November 28, 2013

Cross stitching 123 ABC

Olá! Since I was a child I remember to wonder why so many cross stitch patterns have letters and numbers... 

Recently I found the reason why this happens... Maybe you know it... Maybe not...

Many and many years (centuries) ago young girls learned needlework skills at the same time they learned basic literacy and numeracy. As so, cross stitching the alphabet and numbers helped them to practice both.

That's the reason why you'll find so many samplers with these elements... In Portugal we don't use the literal translation of  the word "sampler", instead we use mapa (map) or mostruário (showcase). And the use of "map" has also to do with the education of girls, once some of the samplers (maps) intended to teach geography, too...

One of these days I'll tell you about ancient Portuguese mapas...

But today I leave you with this pattern... Stitching it I felt I was back to school...




2 comments:

  1. I wasn't aware of this, but it makes a great deal of sense. Thank you for sharing this with us and also giving us a little more insight into the Portuguese language, I always enjoy it. Your little mapa is lovely. Enjoy your weekend. xoxo

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  2. I love visiting here to learn about my Portuguese heritage and traditional crafts. Born in the Azores but raised in America my visits here are good for the soul. e

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