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Type > Tools & Equipment > Whisk broom

Accession # SRM1980-23.14

Whisk broom

19th century


This small broom is a whisk broom, also called a "duster." Its conventional use is to dust or clean a surface but it also would have served an important symbolic function as a marriage broom. Slaves were not able to join in legally recognized marriages so they symbolically recognized their marriage by jumping over a broom. Traditional folklore designated that the partner who jumped first, the highest, or without falling would have the most authority in the marriage.




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