Database of African Military History


Database of African Military History

This is a database that can be useful to anyone who is creating African-centered fantasy or science fiction. I invite everyone to participate. The focus of the articles submitted here is on African military history.

Members: 61
Latest Activity: Dec 2, 2017

Discussion Forum

Samori Toure

Started by Eccentric Yoruba. Last reply by Ronald T. Jones Sep 15, 2010. 4 Replies

Article: Battle of Adowa

Started by Ronald T. Jones. Last reply by Ronald T. Jones Jul 5, 2010. 2 Replies

Candace Amanirenas of Meroe (40-10 BC)

Started by Wamuhu Mwaura. Last reply by Whiyayul & Diop Malvi Jun 13, 2010. 3 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Eugene Allen Wilson on September 16, 2010 at 9:06pm
This is so awesome!!!! In the years of research that I was involved in to write my novel, I had run across so much of the African/African American history that was NEVER taught in school. As I look back on my school years, I realize that many of my teachers must have felt some anger and frustration about not being able to teach their black students their side of history.
Comment by Ronald T. Jones on September 15, 2010 at 2:31pm
I've heard of him. Samori Toure was a 19th century West African commander who resisted the French. He sent men behind enemy lines to learn how modern European guns were made. Those men returned with the knowledge of advanced gun assembly and Toure put them to work replicating the weapons.
Comment by Eccentric Yoruba on September 15, 2010 at 4:31am
Has anyone here heard of Samuri Toure?
Comment by Khafra K Om-Ra-Seti on September 15, 2010 at 1:40am
Hotep! When I hear African Military History my first thoughts turn to Hannibal, the terror of Rome. He is by far one of the greatest military leaders in the history of mankind.
Comment by Whiyayul & Diop Malvi on June 11, 2010 at 11:07am
Thank you for the update, Walter. Quilombo was the title of the film.
Comment by Walter Varner on June 11, 2010 at 8:38am
@ Whiyayul & Diop Malvi -

Capoeira is a direct descendant of the Angolan & Central African art of Ngolo. When the Portugese brought slaves into Brazil from Africa, they didn't know that in order to prevent insurrection, you have to split people from similar cultural groups up. I'll get back to this in a moment.

A lot of the slaves they brought over from that part of Africa were warriors, steeped in Ngolo, a low-to-the ground fighting style developed to fight against the spear/shield combo. Its mostly distinguished from Asian martial arts in that that the Asian arts come from a block, then counter-attack midset. Ngolo comes from an EVADE, then counter-attack mindset. In addition, there's an Angolan belief that hands are for creation and feet are for destruction, hence most of the attacks (at least the ones that were brought into Capoeira) are kicks and sweeps.

The slaves that were brought over taught the indigenous slaves their martial art and also brought African cultural practices into it: the circle in which the Roda is played, the Berimbau, which controls the rhythm and speed of the game, the Atabaque(drum) & singing while playing, etc. There's no agreed story on the Jinga (nor is there an agreed spelling), the side to side stepping/sliding movement Capoeiristas make in order to position themselves to attack or evade.

The only agreement is that name was an homage to Queen Nzinga. The story that makes the most sense to me was that the Jinga was added to fool the slaveowners, i.e. Capoeria is a dance! The word Capoeira is derived from a word that means "swaying grass" - another possible influence to the Jinga. I haven't been able to determine in my research if the Ngolo had a movement like the Jinga in it.

Lastly, I mentioned not knowing to separate cultural groups. The Portugese had a HUGE problem on their hands with their slaves. As I mentioned before, since they shared a language and most of a culture, the African warriors were able to collude fairly easily and teach the locals their martial art which, in the age before machine guns and revolvers, was VERY effective - i.e. if the person with the rifle misses that first shot, a skilled Capoeirsta could then easily approach, attack and win. It was so effective that runaway slaves there were able to create independant communities called Quilombos. One of the largest Quilombos, lead by the legendary (at least in Brazil) former slave Zumbi, Palmares, is still in existance today.
Comment by Valjeanne Jeffers on December 26, 2009 at 10:45am
Hey ya'll! I'm late but I'm here (smile)
Comment by Ronald T. Jones on December 3, 2009 at 6:39pm
Welcome all newcomers to the Database of African Military History
Comment by Whiyayul & Diop Malvi on November 7, 2009 at 8:26pm
Now that was the Show! It also does much to destroy that slavery wasn't
so bad in Brazil myth erroneously fostered each Carnival season. Ain't it the usual though? Blacks start it, whites and coloreds frown upon it till a new generation perceives it, than the art is taken over and commercialized
to benefit the whites and the coloreds.
Comment by Jarvis Sheffield - Admin on November 7, 2009 at 6:37pm

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