Dietra Montague
designer of spiritual spaces, USA


Ancestral Memory
(a statement of intent)

My installations are Ancestrally inspired. In an African world-view, an altar or a shrine is a place or structure used for sacred purposes, where offerings are made in tribute to a designated being or deity.

An altar need not be a raised platform. And, a shrine need not be a container, both can also be located in any of nature's wonders be it in trees, on rocks or in bushes. Regardless of where the environment is located or what forms they happen to take, the primary purpose is to provide a focal point for the expression of feelings and emotions within a sacred space. The collection of objects is usually characterized as sacred due to its history of or association to important people, times or places.

Sadly, most Americans do not know the importance of maintaining ancestral connectedness. The image and education of Africa and other indigenous civilizations came to most Americans exclusively through movies and mass media. However, our rituals and traditions are intended to educate as well as, infuse self-esteem and confidence into our subconscious.

Because of ANCESTRAL MEMORY, we struggle to reconcile the imbalance between African traditions and Western thought. My intention is to continue the process of reawakening the consciousness in people through the physical presence and spiritual force of my work.


these pages submitted to africancraft.com by Dietra Montague,
May. 1999 -- last updated, Jan. 2002