Stitching Hope for the Coast – Pointe-au-Chien garden

2

July 22, 2018 by Dr. G

This is a video I created about the quilt. Enjoy and share!

On the third day of our time at OCEANDOTCOMM, we loaded on to a bus and headed over to meet the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe (PACIT). I blogged previously about our visit and the incredible warmth and kindness we received from the tribal members – including an amazing dinner of home-cooked Louisiana food!

The tribal members provided us stories of their history, as well as their current challenges and what gives them hope. Below is the quilt I made, a simple table runner pattern, that tells the story I want to share about the land, plants, and family.

[To view additional stories from OCEANDOTCOMM participants, view this article on Women of the Bayou and blog post on Southern Fried Science.]

A fabric with a pattern of hands was selected for the back to represent a story from one of the members of the tribe. We learned from the PACIT that in this area, everyone spoke “Indian French” as their first language (sometimes as the only language), and each bayou has its own dialect. The PACIT does not have an Indian language that they speak, but this tribal member joked that the PACIT second language is speaking with their hands, which is what they have to do to signal and communicate with each other when they are out on the shrimp boats. This story brought a smile to all of our faces and a laugh from the group, and I felt this fabric was a perfect addition to the story of the PACIT.

The dark blue on the border, as the first and last stripe, and as the smaller stripes in-between the patterned fabrics represents one of the official colors of Louisiana (the other official colors are white and gold).

Stripe #1 represents the land that the Pointe-au-Chien live off of (yes, they also live off the water, but this story focuses on the farming of the land).

 

 

 

Stripe #2 represents the rising sea level, one of the reasons behind coastal loss for the PACIT.

 

 

 

Stripe #3 is a white pattern with dots, representing the introduction of salt from the rising water level.

 

 

 

Stripe #4 shows mudcracks, representing a land that can no longer be farmed the same way or with the same crops, because of saltwater intrusion. Their fruit trees and pecan trees are examples of what can no longer grow in this area from the saltwater.

 

 

Stripe #5 shows packets of seeds, representing a plan to continue to grow as a community in this location. The PACIT are clear that they want to adapt in place, knowing that plants will struggle to grow with the saltwater intrusion.

 

 

Stripe #6 represents the tools that the PACIT will use to source their food by planting community gardens.

 

 

 

Stripe #7 is one of the new additions to their plant growing – using elevated greenhouses. (OK – so there isn’t a perfect fabric to represent this, but go with me… these are green buildings in air – you can see it, right?)

 

 

Stripe #8 is for the vegetables being grown by the tribe.

 

 

 

 

Stripe #9 is a plant-patterned fabric representing the traditional medicinal plants that have been used by the tribe for generations. The PACIT are planning to build a medicinal garden, as the plants are getting more difficult to find in the wild. The color red is known to represent joy, life, and health.

 

 

Stripe #10 is for the strong sense of family among the PACIT they shared during our visit. The adults of the PACIT wish to teach their children gardening and expose them to their land and culture – they want to hold on to the sense of family. And it is clear that tribal members want to give back to their own tribe by trying to restore the environment. For example, we heard from 20-year old PACIT member Pete who is currently in college studying environmental science. He has seen a barrier island disappear in his lifetime and wants to try to restore the environment. The woven pattern represents the strong family ties, and the color red is for determination, passion, and strength.

 

This is my story of coastal optimism – a story of an Indian Tribe that is committed to remaining on their ancestral land to grow traditional plants, requiring adaptation and restoration. The quilt measures 38 inches wide by 17 inches in height with fabric from Spoonflower (online) and JOANN Fabric & Craft (Springfield and Glen Mills).

So thank you to the members of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe for sharing your time, your history, and your your hospitality. Your strong sense of family and determination was the inspiration that led me to this story!

 


This blog post was created from OCEANDOTCOMM and supported by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON).

2 thoughts on “Stitching Hope for the Coast – Pointe-au-Chien garden

  1. […] media I saw about the quilts – even the Pointe-au-Chien Tribe posted on Twitter about my Growing the Pointe-au-Chien Garden quilt! I hope all of these quilt images and stories are continuing to be shared to further their […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Categories

Follow me on Instagram

Finished this fun data visualization/quilt top that shares the daily Sky Cover measurements from @joides_resolution #EXP390. As sky cover is recorded in units zero to eight, I chose eight different batik fabrics to represent the scale (the deepest blue batik for the blue sky, and the darkest/black batik for when the sky was completely clouded over, and all shades of blue/grey in-between). As the expedition officially was April 7 thru June 7, 2022, there are 62 pieces of data/batik strips. The background fabric is filled with golden stars for the sky, and the bright gold border is my nod to our port city, where the fabric was purchased.
Thank you @SciHistoryOrg for hosting Start Talking Science 2022 - so great to be able to present alongside other Philly scientists about the work we do to a non-STEM audience of all ages! And a great opportunity to share the mission and how we do science at sea on @theJR #EXP390 #EXP393
Back at @pennlivearts this evening to hear the @blindboysofalabama - so incredible, so inspirational! The new songs were great, but my all-time favorite will always be Amazing Grace sung to The House of the Rising Sun (check it out if you have never heard this innovative mashup).
🎼 I love live New Orleans jazz - and tonight, I didn’t have to go to New Orleans, as the jazz came to me! 🎶 Such a fun concert by @newbreed_brassband. 🎵 The best part - the sousaphone player’s high school band teacher was there & brought his trumpet on stage and joined them for a few songs. 🎺 After the first song, he said he was getting emotional, as he was so proud of the group. I get it, teacher, I’m there with you.
Added something new to my teaching space this fall - images of @joides_resolution, expedition patches, and the combined IODP, ODP, & DSDP drill site map! Thanks so much to Brittany (JRSO) for updating the map and getting the sites for #EXP390 & #EXP393 on there! Excited to have these in place before doing a ship-to-shore broadcast later this month (it will be a little strange being on the other side of the iPad this time, but can't wait to share this experience with my students).
%d bloggers like this: