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The “Aryans” May Not Have Been White

December 26, 2012

Adolf Hitler referred to white people as a superior “Aryan” race, and modern white supremacists follow his example. The term comes from the 1800’s, when European scholars realized — correctly — that most languages of Europe, Persia, and much of India have a common ancestor. A long-lost mother tongue gave rise to English, German, Gaelic, Greek, Latin, Russian, Farsi, Hindi, Sanskrit, and the other “Indo-European” languages. The scholars called the lost people who spoke the mother tongue “Aryans,” after the ancient Sanskrit (Indian) word, arya, which meant something like “noble.” These same scholars reasoned that the Aryans must have conquered most of Europe, Persia, and India during prehistory. The scholars were white, and most Indo-European languages come from white societies. So they figured the Aryans must have been a nation of white warriors, dominating weaker and darker races. That view of prehistory inspired Hitler and his ilk. But the scholars got the story wrong — in so many ways, including very possibly the Aryans’ color.

Modern linguistic analysis reveals that the Indo-European mother tongue comes from the steppes of southern Russia and the Ukraine (or possibly Turkey). It spread from there between 4000 and 2500 B.C.E. White people do speak many of the daughter tongues, but that’s probably not because white genes spread with the Aryan language. It’s more likely the Aryans developed a useful package of cultural institutions, like nomadic herding and client/patron relationships, and their language spread with their culture — in the same way American culture and language are spreading today. And even if Aryans did conquer this or that country, they must have been a small group, and they must eventually have mixed with the larger native population. So their genes wouldn’t dominate modern populations. That means the white skin found in places like England, Germany, and Iran probably comes from the natives who adopted the Aryan languages, not from the Aryans themselves.

So we don’t  know what color skin the Aryans had. But their likely steppe-land home has hosted many peoples, including several with East Asian features — and it’s not far from the lands of the darker Indians. And ethnic groups move around regularly, particularly nomadic herders, like the Aryans. Plus, scholars now suspect India’s earliest Aryans — its first speakers of an Indo-European language — were the dasa: a people the ancient texts remember as dark-skinned, flat-nosed, and short.

The upshot is that Hitler and his successors pledged their Aryan allegiance to a tribe that may have sported dark skin or even East Asian features.

Incidentally, we no longer use “Aryan” for those prehistoric language-spreaders. Researchers today call the mother tongue they spread “proto-Indo-European.” And they use an elegant name for the people who spoke it: “people who spoke proto-Indo-European.”




© 2012, 2016, 2017 by David W. Tollen. All rights reserved.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Wally Wallcox permalink
    October 8, 2014 10:35 pm

    Aryan = AIR I IN. Hot Air Ballooning.
    What did India have which was better than most of the world?
    A smart population. Textile weavers and combustible materials.
    So what is an ARYAN? A race of people who mastered HOT AIR BALLOONING before EVERYONE ELSE.
    What naturally results as side-effect of Hot Air Ballooning?
    Firstly, better maps of the land from the air. Then trade & commerce. Better controls over the Hot Air Balloon = Propellers and later hot ignited jets (India mastered this before everyone else too). What you can spy from the sky, you can drop from the sky. Brick fortress walls are nothing to the masters of flight and a bit of hot oil and burning sulfur tar dropped from jars in the sky makes short work of places with limestone walls like Sodom & Gomorrah.

    Here is a hint. HITTITES = Hindus. Philistines = Greeks.

  2. Wally Wallcox permalink
    October 8, 2014 10:51 pm

    GOOGLE[ Vimana ]
    “The Pushpaka Vimana that resembles the Sun and belongs to my brother was brought by the powerful Ravana; that aerial and excellent Vimana going everywhere at will … that chariot resembling a bright cloud in the sky … and the King [Rama] got in, and the excellent chariot at the command of the Raghira, rose up into the higher atmosphere.'”

    AKA a highly decorated Hot Air Balloon with a metal basket and wheels.
    Why is this obvious? Because if they were using any other technology, then remnants of it would be spread and common in the world and at the very least in Hindu history books.
    True antigravity would lead to more efficient mining techniques, changes in oil refining, changes in metallurgy, and so on.

    So using logical deduction, what materials were available to the Hindus in ancient times in enough sturdy abundance to be utilized for air flight? Hot Air Balloons.
    Which may not seem like an impressive tactical asset today, but when you are floating over a race of people who have never conceived a Hot Air Balloon, then you are a God.

    You don’t have to build a Hot Air Balloon like a big bubble or a teardrop. You can make it in the shape of a camping tent or a giant elephant, even have humans carry small oil lamps inside to terrify any native non-Balloonists. Climb down a knotted rope from a Hot Air Balloon and convince inbred morons like the Biblical Abram to go kill a lot of innocent people to open territory for Hindu conquest.

    It is all very obvious when you put much of the contacts between the non-Aryans and the Aryans (Hindu Hot Air Balloonists) in context with obvious human nature to seeing a man climb down from a thing floating in the sky. Confusing Mythical History changes from “those people back then were crazy, idiots, or on drugs” to a case of “Oh, that makes sense”. Now we know who was driving people to do things against rational self-interest.

  3. Wally Wallcox permalink
    October 8, 2014 11:08 pm

    One final thought to ponder and this one is simple Linguistics.
    Odd word. ALE = AIL. A word that usually means booze or illness.
    Strange choice for a word to use to describe little grey men.

    But remember that when a person hears a word, they may not always be able to repeat that word correctly. Koreans & Japanese have no regular “R” sound in their language. So if they phonetically heard a word that sounds like, “ALIENS” they would write it down and pronounce it as “ALIENS” to all others that would hear them speak or read their texts.

    So I am a traveling merchant into ancient Korea and I hear them talking about, “ALIENS” “SKY PEOPLE”, “GODS FROM THE AIR”. Well, they have no regular “R” sound, so what possibly could they be talking about? Oh, maybe a Hindu Hot Air Ballooning unit that calls themselves “ARYANS” as they float around the skies near India (they call themselves “Hindustanis”, only wrong-thinking English speakers continue to misuse the grandfathered-in name of “India”).
    “ARYANS” becomes “ALIENS” when the Japanese or Koreans speak of they mysterious sky people and their flying metal tents.

    And knowing, is half the battle. The other half is using deductive reasoning and historical common sense.

  4. bleh permalink
    November 1, 2014 10:56 pm

    All the sculptures and paintings they left behind seem to indicate that they did have Caucasian facial features. Its their skin tone and hair texture thats puzzling. They look almost African.

    • November 2, 2014 12:09 am

      Actually, the Aryans — more accurately called “speakers of proto-Indo-European” — didn’t leave behind any sculptures or paintings! They’re completely lost to history and archeology. We can only extrapolate their existence from linguistics.

      • Prakash Nair permalink
        July 9, 2015 9:39 pm

        Aryan invasion theory has been debunked long back. Aryan race originated in India from here they migrated to other parts of the world. Only Persians and Indians are Aryans. Europeans are not.

    • BLACKVERITY permalink
      August 17, 2016 2:10 am

      bleh: Black Africans can have negroid features or European features or East asian depending on whether they are East, South or West Africans.

  5. Ashwini permalink
    March 17, 2017 12:10 am

    white europeans and Persians are not aryan whites for starters are absolutely nothing at all to do with India while persia was a name used for thousands of years and just recently by the shah 1939 who is anti jew changed the name from persia to iran,.persians did not emigrate to India until the late16th-18th century India had the Sanskrit of theirs way before any persians arrived with rig veda being the oldest which state;so India invented religion and language so zoroastrian advestan does not predate Indians mother language of rig veda sanskrit.

  6. Ashwini permalink
    March 17, 2017 12:13 am

    Indias Sanskrit was rig veda and was created by a indian named Nasadiya sukta

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