Gift of the artist, in honor of Marjorie Lorrian Robinson
Statement by MaPó Kinnord, on her artistic response to Shai Parker’s experience:
AYA is a Ghanaian Adinkra symbol of Endurance. Shai Parker is rendered as a Sowei spirit mask used by the Sande Society of Sierra Leon in West Africa. These masks are used “during rite-of-passage” ceremonies that signify a girl’s transition to adulthood.” These masks are commissioned and performed by the elder women of the Sande society.
The endurance of pain as an element in rites-of-passage is a concept embraced by many cultural traditions. For this sculptural work, culturally enforced female circumcision is conceptually being replaced by incarceration. For all the women who have endured these transformative life events and have “re-entered society” there is an uncelebrated healing journey each woman will not face alone.
This exhibition has granted me the opportunity to make connections in my role as an artist to the spirit of a Sowei, who dances out an acknowledgement of newly gained power through endurance.
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This object was included in the following exhibitions: