Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mbongi: Learning Wisdom and the African World Experience

Since all humans are thought to have originated in Africa, Dr. Carr acknowledges that "Human brilliance must be connected to African brilliance." This concept, along with that of the Mbongi and memory, provided the framework for this lecture.
Africa as the source of all life, and thus the ultimate source of all brilliance and excellence is clearly presented to be the focus of Dr. Carr's lecture, and it became apparent to us that Africa provided the source of our present knowledge. The biggest example is probably our modern day writing system and mathematics, which are know thought to have been derived from Egypt.
Translated literally, Mbongi means a "house without rooms." But it has a much deeper meaning than this; Mbongi is the collective consciousness of all the knowledge our ancestors have compiled for our use, along with the addition our own generation has amassed. Now we know that our law and order, culture and education have all been derived from this African concept of Mbongi, or the "common shelter" as Dr. Carr puts it. The concept of Mbongi can be further broken down into more specific notions. I have just provided the example of "Boko," by showing how Mbongi is broken down. This is exactly what 'boko' means to break or to cut, especially in regards to solving a problem. Other notions include creating shelter in order to protect (Yemba), mixing and assembling (Lusanga), and inhaling especially in regards to healing properties (Kioto).
The Afrcian diaspora did not destroy these ancestral ways of life, and it may have in fact made them stronger in some ways. Enslaved Africans created new languages, such as Patois, Creole and Ebonics, in stead of their oppresion, thus further empowering the concept of African brilliance. Though the whites may have tried to break theier spirit, it did not work and the Mbongi continues today.

No comments:

Post a Comment