Title: Hard-o Uni
General Information about Item:
- Genre: Material, Customary Folklore
- Subgenre: folk-costumes, traditions
- Language: English
- Country of origin: USA
Informant Data: Sam Lee ’18 is a 21-year-old male from Turlock, California. He has been rowing since joining light-weight crew in college as a walk-on.
Social Context: As with any bequest, this item is traditionally passed down from graduating seniors to underclassmen on the rowing team who are deemed most fit to receive the object. This exchange happens annually in the spring after the competition season has come to a close. The event involves the whole team and requires presence for several hours, as each senior may give away several bequests, each with a description of the significance of the item and why it goes to the recipient underclassmen. During the process, teammates must wait until they either bequeath or are bequeathed an item. It is a spectacle for the team and is often humorous and emotional. Underclassmen express gratitude through words and little physical contact as to expedite the process.
Cultural Context: Bequests are handed down through a line of rowers throughout the years. This line is connected through a common trait (e.g., captainship, knowledge of statistics, heavy weight). The bequest links generations, creating team cohesiveness through history. The bequest indicates a unique importance and role in the team and generally shows that the recipient upholds the values of the team. Rowers wear bequests to exhibit that they are deserving of the honor bestowed upon them.
Item: This bequest is a unitard that used to belong to an old light-weight rowing coach. It is the unitard that goes along with the Stabbing and PR legend where a member of the team got mugged one night and did not realize he was stabbed because his adrenaline was pumping until he got home and his roommate pointed it out. The next day he put on the unitard and went to practice without telling the coach about the incident and the wound opened up again, blooding the unitard. This unitard is passed down each year to someone that is very hardworking and goes to extreme lengths to do his best.
Associated Image: Not available to collector
Collector’s Name: Yeonjae Park
Tags/Keywords: unitard, bequest, D150, material folklore