Graduation Caps are Great

To continue our theme of BeWeave Its about celebrations in honor of our 2016 Weaving Challenge Handwoven Celebrations, today’s topic is graduation. Whether you’re celebrating somebody finishing high school or a PhD, graduations are an excellent time to weave small gifts or tokens to celebrate the achievements of the graduate. Perhaps the most iconic image of graduation is the graduation cap, also known as a mortarboard. As with many graduation rituals, the cap’s origin is probably rooted in the fact that the original European colleges were all Catholic as today’s cap resembles a biretta, a hat worn by clergy. Originally, only those receiving their Master’s would get to wear the cap, but eventually it was adopted by those getting their undergraduate degrees, while today it’s worn at most all graduations. The stiff mortarboard is a new invention, however, as originally the hats were all fabric. Going back to its Catholic roots, the sturdy mortarboard was invented and patented in 1950 by inventor Edward O’Reilly and Catholic priest, Joseph Durham.

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