Thursday, May 7, 2015

Maiden's Garland

In England, when young, chaste girls died, it was once customary to make them a Maiden's Garland that was carried before their coffin and then hung in the rafters of the church. The earliest Maiden's Garland, or Crants as they were also called, date back to the sixteenth century. They look like crowns made out of scraps of paper, fabric, and lace. They were often tagged with the name and dates of the young woman who died. There are still small churches in England that have the Maiden's Garlands on display.  

A beautifully photographed blog post from Nilly Hall documents Maiden's Crowns at the old church of St. Stephen above Robin Hoods Bay.
(Nilly Hall)

Nilly Hall
A Vintage Green Life

Textile artist Mandy Pattullo was moved to create Remember Me: A Textile to the Maiden's Garlands after seeing the Maiden's Crowns of St. Stephens. 

I find the idea of a Maiden's Garland as a way of remembering someone very endearing. Today, death seems too rushed for me. We quickly plan an often generic funeral and then try to get over the deceased. I like the idea of sitting quietly and creating something by which to remember them. Instead of getting over a death, I'd like to get comfortable with a death. Maybe that's just me. 

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