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Charleston Museum
Thursday, October 31, 2019, 2 – 3pm

“It’s no secret that assorted jewelry pieces made from human remains have existed since prehistory, and as colonialism spread, these tribal accouterments were unsurprisingly adopted by the social elite. To be sure, human teeth, bone, and skin were a bit morbid for most socialites. Hair, however, was not. It did not decompose, could be harvested from a deceased loved one without disfigurement, and, like cotton or silk, could be worked into beautifully intricate patterns suitable for wearing.

Hair, furthermore, was instantly recognized as a memento mori or souvenir of sorts from those passed. Thus, the mourning and hair jewelry market had migrated from Western Europe to America and, by the early eighteenth century, had arrived in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Stop by The Charleston Museum on October 31st for a talk and hair braiding demonstration with local artisan, Gina Iacovelli. Gina will discuss her process and will have live braiding demonstrations. This talk is free for members and free with admission to The Charleston Museum.”

Event Type: Lecture/Discussion, Other