Do you understand the significance of the items you bring back from your travels? Most African Americans who have worn an afro or had a gheri curl sometime in their life are familiar with the “pick” or a comb with long upright teeth. This comb is used to stretch the hair out into a desired shape and has been a symbol of “Black Pride” and identity.
If you have ever been to Western African, you would also recognize this comb, but for more figurative reasons. The “pick” or “wooden comb” of “duafe” is an Adinkra symbol of beauty and cleanliness. The Akan women (inhabiting southern Ghana and adjacent parts of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)) use it to comb and plait their hair.
If you have ever travelled to Egypt, you may have run across a symbol called “the Eye of Horus.” Also known as wadjet, wedjat or udjat, is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, good health, and restoration. The symbol bestowed upon the eye of Horus is because of Horus losing his left eye in a struggle with Seth. During ancient times, it is alleged Horus’s eye was magically restored by Hathor.
In certain countries in the Mediterranean you may have purchased a charm or talisman with the notorious “evil eye.” The evil eye is considered by some to have both negative and positive qualities. According to legend, the evil eye is a curse believed to be cast by a wicked glare, usually given to a person when they are unaware. Many cultures believe receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury, while others believe it to be a kind of mystic power that casts or reflects a malicious gaze back-upon those who wish harm upon others.
It is these and other items we pick up from our travels or tattoo on our bodies we need to understand the meaning of before bringing them into our lives.
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