Comments on Indo – African Temples

Some years ago I was fortunate enough to take a tour of the ancient Indo-African ruins near Uitsoek in Mpumalanga, with Dr. Cyril Hromnik. This tour changed my perceptions of the History of Southern Africa, and all History for that matter, and made me aware of the fact that one cannot just accept everything that is dished up as truth, and that history must be linked more closely to obvious evidence.

Dr. Hromnik studied, and specialized in Dravidian Culture, having spent many years in the Indian sub-continent. He came to Africa and discovered the signs of this same Dravidian culture which permeates the Island of Madagascar, as well as the East- African seaboard, and further inland, all the way from the Cape to Kenya and beyond. He also traces sources through language similarities.

Following the historical, onomastic and linguistic evidence collected and studied for many years, historian Cyril A. Hromník with a PhD.from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY. focused his attention on the stone structures in the veld of MaShonaland, today’s Zimbabwe for many years. These ruins clearly show characteristics and features of extra-African origin. This lead him to write a book called Indo-Africa (Hromník, Cyril.Andrew. 1981. Indo-Africa: Towards a New Understanding of the History of Sub-Saharan Africa. Cape Town: Juta.), in which he shows, among other evidence, that Shona in the name MaShonaland is of Indian origin, where it means GOLD. All stone structures in MaShonaland are connected with the gold-prospecting by ancient Indians.

This discovery induced Dr. Hromník – upon his arrival in South Africa in 1979 – to pay attention to the thousands of stone ruins that litter the veld of this country.

Examination of the ruins and of the connected toponymy led him to the conclusion, that they are the product of the Dravidian prospectors and traders, whose priests conceived the idea of building stone shrines and temples at first only in the vicinity of the gold mines and later throughout the country, wherever their network of trade had taken them to.

Someone who realized that some stone circles he had stumbled across  at Uitsoek, were more than just a coincidence, was sensible enough to let Dr. Hromnik know that he had found a circular ruin, which could perhaps interest him. Dr. Hromnik endorsed the find, as Dravidian Temple ruins, and actually discovered a host of other temples ruins nearby.

Dr. Hromnik maintains that before the time of Christ, Indian traders named Komates, crossed the Indian Ocean in sailing boats with their Indonesian slaves, and were driven along on the high seas by trade winds blowing towards Africa. Their mission was to seek for gold, and return on reverse trade winds to India with their bounty. From the Bible record, one reads that there was gold in Africa, which was being exploited and traded, from ancient times. From his knowledge of Dravidian history, Dr. Hromnik certainly knew that the Komates were seeking gold and trading along the eastern seaboard of Southern Africa.

The Komates settled with their Indonesian slaves in these regions, and then gradually moved further inland from the river mouths, seeking gold, and building their temples which were called litaku. They mixed with the local Kung, spawning the Ottentotu.

One of the interesting features of the region between Natal, South Africa, and Mpumalanga, South Africa, near the Swaziland border with South Africa, is the name Komati. One finds Komati Gorge, Komati River, Lomati River, Komatipoort, Komatiland etc. Where did the name Komati originate? It seems pretty obvious that it comes from the word Komates.

Incidently an American doctor from the Malagasy Republic came into my office some time back and told me that the Malagasy people are of Asian origins, and not Black. It makes one think.

Apart from the fact that Dr. Hromnik is exceptionally well qualified in a number of  disciplines, he actually needs no further introduction, as he is looked upon as an outsider crackpot pseudo researcher, by the South African Academic Archaeological Fraternity, and others, because his findings do not suit current South African political views. This is such a pity, and it is most surprising, that these negative views emanate from amongst supposedly acclaimed, educated, academic leaders in their field, who should respect a fellow member of the academic community, even though they may be obliged to have differing opinions. The academics say that these ruins are nothing more than “beeskrale”. I suppose poor publicity is better than no publicity.

I attended a lecture on this culture given by Dr. Hromnik some time before I actually took the tour with him. This lecture included photographs of some of the sites we were to tour. One of the photographs on display showed a Hindu man kneeling with clasped hands, in prayerful reverence for his god, at one of the temple sites, which was a rather moving sight. In other words, this Hindu man was endorsing the fact that he was in fact at a sacred Hindu site. I should think that practicing Hindus would know what constituted one of their own sacred sites.

On the tour the first thing we were introduced to was a meandering low heaped pathway of small half hand sized stones, that stretched about 75 meters into the bush. We were informed that these stones were prayer stones that had been wrapped in leaves, containing prayers, and then placed on the pathway. Eventually the leaves dried, or rotted away leaving the stone on the pile. The pathway was the first step that people took on the road of life. It led through the bush to the first temple. All in all we toured six temples that day. One of the temples had a perfect Swastika at its center. This is an ancient Zoroastrian symbol. I wonder how it was that these “pastoral people” who built “beeskrale” knew about ancient Zoroastrian Swastikas? Maybe some “alien ancestral spirit” taught them.

Dr. Hromnik says that specifically the Zimbabwe Ruins, as well as Mapungubwe are all part of Indo-African culture, and that the local “pastoral folk” certainly didn’t go in for building structures like Zimbabwe Ruins, and were certainly not into the smelting of iron etc. He wants to know why the gold leaf covered rhino carving found at Mapungubwe had only one horn. African rhinos have two horns. Asian rhinos incidentally, have only one horn.

I attended a meeting of academics, including Dr. Hromnik, at Witbank about three years back. The debate was on these temples, and Indo-African culture.

One of the academics, a celebrated archaeologist, gave his input on “beeskrale”. It was the most elementary lecture I have ever heard, and no more than an insult to the intelligence of the slowest learner in grade 3. Furthermore, the meeting’s chairman didn’t even bother to give Dr. Hromnik an adequate opportunity to answer their views on this culture. Instead, when his “time” was up they systematically lambasted and vilified him in the cruelest fashion. They then threatened him with dire consequences if he persisted with his “nonsense”.

In the meantime, a “Complete History”of  Mpumalanga has been published and launched with all the fanfare and pomp of a celebrated occasion. Indo-African culture is not even mentioned. Some of the other celebrated historians of the region say this work is a gross distortion of the truth.

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11 Responses to Comments on Indo – African Temples

  1. Ina Brand says:

    About the Asian origins of the Malagasy: It is well documented that Madagascar was colonised from Indonesia, probably from Java, in historic times and the Malagash language is regocnisably part of the Indonesian languages . I am surprised that a presumably educated archaeologist like you did not know this and was surprised when you found out. Ina Brand

    • tourism marketer says:

      Hi Ina,

      I’m so pleased that someone has taken the trouble to comment !

      However :

      Firstly – I’m certainly not an archaeologist, but a simple destination marketer who has had the good fortune to stumble across the marvelous world of ancient history in this region, as well as having had the privilege of sitting at the feet of a guru like Dr. Cyril Hromnik while he expounded on his fascinating discoveries in simple layman’s terms to a new initiate in the wonderful world of Indo – Africa.

      As a destination marketer it is my passion and mission to encourage any kind of debate on the destination around us in an effort to draw patrons who may be interested in exploring and experiencing whatever the region has to offer.

      Secondly – Dr. Hromnik is not an archaeologist either, but an expert in languages through which he has been able to trace the movement of the Indian Komates with their Indonesian slaves on a search for Gold on the African continent. Dr. Hromnik’s comments on archaeology are that one cannot adequately research people’s history or culture by rummaging through and analysing their refuse.

      Your comments on the Malagasy language having Indonesian roots is so exciting, and actually vindicates the comments of the American doctor who happened to mention that the people of Madagascar had Asian roots ! This is marvelous stuff !

      You sound like a very knowlegable person in these disciplines, and I would welcome your comments at all points of the discussion. In fact I hereby invite you to join this blog on a regular basis and ask you to please submit any other material which could further this debate.

      We are looking forward to hearing more from you !

      Kind regards.

      Tourism Marketer.

    • Cyril A. Hromnik says:

      Dear Ina Brand. Thank you for your comment. But, could you tell me please what gave you the impression that “I did not know” about the Indonesian presence in Madagascar in historical times. That, if true, would be an unpardonable ommission on my part! Please read my book Indo-Africa: Towards a New Understanding of the History of Sub-Saharan Africa. Cape Town: Juta, 1981, where I have chapters on this subject . C.A. Hromník

  2. Oedasae says:

    Cyril Hromnik what an amazing person.
    I personally explored some sites in Cape Town with Cyril and it was abolute mind blowing.
    Those “beeskrale” academics let them remain “beeskrale”.
    I would prefer for the youth to get involve in this debate to replace those “beeskrale” mentality.

    Dr Cyril Hromnik, as a so called Cape Coloured (QUENA) I am proud of you.

  3. Daya Naicker says:

    I am a South African of Hindu origin and i found your research to be facinating .I would love to read more on the subject.Where can i buy the book and how can i link up with Cyril Hromnic

  4. Cyril A. Hromnik says:

    Just to hang the debate on the right nail:
    Dr. Cyril A. Hromnik. I am a historian (PhD. Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA) of Africa and the Indian Ocean seaboard, with extensive study and field experience in related languages, archaeology, ethnology and religions.
    My main works are:
    Hromník, C.A. 1981. Indo-Africa: Towards a New Understanding of the History of Sub-Saharan Africa. Cape Town: Juta.
    Hromník, C.A. 1977. Goa and Mozambique: The Participation of Goans in Portuguese Enterprise in the Rios de Cuama, 1501-1752. Ph.D. dissertation, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y. USA.
    Hromník, C.A. 2010. Sloveni / Slováci: Kde sú vaše korene? K prame?om najstaršej histórie Slovenska, priblížne od r. 3000 pr. Kr. Bratislava: Eko-Konzult.
    Hromník, C.A. 2003. Hromník’s explorations in Indo-African and other history: An anthology of writings… Ves Mir: ???????? C de Skyth.

    Hromník, C.A. 1999. The Ethnonym Quena: The True Name of the Hottentots. In: Actas del XX Congreso Internacional de Ciencias Onomásticas, edited by Ana Isabel Boullón. A Coruña, Galicia: Biblioteca Filolóxica Galega, 2002, p. 1463-1480.
    Hromnik, C.A. 1999. Gitlane: Where the Moon Sickle Strikes-On the Edge of Time at Elandsdoorn. Nordic Journal of African Studies (Helsinki), 8(2): 1-17.
    Hromník, C.A. 1996. Ancient Indian religious astronomy in the stone ruins of Komatiland, South Africa. MNASSA (Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa) 55(5&6), June 1996: 69-77.
    Hromník, C.A. 1993. The bow of Siva alias Heitsi Eibib in the rock art of the Cape Quena. Journal of Asian and African Studies 28(3-4): 243-52.
    Hromník, C.A. 2005. Vianoce: The Slovak name for Christmas harks to the pre-Christian times. Tattva Darsana Quarterly, January-March 2008, pp. 23-28.
    Hromník, C.A. 2011. Stone Structures in the Moordenaars Karoo: Boere or “Khoisan” Schanzes or Quena Temples? Paper presented at The African Studies Centre’s conference on ‘Rethinking Africa’s Transcontinental Continuities in Pre- and Protohistory’ held in Leiden on 12 and 13 April 2012.
    Hromnik, C.A. 1998. Kto sú farební ?udia Južnej Afriky? Etnologické rozpravy 2: 117-120. Translation by Miriam Švedlárová from English “Who are the Coloured people of South Africa?”
    Hromník, C.A. 2003. Indian rumbles in Africa’s ancient history. Mss September 2003, published in Afrikaans as Indië rammel in Afrika se antieke geskiedenis. DeKat 18, December 2003, pp. 68-73.
    Hromník, C.A. 1979. Upatanisho — Concord: The backbone of the Swahili Grammar. Journal of Asian and African Studies 14, p. 287-291.
    Hromník, C.A. 1993. The bow of Siva alias Heitsi Eibib in the rock art of the Cape Quena. Journal of Asian and African Studies 28(3-4): 243-52.
    Hromník, C.A. 1985. A chariot in the Little Karroo. The Digging Stick 3(2): 5-6.
    Hromník, C.A. 1997. “Chariot of Fire”, Mail & Guardian Nov. 7-13, 1997, p. 30.
    Hromník, C.A. 1991. Dravidian gold mining and trade in ancient K?matiland. Journal of Asian and African Studies 26(3-4): 283-290.
    Hromník, C A. 2011. Kavi: The Ochre-clad figure in the Dravido/Quena Stone Temples in the Moordenaars Karoo. Tattva Darsana Quarterly (Digital), Special Issue July-Sept. vol.28, No.3, pp. 54-92.
    Hromník, C.A. 2001. !Ke e: /xarra //ke: The Quena motto in the South African coat of arms. Quarterly Bulletin of the National Library of South Africa, 56(2) December 2001, p. 65-72.
    Hromník, C.A. 1984. The !Kwe stone: A digging stone? The Digging Stick 1(2): 1-2.
    Hromník, C.A. 1985. A chariot in the Little Karroo. The Digging Stick 3(2): 5-6.
    Hromník, C.A. 2007. Will 2010 rob the Quena again? Sunday Argus January 21, 2007, p. 19.
    Hromník, C.A. 2006. Numerous visitors to temples not all gullible. Sunday Argus 8 October 2006, p. 22.
    And hundreds more

    Hromník, C.A. 1996. Behind an African Mask. Imageworks & SABC TV3 co-production, 1 hour. Premiere Shown on 17 Aug. 1997 at 18:00 and on 24 September 1997, 14:30. Shown several times on SA TV in the fillowing years.
    Winter solstice sunrise in Komatiland. SABC DS TV Africa. Produced by Devan Murugan. Shown on: SABC Africa, several times on 24 Sept. 2001; on SABC 3, several times on 24 Sept. 2001.
    Traditional religions of South Africa. Czech Television, Religious Section, Michael Otrísal, 35 min., 29 June 1999.
    Somalanga litaku. Mopani, SABC 2 at 18:00, 10 Feb. 1997.
    Dura Gova, the Hill of Renunciation in Nelspruit – It’s consecration. SABC TV 2, Eastern Mosaic, 27 March 1997, 10:00 a.m., 9 min.
    Vidangam on Dura Gova Hill in Nelspruit. SABC TV 2, Good Morning South Africa, 9:00 a.m., 26 April 1997, 10 min.
    Dr. Cyril A. Hromník, Slovak/American historian of Africa: A talk with Jan Burian. Directed and produced by Dr. Jana Hádková, HAD Film, for Czech TV, Prague, Czech Republic, 12 February 1996, shown in June.

  5. dr. Tobie Hart says:

    Dear dr Hromnik,

    I first became aware of your research about an ‘Indian connection’ via Pieter Pelser’s “The hoax of Darwinism and the African Eve” .
    As a ‘boorling’ of the Eastern Transvaal, as that part of the country was called then, I myself saw some of the terraces and the circular ‘buildings’ about which Michael Tellinger also seems to be exited.

    Please carry on with your ‘nonsense’ and give the “beeskraal- academics” [ who are they?] some ‘gas’.

    Best of wishes.

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