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The Tradition of Anglo-American Mourning Jewelry

Today the tradition of mourning jewelry may be a foreign concept to many. Centuries ago, it was more commonplace to wear rings, brooches, pendants, and other jewels in memory of family and friends. This fine digital exhibit from the Massachusetts Historical Society provides a nice introduction to this practice via dozens of items collected as part of the Society's work. The materials here are divided into four parts, including Colonial America & the Revolution, The New Republic, Jewelry Containing Hair, and National Mourning. Starting with the first section, interested parties will learn about the memento mori tradition, which is a Latin phrase meaning "Remember you must die." Visitors can also find much to be intrigued by in the National Mourning area. Here they can read about death bed memorial handkerchiefs created in the wake of George Washington's death and a locket containing the hair of Abraham Lincoln.
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Date of Scout Publication 2013-06-28
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