Historic

“Truly American”: An artifact analysis of Frankie Welch’s Cherokee alphabet scarf

Authors
  • Laura E. McAndrews orcid logo (University of Georgia)
  • Jan Levinson Hebbard (University of Georgia)
  • Kristian Hogans (Alabama A&M)

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to challenge and possibly improve the understanding of this historical piece of fashion history to examine the use of indigenous cultural symbols in predominantly white fashion both at the time and presently.  This paper uses an object-based research approach (Mida & Kim, 2018) to investigate Frankie Welch’s 1967 Cherokee Alphabet Scarf along with primary sources from archival and museum collection to critically analyze (a) Frankie Welch’s source of inspiration, (b) white claims of indigenous ancestry, and (c) re-colonization of Indigenous culture today.  

Keywords: Frankie Welch, Cherokee syllabary, Cultural Appropriation, museum practices

How to Cite:

McAndrews, L. E., Hebbard, J. L. & Hogans, K., (2024) ““Truly American”: An artifact analysis of Frankie Welch’s Cherokee alphabet scarf”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 80(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/itaa.17084

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Published on
20 Jan 2024
Peer Reviewed