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

Visions of Freedom

June 13, 2012

Join the Freedom Link up

Visions of Freedom Blog Hop

Memorial Day, Juneteenth and Fourth of July are all American Holidays that commemorate historically significant days in our country centered around freedom. I have labeled this time of year Freedom Season because of all the celebrations and talk about freedom during this time of the year. Freedom is what our country was founded upon. This is sometimes incomprehensible because it is also the period in history that many Africans had their freedom taken.  There are so many historical dates around the globe that show what people have given to stand for freedom.  As we reflect on these amazing people and moments we can come together and share in the strength shown.  We can take the lessons learned and proceed into a future full of freedom for all persons around the world.

Over at KiaraBlu we have established a special place in celebration of “Freedom Season”. Kiarablu has partnered with Goddess Angelika to sponser a Blog Hop and ongoing conversation on twitter about Freedom. We would love to have you join the hop and conversation. What do you think Freedom looks like? What does it mean to you?

FREEDOM IS A ROAD T SHIRT
 
 
 
 
 
 
FREEDOM IS A ROAD T SHIRT by KAMAU66
 
 

 

Link up your blog post here: http://www.kiarablu.com/freedom

Or

Join us on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/freedomsvision

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!!  

Nice Hair

April 18, 2012

This blog post is dedicated to all the little girls with curly hair. As mom to a young girl of African descent I have had many discussions about hair.  When she first went to school, my daughter soon began asking questions about blonde and straight hair.  We talked at length about the differences between her best friends hair (blonde, straight , unbraided) and her hair ( curly, black and braided).  I have always taught her that hair comes in many, many varieties.  This fact means that there are many different ways people will style their hair.   My daughter can now admire many different styles without any envy that her hair is not exactly the same.  This makes me happy.

Fashion Doll - Pre Afro treatment

Fashion Doll selected to recieve an Afro

 Last year I came across a great article about creating an Afro  for Barbie.  I was pleasantly surprised because I have never seen a fashion doll with really curly hair.  Even way back when in the ’60s when Afros where high fashion in the African-American community.   (Yes I was the little girl way back then LOL)

The “hair prep”  steps needed for this Afro creation were pretty simple….twirl the hair, curl it up on pipe cleaners and dip in really hot water.

 

Pipe cleaner sor curlers!

The make over begins

When I posed this project to my fashion doll  lovin’ daughter she jumped  for joy -” Yes” she squealed to my delight.     So together we worked to twist up the doll’s  hair and curled it on pipe cleaners.  It was a very bonding experience to teach my daughter to get the twists  nice and smooth.  “Girl stuff” my husband noted — To which my dear daughter smiled and said Yes it is!! ( Gotta love the Girl Power there)

We were able to complete the style but we did not get a true Afro – maybe because her hair was so long.  My daughter loves the increased texture so all is well in the land of “lil Duafe”  which makes me smile and oh soooo happy to be in the mommy “hood”.

How have you explained hair differences to the little girls in your life?  Have you received questions or statements of  envy for another childs hair or styles?

Here is a link to the tutorial for how  give fashion dolls  an Afro 

http://playbarbies.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/custom-rotini-or-halo-hair/

Barbie with an Afro

what you should get

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!!

Getting this up a little late…..had to spend a lot of time last night working on a video for my girls group at church!  So sending out my apologies but now for the task at hand….. the letter F!

Fawahodie is the Adinkra symbol the symbolizes freedom!  It has become my favorite because when we have true freedom we live without restriction or inhibition!!  It is a concept that I am always striving to move forward…..As a Christian I believe I should walk easier because Jesus offers me freedom….As an African-American I believe my ancestors worked so that I can experience a life without boundaries in this country……as an Artist I believe a free mind is the place where creativity blooms. I think have to work together to further Freedom around the world for men women and children.

As we move into the Spring season I think we all feel a sense of freedom from the cold winter……what are you doing to express your freedom?

 

 

Adinkra symbol for Freedom

Fawahodie Adinkra symbol

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.