Little Majorette (1950s)

This is such a sweet collection of black and white photos of a little majorette and her trophies. The car in one of the photos and style of photography indicate that the photos were taken during the 1950s. Also, the little girl’s hairstyle was popular in the late 1940s and early 1950s: short with curls on the sides and thick, short bangs. If you look closely, you’ll see she’s actually posing with two different trophies.

Her Costume

Another thing we love about this picture is the costume she’s wearing in the outdoor pictures. Made out of velvet, it was likely handmade, which was the case for most costumes during this era. The modified garrison hat with Robin Hood stitching is also so cute. It reminds us of the hats European majorettes wear today.

The costume she’s wearing in the portrait photo features fur and a sequin applique, reflecting a subtle, though obvious nod to Native culture. The Native American influence in baton twirling costumes is something we are very curious about but haven’t had time to fully research. We’re guessing it was inspired by college majorettes from Florida State (Seminoles), San Diego State (Aztecs), etc. Also, we can consider the accompanying influence of the 46-foot tall neon majorette sign constructed for Campus Drive-In, San Diego, 1946.

How trends develop and how influence forms is something I have studied throughout my career, so I am drawn to the larger narrative about this. We are currently amassing a nice collection of twirlers in costumed Native American headdress. Anyway, the V-shaped placement of the fur (and other trimmings) is still common in twirling costumes today.

As with all our photo discoveries, we wish we knew her name. Who are you little majorette? If she is alive, she would be in her early 70s.

Source: Teoli Archive; Creative Commons License Applies


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