A five-part interactive course – using participatory chant, dialogues, poetry, and proverbs – Rootical folklore celebrates the “Moonlit Classroom”, re-enacting the traditional gatherings around the evening fire, where people first learnt the lessons of life. The price is for all five sessions which cannot be booked individually.
Session 1 (Tuesday 13th February 2024): Bougainvillea Prayer
The spiritual significance of Bougainvillea. Bougainvillea is the flower of which spirit? Who was saved by a Mango tree? Which character was saved by a Sunflower?
Session 2 (Tuesday 20th February 2024): Sweet potato street
Tubers and other Caribbean plants. Where is genus Maranta celebrated? Which people had a Cassava deity? Where is Dasheen leaf a feature of a national day?
Session 3 (Tuesday 27th February 2024): Rosemary and cinnamon chant
The talismanic plants from the Caribbean. In which country is Gesho a hunting amulet? Which people have placed Aloe Vera above the door? The followers of which religion use Blackberry as an expulsion aid?
Session 4 (Tuesday 5th March 2024): Saffron for Obatala
The importance of plants for the Orishas, spirits that play a central part in the Yoruba religion. Which female deity receives Watermelon? Who do I call the Okra Man? In one version of the Yoruba Creation Story, which tree do the orishas live around?
Session 5 (Tuesday 12th March 2024): Mahogany mantra
Guardians of the forest. Who is the queen of the Wolof forests? Which tree does Fetefete guard? Who resides in a Star Apple tree?
Natty Mark Samuels is the founder of African School, which was established in 2009 and offers African Studies to the general public. Teaching has taken place in varied settings; schools, community projects, museums, youth clubs, colleges, libraries, universities, carnivals and botanical gardens. Natty Mark has developed a specialism in the African and Caribbean Oral Traditions, founding Rootical Folklore – celebrating African and Caribbean Folklore through flora, as well as Birago Day: African and Caribbean Folklore Day. The Encyclopedia of Rootical Folklore: Plant Tales of Africa and the Diaspora, by Natty Mark Samuels, will be published March 2024, by Scorched Earth Press.
Please note this is an online course. No specialist software is required to participate, but a device with a microphone and webcam will be needed. Full joining instructions will be emailed a few days before the date of the course.
This is a live course and will not be made available as a recording.
Bookings for this course will close 6 February
Please take the time to read our course cancellations and refunds policy.