MATIE MASIE - Wisdom and Prudence

MatIe Masie

NPS

Matie Masie is an adinkra symbol that translates to "what I hear, I keep." The symbolis supposed to represent four linked ears, which serves to remind people of the importance of listening and communicating, especially in oral histories and cultures. It symbolizes understanding through good judgement, and the portrayal of wisdom and knowledge through such understanding and awareness.Oral history is extremely essential in African American culture because enslaved Africans were not able to or allowed to read, write, or even speak due to the cruelty of overseers;the enslaved Africans had to secretly communicate through songs that no one else could comprehend. Not only this but because so much of their history was not written down, this participation in the act of observing and listening, then communicating, was crucial to preserving their history and in keeping their culture afloat. At the African Burial Ground, much of African culture was heard and observed, and passed on to others who visited this site, and etcetera, like a cyclic chain of events;a common link of all cultures.

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Last updated: November 9, 2015

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African Burial Ground NM
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