Nupe In the Americas – by Ndagi Abdullahi

Many people today are not aware of the fact that the Nupe phenomenon was a worldwide one in former times. All we think today is that Nupe is one local ethnicity confined to a tiny geographical enclave on the junction of the Kaduna with the Niger rivers somewhere around the bend of the Niger before the Niger-Benue Confleunce in Nigeria.

The truth, however, is that the Nupe phenomenon was, has been and is far greater than the parochial definition above. In my book, titled ‘Who Are the Nupes’, we discussed and demonstrate the fact that the Nupe phenomenon is a Nigeria-wide affair and that the Kororofa Complex, comprising of over three-quarter the population of modern Nigeria, is actually Nupe. Please read that book for the details and reference materials on how Nigeria is actually a Nupe country through and through.

For now suffice it to say that the past of Nigeria was dominated by Nupe. Just before the coming of the White man the entire place we call Nigeria today and its environs, the Central Sudan of the colonial historians, was a dominion of a variety of powerful Nupe emperors. Etsu Masaba, for instance, ruled over a Nupe empire whose territorial extent, just before the coming of the White man, extended from Lokoja through Onitsha down to Lagos on the Atlantic.

And, in fact, the Nupe influence once upon a time actually extended far beyond the shores of Nigeria and West Africa to other parts of the world. Even the Americas were not left out of this once extensive and worldwide influence of the Nupe people.

The English word ‘Guinea’ is of Nupe origin. The first White people to land on the West African coast were told stories of the great Nupe emperor called ‘Ogane’, ‘Oghene’, or ‘Ogini’. This Ogane was a super power Nupe emperor who ruled over the whole of ancient Nigeria and its neighbours in very ancient times. Ogane was, in truth, a royal-dynastic title and not the proper name of a single Nupe emperor.

To this very day sections of the Nupe people refer to God Almighty as ‘Eginu’ or ‘Gani’. The Dibo Nupe people refer to God as Eghiunu; the Kakanda Nupe people refer to God as Egyinu; the Kame and Gupa Nupe people refer to God as Egyunu; and so on and on.

And the Cult of Gani is celebrated as an annual festival to this very day among the Kutigi Nupe people.

It was this Nupe royal title of Gani, Ogane, Eginu or Egini that the Europeans pronounced, in a corrupt manner, as ‘Guinea’.

‘Guinea’ became the name of the entire Central Sudan (ancient Nigeria and its neighbours) because the Nupe Ogane, Gani or Eginu emperors exercised sovereignty over the whole of the Central Sudan in former times. In Europe the entire West African region became known as the Guinea because it was believed that the Nupe Ogane or Gani or Eginu emperors ruled over the whole of West Africa.

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Traditional documentary histories, so-called folklores by the callous European colonialists, have always existed to the effect that many of the ethnicities and almost all the powerful kingdoms and empires of the West African region have direct or indirect Nupe roots. The Ghana, Mali and Songhay empires, for instance, were all founded or established by some ancient Nupe peoples. Please read my books including ‘Gadunguru: How the Ghana Empire Originated from Nupe’, ‘Tsudi, Kanta and Askia: How the Songhai Empire Originated from Nupe’, ‘Kwa Kukuruku: How West Africa Originated from Nupe’, etc, etc, for details on how almost all the peoples of West Africa were once upon a time ruled over by the Nupe overlords. The whole of the West African region was once under the territorial sovereignty of the Nupe overlords best exemplified by the Ogane.

And it has been pointed out that in even more remote times the influence of the Ogane or Eginu or Nupe Nupe emperors was international in scope extending beyond the Atlantic to the Americas. That was why even before the arrival of the White people, or Christopher Columbus as the conventional story goes, the Native American Indians were already familiar with the name of the Nupe Ogane or Gani emperors in the form of the Native American word ‘Guanin’.

Professor Leo Weiner pointed out long ago that the Native American word ‘Guanin’ is of West African origin and that the West Africans were long navigating the Atlantic to the Americas before the arrival of Christopher Columbus or the White men in general.

Yes, the Nupe Ogane or Eginu or Gani emperors discovered the Americas long before even the birth of Christopher Columbus. As a matter of fact the captain of Christopher Columbus’ flagship, Maria, was Don Pietro Olonzo who was a Black African Negro said to be originally of Central Nigerian, Nupe, origins.

It was Don Pietro Olonzo, the Nupe or so man, who led Christopher Columbus to the Americas.

So, the Americas was discovered by the people from the general KinNupe Central Nigeria area, and the people of West Africa in general, long before the White people and Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ the Americas.

The Arab historian, El Umari, in his ‘Masalik Al-Absad’, wrote that Mansa Musa sailed with two thousand ships, yes ‘two thousand ships’, from West Africa to the Americas over a century before the birth of Christopher Columbus.

Parenthetically we shouldn’t forget that this same Mansa Musa, who was the richest man ever in history, was half Nupe in the sense that his mother was a Nupe woman known as Kankou or Kuka or Guga or Gaoga all of which are the national names with which the Nupe Nation and Nupe people were identified in former times. In fact Mansa Musa emphasized his Nupe origins by insisting that he should be royally addressed as Kankou Musa which translates directly as Musa the Nupe!

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In any case Mansa Musa the Nupe world emperor who was the richest man ever to live sailed with two thousand ships to the Americas long before the Christopher Columbus was born…

Long before the time of Christopher Columbus and the White men in general West Africans, including Nupe people, were navigating the Atlantic and many had settled in and populated the Americas. America was highly populated by the Black African Negro West Africans before the White came to mischievously claimed that he discovered America.

Vasco Nunez de Balboa, when he arrive Panama in the 1513, reported that the Americas were nothing but colonies of Black African Negroes from West Africa. And the Olmec stone heads, at the San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, perfectly portray the Black African Negro physiognomy of the Black African Negro West Africans who colonised the Americas long before the rise of the White man’s Western Civilisation.

These were the Pre-Columbian Black Negro West Africans who populated, inhabited and colonised the Americas before the rise of Europe and its consequently insidious Age of Exploration.

Before the rise of Europe and Western civilisation in general the Americas were heavily populated by Black African Negroes of West African, and particularly ancient Nigerian and Nupe, origins.

What the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade did was to simply accentuate the West African populated of the Americans even after the transformation of the Americas into European colonies in the wake of the rise of Europe and its conglomeration of imperialist Great Powers.

But the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was a West African, ancient Nigerian and KinNupe general affair. An overwhelming majority of the slaves shipped to the Americas were Nupe people or ancient Nigerians who had to sojourned in KinNupe and be transformed practically into Nupe slaves before they were shipped to the Americas.

It is on this note that an overwhelming majority of the slaves that arrived the Americas were either pure-blooded Nupencizhi or slaves who could speak or understand the Nupe language.

Various research data and a growing extensive accumulation of information from across the Americas are substantiating the fact that Nupe was once a language spoken widely throughout North and South America by slaves and their descendants who were once many throughout the Americas.

In my books and works I have demonstrated the fact, also, that majority of the slave revolts organised in the USA and Latin America were orchestrated and headed by the Nupe elite that once formed the cream and crest of the African American population during and immediately after the Slave Era.

The 1835 Bahai Islamic slave revolt of Brazil was, for instance, dominated by Nupe elites including people like Sheikh Sanim Luis Ricardo da Silva.

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I dug into the Nupe ancestry of famous African American rebels including Nat Turner, Toussaint Louverture, Sheikh Sanim Luis Ricardo da Silva, etc, etc – I have proven that in one way or the other each and every one of these Black American leaders have some direct or indirect Nupe blood in them.

The point is that, and as I demonstrated in my works, many of the people referred to as the Nago, Lukumi, Anago, Aku, Hausa, Filane, Eyo, etc, etc, were actually Nupe people. Even Koelle, in his monumental Polyglotta, committed such certain errors of mistaking Nupe slaves for other tribes.

The point here is that the number of Nupe slaves exported to the Americas was far more than that of other tribes and ethnicities such that there in the Americas the Nupe language immediately became the lingua franca of the Black American community.

Nupe language was banned among the Black slaves by the White authorities after it was seen as a secret medium for the organisation of the series of slave revolts that eventually resulted in Nat Turner’s and Bahia’s slave revolts in the USA and Brazil respectively.

This ban led to the rapid disappearance of the Nupe language from among the Black American population in the latter half of the 19th century.

But Nupe language continued as a language spoken among the African Americans well into the earliest decades of the twentieth century. In Brazil, for instance, Nupe was still spoken among the Blacks in the 1920s.

But even after the banning of Nupe language; Nupe legacy continued among the Black Americans to this day.

For one majority of the Black American population is descended from the large number of Nupe slaves shipped to the Americas. In other words majority of the Black Americans originated from Nupe. This fact is demonstrated by the visit of Oshodi, the Nupe prince, to Brazil in 1846. When Oshodi visited Brazil in 1846 he discovered that virtually every Black man in Brazil was a Nupe man and almost all the mulattoes (half-castes and even full-Whites) were of Nupe parentage or descent. The Blacks of the Americas told Oshodi they want to migrate back to KinNupe en masse.

Also, Black American culture to this very day is basically Nupe culture and Nupe traditional religion. The Black American traditional religions of Voodoo, Shango, Santeria, Lukumi and others are all directly Nupe traditional religions that are still practised here in KinNupe

Back home here on the Slave Coast the Etsu Nupes, best exemplified by Etsu Masaba the Great using Sir William Baikie, established official agreements with the White slavers to the effect that only the Nupe empire can export slaves out of the Guinea Coast in substantial numbers. In that case KinNupe became the major centre of slave exportation to the Americas.


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