What Are Senior High School Mum And Garters
Modified: August 11, 2023
Discover the significance of senior high school mum and garters for all students. Learn why these traditional accessories hold special meaning and celebrate school pride.
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In the world of senior high school traditions, one custom stands out for its vibrant colors, intricate designs, and lasting impact on students’ lives – Mum and Garters. This age-old tradition, rooted in Texas but now practiced in various parts of the United States, has become a rite of passage for many students. Mum and Garters are decorative accessories worn during the homecoming festivities, typically in the form of elaborately designed corsages and garters adorned with ribbons, flowers, charms, and personalized trinkets.
The Mum and Garters tradition has evolved over the years, transforming from simple fabric corsages to ornate creations that rival wearable art pieces. These eye-catching accessories are often a reflection of the student’s personality, interests, and achievements, making them highly personalized and cherished mementos of their high school journey.
Originally, Mum and Garters were primarily worn by female students, but the tradition has expanded to include male students as well. Today, both boys and girls proudly display their Mum and Garters during homecoming events, showcasing their school spirit and cultural identity.
While the tradition’s origins can be traced back to early 20th-century homecoming celebrations, the exact beginnings of Mum and Garters are shrouded in mystery. Some accounts suggest that it started as a way for parents to honor and recognize their children’s achievements during homecoming, often by adorning them with chrysanthemum corsages. Others believe that it originated from the practice of wearing pinned ribbons or small trinkets on clothing to show support for one’s school or team.
Over time, Mum and Garters grew in size, complexity, and symbolic meaning. They became more elaborate, incorporating various elements such as miniature cowbells, sports paraphernalia, and personal memorabilia. It is not uncommon to see students wearing Mum and Garters that weigh several pounds and dangle down to their knees.
The significance of Mum and Garters in senior high school can hardly be overstated. These decorative accessories are not only a visually striking part of the homecoming experience but also serve as a treasured keepsake for students to commemorate their high school journey. Mum and Garters represent the culmination of years of hard work, friendships, and memories, encapsulating the spirit and unity of the senior class.
In the following sections, we will explore the history, importance, design process, symbolism, and cultural significance of Mum and Garters. Let’s dive deeper into this fascinating tradition and gain a better understanding of why these ornate accessories hold such value in the hearts of high school students.
Definition of Mum and Garters
Mum and Garters, also known as homecoming mums, are decorative accessories worn by high school students during homecoming festivities. The term “mum” originated from the chrysanthemum flower, which was initially used to create corsages for the occasion. Over time, the term expanded to encompass the entire decorative accessory.
A Mum typically consists of a large fabric flower, often in the shape of a chrysanthemum, as the centerpiece. The flower is typically made from satin or grosgrain ribbon, and it can range in size from a few inches to more than a foot in diameter. The flower is adorned with ribbons, streamers, trinkets, charms, and other decorative elements that represent the student’s interests, achievements, and school spirit.
On the other hand, Garters are smaller versions of Mums that are worn around the arm or leg. Garters are usually worn by male students or can be given as gifts to a student’s date. Similar to Mums, Garters are adorned with ribbons, trinkets, and charms, representing the wearer’s affiliations and interests.
Mum and Garters are highly customizable, allowing students to add their personal touch to these accessories. The ribbons used in Mum and Garters often feature the school’s colors, the student’s name, graduation year, and symbols representing their extracurricular activities or accomplishments. In some instances, students might include LED lights, bells, cowbells, or even small musical instruments to amplify the visual and auditory impact of their Mum and Garters.
These accessories are typically worn on homecoming day, pinned to the student’s clothing, or attached to a decorative neck strap. They are proudly showcased during pep rallies, football games, parades, and other school-related events leading up to the homecoming dance.
Today, Mum and Garters have become more than just decorative accessories – they are highly sought-after fashion statements and meaningful mementos for high school students. Their construction, size, and elaborateness have evolved over the years, making them an integral part of the homecoming tradition and a symbol of school pride and unity.
History of Mum and Garters Tradition
The Mum and Garters tradition has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century, primarily in the state of Texas. While the exact origins of this tradition are not well-documented, it is believed to have its roots in the growing popularity of homecoming celebrations and the desire to honor students’ achievements during these events.
In the early days of homecoming, parents would often give their children chrysanthemums, which were considered symbols of joy, loyalty, and longevity. These flowers were typically worn as corsages or pinned to clothing as a way to recognize and celebrate the student’s accomplishments.
As time passed, the practice of wearing chrysanthemums evolved into the creation of elaborate Mum corsages. These corsages started incorporating ribbons in the school’s colors, as well as charms and trinkets that represented the student’s interests and activities. The corsages grew larger and became a source of pride for students, symbolizing their involvement in school life and their achievements.
During the mid-20th century, the tradition of wearing Mum and Garters gradually spread beyond Texas and became more prevalent in other parts of the United States. With each passing year, the Mum and Garters designs became more complex and ornate, reflecting the creativity and individuality of the students.
Over time, the tradition expanded to include both females and males. Originally, Mums were mainly worn by girls, while boys would wear small ribbons or pins to show their school spirit. However, as gender roles in society evolved, boys began wearing Garters as a counterpart to the Mum corsages. Garters were typically worn around the arm or leg, and like Mums, they featured personalized ribbons and trinkets.
The popularity of Mum and Garters continued to grow, and they became an integral part of homecoming festivities. It became a tradition for students to exchange Mums and Garters with their friends, dates, or significant others as a display of friendship, admiration, or romantic interest.
Today, the Mum and Garters tradition is not only limited to high school homecoming events but has expanded to include other school-related occasions, such as proms and other special events. Students eagerly anticipate the opportunity to showcase their creativity and express their school spirit through their unique and personalized Mum and Garters designs.
Importance of Mum and Garters in Senior High School
Mum and Garters hold significant importance in the lives of senior high school students. These ornate accessories are not just decorative items, but rather symbols of school spirit, achievements, friendship, and memories. They serve as a tangible representation of the high school journey and hold deep sentimental value for both the wearer and the giver.
One of the main reasons Mum and Garters are highly valued is their ability to foster a sense of belonging and pride within the student body. These accessories allow students to proudly display their affiliation with their school, clubs, sports teams, and other extracurricular activities. From the moment they first pin on their Mum or strap on their Garter, students become ambassadors of their school, showcasing their dedication and commitment to their school community.
Mum and Garters also play a significant role in building and strengthening relationships. Students often exchange or receive Mums and Garters as tokens of friendship, admiration, or romantic interest. The act of giving and receiving these personalized accessories creates lasting memories and deepens the bonds between friends and significant others. It’s a tradition that promotes unity and solidarity among students, fostering a sense of camaraderie and support.
Furthermore, Mum and Garters hold immense sentimental value as mementos of the high school experience. These accessories serve as tangible reminders of cherished memories, accomplishments, and milestones. From the ribbons that represent a student’s participation in a sports team or club, to the charms that symbolize academic achievements or personal interests, every element of the Mum and Garters tells a unique story. The act of designing and wearing these accessories becomes a way for students to reflect on their high school journey and celebrate their growth and accomplishments.
For many students, Mum and Garters also act as a form of self-expression. These accessories provide an opportunity for students to showcase their creativity, individuality, and personal style. The design process allows them to incorporate elements that reflect their personality, hobbies, and passions, making each Mum and Garter truly unique. Students take pride in wearing their creations and enjoy the attention and appreciation they receive from their peers and the wider school community.
Moreover, the Mum and Garters tradition has a nostalgic value that extends beyond the high school years. Many students keep their Mums and Garters as keepsakes, treasuring them as symbols of their youth and the memories associated with their high school years. These accessories serve as reminders of not only the homecoming festivities but also of the friendships, laughter, and challenges that were part of their journey.
In summary, Mum and Garters are important in senior high school because they foster a sense of belonging and pride, build and strengthen relationships, hold sentimental value as mementos, allow for self-expression, and carry a nostalgic significance that extends beyond the high school years. These accessories are not merely decorative items but rather cherished symbols of the high school experience and the memories that accompany it.
Types and Designs of Mum and Garters
Mum and Garters come in a wide variety of types and designs, each reflecting the unique style, interests, and achievements of the wearer. From traditional designs to more personalized and elaborate creations, there is a Mum and Garters design to suit every student’s preferences.
The most basic type of Mum and Garters consists of a large fabric flower as the centerpiece. These flowers are often made from satin or grosgrain ribbon and can be in the shape of a chrysanthemum or other floral designs. The size of the flower can vary, ranging from a few inches to more than a foot in diameter.
Along with the centerpiece flower, Mum and Garters are adorned with ribbons, streamers, trinkets, charms, and other decorative elements. These additions are what make each Mum and Garters unique and tailored to the student’s personality and interests. The ribbons used in Mum and Garters often feature the school’s colors, the student’s name, graduation year, and symbols representing their extracurricular activities or achievements.
There are various types of Mum and Garters designs to choose from:
- Traditional Design: This design features the centerpiece flower, ribbons, and basic decorative elements. It embodies the classic and timeless look of Mum and Garters, often incorporating school colors and symbols.
- Sports-themed Design: For students who are passionate about a particular sport, a sports-themed design can be created. This design incorporates sports-related elements such as miniature football helmets, basketballs, pom-poms, or other sports equipment.
- Club/Activity Design: Students involved in clubs or extracurricular activities can customize their Mum and Garters to represent their affiliations. For example, a band member might include musical notes or instruments, while a theater enthusiast might incorporate drama masks or theater props.
- Personalized Design: Many students choose to personalize their Mum and Garters with elements that reflect their individuality and interests. This can include favorite quotes, symbols representing hobbies or passions, or even photographs.
- Lights and Sound Design: Some students go beyond the traditional design and incorporate LED lights or small musical devices that play school fight songs or chants. These designs create a vibrant and interactive Mum and Garters experience.
The customization options for Mum and Garters are virtually endless. Students can choose from a wide range of colors, charms, trinkets, and decorative elements to create a design that truly showcases their personality and achievements.
Throughout the years, Mum and Garters designs have evolved, becoming more elaborate and intricate. It is not uncommon to see students wearing Mums and Garters that are larger than their heads, adorned with layers of ribbons, streamers, bells, and charms. These designs can be so elaborate that they weigh several pounds and reach down to the wearer’s knees.
Ultimately, the types and designs of Mum and Garters are limited only by the creativity and imagination of the students. Whether it follows a traditional style or pushes the boundaries of design, each Mum and Garters is a representation of the wearer’s unique journey, interests, and achievements.
Process of Making Mum and Garters
The process of making Mum and Garters involves creativity, craftsmanship, and attention to detail. While the specific techniques may vary depending on individual preferences and design choices, there are general steps involved in creating these elaborate accessories.
1. Gather Materials: Before starting the creation process, gather all the necessary materials, including fabric or ribbon for the centerpiece flower, various ribbons in different colors and widths, charms, trinkets, and any other decorative elements chosen for the design.
2. Build the Centerpiece Flower: Begin by creating the centerpiece flower. This is usually done by folding and manipulating ribbon or fabric into the desired shape, often in the form of a chrysanthemum or other floral design. Secure the layers of ribbon or fabric with wire, stitching, or adhesive to create a sturdy and well-defined flower.
3. Attach Ribbons: Once the centerpiece flower is complete, attach ribbons in various lengths and colors to it. These ribbons can be plain or patterned, depending on the desired design. Layer the ribbons and affix them securely to the back of the centerpiece flower, allowing them to cascade down and create a decorative dangle effect.
4. Add Decorative Elements: Now it’s time to add the decorative elements that will personalize the Mum and Garters design. Attach charms, trinkets, and other selected items to the ribbons or centerpiece flower using wire, string, or adhesive. These items can represent the student’s interests, achievements, or school spirit.
5. Personalize with Names and Symbols: Use additional ribbons or fabric to create personalized nametags or banners. Embroider or write the student’s name, graduation year, or school symbol on these tags and attach them to the Mum and Garters design. These personalized elements add a special touch and make the accessory uniquely theirs.
6. Secure and Finish: Once all the decorative elements are in place, ensure that everything is securely attached. Trim any excess ribbon or thread and make sure the Mum and Garters is visually balanced and symmetrical. Take a final look at the design to ensure it meets the desired aesthetic appeal.
7. Optional Additions: For those who want to take their Mum and Garters design to the next level, additional features like LED lights or small musical devices can be incorporated. These elements add an extra level of uniqueness and interactivity to the accessory.
Creating Mum and Garters is a labor of love, often involving hours of dedication and meticulous attention to detail. From the selection of materials to the arrangement of decorative elements, every step is crucial in bringing the design to life. The process allows students to express their creativity and personalize their Mum and Garters to reflect their personality, interests, and achievements.
Symbolism and Meaning Behind Mum and Garters
Mum and Garters are not just visually striking accessories; they also carry deep symbolism and meaning for the wearers and givers. Each element incorporated into the design of Mum and Garters holds significance and represents various aspects of the student’s high school journey and personal identity.
Chrysanthemum Flower: The centerpiece chrysanthemum flower holds symbolism in itself. Chrysanthemums traditionally represent joy, longevity, and loyalty. By incorporating the flower into Mum and Garters, it symbolizes the enduring connectedness of the wearer to their school, friends, and memories.
Ribbons: The ribbons used in Mum and Garters are not only decorative but also carry symbolic meaning. The colors of the ribbons often represent the school’s colors, symbolizing school pride and unity. Each color can also have its own significance. For example, red may represent passion or love for the school, while gold can symbolize achievements or excellence in academics or athletics.
Charms and Trinkets: The charms and trinkets attached to Mum and Garters are not just decorative accents but also reflect the wearer’s interests, achievements, and affiliations. These small items can include sports-related charms, musical notes, theater masks, or symbols representing clubs, organizations, or hobbies. Each charm and trinket tells a story and adds a personal touch to the overall design.
Personalized Nametags and Banners: The inclusion of personalized nametags or banners in Mum and Garters allows the wearer to further express their identity and highlight their individuality. These tags often include the student’s name, graduation year, and symbols representing their school or activities. They serve as a constant reminder of the wearer’s affiliation with their school and the memories created during their high school journey.
Weight and Size: The size and weight of Mum and Garters can hold symbolic significance as well. Larger and heavier designs may symbolize the magnitude of the wearer’s achievements or the impact they have had on their school community. They become a visual representation of the dedication and hard work put into their high school journey.
Exchange of Mum and Garters: The act of exchanging Mum and Garters with friends, dates, or significant others adds another layer of symbolism and meaning. It represents friendship, admiration, and the bonding experience of sharing a special moment together. The exchange of Mum and Garters is often a cherished moment and creates lasting memories for those involved.
Overall, Mum and Garters serve as powerful symbols of school spirit, achievements, friendships, and personal identity. Each element incorporated into their design holds specific symbolism and meaning, creating a personalized accessory that tells a unique story. Mum and Garters are not merely decorative items but representations of the wearer’s connection to their school and the memories made during their high school journey.
Evolution of Mum and Garters Tradition
The Mum and Garters tradition has evolved significantly over the years, undergoing changes in design, complexity, and cultural significance. What started as a simple practice of wearing chrysanthemum corsages has transformed into a highly personalized and elaborate tradition that represents the unique identities of high school students.
Initially, Mum and Garters were relatively modest in design, with the focus primarily on the chrysanthemum flower. However, as students sought to express their individuality and school spirit, the tradition began to incorporate more intricate elements. Ribbons, charms, trinkets, and other decorative items were introduced, allowing students to personalize their Mum and Garters with symbols representing their interests, achievements, and affiliations.
The size of Mum and Garters also underwent a significant transformation. What was once a small, discreet corsage has now turned into massive creations that can reach lengths of several feet. Students began adding layers of ribbons, streamers, and charms, resulting in larger and more visually impactful accessories.
Advances in materials and technology have also played a role in the evolution of Mum and Garters. With the availability of a wider range of ribbon colors, patterns, and textures, students have more options to create unique designs that reflect their style. Additionally, the inclusion of LED lights and small musical devices has added a new level of interactivity, making Mum and Garters visually stunning and captivating.
Another aspect that has contributed to the evolution of Mum and Garters is the influence of social media. Platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest have provided inspiration and ideas for new designs, fostering creativity and encouraging students to push the boundaries of traditional Mum and Garters. The sharing of photos and designs on social media has also allowed the tradition to spread beyond regional boundaries, reaching a wider audience and inspiring students across different communities.
Furthermore, the cultural significance of Mum and Garters has grown over time. This tradition has become deeply entrenched in the high school experience, with students eagerly anticipating the opportunity to craft and wear their Mum and Garters during homecoming festivities. It has become a symbol of school pride, unity, and camaraderie, with students using their creations to express their identity and showcase their achievements.
As Mum and Garters continue to evolve, it is expected that new trends, designs, and techniques will emerge. The tradition will continue to be shaped by the creativity and individuality of students, keeping the spirit of Mum and Garters alive for generations to come.
Cultural Significance of Mum and Garters
Mum and Garters hold a significant cultural significance, especially in the regions where they are prominently practiced. This tradition has become deeply rooted in the fabric of high school culture, reflecting the values, identity, and sense of community within these communities.
First and foremost, Mum and Garters serve as a symbol of school spirit and unity. Students proudly wear these elaborate accessories to showcase their support for their school, sports teams, clubs, and other extracurricular activities. The vibrant colors, personalized designs, and size of Mum and Garters create a visual spectacle that not only instills a sense of pride among the wearers but also generates enthusiasm and excitement among the entire school community.
Mum and Garters also play a significant role in fostering inclusion and building relationships among students. The tradition encourages interaction, as students exchange these accessories with friends, dates, and significant others. The act of giving and wearing Mum and Garters signifies friendship, admiration, and the shared experience of homecoming. It promotes a sense of belonging and camaraderie among students, creating lasting memories and bonds that extend beyond the high school years.
Moreover, the creative process of designing and making Mum and Garters showcases individuality, self-expression, and craftsmanship. Students have the freedom to personalize their Mum and Garters, incorporating symbols, charms, and elements that reflect their interests, achievements, and personality. This aspect further highlights the cultural significance of Mum and Garters as wearable art, as students take pride in their creations and enjoy showcasing their artistic talents.
The Mum and Garters tradition also provides an opportunity to honor and recognize the accomplishments of students. These accessories often include symbols representing academic achievements, athletic prowess, or involvement in clubs and organizations. From varsity letters to medals and special charms, Mum and Garters become a platform to celebrate a student’s dedication and hard work throughout their high school journey, creating a sense of validation and accomplishment.
Furthermore, the tradition of Mum and Garters has a generational aspect to it. Many families pass down their Mum and Garters to younger siblings or relatives, creating a sense of continuity and tradition. It is not uncommon for students to wear parts of their parents’ or siblings’ Mum and Garters as a way to honor their family’s high school legacy. This aspect further strengthens the cultural significance and connection to the community’s history and shared experiences.
Finally, Mum and Garters play a role in the local economy, creating opportunities for local artisans and small businesses. From the suppliers of materials and ribbons to the specialized shops that offer bespoke Mum and Garters designs, this tradition contributes to the local economy and supports the entrepreneurial spirit of the community.
The cultural significance of Mum and Garters extends beyond the physical accessories themselves. It encompasses the sense of pride, unity, creativity, recognition, and community spirit that the tradition embodies. Mum and Garters have become an integral part of the high school experience, capturing the essence of a community and serving as a lasting symbol of school spirit and achievement.
The Mum and Garters tradition is a vibrant and cherished aspect of senior high school culture. From its humble beginnings as a simple chrysanthemum corsage to its current form as elaborate, personalized accessories, Mum and Garters have evolved with the times, reflecting the creativity, individuality, and school spirit of students.
Throughout the years, Mum and Garters have held a deep cultural and sentimental significance. They represent the wearer’s connection to their school, their achievements, and the memories made during their high school journey. Mum and Garters foster a sense of unity, pride, and belonging within the school community, and they create lasting memories and friendships through the act of exchanging these elaborate accessories.
The symbolism and meaning behind Mum and Garters are intricately woven into their design. Each ribbon, charm, and trinket tells a unique story, reflecting the wearer’s interests, accomplishments, and personal identity. These accessories serve as wearable art, showcasing the craftsmanship and individuality of the students as they proudly display their Mum and Garters during homecoming festivities.
As the Mum and Garters tradition continues to evolve, it is essential to recognize its cultural significance. Mum and Garters are not just decorative items; they embody the spirit, tradition, and community values of senior high school culture. They are a testament to the creativity, unity, and pride that define the high school experience.
Whether passed down through generations or created anew each year, Mum and Garters hold a special place in senior high school traditions. They capture the essence of school spirit, accomplishment, and connection, serving as cherished mementos that students will carry with them long after they graduate.
As we reflect on the history, importance, design process, symbolism, and cultural significance of Mum and Garters, it becomes clear that these accessories are not just decorations – they are expressions of identity, symbols of community, and tangible memories of the high school journey. Mum and Garters are more than fabric and ribbons; they are emblems that unite students, honor achievements, and create lasting connections.
So, the next time you see a student proudly sporting their elaborate Mum and Garters, take a moment to appreciate the significance behind it. It represents years of dedication, hard work, and friendship. It is a testament to the vibrant and ever-evolving culture of senior high school and a reminder of the memories and experiences that shape us for a lifetime.