Vision: Mean Mugging, Unblinking Eyes, and Ancient Egyptian Beliefs.

Like the great Kings, Queens, and Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, I too look to the animal kingdom for vision, clarity, and spiritual guidance.

The symbol of the Egyptian Cobra, or the Uraeus, is a symbol for the Goddess Wadjet. This figure can be found many places- most notably, adorning the mask of King Tutankhamun‘s mummy.

King Tut.
King Tut.

The unblinking eye of the Egyptian Cobra is symbol for omniscience- all knowing. For one to be all knowing, one must be all seeing.

… When I was initially told of the unblinking eye of the Egyptian Cobra I was in Senegal (West Africa), where I was documenting scientists working on rain fall levels and hurricane formation in the sub-sahara desert region. They had a lot to do. My one assignment: take pictures. Naturally, my eyes started tearing up; overwhelmingly so. To the point I couldn’t see where I was walking, let alone take pics. I purchased some glasses and a bigger hat. It took a day or two to adjust to the West Afriacn sun- but once I did… awwwww mannn I was taking pics everywhere!

I eventually went to an R&B show, where a well known singer (who I choose not to name) was performing. He saw that I was taking photos and video. He stopped his entire show. Took my camera. And continued to play. He eventually gave my camera back at the end of the show ( around 3 or 4 am), but during the time he had my camera… oh mannn… I mean mugged him for every single second. I wanted my camera back. My determination wouldn’t allow me to blink. All I remember thinking: the Egyptian Cobra doesn’t blink.

With that said, when it comes to vision- I often think how our African ancestors ( and personal past experiences), and how they have lead me to look toward the animal kingdom for vision.

Be it the lions in Washington DC’s zoo- and how they look toward the sun in the afternoon. Or the pelicans by Lake Merritt in Oakland, Ca- and how they scope their prey while yards away, only to swan-dive into the water in pursuit of a meal…

OH… another GREAT animal to mention in relation to vision/ spiritual guidance: the gecko.

The gecko can grow it’s tail back ( it covers it’s own ass)

The gecko has toes that can stick to most surfaces (it doesn’t slip)

The gecko cleans it’s eyes by licking them. ( Never be thirsty. Never be blinded. )



"one of the greatest Black men of the 20th Century"I was 2 weeks from turning 21, it was the summer of ’08 and I was at theUniversity of Cheik Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal.

Pendarvis interviewing students in Senegal

I was learning French and Wolof. I was learning about the sub-Saharan drought and how it influenced the formation of hurricanes in the gulf of Mexico/ Caribbean . Back home my mom was fighting breast cancer and my cousin was fighting throat cancer. The strength of the spirit in Senegal kept my spirits high. I learned about a religious leader name  Shiek Ibrahima Fall and how he influenced many Senegalese families to name their children in his likeness; one of those children of Senegal was  a revolutionary scientist named Dr. Cheik Anta Diop.

Why should you care about Dr. Cheik Anta Diop? Well, have you ever the theory that Egyptians were Black? Yea, he proved that! It was Dr. Diop’s rigorous studies and appeals of his findings to credited scientist in the mid-1900’s that finally lead the word to accept that those amazing pyramids on the banks of the Nile river were built by Black people.

Ha, to think: when Napoleans’s army blasted off the nose of the Sphinx, they thought they had trashed the evidence of Black folks created such amazing monuments in their likeness… ha…little did they know this evidence ran deeper than blood. the evidence was in our melanin.

on the campus of Cheik Anta Diop UniversityAnd to this day, melanin is what continues to be the fuel that drives us to create monuments of greatness.

Thank you Dr. Cheik Anta Diop.

also, check out the article I wrote when I got back from Senegal…