vivaARTS Network

African American textiles

In 2007, vivaARTS Network received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to complete the Omo Aso Quilt project.  The Omo Aso Quilt project wove common threads of cultural traditions through different African-derived textile and beading traditions.  The master artists included Sina Olajuwon, a Nigerian master artist specializing in understitch embroidery and appliqué work.  Shaka Zulu from New Orleans, whose family has participated in the “Indian” masquerading tradition associated with the annual Mardi Gras for several generations, lectured and led a workshop about the soft sculpture beading style that is associated with the Mardi Gras contingent’s costumes.  Regina Califa Calloway provided instruction in quilt traditions, altar installations, and ceremonial regalia related to African-based religions. Charmaine Ridder, a practictioner of Yoruba traditions, provided a workshop on three dimensional beading.