Saturday, July 17, 2010
70s African tribal
My mother was a missionary for most of her 20s, which was in the 1970s. She lived in a hut in Africa for 2 years, teaching children English, helping to build shelter, and of course, "spreading the word." I'm not exactly sure which part of Africa she was in for this time. She also learned to speak Swahili. These postcards were souvenirs from her time there. I am most fond of the first postcard. I just love, love, love, the intensity of the colors, and the mixed prints. I would wear every one of these dresses along with the hat. In junior high, I wore a full dashiki shirt, pants, and matching cap to school. The black girls were tripping out. One of the girls demanded that I give her my outfit. I replied with ghetto pride (kids that grow up in poor neighborhoods like me don't take shit from anyone, sometimes to our misfortune)"No way, my dad brought this back from Africa." My dad was also a missionary, and still is, though he travels solo. I think of him as a missionary vagabond. My mother, however, traveled far more places than my father. She lived on a kibbutz in Israel for 1 year, lived and worked in China for a year, and even got kicked out of the Kremlin for being a missionary. She passed away a couple of years ago, but I take comfort that her life was filled with adventure. She was a pure heart, and colorful as all heck, like these wonderful postcards.