Loko is an Ancestral Spirit called Lwa in Haiti. He is the personification of ancestors associated with the iroko tree of Nigeria and called Loko by the Dahomean people. It is under the shade of this huge and straight growing tree that people in Dawomen used to bury their dead. The tree became symbolic of these ancestors and they are all personified as Papa Loko. The ancestors are considered to be the people from whom we have inherited our culture, Eritaj Ginen- West African Heritage. The Ason is the symbol of that heritage. For this reason, the song has Papa Loko giving us the Ason.
The world that we have inherited is a gift from our forefathers. This is the reason why American politicians commonly appeal to the public by questioning what world they will leave to the future generation. This song is able to make the Ason symbolic of our history because the Ason is made from a calabash and the circular portion of it is symbolic of the universe as a whole, our grand shared inheritance. The Ason represents the totality of our history and of the events that we are compelled by our heritage never to forget.
The Dahomean people of the Rada region of Ginen speculated that the universe was shaped like the spherical shape of a calabash. The upper half dome represents the sky, and is symbolic of God’s residence. This upper half contains air. The lower half dome represents the domain of the ancestors and contains water. Between the two domes is a flat earth resting on the water below it and in contact with the air above it. This view of the universe was also proposed by early scientists who observed the apparent dome shape of the sky and witnessed the sun sinking below the horizon onto the lower part of the dome. That the earth floated on water was an observation supported by the fact that many wells were dug throughout West Africa.
The singer yearns for Loko to define the inheritance and Loko calls it Remembrance- never forget. Never ever forget. When we contemplate the structure of the universe, we must never forget that the world we have inherited is one that was acted upon by our forefathers. It is from them that we have inherited it. We must never forget the events in their lives that shaped our world today. We received our world from the forefathers and for that we owe them the debt of Remembrance.
We owe it to those who perished in the Trans-Atlantic trade. We owe it to those who perished in the Revolution. We owe it to those who perished trying to make Haiti a more viable place. And we owe it to those who perished in Goudou Goudou, the earthquake of January 12, 2010. We will never ever forget their contributions to the making of Haiti and our duty to build upon this inheritance.