Last Saturday, I was invited to do a live painting demo at Charlotte’s Mint Museum (Uptown) during their Mint to Move multicultural dance party. What an absolute joy it was to allow my energy and the paint to flow along with the hot rhythms of salsa, merengue, bachata, Kizomba, and soul!
In honor of my ancestors, I chose to bring to life the adinkra symbol “Sankofa”. The Asante (or Ashanti - one of the many subgroups of the Akan people), are the original creators of adinkra symbols. These visual symbols are used to express proverbs and other philosophical ideas. Sankofa refers to the adinkra symbol represented by either a stylized heart shape, or by a bird with its head turned backwards to retrieve the precious egg it left behind.
Sankofa is often associated with the proverb: “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi," which translates as: "It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten." The overall concept is: taking from the past what is good and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress through the benevolent use of knowledge. Sankofa has also been adopted as an important symbol in an African-American and African Diaspora context: to represent the need to reflect on the past to build a successful future.
and so it is...