poetry

Ancestor Tree (dress form tree) Tutorial

🌙🕯 My twins are toddlers now and definitely took note of the xmas tree invasion in our city and stores. So ya girl went on a thinking spree. I briefly considered a tree because we DO honor trees, but I mean clearly the exact tree has been taken. And I remembered how on Pinterest a lot of white ladies liked to make “dress form trees”. Well, I thought, why not get a full mannequin, get her some waistbeads, put some ankara and have her be in honor of the Ancestors? Presenting: the Ancestor Tree. 🕯🌙

Instructions:

  • Get a mannequin. Male or female I don’t feel it matters—we have Ancestors who are both, right? I got mine discount off Amazon. Its usually almost $300, but with some slight cosmetic damage I got her for $75. That being said look around. And start long before the Winter Solstice if youre serious about it being up by then. I live in the SF Bay Area so the local art/fashion colleges are always cycling through them. Look around your town/online on ebay or discount Amazon before springing for a new one!
  • Get Greenery. If you are lucky and NOT allergic to Christmas trees, go on down to the local xmas tree lot and get yourself some branches from the floor! Its free as of the year 2018, they don’t stop you from taking it! If you, like me, ARE allergic, please go find a 50′ garland. I know what youre thinking–HOW? They are all 9′ and like $50 each HOW? Well I found some at Bed Bath And Beyond for $8. Yes. So head over there, or just keep looking! Again an early start will help. You need at least TWO! (unless youre going for a shorter look)
  • Optional: Chicken wire. This can be used to make a big ballroom gown shape skirt that you can wrap the greenery over it.
  • Decor. Lights (LED of course, and try to get some with a green cord instead of white like me 😂), ornaments, flowers, jewelry such as gold (next year I’m springing for some Eritrean jewelry for her head and arms!), tinsel, etc. Make it your own! Make a special theme! Go ham!
  • Finally, decorate. Wind the garland around both legs for a tight skirt (how I did mine). Wind around shaped chicken wire for a big skirt. And wrap around each leg for pants! Voila ✨
  • Take pics for your friends and family who celebrate ATRs and use the hash tag #ancestortree to spread the word that you are reclaiming and remodeling oppressive and old traditions and making them one you feel comfortable celebrating!
  • Oh yeah and save all these pieces for next years celebration when you take it down after the new year!

Hope you enjoy the quick tutorial, ask me any questions below! ✨ And may your Ancestors and Spirit Guides be with you at every crossroads in this new year 💛

📷 @thesacredbruja @spiritualblackgirls

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