The Search for MT. OFAAFÖ
In 1995 we came together to see what we could do to address the violence that was plaguing our city as it was plaguing cities across the country. We grew tired of seeing countless numbers of young men and women losing their lives over what appeared to be senseless violence. We reminisced about a time during our youth when our communities did not appear so violent and more importantly; seemed to be together. So, we called a meeting amongst friends to see what we could contribute to the community in an attempt to change the mindset that was leading to so much violence and division. After some deliberating the thought was we could sell t-shirts with messages such as Stop the Violence, Unity, Brothers Sisters Together and Family as a way to put positive messaging into the community, which seemed so rare at the time.
Once we had a commitment from one another and a mission, we needed a name that represented our beliefs. This is when we came up with the name Ofaafö; an acronym meaning one for all all for one. However, after coming up with the name we recognized that Ofaafö was more than just a name. It was a timeless concept, it had no beginning and it had no end. It applied in the beginning of time as much as it applied today. It was/is the key to victory, success, growth and evolution to name a few. In fact, Ofaafö was/is everything. This is why we say Ofaafö is ö way of life.
It has always existed. It has no beginning, has no end. It was in us when we first arrived here in the Americas. In an unknown place and with no common language, holding tight to loved ones as they were pulled from our arms and hands, we fought until the numbers overwhelmed us. Exhausted, confused and defeated we dropped to our knees. Kneeling before ghostly beings who looked like us, we longed for home. One scream, mixed with an endless number of others, filled the air — fighting with the air itself for a place to exist. Our cries rose to the heavens. Never to be heard again. The heavens transformed the cries into lessons on how to live. With our hand and knees in the dirt of the Earth, we felt those lessons fall down upon us and we looked to one another. In ONE and ALL we found UNITY. In that UNITY we found FAMILY and in FAMILY, a COMMUNITY of BROTHERS AND SISTERS TOGETHER, complete with language, was created. Unlike our loved ones, our diverse languages and our home, OFAAFÖ could not be stripped from us. OFAAFÖ was our strength. In an unknown place we made a home. Even with our new language and community, we were still forced to kneel, but in our hearts and minds we stood tall — refusing to fall.
—members of the OFAAFÖ community
OFAAFÖ is in ALL of us today. DEDICATION to the ELEVATION of the NATION off the PLANTATION. We have to recognize the strength and perseverance of our people past and present. We have to believe that we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors, for without them there is no us. There is no OFAAFÖ. Today, because life appears to be better, some think the struggle is over, while others have fallen to their knees —exhausted, confused and defeated; a loss of UNITY, of FAMILY, a loss of COMMUNITY. Without COMMUNITY we cannot survive here. We would not have survived then. OFAAFÖ teaches and emphasizes positive ideas for ALL of our communities. Let us listen to the lessons of our ancestors. They exist in different forms all around us — books, people, places, etc. Let us recognize and pay close attention to them. Let us clear our minds of ALL negatives that distract us from learning from the lessons. Let us, together, take a moment to think about ourselves and those around us — regardless of race, culture, gender or ideology. As individuals, as ONE, we must stand. The more of us who refuse to kneel and choose to stand, will be seen by others, and soon ALL will be standing for each other — standing tall, refusing to fall. ONE FOR ALL ALL FOR ÖNE — OFAAFÖ — it’s nothing new, it’ not just an acronym, it’s not just clothing, IT’S A WAY OF LIFE — re-established in the Americas some 400 years ago. Not for only ONE but FOR ALL and ALL FOR ÖNE!!
—a group of archaeologists