Indigo Arts Alliance is thrilled to announce that, in early 2021, it will partner with Cove Street Arts to host Soulful Stitching, an exhibition of the handmade, patchwork quilts called “kawandi” of the Siddis of India. This exquisite exhibition has been curated by renowned scholar Henry J. Drewal and scholar/artist Sarah K. Khan, fall 2019 artist in residence at IAA.
The Siddis of Karnataka, India, are the descendants of both early African immigrants to South Asia and enslaved Africans brought to Goa on India’s west coast by the Portuguese beginning in the 16th century. Gradually, they escaped slavery and moved southward into the remote Western Ghatt mountains of Northern Karnataka in order to create free, independent African diaspora communities. While they have adopted, adapted and integrated many aspects of Indian cultures, Siddis have also retained and transformed certain African traditions. In the visual arts, one tradition stands out: the patchwork quilts known as kawandi.
A limited number of these very special kawandi quilts are on pre-sale now. Proceeds help support Indigo Arts Alliance and the Siddi Quilters.