Migration and History

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The first section is written by Patrick manning who is a specialist in African and migration history which occurred in between 3000BCE and the first millennium. The book covers the Austronesian, Indo-European and migrations how the migrations occurred and the similarities and how the migrations impacted on the early steps of globalization. Unlike the common migration, Patrick Manning shows the interrelation of the groups and the influences they had on each other as they migrated.

It is believed that the Austronesians  descended from the Yunan of southwest China who later migrated to Taiwan bringing the culture to south-east Asia, and other areas of southwestern Pacific.  Assimilation in this community brought about the  people who are known as Polynesians. The Indo-Europeans on the other hand  also known as Aryans migrated from the regions of black sea and Caspian sea travelling eastward through Europe  moving westwards to India. Finally, the Bantu originated from Cameroon in West Africa travelling  and assimilated with forest dwellers in eat and South Africa before settling mostly in southern Africa. The three migrations can be considered to be connected on the impact that they brought to the areas in which they assimilated. For instance, the Austronesians introduces crops such as bananas and yams. Also music such as xylophones was also introduced. In this regard, bananas are common among the Bantu speaking people and it was adopted as a crop of importance the Austronesians also camped as merchants as they traveled along the coasts of India and Iran as they headed to eastern Africa.

 The next section, southernization is written by Lynda Norene Shaffer in 1994 who was a historian. In her writing, she claimed that southernization preceded westernization.  Southernization is a term that implies that there was an earlier technological expansion that set pace for westernization. It is believed that technological advancement began in southeastern Asia and spread to other areas around the globe. Particularly it is evident that Indians were the foundation of modern mathematics especially with the invention of zero which made place value in the system of writing numbers. Southernization occurred both in India and China having massive impact in both regions.

Normally migration is considered as the study of demography and human populations. In the past, the study of migration has disregarded the role of language in understanding forms of migration. However, Manning’s migration history incorporates the role of language, foods and other subjects classified into four categories. Migrations that occurred between 3000BCE and the first millennium are easy to document based on the availability of documentation methods. The common evidence of these migration is either linguistics or archaeological evidence.

From the two readings, it is evident that migration took account of not only the movement of people but the interrelationships with other groups. While in Manning’s reading migration encompassed the movement of three groups which had an impact on each other demonstrating the influence and assimilation, Lynda Norene Shaffer introduces her research on the existence of a new term identified as southernization which occurred prior and facilitated the success of westernization. Also, Manning points out the importance of linguistics in the formation of patterns of migration. Both the writings bring into the picture the underlying influences that brought about major changes in aspects of history, migration, and westernization. In this regard, there is a better and deeper understanding of the historical events in relation to the present.

November 24, 2023


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