Saturday 1 July 2023


Marco Polo wrote... "The darkest man is here, the most esteemed and considered better than the others who are not so dark. Let me add that in very truth, these people portray and depict their gods and their idols black and their devils white as snow. For they say that God and all the saints are black and the devils are all white. That is why they portray them as I described."

 - (Marco Polo, after visiting the Pandiyan Kingdom in 1288 CE)

Ancient presence of Africans who had moved out from the eastern parts of the continent to Asia had influenced the life of the early people of India, to an extent that an African king, known as 'Ganges' had a river running across India named after him. This river(river Ganges), had also influenced religious worship and rites in India, a situation that stretched into the medieval era when Marco Polo visited Pandiyan.

The descendants of these Africans are left today on the lower rungs of the Indian society. A great number of them can be presently found in Andaman, with black shinny skin that is as black as tar and with fizzled hair. An example is the Jarawa people of India.

The presence of these ancient Africans in India, also influenced local architecture of groups in some parts of India, as can be seen in the image. This sort of architecture is predominantly African in origin, right from antiquity.

Image: An Indian village, 2018/The History of Africa Magazine/image gallery.

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