They say it came from Africa, carried in the screams of the enslaved; that it was the death bane of the Tainos, uttered just as one world perished and another began; that it was a demon drawn into Creation through the nightmare door that was cracked open in the Antilles. Fukú americanus, or more colloquially, fukú - generally a curse or doom of some kind; specifically the Curse and the Doom of the New World.
No matter what its name or provenance, it is believed that the arrival of Europeans on Hispaniola unleashed fukú on the world, and we’ve all been in the shit ever since.
Congolese Dance originated in Central Africa. Incidentally the movements which constitute Congolese Dance are generally focused on the center of the body. It is in the mid-section of the body that both the digestive and reproductive organs are housed. This is probably why the movements associated with Congolese Dance or any dance that has a focus on the mid-section of the body, are healing and along with a change in diet will help combat reproductive disorders such as fibroids, ovarian cysts, irregular cycles as well as disorders of the prostate. The movements increase the flow of oxygen and blood in the body’s mid-section, which aids the body in the prevention of disease.
Many modern dances we know of today have their roots in Congolese Dance. Some of the dances that have their roots from the Congo are the Lambada, Samba, Salsa, Merengue, Calypao, Reggae, Soca, Afro-Caribbean and “Belly Dancing”. Congolese Dance is among “our” medicines, it is a dance filled with healing vibrations and pelvic rotations.
Question: Will Afro-Diasporic people ever stop wondering where and from what nation in Africa their ancestors were captured? (but why should we stop or be satisfied with one answer?)
Soydeleche’s questions about her African ancestry made me remember something Saidiya Hartman and Edouard Glissant and many others; have said or are now saying in scholarship: Usually when attempting to identify African cultural legacies of Diasporic African cultures, one looks for Africanisms or cultural customs from Africa that have survived (mostly without or little European influence) : i.e. the drum, African proverbs, names, words, songs (mostly physical evidence) etc..but Hartman looks elsewhere as she states:
”Therefore my aim is not to retrieve the prehistory of the captive but to examine what Glissant describes as our nonhistory: “the experience of shock, contradiction, painful negation, and explosive forces which make a totalitarian philosophy of history an impossibility.”
This “not knowing” (“the experience of shock….. explosive forces”) for HartmanIS the physical evidence left behind, more so than the things that link people back to specific locations and “TRIBES” (READ: NATIONS) within Africa. “The very consciousness of the disconnectedness acts as a mode of testimony and memory.”
It is not an all out impossibility for someone of the Diaspora to know where they come from in Africa but the very query, the very notion that one must know and should want to know is the evidence of our tragic/invigorating past.
In order give human shape to the inhuman institution, we must re-humanize the de-humanized we must search for their humanity (their birthplace, their rituals, songs, dance, worries, words). By continuing to search for the ways in which our ancestors displacement centuries ago still affects our present being, we in effect re-solidify our kinship to those on the motherland but also those who’s bodies lay beneath the Atlantic or buried deep within the sands of their own [perceived] “non-existence”.
I wrote this what 3 years ago and shit feels like i wrote it yesterday..
Leroi Jones (changing same) Toni Morrison (living memory/re-memory)
modern science: epi-genetics.