Photographs by Juliana Kasumu
From Moussor to Tignon is a collection of works completed by Juliana Kasumu during her summer residency with the Olaju Art Group in New Orleans, LA. Through this photo-essay, she explores the evolution of the headwrap worn by women of color as a means for cultural reclamation during the 18th century. Kasumu’s focus is the cultural exchange between Creoles in Louisiana and signares in Senegal, who wore this style as a form of social protest against oppressive tactics from colonial powers.
The headwrap has since become notorious for symbolizing a variety of movements related to African-American culture with origins in West Africa. As a continuation of her Irun Kiko series, From Moussor to Tignon offers a unique perspective into the connections between contemporary fashion and cultural traditions.
Kasumu’s research advisor was subject expert, Madam Barbara Travigne, who is a published author on topics concerning the tignon and free Creole women of color. During her time in residence, Kasumu made use of the archives at the Historic New Orleans Collection and the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University. Her accompanied essay looks at the exoticism of the head-tie and how overtime the style has been both re-appropriated and re-appreciated by women of color. This series highlights Kasumu’s ability to intertwine cultural history with present-day society in the form of a personal narrative.
The exhibition will open at Musical Bridges Around the World Art Gallery on Saturday, January 7 and run through March 3, 2017. The opening reception will feature live music and wine in celebration of this phenomenal body of work. Here participants will be able to engage directly with Juliana Kasumu and view works from her collection.