|CetshwayoAKA Cetshwayo kaMpande
Nationality: South Africa
King of the Zulus, the eldest son of King Umpande or Panda, and a nephew of the two previous kings, Dingaan and Chaka. Cetshwayo was a young man when in 1840 his father was placed on the throne by the aid of the Natal Boers; and three years later Natal became a British colony. Cetshwayo had inherited much of the military talent of his uncle Chaka, the organizer of the Zulu military system, and chafed under his father’s peaceful policy towards his British and Boer neighbors. Suspecting Panda of favoring a younger son, Umbulazi, as his successor, Cetshwayo made war on his brother, whom he defeated and slew at a great battle on the banks of the Tugela in December 1856. In the following year, at an assembly of the Zulus, it was resolved that Panda should retire from the mangement of the affairs of the nation, which were entrusted to Cetshwayo, though the old chief kept the title of king. Cetshwayo was, however, suspicious of the Natal government, which afforded protection to two of his brothers. The feeling of distrust was removed in 1861 by a visit from Theophilus Shepstone, secretary for native affairs in Natal, who induced Panda to proclaim Cetshwayo publicly as the future king. Friendly relations were then maintained between the Zulus and Natal for many years. In 1872 Panda died, and Cetshwayo was declared king, August 1873, in the presence of Shepstone, to whom he made solemn promises to live at peace with his neighbors and to govern his people more humanely. These promises were not kept. Not only were numbers of his own people wantonly slain (Cetshwayo returning defiant messages to the governor of Natal when remonstrated with), and the military system of Chaka and Dingaan strengthened, but he had a feud with the Transvaal Boers as to the possession of the territory between the Buffalo and Pongola rivers, and encouraged the chief Sikukuni (Secocoeni) in his struggle against the Boers. This feud with the Boers was inherited by the British government on the annexation of the Transvaal in 1877. Cetshwayo’s attitude became menacing; he allowed a minor chief to make raids into the Transvaal, and seized natives within the Natal border.
Sir Bartle Frere, who became high commissioner of South Africa in March 1877, found evidence which convinced him that the Kaffir revolt of that year on the eastern border of Cape Colony was part of a design or desire “for a general and simultaneous rising of Kaffirdom against white civilization”; and the Kaffirs undoubtedly looked to Cetshwayo and the Zulus as the most redoubtable of their champions. In December 1878 Frere sent the Zulu king an ultimatum, which, while awarding him the territory he claimed from the Boers, required him to make reparation for the outrages committed within the British borders, to receive a British resident, to disband his regiments, and to allow his young men to marry without the necessity of having first “washed their spears.” Cetshwayo, who had found a defender in Bishop Colenso, vouchsafed no reply, and Lord Chelmsford entered Zululand, at the head of 13,000 troops, on the 11th of January 1879 to enforce the British demands. The disaster of Isandhlwana and the defense of Rorke’s Drift signalized the commencement of the campaign, but on the 4th of July the Zulus were utterly routed at Ulundi. Cetshwayo became a fugitive, but was captured on the 28th of August. His kingdom was divided among thirteen chiefs and he himself taken to Cape Town, from where he was brought to London in August 1882. He remained in England less than a month, during which time the government (the second Gladstoneadministration) announced that they had decided upon his restoration. To his great disappointment, however, restoration proved to refer only to a portion of his old kingdom. Even there one of his kinsmen and chief enemies, Usibepu, was allowed to retain the territory allotted to him in 1879. Cetshwayo was reinstalled on the 29th of January 1883 by Shepstone, but his enemies, headed by Usibepu, attacked him within a week, and after a struggle of nearly a years’ duration he was defeated and his kraal destroyed. He then took refuge in the Native Reserve, where he died on the 8th of February 1884. For a quarter of a century he had been the most conspicuous native figure in South Africa, and had been the cause of long and bitter political controversy in Great Britain.
Father: Mpande (d. 1873)
Exiled London, England 1879
|The Zulu are a proud tribe native to the KwaZuluNatal province of South Africa. Historically the Zulu were a mighty warrior nation and are believed to be descendants of the patriarch Zulu, the son of a Nguni chief in the Congo basin in central Africa. Apartheid textbooks taught that South Africa was virtually empty of human habitation when colonised by the Dutch in 1652. The reality is that the Zulu people began to migrate towards their present location in Natal during the 16th century.
A crucial turning point in Zulu history occurred during the reign of Shaka as king of the Zulu’s from 1816 to 1828. Prior to his rule the Zulu’s consisted of numerous clans that were related but disorganised. Shaka was a mighty and fearsome warrior and united the clans into a single powerful tribe. He introduced a new system of military organisation and revolutionised his army’s weaponry and military tactics. He introduced new battle formations that left his enemies outflanked and confused. He was a strict and brutal disciplinarian, soldiers were required to remain celibate and a violation of this rule was punishable by death. Shaka increased the power of his tribe. Conquered clans and tribes were incorporated into the Zulu nation and in eleven years he increased their number from 1500 people to 50 000 warriors alone.
From the time of Shaka onwards, the Zulu’s fought many wars to keep from being dominated by the British settlers. The final Zulu uprising before succumbing to the British was lead by Chief Bambatha in 1906. From then on the tribe that had once been master of much of the eastern coastal regions and interior of South Africa, was subjected to an increasingly harsh series of racist laws that led to poverty and disempowerment.
Shaka, King of the Zulus
Long ago, in 1789, in the rolling green hills of Zululand, a Zulu woman called Nandi gave birth to an unwanted and illegitimate child. The child’s father, Senzangakona, from the clan of Zulu, wanted nothing to do with them and the tribal elders sent a message to Nandi saying “the girl has a beetle (shaka) in her belly”. Nandi was relegated to the lowly position of third wife. When Shaka was six years old he allowed a dog to kill one of Senzangakona’s sheep and from that day forth, Shaka and Nandi were cast out by the Zulu clan.
In shame, they were forced to return to the clan of Nandi’s family. Shaka hated living with his mother’s family, they were treated as outcasts and he continuously suffered the cruel, taunting of the other children who referred to him as “the fatherless one.” The family were forced to move around from clan to clan until they found a degree of acceptance by the Mtetwa tribe. Shaka grew to young manhood herding sheep and cattle. He showed extraordinary bravery in protecting the animals under his care, and one day killed a leopard single handedly using two throwing spears and a club.
At the age of twenty-one, Shaka became a soldier and distinguished himself in battle under the Mtetwa chieftain Dingiswayo. Shaka proved to be an excellent military strategist and introduced changes in battle methods that were to be a great success. Dingiswayo was a good leader of his people, and under his protection, Shaka grew into a rich and important person. One day Senzangakona came to pay homage to Dingiswayo and was gratified to find that his son had become a great man. He promised Shaka the chieftainship of the Zulu clan after his death. However Senzangakona bowed to the pressure of his wives, and after his death, Shaka’s young half-brother, Sugujana became chief. When Shaka heard the news he broke into a great rage and killed the new chief in battle. Shaka dressed up in his glorious and fearsome battle costume of blue monkey fur and genet tails, and with his own Mtetwa regiment by his side, became king of the Zulu’s.
Shaka set to building a mighty new kraal, it was called Bulawayo, “the place of killing.” Nandi was brought to live there in a sumptuous royal kraal of her own. A great feast was held in honour of the new capital and the hills rang out with the roar of the royal salute, “Bayete, Nkosi! Bayete Nkosi!” Shaka marched in revenge on his mother’s Mlangeni clan who had treated them so cruelly in his youth. Victory came easily and Shaka developed a taste for the power of battle.
Shaka continued to revolutionise the Zulu army. He introduced new weapons, new regimental structures and battle formations. He was a cruel and strict disciplinarian. Soldiers caught disobeying his rules were immediately put to death. He forced his regiments to run barefoot over fields of thorns so that their feet became hardened and they could move more quickly in battle. Shaka scored victory after victory. Each clan that was conquered was assimilated into his tribe and the Zulu’s became a great and powerful nation ruling over vast tracts of land in the southern coastal and interior regions of what is today known as KwaZulu Natal.
In 1825 the British arrived at Port Natal. Shaka invited the two British commanders, Fynn and Farewell, to his kraal where he entertained them with a majestic display of his power. Shaka granted the British full possession of Port Natal, and in return the British plied him with gifts of brass bars, beads and blankets. The British at that time were forced to respect the power of the Zulu and there was no trouble in Shaka’s lifetime.
After the death of his mother Nandi in 1827, Shaka became increasingly paranoid and unpredictable. Ironically, unbeknown to him, members of his inner family circle were hatching a plot to destroy him. In September 1828, Shaka was assassinated by his half-brothers Dingaan and Mhlangana who stabbed him to death with their spears. He was buried the following day together with personal possessions and Dingaan become king.
From then on the Zulu Nation began its decline. Shaka may have been an unpredictable and bloodthirsty tyrant but he increased the power and glory of his tribe and will always hold an important place in the history of both the Zulu’s and South Africa
Zulu tribes were warlike, and conflicts could start from everything: cattle stealing, border violations, pasture usurpation. The wars were violent and short: the attackers surrounded the enemy village during the night and at the sunrise they hastened towards the inhabitants of the village, launching loud yells to cause panic. During the fight, Zulu attempted to kill as many men as possible;
the women were shared between the winners and the children taken to Zulu villages as slaves. These attacks triggered the revenge of the other villages from the same tribe with the defeated one and the hostilities could last for long periods.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Zulu chief Shaka converted the Zulus into a military power, with an organization relied on armies grouped on age categories and perfectly disciplined and trained; this way, the Zulus dominated all the neighboring and could reunite and army of 100,000 troops that stood victorious against the Whites in various occasions. In the fight with one of the successors of Shaka, Chitiwayo, the son of the French emperor Napoleon III was killed.
The Zulu settlement was called kraal. A kraal joined various related families. Each family was made by a man and his wives (the men could have as many wives as they could take care of) and the sons of each one. All the members of the ample family lived together in a large cupola-shaped house, made of branches and large grasses. Its interior was divided in compartments, each one for a wife and her sons. The house used to have one to several courtyards with fences made of pressed clay.
In the middle of the settlement, there was a large enclosure, surrounded by a palisade, guarding all the herds of the village. The palisade was reinforced with walls of pressed clay and covered by lime, painted with adornment motifs, in vivid colors and geometrical lines.
Magic and religion were interconnected in Zulus’ life. The Zulus adored a supreme god, creator of the Universe, some minor divinities and the spirits of the ancestors. At the death of a person, its soul turns into a spirit with supernatural powers; this belief is stronger in connection to the deceased chiefs, who are, allegedly, able to help their subjects, if their favors are attracted through magic.
The most important property of the spirits is to attract the rain. One magic rite for rain attraction is to spill a magic liquid (achieved after boiling a piece from the body of a dead chief) over the field, while reciting magic formulas and spills.
The Zulus are relatively tall (the average height is over 1.7 m or 5.6 ft), with relatively light skin and wide nose. The body is robust and strong. From the age of 7, Zulu boys separated from their mothers, living in the Common House. At the age of 8, they formed the first class of warriors, receiving military instruction and helping the warriors in small tasks, carrying their weapons and so on. Until the age of 18, they learn the handling of the weapons, fight at close range and attack methods. From 20 to 40, the Zulu man dedicated their lives mainly to war, cattle husbandry being abandoned, and the men incorporated when required. Even in peace time, each army body had its own objectives: animal husbandry, hut building, child teaching, messenger services, administration, and so on.
With the polygamy system, chiefs had large harems. Women had to farm, take care of the house and children (at least until they are 7 years old) and later they have to provide them food and care when they live in common houses, even if without direct contact.
The mother, the first wife, and the daughters of a chief enjoyed great privileges, governing the village and having their own armies who obeyed only their orders. The daughters had the right to choose their desired husband, to whom they would be considered the first wives, even if the man was already married. Young women too made army bodies assigned to ages, fought as fiercely as the men and had their own celebrations and rites which men could not participate in. Between the various wives of a man, there was no rivalry, but they made united groups.
While man cared of the livestock (grazing, milking, butter processing, washing the recipes for milk, cattle butchering), women farmed plots cleaned by men. The property of the plots and their products belonged to the women, with the unique condition of sharing with the other wives of their husband. Women divided farming tasks between them; water transport or wood gathering was made in common; so was the harvesting of millet, corn, squash, vegetables and others.
Zulu women wore high, big conic hairdos, made by intertwining their hairs, curly and woolly, with plant fibers. On the hair, they fixed various adornments made of glass pearls of various colors. The same glass beads were used for making collars, earrings and chest bands. The bride was adorned with a wicker hat adorned with glass beads.
The marriage was not established freely between the spouses, but between their parents; usually, the first wife used to be the daughter of a brother of the mother. The bride came with a great dowry, represented by cattle and land plots, and sometimes negotiations of the dowry could last for months. Thus, having more wives was a good trade.
The Zulus hunted more for sport. Leopard skins was very appreciated by chiefs and kinglets, who used them as royal mantles; the claws and the fangs of the panther were also used for making magic amulets. The Zulus hunted using spears, maces, axes (for finishing the animal), and, as protection, unprocessed buffalo or rhinoceros skin shields. The hunt used to be made collectively, involving all the men of the village. Men and dogs surrounded a game rich area and, by tightening the circle, they shot down the animals.
1. Zulu Nation is a gang.
UZN was started in 1973 by Afrika Bambaataa who at the time was a gang leader. After realizing that it would benefit the community more if the gangs unified to better the community and to better each other, Zulu was formed. Also, Zulu started gathering information from other religions and historical sources to give the gang members a chance to better themselves so the violence would end. News spread around all of the tri-state area and eventually, the world.
2. Zulu is a religion/cult.
No. We gather positive information from all sources weather religious or historical. We deal with truth and fact. It doesn’t matter what name you choose to call The Supreme Force. A religion suggest a belief structure. We do not have a belief structure. ALL walks of life are a part of Zulu Nation. ALL religions are a part of Zulu Nation. If its true to you and its positive, no problem.
3. Zulu is only a “hip hop thing”.
Not completely true. We use Hip Hop as a means to get across the positive message of “Knowledge, wisdom, overstanding, freedom, justice, equality, peace, love, unity and having fun.” UZN is more about bettering one self and overstanding the people and enviroment around oneself.
4. Zulu is a “black” thing.
No! UZN is for all people of any color, age, culture or gender. As long as you have a open mind and are really ready to better oneself. We have to start to understand or overstand each other a lot more so that we can break the stereotypes that we are “trained” to know from generation to generation. Look at the name of this organization. The key word is “Universal”. Why would we want to limit peace and unity to just one race or for that matter, even humanity?
5. I have to do something Hip Hop (Break, DJ, Rap, Graph) in order to be a
No. UZN has doctors, lawyers, activists, pilots, construction workers, actors, probation officers, etc. ALL walks of life. You see everyone has their only kind of knowledge to bring to others. No one man or woman knows everything. When you get all this collective knowledge together under one roof, its very enlightning. That’s what Zulu does. It bring people of different backgrounds together under POSITIVITY. We are all teachers in life whether a person overstands it or not. Zulu members overstands that they are teachers so they do just that. We share our knowledge of what we learn in life and/or Zulu with others so their can be a balance within the other person life so that an understanding can be achieved and from that peace can be obtained.
6. So all a person has to do is join, its that easy?
Yes and no. You see Zulu is for everyone but not everyone is for Zulu. There is hard work involved. From the application process to maintaining a voice in the community, from doing charity work to LOTS of lessons studying, Its not a free ride. But if a person wants to learn more, or be a positive force in their community, then it shouldn’t be difficult at all.
These are just some of the questions we as Zulus encounter on a day to day basis. This is one way we can learn to deal with some of the negativity and turn it to positivity.
Zulu King Mark L.U.V.
THE IMAGES – PREHISTORIC AFRICAN POPULATIONS IN NORTH AND SOUTH PACIFIC: For it to be possible or even likely that there be an African presence in Baja, California, wouldn’t the necessary conditions be large and ancient African populations (even going into the Old Stone Age) bordering the Pacific Ocean in the north and south? There were such populations. See African populations in the Paleolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze Age north and south Pacific.
AFRICAN CAVE ART IN BAJA: Red and black African cave rock paintings of Baja California showing prehistoric presence with possibly having crossed the Bering Straight with Siberian origins from the Upper Paleolithic: click, click. THE LEGEND DISCUSSED:
1) Name California first appears in 16th century contract involving complaint against Cortez.
2) 1000 ships of Abu Bakari from Africa to North America in 1300 and Cortez’s 300 African sailors to land maps lead him to find.</span>
3) Land at right hand of the Indies.
4) Large population of people of African descent in California and of 44 people who founded Los Angelas, 26 were of African descent.
5) Califia and cave of ships.
6) Search of rumored land of gold spurred Cortez on.
7) Map used by Cortez shows Baja, California as the island he sought.
8) Early 19th century Harvard scholar traces name of California to 15th century novel.
9) Ample evidence that Africans long predated Columbus to the Americas.
While the article credits Arab and Islamic exploits to the new world and the naming of countless cities, etc. there is a more salient dimension.
That is that those Arabs were African.
Being African takes precedence over them being Arabic as they were African and had been travelling transatlantically long before Africans became Arabic.
Now, in the title, Ummayyed Caliph Abdul-Rahman III, we find, Caliph which largely transliterates to Califia.
As Africans long frequented the Americas (i.e. check red and black cave art figures above), Califia may have been an African designation in use in the Americas centuries or millenniums before Africans became Arab.
You heard it first here.
Text from 7) above: below, Harvard scholar Joshia Royce omits the fact that Califia was referred to in the book he translates. No matter. It is otherwise an insightful work proving the origins of the name of California state. Baja Peninsula – California’s finger and kingdom of the either real or imaginary African Queen Califia. Humboldt County History
History of Humboldt County California – Historic Record Co., Los Angeles, 1915 CHAPTER I.
The Origin of the Name California
Almost everybody knows that the discussion concerning the name California waxed warm for a number of years. Norton, the author of a recent book on California, tells us it is interesting to note that most school children are familiar with the discussion which has heretofore taken place as to the origin of the name. He says many people are familiar with its alleged formation from two Spanish or Latin words meaning a hot furnace; but unfortunately for the theory that this is the true derivation, it must be remembered that to the early Spaniards who first used the name in connection with the country, California was not a hot country, but in comparison with those through which they had to come to reach it, a cold one. The name first appeared in the written record as applied to Lower (Baja) California in Preciado’s diary of Ulloa’s trip down the coast of that peninsula in 1539. But it is used there as if it were already in common use. And it is probable that it was first given to the country by Cortes or some of his followers either at Santa Cruz or La Paz between 1535 and 1537.
In his History of the New California the author of the present work (Leigh H. Irvine) discusses the origin of the name somewhat at length. He says that Prof. Josiah Royce, of Harvard, Winfield Davis, and other historians, now accept Edward Everett Hale’s conclusion that the name California was derived from an old romance and applied by Cortes to the peninsula he discovered in 1535.
Mr. Hale made his investigations in the year 1862, while reading the old romance entitled “Sergas de Esplandian,” by Garcia Ordouez de Montalvo, the translator of Amidas. In this connection it is worth while to give some of the statements of the eminent Dr. Hale, for there have been a number of theories as to the origin of the name. He says : “Coming to the reference in this forgotten romance to the Island of California, very near to the Terrestrial Paradise, I saw at once that here was the origin of the name of the state of California, long sought for by the antiquaries of that state, but long forgotten, for the romance seems to have been published in 1510—the edition of 1521 is now in existence—while our California, even the peninsula of that name, was not discovered by the Spaniards until 1526, and was not named California until 1535.”
Not long after this discovery Mr. Hale invited the American Antiquarian Society to examine the evidence, and in March, 1864, he translated for the Atlantic Monthly all the parts of the story that relate to the Queen of California (Califia), and in 1873 he published a small volume on the subject, in which he said: “The name California was given by Cortes, who discovered the peninsula in 1535. For the statement that he named it we have the authority of Herrera. It is proved, I think, that the expedition of Mendoza, in 1532, did not see California ; it is certain that they gave it no name. Humboldt saw, in the archives of Mexico, a statement in manuscript that it was discovered in 1526, but for this there is no other authority.
“It is certain that the name did not appear until 1535. No etymology of this name has been presented that is satisfactory to the historian. Venegas, the Jesuit historian of California, writing in 1758, sums up the matter in these words: `The most ancient name is California, used by Bernal Diaz, limited to a single bay. I could wish to gratify the reader by the etymology of the word, but no etymology of the name has been presented that is satisfactory. In none of the dialects of the various natives could the missionaries find the least trace of such a name being given by them to the country, or even to any harbor, bay, or small part of it. Nor can I subscribe to the etymology of some writers, who supposed the name to have been given to it by the Spaniards because of their feeling an unusual heat at their first landing here; but they thence called the country California, compounding the two Latin words califa and fornax, a hot furnace. I believe few will think the adventurers could boast of so much literature.
Clavigero, in his history of California, after giving this etymology, offers as an alternative the following as the opinion of the learned Jesuit Giuseppe Compoi : He believes that the name is composed of the Spanish word cala, which means ‘a little cove of the sea,’ and the Latin fornix, which means ‘the vault of a building.’ He thinks these words are thus applied, because, within Cape St. Lucas there is a little cove of the sea, towards the western part of which rises a rock, so torn out that on the upper part of the hollow is seen a vault, as perfect as if made by art. Cortes, therefore, observing this cala or cove and this vault, probably called this port California or Cala fornix—speaking half in Spanish, and half in Latin. Clavigero suggests as an improvement on this somewhat wild etymology that Cortes may have said Cala Fornax, meaning cove furnace, speaking as in the Jesuit’s suggestion, in two languages.”
Towards the close of this romance of the Sergas de Esplandian the various Christian knights assemble to defend the Emperor of the Greeks and the city of Constantinople against the attack of the Turks and Infidels. In the romance the name appears with precisely our spelling in the following passage:
“Sergas Chapter 157: ‘Know that, on the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California very near to the Terrestrial Paradise, which was peopled with black women, without any men among them, because they were accustomed to live after the fashion of Amazons. They were of strong and hardened bodies, of ardent courage, and of great force. The island was the strongest in the world, from its steep rocks and great cliffs. Their arms were all of gold; and so were the caparisons of the wild beasts which they rode, after having tamed them; for in all the Island there is no other metal. They lived in caves very well worked out; they had many ships, in which they sailed to other parts to carry on their forays.”
The name appears in several distinct passages in the book. Mr. Hale adds :
“This romance, as I have said, is believed to have been printed first in 1510. No copies of this edition, however, are extant. But of the edition of 1519 a copy is preserved ; and there are copies of successive editions of 1521, 1525 and 1526, in which last year two editions were published—one at Seville and the other at Burgos.
All of these are Spanish. It follows, almost certainly, that Cortes and his followers, in 1535, must have been acquainted with the romance; and after they sailed up the west side of Mexico, they supposed they were precisely at the place indicated, ‘on the right hand of the Indies.’ It will be remembered, also, that by sailing in the same direction, Columbus, in his letters to the sovereigns, says : ‘He shall be sailing towards the Terrestrial Paradise.’
We need not suppose that Cortes believed the romance more than we do; though we do assert that he borrowed a name from it to indicate the peninsula which he found ‘on the right side of the Indies, near to the Terrestrial paradise.’ * * * In ascribing to the Esplandian the origin of the name California, I know that I furnished no etymology for that word. I have not found the word in any earlier romances. I will only suggest that the word Calif, the Spanish spelling for the sovereign of the Mussulman power of the time, was in the mind of the author as be invented these Amazon allies of the Infidel power.”
It will be seen that there have been many discussions on the subject, and whether true or false the little romance is now accepted as the most likely explanation of the origin of the word.
Did You Know That California Was Named After a Black Queen?
by Kwaku Person-Lynn, Ph.D
It is well documented that of the 44 people who founded the City of Los Angeles, 26 were of Afrikan descent. What is amazing, and not taught in California schools, the majority of the founders of San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego were of Afrikan descent, or that Orange County, Beverly Hills and Malibu were once owned by people of Afrikan descent. The Picos, Black Spanish speaking brothers, Pio and Andres, the former twice California governor, owned </span><span>San Fernando Valley, Whittier and the Camp Pendleton area.
California is in the media everyday. It is incredible most California residents know nothing about the state being named after a Black Woman.
The genesis of the name begins with a story read by Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez, who conquered Mexico, killed Montezuma, ended the Aztec empire before entering Baja California, continuing his search for gold.
The 17th century best-selling adventure story was written by a Spaniard named Garci Ordonez de Montalvo and published in Seville in 1510. The name of the book was “The Exploits of Esplandian” and it was written as a sequel to the popular Portuguese poem, “Amadis de Guala.”
(Wanda Sabir, San Francisco Bay View).
The following is an excerpt from the epic that inspired Cortez, featuring a nation composed entirely of fierce, powerful, wealthy black women.
“Know ye that on the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California very near to the Terrestrial Paradise, which was inhabited with black women, without a single man among them, and that they lived in the manner of the Amazons. They were robust of body, with strong and passionate hearts and great virtues. The island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account.Their weapons were all made of gold. The island everywhere abounds with gold and precious stones, and upon it no other metal was found” . The commanding Queen Califia ruled this mythical island.
Conducting an interview with John William Templeton, California historian and author of the four volume set, Our Roots Run Deep: The Black Experience In California started on the journey of digging up the history of Blacks in California through a conversation with a San Francisco radio host.
“I was doing a story on Rodney King for the Mercury News, and while I was down there someone said that a black man used to own the San Fernando Valley. That was Pio de Jesus Pico (1801-1894). And then I found out that he was also the last Mexican governor of California. I didn’t know of any black governors or anything, so I called into the Ray Taliaferro show (on KGO news radio, San Francisico) and said to him, ‘Did you know that there were four black and said to him, ‘Did you know that there were four black governors of the state of California?’ He said, ‘That ain’t nothing, the whole damn state is named after a black woman.”
According to the story, California was an island where only Black women lived, gold was the only metal and pearls were as common as rocks. The women were the most powerful and could be ferocious women in the world. They had beasts that were half men half birds. After mating with men, the women would feed the men to these beasts called griffins. When Cortez arrived in California, searching for this mythical queen, her influence on him was so severe, he paid tribute to this powerful Black woman “Queen Califia” by naming the state after her. California literally means, “the land where black women live”.
Here painting can be found in the state capitol Calfornia Senate building in Sacramento; a mural painted in 1926 by Maynard Dixon and Frank von Sloun in the Hall of the Dons at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco; and in all places, a large painting of her resides on the wall of the Golden Dreams building at the Disney California Adventure in Orange County. Unfortunately, on the Great Seal of the State of California, we have Miniver instead of Califia, because Miniver was the Greek goddess who was born full grown, and more acceptable to the Europeans who settled in the state. None of this matters though. At the end of the day, when all the historians and anthropologists attempt to day, when all the historians and anthropologists attempt to
spin this story in another direction, the conclusion will still come down to one dynamic detail: California was named for a Black Woman Queen.