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A Method of Communication Used By The Slaves in America.




These beautiful designs were made by slaves, they were used to assist escape routes for runaway slaves in America. ‘These patchwork quilts’ were called the ‘underground railway’ they derived from traditional African messages in materials these are still in use today. Each pattern had an instruction attached, here are 12 examples

  1. The North Star patch. Follow the North Star to Canada to freedom.



2. The cross road patch. Cleveland Ohio is near crossroads to many routes of freedom.


3. The log cabin patch. May also be found written on the ground meaning a safe place.




4. The box patches. Pack up and get ready the conductor is near.



5. The wheel wagon patch. Prepare for a ride or a wagon wheel was nearby to help.



6. Bear claw patch. Follow the mountain trail then the bear tracks, it may lead to food and water.



7. The shoofly patch This person will help you.




8. The monkey wrench patch. Gather all the tools you need for the trip, physical mental and spiritual.




9. Flying Geese. Follow the direction of the birds as they go north in the spring.




10 Drunkards path patch. A warning signal, follow a zigzag path to avoid slave hunters and dogs.




11. The bowtie patch. You must wear a disguise. Change your enslave clothes.




12. The sailor boat patch. Water is nearby or boats are available.




The Maroons who reside in the beautiful island of Jamaica used a different method to remain free during the enslave trade era involving the African race.

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