Guests of Honor
Mawiyah Kai EL-Jamah Bomani
Mawiyah Kai EL-Jamah Bomani is a native New Orleanian Writer and Spirit Woman. Mawiyah’s writings have appeared in The Crab Orchard Review, Dark Eros, Catch The Fire, Freeform Magazine, Beyond The Frontier, Kente Cloth, Fertile Ground, Family Portraits, Chicken Bones: A Literary Journal, Survival Digest Quarterly, From A Bend In The River, Thicker Than Water, The Houses of Misfit’s Guide to Spiritual
Enlightenment, and Women’s Issues and Feminism in the 21st Century. She is co-writer/director of the play Brown Blood Black Womb. She is the recipient of the Southern Black Theatre Festival’s 2012-2013 Playwright of the year award for her play, Spring Chickens. Mawiyah is also the author of the plays Crows Feet, Bourbon, Men of the AmonRa Society, and Hair Anthem.
Mawiyah is an educator, 8th Generation Witch, Egun Medium, Priestess of OYA in the Yoruba system of spirituality and she is addressed divinely as Iyanifa Faniyi Aboyade Omobola Bomani. She is Editor-In-Chief of the culture and Afrikan Traditional Spirituality E-Zine, Oya N’Soro.
In the Fall of 2008, Mawiyah received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans. Mawiyah currently lives, writes, conducts Orisa rituals, spiritual consultations, womb-warrior women workshops, house cleansings, esentayes, and divinations in both Northern and Southern Louisiana. Mawiyah is currently working on a Middle-Grade series titled The Cool Beans Ghost Hunter Society. It serves to explore the inclusiveness of special needs superheroines and heroes in literature. She is also working on a collection of Poetry inspired by the Tarot, titled Dead Msn Stew. Mawiyah is the Critical Mass 8 Literary Award Winner and a KAT Artist Residency recipient. Mawiyah is currently hosting the podcast FishHeadsinRedGravy a podcast dedicated to celebrating marginalized people of the esoteric/occult world.
Beverley Smith – known in some circles as “Doctor Beverley” – is a mother and a wife, a yogi, a social justice advocate, and a “two-headed conjure doctor” who enjoys living in the mountains in Southern California with her family and two cats. Her interest in the magical arts and conjure spans decades. She specializes in Sangoma-style Bone
Reading and intuitive divination. Beverley Smith enjoys West African and Caribbean literature and folklore, and the ancient art of storytelling – both as a listener and a storyteller. She is an old style Hoodoo Rootworker, an empath, a stained glass mosaic artist, a seven time Burner (Burning Man participant), an organic garderner, a spoken work performer, and a relentless advocate for racial and restorative justice.
Doctor Beverly is available for readings, Rootwork, and spiritual counseling – she can be found at www.DocBev.com.
Daphie Pooyak Yeomans
Daphie Pooyak Yeomans is a Cree storyteller and Medicine Woman from Sweetgrass Reserve in Saskatchewan, Canada. In her village there is a family that has passed down the story of the Cree first contact with Norse people dating back to the 900s AD. As a keeper of her people’s ceremonies and oral traditions, Daphie was gifted this story and to share along with many others regarding the history of her people and the many lessons we human beings have to learn in this world.
In her professional life Daphie Pooyak Yeomans is a well-respected cultural leader traveling across Canada to many First Nations events and gatherings where she is featured as a story teller and ceremonial woman. Daphie is a respected youth worker who leads summer camps on traditional knowledge and skills for youth across Canada’s Cree reserves as well as working with the Canadian juvenile prison system in offering cultural wisdom to incarcerated youths as part of their rehabilitation.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
Chief Arvol Looking Horse was born on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. At the age of 12, he was chosen to be the 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe. He is widely recognized as a chief and the spiritual leader of all three branches of the Sioux tribe.
He is the author of White Buffalo Teachings and has been a guest columnist for Indian Country Today. A tireless advocate of maintaining traditional spiritual practices, Chief Looking Horse is the founder of Big Foot Riders which memorializes the massacre of Big Foot’s band at Wounded Knee.
Following the birth of a White Buffalo Calf in 1994, Arvol felt called to honor it with a ceremony on June 21st. According to the Lakota, the birth of “Miracle”, the female white buffalo calf, signaled a time of earth changes and the coming of the mending of the Hoop of All Nations. The Summer Solstice is said to be a powerful time to pray for peace and harmony among all Living Beings. Arvol organized gatherings around Sacred Sites to collectively pray for the healing of Mother Earth and All of Us.