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The Textiles and Clothing of the Germans from Russia

Ann W. Braaten, Curator, Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection
Department of Apparel, Textiles and Interior Design
College of Human Development and Education
North Dakota State University, Fargo

Presentation at the Harvey Public Library, Harvey, ND, for the grand opening of the North Dakota State University Libraries' traveling exhibition, "The Kempf Family: Germans from Russia Weavers on the Dakota Prairies."

Outreach Program of the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo

Carol Weigum Shaw's Family Rug

Rag rugs covered many families' cold floors here on the Dakota prairie. Women saved scraps of fabric and would trade them with their neighbors for an attractive color array.

Strips were braided and stitched together with strong thread to form the rug. Carol remembered it only being used on Sundays. On other days, the rug was in a closet where she found it long after the home had been abandoned.


Ralph Ruff's "Bowtie" Quilt

This quilt was made especially for Ralph Ruff of Vacaville, California, by his grandmother Katharina (Rieker) Kiesz in 1934. Katharina was born in the village of Bergdorf and was married to Wilhlem Kiesz. Ralph's mother was six months old when her family came to America on the ship Red Star. Katharina's family first settled at Bowdle, SD. They later moved to Ritzville, south of Spokane, Washington, in the early 1900s.

After the death of Ralph's mother, Christina (Kiesz) Ruff, he was raised by Grandmother and Grandfather Kiesz. Grandmother Kiesz wanted Ralph to have a blanket that was just for him, so she saved scraps of material, perhaps from old clothing, feed and flour sacks. She sewed every stitch and Ralph, at age 9, helped to thread most of the needles. It was her special gift to him. He presented the quilt to the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection in February of 1996.


Philippine Baumgartner Berglund's Black Silk Shawl

Red embroidery embellishes this fine black silk shawl. All but one of the motifs are of floral design, with the exception being stitched in shape of a swan. Philippine (Baumgartner) Berglund of Linton, ND, presented this shawl to the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection in 1994. Philippine's parents were Michael and Odelia (Wolf) Baumgartner, born in the village of Strassburg, Kutschurgan District, South Russia. Michael and Odelia Baumgartner lived in Strasburg, Emmons County, North Dakota. The Baumgartner family were early pioneers to settle in south central North Dakota.

Appreciation is expressed to Vi (Kruckenberg) Schielke, Ralph Ruff and Philippine (Baumgartner) Berglund for the donation of textiles and clothing to the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection.


Partnership between Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection and Germans from Russia Heritage Collection

The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at the NDSU Libraries and the Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection, College of Human Development and Education, NDSU, have formed a partnership to preserve the material culture of the Germans from Russia. Textiles and clothing items are housed in the Reynolds Collection Room of the College of Human Development and Education. This room is climate controlled and designed to preserve textiles and clothing for the benefit of not only people in the present, but also for future generations.


Donating Germans from Russia Textiles and Clothing

Persons wishing to learn more about the Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection, the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, or wishing to donate textiles and clothing of the Germans from Russia, can contact: Ann W. Braaten, Department of Apparel, Textiles and Interior Design, College of Human Development and Education, NDSU, Fargo, ND 58105 (Tel: 701-231-7367; E-mail: Ann_Braaten@ndsu.edu), or Michael M. Miller, Germans from Russia Bibliographer, Libraries, PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050 (Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu).
Ann W. Braaten, Curator of the Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection, presenting one of her clothing and textiles presentations in North Dakota. The Reynolds Historic Collection is part of the Department of Apparel, Textiles and Design, College of Human Development and Education, North Dakota State University, Fargo. The location is E. Morrow Lebedeff Hall on the NDSU campus. Ann Braaten can be reached at the following: Tel: 701-231-7367 and E-mail: Ann_Braaten@ndsu.edu

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller
North Dakota State University Libraries
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
Libraries
NDSU Dept #2080
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Tel: 701-231-8416
Fax: 701-231-6128
Last Updated:
Director: Michael M. Miller
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