All over the Internet, you may have seen ‘Beethoven is black’, with an accompanying picture. Or that Mozart was black, or Hannibal from Carthage or other historic figures from antiquity were African Negroids. We all know it’s not true. Afrocentrists just take things that agree with their viewpoint, and warp anything they can in an attempt to say that “they were African”. There are tons of these lies going around the internet, with enough people who believe in Afrocentrism religiously, convinced that the white man hid knowledge of past African greatness. This will be a series of posts on Refuting Afrocentrism, with each successive piece focusing on a different part of the Afrocentric narrative.
I’ve had an interest in Mesoamerican history since I was a kid. I was reading adult level books when I was 10 years old. I got this book, The Mayan Prophecies: Unlocking the Secrets of a Lost Civilization, which talked a lot about Maya history, as well as where they came from. It’s an extremely interesting book, which goes through the history of the Maya, their astrology, mathematics, agriculture, building methods and so on. It said nothing about the Maya being African. That’s because it’s just Afrocentric rubbish.
Recent new evidence has said that the Olmecs and the Maya were easy to differentiate in the Classic Period (250 to 900 AD, which was their Golden Age) because they had language and culture distinct from the Olmecs. It’s said that while the Olmecs were building La Venta in Mexico, the Maya were living in loosely associated nomadic groups to the east and southeast. That holds that the Maya developed from the Olmec, but Ceibal is 2 centuries older than La Venta. Though, the researcher says that there was a flow of ideas and culture between the two locations and that through those interactions, a new society developed. He says from 1000 to 700 BC that that La Venta and Ceibal were freely trading ideas, technology, culture, and maybe even people.
From this study on Maya genetics, you can see that it says the closest group to the Maya were the Arhuacs, the first recorded Caribbean inhabitants. They are not genetically close to the Mesoamerican Zapotec, Mixe and Mixtec, who generally cluster together. The Mixe are only related to the Maya on a linguistic basis. DRB1*0407 and DRB1*0802 alleles are found in 50% of Mayans, they’re also found in other Amerindians, but the Maya’s high frequencies may be because of a founder effect from the Mesoamerican-Caribbean population. They described Maya-specific HLA haplotypes (which are involved in inflammation as well as other immune system activities). Some HLA genes have many possible variations, allowing each person’s immune system different protections against certain diseases. Language and genes do not completely correlate in microgeographical studies.
“Significant genetic input from outside is not noticed in Meso and South American Amerindians according to the genetic analyses; while all world populations (including Africans, Europeans, Asians, Australians, Polynesians, North American Na-Dene Indians and Eskimos) are genetically related. Meso and South American Amerindians tend to remain isolated in the neighbour joining analyses.”
This further proves another point that I read. That Mesoamericans are the furthest genetically from Africans, because of no genetic mixing between any populations with Mesoamericans, allowing their DNA to go from distinct East Asian (because Native Americans are descended from Siberians who crossed the Bering Land Bridge 12,000 years ago, since they evolved completely separated from Africa, no gene flow from anywhere else in the world got to the Mesoamericans, and over thousands of years they developed to be a genetically distinct group), to their own distinct genetic clade.
This is attributed to isolation from the rest of the world, as well as faster evolution. That is another reason why I believe the once great Mesoamericans are how they are today, because 1) because the Spanish killed off all of the high-status people, who were more intelligent, as well as disease killing them off. The slave population they had would have been more immune to the diseases. 2) Faster evolution. With evolution in a hot climate for tens of thousands of years, in comparison to where they first evolved when they were still genetically similar to East Asians, it obviously changed their genetics to make them distinct from East Asians, but not enough to get rid of the intellect they had already due to the Ice Age evolution. Anyway, I’m digressing, that will be for a future post.
Now to see Olmec genetics (Mexican Mazatecan Indians), who are pretty similar to the Maya, as noted above.
Findings were indirect evidence of Olmec/Maya relatedness, further supporting the theory that the Olmecs were the precursor to the Maya. Again, language and genetics do not correlate in the microgeographic area, a significant genetic output is not noticed at all in Mesoamerican populations while all other world populations (Africans, Europeans, Asians, Australians, Polynesians, North American Na-Dene Indians and Eskimos) are genetically related. As I said above, Mesoamericans are so genetically distinct due to faster evolution as well as no gene mixing between regions, which, over time, caused their DNA to mutate to the clade they have today. Both Central and South American Indians are genetically distinct from the rest of the world.
So we can see that all Mesoamerican populations are mostly similar to each other, except the Maya who are pretty unique, most likely due to the founder effect from the Caribbean.
The name ‘Olmec’ is a Nahuatl word meaning ‘the Rubber People’ Nahuatl is an Aztec language. They extracted latex from rubber trees. The Olmecs were thought to have died out around 400 BC.
Now that we have a good background on the Olmec and Maya connection, as well as Maya and Olmec genetics, let’s see what this Afrocentric Olmec theory is about.
The theory of Olmecs being Africans was first developed by Ivan van Sertima in the 70s. He wrote a book called They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America (Journal of African Civilizations). He first developed the theory from seeing the giant stone heads the Olmecs made, which look distinctly Negroid in appearance, as seen in the picture below.
Sure, from direct outward appearance, I can see how people would believe how the head looks like that of a negroid, but genetics tells us a different story.
Van Sertima claims that Mali seafarers reached Mesoamerica, and had consistent contact with the Olmecs, trading ideas and culture with them.
As I said above, most Mesoamerican populations are related to each other, with having no admixture from other parts of the world that all other populations have. So, if the Malinese people did have contact with them, we would find some of their DNA in Mesoamerican peoples today. We obviously know how ‘Hispanics’ came to be today, Spaniards mixing with the ‘Natives’. So, if we have Spaniards mating with ‘Natives’, and Mali supposedly had contact with Mesoamerica, then logic would dictate that genetic testing would find African blood in Mesoamerican populations.
But, as I noted earlier in this article, Mesoamericans are genetically distinct from all populations. We can see here that neighbor-joining analyses were done by putting together many worldwide and American populations. Both analyses show that Meso and South Amerindians are not related to the Na-Dene, because they came in one of the 3 migrations out of Siberia into the Americas. They are also not related to the Eskimos. Mesoamericans also do not show any relatedness with Polynesians, Australoids (discarding a massive Pacific colonization), Caucasians or African blacks. Genetic evidence also suggests that people moved from South America to North America into Siberia.
So why are there clear negroid features on the Olmec heads? Because they were obviously modeled after the Olmecs themselves. We know that the shapes of people’s noses comes from the climate that their ancestors evolved in. It has to do with temperature and moisture in the air. In areas where it’s extremely dry and has a lot of heat, a larger mucous area is required to moisten inspired (breathe in; inhale) air, which is why a more flat and narrow nose is needed. Olmecs and West African-descended peoples have short, flat noses because they lived in wet and tropical areas, whereas Nubians and Egyptians have longer and thinner noses due to living in the desert.
Here are some peoples who are said to be descended from Olmecs. There are pictures of statues as well as modern day people who look like them.
The Olmec statue heads are clearly of the indigenous peoples in the area, and not of West African Negroids.
Because of that one man’s theory, you have all of these Afrocentrists, with absolutely no understanding of genetics or human migration, who write these articles saying that any and all peoples and old/ancient cultures were negroid based on shoddy evidence and only physical appearance as well as cockamamie theories.
I’m pretty sure I have given way more evidence than is needed that the Olemcs were NOT negroids, but alas, you still have people who parrot this clearly refuted and untrue things, because they have absolutely no grasp on humanity in antiquity and will take any type of ‘theory’ that fits their warped worldview.
My brother told me a few years ago “If you’re looking for something, you’re going to find it”. Well, this is a perfect example of that.
In conclusion, because of genetic testing, as well as evolutionary factors which explain the ‘negroid-looking statues’, as well as most Mesoamerican populations being similar with each other completely debunk any and all notions of the Olmecs, and all Mesoamericans for that matter, to be African negroids.