THE HAMITIC HYPOTHESIS
Why the Egyptians even today have the designation of White on their Passports whether they like it or not.
This demonstrates that the so called curse (THE HAMITIC HYPOTHESIS) had to be legitimized by the new science of Egyptology. The slave trade which was used for over a thousand years by the invading and conquering Arabs and then re-engineered to horrific heights by the European had to be supported by dogma and divine right of superior races. It was absolutely necessary to exclude Egyptians and their great race and accomplishments from any discussion of them being Negroes. Their house of cards would have come crumbling down. A little long but worth the read.
“Napoleon’s scientists made the revolutionary discovery that the beginnings of Western civilization were earlier than the civilizations of the Romans and the Greeks. Mysterious
monuments, evidences of the beginnings of science, art, and well-preserved mummies were uncovered. Attention was drawn to the population that lived among these ancient splendours and was presumably descended from the people who had created them. It was a well-mixed population, such as
it is at the present time, with physical types running from light to black and with many physiognomical variations.
The French scholars came to the conclusion that the Egyptians were Negroids. Denon, one of Napoleon’s original expedition, describes them as such: ‘ . . .a broad and flat nose, very short, a large flattened mouth . . .thick lips, etc.’.19
The view that the Egyptians were ‘Negroid ‘ and highly civilized apparently existed before the French expedition to Egypt. Count Volney, a French traveller to the Middle East, spent four years in Egypt and Syria and wrote in a well-known book :
How are we astonished . . .when we reflect that to the race of negroes, at present our slaves, and the objects of our contempt, we owe our arts, sciences, and . . . when we recollect that, in the midst of these nations, who call themselves the friends of liberty and humanity, the most barbarous of slaveries is justified ; and that it is even a problem whether the understandings of negroes be of the same species with that of white men! 20
In spite of the deserved respect which Volney enjoyed, his opinions on this subject were not accepted.
Nevertheless, the Egyptian expedition made it impossible to hide that seeming paradox of a population of Negroids who were, once upon a time, originators of the oldest civilization of the West. The conflicting ideologies which existed in the West made it difficult for the various proponents of these ideologies to deal with the notion as it stood. Such a notion upset the main existing tenets; it could not be internalized by those individuals on both sides of the Atlantic who were convinced of the innate inferiority of the Negro, nor by those who adhered to the biblical explanation of the origin of races. To the latter such an idea was blasphemous, as Noah’s curse condemned the Hamites to misery and precluded high original achievement.
Egypt became the focus of great interest among the scientists as well as among the lay public. The fruits of this interest were not long in coming. A few short years after the Egyptian expedition, there appeared a large number of publications dealing with Egypt and Egyptians. Many of these works seemed to have had as their main purpose an attempt to prove in some way that the Egyptians were not Negroes. The arguments which
follow brought forth the questions of language, migration, ancient writers, and the existence of mummies. 21 The polygenist theories of race postulated that as each race was created separately, so it was endowed with its own language. Because the Coptic language was clearly related to Arabic, it was convenient to draw the conclusion that the nations who spoke related languages must have proceeded from one parental stock. Since the Ethiopians, Nubians and other allied peoples were declared not to be Negro by European travellers, the Egyptians could not be said to be of African (Negro) race, as all of these peoples were colonists from Syria or Arabia Felix.
Since ancient writers were silent on the subject of the Negroid physiognomy of the Egyptian, it was understood that in effect Egyptians were not Negroid, as such a fact would have startled the ancients into a detailed description. Herodotus himself, ran the argument, described them in comparative not absolute terms. Thus ‘black and woolly haired ‘ meant black as compared to the Greeks and woolly haired as compared to the Greeks. Some said that the existence of the mummies itself constituted sufficient proof that these people were non-Negro; to Vil. G. Browne the ‘ . . .prescience of that people concerning errors into which posterity might fall, exhibits irrefragable proof of their features and of the colour of their skin . . . ,’22 clearly implying, therefore, that the ancient Egyptians knew they could be mistaken for Negroes, and so left their bodies in evidence to
refute such an allegation. Browne insisted that the Egyptians were white. Although he himself did not call them ‘ Hamites ‘, he paved the way for his successors who were to identify the Egyptians as such.
Modern times showed their influence on theological writings as well. The new Hamitic concept made its appearance quite early in the nineteenth century, spearheaded by the clergy. If the Negro was a descendant of Ham, and Ham was cursed, how could he be the creator of a great civilization ? It follows logically that the theologians had to take another look, both at the Bible and at its explanation of the origin of the races of man. The veracity of the Scriptures obviously could not be denied. New interpretations of the meaning of Scriptures were offered. Egyptians, it was now remembered, were descendants of Mizraim, a son of Ham. Noah had only cursed Canaan-son-of-Ham, so that it was Canaan and his progeny alone who suffered the malediction. Ham, his other sons, and their children were not included in the curse.
For example, the Reverend M. Russell took up the issue of the Hamites and the Egyptians:
In the sacred writings of the Hebrews it [Egypt] is called Mizraim . . .the name which is applied to Egypt by the Arabs of the present day.
The Copts retain the native word ‘Chemia ‘ which perhaps has some relation to Cham, the son of Noah; or as Plutarch insinuates, may only denote that darkness of colour which appears in a rich soil or in the human eye.
23 He admits that there is a peculiarity of feature common to all the Copts, but asserts that neither in countenance nor personal form is there any resemblance to the Negro.
He and other scholars re-read the Book of Genesis focusing on the genealogy of the three ancestors of mankind, and especially Ham. The histories of the sons of Ham were discussed, particularly those of Cush and Mizraim. The question was raised then whether it was Ham who had been cursed after all, or was it only Canaan? 24 It was indeed Canaan who was cursed, but the rest of the progeny of Ham went on to prosper.
So it came to pass that the Egyptians emerged as Hamites, Caucasoid, uncursed and capable of high civilization. This view became widely accepted and it is reflected in the theological literature of that era. A survey of Biblical dictionaries of the period is quite revealing as to the wide acceptance of the new Hamites. Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature, published in 1846 by John Kitto, D.D., F.S.A., has a long article under the name Ham. It is stressed that the curse of Noah is directed only against Canaan. The general opinion is stated that all southern nations derive from Ham. How ever, the article admits difficulties in tracing the history of the most important Hamitic nations-the Cushites, the Phoenicians and the Egyptians-due to their great intermixture with foreign peoples. Thus, the early decades of the nineteenth century greeted a new Hamitic myth, this time with a Caucasoid protagonist. At the same time the scientific bases of the new Hamitic myth were being devised and, allegedly, substantiated.
Perhaps because slavery was both still legal and profitable in the United States, and because it was deemed necessary and right to protect it, there arose an American school of anthropology which attempted to prove scientifically that the Egyptian was a Caucasian, far removed from the inferior Negro. As Mannheim said, each intellectual stand is functionally dependent on the ‘ differentiated social group reality standing behind it.”
excerpt from the book:
THE HAMITIC HYPOTHESIS; ITS ORIGIN AND FUNCTIONS IN TIME PERSPECTIVE BY EDITH R. SANDERS