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I was reading Silmarillion,again, the other day and something caught my attention;
Are there any black races in Middle-Earth?

We can count orcs as black but what i mean is, black men as Gondorians or Rohirrim. As much as i know Haradrim are close to black skinned people but not completely black.
So, anyone has an idea?
I believe the people of the forests of Far Harad were black skinned, although I cannot remember where I read it.
Hello,

I know people who are black. The Variags of Khand. They are a mix of Orcs, Trolls and Me. They only live in the second age. Or better they beginn to existed in the second age and still live in the 4 Age. I know this for sure, then I play a Variag in a rpg ;-). And they only have charakters who are very very near at Tolkiens - Mind ( so I am the only Variag :-) there).
But so if you need some more informationen about them, I have a few thinks, tell me.
Greetings

Iverna alias Nessa
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I know people who are black. The Variags of Khand.


Middle Earth Role Playing describes Variags as being black skinned but I have been unable to find any references in any of Tolkien's writings to confirm this. I would guess they are most likely a tribe of Easterling/Haradrim descent.
I only remember that the Haradrim were swarthy, but I always assumed the farther south toward the Girdle of Arda (Ea's equator), the more pigmentation would be found in the Men living there as pigmentation is natures way of combating the harmful ultra-violet rays found in sunlight, which is in higher abundance in the equatorial regions of planets whose axis of rotation is inclined (tilted) with respect to the plane of its transit around the central star (Sol, Sun, Anar, Vása). If this pigmentation thing is an old wives tale, please set the record straight, for I do not wish to offend anyone.
So Grondy, you're assuming that there could be black people in Middle-Earth but Tolkien never mentions about them in neither of his books right?
Quote:
Quote:

I know people who are black. The Variags of Khand.



Middle Earth Role Playing describes Variags as being black skinned but I have been unable to find any references in any of Tolkien's writings to confirm this. I would guess they are most likely a tribe of Easterling/Haradrim descent.


I know a passage from Tolkiens writing where he discribes the Variags as black scinned, but it is a very long text (more then 2 pages) and I dont know in this moment the original place, where you can read it, so if you are intressted I send you the text, or I post it here. And I will get the information where the text is from.

Iverna alisa Nessa.
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so if you are intressted I send you the text, or I post it here. And I will get the information where the text is from.


If you could that would be great, Iverna. I've always wanted to know more about the Variags myself. I've read somewhere that they were black skinned and red eyed, but I think that was a MERP description rather than a Tolkien one.
Okay, I am really sorry....I am really sorry, the next time I shut my mouth and get the information bevor I talk such b******t. Val you surley right > there are no direclty information from Tolkien .... Ignore Smilie me..it is the best ;-)

No all my information are from the :


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"Lords of Middle-earth, Vol. 2 - The Mannish Races" (LoME2) ICE the Iron?? Crown Enterprises


So I am sorry or making you maby dissy or what the best word in english is for that ....

greeting Iverna...
That's a pity Iverna. I really hoped you were going to point me in the direction of something I'd missed. I would love to know more about the Variags and Khand.

That's a great book you're using though. That's the one with the histories of the nine nazgul before they got their rings, isn't it. They are really convincing. After playing MERP and Rolemaster for a good many years while using those books, I found I had problems sorting Tolkien "fact" from Iron Crown "fiction". I remember arguing the case of the existance of Perterog half trolls with other members because I'd become so used to seeing them while RPG'ing.
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Okay, I am really sorry....I am really sorry, the next time I shut my mouth and get the information bevor I talk such baloney.
Hey Iverna, it really is okay to post misconceptions, for in getting them straightened out you perform a service for others who may also have held them. Due to your post they also were lead to the more correct truth. So don't worry about it. Happy Elf Smilie

The same way with questions, the only dumb question is the one that remains unasked.
Does anyone detect a hint of racism in Tolkiens work?
He describes the men of far Harad as black skinned and half trolls, most of the evil (or corrupted) men of Middle Earth have dark skin while the glorious men of the west are all white, especially the aryan Rohhirim.
Not least forgetting the Even more Aryan Vanyar (fair elves)...

But i think "racism" is a harsh word for someone living in the times that he did, the country of his birth (south africa) and his upbringing (england), the class to which he was born into (middle-upper class)... Any notions of superiority of the white race over others at that time was the consequence of the "colonial model" to which virtually all were subject. To judge the man retrospectively and apply our contempary liberal sensibilties and norms is erroneous and unfair, i'm not an apologist for genuine racists, but i think in this case and many others (HP Lovecraft, 19thC writers thinkers in general) issues of using the race-card in fantasy is going a bit far?

Oh and Olog-Hai, Uruk-Hai - Black-skinned! Maybe even the Balchoth(not sure though?) Eol the Dark Elf wasnt dark-skinned, but i'm sure both he and Maeglin's conception in Tolkien's works spawned the most excellent DROW nation!

Pixie Smilie (<---- Drow)
They do seem to have a superiority thing when it comes to their own specie: look at the Noldor, the Numenorean (after the fall of the Shadow over the island), even the Dwarves (when it comes to Petty Dwarves)... So, what can u expect when we're talking about different species?!
Both the Easterlings in Beleriand and the Easterlings in Middle-earth were described as having swarthy skin (hence Swertings), but I don't recall ever hearing of black skin.

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"Now the Easterlings or Romenildi, as the Elves named these newcomers, were short and broad, long and strong in the arm; their hair was black, and grew much also upon their face and breast; their skins were swart or sallow, and their eyes brown; yet their countenances were for the most part not uncomely, though some were grim and fierce."
-The Lost Road, Ch. 11 §151


Similar quote:
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"Here the Swarthy Men first came ... in the East. They were short and broad, long and strong in the arm, growing much hair on face and breast, and their locks were dark, as were their eyes; their skins were swart, yet their countenances were not uncomely for the most part, though some were grim-looking and illfavoured. Their houses were many, and some had liking rather for the Dwarves of the mountains ... rather than for the Elves."
-The Lost Road, Annal 263


Additionally, the Haradrim were supposed to represent Ethiopians:
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" 'Minas Tirith defeats Haradwaith.' – All these names (Harwan, Silharrows; Harrowland, Sunharrowland) are derived from the Old English Sigelhearwan 'Ethiopians.' My father's article in two parts entitled Sigelwaraland (Medium Ævum 1 and 3, Dec. 1932 and June 1934) studied the etymology and meaning of the name Sigelhearwan, and concluded that while the meaning of the first element Sigel was certainly 'Sun', that of the second element hearwan was not discoverable: 'a symbol ... of that large part of ancient English language and lore which has now vanished beyond recall, swa hit no wære [as if it had never been]. With these names cf. Sunlands, Swertings, p. 313. ...."
-The Treason of Isengard (Christopher Tolkien), XXV: The Story Foreseen from Fangorn, Note #4.


Looking for the context, I found that Sigelhearwan / Sigelwara land occured in an Anglo-Saxon translation of the Biblical book Exodus. Here are the corresponding lines and translations:

Quote:
... be suðan Sigelwara land,
forbærned burhhleoðu, brune leode,
hatum heofoncolum
.


Quote:
"... southward lay the Ethiop's land, parched hill-slopes and a race burned brown by the heat of the sun ..."


So, if we use logic, the Easterlings / Haradrim (whoever represented the Ethiopians) were likely only dark-brown-skinned, not black. However, they don't have to be based upon them in anything other than name, and Tolkien 'cordially disliked' allegory, so you can have any opinion of your own. I myself actually think that there were probably black-skinned men in Middle-earth, even if they weren't written about. Big Smile Smilie
"Absence of proof is no proof of absence." - William Cowper
Well if the Shire is England and the know part of ME (where LOTR takes place) is Europe, then it is only logical that people from the south would be Arabs or Noth Africans. And since the elves never went there then Sauron has an endless supply of people to currupt don't he?
So if the Haradrim, Variags and Khandians are assumed to be representative of OUR North Africa and Middle-East, the Balchoth, Wainriders and other Easterling tribes modeled on the Mongolian tribes, then what do you people make of the Woses(Druadan)???... Aboriginies perhaps??? They're dark-skinned are they not?
I think the Haradrim might be black because it said in LOTR something like that they are evil and they have black faces. Yeah it also says that thir from the dessert. I dont know.
Keep in mind the difference between "allegory" and "applicability". There is nothing in Tolkien's works as to who the Southron peoples of Middle Earth represent in our world. You can, if you so choose, to make those type of assumptions, and that is the beauty of "applicability", provided that you do not say that is what is intentionally reflected in Tolkien's Middle Earth. Even if Tolkien did use allegory and to an certain extent, he did, (although, he denied it emphatically), I think the "colours" merely represent contrasts.
He used contasts a great deal to give the reader a visual and emotional sense of what was taking place.
I never thought Tolkien was being racist... Remember that he always said he hated alegory, as smth the author imposes on the readers; he wanted those who read his work to make their own image of his world, calling this applicability... This is the very beauty of his work and world: the freedom it leaves us, the boundless imagination roaming wild... OK, now I'm babbling, so it's time to stop! Once again, there can be no racism in Tolkie's world: that's smth completely Melkor/Morgoth/Sauron-like!
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Once again, there can be no racism in Tolkie's world: that's smth completely Melkor/Morgoth/Sauron-like!

There is racism in Tolkien's world allright : you just proved it yourself by mentioning Morgoth and Sauron. Those nice fellas wanted to wipe out the Elves, Dwarves and descendants of Elendil. But who can blame them, it was the task Eru set out for them.

But some Noldorin Elves were also kinda racist because they looked down on Men and Dwarves.