As a teenager, I always admired the way my Indian friend’s family paid respect to their ancestors and religious deities. Her family had an entire room dedicated to worship, and beautiful, elaborate religious paintings hung throughout their home. In recent years I’ve come up with my own way of acknowledging and paying respect to my ancestors which include, deceased family members of direct lineage, cultural kin such as Malcolm X and Harriet Tubman, and spiritual guides like Oshun, the Elements, and angels. I like to pay homage to Oshun, very appropriately at the river bank, by bringing a token of gratitude and verbally expressing thankfulness. This practice reminds me that we are not alone and that our ancestors watch over and guide us daily.
Eye-and-eye mantra: Be the woman you want to be at all times.
Photography by Ajua Hawkins.
Copyright 2013-2014 Ajua Hawkins