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Shaker group portrait, ca. 1893

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Description

Pictured from left to right: back row: Sisters Ada Cummings, Nellie Love and Sarah Fletcher middle row: Sisters Amanda Stickney, Elizabeth Haskell, Aurelia Mace, Eldress Harriet Goodwin and Laura Love; front row: Fannie Simpson and Lizzie Bailey. Jennie Eastman was a photographer from Boston who visited the community on several occasions. According to the Sabbathday Lake Church Journal, on this day she photographed the Sisters individually, as well as in a group. Having subjects glance in different directions was a common convention of Victorian photography. Note the habits worn by the Sisters, particularly the variety of designs and patterns. Shaker dress was neither drab nor entirely uniform. Especially colorful were kerchiefs like the one worn by Eldress Harriet. By this time, however, most Sisters preferred to wear a yoke over the shoulders rather than a kerchief. Another alteration of the costume took place in the mid-1890s when wearing the bonnet became optional.

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