In this lecture Nehez Meniooh introduces you to a Kemetic perspective on the role of Ancestors, Spirituality vs Religion and honouring our Ancestors.
By Felicity Heywood for This is Culture
Naba Iritah Shenmira (on the right of the picture) is a Priest and Healer from the Dogon bloodline of the Groumanche region of Miritah (Africa), and he is the son of the founder of The Earth Center Dogon High Priest, Naba Lamoussa Morodenibig.
FELICITY HEYWOOD: How old is the Dogon?
NABA IRITAH SHENMIRA: The problem is when you try to see the Dogon as a people or society that is different from any other society. We would say our Ancestors are part of everything that happened from the beginning of the time. Because of how they were working on themselves maybe that’s why they [were able to] keep up with time and space, and spirituality. That’s maybe what made them become like a society that everyone focused on. But we are as old as any other people who have their Ancestors who came at the beginning of existence. But we have been away from our main lands for 3,000-4,000 years [in order] to try and hide ourselves from persecution and colonial corruption.
HEYWOOD: There is a people called the Batwa or Twa who date themselves 60,000 years on earth….
SHENMIRA: Our initiation master tells us our teachings have been there for over 150,000 years. But we can’t dictate the time we have been here. We have to look at the facts, at our knowledge as to how long it has been here and then to give an approximate time. But to talk about the people themselves, or the bloodline itself - that’s going to be difficult.
Top row: (1) Kemetic God Ra: Ra is considered the greatest of all the Gods, the God before all other Gods. (2) Kemetic God Imin (Amun, Amon). (3) Kemetic God Ptah. (4) Kemetic Goddess Hakru (Sekhmet, Bastet, Akeru).
Bottom row: (1) Kubera, Indian God of Riches. (2) Ellora Maharashtra, India. (3) Pharaoh Rameses in between Gods Seth (Set) And Heru (Horus). (4) Kemetic God Seth (Set).
HEYWOOD: Are the Dogon related to the Twa?
SHENMIRA: Maybe there is just a difference in the name or the difference of the language. The only way people should understand the traditional or indigenous people is that we don’t classify ourselves based on where we live. We classify ourselves based on language, culture and spirituality. Some linguists found that all the traditional languages in Africa have the same root. So we have the same Ancestor, with the same practice in the beginning. Because of the migrations and adaptations to a new environment whether sea, mountains, desert or forest the language will change, and the practice could change.
HEYWOOD: The Khoi San people of Southern Africa speak what is sometimes called “click” language and is seen by some as one of the oldest on earth. Is your language similar? And what language do you speak?
SHENMIRA: I speak seven different languages and of those languages none have that sound. But I remember my master saying that that type of language is coming from the initiation. When you praise in initiate ceremonies you use that type… and I saw it many times in some of our rituals. When people are in the temple praising the Gods, Ancestors or Deities, when the spirit has come in they use that type of [sound]. And also some people are taken by spirits [and] they use that type of [sound].
HEYWOOD: When you arrived in London, I referred to the Dogon as a people and you corrected me and said they are a tribe. Can you explain the distinction?
SHENMIRA: We have to redefine what we call people. Because there are xenophobes and xenophobic ideas and concepts that have been born from racism, it is for that reason we have to make sure we don’t get it mixed in with that type of movement that tries to separate us from another society. We are just a group of human beings who have been working hard on some things and within that society we have [blood]lines and the people of those lines work on different things. We have [experience] of living long enough now in the west that we understand how the western mind works. Now, you should be referring to us as a tribe. We are one tribe within many of the tribes that exist on the planet.
HEYWOOD: There is many in the Diaspora who believe the word ‘tribe’ is derogatory. So are you saying it’s not derogatory to the people it is describing?
SHENMIRA: No that’s not the case. We have many tribes. There are hundreds of tribes on the Motherland and all of those tribes have the responsibility to work together to bring what the existence is asking of us as human beings.
HEYWOOD: What is our purpose on earth?
SHENMIRA: [Before] the human being was in touch with the Divine world, the human being was without knowledge, principles, culture or spirituality - barbaric. So when we were exposed to the Divine world, they asked our Ancestors one question: what is your agenda? We created you, we gave you life, we give you everything you need but you are still [practicing] bad behaviour. Our Ancestors answered, well, we want to produce the same world as you. We want to be like you. The Divine says: ‘You guys are human, you die. We are Gods we don’t die. You all are dirty, we are not dirty. You have a lot of corruption, we don’t have corruption. So how will you be able to reproduce what we the Divine have put in place?
So this is the ambition, where the good of our life is coming from. We are trying to perfect ourselves so we can present in front of the Divine world one day. It’s just like a child who is working hard for his father to be proud of him. Knowing that as human beings we have been living before and we will be living again [reincarnation]; those are the chances that the Divine has given us as a human to always catch up with our mistakes, work on some things and rise up to the level we want to reach. We [human beings] are supposed to be the most intelligent on the planet. Yet you look what we have been doing and even animals don’t do that. You look at the beasts in the forest - they don’t live that type of life. No one wakes up and kills hundreds or millions of people every day. No one wakes up and creates the machine that is ready to kill maybe 10 people in one push. We are now at the level of barbarism. So those tribes [who are working together] are making sure to keep the balance of the existence.
HEYWOOD: Is it working?
SHENMIRA: On some level it is working. It’s working at a slow pace because the forces of destruction - the forces of evil - have their roots really deep to destroy. It took the system about 2,000 years to reach this level. We can see that they are at the end or at the edge; there is nothing left to introduce to humanity. We rise up and say we are ambitious and say we want to reproduce the world of the Gods without following the principles they set for us and then we get ourselves to this level now; the human race is in a state of barbarism. We hope it’s not going to take 2,000 years to overthrow the system: the modern conception and ideology.
Top row: (1) Kemetic Princess Meritaten Tasherit, 18th Dynasty. (2) God Shiva, Vietnam. (3) Kemetic King Sahura & God. (4) Buddha, Musee Guimet.
Bottom row: (1) Bust of a Ram Headed Khnum (Kemet). (2) Stone at Ipet-Isut (Karnak, Kemet). (3) Apsara, Angkor Wat, Cambodia. (4) Ellora Caves, India.
HEYWOOD: The Dogon consist of various bloodlines, and those bloodlines have a particular life purpose or mission for instance as blacksmiths, priests, farmers. Are all the bloodlines called Dogon?
SHENMIRA: The name Dogon will have to be redefined. The people who call us Dogon are talking about the people in Mali. The origin of Dogon is the Dagomba tribe who are everywhere in West Africa. They are everywhere in the southern part of the Sahara - for instance in Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal. Depending on the migration and the environment they find themselves, they will have to readapt and the language will change at some point though the root will remain. They are like a tribe. And there are many tribes that have a different mission. The only thing the Dagomba people did to be known is that our Ancestors made sure to get to the level where they can predict things and interact with the Divine, the spiritual world. You can meet some tribes who are good at architecture, at construction, or dealing with nature. The Doso tribe have mastered the nature, and can communicate with animals. And there are other tribes who can communicate with trees.
HEYWOOD: If someone from the west is interested in spending time with indigenous cultures is that valuable/helpful?
SHENMIRA: We will see this person in the same way as the person who came thousands of years ago with guns, cannons, words, the Bible. That’s how we are going to look at you. We don’t reject people coming to benefit from our knowledge, from the way we live. We ask only a small thing; when you come to us, have discipline and humility. Discipline and humility are the only things our Elders are asking from anyone who comes to learn from them. It is easy for an Elder from the bush or the village to see from the way you walk, speak, and look, the type of person you are before they even deal with you. You can live among us for maybe five years before you can start to be introduced to our ways. It’s a way of preserving ourselves and that’s the way we have been preserving ourselves for thousands of years after the invasion.
The Maakheru, Master Naba Lamoussa Morodenibig explains the history and logic behind the Kemetic Sidereal in these clips from his lecture on the Sidereal Calendar and Time Division.
The Sidereal Calendar is humanity's oldest and most astronomically precise calendar. All calendars around the world--including the Gregorian, Chinese, and Mayan--have their origins in the Sidereal Calendar that was used in Kemet (humanity's first civilization). While the Gregorian calendar is based on Earth's revolution around the sun, the Sidereal Calendar is based on the relationship between Earth, the sun, and the Sirius/Dog Star. Millennia ago, our ancestors determined that the Sirius Star has the most stable cycle of all cycles that human beings can perceive.
We are not trying to stay away from people. It’s a way of teaching someone how to be a human being; teaching people the good manners to accept what is said, not what you think or what you have been exposed to before. The system has made sure that everybody feels they are smart, intelligent. The system has drawn two lines and you walk between those lines. You don’t get to see what is outside those lines to know you are just another human being who is struggling to fit. Our reality is our reality, we can’t change that. Reality has always been there. We will have to humble ourselves to fit into the reality and evolve.
HEYWOOD: I spent time with the Batwa people of Uganda, and I felt completely welcomed by them. But even though I felt it was important for me to be there and to hear their stories, I kept feeling a slight imbalance or inequality in the relationship - as if I was some neo-colonial who was there to get/steal knowledge?
SHENMIRA: Yes, for them they would be looking at you as a product of the system of the devil that is coming to attack us. What the rest of the world needs to know about indigenous people is that hospitality is a big value to us. Even if you come to us and you are our enemy we will show hospitality to you. Even if we have our last food for the family, we are going to give it to you and then be there smiling with you - that’s hospitality. No one in modern society is ready to do such a thing. So don’t feel offence, or shocked when you come to us and we do all that for you, even leave my room and give you my hut to sleep in. Or don’t be thinking that we appreciate you or we love you or that you are different from any other person. Because depending on how old you are, that’s the length of time it took the system to work on you and if we are to trust you we are going to say it is going to take you maybe that amount of time to really deal with all the germs that the system injected in you. The brain is a very powerful thing in our body. The way the brain is conditioned, that’s the way the brain works. The system makes sure to condition everybody’s brain to work less than 10%. Everything the system taught you is the only thing you know. Many people who go there [Africa] will be exposed to many things and will experience a culture shock and they deal with it. They have to come back. When you come back in this, you start missing what was there.
HEYWOOD: What does Meritah (Africa) need in order to heal and rebuild? And are Meritah’s needs the same as the rest of the planet?
SHENMIRA: The children of Meritah - those we call the children of the slaves, those who are following their ambition to fit into the modern system - are the ones to be able to heal the continent. [Although] without them, the continent will always make sure to heal itself and preserve itself. Your Ancestors served this system. They gave their blood and their life expecting maybe their children one day will have support like the other races who gave diamonds or gold to build the modern system. But we see that those who sacrificed themselves, their blood, their lives, have their children still sacrificing that blood, their lives. It’s enough. It’s time for everybody to start thinking about going back and restarting something. Meritah is the biggest continent on earth, there is enough space for everybody. At the same time you are here working and slaving, giving your money back to the system, the system is using your energies to go back there to buy land and build in its own interests. And that’s what the people of the west and the Diaspora need to understand and go back. No matter how you are going to go back we will know how to deal with you and show you the path to take. And that’s why we are bringing our initiation classes even now to build that bridge that is going to bring people back.
HEYWOOD: What is the first action for someone to take who wishes to return?
SHENMIRA: [The first thing is] to understand who you are, and where you fit. That comes only from initiation. For instance when the baby is born the community get together to define/build the baby's destiny that's the same way you need to get some people together to help you build that. Talking about initiation everyone needs to be initiated to the values of our people, of our Ancestors. When you get that type of initiation you fit in, and exist as a human being not as a product of someone. That is going to show you the path.
Interview by Felicity Heywood for This is Culture.
The Earth Center: www.theearthcenter.com
Find out about the original Holy Trinities: Ra, Imin and Ptah and Wsr, Aishat and Heru. And also about the Code of Human Behaviour or the Seventy-Seven Commandments that was given to humanity by the Gods.
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