Fire in Steady Hands (Makhtar Mbacke & Umme Mbacke)


Portrait of Makhtar Mbacke and his daughter Umme Mbacke

Oil on linen
Copyright Rose Adare 2012


“I first met Makhtar five years ago, chanting over the fires of a sweat lodge, his rattle pounding out the dark. A shaman, a Rastafarian, and a dear friend, Makhtar is a true embodiment of strength, fortitude, and compassion. The scars on his chest are testaments of the Sun-Dance, the medallion an emblem of his faith, and the Talking Feathers a symbol of great council. When his beautiful girl Umme was born, I knew I had to paint them together—as a guardian of purity—yet during the sitting it was little Umme who grabbed her father’s sacred rattle. I will never forget her decisive innocence, nor the vigor glowing in her eyes…

The nautilus maintains our generational secrets, spiraling our traditions out towards an expansive light. Both Makhtar and Umme blessed the painting with their breath, Umme herself providing the very last brush stroke.”

Review Fire in Steady Hands (Makhtar Mbacke & Umme Mbacke).