Today’s #ColonialCouture post is by Kimberly Alexander, professor of museum studies and material culture at the University of New Hampshire and author of Treasures Afoot: Shoe Stories from the Georgian Era (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018). She is currently guest curator of “Fashioning the New England Family,” opening at the Massachusetts Historical Society on 5 October 2018. Follow her @SilkDamask.
Bradfords, Brewsters, Aldens, Winslows, Cottons, Winthrops. Throughout the K-12 experience, these names filled the classes and textbooks of the students who now sit before us in college classrooms, crowding out other names, names like Weetamoo and Rondriquez and Tubman. But, through the process of mythologizing that distills and filters facts, the men and women of the Mayflower have come to be somewhat flat and lifeless characters, rather than people who inhabited real bodies in a real space. Consequently, this where even the smallest and seemingly insignificant fragment of material culture can add dimensions that revisit the past as a place of hopes and dreams, struggle and disappointment. Continue reading