African Shea Butter

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Container of the Shea Butter
Container of the Shea Butter

Shea butter is a custom item that is a tradition in East and west tropical Africa. Shea butter is a multi-dimensional item made from two oily kernels, which reside inside a shea tree seed. After removing the kernel from the seed, they ground it into a powder and boil it in water. Shea butter serves many different purposes such as medicine, food, lotion, hair, and etc. Shea butter was first introduced to me by my mother in a situation where I got critically bruised from playing basketball for my varsity team in 11th grade in 2019. This bruise was so painful, it was almost impossible for me to walk. My mother applied the butter on it and massaged it and it healed it almost instantly. Shea butter is essential in our African daily lives where we use it almost every day. I am African because both of my parents are from Burkina Faso. However, since I was born in America and I have never been to Africa, there are times when I get lost in the sense of my identity. Nevertheless, utilizing this special shea butter handcrafted by my grandmother in Africa connects me to my African roots in a special way.

Place(s): Burkina Faso
Year: 1998

– Cheuck Valian

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant