Empowerment thru creativity

1000 Shillings

Around the globe there are many who sell their creative work to support themselves.  Many times in third world countries the artisans do not receive adequate monetary compensation for their beautiful work.   It is unfortunate that some large corporate organizations who can afford to pay higher sums, purchase the artistic work at very low prices and re-sell the work for quite large profits.

The organization 1000 shillings is working to highlight and showcase  the beautiful bead work of several  Ugandan woman  at fair trade values.   This wonderful organization  was established to offer these women a platform to sell their beautiful products on the world market.  Each sale will help the artisan to build towards establishing their own local business.  This in turn will improve the life of the children and families of each woman.  These sales also will improve the local economy thereby benefiting the entire community.  With an improved local economy there is bound to more access to education/schools, improved infrastructure and more healthcare.

Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for creativity and wisdom

Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for creativity and wisdom

The beads being sold are all limited edition unique pieces of jewelry.  With this being a season of giving we all should consider purchasing gifts that can truly make an impact!!  You can learn more about the artisans, their beautiful jewelry and the great work being done at  the 1000 Shillings webpage. 

1000 Shillings

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Celebrate Duafe Dallas TX  on Sept !

naturally Isis Presents 2nd annual Natural Hair Parade

Duafe is the Adinkra Symbol for beauty and this morning I  was sooooo honored to be able to speak with a true pioneer and ambassador for African Beauty across the Diaspora–

 

the amazing Naturally Isis.  

For the second year Isis Brantley of  Naturally Isis brings us the Natural Hair Parade and Festival  in Dallas/Fort Worth Texas.    

 This parade and festival is the first of it kind celebrating African Beauty. Naturally Isis is always teaching and  sharing concepts of empowerment thru self love being a huge focus of  this parade and festival.  

If you are  anywhere close to Dallas Metro area I encourage you to head over and join the fun

 ….. on Saturday, September 1st  to be a part of this amazing event.

Listen in below to my chat with this amazing lady and learn more about Naturally Isis, her  inspiration  to host this special event – truly a beautiful  labor of love and about all the special activities planned for September 1st.

Here is a link to the chat we enjoyed

 I encourage you to consider offering donations to this amazing event to assist with the education and empowerment of women through DUAFE

Please contact the Outreach Coordinator at (404) 944-6439

or visit Naturally Isis Natural Hair Online 

 

Passing down the Traditions - So Important

Naturally Isis teaching about the tradition of Duafe

Celebrating Olympic Aya

August 5, 2012

 

Runner design by Vector GraphicsThis week I have been blessed to be able to follow all the amazing physical feats of the athletes in London for  2012 Olympics.  Seeing the wonderful array of countries  represented has been a true treat for this “student of the world” !!  One of  the things we all admire about the Olympic athletes is how much they have gone thru and endured to get to the level of performance we see during the games. This concept of endurance and resourcefulness  is expressed in the Adinkra  symbols as Aya. If the Olympics had been developed in Ghana the medals probably would have  had the  Aya symbol engraved on them.   It is said that those who wear the symbol  have truly endured many adversaries and outlasted much difficulty – something I am sure the Olympians could easily discuss with us. 

Aya represents endurance

Adinkra symbol Aya represents endurance

 

I have  enjoyed seeing the tweets of support for these amazing athletes from around the world in my Twitter timeline.  This morning I received  several  RT ‘s  from @Afridiziak that she received via the UK Postal Service (@PostOffice) about the stamps they have created celebrating UK gold medalists.  Here is the stamp they have created for the UK Olympian Mo Farah.  He truly is an athlete that exemplifies  the concept of the Aya symbol during his career as a long distance runner. 

So this is a salute to celebrate the wonderful athletes and the strong message they tell the world  — Wave the flag of Aya over  all you do and you will see amazing results.

Ok so here we are at the end and I had a really hard time with Z!!!   So I leave you with a ZoomDo – a  craft to create your very own Adinkra t-shirt to sport this summer.   It is a pretty simple activity and over at PBS kids they have instructions for creating a  an Adinkra stamp and then use fabric paint to design your t-shirt.    The design process can be used for other creative projects like wall art.    Enjoy!!

 

 

Adinkra t-shirt craft

Zoom Do

I came across this cute Adinkra Magnet  craft over at the blog  Sacred Arts.  I love that it is simple but allows the crafter to create a colorful  Adinkra magnet as beautiful dimensional expressions.   Cori Lynn  offers a great tutorial with pictures on how to create these magnets using inexpensive coasters glue and a magnetic sheet.   The most time-consuming part of this project is allowing the glue to dry.  I have put this one on our list of crafts to include when we study West Africa!!  I think you could take this craft and use it to create many different unique magnets…Chineese letters, Yoruba numbers,  Swahili words and sooooo much more.  So head over to Sacred Arts and get started !  Please share the pics of all your beautiful creations and I promise to update here as we create our magnets too!!

Adinkra symbol Magnets

Adinkra Magnets from Sacred Arts

africa

africa (Photo credit: qudsiya k)

The letter X was the hardest letter to find a topic to post about ….all I could think about was X marks the spot.  This is because my children love hiding and hunting for items…..detctive games and archeology adventures abound here.   Lots of sneaky, peaky walking and giggles abound!  Maps are truly part of our households idea of fun!

We have been studying the map of Africa during our Africa School lessons.   I think it is important for my children to understand that Africa is not a country!  Our first lesson was to study the five regions.  We colored and “puzzled” together the entire continent.  Our last lesson was about the Northern part of the continent.  We have idetified all the countries in North Africa and  the next session will be to create and label a pin map.

There is a wonderful site called Mega Maps  which  offers maps of the world availble for  download. The site offers visitors the option of creating maps of any size from 1 page to 7 ft across.   They are great to  use for teaching the children in your life about world geography.  Helping them to understand the many countries of the world and where they are located expands the world view of youth.   One great hands on activity my children loved was to  take the African map  – cut each region apart and glue them back together.  This can be done for all the contients and put into a goeography book for them to review and enjoy.  

 Teach the Children about the world

A Unique Map of Africa Design

War Horn

Akoben represents vigilance

As the A to Z Challenge draws to a close I would like to take this space to extend a challenge to my readers.  Become vigilant for opportunities to promote positive energy.  I think we can all help  make the world the positive place we want it to be  by actively working to find ways to do good through our words and actions!    

Akoben is the adinkra symbol that represents vigilance.  It is the war horn that reminds us to be ready…..I think we all can become more vigilant about  where we can make positive change.  If we actively look for opportunities in our everyday lives to promote positive words, thoughts and actions we will collectively move the ball forward in the right direction.

 

 

So my friends take up the positive “war horn” as you go to work, school and shopping.   Let me know where you found opportunities to promote the positive!!

 

United from A to Z

April 26, 2012

As this A to Z challenge rolls on and heads towards its close I am inspired to remark on the sense of unity  I have discovered.   Despite having a very difficult time keeping pace this past week due to illness…..I have continued to feel a part of this A to Z train!   Seeing all the #atozchallenge tweets and reading posts has been what made me try so hard to find a way to push through!  And now that I am feelin’ better  I am so glad and thankful for all the A to Z pull!! 

Unity togetherness

Adinkra symbol Bese Saka represents Unity, power and togetherness

 So for the letter U – I stand United with my fellow a to z bloggers.  Tha adinkra symbol BESE SAKA represents unity, power and togetherness.   I think it is the symbol that most accurately represents this challenge.  The symbol visually represents cola nuts which is an agricultural product with an important role in Ghana and has influence in bringing people together.  That is how I see the A to Z challenge an important influencer to bring folks together – So powerful!!

Heres to a fantastic finish!

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!

I  love everything Family!!  I am sure you have guessed this with the many posts I have written  which include something about family.   I have worked quite a bit on my own family history ……an amazing journey that I feel is a gift for my children.  I want them to know they are here because of the prayers, beliefs and hard work of those who preceded them in the family.  My daughter can proudly name 5 generations of  grandmothers!!   I am very fortunate because my maternal grandmother kept and shared a lot of family history which we have today.  I even have the daily diary of my Great Great Aunt circa 1900…..a true treasure and window into what life was like during those days….very hard!!

Sankofa design from Kiarablu

Sankofa reminds us to Return & Get what was left behind

I  encourage everyone to do some family research and/or documentation.  It is not only for yourself but also  for the children of your family.   If you are wondering “where do I begin”  ?  I suggest right where you are.  Begin with your immediate family,  your parents and grandparents.  Fill out the family tree with all that you know –  it will be more than you realize!!  Then begin the Sankofa journey……. ask for the information that is missing from other family members….siblings of your parents and grandparents, their children and spouses.  This  can be done at family gatherings ( even if it is not an “official” family reunion) …..bring the tree with you and connect with others and their families.

Click on the image below for your own family tree to fill out!!