These quilts represent Mama's family and her heritage, they were made by Grandma Dee and Big Dee. Symbolically, each piece of material was made from scraps of clothing that once belonged to someone in their family, including pieces of their great-grandfather's Civil War uniform. .
To Maggie, they represent her family; she still remembers with love her grandmother who made one of them and she says it is okay if Dee takes them because she does not need the quilts to remember Grandma Dee.
To Dee, however, the quilts have no emotional value. She regards them as a type of folk art that will look impressive hanging upon her walls. (Dee embraces her African heritage while rejecting her personal family history.)
Mama gives those quilts to Maggie because she knows Maggie, unlike Dee, will honor the culture and heritage by using it, or continuing it the way it was originally intended.
'Maggie can's appreciate these quilts! she said. 'She'd probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use.'
The Butter Churn and the Dasher
The author also uses the butter churn and the dasher as a symbol to show mama’s understands of heritage. When Mama takes the dasher handle in her hands, she is symbolically touching the hands of all those who used it before her. Her appreciation for the dasher and the quits is based on the love fort the people who made use of them.
Dee wants to use the churn top as a centerpiece for the alcove table and do something creative with the dasher. Mama views and honors her heritage as practical by appreciating what she acquired from previous generations and putting the passed down items into everyday use. Dee views and honors her heritage as superficial by appreciating the passed down items for their materialistic and artistic