Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Related to Hamites: Hamitic hypothesis


African people of caucasoid descent who occupy the Horn of Africa (chiefly Somalia and Ethiopia), the western Sahara, and parts of Algeria and Tunisia. They are believed to be the original settlers of N Africa. The Hamitic cradleland is generally agreed to be in Asia—perhaps S Arabia or possibly an area farther east. The Hamites entered Africa in a long succession of migrations, of which the earliest may have been as far back as the end of the pluvial period. They are commonly divided into two great branches, Eastern and Northern. The Eastern Hamites comprise the ancient and modern Egyptians, the Beja, the Berberines, the OromoOromo
or Galla
, traditionally pastoral tribes who live in W and S Ethiopia and N Kenya. They number more than 25 million. About half are Muslim, about a third Ethiopian Orthodox, and about a sixth Protestant.
..... Click the link for more information.
, the Somali, the Danakil, and most Ethiopians. The Northern Hamites include the BerbersBerbers,
aboriginal Caucasoid peoples of N Africa, called Imazighen in the Tamazight language. They inhabit the lands lying between the Sahara and the Mediterranean Sea and between Egypt and the Atlantic Ocean.
..... Click the link for more information.
 of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania, Tunisia, and Algeria; the Berbers of Morocco; the TuaregTuareg
or Touareg
, Berbers of the Sahara, numbering c.2 million. They have preserved their ancient alphabet, which is related to that used by ancient Libyans.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and Tibu of the Sahara; the Fulbe of the Western Sudan; and the extinct Guanche of the Canary Islands.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Lest we assume the universality of this racist symbol among Christians or Protestants, Frederickson reminds us that a concept of Hamites played little role in South Africa, where a particular model of Christian national culture was used to justify apartheid.
Biblical commentaries by authors as influential and as diverse as Martin Luther and the Flemish Jesuit Cornelius a Lapide further confirm and propagate this image of Hamites.
Ironically, none of this, neither the curse of Ham nor the idea of Hamite hypersexuality and enslavement, is explicit in the Bible.
Saying that the Hamites settled in Europe is just as valid as saying that they settled in Africa.
The victim would never have been classified as a black man by anthropologists, but as a Hamite, which is a member of the Caucasian group, who "did not always look white.
This earlier tradition of the Hamites as blacks continued into the European "Dark Ages" when Jewish rabbis made fanciful elaborations on the story of Genesis that became more or less justifications for the Israelites' subjugation of Canaan.
In fact, the distorting of the use of the word Hamites came about as Europe emerged from its "Dark Ages" into the Enlightenment.
Equiano is working with the writings of theologians who revile Hamites, in keeping with a long history of biblical representation, and these Hamites are said to be the ancestors of blacks.
Equiano chose to ignore the caustic anti-African claims of those biblical commentators on whom he relied for validation and instead inserted his own reading of African origins specifically because he rejected their claims that Africans were Hamites, descended from a moral villain.
Early European historians identified all Hamites as "Negroes" and associated this with Noah's curse of Canaan, interpreted to be a curse of Ham and his descendants.
This view removed colour from the criteria for determining racial identity and reinvented the Hamites as "dark-skinned whites", "copper coloured", "Eurafrican", "Mediterranean" or "Caucasoid blacks".
Western historians, ethnologists, anthropologists and archaeologists, when coming across "Akricoids', have labelled them Negroid, Proto-Negroid, Proto-Australoid, Negritic, Negrito (South/ Southeast and Far East Asia) or Hamites, Eurafrikans, Mediterraneans and the Brown Race (Southwest Asia).