Ever since I was a kid I would give plants & trees family relations in my mind. There would be the Brother Red Oak Tree in my yard, whose leaves in the Fall I would try to catch before they touched the ground. I would hold them like little trophies I won in my chase game with the tree. There were my Sisters, the Flowers, so numerous & glorious in my mothers garden & mountain side I grew up on.. but oh so delicate.. & whom I always envied for there Beauty & Smell. I would greedily pick them, make necklaces & crowns. Smear myself with their color fragrant juices.. hoping their beauty would rub off on me & I would become desirable like them. All the little earthy things in My Mind were related to me somehow because they were apart of me. Gave me vibrance as they still do!
I guess this is why I Gift the Name of Grandmother to Nkuto.
Meaning Shea Butter in Twi, a Dialect in Northern Ghana. So much goes into creating this butter by hand.. & so many of us uses it on an everyday bases.. My own experience has been one of taking moments to lather myself after a hot bath.. Allow myself My time to really massage my body reflecting on my Me.. my curves.. brownness.. Studying my lines & features.. reflecting on ancestry all revealed in the features of my body.. Features I enjoy nurturing & protecting through self touch with gobs of Shea Butter..Nkuto.
Nkuto.. Thick, Warm, Buttery. Making my skin glisten, rubbed in with love by my own hands.. no wait.. not just my own hands but the hands that came from ancestral blood. Grandmothers Hands. Rubbing away the dryness, the callous. Smoothing away the lines, soft & easy, nourishing, creating supple skin. Protecting. Yes, Protecting.. Protecting against the harshness of the outside.. Sealing in my youth, deepening my color.. bringing out the warmth & glow of rich ancestry. Reminding Me that I am Beautiful. Reminding me that my body has come forth through many blood lines. I am my Ancestors & this skin is worth protecting. I ask you "Who Else would ever teach you this Way?" Only Your Grandmother, the Protector of Ancestry. & this is why Shea Butter (in my mind) is the Matriarch of All Butters. Shea Butter does indeed Evoke Beauty from Living Traditions.