Queen’s Chronicles: Tek Me ta de Wata

by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com)

Since World Water Day, I haven’t had much time to pause on land between travels on the #GullahGeechee Healin de Land World Tour. Not only has the tour continued to lead me into airplanes to far way places for international gatherings, but I have also been aboard trains so that I could see the land from different vantage points. The most beautiful views for me are always those that are coastal. Fa a Gullah/Geechee ooman, hunnuh hafa tek me ta de wata.

As I flew back over and into the Gullah/Geechee Nation just in time to begin “Black Music Month” which I look forward to annually, my mind was also on the approaching “World Oceans Day.” My many journeys throughout this year have not allowed me to go to any place and not link to water. I have presented for the National Adaptation Forum held along the lake in Wisconsin:

I engaged in the first UNESCO International Water Conference and then headed home for Hands Across the Sand on the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s coast.

At each of these events, I could hear “wade een de wata, wade een de wata chillun.” I didn’t let these words of my ancestors fall on deaf ears. I sang them to the living that are fighting for the oceans at the first United Nations Communities of Ocean Action Meeting in Korea.

This meeting drew me back to my testimony in Washington DC before the US Congress on behalf of our oceans

and back to the South Carolina General Assembly testimony as well.

In all cases, I could hear the Gullah/Geechee proverb,

“De wata bring we, de wata gwine tek we bak.”

It has taken me right back to the shoreline in all of my work to help heal the land and keep Gullah/Geechee culture alive on the Sea Islands and throughout the Gullah/Geechee Nation. As the work continues, I hear my ancestors singing with me,

Tek me ta de wata…

The sacredness of this element flows through us daily and the more we nurture and heal the land, the higher the quality of our water will be. So, hunnuh chillun, tek a song een hunnuh haat and cum ta de Gullah/Geechee Nation shoreline wid me.

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) pun de shore.

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