Tuesday, 18 September 2007

This week I will mostly be.....imagining what a Tasmanian Inland Rural Tribe's 'traditional national costume' might look like.

"This example dates from between 1890 to 1930 and we can see the predominance of red as a colour representing festivities, fertility and the advent of spring within the community. This particular costume was worn during the Lamington Tea Ritual, a highlight on the Tasmanian rural calendar of the Northern-Midlands communities. The costume features a traditional tea cosy headdress with brass wire tea strainer, which indicates the wearer's marital status, in this instance the wearer is unmarried. The tea strainer this young woman wears, I am told, originates from France, and would have been passed down through the woman's female line as a treasured heirloom. Also indicating wealth and status within the community, the tea cosy-tea strainer headdresses are either inherited and/or altered or newly made using traditional patterning and stitching techniques. This young woman had made her tea cosy headdress according to the traditions of her female line and had added individual touches with the use of multi-coloured decorative embroidery stitches. Examples of these tea cosy headdresses are highly collectible and sere to denote cultural occupation areas and collective immigrant communities throughout Tasmania's 'Europeanised' history."


Fer48 said...

I've also heard of the lesser known "Mock Cream Filled Sponge Bake-off" where a measure of one's status is by the number of tea strainers on the cosy. Apparently the bake-off discontinued in 1952 after it was contaminated by the entrance of a ginger fluff filled with real cream and red currant jam.

Kathryn said...

I've really enjoyed looking at your fabulous tea cozies. (Saw a mention of you in Selvedge and I had to look for you on Google!) I live in a culture of coffee rather than tea, but I LOVE tea and have made a few cozies myself. If you search for "eastmanhomeart" on google you'll find my etsy shop where they are featured. They do frequently end up on people's heads....a friend once referred to one of my cozies as a "Pope cozy!"