Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ge'ez origin of Devanagari Writing of India

Sanskrit/ Nagari


Ancient Ethiopian traditions support the rule of Puntites or Ethiopians of India. In the Kebra Nagast, we find mention of the Arwe kings who ruled India. The founder of the dynasty was Za Besi Angabo. This dynasty according to the Kebra Nagast began around 1370 BC. These rulers of India and Ethiopia were called Nagas.

The Kebra Nagast claims that " Queen Makeda "had servants and merchants; they traded for her at sea and on land in the Indies and Aswan". It also says that her son Ebna Hakim or Menelik I, made a campaign in the Indian Sea; the king of India made gifts and donations and prostrated himself before him". It is also said that Menalik ruled an empire that extended from the rivers of Egypt (Blue Nile) to the west and from the south Shoa to eastern India", according to the Kebra Nagast. The Kebra Nagast identification of an eastern Indian empre ruled by the Naga, corresponds to the Naga colonies in the Dekkan, and on the East coast between the Kaviri and Vaigai rivers.

The major gift of the Naga to India was the writing system: Nagari. Nagari is the name for the Sanskrit script. Over a hundred years ago Sir William Jones, pointed out that the ancient Ethiopic and Sanskrit writing are one and the same.

William Jones, explained that the Ethiopian origin of Sanskrit was supported by the fact that both writing systems the writing went from left to right and the vowelswere annexed to the consonants. Today Eurocentric scholars teach that theIndians taught writing to the Ethiopians, yet the name Nagari for Sanskritbetrays the Ethiopia origin of this form of writing. Moreover, it is interesting to note that Sanskrit vowels: a,aa,',I,u,e,o, virama etc., are in the same order as Geez.

The Indian Ethiopians called Naga, made one important improvement over the Ethiopic alphabetic scripts. This improvement was the addition of vowels to the alphabet.

The major contribution to the Ethiopian Nagas was the Indian writing system called Deva-Nagari. Nagari is the name for the Sanskrit writing system. Over a hundred years ago Sir William Jones, pointed out that Ge'ez and Sanskrit writing are one and the same. He explained that this was supported by the fact that both writing systems went from left to right, Sanskrit and Ge'ez share udentical vowels in the same order, and the vowels were annexed to the consonants.

Today Eurocentric scholars teach that the Indians taught writing to the Ethioipians, or Ethiopian writing came from Yemen, yet the name Nagari for Sanskrit betrays the Ethiopian origin for this form of writing. In Ge'ez the term nagar means 'speech, to speak'. Thus we have in Ge'ez, with the addition of pronouns: nagara 'he spoke, nagast 'she spoke' and nagarku 'I spoke'.

The origin of Devanagari was as a trade language or lingua franca is evident in any discussion of this term. Sanskrit was, and has always been mainly an oral language until Panini and others wrote a grammar for it . This is why neither the Ge'ez or Sanscript word for 'writing' was ever applied to Devanagari. It is for this reason that it was called Deva+nagari 'the sacre speech'.

There is no Indian etymology that explains Nagari as the name for the Sanskrit language. It is clear that Devanagari means 'Divine city' or 'Sacre city' or 'City of God'. That is why the term script, is placed in brackets in your definitions:" meaning the "urban(e) [script] of the deities (= gods)", i.e. "divine urban(e) [script]".

There is nothing in Sanascrit that allows the term Deva+nagari to represent anything but Deva (sacre, deity, god)+ nagari (city, of the city). For example lets look at deva+ , e.g., devata+maya 'containing all the gods'; deva+putra 'son of god'; deva+nadi 'divine river'; deva+linga 'statue of god ; and deva+nagari 'sacre city'. Lets look at nagari: avanti+nagari 'the city of Uggayini; Yama-nagari 'city of Yama'; and Indra+nagari 'city of Indra'.

These Sanskrit examples make it clear that Deva and nagari has nothing to do with 'writing'. Some researchers have claimed that devanagari= "sacre urbane [wiritng]", because they want to have an etymology for this term. Yet as noted by the Wikipedia site Sanskrit is often simply known as "Nagari" .

This supports my earlier view that the Ethiopian term Nagari, was used to represent writing by the inventors of Sanskrit, which was probably used as a lingua franca by the Ethiopians who ruled India and lived primarially in Indian urban areas. This means that Deva+nagari = 'Sacre Writing', not 'urbane [script] of the Deity'.

They used the term nagari, due to the fact that Sanskrit was originally a lingua franca used by the Ethiopians to communicate with their subjects and other diverse people in India. Because of its possible origin as a trade language, spoken Sanskrit acquired the name "Nagari" 'speech'.
Since it probably originated as a lingua franca, it was later written in Ge'ez or some other Ethiopian script. When Panini and others wrote grammars of Sanskrit they continued to call it by the name given it by its creator: Nagari 'speech'.

This is why attempts to provide a native etymology for nagari 'city, urban(e)' when interpreting Devanagari fails, it fails because Devanagari was a lingua franca and over time the proper meaning of the term was lost as various grammarian refined Sanskrit.

First of all Ge'ez dates back to 500 BC, whereas Brahmi dates to 264-271BC. As a result Devanagari has nothing to do with Brahmi. Brami is a syllabary whereas Devanagari is abugida.

A cursory comparison of the scripts, indicates that Ge'ez shows more similarity to Devanagari that Brahmi does to Devanagari.A comparison of Devanagari and Ge'ez shows many similar signs.

Deavanagari …………..Ge'ez





^Jha ……………he














It is clear fron this comparison of Devanagari and Ge'ez we see the following consonantal patterns:K/kÞ/tD/dS/zŒ/zVowel patternA/äU/ uU/aA/e

This comparison of Ge'ez and Devanagari suggest a stronger influence of Ge'ez on Devanagari than Brahmi.

As you can clearly see from a comparison of the scripts that Ge'ez shows more similarity to Devanagari than Brahmi does to Devanagari.

Tutul Xiu: Original name of the Olmecs

According to the Yucatec Maya, the Tutul Xiu, a group of foreigners from Zuiva, in Nonoualco territory taught the Yucatec how to read and write (Stross, 1982). The fact that the foreigners brought the Maya writing and other secret knowledge that was transmitted by hereditary clans or specialists would explain why the Maya had institutions where branches of this knowledge could be taught.

Stross (1982) believes that the Mixe-Zoquean speakers transmitted writing to the Maya, other scholars suggest the Toltecs. Although the Toltecs may have conquered the Maya I seriously doubt that this nomadic group gave secret language to the Maya since they appear in Mexico a 1000 years after the Mayan people employed writing to record their history.

Epigraphic evidence make it clear that the Mayan people received writing from the Olmec. This is supported by the bilingual Olmec-Mayan bricks found at Comalcalco,Mexico.It is interesting to note that the people who taught the Maya writing originated at Zuyua or Zuiva made it necessary for the Maya to set up centers of learning where elites could study this writing system and the arts. This resulted from the fact that a class of skilled scribes were necessary to record business transactions and inscribe Mayan monuments and artifacts.

Landa mentions the fact that the heads of Mayan towns had to know a secret language(s) due to periodic interrogations (examinations?) of the chiefs. These interrogations determined if a chief was fit to remain head of a Mayan town (Roys,1967).

In the Chilam Balam of Chummayel , Zuiva is spelt Zuyua . This text declares that the “head chiefs” of a town were periodically examined in the language of the Zuyua.

The language of Zuyua was suppose to have been understood by the Mayan elites. Scholars are not sure about the meaning of the mysterious term zuyua. But it has affinity to Olmec terms. The actual sound value of /z/ in zuyua is /s/.

The Olmec people spoke a Mande language closely related to Malinke-Bambara. If we compare zuyua, with Olmec su-yu-a and zuiva and su-i-wa we find interesting meanings that suggest that zuyua was probably a secret code known only by the Chiefs., rather than a placename.

Su-yu-a can be translated as the “Shaper of Life”, while Su-i-wa means “The Shaper of Good” or “The Thing which hurries your welfare”.

These translations of su-i-wa and su-yu-a , because they are associated with leadership, and the role of both secular and religious leaders made them semantically appropriate terms to interpret zuyua or zuiva, since a priest or head chief is a shaper of the welfare of his people it was only natural that this group of specialists probably had to know secret terms and symbols to manifest their great power.

This makes it clear that the Tutul Xiu or “The Xis who are very good supporters of the Order” who came from Zuiva in Nonoualco were Mande speaking Olmec scholars who passed on writing and a leadership association to the Maya, when they entered Yucatan.

Universities such as Comalcalco, were constructed to ensure the traiing of Mayan elites to become Zuyua and support the needs of Mayan government and religion.


Roys,R.L. (1967). The Book of Chilam Balam Chumayel. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Steede,N. (1984). Preliminary Catalogue of the Comalcalco Bricks. Cardenas, Tabasco: Centro de Investigacion Pre-Colombina.

Stross,B. (1982). Maya Hieroglyphic writing and Mixe-Zoquean, Anthropological Linguistics 24 (1): 73-134.

The Olmec did not speak Mixe-Zoque

Some researchers assume that since Mixe-Zoquan is spoken in the Olmec heartland today, this language was spoken by the ancient inhabitants of Olman: the Olmecs, in ancient times.

But the location of Mixe-Zoquan speakers in this region today does not mean it was spoken in the region in the past. Today it is spoken in the Tuxtla Mountains.The Otomanguean family include Zapotec, Mixtec and Otomi to name a few.

The hypothesis that the Olmec spoke an Otomanguean language is not supported by the contemporary spatial distribution of the languages spoken in the Tabasco/Veracruz area.Thomas Lee in R.J. Sharer and D. C. Grove (Eds.), Regional Perspectives on the Olmecs , New York: Cambridge University Press (1989, 223) noted that
"...closely Mixe, Zoque and Popoluca languages are spoken in numerous villages in a mixed manner having little or no apparent semblance of linguistic or spatial unity. The general assumption made by the few investigators who have considered the situation, is that the modern linguistic pattern is a result of the disruption of an Old homogeneous language group by more powerful neighbors or invaders...."

If this linguistic evidence is correct, many of the languages in the Otomanguean family are spoken by people who may have only recently settled in the Olmec heartland, and may not reflect the people that invented the culture we call Olmecs today.

Moreover if the Olmec had spoken a Mixe-Zoquean language and gave the Maya writing they should have influenced the Mayan language. This is not the case.

Brown has suggested that the Mayan term for writing c'ib' diffused from the Cholan and Yucatecan Maya to the other Mayan speakers. This term is not derived from Mixe-Zoque. If the Maya had got writing from the Mixe-Zoque, the term for writing would Probably be found in a Mixe-Zoque language. The research indicates that no word for writing exist in this language family.

Mixe tradition also suggest that another people lived in the Olmec heartland when they arrived in the area. In "The Mixe of Oaxaca: Religion, Ritual, and Healing", by Frank J. Lipp it is noted that:
"The elders say that there was a people who possessed considerable knowledge and science and that they could make children sick by simply looking at them. At one time they came from a part of Veracruz and took up residence here. However, they spoke a different language. Clearly, they were also Mixe but their language was very modified, and we did not understand the words they spoke"(p.77).

This group was probably the Mande speaking Olmec.Finally, the Mixe hypothesis is not supported by the evidence for the origin of the Mayan term for writing. The Mayan term for writing is not related to Zoque.

In summary Mayan tradition makes it clear that they got writing from another Meso-American group. Landa noted that the Yucatec Maya claimed that they got writing from a group of foreigners called Tutul Xiu from Nonoulco (Tozzer, 1941). Xiu is not the name for the Zoque. Brown has suggested that the Mayan term c'ib' diffused from the Cholan and nYucatecan Maya to the other Mayan speakers. This term is not derived from Mixe-Zoque. If the Maya had got writing from the Mixe-Zoque, the term for writing would Probably be found in a Mixe-Zoque language.

The fact that there is no evidence that 1)the Zoque were in the ancient Olmec land 3200 years ago, 2)there is no Zoque substrate language in Mayan, and 3) there is no such thing as "pre-Proto-Zoque" falsifies the hypothesis that the Mixe were the Olmec people. This evidence makes it clear that the Olmec were called Xiu, and they did not speak Mixe languages.

Due to the lack of evidence for a Mixe origin of the Olmec writing Houston and Coe believe that that the Olmec must of spoken another language. They suggest that the language may have been Huastec .

The Huastec hypothesis is not supported by the linguistic evidence. Swadesh provides linguistic evidence that suggest that around 1200 B.C., when the Olmec arrived in the Gulf, region of Mexico a non-Maya speaking group wedged itself between the Huastecs and Maya.This linguistic evidence is supplemented by Amerindian traditions regarding the landing of colonist from across the Atlantic in Huasteca .

The Mande Kosa Wala and Mayan Calendrics

Further confirmation of the base 20 notation in relation to the Sirius system is the kosa wala . For example on the koso wala we have 10 sequences made up of 30 rectangles (10x30 =300), which can be divided by 20: 300÷20=15; and 60: 300÷60=5.

And as noted by Griaule & Dieterlen in addition to the above, 20 reactangles in the koso wala represent stars and constellations (R. Temple, The Sirius Mystery (1976) p.48).

It is interesting that when Griaule and Dieterlen, discussed the Mande notation system they used a (colored blanket) wala koso, while Delafosse used the example of a (mat) degè, this suggest that the ancient Mande used mats to perform math computation and that these mats were made according to the base 20 notation system.

Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen, in Signes Graphique soudanais (L’Homme , Cahiers d’Ethnologie de Geographie et de Linguistique,3, Paris (Hermann) 1951, the authors discuss the Mande graphic sign for zero fu.The existence of a similar notation system based on 20 among the Maya illustrate the mande origin of Mayan calendrics.

West African Calabash Calendars

Mande calendrics are the result of a combination climatic, social andastronomical factors. The moon, seasons and stars are used for reckoning time. The major star studied by the Mande is Sirius.

Mats play an important role in Mande calculations. The mat and mat motifs play an important role in Mayan society as well.

If you look at this calabash you will notice that in the center of the calabash we have a figure that resembles the Kanaga sign. It also very interesting that this Kanaga figure also includes a mat constituting the central design in the figure.

The characters on this calabash are explained by Mande cosmology. We see the following characters on this almanac.

1. 2 lizards pointing out the four directions (North, South, East and West) plus the mat in the center of the four directions. These lizard figures probably represent the world.

2. Antelope (deer)

3. 7 circles or the Pleides

4. butterfly

5. bow/ double sword

6. grain/tree

7. 2 people representing humanity and the headrest denoting royalty in African societies

8. Crescent Moon & star (Venus?)

9. heart or ace of club figure

10. rabbit/hare

11. crocodile & snake

12. Crane

13. Calabash or bowl

These figures on the Calabash are ritual emblems associated with Malinke-Bambara.The Malinke-Bambara recognized the Sirius system in their cosmology.

In relation to the Lizard in facing upward we see the calabash or bowl on the right hand side. This calabash may represent the water bowl of Faro, the leading god of the Bambara.
On the left hand side of this Lizard we see the seven circles, which are believed to have represented the seven stars of the Pleides. Among the Malinke-Bambara and other West African people the Pleides was a marker of the growing season.
The second Lizard is facing left. Above the right arm we see the seven stars of the Pleides.
Below the right are we see the double sword which may represent Orion’s sword. Orion’s sword is that region of the sky below Orion’s belt that includes the Orion Nebula. It is interesting that in relation to the Pleides and Sword of Orion, we see the rabbit/hare. This is most interesting because Orion was said to be the hunter of the hare/rabbit.

The Antelope is believed to have taught human beings to farm. It relates to the Malinke-Bambara tradition that a half-man half-antelope introduced agriculture to mankind.

The Crane is also related to Malinke-Bambara tradition. Among the Bambara the Crested Crane is credited with the birth of speech.

The adult figure on the calabash and the head rest make it clear that this figure represented a Lord of dignitary. Finally the heart shaped or ace of clubs figure probably represents the flani da. The flani da symbolized the One Creator.

This interpretation of the calabash from the Guinea coast suggest that it records some event that involved agriculture. It also suggest that it corresponds to Malinke-Bambara traditions.

The Maya day signs: Lord ,World, snake, deer, and rabbit are found on the sacre calendar of the Maya. As noted above these same signs are found on the Guinea calabash calendar (or almanac ?). We have shown how the signs on the Guinea calabash are explained by Malinke-Bamabara ideology.
The similarity in Mayan and Malinke-Bambara ideology found in the calendrics can best be explained by the fact that the Maya and other Amerind groups got this calendar from the Olmecs, who I have shown spoke Malinke-Bambara. These shared ideology for the figures on the sacre Mayan calendars and the Guinea coast calabash support the view of Leo Wiener in Africa and the Discovery of America that the calendars were related.

Bork in his interpretation of this calabash described the figures different from myself.I don't really disagree with Bork except in the fact that what he calls a buffalo, I identify as an antelope, and the figure, he calls an antelope I recognize as a hare.


I believe this is a hare because it accurately depicts the ears and form of a hare instead of an antelope.


I do not believe the small human figure is a man. I believe it represents a child.What he calls a fetish stool, looks to me to be a head rest.
Also I do not see a bird in the tree/plant so I refer to the figure as a tree.I believe that this calabash may be recording the coronation of a king, or the almanac is discussing someones initiation into a secret society.
Thus the man and child may indicate the role initiation plays in the transformation of the child into a man.

African Buffalo

In summary this calabash confirms the theory of Leo Wiener, that the Mayan sacre calendar was related to calendars in West Africa..

Calabash 3

5- Moon and Venus

4- buffalo head

3-double sword

2- snake


6- fetish stool

8- tree and bird

11- antelope9- butterfly

7- two men

13- crane

12- crossed lizards


Lets compare this calabash to Calabash 2

1- Moon and Venus

2-buffalo head

3-double sword

4-snake staff


6-fetish chair






12-crossed lizards


These two calabashes are clearly derived from the same tradition. They have 10 identical symbols.

Mande and Mayan Calendrics

Leo Wiener, in Africa and the Discovery of America also discussed the fact that the West African zodiacs are of 13 months like that of the Amerindians ( Vol.3, p.279). This information is based on the work of F.Bork, Tierkreise auf westafrikanischen Kalebassen, in Mitteilungen der vorderasiatischen Gesellschaft, Vol.21, p.266.Wiener wrote: “In the first place, the central square contains the Mandingo tutelary god with his attributes and appurtenances. The numerical calculations based on 20 and 13, which is the essence of the American calendars, is surely built on African models. Here again we possess but the scantiest material for verification, but just enough to be startling and unique”(p.270).

Coe and Stone, Reading the Maya Glyphs wrote : "The first part of a Calendar Round is the 260-day Count, often called in the literature by the ersatz Maya name "tsolk'in". This is the eternally repeating cycle , and concist of the numbers 1 through 13, permuting against a minicycle of 20 named days. Since 13 and 20 have no common denominator, a particular day name will not recur with a particular coefficient until 260 days have passed. No one knows exactly when this extremely sacred calendar was invented, but it was certainly already ancient by the time the Classic period began. There are still highland Maya calendar priests who can calculate the day in the 260-day Count, and it is apparent that this basic way of time-reckoning has never slipped a day since its inception" (pp.41-42).

This sacre calendar has 13 months of 20 days (13x20=260). John Montgomery, How to Read Maya Hieroglyphs, wrote "The Tzolk'in or 260 day Sacred Almanac, was widely used in ancient times for divinatory purposes. Guatemalan Maya and other cultures in Mexico still use it as a means of "day keeping". The origins of the 260-day calendar are debatable although a number of scholars have suggested it corresponds to the nine month period of human gestation" (p.74).

Wiener has already shown that the Mande probably had a calendar with 13 months of 20 days as evident from the Calabash zodiacs.Mande calendrics are the result of a combination climatic, social andastronomical factors. The moon, seasons and stars are used for reckoning time. The major star studied by the Mande is Sirius.

The Mande have several calendars, lunar, ritual and etc. The Mande system of notation is based on 20, 60 and 80 according to M. Griaule & G.Dieterlen. Aspects of the Mande notation system is found among most West Africans. Griaule in Signes grapheques des Dogon, made it clear that the number 80 also represented 20 (80÷20=20; 20 x 4=80) and probably relates to the Mande people (see: R. Temple, The Sirius Mystery, (1976) p.80).

The base of the Mande calculation is 60 (60÷20=3; 3x20=60). The Malinke-Bambara term for 20 is muġa . The Malinke-Bambara term for 60 is debė ni- muġa or 40+20 (=60).The Dogon claim they got their calendric system from the Mande. The importance of the number 20 is evident in the discussion of the trajectory of the star Digitaria around Serius, as illustrated in Figure iii, above. Note the small cluster of 22 dots (DL) in the figure that represent the star when it is furtherest from Sirius (R. Temple, Sirius Mystery (1976) p.40)

In this figure of Kanaga sign above Figure i, also illustrates the base notation 20 and 60. The head, tail and four feet each represent 20 ,i.e., 6 x 20=120; 120÷60=2. The calculation of Sigui also indicates the Mande notation system of 20 and 60 as illustrated in Figure ii.Further confirmation of the base 20 notation in relation to the Sirius system is the kosa wala. For example on the koso wala we have 10 sequences made up of 30 rectangles (10x30 =300), which can be divided by 20: 300÷20=15; and 60: 300÷60=5. And as noted by Griaule & Dieterlen in addition to the above, 20 reactangles in the koso wala represent stars and constellations (R. Temple, The Sirius Mystery (1976) p.48).

The Mayan system like the Mande system is also based on 60 and 20. For example as you note in your question the basic part of the Haab year is the Tun 18 month 20 day calendar, plus the five day month of Wayeb.The basic unit of the calendar is the Tun made up of 18 winal (months) of 20 k’in (days) or 360 days. Thus we have 18x20=360; 360÷60=6.Next we have the K’tun,(20 Tun) which equals 7200 days, 7200÷60=120÷60=2; or 7200÷20=360÷20=18.After K’tun comes Baktun (=400 Tun) 144,000 days, 144,000÷60=2400÷60=40; or 144,000÷20=7200÷20=360÷20=18.Yes the Mande had the zero.

The Mayan symbol for ‘zero’ means completion. M. Griaule in Signes d’Ecriture Bambara, says the Malinke-Bambara sign for zero is fu ‘nothing, the emptiness preceding creation’ (see Signes graphique soudanais, (eds) Marcel Griaule & Germaine DieterlenIn conclusion, Mayan calendrics are probably based on the Mande notation system of 20 and 60. And the Malinke-Bambara people possessed the zero.

Mayan groups record successfully time only using the 13 month 20 day calendar so there was no need for the Olmec to record a date and use a system like the Haab (Tun+ Wayeb ) to determine its actual time. A similar calendar of 13 months and 20 days was recorded on West African calabashes.As illustrated above the Mande notation system of 20 and 60 is also the system of the Maya.

The Mayan name for day k’in, may also be of Mande origin since it agrees with the Malinke-Bambara term kenè that means ‘day light, day’. The Mayan term for series of 360 days is tun, this corresponds to the Mande term dõ-na ‘an arrangement of dates/days’, the Mande term for calendar is dõ-gyãle-la. The Mayan speakers probably used tun, because they learned the Mande calendar in association with ritual days of the Mande speaking Olmecs..

Lets recap Wiener noted the existence of 13 month 20 day zodiacs in West Africa, and the American sacre calendar of 20 days and 13 months. Coe and Montgomery says the 13 month 260-day calendar continues to be used in Guatemala and other cultures up to today.