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Accessorizing the BodyHabits of Being I$
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Cristina Giorcelli and Paula Rabinowitz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675784

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675784.001.0001

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Terra Divisa/Terra Divina: (T/E/A/R)

Terra Divisa/Terra Divina: (T/E/A/R)

(p.169) 10 Terra Divisa/Terra Divina: (T/E/A/R)
Accessorizing the Body

Maria Damon

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter describes a sampler embroidered with the letters T, E, A, R by artist Maria Damon. Terra Divisa/Terra Divina: (T/E/A/R), referring to the Scottish/English “Debatable Lands,” is bisected by conflict on the diagonal: brown and green for the earth and its cycles of rest and renewal or, more violently, death and rebirth. The large, ornate T and A are from a Scottish sampler from the 1750s, described in the pattern booklet as “a step toward the majestic illuminations to follow.” The A takes pride of place and space: it is the largest letter, spilling over its borders. It resonates with the American literary classic, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, about a woman who is forced to embroider an A (for Adultery) on her clothing. The smaller E and R are from an English sampler made in an orphanage in the 1840s.

Keywords:   samplers, debatable lands, The Scarlet Letter

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