From the Congo to Chicago
I S H O N G O
Inspired by the genius of the Congo, the word Ishongo is a variation of the name of the Ancient Congolese Ishango Bone dating back 26,000 years. The Ishango Bone was a simple mathematical instrument made from animal bone used to accomplish a vast array of very complex tasks for it's time. The instrument was used to do binary coding, masonry measurements, aided in agriculture and farming, as well as used in the trading markets to help with
cultural language barriers.
In the spirit of the Congolese Ishango Bone- I S H O N G O works to continue the ancient tradition of integrity, precision, community, and ingenuity that has animated the spirit of artisan work throughout time.
Chicago Based Artisan
Anänka Shony, co-founder of
I S H O N G O Earthwork, LLC, refers to her approach in textile and fabric adornment to be a form of "Sankofa Artistry". Learning from our Ancestors to bring ancient wisdom and beauty into the present. Fashion and Textile making have always been a source of Education through a means of History, Culture, Economic Development, Earth Science, Physics, Art, Math, Music, and Medicine. In the tradition of the many earthworkers around the world, Anänka makes many of her own brushes, paint bases and dyes from various natural substances deriving directly from nature.
"Each piece is made with a deep reverence for the
ancestors whom have left us with such a vast arsenal of sacred imagery, symbols, knowledge and wisdom on how to live our best lives.
To this day... many artists and designers around the world are able to sustain their lives on the ancient symbols and knowledge accredited not to an individual or institution...
but rather to the Creator of all things."