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Philadelphia Native’s Dying Wishes Leads To An Historic Burial In The Land Of Her Cameroonian Ancestors

PHILADELPHIA NATIVE’S DYING WISHES LEADS TO AN HISTORIC BURIAL IN THE LAND OF HER CAMEROONIAN ANCESTORS


AfricanAncestry.com and ARK Jammers Connection Partnership Vital to Extending Meaningful Ancestral Experiences in Africa through The African Reconnection Program

Philadelphia native Elinor Estelle Taylor McCollum was laid to rest in Yaoundé, Cameroon – the land of her DNA-proven Tikar and Ewondo ancestors. McCollum, through her son Victor McCollum, traced her maternal roots to Cameroon using AfricanAncestry.com.     

The first-of-its kind burial ritual was facilitated through the Ancestry Reconnection Program (ARP) -- an initiative conceived by Baltimore-based ARK Jammers Connection in conjunction with AfricanAncestry.com. After receiving DNA-certified ancestry of origin, the ARP steps in to deepen and extend connections through resources, cultural exchanges and journeys, among other supports.

McCollum who was an 80-year old former educator, passed away in 2019 after spending several months in Nigeria. A family decision was made that she be cremated so that her remains can journey back Cameroon in 2021.

“The power Africa and DNA validates that ancestral ties are unbreakable, timeless and spaceless,” said Avline Ava, founder of Ark Jammers.

McCollum’s burial was held on September 1 as part of ARP Cameroon 2021 -- a six-day lineup of sacred events running from August 31 – Sept. 5. The McCollum family took part in the Funeral Ceremony Transfer, which is a ritual that must precede the burial to ensure that she takes her rightful place among her ancestors. The Funeral Ceremony Transfer was performed by anthropologist François Bingono Bingono and the traditional Leaders of the Ewondo and Tikar peoples. McCollum’s final resting place is at the Ethnographic Museum of the Peoples of the Forest.

ARP Cameroon 2021 is supported by the Head of State H.E. Paul BIYA; the institutional assistance of the Embassy of Cameroon to the USA and Cameroon authorities; the active participation of Cameroon Traditional Chiefs, Suriname and French Guiana Maroon Leaders, as well as many engaged members of Cameroon civil society.

Media can contact Nichole Taylor at Ntaylor@AfricanAncestry.com for more information.

About AfricanAncestry.com, Inc.

Founded in 2003, African Ancestry Inc. (AfricanAncestry.com) pioneered genetic ancestry tracing utilizing its proprietary database of African lineages to more accurately and safely assess present-day countries of origin and tribes for people of African descent. With a commitment to never sell or share DNA, AfricanAncestry.com has demystified African roots for more than a million people including consumers, communities and renown notables. AfricanAncestry.com is a Black-owned enterprise headquartered in Washington, DC. and prides itself for being in the ‘Business of Being Black.’

About ARK Jammers Connection, Inc.

The ARK Jammers are “Feeders and Diffusers of Kindness”! They Offer true kindness and amazing hospitality to ARP beneficiaries; then ask them to “Pay It Forward.” Thus, the chain reaction of kindness continues to spread without interruption. ARK Jammers Connection, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) NGO founded in the United States in 2009. The ARK in our name stands for "Acts of Random Kindness”. Media can contact Avline Ava at avline@arkjammers.com.

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