Black Spirituality Religion : An African discourse on African Script

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Sekhemu, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jul 9, 2003
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    Traditional Akan were and are prolific readers of culture. Traditional Akan were are prolific writers of culture. Let me try to explain from an Akan point of view. Every time we dance to a drum we are reading the text that is being spoken to Nyame (God Almighty), Asase, the Abosum, Nsamanfo and Onipa. Every time we wrap our Ntama (cloth) around our body you are speaking in Akan script. As each way we wrap our cloth has meaning. When we view a male or femal in Ntama their wrap is talking to us. Not in spoken words but in text or script. The type of fabric whether kente or Andinkra has deep meaning also, for it is a script, and ancient Akan script. The so-called gold weights of the Akan are complete archives and encyclopaedias of everything in the universe. To ignore it is to be considered illiterate among the traditional Akan. Now, many Akan that live in traditional setting on the continent are illiterate and were in the past too. That was not frowned on because everyone has there role in society. Certain scripts were taught to people who were initiated into certain societies. Such as Blacksmiths, Okyeame (so-called linguists but really the legal representativs of various Akan institutions), Osene (Heralds), Obrafo (custodians), drummers etc, etc, etc. It is said by some that it is mandatory that certain officials have knowledge of certain scripts in order to perform there duties.

    Example: In the institution of Okomfo are several scripts.

    The song, dance, and the music are some examples and important ones at that. Many Abosum have implements which are or contain script. The Edru or medicine of the Abosum is often invoked by various rituals that contain the necessary script needed to empower the Edru so it will work. Each of the various bells that are hand crafted by blacksmiths ring with certain frequency ranges in order to invoke the Abosum with the bells language. Twi is a tonal language and cannot be recited correctly on musical instruments or vocally unless one has a basic overstanding of the science of tone, or script.

    In fact, many Abosum have their own script. IF you look at Adade's Afena closely you will see exactly what I'm refering to. Or better yet we can ask ourselves this question. How many knives does Asuo Gyebi carry and why? How many knives does Nkansa carry and why? The answer is at least one of Asuo's scripts. Many people visit Akan shrines to Asuo for example, may actually view, hear and feel some of the scripts of Asuo, but since they don't know that there are scripts in existence, those scripts go unnoticed. There are several other reasons these scripts go unnoticed

    1) Because the teachers may not know the script, they cannot impart it.

    2) The teacher may know that the student is not ready, therefore not permitted to release that information at that time.

    The various Abusia Kuri that are used in veneration of our ancestors have a most fantastic script. What the european teaches is that much of what one would see in Akan ritual is art. This is FALSE for it is much more than that. But one must make an attempt to study the scripts to overstand this.

    There are different levels of overstanding to our various scripts. Scripts also can be found in other African cultural systems. The Two Obruni (Marcel Griaulle and Germaine Dieterlen) that tried to invade Dogon cosmology in the early 1900's under disguise of anthropology. Griaulle and Dieterlen stated in their publications that they were not given the fourth level of the clear world by the Dogon. In other words even the Obruni (white man) knows that we Africans have scripts that span vast levels of overstanding that will never be divulged to them. Ofcourse most won't confess to this but they are aware and they discuss it in private.

    In conclusion, reading about one's culture SHOULD NOT BE RESTRICTED TO WHAT THE european CONSIDERS TO BE a BOOK, NEWSPAPER, or MAGAZINE. Reading from an African perspective is exactly that, reading from an African perspective. The song, dance, the Aben (horn), the cloth, the Okyeame Puma, the Gwa, the Afena, the Kente, the Ntama, the Dja are some examples of rich reading materials our ancestors left for us to study.

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