Mission Statement:
The intention of Niakwa Healing Arts is to share the medicine of ancestral ceremonial practices through music, dance, ritual, and spiritual healing, thereby encouraging the preservation and continuation of the "old medicine ways." 

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ANGELA CRUZ
As a practitioner in the art of energy medicine, Angela has a deep understanding that many great forces and energies, far beyond the practitioner’s own, are at work when profound healing takes place.

Since her childhood, Angela has explored her relationship with the plant kingdom, the elements of nature, and the spirit realm, realizing early that she was comfortable sharing and communicating with those worlds. These intuitive beginnings have had a strong influence in the development of her healing practice.

Angela’s medicine path began to take on more structure when she made the choice to deliver her first child at home. On this journey of birthing, she discovered innate wisdom, personal empowerment, and the ability to heal herself and others naturally.  Throughout the pregnancies and births of her first and second children, she began studying midwifery with her midwife, Medra, with focus on the spiritual aspects of natural childbirth. Upon her third pregnancy, she began her Reiki training, and shortly after her fourth child she began studying at Sacred Path Healing School with Dr. Ruey Ryburn.

After completing her first year at Sacred Path Healing School, a deep calling took place.  This calling brought her to the Big Island of Hawaii, and, on her first night in her new home, she experienced a profound dream. This dream led to a number of personal ceremonies and initiations that have greatly influenced her path of sacred healing work.  An ancient remembering of her relationships with her ancestors was activated.  She was initiated as a spirit medium, through a Zimbabwean (Shona) mediumship tradition, to work with several spirits in her ancestral lineage. These ancestors are present to assist and guide her on her medicine path of healing work.

Angela shares her medicine work through sacred offerings of healing, herbal wisdom, ceremony, music, dance, and assistance to women on their life paths. She has infinite gratitude for those who have kept the traditions of healing and the old ways alive, and for those who have the strength and conviction to carry these ways forth.

BENJAMIN SANDS
Benjamin’s first mentors Sandra Burton, Kweyao Agyapon, and Ernest Brown introduced him to a myriad of African Diaspora musical styles and dance cultures beginning with study under Ghanaian Master Drummer, Obo Addy. Led by intuition, Benjamin had unknowingly embarked on a life’s journey: a journey that has encompassed studies in the traditional drum styles of Ghana, Mali, Cuba, Congo, and Zimbabwe as well as study in the tradition of the Mbira Dzavadzimu (thumb piano) of the Shona people of Zimbabwe.

Early on in this journey, he began an apprenticeship studying drum and mbira with renowned drummer and Gwenyambira (traditional ceremonial mbira player) Chris Berry. Pursuit of traditional music led to exposure to traditional ceremonies and in turn initiations through the Shona medicine tradition. The culture of music and ceremony began to rekindle Benjamin's connection with the ancestral world, and communication and dreams from the ancestors began to flow. Following the guidance of these dreams, additional ceremonies and initiations have helped to expand his path and his work.

Benjamin shares his practice of music as part of a medicine path. 

Recognition:
My thanks to all of the elders who have shared their gifts and insight with me in such a way that I might have the honor of carrying their traditions forward, and sharing the essence of their offerings through my own life and works. In sharing music and ceremony I remember these teachers and their lineages, my ancestors, and all who have come before me in this great chain.

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Benjamin’s primary teachers include: Obo Addy, Kweyao Agyapon, Sandra Burton, Chris Berry, Titos Sompa, and Joaquin Pozo.

Special acknowledgement also to Abdoul Doumbia, Mabiba Baegne, and Rujeko Dumbutshena. Though i have not had the opportunity to study with these teachers at length, their passion as artists, their approach to the craft, and their sharing of culture has impacted and inspired me greatly. 

 

Contact 808.339.0336 or email niakwahealingarts@gmail.com