Alice C. Linsley

Olupero R. Aiyenimelo, a member of the Biblical Anthropology Group, has asked if we might discuss the evidence that connects traditional religion of her homeland Nigeria with religion in India. She is interested in this after reading an essay I wrote on “Linguistic Evidence for the Afro-Asiatic Dominion”. Olupero noted that the Nigerian word ‘Orissa’ is also found in India and this prompted her curiosity.

I will reproduce some of the linguistic evidence for the diffusion of the Afro-Asiatic worldview in this thread, but mostly I’d like to address Olupero’s curiosity and focus on the evidence for an ancient order of priests (not shamans) who were largely responsible for the spread of Afro-Asiatic religious practices. I invite anyone from Open Anthropology Cooperative to respond as this project can contribute much to expanding our knowledge and understanding of the religion of ancient Afro-Asiatics.

What is meant by the “Afro-Asiatic Dominion”?

I coined the term “Afro-Asiatic Dominion” for lack of a better way to speak of the apparent correspondence of religious concepts and practices diffused across a vast area extending from west central Africa to the Indus River Valley and even among the Sarki who live as ‘Haruwa’ (priests) in the Tarai region of Nepal.

In the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) the Afro-Asiatic Dominion is suggested by the correspondence of western (Afro) and eastern (Asiatic) traditions. The distinct traditions are seen in a detailed study of the 2 creation stories and the 2 flood stories, and in the consistent binary framework of both traditions. (For more on this read “Eden’s Flood East and West” here:

My thesis, based on 32 years of research, is that Afro-Asiatic religious beliefs and practices were diffused largely through the agency of priestly lines who intermarried according to a specific kinship pattern that I have identified. These were ruler-priests who exercised control of water systems at a time when west central Africa, Mesopotamia and India were wetter.

Further evidence of common religious views is found in the linguistic comparison of cognate languages and religious words used among peoples who share the Afro-Asiatic religious heritage. Consider the following examples:

The Semitic word ‘wadi’ = river, corresponds to the Sanskrit ‘nadi’ = river.

The Semitic root ‘mgn’ = to give, is the same as the Sanskrit ‘mgn’ = to give.

The Hebrew ‘rison adam’ = ancestral man is ‘adamu orisa’ = ancestral Adam in Hahm/Hausa languages of Nigeria. The Hausa word for human being is ‘dan adam.’ The Sanskrit word for male human is ‘manu’ which resembles the African word ‘adamu’ more closely than the Hebrew word.

The Hebrew ‘adamah’ = red clay/ground and the related Semitic words ‘dam’ = blood and ‘adom’ = red, are related to the Hahm/Hausa word ‘odum’ = reddish brown.

The Hebrew ‘bara’ = to begin, is related to the Yoruba/Hahm word ‘bere’ = to begin. There is an apparent relationship between the verb ‘to begin’ and the word Creator which in Hebrew is ‘bore’ and in the African Twi dialect is ‘Borebore’ = Creator.

The Hebrew ‘hay’ = ‘living being’, is related to the Hausa/Hahm word ‘aye’ = life, created world. Likewise, the Hebrew ‘iya’ = mother, corresponds to the Dravidian ‘ka ayi’ = mother, and the Hausa/Hahm ‘eyi’ = gave birth.

The Hebrew ‘abba’ = father, corresponds to the Hausa/Hahm ‘baba’ = father, to the Dravidian ‘appa’ = father, and to the Mundari ‘apu’.

The Hebrew ‘ha’nock’ = the chief, corresponds to the Hahm word ‘nok’ = “first ancestral chief”. The words Adam and Nok are paralleled in the Hebrew of Psalm 8:4 indicating recognition of both the mythical first father (Adam) and the historical ancestor-father (Nok) of the peoples descending from Nok (Enoch), the father-in-law of Kain and his brother Seth (Genesis 4 and 5).

The Hausa word for hunter is maharba. Compare this to the Hebrew word that appears in the Targum ‘nah shirkan’ (meaning hunter) and note the similarity to the Hausa word ‘sarkin maharba’ (meaning lead hunter).

The Sanskrit ‘svah’ = sky or heaven, corresponds to the Semitic ‘svam’ or ‘Sam-yim’ = sky or heaven. The Semitic resembles the Proto-Dravidian word ‘van’ = heaven. The Spanish ‘desvan’ (attic, rooftop) comes from the Arabic-speaking Moors.

The Sanskrit ‘Sakti’ = wine in Tantric use at harvest moon celebration, is the linguistic equivalent of the Falasha word ‘Sarki’ = harvest moon festival.

Sarki also means ruler among the people of Kano (biblical Kain), which is where Noah’s ancestors lived according to the Genesis genealogical data. Sarki are a people group who live in Orissa in India. Orissa is a Nigerian word and Kano is in Nigeria. Sarki also live as ‘Haruwa’ in the Tarai region of Nepal. The word Haruwa is equivalent to the ancient Egyptian word ‘Harwa” meaning priest.

Another word for priest is the Hebrew ‘Kohen’, equivalent to the Arabic ‘Khouri’ or ‘Kahin’ and the Persian ‘Kaahen’. Kaahen relates to the Persian ‘Kaahenaat’ which is translated "timeless being". This word is related to ‘Kahenat’ which means priest in the Ethiopian Church.

The Hebrew ‘yasuah’ = salvation, corresponds to the Sanskrit words ‘asvah’, ‘asuah’ or ‘yasuah’ = salvation.

The Hebrew root ‘thr’ = to be pure, corresponds to the Hausa/Hahm ‘toro’ = clean, and to the Tamil ‘tiru’ = holy. All are related to the proto-Dravidian ‘tor’ = blood.

The Hebrew ‘echad’ or ‘ehat’ = one, corresponds to the Syrian ‘eka’ and to the Sanscrit ‘eca’ = one. It is a cognate to ‘ikka’ = one, in the Gonga languages of southeast Ethiopia.

As many ancient Afro-Asiatic peoples used base 6 in counting and as the basis for their calendars, the number six is a significant indicator of related languages. Consider the following:

The number six in Proto-Dravidian is ‘caru’. This correlates to ‘koro’ in South Africa; to ‘karkia’ in some Chadic Languages; and to ‘korci’ in Meidob (eastern Sudan). The most striking similarity is between the Kanembu (Sudan) ‘araku’ and the Tamil ‘aarru’.

There are numerous other examples of linguistic affinity between peoples living in the Afro-Asiatic Dominion. Linguists have noted these correspondences. But can we identify features of ancient Afro-Asiatic religion? Yes. There is sufficient information to enable us to reconstruct a picture of what the ancient Afro-Asiatics believed and how they practiced their religion. Due to the length of this discussion, we will consider the seven key features of ancient Afro-Asiatic religious life next week.

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Hello!  I missed our conversations and I am glad that you have written again.


You would be interested in the conversations I'm having about the Yoruba and ancient biblical tribes.  You will find some of that, with links here:  (read the comments here from a Nigerian.)


I send you my kind regards,

Alice C. Linsley



You will find the linguistic evidence connecting Yoruba and ancient Kush/Egypt here:


An ancient African name for God as Father is "Ausa" and is sometimes spelled "Asa." The Asante tribe bears this name.  Asa-nte means "the people of Asa." The Egyptian Asa-ar means the Serpent of Asa/Osirus/or Father God.




The connections to Kush/Egypt are further confirmed here:


Tha Hapiru were sarki.  They spread their religious beliefs and practices westward into Nigeria and Benin and eastward into the Tigris-Euphrates Valley and as far as Orisha, India.  Read more about their ancient Dominion here:


Best wishes to you and to your family.

Thought provoking research and discussion that would make an educational tv documentary.In a world that enjoys

touting the differences between and within groups of humanity,African-Asian religious & language studies

are intellectually needed in a world like this.

That's true, Joseph.  The emphasis these days is on diversity and there is a tendency to present the Afro-Asiatics as syncretistic, borrowing on diverse religious traditons.  However, the oldest religious practices are those found among the river peoples of Africa and Mesopotamia and there is a remarkable uniformity to their practices and beliefs as evidenced in linguisitcs, archaeology, anthropology. 

Not all peoples living in the Near East speak languages in the Afro-Asiatic language group, nor do they fit the Afro-Asiatic haplotypes.


Thanks for commenting.  What work are you doing with Abrahamic theologians?  It sounds interesting.

A. Ashkuff said:

Felt kinda like a reference manual, which is a little lengthy for my taste, but I really liked this.

Particularly compelling was, "The Hebrew ‘rison adam’ = ancestral man is ‘adamu orisa’ = ancestral"

Very useful to me, as someone who does a lot of ethnographic work with Abrahamic theologians.


Anyway, please excuse my profound ignorance here, but how does "Afro-Asiatic" conceptually differ from the more common phrase "Near East?" Just wondering.


--- Ashkuff | | Venturing out of “armchair” scholarship and into action, one anthropologist tackles business, occultism, and violence! He gets spooked and roughed up a lot.

Evangelicals generally dislike my research because it doesn't support their particular ideological narrative, which is strongly influenced by Dispensationalism.

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