"Ritual, community, and healing - these three are so intertwined in the indigenous world that to speak of one of them is to speak of all of them. Ritual, communally designed, helps the individual remember his or her purpose, and such remembering brings both healing both to the individual and the community. The community exists, in part, to safeguard the purpose of each person within it and to awaken the memory of that purpose by recognizing the unique gifts each individual brings to the world. Healing comes when the individual remembers his or her identity - the purpose chosen in the world of ancestral wisdom - and reconnects with that world of Spirit. When we are connected - to our own purpose, to the community around us, and to our spiritual wisdom - we are able to live and act with authentic effectiveness." - The Healing Wisdom Of Africa, Baba Malidoma Patrice Some
The Kota once used reliquary guardian figures (called mbulu ngulu) to protect the revered bones of family ancestors. The bones were preserved in containers made of bark or basketry. The mbulu ngulu stood atop this bundle, bound to it at the figure’s lozenge-shaped base. The Kota (or Bakota) tribe are located in the northeastern region of Gabon. Ancestor worship formed the core of the family group’s religious and social life.
These statues stood guard in cylindrical bark boxes, on baskets or bundles called bwete that contained the skulls and bones of important ancestors. Bound into a packet and lashed to the base of a carved figure, the bones formed a stable base that allowed the image to stand more or less upright. The reliquaries were kept outside the homes, in huts at the edge of the village. Only the initiates of the lineage had access to this sacred place. At the time of initiation in the reliquary cult, the clans would meet to perform communal rituals; each clan’s chief would dance holding the reliquary. Some reliquaries featured a large figure representing the lineage founder along with some smaller figures representing his successors.
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Harnessing the power of the solstice for our collective healing and awakening!