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Pointing Hands Quilt

Hands are potent symbols in multiple traditions, serving to call the viewer to attention, or referencing themes of love, trust, welcome, and friendship. Due to its expressive, improvisational quality, this unusual “pointing hands” quilt is thought to have been made by an African American quilter. In African American folk cultures, the term “hand” or “mojo” refers to a protective charm. Although we cannot confirm this unknown quilter’s intentions, the dynamic pointing hands may have drawn upon one or more of these meanings. The quilt’s varied repetitions make for a vigorous visual impact, drawing the viewer into a hypnotic network of alternating patterns and directions.