The Mother Braid: The Hieroglyphic Signs and Symbols of Traditional African Braids (Synopsis)" by Mama Konta
From the book:
This is a synopsis of a work in progress: Mother-Braid: the Hieroglyphic Signs and Symbols of African Braids. This work proves that the identity of African people has never disappeared in spite of the geo-cultural assaults on the people and their culture. -Mama Konta
The Mother Braid-La Tresse Mere- is presented for the express purpose of further removing the "veil of falsification over historical truth" (Diop1974). This book is the result of a study of historic and cultural meaning of braiding hair among African peple. It is unique and comprised of elements of physical science, mathematics, linguistics, sociology, history, and physical anthropology.
Philosophy in Identity
For the African continent, knowing a common origin for their different traditional braid designs will lhelp the people to recover their historic memory. Such a recovered consciousness will also help overcome...tribalism and other social conflicts exacerbated by the effects of the european colonial policies. Knowledge of braid design could facilitate an African renaissance and a resolute forward walk toward regional and continental constructive unity.
For Africa's Diaspora, the importance of these results is profound. This research answers the heart cry of the Diasporan for Identity. In fact, we have found that the braid design "Cornrows" work during slavery, shows particular affinities with the braid design worn by agricultural groups such as the Joola of Senegal.
I noted that despite the inhuman policies of dehumanization practiced against Diasporans in the USA, this African population has worn the identifying hair design for childhood (Xuur or Ascent, called Mohawk). Since slavery Diasporans have continued the use of braiding techniques (Lett, Lexas, Raw) as well as the design Njan of ancestral warriors. Note here that Njan and the Afro are the same.
The knowledge of this continuum in Identity of enslaved Africans helped us see the resilient and untamable African spirit and their total rejection of the slave identity imposed on them by europeans.
The African world will find reasons to embrace and celebrate together the heritage of their cultural and historic identities.
The Mother Braid will be an affirming source of who we are and have always been.
"The Mother Braid" by Mama Konta
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