Memorial Hair Woven Watch Fob
Before photography was used to remember loved ones who passed away, Swedish immigrants would use hair from the deceased as keepsakes. Although now it might seem a little weird and even gross, the art of hair weaving was highly valued because it kept loved ones close.
The hair of the deceased was woven into a design that the family could display in their home. Oftentimes, one picture would contain hair from multiple family members so people could point out that this lock was grandma, this section was grandpa, and so on.
Families would keep the hair from their loved ones and wait until a hair weaver came by. Hair weavers were commonly a grandma and granddaughter duo who would travel to different farms and do weavings in exchange for room and board. It was this tradition that helped keep hair weaving alive.
Below, is an example of a hair weaving at Gammelgarden. It is a watch fob where a watch would have been attached at the end. We know the hair is from a woman because the fob has a crescent moon (a sign of women). So, it likely held a woman’s picture inside, perhaps a wife who died.
While hair weaving is something that would cause many people to raise their eyebrows nowadays, for the Swedish immigrants, it was a way to remember and honor their loved ones.
Categories: All, Art, Memorial Art Tags: Art, artifact, Hair Weaving, Memorial Art, Watch Fob