The Farmers' Bank of Rustico
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Acadians on PEI

 


Acadian Clothing

Traditional Acadian Clothes

An important symbol of Acadian distinctiveness was their style of dress. Acadian women held very strongly to their traditional costume. It was only after much encouragement by the clergy and Acadian leaders that, from the early 1870's, they began to abandon their distinctive clothing.

The Acadian author of the following letter, published in 1880 in the newspaper, "Le Moniteur Acadien" of Shediac, N.B. clearly explains the reasons:

"A few years back, our women still wore the old costume brought from Acadia by our grandmothers. They were much attached to it. It would be difficult to say why. It was neither beautiful nor convenient. Because of it, the other ethnic groups made fun of us and ridiculed us. To avoid such public exposure, we have persuaded our women to adopt the style of the country and today the majority of them dress like the women of other groups. They don't get along worse than they did, and the Acadians are in a much better situation."

As late as the 1920's, there were still a few old ladies in Rustico who dressed in the traditional way.

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