1948-1969 represents a time when I fell in love with everything about my very Swedish Grandmother, including her hats.
I hope you enjoy a short journey exploring My Maja, as I focus on highlighting her stylish hats and reveal some family history.
Grandma Maja was impressive in many ways. How I wish I would have asked her about the above formal studio photo.
Maja left behind so many varied photos portraying dynamics of her life. Her amazing photo collection helps me savor and appreciate her fascinating life and Swedish immigrant story. I am delighted you have visited this blog and I am glad to share with you.
In studying Swedish immigration, some experts suggest photo studio portraits, like the one above were staged to represent how prosperous one could become in America. The fancy clothes often belonged to the photographer and studio.
I spent many wonderful times speaking with grandma. More and more I became especially fascinated with her storytelling about Sweden and family traditions.
I was intrigued with what she called, “the old country”, especially inquisitive about the people and culture.
From looking at photos of Grandma in her youth I began to piece together her story of growing up wealthy in her Swedish town, Sollefteå northern Sweden.
Maja poses with traditional Swedish culture dress and hat.
Grandma as a Swedish immigrant in America stood out. I suspect her distinctive hats she chose to wear here in public were part of that which turned heads. Her heavy Swedish accent was strong and people learned quickly she was a “foreigner.”
I was somehow proud of her being, “different”. I was attracted to learning more about my roots, history, culture. I loved stories told about my ancestors and how they accomplished things that made them stand out as memorable. Maja was a great friend, teacher, and mentor.
Maja’s stories about her parents and growing up in a “privileged home” where her upbringing was carefully guided was fascinating. Ski and music lessons, heavy religious teaching and practice was instilled as a way to fully prepare them for future success and well being.
The many photos I have of Maja and our family history are treasures. I recall many sleepovers spending lots of enjoyable time with her. We always got around to talking about her life in Sweden.
I wanted to know how she was raised and what daily life was like in Sweden. I wanted to know about her great big family.
I wanted to know about life in her Swedish village and the family business that was built from scratch. I wanted to know about her ancestors as she showed me a family tree dating back to 1700’s
I wanted to know know about her schooling
I wanted to know about culture of high Swedish Society.
Grandma’s varied Swedish hats are just one small window of ways to get to know her. I will include a few more photos. Take a journey back in time enjoying turn of the century fashionable Maja.
I am happy to show insights about, “My Maja” and through this blog try to convey why I am eager to share my Grandma Maja with others. Naturally, I hope you will purchase our book where I take time to reveal more.
Enjoy a short Grandma Maja Swedish hat fashion show.
I wish to add a postscript to this blog. A friend wrote to me explaining that although he is Swedish and both of his parents are Swedish immigrants to the US, he has no family history and photos.
I find that situation very sad as I have such an extensive library full of history, archives and photos.
I wrote to him and invited him and expressing an ongoing invitation communicating that he is most welcome to adopt my sharing as a way to connect to his Swedish roots.