My name is Renaissance Marie Austin and I have finally built up the courage to tell my story. But first, let me lay the groundw...
Celebrating Black History 2019 "Crochet and the Cameroon"
Around this time, I had just received my Ancestry.com DNA results and was truly transformed once I discovered I was closely connected to Ghana. Finally, I had a place of reference and from that time on I felt close to the continent of Africa as a whole more than I had ever felt in my life. See, growing up not raised in black consciousness did not allow me to become rooted in the ideologies of blackness in American let alone a solid relation to Africa from an early age. Taking my DNA test changed all of this and caused me to develop a great appreciation for African culture and the generational process of it spreading through the blood and into the lifestyle of the Black American today.
There are two things that remained with me from this exhibition even after all these years. One was the beautiful large fabric of Kente Cloth hand-woven in Ghana, with small streams of real gold thread. It was very large and displayed beautiful along one wall. It was clear that Kente was and still is the diamond of Ghana. I was also reminded of a deep regret, of a time I gave my small pieces of authentic Kente to Goodwill. I was highly unaware of it's value, clouded in the brain, and was packing getting ready to move to a new city.
Secondly, there was a hat, a crocheted hat, an ancient crocheted hat from the region of the Cameroon and I was intrigued. Being that I am an expert crocheter and instructor and have spent a lot of time seeking additional historic information about crochet, this was new news to me. As a little girl around the time my Grammy taught me the art form of crochet I was always curious, or even assumed really, that most crochet came out of Africa. Of course later, I discovered that that was not entirely true. But this hat was definitely a clue to knowledge I desired to have. So, I decided to dive in a little deeper.
Like most designs and creations there are various styles and meanings to the type of hats made and worn, either status, for a special occasion or just for fashion. Below are links to my two favorite tidbits of information about Crochet Hats from the Cameroon. Thanks for reading!
Article from Tapestrycrochet.com