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

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

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!!  

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:

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!!

As we come to the next stop in the A to Z Blogging Challenge I have decided to look at Handmade books for the letter H.

Artist Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord has an awesome site MakingBooks.com where she offers lots of great information about a variety of ways to work with children and teach them how to make their own books.   Designing and creating a book can be a powerful experience for a child.  It shows them that they can not only be readers but also writers of books!  And we all know there can NOT be too many good writers in the world!!  As mom to a growing little writer I am constantly looking for new ways to encourage my daughters  writing activities.   We have not tried any of  Susan’s projects but it is definitely on my list of  weekend “to-do’s”. 

Of course when I spied the Adinkra symbol book I was very excited!  Here is a picture of the completed project and I have linked it to instructions for the project on one of Susan’s blogs!

Adinkra Accordion book

Adinkra Accordion Book from MakingBooks.com

Be sure to stop by MakingBooks.com for instructions on how to make this great book and other great book projects.

Have you created any handmade books with children?  I would love to hear about the stories they’ve created!

Blogging A to Z Challenge

Adinkra symbol that reprents beauty

Adinkra symbol Duafe means beauty

Duafe is the Adinkra symbol that  represents beauty and feminine qualities.  It is one of my favorite symbols  because I believe it represents the special qualities of being a woman.   As women we express this God given beauty in many ways such as how we dress, wear our hair and makeup…..but also in our cooking, decorating and sooo much more.

When I first came across Food Heaven Made Easy video I was immediately impressed with how the hosts create a beautiful feel in their kitchen. Nutrition educators  Wendy and Jess offer the viewers  graceful instuctions  on how to prepare a beautifully healthy meal.  Their stylish dress also adds to the Duafe of the show!   I really enjoy how they creatively present the food preparation while giving viewers nutritional information and possible alternatives.

Cooking beautiful meals is definitely an activity I enjoy as a wife and mom.  Can’t say that I am always so stylish in my kitchen as Wendy and Jess but  I definitely love this celebration of Duafe!  Maybe I need to invest in some cute aprons to improve my kitchen look!!  Any suggestions??

Here is the Vegan Brunch  episode of Food Heaven Made Easy – Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

What is your favorite Brunch menu item??

This blog post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge for

April 2012.

Read more blogs posting in this challenge visit :

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