The Blacks of Premodern China
Premodern Chinese described a great variety of the peoples they encountered as "black." The earliest and most frequent of these encounters were with their Southeast Asian neighbors, specifically the Malayans. But by the midimperial times of the seventh through seventeenth centuries C.E., exposure to peoples from Africa, chiefly slaves arriving from the area of modern Somalia, Kenya, and Tanzania, gradually displaced the original Asian "blacks" in Chinese consciousness. In The Blacks of Premodern China, Don J. Wyatt presents the previously unexamined story of the earliest Chinese encounters with this succession of peoples they have historically regarded as black.
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I gave this book a one star because the "blacks" that the Chinese encountered are most likely the "Negritos" and probably not the Malays. I searched the book for Negritos and it only had 3 hits; one was the index for the two. Even the Malays or the Austronesian speaking people of Southeast Asia (back then and until today) separated themselves from the Negritos. The Negritos (Australoid) came to Southeast Asia by at least 10,000 years earlier than the Mongoloid group. The Negritos even reached Japan. Why are the Negritos non-existent in Mainland South Asia as it would seem this Chinese coastal route to Japan was the only way they could get there? My opinion is they were "replaced" by the Mongoloids (in Mainland Asia, at least). I think this book needs further review by real scholars. A simple reading regarding the Negritos of Southeast Asia and their difficult plight against the Austronesian speaking people would shed some light to the author.