Stephanie Kanhai, Trinidad & Tobago Queen of Carnival 2015 portraying Sweet Waters of Africa from the band Touch D’ Sky Moko Jumbies
Welcome to Blogging de Carnval 2016. I can’t believe it is 2016 and I can’t believe it’s been 6 years I’ve been doing this! As always let me begin properly and act like I have home training.
“Se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenki.”
Literally translated it means “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot”.
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”.*
I give thanks to the creative spirit and my ancestors, the people who gave me life, the people who survived against some amazing odds and hardships in order for me to exist. I’m especially grateful as always for those from whom I inherit my creativity, my love of “mas” and people who’ve nurtured me with loving kindness so that I could do this. If you’d like to brush up on the the history of this blog see here and here.
I have written before about the ancestral connections and the identity of carnival being a festival of the ancestors. This year I will share with you that another family member has been added to my list of ancestors, a fact that gives me a great deal of heartbreak. At the same time I believe in the strength and spirit of this festival and it’s meaning for the people on whose shoulders we stand. I look forward to the season and this year I intend to use a more laissez faire process to guide my posts. It is 38 days until the reign of the merry monarch. As the moko jumbies spread out across all the cities and towns in Latin America and the Caribbean with a history of Africans being enslaved may our ancestors guide us to create, celebrate, remember.