Textile Museum Associates of Southern California TMASC TMA/SC
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“Textiles for the Head:  Utility, Identity, Authority”


Christine Brown,

Researcher and Traveler,

and USAID Development Project Manager, Washington, DC

Humans across the globe place textiles on their heads in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons.  Long-time Textile Museum member Christine Brown will discuss how cloth is used in different cultures to conceal and protect, reveal and adorn, and convey status and authority.  Audience members are encouraged to bring interesting examples of textiles designed for specific purposes and worn or used on the head within a specific culture.  Examples can include items made of bast and leaf fibers that have been plaited, twined, woven; hair (yak, horse, goat); cloth adorned with beads, coins, teeth, shells, etc.

Christine has a long and abiding interest in traditional cultures around the world.  She has a degree in Anthropology, was a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, and has spent her career working on development assistance projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.  She is the Program Committee co-Chair of the International Hajji Baba Society, the Washington, D.C.-based rug and textile collectors group, and has an avid interest in ethnic jewelry and adornment.   She co-curated three exhibitions of ethnic jewelry at the former Bead Museum in Washington, D.C.  Her presentation of "Textiles for the Head" was her fourth at the Textile Museum.  Previous programs focused on Uzbek textiles, the tree of life design element, and Romanian textiles.


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