WhiteFeather
Cable Home
2005
wool, hair
Handspun wool and human hair, handknit into a traditional Irish cabled sweater.

Knit patterns traditionally served as a symbolic language, with different Aran cable patterns signifying different clan names. Sailors and fishermen wore knit sweaters in their family names so that if they were lost at sea, their otherwise unidentifiable bodies could be named, once found. The use of women's hair in the yarn used to make this pseudo-artifact suggests the presence of the womenfolk and loved ones on shore, who hoped that their men would safely return home, plus the magic they made to ensure that. Knit cables also represent the ropes used as rigging on fishing boats.
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