The Biblical writers recognized that the people among them with red skin were of an ancestral line of extreme antiquity. That is why the first man's name - Adam - is related to the words for blood and the color red: dam, odom and edom.
Jeff A. Benner, an expert on ancient Hebrew, explains:
We are all familiar with the name "Adam" as found in the book of Genesis, but what does it really mean? Let us begin by looking at its roots. This word/name is a child root derived from the parent דם meaning, "blood". By placing the letter א in front of the parent root, the child rootאדם is formed and is related in meaning to דם (blood).
By examing a few other words derived from the child root אדם we can see a common meaning in them all. The Hebrew word אדמה (adamah) is the feminine form of אדם meaning "ground" (see Genesis 2:7). The word/name אדום (Edom) means "red". Each of these words have the common meaning of "red". Dam is the "red" blood, adamah is the "red" ground, edom is the color "red" and adam is the "red" man. There is one other connection between "adam" and "adamah" as seen in Genesis 2:7 which states that "the adam" was formed out of the "adamah". (From here.)
Alice C. Linsley
To construct an accurate picture of the ancient world of Genesis we must examine the assumption that Abraham’s people originated in the Tigris-Euphrates area. The Genesis genealogies presents a different picture: that Abraham’s ancestors migrated out of Africa, and the evidence of anthropology, genetics, archaeology, DNA studies and linguistics supports this view.
Abraham's father was Terah the Ainu. The Nilotic Ainu had a red skin tone and their rulers were bearded. From the Nile they spread to Japan and to southern Siberia. They traveled as far as Ireland and Finland and from there they moved into Greenland, Labrador and eastern Canada. These first people are found at the center of Cavalli-Sforza's genetic distance chart, as would be expected of the First People.
These ancestors were great kingdom builders and their dominion extended from Africa to India. As evidence, consider the correspondence between the Hindu heroes Adimo, Heva, Sherma, Hama and Jiapheta and their Genesis counterparts Adam, Eve, Shem Ham, and Japheth. It is argued that this correspondence is due to a westward migration of Asiatics. However, this does not align with the evidence for the northeast migrations of peoples from Africa. Add the fact that Abraham’s kingdom-building ancestors were constantly searching for new territories, and a cogent picture of the people referenced in Genesis begins to emerge.
If the migration of Abraham’s ancestors was east and north and the stories reach as far as the Indus River Valley (even Nepal), these stories must be viewed as a seedbed of a widespread Afro-Asiatic worldview. In fact, they must be the stories told from Africa to India. This may explain the duplication of creation accounts, with the Adam and Eve story being older than Genesis 1. Its closest parallels are found in Africa, not Mespotamia. Consider, for example, the account of the first parents Gikuyu and Mumbi and the presence of a tree of life.
Long before the emergence of a people called Israel, ruler-priests controlled vast areas of the ancient world. They built kingdoms and at the center of their kingdoms they built temples and shrines where they worshiped the Maker of all things in heaven and on earth. They practiced animal sacrifice and offered prayers with incense. They regarded water as the element of purification. They observed sacred laws and spread across the earth. The biblical injunction to multiply and spread across the earth was apparently taken seriously by Abraham's ruler-priest ancestors.
These were ruler-priests who married the daughters of other ruler-priests and thereby preserved their priestly bloodlines through intermarriage (endogamy). The endogamous marriage pattern is consistent throughout the Bible and can be traced from Genesis 4 to Jesus, the Son of God. The pattern ends with Jesus’ appearance, having fulfilled its purpose and the purpose of the Bible.
There is a time in Israel’s history when this information was greatly valued: the reign of David, whose ancestry is goes back to Eden. This is why some scholars propose that Genesis was compiled during the time of the Davidic Monarchy. This makes sense when we consider that commerce and cultural exchange during David’s reign was directed toward both Africa and Mesopotamia. There was a good deal of interest in pedigree at that time to validate David’s claim to the throne, since he was the youngest son of Jesse of Bethlehem and “from the least of the clans of Judah”. The same prophet adds: “whose origins go back to the distant past, to the days of old.” (Micah 5:1)
To verify the truth of the biblical account we must look for clues to help us understand the relationship between the Mesopotamian and the African contexts of Abraham’s ancestors. Making those connections will enable us to understand the Bible better and to recognize how the Edenic Promise (Gen. 3:15) binds all 66 books into a single truly Great Story.
The prophets speak of the rulers who go back to Eden. Amos speaks of “him who holds the scepter from the house of Eden” (Amos 1:5). Ezekiel 28:11 says: “Son of Man, raise a lament over the king of Tyre and say to him: Thus says the Lord God: You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and flawless beauty. You were in Eden, in the Garden of God…” The king of Tyre was allied by kinship with David, which is why it was necessary for Jesus to be revealed in Tyre. This explains why Hiram of Tyre sent skilled artisans to help David build a palace in Jerusalem. Hiram is also known as "Huram" and "Horam", which are versions of the shorter names Hur or Hor. According to Midrashic tradition, Hur was Moses’ brother-in-law, the husband of Miriam. Hur’s grandson was one of the builders of the Tabernacle. I Chronicles 4:4 lists Hur as the "father of Bethlehem", that is the patriarch of the place known as the "city of David". In other words, the king of Tyre and David were related. Their common ancestors were Horites, and as the Genesis genealogies indicate, the Horite lineage can be traced back to Eden.
The symbols of the ruler-priest’s authority were the shepherd’s crook and the flail. These were the symbols of the authority of the Pharaohs, but predate the Egyptian Dynasties. The crook and flail have been found on rock paintings dating to long before the Pharaohs. Hierakonpolis is the site of the most ancient temple in Egypt. It was dedicated to Horus. Of particular interest is the 4000 B.C. tomb painting of two men painted with red ochre. They carry crooked staffs with objects that look like flails, suggesting that they are ruler-priests.
Related reading: Solving the Ainu Mystery; Abraham's Kushite Ancestors; Who Were the Horites?; The Migration of Abraham's Ancestors; The Christ in Nilotic Mythology