WHATS MY HERITAGE?
WEST AFRICAN - SIERRA LEONEN
THINGS I THINK OF WHEN I THINK OF MY SIERRA LEONE THE CULTURE?
WHERE PEOPLE GUESS I'M FROM?
EGYPT- Because of my name , MEMUNATU "sounds like the name of an Egyptian pharaoh " -Ms Sharp (English teacher at GCSE)
SOMALIA- Because I'm a muslim ..".78% of Sierra Leone's population are Muslims, "-source Wikipedia
KENYA- Because its close to Somalia,
NIGERIA- Partially because that the first place some people know of that's in west Africa .
GHANA-Partially because that the SECOND place some people know of that's in west Africa.
AFTER ABOUT 4 guesses people usually stop guessing. Then when I tell them I'm from SIERRA LEONE their responses have either been;
1) "Huh, where is that ?"
Why is it that so many people don't know of SIERRA LEONE? *this is something to investigate
Image of traditional Fulani Hair in coiffure ,taken prior to 1940 image curtesy of -https://www.pinterest.com/pin/531495193502994744/
I come from the fulani tribe in Sierra Leone , and absolutely find the traditional fulani or FOULAH hair beautiful.the patterns and structure and the time that must have gone into these styles ...amazing.
My grandmother pictured in compound in Sierra Leone by Mum 2012, in everyday traditional dress
My sister when she was younger , wearing a braided wig . I like this picture because it shows that braids or hair in general is a great big part of my heritage. Wearing the braids since day one .
Image taken by (mum?) of Aunty Fanta and her husband at house party. Loving the colours in aunty's african garment and also loving the head wrap. BROWNS, YELLOW, GREEN , BLUE
Image taken by Aminata (sister),of my Cousin handing out some chicken which was part of the Sierra Leonen party food 'fry fry')
Sierra Leonen 'fry fry' image curtesy of -http://eatyourworld.com/destinations/africa/general_sierra_leone/sierra_leone/what_to_eat/fry_fry
'African girl dancing'y by N.A. Noëll on archival paper and canvas is created with UltraChrome pigment inks.
"Oya shake body
Oya move body
Make you ring alarm o
Oya shake body
-LYRICS TO 'SHAKE BODY' BY Skales ( West african ,Nigerian artist' Encouraging the movement . The dialect it is in in Sierra leone is known as creole ( broken english) or pigeon , which is a dialect nearly every Sierra Leonen including my parents speak .
KOREA SIERRA LEONE
Korean Bongson/ Talchum Dance masks
"BongSanTalChum was the most well known masquerade in the Hwang-Hae district beginning in the 17th century(“History”). This area was the main trade point for agricultural and marine products. People’s income from this area enabled them to be able to afford masquerade performance masks, costumes, and instruments. People danced BongSanTalChum on a particular day for a specific purpose. One of them was Dan O, the short period of time after harvesting rice. People attended masquerade for enjoyment after working hard and to celebrate what they got from the land. All of the performers were male, and the dance form was carried down from generation to generation(“Cultural Property”). People were proud of being a performer of BongSanTalChum masquerade, which shows this dance was a huge part of their lives as well as it influenced people’s lives."
-curtesy of https://seulee.wordpress.com/
The BongsanTalchum Dance
A 'Fu lion' pictured outside a Buddhist temple , with his paw over a ball that represents power. It is also said to represent the union of Heaven and Earth, and the whole of Buddhist Law.
image curtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/42304632@N00/71016269
LIONS, MOVEMENT ,PREDATOR,RUNNING , SPEED .WHATS THE FASTEST WILDCAT ...A CHEETAH.
I found the movement of the cheetah really interesting. I thought to myself what is the reason that the cheetah is the fastest so I did some research. Figures its body has extremely low air resistance ,as well as other factors of its build that allows it to move smoothly through the air. How could this movement be translated into marks? Also from the movement of the cheetah , what marks or impact would be left on the ground? This is something I would like to explore ,using different media and processes such as using my fingers with ink on them as the legs of the cheetah and then mimicking the movement of the cheetah across a page .
World map focus on Sierra Leone , curtesy of -Wikipedia
I come from the FOULAH TRIBE , and my family are based in SIERRA LEONE. However the fulani are spread all over africa. This article by TAMBA JEAN-MATHEW,posted Monday, July 20 2015 describes us perfectly in my opinion "
"The Fulani, the scattered people of West Africa"
below are some snapshots of the article
the description underlined in red of the fulani people is comically incorrect...we come in all shades and are not all long and slender. This description is he description of the 'ideal/ perfect fulani beauty' .
Close up Image of Conrows often done by the Sierra Leonens , there they call braids / cornrows 'plants'.image curtesy of -
I really like this image the change of perspective nearly removes the braids from the context.
My cousin's wife ,pictured by me at Sierra leone gathering in the Netherlands
An old painting/ drawing I did based on an old photograph of my dad and my sisters and I when we were younger. I did this in the style of Njdeka Crosby , as she creates paintings ,mixing the idea of her Nigerian heritage with her american nationality through the use of colour as well as collaging old images which reflect her african roots more.
Painting by Njideka Crosby 'Something Split and New '2013 ,Acrylic, pastel, color pencils, charcoal, marble dust, collage and transfers on paper, 7 ft. × 9.25 ft.
image curtesy of -http://njidekaakunyili.com/work/something-split-and-new
This photograph was taken by my cousin at my fourteenth birthday party.Look at the twists in my niece's Ramatulai's hair .Ramatulai is a name very exclusive to Sierra Leone and some neighbouring countries. There her name aswell as my name 'Memunatu' are very common.
In Sierra Leone they like to add 'TU' and 'TA' to more convential african/arabic/islamic names . My name for example stems from the name - 'MAYMUNAH' or 'MAIMOONA' which means blessed . Add the 'TU' and now it is = 'MAYMUNAH-TU correctly spelled 'MEMUNATU'. Its a Sierra Leonen thing .
Photograph taken by me , of Ramatulai , Abdoulai , and Hita dancing at the party.Ramatulai's dancing reminds me of Nancy Noell's work.
My Partner 'Hee Yoon' is from Korea .Her research was based on the Bonsong masks . She showed me a few pictures of the BongSanTalChum masks which are used for the Traditional performance dance called "BongSanTalChum"I liked all the colours and patterns in the masks. I also liked the simplicity in some of the masks, some are made to appear very comical.
The BongsonTalchum Perforamnce dance is considered a very important tradition to the Korean. The Dance represents their lives , their livelihoods and if not it is a satire against the upper class led corrupted political system. The BongsonTalchum dance can be performed by pretty much anyone, the costumes can be easily hand sewn and the masks can be made out of any material , although the typical material used is wood. The costume colours are bright using reds, pink, yellow , blues, greens.
Korean rice farmers ,Harvesting Rice
Image curtesy of http://img.koreatimes.co.kr/upload/news/top(16).jpg
Korean rice harvester with rice ,image curtesy of http://pds.joins.com/jmnet/koreajoongangdaily/_data/photo/200608/htm_2006080722134390009040-001.jpg
I love the movement in the masks/ costume particularly that of the lion. This is something I want to keep in my work.
Lion face, side view image curtesy of http://www.desibucket.com/animals/mammals/lion-face-side-pose/