Who were the Proto-Dahu-Kemba?

The ancient people now known as the Proto-Dahu-Kemba (or just PDK) were a race of Ikhe who lived on the coast in the north-east of the continent of Aheku. Archaeology tell us that they remained in this area until around OH -186X (-1500 BC in our world).

Evidence from this date on indicates a migration to the west along the coast. We know from the speed of their movement and its narrow pathway that this was not a gradual spreading west, but a conscious migration. The speed of their travel suggests movement was partly by land and partly by sea. We do not know however what motivated the move.

We know the Proto-Dahu-Kemba had boats, including outrigger canoes and katamarans. They also had good navigation skills. It is thought that katamarans were used to transport goods and passengers and outriggers as scouts and protectors of the larger vessels.

In all, the migration took a couple of generations.  Archaeological finds suggest that once they were some distance from their homeland, the PDK began to spread out over the land and found kingoms. This “sea-then-land” approach may have been adopted because they were driven out by an enemy who later ceased to pursue them.

The word Dahu comes from Old Senduri Dakhun meaning plain. So to the Senduri across the sea on Mohai, the PDK may have been the people of the plain. It is not known  what they called themselves.

They spoke Proto-Dahu-Kemba, the ancestor of some twenty-four languages, fourteen of which are spoken today. Surviving descendants include Lepekau, Letsuri and Lemohai. PDK was an unwritten language. It is known entirely from reconstructions.

Culturally, the PDK belonged to the Natural Age. They built in wood, stone and other materials found on the planet’s surface. They did not used mined materials such as coal or metal. In their economic life, they mixed farming with hunting and gathering.

A group of Proto-Dahu-Kemba settled in part of modern Pekau and another group in what is now Heiko. These groups became the Dahu and Kemba respectively, each with separate languages. The Dahu became united in a Dahu Empire. The Eastern Dahu were later conquered by the rival Kemba Empire. When that in turn collapsed, Lemohai emerged as a separate language.

When the PDK arrived in the Dahu-speaking areas, they found the area was already populated, albeit sparsely, by bands of hunter-gatherers.

These bands spoke Macro-Senduri languages, of which Modern Senduri survives as a minority language on Mohai. Survivors of these bands were gradually assimilated into Dahu-Kemba culture along the coastal plain and up the main valleys. Other Macro-Senduri tongues survived in the higher valleys and the coastal mountain range. Now only Senduri remains.

Author: David Johnson

Language constructor, writer, music fan and activist.

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