Where did the Olmec come from exactly and where did they go? While it seems to make sense to just say they just gradually coalesced into an actual civilization from the native tribal people of the area, some arguments against this idea do exist. However, all native peoples come from somewhere else.
It is the generally accepted idea that early humans arose in African far before anything close to a civilization would form. The early people historians call Native Americans came from the northwest originally during the migration across the Bering Strait. Similarities between ancient Chinese Xi face carvings that carried into Canadian native communities and the Olmec carved faces may support this theory.
Due to the unique facial features and clothing and ornamentation depicted in the giant stone heads and other carvings, some believe the Olmec may have more direct African roots. Did people long ago come across the ocean to settle in a new world well before Europeans did?
From a transportation standpoint, it is theoretically possible that people in Africa could have rode the winds and currents across to Mesoamerica, although it seems unlikely. The early evidence of Olmec language, however, seemed to have quite a few similarities to the Manding language from western African regions. The helmets on the massive stone heads looked like those worn across the ocean. Did the Olmec get their idea of star-aligned pyramids from the Egyptians?