Women greeting each other in Mogadishu.
 

It’s interesting the West African philosophy of “greeting” someone in comparison to how we engage it, typically, in the U.S. In ancient Egypt, the God component of man, that spark of energy directly connected to the Greater Spirit, is called {kA} (Twi /okra/; Ga /kla/; Teke /nkira/) “soul.” In Coptic this is pronounced {ki} (in Jaba /kyu/). The front vowel caused a palatalization effect in other African languages. In Igbo it is pronounced {chi} and may be ultimately connected to the concept of “chi” in Chinese.

A reflex of these words is also connected with “greeting” in African languages: e.g., Yoruba {ki} “greet, visit,” {ki} “eulogise” (recite someone’s pet name or his praise poems); Twi {chia} “greet”; KiSwahili {am-kia}“greet.” The philosophy is that when we greet someone, we strengthen their “chi.”This concept is connected to “potent speech.” Enemies do not greet each other;in other words, they do not wish each other well. So, positive greetings enlivens others (strengthens their kA, chi, ki, etc.). Among the Yoruba, {ki} is more effectively used to rouse in a person a recognition of his worth through a recapitulation of his ancestry and his achievements. These praisepoems are often called {oriki}.

 

http://asarimhotep.com/templates/rt_momentum/images/typography/light/quote-l.png); background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: 0px 0px; background-repeat: no-repeat;">[To encourage a person is “Ki i l’ okàn . . . (“Strengthen his heart”)]

 

To visit a person is, in Yoruba, to go and {ki} him. This action brings good cheer and aids restoration to health by fortifying the spirit. It is a form of blessing. Blessings are potent speech. The word for “spirit” in most world languages is also the word for “breath.” Your speech is impossible without “breath.” Therefore, when we speak, we invoke life or death in others (we note this concept in the Bible as well; “life and death in the power of the tongue”). Compare Hebrew {ruwah} “wind, spirit”; Yoruba {ariwo} “noise”;Egyptian {Hrw} “sound”; Yoruba {ori}; Urhobo {erhi} “spirit (double)”; Swahili{roho} “spirit.”

 

This is why when we greet, we greet each other with empowering words that invigorate and strengthen one’s “chi.” To speak to someone is to send a “spirit” towards them. The person whom you are speaking with is being “possessed” by your words. To withdraw a greeting is to wish ill on someone. Therefore,  greeting= blessing = healthnot greeting =curse = disease (socially). This is why African people greet everyone in the room. This is still a religious practice for those of us who grew up down south (in the U.S.). People in NY need to get back to their African roots withthe greetings.

 

Therefore, when we greet each other, lets greet each other with the intent to strengthen each other’s “chi” (kA/ki) and let’s improve our collective well-being by speaking life into each other. If you are looking for an African way to greet someone, I recommend the ciLuba-Bantu word mwoyo(i) ≋ mooyo(i). It has the following meanings:

 

http://asarimhotep.com/templates/rt_momentum/images/typography/light/quote-l.png); background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: 0px 0px; background-repeat: no-repeat;">"life, heart, mind, soul, courage, will, desire,design, inclination, feeling, mood, thought" and of course,"hello" and "greetings."

 

This word is also used to say "good morning, good evening." The ancient Egyptian cognate is the word {jb} "heart, mind, understanding, intelligence, will, desire, mood, wish; to wish, to desire, to take thought, take care."

Here we have a process of metathesis where the /j/ (y) soundis switched in Egyptian and ciLuba. Also, /m/ (ciLuba) > /b/ (Egyptian). The Egyptian word {nyny} “greeting” may be a reflex. But the word {jb} is definitely present in the phrase {swDA ib} “message, communication, greeting.” [S29- Z7 - U28 - G1 - Z5 - F34 - Z1]

 

More could be said, but this is meant to be a brief note. Mwoyo to everyone reading.

 

Ancestrally,


Asar Imhotep
http://www.asarimhotep.com

(2/11/2014)

 

 

Bibliography

ADEGBOLA, E.A. Ade. (1983). Traditional Religion in West Africa. Daystar Press International.Ibadan, Nigeria.

ADESOLA, Oluseye. (N.D.). Yorùbá: A Grammar SketchVersion 1.0 (unpublished paper)

ALLEN,James P. (2005). The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts. Society of Biblical Literature.
______ (2010). Middle Egyptian: AnI ntroduction into the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs, 2nd Edition.  Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

BILOLO, Mubabinge. (2010). Invisibilite etImmanence du Createur Imn (Amon-Amun-Amen-Iman-Zimin): Example de la Vitalite de l’Ancien Egyptien ou CiKam dans le Cyena Ntu. Publications 
Universitaires Africaines. Munich-Kinshasa-Paris.

DOUMBIA, Adama and Doumbia, Naomi. (2004). The way of the Elders: West African Spirituality and Traditions. Llewellyn Publications

FU-KIAU, Kimbwandende K. Bunseki. (2001). African Cosmology of the Bantu Kongo: Principles of Life and Living. Athelia Henrietta Press. 
______. (1991). Self-Healing Power and Therapy: Old Teachings from Africa. Inprint Editions.

IMHOTEP, Asar (2013). Aaluja: Rescue, Reinterpretation and the Restoration of Major Ancient Egyptian Themes,Vol.1. MOCHA-Versity Press. Houston, TX.

MBITI,John S. (1989). African Religions &Philosophy. Heinemann Educational Publishers. Oxford.

ODUYOYE,Modupe. (1996). Words and Meaning In Yorùbá Religion: Linguistic ConnectionsBetween 
Yorùbá, Ancient Egyptian and Semitic
. Karnak Publishing. London. 
______ (1984). The Sons of the Gods andthe Daughters of Men: An Afro-Asiatic Interpretation of Genesis 1-11.Oribis Books. Maryknoll, MY.

VYGUS, Mark. (2012). Ancient Egyptian Dictionary.

 

Websites

Canaanite Dictionary
http://canaanite.org/

Yorùbá Online Dictionary
http://www.yorubadictionary.com

CiLuba Dictionary
http://www.ciyem.ugent.be

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