Notes: Indo-Dravidian migrations out of Africa and Dravidian culture as the crucible for Asian mythology

We would like to examine in future the source or possible crucible for some of the universally similar mythologies, and look at the genetic connections. We list below some of the resources supporting theories about Out of Africa-West Asian-into-India migration route peopling of India.

Clyde Winters, relying on multidisciplinary evidence, is the main defender of the theory that Dravidian peoples and Dravidian-derived Indian tribal aboriginal cultures are of African origin. Elsewhere, he posts,
” I revised my original letter and discussed some of the points made by Chaubey et al, especially the Olieveri et al article. Chaubey et al, did not dispute any other evidence I presented and as a result they can not really falsify my proposition.

Moreover, I recently published the piece disputing the Rosenberg et al, article in PLoS Genetics, where I showed that the Indo-European and Dravidian speakers in India have the same MRCA, and thusly the results of the paper do not really tell us anything about “ethnic” diversity in India.”
Winters C., 2008 Origin and spread of Dravidian speakers  Int J Hum Genet, 8(4): 325-329 (2008)
On Winter’s website, he also mentions another even more controversial idea, the Dravidian-Altaic connection,   however, this is highly relevant in view of the many shared Siberian Mongolic genes between the Japanese and Koreanic populations, as well as the Mongolic and other Altaic (and Tungusic) elements of mythical worldview and genealogy-related myths appear to be closely related to the Turkic-Mongolic worldview. He addresses the Dravidian-Mongolian connection here:
Dravidian Speaking Hun Many of the so called Huns/Mongolians who invaded India were speaking Dravidian languages. these Huns were descendants of the Dravidians who spread from the Indus Valley to East Asia in ancient times. below are so pictures of these “Mongoloids” who spoke Dravidian languages.
Vacek (1983) has made an exhaustive study of Dravidian‑Mongolian similarities. He has found cognate verbal noun or temporal suffixes and plural suffixes. Vacek (1983) compared Dravidian and Mongolian lexical items and established several sound correspondences. Recently Vacek (1983) discussed the affinities between 120 Mongolian and Dravidian verbs that show full correspondence.Vacek (1987) believes that Altaic and Dravidian has an axial relationship. He has based his theroy on the geographical distribution of these languages along the north‑south axis between the Altaic and Uralian languages.Due to the lack of a visible ethnic relationship between the speakers of Ural‑Altaic and Dravidian, many researchers find it almost impossible to accept that a genetic relationship exist between these languages. Although we may not be able to accept that these languages are genetically related the linguistic evidence suggest extensive bilingualism in ancient Central Asia, this is supported by the mixed heritage visible in the faces of many Turkic speakers.”
Given that the Kurgan-Kofun period tombs of Korea and Japan are said to have Scythian-style artefacts with crowns showing similarity to Yahya Tepe
Did the Dravidian speakers originate in Africa?  M1 found in Niger-Congo and other parts of Africa afterall. But Niger-Congo populations originally from Saharan areas
Y chromosome evidence of an African origin of Dravidian agriculture African proto-Dravidians (or Dravidians?) brought African millet into India
Y chromosome evidence of an African origin of Dravidian agriculture African proto-Dravidians (or Dravidians?) brought African millet into India
Shared Y-DNA, mtDNA as well as HLAs, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh Gonds Dravidian tribal groups like Africans have sickle-cell-disease-prone genes, blood group O, T-M70, Y-Hg H1 and H2 haplotypes, K*
Winters C. Origin of the Niger-Congo Speakers. WebmedCentral GENETICS 2012;3(3):WMC003149 doi: 10.9754/journal.wmc.2012.003149

The Niger-Congo (NC) Superfamily of languages is the largest family of languages spoken in Africa. Researchers have assumed that the NC speakers originated in West Africa in the Inland Niger Delta. The research indicates that the NC speakers originated in the Saharan Highlands 12kya and belonged to the Ounanian culture. The NC population cultivated millet from Saharan Africa to South India. Phylogenetically the NC mtDNA haplogroups include L1,L2,L3, U5, L3(M,N). The y-Chromosome haplotypes associated with the NC population were A,B, E1b1a, E1b1b, E2, E3a and R1. A major finding was that the Atlantic, Mande and Dravidian languages of India, form a new NC Subfamily we can designate Indo-African.


Controversy surrounds the origin of the Niger-Congo speakers. Although most researchers believe the Niger-Congo speakers originated in West Africa, their origin may have been in the Saharan highlands.
The traditional view of the dispersal of the Niger-Congo speakers would place their original home in the woodland savanna zone of West Africa, in the area of the Niger Basin. This is a most attractive theory but it does not conform to the archaeological data collected over the past decade. This material illustrates that until the second millennium BC the Inland Niger Delta was sparsely populated.
The Niger-Congo (NC) Superfamily of languages is the most widespread family of languages spoken in Africa. The branches of the NC languages includes Atlantic, Dogon, Kordofanian, Mande, Gur, Kwa, Kru, Benue-Congo, Adamawa and Bantu. In this paper we will explain the origin of the Niger-Congo speakers.

Did the Dravidian speakers originate in Africa?*Dear Sir,Chaubey et al. ”Peopling of South Asia”, argue that most Indians are autochthonous and originated shortly after the African migration to India 50–60,000 ybp, given the diversity of M haplogroups in India. Molecular, archaeological, linguistic and osteological studies of Dravidian-speaking people, however, suggest a more-recent origin for people speaking these languages. According to Sergent, (1) the Dravidian populations are not autochthonous to India. Using osteological data, researchers have made it clear that the Dravidian speakers of South India and the Indus valley were primarily related to the ancient Capsian population, which originated in Africa. (2–9) Lahovary (5) and Sastri(6) maintains that this population was unified over an extensive zone from Africa, to South India.Some researchers maintain that the Capsian civilization originated in East Africa. (5,10) Researchers have proven that the Dravidians are related to the C-group of Nubia, given the fact that both groups used (1) a common black-and-red ware (BRW), (6) (2) a common burial complex incorporating megaliths and circular rock enclosures (5,6) and (3) a common type of rock-cut sepulcher. (5) The BRW industry diffused from Nubia, across West Asia into Rajastan, and thence to East Central and South India. (11) Singh made it clear that he believes that the BRW radiated from Nubia through Mesopotamia and Iran southward into India.(12)Many linguists claim that the Dravidian languages are genetically related to the Niger-Congo group especially languages spoken today in the Niger Valley and Senegambia region. (5,13–21) The Niger-Congo speakers originated in Nubia. Winters has reconstructed the Paleo-African- Dravidian terms for the hoe, millet, cattle, sheep and goats. (5,18–24) R. Balakrishnan claims that Onomastics indicate an African ”root” for the Dravidian-speaking tribes. (25) He presents data that the names for rivers and hills in Koraput, for example, are identical to the names for rivers and hills in Africa. (25) The diversity of M HGs in India has led many researchers besides Chaubeyet al. to suggest that theMclades have an insitu origin. (26,27)

These researchers speculate that, although L3 originated in Africa, the M1HG is only found in Ethiopia and Egypt and may be the result of a back migration to Africa from India.(26,27) The M lineages are not found only in East Africa. Rosa et al. found a low frequency of the M1 HG among West Africans who speak the Niger-Congo languages, such as the Balanta-Djola. (28) Gonzalez et al. found N, M and M1 HGs among Niger-Congo speakers living in Cameroon, Senegambia and Guinea Bissau. (29) Gonder et al. has also found N, M and M1 in Tanzania. (30) The molecular data make it clear that haplogroups M and M1 are spread across Africa from East to West, not just Ethiopia. (28–30,32)

Anna Oliviera et al. argue that M1 must have originated in West Asia, because none of the Asian M haplogroups harbor any distinguishing East African root mutations. (30) They claim that the presence of any East African M1 root mutations in Asian-specific clades suggest a recent arrival of M1; and that the absence of M1 root mutations among Eurasian sister clades indicate a back migration into East Africa of HG M1. (30) Oliviera et al. claim that East African M1 root mutations are absent in Eurasian M sister clades is not supported by the evidence. (36) For example, Gondar et al. make it clear that the Tanzanian M1 haplogroup cluster with people from Oceania. In addition, Roychoudhury et al. noted nucleolides shared by East African M1, and Indian M haplogroups include HG M4 at 16311; HG M5 at 16,129; and HG M34 at 16,249.

It is also not true that HGM1 is absent in India. Kivisild et al. noted that 26 of the subjects in his study belonged to the M1 haplogroup. (31) In this study, it was discovered that subcluster M1 was found mainly in Kerala and Karnataka. (31) Kivisild et al. found 5 major haplogroup M subclusters in India: M1, M2, M3, M4, and M5.(31) Kivisild et al. make it clear that each Indian M lineage has its own unique star features. (31) A cursory examination of Kivisild et al.’s Fig. 3, makes it clear that they found different transitions at nps for Indian haplogroups. (31) Indian M subclusters have mutations common to the East African M1 HG. (33,35) In Fig. 3, Kivisild et al. identify transitions for Indian M1 at 16,311,16,129 and 16,189. (31) Other Indian nodes that agree with East African M1, according to Fig. 3, include: HG M5a 16,311, HG M5 16,189, and HG M2a 16,189. (31) An African genesis for India’s M haplogroups would explain the variant nucleolides East African M1 shares with Indian haplogroups: HG M4 at 16311, 16129 with HG M5 and 16249 with HG M34/. (31,33) This is interesting given Quintain-Murci et al.’s claim that the East African HG M1 HVS-I motif is characterized by four transitions at nt 16,129,16,189, 16249 and 16,311.(32)

Researchers have made it clear that M1 and the M macrohaplogroup originated from an African background characterized by the ancestral state 10873C. (32,34,35) The presence of shared root mutations between East African M1, and Oceanic and Indian M haplogroups, (30,33,35) may indicate a recent arrival of Eurasian M clades from Africa. A Proto-Dravidian migration event from Africa would explain the East African HVS-I signature motifs in the Indian M haplogroup samples.(30,33,35) The geographical range of Indian M haplogroups is explained by the coalescent theory, i.e. the small Proto-Dravidian population that settled the Indus Valley expanded and spread over the subcontinent from Pakistan in the North to South India.

The Dravidian speakers are probably not autochthonous to India as claimed by Chaubeyet al. It is clear that the Dravidians and Africans speak genetically related languages, (5,13–21) and share anthropological (2–9) and archaeological (5,6,11,12) features that unite both groups. The presence of M1 in India,(31) and the absence of Indian-specific clades in Africa, indicates that IndianMsubclusters probably developed in India, after the migration of proto- Dravidian speakers from the Indus Valley down into South India.

This path for Dravidian migration may be marked by the spread of (1) shared toponyms, (21,25) (2) genetically related languages,(5,13–21) (3) skeletal remains,( 2–9) and (4) red-and-black pottery.(5,6,11,12)


1. Sergent B. 1992. Gene`se de L’Inde. Paris: Payot.

2. Gates RR. 1961. Early Mediterranean traits in the leptorhine elements in the Kurumbas and other tribes of S. India. Mankind 1(4).

3. Guha GB. The Chalcolithic Races of India.

4. Guha GB. 1936–37. The racial affinities of the people of India. Rendus du Congress Intl d’Anthrop et Etnogr, Bruxelles.

5. Lahovary N. 1963. Dravidian Origins and the West, Madras: Longman.

6. Sastri N. 1954. History of South India. Cumberledge, Madras.

7. Shaffer R. 1954. Ethnography of ancient India. Harrasowitz, Wiesbaden.

8. Wheeler M. 1959. Early India and Pakistan. Thames and Hudson, London.

9. Winters CA. 1985. The Proto-Culture of the Dravidians, Manding and Sumerians, Tamil Civilization 3:1–9.

10. Cole S. 1954. The Prehistory of East Africa. London: Pelican.

11. Gururaja Rao BK. 1972. The Megalithic Culture in South India. Mysore.

12. Singh HN. 1982. History and archaeology of Black-and Red ware. Delhi.

13. Aravanan KP. 1976. ”Physical and cultural similarities between Dravidians and Africans”. Journal of Tamil Studies 10:23–27.

14. Aravanan KP. 1979. Dravidians and Africans, Madras.

15. Aravanan KP. 1980. Notable negroid elements in Dravidian India. J Tamil Studies 20–45.

16. Upadhyaya P, Upadhyaya SP. 1979. Les liens entre Kerala et l’Afrique tels qu’ils resosortent des survivances culturelles et inguistiques, Bulletin de L’IFAN, no. 1:100–132.

17. Upadhyaya P, Upadhyaya SP. 1977. Affinites ethno-linguistiques entre Dravidiens et les Negro-Africain, L’IFAN, No.1:127–157.

18. Winters CA. 1981a. ”The Unity of African and Indian Agriculture’ ‘. J African Civilization 3:103–110.

19. Winters CA. 1980. ”The genetic unity of Dravidian and African languages and culture”, Proc First Interntl Symp on Asian Studies (PIISAS) 1979, Hong Kong: Asian Research Service.

20. Winters CA. 1981b. ”Are Dravidians of African Origin”, P. Second ISAS, 1980, (Hong Kong: Asian Research Service):789– 807.

21. Winters CA. 1986. ”The Dravidian Origin of the Mountain and Water Toponyms in central Asia”. J Central Asia 9, 2:144–148.

22. Winters CA. 1999a. ProtoDravidian terms for cattle. Interntl J Dravidian Linguistics 28:91–98.

23. Winters CA. 1999b. Proto-Dravidian terms for sheep and goats. PILC J Dravidian Studies 9:183–187.

24. Winters CA. 2000. Proto-Dravidian agricultural terms. Interntl J Dravidian Linguistics 30:23–28.

25. Balakrishnan R. 2005. African roots of the Dravidian-speaking Tribes: A case in Onomastics, Interntl J Dravidian Linguistics 34:153–202.

26. Metspalu M, Kivisild T, Metspalu E, Parik J, Hudjashov G, et al. 2004. Most of the extant mtDNA boundaries in South and Southwest Asia were likely shaped during the initial settlement of Eurasia by anatomically modern humans. BMC Genetics 2004, 5:26. http://www.biomedce ntral. com/1471-2156/ 5/26

27. Thangaraj K, Chaubey G, Kumar V, Vanniarajan SA, Ithanseem I, et al. 2006. In situ origin of deep rooting lineages of mitochondrial Macrohaplogroup ‘M’ in India. BMC Genomics 7:151. http://www.pubmedce ntral. er.fcgi?artid ¼ 1534032

28. Rosa A, Brehm A, Kivisild T, Metspalu E, Villems R. 2004. MtDNA Profile of West Africa Guineans: Towards a Better Understanding of the Senegambia Region. Annals of Human Genetics 68:4 http://www.blackwel l- links/doi/ 10.1046/j. 1529-8817. 2004.00100. x/enhancedabs/

29. Gonza´ lez AM, Cabrera VM, Larruga JM, Tounkara A, Noumsi G, et al. 2006. Mitochondrial DNA Variation in Mauritania and Mali and their Genetic Relationship to Other Western Africa Populations. Annals of Human Genetics 70, 5. http://www.blackwel l- abs/ 10.1111/j.1469- 1809.2006. 00259.x?cookieSe t ¼1&journalCode ¼ahg.

30. Gonder MK, Mortensen HM, Reed FA, de Sousa A, Tishkoff SA. 2006. Whole mtDNA Genome Sequence Analysis of Ancient African Lineages. Mol Biol Evol Dec 28.

31. Kivisild T, Kaldman K, Metspalu M, Parik J, Papiha S. 1999. In Genomic Diversity, (Ed.) R. Papiha Deka (pp. 135–152). S.S. Kluwer/Plenum Publishers http://evolutsioon. ns/Kivisild 1999b.pdf.

32. Quintana-Murci L, Semino O, Bandelt H-J, Passarino G, McElreavey K, Santachiara- Benerecetti AS. 1999. Genetic evidence of an early exit of Homo sapiens sapiens from Africa through eastern Africa. Nat Genet 23:437–441 [PubMed Abstract] [Publisher Full Text]

33. Roychoudhury S, Roy S, Basu A, Banerjee R, Vishwanathan H, et al. 2001. Genomic structures and population histories of linguistically

distinct tribal groups of India. Hum Genet 109:339–350 First citation in article j PubMed j CrossRef

34. Rajkumar R, Banerjee J, Gunturi HB. Trivedi R, Kashyap VK. 2005 Phylogeny and antiquity of M haplogroup inferred from complete mtDNA sequence of Indian specific lineages. BMC Evol Biol, 5:26.

35. Sun C, Kong Q-P, Palanichamy MG, Agrawal S, Bandelt HJ, et al. 2005. The Dazzling array or Basal Branches in the mtDNA macrogroup M from India as inferred from complete Genomes. Molecular Biology and Evolution 10:1093.

36. Olivieri A, Achilli A, Pala M, Battaglia V, Fornarino S, et al. 2006. The mtDNA legacy of the Levantine early Upper Palaeolithic in Africa.

Science 314:1767–1770.


Other pertinent readings:

C Winters. Munda Speakers are the Oldest Population in India. The Internet Journal of Biological Anthropology. 2010 Volume 4 Number 2.

Proto Elami Dravidian
Mtdna M30 in Elam, Iran Indian Bihar Rajput to China
Towards Elamo- Dravidian by McAlpine
Altai Ural Korean
Mtdna 31 and 32 andamanese origin in northeast India to myanmar



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