it’s amazing to me

how many orisa praise songs sound like gospel songs. like, wow. the euphemisms black folk on this continent have for god don’t all come from the bible. it’s almost as if we study religion to find more names for the most high. in ifa, there are plenty names for each orisha. why, oya is the mother of nine (yansa/ yansan/ iansan), she who puts on a beard to go to war, she who fights more fiercely than her man. osun/ ochun/ oxum is laketi (she who always has ears to hear), also known as the owner of the river . . . and literally, osun means “the source.” sango (chango/ shango/ xango is usually called kawo kabiesi or kabiesile, also oba koso (if i’m not mistaken that means “the king did not hang”). euphemisms are ever present in contemporary blk language, as well. how many times have you used the word “jumpoff,” “jawn,” “whatchacallit,” or “yamean” more than one word? see: bernie mac’s “motherfucker” routine for further evidentiary support of my contention that black folk love to subvert language.

so i’m sitting here straight amazed. blk folks in this “new world” context are more african than they wanna be. i mean, i kinda always knew that; look at the many contemporary dance moves of blk americans & how they reflect various african dances. (we are NOT gonna talk about the “crazy in love” booty hop thing. not now.) it makes me wonder, how much of “us” got stripped away, how much did we retain through hiding it . . . & how much never actually left?

makes me think twice about folks looking at me sideways for not being at first tabernacle of the apostle paul holy mt. zion victory church of god in christ jesus. every sunday. in the front pew w/ a ridiculous hat on. i mean, why? call & response? african. “lively” worship services? way african. & most importantly, the idea of feeling the very presence of god in a physically tangible way? it directly mirrors the idea of possession/ trance, which doesn’t apply exclusively to ifa. it’s part of most ancient religions. what i practice predates the very faith that my family raised me to be a part of. i don’t think that makes ifa better, period. that makes ifa better for me.

** i have to finish this blog. i’ll come back to it when i’m less exhausted. thanks.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. creatrix
    Mar 30, 2007 @ 16:53:00

    don’t you just love the xtra long church names? ha.


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