THE HAMITIC HYPOTHESIS IN INDEPENDENT TANZANIA

Arabic remnant of the Hamitic hypothesis that tend to take major achievements within the framework of outside contact has served to undermine these sources.

?The Hamitic Hypothesis: Its Origin and Functions in Time Perspective? 1

The fall of the Hamitic hypothesis as an explanation for the cultural achievements of Africa seems, however, to have had little influence on the popularity of the Iraqw myth of origin in Iraq. Furthermore, there are no indications that the new nationalist ideology or postcolonial academia had any political objections to the existence of the myth, as is illustrated by the fact that Kamera's book was published as late as 1978 by the state-controlled East African Literature Bureau. The continued and virtually unopposed existence of the Iraq myth, both as it is presented by the authors reviewed in this article and as it is currently circulating and flourishing among the Iraqw as oralized literature, may be explained in part by the fact that it has been stripped of the clearly racist message of the Hamitic hypothesis. The Iraq myth contains no explicit formulation of Iraqw racial or cultural superiority and does not, therefore, represent a contradiction to the postindependence nationalist ideology which stresses the unity and equality of all Tanzanians. The connection northwards, however, is hardly value-neutral at another level, and there is a certain amount of pride implicit in being directly linked to the cradle of civilization and two major world religions. This, however, is in perfect accord with other aspects of nationalist ideology, embracing, for example, modern development theory, Islam, and Christianity.


Some writers started to throw doubts on the Hamitic hypothesis by

For example, the Reverend M. Russell took up the issue of the Hamites and the Egyptians:

The similar Hamitic hypothesis, which developed directly from the Asiatic Race Theory, argued that the Ethiopid and Arabid populations of the Horn of Africa were the inventors of agriculture and had brought all civilization to Africa, and asserted that these people were Caucasians, not Negroid. It also rejected any Biblical basis despite using Hamitic as the theory's name. Charles Gabriel Seligman in his Some Aspects of the Hamitic Problem in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (1913) and later works argued that the ancient Egyptians were among this group of Caucasian Hamites, having arrived in the Nile Valley during early prehistory and introduced technology and agriculture to primitive natives they found there.