- Place of origin:
Great Britain (made)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Museum number:
- Gallery location:
Tie-dyed cotton Donga Hat with tassle.
Place of Origin
Great Britain (made)
Materials and Techniques
Object history note
Part of New Age Traveller Costume (T.485 to 499-1994). This was assembled and worn by Fraggle, a member of the Dongas tribe. The Dongas were an environmentally conscious tribe who travelled from campaign to campaign for saving the environment. Most of the garments were made or customised by Fraggle herself, and brought together to reflect a colourful, unkempt look. The handmade accessories, including a clay ocarina from South America, and worn, embroidered Indian waistcoat display sympathy towards other cultures. The whole outfit shows the Traveller's preference for the self-sufficient lifestyle.
"'I was run over by a bulldozer in that dress,' Fraggle explains. She is a member of the Dongas Tribe and is referring to a black and green dress that will appear in the Travellers section of the V & A. 'It was also the dress I wore to my first festival - the solstice at Stonehenge in 1989.'
Fraggle has been living on the road for three years and she is now actively campaigning for the environment and against the Criminal Justice Bill. 'The V&A organising an exhibition like this is a good thing because now we have been recorded as part of history. It's especially important when the government is passing a bill to say that we don't exist. I am part of a group of people who are working outside of the system. We are able to survive apart from conventional society by creating our own economy, and our clothes reflect our outlook on life. We dress brightly because we're positive and optimistic; our lives aren't boring or bland.'
Fraggle's dress code also acts as a signal to like-minded people. 'We use it to relate to each other; you can look at someone and see that you are part of the same family. Some people only see that we are scruffy. I actually think it's a waste of time to have a bath everyday. People don't realise that we are bound to be dirty because we are out in the forest chopping wood.'
Members of the tribe usually wear a variety of practical accessories around their necks. 'All of us wear spoons which we make and give to each other. We have crochet hooks to make our hats and I wear an ocarina (a clay wind instrument) which is nice to have around your neck so you can play a tune any time.'"
(Fraggle, interviewed by Sarah Callard for "The British supermarket of style", published in The Independent, Saturday 25 September 1994).
Purchased. Registered File number 1994/274.
Hat, tie-dyed cotton, Great Britain, 1989-1993; part of New Age Traveller Costume.
Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)
De La Haye, Amy and Cathie Dingwall, eds. Surfers Soulies Skinheads & Skaters: Subcultural Style from the Forties to the Nineties. London: Victoria and Albert Publications, 1996.
Images Online; Accessories; Fashion; Women's clothes; Hats & headwear; Streetstyle exhibition 1994
Textiles and Fashion Collection