Hamites  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Hamitic is an historical term for the peoples supposedly descended from Noah's son Ham, paralleling Semitic and Japhetic. It was used to label non-Semitic languages in the Afroasiatic language family, which was thus formerly labelled "Hamito-Semitic". The Hamitic languages were said to include the Berber, Cushitic and Egyptian branches. However, since, unlike Semitic, these branches have not been shown to form an exclusive (monophyletic) phylogenetic unit of their own, separate from other Afroasiatic languages, the term is obsolete in this sense. Each of these branches is instead now regarded as an independent sub-group of the larger Afroasiatic family.

In the 19th century, as an application of "scientific racism", Europeans classified the "Hamitic race" as a sub-group of the Caucasian race, alongside the Semitic race, grouping the non-Semitic populations native to North Africa, the Horn of Africa and South Arabia, including the Ancient Egyptians. According to their Hamitic theory, this "Hamitic race" was superior to or more advanced than Negroid populations of Sub-Saharan Africa. In its most extreme form, in the writings of C. G. Seligman, it asserted that all significant achievements in African history were the work of "Hamites" who migrated into central Africa as pastoralists, bringing technologies and civilizing skills with them. In the early twentieth century, theoretical models of Hamitic languages and of Hamitic races were intertwined.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hamites" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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