Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sankofa: Go Back and Get It

Sankofa Bird: Learn From Past
Sankofa Bird by dingler1109
Mum stopped by an African handicraft stall. They had this beautiful pendant of a bird looking back with something in its mouth. Mum asked the stall manager, does it mean anything? The stall manager in his baritone approved, “Yes mam, it’s Sankofa.”

He further adds, “It’s a popular symbol among African people, especially who are from Ghana and Ivory Coast. Though in a simple term, Sankofa means go back and get it. But the bird symbol is much more than that.”

Further talking about Sankofa, he describes the design of the bird symbol, “The Sankofa bird is mainly styled in circular fashion. Though, to some, it is some random style, but the circular design in reality symbolizes that there is no beginning and there is no end. It is flying forward but looking back which translates as people should know their past before actually moving forward. It has an egg in its mouth which can be read as a responsibility to share the knowledge and wisdom of past with our future generations.

He, then, engages with other visitors who were also at his stall. Mum examined the pendant for one or two minute. And then we move ahead. But the Sankofa stuck with me.

To me, Sankofa is a beautiful symbol, which not only asks one to embrace its past but also spread the rekindled knowledge of past with others.

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