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We are starting an organization to
promote the strong, positive aspects of modern and traditional African
culture . . . music, art, food, dance, dispute resolution, commerce . .
. , and, to that end, to establish a "toguna" in
Washington DC where all can meet, share, enjoy, learn and profit from this
special wisdom and beauty. "In Unity, we succeed!"
Come Join Us! In Unity,
All who are interested in the
goals of our organization are welcome to join us, attend the
Next Meeting, join the Toguna eGroup, and partcipate
in the creation of this unique joining of people and ideas. The first
year will be crucial in establishing the viability of our concept, securing
the support of influential people and organizations, and starting a project
that may make our great-grandchildren proud of us!
Agenda for Next
Meeting / Minutes of Last Meeting
Benefits of Membership
Participate / Influence the creation
of a "toguna" in Washington DC
Discount on Society Fund-Raising
Events (normally 50% on admission prices)
Promotion of Member through Africa
Society web page and activities
Newsletter keeping abreast of developments
Send check payable to The
Africa Society, Inc. to Treasurer Albert Lewis,
3511 North 13th Street, Arlington, Virginia 22201-4907 with your name,
class of membership, address, telelphone #s and email if available.
Membership form in PDF printable format (what's
may be used or call for it to be mailed to you -- we maintain information
concerning our members confidential if requested.
Political states (Embassies) - $100;
Universities - $500,
High schools - $250,
Elementary schools - $150;
Corporations - $1,000;
Small Businesses - $100;
Individuals in U.S.- $25.
Annual membership dues for individuals
living outside the U.S. will be established at a later date
Membership in each of the categories
will include representative participation in the Board of Trustees on the
basis of membership category, i.e. there will be a set number of seats
reserved for the Corporate members, the Embassy members, etc.
A way to communicate directly
to and between Africa Society members & friends and to publish our
agenda and distibute files. Join if you wish to receive information
directly via email about our efforts or to participate in the conversation!
When you send a message to the eGroup, it is a message to
all the members.
The eGroup calendar will alert members to Society events.
Critical files are stored and available for download from
the eGroup (also available on this website)
A newsletter will be distributed via the eGroup.
You can change your notification options via the eGroup website:
already subscribed members: http://groups.yahoo.com/mygroups
Proposed Logo by Cheko
The following is a image including a toguna
which we are presently using on business cards and letterhead:
Organizers, Friends & Advisors
* = member of Board of Trustees
Wanda Bullock Bangoura
Yolanda Robinson Darricarrere
Organization of The Africa Society, Inc.
Articles of Incorporation
Agenda for Next
Meeting / Minutes of Last Meeting
Building: Abdushaker Aboud*, Marcel Kouaho,
Alseny Ben Bangoura, Alpha Oumar Sow, Adam Ouologuem, and Albert Z. Lewis,
Membership: Alseny Ben Bangoura*, Adam Ouologuem,
Alpha Oumar Sow, Albert Lewis, and Modibo Diallo
Administrative: Albert Lewis*,
Recordings Distribution & Promotion:
Embassies & Government Links (if known)
Central African Republic
Madagascar (Malagasy Republic)
Sao Tome / Principe
- home page of Adventures in Health, Education and Agricultural Development
(AHEAD, Inc.), a non-profit, non-government, self-help
organization that sponsors, among other projects, the Annual HARAMBEE
Carnival, in Washington DC, and other programs related to Africa
- home page of the Africa
News Service based in Durham, North Carolina, up to date news of Africa
Music Site - Amadou & Miriam of Bamako, Mali - Music & Sales
MALL - Musical and Cultural Events in the Washington DC Area
Music and Cultural Association (AMCA) - based in Washington DC
ONLINE - Founded in 1994 by three Kenyans studying at M.I.T. and Harvard
University in the United States, Africa Online has evolved its charter
to provide leading-edge Internet services to thousands of successful individuals
and businesses. Africa Online has offices in Nairobi, Kenya; Abidjan, Côte
d'Ivoire; Accra, Ghana; Harare, Zimbabwe; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
- Site for Digital Africa / Many Links
Woyaa Search Service (not working right yet):
- Information for Africa - South African based Commercial Information
University - Africa
Internet Resources Page
Policy Information Center - primary objective is to widen the
policy debate in the United States around African issues and the U.S. role
in Africa, by concentrating on providing accessible policy-relevant information
and analysis usable by a wide range of groups and individuals. Located
on Maryland Ave, Washington DC
- News and Links re: Eritrea
The "toguna" or "Togu Na" is a traditional
place where citizens present themselves for collective decision-making
or submission of a matter of importance to their leadership. When
a stranger enters a village, he presents himself at the toguna for his
introduction to the society. If it is late at night, the stranger may stay
at the toguna as a place of refuge until the village wakens. When
a dispute arises between two people or groups, they or their representatives
may meet at the toguna to exchange accusations yet hopefully resolve their
differences. When a joyous occasion presents itself, or a matter
of educational importance for the entire group arises, it may be announced
at the toguna. When a community celebration takes place, it is in
the general area of the toguna, where the elders may observe if not directly
participate. It is akin to the chautaqua and the palaver tree, the
baobab tree and the town square. It is a word from the Dogon people
and includes the meaning of "shelter" or "intersection" or "place of words."
It is said that the ceiling of a toguna is low so that anyone who enters
cannot stand his full height and therefore is disinclined to engage in
physical resolution of a conflict. It includes concepts of submission,
humility, tradition, management of change or emergency, leadership, refuge,
history, and the power of traditional art.
The Toguna Concept
The word is used by the Ohio University African
Studies Program for their newsletter.
The traditional carvings constituting a toguna are often displayed in exhibitions
of African art: photo
essay / gallery in
California / . Some togunas are over a hundred years old
and elaborately carved; others (perhaps traditional non-Dogon "relatives")
are quite simply functional.
As used by The Africa Society, the word "toguna"
is neither Dogon nor specific, but represents the concept of a central
meeting place for those of common purpose. We hope to create such
a toguna in downtown Washington D.C., a city which houses important traditions
and history as well as a significant international and African-American
population. As a city hosting the embassies of almost all independent
countries of the world, and the home of many influential people and organizations,
Washington D.C is the proper place to establish such a toguna ---- to meet,
to unify, to find that common heritage which speaks from the ancient birthplace
of Africans, African-Americans, and, some would say, the ancient birthplace
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