On Truth

 Osa Otura asks what is ‘truth’

 I ask what is truth?

Orunmila says truth is the Lord of Heaven who guides the world rightly.

Osa Otura asks what is ‘truth’

 I ask what is truth?

Orunmila says truth is the Unseen One guiding the world in the right way.

The wisdom that Olodumare uses, great wisdom, abundant wisdom.

Osa Otura asks what is ‘truth’

 I ask what is truth?

Orunmila says truth is the nature of Olodumare.

Truth is the word that cannot fall.

–Ese Ifa, Osa Otura

 

 

[blogger’s notes: Leo, hadithi ya kale ni ya egun en, the spaces between reclaiming, our knowledge of orishas]

 

Egun – our ancestors

Egun is the collective representation of the Ancestors.We often call our Ancestors by the name, Egun, which in Yoruba language means bones.

As we walk upon the Earth our feet press against the bones of the Ancestors on whose shoulders we stand. Like most indigenous cultures of the world, Afrikans believe that those who go before us make us what we are. When we walk on the Earth, we literally stand on the shoulders of those who bodies have been committed to the soil, the water, and the wind.

Our Ancestors influence our lives through heredity and human culture. However, there is an even deeper connection to the Ancestors as active spirits who continue to influence our lives. We humans honor them with altars, music and prayer. They in turn offer us guidance, protection and prosperity.

Read More

 

Eshu – divine messenger

Esu is the Divine Spirit of Communication, the well-spoken orator who speaks all languages. Esu translates messages between humans and Orisha. Without Esu our prayers would not be understood in heaven and we would be unable to understand the language of Orisha or our ancestors (Egun). Esu is the guardian of the crossroads, as such he opens and closes all doors and ceremonies.

Esu is the owner of ase, the dynamic power that pulses throughout the universe. He is one of the most tactile Orishas constantly stimulated by all he encounters. As such, Esu hates to be bored.As a force in nature Esu is absolutely masculine; however, Esu also has a nurturing side. Esu statues are sometimes sculpted with him having a large, erect penis and well-developed breasts. Esu’s primary colors are red and black.

  

Ochosi – the tracker/warrior

Ochosi is the Orisa associated with hunting and tracking. Ochosi is a nimble, strong, fast Orisha, a supreme marksman.  A “cool” Orisha, Ochoosi is called the “Left-handed Magician”, owing in part, to his ashe of stealth. Yoruba scholar, John Mason writes, that “Ochosi attacks like Ogun, sudden and deadly, yet the victim never sees the assailant or hears the report of the weapon, and that, “Ochosi only has to find a suitable perch and wait for his victims.”

Ochosi helps us to find the most efficacious path to what we aim to achieve. While Esu opens the door and Ogun clears the path, it is Ochoosi who, with bow and arrow aims and creates for us the path of least resistance.

 

Ogun – …of iron

Ogun is the Spirit of iron in Yoruba culture. Both a hunter and a warrior, Ogun uses an iron machete to cut through dense forest to procure food and medicinal herbs and to protect the lives of the community. Ogun helps us clear physical, psychological, or spiritual obstacles that block our ability to achieve our goals. Similarly, Ogun protects us from physical, psychological, or spiritual dangers.

 

Obatala…of the white cloth

Obatala, is the chief of the White Cloth, the Orisha who in Yoruba cosmology, first descended from heaven to earth with the tools for making the earth livable for humans. Obatala is considered the father of all orisa and is said to make the inner and outer heads of all humans.

Obatala is associated with purity, ethics and humility. Obatala is the Orisa of the elderly as well as the Orisa of those with physical disabilities. 

Aganju – the volcano

Aganju is the Orisa of the Uncultivated Earth, Lord of the Volcano, Lord of Caves, The Divine Ferryman.

Aganjú  is most often referred to as the Volcano. He is also the Orisa of untamed lands, from desert to mountains, the brother/husband of Yemoja. Like Olokun, is fabulously wealthy.  As Lord of Caves he owns all the mineral wealth of the earth. Aganju is also the navigator, knowing the safe passages and fjords across the river.  Followers of Santeria equate him with St. Christopher, for like St. Christopher, he will dance at a bembe with little children on his shoulders. Aganju is the bearer of burdens, (the shoulders and back belong to Aganju) the defender of the helpless, down trodden and enslaved. Aganju is a force of life that overcomes obstacles and does the impossible.

Aganyú is the symbol of all earth forces, particularly the core of the earth, the desert, and the volcano. He represents a brute and regenerative force that is responsible for all cataclysmic upheavals that change the face of earth. Volcanic lava is seen as his fiery breath and his power makes the earth gyrate upon its axis. Aganyú is depicted as the father of Shangó in some patakin, and a younger brother of Shangó in others.

 

Shango – “King of” King(s)

“Lightning reaches from the Realm of the Ancestors to Earth as a reminder of the humbling power that exists within Nature itself.”

In Ifa, Divine Justice is symbolized by lightning, one of the primal fires of the Earth in existence since the beginning of time.  Shango is the Orisha associated with the power of lightning and thunder, as well as the name of the Fourth Alafin (Chief) of Oyo. Oyo was a major Yoruba city and the name of a federation of city-states that existed during the 14th and 15th centuries in West Africa.

Oshun – the river

Oshun is the Orisa associated with fresh water. The name Oshun translates to mean “spring” or “source.” As the Orisa of fresh water, Oshun is the source of all life. She is the owner of the Osun river in Oshogbo, Nigeria. She is a powerful healer, especially as it concerns to issues of conception, women’s health and love relationships.

 

Oya – Mother of Nine

Oya is the complex Orisha who guides transformation and change in life.  As the Goddess of the Winds, she can come as a fierce tornado or hurricane or as a cool breeze on a hot summer day.  In her transformative mode she is always moving toward ideal justice for all. 

She wants the best for each of us, and sometimes that means taking away our illusions about the world regarding things and people.  Oya is also known as the keeper of the Ancestors.  In this capacity she serves as the guardian of Egun (Ancestors) at the outskirts of the cemetery, serving as mediator between the living and the sacred dead.  There is a Yoruba prayer for Oya that says, “ Ajalaiye, Ajalorun, fun mi ire,” translated as “the winds of Earth and Heaven bring me good fortune.”  She moves heaven (ancestors) and earth (living) to create communication between the realms.  Finally, as Patron of the Marketplace, Oya is a shrewd businesswoman who reigns over commerce and exchange.  Invoke her before you go shopping.  Take an offering to her and leave it at the opening to a flea market, and she will smile upon your bargaining.  She is also called Iyansan (The Mother of Nine), particularly in Brazil.  Her number is nine, and she loves eggplants and red wine.  Oya- Iyansan is a complex warrior deity who will go to battle for her children out of love and justice.

 

Yemoja – mother of fish

Yemoja is the “Mother of the Children of Fishes.” As such, she is the penultimate symbol of motherhood. Yemoja is the all encompassing mother; like the sea, her ability to nurture is vast. Though associated with the ocean in the African Diaspora, in Yorubaland, Yemoja is the Orisa of the Ogun river. Yemoja is associated with the top layers of the ocean-Olokun is considered the deep, deep realm of the Ocean. The Ocean is the largest environment for life on the earth, therefore Yemoja is viewed as the mother who gave birth to civilization and who continues to sustain us. 

Olokun – owner of the deep

Olokun is the Orisha of the ocean. In Yorubaland Olokun refers to the entire ocean, but in some areas of the New World, this Orisha refers only to the bottom of the sea, with Yemoja governing the top. In those references the ocean is seen as governed by Yemoja/Olokun.

Read more from the source @ http://www.ileorunmilaoshun.org/

 Open letter to Tdot;

On Friday July 23rd, children and their companions will proceed on a path of peace, before that, we’ll meet to pray for grandmother earth and all our relatives @ taylor creek park, and after we will break/fast together…..

The  ”peace-is-possible” parade plan is to converge @ the parking lot of Shopper’s World, 3003 Danforth at 10:00am,

The parade starts @ 11:00am, and we’ll parade west along the danforth to dawes road, and north to (a picnic lunch in) taylor creek park

@ 1:00pm – the matinee of ‘The Space Between’ by The Peace Camp @ the peace theatre

[blogger’s notes: one version of the peace is possible parade is something like]

Drum circle with the funketeers

6:30AM – Sunrise ceremony  – Yoruba house project

A/(c)/r/ti/vists & volunteers hub

8:00 – (community) breakfast  @ the peace theatre

9:30 – Yoga class – the people project

10:00 – Dance class – house of munro

11:00 – parade led by the samba kidz & the piper: Merril Matthews

11:30 – water stop @ Dentonia  Park United Church

11:45 – silent “B.O.P” march with LAL

 

NOON  – lunch @ taylor creek park – afghan women’s catering group

 

1300 – MATINEE: THE SPACE(S) BETWEEN – outdoor amphitheatre @ the (children’s) peace theatre

305 Dawes Road

1800 – outdoor film screening @ The peace theatre

 red lips [cages for black girls] & trailers of Walking in Victor’s shoes/Nekkyd en The q[‘t] werd series

 

2000 – tambor

Hapo mwezi ya kale……kulikuwa na notice from Chief Arvol Looking Horse

(of) A Great Urgency: To All World Religious and Spiritual Leaders

My Relatives,

Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.

We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things. As I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened, those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations, eventually all will be affected from the oil disaster in the Gulf.

The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we cannot afford to continue to make.

I ask, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of in their Prophecies.

I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I believe we as Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth.

As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc¹I Maka).

We ask for prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding, will stop. That the winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be guided in repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we make the choice to change the destructive path we are on.

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children¹s future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),

Chief Arvol Looking Horse

19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

To learn more about Chief Arvol Looking Horse, go to http://www.wolakota.org

Yoruba Creation Myth


In the beginning was only the sky above, water and marshland below. The chief god Olorun ruled the sky, and the god/dess Olokun ruled what was below.

Obatala, another god, reflected upon this situation, then went to Olorun for permission to create dry land for all kinds of living creatures to inhabit. He was given permission, so he sought advice from Orunmila, oldest son of Olorun and the god of prophecy.

He was told he would need a gold chain long enough to reach below, a snail’s shell filled with sand, a white hen, a black cat, and a palm nut, all of which he was to carry in a bag. All the gods contributed what gold they had, and Orunmila supplied the articles for the bag. When all was ready, Obatala hung the chain from a corner of the sky, placed the bag over his shoulder, and started the downward climb.

When he reached the end of the chain he saw he still had some distance to go. From above he heard Orunmila instruct him to pour the sand from the snail’s shell, and to immediately release the white hen. He did as he was told, whereupon the hen landing on the sand began scratching and scattering it about. Wherever the sand landed it formed dry land, the bigger piles becoming hills and the smaller piles valleys. Obatala jumped to a hill and named the place Ife. The dry land now extended as far as he could see.

He dug a hole, planted the palm nut, and saw it grow to maturity in a flash. The mature palm tree dropped more palm nuts on the ground, each of which grew immediately to maturity and repeated the process. Obatala settled down with the cat for company. Many months passed, and he grew bored with his routine. He decided to create beings like himself to keep him company. He dug into the sand and soon found clay with which to mold figures like himself and started on his task, but he soon grew tired and decided to take a break.

He made wine from a nearby palm tree, and drank bowl after bowl. Not realizing he was drunk, Obatala returned to his task of fashioning the new beings; because of his condition he fashioned many imperfect figures. Without realizing this, he called out to Olorun to breathe life into his creatures. The next day he realized what he had done and swore never to drink again, and to take care of those who were deformed, thus becoming Protector of the Deformed. The new people built huts as Obatala had done and soon Ife prospered and became a city. All the other gods were happy with what Obatala had done, and visited the land often, except for Olokun, the ruler of all below the sky. She had not been consulted by Obatala and grew angry that he had usurped so much of her kingdom.

When Obatala returned to his home in the sky for a visit, Olokun summoned the great waves of her vast oceans and sent them surging across the land. Wave after wave she unleashed, until much of the land was underwater and many of the people were drowned. Those that had fled to the highest land beseeched the god Eshu who had been visiting, to return to the sky and report what was happening to them. Eshu demanded sacrifice be made to Obatala and himself before he would deliver the message. The people sacrificed some goats, and Eshu returned to the sky.

When Orunmila heard the news he climbed down the golden chain to the earth, and cast many spells which caused the flood waters to retreat and the dry land reappear.

So ended the great flood. Ase. Ase……..


And other ‘native’ creashun story goes like…..

In the beginning the new world consisted only of vast oceans.  There was no land. Father Sky and his wife were admiring a beautiful tree – lush leaves and fruit, rich, dark bark.  Father Sky’s wife told him that she had a great vision which called for him to pull the tree up by its roots, leaving a large hole in the sky.

Father Sky was sad, for he thought the tree quite beautiful, but he also realized the power of his wife’s vision. He wrapped his arms around the tree, gave a might heave, and uprooted the tree.  Grasping hold of part of the tree, the woman looked through the hole, as she stretched a little further, she lost her footing and fell through.

The animals that were able to live in the water, turtle, beaver, whale and many others, looked up and saw the woman plummeting towards them.  “What will we do,” they cried. “If she lands, she will drown!” Two swans unfurled their beautiful white wings, flew up and caught the woman; they brought her down where they floated on the waves.  Everyone knew this could not go on for long, for the the swans would tire, and at some point the woman would need to sit down.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGI7sQjCMuY&feature=PlayList&p=C976375EFB94FCD0&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=1]

One by one the animals swam to the bottom of the ocean to see if they could bring up a little earth.  The big whales tried, the otter tried, animals large and small, all tried.  Finally, everyone was floating on top of the water very tired from all their efforts.  Little Muskrat swam over and shyly said, “I think I can do it.”  The other animals were too exhausted to even laugh at the thought.  She took a deep breath and dove as far as she could.  It took several tries, but finally, totally exhausted she floated to the surface with a little earth in her paw. “What will I do with it now?” she gasped. Turtle swam over, “Put it on my back, I have a broad back,” he said.  Immediately the land began to grow until it was big enough for the swans to step on shore and let the woman down.  She let go from her hands some seeds that came from the sacred tree she had been holding onto when she fell through the hole.  The land grew and grew and along with it, forests, grasses, plants and vegetables.  it was a wondrous sight, and that is how North America came to be created, and subsequently to be called Turtle Island.

[so this q(ues)t of the (divine) werd on the ground goes, (something) like a Prayer to the Seven Directions]

Grandfathers and Grandmothers of the East, each day you bring us new light so that we may grow in wisdom.  We have been waiting for the time when your light would shine in the hearts of all people.  Then they would remember the Original Instructions that were written in our hearts since the beginning of all things. Now is the time.

Grandmothers and Grandfathers of the South, your warm winds have sent us your love and the abundance from Mother Earth.  We have always known that as we follow the Original Instructions we will walk in balance and harmony and all our needs will be met.  The power and wisdom of this path is not easily understood when the mind is taught inside boundaries and the heart is closed to sissagwaad, the soft wind of spirit.  Open the heart of those who follow the way of the mind.

Grandfathers and Grandmothers of the West, in the darkness of night you have sent us dreams to see deep inside our hearts, to learn how to walk the path of the spirit.  We see the beauty that hides behind each moment and discover the Great Mystery that is in us and all things.  Help the people of the mind see the power of their dreams.  Help them learn from their dreams so that they can remember the Original Instructions.

Grandmothers and Grandfathers of the North, you have brought the cold winds and snows each year to cleanse our Mother Earth.  Now the cleansing of the mind has begun.  The energies of the stars have shifted into a new focus to end domination and hierarchy.  No longer is it possible to live by the mind unless it is guided by the heart. Blow the fresh, clean wind of spirit to sweep away the belief systems that limit our brothers and sisters who are trapped in the way of the mind.

Kee-shay Giidzhii Manidou, you have sent visions and dreams to help us remember Who we are.  We have not forgotten the Original Instructions.  The stories have now been rediscovered and returned to the people.   You have shown that the path of reconciliation and peace is through the heart.  Send the light of inspiration to the Ogichidaag‘ who will show others a new way of being.

Gee-mama-nama-kee, you are our Mother, our Source of Life.  You have given us our food, our water, air, shelter, and so many beautiful beings who are our Brothers and Sisters.  We know we are connected to you and to all other beings in the Web of Life.  Many are those who do not know of their connection.  They see only with their eyes and their mind.  With a narrow focus they see parts of things instead of the energy of love and wholeness.  They have forgotten the Original Instructions.  As their Mother, you have been patient with them.  Extend that patience a little longer so the Ogichidaag‘ can show them a new way.

Great Mystery, we feel your presence in us and in all things.  You are the spiral energy of love that connects all, is all.  You are the circle of life, the circle way, the Original Instructions.  When we are living in our heart, we can soar with the White Eagle to see beyond horizons.

When the drum has been smudged you can beat on it and say this prayer, either in English or Anishinaabemowin, the language of the Anishinabeg:

Midewewewigun, nindo-wiyauh.
I seek the drum.

And then:

N’midewewewigun, manitouwiyauwiwih.
Upon my drum bestow the mystery.

And to Ishpiming, All That Is:

M’gwech, Giidji manidou
Thanks, Great Spirit

Finally, an acknowledgement of the gift:

Kikinowautchi-beegaudae
It is so.

Your drum has been opened as a carrier of your prayers and petitions to the Great Mystery.

Other songs can be found in Ojibway Ceremonies by Basil Johnston from Bison Books (1990).

How the drum was brought to the Anishinabeg is told by Edward Benton-Banai in the Mishomis Book: the Voice of the Ojibway (1988) by Indian Country Communications, Inc.  The original drum was the water drum, mi-tig-wa-tik’ day-way-gun, and contained water to represent the First Order of Being.

In our drum this is replaced by the stone set in the handgrip to avoid the humidity that would otherwise soften the drumhead.  Later, the Anishinabeg added stones to the exterior ties of their drum.  The hide of the deer, wawashkesh’shee, gave peace and gentleness to the drum, as well as speed and agility to the drumbeat.

One of the ceremonial uses of the Mother Earth Drum is healing.  The first time I used the drum in healing, I heard the sissagwad, the soft wind of spirit, whisper to me to hold the drum over each chakra and beat softly.  It worked.  The next time that I did a healing, I did some energy work to break up blockages as I had been instructed to do.  Then I noticed my drum sitting nearby and realized that I was supposed to use it…but not beating it.  I was to caress the drum to make the sound of the wind whipping up a storm.  The with my fingernails scraping across the drum, make the sound of thunder, and, drawing the fingers close together the thunder disappears into the distance.  With more wind and more thunder comes the rain, the tapping of fingers making the multitude of raindrops striking the ground.  More wind, more thunder, more rain…and then quieter, more distant thunder, a gentling wind, diminishing raindrops.  Silence…  The hurts and pains were washed away and all was fresh and clean. Another time, a friend in Denver asked me to help me with one of her horses who had a wound that wouldn’t heal.  I thought: OK, some sage ceremony, some drumming.

I heard the sissagwad whisper. “No drumming.  Use the rattle.”

“What?!” I questioned.

The sissagwad repeated, “No drumming.  Use the rattle.”

“Impossible!” I thought.  I remembered the cowboy movies I had seen as a boy.  The horse hears the rattlesnake and panics, rearing high in the air.   And I was going to be right there under the flailing front feet of the horse.  How about drumming instead! I begged.

“No drumming.  Use the rattle.”

I did the sage ceremony, smudging the entire paddock and the horse.  The horse just stood perfectly still as I swept the smoke over the leg and then its whole body.

Then it was time for the rattle.  I began to shake the rattle, watchful of any hint of a dangerous response.  None.  It worked.  Then the horse “whispered” to me that ‘it had tickled.’  “What?” I asked.  “It tickled,” the horse repeated.  When the bandage was taken off too soon, it still tickled so I scratched it.”  I told Diana to keep the wrap on longer and the problem was solved.  A few months later I heard about the movie, The Horse Whisperer, but I knew that it worked BOTH ways—the horse can whisper to the human, too.

[This is an excerpt from Stories Dream-Catchers Weave.]

So listen to the sissagwad in your heart. Don’t get locked into any rigid ritual.  That’s a head thing, a mind thing.  Don’t misunderstand: the mind is good, but the intuition, listening to the soft wind of spirit in the heart, is an awesome source of wisdom beyond anything of which the mind is capable.

Another way to use the drum is to create a buzzing sound with each beat.  Medicine men would often place inside the drum a stick with lots of smaller sticks pressing lightly against the back of the drumhead. The multiple tones and harmonics are supposed to elicit healing.  With the Mother Earth Drum you can place the fingernail of your forefinger against the backside of the drumhead so that as you drum you will create a buzz.  Unlike the medicine drum, you can withdraw your fingernail from the backside of the drumhead and use a normal beat.  You can also use the tip of your finger to create a stop to a beat.  Or you can use the fingernail of your forefinger to scratch on the backside of the drumhead. In using and combining all of these drumming techniques, you have a diverse “vocabulary” of sounds that can be used as needed.  If your fingers are long enough you might even be able to use both your thumb and forefinger giving you two variations on the backside of the drumhead as well as the multitude of variations with the beater on the front of the drumhead. Your virtuosity is not limited to a change of volume and rhythms.

You will also find it very dramatic and powerful to strike the drumhead hard with the beater and hold the beater firmly against the drumhead.  It’s almost like an explosion and reverberates with a rising, ringing overtone.  Used with a crescendo of volume and rhythm, you can punctuate the finale of a sequence or, followed with quieter drumming and nuanced rhythms, you can create a symphony in percussion.  The thin design of the Mother Earth Drum makes this all possible.

The drum can also be used for meditation and shamanic traveling.  A constant, steady beat of the drum can alter consciousness.

Recovered from copyright theft of an unprincipled white squaw.

White Eagle Soaring: Dream Dancer of the 7th Fire

http://www.real-dream-catchers.com/Art_of_the_Seventh_Fire/mother_earth_drum.htm

kesho [in the q/t werd]…..the truth about (our) stories….behind the masks

blogger’s note: day 3 of the ‘evolution’ of the Q werd….we’re planning an epic journey in our re/search of afrikan hirstory (video) project (R.A.H.P).

In 5 moons we hope to interview warriors in 5 cities…. from tdot, brooklyn, nairobi, kampala to  jo’burg,

en continue the legacies of our ancestors……like

Mbuya Nehanda a.k.a Charwe Nyakasikana (c. 1862-1898) “My bones shall rise again” 

Living in the Hills around Mazoe , Zimbabwe , were various sub-chiefs including Wata and Chidamba. In the Chidamba Village lived the famous Shona spirit medium Mbuya Nehanda. She must have had great authority even before the 1896-7 Rebellion and it is interesting that no greater authority than the Anglican Church in a map drawn up showing missionary work by the Church after 1888 there is a village in the area called Nehandas.

She was a powerful woman spirit medium that was committed to upholding traditional Shona culture, she was instrumental in organizing the nationwide resistance to colonial rule during the First Chimurenga of 1896-7. Even Lobengula recognized her as a powerful spiritual medium in the land.

 
According to historical sources the original Nehanda was daughter of Mutota the first Monomatapa who was living in the escarpment North of Sipolilo in about 1430. This some 70 odd years before Christopher Columbus discovered America and Bartholemew Dias reached the Cape . Mutota was the founder of the Mutapa state, Mutota also had a son who later became the second Monomatapa, and the son was called Matope. Matope was Nehanda’s half brother, and to increase the power of Matope, Mutota ordered his son to commit incest with his half sister, Nyamhika, who became widely know as Nehanda. This incest ritual is believed to have increased Matope’s ruler and his empire, due to this Matope handed over a portion of his empire to Nehanda who became so powerful and well known that her spirit lived on in the human bodies of various spirit mediums over the years until almost 500 years later when we find it occupying the body of the Mazoe Nehanda. Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana was considered to be the female incarnation of the oracle spirit Nyamhika Nehanda.
 
As white settlement increased in the land, according to sources Nehanda initially welcomed the occupation by the Pioneers and counseled her followers to be friendly towards them “Don’t be afraid of them” she said “as they are only traders, but take a black cow to them and say this is the meat with which we greet you.” Unfortunately relationships became strained when the settlers starting imposing taxes, forced relocations, forced labor, etc.
 
As colonialism began to get its grip on the natives of Zimbabwe , there was military drive to rid of the British settlers. The collective efforts of the locals to get rid of the British colonialist in the period of 1896-7 have become known as the First Chimurenga a.k.a the Rebellion. Due to the cultural beliefs of the locals, the leading roles behind the rebellion were by three spirit mediums. The rebellion was initiated in Matebeland in May 1896, the leading role there being Mukwati, in October 1896 Kaguvi and Nehanda from Mashonaland joined in; these were the three critical people behind the rebellion 
 
Kaguvi (a.k.a Kagubi) was believed to be the spirit husband of the other great Shona spirit, Nehanda, and it may have been this connection which enabled him in due course to persuade Mbuya Nehanda to preach the gospel of war resistance in Mashonaland, which led to the first Chimurenga. The role as well as the influence of the spirit mediums in form of Kaguvi and Nehanda, can not understated. As far as the people were concerned Nehanda and Kaguvi were the voices of God a.k.a Mwari.  Kaguvi and later Nehanda (after convincing by Kaguvi) preached that according to Mwari the cause of all the trouble that had come upon the land was the white man. They had brought the locusts and the rinderpest, and to crown it all, they, the owners of the cattle which had died, were not allowed to eat the meat of the carcasses, which had to be burned or buried. Mwari decreed that the white men were to be driven from the country. They, the natives, had nothing to fear, Mwari would turn the bullets of the white man into water. For her role in the resistance a warrant of arrest was issued for the arrest of Nehanda. Nehanda was able to avoid arrest for over a year but she was eventually captured at the end of 1897 and brought to trial in 1898 for her part in the killing of Native Commissioner Pollard. Pollard had created great resentment among her people by thrashing Chief Chiweshe for failing to report an outbreak of Rinderpest among his herds. He was captured at the outbreak of the Rebellion and an eye witness reports as follows:
 
“So they took him to Nehanda.” She said “Bring him here.” Then she came and knelt down and spoke with Pollard. I then heard Nehanda say to Watta “Kill Pollard but take him some way of to the river or he will stink.” They took an axe and they chopped of his head.

So Nehanda along with her Spiritual husband were both charged with murder—Kagubi for the death of an African policeman, and Nehanda for the death of the Native Commissioner Pollard—and summarily sentenced to death by hanging. At Nehanda’s hanging there was drama, which could have been a display of her spiritual powers. Two unsuccessful attempts were made to hang her. An African prisoner present at her hanging then suggested that the hangman should remove from her belt a tobacco pouch. This was done and on the third attempt she was successfully hanged. Nehanda’s dying words were, “My bones will rise again,” meaning they will rise again to fight the settlers. There were numerous and strenuous attempts by a Catholic Priest to convert her to Christianity but she remained defiant to the end, but Kaguvi gave in and was converted. 
 
Nehanda is rightfully honored by the Shona people as a resistance heroine. Her fortitude both before and after her arrest is remarkable, it played a critical part in Zimbabwean History.

References:
A.S. Chigwedere, From Mutapa to Rhodes .
Peter Gibbs, The History of the BSAP.
W. Edwards, Reminiscences in NADA.
P.S. Garlake, The Mashona Rebellion east of Salisbury , Rhodesiana No. 14, July 1966.
S. Hickman, Balleyhooley Hotel, Rhodesiana No. 17, December 1972.
D.N. Beach , Kaguvi and Fort Mhondoro , Rhodesiana No. 27, December 1972.
General History of Africa, Vol. VII: Africa under Colonial Domination, 1880-1935,     
UNESCO. University of California Press, 1990. 
Great Zimbabwe : described and explained, Peter Garlake, Zimbabwe Publishing House, 1982. 
Modern Africa : A social and political history (2nd ed.), Basil Davidson, Longman Group, 1989. 
A political history of Munhumutapa c 1400-1902, S.I.G. Mudenge, Zimbabwe Publishing House, 1988. 
Revolt in Southern Rhodesia , 1896-7: A Study in African Resistance, Terence O. Ranger, Heinemann, 1984. 
The struggle for Zimbabwe : The Chimurenga War, David Martin & Phyllis Johnson, Zimbabwe Publishing House, 1981.
Women Leaders in African History, David Sweetman. General Publishing Company, Limited, 1984.

(source:http://www.theafrocentricexperience.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72:nehanda&catid=59:african-queens&Itemid=73)

If you want to know who I am
I am daughter of Angola, of Kêto and Nagô
I don’t fear blows because I am a warrior
Inside of samba I was born
I raised myself, I transformed myself, and
no one will lower my banner, O, O, O.
I am a warrior woman daughter of Ogun and Yansâ
 
—Song from an album by Brazilian singer Clara Nuñes
 

Queen Sekhmet, Dread Lioness of Khem(Egypt),

She who must be obeyed, the All Conquering Queen of Ethiopia

In indigenous afrikan cosmology, Sekhmet (also spelt Sachmet, Sakhet, and Sakhmet; Greek name: Sacmis), was the primodial war goddess. 

Her name suited her function, and means “the Conquering Lady” or (one who is) powerful, and she was also given titles such as (One) Before Whom Evil Trembles, and Lady of Slaughter. Sekhmet was also known as the Scarlet Lady, (a reference to blood) and the Avenger of Wrongs.

As the one who destroyed the evil relentlessly whilst protecting goodness she was hailed as Nyabinghi, in the upper sections of the Nile, near the borders of Southern Sudan and Uganda, ancient Ethiopia Kush the land of the first Pharaohs.

Sekhmet was She who protected the nation and the Pharaoh in peace and in war.  In wars the protection and strength of the Conquering Queen Mother of Ethiopia were the hopes of the Pharaohs, and in peace She was believed to stalk the land, destroying the enemies of the Pharaoh with arrows of fire.  Indeed it was said that death and destruction of the wicked and the oppressors were balsam for her heart, and hot desert winds were believed to be her breath.

The protection of the Pharaohs was such a crucial function in those time as the instutition was the source of all the tradition and stability of Kush and Khem.

The Pharaoh – the Great Black House – was the government of Egypt, the very soul and center of all the Black-Brown people of Africa.  It comprised of the King of Kush and Egypt and the college of priestly scientists, administrators, legislators and justices that guided and directed Black Africa.  This establishment governed Egypt for more than 3,000 years of its recorded existence and it was the key to its stability and longevity.

The Pharaoh was the source of justice, morality and righteousness.  The office of the King and Queen in the Pharaoh (the great Black House) was seen as the embodiment of the energy of the Sun…Ras. 

The king of Egypt was verily the living son of the great God amongst men.  As such it was crucial that the crucible of order and meaning be protected at all times.  And this was the key function of Sekhmet the Conquering Queen Mother of Ethiopia.  She was the mother and the protector of God!

The devotion of motherhood was also an aspect attributed to the Conquering Mother of Ethiopia, Sekhmet. She was viewed as a form of Hathor the primeval mother of humanity and the gods. As Hathor, she was seen as Atum’s mother.  Since Atum was but another name or aspect of the Kushitic/Khemitic God Amen, Sekhmet was also conceptualized as the mother of God.

In particular, she was seen as the mother of Nefertum, the youthful form of Atum, and so was said to have been Ptah’s lover. Ptah was the archetypal God and Nefertum’s father. Sekhmet, Ptah and Nefertum were thus the original triad of Gods, worshipped especially in the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis.

Sekhmet was the incarnation of the fearless lioness. She was the essence of the majesty, royalty, and power of the fierce lioness.  In art, she was depicted as such, or as a shoulder length dread locks African woman with the head of a lioness, dressed in red, the colour of blood. Given that lions were her totemic animals, tame lions were kept in temples dedicated to Sekhmet like the ones in the ancient Egyptian city of Leontopolis.

The cult of Sekhmet the Powerful Dread Lady of the south was and remains widespread in Africa and in the diaspora.  Sekhmet was known by different names at different time in different areas in Africa.  But her core role, function and attributes remained resiliently unaltered inspite of several local embellishments.  Sometimes, her identity was composited in the identity of a great ancestral female matriarch, and it was rationalized that Sekhmet had incarnated amongst humanity as that female matriarch.

In the animal kingdom Sekhmet ruled as the all powerful dread lock lioness and in the human kingdom she ruled as the Queen of Queens of Kush and Khem.  She was said to manifest in the physical world cyclically either as the lioness, her favourite totem or as the incarnation of an all powerful African Empress.  It is usually in the human form as an African Queen that Sekhmet prefers to leave her marks on humanity.

In parts of Africa where there one finds strong strains of ancient Ethiopian-Egyptian culture one finds Sekhmet composited with various localized strong women such as the Queen of Sheba and Queen Judith in ancient Ethiopia, Queen Amina in Zaira, Nigeria, Queen Kahina, the Black African Jewish Queen of the Berbers, Queen Moremi in the ancient Oyo Empire in Nigeria, Queen Idia in the ancient Benin Empire in Nigeria, Queen Ojedi among the Onitsha Igbos of Nigeria, Queen Nzinga in Angola, and Queen Nyabinghi Muhumusa of Uganda.
 

Origin Of Sekhmet

The Egyptian mythology teaches that in the golden age of the world that Ra (also Ras) himself the king and the father of the gods ruled Egypt himself.  This was the greatest age that Egypt had ever known and until the very end it was described as the age of perfection.

Ra ruled for so long in that time that men forgot the number of years he had been on the throne.  Eventually, even Ra got old, “for it was decreed that no man should rule forever and he had made himself man to live on earth and rule over Ethiopian and Egypt.  In his oldage, “his bones were like silver, his flesh like gold and his hair like lapis lazuli.”

Due to the onset of senility Ras was no more an effective fighter against Apophis the Dragon of Evil, who had subsequently grown bolder in his malfeasance and “sought ever to devour all that was good and bright and kissed by the sun.”

Presently the evil of Apophis entered into the soul of the ancient Africans and many of them rebelled against Ras and did evil in his sight and disrespected his works.

So Ras gathered the high Gods in high council, and he sent for the four living creatures that stand before his throne, Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut, and finally he sent for Nun the essence of the waters. 

Before this high and mighty council Ras made his interdiction against men, and he sought to pronounce a malediction against them for their evil, dirty, unrighteous and disrespectful ways. 

But Nun, speaking on behalf of the other Gods urged restraint.  Because the unconstrained wrath of Rastafari could burn up the earth in  totality, consuming the deserving with the undeserving.

So Nun speaking for the Gods called forth and surely, for the appointment of one enthusiastic and steadfast, one burning with sincere love and devotion for the majesty of the dynasty of Ras, one commited to the regency and hegemony of the righteous Empire, to arise and defend the integrity, and the solemnity, and the sanctity and the honour of the law and the works of Ra.

For as Nun argued, “if you send forth the burning glance of your eye to slay mankind, it will turn the land of Ithiopia and the entire world with it into a desert.  Therefore make a power that will smite men and women only; send out that which will burn the evil but not harm the good.  Send out Nyabinghi!”

Then Ras consented with the urging of the Gods.  “I will not send my burning glance upon the Africa, instead I will send my mother, my protector, the love of my heart to protect my holy works. I will send Nyabinghi.”

Even as he spoke, Sekhmet the dread lioness, the mighty lady of Africa, “She” who must be obeyed, sprang into being. Nyabinghi, away she sped into Africa, tearing through Egypt, Ethiopia, Punt, Asmara, Mocambique, even unto Azania in the South.  She slaughtered and devoured mankind until the Nile and the Niger ran red with blood and the earth besides it became desolate.

Before long the most wicked among men had been slain by the Sekhmet, the dread lioness mother of Ras, Queen of Queens of Africa, and the rest prayed to Ras for mercy.  And Ra spared them.

Ra spared them because he wished to spare this ungrateful humanity and grant them any indulgences for which he finds an excuse.  Also it is said some in places, that “Ras wished to spare them (humanity) for he hath no desire to slay all of mankind, and leave himself the ruler of a desolate and barren earth, with no human to sing and play with him.

Since then until this moment, even unto tomorrow,  the name and the essence of the lion goddess has lived with us, and will live with us, without any depletion of her sheer leonine potency.  Sekhmet, the Majestic Lady of power, She who must be obeyed,  the dread lioness goddess of ancient and modern Africa,  still lives dishing out judgement and fire, through word, sound and powerful action, to those who hate righteousness, to those who hate Jah, regardless of the colour of their skin. 

by

Jide Uwechia

January 28, 2007

It’s been a hot minute since I shared my ‘personal’ thoughts, all contradictory en straight up as they’re evolving….the reasons ain’t too deep, I’ve been distracted with searching….I’ve been looking, en I mean  REALLY  looking for a really good job; the kind with benefits en at least a 6 months contract, that’s the dream, en as new as it is, it’s true to my surroundings

the other reality is that I’ve been hitting the streets, offering myself for ‘service to others’ through any pimp running a restaurant, so at least I could start getting cold hard cash at the end of each shift put in, the kinda dollars that will get my debt/s repaid, travel fare, en school fees saved up again…those dreams that are so close, yet so (seemingly) far away….

(but) I have a feeling, this week is gonna be IT…..the pundits have declared that we’re climbing out of the recession (though many more are still unemployed), the birds en bears have officially christened the ‘spring’ (though I prefer the transition of seasons in East Afrika), en even this reality doesn’t come close to capturing the hope that has seen me through surviving en the rewards that have sustained my growth, en are instigating (my) thriving….as simple as one project, one documentary, started out of necessity, en growing in scope en tenacity…as comforting as conversations with God/dess en communion with the earth en holy werd..

I’d been digging myself into deep holes with resistance en worry, making mountains out of road blocks, when all I needed to do was, simple, change….myself, before I even tried to think about how I could do better for others.

I did, change….I have had no choice but to…..one of those beauties of the universe. Everything that happens really is jus’ so, for a reason, en now that I’m happy again… I know that this is where I’m supposed to be (it’s not new)…. where every day gets better, en we get a lil’ closer to our visions.

 The truth about (our) stories is that they’re we all we have, en they’ve changed over centuries, but the fairy tale script remains embedded in our realities.

In the beginning, there was……en then there was a spark, fast forward to boy/girl meets cute. Linger in the chase & drama that ensues, mandatory finding one/self/ metamorphosis, en ….they live/d happily ever after. The end.

That’s one version. Another is where the years stretch with experiments, en settling in foreign cities. Where girl questions hir gender identity and rebels the only was s/he knows how, by any means necessary.

Re/inscribes language on hir body, en grows into the woman she had never imagined, dramatic segue to where woman meets wo/man.  Linger in the ‘cycling’ en metamorphosis that ensues, en they go on to marry several more queens en a king, en….live/d happily after. The end.

En an even older story goes that Oba en Oya vied for one man, Chango, who like Osun, loved many wo/men…en had a couple of loves of his life, en their descendants are scattered all over the world. En this is not the end, or anywhere near the beginning….

The beauty about stories is that we can have our heart’s desire in them, en with just the right amount of faith, magical dust, prayer en work, they come true. En if it’s true…..chant with me now J

So, for the next couple of moons, this blog is dedicated to dadas in solidarity.  Stories of researching afrikan hirstory.  Documenting the evolution of our film project, The Q werd. We’re collecting stories of queer/trans wo/men of afrikan descent, en going way back in time to re/cover what has almost been forgotten, all the betta to move forward (with)…..ever!

starting from the beginning, with indigenous afrikan creashun stories…from gulu en ngai to olodumare….hadithi! hadithi?!!!!!!!

Nilienda eldoret, isiolo, kaimosi, kiambu, kimililili, kisumu,  kitale, lamu, malindi,  nakuru, ngomeni, osogbo, thika, wajir, webuye……nipe mji, nitakupatia hadithi……leo ni ya mashairi kama makmende, en memes bigger than Wikipedia 😉

Recommended listening for this post  (songs of stories in the brewing pot called The Q werd)

  1. Asa – fire on the mountain
  2. Nneka – Africans
  3. Lamya – black Monalisa/empires
  4. K’naan– take a minute/waving flag
  5. Miriam Makeba – Mayibuye!
  6. Stella Chiweshe – mutambazve
  7. Daudi Kabaka – mchumba wangu
  8. P square –  no one like you
  9. Gyptian – butterflies
  10. GidiGidi MajiMaji – many names, many faces
  11. Queen Ifrica – lioness on the rise
  12. Ukoo Flani ft. Nazizi – hiphop halisi
  13. Weird MC – Riranwo