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Herreast J. Harrison
Textile Artist

I create art primarily in the textile medium, expressing my visions via hand-beaded and hand-sewn works. My late husband participated in a New Orleans masking tradition commonly known as Mardi Gras Indians. This tradition dates back to the 19th century, and consists of African-American men parading through their neighborhoods in elaborate attire of feathers, stones, beads, rhinestones, velvet, and other materials. This unique form of cultural theater retains many aspects of traditional West-African heritage. After we were married, I began to help my husband prepare his attire for each Mardi Gras season, thus honing my beading and stoning skills to a high degree of proficiency. We are well known for our detailed craftsmanship, and have passed this skill to our children and grandchildren.

The O Bracelet Project: It's a privilege to work with other women, especially those from Rwanda. Their strength and courage have been an inspiration. I am awestruck by their creativity and artistry, which they demonstrate in spite of their country's recent painful history. The resolve they have shown is without comparison. I am honored to have been a part of The O Bracelet Project. I feel that we all have a responsibility to reach out to our fellow man and woman in the attempt to hopefully leave this place a little better than we found it.

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