The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

We've moved! Please check out, the new home for our 'Tales of supernatural horrors!'

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Lost tribes

Among those affected by Israel's current Gaza pullout - a group of Jews from India:

[...] among the settlers are a highly unusual group of approximately 250 people, originally from north-east India, who call themselves the Bnei Menashe. They converted to Judaism believing themselves to be descendants of one of the ancient lost tribes of Israel - and moved to Jewish settlements in Gaza and the West Bank. They now face another move and an uncertain future.
Their history:
In approximately 721 B.C.E., the Assyrians invaded the northern kingdom [of Israel], exiled the ten tribes living there and enslaved them in Assyria. The oral history of Bnei Menashe that was passed down for 2,700 years describes their escape from slavery in Assyria to Media/Persia. From there they moved on to Afghanistan, mostly through less-traveled areas, ever on the lookout for kings or powerful people who might drag them back to slavery. From Afghanistan they traveled toward Hindu-Kush and proceeded to Tibet, then to Kaifeng, reaching the Chinese city around 240 B.C.E. The Bnei Menashe believe that while in China their ancestors were enslaved yet again. During their years there, large numbers of the Israelites were killed and their assimilation started. These events caused the Israelites to flee and live in caves. The group was expelled in 100 C.E. and their "leather scrolls" were confiscated and burned. At that point different groups went in various directions. Some went down the Mekong River into Vietnam, the Philippines, Siam, Thailand and Malaysia, while some of the Israelites moved to Burma and west to India. Till today, some people refer to these people as "Shinlung" the "cave dwellers."
Fascinating stuff... I wonder if they've done any DNA testing on them? In most other cases of which I'm aware, the DNA testing has supported the oral traditions.


Post a Comment

<< Home