What does an everyday Irish dresser and delph tell us about family life and culture?
As part of the multiyear Cultural Landscapes of the Irish Coast Project, Meredith Chesson, Professor of Anthropology, the University of Notre Dame, has used the lens of the Irish dresser and curated ceramic and glass vessels to conduct an ethnoarchaeoogical analysis of homemaking on the islands of Inishbofin and Inishark (Co. Galway), as well as on Inishturk (Co. Mayo).
In this talk, Professor Chesson will show that dressers tell stories that transcend time and space, building connections between the living and loved ones lost to death and emigration, as well as serving as mementos of important life milestones like pilgrimages, births, deaths, and marriages. In the past and today, dressers and their contents transform a house into "home," working to anchor the home in a family, a community, and the heritage of rural Western island communities.
Originally published at irishstudies.nd.edu.