Was her whiteness a factor in not hearing that story? The Painstaking Process of Making a Persian Rug, Find Out What Makes Stradivarius Instruments So Unique. Maybe the protocols for experiences of belief versus fact are just different. The Quilt Codex. Log cabin quilt in red, green, and black wool, circa 1850. In 1999, Jaqueline Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard published Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad , and the story cycloned through trusted centers of news and knowledge: the New York Times Book Review, NPR, and others. 3 uses today. Stories, recipes, personal experiences, and all the things that were whispered to us when we were young often outweigh scientific fact. There is no historical evidence to indicate that slaves used quilts to communicate information along the Underground Railroad. In addition to studying the visual messages that are within crop circles, there is a body of sound and light vibration research that has emerged around the patterns. 4.5 out of 5 Based on the opinion of 45 people. Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more. Marie Claire Bryant is a poet, storyteller, and archivist interning at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. All charitable donations are paid by GreaterGood.org to benefiting organizations as a grant. Here are five of the most common myths debunked. Show More. 4. All rights reserved. “Now, I would not jump to any conclusions that every African American quilter held their needle pointing to the north, and that is the problem with the Hidden in Plain View book. Just as Negro Spirituals contained hidden messages or secret codes during the Civil War, there have been theories that special quilts were made as a map to guide slaves to the Underground Railroad and freedom. Quilts allow Tindall to sustain a conversation about these men and women who were valiant, who fought slavery by taking the ultimate chance—running, and maybe even trusting the message on a blanket when everything was at stake—and encouraging others to do the same. 2. In February 2007 we invited a woman to talk to us about Quilt Codes and the Underground Railroad. Though not all of her quilts are coded, Tindall is a believer and defender of the codes. Please use your favorite search engine and enter "Barbara Brackman quilt code FAQs" to get historical correct information. These quilts were embedded with a kind of code, so that by reading the shapes and motifs sewn into the design, an enslaved person on the run could know the area’s immediate dangers or even where to head next. Fact Sheet on The "Quilt Code" . If the sky wasn’t clear, look for or listen to the geese flying north in the spring.”. The Underground Railroad operated throughout the South. The Underground Railroad was active until the Civil War ended, meaning there were decades to develop subtle codes and symbols which might have been helpful. How could this interpretation of a quilt block have directed slaves hundreds of miles along a cruel course, across canyons and rivers, all the way to Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Indiana? We tell unforgettable stories about people, ideas, and a wide array of arts and traditions that help us explore where we have come from and where we are going. So, if we truly believe something, as Tindall believes that enslaved people running north were guided by the Flying Geese pattern in quilts, we may have trouble seeing the difference between belief and fact. Quilts were often made to commemorate important family events such as marriage, a birth, or moving to a new place. The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom. Perhaps the code, true or not, is a vehicle for African Americans to explore the trauma they inherited—and the hope. For them, the codes are poetry, healing, and, especially, a means of expressing history. Folklife is a digital magazine of music, food, craft, and culture. Books that emphasize quilt use. Free Shipping+Easy returns. But, there is little hard evidence that these quilt symbols were used in this way. 30% Off Quilting Fabric on Sale. Were they literally supposed to follow the geese? Whether or not you believe Tindall’s interpretation, you might agree her belief provides poetic justifications for belief versus fact. Myth: The Underground Railroad used a series of quilt codes to direct freedom seekers. He has attended numerous major quilt shows with his wife, Dolores, and he can attest to the fact that quilting is a one BILLION dollar industry in the US. “If people’s lives are at stake, then it stands to reason that there would be no trace of the quilts,” Atlanta-based quilt scholar Mary Twining-Baird argues. We thank you for your support! We know them today as the designs that make antique quilts so special and unique. I want to believe it happened. 274 likes. In Collection Sale. The folklore of certain quilts being used as symbols has been presumed true by many, with books Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad in 2000 from authors Jacqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard. BUY NOW. Sharon Tindall uses a historical pattern made up of triangles and rectangles called Flying Geese. Some of the folklore has some inexplicable discrepancies like the bears paw pattern. Code • Home Sew. Via/ Wiki Commons. Filter 273 Offers. Home > Essays > Quilts Quilt Codes and the Underground Railroad. “I simply ask them, ‘Do you think it’s possible?’ Nonverbal communication, symbols, and secrets are all forms of communication.”. But, would hanging a quilt out on the line been the most inconspicuous way to do achieve this? “You really get a sense of enslaved people there,” she says. Unfortunately, the quilt was lost in a flood and there are no pictures, which serves as logic for the general dearth of material evidence of quilts codes today. Additionally, many of the patterns and songs highlighted in this section have been shown to originate after the time of the Underground Railroad. Introduction. Home > Essays > Quilt Codes > Links Quilt Code Links [This is a companion page to Quilt Codes and the Underground Railroad, a talk I gave to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County in February 2007.Some of the comments - particulary the one about the NSA - are on both pages.] “Follow the geese flying north. I asked Tindall what the Flying Geese quilt pattern meant and how it assisted runaways on the Underground Railroad. Via/ Wiki Commons. Simply put, she has faith. Either way, to follow this route would have taken much longer and been much less direct, leading to an increased chance of being caught. See more ideas about underground railroad, underground railroad quilts… Show More. This kind of logic undermines the assumption that quilts were used as code since so little of the clues makes sense when placed under scrutiny. Suffice to say, we’ve spent a lot of time focusing on your pressing habits throughout the Shattered Star Quilt Along. I didn't know anything about quilts. Tindall shared her beliefs on a trip to Liberia, a West African nation originally founded as a colony by the American Colonization Society to repatriate freed and free-born black people from America. Fact or Fiction: Were Quilts Used As Secret Codes for Slaves on the Underground Railroad? Product Details. I can see the promise of such a system. For example, The Double Wedding Ring, Sunbonnet Sue and most of the other quilt patterns supposedly used as code did not exist before the Civil War. Can any of you give me a credible web site ( with an .edu domain, if possible) that SUPPORTS the story? Sep 11, 2020 - Explore Candy Walker's board "Quilt - QR Code" on Pinterest. 274 likes. They carried with them quilts and the stories of an enslaved South. Former slave photographed in the 1930s, name unknown. When a person believes something, they have no need of proof. I have half a dozen reputable web sites that say such codes are a myth. Hope for Today. There is not one single scrap of objective evidence for the so-called "quilt code." BUY NOW. Feel free to photocopy this sheet to help spread the truth about the myth. 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