Re: Racism and ancient history

Judith Stroud (
Thu, 02 Jan 1997 21:35:36 -0500

Gerold Firl wrote:
> In article <5a4bsh$>, (Paul Kekai Manansala) writes:
> |> In article <5a1bn1$>,
> |> (Gerold Firl) wrote:
> |> >One example which has been mentioned in passing should probably be
> |> >highlighted further: the aryan conquest of india. The vedas
> |> >specifically note the contrast between the light-skinned gods and
> |> >dark-skinned demons in the mythological struggle for control of the
> |> >subcontinent, and allusions to the formation of the caste system, with
> |> >a light-to-dark color gradient from brahmin to untouchable, shows the
> |> >racial origin of the worlds oldest apartheid system.
> |> Things really are not that clear-cut. The major gods of Hinduism such
> |> as Shiva, Parvati, Krishna, Rama and Vishnu are described as of dark
> |> complexion (syam-mukha). In fact, the names of gods like Mahakala (Shiva),
> |> Kali (Parvati), Krishna and Rama literally mean "dark" or "black."
> Yes, this is a very interesting example of cultural evolution. As the
> aryans were absorbed by india, demographically as well as culturally,
> the indo-european dieties were supplanted by their indigenous
> predesessors. Shiva and parvati are clearly pre-IE; vishnu, krishna,
> and brahma are possibly hybrids. Why is krishna colored blue?
> As the absorbtion proceeded, indra and agni faded from popular
> consciousness, to be replaced by indigenous indian dieties (dark
> colored, significantly, as the patrons of the dravidian underclass) or
> else by buddhism, which was, in some ways, a more attractive alternative
> for the aristocracy.
> It appears that this process took many centuries. It's a great example
> of the endurance of mythology.
> |> The idea of a racial gradient between brahmin to untouchable
> |> was suggested by Risley, but subsequently refuted by Indian
> |> anthropologists. There is no clear evidence of a relationship between
> |> caste and race. Brahmins and other upper castes might have ligher
> |> complexions because they stay indoors a lot. Martial castes like the
> |> Rajputs would be darker, but still high caste. The main color gradient
> |> is geographical not caste-related. Brahmins tend to be of the same race
> |> as other people of their region. In fact, a recent genetic study showed
> |> Iyer brahmins were farther away from North Indian brahmins than many lower
> |> castes in the same population.
> This shows how thoroughly the indo-europeans and dravidians have mixed
> in northern india. The aryans didn't have much use for the areas south
> of the ganges watershed; what is the point of going someplace that
> doesn't have good grazing? They occupied the north, and by now have
> become largely assimilated. Subsequent conquests have accelerated that
> process.
> --
> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
> Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
> me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf

But the ideal of divinity in Hinduism is actually BLUE-skinned...a state
of sky-blue hue which NO human race has ever and as far as I know CAN
ever have...think about it...