“The Mood Dictates the Hat”

Sprightly,elegant,feisty,gentle are the ladies who love to wear hats.  Strong in personality,dignified in manner and outspoken on their topic,  Bahamian ladies are as diverse and lovely as  the sea shells gracing our shores.  Strong as conch shells yet colorful as sea fans,  their heads are graced with a millinery appropriate for every occasion-  church, shopping or meeting the Queen of England,Scotland and Wales.  They come from all walks of life,  have lived full, independent lives and have had their share of challenges. Yet without exception, our ladies are beautiful.

They love life,  family and community.  Finding the right hat to finish an outfit is a way for them to celebrate an important event….to pay their respects with dignity…to show the younger generation their role as an elder and spouse—-and to look and feel good.

To me, it is the ladies themselves, their inner beauty and strength, which dictates the hat…. You too will agree when you meet them through Lyndah’s beautiful photography.To date, we’ve interviewed a lively seamstress, a fire dancer, a care-giving older sister, a matron and her daughter. We’ve admired their hat collections, (and yes, they have many)and have listened to their stories.

The hat is evolving into a symbol far more than just a head decoration.

We continue our interviews this week. … And I can’t wait!

About The Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation

The Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation was founded several years ago to tell the story of our island's heritage by intertwining Art and History together. Through our Artist in Residence Program, we develop fresh ways to collect the oral stories of our islanders, which are recorded through multi-media projects. Last year, A QUESTION OF FAITH: THE JOURNEY OF FREETOWN told the story of the first freed slave settlement on Grand Bahama. Our Artist in Residence, Lauren Austin, a fiber artist now living in China, led our group of multi-generational participants in monthly workshops designing memory quilts. As part of the project, articles of historical/personal interest were brought in to be discussed and documented. The project ended in a well received public exhibition, where the original artwork, historical photographs and Bahamian music were displayed. We are now beginning our next project, HATTITUDES: Hats and the Bahamian Ladies who wear them. A collaborative art circle will be used to interview and photograph modern day ladies with a love of hat fashion. We will try to uncover the link between Colonial and African heritage in today's hat fashions and the influence on them in Bahamian culture.
This entry was posted in Grand Bahama, Hats, Oral History, Photography, Portraits, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to “The Mood Dictates the Hat”

  1. Edye says:

    Laurie, a FABULOUS undertaking and brilliant combination of all that you are and love; Philanthropy, anthropology, art, beauty, and appreciation for all people…. Hatitudes is a wonderful expression of you. I can’t wait to see your exhibition!

  2. Outstanding post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.

  3. job says:

    Hi there! This article couldn’t be written much better!

    Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I most certainly will forward this information to him.
    Pretty sure he’ll have a great read. Thank you for sharing!

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