In 2001 I illustrated the book Head, Body, Legs by Won-ldy Paye and Meg Lippert. Won-ldy is a Dan storyteller from Liberia and Meg is a storyteller from the United States – together they turned a Dan origin myth that was told orally into a written tale. My first attempts to illustrate it were not African at all, as I am not African. But when I saw this book of Asafo flags I saw a way in.
Asofo flags were made by the Fante people of Ghana. They began as a Fante response to European flags, and became a unique and vibrant form of art.
I could continue this cross pollination.
I sewed the mermaid and octopus for curtains.
A friend saw my appliqués and sent me this postcard of an appliqué by M. Quisuit of the Nunavut people in Baker Lake, NWT.
Here is an Asafo flag of Funtum Yempa: a powerful and dangerous bush spirit. “A good spirit nourishes her young.”