Monday, February 27, 2012


Museum/restorations that interpret a specific time in history all seem to fall prey at times to a common pitfall. Over at Living in Williamsburg, Virginia Darryl and Ruth daily post photos of Colonial Williamsburg that frequently contain costumed interpreters. I always get a chuckle when seeing an authentically-reproduced colonial-era costume on someone wearing sneakers. Perhaps those are just their commuting shoes and they will change later, but the anachronism still gets a chuckle.

When looking through some old photos from Pleasant Hill Shaker Village I noticed something out of place on this young lady:
I enlarged the photo, and yep, there are wedding and engagement rings. You see, Shakers were, are, celibate. Married couples did join the church at one time, but they afterward lived as brother and sister rather than as a married couple. Children, if any, were taken into a children's order and raised away from their parents. This young interpreter apparently either forgot to take off her rings, or else that isn't a requirement at this museum. I'll have to ask next visit.

1 comment:

  1. The vicar of the church my mother attended always wore running shoes peeking out from beneath his robes of office. Always looked to me that he couldn't get out of the place quick enough!