Ngame, Goddess of the Soul
Model : Kemi Fontaine
Wardrobe : White Doe
The land was lush, the soil fertile, rain fell often & there was an abundance of wheat, maize and food. Matrilienal lines were celebrated, harmonious. When a baby was born, rituals invited them to the land of their ancestors, respect was given to the spirits of the mountain, the ocean and the earth. The earth, regarded as a female spirit, was asked permission before a burial so that her child may return to the womb.
As Clarissa Pinkola writes so fervently “Wild Life & Wild Women have both become endangered species...It’s not by accident that the pristine wilderness of our planet disappears as the understanding of our own inner wild, feminine natures, fade.”
As the fertile land and the sacred feminine instinct has been neglected, stripped away and burnt, as “Dens have been bulldozed and natural cycles forced into unnatural rhythms to please others... It is not so difficult to comprehend why old forests and old women are viewed as not very import- ant resources.” Our courage, blood, sweat and tears have been wrongly reputed as in gracious and threatening.
We must question how we define femininity and why we continue to swallow our most exotic, sacred instincts.
As an aesthete, I have found visual story telling can ignite and embody the longings and feelings of the wild woman inside that I glimpse at whilst in the ocean, the jungle, entwined in my partners embrace.
One powerful female archetype that embodies the characteristics of the 'Wild Women' is that of the Moon Diety and Goddess of the Soul, Ngame;
who originates from the Akan in Ghana.
Engulfed in the midnight blue of the ocean and the corn silk hues of a rich harvest, Kemi Fontaine embodies the spirit of a legend and a time of which the Wild Woman prospered. As we acknowledge her strength and softness, we hope to conjure the archetype that rests inside, waiting to resurface.
In Sanskit the Muladhara, or root chakra, is associated with vitality and awakening, as she holds the bamboo shoot, her root chakra is balanced, governed by the element of the earth. In trying to create a universal and contemporary image of women in harmony with the planet, she is dressed in slowly crafted, hand made and sustainable bamboo silk pieces from White Doe.
For the Akan, one of the first duties of Queen Mothers was to plant a fig tree, the red flesh symbolic of the Kra (fire) of Ngame. Often pictured with two water jugs, one foot on land and one in the water, she sheaths the alpha matrilineal being, connotative of fertility and life.
Ngame’s message and the Akan’s deep belief in her, demonstrated in rituals and ceremonies, is an important reminder of a time people revered a powerful feminine energy. More crucial a message is that the archetype Ngame represents that which resides in all of us, and that in her portrayal, we feel her awakening, inspired to let her run wild, howling under the full moon.