Palm Leaf Bonnet, Buckland, Mass., circa 1840
- Palm Leaf Bonnet, Buckland, Mass., circa 1840
Woven palm leaf bonnet has a descriptive card that reads, Palm Leaf Bonnet. Probably worn about 1840. Found in the attic of the Earl Purrinton home, the residence of the first minister Mr. Spaulding. Given by Christine Purrinton. (The house once occupied by Rev. Josiah Spaulding, pastor of the Buckland Congregational Church from 1794 to 1823, is located on Cross Street in Buckland Center.) The bonnet is comprised of two pieces: a front section that goes from the left ear over the top of the head to the right ear, and a section at the back of the head that has eight pleats at the neckline. The seam on the outside where the sections meet is covered with a strip of woven palm. The front edge is bound with a strip of palm. The back neckline is reinforced or possibly repaired with a strip of muslin sheeting covering a length of wire. It is unknown whether this was the original design or added later. The longest point from the left ear over the top to the right ear of the front section measures 20 inches. The top of the head front to the back of the front section is about 11 inches. The front opening at the chin area is 5 inches. According to The History of Buckland 1779-1935, by Fannie Shaw Kendrick, braiding palm leaf was a wide-spread, in-home task accomplished by women and children. Kendrick writes, Josiah Ward carried palm leaf to his customers and collected finished hats. After paying for the leaf used, a person received from six to twelve cents a hat according to size, and the fineness of the material used. Kendrick summarizes her coverage of the significance of supporting the family with funds from braiding palm leaf with, A very thrifty, hardworking woman in Buckland often made the remark that she braided the mortgage off of two farms. Kendrick states that braiding palm leaf was a viable way of earning money through the 1880's.
- Sand, Pamela
- Buckland Historical Society
- Collection (local):
Home Industries Collection
2010 Buckland Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 88, Buckland MA. 01338 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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From the collections of the Buckland Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 88, Buckland, MA, 01338, http://www.bucklandmasshistory.org/contact/