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I have created a series of work this year, called ‘Inspirations of Tanzania”.  My ideas for this group of work started after a visit from my nephew, Darin, who is  doing some missionary work in Tanzania with the Massai tribe living there . He and his family were helping a small orphanage by building a hotel. He asked me if I could do a rug hooking that may go in the finished hotel.  

They sent me photos while they were in the country showing me the clothing and jewelry they wear and other symbols that were repeated on items in their culture. This led me to research the designs they used on clothing and shields, along with the birds and animals in the area.  I found I was attracted to two of the birds, a red beak and a crested crane. Also, the bright colors in everything in the culture were different from a lot of the natural colors of the birds I’ve been working with.

Read the narrative of my design progression as you view the rugs above, which appear in the order I hooked them.

I felt like I was on the trip with my nephew and family in Tanzania.  They sent photos and got involved with the children in this orphanage.

An intern got involved with this familiy’s life journey.  At this point in time, with the covid, they have not been able to go back but are attempting to adopt 4 of the children if they will be allowed to go into the country at some time in the future.

They will finish their hotel project and I will donate any of my work that they want to help the orphanage.  I also spent time with Darin’s family, Heather and her girls in South Carolina teaching them how to do rug hooking. and hearing more about their stay with the Maasai tribe.  They want to go back and show the people how to rug hook, perhaps with simple tee shirt material.