pre colonialism

Ethiopian Orthodox priest celebrates mass

Christianity in Ethiopia dates to the 1st century AD, arguably the first nation in the world to accept Christianity (the other nation to debate this being Armenia) and this long tradition makes Ethiopia unique amongst sub-Saharan African countries. Christianity in this country is divided into several groups. The largest and oldest is the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (in Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተክርስትያን Yäityop'ya ortodoks täwahedo bétäkrestyan) is an Oriental Orthodox church in Ethiopia that was part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa Cyril VI. 

The largest pre-colonial Christian church of Africa, the Ethiopian Church has a membership of between 40 and 46 million, the majority of whom live in Ethiopia, and is thus the largest of all Oriental Orthodox churches. Next in size are the various Protestant congregations, who include 13.7 million Ethiopians. The largest Protestant group is the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, with about 5 million members. Roman Catholicism has been present in Ethiopia since the century, and numbers 536,827 believers. In total, Christians make up about 60% of the total population of the country.

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

i am 11 and i am sat next to a british
girl in maths class,
she tells me about her ancestors who were miners going on strike
and protesting against their working
conditions and wages,
my jaw falls,
i am in awe of their bravery.

i am 12 and i understand now what
britain’s colonialism did to the
i realise that they starved us,
forced us to speak english and beat
anyone who dared speak any of
the tongues belonging to their

i am 15 and i realise that europe’s world famous museums house
exhibits created by my people,
a symbol of our strength, courage
and culture they exotified and expolited.

i am 15 and it dawns on me that her ancestors shot mine in amritsar in 1919.

i am 15 and it dawns on me that her ancestors slaughtered mine in peshawar in 1930.

i am 15 and it dawns on me that my culture is running out of my veins and that my heart is beating today because of the resilience of my people and that i share the blood of life with this land and that my brown-skinned ancestors were braver and stronger than that girl’s could ever dream of being.

—  august 14th, august 15th // independence

Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941) born to a Punjabi Sikh father and Hungarian Jewish mother is among the pioneering artists of the 20th century modern art. A highly eminent painter she is often regarded as ‘India’s Frida Kahlo’. Adopting the role of both muse and maker she depicted the plight of women and the troubling poverty in Indian society. She expresses her deep concern for this through the use of symbols of the human condition in her work. Although her life was short-lived, she left a prolific and riveting oeuvre/ body of art. Combining her distinctive post-impressionist style with her experiences and influences of her surroundings she quickly became one of the most gifted artists the pre colonial era produced. Through her defiance against social roles and norms Amrita inspired women to play a more prominent function in the art world.


In one Tagalog mythology, the sun god Arao and the moon goddess Buan each had quite a lot of baby stars. Buan’s baby stars were vulnerable to Arao and his children because they were literally hotter and Arao’s kids were probably tiny kupals. So Buan convinced Arao that they both kill their children. While Arao devoured his stars, Buan hid hers inside the clouds where they would occasionally emerge. Arao got mad that he was tricked so now he’s always chasing Buan so he can kill her. Buan only brings out her baby stars when her eldest daughter Tala, the evening and morning star, says that the sun god is too far away. And this, according to some pre-colonial Filipinos, was the reason why we have night and day. 


SA WAKAS (at last!) I finally came up with a design for Apolaki and his civilian form :3 (hopefully you guys remember Urduja) Plus some super rough and quick scenario doodles for character studies I guess.

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anonymous asked:

hey, jw - do you know anything about traditional ways north african and especially moroccan jews used to do their hair?

Yeah! This is a big topic and the answer is basically “it depends where and when…” Traditional hairstyles and head-coverings differed greatly between single and married women (I assume you’re talking about women), between rural and urban areas, and between the pre-colonial and (post-)colonial periods.

In general, young women kept their hair covered with a simple scarf, and/or sometimes braided (as in this photo from Ksar-es-Suq / Er-Rachidia, 1946). In rural areas, married women wore various types of headdresses, some quite elaborate, which differed from region to region. Some examples (with great explanatory posts from my friend Maya):

  • the mehdor, a kind of wide headband of silver wire and fabric, worn in central Morocco
  • the grun (”horns”), a coiled horizontal headdress covered with cloth, worn in the southern Atlas Mountains
  • the sarma, a tall conical headdress of cut metal, worn in coastal Algeria (there’s a similar type of headdress, more pointed, worn in Tunisia)

Above: Two married Jewish girls, Erfoud, ca. 1935 (photo by Jean Besancenot) — the girl on the left is wearing the grun headdress.

One great source for you is Jean Besancenot’s 1940 book Costumes du Maroc (it was reprinted in 1988 and can be found or requested in most libraries)… He spent several years in the late 1930s documenting clothing and jewelry styles with photographs and drawings, and had a strong focus on Jewish communities. You can actually see some of his original negatives of Moroccan Jews here (just scroll over for the flipped positive version).

Above: A young Jewish woman from Tinghir (Todgha valley, Atlas), wearing a headdress of woven hair covered with a coin-diadem known as a sfifa. Photo by Besancenot, ca. 1934-9.

Another wonderful book about Moroccan hairstyles, again with many historical photos from both Jewish and non-Jewish communities, is Mireille Morin-Barde’s book Coiffures féminines du Maroc: au sud du Haut Atlas.

In rural areas, these complex traditional headdresses lasted well into the 20th century. In more urban areas, the influence of French and other European fashions meant that by the 19th century, Jewish women had adopted simple colourful scarves, as seen in many of the Orientalist paintings of Jewish women by Delacroix and others.

Above: Jewish Woman in Tangiers, 1886, painted by Emile Vernet-Lecomte.

By the 20th century, many of the Jews in the large urban centres of Fes, Casablanca, Rabat, etc. had adopted European fashion to the extent that women usually wore their hair in French styles without any covering at all, as you can see in this photo from the 50s or 60s — the bride is wearing a traditional headdress as part of the keswa el-kbira, but the other women have short uncovered hair in a European style. 

Hope this helps point you in good directions — good luck researching!

Before Tattoos and piercings, the Amasunzu hairstyle was the epitome of individuality in Rwanda. Mother always scolded my brothers into cutting off their hair once their beautiful coils started to sprout from the scalp. I think as a child, I bought into the ill-education that ‘’real men’’ should not grow out their hair. Dreadlocks were for the ‘’no good-doers’’ and one millimetre hair peaking on bold were for the ‘’focused’’, goal achievers. Guys, hair is really political. Why do we call our own hairstyles/customs pagan while giving foreigners the holy badge? Even though this look was worn during the pre-colonial times in Africa, to me, this look also reverberates into afro-futuristic elements that I completely adore.

As a Filipino, Moana brought me to tears more than a couple of times with how familiar everything was. I heard that one of the people working on Moana was Pinoy and made many of the characters on the island look like pre-colonial Filipinos and I saw it, it made me so happy

The story of Maui burying a serpent to make a coconut tree, we have almost exactly the same story in the Philippines with Bathala and Ulilang Kaluluwa

The boats, the musical instruments, the importance of coconut trees, the tattooing and its method, even their outfits, the culture shares so many roots with mine that it was like seeing old friends onscreen. It made so happy. 

Moana is so culturally rich and beautriful, you’ll be floored. 


Lost Kingdom of Africa

Four-part series in which British art historian Dr Gus Casely-Hayford explores the pre-colonial history of some of Africa’s most important kingdoms. The African continent is home to nearly a billion people. It has an incredible diversity of communities and cultures, yet we know less of its history than almost anywhere else on earth.

But that is beginning to change. In the last few decades, researchers and archaeologists have begun to uncover a range of histories as impressive and extraordinary as anywhere else in the world.

The series reveals that Africa’s stories are preserved for us in its treasures, statues and ancient buildings - in the culture, art and legends of the people.

The first episode looks at Nubia, in what is now northern Sudan, a kingdom that dominated a vast area of the eastern Sahara for thousands of years. Its people were described as barbarians and mercenaries, and yet Nubia has left us with some of the most spectacular monuments in the world.

Casely-Hayford traces the origins of this fascinating kingdom back to 10,000 BC. He explores how it developed and what happened to it and its people, discovering that its kings once ruled Ancient Egypt and that it was defeated not by its rivals but by its environment.

Season 2

anonymous asked:

Do you think the Congolese community is more open to lgbt people?

More open than who? There’s hate towards lgbt folks in every community, as a gay Congolese sometimes I wish I didn’t find women attractive, and that’s because of the bigotry from the community. 

There are a lot of Congolese people who still believe that homosexuality is a colonial import even though there is evidence of homosexuality and third genders (some still exist today) pre-colonialism. But every now and again, you see Congolese lgbt in the media and radio in Congo. 

The Wolf Moon is Upon Us!!

Air ✧・゚:   Balance ✧・゚: Repurposing ✧・゚:  Protection ✧・゚:  Growing closer to your deities ✧・゚:  Developing the self ✧・゚:   Meditation

Also called the Cold Moon and the Old Moon, this full moon in January was named as the season where wolves would howl at the moon during pre-colonial and colonial times in the US.

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*✧・゚: *✧・゚:* ✧・゚: *✧・゚:* ✧・゚: *✧・゚:* ✧・゚: *✧・゚:* ✧・゚: *✧・゚:* ✧・゚: *

This is a time to adjust to the chiller temperatures, and any way we may feel “off”. If you feel low on energy, cast an invigoration spell. Physical and emotional protection spells work well on this night too. If you’re like me and starting up school again, balance your stress levels with a calming spell, study spell, or simply minimizing your schedule as you adjust to the winter months.

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*✧・゚: *✧・゚:* ✧・゚: *✧・゚:* ✧・゚: *✧・゚:* ✧・゚: *✧・゚:* ✧・゚: *✧・゚:* ✧・゚: *

Take this time to worship and lift any burdens you may be putting on yourself.

I hope you have a blessed full moon, lovelies!

To white people who are looking for something genuine, something cultural/spiritual that capitalism hasn’t tainted and commodified, something that doesn’t involve wholesale appropriation of historically-oppressed cultures (you know what I’m talking about – hipsters who go for warbonnets, bindis, Day of the Dead makeup, etc.) – you should totally focus on taking back indigenous European culture from white supremacists. 

My sister and I have had extensive conversations about how interesting indigenous Europe revitalization movements are, since they try to recapture something that’s pre-Christian and, more importantly, pre-widescale-imperialism/colonialism in European culture. Even so, we detest certain parts of the movements that unequivocally root themselves in fascism and/or exclusive nationalism. White people have pretty much sat at the top of the world hierarchy for centuries, owing it to conquest and bloodshed and just general douchebaggery. We need to come to terms with this fact, become aware of our white privilege, try to be the best allies we can be (by mainly shutting up and listening to others on the topic of race), and fight the normalized hegemony.

So, spiritual white people, in the meantime, oppose fascists who would seek to appropriate a genuine revitalization movement and morph it into more white supremacy, more disgusting hierarchy, more fucked-up gender roles, more militarism. And regarding flagrant hipster racism, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be that white guy who treads on other cultures because he doesn’t have a legit outlet for creative cultural expression. Wicca, Druidism, Neo-Paganism; Jul, Samhain, equinoxes/solstices; etc. – these should be ours, sincere avenues for cultural and spiritual expression; not fascists’, not more excuses to dominate others.

TL;DR: Fuck white supremacy, fuck imperialism, fuck capitalism, fuck cultural saturation. 


Gurjar/Gujjar- The Gurjar or Gujjar are a pastoral people found primarily in India and Pakistan with smaller groups in Afghanistan. Despite this, there is some debate amongst historians and anthropologists if the Gurjar are indigenous to the subcontinent, with some evidence suggesting they arrived between the 5th and 7th century from Armenia or Central Asia. Regardless of where they originally came from, Gurjar were a powerful group in pre-colonial India, being involved in the creation of such polities as the Pratihara Empire and other smaller kingdoms. Their power decreased under British rule, with many Gurjar participating in the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Following this, the British classified the Gurjar as a “criminal tribe”, meaning that they were predisposed to criminal behavior.