How I Became an African Dot Painting #BlackJediMaster
From my early years, art was more than a pastime; it was a language that allowed me to express the nuances of my thoughts and emotions. While others doodled in the margins of their notebooks, I found myself creating complex geometric patterns that resembled intricate stained glass. As I navigated a career in technology, my heart never strayed far from artistic pursuits. Today, I am a professional photojournalist with a special focus on uncovering and showcasing my African heritage.
Through my ongoing Black Book Projects, I delved into the world of genetic testing with 23andMe. The results were eye-opening: I am 94.6% Sub-Saharan African, with a notable 31.5% of my genetic makeup hailing from Sierra Leone. This was particularly significant because African dot painting had always fascinated me. This newfound link to Sierra Leone provided a deeper, more personal layer to my artistic endeavors.
As a Certified Art Therapist, my work often incorporates the structured designs of Mandala art. Yet, my art form, Kika Ọ̀nà, is where I truly let my creativity loose. I merge various inspirations, whether it’s my love for photography or my admiration for Tiffany Lamps. This artistic freedom not only amplifies the visual impact but also provides a unique therapeutic experience for both creator and observer.
What is Kika Ọ̀nà?
Spelling and Pronunciation:
Spelling: Kika Ọ̀nà
Pronunciation: kee-kah oh-nah
Kika Ọ̀nà is a term that represents a unique style of African dot painting, deeply rooted in Yoruba Earth Spirituality and artistic expression. In Yoruba, “Kika” means “dot,” while “Ọ̀nà” can be interpreted as “way” or “path.” Therefore, “Kika Ọ̀nà” can be understood as “The Dot Way” or “The Way of Dots.”
A Kika Ọ̀nà artist is known as Kika Oníṣẹ́ Ọ̀nà; “Kika” translates to “dot,” while “Oníṣẹ́ Ọ̀nà” refers to an “Artisan” or “Worker of Art.”
Yoruba Earth Spirituality is an animistic belief system that emphasizes the sacred relationship between humans and the natural world, including soil, rivers, trees, and animals. Yoruba art often gives visual form to the divine and inspires religious devotion. The Yoruba people also practice body painting rituals, which involve painting one’s Ori (divine self) onto the skin, bringing forth the physical manifestation of the God or Goddess within.
Bantu languages, such as Xhosa, are spoken by various African tribes, including the Xhosa people from South Africa. Xhosa face painting, also known as African face dots, is a traditional art form that incorporates intricate patterns and symbolism.
Kika Ọ̀nà in Action: Examples
Mandala Patterns: Here, intricate dots blend with the vivid colors typical of Sierra Leone, creating works that are both visually striking and deeply symbolic.
Photographic Inspirations: This involves capturing the essence of natural landscapes through a constellation of dots, generating a truly sublime visual experience.
Rocks as Canvas: Drawing inspiration from Yoruba spiritual beliefs, these unique pieces feature rocks sourced from Sierra Leone, each imbued with its own spiritual narrative.
Tribes That Inspire Kika Ọ̀nà
Various African tribes, including the Yoruba from Nigeria and the Xhosa from South Africa, have a rich history of dot painting. Their distinctive styles and techniques serve as endless inspiration for Kika Ọ̀nà.
Kika Ọ̀nà is about the process and approach as the artistic journey, not the destination. that invites individuals to explore the rich tapestry of African culture, spirituality, and artistic expression through the intricate world of dot painting. By fusing elements from Yoruba Earth Spirituality and Bantu languages, Kika Ọ̀nà creates a unique and captivating form of artistic expression that celebrates the diverse cultural heritage of Africa.
Kika Ọ̀nà is not merely an art form; it’s an expedition into the soul of diverse African cultures. This technique resonates deeply with spiritual and ancestral ties, particularly within Yoruba and Bantu communities. By using natural elements like rocks as canvases, I aspire to elevate this art form to new spiritual and therapeutic dimensions. I invite you all to explore Kika Ọ̀nà for yourselves and share your personal journeys through #JediMindTrix.
For those keen on diving deeper, Pinterest boards like ‘African Dot Painting & Designs’ and YouTube videos like ‘African Tribute – Dot Painting Mandala Art’ offer an enriching perspective on this captivating art form.