Aku is a member of the Ewe tribe, born in the village of Dagbamete in the Volta Region of Ghana in West Africa. The daughter of a village priest who is also a prominent traditional psychic herbalist, Aku moved to Canada to join her husband in 1996. She is greenhouse manager of Richters Herbs in Goodwood where she lives with her husband and raised her three grown children. In 2013, Aku was installed as Queen Mother of her village in Ghana by the elders in an elaborate ceremony.
A Descendant of Enslaved Africans in the United States, Sobande was trained in the sacred art of herbalism by her great grandmother. She is a Afro Herbalist, Holistic Nutritionist, Educator, Consultant, Author, Founder & Creative powerhouse behind the NCB School of Herbalism & Holistic Health offering a 2 year learning program (www.naturalchoicesbotanica.com), Sacred Waters Herbal Retreat for Women of Color (www.sacredwatersretreat.com) and the United States first Afro Botany Immersion Conference (https://naturalchoicesbotanica.com/abotany). Sobande resides near Nashville TN with her King of 25 yrs, three daughters, 4 precious grandluvs.
Catherine Feliz (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist, medicine person, writer, archivist, and full spectrum doula born and raised in NYC (occupied Lenape territory). Their medicine path is indebted to their mother, grandmother, and ancestral spirits whom have shared their wisdom intimately tied with the sacred landscape and histories of the Bahoruco mountains of Kiskeya Ayiti. Catherine’s identities as a queer, first-generation, bi-lingual, intuitive, Afro-Latino inform their everyday magical practice of bridging different worlds together with the support of plant allies. Abuela Taught Me, a modern mobile botanica co-founded with Cleopatra Tatabele, is born out of the ethic that love is revolutionary when in action. Catherine is also a founding member of Homecoming, a qtbipoc birth justice collective.
Flora Domenis is a Yoga Teacher and Ayurvedic Therapist, specialized in Lifestyle, Nutrition & Vedic Psychology, with over 27 years of experience infused by Earth traditions from around the globe. She obtained her Yoga Shiromani title from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram in Neyyardam, Kerala, India and graduated as an Ayurvedic Therapist from the Academy of Ayurvedic Studies in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Yeye Luisah Teish is an initiated elder (Iyanifa) in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West African Diaspora and she holds a chieftaincy title (Yeye’woro) from the Fatunmise Compound in Ife Ife, Nigeria. She grew up along the banks of the Mississippi River, in a community whose elders maintained centuries’ old stories and traditions. For forty years, Yeye Teish has been inspiring and facilitating the survival of these practices and creating a bridge to African spirituality through ceremony, counseling, theater, and writing, including the classic Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals. Learn more about her incredible work here.
Mary Ayodele is a Prophetess and Community Herbalist. As Foundress of the Institute of Africana Cosmology, she preserves and teaches Africana healing wisdom in conferences, classes, and consultations globally. Mary’s training in plant based healing began in her Grandma’s garden as a little tot of ’bout two or three years old and continued around the world as an initiate and scholar in West and Central African spiritual traditions. Currently, she keeps house in the Gulf of Mexico Bioregion/Houston TX and Southwest Nigeria.
Mary has presented Africana herbal workshops at Herbalismo, The International Herb Symposium, and the Moonflower Herb Fest. Mary is a featured contributor in the psychology textbook Root Psychology: A Diverse Assessment regarding the intersection of healing and gardening in the Africana diaspora and several other publications and radio shows.
Wilfred Cornwall is a local Afro-Costa Rican herbalist, who serves his community and its visitors in the traditional way of his grandmother and mother before him. Wilfred’s knowledge represents a fusion of African and Native American ethnomedicine that was passed down through generations. His story shows us the true challenge of traditional healers in a modern world and their need to adapt their practices if they are going to save their ancient art form from disappearing. Wilfred is the primary botanical contributor to Hidden Garden’s Afro-Botanical Collection.