31. Burial Cap of a African American Woman: Interview with Jenna Kuttruff

Welcome to another episode from our Costume Society of America 2017 series. Joy interviews Jenna Kuttruff, Ph.D. Department Head and Professor of Textiles, Apparel Design and Merchandising at Louisiana State University, about her presentation“The Burial Cap of a Mid-Nineteenth Century African American Woman from Queens.”

They get into the weeds concerning archaeological textiles, burial customs of the 19th century, and the lifestyle and dress of free African Americans. 

Fashion A-Z: Archaeological Textiles "are individual textile objects or collections resulting from archaeological excavations. Documentation of the object includes all information concerning conservation, analysis of cultural and historical context, data concerning the archaeological site, as well as results of different qualitative and quantitative analysis. Archaeological textiles represent mainly spun, braided and woven structures, made from natural fibres of animal and vegetable origin: wool, hair, silk, cotton, flax, jute, hemp, nettle, grass, etc"(Cybulska and Maik 2007, 185).

Cybulska, Maria and Jerzy Maik, 2007. "Archaeological Textiles – A Need for New Methods of Analysis and Reconstruction." Fibers & Textiles in Eastern Europe 15, no.5-6 (January/December): 64 - 65. http://www.fibtex.lodz.pl/pliki/Fibtex_(40zpy9qjw907nza1).pdf

You can reach Dr. Jenna Kuttruff here: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/profiles/jkuttruff

Kuttruff, Jenna Tedrick Dr., "A Free Woman of Color from New York and a Rural Southern Woman from Louisiana: A Comparison of Mid-Nineteenth Century Burial Dress" (2016). International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) Annual Conference Proceedings. 40. http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/itaa_proceedings/2016/posters/40

Additional links on mortuary and mourning customs in the United States: 

Aldridge, Ryan Jerel, "Dress in the United States of America as depicted in postmortem photographs, 1840-1900" (2008). LSU Master's Theses. 1431. http://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/gradschool_theses/1431

Antebellum Louisanna I: Disease, Death, and Mourning

Zlomke, Briony D., "Death Became Them: The Defeminization of the American Death Culture, 1609-1899" (2013). Dissertations, Theses, & Student Research, Department of History. 60. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/historydiss/60

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Image Credit: Woman's cap, American, 19th century. http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/womans-cap-326533 

Dana Goodin