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Old 01-04-2020, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
10,431 posts, read 8,311,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
Those are silk kerchiefs - not religious head coverings. Both of my grandmosters had silk scarves and wore them to protect their styled hair from wind or rain.
That is true. But my grandmother's generation wore these silk 'shawls' in all seasons. My grandmother only did so in the cold weather, but her friends would walk around in nice, warm weather having them on. I guess it was a perpetual habit, since they attended church regularly. So the shawl served a few purposes for them -- Covering their hair at church and also from bad weather (including the heat and strong sun).
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
10,431 posts, read 8,311,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I googled working English working class women and found several pics of women who did not have coverings on their heads. There is a pic of women working in cotton mills, with no head coverings. The first pic says these women worked at a cotton mill.

I question the authenticity of the first image. How could the women have worked in a factory with shawls on their heads? At the very least there seemed to be many English women who went bareheaded. Perhaps in the country, women wore shawls because they would not have had coats. I suspect this image is meant to deceive.

Hijab is a Middle Eastern tradition, that was never traditional in Western countries. Even Muslims in the former Yugoslavia wore Western style dress.
It depends on what they're doing or where they are. These (European) women are covering their hair (which makes sense since they're outside):






These women are not covering their head (though they're wearing a shawl around their shoulder, which means they might cover their hair once they step outside):



Hijab is a Middle Eastern tradition. Headcovering is ubiquitous and it is found all over Eurasia (Europe included). Just because you cover your hair for modesty that doesn't mean you're adhering to Islam.
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:02 PM
 
11,073 posts, read 6,763,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I googled working English working class women and found several pics of women who did not have coverings on their heads. There is a pic of women working in cotton mills, with no head coverings. The first pic says these women worked at a cotton mill.

I question the authenticity of the first image. How could the women have worked in a factory with shawls on their heads? At the very least there seemed to be many English women who went bareheaded. Perhaps in the country, women wore shawls because they would not have had coats. I suspect this image is meant to deceive.

Hijab is a Middle Eastern tradition, that was never traditional in Western countries. Even Muslims in the former Yugoslavia wore Western style dress.
I looked too, mostly seeing bare heads or bonnet like coverings.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:00 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
8,238 posts, read 7,148,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
These videos show England in the early 1900s depcting women wearing a shawl of some sort that covers their hair. Was this a sense of religious modesty (after all, head covering occurred in Christianity in history) or was it a fashion trend?
....< snip >....
First video seems like an Islamic propaganda (where they liken the English headcovering to the 'hijab'). Second video has an ironic, 'funny' title. Though both depict the reality.

It wasn't religious, it wasn't modesty, and it wasn't a fashion trend. It was strictly for practical safety, health and hygienic purposes, as well as economic reasons.

In those videos it's obvious that those are poor Irish working women getting off work at a factory. That's the style in which the Irish poor dressed at the turn of the century but they weren't the only women who wore shawls when they went outdoors, all of the poorer women in the British Isles did it in one style or another. The shawls they were wearing served the same purpose then that winter coats with hoods do today. Working women back then were very poor and couldn't afford to own coats, they wore wool shawls that were big enough to cover their heads and shoulders and if they were a bit better off and could afford the additional length of fabric they wore full length wool capes with hoods. Any that were wealthy enough or lucky enough to own full coats with sleeves and collars didn't wear the coats to and from work nor for everyday purposes, their coats were kept strictly for "Sunday best" and very special occasions like weddings, baptisms and funerals.

The scarves worn over the heads served hygiene and safety purposes, it wasn't for modesty or because of not wanting to get their hair mussed up. Not getting the hair mussed was strictly a wealthy woman's concern, not a poor woman's concern. The most important purposes - Scarves and bonnets helped to prevent the spread of head lice which was a HUGE issue back at that time and was as common an affliction with the wealthy as it was with the poor. At the turn of the century women didn't cut their hair short and working women braided or bound up their long hair and then covered it with scarves or full cover bonnets to prevent their long stray hairs from getting in the way of their work - just like so many workers today wear hair nets or caps to keep their hair out of their way - and also to prevent them from dropping hairs with lice or nits (lice eggs) on them into their work, or from picking up lice from other people.

The scarves also helped to keep the hair clean and protected from external environmental pollution for longer periods of time. This was extremely important, partly because of the head lice, but also because women didn't have the resources and funds needed to wash their hair more often than once a month, sometimes only once every two or three months. Some went even longer than that.

My mother was born right at the turn of the century in northern England in a filthy coal mining town. She came from poor working class family and the women all worked at jobs every day in addition to bearing children and raising their families. They had to make their own soaps and other hygienic products because they could not afford to buy such luxuries that today we all take for granted. In my mother's family the girls and women back then would rinse their hair every couple of weeks with coal tar oil but they could only shampoo and medicate their hair (for lice and nits and other health problems) once every 8 - 10 weeks. That was because they didn't have the resources or money to hygienically treat the hair and scalp more often than that. They all wore head scarves to protect their heads.

.

Last edited by Zoisite; 01-05-2020 at 01:51 PM..
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
24,378 posts, read 15,744,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
It depends on what they're doing or where they are. These (European) women are covering their hair (which makes sense since they're outside):






These women are not covering their head (though they're wearing a shawl around their shoulder, which means they might cover their hair once they step outside):



Hijab is a Middle Eastern tradition. Headcovering is ubiquitous and it is found all over Eurasia (Europe included). Just because you cover your hair for modesty that doesn't mean you're adhering to Islam.
The pics shown in the first post showed women who I don’t believe were English, unless they were brand new immigrants, and possibly part of a strict tradition.

In earlier centuries I know country women wore shawls. I think these took the place of coats or “cloaks” for lower classes. I do agree that the shawls shown in the pic don’t seem to be functioning as hijabs. They may be customary to their culture. Western countries do not have the modesty traditions that require hijab, which seems to be what is implied.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:11 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
21,009 posts, read 19,957,796 times
Reputation: 36381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
It wasn't religious, it wasn't modesty, and it wasn't a fashion trend. It was strictly for practical safety, health and hygienic purposes, as well as economic reasons.

In those videos it's obvious that those are poor Irish working women getting off work at a factory. That's the style in which the Irish poor dressed at the turn of the century but they weren't the only women who wore shawls when they went outdoors, all of the poorer women in the British Isles did it in one style or another. The shawls they were wearing served the same purpose then that winter coats with hoods do today. Working women back then were very poor and couldn't afford to own coats, they wore wool shawls that were big enough to cover their heads and shoulders and if they were a bit better off and could afford the additional length of fabric they wore full length wool capes with hoods. Any that were wealthy enough or lucky enough to own full coats with sleeves and collars didn't wear the coats to and from work nor for everyday purposes, their coats were kept strictly for "Sunday best" and very special occasions like weddings, baptisms and funerals.

The scarves worn over the heads served hygiene and safety purposes, it wasn't for modesty or because of not wanting to get their hair mussed up. Not getting the hair mussed was strictly a wealthy woman's concern, not a poor woman's concern. The most important purposes - Scarves and bonnets helped to prevent the spread of head lice which was a HUGE issue back at that time and was as common an affliction with the wealthy as it was with the poor. At the turn of the century women didn't cut their hair short and working women braided or bound up their long hair and then covered it with scarves or full cover bonnets to prevent their long stray hairs from getting in the way of their work - just like so many workers today wear hair nets or caps to keep their hair out of their way - and also to prevent them from dropping hairs with lice or nits (lice eggs) on them into their work, or from picking up lice from other people.

The scarves also helped to keep the hair clean and protected from external environmental pollution for longer periods of time. This was extremely important, partly because of the head lice, but also because women didn't have the resources and funds needed to wash their hair more often than once a month, sometimes only once every two or three months. Some went even longer than that.

My mother was born right at the turn of the century in northern England in a filthy coal mining town. She came from poor working class family and the women all worked at jobs every day in addition to bearing children and raising their families. They had to make their own soaps and other hygienic products because they could not afford to buy such luxuries that today we all take for granted. In my mother's family the girls and women back then would rinse their hair every couple of weeks with coal tar oil but they could only shampoo and medicate their hair (for lice and nits and other health problems) once every 8 - 10 weeks. That was because they didn't have the resources or money to hygienically treat the hair and scalp more often than that. They all wore head scarves to protect their heads.

.
Thank you! So true. My grandparents came from that era and lived in one of the major filthy mill towns in northern England where wool was woven into cloth. People were dirt poor. In doing genealogy from that era, those women had to wear scarves and could never have afforded an actual hat.

Additionally I asked my husband who comes from one of the old cotton mill towns. To my surprise he said when he was a little kid some of the mills were still running and the women who ran the looms liked to take cigarette breaks. He was thrilled when they let him take over a loom while they were out. They wore something on their heads AND they would put some sort of thing on him, shaped like a bee-keeper's hat to cover his head. He says it was for the dirt and dust from the machines.

Also, in reference to the picture of ladies sitting in a room wearing hats a few pages back, they look like they are from the 1920s-1930s possibly one of those groups supporting prohibition. They look like they are attending some sort of meeting in someone's living room. "Ladies" did wear hats even in the 1950s if they went to a special event. Catholic "ladies" wore hats to church. Hats in the 1920s-1950s were for getting dressed up for special occasions and there were jokes about giving a woman some money and letting her go buy a new hat. Then she would be happy. Hats were fashionable in the US in that era.

Scarves in the 1950s were worn the way the Queen wears them today--to keep your hair in place when it's windy out so you don't look like a mess with the wind blowing your hair all over the place. Maybe a little bit to keep your hair dry if it rained. Scarves were worn also in the 1950s and 1960s over your hair rollers that you set your hair with. It was not proper to go out in public with your hair up in pincurls or rollers unless you covered it with a scarf.

But back in the old days, scarves and shawls were a necessity, not a fashion statement and not related to religion. Nothing fancy or proper about them, just something you wore for practicality.
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Old 01-05-2020, 06:10 PM
 
7,638 posts, read 4,239,984 times
Reputation: 15900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
These videos show England in the early 1900s depcting women wearing a shawl of some sort that covers their hair. Was this a sense of religious modesty (after all, head covering occurred in Christianity in history) or was it a fashion trend?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G1bn-XS5eM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAA35WW0QGM

First video seems like an Islamic propaganda (where they liken the English headcovering to the 'hijab'). Second video has an ironic, 'funny' title. Though both depict the reality.
I've read enough and seen enough documentaries about English history, and the history of women, to know that it wasn't a thing for English women to wear those hijabs. Ever.

Maybe there were small groups of Muslims in England, when Muslim women wore them. I don't know. I'd have to look up England's Muslim history, if there is one.

Women in England did wear hats, as we all know. It was the fashion, even for working class women. Women in service for wealthy people also wore those small lacy or cotton hats of a sort atop their bunned up hair. (See Downtown Abbey or Upstairs, Downstairs.) Even in America, it was the fashion for women to wear hats. Partly fashion, partly to protect their skin. Even in the wild west, American women wore bonnets...to protect their skin from the harsh environment. The British monarchy women STILL wear hats. The purpose is different from a hijab: it's so that they stand out in a crowd (not hide in a crowd), their ruling class is easily identified, and sometimes doubling for protection from the elements.

Men also wore hats in England end of 19th Century/beg. of 20th Century.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:35 AM
 
1,008 posts, read 1,556,257 times
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This morning I happened to see photos of 19th century women who worked at an English coal mine. In the first picture they're cleaned up and prettied to pose for the photo in their work clothes. In the second picture they're seen on the job. The full article is here.

from the article:
Conditions were cold and dirty, and so they wore a striking ensemble, as described by one onlooker: “She wears a pair of trousers which formerly, were scarcely hidden at all, but are now covered with a skirt reaching just below the knees. Her head is cunningly bandaged with a red handkerchief, which entirely protects the hair from coal dust; across this is a piece of cloth which comes under the chin, with the result that only the face is exposed. A flannel jacket completes the costume.” The women most famous for this outfit were “Wigan’s Pit Brow Lasses.”




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Old 01-06-2020, 01:02 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
8,238 posts, read 7,148,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cold View Post


This morning I happened to see photos of 19th century women who worked at an English coal mine. ........ The full article is here.

Good find! Thanks for posting that. There sure are some interesting photographs of very young girls and women in that article.
.
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:48 PM
 
3,924 posts, read 1,872,847 times
Reputation: 14908
Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I googled working English working class women and found several pics of women who did not have coverings on their heads. There is a pic of women working in cotton mills, with no head coverings. The first pic says these women worked at a cotton mill.

I question the authenticity of the first image. How could the women have worked in a factory with shawls on their heads? At the very least there seemed to be many English women who went bareheaded. Perhaps in the country, women wore shawls because they would not have had coats. I suspect this image is meant to deceive.

Hijab is a Middle Eastern tradition, that was never traditional in Western countries. Even Muslims in the former Yugoslavia wore Western style dress.

They wouldn’t be wearing head coverings or shawls IN the factories, they would be using them to go to the factory.
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