Sankofa family is a cultural advocacy group with a simple joyous
objective of returning to our cultural. The African culture has been the
most vilified, misinterpreted and downgraded of all time. Happily,
Sankofa Family; made of people who see the need to get things on track
and champion our very good and beautiful culture in its rightful state,
has taken up the mantle. We have the urge and the need at once to
enlighten as many who will want to know the truth for once in their
entire life. We will teach as often as it is possible but most
importantly, we will do and enjoy our beautiful culture like never
before. We have a culture like none other which is embedded with both
our physical and spiritual ways of life.
This “Questions and
Answers” series aim at correcting some simple misconceptions and
misinformation about our culture. Take time to learn and even quote it
when it need be. As for us, we are messengers enjoying a beautiful
cultural rollercoaster ride. Stay with us!
Questions and Answers
1. Who are ancestors:
Ans: Nananom Nsamanfo (known in English as Ancestors) are our
forefathers who have lived before us clearing the path we tread today.
We, the physically living are Adasa/)dasani. These are the men and women
of old who gave us our language, food, music, medicine, technology,
lands, freedom, governance etc. Our very existence has been so because
of their forthcoming into this world. They are the ones who have
fulfilled their destinies. These men and women, who lived before us and
are no longer with us physically, are living in the ancestral world.
They are permanently in Asamando (the ancestral world) with the Gods.
Their spirits are always available to all those who call on them.
2. Do we worship our ancestors?
3. What is worship?
Ans: The Akan word for worship is “som” which can mean worship or serve
in English. When we say, Obi resom ne na a, it mean the person is
serving his/her mother. Obiara som obiara meaning “Everyone serves
everyone”. The African understanding of the som/serve/worship the
ancestors is one of a relationship with the family members who have left
this physical world and are living in divinity.
The etymology of
the English word worship is a ”Condition of being worthy, dignity,
glory, distinction, honor, renown. A sense of reverence paid to a
supernatural or divine being.
The Akan word of worship is “som”.
We serve/worship our parents, friends, nature, environment, superiors,
anyone or thing out of reverence for them. The worship of ancestors is
not a master servant/slave relationship as evident in religion; it is
the reverence for the ascended spirit. In times of old, a person goes to
stay with his aged grandparent to serve them. Gesture we show to our
ancestors when we call on them.
4. What is Libation?
The original word is Nsa gu (Pour wine/alcohol) which connotes the
pouring of wine/drink during prayers. We pour libation to call on
Divinity and spirits and communicate with them. This is how our
forefathers did many years ago and prospered. Their ability to
call/summon/invoke spirits to work with them has no equal even till to
5. Why do we call on ancestors when we pour libation?
Ans: Our ancestors are an integral part of us. They provide guidance and
protection when we call on them. During libation, when we call them, we
ask them to come and stand behind/with us for a good course. By doing
this, we ask them to invoke/instill/keep/remind/inspire such loyal and
industrious spirit within us for our life’s journey. There is strength
in numbers you know.
6. Do we worship idols as Africans:
7.Why are idols in the shrines/homes of Africans?
Ans: Idols and carvings are symbolic of the spirits/energies we work
with. It is just like having the picture of a president in the
presidential palace; it only serves as a reminder of the person that the
spirit of the president is around.
8. Are our ancestors us?
Ans: Ancestors live in the ancestral world with the Gods (Divinity).
Some reincarnate whiles others do not. It is the Gods (Divinity) that
determine when and where a soul (ancestor) will be sent from the
ancestral world and for what purpose. We all have assignments called
Nkrabea (destiny) to fulfill. Nkrabea is a person’s assignment/mission
on earth given to him/her by the Gods. This Nkrabea (destiny) is time ad
resource bound. When one fulfils it he will go to be an ancestor. Those
who do not or die prematurely come back quiet early.
10. How do you know ancestors are real?
Ans: they are real because when you call on them, they show up and
assist you. There are believes and there are knowledge, ours is one of
knowledge. We just don’t believe that the ancestors exist but we know
they exist. When we call on the ancestors, they come and provide the
11. What do we use in pouring libation?
Ans: it depends on a group of people but mostly in Africa, alcohol, palm
wine, pito, soft drinks are used in pouring libation. We can also use
natural water like rain water, well, river or sea water. Each
spirit/soul/ancestor has what he or she requires/ likes to be used when
calling him or her.
12.How do you know what to use?
have to ask your elders or observe libation in practice. The place to
make other or further enquiries can also be from a genuine shrine/Okomfo
13. Do we communicate with ourselves when we call on the ancestors?
Ans: No. Our Ancestors exist in their soul/spiritual form. Even though
we have their DNA and likeness, we are different entities. So when we
communicate with them, it is just as a father communicates with a child
and vice versa.
14. Does ancestral world exist?
15. Where do go when we die?
Ans: Asamando (Ancestral world)