Who We Are

Who We Are: "We are a collaboration of families of African Traditional practitioners coming together to venerate our Ancestors for the perpetual healing of our communities."About our favicon: Fawohodie, an adinkra symbol meaning the "symbol of independence, freedom, emancipation". From the expression: Fawodhodie ene obre na enam. Literal translation: "Independence comes with its responsibilities."

Monday, June 18, 2012

THE VOICE OF EEGUN



When Ancestors speak we should listen. But how often are we quiet enough to hear their whisper or their call or their shout? It comes sometimes in the simplest ways – a comment from a child or elder, a statement on a wall or shirt, a dream. Sometimes it comes so blatant it can scare you immensely.  They are everywhere and some people have the gift to see them. It is a gift, yes, that some unfortunately see as a curse.


Singing in honor of Ancestors

What makes a gift a curse? Perhaps one’s lack of preparation for a gift might make it a curse. If no one told you or taught you how to use something of value or even informed you of the value of that thing, how would you know to use it properly or appreciate it? Ignorance, then, would make a gift a curse. Not knowing the existence of Ancestors and not being taught to embrace their visions and messages would surely make the ability to see and hear Ancestors become a curse rather than a gift.

Some people have been told that they are crazy and need psychiatric help. Some have been told that they need to be “saved” and demons need to be exorcised from them. They have been overwhelmed with prayers, verses, medication and therapy in an attempt to “heal” this alleged curse that they have. All these things come to no good and a gift indeed becomes a curse when the receiver does not know or does not appreciate the gift which s/he has been given.

We may not all have this particular gift of seeing or hearing Ancestors but we all do have Ancestors. We could not exist without them and that already is a blessing. They are indeed present around us, whether we recognize them or not, and they do impact our lives one way or another. They do speak to us, bring us messages, warnings, guidance. They mean us well. It is for us to sit still more often and listen to the voice of our Ancestors.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Don't Tell Me You Missed It!


May 20th has come and gone and the most wondrous Ancestor Celebration was hosted by Keepers of the Way at the Spirit filled Omenala Griot African Teaching Museum. Don't tell me you missed it!!!

Well if you missed it, your chance will come again next year but let's talk about some of the things that did happen. The day began with a libation with the priests and volunteers as we set up and prepared for the celebration. As we organized the venue a rising spirit of anticipation took over. It was the hard work of Oyanike that pulled together the volunteers




It always brings joy to the heart to see Afrikan people working together in positive unity and harmony. To add to that feeling, the thought of honoring, elevating, singing, praising and experiencing our Ancestors was simply wonderful.






 
As the event began, we gathered in our workshops. Song, dance and music were combined together. The Spirit Workshop talked about the basics of Ancestor Reverence at home. And I cannot forget the children's workshop because the children made ancestral masks from various Afrikan ethnic groups. The children even came before the group and showed their masks. Props should be given to 'Fafunmilayo for working with the children and giving them an opportunity to participate.

 
The workshops were followed by a round table where we Senegalese,  Pape Niang and Haitian Vodoun practitioner,Nana De, talked to us about how their traditions honor ancestors. There was time for questions before we moved into the celebration.

Iya Alajoye Sangofemi performed the libation and the "party" started. We began with two Akan songs led by Nana Kofi Ampon.  From there we continued with Yoruba (diaspora version) songs. Spirit was called and Spirit came and from the experience, participants accessed their own blood line, their own DNA and traveled with the Ancestors of all who were present.