Traditional Yoruba Fan

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Parent's Wedding and Anniversary Picture
Parent's Wedding and Anniversary Picture

The walls of my house have always represented the story of my family. These walls held memories, feelings, and my family’s identity. The art, and pictures that whisper into the ears of those you care to observe its content. The curator of the stories that the walls told was always my mother, Omolola Adeyemi. She was the unifying factor that made any house we lived in a home. With every piece of art, she was capable of capturing my attention and there was always one hanging piece that I held on to in memory. It was a handmade fan made specifically for my mother for her wedding day. It was made out of brown and white leather with rustic stitching of my mother’s and father’s name with a loosely traced shape of Africa on it. For my mother, this piece symbolized her faith and courage to wait for love which resulted in her moving to America. Born and raised in Aperin, Nigeria her family had little faith when her fiance moved to America with only rushed promises of coming back for her. Months went by with little communication between them until about a year later he wrote a letter proposing and asking her to come join him in the States. The fan was one of the only wedding gifts she was able to bring with her because of it’s flat and lightweight structure. While for her the fan was a symbol of her marriage union and love, for me it always brought my mind back to visits of a place far away, where I share blood, a language, and love with individuals that were oceans away.

Place(s): Nigeria, New York
Year: 1992

– Deborah Adeyemi

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