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Dorothy Montgomery's "A Wa Ka" Quilt

A powerful reunion

This quilt, made by South Carolina fabric chronicler, author, and musician Dorothy Montgomery, depicts a powerful reunion. In 1997, two women separated by many miles and very diverse life experiences mingled their tears and sang a song connecting them across time, the horrors of slavery, and the dramatic changes suffered by Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mary Moran of Harris Neck, Georgia, and Baindu Jabati of Senehun Ngola, Sierra Leone, stood side by side at a grave singing a funeral song that returned to Africa 200 years after traveling to America with an enslaved Mende woman. Moran learned the “A Wa Ka” song from her mother, Amelia Dawley, and in 1932, Lorenzo Dow Turner recorded Dawley singing it. In the 1990s, scholars Joseph Opala, Cynthia Schmidt, and Tazieff Koroma discovered the recording at the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University and brought the two women together.

"A Wa Ka" quilt

Object Details

See more items in
Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Accession Number
2014.0009.0001
Artist
Dorothy Montgomery
Medium
cotton, polyester, batting
Dimensions
78 1/4 × 63 1/2 in. (198.8 × 161.3 cm)
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Type
quilt
GUID
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/dl87bef3e8b-b1de-4af5-811f-5880c94849e5
Record ID
acm_2014.0009.0001

"A Wa Ka" quilt

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