Sunday, October 24, 2004

This is a postcard of an African griot which an unknown man sent to his 2 children back in Australia in about 1911 or 1912. it appears he was on a scientific mission. I have about 50 or so postcards he wrote to his children each with ethnographic interest. Initially I collected the postcards with the idea of creating a book ( about 20 years ago ) but I am now revisiting them with my eye on textiles. Griots are the keepers of stories and traditions in societies which retain their cultural memory through oral traditions. His coat is a fascinating array of patches and rough stitches and stitched and twisted ropes. No doubt he carried many charms and amulets as part of the attire.The back of the postcard reads: " We saw and heard several Bedouin musicians hammering away at their tomtoms and chanting or shouting a weird song- another dirty fellow in rags busy trying to rake in some coins". I wonder what the mans children thought of the postcards....


Julie Zaccone Stiller said...

This is a wonderful photo, I can see there is a lot to learn from these types of old photos and postcards. Reminds me of the Folkwear Book of Ethnic Clothing, they used vintage postcards to illustrate the book, showing how they made up their ethnicwear patterns.

Love your new blog, it inspired me to start my own. I'm on Alternative Quilt and Kerrismatics...small world, right?

Elle said...

I love the Folkwear Book of Ethnic Clothing. I found many of the designs in it inspiring for quilt ideas.

Great postcard. When I was in Senegal, my friend told us how griots were often buried in hollow baobab trees.