The tradition continued after the city became part of the US with the Louisiana Purchase.
As African music had been suppressed in the Protestant colonies and states, the weekly gatherings at Congo Square became a famous site for visitors from elsewhere in the U.S.
Because of the immigration of refugees (some bringing slaves) from the Haitian Revolution, New Orleans received thousands of additional Africans and Creoles in the early years of the 19th century.
They reinforced African traditions in the city, in music as in other areas. Many visitors were amazed at the African-style dancing and music. Observers heard the beat of the bamboulas and wail of the banzas, and saw the multitude of African dances that had survived through the years.
In making this necklace, the archived map image was etched onto a piece of raw metal via a heated image transfer method. After an acid bath and a neutralizing solution, it was patinaed for additional depth.
It was then polished, sanded, lacquered, etc.
The necklace's patina will evolve naturally over time and become even more personal and unique.
1.25" x 2"
Shipping cost: $8.00
Hailing from New Orleans, I have always been inspired by the built environment around me and the various states of its decay, as well as the fleeting ephemera we often fail to appreciate each day.
My jewelry work comprising metal etchings of historic New Orleans maps - some dating from as early as the 1700s culled from archives - make permanent an ephemeral aspect of our city’s history. From raw sheets of metal they transform into jewelry through an intensive, handcrafted process involving heat image transfers, various etchants, patinas and polishes, as well as hammer forming, ultimately becoming small, wearable archives in suspension.
This adornment immortalizes the transitory landscapes of New Orleans’ history: from trade routes and forgotten swamps to abandoned asylums whose architectural residue still decorates the landscape today.
Ultimately, my work blurs the lines between the past and the present, weaving the historic antique with a contemporary chic.
Brandi Couvillon is a New Orleans artist living and working between two rivers - the Mississippi and the Amazon.
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