Sunday, July 31, 2011

Madonna and child

A Fulani family fed and took care of me when I lived in Cameroon. I lived in a compound, fenced in by adobe walls, with 4 other houses, one house for each of my father's 4 wives. It took time getting used to living without privacy, especially with 17 boys and about 4 girls running around the compound. I had to get used to eating from a communal bowl with all my brothers using only fingers. In the Philippines, eating food with hands is normal. However, it was hard to eat slimy gumbo with my hands and watch 17 pairs of hand go for the same bowl of gumbo. I was always given first dibs on the bowl of gumbo along with my father, and then after a few minutes, it was a free for all. My moms always cooked the food but I was never allowed to eat with them during dinner. The separation of the sexes was hard to get used to. This is a painting of one of my invisible "moms" who fed me well in Cameroon. This painting was from the last day of my stay with my adopted family. "Mama Awa with child", acrylic on canvas, 20"x24".

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