View Full Version : A cogent classification and nomenclature for the peoples of the African landmass

06-16-2019, 01:16 AM
A long-running problem concerning how to properly classify the peoples of the African landmass - especially those more inland past the Mediterranean coastal strip - is causing a mess of ever recycled names as well as confusion over the ancestral, ethno-linguistic, and socio-cultural attributes of various peoples of this - for whatever mix of nugatory reasons - consistently demarcated and groundless continent.

I intend for every population of this landmass - no matter how small - to be classified most importantly by these two variables/factors:

1) ancestry

2) ethno-linguistic affiliations

with no regards to phenotype and religion, and much less emphasis on socio-cultural status/type and lifestyle, and any such influences. FST cannot be the sole arbiter of these population groups, as with all things in nature - everything lies on a nexus of fine-scale, seemingly non-transitioning (at higher resolutions) gradients. Especially as is clear that in many parts of the landmass, much recent admixing between disparate groups caused by several great upheavals and events, coupled with a massive population boom in most parts - have resulted in the formation of many new population groups blurring the lines further between much more clearly differentiated people groups.

This list will focus on grouping Africa's hundreds of peoples into several reasoned and thoroughly grounded delimited groups. Outside of genetics, a good indicator of relatedness (and thus classification) is sense of kinship and common origin between 2 different ethnic groups, along the many pre-colonial "racial" classifications that existed throughout the landmass - but this will only be used to back up the genetic and known ethno-linguistic and socio-cultural histories of these peoples in attempting our classifications here.

We will begin with classifying those African groups clearly existing prior by at least 2,000 years ago - so an extra 1000 buffer gap will ensure any populations that can even plausibly be largely formed in the last 2000 years is cut out. As such, we will begin with populations that existed by at least 1000 BC (3,000 years ago). I choose 3,000 years, as for most of the world this period was the beginning of the transition into the historic age, and we all know the late Bronze Age/early Iron Age this period represents is the apex period of prehistoric and historic migrations and birth of many peoples most significantly ancestral to contemporary humans, such as the establishment of the Huaxia tribal confederacy, the migration of the early proto-Ethiosemites, and the cauldron of Indo-European and preceding peoples from northwestern Europe to eastern South Asia, and the burgeoning of the ancestral Bantu somewhere near the Benue-Niger confluence and Sanaga river, and large scale/term migrations into Egypt by various Semitic populations.

Once we agree to these main population groups preceding 1000 BC, we can then later focus on later population groups who formed in the last 2000-3,000 years, such as the Fulani, Mt. Kenya Bantus, Maa-speaking Nilotes, Benadiris, Great Lakes pastoralists, and the Malagasy and SW African Bantus and subgroups of the Sabaki Bantu, southern Twa, and Baggara Arabs.

This thread is intended to be a long term thing - and not a weekend frenzy. I'll post what I'm thinking tomorrow.