In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant
A handbag comprised of toghu fabric.
A handbag comprised of toghu fabric.

My mother was born and raised into the royal family of a small village in the northwestern region of Cameroon. She always admired how her parents and grandparents continuously stood out at celebratory gatherings with special attire. The fancy outfits that were constructed of black velvet and adorned with intricate patterns of red, white and yellow thread always made her ancestors stand out. This type of fabric is referred to as “toghu” and it was to be worn strictly by the adults of royal Cameroonian families. My mother had not quite grasped the full significance of the attire until she began a new chapter in her life. Before leaving for higher education abroad, she visited her grandmother to bid her farewell. As a parting gift, she handed my mother a handbag that is made out of the same toghu that her elders proudly wore. My mother eagerly took the bag with her to England and, eventually, the United States. When my mother paid more attention to the design, she noticed that "Our Culture" was embroidered on the bottom of the bag. She then realized that not only did her grandmother gift her the bag as a token for her academic achievements and maturity but also as a message to always preserve and honor her Cameroonian heritage. Her grandmother’s message to never forget her culture is forever ingrained in her.

Place(s): Cameroon

– Miya

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant