The “Neteru,” from which we derive the word “nature,” are the deities of an- cient Egypt (KMT). They are believed to have been instrumental in creating the Universe and are associated in many cases with the fundamental forces and phenomena of nature (e.g., water, air, fire and earth). They were depicted as human in form but with the heads, wings and body appendages of animals. And they could be appealed to for aid in life to overcome adversities and to gain ad- vantages. This could be called the "animalistic" principle in the KMT religion cal- led the "Shetaut Neter." Mortuaries during the whole of KMT's history were em-
bellished (spiritually lit up) with hundreds of thousands of mummified animals.
Similarly, in Yoruba-Ifa ("orisha") religion, there are deities that are central to the creation and to the advent of humanity that are called “orishas” ("selected heads"). And they too are considered ‘forces’ or phenomena of nature. Now, while they are not usually depicted nor carved as animals, per se, they are asso- ciated with favored animals (avatars) that reflect some of their characteristics. In KMT, the names “Heru,” “Aset,” “Ausar,” “Ra,” “Set,” “Nun,” “Shu” and so on, are quite familiar to the students of KMT culture. Similarly, in the Yoruba-Ifa ("orisha") religion of west Africa and the African diapora the names “Obatala," ”Yemoja,” ”Oshun,” ”Shango,” ”Oshoosi,” “Elegua,” and “Ogun,” for example, are known to its practitioners, among many others.
It is probable that our true west and central African ancestral speakers of the
Kwa-Benue tongues of the Chadic language branch of the Niger-Congo mega-language group, from whence, for example, the Yoruba language and names arise, share common central African ancestors with our Nilotic (Nubian) African cousins of the Sudan. Both Bantu and Chadic language groups like those of the
Niger bend and coastal areas of west Africa, as well as the ancient peoples of KMT (who were further away from our joint central and Sudanic areas of the White Nile than were west Africans), derive from the ancient cultures, religions and languages of the ancient peoples of the Great Central Lakes regions of cen- tral Africa (Uganda). Again, these are the people who birthed the prescient cul- tures of the south Sudan and west-central Eithipia. Additionally, many cultural ideas and trade made their way from west Africa to the horn of east African and, from there, by trade, into Nubia and KMT. The cultural history and the precur- sors to Ife-"Yoruba" civilization (Nok and Igbo culture), go back 9,000 years in west Africa. (Please see Endnote #1).
For example, back to our Nilotic (Nubian) cousins, we can find in their area of the Sudan the neolithic site of Nabta Playa . This 10 mile square area of religious (stone formation) ritual venues was constructed by nomatic cattle and goat-raising people from 13,000 to 7,000 years ago. Their sites contain stone markers that point to Polaris (the North Star) which was their only stable celestial point-of-reference for their calendars. Flowing from this, but later for the ancient priests of KMT, the North Star was considered the entry-way into the Duat (the Afterworld). And, thus, is was connected to the idea of immortality. Similarly, the regular disapperance and reappearance of celestial constellations gave rise in these cultures to the idea of reincarnation. In KMT, for example, the reincar- nated soul might come back into the "Ta" (the World) as a re-born person or might be reborn into the eternity of the Duat itself.
In ancient times, these proto-Nubian-Nilotics also revered the cow and buried ritually sacrificed cows in underground graves. These are the true sources of KMT religions. And their sacred cow (Mother-Goddess) gave rise to the KMT cults of Mehurt-Hathor; the first of the classical religious cults--worshipping the mother cow and bull son (Hapi or "Apis" bull--of KMT's five major religious trends that connected Ptah in Memphis to Osiris). The people here in Nabta Playa, re-discovered in 1974, also constructed the world's first underground sac- red architectured chambers.
Yoruba lore also suggests that some of their legendary cultural forebearers
brought culture and religion from the southern Sudan into west Africa. That is, brought them thousands of years ago when the area at the latitude of Nabta Playa was still temperate fertile grassland instead of the stark desert as it is now. If so, it means that some Yoruba cultural forebearers migrated westward as well. So west African culture had both direct (i.e., directly from central Africa) and indirect sourcing from central Africa as well, i.e., from east to west across Africa's savannah. (Of note too is the fact that much of far west African culture--i.e., from the upper Atlantic coast of today's Senegal, Gambia, Liberia and Guinea regions--influenced the peoples of the today's Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon and so on). The famed anthropologist Melville Herskovits called this third source of
Ivory, Gold and Slave coast traditions Africa's "Atlantic (coast) culture."
This is why I believe that the more accurate depiction of African history regard- ing KMT and west Africa would show that we have common cultural roots in deep Central Africa and in the Sudan. And that, therefore, these peoples are our historical cousins; not our direct (Yoruba or African-American) ancestors as many who romanticize the "classical societies Egypt"--as great as they were--are in- clined to do.
For example, west-central African languages share many words with the Egyp- tian language speakers of ancient KMT and they with us.* For instance, from “Shu” (a KMT deity of the air, atmosphere, breath and fluidity we) in Yoruba, share a common root in the names “Eshu,” or “Oshun.” Or, as with the word “Nef- er” we share the word “Ifa” which refers to the divination practice and oral cor-
pus (library)of Yoruba literature and religion. Similarly, the word "odu" or "odus" familiar to Yoruba-Ifa practitioners, probably is related to the KMT word "atts."
(An explanation is in order: In the Egyptian Afterworld (Daut) there were twelve zones that corresponded to the twelve hours that the boat of Ra (and its dead souls) traversed its river-of-the-dead (See the text "Shat Am Taut"). Each zone had different challenges and monsters to contend with. But they also had help- ful deities and protector animals that could be invoked if the dead soul knew the right incantations. Such deities as these were in the 9th hour of the Afterworld. These twelve deities were called atts--who were among the helpful ones on the sojourn--and were encountered as one proceeded to eternal judgment before the throne of Ausar (Osiris). Linguistically, these atts became "otts" then "ods" and then--in west Africa--"odus"; either twelve (or sixteen major ones of them) depending on the local culture. These odus--as helpful deities guiding us into the future--are what Yorubaolorishas (priests), babalawos and iyan'ifas are invoking the guidance of when they do Yoruba-Ifa divination (continental, Cuban or Brasil- ian) for their clients.
We also shared similar deities: "Ogun" and "Obatala" with Ptah, "Orunmila" with Tehuti or Thoth, "Oshun" with Anat, Bast, and Aset, '"Ori" with Horus, "Yemoja"
with Mehurt, Mut and Hathor, "Iku" (death) with Seker, " "Shango" with Set (for- mer King of upper KMT who was given thunder by Ptah, as a consolation for los- ing his battle with Horus, in order to keep earthlings in fear when needed. (See the text "The Contending of Horus and Set" from a 12th dynasty story), and "Oshuosi" ("Oshoosi") with Osiris, Shu, and Shesera (Ra's protector archer in the Duat). Powerfully righteous speech is called "ofo ashe" in Yoruba-Ifa religion and corresponds with "medhu neter," "neter mehdu," and "khu hekua" (magical incantations) in the ancient KMT language. Our word "awo" is the equivalent of "sheti" (mystery) in KMT terms.
Since no one knows how KMT language actually sounded--with the few pockets of people speaking Aramaic in Palestine or in present day Egypt or Eithiopia probably being the closet sounding (though still 5,000 years removed from the actual original speakers)--though it now can be read quite easily, it may be the case that the best oral and practical repository of ancient Egyptian rituals, in- cantations, curses, liturgy, verbal spells (in other words, the actual ritual verbal sound practice of ancient Egyptian religion) yet lie in practices and languages of traditional African religions like Yoruba-Ifa, (especially). That is, from among people for whom there has remained a constantly spoken and understood lin- guistic legacy that goes back to the latter period of dynastic KMT--at least four thousand years ago--to a time that embraced ancient Nubia-Sudanese, Sumeria and even Hebraic--all related languages--as well.
*For understanding connections between the Ifa-Yoruba language and that of ancient KMT see Lucas, J. Olomide, The Religion of the Yorubas, CMS Bookshop, Lagos, Nigeria, 1948 and Modupe Oduyoye, The Vocabulary of Yoruba Religious Discouse, for the etymological connections between Yoruba and ancient "Omotic" (Sudanic) and Egyptian languages.]