There’s no doubt that the illegal transportation of Wanderer slave ship captives from their African homes and their subsequent transplantation in North America is an incredible story in itself. But when the creation of their face jugs in the southern potteries of Edgefield, SC, is considered, it’s an overwhelmingly compelling piece of US history that must be explored in depth and embedded in the collective memory of this country.
I have been on an amazing journey that started when my grandfather discovered a face jug in Philadelphia, PA, in 1950. Upon inheriting that unearthed item, I began my own search for the meaning and provenance of face jugs. The people, their struggles, it’s significance and power is immense. Our upcoming book, written and researched with the collaboration of Dr. Jason Young of the State University of New York, Buffalo, is set to be published by University of Georgia Press in 2016. A wonderfully researched article has been published in “Ceramics in America” with all the recent research and can be found here: http://www.upne.com/0982772225.html by Claudia Arzeno and April L. Hynes.
We are thrilled to collaborate with award winning documentary filmmakers, Christie & Jamie Koelker with StorylineMedia and share the opportunity to be part of exploring the intertwined stories of the Wanderers and their face jugs. On Tuesday, August 11th, and Wednesday, August 12th, we will be filming the first set of interviews with Wanderer descendants and scholars on the subject of African American/Afro-Carolinian culture and experts on Kongolese art and spiritual relics in Aiken, SC.
We are planning an exciting lineup of interviews which will be sharing their individual perspectives on camera, while giving a voice to those courageous survivors whose lives touched so many and whose legacy endures in the vessels they crafted and in the new American culture they created.
The interviews we gather during this first session will be permanently archived in their entirety in the Aiken County Historical Museum. They will also provide us with excerpts to use for gaining more funding for a complete, broadcast-length (or two) movie; a curated website and film festival movies.