Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Natural hair: Bantu knots, a little History lesson about Bantu's origins

Being born and raised in Africa I remember learning in my elementary history classes about the Bantu! I remember how I was fascinated to learn about many of the kingdoms in Africa and how the Bantu ruled many African Kingdoms.  Growing up on what some will refer to as “The Motherland” I was taught at an early age about African History and I was extremely fascinated with my heritage. I might not remember everything that was taught to me at my young age but I have kept my respect for the culture and pride in knowing where I come from.

Today, with many people referring to Bantu Knots as a hairstyle for people enjoying Natural hair I wanted to share some about the origins of the Bantu and some facts that are probably unknown to most people.  A little while ago I did an interview about my friend's hair journey, her chosen name is Africa. Below is a picture of one of her good friends in Bantu knots!

A few random facts about Bantu

  • Bantu knots are also called Zulu knots you will see why as you keep reading.
  • Bantu originated from West Africa. It’s through many waves of migration that they spread through other parts of the continent!
  • Among the groups that were taken as slaves from Africa, Bantu comprised most of the African slaves. So sad to say, but many of you black sisters and brothers reading this might be of Bantu origins.
  • Bantu means “People” in many Bantu languages. I say Bantu languages because in Africa it’s common for many groups to speak a language with some variations. The same way someone in the Northern parts of the US might say or pronounce a few words differently from someone in the South.
  • A common characteristic of Bantu languages is that they use a stem form such as -ntu or -tu for 'person', and the plural prefix for people in many languages is ba-, together giving ba-ntu "people."
  • The word Bantu was first used by Wilhelm Bleek (1827-1875). Bleek was a linguist born in Germany.  His dad was a professor of Theology at Berlin University and Bonn University. Bleek graduated from the University of Bonn in 1851 with a doctorate in linguistic. He studied Hebrew before falling in love with African languages. He moved and lived in South Africa and spent most of his life there researching and investigating the languages. It’s in Cape Town that he met his wife Jemina Llyod.  His wife did with him much of his researches and continued alone after his death. He actually died in South Africa and was buried in Cape Town.  See!!! Now you know about the man who was the first to use the word BANTU!

  • Bantu groups had a specific division of tasks between men and women. The men worked as herdsmen, artisans and hunters. Women were in charge of the farming and housework and oftentimes worked as a team by organizing their tasks as a commune. This is actually very common in many ethnic groups throughout the continent!
  • Bantu comprises over 400 ethnic groups in Africa.From Cameroon (central Africa), Southern Africa, Central Africa and Eastern Africa. There are many variation to the Bantu language but they still maintained a few common  customs and languages.
  • In South Africa the term Bantu was used as a very derogatory word toward the Black South Africans especially during apartheid. 

  • There are a whole lot of things to be said about Bantu in the context of Southern Africa. In Southern Africa the Bantu language was divided into two main groups the Nguni which included the Zulu and Xhosa language for example and the Sotho-Tswana. The Nguni were known to occupy the eastern coastal plain whereas the Sotho generally occupied the plateau (wow, so many childhood memories of my geography and history classes are rushing up in my brain as I am typing this).  
  • What's interesting on the subject of Nguni and Sotho is that Nguni changes in their pronunciation of Bantu words included the addition of click sounds!
  • In other parts of Africa Bantu it's not  seen as a derogatory term.
  • Another thing that's cool to know is that based on the regions where they lived people developped important skills.
  • It's the Bantu who reached the central rainforest regions while migrating away from the drying sahara who developped new agricultural techniques and plants notably in Zambia, they used advanced technologies during the iron age. They also brought the concept of cattle raising to regions that were unfamiliar with raising cattles.
  • One of the most fascninating fact to me growing up was the history of the Great Zimbabwe city. It was the capital of a major empire.  The city was known for its trade routes benefiting arabic traders of the Swahili coast. Even China was reported to trade there as well. The trade included goods such as gold, copper, ivory,animal hides, precious stones, metal etc.. Can you see how rich the continent has always been?
  • Nowadays Bantu is more referred to as a language group. There is now little need to refer to it as a specific ethnic group.  Did you know that the Swahili is a Bantu language? It’s not just spoken in Kenya as many people tend to assume. It’s actually considered the main language among  50 + millions people living in countries along Africa’s East Coast!

 This picture I found online is apparently from a Somali who specified that in her language bantu knots are called duuduubs.

  • The Bantu in Somalia are originally from ethnic groups in what is today Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique. They were brought to Somalia in the 19th century as slaves.  In Somalia Bantu are an ethnic minority. They speak Somali as very few have kept the Bantu language. They may have darker skin than the lighter skinned Somali and rounder facial features.
  •   The Bantu were brought to Somalia not because of migration but because of slavery in the 19th. When I think of Somali Bantu I am saddened by many of the unjust treatments they have endured especially during Somali Civil War. I am certain many of you had heard a few years ago of the Somali taking refuge in American cities because they were evicted from their lands and suffered from wars, persecution and famine.
  • Well, I said this was an introduction if I keep going we will all feel like we are seated in a lecture on a College campus. There is nothing wrong with that!It's just that I want you to retain most of what you've read so I will stop at that. I might come up with a part 2 because there is just so much that can be said about the Bantu origin and the history of the African continent! 
I hope you enjoyed learning more about the origins of the term Bantu! For my Black readers I hope this article will trigger a sense of pride for your heritage.  For my other readers I hope you will appreciate something totally new. It's great to be better educated. Don't you think?

If it's your first visit on the site please become a Follower and Like the facebook page Goodhealthdiva.  I would love to know what you think so please leave some comments and give us all the pleasure of reading your feedbacks or your perspectives!
What do you think about all that you just read?Have any of you done Bantu knots before?Want me to show off your bantu knots?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Natural skin care:Recipe for an Egg Facial Mask for a natural face lift/ Recette pour un masque de visage pour un facelift naturel

To all English speaking readers: I decided to add a bilingual post today for 2 reasons
1) This post is pretty straight forward so it would not take me much time to translate it to French.
2) Having many friends who are more comfortable with French than English I simply wanted to offer them something they might enjoy as I greatly value them and it's important to me to welcome them on this site.

Attention aux lecteurs francophones:
Mon clavier est un clavier anglophone et je ne sais pas comment rajouter les accents comme l'accent aigu, l'accent grave etc afin de parfaitement les ecrir en francais! Je vous prie d'aussi considerer que cela fait bien d'annees que je n'ai pas redigee de textes en francais aussi j'espere que mon article sera claire et facil a comprendre.

  • Egg white from one egg
  • Blanc d'oeuf d'un oeuf
  • Used coffee (optional)
  • Du cafe en pourdre deja utilise (optionel)
The coffee I use is what's generally left after brewing some fresh coffee for an espresso or a cappucino.
Le cafe que j'utilise est generalement ce qu'il reste dans ma caffetiere apres avoir fait du cafe pour un espresso ou du cappucino.

If you read my previous post  you will know that I did not crack an egg just for that mask. I simply used the egg white I had left from separating some egg yolk for a homemade deep conditioner.
Si vous avez lu mon article precedent qui est en anglais vous realiserez que je n'ai pas casse un oeuf juste pour ce masque. J'ai simplement recupere le blanc qui me restait apres avoir separe le jaune d'oeuf pour un traitement a cheveux.

Beat the egg white and add a tablespoon of used coffee.
Battre en neige et ajouter une cuilleree de cafe en poudre deja utilise.

Use a brush or your hand and apply the mixture to your face.
Utiliser une brosse ou juste la main pour appliquer le melange sur tous le visage.

Leave for about 15-20 minutes and rinse out! Gently pad dry!
Laisser secher 15-20 minutes avant de rinser! Essuyer votre visage en tapotant gentillement plutot que de le frotter!

2 Personal suggestions:
2 Suggestions:
1)When the mask dries on your face you will look somewhat scary so I suggest you do not do it in front of anyone you are trying to impress. However the result might impress you as your face will be left pretty smooth. You will enjoy the nanural facelift!
1)Pendant que le masque seche votre visage paraitra plutot effrayant aussi je suggere que vous ne fassiez pas ce masque en la compagnie de quelqu'un que vous chercher a seduir et impressionner. Par contre le resultat sera plutot impressionant. Vous serez fiere de votre face lift naturel.

2)I also suggest doing this right before taking a shower just to make it easier to rinse your face out.
2)Je suggere aussi que vous appliquiez ce masque juste avant de prendre une douche afin que ce soit plus facil de vous rinser le visage!

If you have never tried this mask before please try it and let me know how you liked it!
Si vous avez jamais fait ce masque auparavant laissez moi savoir ce que vous en pensez une fois que vous l'aurez essaye!

For more face mask ideas read those following posts in English
Pour d'autre idees de masque jetter un coup d'oeil sur mes articles suivants, ils sont en anglais!

I also suggest checking for posts under the label Pampering as they tend to be very popular among my readers.
Je vous suggere d'aussi jetter un coup d'oeil sur mes articles dans la categorie Pampering car ils sont tres populairs parmi mes lecteurs!

If it's your first time here I hope that you greatly enjoy yourself here and that you will become a Follower on this blog and my other blog and Like the facebook page Goodhealthdiva and Follow Goodhealthdiva on twitter.
Si c'est votre premiere visite sur ce site j'espere que vous apprecirez ce site et que vous serrez un Suiveur (Follower) de ce site et de mon autre blog et aussi que vous Aimerez la page Goodhealthdiva sur facebook et me suivrez aussi sur Twitter.

Have you tried an egg facial mask before or is it your first time reading about it? If you had tried it before what benefit do you see to doing that mask?
Avez vous essayez auparavant un tel masque avec du blanc d'oeuf ou est ce votre premiere fois de lire cette recette? Si vous avez deja essaye un masque a oeuf auparavant quels bienfaits vous a t'il offert?


Monday, April 11, 2011

On Physical healing: Just sharing a testimony

Hello everyone, hope you are all in great health and that this week is starting well for you. I am stopping by briefly to share something that got me excited. My husband shared with me a few testimonies when he came from work. I only have time to share just one with you tonight. I promise to share the other ones soon.
A few minutes ago he read to me an e-mail he received at work from one of his coworkers.
Her name is Theresa and she sent the e-mail to all the staffs at her work place.
Here what she says:

Sent Friday April 8, 2011 at 7:28am

" Good Morning all!
Just a reminder that I am taking a vacation day to spend the day with my son. (....)
I also want to say " THANK YOU" to everyone for your prayers. After 4 months in the hospital, much of te time in intensive care, my Dad is now HOME from the hospital!! He is completely healed.



I just thought I would share that, it's a health blog after all and prayer does make our lives and health better as you see from this awesome testimony.
I do believe in the power of prayer and I do believe that having Faith in God improves the quality of our lives! Even though some of you might not have a particular faith I wanted to encourage anyone who does need healing in their bodies and a better life for themselves or their loved ones to be encouraged through this testimony!
If you are a believer, have you recently experienced the healing power of prayer?


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Natural hair: Natural homemade deep conditioner for stronger and healthy hair

I made Friday evening a deep conditioning mixture that one of my maid used on my hair when I was in elementary school. Every Sunday afternoon as she would do our hair ( twin sister and me), she would shampoo our hair and make a mixture of egg yolk and olive oil that she would apply for 45 minutes before rinsing and braiding our hair.
I don't know why it never occurred to me to do it until now! Like I said in a recent post, a lot of pleasant childhood memories have resurfaced in my mind and this recipe is one of them. The only difference is that I added coconut oil.

I started with
  • one egg yolk
  • a tablespoon of EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • a tablespoon of coconut oil (optional)
  • The one ingredient I did not add that I would greatly suggest adding is Honey! I abstained from adding some in this mixture because I did not have any more raw honey and I just did not want to add the commercial brand I had on hand and my treatment was a spare of the moment thing.

Then I just mixed all the ingredients! The texture was just like a commercial conditioner would be since my coconut oil was still in it's solid form!

I shampoo my hair with a commercial shampoo and then applied the mixture. I was not satisfy with the quantity so I made some more this time without the coconut oil! I mixed one egg yolk and one tablespoon of EVOO! This was enough to saturate my hair.
I put on a shower cap and vacated to the rest of my activities ( tackling the laundry and having a devotion time with my children)

You could leave it for 30-45 minutes but since I was not in any rush I just thought the longer the better so I kept mine on for well over an hour!

I rinsed it out by adding some apple cider vinegar to the rinse water...

And I applied some olive oil to moisturize my hair and let it air dry! Voila!

Please do not have egg white in that mixture otherwise you will be spending your time picking up egg from your hair!

The next day I deep conditioned my daughter's hair as well.  I used the same ingredients except that I added some honey.

I did not have to make any extra conditioner for her hair and I followed the same procedure up until the time I rinsed her hair.

After rinsing her hair I did not add olive oil to moisturize her hair! I simply finished her hair treatment by applying some mousse to her hair.

There she is after her shampoo and deep conditioning!

Since I love to recycle things, I used the egg white from my deep conditioning and hers to make a face mask. After beating the egg white I added  a tablespoon of coffee to the egg white just for antioxidant and the scrub feel. This mask can be made with the egg white alone but since I generally use some coffee as a facial or body scrub I added some to the mix I figure it might as well add some to the mix!

Facial mask with leftover egg white and used coffee. More on that in my next post!

Final result, Mother & Daughter enjoying their natural look after a healthy homemade deep conditioner!

In case you wonder why use egg yolk in my homemade deep conditioner:
Hair are made of protein
Eggs are protein
Eggs' protein will straighten the hair follicle
Eggs make the hair smooth and easier to comb and keep the hair from tangling That is if you are combing. In our cases we left our hair curly!
Well just a few benefits I am aware of, there might be more so feel free to share!

Have you used egg yolk before to condition your hair? What was your experience? What natural ingredients do you generally use to deep condition your hair? Do you know any additional benefits to using egg yolk in your hair? Have you ever had the unpleasant experience of having egg white in your hair?How did remove them?