“Mummies in Maine???? Curiosities, Commodities and Cultural Connections”, a talk by Su Wolfe, will be hosted by NMCC and the Haystack Historical Society.
The Haystack Historical Society, in collaboration with NMCC is pleased to host a special presentation by one of the world’s leading mummy experts on October 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm at the Northern Maine Community College Library.
The public is welcome to attend this free program to learn more about mummies in Maine from Su Wolfe, author of Mummies in Nineteenth Century America, Ancient Egyptians as Artifacts.
One of the more interesting bits of legend and folklore which teases and tantalizes both historians and lay people alike is, the idea that mummy wrappings were once used to make paper in Maine. Bits and pieces of the story periodically surface in Yankee magazine, Maine Antiques Digest, Down East magazine, and even on the Discovery Channel.
While Egyptian mummies had been an amusement in America since the early 1800’s, around the time of the Civil War, their focus shifted from that of being a passive object of curiosity to one which required a bit more “activity” on their parts – the use of their wrappings to make paper. While this may seem gruesome in the extreme, it follows a logical progression of viewing the ancient dead as curiosities, commodities, and cultural connections.
This illustrated talk will give an overview of the history of Egyptian mummies as artifacts in nineteenth-century America, and provide some factual evidence for the Maine mummy papermaking business which is, as will be demonstrated, a lot more than just an urban legend.
The Haystack Historical Society is pleased to collaborate with Northern Maine Community College to offer this exciting program to the public.