Ethel Wright Mohamed, Arabian Nights Pillowcases and Sheet, 1964. Embroidery, dimensions unknown.
Mama’s Dream World: The Ethel Wright Mohamed Stitchery Museum, Belzoni, MS;
image courtesy of The Ethel Wright Mohamed Stitchery Museum and the Mohamed Family
Arabian Nights in the Mississippi Delta: The Embroideries of Ethel Wright Mohamed
“Arabian Nights in the Mississippi Delta: The Embroideries of Ethel Wright Mohamed" explores the way Ethel Wright Mohamed’s (MS, 1906-1992) embroideries envisioned her experiences living in the Mississippi Delta. Winter argues that Mohamed’s Arabian Nights reflect her understanding of home and her local Mississippi community as a place for tolerance and multiculturalism based on her experience as a mother, and a woman in an intercultural, interconfessional marriage. The essay draws on oral histories from the author's family and archival findings to reconsider embroidery as a material conduit for crafting Mohamed’s locality in Belzoni, MS. The dualities between Lebanon and Mississippi embedded in the fabric and imagery point to the way the household and the object functioned at the intersection and coalescence of different cultures and religions in a way Mohamed saw as only possible in Mississippi.”