M’ganga or (as translated in Swahili) The Healer character was created by the Juneteenth Celebration Committee to cherish the sacred heritage of natural remedies and medicines practiced by our ancestors during enslavement. Healers and Witch doctors are an influential part of African religious and cultural practices. In America, Healers played a powerful role not only in the lives of slaves. Their traditional practices were also valued by their oppressor as well. For the purpose of Juneteenth, M’ganga is symbolic of self educating on how to innovate those ancestral remedies with modern medicine, without straying far from our heritage of natural solutions. She further educates the community on the history of African Americans and the use of natural herbs and remedies for medicinal and health use.
M’ganga’s Crest Description:
• The five circles or dots above her head are representative of the natural elements utilized in the healing practice; Earth, Fire, Water, Mineral, & Nature
• The Mortar & Pestle represent the active practice and creation of herbal remedies and medicines
• The branches of herbs/plant represent the need to fully utilize all uses of natural plants, flowers, herbs etc for the better me of the bodily temple
• The Kikombe Cha Umoja is representative of the need for unity in educating on natural healing practices and to do everything in memoriam of the ancestors
• The crossed spears represent the protection and healing of the soul, body, and min