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Our goal is to harmonize the meeting of African and Japanese traditions and cultures through daily fashion. This fashion movement, it can be said, began with the Egyptian influence that is evident in many of the beads, fabrics, dragonfly gems, cloisonne wear, etc. that are loved and worn by many in Japan today.
The cultures and traditions of Africa and Japan are clearly separate. Yet they are common in that they have evolved in their own unique and individual ways. It is in this spirit that we hope to introduce the wonderful fashion cultures of Africa to Japan.
In many African nations, beads are an integral part of daily life and fashion. Women use them to decorate clothing and they are strung together in different ways to adorn various parts of their bodies in the forms of earrings, bracelets, necklaces and even belts. There are many kinds of beads.
Some have delicate hand-painted patterns. Some are crafted for special purposes, signifying power or respect. It is believed that, when made properly, certain beads can even have unique powers, granting wishes or special protection. Some are made just for tribal leaders, medicine men or religious purposes. Many people believe that beads and shells can provide energies for daily life.
Hoochie Mama is building a bridge between Africa and Southeast Asia by providing beads, African fabrics and more. Today, many wax-print textiles that are modeled after those made in Africa are manufactured in Japan and other Asian countries. We want Africa’s unique cultures to continue to thrive and be recognized.
Hoochie Mama aims to unite design skills being developed in Sierra Leone with Japan’s world-famous technology to build a fabric factory in Sierra Leone. As work increases locally, the infrastructure will be bolstered. We will start small and grow big, working so that everyone can be equally happy.