The Ancient Talking Mask
The Tribal Mask (otherwise known as The Ancient Mask) is an International Expression of Art, Culture, and Spirituality rooted in the history of Civilizations around the world. The Ancient/Tribal Mask reflects the lived conditions of civilizations as they grappled with the desire for unity within a core group of a tribe combined with a desire for safety, protection, and peace with any outsiders to their tribe. In modern times, the idea of the Tribal/Ancient Mask can often serve as a representation of the Veil or Double Consciousness as illuminated in WEB Dubois seminal book, "The Souls of Black Folks".
This double consciousness intersects with the Tribal Mask through the lived dichotomy of the Black Existence. Black culture is both celebrated and reviled. Black history is scientifically proved to be primary, but also treated as barbaric. The Black existence is treated as a political weapon to divide and conquer and control. The idea behind the Tribal/Ancient Talking Mask is to give voice to the elders of the past for contemporaries navigating this double consciousness. The theory behind the Tribal/Ancient Talking Mask is that ancestors have more than artifacts from their past civilizations to share with us, but have knowledge and wisdom that can guide the world to a more unified and authentic culture of acceptance.
BIDII, this Umoja Tribal Chief, lives in the Universe with the other Chiefs, Kings, Presidents, and Moral Leaders of history. He ruled the Umoja tribe with his sister, Niani, from their early adolescence to their deaths within a couple of years of each other in old age. Now they can exist at any point in their lives through their masks
NIANI, the sister to BIDII, is the Day to Day manager of the Umoja Tribe. She supports her brother and his family, while managing her own family and the needs of the tribe as a whole. The running joke of the tribe is that she is the real tribal leader. Niani served in leadership with her brother for many successful decades and led the tribe through much trial and tribulation. She takes a particular interest in appearing to guide younger children who are struggling through adolescence.
Mjanja, is the younger brother of Bibii and Niani. He runs the military and protects their leadership and the interests of the Umoja Tribe from any enemies or threats to their collective interests. Mjanja has a long lasting animosity for the Maasai Tribe and their roaming and sometimes theft. Niani believes Mjanja too often uses trickery and conflict in his relations with members of the tribe and others. Bibii agrees that Mjanja pushes the limits but he also understands the necessity of his efforts. Mjanja thinks neither of his siblings truly understand the darkness he keeps from them.