Cover Story

Reclaiming Our Culture: A Kem Graduation

By: Nekhitem Kamenthu

Iptioora Graduation

On the 2nd day of the month Nwt in the year 407 of this great year cycle, the students in the Iptioora generation graduated from their first year of study at the Earth Center. The Earth Center is an institution dedicated to preserving traditional Kemetic culture. These students studied the values of rural earth-based living versus modern industrial living. They had a chance to compare the real-life results of both of these approaches. They also studied the time tested approach to the spiritual aspects of the human situation, such as, the methods for re-connecting with their ancestors in the world of the dead, purification rituals, offerings to the dead, and a definitive understanding of the original cosmogony of beings we refer to today as “Deities” or “Gods”. This is a very special time for these student because it marks a moment where they have been exposed to very important techniques in the realms of thought and spirituality. These techniques enable them to reclaim methods that have been hidden from the average person by modern ambitions, religions, and lifestyles. These students now have important tools to reclaim their culture, regardless of ethnicity or race.

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Feature Story

Lessons From Pan Gu Mystical Qi Gong

By: Ibsahu Maakmaha

Pan Gu

After speaking with Herpw Bikdeni about his interest in other indigenous and non-western philosophies, particularly the Law of Five Elements from the Taoist Tradition, I decided to focus my efforts on exposing some of the commonalities between Qi Gong (Energy Work) and Ka’at Ibi (Assessing the Heart and Mind), hoping to bridge the gap between Kemetic Spirituality and Taoist Wisdom. I have been formally studying Ka’at Ibi since January 2007. I am now in a process of learning to teach Ka’at Ibi. I have been studying Qi Gong since 1999 and received my teaching certifications in July of 2006. Personally I have found there are many similarities between the physical movements and exercises conducted in each system. To gain additional perspective I researched the history of Qi Gong and below is a passage that is fairly representative of the consensus of the history of Qi Gong:

“Five thousand years ago, a tribal people settled along the shores of the Yellow River in Northern China. … But they would also talk about how their chiefs pursued the wild animals and fought back the floods. These chieftains possessed unusual power: they had mastery over the elements, the rivers bent to their will, plants and animals yielded their secrets to them, they talked with invisible powers, and traveled across the sky and beneath the earth to gather knowledge that would help the tribe.” (Wong, pg. 11)

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Volume 7.4

NAGPRA’s Hawaiian Controversy

By: Nehez Meniooh

In 1990, The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act was passed.  This act provides mechanisms for museums to return human remains, funeral objects and sacred objects to the Native communities where they originated.  Thousands of items and human remains have been returned and reburied over the past eighteen years.  For the most part, this act has been seen as a success by Natives and archaeologists alike, but as with anything, it also has created some controversy and disfavor.

The most recent and still ongoing controversy is taking place in Hawaii, where the return of some cultural treasures is causing some deep divisions within Native Hawaiian communities.  Because Hawaii has no distinct tribes, “deciding whom you give the objects back to has become a major problem”, said Betty Kam, the vice president of cultural resources of Bishop Museum in Honolulu.  In Hawaii, there are two organizations that have been named to whom stolen treasures may be returned:  Hui Malama I Na Kapuna O Hawaii (Group Caring for Hawaiian Ancestors) and the State Office of Hawaiian Affairs; however, others could also qualify.

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Volume 7.4

Farmland or Factory Site?

By: Rezib Tutsanai’i

Singur is a small farming community in the West Bengal province of India. The agricultural way of life has supported the people of this community for hundreds of years. Their land is particularly fertile due to the fact that it is part of the Hooghly river valley. The land in this area is capable of producing multiple rice harvests each year and has been a source of wealth for the villages of this area for generations.

Tata Motors is part of a vast multinational corporation that emerged from the recent successful industrialisation of India that has occurred over the last 20 years. Tata Group, founded in 1868 by Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata as a trading company in Bombay, is one of the largest conglomerates in the world. Ushered in by reforms starting in 1990, the opening up of the Indian economy allowed Tata Holdings to become one of the most powerful international businesses in the world.

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On The Ancestral Path

When We Ignore the Obvious

By: Bikbaye Inejnema

Why is the obvious so hard for us to see? Simple: the lenses through which we are looking at the world are dirty and need to be cleansed. The images we see are distorted, including the one we see in the mirror. It then becomes challenging to judge the distance from or to an object(ive). It becomes a challenge to see in darkness. We may sometimes even see things that are not really there. The effort we put forth to see puts a strain on our eyes, so we close them in order to feel some relief. But while we are relaxing with our eyes closed, the world around us keeps moving and takes us wherever it wants to go. We then open our eyes only to find that it’s now even harder to see. Our lenses are dirtier than before we closed our eyes. It then becomes difficult to go from one place to the other without the aid of someone else, whom we are now forced to depend on to guide us in the direction we want to go. We feel forced to put our lives in the hands of others.

This analogy represents the negative and positive aspects of human development and survival for all of us born into the colonial system. Amazingly, even the phrase “colonial system” does not register in our minds as something hurtful that we should run from, although people of colour  have been subjected to its wrath for the last 2,000 years. Instead, in our minds, it registers as something to embrace. And we blindly make a sincere effort to do so. This behaviour is often difficult to fathom. But once our eyes have been opened to the reality, the reasons become more obvious.

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