Secret messages in the form of quilt patterns aided slaves escaping the bonds of captivity in the Southern states before and during the American Civil War. The quilt patterns, used in a certain order, relayed messages to slaves preparing to escape. Quilts slung over a fence or windowsill, seemingly to air, passed on the necessary information to knowing slaves. As quilts hung out to air was a common sight on a plantation, neither the plantation owner nor the overseer would notice anything suspicious. It was all part of a day’s work for the slaves. Characteristic of African culture is the communication of secrets through the use of common, everyday objects; the objects are seen so often they are no longer noticeable.