Friday, September 19, 2008

Traditional Funeral Attire

For older generations such as my great grandmother Bell Bullock Johnson (1890-1982), it was customary to wear all black to a funeral. The black apparel also included a black hat. This custom has not been necessarily continued as a whole with younger generations. Below are photos from a family funeral in Richmond, VA that occurred possibly in the 1970s.

(Front) Aunt Bessie Bullock Carroll (1901-1991), a sister of my great grandmother Bell. Grandma Bell is the lady in the back.

(Left to right) Aunt Bessie; Emma, a daughter of Bell and Bessie’s sister Channie; and Grandma Bell. Here we see more of the outfits of the older ladies wearing black dresses, hats, and purses, and their niece wearing a flora print dress. Even though we can’t tell from the photos, I assume that the older ladies were also wearing black shoes.

Verlena, daughter of Bessie and Bell’s sister Mima; Aunt Bessie; and Emma, daughter of Bessie and Bell’s sister Channie. I do not know the name of the little girl, but she is a granddaughter of Emma. In this photo, we see more of a contrast between the clothing of the older lady and the younger ones.


Msteri said...

Very interesting, especially in the 70's, wearing floral dresses to funerals. I can remember feeling I should wear dark colors at that time and still mostly black, not a floral print. Interesting observation Dru! Times have really changed haven't they?


A. Spence said...

Maybe there was a specific reason for them to wear the floral dresses.