Sacred circle on District Six land

The Khoisan and Native American cultures met around a sacred prayer circle last week in District Six.

Two indigenous cultures came together to pray for the land and human spirit and share in healing, at a ceremony in District Six.

The ceremony on Friday last week saw a meeting of Khoisan and Native American cultures.

The Institute for the Restoration of the Aborigines of South Africa (IRASA) created a sacred circle to share in prayer with the Ancestral Medicine Revival (AMR) group of North America.

Chief Tania Kleinhans, from IRASA, said the blessing ceremony was a reminder that culture was alive and was meant to be shared.

“It needs to be purposeful, and the meaning behind this is all about healing, it’s all about spirituality, it’s all about coming together and saying that the land and the suffering that emanates from that needs to stop,” she said.

The ceremony was attended by more than 20 District Six residents, including both Muslims and Christians who were invited to join the sacred circle and share in prayer.

Izzy Ramirez, from the AMR group, said indigenous people from around the world had similar ways in recognising their “Earth mother”.

“It is important for us to ‘dreamweave’ peace into the earth,” he said.

Mr Ramirez played spiritual songs from a spiral-shaped didgeridoo.

“The spiral shape of the didgeridoo is indicative of the way nature moves and the way that ecosystems move,” he said.

He said the music he played with the instrument was a healing tone with a rhythm that could restore peace.

Chief Kleinhans said she had chosen District Six for the ceremony as she saw it as a beacon that spoke to people and it was close to the Castle of Good Hope, which she said was a symbol of colonialism.

“We are not saying that forgiveness must come with reparation; forgiveness needs to come from the heart; it needs to be pure before anything else,” she said.

Shanaaz Arnold, secretary of the District Six Civic Association, said the blessing ceremony was about love and ubuntu.

“It’s about us accepting each other, we are coming from all places. We have been displaced from this land, after being forcefully removed. So when we returned, there was a lot of pain attached.

“The beauty of the ceremony is about forgiveness and healing,” she said.