Die Sprachen Der Hamiten (Hamburgisches Kolonialinstitut, Abhand.)


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The Semites [says Langdon] persistently adopted everything they could from the Sumerians: the writing itself was Sumerian, their religion was Sumerian, and the Semitic kings often wrote their own names in Sumerian ideograms.2

Ultimate origins in this case are therefore out of the question, but this digression from the real primitives will serve to show some phases of borrowing revealed only by written records and the intensity with which it is carried on, and incidentally it shows, perhaps better than another line of argument, the absurdity of the flattering and chauvinistic myth of Nordic superiority.

In the absence of written records among primitive groups it is necessary to rely on more indirect approaches. It is certain, for example, that a number of traits and transforming influences have been disseminated throughtout the continent of Africa from northern Africa and Asia, but the data are in the main word-of-mouth tradition, evidence of mixed blood, language change through contact, migration, and invasion, the presence in contiguous areas of a material object or social practice so unique that it was presumably not invented independently again and again, or the presence of traits which cannot be native or which are not commensurate with or organic in the cultural complex of the population.

FIG. 4.—Wheel traps. A, Maka, Cameroon (diameter 53 centimeters). B, with noose attached. Tuareg. C, square type, from the Amur region.

For Africa the spiked-wheel trap may be taken as an example of a mechanical invention of so singular a type as to preclude the likelihood of its frequent invention. The principle employed is that of the modern rattrap, in which the animal’s head may be inserted between concentrically arranged prongs but cannot be withdrawn. But in Africa the contrivance is concealed in the ground and designed to hold the foot of the animal treading upon it.

1Meinhof, C.n/an/an/an/an/a, 9: 1–2.

2 Langdon, S., "Early Chronology of Sumer and Egypt," Jour. Egypt. Archaeol. 7: 137.

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Chicago: Die Sprachen Der Hamiten (Hamburgisches Kolonialinstitut, Abhand.) in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. Thomas, William I. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937), Original Sources, accessed June 19, 2024, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=ATLSG1YACTUIEP8.

MLA: . Die Sprachen Der Hamiten (Hamburgisches Kolonialinstitut, Abhand.), Vol. 9, in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, edited by Thomas, William I., New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937, Original Sources. 19 Jun. 2024. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=ATLSG1YACTUIEP8.

Harvard: , Die Sprachen Der Hamiten (Hamburgisches Kolonialinstitut, Abhand.). cited in 1937, Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. , McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York. Original Sources, retrieved 19 June 2024, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=ATLSG1YACTUIEP8.