Encouraging a Renewed Interest in Our Heritage
of Textile Treasures from Bessarabia and South Russia
Jay Gage, Exhibits Curator
Jay Gage, GRHC Exhibits Curator, was textile heritage presenter,
June 21, 1998, at NDSU Libraries, featuring woolen and silk shawls,
striped plachta/kanapee, and dazzling floral-bordered tschechka
shawls made in historic Pavelovskaya-Possad, near Moscow.
Also notice Miller's family's organ accordion displayed, a glimpse
of Krasna, Bessarabian heritage transplanted to Strasburg/Krasna,
North Dakota, via Michael Miller's father Peter P. Miller.
Textile panorama displayed at NDSU Libraries lecture, June
21, 1988: (left to right)
1) Three floral tschechka shawls dazzle visually with
serigraphed analine dyes.
2) Upon wedding dowry/ "mitsift" to the Kempf family of
Beresina, young Gottliebina Stolz of Alt-Elft hand-wove this splendid
1883 woolen Blachte. Her fillet-crochet lace was added later to
her heirloom Blachte at Jewell, North Dakota, after her 1901 immigration.
3) Black and red silk embroidery enliven this silk shawl's
elegance, formerly worn by Phillipine Baumgartner of Strassburg,
Kutchurgan heritage at Linton, North Dakota.
4) This woolen striped plachta/"Canapee" shawl worn by
Salomina Sommerfeld Unrath of Paris village, donated by her grand-daughter
Vi Kreuckenberg Scheilke of Beulah/Krem, North Dakota.
Featuring "Bunte Geschrifte Blachte"/Kanapee, hand-woven
Historic Kempf Family textiles with Gottliebina Stolz's bridal
dowry textiles, especially her
1) Blachte/Kanapee hand-woven in 1883 at Alt-Elft, Bessarabia.
One of her many her rose-bordered
2) Tschechka (floral kopf-tuch/duechle) is shown at top,
while a white damask linen
3) "corporal" used for Lutheran Holy Communion in her Batsen-built
home from 1902 through 1914 at Jewell, North Dakota. Her son-in-law,
Jacob Pahl, wore
4) infant shoes with tassels in 1895, as a first-born son
gift from his father, August Pahl, master shoemaker at Leipzig,
Bessarabia, before immigrating in 1898 to Kulm and Monango, North
Dakota, where he re-established his shoe shop in Forbes. Jacob's
daughter Katherina Pahl Gage, used this cordovan maroon, hand-carved
5) leather purse with wild roses and horses motifs, made
in 1960 by her first-born son.
Dramatic Tschechka Shawls favored by Bessarabian women.
Detail of pink-red cabbage roses as floral border on fringed
white woolen Tschechka shawl, with serigraphed analine dyes used
since 1863 at Pavelovskaya-Possad, artisan village near Moscow.
Tschehka shawls were treasured by wealthy German women. A comparative
photograph (on lower left) shows a similar-appearing woolen Volga
German Tschechka shawl (plus blue floral details), courtesy of
The Heimat Museum der Deutschen aus Russland, Stuttgart, (GRHC
photo of June, 1996)
Treasured Paradise Blanket (Paradies-Decke) from Paris, circa
This traditional woolen Canapee shawl was hand-woven by young
Salomina Sommerfeld, born 1888 in Paris, Bessarabia, as part of
her "mitsift"/dowry for her engaged Unrath wedding. As a newly-wed,
Salomina immigrated to America in 1908. Her Blachte/Kanapee uses
traditional mordant-plant dyes for vermillion red, olive green,
Prussian blue and black.
Photo detail (lower left) focuses on a pink floral fillet-crocheted
lace from a Kutschurgan Blachte displayed at The Heimat Museum
der Deutschen Aus Russland, Stuttgart.
On lower right is close-up detail of Miller family organ accordion
used for music and dances in Krasna, Bessarabia and later fondly
played in Strasburg, North Dakota.
Glimpses of Bessarabian textile treasures, courtesy of Heimatmuseum
der Deutschen aus Bessarabien, Stuttgart.
These photographic details document the vivid "bunte gestrifte"
and "bunte karierte" patterns of "Paradies Decken" (paradise blankets)
and "Plachta" shawls, as curated by Christian Fiess, Stuttgart.
These selected photographs are courtesy of a GRHC textile photographic
research project, funded in June, 1996 with curator Jay Gage.
Bessarabian Textiles Reflect "Schwartzenwald"/Black Forest
Official 1921 trachten of Bessarabia of yellow-gold with cobalt
blue, worn by doll designed by Elvira Reuer, a native of Alt-Arzis.
Visual display features 1858 silk wedding shawl of Margretha
Motz of Alt-Posttal, grandmother of Erna Zieglar Saxowsky, who
models her mother's (Regina Weiss Zieglar) cotton-gauze wedding
dress of 1910 in Tripp, South Dakota.
Also shown, distinctive Schwartzenwald (Black Forest) "Müttern
Hutten", with red pom-pons worn only by unmarried members of bridal