Sankofa 2019: Grandma’s Lace Curtains

Sankofa. It means to go back.

To give thanks and praises to the Creator, regardless of the name in which we call Him/Her.

To remember our ancestors, we know not by name, and their ultimate sacrifice.

To remember our recent ancestors, and the wisdom their lives left behind.

To reflect on where we have been, to be clearer on where we are headed.

This is my personal diary of the last decade of experiences with attending Sankofa: The Caravan to the Ancestors, hosted by the Houston Chapter of the National Black United Front….and how these experiences changed my life.

The intent of this is not only to inspire all who have attended a Sankofa: Caravan to the Ancestors to share their their stories, but to bring an artistic and literary perspective to the history of this ceremony. The art of storytelling has long been a part of ancestral tradition.

2019’s diary gives my reflection of the year I wore my grandmother’s white lace curtains for a dress, prepared the most offering, and received a gift from Yemonja! Hear the audio version of these diaries infused with old skool music and other mystic teachings on 222.9 The Mothership Internet Radio, and read the written part of this diary on

Pataki. Oni mi Ojo Abameta, Owara Mokandilogun, Odun Egbawa Mokandilogun

Mejidilogun ojo Ogba Ooru.

Translate: Diary. Today is Saturday, October 19th, 2019, 28 days into Autumn Equinox.

This is the third year in a row the day vibrated on a 5, a day of releasing to the fullness of self.

The Moon was waning in the 4th house of Crab Season.

It was a 3 year, ideal for keeping an eye on choices and crossroads.

My new space expanded to a house at a crossroad, complete with strong Egungun presence. Its previous occupant was a friend of mine, so it was a space I was already familiar with. While unpacking, I came across a tiny vintage suitcase full of my grandmother’s white lace curtains. Their touch brought visions of my ancestors, particularly from my female line.

Hmmm….I thought. Why not wear honor them all by wearing these as my white for Sankofa this year? So I took couple of the curtains and made a skirt. I took one more… for a veil. Hmmm.

Our ile was attending in a large group this year, and we were to be under own own tent. I enjoyed handling up on preparing the offerings our group would take to the water. On my hard plastic pastel green plates, I created an adimu(food offering) spread of various lentils, rosemary, cast iron skillet cornbread, home-grown grapefruits and rare lemons, poundcakes, and yellow flowers. Yeye showed up from out of town and surprised us all on Sankofa’s Eve. Of course, she brought more honey and molasses.

We arrived on the water very shortly after dawn. We set up our tent, my adimu spread, and enjoyed of a relaxing, family experience. I allowed myself to enjoy the bliss of just the ocean sounds, until the engulfing drums sounded upon the arrival of the Caravan.

When the drums got louder and I heard the voice of the officiating, I knew it was time for the main ceremony. I delivered some sacred jewelry, made sure my Yeye was cool, then set out to dance. I was smudged by an omo Esu and gave irukere to a couple of my sisters on my way in the circle. I love the giving and receiving of positive ase! The energy was strong, and harmonious. There were moments where I wore my veil over my face, dancing deeper with wind. I went deep into the water to make my offerings and give thanks. When I returned to the shore, a wave crashed a bit harder than the other waves, and left something in the hem of my skirt. The lace of my grandmother’s curtain snagged it. It was a piece of wood in the peculiar shape of a being. Had I been wearing any other skirt, I may not have received this. What a lovely gift from the Mothers!

Ase in Love,

iiiYansaje T. Muse

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