SYNOPSIS: AFRO DOMINI
The year is A.D. 2017 and the Addicted Mas section invites you to join us on a journey of realisation, revelation, enlightenment and new understanding.
Come with us and re-examine your past and present, through the lens of Afrocentric eyes.
Afro Domini is the awakening of African history and consciousness. It is taken from the Latin “Anno Domini (AD)” meaning “in the year of the Lord”, based on the traditional year of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Anno: in the year of his age, taken from anno aetatis suae
Domini: originating from the word dominus, meaning “belonging to the lord god or lord master”. Because of Africa’s presence in World history and events, our designer believes that Anno Domini should be Afro Domini (belonging to Africa). AD is a term used in Western history to define every period of history by Latin Christian dominion, despite the fact that the African continent, its civilisations and histories have pre-dated, contemporised, interacted and interwoven with European history as a silent continuous and undoubtedly dominant partner in history.
Of the seven heavens, the seventh is said to be the highest and final level; not only is it where God and the angels exist, but it is also a place of supreme happiness and ecstasy.
Africa and her resources have been tied to humanity’s development in recorded and lost history. Her religions, social and spiritual philosophies have formed foundation blocks in every great empire and epoch in the history of man. Her mythologies and cultural traditions have survived attacks and atrocities that span geography and time. Her people have been disseminated around the world via land, sea and air; all contributing cultural growth wherever they set foot.
Afro Domini is then the awakening and understanding that we are the inheritors of this hegemony.
In the Western cannon, the Motherland is depicted as a dark savage land and her people, an undeveloped nation lacking all necessities that can sustain quality living. When in fact, Africa is the giant that that holds the world on its shoulders. Her people on her lands and her people that make up the Diaspora are the creators of religion, language, music, beauty, fashion, philosophy, art, and society.
Afro Domini is the understanding that you do not sit at the bottom of every social ladder as depicted in the media; but you are the foundation stones of every great society. You are not a symbol of poverty, starvation, illiteracy, and death; but icons of strength, stamina, longevity wealth, knowledge, and immortality.
Afro Domini is the knowledge that you are the creator of technologies not just the consumers - the secrets of the pyramids lie within your DNA. It is the understanding that those who have used and oppressed you have dominated, because they understood that you have the actual power to direct and dominate the course humanity takes.
Our costumes consists of three main colours: Green, Gold and Black, two of which can be found in the flag of the Pan Africanism movement. In the flag of Marcus Garvey’s UNIA, Black represented the people and Green the land of Africa. These colours, together with red, can be identified in the national colours of many African and Caribbean countries that share the pan-African philosophy.
Green and Black are also associated with the Oresha Ogun, god of labour, war and technology. It is said that Ogun clears the roads, and was the first of the Oreshas to come to earth and make a home for humankind. Ogun is the energy that sustains life and motion, constantly evolving and manifesting in form as we develop. When the demands on our energies change, Ogun adapts.
MAS WITH A DIFFERENCE
Afro Domini is an African theme but not an ‘African mas’. In the tradition of African mas, there are motifs which are influenced by the African masquerade traditions. The design was also influenced by the rebirth in afro centric awareness in the mainstream society today, especially in fashion.
How else can the meek inherit the Earth?
S. A. Armstrong
Addicted Mas Designer
The male headpiece and chest plate draws influence from the Zulu warrior’s traditional costume. The triangular motif throughout the costume echoes that of traditional African design in sculpture and clothing.
The female leg pieces and wristbands are both designed with strips of cloth, a tradition of Carnivals in the Caribbean with its roots in West Africa. Like her counterpart, the triangular and diamond motif is repeated on the leg and armbands. The loincloth/skirting on the female carries a motif influenced by the fashionable print seen today.
Like Zero Five Fifty, Kingdom come and Unstoppable, Afro Domini is another commentary on of the importance of Africa, her Diaspora and the present Caribbean’s contribution to global development. Once again the philosophy of Ethiopianism and its base in Psalm 68; 31 “Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands onto god” and the belief of the Hebrew Israelites whose ethos lies in the scripture of Deuteronomy 28; 68. “The Lord will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again . There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves.”
Africa’s history has been one of ‘running her jewels’. All of her resources including her people, a people the ancient Greeks once believed were so beautiful the Gods dined only with them, have been and is still sought after by her global neighbours. The gold around your neck, the diamonds on your fingers, and the Coltan in your mobile phones. Africa, while excluded from the pages of Western history has spread her arms around the world, her story is not always a beautiful one but her dominating presence is a historical and contemporary fact.