Friday, June 07, 2013

Burial Shroud in Salvage, NL

As I had hoped, my post about making the shroud for Colette sparked a little discussion about the tradition itself.  The shroud that was the inspiration for Colette's is in a little, private museum in Salvage, Newfoundland.  It was first spotted by Shawn of Island Sweet.  She brought it to the attention of Barb Hunt, who is an artist and an expert on homemade memorials, like roadside markers where accidents have occurred, but with a special intersest in textiles.  This was right up her alley.

Barb has done a good bit of research on Newfoundland burial shrouds.   She took these photos of the one in Salvage.

Photograph by Barb Hunt

Photograph by Barb Hunt

Here is what Barb told me in an email:

Here are a couple of pictures of the only one I've been able to find. (And I've looked all over and in museums in Ireland and England.) The cutting is near the top, where it would cover the face. It imitates lace which was what the rich in England would use, so I love the Newfoundland practice of making-do with an old bed sheet. (The lace allowed those at the wake to see the face, but in a more muted way.) 

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