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If we knew our island home as Hairouna, we would be truly Blessed

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Tue Apr 16, 2013

Dear St. Vincent: The Kalinago named you ‘Hairouna’, meaning ‘Land of the Blessed’. The name conveys humility and reverence in walking upon your shores and mountains, drinking from your springs and rivers. Their footprints were light, almost invisible, and you were perceived as Divine. They were truly blessed to be here.{{more}}

A century later, West Africans brought here against their will had been given names in their land of birth, where Elders put considerable effort into intuiting a baby’s inherent gifts and life purpose. Naming was a spiritual process with universal implications, not labeling by association with a plantation owner.

Our ancestors had illustrious names such as: ‘The King who is Humbled to his people’; ‘I am Protected by God’, ‘I Know Love and I Give it Freely’; ‘Musical Healer”; ‘Wise Teacher who Serves her People’; ‘ Brought from Heaven’.

They believed that we live out the meaning of our names. Since you no longer carry your real name, ‘Land of the Blessed’, can you still live out its meaning? Those who christened you ‘St. Vincent’ by association with an alien culture, never understood your spirited purpose. They also imposed names upon our people. We would forget our gifts to become the property of an imperial agenda in a Land of Oppression.

Ever since, a crisis of identity has engulfed us. In our confusion we create trauma and dramas that rob our children of ever knowing their life’s purpose. Education confined to indoors continues the disservice of smothering creative imaginations- the portal to our belonging. Our children know nothing of Harounian nature-based culture because Vincentians do not believe it’s real, (making their choice of national hero very puzzling!)

If we knew our island home as Hairouna, we would be truly Blessed. Each person would practice a moral and spiritual purpose that enhances life for all. I would have no need to write these letters. We would communicate as you did with the early peoples, through empathy, intuition, compassion, energy, vibration- through the non-verbal universal language of nature.

That language is my art, intuited through multiple senses that labelers may term “crazy”, “weird”, and oddly enough – “connective thinking”. But our children are gifted in this language and if encouraged to use it they would walk the path worn by invisible footsteps to reclaim community consciousness. Our journey to authenticity is remembering that we can choose to be authentic selves or the many labels we are given.

When we contemplate the meaning of your true names, Hariouna and the (Garifuna) Youroumein, we will understand our collective nature as gifted and precious. We will unveil your gifts before they are lost. We will once again respect those whose imaginations see your beauty in its entirety, articulate its story and strive to share its purpose with others.

In the Land where I walk with

invisible footprints, my name is

Mo Mo Ife.

In St. Vincent, I’m known as

vonnie

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