the language
has been analysed in depth), phonetic (where the
foim given is the surface form recorded in field-
work) or orthographic (talen froni earlier sources
with inexplicit rules of transcription). The follo-
wing table gives the fornis used here and their IPA
This Other IPA
Work Orthographic (1993)
Y j
c ch ts
j dj d3
5 dl. zl, 2 B
4 il, hl, SI. S 4
Words extractcd froni French sources have been
normalised to niake coniparison easier.
Tone and stress marks
The exact sigiiificance of tone-niarks varies froni
one language to another and I have used the
conventions of the authors in the case of published
languages. The usual conventions are :
Mid unniarked
In non-tonal languages, such as South Arabian,
stress on vowels is niarhed with an acute accent,
a convention 1 have retained.
In Afroasiatic languages with vowel length distinc-
tions, only the first vowel of a long vowel is tone-
marked. Some nineteenth century sources, such as
Heinrich Barth, use diacritics to mark stress or
length. These have been 'translated' into modein
notation to avoid theconfusing implication of tone-
Vowel Length
Long vowels are usually niarked by doubling in
African languages but are often transcribed with a
macron in Semitic etc. All long vowels have been
transcribed by doubling Io make comparison
A word prefaced by # represents a pseudo-recons-
Lniction. in other words a form denved from inspec-
tion of roots that looks probable, but has notbeen
rigorously established through sound-correspon-
dences. This contrasts with *, used to indicate
reconstructions from systeniatic sound-corres-
Reconstmction established froni coniplete
analysis of sound-change
# 'Quasi-reconstruction' established from
quick inspection of CO,Onates
BC Benue-Congo
BES Berber-Egyptian-Semitic
C Consonant
Eth Ethiopic (unlocated Ethiopian root)

HEC Highland East Cushitic
N Nasal
NC Niger-Congo
NS Nilo-Saharan
PAA Proto-Afroasiatic
PC Proto-Cushitic Ehret, 1987
PEC Proto-Eastein Cushitic Ehret, 1987
PO Pinto-Oniotic
PS Prolo-Seniitic
PWS Proto-West Sudanic Westerniann, 1927
s/r sniall ruminant (in tables)
V Vowel

R. BLENCH -The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists 55 V
Phylum Family Branch Language Attestation Gloss
A A Cushitic Agaw Bilin lawi cow
East Gedeo lali cattle
Oromo loon cattle
West Rift Iraqw 3 ee cow
Chadic West Ngizim 4à cow

wild bull
Arabic la'an bull
Ié'llh6ti cow 1
Kuliak II, 13 cow l
1Table 1
Attestations of #+a, "cow, cattle".

which may form a cognate set. These may: however, refer to the wild
bull, still present in the Middle East and Arabia in the fifth millenium
BC. Leslau (1938: 61) points out that the Hebrew persona1 name
"Leah" is almost certainly cognate with these forms. The common
Ethio-Semitic #lam for cow is something of a puzzle (Appleyard
1977: 26). Semitic scholars seem generally unwilling to connect this
with the lateral fricative roots in Cushitic. As a result it has been
suggested that the 1-!z-nz roots meaning "food" in Arabic and "shark"
in Soqotri (lehenz) are cognate. A semantic coi~espondence between
"shark" and "cow" has a certain Greenbergian charm, but Akkadian
Lu'ui11 "wild bull" is surely more likely. Leslau (1979, II: 379) also
notes a comparison with Arabic lihm, "aged ox".
#saa, "cattle"
This root is a suppletive plural for "cow", i.e. "cattle" throughout
Eastern Cushitic and Beja. Hudson reconstmcts *sa?a for Highland
East Cushitic and Ehret (1987: 61) has reconstiucted *Sua!- for Proto-

56 V L'homme et l'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
Cushitic. An interesting further possible link suggested by Beja is
with words for rhinoceros. Beja Se pl. Sa for rhinoceros is certainly
close to the common plural for cattle Sa'. Since these two animals
would have inhabited the same ecological niche in the pre-
domestication period, such a semantic shift is at least plausible.
This root is analysed by Pilszczikowa (1960) who links it with words
for "sheep" in Semitic and Egyptian. Behrens (1985: 179) and
Jungraithmayr and Ibriszimow (1994,I: 43) assume that the roots with
lateral fricatives in Ciare also cognate. This analysis is not adopted
Although attested in Hausa, sâa is an isolated citation and it seems
likely that this is a loanword, possibly from Berber or directly from
Arabic. The same may apply to the isolated Kotoko witness the source
of which may be Shuwa Arabic, which has sâ 'a, meaning "wealth in
livestock"4. Other attestations related to shaanui~occur in Old Semitic
langages, for example, Akkadian sa'ni*m,and in Berber. Tamachek
1 Phylum Farnily Branch Language Attestation Gloss 1
AA Cusliitic Beja Beja Sa. pl. 3a'a CON
Eastern Sidanio saa cow
A Far saga
Proto-Cushitic *J~~,. (Ehret)
Chadic West Hausa siiniyii
sâa pl. sliaanuu
Central Kotoko h'sââ
Semitic Akkadian ga'num
Shuwa Arabic sâ'a
Brrbrr Tamachek eesu. pl. eeswaan
1 Tamazight esu cow 1
NS Kuliak Tepeth saa cattle kraal
C. Sudnnic Sara Ndoka sa+ cow
Modo si cow
1Table 2
Attestations of #saa, "cattle".

R. BLENCH -The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists 57 V
eeswaan "cattle". The nasals seem to be added in Berber-Egyptian-
Semitic forms. Althoiigh these roots clearly CO-exist in Afroasiatic,
the absence of widespread attestations for s-in Chadic do suggest
boirowing from Berber.
#k-1-rn, "bull"
The Chadic #k-m-(bull) resembles closely the common Agaw term
for "cattle", something like #karn-(Appleyard 1984: 39). Jungraith-
mayr and Ibriszimow (1994,I: 43) consider this connected with more
widespread Chadic roots for "meat". Cushitic forms usually have
#k-Y-IIIso Agaw may have shortened this. Cohen (1 947: 112) noted
a common Afroasiatic k-for "bull" though he speculated that it was
possibly a widespread loan. Although this word occurs throughout
West Rift it so closely resembles the Ethiopian foims that it is probably
Phylum Family Branch Language Attestation Gloss
AA Omotic N. Ometo Maale k'6lnio cattle
S. Onieto Koy ra Ltymo cattle
Cushitic Agaw Bilin kam cattle
East Gedeo korma bull
Arbore koll catt le
Southrrn Iraqw karamao Steer
Chadic West Kulere kyààl cattle
Karrkare kwàni bull
Central Hwana k wÈl bull
East Lele kdl-b& cattle
Mubi kiyi cattle
Ancient Egyptian km3 bull
Saharan Kanuri k5nni calf
(O) This root also occurs in a number 1 Table 3
of Bantu languages in Tanzania and I assume
Attestations of #k-1-m, "bull"
these are loans from West Rift languages.
4 Also a cornmon association in Indo-European; see "cattle" and "capital"

58 V L'homme el l'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
a recent loan rather than an old retention, since the practice of using
pack-oxen is probably not as old as domestication.
Phylum Farnily Branch Language Attestation Gloss
AA Ornotic S. Ometo Zayse-Zergula gal6
Cushitic Brja tagar
Agaw Bilin gar
East Burji giree
Arbore goran heifer
Somali agor bull calf
Chadic West Mburku $'wi cow
Znnr gààl cow
Central Guduf dayalr bull
Vulum gàrii bull
Semitic West Ugaritic '-3.1 calf
Hebrew Teegel calf
Egyptian Coptic ~gol calf
NS E. Sudanic Nubian Nobiin ;or calf
1Table 4
Attestations of #gor, "calf"

#gor, "calf"
This root was suggested by Bechhaus-Gerst (1 999) as a loanword
into Nobiin. However, it clearly is more widespread as Table 4 shows,
assuming the Chadic forms are indeed cognate.
The Zayse-Zergula citation may be a single loanword, since this is
not a common form for calf in Omotic. The Chadic forms are almost
certainly cognate with each other, but less certainly cognate with the
Cushitic forms.

R. BLENCH-The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists 59 V
#b-g-r, "male ruminant"
Phylum Family Branch Language Attestation Gloss
A A Ornotic Mocha big0 sheep
Shinasha baggoo sheep
Cushitic A;aw (= Central) Bilin bagga sheep
Chadic West Karekare bùgùrk sheep
Kwaarni rnb6Mri sherp
Central Racarna b6;Gré sheep
Musgu béggere he-;oat
East Mokilko bû-ggàR cattle
Kera ku-purki he-;oat
Sernitic Centriil Shuwa Arabic bagar cattle
South Harsüsi bakarat cattle
Bzrber Tarnachek Ni;er A-beg;ug sheep
NS Saharan Saharan Zaghawa b66guri young
rnamied man
E. Sudanic Nubian Nobiin fag goa
1Table 5
Attestations of #b-g-r, "male ruminant".

Jungraithmayr and Ibriszimow (1 994,I: 8 1) cite this as #b-k-r, a pan-
Chadic root and describe this as a Wanderwort. Given its widespread
distribution in Afi-oasiatic and the antiquity of goat domestication,
there is no reasons why this should be so. However, they also (op.
cit. 148) give #baga for "sheep" in Central Chadic and these roots
must almost cei~inly be combined. The Berber citation (fi-om Behrens,
1985: 167 ex Heinrich Barth) is unusual and not otherwise attested
in Berber; it may therefore be a loanword. Bechhaus-Gerst (1989)
also argues that the West Rift forms such as Lraqw be'i are also related,
although this involves vowel changes and the assumption that the
deleted consonant is /g/.The -ri consonant common to Semitic and
Chadic is curious, suggesting a source in Ethiopic not synchronically

60 7
i'homme et l'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
#kol, "goat"
Phylum Family
Branch Language Attestation Gloss
A A Omotic
N. Ometo Maalc k6le goat
South Karo k'oli goat

Cushitic East
Burji k'al-60 goat
Yaaku k311-&h castratr goat
Rendille kelex castrate goat
Chadic West Koîjar Loor largl
castrate goat
Bade akun goat
Central Dera kwiarào goat
Uroovin xwun goat
Ysdina kàanio goat
Kuliak 1k ka1 goat
Kadu Central Katcha k3r3mak goat
E. Sudanic Suimic Bodi koloy goat
Temein Dese kwjrarnàl he -g09t
E. Nilotic Turkana
a-korai 209t
S. Nilotic Proio-Kalenjin "~WEr he -goai
Snharari Kanuri kaliwo virgin she-goal
(O) These may be loans from Kanuri kanyîand thus indirectly or unconnected
1Table 6
Attestations of #kol. "goat"

#t-m-k, "sheep"
The base form #t-ln-koccurs in Afroasiatic, Saharan, and Niger-Congo
(not cited in the table) and is definitely a Wanderwort. Newman
(1 977: 3 1) proposes *tanzki for sheep in proto-Chadic and
Jiingraithmayr and Ibriszimow (1 994,I: 148) note its presence in al1
branches of Chadic, but they do not consider the exteinal Afroasiatic
lookalikes to be cognate. The word for a two-yeai- old sheep in Teda-
Daza, durna, is cognate with the Kanuri term di'nzi and lamb turna as

Fi. BLENCH-The westward wanderinqs of Cushitic pastoralists
with the Berti tanzi. The boirowings into Niger-Congo would have
come from multiple introductions in the West African Sahel at the
termini of trans-Saharan routes.
Phylum Farnily Branch Language Attestation
AA Cushitic East Oromo turnzamaa
Chadic West Hausa tunkiyii.
pl. tumaikii
Central Bade taarnan.
Hiei of Kiria tlmbaka
Tpala tàrnâk
Masa Masa dirniina
East Mubi turnik
Kera taamagi
Berbsr Wargla adanimani
NS C. Sudanic Moru-Madi Moru temilé
Kadu Eastern Krongo diirnà
1 Saharan Kanuri dirni
Kanuri tania
Beni tami
1Table 7
Attestations of #t-m-(k),"sheep".

The third literal, -k-,only occurs in Chadic and is presumably an early
affix or compound. As the Oromo citation seems to be isolated, without
further evidence the provenance of this root as Erythraic must remain
doubtful. However, the Nilo-Saharan citations look convincing,
providing sonle evidence for the base form further East in Central
Africa. The Berber citation is interesting, since this word explicitly
applies to hair sheep that have been bi-ought from Mali and Niger
(Delheure 1987: 53). It is likely that al1 such forms in Berber are
loanwords fi-om Chadic or even Saharan.
61 V
hair sheep
female zoat
Sernale larnh

62 V L'homme et l'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
#'aare, "srnall ruminants"
Phylum Family Branch Language Attestation Gloss
AA Omotic Koyra ?&are Rock of shwp
Cushitic Beja Beja ano. annee e we
East Burji aray
Rendille 'a@ s'r
South Gorwaa aaraa ;o;its
Chadic West Hausa irà-ir8 lune-lc;;ed sir
East Lele ore ;o;its
Semitic Guraze Muher Br2z
Berber Guanche ara ;oat
Kuliak 1k ri goat
E. Sudanic E. Jebel Gaam àar shcep
Nubian Meidob arar ram
Nyiman: Dinik Ér sheep
Maba Masalit Br i i-am
Fur Fur w-ùri ewr
Saharan Za;hii~,a aro ewe
66rù flock
arro he-zoat
1Table 8
Attestations of #'aare, "small ruminants"

The Guanche citation is curious and may well be just coincidence.
Perhaps related is a root that floats between sheep and goat, onu,
which appears as a word for ewe in Beja but surfaces in Gurage as
"goat". These could be a subset of Proto-Semitic #n-z.
#xorge, "he-goat"
Ehret (1987: 22) reconstructs Proto-Cushitic *?erg-for "small
ruminant" but this is most likely "he-goat" to judge by the predominant

R. BLENCH -The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists 63 V
1 Phylum Farnily Branch Language Attestation Gloss 1
AA Ongota Ongota orgai-ko goat
Omotic Omet« Wolaitta lorggé he-goat
Cushitic East Harso orkakk6 he-goal
Saho xarge he-goat
Borana orge hzifer came1 (!)
South Asax 'a'aku sheep
T'roto-Cushitico *?org-small ruminant
Chadic West Hausa àwiakii she-goat
Ngizim iakù soat
Central Ndrenie àwik goat
l1 "Proto-Chadicoo
7 -
l NS Saharan
East Dangla
(0) Ehret (1987: 22)
("0) Newman (1977).
1Table 9
Attestations of #xorge, "he-goat"

gloss. This particular root has both Omotic and even Ongota cognates>
although these could well be loans (Table 9).
Since this form does not otherwise occur in Nilo-Saharan, the Teda
attestation may be a recent loanword.
Newman (1977) gives #a(w)kuas a proto-Chadic reconstruction, but
there seem to be sufficient attestations of a Iateral in C2 position in
Cushitic to add this to the reconstruction. Jungraithmayr and
Ibriszimow (1 994,I: 43) give the root as "wk-and similarly attest its
presence in al1 branches of Chadic. These are almost certai~ily cognate
with the Cushitic kor-roots. Indeed it is possible to speculate that
kor-and org-are in fact the same root with metathesis.

64 V L'homme et l'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
#m-r-k, "castrated small ruminant"
1 Phylum Family Branch Language Attestation Gloss 1
A A Omotic N. Ometo Wolaitta mara larnb
Koy ra mari ram
Chadic West Polci niaar gout
Tangale rnara castrate goat
Masa Masa marak castrate goat
East Birgid mar bu Il
NS Maba Masalit mar-Sa bull
Fur Fur Fur m aà lanib
Tama Tama mi bull
C. Sudanic Modo mùrikù castrated sheep
E. Sudanic W. Nilotic Dinh -Bol- aniiil shssp
E. Nilotic Tes0 e-rnerek2k ran~
Nubian Birgid niar ra rn
1 Suimic Murle rnerkee ram
1Table 10
Attestations of #m-r-k. "castrated ruminant"

This root is so widely attested that it is suiprising to find no evidence
for Cushitic.
The historical and archaeological evidence for the wild ass or donkey
does not appear to suggest either early domestication or transmission
to West Africa. The linguistic evidence, however, is clear. The #k-r
root is spread from Omotic to West Chadic, with intervening Nilo-
Saharan attestations and is also largely apparently absent in BES
which Ilas a series of quite distinct roots.
The most likely history of this root is that it originally developed as
a word applied to "wild ass". probably in Ethiopia. Bender (1 988:
152)reconstructs proto-Omotic "krrrfor ass. Skinner cites *dAn&i~Ar
for proto-Cushitic based on forms such as Bilin daxllara. The dV-
prefix strikingly links Southern Cushitic and Agaw and is apparently

R. BLENCH-The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists
65 V
Phylum Family
Branch Language Attestation
AA Omotic
Gimira Benr Non kur
Mao Hozo
Southem Karo
Agaw Bilin
Cushitic Eastern
Saho okaalo
West Rift Iraqw
Chadic West
Karekare k6or6o
Central Vulum
Masa Pevc
East Nanrere
NS E. Sudanic
W. Nilotic Mabaan tmrm
Temein Keiga-Jiriu kul-kjq

C. Sudanic Sara Mbay k6ro
Saharan Kanuri k6ro
1Table 11
Attestations of #k-r, "donkey".

not attested in Eastein Cushitic at all. The Mabaan form is only cognate
if initial t- coi~esponds to k-. Although the West Chadic forms closely
resemble those of Masa and East Chadic, they may be loanwords
from Kanuri.
This is an extremely widespread root through the Horn of Africa, and
appears virtually unchanged in niimerous East Cushitic and Omotic
langiiages. This suggests that it is probably a widespread loanword
and should not be reconstructed to Proto-Ciishitic. The Ethio-Semitic
languages have a different word, cognate with the Near Eastern Semitic
root h-171-r:argiling that the ancestral speakers of these languages
already had a domestic donkey when they crossed the Bab el Mandeb.
The most probable source for harre are the Oromoid words for "zebra".
Zebras are not part of the fauna of the highlands but they are
widespread in the lowlands south of the Ethiopian Plateau and are

66 V L'homme et i'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
very familiar to pastoral groups such as the Borana. Borana has harre
dida for zebra, with dida meaning "outdoors" or "open air" The term
harre was probably originally a word for zebra in lowland Oromoid
and was transferred to donkey once it was fully domesticated. The
zebra would then become the "donkey of the plains". Formations
such as Konso harr-etita for "zebra" would be calques of the Borana
expression, already using the borrowed word for donkey. The
development of the donkey as pack animal is probably reflected in
the Beja harri "anything ridden, from a came1 to a train".
In the Hoin of Africa, an old root for the wild ass #kuur-was largely
displaced by #harre when the domesticated donkey developed
economic significance. The term #harre was probably borrowed from
terms in lowland Oromoid originally applied to "zebra".
Arguing historically from terms for "dog" presents a special problem;
these words have an astonishing similarity across much of Eurasia.
For example, proto-Omotic for dog is *kan(Bender 1988: 145) closely
resembling Proto-Indo-European *bon-(Rabin 1982: 27). Similar
forms are also found in proto-Austronesian and Chinese. Newman
(1 977) proposes #kar-for the original proto-Chadic, forms of which
also show up in Nilo-Saharan and is identical to English "cur".
Jungraithmayr and Ibriszimow (1 994, 1: 49) note the widespread
1-eflexes of this root across Chadic and consider it may reflect a "Central
Saharan areal lexeme". Linguistically. therefore, probably the only
useful evidence comes from compounded or affixed forms.
If, as Bender (1975: 159) and Skinner (1977: 187) suggest, this root
is common Afroasiatic, then Akkadian k-l-b,Arabic kalb and Kabylé
akelbun al1 form part of a cognate set. The k-l-b root is also applied
to wolves in Eurasia (e.g. South Arabian languages) but this is probably
a secondaiy meaning as wolves are absent in Africa. The South Semitic
languages, such as Mehn and Soqotri, explicitly apply the same word
kalb to both "dog" and "wolf'. The third radical, -b,is now generally
considered to be an affix marking wild animals and would not
necessarily travel with the remainder of the word. Rabin (1982: 27)
notes that forms such as Latin canis may be direct loans from
Afroasiatic. Historically speaking, given the Middle Eastein origins

R. BLENCH-The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists 67 V
Phylum Family Branch Language Attestation Gloss
AA Ornotic Common *kana
Cushitic Beja Beja keluus PUPPY
Agaw Bilin zadar]
East Saho kare
Gawwada xar-o
Konso kuta
South Asax kite
Chadic West Hausa kàree
Central Bata kade
Kada kara
East Mokilko zédè
Sokoro kuyo
Sernitic Central Ugaritic k-1-b
South Soqotri kalb
Berber Kabyle akelbun PLlPPS
NS Kuliak Trpeth kudo'
Saharan Kanuri
1 able 12
Attestations of #k-r, "dog"
of the dog, this is not improbable. Agaw terms for dog, such as Bilin
gadag, seem to resemble Central Chadic foims very closely, although
this may be accidental similarity.
Another root with some promise is #k-t-r for "puppy". This lexical
item is much more rarely recorded, and therefore less certain. However,
this root has the advantage that it does not appear to be con-espondingly
widespread across the world in the same way as the basic terms
for "dog".
The #t-t-1forms are only found in Gurage and probably loans from

68 V L'homme et l'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
Phylum Farnily Branch Language Attestation
AA Cushitic East Haddiya tuu!iilla
South Gorwaa kut~ikuti
Chadic West Karekare tiiutùu
Central Bura kutiru
East Bidiya kurkido
Semitic Gurage Zway ~ulalla
Saharan Kanuri kut~~rii
1Table 13
Attestations of #k-t-r, "puppy"

The most comrnon root in Chadic is #sVb-vVn which Skinner (1 977:
192-3) shows is spread throughout the family. Skinner argues from
this that the word has spread recently, but this seems unlikely as the
guinea-fowl is indigenous to the region. Newman (1977) also notes
this root and proposes #zaban for proto-Chadic while Jungraithmayr
and Ibriszimow (1994,I: 84) propose #z-b-1. Strikingly, the foi-ms in
Cushitic are very similar. The common Ethiopic i-oot appears to be
#z-g-r,widespread in Cushitic and Ethio-Semitic; whether its witnesses
in Omotic are more than sporadic loans remains to be seen. This root
also means "spotted" in many languages. Ehret (1987: 54) suggests
*zagr-for proto-Cushitic, but Agaw foims have -n-in the C, slot and
centralised vowels in VI and V2.
Linguistic evidence suggests thai some of the pigs in West Africa
were introduced at an early period by the Portuguese, "unimproved
Iberian swine", as Epstein has it. Loanwords from Portuguese porco
are widely found in the coastal region of Nigeria (Williamson, P.C.).
But there is also evidence for a chain of teims stretching from Eastein
Burkina Faso to the Sudan-Ethiopian borderlands that appear to be
unrelated to European introductions. Spaulding & Spaulding (1988).

R. BLENCH-The westward wanderinas of Cushitic oastoralists 69 V
Bechhaus-Gerst (1999) and Blench (1999 c) have made preliminary
compilations of the evidence (Table 14).
1 Phylum Farnily Branch Language Attestation 1
Kornan Anej kutum
ES Nyirnang kudur
Old Nobiin kutun
Maba Aiki ginvà wart-hog (?C)
Saharan Kanuri godu warthog
Kadu Karndanz b-oburuk. pl. k-aburuk
Kordofanian Ori; kàdifi
Benue-Congo Nupe kutsü
Kwa Fon agurusa
Gur Dagbane kurutJu
Bantu #CB #-$du wild pis
Ornotic Kefa gudinoo
A A Sernitic Sudan Arabic kadruuk
Chadic Hausa ;hduu
1 Table 14
Attestations of #-kutu, "pig".

This root appears in Nilo-Saharan. Niger-Congo and Afroasiatic and
can also be applied both to the warthog and the bush-pig
(Potamochoerus porcus). Manessy (1972: 314) points out that the
chain of lexemes connecting to the Gur languages can be traced
through dialect and obsolete terms for domestic pig given in Koelle.
It was also cited by Gregersen (1972: 86) who used this as evidence
for a proposed "Kongo-Saharan" grouping (wrongly, given that it is
clearly a widespread cultural loan). Gregersen (op. cit.) also mentions
Greenberg's suggestion that the Saharan form was loaned into *PB.
Schadeberg and Elias (1 979: 84) observe that this root has been loaned
into Sudariese Arabic to give kudruuk.
The linguistic evidence is rather compelling; it suggests strongly that
the small black pigs of the interior of Africa were indeed part of an

70 V Chomme et l'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
ancient pig-keeping culture that spread across Central Africa from
the Nile. Pigs were kept in a semi-fera1 manner either roaming
throughout the year or only being confined during the growing season.
The rise of Islam drove pig production into pockets, and the intro-
duction of larger European breeds which crossed freely with the local
pigs has virtually obscured their genetic heritage. The pig, the
"democratic philosopher of the Medieval Sudan" needs to be
highlighted as a significant element in African subsistence strategies.
It may be, however, the transmission of the domestic pig was
chronologically and culturally distinct from the pastoral movement
proposed in this paper; pastoralists usually eschew pigs because they
cannot move long distances.
iThe "Inter-Saharan" Hypothesis
Tentative Historical lrnplications
A rather unexpected consequence of the study of domestïc animal
names is the numbei- of common lexical items shared between Cushitic
and Chadic. This tends to confirm the studies of Mukarovsky (1990,
in press) on numerals and body parts. If this is correct, then Cushitic
and Chadic may shai-e a special relationship and be opposed to Berber-
Egyptian-Semitic or "North Afroasiatic" (Ehret 1995). The links
between Cushitic and Chadic would then be the result of a migration
of Cushitic speakers westward. This is a considerable distance and
might be explained by the gradua1 migration of pastoralist peoples.
The example of the Ful6e pastoralists who have expanded from
Senegambia to the borders of Sudan in the last millennium show that
such a migration can occur (Blench, 1995b, 1999d). The animals
accompanying this migration would have been three species of
ruminant: cattle, goats and sheep. More controversially, donkeys,
dogs, pigs and guinea-fowl may also have been associated with this
movement, although perhaps not kept as pastoral species.
Speakers migrated from the Nile Valley to Lake Chad, as would the
Shuwa Arabs, millennia later. Languages related to present-day Chadic
were presumably once spoken in a strip across present-day Sudan but

R. BLENCH-The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists 71 V
were later eliminated by movements of Nilo-Saharan speakers
(Map 1). Little-known Chadic languages such as Kujarke, spoken in
Western Sudan, may well be the last suiviving remnants of this process
(Blench, in press, b).
Archaeological Correlations
Such a significant long-distance movement of actual population as
implied by this model should have archaeological correlates. One of
the distinct problems in relating linguistic to archaeological evidence
is the patchy nature of excavation. Sudan is relatively well covered,
but data for Chad and the relevant regions of Ethiopia and Nigeria
remain spasse indeed. To seek sites or traditions that might provide
material evidence for such a movement, certain parameters must be
established. The linguistic data provides no inteinal evidence for
dating although the model has to allow sufficient time for the intemal
diversity of Chadic languages to develop. Such a movement of pastoral
peoples must also lie within the known parameters of ruminant
A likely candidate for the wandering Cushites is the Leiterbatzd pottery
tradition that has been identified in the Eastern Sahara, most
specifically in the Wadi Howar, which is a now dry river system that
stretches oves 1000 km between Eastern Chad and the Nile Valley 5.
The Howar ends just beyond the Sudanese border and the proposed
migrating pastoralists would then have faced a substantial obstacle
in the shape of the Ennedi and Biltine mountainous regions which
run Noith-South. However, there is a gap between these two outcrops
which would permit pastoral migration, and the herds would then
pick up the Wadi Hawach and thence a seiies of smaller wadis, iunning
towards Lake Chad.
Leiterband traditions were first identified by Kuper (1 98 1) as distinct
from Nubian C-group pottery. They have been subsequently studied
in more detail by Keding (1 993) who argues that this tradition shows
its strongest links with the Khartum Neolithic, out of which it may
5 1 am grateful to Jean-Charles Clanet, who encouraged me to examine
the geography of this region more closely.

72 V L'homme et l'animal dans le bassin du lac Tchad
develop. Keding shows that the pottery traditions are strongly
associated with cattle-keeping and indeed complete cattle skeletons
have been found in pits on Leiterband sites. From this she argues that
the makers of the pottery were pastoralists who also supplemented
their diet with fish, at that period widely available in the rivers. This
pastorallfishing economy is extremely familiar today from the Nilotic-
speakers in the region. such as the Dinka. Map 1 shows the projected
route of the speakers of proto-Chadic as well as the approximate
locations of the wadis referred to above.
O 1 000 km /
Cushltrc (taday) Cushific (presumed former exlensian)
1Map 1
Proposed migrations of Chadic-speakers.

Leiterband traditions have yet to be convincingly dated directly, but
if the chronological sequence linking it with the Khartum Neolithic
is correct, then it would begin to develop appioximately 4000 BP.
This would suit the present hypothesis extremely well: if the Cushites

R. BLENCH-The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists 73 V
began their westward movement from Ethiopia some 6-5 000 years
BP they may have been responsible for the Khartum Neolithic
(beginning 5700 BP) and then gradually spread westwards along the
Wadi Howar some 4000 years ago. The increasing aridity after this
period severed the links with the Nile Valley allowing an independent
evolution of decorative styles. In the meantime, the continuing
westward drift reaches Lake Chad Ca. 3000 BP. This would then link
with the earliest dates for cattle in this region at about this period
(Breunig et al. 1994).
v Conclusion
Various models of the internal structure of Afroasiatic have been
pi-oposed, most notably those of Fleming (1983), Ehret (1 975, 1999,
Stolbova and Orel (1 995), Bender (1997) and Blakek (in press). The
terminology of domestic livestock suggests strongly that Cushitic
and Chadic share a special relationship and that this is reflected in
the terminology for species of domestic animals. As names for
domestic animals are notoi-iously susceptible to loaning, the
demonstration of such links is far fi-om constituting proof of the
specific Cushitic-Chadic relationship. However, other evidence also
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