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Archive for June, 2019

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June 13th, 2019 by: Laurence Douny

From Pits to Pots: Indigo Dyeing Traditions of the Maranse of Burkina Faso

The abandoned sites of dyeing pits in the village of Zomkalga in northern-central Burkina Faso show the long-standing economic significance of an indigo industry that was developed by the Maranse in the first half of the 18th century[1] and that flourished from the second half of the 18th century in the Yatenga.[2] The pits, below-ground…

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June 13th, 2019 by: Samantha ShoreyDaniela Rosner

Making Core Memory – An experiment in troubling computing histories

In a two-minute clip from the docuseries Moon Machines, two women in white smocks pass a needle back and forth through a matrix of eyelet openings.[1] Sitting under task lamps in a Raytheon facility outside of Boston, they are making “core memory” for the Apollo Guidance Computer. They thread the wire through the ferrite cores…

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June 13th, 2019 by: Sarah Lowengard

Western Travelers Describe Foreign Textile Practices

The interested bystander is a familiar presence in narratives of information exchange in the early modern period. The observations of expatriates writing home, officials on government-sponsored tours, merchants and traders were constant and often significant components to stories about dissemination of techniques across distant geographies. At the same time, espionage, importing (or exporting) workers and…

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June 13th, 2019 by: Annapurna Mamidipudi

The Loom in the Weaving Marriage

 “My marriage is made of gold,” says an elderly weaver from East Godavari. This is a defining statement about a life lived in handloom weaving.[1] It seemed like a non sequitur in a conversation about the effects of the 2008 economic downturn on handloom weaving—a contrast to words of despair and drudgery regarding the presence…

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