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Thanks to DNA testing, a growing number of people can now trace their ancestry to locations in Igbo land and other parts of Africa. Some wish to reunite with their ancestral towns and relatives, but don’t know how.
This program helps facilitate the joyful reunion (Reconnection) of DNA tested African Americans with their African relatives, after being separated by time and distance dating back to the slave trade era.
The Reconnection Ceremony typically proceeds as follows:
1) Opening prayer and breaking of kola nuts.
2) Opening hyms/songs.
3) Recognition of African American and African elders.
4) The officiating elder hands the Reconnection materials to the most senior African American.
5) Most senior African American picks and then passes “Nzu” (a chalk-like clay used in welcoming visitors, symbolizing peace, purity of heart, and acceptance).
6) Participants observe a moment of silence for ancestors.
7) Kola nut communion: this is a moment when participants commune with the Great Spirit, lesser divinities and deities; and with our ancestors.
8) Pouring of libation, followed by all participants drinking from the same cup.
9) A solemn handshake between the most senior African official and the most senior African American.
10) All participants join in handshaking with silent embraces (symbolizing handshakes across the Atlantic).
11) Singing of songs in remembrance of the sea route our ancestors traveled from their ancestral homes to America.
12) Refreshments and short speeches/reflections.
For more information, contact Ticha Akuma.
The Reconnection is followed by the Naming Ceremony in which the newly reconnected African descendants are given official African names. For more information, contact Chief Anyanwu Ututu.
Successes / Impact
The Reconnection and Naming ceremony triggers powerful and enduring connections. Virtually all participants describe the experience as among the happiest in their lives. Some participants proceed to establish homes and businesses and, in some cases, relocate to their ancestral homes.