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November 15, 2008

Rethinking Patriarchy in African Traditional Religions

Mami Wata: Africa’s Ancient God/dess Unveiled,
Reclaiming the Ancient Vodoun Heritage of the Diaspora.
Vol 1& II,900 pgs. Published by the MWHS, 2004.
Mamaissii Vivian Hunter-Hindrew

Contrary to abolitionist’s writings, many Africans enslaved in America were not Christians, but were practitioners of various African ancestral and ritual experiential systems of worship that have their ancient ancestral roots in the matriarchal cultures first established by African women thousands of years ago. Presently, nearly all of the black god/desses were painted over in European and other ethnic faces, where black women and men no longer recognize their own ancient mothers nor the legacy that they left them.

Mami Wata is the master of all magical, divinatory, prophetic, philosophical and religious systems of Africa. There is no indigenous spiritual system that exist in Africa that is separate from Mami Wata.

Unlike her European counterpart, Black women were not originally born under the yoke of patriarchy. In ancient times, ALL of Africa was matriarchal and had reached high levels of civilization.

The religious systems imposed on black women (and men) today, are a corrupted version of the overthrow of the spiritual and political kingdoms that their ancient mothers built and established throughout the entire ancient world as the birthright of the African people, and its logos (divine truths) subsequently disseminated as their gift to the entire world.

Conversely, under African patriarchy, her temples were usurped, her priestesses were chased from the land or subjugated, and her original logos (spiritual truths) were hopelessly corrupted. In ancient Egypt, her images were destroyed and replaced with colossal monuments erected to the great pharaohs celebrating the rise of patriarchy and their military expansion. In
their place, diminutive statues were erected depicting the queen mothers (Mama-Isis/Sibyls) as a minor figures. A deliberate act to symbolized her subjugation and meant as an insult to her spiritual decline.

In the Diaspora’s fight to reclaim their ancient Egyptian home against the Eurocentric whitewash, they have failed to critically examine the social, political and spiritual significance of these ancient monuments to understand why Africa was left vulnerable to her enemies. But the great queen mothers did back down, they continued to prevail as they and millions of their votaries fled into Mycenae, Ionia (now called Greece), Asia Minor, Syria, Israel and Jordan where they rebuilt their great temples and continued to remain as the primary seat of sacerdotal power for Africa.

Today, Black women suffer from spiritual malaise because they have lost contact with their divine mother. Black men suffer spiritual emptiness because they were originally nurtured under the yoke of the Divine African Mother, of whom they have forgotten, and their ancient fathers ultimately rejected in favor of patriarchy. One of the major reasons that Black men do not understand the “rebellious” nature of Black women is because her primal spirit (just as his) was born free, under a matriarchal yoke.

That (matriarchy) was the natural (in contrast to the politically imposed) order of the African world for thousands of years is never questioned by Acrocentric male scholars who assume its (patriarchy’s) rise in Africa a natural consequence of “evolution.” What they and others have failed to recognize is that the ancient soul of the Divine African Mother was already enraged even before the advent of colonialism and slavery, and her anger was it them, and not a foreign power.”

It was under patriarchal Africa that the mother religions have been forgotten, abandoned and condemned because they were the sacerdotal power of the matriarchs, and replaced with patriarchal corruptions. This is evidenced, (with the recent exception of Benin), no African nation claims an indigenous African spiritual system as their national religion.

Today, in the Diaspora’s attempt at reclaiming what was lost, stolen and strayed from them by others, few have critically examined what was taken from within Africa from her original matriarchal rulers. Until the Divine African Mami God/dess whose curse African people still live under today is re-established,no African will ever be spiritually or universally free.

As many in the Diaspora reclaim their spiritual heritage in the traditional religions of Africa, it is critical to carefully examine current patriarchal structures of its pantheons, and religious customs which are structured to continue to oppress the souls of black men and women who carry the divine seed of their ancient mothers. It is through her that the spirit is inherited, and it is united with her that liberty will prevail.

Mami Wata: Africa’s Ancient God/dess Unveiled, is an attempt to unearth, document and examine the role of the African priestess of the Mami Watas in establishing the ancient religious systems in both the Vodoun of West Africa, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. It also attempts to offer a more multidimensional character to African Traditional Religions first established under the African matriarchs.




Hey there Ebony Intuition!

I wanted to stop by and see all of the fantastic work you have been putting in over here at your blog!!!

Keep up the fabulousness!


Beauty Is Diverse said...

Thanks Lisa

Anonymous said...

This is a great article

Fly Girl said...

This is a really important topic that I'm happy to see addressed. It's true that missionaries have beaten down most traditional African belief systems to the point where Africans look down on them as ignorant and satanic. It's the colonization of the mind that has proven to be the hardest to overcome. However,it must be acknowledged that in the Diaspora, traditional African beliefs and the African goddess has gained a resurgence in popularity. Major U.S. cities now have many groups that practice Ifa, Santeria and candomble which derive from the Yoruba religion. When I was in Brazil, I couldn't believe how openly revered Yemenja, the goddess of the ocean and a form of Mami Wata, was. Her image was on restaurants, on T-Shirts, she even has a special house on the water in Bahia. So even though the African goddess may have been supressed in Africa, she has reappeared in the Diaspora!

Beauty Is Diverse said...

"So even though the African goddess may have been supressed in Africa, she has reappeared in the Diaspora!

I think this is a crucial time that the African Diaspora connects with our brothers and sisters across the atlantic and around the globe in order for the african goddess to reappea everywhere.


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