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The History Of Quilting Based On The Story Of Quilting "Everyday Use" By Alice Walker.

2247 words - 9 pages

Quilts around the world have been a useful thing to most people and essential to African Americans who were brought to America, and were forbidden to practice their traditions. For the most part quilting has been a good thing to do for most people around the world especially African people; it was a symbol of their culture and heritage. They had many uses in quilts. On one hand, they quilted because they felt it was a tradition and heritage and it reminded them of their ancestors and loved ones, which is one of most important themes in Alice Walker story "Everyday Use". On another hand, is that they used quilts to dress themselves because they were poor and they couldn't afford to buy clothes, so they made their own using old worn clothes instead of throwing them a way. For example the arguments that went on between Dee and her mother was over the quilts that her grandmother made from old torn clothes that were worn by the family. And instead of throwing them, grandma decided to make something new out of it, to show the appreciation and how important those cloths were to the family. Walker emphasizes in her story the fact that African Americans were very tight with their culture. Also, in American history, quilting was a big thing for the African Americans people, because quilting did not only serve their domestic needs, but they were also used as codes during slavery.Tracing to how long quilts have existed, scholars say that they were about 4000 years old, and the same patterns used now are the same patterns that were used 4000 years ago. As Wilson points out about the history of the quilting, "the patterns found in west and central Africa textiles are the same as those in the 4000-year-old method of cloth wrapping that preserved the bodies of national leaders of the ancient civilization of Kemet" (Wilson 15). Other research has shown that the earliest quilt was quilted "an ivory carving, found in Temple of Osiris at Abydos in 1903 and currently in the collection of the British Museum, features the king of the Egyptian First Dynasty wearing a mantle/cloak that appears to be quilted, dating back 35 century BC" (Ducey). Since Egypt is in Africa it shows that Africans were exposed to quilting for a long time and as they migrated to America they couldn't leave something that they have been practicing for along period of time. The United States was a new world for most African Americans how left Africa. Africans had many ideas with them about quilting which "scholars are just now beginning to unravel the numerous ways in which valuable African skills, values, and ways of organizing ideas were and are encoded in many art forms" (Tobin 8). Tobin explained that there will a lot of hidden ideas that no one knew about when Africans settled in the United States to keep their heritage and beliefs a life.During slavery, African Americans were treated badly, and with no respect of who they were. The Africans were brought to the U.S. to do one and only one...

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