1 GOLDEN RICE
Carolina “Gold” Rice—or "golden seed" rice, was once the most popular rice grown in America, and the first commercial rice the country ever produced.
Carolina “Gold” Rice was brought to the United States from West Africa during the Transatlantic slave trade.
According to historians, ship masters who wanted to deliver healthy slaves to the U.S, bought rice in Africa as food provisions for their voyage. Once in the colonies, the enslaved grew leftover rice in their own garden plots for food.
In 1685 plantation owners in the Carolinas started experimenting with a rice variety that produced high yields and was easy to cook.
Because African cultures had been growing varieties of rice for several thousand years in their own homeland, Southern colonists specifically sought after and paid higher prices for West Africans, especially those from Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau, who were skilled in rice cultivation.
The enslaved used their advanced knowledge of rice production to convert the swampy Carolina Lowcountry into thriving rice plantations filled with: canals, dikes, and levies, which facilitated periodic flooding of the fields.
Carolina “Gold” Rice variety quickly became a high value export crop. In 1820, approximately 100,000 acres of it was growing throughout the South. The rice forged the plantation culture of the tidewater areas of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Carolina Gold rice brought fortunes to southern plantation owners and created an influential culture and cuisine in the city of Charleston and surrounding sea islands.
With this design, I pay homage to my African Ancestors who sacrificed so much and retained many Africanisms that we still carry on today.
While digitally crafting these images, I tried to incorporate the guiding wisdom/teachings of traditional West African Adinkra symbols into each design.
What are Adrinka Symbols?
Adinkra symbols are expressions of Asante philosophy, beliefs and history.
These proverbial symbols of wisdom, has origins in the Akan of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa. Adinkra symbols depict human behavior, important events, animal behavior, shapes and plants.
Design: GOLDEN RICE
ABUSA PA( “good family”)- family unity, kinship ties, clan loyalty, and family support.
AKWAABA( “ welcome”)-hospitality, reception,greeting, and reception.
ASAAWA(“sweet berry”)-sweetness, sweet taste, pleasure, and hedonism
NKONSONKONSON("chain links")-unity, human relations.
NSEREWA ( “cowry shell”) wealth, affluence, currency, power and spirituality.