Music to My Eyes

So one of the exhibits at Old Sturbridge Village is a building full of firearms and textiles. It is interesting to see the evolution of muskets and eventually rifles over the course of two centuries, but what I really found interesting was a few items in the textiles section of the building. There used to be a frugal wife's guide published by a woman that taught women how to do things on the cheap, like dying fabric. Seems bread was wrapped in purple paper and you could leech the color out of it and use it to dye paper. That sort of thing.

One of the last things you see on your way out are a selection of patterns and some yellowed paper. Now, the first time I went there it was the end of the day and we were in a bit of a rush. I thought it was music. Going through it again, I saw that it wasn't music, it was notation on how to make the pattern. Some looked like music. Some looked like an accountant's ledger. None of them looked like instructions on how to make fabric patterns, but people understood them! The gears started turning.

What if a people's sewing patterns were a means of communicating, but not just a single intent like "we are at war" but an entire song and that song had meaning. You could tell the tales of your great deeds or the deeds of your ancestors, singing a song that all your people would understand.

I really thrilled to that idea. It really gets my brain to swimming in a new and exciting culture.