On one of several trips to Detroit, MI, I had the honor of meeting and speaking at length with Dayami Dabl, owner of Mbad’s African Bead Museum (mbad.org). It was such an enlightening experience and we took many photos and notes on our conversation.
Here are some camera shots from the visit (find the complete gallery here)
These are some of the key talking points and some great quotes from the conversation:
The mirrors allow us to control and manipulate. They allow us to see what is behind us.
Comment on the Adinkra symbol Gye Nyame – except God. A benevolent God – aloof and distant.
The sun is the right eye – open during the day.
The moon is the left eye – open at nght.
Mirrors… are 2 dimensional, but they appear to be 3 dimensional. They play with reality.
Commentary with the ancestors – social, political relationships between Africa and Europe.
200 years of colonization – built up hatred from the physical.
We have been taught how to become a European.
Born into a hangover so we assume it is for us.
Distance and conflict – superficial
Rhetoric proganda – enemies become friends
It is common for many Afrikans to speak 7 languages.
In America, we are trapped in a language we don’t understand.
(Afrikan) Langauges were buried over time and they emerge in bits and pieces.
Mudcloth patterns are a scripted language.
Artists regaining their correct place in this world – Art is not just art!
There is an enemy educating our children.
What is fine art? It is a term of supremacy and exclusivity.
Learning to write is learning to think- it teaches us how to think, organizing our thoughts.
The more we know about ourselves, the more powerful we become.
Key to Life (The Ankh) – the penis and the vagina.
State your facts – don’t debate with a bunch of “I thinks”
Only a fool tests the depths of water with both feet.
Provide ambiance and music.
There has been an erosion of values.
Additionally, here is a list of books and other resources that derived as a result of our talk… Check out more at Good Reads!