Seventh Ancestor and Kwanzaa Jan. 3, 2023 by Shannon Dorey

Kinara by Daniel Penfield2019 public kinara in New York City By DanielPenfield - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, image cropped and reduced

The Kwanzaa celebration, from December 26 to January 1, was created by American Maulana Karenga in the 60s, and is based on West and Southeast African First Fruits festivals. It involves the lighting of seven candles that likely symbolizes the Master/Mistress of Speech, who was the Seventh Ancestor in the West African Dogon religion. His/her sacrifice was supposed to provide hope for humanity.Dorey, The Master (Mistress) of Speech p. 118

The alien Nummo and the Seventh Nummo Ancestor, who were considered twins or dual, were celebrated at the Dogon First Fruits festival. In honour of the Nummos' twinness, the heads of new-born twins were shaved by adult twins at the festival. Relatives put special jars on the family altar connecting the children with a cult of the family's ancestors.

By shaving the heads of the twins, the twins were mimicking the heads of the alien Nummo and the Mistress of Speech (Seventh Ancestor). The shaven and smooth head of the Master/Mistress of Speech was related to the world, which needed to be “'neat and clean' like his [her] head.”Dorey, Day of the Fish p. 140

Yoruba ere ibeji twin figuresA pair of female ere ibeji twin figures (early 20th-century) in the permanent collection of The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, CC BY-SA 3.0, Image cropped and lightened

The Yoruba people of West Africa, who mainly inhabit parts of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo also revered twins. The ibeji is the name of an Orisha, which represents a pair of twins in the Yoruba religion. Orishas are "spirits sent by the supreme creator, Olodumare, to assist humanity and to teach them to be successful on Ayé(Earth)."

Interestingly, the Yoruba people have the highest dizygotic twinning (fraternal twins) rate in the world. In the above depiction, from the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, the ibeji have long heads like the Nummo, who were described as having casques or horns on their heads. The oblong hood the Nummo wore, fit over their head, in the same way that a stalk of corn fits into its husk.Dorey, The Master (Mistress) of Speech p. 14

Griaule describes the significance of twins to the Dogon "first-fruits festival” in this passage:

This cult seemed to show that some special quality was attributed to the ancestry of twins. It was a popular belief that their mother had been 'touched' during pregnancy by a Spirit. would never be called a Nummo, for that was too dangerous a name, too much for a human mouth to utter.Dorey, Day of the Fish p. 141

A red calabash was a symbol of the Master/Mistress of Speech and the First Fruits festival was also known as the "Calabash Festival." In the Dogon religon, the calabash was a symbol of a red giant sun, also known as a "pregnant sun", which died to give birth to new worlds and to regenerate old ones. This symblized the Master/Mistress of Speech (Seventh Ancestor) on the cosmic level, and is likely the source of the light provided by the seven candles.Dorey The Rose 2022 version pp. 8-24

Guardian of SpaceDorey, Day of the Fish p. 108 copyright R. Hill

The Master/Mistress of Speech is depicted with a shaved head on the Dogon iron lance above, called binu saru. The lance shows the Master/Mistress of Speech (Seventh Ancestor) after the sacrifice. Her straight legs are joined together like “just one leg.” These joined legs appear on many ancient artifacts, which I believe are depicting the Master/Mistress of Speech, and the Nummo with their fish tails.

If the Master/Mistress of Speech was depicted with her two arms away from her body and open with palms forward like the lance above, she was demonstrating her role as the guardian of space. She was also showing that the world was hers.Dorey, Day of the Fish p. 108

According to the Dogon, the joined legs foreshadowed the “solid settlement” of future villages. The two appendages on the lance depicted the pectoral fins of the fish. This is because it shows that the Master/Mistress of Speech was transformed into her fish form nommo anagonno, and that she had descended into water where she would teach “the fish to swim.”Dorey, Day of the Fish 2022 version pp. 107-108

This may be in reference to the fact that over time, humans were supposed to evolve back into their androgynous, immortal fish forms. The lance is also the image of the snake, which is one of the symbols of the Master/Mistress of Speech's (Seventh Ancestor's) resurrection and of her immortality. “By taking on the form of the snake, the resurrected Nummo [Master/Mistress of Speech] was able to go from the pond to the totemic sanctuaries to give his [her] support to the members of the clan.”Dorey, Day of the Fish 2022 version p. 108

The Dogon people believed that the property of twins multiplied much faster than that of other people. As a result, they gave to twins because they thought they would acquire some of the twins' good fortune in return, that is, they would receive more than they gave.Dorey, Day of the Fish 2022 version p. 141

Karenga at KwanzaaBy Apavlo at English Wikipedia - Own work, Public Domain,

This is a 2003 Kwanzaa celebration with Kwanzaa founder Maulana Karenga at the center.

In Southern Africa, the First Fruits festival was celebrated in Dec./Jan. in conjunction with the southern solstice, which is the longest day of the year. "According to Karenga, the name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning 'first fruits'." Karenga "decided to spell the holiday's name with an additional 'a' so that it would have a symbolic seven letters."

Kwanzaa was orginally celebrated in place of Christmas to "give blacks an alternative to the existing holiday of Christmas and give blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." My extensive research on the Dogon religion reveals that it is much older than Christianity and that the figure of Christ was modelled on the Dogon Seventh Ancestor, who was the Master/Mistress of Speech.The Master (Mistress) of Speech 2018 version pp. 117-119

For more information on the Dogon religion refer to my books,The Master (Mistress) of Speech, The Nummo, Day of the Fish and The Rose.