Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ancient Malawi ink: Kachere fig tree, Mlombwa (Bloodwood) and Acacia (Mpamba)?


Detail of the god "Thoth" creator of writing, science and medicine from the Book of the Dead of Hunefer 19th Dynasty British Museum EA 9901/3 Room 62, Egyptian Funerary Archaeology, Case 24, No. 8
Detail of “Thoth” the creator of writing, science and medicine from the Book of the Dead of Hunefer 19th Dynasty British Museum EA 9901/3 Room 62, Egyptian Funerary Archaeology, Case 24, No. 8
Travelling to a certain village in Mulanje one cannot help but notice the various tree branches and sticks some real traditional healers (asing’anga) use besides the finger to write on the ground.
Some elderly healers claim that only a few trained ones are left as there are many vendors allegedly masquerading as healers and giving the profession a bad name.
But it’s in some rural areas where one can see some of the elderly “writing” or drawing on the sand or dusty ground with their fingers.  The symbols created usually resemble circles and crosses among other things.stock-photo-16484548-writing-in-the-sand
When asked some insist that is the only way they can get a “message” from the spiritual world.
Some healers in Malawi and in the Sadc region use sticks or a certain type of tree branch to write on the ground and claim the drawings they make are messages and words they can read which are told to them by mizimu (winged spirits).
Winged spirits are the African version of angels and not ancestral spirits locally known as mizimu yamakolo.
Some of the main winged spirits include Mikolo Njinjinji (Ritual of the African sacred Ibis) and Kabadula nicknamed Kaba to mean Kabudula (shorts) and Thewera (nappy) of the Universe and Tomasi Bona (Atom) of the Earth.
Now the Ibis is a bird known to sleep with it’s head folded beneath its wing with its body assuming the shape of a heart, which online sources about the Nile Valley Civilization regard as “the seat of the soul and true intelligence.”
“The footstep of an ibis was said to be equal to one cubit, which was considered a sacred unit of measurement.”
fingers
Now the winged spirit Mikolo Njinjinji was similar to ancient Egypt’s Netcher Djhuiti and the Greeks’ Thoth/Hermes said to be the “keeper of the sacred cubic and the creator of science, writing and medicine.
The Romans identified him with Mercury and the Nether Djhuiti was portrayed with and ibis head and he represented “articulation of speech and intelligence” further reads the same Nile Valley source.
However ancient Malawi’s Mikolo Njinjinji showed his dark skinned and smooth chocolate face to women “called” or “chosen” to be priestesses.
African sacred Ibis
African sacred Ibis photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_sacred_ibis
This blog has also discovered that some ancient healers also known as priests and priestesses of this land also used their finger to write on the ground thousands of years ago. They were responsible for nsembe (sacrifices and offerings).
When talking to a “patient” or “client” they would write whatever the spirit tells them.  If they drew a plain circle on the ground and a cross either inside or next to it, that would symbolize “blessings”.
Those who knew that symbol would be happy and expect blessings because in ancient times they believed in the power of words.  Mind you they did not use this alphabet we are using to type on this blog but they had drawings which they could read.
Another symbol cross-like with black soil written on the left and what looked like the healer’s blood but was actually red sap from the Mlombwa tree (Bloodwood) was used to write on the right which would scare the person who saw it as they would think they have been cursed and so forth.
"Bloodwood" tree taken from http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/05/the-bloodwood-tree.html
“Bloodwood” tree taken fromhttp://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/05/the-bloodwood-tree.html
All this was done using the index finger which some Malawians on Facebook refer to as chala chamkomba phala which describes the way it was used to scoop and stir porridge etc.
This was believed to be similar to the ancient Malawi symbol of the cupped hand still used today to clap for chiefs of this generation and for greeting or showing politeness among other things.
The same cupped hands were also used by the ancestors of this land when asking Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) for things.
They would kneel down and clap their hands three times and then start the ancient African way of praying through their ancestor whom they assumed were closer to God in the spiritual realm.
The ancestors felt only spirits could communicate with the Great Spirit and other spirits among other things and not physical beings on earth. This was also captured through “writings” and “drawings” including some on rocks where the cultures white and red where mostly used.
In ancient Malawi these two colours were also used in waist-beads with the white meaning all is clear for the husband and the red….a no-go zone. Red was also the colour of POWER as in MPHAMVU.
This red was also used in the ancient bark cloth of Malawi’sasing’anga known as Nyanda.  This first “paint” was the “Bloodwood Tree’s” red sap known in Malawi as Mlombwa.http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/05/the-bloodwood-tree.html …
And the Kachere fig tree was used for some white drawings and was different from Mkuyu which is the Sycamore fig with Nkhuyu (figs). Its Scientific name is Ficus sycomorus and online sources show that in Swahili it’s mukuyu and mkuyu among other names.
Mukuyu tree Internet Photo
Mukuyu tree Internet Photo
Online sources say the Sycamore fig is native to Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Israel, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
However it is also found in Malawi with mainly two important Mikuyu types. One has figs which can be eaten while the other has figs which are not eaten.
The edible figs sometimes dry out including inside making them not edible because of the sun while other dried out ones are said to be eaten.
Now the other fig tree is Kachere which is native to Malawi. It’s the one which has a white sap which was used for writing in ancient times together with the Bloodwood tree (Mlombwa) for making the Nyanda bark cloth.
Kachere tree leave with white sap
Kachere tree leave with white sap
This blog is yet to establish how the ancestors wrote using the red and white sap and what role the chicken and rooster feathers played when used to “write” or draw including on some rocks.
There is also a high possibility that the Acacia nilotica tree locally known as Mpampa or Ngagaga was used for black ink as it is sometimes also used for dyeing cloth black.
And like many trees of Malawi, many also had medicinal purposes. What is also interesting to note is how the Ancient Egyptians thought it was important to record and write down information.
“It was believed they wrote things down to honor the God, Thoth, the god of writing and knowledge. Their writing language that is mostly known today was hieroglyphics – drawing and symbols, and Latin.
“The ancient writing can be found in temples, on clay boards, on papyrus (an ancient form of paper made from ground reeds), on limestone flakes and on pieces of ancient pottery, such as plates, vases and basins. The hieroglyphics were also used to communicate, tell stories to others, cautions and warnings, feelings, record-keeping and also for government uses.
“People who were able to read hieroglyphics were called Scribes, and were used to interpret the symbols and pictures drawn by others. They were also thought of as very important people and were highly paid for their job because they could communicate very well.
Cut Kachere Tree
Cut Kachere Tree
“The fact that ancient Egypt had ways to interpret, communicate and write symbols as a message to others, gave them an advantage to other countries, as they could document and refer back to history; as well as also being able to account for different things such as being able set prices for goods, tokens, supplies and services more consistently.
“Many different countries used different ways to tell other information. In some countries, people used their fingers to write things in sand, on trees and just in the air to express stories and expressions to an audience; whilst other countries used twigs, leaves and bark.
“Some countries even just used an early form of Sign Language. However, these ways could not be referred back to. But, the ancient Egyptians were one of the first countries to use pens to write down their language. The pens they used were used for thousands of years and were made from inter-twined reeds, vines, wood and leaves.
They mostly wrote on papyrus sheets with ink that was made of tree gum, honey, sap and soot. They also used firm and bendable branches to write and also painted with their fingers. It is believed that the ancient Egyptians were some of the first people to invent and create an older version of today’s ink,” partly reads http://ancientegyptianwritingandart.weebly.com/information.html

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ancient Malawi's Bark Cloth: Nyanda (Mlombwa), Thewera (Mombo)



Uganda bark cloth photo not connected to this blog taken from http://handeyemagazine.com/content/material-evolution
Uganda bark cloth (nyanda) photo not connected to this blog taken fromhttp://handeyemagazine.com/content/material-evolution

The lone Sapitwa priestess in Malawi wears a reddish brown looking “robe” in a forbidden place of a mountain where she goes to make her nsembe offering of mapira (sorghum), mpunga (rice), ndalama (money) and many other things at an unknown “shrine”.

She is one of the less than five asing’anga (healers) in Malawi who still dress like their ancestors.
According to information sourced from the elderly priestess, thousands of years ago the women used to wear a mkanjo (robe) made from the Mlombwa tree which was locally known as Nyanda.
They would tie the right hand-side to be near the chest in a knot which resembles the secret Knot of Isis of ancient Egypt.
This symbolized power (mphamvu) and it was there were they kept their secret (chinsinsi) just like the mythical winged spirit Chinsinsi with her famous knot.
Now the famous Nyanda clothing was made from the bark of the Mlombwa tree which online is defined as “Bloodwood” and its red sap was used for ancient writings and drawings on rocks.


"Bloodwood" tree taken from http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/05/the-bloodwood-tree.html
“Bloodwood” tree photo not connected to the contents of this blog taken from http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/05/the-bloodwood-tree.html

“A slashed trunk or a harmed limb of the tree begins trickling profound red liquid, very nearly like a disjoined appendage of a creature. The sticky, rosy tan sap seals the injury to advertise recuperating.
“The red sap is utilized customarily as a color and in a few regions blended with creature fat to make a nonessential for appearances and bodies.
“It is likewise accepted to have supernatural properties for the curing of issues concerning blood, evidently in view of its nearby likeness to blood.

"The tree is likewise utilized for treating numerous therapeutic conditions, for example, ringworm, wounding agonies, eye issues, intestinal sickness, blackwater fever, stomach issues and to build the supply of bosom milk,” reads http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/05/the-bloodwood-tree.html
Other names are African Teak, Wild Teak and Pterocarpus angolensis. And local names for the tree in other languages shared online include “Bemba (mulombwa); English (sealing-wax tre, Rhodesian teak,Transval teak, blodwod, wild teak, African teak): Lozi (mukwa, mulombe); Lunda (mukla); Ndeble (umvagzi); Nyanja(mlombwa,mlombe); Shona (kiat,mubvamropa,mukwa); Swahili (mniga); Tonga (mukla);Trade name (kiat,mukwa,muniga); Tswana (mokwa,mortomadi) and Zulu (inGozina, inDlandlovu, mBilo, umVangazi)” according to this link http://www.worldagroforestry.org/treedb/AFTPDFS/Pterocarpus_angolensis.pdf
While the Thewera loin cloth for men was made from Mombo but this blog is not sure if that includes what is defined online as Miombo trees.


Illustration from the "Ulendo Series, Mtunda 8, Chichewa for Standard 8" book.
Illustration from the “Ulendo Series, Mtunda 8, Chichewa for Standard 8″ book.

Mombo online is defined as Julbernardia paniculata and it’s “fibrous bark is used for making bark cloth.”
The word Thewera also means a nappy or diaper and this tree is connected to the ancient winged spirit of Kabadula whose nickname is Kaba and his name is taken from Kabudula (shorts).
Kabadula known as Kaba was one of the 7 winged spirits of ABOVE which included Mikolo Njinjinji (African Sacred Ibis) responsible for battles and security issues in the Universe and Saka, the Hunter like in “saka chirombo cha nyanga” (hunt the beast with horns) or something that sounds like that.
Thewera was also the nickname for the Mombo tree used to make the loin cloth that looked like a triangular diaper for ancient Africa’s priests like in those responsible for nsembe.
Others talk of Tsamba which might be similar to the well known indigenous tree called Tsamba Namwali which is one of the trees on ancient Malawi’s M’manga Mudzi termite mound.
According to the unofficial Wikipedia, Julbernardia paniculata is a medium to large tropical tree, also known as muchesa and it is “very common over its range and is the dominant woodland tree in Miombo woodland over much of central Zambia and northern Malawi.”


Barkcloth, Uganda, early C20th postcards: left - Stripping the bark from a tree. Right- women in barkcloth wrappers taken from http://www.adireafricantextiles.com/africantextintro3.htm
Barkcloth, Uganda, early C20th postcards: left – Stripping the bark from a tree. Right- women in barkcloth wrappers taken fromhttp://www.adireafricantextiles.com/africantextintro3.htm

“The bark is used to extract tannin for tanning leather, while the leaves are highly prized for feeding to cattle due to their high nutritional content.

They are also the source of favourite local delicacy – some kinds of fat caterpillars that feed on the leaves and are collected and roasted as a snack.
“Perhaps the greatest value attached to the tree is its use as a source of nectar. The small blossoms may appear on the tree from late March (the end of the growing season) until June or even later and contain copious quantities of nectar at a time when few other trees are in bloom so beekeepers rely on it to maintain their production throughout the year”, further reads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julbernardia_paniculata


Another "Bloodwood" tree locally known as Mlombwa taken from http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/05/the-bloodwood-tree.html
Another “Bloodwood” tree locally known as Mlombwa taken  as a sample from http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/05/the-bloodwood-tree.html

According to the World Agro-foresty website, the tree is also used as medicine: When heated in water and mixed with figs it is massaged on the breast to stimulate lactation; a cold infusion from the bark alone provides a remedy for nettle rash while a decoction of the bark is also taken orally for piles and a cold infusion made from the bark is taken to relieve stomach disorders, headaches, blood in the urine, earache and mouth ulcers.

The website source also says that barks or roots boiled with fresh meat is used as a preliminary accelerator in the treatment gonorrhea.
“A decoction of the root is believed to be a cure for malaria and blackwater fever. An infusion made from the roots is taken orally for the treatment of diarrhoea, bilharzia and abdominal pains.
“Roots are burnt and the ashes drunk in water to treat asthma and tuberculosis. Corneal ulcers are bathed in an eyewash obtained when roots of the tree are 1st cleaned and then left to soak in water for 6 hours.
In the follow-up treatment of this ailment, flowers are placed in boiling water over which the patient holds the face, allowing the steam to fill the eyes; dropping sap into the eyes treats cataracts and sore eyes. The bark is boiled and the resulting red fluid is used in treating skin lesions and ringworm. Ripe seeds are burnt and the ashes applied to inflamed areas of the skin and to bleeding gums.
“The sap is reputed to heal sores, including ringworm sores and stab wounds, and to treat various other ailments.


Photo of Mombo taken from http://www.africoresources.com/r/en_kp_flora_fauna.php
Photo of Mombo taken fromhttp://www.africoresources.com/r/en_kp_flora_fauna.php

Although Nyanda and Thewera clothing is a thing of the past in Malawi and fashion designers seem to shun it, online information shows that bark cloth is still valued in the Buganda kingdom in southern Uganda where it is also an ancient craft.
Traditionally, craftsmen of the Ngonge clan, headed by a kaboggoza, the hereditary chief craftsman have been manufacturing bark cloth for the Baganda royal family and the rest of the community according to http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/RL/00139
The Unesco website also states that its preparation involves one of humankind’s oldest savoir-faire, a prehistoric technique that predates the invention of weaving.
“The inner bark of the Mutuba tree (Ficus natalensis) is harvested during the wet season and then, in a long and strenuous process, beaten with different types of wooden mallets to give it a soft and fine texture and an even terracotta colour.
“Craftsmen work in an open shed to protect the bark from drying out too quickly. Barkcloth is worn like a toga by both sexes, but women place a sash around the waist. While common barkcloth is terracotta in colour, barkcloth of kings and chiefs is dyed white or black and worn in a different style to underline their status.
“The cloth is mainly worn at coronation and healing ceremonies, funerals and cultural gatherings but is also used for curtains, mosquito screens, bedding and storage… barkcloth is still recognized among the Baganda community as a marker of specific social and cultural traditions.”
In Malawi the Mutuba tree (ficus natalensis) is known as a Wild Fig and most likely Kachere in the vernacular as defined in this link http://www.cbc.iclei.org/Content/Docs/LLC%20BIODIVERSITY%20REPORT%20FINAL.pdf

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Of Wild potatoes, mounds planted by mythical Tomasi Bona for Chinsinsi Sungamwana


670px-Earth-Up-Potatoes-Step-3
Maintaining mound photo not connected to this blog taken from http://www.wikihow.com/Earth-Up-Potatoes
The Livingstone potato locally known by Sapitwa priestesses (responsible for nsembe) as mbatata or mipama is one of the edible indigenous tuber crops once commonly grown in both the dryland and wetland areas of the eastern districts of Zimbabwe to Nigeria, south Transvaal and Natal.
It’s also known online as coleus potato, wilde aartappel, shezha, tsenga, tensa, tsenza, mutada, matheta, makwele, tapole emahlo, tapole-ea-mahlo, itapile, ibonda, ugilo, potato – coleus, ulucanqu, uluhlaza, isiqwili, ushizane, umhlati, ulujilo, umbondive, imbondwe, ujwangu, ushizan, UJilo, UJikwe, UHlazaluti and IZambhane.
Tsenza as it’s known in Zimbabwe has been cultivated there since prehistoric times and is occasionally still seen in rural parts of southern Africa. It is also grown in Malaysia, Indonesia and India according tohttp://www.rogerblench.info/Ethnoscience/Plants/Crops/Tubers/Little-known%20African%20tubers.pdf
Although Tsenza has been cultivated for millennia, it is considered one of the “lost” crops of Africa.  Scientists were not aware it was being cultivated until the mid-1960s.
It is normally cultivated in small mounds like yam-hills. The tubers are sliced into pieces for planting, rather than relying on chance fragments remaining in the ground further reads the same source.
Plectranthus esculentus - National Academy of Sciences, USA photo taken from http://dianabuja.wordpress.com/2010/07/31/local-potato-more-information-but-theres-not-much/
Plectranthus esculentus – National Academy of Sciences, USA photo taken fromhttp://dianabuja.wordpress.com/2010/07/31/local-potato-more-information-but-theres-not-much/
According to the online book ‘Buried treasures : tasty tubers of the world : how to grown and enjoy root vegetables, tubers, rhizomes, and corms‘, the Livingstone potato is easy to grow in frost-free areas and farmers are advised to “plant seed tubers on mounds or hills (like regular potato), ridges or rows in well-drained soil.
“Prepare the soil to a depth of 1 foot before planting and work in well-rotted manure or compost. Plant the tubers 2 inches to 4 inches deep and about 12 inches apart.
“Mound up the soil around shoots’ bases to encourage the production of tuers, partly reads the same website.
Now this blog has been told that the ancient Mbatata or Mipama is the Secret of ancient Malawi’s winged spirit of the South known as Chinsinsi Sungamwana (Secret, keep the child).
These winged spirits (mizimu) are called “goddesses” by scholars and researchers and their powers in ancient Myths and Tales were created through Agriculture and Farming (Ulimi).
In such tales it grew like a plant taking root in dry ground.
This is the Secret of ancient Malawi’s Mountain nicknamed “Sapitwa” but today called Mulanje Mountain.
And the 7 mythical spirits of ancient Malawi which researchers and scholars call ‘gods’ and ‘goddesses’ were:
Tomasi Bona                  - North   -  the world in the hands/feast
Tagoneka Mbona            – West   –put to sleep Mbona
Chandiona Gonekela       – South – it’s seen me put to sleep
Nthanda mwana wa mwezi [Nandi]   - East - Sirius star like in Nthanda yaku m’mawa African cross and child of the moon
And the three negative female charges are named Dziwe Ntambamwana (magic pool), Ife Zonse (all of us) andChinsinsi Sungamwana(keep the child).
The suspected comet one is Napolo also known as Mbewula to run away from also appears like an elderly man like Tomasi Bona.
Now Chinsinsi Sungamwana, one of the ancient Nyangus is a mythical water spirit whose colour is blue and she’s part of a “sacred” three and appears with her breasts showing to symbolize feeding the gods and the nation…making her a nurturer and mother figure.
In ancient times when the North met the South as in Tomasi Bona and Chinsinsi Sungamwana it would mean floods like in the flooding of a river or lake which was also related to agriculture as in farming.
M'manga Mudzi, Mpolowoni anthill tree/mound in Malawi
M’manga Mudzi, Mpolowoni anthill tree/mound in Malawi
It is in that mythical side of the feared mountain where ancient Malawi’s spirit of the North known as Tomasi Bona (Atom) of the M’manga Mudzi termite mound planted the Mbatata, which he watered and tendered.
The way it grew or “sprouted” for lack of a better word, determined the amount of power he would give the love of his life ChInSInSi to enable her become not only like a queen but a priestess responsible for ancient Africa’s spiritual issues and healing.
This was reflected in the way the roots of the M’manga Mudzi mound would appear on top and not in the ground but the trees above never fell because the roots formed a firm foundation (madziko).
Potato grown in mounds or hills
Mythical Tomasi Bona (Atom, feast) spirit of the North wind planted a Wild Potato for the love of his life Chinsinsi Sungamwana (Secret, keep the child) spirit of the South from the day she was “born”. Internet photo not connected to this blog
According to the oral tales, this is how ancient Malawi’s Chinsinsi spirit was able to build her own kingdoms and area to have power.
Now the reason the wild potato was planted in a mythical part of the mountain was to ensure that no one uprooted it and removed her powers according to the same oral tales.
This is also the potato as in “mbatata” which healers used when going into the bush for a long time while fasting.  They claimed it somehow made them not feel hungry and they ate it raw.
Now mbatata is sweet potato in Chichewa which is not indigenous to Malawi and said to have brought to the country from America in the 1800s.
However, Sapitwa healers for centuries have called the Livingstone Potato (Plectranthus esculentus) tuber “mbatata” as “batata”.
“Batata is also the word for potato in Portuguese. The same has been adapted in many Indian Languages like Gujarati, Marathi, Konkani, some Arabic variants and others.
“The English word “potato” itself is derived from the Taíno batata, borrowed via Spanish patata.
And Batatas is also defined online as an Arawak name for what is now  called sweet potatoes.  They were apparently used during pre-Columbian times in Central and lowland South America, as well as in the West Indies.
It is thought that Ipomoea batatas originated from an unremarkable trailing climber (vine) on the mainland, probably in Central America.
The cultivated sweet potato is a hexaploid (= 90 chromosomes) and must be propagated from stem cuttings or the root tubers, because the plants seldom produce fruits or seeds further reads http://www.botgard.ucla.edu/html/botanytextbooks/economicbotany/Ipomoea/
Batata is also the word for sweet potato (Latin: Ipomoea batatas) in many languages (e.g. Spanish, Hebrew and others), apparently from the Taíno batata,” also claims http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batata
The Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas) is known as batata in many countries globally Photo taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_potato
The Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas) is known as batata in many countries globally
Photo taken fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_potato
In Egypt, sweet potato tubers are also known as “batata” (بطاطا) and are a common street food in winter, where street vendors with carts fitted with ovens sell them to people passing time by the Nile or the sea. The two varieties used are the orange fleshed one as well as the white/cream fleshed one. They are also baked at homes as a snack or dessert, drenched with honey further readshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_potato
No matter how you say it, there’s no denying that the African ‘potato’ is an impressive crop. Unlike other non-native roots and tubers grown in many parts of Africa – such as cassava or sweet potatoes – African potatoes are high in protein and resilient to many pests and diseases.  They are also easy to raise and even easier to cook.
Despite their name, however, these ‘potatoes’ are not actually related to the common potato or potato relatives. They aren’t even related to the sweet potato, yam, or cassava. They are actually members of the mint family that includes herbs such as lavender, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, and basil.  African potatoes are similar to their family in that they grow fragrant leaves above ground that can be used for cooking, but different because of their large, edible roots beneath the soil.
These native potatoes grow throughout Africa but are often split up into two varieties based on where they grow on the continent.  The northern variety (S. rotundifolius) is often referred to as the hausa potato, Zulu potato, fabourama, or frafra potato, and produces small, oval-shaped roots.
On the other hand, the southern variety (P. esculentus) is known as the Livingstone potato or Madagascar potato, and produces long, fingerlike roots. Across their diverse growing environments, both varieties can produce large amounts of food from very small areas of land, partly readshttp://blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet/potato-potahto/

Friday, November 7, 2014

Of ancient Malawi’s dancing ‘dwarfs’ galaxy…Amwandionerapati?


At approximately 2.5 million light-years away, the Andromeda galaxy, or M31, is our Milky Way's largest galactic neighbor. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech taken from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140721100418.htm
At approximately 2.5 million light-years away, the Andromeda galaxy, or M31, is our Milky Way’s largest galactic neighbor.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech taken fromhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140721100418.htm
Where have you seen me (mwandionerapati)…..far in the Universe…the galaxy above or earth below?
As above so below….asks a Sapitwa healer claiming to speak on behalf of Abathwa/Abatwa
“No man has ever been to the astral realm of Sapitwa….the land ruled by “gods” and “goddesses” locally called mizimu (spirits)…..only one Malawian priestess (responsible for nsembe) has been there” says a Sapitwa Oracle told to this blog with the words “Ndilipo”.
The priestess also says everything that is above is also below as in spirits (mizimu)…hence a similar saying “so below as above” or vice versa.
“Chochepa chimakulitsidwa ndi kuima pamwamba anthu apansi azafuula ngati mphambe mpolowoni”.
In a nutshell it means a small thing is made big by standing on top and the people (anthu but mizimu like in spirits) below will shout like thunder mpolowani which is like lightning.
Now the oral story:
Dziwe la Nkhalamba (ancient swimming pool for the elderly) is below like in WATER
Dziwe la Nkhalamba (ancient swimming pool for the elderly) is below like in WATER
The mythical four winds of Sapitwa are blowing in all directions from North, South, West and East when all of a sudden a spiral shape movement in the water twirls up to a cave (phanga) like hole in the hidden part of Mulanje Mountain known as home for the spirits (mizimu) in ancient Malawi oral Myths and Tales.
Suddenly a lady in bright white wearing a white veil and her forehead shining like a bright star (nyenyezi) appears like a flash of lightning (mphenzi).
This is the arrival of ChInSInSi of the Sungamwana spirit (mizimu) of the South which in ancient Malawi tales meant water and she was part of the ancient Malawi saying “so below as above” or “as above so below”.
Chinsinsi means secret and her name also sounds like ISIS, the ancient Egyptian goddesss.
Some of our ancestors believed that mpolowani (the Steganotaenia Araliacea tree) is like lightning in a zigzag from above to hit the ground like “fire” with positive and negative charges hence their “primitive” beliefs that mizimu (spirits) operate or appear with lightning.
So the priestess would symbolically hold the mpolowani upward while the other hand was pointing downwards.
Is this statue used as a decoration at a certain Game Reserve in the Sadc region representing the ancient Chinsinsi (secret) meaning of "As above, so below" drawn as an E in the man shouting of the 3200 BC African alphabet?
Is this statue used as a decoration at a certain Game Reserve in the Sadc region representing the ancient Chinsinsi (secret) meaning of “As above, so below” drawn as an E in the man shouting of the 3200 BC African alphabet?
Chinsinsi is a mythical water spirit and when she appeared above which is on land and at the mythical astral real of Sapitwa, it would represent the belief system that spirits appear above on hills or high mountain tops of Mulanje Mountain and below in the water like in Dziwe la Nkhalamba, lakes and the ocean (Nyanja ya mchere).
That is the part of Sapitwa which healers insist no mortal man has gone and it remains hidden maybe in an astral realm or other dimension.
According to healers this female spirit which can appear as a beautiful woman is surrounded with money and many coins thrown into the water near her.
Those who claim to trek there through suspected astral realms don’t dare take the money to avoid her wrath and end up thrown into the lake and forced into the afterlife according to some local oral stories.
The mythical Sapitwa is described as a dwelling place for various spirits which many scholars call “gods” and “goddesses”, and marvelous plants and trees like the cedar. Mulanje Mountain is also known as the “Island in the Sky” and the place of mizimu (spirits) in various tales.
Amwandionerapati or Abathwa (short people) also known as Akafula and strong fighters are also believed to be found in the spiritual realm on Mulanje Mountain.
The mythical spirits of the short people with protruding bellies and armed with axes in myths are believed to still guard a sacred entrance to the mythical kingdom and ask the dreaded question, “Mwandionera pati.” (“From where did you see me?”)
If one answers the question wrongly, the Abathwa (short people) slap the person hard on the right cheek and that could either cause death or serious injures according to myths.
The said people never liked being referred to as being short and were believed to be very strong and warriors. If the person answers “From very far away”, they are believed to have access to the first entrance of the mythical realm of the mountain before having to pass a serpent spirit.
Sapitwa is mythically known as a “forbidden place” because it is home to a royal spirit family who get offended when certain rituals are not followed when one goes there according to some healers in Mulanje.
240px-LonelyMountain
Artists depiction of Lonely Mountain, a mountain from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth taken fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonely_Mountain#mediaviewer/File:LonelyMountain.jpg
Unlike J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium, the Lonely Mountain in the Hobbits which is the source of the fictional Celduin River and location of the Kingdom Under the Mountain, healers insist that Sapitwa with its Nthipe River in a hidden part of Mulanje Mountain is real for those who go there in the “spirit” and not as a physical being.In a nutshell, the hidden Sapitwa is the Underworld as in Afterlife and is also nicknamed “Funeral Mountain” guarded by the Mbona Ostiriza (the last seer) whose name resembles Osiris.
Ancient Malawi’s Amwandionerapati or Abathwa (short people) also known as Akafula were strong fighters and the mythical spirits of the short people with protruding bellies and armed with axes in myths are believed to still be very strong.
Their suspected iron axes in oral stories are the ones thrown at newly initiated priestesses for a certain group to show their strength and they are not allowed to duck or show fear after being tested in fire.
Ironically in ancient Egypt there were axes as shown in a photo posted on http://military-ancientegypt.weebly.com/edged-weapons.html
Ancient Egypt axe photo taken from http://military-ancientegypt.weebly.com/edged-weapons.html
Ancient Egypt axe photo taken from http://military-ancientegypt.weebly.com/edged-weapons.html
According to http://wysinger.homestead.com/bes.html the ancient Egyptian “god” Bes whom most Africans call spirits (mizimu but the winged ones) was foreign one, “an import from the land of Nubia.
“He was jolly, fond of music, and dancing. He was a popular god who was adopted by the middle classes; he was considered a tutelary god of childbirth and, strangely enough, of cosmetics and female adornments. Bes chased away demons of the night and guarded men from dangerous animals. His image was carved on bedpost. 
“He eventually became a protector of the dead and, amazingly, competed with even the refined and magnificent god Osiris for the attentions of men. He was originally the protective deity of the royal house of Egypt, but came to be a popular household deity throughout Egypt.”
Now the mythical Hobbits in non-fiction stories also have axes and were short like the pygmies of Africa.
“The heavy axe was the main weapon of the Dwarves. It is made by steel and it has got a big stick…” partly reads where the photo was taken from onhttp://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Heavy_battle_axe
And the Wawa Malawi website claims that the famous Author Tolkien “wrote The Hobbit shortly after climbing Mount Mulanje.” Hobbits in the fiction are described as “dwarves”.
 Gimli an Gloin throwing axe photo taken from http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/Thread:296188 "Gimli is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, featured in The Lord of the Rings. A Dwarf warrior, he is the son of Glóin (a character from Tolkien's earlier novel, The Hobbit)."
Gimli an Gloin throwing axe photo taken fromhttp://lego.wikia.com/wiki/Thread:296188
“Gimli is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium, featured in The Lord of the Rings. A Dwarf warrior, he is the son of Glóin (a character from Tolkien’s earlier novel, The Hobbit).”
However, “pygmies’ and “dwarves” are different because the pygmies were said to be born of the African spirit and proportional while the other special group involved a disability but not an inability.  Now in ancient Egypt there was the “Batwi gods” who were also pygmies like in mizimu (spirits).
“Egyptian texts from around 2500 BC refer to the Pygmies as little men from the land of trees and spirits at the foot of the Mountains of the Moon. Egyptian king Nefrikare sent an expedition into central Africa and it returned with a dancing dwarf known as Akka.”
Now “Asar Imhotep in his blog onhttp://www.asarimhotep.com posted FACTS about the ancient symbols of the Abathwa/Abatwa or should we say “Amwandionerapati” of ancient Malawi and other lands on our beautiful continent.
He even researched and got the correct information similar to the ones of Sapitwa about the ancient Africa “telescope” to help them “see” what is not seen with the naked.
Blogging about “Nkondi (Kongo) statue with a crossroads pose, he wrote:
“This pose relates to the cosmogram mentioned earlier and could signify in the Egyptian the meeting place between the ancestral realm and the manifest realm.
“Remember that an nganga (sing’anga or African priest or healer)has the insight to ‘see’ what goes on in the community. That is another way of saying that he has the eyes of the ancestors.
“The nganga is the link between the living and the dead and this pose informs the wisdom seeker that this person in fact has the wisdom, insight, ability and authority to operate in both the realm of the living and the dead: that he is indeed the link between the realms.”
Nkondi (Kongo) statue with a crossroads pose photo taken from http://asarimhotep.com/index.php/articles/18-posture-and-meaning-interpreting-egyptian-art-through-a-kongo-cultural-lens
Nkondi (Kongo) statue with a crossroads pose photo taken fromhttp://asarimhotep.com/index.php/articles/18-posture-and-meaning-interpreting-egyptian-art-through-a-kongo-cultural-lens
Although Akafula means dwarf in Chichewa/Chinyanja in reality the Abathwa are pygmies and when one adds a u to the word Akafula it becomes Akafuula meaning to shout.
E in the ancient Africa alphabet from 3200 BC is drawn as a man shouting.
“Ptah was a creator god, the third highest god in Egypt. He was the god presiding over the Second Egyptian month, known as Paopi by Greek times. From a local god of craftsmen to the deity who crafted the universe and the other deities, Ptah was only overshadowed by the sun god Ra, and the hidden god Amun.
“He fashioned the universe through words of power and by thought, as well as creating different parts by hand. He helped the dead on their travels through the afterlife, allowing them to transform into his divine figure, or by building the boats on which they could travel. He was the one who allowed the dead to be like the living after death with the Opening of the Mouth ceremony.
“The Apis bull was his sacred animal, more of a representation of his soul on earth who gave fertility and rebirth to the people. He was an ancient god who the Egyptians worshiped through their long history,”  readshttp://egyptsearchreloaded.proboards.com/thread/1698/batwi-gods-kemet#ixzz3IObJezxe
As for Archeology findings, the oldest known fossil remains, according to Dr. Louis Leakey, were found in the Olduvai Gorge region in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
These first “small” people were known as the “Twa”, who worshipped the God Bes, a primitive human form of Horus I, being the earliest form of Ptah the God of Gods. The Twa, are modern humans or Homo sapiens sapiens. They are a diminutive Africoid people residing in the rain forests of Central Africa further readshttp://egyptsearchreloaded.proboards.com/thread/1698/batwi-gods-kemet#ixzz3IObMZfv1
Symbol of Sapitwa healers to mean "seeing" like in -ona of masomphenya (vision) that which is not seen the way it's done with a telescope
Symbol of Sapitwa healers to mean “seeing” like in -ona of masomphenya (vision) that which is not seen the way it’s done with a telescope
Egyptian texts from around 2500 BC refer to the Pygmies as little men from the land of trees and spirits at the foot of the Mountains of the Moon. Egyptian king Nefrikare sent an expedition into central Africa and it returned with a dancing dwarf known as Akkawhich sounds like Akafula or Akafuula like in a man shouting which is E in the ancient Africa alphabet.
In the pyramid text of the sixth-dynasty monarch Pepi I it is declared that, “He who is between the thighs of Nut is the Pygmy who danceth like the god and who pleaseth the heart of the god before his great throne.” Nut was the goddess of heaven and the mother of Osiris. This Pygmy was called Bes, readshttp://egyptsearchreloaded.proboards.com/thread/1698/batwi-gods-kemet#ixzz3IObR0rQu
It adds that in the Sixth Dynasty – 2323-2152 BCE
“You have said…that you have brought a pygmy of the god’s dances from the land of the horizon-dwellers, like the pygmy whom the god’s seal-bearer Bawerded brought from Punt in the time of King Isesi. You have said to my majesty that his like has never been brought by anyone who went to Yam previously…Come north to the residence at once! Hurry and bring with you this pygmy whom you brought from the land of the horizon-dwellers live, hail and healthy, for the dances of the god, to gladden the heart, to delight the heart of King Neferkare who lives forever!
“When he goes down with you into the ship, get worthy men to be around him on deck, least he fall into the water! When he lies down at night, get worthy men to lie around him in his tent. Inspect ten times at night! My majesty desires to see this pygmy more than the gifts of the mine-land and of Punt! When you arrive at the residence and this pygmy is with you live, hale and healthy, my majesty will do great things for you, more than was done for the god’s seal-bearer, in the time of King Isesi, further reads the same website.
Greek Saytr or Pan aka Bes aka Bacchus with obvious mphini (incisions forming an alphabet) photo taken from http://egyptsearchreloaded.proboards.com/thread/1698/batwi-gods-kemet#ixzz3IObn1u7M
Greek Saytr or Pan aka Bes aka Bacchus with obvious mphini (incisions forming an alphabet) photo taken from
http://egyptsearchreloaded.proboards.com/thread/1698/batwi-gods-kemet#ixzz3IObn1u7M
Now this was also the basis of Pikinini Langwani (little child, giant) or (dwarf, giant) of “Kuba” which a nickname some Malawian healers give for Mt Namuli in Mozambique.
Tomasi Bona is said to have 4 heads (mutu) from which he projected himself from the One. These include Pikinini Langwan, Biton and two female ones whose names remain hidden for now but both are Nyangus. So there is Tomasi Bona as the Atom and One and his 4 children which are in line with stars and the universe in “bush science” of ancient Malawi.
Modern science shows the mysterious dance of dwarf galaxies may force a cosmic rethink other online publications posted on July 21, 2014.
“The discovery that many small galaxies throughout the universe do not ‘swarm’ around larger ones like bees do but ‘dance’ in orderly disc-shaped orbits is a challenge to our understanding of how the universe formed and evolved.
“The researchers believe the answer may be hidden in some currently unknown physical process that governs how gas flows in the universe, although, as yet, there is no obvious mechanism that can guide dwarf galaxies into narrow planes….
“Everywhere we looked we saw this strangely coherent coordinated motion of dwarf galaxies. From this we can extrapolate that these circular planes of dancing dwarfs are universal, seen in about 50 percent of galaxies,” said Professor Geraint Lewis.
“The researchers believe the answer may be hidden in some currently unknown physical process that governs how gas flows in the universe, although, as yet, there is no obvious mechanism that can guide dwarf galaxies into narrow planes” reads http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140721100418.htm
The dancing "god" Bes who is actually mizimu (spirit) from Thebes, Egypt 18th Dynasty, around 1300 BC taken from the Boston Museum photo on  http://wysinger.homestead.com/bes.html
The dancing “god” Bes who is actually mizimu (spirit) from Thebes, Egypt
18th Dynasty, around 1300 BC taken from the
Boston Museum photo on
http://wysinger.homestead.com/bes.html

Took this picture of children in Milange, Mozambique admiring visiting Malawian children

Tracing footsteps to lead me home

Greetings from the Warm Heart Africa, Malawi.

I'm a Malawian journalist who grew up in many countries including South Africa, Belgium, then West Germany, UK, Washington DC and New York in the US and I love New York.

Trying to come up with the production of my life and by compiling some of my 1000 poems into a book called ‘Tracing Footsteps’ to lead me Home with excellent photography.

I also plan to film award winning documentaries based on the history of this ancient land called Malawi and the mysteries of Sapitwa and the Sirius star.

.....watch this space.


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