Welcome to Lukasa!
Most of you know that I work to honor our ancestors' memories by reclaiming our knowledge of them and documenting our family history. This is the beginning of our lukasa. We borrow this tradition, no we reclaim this tradition from Central Africa. A lukasa is a memory board used by members of the Bambudye secret society of the Luba to help remember and retell their history.
I wish I could say that I actually learned about lukasa first hand when I lived in Zaire (now DRC), but I can't. I learned about them when I went to an African Art Exhibit sometime after my return. I wish I had started researching our family history in 1986 when I first returned from Zaire. Better still, just imagine what I would have learned from our then elders, now our ancestors, if I had kept the pursuit going when Cousin Shaw (Floree Simpkins Shaw, 1892 Calhoun Falls, SC - 1987 Buffalo, NY) sat down and helped 13 year old me write my first paternal line tree.
I don't know what will come of this - perhaps ramblings, thoughts, research ideas, roadblocks, shared efforts of each of us, and our breakthroughs. For now, I'm just going to stop and thank our Ancestors, starting with Cousin Shaw who took the time to show me how we were related as first cousins once removed. I thank our Ancestors, those known and unknown, for their great courage and the strength they had to have to survive the Maafa. I know that you are not far from us. I feel you with us in this journey. We call your names and remember. We work to reconnect with our family from whom we were separated during the period of enslavement. We work to learn more about our ancestral homes and people in the Motherland. We ask your guidance as we build our lukasa.
Tuasakadila bua kutupesha moyo!
Thank you for giving us life.
Nsoni Nnenna Abena