Sending beautiful Sankofa wishes to those celebrating Black History Month in the United Kingdom this month!! Peace and blessings always.

Celebrating Black History in the United Kingdom

Sankofa is the Adinkra symbol that reminds us to Return and Get what has been left behind.

One of the reasons I love Adinkra symbols and have committed to “studying” them is their long history.  It fascinates me that these symbols have been passed down for so many generations in Ghana. They are some what unique because they are a printed form of communication and historically many African traditions are oral.   This is not to say that there are not other traditional written or printed expression on the African continent because there are others for sure!!  I plan to one day explore those too!   

Available at Africancraft.com
Adinkra Stamps

The methods used to print the Adinkra symbols have been passed down too.   Traditionally the symbols are carved into calabash.  The symbol is then printed on fabric using beautiful dyes.   The cloth that is created is a beautiful expression from the printer.   We now have many ways to “create” the Adinkra symbols but it is really important to remember the traditional ways and not lose this knowledge.   One day soon I would like to try my hand at printing on some cloth –  I will be sure to share the fun here.   

Here is a video featuring the Adinkra printing tools with explanation of some of the symbols.  Unfortunately I could not embed the video but click the link and Enjoy!

Once upon a time…..

April 19, 2012

Once upon a time…..this is the sweet beginning to  many fairy and folk tales from around the globe.  These stories are usually a tale that teaches a lesson to young children about how we should  treat one another.  In most cases good will win over the bad.  

 ANANSI

Our vision for ANANSI

Anansi  Stories  are folk tales about a little spider  that originated in Ghana, West Africa. Parents have used the humorous stories to teach their children life lessons for many, many generations.    Today we can find Anansi, his wife Aso and their  children,  happily tucked  into the memories of folks all across the African Diaspora.  From Ghana, to the Caribbean, to the South  Eastern  US. You will always get a wide smile and pleasant reminiscing eyes upon the mention of the  humorous trickster  named Anansi.

My children have come to love Anansi stories and are always so happy to sit quietly and watch videos with the stories on the computer.  We even have a “bean dance’ that was inspired by the funny moves Anansi makes when he hides the hot beans.   (ck out the video below)

 

Adinkra Symbol Ananse NTONTAN

The Spiders Web Represents wisdom and creativity

The Adinkra symbol Ananse  NTONTAN represents wisdom and creativity…..now the question is which came first?  Stories of the creative little spider OR the symbol which inspired someone to create him?  

Here is  our favorite Anansi story:

L is for Lumumba

April 15, 2012

 

Adinkra symbol Sankofa

Adinkra symbol Sankofa - Return & Get what you left behind

As I complete week two  for the AtoZ  Challenge I would like to talk about the great African leader Patrice Lumumba. He was the first elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo today) after working to secure independence for his country from Belgium.  Lumumba was only in office for 12 weeks before his government was overturned, he was imprisoned and executed.   The series of tumultuous events that occurred in 1960 are referred to as the Congo Crisis.  

For such a short reign as leader of a country Mr Lumumba has left a tremendous legacy.  He was known for the determination that he led with to help  his countrymen gain independence. Also his  strong belief in Pan-Africanism  did not make him an African leader supported by the American or Belgium governments of the time.  There are some questions as to whether the US played a part in the execution and further disposal of his body.

We have to wonder whether The Democratic Republic of the Congo would be a much stronger Patrice Lumumbagovernment and world player if Patrice Lumumba had been allowed to continue his unifying  work after the  fragile period during which  this country gained its independence.  Having such a strong leader dedicated to positively connecting with other independent African countries clearly seems like it would have benefited the entire continent. 

These events lead me to ponder how wise it is for any country to interfere with the government and leadership of another.  Our current global community has several instances where this is occurring.  How will this affect the future of these nations positively or negatively??   I think we all can take a lesson from history!!

Shortly before his assassination, Lumumba penned the following words in a farewell letter: ‘

The only thing we wanted for our country was the right to a decent existence, to dignity without hypocrisy, to independence without restrictions. . . .  The day will come when history will have its say.’ — Patrice Lumumba 

Kente….Duafe in Cloth

April 12, 2012

As a fabric lover and quasi cloth collector I immediately thought of Kente for the letter K.   Kente cloth is a traditional woven cloth orginating in Ghana, West Africa.  This beautiful colorful fabric is handwoven by the Akan people  which includes the Ashante, Bono, Fante, and Nzeme.  Historically Kente was worn for very important occasions and was used by royalty and kings.   In more modern times, use of this For Graduationamazing fabric has become more widespread but it continues to be looked upon as special.  Here in the United States many African Americans adorn their graduation robes  with a strip of Kente cloth as a cultural signal of the special significance of the day.

Kente cloth is hand woven and stands out because of the brilliant multicolored  geometric patterns.  These patterns  have names and the people of  Ghana choose their cloth by not only the color and pattern but also the names given to the unique designs.   The Kente cloth names are derived from several sources including proverbs and historical events.  Another source of significance within the Kente cloth is the colors themselves – each color being used has significance For example Black represents  maturation / intensified spiritual energy,  blue represents  peacefulness/ harmony and love.

Colorful woven Kente

Beautiful

I find this cloth to be amazingly beautiful.   Because of cost I have only a few strips  but have supplemented  my fabric stash with printed Kente.  The printed version  of course, does NOT have the same quality or level of significance as the woven fabric  but gives me a beautiful reminder of the original Duafe from Ghana.

Adinkra symbol Duafe

Duafe

I would like to give a BIG  shout out to my dear hubby Kamau here who created this beautiful Kente Duafe design above at last minutes notice….Aren’t I lucky to have an artist right here at my beck and call!!  I am so appreciative!   Feel free to drop by his blog Kamgraphix and invite him to join in  the A to Z challenge fun!!

First Leader of Independent Ghana

Kwame Nkrumah

Today  I would like to share a beautiful  video that I came across sometime ago.  I have held onto the link with the intention to share it here but never found quite the “right” moment.  The  video below is a beautiful tribute by the singer Becca to her home country Ghana in West Africa.    As Becca sings about her positive wishes for Ghana   we are treated to a variety of images that includes  historical  events, geographical wonders and famous Ghanaians.   One of my favorite portions of the video is the opening  because it captures footage of  Ghana leader Kwame Nkrumah.  I also just love the beautiful dress that the singer wears !!  Gotta love how she hightlights her Duafe with  the Black Stars!!

One  day I hope to travel to the beautiful country of Ghana.  Have you been to the amazing country where Adinkra symbols originated?

Ghana – Becca – Ghana
This blog is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge

Part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge

Sankofa Art

March 7, 2012

The Adinkra symbol Sankofa is a powerful statement to many across the African Diaspora.  For many of us it represents  our strong desire to reach back…way back to our ancestral home and learn about the culture our forefathers and mothers had to leave behind.  We have much of that culture within us and we don’t even know it!

As a salute to this powerful symbol that stands as  a strong reminder of our journey to African knowledge I would like to share this photo of the artwork by Goddess Angelika   I am so happy to see my enlightened Brothers and Sisters sharing the knowledge of the beautiful Adinkra symbols. This trend of sharing is the key for us all to join the powerful Sankofa journey.

Sankofa by Goddess Angelika

Adinkra symbol Sankofa

For more African cultural expressions thru poetry and art visit Goddess Angelika Tumblr

Mate Masie Symbol represents wisdom and knowledge

Mate Masie Adinkra symbol represents Wisdom and Knowledge

The African American Literature Book Club has issued  several  recommendations for great reading for Black History Month!  Featured in Episode 7 of  the Book Look is Manning Marable’sMalcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” which examines the life of  Freedom Fighter Malcom X  from a different perspective than we have seen in previous biographies.   Check out the Book Look Episode 7 below and then drop over to the AALBC for more great recommendations for wonderful reading!!

I recently connected with the creaters of a fantastic cartoon series called Bino and Fino on my  Twitter timeline!   Bino and Fino is the name of an adorable  African children’s cartoon now available   that  offers up enriching African culture to our children.  This engaging cartoon is  designed to be an entertaining  teaching tool for kids across the Diapora which addresses topics like African history,  African culture,  African maps,  black history in Diaspora, Life skills, African songs,  African languages, and much more!  

Sankofa "Return and Get it"

 Through engaging stories the cartoon offers the children a fantastic vehicle for Sankofa –  they can connect with the African continent on a familiar media format.  I love this!!  My children were immediately engaged when they watched the video below and it led to a fantastic discussion about colonialism, independance, history, and geography.  We have been studying regions of Africa so the children were happy to look at the map and identify where Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, Mali  (etc) are   after watching the cartoon!  

Hope you enjoy this  episode of Bino and Fino as they learn all about Nigerian Independence Day . I encourage you to order a DVD for the children in your life!   What other things are you doing to bring Sankofa to youth of your life?  

Nigerian Independence Design from Kiarablu

October is the month  designated to celebrate the rich history of people of African descent in The United Kingdom.  At Kiarablu we celebrate this rich history all year long.   I would like to offer a few of our afrocentric designs.   These are created to offer our fantastic customers the opportunity to express their love and  respect for the beautiful continent of AFRICA!   Enjoy and please let us know your favorites !

SANKOFA IS THE ADINKRA SYMBOL THAT MEANS  “GO BACK AND GET WHAT HAS BEEN LEFT BEHIND”

Adinkra symbol Duafe represents Beauty

Adinkra symbol Duafe from Ghana West Africa

Afrocentric tee design

Afrocentric - Africa center of all

UK black history month

October is Black History month