House of Aama is a clothing brand that was established in 2013 (in Los Angeles) by mother and daughter duo Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka. Co-founder, artist and designer Akua Shabaka shares the collection's narrative and background.
BLOOD ROOT is a rare herb used by old-time conjures and root workers as a powerful Guardian for the Family. House of Aama AW’17 BLOODROOT collection is an ode to Southern Creole spiritually and African Roots. Hidden in plain sight, these are the tales of a Rootworker, Southern Lady and Bluesman.
My mother's maternal grandmother used to give my mom bloodroot daily as a child as a medicinal tincture. As a child, my mom did not know what bloodroot was but later as an adult she learned that bloodroot is a rootsworker herb and that her family has a rootsworker legacy. The imagery in the shoot is drawn from the Southern experiences of Southern Parlor ladies, Conjurer women and blues men and their intersections.
Our designs are reflective of the PostBellum Southern United States. This was a time when our ancestors had been emancipated from slavery and they were striving to claim their rightful place with forward determination and dignity. These designs are meant to convey a strong sense of self worth built on the retention of strong cultural traditions.
We hope that Bloodroot conveys to people of color the strength and resilience of the experience of African people in the Southern United States and that this strength and resilience can be conveyed in a sartorial artistic medium. Our collection, Bloodroot is an offering.
House of Aama was founded by my mother and I when I was in high school. We both have a love for fashion and House of Aama has served as a creative outlet for both of us to define who we are as African American women, our gaze so to speak on life and the narrative of our continued journey.
Although my mom and I have a 30 year age difference and have different experiences and perspectives on life as well as different fashion tastes and inspiration, we share a strong cultural and spiritual bond and have found a way to incorporate our different gaze into a harmonious collection.
Photography: Brandon Stanciell
Creative Direction: Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka