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.
It has been estimated that there were over seventy million mummies left over
from the ancient classical Egyptian period of 3,500 to 0 BCE (obviously, mostly animals).
Similarly, in Orisha-Ifa religion (Yoruba), 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, oriles) that reflect some of their charact- eristics. 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 “Oba- tala," ”Yemoja,” ”Oshun,” ”Shango,” ”Oshoosi,” “Elegua,” and “Ogun,” for exam- ple, are known to its practitioners, among many others.
It is probable that our west and central true African ancestors--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 ar- ise) share common central African ancestors along with our Nilotic (Nubian) African "first cousins" of the Sudan. The cultural history and the precursors to today's "Ife-Yoruba" civilization (Nok and Igbo culture) in west Africa, go back 9,000 years and as much as 40,000 years in the view of some scholars. (Please see Endnote #1), but most of it is unaccounted for in writing because written record- ing--ineffective there--does not last in riverine and tropical-damp environments.
Thus, both the Bantu and Chadic language groups like those of the Niger-Benue confluence (near what is now Abuja, Nigeria) and the coastal heavily rain fores- ted areas of west Africa, on the one hand, as well as the ancient peoples of KMT (who, by the way, were further away from our joint central African and Sudanic areas of origination--the White Nile--than were west Africans), on the other,both derive from the ancient cultures, religions and languages of the ancient peoples of the Great Central Lakes regions of Central Africa (Uganda and the Congo).
Because linguistic etymiology is exceedingly tricky there is no telling which way
word stocks actually moved between cultures--especially if migrations are invol-
ved without serious authentication among linguists, archeologists, and antropol-
These then are the people who birthed the prescient cultures of the south Sud- an and west-central Ethiopia, as described above, and who, in turn, bifurcated in- to those that went west into west Africa and those (Nubians) who went north- east into north Africa (KMT). To complete the circle, additionally, many cultural ideas and trade made their way from west and central Africa to the horn of east African (now Somalia) and, from there, by further trade, into Punt, Nubia, and (ul- timately) into KMT and the Levant.
In fact, a spokesman for the Ooni of Ile Ife (the spiritual capital of Yoruba's Ori-
sha/Ifa religion) says in the narration of a publicity video entitled "The House of Oduduwa," which celebrates the life and mission of the current Ooni of Ile Ife HRH Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, in commenting on the grand cultural his- tory of Ife civilization, shows maps describing the putative theory that ancient civilization started in Ile Ife and moved eastward into the south Sudan (and from there to other places like Kemet) and, only later, received back from the east return cultural influences. (See Endnote #2)
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 rit- ual venues (stone formations) was constructed by nomatic cattle and goat-herd- ing 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 near the entry-way into the Duat (the Af- terworld) because of precession. And was thus connected to the idea of immor-
ality. Similarly, the regular disapperance and reappearance of celestial constel- lations gave rise in these cultures to the idea of reincarnation. In KMT, for exam- ple, the reincarnated soul might come back into the "Ta" (the World) as a re-born person or might be re-born into the paradise of 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 its 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.
This is why I believe that the more accurate depiction of African history regard- ing KMT and west Africa would show that we both have common cultural roots in deep Central Africa and in the Sudan. And, therefore, that these peoples are our historical cousins (our "second " cousins); not our direct (Yoruba or Afri- can-American) ancestors as many who romanticize the "classical societies Egypt" --as great as they were--are inclined to do. (See linguistic map--Endnote 2)
Connoting periodic migrations in the westward direction along the savannah, Yoruba lore also suggests that some of their legendary cultural forebearers brought culture and religion from the southern Sudan into west Africa. That is, they brought them as recently as a thousand years ago from the area at the latitude of Nabta Playa (pre-Kemetic Sudan) that was, itself, once temperate and fertile grassland instead of the stark desert that it is now. So west African culture had both direct (i.e., directly from central Africa) and indirect sourcing from across the savannah from east to west across Africa. This is the nature of the legendary story of"Oduduwa," who is said to have fled the "east" (i.e., Sudan, not "Arabia" nor "Egypt")--chased by Muslims--and conquered Ife civilization in "Niger ia," and founded modern Yoruba culture.
Of note too is that into Nigeria there also came far west African culture--i.e., cul- ture from the upper Atlantic coast of today's Senegal, Gambia, Liberia and Guin- ea regions. The famed anthropologist Melville Herskovits described this third source coming from the far Atlantic and Guinean areas, into the Ivory, Gold and Slave coast traditions as Africa's "Atlantic (coast) culture" that, as mentioned, also contributed to the history of the areas now called "Nigeria."
For example, west-central African languages, for example, Yoruba, Wolof, Dogan, etc., share many words with the Egyptian language speakers of ancient KMT and they with us.* For instance, from “Shu” (a KMT deity of the air, atmos- phere, breath and fluidity we) in Yoruba, share a common root in the names “Eshu,” or “Oshun.” Or, as with the word “Nefer” we share the word “Ifa” which refers to the divination practice and oral corpus (the oral library) of Yoruba lit- erature and religion. (Incidentally, some claim that the word Ifa comes from the Arabic word "fa'l " which means "omen" in in Arabic astrological divination prac-
tice). 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 bef- ore 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 Yoruba olorishas (priests), babalawos and iyan'ifas are invoking the guidance of when they do Yoruba-Ifa divination (whether the Afri - can continental("Ishe-she agbaye") Cuban or Brasilian versions)for their clients.
The roots of "ods" or "otts" may just as well have originated outside of KMT and was later incorporated into ancient Egytian.
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. "Hekua" is still a salutation to Yoruba king-of-the-orishas Obatala. Our word "awo" is the equivalent of "sheti" (myste- ry) 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 Ethiopia
probably being the closet sounding to it (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, incantations, curses, liturgy, verbal spells (in other words, the actual ritual ver- bal sound practice of ancient Egyptian religion) yet lie in practices and langua- ges of traditional African religions like Yoruba-Ifa (especially). That is, from among people for whom there has remained a constantly spoken and understood linguistic 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, Sum- eria and even Hebraic--and all related languages--as well. (See End Note #3)
*For understanding connections between the Yoruba language and that of ancient KMT see Lucas, J. Olomide, The Rel- igion 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" (and Cushitic) and Egyptian langua- ges.] *