International Education Week was presented by the Office of Global Education from Nov. 16 to Nov. 21. Out of the various activities honoring Midwestern International Students, the African Student Organization (ASO) took the initiative to organize the Crafts Evening, where all students could partake in a bracelet design. On Nov. 18 and 19, the music resonated through Wichita I & II to invite participating students for the same occurrence in Comanche on Nov. 16. When their temperatures were tested and their crafting supplies in hand, students sat down at tables to enjoy the calming atmosphere and arrange their wooden beads on long strings.
“We make African bracelets from different African countries here, and we try to show and tell people what kind of jewellery is made in Africa,” ASO President Tobi Oladipo said.
The wooden beads given to the participants are of different styles and sizes, representing the varied cultural histories of African countries.
“Oladipo said, “We just put different types of beads together, and we have designs on them. “So in the end, put it together, it becomes a beautiful bracelet, or necklace, or anklet.”
The freedom to create your own bracelet was embraced by students participating in the crafts evening. The event was a good location to relieve some stress for end-of-semester projects, according to Iana Bullard, a social work major.[The event],” Bullard said, “is a nice calm thing to do. “Since most of us pile on work, I feel like it’s something else to think about instead of school or work and stuff like that.”
Iana Bullard celebrated the crafts event as a way to appreciate African artistic expression, embracing the spirit of International Education Week.
“Beading is not a part of my culture, personally, but I find it fascinating to know how other people make jewellery for themselves.”
The community behind craft evenings was collectively admired by students, and each student had a particular way of arranging their beads. Some students went where they were carried by the storm, while others had distinctive techniques to achieve their formation.
“I came up with a pattern first,” Esther Edwards, a student interested in the case, said. “I set the large [beads] out and then I went around the necklace] and had to fit between this next size.”
Both the complex artistic expression of African culture and the variety in the artistic expression of students is reflected by the beads. Crafts Evening reminded participants of the dynamic community and operations that MSU and International Organisations have to bring to the campus in the last week before students head home.