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AfriGeneas States Research Forum

[AL] Quiltmakers of Gees Bend

Quiltmakers of Gees Bend

Wednesday, April 21, 2004 at 7:00PM
Episode 100

The artists are all descended from slaves who worked a plantation called Pettway, located on the Alabama River. The slaver's surname is still ubiquitous in the community. And the people still inhabit the land their forebears once slaved. But now, they own it. Through generations, the women of Gees Bend have taught their daughters to quilt, using any piece of material available - from feed sacks to old work clothes. During times when self-expression was discouraged, singing and the unique quilt patterns represented these African-American's only creative outlets. Geographically
and culturally isolated from other communities, techniques and styles were left to develop with little outside influence, and hence this quilting coterie has been compared to the great artistic enclaves of the Italian Renaissance. Quilts that once kept families of sometimes 16 children warm inside drafty log cabins, now hang in the world's great museums.

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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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