Kamta: Kamitic Shamanism

11 03 2011

Kamit (Kemet, Ancient Egypt) has been a source of inspiration for people all over the world, but to many people of African descent, who lost their cultural heritage due to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Kamit serves as a beacon of hope and a doorway, where all that has been lost through slavery can be found. The reason is because Kamit is the greatest, most memorable and the longest standing African civilization that was built. Thanks to the numerous contributions made by black and white scholars like Sir E.A. Wallis Budge, who went against his colleagues by stating in his book Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection (1911),

“There is no doubt that the beliefs examined herein are of indigenous origin, Nilotic or Sundani in the broadest signification of the word, and I have endeavoured to explain those which cannot be elucidated in any other way, by the evidence which is afforded by the Religions of the modern peoples who live on the great rivers of East, West, and Central Africa . . . Now, if we examine the Religions of modern African peoples, we find that the beliefs underlying them are almost identical with those Ancient Egyptian ones described above. As they are not derived from the Egyptians, it follows that they are the natural product of the religious mind of the natives of certain parts of Africa, which is the same in all periods.”

Although it remains debated because no solid anthropological proof of has been found. Kamit is believed to be the ancestral homeland that many existing Sub-Saharan African cultures migrated from, to their present locations in Africa. This is based upon cultural correspondences that have been found between the Kamitic and other African cultures such as belief in One Supreme God, greater importance upon the Moon than Sun, transmigration of the soul, the importance of dreams, the significance of the color white and its association with the purity, the honorable ancestors and legendary deceased king Osar (Asar, Ausar, Osiris) known as Khenti-Amenti. What this means to many African descendants, is that those Africans that were enslaved and shipped to the Americas carried within them a cultural memory that unites them back to Kamit.

It is this cultural memory that survived mainly through the Kongo-Angolan lineage in North America, that was responsible for the development of the African American church. To this day, these post-Kamitic Kongo-Angolan cultural influences can still be seen amongst African Americans who wear white roses in honor of their ancestors. Who believe in the importance in dreams, recognize concepts like spiritual rebirth (especially through baptism), believe that when they die they will see their ancestors in the heavens, and although not a Christian concept, also believe that children are “old souls” or reincarnated ancestors.

It is these surviving cultural beliefs and practices, which I have syncretized with the Kamitic theology, African American folk beliefs and Afro-Caribbean Spiritism, that I call Kamta, which resides deep in our spirit.

It is through Kamta I discovered that we all have aakhu (ancestral spirits/spirit guides) that walk with us and never went away just because the dominant society suppressed the belief in them. Our aakhu encourage and inspire every aspect of our life, from the prosperity of our family, success in school, peace within our communities to our personal health and wellbeing.

We also have our share our aapepu (mischevious, malevolent, misguided spirits/ghosts) that create mischief in our life as well.  The aapepu, which means “snakes” or “worms” in the Kamitic language are like snakes that lay in our path. They cause us to become alarm when we see them because their negative influences encourages accidents, illness and chaos. This is why I see Set (the envious brother of Osar) as the Lord of the aapepu.

Fortunately, we also have netcharu (benevolent forces, angelic spirits or guardian spirits)  that walk with us and help us in our development. For instance, we all have an Npu (Enpu, Sobek, Sebek, Anubis) that acts as our personal guardian and guide. We all have an Osar, Oset and so on that is totally unique to us.

This cultural religious syncretism was made possible, because although the early African Americans brought to North America were not able to preserve all of our cultural traditions. They did manage to preserve enough precepts to provide their descendants with a road map on how to get back home culturally. Thanks to our ancestors we don’t have to adopt, borrow and imitate another’s culture. All we have to do is re-learn about our own.

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