Sankofa, the Adinkra symbol of the Akan people, from what is known today as Ghana, “teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward. That is, we should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward. Whatever we have lost, forgotten, forgone or been stripped of, can be reclaimed, revived, preserved and perpetuated”.*
Welcome to the Season 7 of Blogging de Carnival (#BdC2017). I’m both happy and sad to open this series with images of Narcenio Señor Gomez. An icon in the mas world, a master wire bender, a dear friend, and now an ancestor. Señor was known and loved by pretty much everyone I knew in the mas world, and by photographers who followed traditional mas. At 86 he was spritely and young at heart. He loved to teach, he loved to talk and he loved technology. I did posts on Señor in 2013 and last year I caught up with him after a period of illness. He enthusiastically showed me the mas mischief he’d been up to. Even though he had doctor’s orders to stay away because of his eyes, he still did a “lil” something. Señor was intent on doing interviews, using technology to share his talents and his stories. He wanted to be on the internet – a thing that endeared me to him even more. He knew that in videos could take his work farther than we could imagine, and perhaps, at 86 he thought about his own temporal earthly existence too.
One carnival Monday Tony Hall told a group of friends that every year in carnival we carry the stories of our ancestors in the mas – in the movements in our bodies and so many elements that surround carnival. With every piece of wire Señor carried those ancestral messages into the future. Now we will have to continue his work. In the meantime we will always return and get it. Sankofa.
*Quotation taken from the W.E.B Dubois Learning Center, http://www.duboislc.net/SankofaMeaning.html