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[References for this review may be found at <Nyland>]


[Note:  All Basque words are in Italics and Bold-faced Green]






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          An ancient language form that originated in the North African area of our most ancient civilizations has been studied by Nyland (2001).  He found that many words used to describe names of places and things on the Indian Subcontinent seem to be closely related to the ancient language, which is being called Saharan,  but more appropriately might be Igbo West African, which predated it.  The Basque Language has been found to be a close relative to the Saharan.  Following is a discussion of this relationship:




          Nearly one quarter of India's population speaks Dravidian, a language family usually considered to have four branches (Nyland (2001):


  1. Northwest: Brahui, spoken in Baluchistan,
  2. Northeast: Kurukh and Malto in Bengal,
  3. Central: Telugu, Kui and Kolami-Parji,
  4. South: Tamil, Kannada, Tulu, Malayalam, Bagada, Toda, Kota and Kodagu.


          There are four major languages, each having its own independent script and literature dating from pre-Christian times:   The number of people speaking each in 2004 is noted as follows:


  1. Telugu (Te), the state language of Andhra Pradesh, spoken by some 60 million people.
  2. Tamil (Ta), the state language of Tamilnadu, spoken by about 45 million people.
  3. Kannada, also called Kanarese (Ka), of the state of Karnataka with about 34 million speakers.
  4. Malayalam (Ma), the state language of Kerala, with some 25 million speakers.


          Francis Ellis, a British civil servant who recognized the relationship between the four literary languages as well as Tulu, Kodagu and Malto, first described the Dravidian language family in 1816. In 1856 Robert Caldwell added several more languages, Kota, Toda, Gondi, Kui, Kurukh and Brahui. He then took the Sanskrit word dravida, supposedly meaning "Tamil," and used it to name the family.  We may assume that Dravidian was the language of all of India before ca.1,500 bce.  This language must have been identical, or almost so, with the Saharan language, at the time that large migrations from the North African area took place.  The latter were stimulated by a rapid drying-out of the region (see Climate).  This was a more primitive form of modern Basque but the Basque dictionary could still be used to translate the Dravidian names and words in this article.




          We don't have to look far in India to recognize Basque-related names and words, such as:


          Himalaya, ima-alaia, imajina (image, scenery) alaia (pleasing): "Pleasing scenery."

          Harappa, the famous 5000 year old city in Pakistan;
harapa means "plundered" in Basque, from

               harapatu (to plunder), which therefore can hardly be considered the true name of the city.

          Goa, abbreviated from
goardia (to stand guard), referring to the town's defenses.

          Bihar, from
bi-iha-ar, ibi-iha-arro, ibildari (nomadic) iha'urri (to scatter, to roam) arro (proud): "Proud roaming nomads." In the spoken language we find thousands of examples of words related to Basque, such as kut (in Malto) meaning "to burn", kutu (in Tamil) meaning "to be hot, to heat up", while kutxer (in Basque) means "frying pan" in which xer or xerra means "small steak" (in Basque the "x" is pronounced as "sh"). The Dravidian words ole (hearth, fireplace) and ola (inside) correspond exactly to Basque ola (cabin, hut). Being unable to read the different scripts in use by the Dravidian peoples, Edo Nyland used the transliterations and Basque translations provided by Dr. N. Lahovary in "Dravidian Origins and the West", published by Orient Longmans, Bombay, 1963. The page numbers in the following list refer to his book.

Page        Dravidian                  English                       Basque                      English

164     ura             wife           
urruxa         female
165     irru (Ta)       to bring forth  
errun          to lay eggs
165     iru             to be          
iruditu        to resemble
165     il              to be          
illi (Berber)  to be
165     ul (Ta)         to exist       
ulertu         to understand
165     aru             to give birth  
aur            child
166     ali (Ma)        woman          
ala            girl
166     ir (Brahui)     sister         
arre           sister
167     kappu (Ka)      meat           
kaba(l)        domestic animal
167     odal (Te)       body           
odol           blood
167     biho            heart          
bihotz         heart
167     pala            flesh          
opa            offering
167     iracci (Ma)     meat           
aragi          meat
168     suri (S.Dr)     to pour        
isuri          to pour
168     ana (Ka)        breath         
asnasa         respiration
168     naru (S.Dr)     odor           
narru          skin
168     usir (Ka)       breath         
usna           smell
168     u-suru          nose           
sur            nose
169     sindu (Ka)      bad smell      
sund-da        stink
169     kuku (Malto)    summit         
kukula         summit, peak
170     buru (Te)       something round
bular/burar    breast
171     karata (Ka)     skull, coconut 
garaun skull   brain
171     mula (Ma)       brain          
muin           brain
171     kara            height         
garai          high, prominent
171     bhala           forehead       
belar (Zuber)  forehead
172     gadda           chin           
ganga          mouth
172     ba (Ka)         mouth          
abo            mouth
174     begu (Ka)       to spy         
behatu         to observe
175     kan (Brahui)    to know        
ikan           to look
175     aks (S.Dr)      sight          
ikus           to see
175     vili            eye            
igi            eye
175     mugu (Ka)       face           
musu           face
175     muso (Malto)    nose           
musu           face
175     muti (Ka)       face           
mutur          snout
175     motu (Ta)       stupidity       mutur          snout
175     mukka-ra(Te)    nose-ring      
moko           beak
176     musu (Ka)       to smell       
mustur         snout
176     ba (Ka)         mouth          
abo            mouth
177     appu (Ka)       to embrace     
apa            kiss
178     alasu (Ta)      to rinse       
latsatu        to wash
180     ele (Te)        song           
ele            story
180     gol (Ka)        throat         
golo           goiter
180     karai (Ta)      to cry out     
garrasi        shrill cry
181     kar-utti (Ma)   neck           
garondo        nape of the neck
182     kai (Tulu)      hand           
uka            hand
183     kurukh(C.Dr)    to seize       
kargatu        to load
183     kadi (S.Dr)     to steal       
kaldar         thief, scoundrel
184     adi (S.Dr)      foot           
adar           foot of chair
184     anga (Tel)      stride         
anka           foot
186     karu (Tu)       leg            
garra (Navar)  leg
188     ola (Ka)        inside         
ola            cabin, hut
189     bikku (S.Dr)    heart          
bihotz         heart
189     alku (Ta)       vulva          
alu            vulva
190     eru (Ka)        dung           
errai          dung
191     tottu (Ma)      nipple         
titi           nipple
191     borra (Te)      potbelly       
zilbor         navel
192     pal (Ka)        milk           
galatz         milk
192     putti (S.Dr)    to be born     
puta           womb
193     pukku (S.Dr)    vulva          
puta           womb
195     tshika (Tulu)   small child    
txiki          small
195     tkuri (S.Dr)    short          
korro          short
195     tkittu (S.Dr)   small          
kuto           small
196     iri (S.Dr)      sick           
eri            sick
196     kira (Gond)     old man        
kira           age
        agura           old man        
agure          old man
197     ala (Ta)        affliction     
aldia          mental disorder
197     eriyu (Te)      to grieve      
auri           lamentation
197     karai (Ta)      to cry out     
garrasi        cry, scream
197     madi (Ta)       death          
amata          to kill
197     mara (Ka)       death          
marrakari      tearful
198     malagu (Ta)     to perish      
malgu          soft, weak
199     adu (S.Dr)      age            
adin           age
199     gasi (S.Dr)     hunger         
gose           hunger
199     manku (S.Dr)    staggering     
mainku         crippled, lame
199     ala (Ta)        afflicted      
alusu          feeble, weak
199     alasu (Ka)      exhausted      
lazu           weak man
200     elli (Te)       night          
ilun           darkness
200     lamba (S.Dr)    to totter      
laban          slippery, sliding
201     ema (Ta)        mother, female 
ama            mother
201     amma (Ka)       female         
ama            mother
201     pen (S.Dr)      woman          
pena           sorrow, grief
201     ali             woman          
alaba          daughter, native of...
201     al              male           
ar             male
202     unmu (Ka)       birth          
ume            child
202     maintu (Ta)     love           
maita          love
202     maru-vu (Ta)    intimacy       
marruskatze    fondling, pawing
202     appu (Ka)       to embrace     
apatz          to kiss
203     manju (S.Dr)    amiable        
maina          liking, pampering
203     iru (Ta)        come into existence
iruditu    to appear
203     uru (Ta)        to give birth  
aru (Berber)   to be born
204     atta (Malto)    grandfather    
aita           father
204     apa (S.Dr)      father         
ata            father (child's)
204     ana (Ta)        brother        
anai           brother
204     asa (Kui)       daughter       
aizpa          sister
204     ari             she            
arreba         sister
205     ila (Ta)        youth          
iloba          niece
207     maran (Ta)      bravery        
mardul         robust, strong
207     marru           enemy          
amarru         cunning, shrewd
208     buti (Ka)       man servant    
botoi          man servant
210     burade (S.Dr)   head           
buru           head
210     bhuka           opening        
bukatu         to end
210     kara            height         
garai          high
210     gubbi (Ka)      hump           
gupi           deformed spine
210     kerki (Tulu)    throat         
gurka          throat
210     suri (S.Dr)     to pour        
isuri          to pour
210     khala           thief          
kaldar         thief
210     kiram (Ta)      old            
kira           period of time
210     konku           curved         
makur          roundness
210     in (Brahui)     to say         
min            tongue
210     pura (Malto)    belly          
para           belly
358     ari             rock           
arri           rock
359     kabi            cave, hollow   
kabia          nest, hollow
360     kam             something round
kamuts         blunt
360     kuku            summit, peak   
kukula         summit, peak
360     men (Ma)        mound, hillock 
mendi          mountain
360     murru           wall, quarry   
murru          wall
361     padu            village        
padur etxe     lake dwelling
361     turu            hill, mound    
torre          tower
361     mugul (Ka)      flower bud      
mugil          flower bud
362     bar (Ka)        stream, to flow
ibar           river valley
362     ala (Te)        wave, surge    
olatu          wave
362     garo (Kui)      deep hollow,dig
goratu         to raise, to carry up
362     tura-i          stream, ond    
iturri         source of water
362     sala (Ka)       to enter       
salazar        country house
363     kara (Ta)       to wash        
garastatu      to sprinkle, to water
363     pani (Ta)       rain           
panin (Zuber)   water




          A group of comparative linguists in the United States developed a system that they called the "Lexico-Statistical Method" and attempted to put a percentage figure on the degree to which languages are related (M.Swadesh, Linguistics Today, 1954). It is based on the percentage of resemblances between 200 words considered to be essential in a language:


  1. The oldest names for parts of the body and its functions
  2. Pronouns and numerals
  3. Names for dwellings, children and families
  4. Domestic animals


          The well-known Basque linguist A. Tovar followed this method to measure the degree of kinship of Basque with other languages of non-Indo-European origin. The closest relationship he found was with Berber (11%) followed by Circaskian/Kirrukaskan (7.5%), Coptic (6.5%), Arabic (3.25%).  Then he asked Dr. Lahovary to try this method on Dravidian, with the astounding result of 50+%. This meant that, of all the languages tested so far, the Dravidian language was closest to Basque by far. However, the ease with which Edo Nyland assembled the long list of related Basque-Ainu words, makes it likely that Ainu could even be closer to early Basque than Dravidian. A student of Lexico-Statistical Method should test this possibility.


          This method is of no use with invented languages such as Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, Hebrew, English, German etc. because all of these are made up almost 100% by formulaic manipulation and mutilation of the Basque/Saharan language.





          A calamity of unprecedented scale must have driven large numbers of people from the once well-populated North African area, starting about 10,000 bce. (see Climate).  Some of the tribes living along the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Indian ocean shores had developed advanced skills in boat building, sailing techniques and star navigation, which specialized knowledge was carefully guarded by the families involved. They became later known to the Egyptians as the Sea Peoples. Other tribes in the interior had no relationship to salt water and were dependent upon the Sea Peoples for ocean transport when the time came to seek a new homeland. All of these people had the same Goddess religion, a universal language called Saharan and strong oral traditions. It is likely that their Saharan language was the only highly developed language in the entire world at that time, the product of a marvelous oral educational tradition. History proved that they were well equipped for pioneering anywhere in the wide world. As Lahovary noted: "One of the most common linguistic phenomena is the ease with which a new language can impose itself on vast masses, even if spoken only by a relatively small minority, should this minority have political power or the prestige of a superior civilization" (p371). To political power and civilization, we might add the vibrant Goddess religion of the North Africans. The present evidence of significant remnants of the Saharan language in distant parts of the world shows that their language took hold wherever they settled.


          All of these people believed absolutely in reincarnation, which meant that a person, with all his/her knowledge and experiences, would live on in a newborn when the body died. Risk taking was part of the joy of living, even if lives of productive people were frequently lost. Reincarnation would then restore the deceased person to active life. It was all part of living. As a result, these people were timeless and they totally believed that it was their duty to continue with the tasks and ideals of their previous lives. They had no idea of what we call history because they were history themselves. A son would always follow in the footsteps of his incarnation, whether farmer, ocean navigator, herdsman or fisherman, a system which created enormous stability in their civilization, and which was also at the root of the caste system. The women were responsible for the home front, the men for the out-service which included long distance exploration, ocean travel and trading, whaling, fishing etc.


          Several writers have speculated about the origin of the Dravidian people and how they acquired their language and religion. There are two main theories. Most of the North Africans were white-skinned, but in or near Ethiopia there lived a population of dark-skinned and black people (and they are still there) who did not have the usual Negro features. This may have been the population that gave rise to the Dravidians. They may have been one of the last tribes to be forced to migrate when the extreme drought finally settled in their area. Another theory is that the refugees from North Africa were Caucasian, who then entered the land of the indigenous people of India and introduced their language and religion. As has happened elsewhere, this probably quite small population of immigrants mixed with the dark skinned local population and in time the white characteristic were totally submerged.  Edo Nyland favors this theory. Sailing east around 3-4,000 bce. they had found Mesopotamia already fully occupied so they settled in the fertile Indus valley, where they built their villages, which around 2,500 bce. developed into major cities like Mohenjo-Daro and "Harappa". The Goddess religion was retained by them and further developed into the characteristic and artistic religion of today. The Saharan language was mixed with the indigenous languages of the people and over time these evolved into a number of related languages.


          It should be noted that the Basques and the Dravidians had never been in physical contact with each other, living in widely separated areas.  Therefore, the language they shared with the Dravidians must have been acquired from a common, North African source. The Basques and Berbers have a special characteristic that the Dravidians do not have: Rh-negative blood. If these tribes had ever been in close contact, that characteristic would have been evident today.




          Around 1,800 bce., the thriving land of the Indus civilization attracted a large land-migration of tall, Caucasian herdsmen, coming from the Near East or North Africa (see Nyland (2001). They brought with them a new religion that they had created by turning the Goddess religion inside out. Where the old society was a gentle and matrilineal organized, yet egalitarian society, the newcomers were patriarchal warriors and extremely dictatorial; they promoted writing and forbade the maintenance of the ancient oral traditions. A start was made with the creation of a new language, later called Samskrta (Sanskrit), and eventually the speaking of the Universal language was forbidden. Under this new order the formerly highly respected and independent women became the property of fathers and husbands, to be given away, used, punished or disposed of at will, never to be without supervision of a man. They no longer had any say in the running of the tribe. For the resident Dravidians the choice was either to adopt the newcomers' way or slavery. The Dravidian peoples chose not to submit and decided to flee from the Indus valley. The newcomers, being herdsmen, had no knowledge of city management or desire to live in this manner and the ancient cities were plundered and abandoned. Those who stayed, mixed in with the new population and in time altered the character of the Caucasian herdsmen to create the distinctive race of people we see today in northern India and Pakistan. The majority of the Dravidians fled south and entered the area of other tribes which move created a domino effect of new and sometimes bloody conflicts, one of which, the Tamil fight for Sri Lanka, is still making headlines in our newspapers today.