Ancient BaNtu Connection: Kamitic/Kemetic Color Symbolism and African Cosmology II

11 05 2013

Hetepu Family.

Summer is almost here and I hope to be travelling to some historic places where our ancestors once stood. A few years back I visited Jamestown and Williamsburg, VA where the Williamsburg Museum actually acknowledge how the first Africans on North American shores were from the Kongo Angolan region. For those of you who don’t know and are new to my blog, the Kongo people prior to be taken to the Americas were not forced into Christianity. Many of them willingly converted to the new faith before the start of the Maafa (the Africa Slave  Trade/Holocaust).  At the Williamsburg Muesuem they actually have a Kongo rosary from the late 1600s or early 1700s. The interesting thing about this rosary was that it didn’t have Jesus on it but instead Queen Nzinga. (I wish I could have taken a picture…I really tried and even tried sketching it but lost the drawing). It was a clear fact, that the Kongo people actually Africanized Christianity prior to their arrival. So this year my family reunion is in Atlanta, GA and I hope to visit Savannah, GA to see the First African Baptist Church.

First African Baptist Church 1775

First African Baptist Church 1775

First African Baptist Church was built in 1775. It claims to have been the first church originally founded in 1773, but it is contested by First Baptist of Virginia. My interests in this church is that this is where the Kongo floor diagram was found.

Kongo Cross at First African Baptist in Savannah, GA

Kongo Cross First African Baptist in Savannah, GA

According to historians, the church was also on one of the stations on the Underground Railroad. Escapees were hidden under the church and the holes in the floor boards acted as vents. It appears that in typical African thinking to identify where the runaways were they marked the spot with an X.

Kongo Cross used for Ventilation during Underground Railroad

Kongo Cross used for Ventilation during Underground Railroad

But, I was wondering if there were more signs of the Kongo influence that have gone unnoticed.  Since the money to build the church was donated by slaves who were saving to purchase their freedom and everything was hand built by them also.

Court of the Kongo Kingdom and First African Baptist Sanctuary

Court of the Kongo Kingdom and First African Baptist Sanctuary

A look at Fist African Baptist sanctuary is very similar to the Kongo court.  Can you see the Kongo Upper Land and how it was converted using the archway?

First African Baptist Sanctuary

First African Baptist Sanctuary

The lights above give an allusion that something glorious is taken place, while something within is sacred.  This is where the idea appears to have originated from.

The queen is depicted in the position Funda Nkata, a very common pose among the noble class and religious authorities that indicates dignity or authority.

The queen is depicted in the position Funda Nkata, a very common pose among the noble class and religious authorities that indicates dignity or authority.

Notice how the enclosure begins or opens up at the bottom.

Kongo Yowa Cross

Kongo Yowa Cross

If you will recall, the Kongo Cross or Cosmogram begins from the Musoni moment as well.

Maa Aankh Cosmogram

Maa Aankh Cosmogram

Also, in the Kamitic / Kemetic traditions, Amun Ra is said to be the True Creator. Correction, not Creator but the Originator because the Kamitic thinkers liked to personify concepts in order to better understand them. Amun Ra as you can see is not a god nor is he The God.  The God in the Kamitic / Kemetic language was called Nebertcher or “Lord of Everything”.  Amun Ra we see simply means the Hidden Ra (Energy or Force).  Now, a closer look behind the pulpit of First African Baptist and there are stain glass windows of their pastors.

First African Baptist Sanctuary stain glass windows

First African Baptist Sanctuary stain glass windows

Notice how it forms a cross, but here’s where it stretches back to Kamit/Kemet (Ancient Egypt). Notice that there are nine marks or small discs encircling the image. Again, it should be noted that these were made around the late 1700s and early 1800s by ex-slaves and enslaved African Americans.

First African Baptist Sanctuary stain glass windows

First African Baptist Sanctuary stain glass windows

 This same number also appears in the patchwork ceiling, which resembles a quilt.

First African Baptist Sanctuary patchwork ceiling

First African Baptist Sanctuary patchwork ceiling

The number nine is a sacred number in Kamit/Kemet because it refers to the Kamitc Tree of Life also called the Paut Neteru, which was introduced by Ra Un Nefer Amen in his Metu Neter series. The number nine is also sacred in various African traditions as it refers to the gestation period and thus the completion of a cycle. When you look at the ceiling you see that each segment is composed of nine smaller segments. It is another way of drawing the Kongo Cross using diamonds and squares.  It basically is another illustration of an individual’s life term.

White Hedjet Crown

White Hedjet Crown

The fact that the ceiling is white gives another meaning, which reveals African cosmology at its best in North America. This is because remember, the color white in African thinking symbolizes the ancestral dead.  Remember, this is a symbolic concept that early Africans as far back as Kamit / Kemet created, which is why Osar’s (Asar, Ausar, Osiris in Greek) is known as the Lord of the Dead (Ancestors).  The name of Osar’s backbone or column is called djet, the symbol of strength. Even the root term of Osar’s crown ‘djet’ refers to inner strength.   Are you starting to see the picture?

Djett: Osar's Backbone

Djett: Osar’s Backbone

When we put together the color white with the concept of completed cycles on the ceiling. What we have here is the Kongo Cross turned upside down. The larger squares symbolize those who completed their cycle in the land of the living. That’s right. What we have above is an African view of Heaven. Where one would hope to die and see their deceased loved ones, but there’s a double meaning. This means the reason the pastors each have nine marks surrounding their image is because the Africans found another way of honoring those who lived a full term.

First African Baptist Stained Glass Window

First African Baptist Stained Glass Window

The other meaning or I should say the most important interpretation is that the ancestors above are looking over (protecting) their descendants, thus the church itself has just become a Kongo Cross or Maa Aankh, and in case you’re wondering.  Above the ceiling of course is where the Almighty God Nebertcher or Nzambi is imagined to be over it all, hence the Lord of Everything.

FAB Ceiling

Of course, all of this is just my theory but, when you look at the floor of the sanctuary, which is red or reddish brown.

FAB Sanctuary

FAB Sanctuary

What comes to my mind is the land of the living or TASETT on the Maa Aankh.

TASETT - The Red Lands. Literally also known as the desert region of Lower Kamit or Egypt. Metaphorically, it symbolizes our Lower Self and the Land of the Living (Physical Realm).

TASETT – The Red Lands. Literally also known as the desert region of Lower Kamit or Egypt. Metaphorically, it symbolizes our Lower Self and the Land of the Living (Physical Realm).

It should be clear that our ancestors thought about God, their ancestors, and the heavenly realm on a daily basis as indicated by this quilt, which also resembles the patchwork ceiling.

Woman holding African American Quilt from 1700s

Woman holding African American Quilt from 1700s

Now, another interesting fact that I have found about African First Baptist is that even their logo is a Kongo design.  Of course, it is not known if the artist was aware of this or not (most likely not).  Whatever the case, that is not the point.

FAB Logo

FAB Logo

 The point is that our ancestors really did leave instructions for us in stone.

Colonoware

Kongo Cross on Colonoware

We just need to take the time and investigate our culture, practices and traditions, instead of running behind everyone else’s.

Basic Kongo Cosmogram

Basic Kongo Cosmogram

No we do not need imitate, mimic, resurrect or reconstruct an exact replica of what our ancestors did because culture is not static, it is always evolving.

This is what the Kongo Yowa Cross (above) and Maa Aankh (below) indicate.

Maa Aankh

All we have to do, is search for God and we will find our ancestors there waiting to point us in our cultural direction.

Hope this helps.

Hetep.

Like this post? You may want to check out: Ancient Ancient BaNtu Connection: Kamitic/Kemetic Color Symbolism and African Cosmology I,
So Early Christian Stole From Kamit/Kemet Now What? Part 1 or So Early Christian Stole From Kamit/Kemet Now What? Part 2





Is Your Victory in Your Peace?

31 03 2010

Have you ever heard the saying that your victory is in your peace? When I was growing up the older people in the church use to sing this song called Victory Shall be Mine, which went as follows:

Victory, victory shall be mine.
Victory, victory shall be mine.
If I hold my peace, let the Lord fight my battles.
Victory, victory shall be mine.

For the longest time I didn’t understand what they meant by this because to hold your tongue, not fight for yourself, etc. was seen as a sign of weakness, softness or simply just being a punk; and, of course, if you’re a punk you get beat down.  I also thought this was about not being able to defend yourself.

It wasn’t until I learned about the maa aankh and compared it with the story or Legend of Osar (Ausar, Asar or Osiris).  According to legend, king Osar was responsible for bringing peace, prosperity and order to the Kamitic/Kemetic people. He was loved by everyone until his envious brother Set (Set-an or Satan) murdered him and usurped the throne. Thanks to Osar’s devoted wife, an heir to the throne was conceived named Hru (Heru, Hrw or Horus) who challenged Set when he came of age. Now for a period of time, when the two engaged in battle, it usually ended in stalemate because Set was more conniving; after all he is the author of chaos, confusion and master of war. It wasn’t until Hru who had a gouged out eye repaired so that he could see clearly, and allow the deceased Osar to intercede on his behalf, that Hru was able to finally defeat Set and win the war.  After doing so, he was awarded the double crown called the Pschent.

Set’s color is the color red, which according to ancient African symbolism is the color of life, mediation, fire, aggression and masculinity, which is why the Kamitic/Kemetic people called the northern region of their country, Lower Kamit/Kemet, TASETT (The Red Lands), symbolized by the red crown they called the Deshret. Basically, it is what our elders use to call a “hot head”.

The southern region of the country further into the interior of Africa, the Kamitic or Kemetic people called it Upper Kamit/Kemet or KAMTA (The Black Lands) but they symbolized the dark fertile grounds of their country with a white crown they called the Hedjet. The color white in the ancient African mystery systems symbolizes purity, cleanliness (hence ethics and morality, thus a clean heart), knowledge, wisdom, stability, the honorable dead or the ancestors.

This means that Hru was given the double crown because he was able to keep a cool head and not allow his passion for victory to defeat him. In the Japanese martial arts systems the samurai Code of Bushido teaches and I paraphrase that a “the best warrior is the calm warrior”. In the Afro-Brazillian martial arts Capoeira mestres (masters) are forever telling young adepts not to just kick all widly but to exercise control. Even in the Hip Hop world, jokers are told that they need to “CHILL”.

I understand now that your victory is in your peace is all about exercising self-control, self-discipline and inner strength.  It is not about not defending your self but about not worrying and having any fear. This is why Set is considered evil in the Kamitic/Kemetic tradition, it is because he doesn’t exercise any self-control and simply allows his emotions (arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, his hater mentality)  to control him.  He had a hot head and/or a hard head, which reminds me that my grandfather use to say a hard head makes a what??? Yeah, soft behind.  He also use to say, “Don’t let your mouth write a check that your butt can’t cash”, which all deals with excessive emotions or no control.

When we exercise a little control, the blessings of God (peace, wisdom, stability, etc.) manifests themselves in our life as hunches, intuitive thoughts, ideas, dreams, etc. delivered to us through our ancestors.  It is through the blessings of God that we solve our problems.

What do you think?

For a complete discourse and in-depth analysis see:
MAA AANKH: Finding God the Afro-American Way, by Honoring the Ancestors and Guardian Spirits.








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