Re: The concept of Civilization. *LINK*
Posted By: karibkween In Response To: The concept of Civilization. *LINK* (karibkween)
Date: Friday, 18 November 2011, at 12:23 p.m.
In Response To: The concept of Civilization. *LINK* (karibkween)
Before I began living with Kwawu people, learning the Twi language, and looking at the world as the Akan do, I had my own idea of reality and how the world, with me in it, was constructed. 2.
As I became more and more able to live like a Kwawu person, I realised that I began thinking in Twi - some things, some responses, some events, just did not translate into my native Canadian English. Ultimately I discovered that it was difficult to bridge the European African gap within myself. Now I am trying to do so: to put together some ideas - learned in Kwawu - into a composition that would be understood by people in my culture of origin.
I will start by describing my early perceptions of reality, and go on to demonstrate the arbitrary nature of language in categorising perceptions. I will then go on to describe what I learned about Kwawu perceptions of reality. The three fundamental elements of the physical universe and the spirits which animate it, the three fundamental elements of the physical individual and the three souls which animate each human being, each parallel the three fundamental ritual and symbolic colours, red, black, and white.
Learning this different way of looking at the world, self, and society, made it difficult to answer questions, in English, based on Western assumptions, when they were asked about life and living in an African society. Perhaps this essay will explain some of the reasons.
"A PERSON HAS THREE SOUL CATEGORIES
When M.J. Field wrote that Akan society is a "guiltless" society, she implied that fault or guilt was not internalized by any individual. 4. Someone found guilty of being evil or committing a crime will not admit personal guilt yet still confess that the accusation is correct. The usual interpretation of this is that the guilty individual blames his crime on being possessed by an evil spirit but his inner "self" (whatever that is) remains pure. This explanation does not go far enough. The so-called "guiltless" trait is a product of the convoluted and multidimensional Akan ideas of self or personal identity.
The red physical element is female. Blood and flesh come from mother from the time of conception. The foetus feeds on the mother in the womb, drinks her milk after birth, and eats the products of her farm and kitchen. Whether male or female, his body comes from his mother, belongs to his mother's (thus his own) matrilineage, and is ultimately sent back to the great Mother: Earth. The spilling of a lineage member's blood is abhorred, because it is the common blood of the descent group.
At conception, a person receives semen (hoaba). By this medium a child receives fertility and cleanliness. Cleanliness in a spiritual sense is morality (witness the "house cleaning" metaphor of Rawlings as he and the PNDC rid Ghana's armed forces and civil service of corruption) while fertility is closely linked to personality. These characteristics are passed down through the male line only. After a child is outdoored, and named by its father (who alone has that right and duty), the child's father's father will spit in the child's mouth, as a form of prayer, to fortify that white spiritual fertility, the semen. When a person seeks a blessing from fathers father, the old man will comply by spitting on that person's head, child or adult. The while fluids, and the morals, fertility, and personality they carry, come from one's father and only through the father's line. The strength of one's (white) bones has the same origin.
In contrast to blood and semen that a child receives at conception, the breath of life it receives from God comes at its time of birth. The day of birth is remembered weekly rather than annually, and is reflected in the "day name" or "soul name" of each person. Breath (humi) is the sign of anima, ability or life (tumi) in the individual and although invisible it is represented by !he colour black, and links together dynamics and air as in the physical universe. Death means that God removes that breath and life.
The proverb, "abusua ye kwaem (the matrilineage is a forest)," indicates its dual or multiple nature, difficult to describe in Socratic "either-or" terms. Seen from the outside, the lineage is a unity like a forest but seen from the inside, it is composed of many parts competing for sun and rain. Members of a lineage can trace direct matrilineal links, but beyond the lineage is the clan. The abusua pon (pon = supreme) or clan has an essence or name which is called its ntn.
The ntr, where understood, are described as the "children" of the abosom (gods) and there is an obvious association between patriliny, purity, and fertility. With each ntrė come various food proscriptions based on the avoidance of pollution. The concepts of sunsum, ntrė, and abosom respectively are nesting spiritual categories of increasing generality and communality."
The Universe has 3 Souls
Messages In This Thread
Rastafari Speaks is maintained by Administrator with RastafariSpeaks.com 5.12.
FAIR USE NOTICE:
This site may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml