December Festive: A Junior Maiko’s Kanzashi

These are Hair Ornaments, in capital letters.

Kanzashi (traditional hair ornaments) change with the month and according to the experience of their wearers. The folds and twists of wired silk are formed into chrysanthemums, willow, wysteria, plum blossoms, fans, bamboo, and other shapes indicative of the season. The kanzashi below is worn in December and is ornamented with game paddles, charms, and shapes evoking mochi rice cakes made at this time of year. The two white panels are blank until the maiko asks two of her favorite kabuki actors to sign them.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.