Who We Are
A brief back story
Genetic tests with the National Geographic Genome project conducted on the founder of BIPA, Prof. Luke Gabriel Mendes, revealed that we the Indigenous, are of non-African origin and related to the first man. It also revealed that we the indigenous have been on these very latitudes since 60,000 years. Our 7 islands were formed out of a volcano in present day Kandivali. We indigenous still call it Kandol which means lit volcano. The word candle came from here during the British research and expedition. The Igneous rocks were used to make the high courts and other institutions during the Portuguese and then British rule. The Indigenous, or the ancient tribes of the 7 islands of Mobaim (Bombay) have been here since Millennia on these very latitudes – 72 degrees East. The Ice age ended 50,000 years ago, melting ice drowned the low lying once inhabited large areas are now under the sea. The large bays and estuaries are a result of the melting ice. We Indigenous have lived in harmony with mother nature since the beginning of time. Our sacred tree is the ‘Umbarcha Zar’ or the ‘Umbhar / Bharkat’ Divine tree also known as the fig tree (ficus-glomerata). In our ancient tongue or language we call the 7 islands as Mobaim. In our ancient tongue, ‘Mob’ translates to people, ‘Aim’ where the ‘m’ is nasal, translates to ‘Mother’, Mobaim = Peoples Mother.
In ancient times there were no names for indigenous languages or the people.
Over time when traders or missions came via the sea, their languages influenced the indigenous language (Natures Language). The indigenous would say ‘Aapli Bol’ (our way of speaking) and then ‘Aapli Bhasa’ (Our language). Indigenous languages are always polite and simple. So are ours today known as Prakriti / KOKNI. But in ancient times had no name. The Ancient land of Kokan spread from Kerala to Karachi and this language was commonly known and spoken in all these places. There are no words for ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’. You were expected to share and not wrong others as all indigenous / tribal communities naturally function. If a person does commit a crime within the community, he is ousted from the community, the biggest uncertainty for the person, since they are left to the elements and wildlife. The ousted people of the community were taken back and relegated menial tasks like cleaning the night soil (Sewage systems) etc. When other communities and religious groups came here like the Buddhists, they continued to maintain records of people in the then language of ‘Mori’, ‘Modi’ a Devnagri cursive writing form. A moral code of conduct for society was laid and followed.
During the Mogul Caliphate era, the Mogul rulers never interfered with the indigenous culture. In fact they understood us and our ancient culture and traditions. They combined our native language with the prevailing languages of trade, namely Farsi since Iran was trading with us since 5000 years and Pashtu, since present day Afghanistan was trading here too. A new language evolved called ‘Urdu’. Urdu was a combination of the islanders mother tongue + Farsi + Pashtu. The Aryan mission came to India through the Large Trade center ‘Mohanjo Daro’ ( a location known as the Dead Door deliberately named by the people of Sindh – Sindhis to keep the Aryans at bay). History happened and Urdu’s Farsi and Pashtu languages are being replaced by Sanskrit words. Sanskrit being a priestly oral language passed on from father to son, took the indigenous people’s script – Devnagri or Land of Saints. A book will be released soon, will reveal a more detailed information on the indigenous and the ancient culture as well as language, that has taken 15 odd years of research.
The Portuguese arrived on these islands for the 'First Century Christians' through St. Bartholomew, who traveled here via the silk route / road. The Portuguese learnt during their initial trading activity that the 7 islands has an ancient Christian community, followers of St. Bartholomew. The indigenous were taught the bible in Aramaic orally. The book was called Christi Puran by the locals. This baffled the Portuguese as history was being unfolded in the simple people. That's when the Portuguese reported this and came back to India with their Armadas and challenged the Moguls and claimed the Christians. The Portuguese learnt the indigenous ways and preserved nearly all of our culture until the inquisition, where the new Queen wanted the indigenous to become pure Christians and abandon the ancient tribal ways.
The Portuguese did not just give the Indigenous Portuguese names for fun. But they gave the indigenous people Portuguese names which were really the indigenous peoples traditional or tribal names in Portuguese. One such example is D'mello which translates to Black Bird in Portuguese. The Portuguese studied the indigenous and those who revered the black bird as their tribe's sacred omen, the entire tribe was given the name 'D'mello'. 'Mendes' translates to 'Village Tribute' and so on. The indigenous society that was following Nature's ways in harmony, now had their first documentation done in Portuguese. This documentation became the survey for the queen.
The Portuguese gave the indigenous the 'Mangalore tiles' made from baked red clay. An architectural marvel still used till date. Prior to using tiles, the indigenous people used rice grass thatch roofs and palmyra tree broad leaves which were extremely hot can caused many fights within the family. after the Portuguese brought in tiles, the houses were cooler and sturdy brick work made houses stronger. They brought in new fruits and vegetables from other countries to the 7 islands and to the main land. They managed lands for production, since before the Portuguese came, there were constant wars and skirmishes between various colonial Mogul and Hindu Kings.
The indigenous people know what is good and also know their heritage and have decided to keep their indigenous last names which describe their paternal tribe.