Shawls of the Germans from Russia: Connections to the past

Ann W. Braaten, Marilyn R. DeLong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the shawls worn by certain women on the Great Plains of North America identified them as being Germans from Russia (GFR). Having settled in Russia for a century before relocating to the grassy plains of North and South America, attracted by the promise of land ownership and freedom from oppression, these Germans created a distinctive community. Their shawls served as shibboleth, a custom or usage that distinguishes one group of people from others. Over a century later, in the USA and Canada, these shawls are still found among GFR families who recall the customs and values of people of this ethnic community, and thus provide a medium through which to learn about the GFR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-213
Number of pages17
JournalTextile History
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2013


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