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The Lemba (The Black Jews Of Southern Africa)
The Free Man Institute ^ | 3-14-2005

Posted on 03/14/2005 6:53:09 PM PST by blam

T h e

L e m b a

The Black Jews of Southern Africa

Historical Introduction

Over 2,700 years ago, the Assyrians exiled the ten tribes of the Kingdom of Israel. "In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and he carried them away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of Medes." In the years 722-721 BC (over 2700 years ago), the Ten Tribes who comprised the northern Kingdom of Israel disappeared. Conquered by the Assyrian King Shalmaneser V, they were exiled to upper Mesopotamia and Medes, today modern Syria and Iraq. The Ten Tribes of Israel have never been seen since. Or have they?

*****************************************

Tudor Parfitt, the protagonist of the NOVA documentary "Lost Tribes of Israel," made a journey through southern Africa to study the unusual traditions of a black African tribe called the Lemba. This Bantu-speaking group claimed Jewish ancestry and observed many Semitic traditions such as kosher-like dietary restrictions and slaughter practices, male circumcision rites, strict rules against intermarriage, and Semitic-sounding clan names.

Once described as "a sort of British Indiana Jones," Parfitt spent many months with the Lemba, meeting their tribal and religious leaders and observing some of their most sacred rituals. He came to the conclusion that the origin of many of the Lemba traditions was indeed Semitic, not African. But whether these traditions came from Islamic or Jewish sources was impossible to discern from the historical and anthropological evidence available. It would take Y-chromosome studies to delve deeper into this question of origin.

A few years after his travels, Parfitt teamed up with a group from The Center for Genetic Anthropology at University College London to look for a genetic counterpart to the Lemba's oral tradition of Jewish descent. Using a relatively new technique in genetic studies, the team identified a particular series of genetic markers on the Y chromosome of Lemba males. They then compared these markers to other groups with whom the Lemba might have shared a common ancestor long ago.

The team collected DNA samples from Bantu (African), Yemeni (Arab), and Sephardic Jews and Azhkenazi Jews (including Cohanim from both communities) to compare the amount of similarity that existed between each of these groups. As we've seen, the more similar the Y chromosome, the more closely related are some individuals in the different groups to a common paternal ancestor. As a consequence, one can establish links between populations.

In an interview with NOVA, team member Dr. David Goldstein commented on the team's findings: "The first striking thing about the Y chromosomes of the Lemba is that you find this particular chromosomal type (Cohen modal haplotype) that is characteristic of the Jewish priesthood in a frequency that is similar to what you see in major Jewish populations. Something just under one out of every 10 Lemba that we looked at had this particular Y chromosomal type that appears to be a signature of Jewish ancestry. Perhaps even more striking is the fact that this Cohen genetic signature is strongly associated with a particular clan in the Lemba. Most of the Cohen modal haplotypes that we observe are carried by individuals of the Buba clan which, in Lemba oral tradition, had a leadership role in bringing the Lemba out of Israel."

What this study shows is that the Lemba, and more specifically some members of the Buba sub-clan, seem to have an ancestral connection to Judaic populations. Like an oral history, but written in the letters of their DNA, the Lemba Y chromosome hands from father to son a living record of the past.

The Journeys of Tudor Parfitt in discovering the Lemba's origin

Lembas believe their ancestors built the ancient city, Great Zimbabwe

B L A C K B L O O D I N I S R A E L?

* Genesis 12:16 – Not only Hagar, but many of Abraham’s servants were gifts from Pharaoh and in this period it is fairly likely that many were Nubians. (approx. 1921 BC) * Genesis 13: 6-8 – Abraham had a large number of herdsmen and 318 male servants who were born into his house. * Genesis 25 – Isaac, Abraham’s son and then Jacob inherited everything. * Genesis41:50 – Joseph fathered two tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, by an Egyptian wife, automatically making Israel nearly 10 percent Egyptian. Joshua was from one of these half-African tribes, Ephraim; in later years this tribe became so dominant that the northern tribes of Israel were sometimes simply called “Ephraim”. When the Israelites were subjected to slavery under the Egyptians, they and their former servants were now all defined as Israel together; this means that much intermarriage must have taken place.

* Exodus 12:38 – After 400 years, a “mixed multitude” left Egypt during the Exodus.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: africa; archaeology; black; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; jews; lemba; losttribes; southern
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I've been watching a special on this subject on the History Channel. I thought others would be interested in this story.
1 posted on 03/14/2005 6:53:13 PM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 03/14/2005 6:53:58 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

Makes sense to me. This is fascinating.


3 posted on 03/14/2005 6:54:28 PM PST by cyborg
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To: blam; cyborg; SunkenCiv

Do you think theres' been intermarriage?


4 posted on 03/14/2005 6:57:43 PM PST by LauraleeBraswell ( CONSERVATIVE FIRST-Republican second.)
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To: LauraleeBraswell

Well... somewhere back there a few thousand years someone did the dance under the chuppah.


5 posted on 03/14/2005 7:08:53 PM PST by cyborg
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To: blam

I watched this program tonight. Good food for thought


6 posted on 03/14/2005 7:15:43 PM PST by rface ("...the most schizoid freeper I've ever seen" - Ashland, Missouri)
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To: cyborg
Don't tell Mugabe. He'll have their land redistributed.

ANCIENT ZIMBABWE AND THE LEMBA TRIBE

By David L. McNaughton (DLMcN@yahoo.com)

(Based on a letter sent to Scientific American commenting on their article "Great Zimbabwe" in November 1997. )

Many writers have been influenced by emotion when proposing theories for the origin of the ancient Zimbabwean civilization, but this is probably true of both the two opposing factions.

If that civilisation was created by the Shona (who live there today), then they must have been completely different in character and aptitude from other Bantu tribes in Africa. But did they retain any of that heritage after the collapse of Great Zimbabwe?

In a few respects the answer is yes - but connections with that ancient culture seem much closer for another tribe - the Lemba of the northern Transvaal. Until quite recently, the Lemba had a propensity for building in stone - in Zimbabwean style, without cement. In addition, their metalwork was far superior to that of surrounding tribes (although gold was no longer available to them; instead, the Lemba mined and used copper).
Of course, even as early as the 18th century, the standard of Lemba workmanship was not at the level manifested by the buildings and gold ornaments found at Great Zimbabwe.

The Lemba bury their dead in an extended position, just like the ancient Zimbabweans did: this contrasts with the "crouched" posture adopted by other Bantu people. Also, according to H.A. Junod, other tribes regard the Lemba as the originators and masters of the art of circumcision - which is interesting because the stone phallic symbols found at ancient Zimbabwean ruins, definitely represented circumcised organs.

Apart from their Zimbabwean links, the Lemba are very different from all other Bantu tribes. Many Lemba possess aquiline noses and narrow, non-negroid lips. Some of their words and clan-names indicate a Semitic connection, e.g. Sadiki, Hasane, Hamisi, Haji, Bakeri, Sharifo and Saidi (which is their word for "master"). They refuse to eat pork, rabbit, hare, carrion and scaleless fish, exactly as laid down in Leviticus chapter 11. When preparing meat for consumption, they always kill in the "kosher" manner by bleeding; (the Islamic custom is of course comparable).

The Lemba also have a distinctive New Moon ceremony. Indeed, they have a tradition that their male ancestry originally comprised "fair-skinned people who came by sea" to obtain gold from southeast Africa. Thus, it was quite possible that the original Lemba people fled southwards as refugees when Great Zimbabwe was overrun. At the same time, other inhabitants of that city were probably captured and absorbed by the invaders. According to descriptions by early Portuguese explorers, the ancient Zimbabwean civilization had already collapsed by the 16th century AD.

Also relevant to the dating question are references to the ancient gold mines (which were quite sophisticated, incorporating horizontal tunnels as well as vertical shafts). In the 10th century AD, Masudi and Ibn Al Wardy wrote of gold being exported through the Arab trading post at Sofala – which lies on the coast just east of Great Zimbabwe. Earlier, the Alexandrian merchant Cosmas Indicopleustes (in his Topographia Christiana, 6th century AD) mentioned regular expeditions from Ethiopia to obtain gold from a country where winter occurred during Northern Hemisphere summer. Thus, even though the stone temple had probably not yet been constructed, it is quite possible that Zimbabwe was the ultimate source of the Sabaean gold wealth cited by Pliny the Elder (c. 70 AD) and by I Kings chapter 10. The East African coast was certainly part of the Sabaean empire, and expeditions even further south were well within the ability of the ship-builders and mariners of that era.

It is worth adding that the Sabaeans used to follow a Judaistic religion (which included circumcision). They were also skilled water engineers who had developed an extensive terraced agricultural system - just like the inhabitants of prehistoric Zimbabwe. Furthermore, elliptical unroofed dry-stone temples constructed at Sirwah and Marib in the Yemen, are in some ways comparable with those found in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, Dr T. Parfitt of London University has established a DNA match between the Lemba and people in the Hadramaut region of the Yemen (which was once part of the Sabaean empire). Most surprising of all was the discovery that members of the most senior Lemba clan carried the Cohen Modal Haplotype, which is a distinctive feature of the Jewish priesthood. It is probably significant, too, that this genetic pattern is carried by the Y-chromosome, and is therefore passed through the male line. There is still insufficient evidence to be dogmatic about the origin of ancient Zimbabwe, but a Semitic connection does at least seem plausible.

7 posted on 03/14/2005 7:20:48 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

heh... I wonder if I was dreaming when I read Mugabe is rethinking the land grab concept.


8 posted on 03/14/2005 7:24:40 PM PST by cyborg
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To: blam

Very interesting...Thanks for the post. Guess the Muslims will target them soon. Or am I just too darn cynical....


9 posted on 03/14/2005 7:26:50 PM PST by lainde
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To: cyborg
"heh... I wonder if I was dreaming when I read Mugabe is rethinking the land grab concept."

Yup. You weren't dreaming. I read the same thing...didn't he say it was a mistake?

10 posted on 03/14/2005 7:31:59 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1354732/posts

yep I wasn't dreaming...looks like Chavez is picking up where he left off.


11 posted on 03/14/2005 7:35:47 PM PST by cyborg
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To: blam
I too saw it...fascinating!! Perhaps this is the missing link to rebuilding the temple...just speculating!
12 posted on 03/14/2005 8:15:10 PM PST by RoseofTexas
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some of these links (an old post I saved) may not work, didn't test 'em:

Where are the Ten Lost Tribes?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/israel/losttribes.html

Here's an article about an earlier, similar show from Discovery, A&E, or History Channel (I forget which):

'Indiana' Jacobovici and the lost tribe of Israel
http://www.cjnews.com/pastIssues/feb12-98/feature/feature1.htm

Here's one about the YAP haplotype discovered in kohanin:

Y Chromosomes Traveling South
http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/AJHG/journal/issues/v66n2/990488/brief/990488.abstract.html


13 posted on 03/14/2005 10:22:29 PM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, March 13, 2005.)
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To: blam
Genesis 12:16 – Not only Hagar, but many of Abraham’s servants were gifts from Pharaoh and in this period it is fairly likely that many were Nubians. (approx. 1921 BC)

"What's a Nubian?"

Mark

Sorry, I couldn't resist that one!

14 posted on 03/14/2005 10:26:54 PM PST by MarkL (That which does not kill me, has made the last mistake it will ever make!)
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To: blam
Years ago, Diane Sawyer (I think it was) did a segment for 60 minutes on this. Could be all mixed up, I didn't see it.

Quest For The Lost Tribes Quest For The Lost Tribes
directed by Simcha Jacobovici
DVD+R format


15 posted on 03/14/2005 10:29:28 PM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, March 13, 2005.)
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To: blam; Sabramerican

a topic converted from the old system (originally a3bf9a6c0211a.htm):

Genetic evidence links Jews to their ancient tribe
JP | 11/20/2001 | By Judy Siegel
Posted on 11/19/2001 3:41:35 PM PST by Sabramerican
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/574370/posts

another related topic:

Eclipse Brings Claim Of Medieval African Observatory
New Scientist | 12-4-2002 | Stuart Clark
Posted on 12/04/2002 5:22:25 AM PST by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/800406/posts


16 posted on 03/14/2005 10:38:09 PM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, March 13, 2005.)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 4ConservativeJustices; ...
Thanks Blam.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

17 posted on 03/14/2005 10:39:43 PM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, March 13, 2005.)
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To: blam; SunkenCiv
Thanks for posting this. Interesting subject. One note on the date: I think the available historical evidence tends to place the date of the Jewish migration to Africa in the period of the founding of the Elephantine colony rather than the period of the Lost Tribes, though of course it's possible there were earlier migrations:

Elephantine

The Elephantine papyri are caches of legal documents and letters written in Aramaic, which document the community of Jewish soldiers stationed here during the Persian occupation of Egypt. They maintained their own temple to their Lord, functioning alongside that of Khnum. The Jewish community at Elephantine was probably founded as a military installation in about 650 BCE during Manasseh's reign, to assist Pharaoh Psammetichus I in his Nubian campaign. The documents cover the period 495-399 BCE.

18 posted on 03/15/2005 12:00:45 AM PST by Fedora
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To: blam

The actor Yaphet Kotto is the son of a Cameroon Jew on his mother's side. He was even bar mitzvahed!


19 posted on 03/15/2005 12:03:20 AM PST by Clemenza (Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms: The Other Holy Trinity)
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To: Clemenza

wow


20 posted on 03/15/2005 4:41:45 AM PST by cyborg
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
21 posted on 03/15/2005 5:12:58 AM PST by SJackson (Be careful -- with quotations, you can damn anything, Andre Malraux)
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To: Clemenza

That explains why he was a communist.


22 posted on 03/15/2005 8:49:57 AM PST by Defiant (This tagline has targeted 10 journalists intentionally, that I personally know of.)
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To: Defiant

I did not know that Yaphet was a communist, although I knew he was a lib.


23 posted on 03/15/2005 8:51:08 AM PST by Clemenza (Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms: The Other Holy Trinity)
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To: blam

I saw that as well, and it was very interesting. I did notice in a sidebar remark by the host that tourism, which used to be the core of the Zimbabwean economy, has dried up almost completely.

I was rather impressed by the moves that Mugabe made initially to bring together elements of Shona and Matabele, which have been warring off an on for centuries. What has happened in the recent past, with the slaughter of whites (who were assured protection by Mugabe), the resulting land grabs, mass starvation along political and tribal lines, 35% HIV postive rate, etc., has led to a Rwanda-in-the-making. For those interested, here's a somewhat dated article with a straightforward perspective on Zimbabwe:

http://www.etherzone.com/2002/lamp121702.shtml


24 posted on 03/15/2005 9:00:37 AM PST by ManHunter (You can run, but you'll only die tired...)
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To: Clemenza

He may not formally be a commie, but like Jane Fonda, has supported every communist cause that has come down the pike, more leftist than even your average Hollywood moonbat.


25 posted on 03/15/2005 9:08:14 AM PST by Defiant (This tagline has targeted 10 journalists intentionally, that I personally know of.)
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To: blam

Thanks. I watched that program last night. I was going to do some research on the net on this topic today. I guess you did it for me. :)


26 posted on 03/15/2005 9:12:12 AM PST by CollegeRepublican (South Park, Simpson's loving Republican here!!)
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To: Defiant
That explains why he was a communist.

What expains it?

27 posted on 03/15/2005 9:31:57 AM PST by Bella_Bru (You're about as funny as a case sensitive search engine.)
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To: Clemenza
He was great on the show Homicide.
28 posted on 03/15/2005 9:32:30 AM PST by Bella_Bru (You're about as funny as a case sensitive search engine.)
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To: blam


Symbolically, even their flag is black.

29 posted on 03/15/2005 9:35:55 AM PST by OESY
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: blam

I like Digging for the Truth on the History Channel too. That Josh is a cutie! ;)


31 posted on 03/15/2005 9:53:48 AM PST by Chani (If it isn't in Texas, you probably don't need it.)
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To: OESY

Are you trying to say that all Jews are traitors? Wanna back that up?


32 posted on 03/15/2005 10:39:29 AM PST by Bella_Bru (You're about as funny as a case sensitive search engine.)
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To: Bella_Bru

The leaders of the communist movement in prewar US, and the majority of the red diaper babies in the 20s-40s were Jewish immigrants, most of them Eastern European. For a black American to get in with that crowd, as Yaphet was, it becomes understandable that his mother was Jewish. Dig a little bit, and I bet you will find that his mother was an activist, and that young Yaphet was indoctrinated at an early age.


33 posted on 03/15/2005 11:07:00 AM PST by Defiant (This tagline has targeted 10 journalists intentionally, that I personally know of.)
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To: Defiant

Well, I guess we can also smear all Christians as some of them claimed to be Christian as well, right?


34 posted on 03/15/2005 11:08:22 AM PST by Bella_Bru (You're about as funny as a case sensitive search engine.)
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To: Bella_Bru
No, we can't smear all Christians because some who were born Christian converted to Communism. Neither can we smear Jews simply because the majority of its proponents in the US and its leading exponents abroad (Marx, e.g.) were Jewish. No one is doing that.

Over the course of history, a small percentage of Jews became out and out communists. That does not mean that Jews were not paramount in the movement, because the Communist party never had a large number of adherents in the US--just powerful ones. It just means that idealistic and somewhat alienated immigrants from a tradition and culture that was more collectivist and urban were more prone to identify with an ideology that had as its aim the replacement of American democracy with something else. I don't condemn them too much for their views, it developed out of a naive brand of concern for the social welfare that was admirable. However, once the crimes of Stalin became known, you could not excuse those who identified with the communists. By the late 1930s, communists were no longer idealists, but wannabe tyrants, people who wanted to tear down the US and run it themselves as a dictatorship.

In any event, Christians bought into it, too, but in percentage terms, Jews were much more likely to be involved in communist politics, and a much higher percent of the Communist movement than other ethnic groups.

35 posted on 03/15/2005 11:26:50 AM PST by Defiant (This tagline has targeted 10 journalists intentionally, that I personally know of.)
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To: Defiant

Thanks for the explanation. At first glance, it appeared that your comment was saying Jewish=Communist.


36 posted on 03/15/2005 11:36:38 AM PST by Bella_Bru (You're about as funny as a case sensitive search engine.)
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To: blam

bttt


37 posted on 03/15/2005 11:58:20 AM PST by Lijahsbubbe
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To: blam

mark to read later, missed it last night


38 posted on 03/15/2005 11:59:09 AM PST by eyespysomething (Vous pouvez vous rendre au garde de securite!)
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To: SunkenCiv

I saw this last night and found it fascinating.


39 posted on 03/15/2005 12:07:26 PM PST by KC_Conspirator (This space outsourced to India)
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: Floyd R Turbo
"Next, they look for some obscure and scruffy group tending Camels along a dried up creek in dusty Africa. But the Bible says these non-Jewish Israelites will be a massively large group of people, more in number than the stars of the sky or sand of the sea. That does narrow down the search."

We had a FReeper named 'LostTribe' (he got banned), who thinks the Celts were the Northern Tribe(s).

42 posted on 03/15/2005 3:12:45 PM PST by blam
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To: Bella_Bru

No, I am not saying, nor trying to imply, that. Post 30 was inadvertently sent to this thread. My mistake.

Unfortunately, it took several attempts through the afternoon to get it removed.


43 posted on 03/15/2005 6:08:06 PM PST by OESY
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

To: blam

Lemba? Isn't that where the elves get thier grain for Lembas, the fabulous trail mix of the Middle Earth?


45 posted on 03/15/2005 6:12:52 PM PST by Cyber Liberty ( 2005, Ravin' Lunatic since 4/98)
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To: blam

I'm not a big fan of "lost tribes" theories, but this is a better story than those people in Uganda (with the long name) who "converted" to Judaism in the Twenties. They are under the influence of "Reform" and subscribe to liberal Biblical theories--downright bizarre when you think of how alien their culture must be from that of Western liberals.


46 posted on 03/15/2005 6:14:38 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Zakhor 'et 'asher `asah lekha `Amaleq baderekh betze'tkhem miMitzrayim . . .)
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To: SunkenCiv

Hers are two more

http://www.cohen-levi.org/the_tribe/kohanim_forever.htm

http://www.khazaria.com/genetics/abstracts-cohen-levite.html


47 posted on 03/15/2005 7:54:37 PM PST by dervish (Nihilism is dead)
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To: blam

bttt


48 posted on 03/15/2005 10:14:55 PM PST by nopardons
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To: SunkenCiv

Very interesting, as Arte Johnson used to say. Here's what I said about the Lemba on an African history webpage I wrote last year:

Most of the West African kingdoms that came along after Ghana also gave their monarchs a foreign origin, usually declaring that an Arab or Berber founded the dynasty. Though possible, such stories should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism, since the Arabs and Berbers are white, while these kings and their people were always black by the time historical records about them appear. Likewise, the city-states on the East African coast, like Kilwa, claimed that their first kings were Arabs. They probably made such claims to give the royal family an impressive Islamic lineage, just as the Christian kings of Abyssinia claimed descent from Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (see Chapter 4).

However, in at least one case such legends may be correct. In 1999 members of the Lemba, a small South African tribe that claims Jewish ancestry, submitted to DNA testing, and their men have the so-called "Cohanim gene," a structure on the Y chromosome that so far has only been found with Levites. White Jews are debating whether the Lemba are really Jewish as we go to press, just as they did when Ethiopia's Falashas moved to Israel in the 1980s.

Source: http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/africa/af05.html , footnote #8


49 posted on 03/16/2005 3:06:19 AM PST by Berosus
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To: blam
" I thought others would be interested in this story."

Glad you did. . .very interesting; and a great break from the politics of the day.

[

50 posted on 03/16/2005 5:23:10 AM PST by cricket
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