Over the years we’ve received some of the same questions over and over and over and over. Here are some of the answers. For even more insight check out our History page
Brushing our teeth — such a commonplace activity today, has been around for a long time. Egyptians were concerned about their dental hygiene. We know this today because they also had the good habit of being entombed with all their treasures. So we were able to discover that tombs from 3000 years before Christ contained small tree branches whose ends had been frayed into soft fibers. A variety of oral hygiene measures have been performed since the dawn of time. This has been verified by various excavations done all over the world, in which toothpicks, chewsticks, tree twigs, linen strips, birds’ feathers, animal bones and porcupine quills were recovered. Those that originate from plants are tasty twigs and although primitive, they represented a transitional step towards the modern toothbrush. It has been stated that about seventeen plants could be counted as natural sources for several of these oral hygiene devices.Scientific name: Garcinia kola, Gouania Lupiloides, Salvadora Persica Common Names: African chewstick, Jamaican chewstick, siwak, miswaak
Before Chewstick first came into being, countless names were considered. At the time the neo-soul movement was fairly well established in popular music and Afro-Centric pride was creeping back into the mainstream. One of the social memes that came with it was the re-introduction of the Chewstick as a “back-to-basics, I know my history” symbol. It also has a ritualistic, meditative aspect to it and was considered a metaphor for “how we take care of our body, we must take care of our mind and soul”. It was tabled as a name for consideration both due to its subtlety, historical significance, cheekiness and sticky-ness (pardon the pun). It still remained undecided for quite some time as other more familiar names and concepts were considered, then tossed, considered then tossed. Upon further research it was discovered that Chewsticks were not just African artifacts but that virtually every ancient culture had its own variant of a Chewstick. Furthermore, due to the global disparity between extreme wealth and extreme poverty, Chewsticks are still a more common method of maintaining ones teeth around the world. Chewsticks are a symbol of the oneness of humanity, the common connection we all have and the common origin of all people; the perfect name for an organization whose vision is to empower one, and to enrich all.
A storyteller in a modern context bound by no medium, or ethnic group. Dedicated to keeping the truth of thier culture and history alive.
The Chewstick family comprises of Griot of every medium and background. We are unified under the banner of “Neo-Griot” because we all have one primary unifying factor, we are storytellers. Stories are shared through our voice, skills and actions. Stories which we deem essential to our existance and to culture as a whole.
It has been said that a society can measure itself by the respect it has for it’s artists, for artists show us how we were, are and long to be. Some see artists as Michelangelo or Aretha Franklin, which, while true, fails to praise some of the more common vanguards of our society who contribute to our everday realities. These are people just like you who yearn to learn, teach and enjoy life’s blessings, doing so in the most artful of ways. We are called Neo-Griot and we are here to stay.
We have a book at the door of the Neo-Griot Lounge that we use to organise the night, if you would like to perform simply sign-up and wait patiently for your turn. Each artist gets anywhere from 5 -10 minutes, however we encourage you to be considerate of other artists and not take up too much time.
There are no tickets for the Chewstick Neo-Griot Lounge and the entrance fee is taken at the door. Seating is on a first come, first claim basis.
We have seen a huge variety of performances ranging from rap to bagpipes, on any given night you can expect to experience something that you’ve never experienced before! Check out the videos for further insight.
Chewstick is a haven for all and we pride ourselves on breaking down ill-perceived social barriers within the community. Come one, come all, come as you are.
Yes please! If you would like to get involved please feel free to send us an email, with a brief description of your interests, skillset and availability. We are looking for volunteers but are not in a position to hire anyone at this time. If you’re interested, drop us a line!
Sure, we’ll set you up with a table and let people know throughout the night what you’re about, just provide the host for the night with a brief description.
Yes, we organise community outreach programs in the schools, prisons & streets, and we help to manage opportunities for artists in the community. Explore the website for more insight into what Chewstick has been up to lately.
We have assisted countless organizations in generating awareness and interest in their initiative. We love to help where we can and base each project on it’s own merit. Feel free to contact us about what Chewstick can do with your organization.
That’s totally up to you. Most of our events and activities tend to be mature, meaning heavy, not XXX. The Neo-Griot Lounge takes place in a bar, legally all minors must be accompanied by an adult. The content is wide and varied and can be potty mouthed and risque at times, so that’s your call to make, but we have had parents bring their kids countless times in the past and most tend to gain a whole new respect and appreciation from their child as a result. The decision is yours and should be based on your relationship with your child and the maturity of the child. We would recommend coming to check it in advance if your in doubt or watch the videos to get a feel for it. And please, if your kid got skills, bring them to our TWIGS Youth Open-Mic Jam Session that takes place the 2nd Saturday of every month!