Archive for colonization

African Diaspora in Asia

Posted in HISTORY, Southeastern Asia with tags , on July 17, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Many people are unaware of the African descent population of Asia. Asia has the second largest population of people of African descent. Five hundred million descendents of Africa create the African Diaspora in Asia.

Colonial influences tried to divide African descendants living in Asia from their roots and fellow victims of the African Diaspora. Nevertheless, African descendants have lived in Asia for thousands of years.     ********************************************************************************************************************************************

These descendents are at home in:

  • Philippines
  • Laos
  • Vietnam
  • Burma
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Kampuchea
  • Thailand
  • Southern China

Whereas, technically New Guinea is located in the Oceanic region, due to the current conflict between African descendants in New Guinea islands and Indonesia, they are included with the aboriginals of Asia. New Guinea has been colonized many times during the following time frames:

  • In 1512, the Portuguese arrived and soon seized and colonized Timor
  • In 1528, the Spanish seized the Philippines which were inhabited by blacks
  • In 1545, the Spanish claimed the territory and named it Nueva (New) Guinea due to a resemblance to the people of the Guinea Coast in West Africa
  • In 1600, the Dutch arrived and overtook the Spanish and the Portuguese
  • In 1688, the British arrived and began to compete with Holland
  • In 1871, the Russians attempted to gain territory
  • In 1876, the Italians attempted to gain territory
  • In 1788, the French arrived and claimed Bougainville Islands
  • In 1834, Holland and Britain agreed to split the island join in opposing third parties
  • In 1883, the British began massive deportation of Papuan slaves to their Australian colonies, it was called ‘Blackbirding’
  • In 1834, the Germans claimed Northeastern New Guinea
  • In 1888, the northeastern territory of the island was called German New Guinea, southern territory was called British New Guinea, and the western territory was called Dutch New Guinea
  • In 1902, British Papua New Guinea ceded to Canberra
  • In 1906, Australians replaced the British, and it became Australia Papua New Guinea
  • In 1942, Japanese invaded the island
  • In 1945, the U.S. invaded the island and retook the west for the Dutch and the east for the Australians
  • In 1949, West Papua became independent of the Dutch and Indonesia took over
  • In 1962, Holland pulled out of the island
  • In 1969, Indonesia and the Dutch signed an agreement for the Dutch to turn over West Papua to Indonesia and to allow African descends to determine if they wanted to be part of Indonesia or independent

Just as with so many of the African Diaspora, African Asians endure discrimination and in some countries, they have suffered what amounts closely to genocide.

The Changing Culture of Mozambique

Posted in HISTORY, Mother Africa with tags , , , on March 24, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Part II

Colonization

In 1498, Portuguese explorers arrived. Upon seeing the thriving economy he returned with arms and Mozambique became a colony of Portugal by 1505. By 1510, Portugal had taken control of the trading and by 1515 had expanded their colonization to include gold mining in their conquest. Overtaking the people, their rights, and culture was also part of the Portuguese conquest. The Swahili were forced to work the farms and mines. A class system developed placing Portuguese land owners called prazeiros in control. The Mestizos were mixed with African and Portuguese descent and were next in line in the social structure. The Swahilis were last and the poorest of the population. In the late 1700’s Portugal included enslavement of Africans as part of their trade commodities.

During this time the existing culture of the Swahili suffered. This was a time of loss; a loss of independence, a loss of freedom, a loss of economy, and a loss of family.

In 1926, Portugal’s government was overturned by a fascist coup. The ensuing military dictatorship formed harsher and more violent conditions in the colonies for the Swahili.  The new government ruled by Antonio Oliveira Salazar, had alliances with the governments that ruled the colonies in neighboring Rhodesia and South Africa. Roads and railways were built to make it convenient to Rhodesia and South Africa to benefit also from the looting of Mozambique.

In 1932 all contracts with neighboring countries ended and poor Portuguese citizens were encouraged to move to Mozambique. With the new immigrants came a flood of social problems. Salazar ruled with a system similar to apartheid. Schools and other social benefits were for whites only. An estimated 93% of native Mozambicans were illiterate.

Missions of the Catholic Church were the only source of basic education, aid, and essentials such as food that was available to native Mozambicans. This came with a price; to receive basic education and needs they were required to deny their own beliefs, language, and culture. This furthered the loss to Mozambican culture (the Swahili culture). According to the national census about 40% of the population converted to Christianity, 40% remained with traditional beliefs, and only 20% remained with Muslin beliefs.