In the ongoing project SPECIMENS Marlies Lageweg looks into the ECONOMIC PLANT- AND SEED collection of NATURALIS BIODIVERSITY CENTRE. The archive is a material library of Dutch colonial history and a reflection of economic exploitation of people, animals and plants. For centuries exotic plants and seeds became a commodity, not longer an inseparable part of a natural habitat. LAGEWEG ‘removes’ the economic labels and places the objects in a new context, thus imagining unwritten histories connected to the seeds and plants in the archive. In a series of works Lageweg shows the story of the rice grain BLAKA ALEISI. It draws attention to the history of West-African women who weaved rice in their hair on slave ships, carrying their own history with them on their flight from plantations to the interior of Surinam. In SPECIMENS Lageweg co-operates with ethnobotanist Prof. dr. Tinde van Andel, who researched the rice story and the way human populations and plant species migrated from Africa to the New World.