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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African girls' samplers from mission schools in Sierra Leone (1820s to 1840s)
Author:Strickrodt, SilkeISNI
Periodical:History in Africa (ISSN 1558-2744)
Geographic term:Sierra Leone
decorative arts
missionary history
historical sources
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/history_in_africa/v037/37.1.strickrodt.pdf
Abstract:This article draws attention to the existence of a number of embroidery samplers that were stitched by African girls in Church Missionary Society (CMS) schools in the then British colony of Sierra Leone in the period from the 1820s to the 1840s. An appendix presents the 13 samplers found so far in mission archives and collections in Europe. The article examines the context in which the samples were produced and concludes that the samplers allow for a glimpse of the largely undocumented female part of missionary activities. Moreover, they are material traces of the networks of support and exchange created by women, which involved school material, including equipment for needlework, being sent to Sierra Leone by female supporters in Britain, the instruction of African girls by missionary wives or schoolmistresses, and return of souvenirs, in the form of small pieces of needlework, to Britain for the encouragement for further support. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]