WELCOME TO THE Underground Railroad Secret Quilt Code ON-LINE Museum Exhibit
hosted the UGRR Secret Quilt Code Museum Exhibit in Underground Atlanta 2005-2007.
Click on 2015 PQ Traveling Exhibit Brochure for more infomation
Please scroll down to view our On-line Quilt Code Exhibits and check back we will add and change it weekly!
Below is my old commerical for the Exhibit
Click on it to see the museum in the Background
* Please Note: (The phone number is now (404) 468-7368
and it is on the road and not in Underground Atlanta)
The African Collections of the UGRR Secret Quilt Code Museum
Our colloctions are not just quilts
The drum below is a "She" Drum from Ghana, Africa.
The real talking drums in Nigeria are 10 ft. long and 7ft. wide with long slits on the top.
Boys trained all their lives to play for celebrations, religious ceremonies, marriages, deaths and to signal war.
These drums are never moved from where they are fashioned.
Below Ghana's Kente Textile Exhibit
& Video Presentation Area
We've had many request for an on-line museum so that patrons around the world could share their experience and new guest could visit us.
I would like to thank the 850,000 visitors that signed our journals and shared their family stories with us.
We will preserve you words and culture for generations to come. - T. R. Kemp 2013
In addition to our traveling museum exhibits, we continue to house a small exhibit of the collection of Farrow-McDaniel Quilts in Malden, WV
at Booker T. Washington’s boyhood home purchased by West Virginia State University.
On-Line Museum Gallery
We want to share the Exhibit with you. Here are textiles from the African Collection! Once you see the patterns in the African Textiles you will recognize the patterns that are being called American Civil War Era quilt patterns.
Our African Collections
Many people have heard that the African people use drumming to communication over long distances.
Textiles were also used as maps and information for centuries.
We have many examples of symbolic and textile languages in our collections.
There seems to be a controversery around our suggesting that Africans had textile maps and symbolic textile languages.
Both survive, are still used and are still understood worldwide today.
Each individual pattern shown on the textiles
in my collection is part of a symbolic
language still spoken in Africa.
You also speak and understand textile languages.
If I say the words, "a soldier, nun, biker, a football player, a policeman", no matter where you live, an image comes to mind.
You recognize the purpose and position of the individual by what they are wearing.
I was taught that even the buttons in European attire was a show of power, wealth and prestige in past centuries.
Being decendants of metalsmith Peter & Eliza Farrow
Our collections include lots of artifacts made of metals.
I will continue to add photos here so check back weekly.
We always have parts of the exhibit that are "Hands - On" in the Exhibitions
We have over 30 various size drums in our collections, some we have available for for the patrons to play.
Our textiles don't just show the Quilt Patterns but amazing unique dying techniques that are being studied world wide.
This textile shows two different shades of Indigo
desired by kingdoms world wide.
Napolean Bonaparte of France wanted the makers of the dye. In the 1660's France took half the Island of Hatie from Spain and called it St. Domingue.
Napolean wanted the scarlet, purple and blue indigo to color his banners and royal robes.
Slavery was abolished in France in 1779, but allowed forced labor to continue in St. Domingue (later called Hati), which France had aquired from Spain. They used slave labor becoming one of the wealthiest colonies in the world producing indigo, sugar, cotton and coffee.
According to the Bible over 40 scriptures contain the directions for the use of the colors
blue, purple & scarlet colors for clothing of clergy, cloth and religious implements.
It also says who could make the blue purple dye and fine linens required by scripture. Exodus 26:1
Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them
Exodus 26:4 |
And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second.
Exodus 26:36 |
And thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework.
2 Chronicles 2:14 |
The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father. (King James Version)
Saught after since biblical days the sons of the daughters of Dan, Caanintes and a man from Tyre had the knowledge of how to make the blue dye for the temple ceremonies and for the tassels of the prayer shawls
Indigo dye like the ones used in the textiles below were in use in Africa centuries before America was "founded"!
African people who had knowledge of indigo agriculture were kidnapped and brought to America to work on indigo plantations.
The enslaved people die after years of growing & producing the dye it gets into the skin and is fatal!
Some quilts tell a story just like a book has pages,
this story quilt below has panels to tell this African Bride's Story.
Can you read the symbols
in the textile below?
If so, please E-mail me at email@example.com or go to the UGRR Secret Quilt Musuem Facebook page and tell me what you see and how you know the language.
How many Hebrew symbols can you find below?
Through out Africa Textiles were not just used as maps the one below tells information about the celebration of the Dogon people of West Africa.
The African mud cloths in our
collection show the happy of the African tribal culture prior to captivity for slavery in America.
Black pots shown in the mud cloths below were used for cooking family meals in Africa and our family has their cooking pots here in America.
It was not just the quilt code they remembered when brought to America for slavery.
Our family fashioned bowls, cups and dippers from gourds in America the same way they did in Africa.
They used the shade of trees and brush arbors in America to gather, praise and worship.
Elders gather in a community space the same way they did/do in Africa.
The strip quilted Mud Cloth textile shown below is an African quilting techniques done first in Africa.
The cotton is grown twisted into thread, woven into strips, the individuals trips are then sewn together into quilt tops and dyed with different colors of mud painted on and then dried in the sun.
The Cross Roads & Rails (Logs) Quilt patterns are shown below is on the border of the strip Mud Cloth Quilt Top.
Agricultural cultivation with tools, animal domestication, carring items on their heads are a few of the African Culture depicted on these West African strip quilted mud cloths in our African Collection at the UGRR Secret Quilt Code Exhibits.
This bow tie pattern shown below in the border was among the artifacts found at Igbo-Ukwu, Nigeria dig by Thurston Shaw & team in 1950. He dated the find at 900 AD. (Its use in Nigeria certainly predates American Civil War 1861.)
Our African Collection includes paintings, jewerly, copper images, baskets, dolls, photos, musical instruments, weapons, animal skins, documents, clothing and not just quilts.
"Children can play with pin wheels"
Is part of the Quilt Code that reminds us of the hard work children suffered when they had no toys.
Many Americans grew up during the depression and their families could not afford toys.
After seeing our doll collections patrons wanted to make one their own!
Below are two of the mask that show the Flying Geese quilt patterns in both designs
We had 28 African countries represented at the UGRR Quilt Code Museum gift shop.
All had textile languages that pre-date the American Civil War 1861-1865.
Textile patterns used are now called "Civil War Era American Quilt Patterns".
(Only in America)
The Zambian Handicraft Association sent carved woods including tables doors, semi-precious stone items, jewelry, paintings, textiles, Zulu Weapons, Animal skin artifacts, masks, musical instruments, copper pictures, and more with the Mr. Joseph & Ensofa Kosa's to help interpret and document the Zambian culture.
Pictured above, Ensofa Kosa assisted Mrs. Teresa Kemp with photographing and identifying each South African Zambian mask. He knew the use and the tribe of Zambian or the historical use in the ceremonies of the South African people.
Our guest were able not just to view the majestic art but understand the languages, the culture and the history from indigineous, multi-lingual representives.
Kosa brought me a "tree bark" map of the historic Zambian slave trade and told our patrons about current slavery.There are 5 "slaves trees" under which slaves were held, traded and sold for centuries.
I have been surprised at historians & researchers who say they were never taken to America for slavery or that slavery ended when I am still fighting slavery in Atlanta today!
We present copies of photos of Slave Auctions, copies of Anti-Slavery posters, UGRR Stations, Abolitonist, implements of slave restraint and methods of Escape were featured in the UGRR Quilt Code Exhibit.
Our collections are not just quilts and artifacts.
Aunt Jemima a postbellumDoll Collection
includes figurines, syrup dispensers, toothpick holders,
We have newspapers, posters, copies of handbills, military enlistment records, voter records,
Glynn County 1844 & 1858 Dover Hall Plantation wills,
and my great grandfather David Richardson Strother's
1870 Rockhill Plantation owner,
Slave appraisements, bills of sale, birth certificate,
death certificates and bible records.
organizational photos and many more artifacts used to document our families diverse American experience and UGRR Abolitionist legacies.
The Quilt Code is only one of 38 different Methods of Escaped used by slaves on the Underground Railroad.