THE CULTURE CORNER

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“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture, is like a tree without roots.”

 Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887 – 1940)

Every year in October we celebrate BLACK HISTORY MONTH. Black history is with us every second, minute, hour, week, month and year. PANTHER NEWSLETTER’S CULTURE CORNER will attempt to enlighten you with what they never told you in your history class. Our story will be told right here – So enjoy the journey of clarification.

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PATOIS – OUR LANGUAGE

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Not widely known but true…

Did you know?

  • Nyam: (nee-yam); to eat,  comes from the Fulani language of West Africa: nyama, nyamgo: to eat. In the Nilo-Saharan languages: Kaliko (Central Sudanic); nya: he eats; Tabi (Eastern Sudanic); nam: he eats.
  • Pickney: (pick-nee); derives from the word pickaninny: meaning child. It is traced to the Portuguese language: pequenino, which is also found in creoles of Sierra Leone, Cameroon, etc.
  • Su-su: (soo-soo); meaning gossip, the sound of whispering. Possibly originates from Ghana: asutu; whispering, or susuw kal; to utter suspicion, or su; to relate, tell.
  • Uno, or Unnu: (oo-noo); means: you-all. It is a pronoun from the Ibo, Midob (Nubian family) and Nilo-Saharan languages: unu and uuni; meaning, you and ye.

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DANCE

  • Jamaica has a variety of Traditional Dances: Maypole; Quadrille; Kumina and Jonkunnu.  Other Traditional Dances are: Gerreh and Dinki Mini; Revival; Ring Games; Ettu and Bruckins Party.

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TRIBUTE TO OUR S/HEROES

Septimus Severus arguably was the Roman Empire’s only African Emperor 193 – 211 AD. He was born in Tripolitania (North Africa); April 11, 145 AD in a continent usually at war with Rome.  Septimus spent most of his reign travelling.  In 211 AD, he came to Britain and conquered Scotland.  He died in York after a long illness.

Flavius Honorius arguably another of the Roman Empire’s African Emperors. He succeeded his father, Theodosius the Great in 395 AD.

Queen Phillipa (1314 – 1369) was England’s first black Queen and mother of the Black Prince. She was born in Valenciennes (then in Flanders, now France) and was the daughter of William I, Count of Hainaut and Joan of Valois, the granddaughter of Philip III of France.

Dido Elizabeth Belle (1762 – 1837) was the daughter of John Lindsay and an African slave woman known only as Belle. Very little is known about Belle only that she was black and a slave. Her daughter Dido lived in the household of the Earl of Mansfield who was her father’s Uncle and her Great-Uncle.

Nanny of the Maroons stands out in history as the only female among Jamaica’s national heroes. She possessed that fierce fighting spirit generally associated with the courage of men. In fact, Nanny is described as a fearless Asante warrior who used militarist techniques to foul and beguile the English.  Like the heroes of the pre Independence era, Nanny too met her untimely death at the instigation of the English sometime around 1734.  Yet, the spirit of Nanny of the Maroons remains today as a symbol of that domitable desire that will never yield to captivity.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887 – 1940) founded America’s first major black nationalist movement.  One of the first anti-colonialists, he called for ‘Africa for Africans’ during the early 1920’s. The Jamaican-born Harlem-based activist gave black people a new sense of dignity and power. He died in 1940 without realising his dream.

H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I was the 111th descendant of Solomon and Sheba. The ‘Might of the Trinity’ was known as Rastafari Makonnen until crowned in 1930. His reign in Ethiopia has influenced thousands who believe he is the Messiah. His country’s economic decline pushed him out of power, ending the 3,000 year old Solomonic Dynasty.

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Here ends your history lesson for this month.

 

Log on for more CULTURE CORNER next month and remember…

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”

 H.I.M Haile Selassie I

 

‘Til next month – Everyting Bless.

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