For many years my work has been concerned with transfer of knowledge about the customs and rituals of the domestic phenomenon known as English tea. Increasingly I have found this knowledge conflicts with the myths and histories that are manifested in the public arena. This leads me to ask questions about my identity and to examine how information from the past is disseminated.
As I lay out found information about one branch of my mother’s family, a narrative of lost identity is emerging that resonates with my study of English tea culture. There is something about the gradual loss of customs and rituals over time; dissolving and adapting, reshaping and re-emerging as something new.