Re: Tribal Repairs

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Posted by Marla Mallett on April 15, 1999 at 10:10:42:

In Reply to: Re: Tribal Repairs posted by Steve Price on April 15, 1999 at 09:20:17:

Dear Steve,

So what should we do with a bag with a quaint crocheted repair that's not a nice matching color as in my illustration, but instead a gaudy bright green or pink? Not on the back or edge so that we can turn it under? A repair done by a young woman on her mother's or grandmother's nice old natural dyed piece?

Is our desire to "fix up" or "pretty-up" the textiles that we collect related to our broader desire to romanticize nomadic and village life? To perpetuate an unreal vision of that world?

On the other hand, after their initial astonishment, how would those country folks react to seeing that bright green repair removed and the hole neatly rewoven? Perhaps with pleasure that someone had given it such attention? I've always tried to put myself in those other women's shoes and imagine how I'd like to see my own work treated. I know for sure that I'd rather have a piece I'd created left raggedy than botched up with bad reweaving. But I'd view skillful treatment differently--and might be quite pleased. So as collectors, what is the most responsible attitude?


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