Tintawi is an interdisciplinary artist, doula, reiki master, and writer. She is a multicultural African woman with ancestry linked to Africa, Australia, Europe, and what is now known as the United States of America. Tintawi creates to give a voice to the African experience in the diaspora. She is the non-fiction editor for the Santa Fe Literary Review, a member of Earthseed Black Arts Alliance, and an artist with Vital Spaces. She has published work in newspapers, literary journals, and magazines. She released her third book, “We Speak” this year. Tintawi is married to a scientist and together they live in the high desert of NM with their 5 children and a host of pets.
Mo’juba’ Egun acknowledges that traditional medicines gave birth to modern medicine and science informs tradition, highlighting the need to honor and respect the importance of tradition and science sitting in unity as the COVID-19 pandemic challenges all of us.
I have noticed a divide among those I love. Some are comfortable wearing masks, some aren’t. And then there are those who follow traditional practices and also embrace the wisdom offered by science. The latter folks are well balanced, walking the middle ground between the two ideologies. I invoke this balance with an egun staff and beaded mask.
Egun staffs are used in traditional Lukumi culture to call on the ancestors. Because of the pandemic, we have lost many beloved members of our collective communities. The elders that have crossed over have transitioned carrying a wealth of information with them. We need this wisdom to heal. When the staff hits the ground we awaken egun and connect to this wisdom. The beaded face mask references the importance of traditional rituals and also a contemporary way that we can protect ourselves and the ones we love.
As an Olorisa (Orisa priest) I have been entrusted with carrying on the ways of those who walk ahead of me. And as a human I have the responsibility of caring for my sisters and brothers. I believe that together, science and tradition have the power to transform our current circumstances for the better.
This event is part of the Culture Connects Midtown Project. To learn more visit cultureconnects.site.