The weather was undeniably hot this time. But stepping into the world of African American gave me the most rewarding comfort. Really and truly, in this world, a lot of things have to be discovered on foot. And over two years, pandemic years in-between. I have been most impressed by this festival. Well, I am claiming to be a festival-goer here for real.
The International African Festival
This event represents the African in international light. Since 1989. With its mission of staying perfectly true: to promote, preserve and propagate African American culture. Furthermore, a mission is built around African culture: art, music, dance, history and current interests and pursuits.
𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝕬𝖋𝖗𝖎𝖈𝖆𝖓 𝕮𝖔𝖓𝖙𝖎𝖓𝖊𝖓𝖙 𝖕𝖊𝖗𝖋𝖊𝖈𝖙𝖑𝖞 𝖘𝖍𝖔𝖜𝖈𝖆𝖘𝖊𝖘 𝖈𝖚𝖑𝖙𝖚𝖗𝖆𝖑 𝖉𝖎𝖛𝖊𝖗𝖘𝖎𝖙𝖞.
Of course, in this life, we can wander wherever we want. Whenever life allows. And my longing to write. Much of it is based on optimism, hope and a reasonable amount of ignorance. But more of hope and curiosity. Because optimism sometimes disappoints me. Hope never disappoints. But always clinging to positive words no matter what.
I want to always remind myself. When I find places that I like. I make notes and go back to them at least more than once if possible. If possible. Because in this same situation. My first year here in 2019. My first rush of sights, sounds and creations are almost overwhelming here.
Memory enhances through repetition. That way I’ll get the image in my mind. Better and clearer than the first one. Especially in meeting a story that I had a deeper connection with. I’ve come to look at it more in detail.
I am generally taking life easy as they say here. Slowly absorbing things. As it unfolds through me. Hopefully adding more dimension to myself. Constantly getting the rewards of this living in the now. That this needed time on Earth is truly precious.
I learned that in diversity we may use and speak different words but voice similar truths. Goes to show. The incredible resilience of people is admirable despite the discomfort of troubles around. Climate change etc. This world, we’re facing who-knows-what. Encouraged me to take it forward. To engage more.
Africa has a rich tradition of arts and crafts.
From many woodcarving, brass and leather artworks. Are an expression of African arts and crafts. Also include sculpture, paintings, pottery, ceremonial and religious headgear and dress.
Walking around the marketplace. The stage is at the center. Africans used dance in important events as well. With their vibrant drumming, I was moved to dance too. Pausing on a spot where the stage is clearly visible from where I’m standing. There is a high-energy happy vibe here.
Museum quality and collectible artifacts, colorful and rich handwoven fabric and textile. I can see this true artist who draws out all from his heart. Putting divinity into things and converses with his own heart through their arts.
African Print Fabric
Like some traditional attires across most civilizations. African print fabric has always been connected with various cultural and historical events. Learned that this beautiful print fabric actually started outside of the continent and turned into people loving it. Which has truly become part of Africa’s culture and tradition. Having their own unique designs and stories. This fabric was brought to Africa from Dutch explorers and settlers. It is indeed a unique fabric.
The fabrics are created by an impressive level of meticulous detail and design.
African print is a general term that typically identifies a category of pure cotton fabrics with rich and vibrant colors.
Upon researching. The fabric is being dyed through a wax with pure coloring. Through a soak process. Allowing the application of different colors to mix up together. A batik-like effect is created on both sides of the fabric. The input is an intricate multi-colored amazing pattern.
It is said that African fabrics dance. These fabrics show the colorful and vibrant culture of Africa very beautifully. The blending of different colors with very impressive patterns all over the woven fabrics gives them a feel of dancing.
Intricate vibrant designs
Seeing anyone wearing these dresses brings a vibrant happy sense of light to everyone. So much more to anyone wearing, presents a dancing colorful personality in any place.
Africa has a very colorful culture. A lot of celebrations, dances, singing, and sharing moments together are very common in nature. The most common colors found in their clothing are gold, red, blue, green and white. They have a rich heritage of creative endeavors. Proven by their creative expressiveness in music, dance, and in the design and use of clothing. The most common colors found in their clothing are gold, red, blue, green and white.
Shea Butter is a Super Star Ingredient. It has a pale yellow, cream or gray color. Ivory in color. It comes from a wild-growing tree in Africa that can be found across several different countries. It comes from the seed of the fruit. Very rich. Applying it, your skin will feel moisturized almost instantly. Pure, raw and unrefined.
Southern Africa as a ‘cradle of incense’ in wider African aromatherapy
“At the end of our lives we hope we will look back and, like an incense stick completely burned away, will have poured forth all our fragrance into the world.” by Prem Prakash
Incense is an aromatic organic material that releases fragrant smoke when burnt. It is composed of aromatic plant materials, often combined with essential oils.
It’s like talking to me, “Wake up and smell the incense.” Even more fueling my ambiance with all natural incense here. And I said; Oh come incense please cover me with your magic smell and help me remove a lot of things that stand in the way of me being my best self.
This festival promises experiences worth coming back. Learning gained too. I will have to rely on that. I will have to rely on a good many other things too.
That I am therefore pleased to recognize the African contribution in the world of arts and crafts. And the African continent as a whole.
Thanks for reading.