This collection (below) is a result of my research of pre colonial traditions in Nigeria, specifically my parents’ respective tribes (the Esan & the Igbo people). I learned about ulí, which is an art tradition by women that originated in Igboland, in which a stick or knife dipped in indigo is used to draw on walls or the body. Christian missionaries discouraged Igbo women from painting on their bodies & instead they were encouraged to do it in other media, like embroidery. This is similar to how Black American women have always expressed their creativity through their extravagant nail designs but are often seen as “tacky” or unprofessional. With this work, I am combining the two and celebrating Black women freely expressing and beautifying themselves by their own standards and paying homage to my ancestors in a modern way.