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Quilts; Underground Railroad

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Title: Quilts; Underground Railroad


1
Quilts Underground Railroad
  • Presenters Bridgett, Edith, Rosetta, Gayle, and
    Patricia

2
Questions to think about?
  • What are the origins of quilting?
  • How were quilts used during the Underground
    Railroad?
  • What do the symbols mean?
  • Slave quilts fact or fiction?

3
What are quilts, and what is quilting?
  • Quilt A warm covering made of two layers of
    cloth filled with material with loft, stitched
    together with lines or patterns
  • Quilting two layers of fabric with lines of
    stitching

4
What are the origins of quilting?
  • People believed it originated in China and Egypt
    simultaneously
  • 11th Century Crusaders brought a form of quilting
    to Europe from the Middle East
  • Quilts made during the 11th were made out of
    necessity because of severe cold
  • In the 19th Century it became the great Quilting
    Age in Europe and America. Quilting Bees became
    popular

5
Quilting in Africa
  • Quilts were weaved instead of stitched, Early
    African Civilizations used looms
  • Work was done by men
  • Loud color were used so that they could be seen
    from a distance and enemies could be spotted
  • Patterns used could symbolize status, birth,
    marriages, and geographic locations
  • Patterns were woven to ward off evil spirits

6
Use of Quilts on the Plantation
  • Many slaves quilted blankets left from old flour
    sacks, feed sacks, worn clothes, rescued
    curtains, and old coats
  • Slaves quilted blankets for coverlets for their
    Masters
  • Slaves often hung out their master quilts in
    order that they may air out

7
So how were quilts used on the Underground
Railroad?
  • Many quilts had stitches that were used as maps.
    Maps for the road heading North, Maps of the
    Plantation.
  • They included the manner of how to act and what
    to wear on the escape route North
  • Quilts also included well wishes, and a way to
    ward off evil spirits for their journey North

8
Some common Quilt Patterns?
  • Bear Claw- It means follow the path of the bear
    it would lead to water

9
Monkey Wrench
  • Gather tools for the journey

10
The Wagon Wheel
  • Pack ALL the necessary supplies, as if you were
    packing a wagon

11
Cross Roads
  • Cleveland was the Cross Roads into Ohio and there
    were 5 different freedom trails from here

12
Log Cabin
  • Draw a symbol in the dirt for the Conductor to
    see, or look for a safe house with the same
    pattern

13
Shoo Fly
  • It is believed that this was a free black that
    could help slaves escape to freedom

14
Bow Tie
  • Dress up, wear new clothes, so they you could
    pass for free blacks living in the North

15
Flying Geese
  • Flying Geese fly North in the Spring time, so
    slaves should go North

16
Drunkards Path
  • Slaves should walk in a zig zag path in order to
    confuse whoever was tracking them

17
Star
  • Follow the North Star

18
Fact or Fiction?
  • No artifacts left behind
  • Recorded stories of slaves, they never mentioned
    it nor Abolitionist working on the Underground
    railroad
  • Stories using slave quilts were passed down by
    word of mouth
  • Recorded histories of symbols being used in
    fabric in Africa, why couldnt that idea have
    traveled
  • Spirituals, objects on the plantation and safe
    houses, body language were used to help slaves
    escape, so why not quilts

19
Activity
  • You will create your own quilt square using
    construction paper
  • Using the shapes create your own secret quilt
    square.
  • As you are working thinking how this activity can
    be used across the curriculum.
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