Gray, Black & White

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Last week I was massaging coconut oil into my scalp and noticed my first white hair! I was sort of surprised, but shortly after I began to embrace that one little white hair that although dead, seemed full of life. I wanted to do a public service announcement email to my friends, letting them know that Queen Shila Iris had gotten her first white hair. My computer started malfunctioning so I couldn’t send the email. However, I realized that I love gray and white hair! I actually love lots of gray, black, and white things. Pictures, pets, hair, clothes, shoes- together, these colors are hot! I like that salt and pepper look. To me it is distinguished and attractive. Check it out.

1Gray, black, and white videography…

Check out the good reads…

Love, life with wisdom,

Shila Iris 

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Anytime, anyplace… the journey

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Love can feel so good when it is in season… and not forced.

1. This is how it starts..

“I want to dance tonight, I want to toast tonight, I’ll spend my money tonight, I want to get freaky tonight…” lol.

THE POINT IS: SOMETIMES WE NEED TO BE WILD!

2. After a few conversations…

“I needed sunshine in my day, something to wash away the pain. I saw a very gentle side of him, that took my heart and made it sane. I wish he’d run away and hide with me, love meant so much more than it seems, there is one thing I didn’t show, I love him and he doesn’t know…”

MY POINT: FINDING THE NERVE AND THE BOLDNESS TO LOVE SOMEONE AGAINST THE ODDS…

3. After the date…

“There’s a quiet storm, and I never felt like this before. There’s a quiet storm, that is you. There’s a quiet storm, and I never felt this hot before…”

THE POINT: IT IS GOOD TO EXPERIENCE PURE FEELINGS OF ADORATION.

4. …and you’ll want to say, “yes.” But you really need to carefully evaluate if you are ready to say it.

“There is only one for me. You have made that possibility. We can take that step to see. If this is really going to be, all you gotta do is say yes… don’t deny what you feel, let me undress you baby, open up your mind and just rest. I’m about to let you know, you make me so, so so so so so so so so…”

THE POINT IS: SOMETIMES, IT’S OK TO JUST SAY YES. SOMETIMES. DON’T LET EXPERIENCES OF A LIFETIME JUST PASS YOU BY.

5. Perhaps this may happen…

“…skirt around my waist, wall against my face, I can feel your lips… I don’t want to stop just because, people walking by watching us, I don’t give a damn what they think, I want you now…all I want to say is, any time, any place…”

THE POINT IS, LOVE IS REBELLIOUS!

This is Queen Shila for African Essence

Love, life, with wisdom!

P.S. Still searching for life in cracks… reading Seat of the Soul

The Warm Embrace of Mud Cloth…

Soon, the seasons will change to a warmer climate which may prevent us from wearing our beautiful mud cloths. Although created in a place where the weather is typically warm, it can be difficult to indulge in the beauty of this Malian textile once the sun starts blazing. So, you may want to start taking your heavier pieces out for their final spins. In many states, you should be able to get through the Spring wearing bogolanfini and if so, go for it! Here are some of my favorite styles…

The artistry and aesthetic sophistication of African textiles and dress has been admired and appreciated by foreign observers since the time of the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Navigators would travel to Zaire, Mali, the Kuba Kingdom, Kasai region, and the Kongo from overseas, returning home with cherished prizes of embroidered cloths and mud-dyed fabrics. Fast forward to 2014, what is the importance of these cloths today?

At the risk of greatly oversimplifying the extremely elaborate symbolism in African textiles, we have come to accept them as “ethnic” prints, sold to the masses strictly for profit. However, to the trained eye, a print is not good enough. I myself desire raffia cloths from Zaire. I dream of owning just a piece of a royal Ashanti kente cloth. I would travel far to acquire an aso oke, the ceremonial cloth of the Yoruba or any of the wax-printed cloths that adorned my ancestors. However, my most beloved choice of fabric is the bogolanfini, mud-dyed cloth of Mali; which translates from the Bamana as “mud cloth.”

I like the look of bogolanfini. I like its stiffness. I like how it compliments my tinted skin and I like its warm embrace. Mud cloth was originally decorated by women in the Bamana-speaking region of Mali, using a unique process that utilized dyes made from mud and leaves to produce light designs outlined with a dark background. In its local context, it remains to be a crucial garment worn to mark important lifecycle stages including birth, marriage, and death.

Today, numerous Malian’s as well as the Fulani and Dogon, have taken up the craft to produce simplified versions for tourists and the international market. But let us not forget, the genuine beauty and history of these fabrics. I am not an anthropologists or African art enthusiast looking to profit from this cultural artifact. I am simply a person who is aware of the greatness of my ancestors. I feel their royalty in everything that I do. I am empowered through them!

Read more about the bogolanfini, mud-dyed cloth of Mali…

The Kush Queen, 2/5/2014