|Fig. 1 New Orleans African American Museum|
|Fig. 2 NOAAM outdoor mural|
|Fig. 3 NOAAM, banner|
The Bambara exhibit presents "an aesthetically significant historical and educational investigation of the ethnic origins of the earliest Africans (Bambara, Wolof and Mandingo) brought to Louisiana... The exhibition focuses on the culture and traditions of those captives brought to Louisiana on slave ships between 1719 and 1743 during the French Colonial Period" (NOAAM, 2012). Artifacts, maps and historical records (ship and cargo) of the 25 slave ships that made the voyage from the west coast of Africa to Louisiana are displayed in the exhibit (fig. 3). Additionally, objects such as ritual African art and clothing are showcased which reflect the cultural, scientific and spiritual heritage of these African groups.
|Fig. 4 iron alter (asen)|
|Fig. 5 mother and child|
|Fig. 6 door locks|
The beautifully carved door locks (fig. 6) paired both form and function. The locks, made from both wood and metal, often depicted animal or human forms. Each lock "reflected religious beliefs or legends of the community" (NAOOM, 2012). What I found most fascinating, was that the door locks were used to prohibit entrance into homes by evil spirits as well as evil persons. If you're in New Orleans and looking for a unique and culturally enriching experience, I'd suggest a visit to the New Orleans African American Museum. This is a rewarding trip for the entire family. Click here to learn more about NOAAM.