Clothes and Heritage: Chinese American Clothes from the Virginia Lee Mead CollectionAbout the Collection
The Lee family wore these objects of clothing between 1881 and 1945 which Lee’s youngest daughter, Virginia Lee Mead, donated to NMAH. The family imported many articles of clothing from China that were worn on special occasions; otherwise, the children and businessman Lee dressed in Western-style attire for daily wear. The mother of the family continued to wear traditional Chinese dress most of her life. Their clothing reflects diverse Chinese and American cultural traditions.
The Lee family, c. 1920. The donor, Virginia Lee, was not yet born.
"Clothes and Heritage: Chinese American Clothes from the Virginia Lee Mead Collection - About the Collection" showing 1 items.
- Description (Brief)
- Mrs. Lee made this "dog head" bonnet for her only son, Peter. Chinese mothers traditionally dressed their one year old children in such bonnets to protect them from evil spirits. According to lore, if evil forces met the child they would pass by, thinking it were an animal, and of no value. Fur lines the bonnet's "dog's ears" and the padded wool of the hat lined Peter's head.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Lee Ng Shee
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center