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.

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

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!!  

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:

As I continue on the journey of A to Z Blogging we come to E.  This was a difficult one for me to determine what to write about – I have finally settled on Energy – the much-needed – over used resource  of the modern world.

Currently many people on the African continent are working to find reliable sources of energy for  residents of many countries.  Because the infrastructure  in many countries is not as well-developed or reliable as we enjoy here in US   there have been many projects to create energy sources locally.  Solar energy has become a great way to offer rural residents an ongoing energy source.  Solar energy can be harnessed through panels  that can be by placed  local residents.  This addition to homes in the rural areas reduces the need for expensive kerosene oil and provides more hours of light thereby increasing productivity after dark sunset.

Here is a great video describing a program that trains Grandmothers in Kenya to install Solar Panels to their village. They received the nick name  “Solar Sisters”.  They can then teach others and extend the knowledge to neighboring villages.  What a powerful chain of events this can be to a region with no electric grid.

I also would like to share  another view of energy that I came across  – Sankofa Energy fabric  from KKweli over at Spoonflower.  I love the vibrance of this design and  truly appreciate  the concept of having tons of ENERGY to go back and claim what we left behind!!   

Sankofa_Energy_Green

Adinkra Cakes

April 3, 2012

C is for Cake and that good enough for me!  With wedding season approaching I  decided to share some beautiful cakes that  I have come across on the web!  What is so wonderful about including Adinkra symbols on your wedding cake is that the symbols each have meaning so you can choose the several that are true expressions of the couple!

Some of the common symbols used for weddings include:

Adinkra symbol of faith and trust in GodNYAME NTI which represents by Gods Grace – it is a symbol of trust and faith in God

 

 

 

adinkra symbol of love faithfulness and harmonyOSRAM NE NSOROMMAThe moon and the star which  is a symbol of love, faithfulness and harmony.

Adinkra symbol for tolernce and patienceAKOMA – the heart – symbol of patience and tolerence

Adinkra Cake Jollye

adinkra symbols wedding cake stephaniethebaker.com

And here are two lovely Birthday Cakes highlighting Adinkra symbols!

This is why I love the symbols so much – each has great significance and speaks to us beautifully and boldly!

Includes Gye Nyame and Osram Ne Nsoromma

Adinkra Birthday Cake by Pona

Gye Nyame Adinkra symbol reprents omnipitence of God

Gye Nyame cake by Elsi Aikens

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

Here is a beautiful  video featuring Nigerian weddings .  The beauty of the Brides and Grooms featured in this video makes you smile as each new picture appears!   It is so wonderful to note how each couple has cultural highlights for their special day!   Hope you enjoy this as much as I have.  

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!!