The High Museum has introduced, “Oasis,” a program designed for patrons to engage through mind, body, and spiritual-based activations such as yoga, sound bath, and lecture series. Photo by Noah Washington/The Atlanta Voice

Recently, The High Museum has been hosting several different programs aimed to attract more than just art-lovers. The most famous of this new series of programming is “High-Frequency Fridays,” a party held on the first Friday of every month that attracts Atlanta’s hippest, and grooviest residents; but to compliment this high octane event, The High Museum has introduced, “Oasis”. The program is designed for patrons to engage through mind, body, and spiritual-based activities such as yoga, sound bath, and lecture series.

“The High Museum has a legacy, and a history of some amazing programming, Wednesday night jazz, high-frequency Friday,” said assistant director, community dialogue and engagement, Carlton Mckay. “Being presented with the opportunity to have a meaningful, thoughtful, and intentional engagement in the museum is amazing.”

This month’s spiritual-based lecture was given by Dr. Taj Anwar Baoll, a Yoruba/Ifa practitioner, who comes primarily out of Southwest Nigeria. The lecture focused on The Egungun, which is the term for the collective embodiment of the ancestors. The Egungun is the masquerade and icon that represents the Yoruba people’s forefathers, which are often celebrated through various festivals throughout Yoruba land.

People of all colors, creeds, and faiths came to listen to the engaging discussion. The stigma of traditional African religion was dispelled by Baoll’s explanation of what it means to practice the faith. Standing right next to the Egungun masquerade costume, Baoll wove in common rituals that we practice in modern-day americanah with the African tradition for a seamless and comprehensible explanation.

“When you talk about your bloodline, you have a specific tradition. Every July you may have a family reunion, and during that reunion, you probably have a tradition, such as baking an apple pie. Every July you bake that apple pie- it doesn’t have to be something as elaborate as an Egungun costume,” Baoll said.