Yowa, a bakongo cosmogram, suggests the process of the continuity of human life via the interaction between the realms of the living and the realms of the dead. It indicates the voyage of souls through these worlds in the process of reincarnation. It is believed that the arrows portrays the motion of souls, and that communication between the worlds of the living and the dead occurs at the center of the symbol, where the cross is. Numerous cosmograms have been found underneath plantation homes and were a way that Africans established and brought their culture to America. These symbols are a tangible indication of the recreation of their culture in America, and the assertion of their place in the new world.
Last updated: April 9, 2021