Origins of the Afro Pick: Duafe

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Hair and grooming have always played an important role in the culture of Africa and the African Diaspora. The traditional African comb or pick has played a crucial part in the creation, maintenance, and decoration of hair-styles for both men and women.

In many African societies, ancient and modern, the hair comb symbolises status, group affiliation, and religious beliefs, and is encoded with ritual properties. The handles of combs are decorated with objects of status, such as the headrest, human figures, and motifs that reference nature and the traditional spiritual world.

In the 20th century ‘afro’ combs began to take on a wider political and cultural message, perhaps most notably in the form of the ‘black fist’ comb that references the Black power salute.

In Ghana, elaborate combs such as these, were gifts from Akan men to women to commemorate special events, such as puberty celebrations, weddings, or births. The 1st comb below, informs the reason for its commission: crowned by a female bust with a disk-like head, it echoes the highly conventionalized akua ba fertility figures. As a gift from a husband to his wife the comb underscores the couple’s desire to have children. Evident is also the relationship between the akua ba as an ideal of feminine beauty and the function of the comb in the creation of the coiffure.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Try researching the history of the Duafe yourself!

Peace and blessings manifest with every lesson learned.

-i Shila Iris

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Why We African Headdress

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by Shila Iris

Often referred to as headwraps or turbans, African and African-like head coverings have become quite the accessory in various dress codes. I believe that it is a beautiful addition to the wardrobe and in my closet, it is my most beloved adornment. I wear headwraps at least twice a week and have been doing so for quite some time. It is part of the many cultures that I celebrate, all indigenous to the continent we know as Africa. I encourage ladies to explore the headwrap, not just as a fashion statement, but as part of African-American identity. Like other headgear such as the niqab, hijab, kufi, kofia, kippah, non la, patka, shpitzel, tam, taqiya, or sombrero it has its purpose and is highly valued by those who wear it.

Why wear a headwrap?

#1 REASON – It’s simply beautiful.

#2 REASON – To represent the African Diaspora: it’s part of the culture we lost during the Middle Passage. We are redefining and regaining our physical identity via attire/garb.

#3…

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Balancing the Sun & the Moon

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i hear nothing in my ear but your voice.
heart has plundered mind of its eloquence.

Love writes a transparent calligraphy, so on
the empty page my soul can read and recollect

Which is worth more, a crowd of thousands,
or your own genuine solitude?
Freedom, or power over an entire nation?

A little while alone in your room
will prove more valuable than anything else
that could ever be given you.

-Rumi

balance the Sun and the Moon … 

Energy
I sit on the floor,
leaning against my bed,
for hours.
Needing to hear my own voice,
silence envelopes me.
The stillness of me is liberating.
I’d rather not drown in the melody of another.
knowing myself,
I can get to know you
better,
but in silence,
i sit,
until I’m ready.
Harmony awaits me.

peace and blessings manifest with every lesson learned.

i am OsiRis RiSinG

Today, it's just me

I know better.
So, I want better.

Double Goddess: Hold On To Your Sisters

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All is beautiful. Her smile. Her eyes. Her smell. I am her, and she is me.

What is a Double Goddess? An ancient icon, an archetype that represents the sacred potential of female bonding, whether between mother and daughter, teacher and student, friends, or sisters.

Sister,
you’ve been on my mind
Sister, we’re two of a kind
So sister,
I’m keepin’ my eyes on you
I betcha think
I don’t know nothin’
But singin’ the blues
Oh sister, have I got news for you
I’m somethin’
I hope you think
that you’re somethin’ too

-from Miss Celie’s Blues (The Color Purple)

… hold her hand, and not just for the camera, but because in life, we need our sisters, our friends.

Double Goddess

Gold Double Goddess figurine. Dual, polar aspects of one Goddess; 2 Faces of the SAME source.

Double Goddess

Do not allow masculine forces to interfere with the Goddess in you. Balance your life out. There is room for it all. I say this because women turn on each other for men, but when true love is present, you never have to despise or abandon one love for another.

Love the Goddess in You.

i am Shila Iris