Fashion Is Language
Sage Paul Cardinal was the first that I heard say that indigenous fashion is a language. I witnessed what she meant when I attended my first Indigenous Fashion Week Runway Show in Toronto. The experience was mind blowing and changed the direction of my art-making hands. Indigo dyeing came back to The People on Lumbee Land at the studio of Patricia Brayboy, artist and Head Ceremonial Lady for her people. Through Pura Fe to Sage, what was nurtured and protected in my bloodline was shared with indigenous people in Toronto. We are broken indigenous women suffering from multi-generational trauma, but our time to heal ourselves and our land is now. One of the ways we can heal is by creating color from plants.
So, as we celebrate Native American Heritage, I would like to honor the rebirth of what appeared to be lost but was instead preserved by Skaru:re Toisnot people traveling Contentnea Creek. Stories of birth at Mercy Hospital, survival skills nurtured on Daniel Hill, and The Civil Rights Movement given a voice at Charles H. Darden High School. My Skaru:re ancestral homeland is also the land of Jim Crow colonizing settlers in the heart of Dixie.
It’s a land made famous by once being the world’s largest flue cured tobacco market. It’s the land taken March 20-23, 1713 by the treacherous and universally despised Colonel John Barnhill of South Carolina by massacring Skaru:re people at Fort Neyuher:uke, kidnapping survivors and marching them from the Coastal Plains of Eastern, North Carolina to Port Charleston to be sold into slavery.
Least I forget! Why it’s important that I survive the pandemic! Why I have to overcome my multi-generational broken heart by focusing on helping the 7th generation behind me. Yes, it’s possible for me to restore my childhood home in 2022. Mark 9:23 “Jesus said to him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (NKJV) | “If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” (NIV) I pray for preserving steadfast faith, and Abraham’s unshakable hope to honor my dying mother’s prayers for me to share our stories about growing and harvesting natural color, dyeing cloth, and stitching. TGBTG