Entries tagged with “National Geographic”.


A new country is born – South Sudan. A painful birth after many years of savage war, atrocities and indifference of the international community. By coincidence I fell these days upon an articled published three years ago in National Geographic   http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/02/black-pharaohs/robert-draper-text about the area south of the ancient Egypt, which at one point in the history dominated Egypt and for about 75 years in the 8th century BC ruled on a territory that extends from today’s Sudan, the Kingdom of Egypt, the Bible lands and until today’s Lebanon.

 

source http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/02/black-pharaohs/robert-draper-text

 

One of the interesting facts that I learned from reading this article is that the ancient world had no notion of racial differences, at least not on what skin color is concerned. Some of the pharaohs of the more ancient times are believed to have been of black African descent, and the more recent period which is in the focus of the article written by Robert Draper led to a period of renaissance and recovery of the old dynastic values in an Egypt that had lost much of the power and glamor of the Old, Middle and New Kingdom. The interaction of Egypt with the Land of Kush (the word describes until today in Hebrew the colored-skin people) was permanent, but during the Black Pharaohs era the territory south of Egypt stopped to be just a source of slaves and gold, unified with the kingdom and dominated the political class.

 

source http://kingpiye.blogspot.com/

 

Three kings in the dynasty – Pyie, Shabaka and Taharqa ruled over Egypt for about 75 years. Some of the deeds are described in the National Geographic article and in other materials on the Internet, I even found a blog of the first king in the dynasty http://kingpiye.blogspot.com/ :-) Expanding their influence over the land of the ancient Hebrews the Black Pharaohs closed an alliance with them against the Assyrians who were trying to conquer Jerusalem. Saving Jerusalem around the year 700 delayed with about one century the Babylonian exile and the destruction of the First Temple, which was of a decisive influence in the history of Judaism and indirectly of Christianity and Islam derived from Judaism – as it allowed the time for much of the holy books that compose the Bible to be written. When the Temple fell and the exile followed the spiritual cement of the Jewish people was in place already and allowed it to overcome one of the first major tragedies and exiles in its history.

 

source http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/?p=2051

 

Eventually the conflict with the Assyrians and the revolt of the local nobility prevailed and the Black Pharaohs were deposed. So ended the last great period of extension in the history of ancient Egypt. The foreign influences and conquests that followed – Assyrian, Greek, Roman – did not respect any longer the Egyptian gods and tradition and although the Egyptian culture was strong and rooted enough not to be wiped out but rather mix and combine with those of the conquerors and influence them at least to the same extent those influenced it, the original path and development of the ancient traditions was cut short. Today the material testimonials of the great civilization of Egypt survive the millenniums, but a lesser known fact is that there are more pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt. The conquered people who for a short period became the rulers of Egypt had taken back to their lands the Egyptian traditions and preserved them close to their original form for several centuries more. The little explored desert areas of Sudan keep some of these remains intact until today.

 

Am sentimente amestecate in legatura cu stilul hip-hop, sau rap, sau tot ceea ce este prinprejur. Pe de o parte nu il prea inteleg muzical si nu reusesc sa deosebesc (cu rare exceptii) piesele intre ele, sau artistii intre ei si ele. Inteleg de unde vine social, dar nereusind in cea mai mare parte a cazurilor sa urmaresc textele in engleza aceasta componenta imi scapa. Pe de alta parte inteleg sentimentul si gestul de protest pe care aceasta muzica il include si imi aduc aminte si de reactia de respingere pe care generatia parintilor nostri o avea prin anii 60-70 in legatura cu rockul si idolii generatiei mele. Nu pot decat sa filozofez ca probabil ca ne-a venit randul, si evit judecatile si limbajul peiorativ cand discut cu baietii mei sau cei din generatia lor despre muzica care le place lor.

Am gasit cu intarzierea caracteristica lecturilor mele un articol foarte interesant despre hip-hop intr-un loc putin asteptat – ‘National Geographic’. Articolul este scris de James McBride, scriitor si muzician din generatia mea, care porneste sentimente asemanatoare fata de acest gen muzical. Informativ mi-a pus in perspectiva genul muzical incadrandu-l intre curentele muzicale ale negrilor americani. Mai mult, articolul vorbeste si despre propagarea genului in lume si intoarcerea sa inclusiv componebta contestatara pe tarmurile Africii, acolo de unde intreaga muzica neagra a Americilor si-a inceput istoria cu cateva veacuri in urma.

Imi permit sa citez finalul articolului:

‘That is why, after 26 years, I have come to embrace this music I tried so hard to ignore. Hip-hop culture is not mine. Yet I own it. Much of it I hate. Yet I love it, the good of it. To confess a love for a music that, at least in part, embraces violence is no easy matter, but then again our national anthem talks about bombs bursting in air, and I love that song, too. At its best, hip-hop lays bare the empty moral cupboard that is our generation’s legacy. This music that once made visible the inner culture of America’s greatest social problem, its legacy of slavery, has taken the dream deferred to a global scale. Today, 2 percent of the Earth’s adult population owns more than 50 percent of its household wealth, and indigenous cultures are swallowed with the rapidity of a teenager gobbling a bag of potato chips. The music is calling. Over the years, the instruments change, but the message is the same. The drums are pounding out a warning. They are telling us something. Our children can hear it.’

Textul complet al articolului si o galerie de fotografii la http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/04/hip-hop-planet/mcbride-text.html

Despre James McBride puteti citi pe Web site-ul sau – http://www.jamesmcbride.com/