I grew up in a society where we were taught to reject, to demonize African spirituality and mystical practices. Naturally, as I grew up, I felt a fear of anything that emanated from African spirituality. The gods, the practices, created in me a psychosis. However, I kept hidden in myself an unexplained admiration for the cauri. I could not explain how this so-called "diabolical shell" could attract me as much. I watched him from a distance, I appreciated him by forbidding me to have physical contact with him. And then, a few years ago, my curiosity as a journalist pushed me to get closer to spirituality to get away from religion. As I read, research and meditate, I discovered AFRICAN SPIRITUALITY and the power of the Cauri. I understood where my attraction for cowries came from. I learned that the history of my people was inseparable from that of the cauri ... Old currency in West Africa, object of divination, communication link between men and spirits, the cauri represents wealth, power, the protection, the woman, the creation, the femininity, the sexuality ... Its curved back recalls the belly of a pregnant woman. It is a symbol of fertility. The split that separates the two parts, represents the duality. The power of this shell is immense, its mysterious origin ... .. It is said that it comes from the Maldives. It was introduced in West Africa in the 8th century as a bargaining chip by Arab traders. It was thus adopted by my people who knew how to recognize his power. With us Dan, people from the western region of Côte d'Ivoire, cowries are part of our lives, they are our protectors, the messengers of djinans (geniuses). That's why we use them to give strength to our masks, our dancers. For our mystical rituals, to communicate with our ancestors as well as our Gods. "The cowries are so powerful because they draw their strength from the sea from which they come" "we use them because our ancestors asked us to do it" "the cowries speak. They communicate with pure hearts ". "They tell us our story, but we also predict the future." My fight For centuries, we have been told our story for us. Our gods, religions, traditions, rituals have been demonized. Our fetishes carried away. At the place, we were told how and who to pray! How to dress, what to eat. Our existence has been dictated for too many centuries. Today, knowledge is within reach, we must seize it. It is time for us black Africans to reconcile with our heritage and reclaim our culture; our spirituality, our gods and embrace it. Our history, we must write it for ourselves. Therefore, I write mine, that of my people through my creations. They are an invitation to discover my story. That of a woman in search of her story, spirituality, balance; of his Gods, of happiness! I call for a reappropriation of our culture.Close
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