Material Folklore and Children

Folklore is the the things people say, do, or make. Currently an exhibit on what people make is in the reference area of special collection. People make things out of fabric, yarn, wood, clay, leather and many other materials. These things are called material culture. It takes commonplace items and makes them beautiful. The exhibition had burp rags with crocheting around them. A burp rag could be as simple as an old cloth diaper, but these rags mix fabric and yarn or string to create an item of beauty.

A pair of leggings are part of the exhibition. They kept the baby’s legs warm when she was wearing a white onesie so the colors are striking.

There is also a quilt that was made by a grandmother for her grandaughter. Quilts are a great example of the need humans have to create. A wool blanket would be much simpler for keeping a child warm. But this quilt made in the early 1940s reflects patterns and colors popular in the era.

Finally there is an item that reflects the beginning of life–an African birthing chair. Made of wood and very tiny, the chair was a practical way for these women to bring their children into the world.

The exhibit runs through the end of June.

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