The literal translation of the word sankofa is "It is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind."
Here at Alaiyo, Sankofa is our acknowledgment that there is immense benefit and beauty in the gifts of our ancestors. Along with that acknowledgment comes our commitment to keep the spirit of these gifts alive, even as we reshape them to meet our modern needs.
Our Sankofa strands are all made from the overflow of beads collected after each woman has said yes to the journey of being more fully present in her body and life. Over the course of the last 15 months the question of what to do with all of the extra beads has come up. In the past there was some suggestion that we would get around to sorting them. At other times I have had the reluctant thought that time is more important than a small loss of resource. This meant that maybe we would find creative ways to use them but eventually deem the spoilage as the cost of doing business. I would often take this dilemma into my quiet space and just as often come up with no better plans.
Then three days ago while beading along in my workspace she delivered herself into the world; bold, brilliant, full of texture and context. Her arrival immediately signaled an opportunity to energetically connect the thousands of women who have become a part of the Alaiyo family and even more tangibly hold the space of our individual intentions with a renewed and collective strength.
I am thrilled that she has finally made her way into the world and that the first of this collection is tied around the waist of my daughter. My hope is that many more of us will join the sisterhood of Sankofa, as we continue this practice of being more fully present; shedding that which no longer serves us while leaving nothing essential behind.