Thesis

An analysis of the dress of North Dakota's Black Sea Germans : 1880-1914

In the early 19th century, German-Russian immigrants to America projected a unique contradiction, strongly asserting their Germanic heritage although they had selectively appropriated cultural iconography from their South Russian neighbors. This material culture study analyzed six representative garments found in North Dakota museums and worn by German-Russian immigrants to the Dakota territory between 1880 and 1914. These dress items objectively revealed that while in Russia, the German immigrants chose to retain traditional German dress features while quietly adopting a few ethnic Russian dress elements from the surrounding culture. The outcome resulted in a mixture of ethnic dress, a combination of elements that defines the German-Russian.

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