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By far the majority of illustrations of women in Welsh costume depict them going to or from market to sell and buy farm produce. It seems likely that farmer’s daughters and wives wore their best clothes on these occasions, possibly to advertise the fact that they were local. T he cockle gatherers of the Gower, Carmarthenshire and Llangwm (Pembrokeshire), wore distinctive costumes, suitable for working by the sea, and special hats for carrying produce on their heads. Before photography became popular in the 1870s, there are very few illustrative examples of the clothing worn by working women.

This exhibition took place at the National Library of Wales between 21 June and 4 October 2008.

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