Sweet Grass (Left)
The central theme of this design is Ubuntu, a Zulu term that can be described as a philosophy of life: to live and grow together. The layers in each motif represent the generations of ancestors tracing back to ancient Kemet, and honoring the early civilization and abundance of human life. The repeated motifs that create a bird's-eye view of an African homestead show the lives of people supporting each other and co-existing with nature. In a modern context, Ubuntu is an African take on sustainable living and development: We share resources and prosper together.
This design is inspired by Kwakwa, an imaginary bird crossbred from a crown crane and a guinea fowl. In the narrative of an African witch doctor, Sangoma, birds represent the highest level of human wisdom: After seven reincarnation cycles, you will finally become a bird. Birds are omnipotent: They walk on the land, float on the water, and fly in the air. The motifs in the design are a deconstruction and juxtaposition of different parts of the bird, creating a Cubism-style representation of a bird's three-dimensional form and depicting the spiritual belief of Sangoma. In relation to life's journey, Kwakwa symbolizes our spiritual growth.