Indigo Griots: Urban Dyer

Valérie d. Walker with Cecile Margaret Lewis, and special guest Douglas Ewart. 2011. Featured in Confluence, Surface Design Association (SDA) Fibre Arts International. Ceci's Garden, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  

Indigo Griots features a seven day immersive, hands-on creation in a natural, local site entwined with story-sessions and natural dye-vats. This unique exploratory installation & interactive performance features Vdw and Cecile Margaret Lewis prepare and dye fabric from a 100% natural Indigo Vat, where they source materials from the local Turtle Bread Company (i.e. wood ash lye from oven to create alkaline liquid) and Ceci's Garden. As they indulge in the dyeing process, they share stories of magic and life to the audience as Urban North American, Multi-cultural artists, chanting primordial songs of community, transformation and joy. As a final performance, Vdw and C. Lewis welcome special guest Shakuhachi flute composer and Atlantic-Passage Griot Douglas Ewart.

Special thanks to Concordia University/CUPFA Professional Development Grant program for their support of this project.

photo documentation tba. 

Final Performance in Indigo Griots by Douglas Ewart. 2011. 


What is a Griot (gree-oh)?


Griot is a western African word for a traveling poet, performer, musician, or storyteller whose recognized function is to keep and perpetuate the oral traditions and history of a village or family. Traditionally, this oral history was the cultural knowledge repository of a community. In the Mali Empire’s Mande Society this role is called jali.

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