University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
May 13, 2010
Contact: Alice Jackson, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6639

Textile Anthropologist Mary Spanos to Discuss New
Clothing Exhibits for USA Archaeology Museum

Mary Spanos

Mary Spanos


Respected textile anthropologist Mary Spanos will speak on “Recreating Southeastern Indian Textiles” for the Alfred and Lucile Delchamps Archaeology Building museum on Tuesday, May 18, at the University of South Alabama.

The 7 p.m. lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held inside the museum.

Spanos is currently designing and constructing clothing and footwear for prehistoric and colonial life-sized figures that will soon be displayed in the archaeology museum at the University. She will discuss how she used ceramic impressions of yarn and cloth, combined with prehistoric art and early European colonial chronicles to outfit Woodland and Mississippian figures, including a chief, grandmother and child. When completed, the museum’s exhibits will include other work by Spanos, including depictions of a French trader of the 1750s as well as African-American midwife and former slave Lucretia Perryman, who lived in Mobile around 1900.

Spanos used a prehistoric site in Clarke County, Ala., as the basis for her thesis research on textiles. Her interests also include prehistoric and early historic textiles, processes and tools as well as ethnographic spinning and weaving traditions. She has published articles on Chief Osceola’s garter, which is preserved in the Alabama Department of Archives and History collections and fabric-impressed prehistoric pottery. 

Prior to her study of prehistoric textiles, Spanos was a frequent contributor to Spin-Off magazine, which features articles about the ancient and thriving craft of spinning yarn as well as the personal and household items that can be made with handspun yarn.

The event is co-sponsored by the USA Center for Archaeological Studies and the Southwest Chapter of the Alabama Archaeological Society.

For more information, call (251) 460-6562.


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