Africans have always been a victim of racial discrimination, and prejudices of many sorts. Whites i.e. Europeans wrote a great history of the world highlighting there great achievements. Seeing that Egypt has been doing very well, Europeans incorporated them as their part as white. A great historian named Cheikh Anta Diop came as a revolutionary figure for the world, who unveiled the contribution of Africans in the progress of world. Dr. Diop was a historian and anthropologist who worked on species, culture, environment and climate of Africa thoroughly. He belonged to Senegal and is known as a racialist scientist. Previously it was written by Euro-Americans in the listings that it is the whites who have served the world in reaching where it is today. In fact there was racism against Asians as well making it a tri-polar bias, but Asia somehow managed to speak off herself and got out of this discriminating activity. But the bi-polar partiality has not yet ended completely.
Cheikh Anta Diop came to prove many things, had Africa not been advanced in mathematics, trigonometry, and geometry, how was it possible to build large and stable pyramids which proved to be a wonder of the world. Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop was a complete educational package in himself i.e. he was a physicist, studied Egyptology, African history, anthropology, linguistics, sociology and economics. He very evidently proved his thesis on Negro nation and culture after having been rejected once. He never lost hope and ultimately got a Ph.D degree. His life is full of achievements and in this paper; the discussion is going to be the works, methodologies, and theories proposed by Dr. Diop in some of his books (BookRags 2006).
He worked deeply on the Egyptian mummies in order to recognize their basic origin. Dr. Diop does not say that all the Africa is followed by Egypt’s culture but asserts Egypt as a part of the southern cradle. Southern cradle is a concept defined in one of the theories of Dr. Diop which we will discuss in detail. Although he is a very controversial figure for his biased thoughts but he never said that greek culture is only the plagiaristic model of the African culture, but the part of the northern cradle of his proposed two-cradle theory. Languages under consideration were Hamitic or Caucasoid, else than that was his native language Wolof. He worked on Hamito-Semitic language and Afro-Asiatic languages giving out resemblance with Egyptian languages such as Chadic, Cushitic and Semitic (BookRags 2006).
An extensive study he did over the genetic evolution and identification of the different phenotypes. His personality had been banned for some time being a racialist. Though he was against the racial discrimination completely, he said that “I don’t like to use the notion of race (which does not exist)…We must not attach an obsession to it. It is a hazard of the evolution” (BookRags 2006). He was sorry for picking out these biased concepts but his struggle was basically because of the racial classes that Europeans and Americans had created very firmly (BookRags 2006).
Dr. Diop had to face a lot of criticism that he answered in a scrupulously evident manner. Diop’s major accomplishment is probably how he proved the commonality between the cultural behavior and genital connection between the people of Nile, Euthopia, Sudan etc. In this paper conversation is just an account of the above-mentioned points. Truly Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop upholds the Africa’s involvement in the World’s development process (BookRags 2006).
Some of the works of Cheikh Anta Diop
Cheikh Anta Diop came up as a light for the African Negros, and shared their thoughts with the world and created a deep impact on African nation. His works like the Negro, The Black Reconstruction of America and The World and Africa are supposed to be the voice of African land. These works created a historical ground for them, their cultural fundamentals, and the mutualism of African Diaspora and Africa herself (Acomolafe 2008).
He wrote many books proving significance of Africa in World’s progress. The first to be translated in English was The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality (Masilela 2008). Cheikh Anta Diop removed the tag of cursed from the heads of African. Therefore in book The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality, he uncovered the African contribution in science, mathematics and and philosophical domains, along with the artistic and literary stuffs. Unbelievable to the world, he evidently said that Africans wrote history for the first time. They contemplated about facts and prevailing attitudes of people (Acomolafe 2008).
He analyzed on the Greek history scientifically who were considered as whiz kids that time. He found out that Greeks took inspiration from there antique civilizations first. Pythagoras was a student in Egypt became the father of mathematics by inventing a theorem there. Plato a Greek scientist also took ideas from Egyptians but whites never gave any acknowledgment to them that how much inspiration they have been taking from them. On the success of Egyptians, west mythically took the origin of Egyptian civilization as white. The dirty tricks and prejudiced thoughts of West about the blacks asserted that they are incompetent. The western master minds declared the Egyptians as white to meet their didactic intent. Their colonialism let them to make a synthetic story of Egyptians being a white nation. Then Diop gave evidences of his findings that origin of impressive Egyptian civilization is Black (Acomolafe 2008).
Very intelligently whites started up a new class of historiography known as Egyptology which was yet another try to separate her from Africa. Cheikh anta Diop unveiled the fake aristocracy of whites that they kept on trying hard on making the fake history, because they had nothing to show what their ancestors contributed to the world progress. Asia has a great past to show up her involvement, Africans can maintain their past’s glory by showing Egypt, Ethiopia, and Nubia. This is the reason why west was dying to dip Egyptians into white color. Blacks today are so prejudiced thinking they did not input anything to the human advancement and world progress, not knowing their real glory. This is what colonialism is all about; Ruling the weaker party with fake and undue dominance. Today west is making the most of might is right rule, and have overtook Blacks by making them learn that they are nothing and the most incompetent ones (Acomolafe 2008).
Egyptology has become the study which is mostly being studied by the whites. Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop was the man who redefined the world’s history emphasizing on the past of Africa. Because African history is one of the most suppressed and hidden works by the grace of White nations. The most unfortunate thing is that the prejudiced Africans did not know much about their greatest hero, who wanted them to see the light of hope. Whites had tried their best and made sure that this great man does not get much popularity (Acomolafe 2008).
Diop in his set of evidences speaks that antique Egypt was a society of Negros. Who else can best write the past of anyone? Obviously, the one who is an inhabitant of that part can write his best history. Diop’s statements astonished the human race because west had been washing their brains for quite a lot of time. He was called names and many white historians degraded him to leave the history study. All the credit of Egyptians which include the initiators of western culture, the Pythagorean revolution in mathematics, the Greek scientist’s contribution, even their gods were taken. Diop explained many mythical beliefs and the real facts behind them. There is a black background behind many civilizations, although being a mixture of black and white or only black may vary. This is why western Asia Mesopotamia, Judaism, Arab all of them refers to the black veracity. The filiations’ process declares monogenetic background of the world. This affirms that all the species today have been originated from one, which is black. The evidence he provides is that the creation of man would have been on some place where he could survive without clothes. After that man advances and moves to other places where the climatic conditions are different and the new generation comes up in compatibility with that climate. Greek scholars are very proudly declared as the fathers of sciences, and Diop plainly says their origin as black. Western educationists used bible too for their selfish aspirations. Dr. Diop then replied them with bible’s reference too. In bible it is written that Egyptians were the successors of ham, now ham is ultimately the meaning of black or burned (Acomolafe 2008).
White people could not find any evidences to counter with the Diop’s statements. His proofs included totemic system, circumcision, kingship, cosmogony, social organization, matriarchy, kinship of meiotic Sudan and Egypt, geography (Acomolafe 2008).
Another work of Cheikh Anta Diop is the cultural unity of black Africa: The Domains of Patriarchy and of Matriarchy in Classical Antiquity. This work was translated in English by 1990. In this work he discussed the concept of matriarchy and patriarchy. This work proved to be a very important proof of European contact with some of the lands of Africa. Now matriarchy and patriarchy are two kinds of family systems, which would prove the reality in state of colonialism and victimization done by the west and their liaison with the climatic and environmental conditions. A theory of universal matriarchy is challenged by Diop. He says that geographically the world is parted into two categories which climatically require either the matriarchy or the patriarchy systems (Orlando 2009).
Matriarchy is that family system which is put forward by the women, and it has the women descendents. Rights of women are considered on the first place (Orlando 2009).
Patriarchy is different because it is taken ahead by men. Decisions are also taken by males about the successors and politics. Non-European civilizations used to have esteemed sets of law, where they can extrude the males. Males are the one to come up with dowry to the homes of women. Children too belong to the women’s family (Orlando 2009).
These systems were creating problems therefore they were solved in every part of the world, but the solutions were different everywhere. In Australia both the systems were amalgamated. Europe gave rights to the dying husband to decide for her woman’s future. Ethopia gave equal rights of politics and rule to both man and woman and is supposed to be the first land in which women ruled out. Both the concepts are different but not opposite to each other (Orlando 2009).
In this work an evidential step was to introduce two parts of the world geographically in a theory. Southern cradle is supposed to be an agricultural land and its circumstances support the matriarchic system. Because of the environment in the northern cradle i.e. Indo-European land, the people could not farm and look after cattle. They were nomadic and semi-nomadic and in nomadic systems the participation of women is minimal. Thus in this of his works, he compared the two things to gain and provide evidences for his truthfulness (Orlando 2009).
Diop was a linguistic victor as well; therefore in some of his works he derived association among the Wolof and Senegalese languages. He also talks about the renaissance of Africa in terms of culture, sports, music, literature, arts, science, trade, etc. in which a lingo is the basic for each of them. He tells about his audience that he and other native writers should write for their didactic promotions. He also asks for the promotion of linguistic rules, grammars, and other facets of the language to bring it on international level. He puts forward an idea to politically make guidelines for the political development. He also tries to promote awareness in Africa (Makalela and Sistrunk 2002).
There has been a great era of darkness and curse in Africa and Dr. Diop immediately wanted a renaissance that is why he also wants to crave economical independence. He finds his nation to have greater potential. All it needs to step ahead. He says that west exploited Africa that is rich by all means. This work of Diop is a complete plan of how to take poor Africa towards growth (Makalela and Sistrunk 2002).
Methods introduced by Cheikh Anta Diop
Diop introduced many methods to prove his ideology. He researched on linguistics as well along with anthropology, psychology, and history. Following is the description of few of them.
Diop researched on linguistics. Linguistic taxonomy distinguishes between the different genres of languages. These may be genealogical, areal, and typological (Winters 2008).
Genealogical makes the group of languages that have some common features from the divergence point of view. Areal groups those languages which have the same aspects by convergence from spatial proximity. Typological contains that class which has the common structure or appearance of structure and not any historical feature associated with origination (Winters 2008).
Diop implies the comparative method where comparative linguistics and historical ones evolve the commonality the process by which an African language evolves from Wolof language that is an Egyptian language. The Wolof, Egyptian, and African languages have the same mother dialects which can be referred as Paleo-African language, Negro African, and common African. Diop used comparative method to evaluate the common and uncommon features in order to reconstruct the antique languages. Aim of comparison is to sketch the history of the language and after that reaching to its original mother language and then to reconstruct it. This method helps to identify the language’s spoiling factors, or the factors supporting this (Winters 2008).
Paleo-African language was reconstructed by the comparative method due to which Diop likes this method and wants to rediscover and redefine other languages too. Historiacal linguistics take a man to those facts which are never documented and saved, therefore real facts can also be inferred through it. The change in the norms of a language is called language constancy. A culture, social organization, and political environment is depicted well by the language constancy. The commonly used languages changed at a wider rate. It is observed that African languages change in a sluggish manner as compared to European languages. European school of thought says that all the languages change at constant rate. African and Arabic lexical items tend to be very similar, on the other hand antique Egyptian language is also similar to Pharonic Egyptian, African and Egyptian, and Coptic languages. Dravidian-African relationship flourished due to the efforts of Cheikh Anta Diop who worked a lot for African linguistics (Winters 2008).
He classified between black African and Egyptian languages, which should be considered as his major contribution in proving Egypt black and not white. He found genetic relationship between antique African and Egyptian languages, which proves the Egyptian-black African relation. There have been large and small domains of African languages i.e. subset, superset etc. these sets contain different elements such as parallelization of phonological conditions .with the Paleo-African languages we get a stance of old African languages and we can infer about the cultures, ethnicity of the civilization (Winters 2008).
In one of the works of Diop he tells that African languages have major contribution on the other world languages. Many nations like west Asians, maurians, elamites, and Sumerians were originated from black (Winters 2008).
Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop unveiled such kind of facts which were unbelievably true. West also felt some danger from the uprising yet rebellious research done by Dr. Diop. He gave very strong proofs to counter the arguments and rejections that he faced on proposing them. These proofs are some of the cultural customs, climatic situations, geography of land and environmental causes (Acomolafe 2008).
A very few parts of the world are totemic by nature. Totems are tribes or clans and Egyptian civilization is totemic, where as in the west we get no evidences for them being totemic in any part of the west. This custom is found in some other parts i.e. suburbs of Africa. Hence with this point West cannot prove her relationship with Egypt (Acomolafe 2008).
The circumcision practice used to be performed in blacks. This argument was rejected and as a counter argument Dr. Diop asserted that it is true that bible signifies about the circumcision of Abraham but then Abraham did that after the age of ninety when he was married to a black woman. Moses was also circumcised after having got married with an Arabic woman. Therefore no such custom is found in the west (Acomolafe 2008).
Kingship is an African case and Egypt has the same custom from ancient times which we do not see in the West. The killing of rulers was a custom in Egypt and in Africa.
Cosmogony is yet another thing i.e. Africans and Egyptians are Negro cosmogonies. There is a great resemblance between them. Their customs, their climate, etc. and if one want to know about the Egyptians it would be proved that their thinking, customs, rituals, traditions each and everything is like the Black Africans. Hence they both are one nation (Acomolafe 2008).
Social organization of Egypt and Africa are alike. Antique Egypt had cast of agricultural labors, other labors, pastors, warriors and king. Africa has a social system consisting of agricultural labors, other labors, pastors, warriors, king (Acomolafe 2008).
Matriarchy is common in both Egypt and Africa from ancient times. Some parts of the west have matriarchic system of governance but besides that almost every part of West is strictly patriarchic. The western educationists and scholars are still not admitting their lie (Acomolafe 2008).
Evidences are found that Egyptians originated from Sudanese. Both have same kind of religious customs and gods too. The pyramids are also actually located in Sudan. The west scholars are overlooking these details because then they will have to look for Egyptian origin which truthfully they will not find ever (Acomolafe 2008).
The Work Pattern of Dr. Diop
The work pattern of Diop was in accordance with what he studied. Dr. Diop was an instigator. He was well versed in linguistics. Being a physicist, he worked keenly on nuclear physics. He studied Egyptology and researched as a prejudiced African individual but then he found out how west victimize his nation. West not only made them feel as a low class cursed nation that has nothing to do with brains. The complex was so much there in Africans that they used to think there is no chance of hope for them to be the part of world progress.
Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop felt his nation’s snivel and deeply studies history and anthropology. After that he came up with an extensive insight and researched on the African history and origin. He emerged as a nationalist who helped his nation in recovering their despaired situation. He was a complete package who worked on all of his subjects simultaneously and through this pattern of work, he was able to give evidences to prove his assertions.
Some Theories by Dr. Diop
Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop worked out and proposed theories of Matriarchy, Patriarchy, and Two-cradle theory, Cultural theory that compared Greek and Egyptian civilizations that are separated by two geographical partitions, mixed race theory and many more (Carruthers 1977).
The theory of two cradles geographically divides the world into two parts. The severity of climatic conditions and surroundings in east and west creates profound effects on the culture, biological, and genetic conditions in humankind. Pigmentation is lost biologically and nomadic, tribal, xenophobic, individualistic sort of culture is formed whereas same conditions makes antagonistic, xenophile, sedentary, peaceful sort of culture in the midst of blacks who are still the natives of more extreme climatic and environmental zones (Carruthers 1977).
Now this theory assumes the European family or Euro-Africans. They emerged as a transmuted human type effected by the severely cold weather of antique Europe. Dr. Diop asserts that blacks were the first to come to this planet and all the other civilizations have the origination from their area. He evidently says that when a man entered this world, he needs to be in some part where he could exist without the clothes. Obviously these parts cannot be iced. This area can be on the equator and the places situated just on the equator include Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya (Carruthers 1977).
The first historians are found to be Egyptians who at some point wrote their events for the first time. The Nile valley associates recorded their customs in their dialect. History of Europe is not found just because they did not store their events in written. The Eurasian pampas are the most suited for nomadic tribal life where as the southern region is suited to an agricultural way of life in a peaceful manner (Carruthers 1977).
Now this organized a social structure exactly as the one produced in old family hierarchies and nomadic tribes into civilizations. Europe’s cold weather with its peaks was best suited for such kind of society. Obviously this region was not inhabited by anyone. Blacks from the southern cradle came there first for business purposes (Carruthers 1977).
If we come towards the dialects, the Indo-European people had the nomadic way of life and their dialects were similar to the dialects of Euro-Asia (Carruthers 1977).
The theories of Matriarchy and Patriarchy also hangs-up with the same two-cradle theory. Matriarchy is one of the two family systems that are formed under the influence of social conditions of the native land. This infers that the nomadic system of life has the less involvement of woman in it. She was only used for bearing the child and domestic stuffs. Man used to keep her under his domination and rule. So the Indo-European society had the patriarchic form of family system. The family head used to be a man. In the Eurasian dialects a man is regarded as the head of a family. Dr. Cheikh Diop using his deep imagination observed the involvement of women in the northern cradle and found out that she has no rights in the legal system there. This was a highly fundamentalist society (Carruthers 1977).
Antique India had the population of Blacks initially, but afterwards some white nomadic tribes belonging from Eurasia took over them. They had the ritual of infanticide i.e. burying a living newborn child if it is a girl. This was known to be the greatest identifying feature of their civilization (Carruthers 1977).
The northern cradle civilization was famous for not allowing their women to even worship their gods. They were forbidden to enter the worship places. There was a custom that women when born used to belong to her father, when young belongs to her husband, and when old belong to her sons. The height of destitute was that she was not allowed to live her life her way. She was supposed to worship his husband like the creator and after the husband dies she also donate herself to the fire. Under the English law husbands were referred as the lords of women and were allowed to even beat them whenever they want. This was done in the northern cradle society known as patriarchic form of governance (Carruthers 1977).
Matriarchic theory used to be implied in the southern cradle. As opposed to the patriarchic form where a woman has to leave her regime and join the husband’s tribe, in matriarchy the social system declares a marrying man to leave his tribe or family. Also he has to bring the dowry. In this system there was a mutual decision for who to be the ruler and other posts were also decided by mutual understanding of both the genders. The southern cradle woman was stronger, farming used to be done by the woman. Food supply in the society was controlled by the women. Women’s integrity and individuality was maintained even after their marriages. Women were considered as a sacred gift of God (Carruthers 1977).
There was a theory known as mixed race theory. This was concerned with the Nile Valley. Dr. Diop admitted the existence of combined ethnicities on the domain of Egypt’s society but he squabbled as well because of the voluminous existence of Mediterraneans, Hamites. Cascasoids and Semites into different sets of people (Templeton 1998).
Other scholars also disregarded these mixed race theories so as to accept the genetic diversity. Different races intermingle in the conception of these researchers. Especially when the case is of Africans, such theories are explained very profoundly to prejudice them. They can define the true black or Negro, but hardly anyone would have given the definition of true white people. This has made the real image and genre of Africans quite vague (Templeton 1998).
Cheikh Anta Diop’s Addressees
Diop wrote his analysis to give illumination to African complexes, so that they can come out of it and proudly step ahead with the world. He wanted his addressees to know that their land Africa is not a divided land. It is the outgrowth of the efforts from centuries. Therefore all the Africans should know that their land is united and the division is not acceptable between North Africa and sub-Saharan. He wants them to know that they are united in every way (Campbell 2007).
Linguistically if we see, his study and analysis has proved them to be a single nation. Their historical connection also links them up with each other. Genetically they are similar by color and creed. Their psychologies match so there is no point in talking about their connection with any other nation (Campbell 2007).
Dr. Diop says that the cultural unity surpasses the synthetic formation of states. After that the generation that came out was colonial. Africans base themselves as a federated state where the theories of matriarchic system matches and women being the central figure have dominant right. This bicameralism of Africa was to be shown up soon enough off the autonomous system. Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop considered African unity to be founded on the pillars of fundamentalism, liberty and sovereignty (Campbell 2007).
Essentially Dr. Diop needed Africans not to believe in racism and racial pigmentation. He needed them to look beyond these partitions of being white and black in their overall life either domestic or undomesticated. Dr. Diop wanted not only Africa but also the whole world to be a peaceful and complex free place. Therefore he gave so many designs to maintain continental unity as well as global unity. Dr. Diop broke the fake ideas and divisions between continents so as to break out dialog in the wider zone (Campbell 2007).
Voice of Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop
In the whole life of Cheikh Anta Diop he compared the systems of politics, and cultures of African and European continents. He studied the overall evolution from the antique times to the modern ages and exposed off many facts about the so-called liberal white society. He envisions Africa as world’s super power very effectively in one of his works. He evidently supports his idea of calling the black Africa and Egypt as a unified stream of Blacks. He distinguishes between Europeans and Africans by proposing many theories and conceptions (Free Speech Mauritana 2006).
As the patriarchic system prevails in the European society and matriarchic systems prevails in the African society. He also distinguishes them in terms of geography, climatic and economical conditions by dividing the world into two cradles. The northern cradle contains the European side and the southern cradle contains the African part and amalgamation is not possible between the two on the practical grounds which includes social and economic structure, dominance issues, and family institution setup. This was the voice of Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop that Africans are not inferior by any means (Free Speech Mauritana 2006).
Theses of Dr. Diop
The main point of Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop in his thesis was that the antique Egypt, Ethiopia, and suburbs are famous for playing a great role in the development of world in science, mathematics, and other advancements. Dr. Diop just gave the idea of African origin in all that. He wanted Africa to become the king of the history once again (Free Speech Mauritana 2006).
His wretched struggle was to make Africans free of tears that reached out as a cultural hostility done with them. Diop’s struggle was scientific, historic, and ideological as well. The most interesting fact is that most of the European African Schools rejected his theory without even viewing it once. The danger of black researchers was felt by them. They were afraid that those Africans would unveil all the facts which they have been hiding from centuries (Free Speech Mauritana 2006).
He disproves the prerequisites of Egyptians as white as Greece. They do not admit the origin of them as black. An umbilical cord is evidence which is given by Dr. Diop in his thesis which connects the Egyptians to their black continent Africa. Again the Egyptian contact with the pharaonic kingdom does not fit in to a continent with old, primitive features (Free Speech Mauritana 2006).
About the Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop’s thesis a very deep comments are made by Mr. Hegel that Africa is not the past of world history at any place. Africa has nothing displayed any growth else than starvation. Therefore this is north that originated Asia and Europe. He also disconnects any relation of African human minds with that of the Egyptians. This is an odious representation of the minds of western people.
Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop came up to be the first man in the renaissance of Africa. He was a fascist and advocated the hierarchical authoritarian government. He also was a racist in a sense that he fought against the racial prejudices in the air and applies all the evidences that separates the whites from them, in order to get rid of the prevailing injustices. The research and anthropology of Dr. Diop did not only help Africans in getting out of the complex but also he provided them to work out for the bright future (Free Speech Mauritana 2006).
Parkman’s Writing Style
Parkman is an American historian and he has depicted American Indians known as Sioux in some of his works. He has told about some of the mixtures between the whites and Indians in early times. He is one of the favorite historians of the whites who have written a lot about the whites and blacks amalgamation with certain factual stories (Faust 2007).
“In practice it is possible to determine directly the skin color and hence the ethnic affiliations of the ancient Egyptians by microscopic analysis in the laboratory; I doubt if the sagacity of the researchers who have studied the question has overlooked the possibility.” –Cheikh Anta Diop (Free Speech Mauritana 2006).
The Pharoah of Knowledge Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop was a victor of African history and gave Africa an identity. He enlightened the future of Africa by enlightening her past. Being an ardent political campaigner, he helped formation of Pan-African Student Congress in France (Free Speech Mauritana 2006).
He worked and advocated all the myths and realities associated with the origin of Black civilization. He talked about the colonialism and racism done in Africa by the whites. He studies and worked it out geographically to analyze the cultural and social structures of Black African, Egyptian, and European civilizations so as to incorporate the differences in his thesis and also to figure out the reality and vagueness in the past works of history (Free Speech Mauritana 2006).
His studies of Egyptology and anthropology helped him big time for finding out the color, creed and customs of human species. He provided the real picture of barbarism and civilization in his works to prove the predominance of Africans and to prove the Egyptians a part of African black society. He disproves the claim of White Europeans who try to own Egyptians just because of their righter past and influence in world’s history. He also unveiled the fact that historically Europeans have not much to show as achievements for science, art, culture and advancements of any kind of category (Free Speech Mauritana 2006).
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