Tag Archives: material

Bequest – Captain’s Henley jacket

Title: Captain’s Henley jacket

General Information about Item:

  • Genre: Material, Customary Folklore
    • Subgenre: folk costume, traditions
  • Language: English
  • Country of origin: USA

Informant Data: Grant McArtor ’19 is a 21-year-old caucasian male student from Spartenburg, South Carolina in the United States. He was originally born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He has been rowing light-weight crew for five years (since junior year of high school) and has rowed on Dartmouth’s D150 varsity team since his freshman year.

Contextual Data:

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. It has been compared to receiving a Christmas present. This bequest is passed down from current captain to future captain.

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 the Captain’s Henley jacket. It is green with white trim and has a D150 patch on the breast pocket. It is from the Henley Royal Regatta, a rowing event held annually on the River Thames in England. The jacket is a high honor on the team, only given to the rising captain of the next year.

Associated media:

Informant’s Comments: He expressed that bequests are not limited to clothing items, but clothing is a common way to exhibit membership to the team. He said that the Henley jacket is one of the highest honors in terms of bequests.

Collector’s Comments:

  • The informant recently left the team.
  • The receipt of this bequest in particular resembles the marking or transfiguration of the hero in Propp’s list of fairy tale functions.
  • The receipt of the bequest resembles a rite of passage. Before the ceremony, the rower is a freshman member. He is then separated from his fellow freshmen as he is called up by the senior. During the transition phase, he receives the bequest and shows gratitude to the senior. He is then incorporated back into the team as a new version (labeled by the bequest) of his old self.

Collector’s Name: Sam Gochman

Tags/Keywords: D150, Dartmouth Light-Weight Rowing, Bequests, Henley

Captain’s Jacket

Title: Water Polo’s Captain’s Jacket

General Information about Item:

  • Material: Clothing
  • Language: English
  • Country where Item is from: USA

Informant Data:

  • Caleb Smith, 20, male. Smith was born in Los Angeles, CA, and is currently on the club water polo team. Although, he had no prior experience before attending Dartmouth, he has already experienced a great deal of success on the team, as Dartmouth took home the Ivy League title last year.

Contextual Data:

  • Many teams have a tradition of passing down items that are significant and have great personal value to them.


  • It is tradition every year for the Water Polo team to pass down or bequest the Captain’s Jacket from the old captain to the new.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):


Informant’s Comments:

  • The jacket is from the glory days, back when we were a D1 team.

Collector’s Comments:

  • The jacket is significant because it comes from a time when the team was a D1 team and functions as a symbol of authority and excellence. The handing down of the jacket is like the transition into a new year and passing down of responsibility to the next generation of athletes.

Collector’s Name: Brandon Lee


  • Bequest, Jacket, Clothing, Material

Required dress code during initiation

blue bow

  • Informant info
    • Junior sorority member at Dartmouth College
  • Type of lore (verbal, material or customary), Genre, Subgenre
    • Material
  • Language
    • English
  • Country of Origin
    • United States
  • Social / Cultural Context
    • During the week of initiation we are required to dress certain ways
  •  Informant’s comments
    • During the week of initiation, all new members are required to wear blue bows. Every new member has to always be wearing a blue bow, but we each are also assigned a theme we have to dress up for that week such as goth. This is a very fun way to interact with our new sisters and get to know the older sisters in a light hearted, fun manner. I really enjoy this tradition and thing it is a great welcome into the sorority.
  • Collector’s comments
    • The sorority is kept anonymous in order to protect the sorority traditions and the informant.




Informant Info
Mallory Bird, 18, grew up and lives in Durango, CO with a family of climbers. She is now a freshman undergraduate at Dartmouth College. She’s been climbing with her family for as long as she can remember. She loves the puzzle-aspect of the sport and simply finds it enjoyable, while her biggest climbing fear is being high during windy conditions. Mallory first learned of the tradition during her freshman fall when she first became strongly involved in the DMC.

Type: Material, Customary

Language: English

Country of Origin: US

Date Collected: May 12, 2016

Location Collected: Jonathan Belden Daniels Climbing Gym, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

Social Context: Talus is a book consisting of Dartmouth Mountaineering Club folklore. The book is well-known by DMC members and is given as a parting gift to seniors.

Associated File:


A copy of the book is placed on top of the locker of each graduating senior during the end of Spring term. Over a few weeks, anyone can write and sign the book, much like a yearbook.

Informant Comments
Mallory hasn’t personally read the book but knows of many stories within it which have been retold by friends. She really likes this tradition since it reflects the tight-knit community that is the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club.

Collector’s Comments
Signing Talus at the end of the year is a custom that gives DMC members a way to remember the club, its members, and its defining stories for years to come. It’s one of many parting rituals that seniors participate in.

Tags/Keywords: book, climbing, Customary, material, Ritual, seniors, talus

Spring Break Signs

Title: Spring Break Signs

Informant Info: Tessa DeJong is a 19 year-old freshman at Dartmouth College. She has been climbing for 2 years and was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. Her brother taught her how to rock climb. Tessa’s climbing phobia is the rope breaking as she climbs. She loves the rush of adrenaline that she gets when climbing.

Date Collected: 5/13/16

Place Collected: Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

Type of Lore: Material

Language: English

Country of Origin: United States

Social/Cultural Context: The DMC hosts trips for its members over every spring break. Like many other DOC clubs, it is tradition to steal a sign at the end of the trip and have all members sign it. Usually, DMCers will take a trip to Joshua Tree or Red Rocks National Parks. The trip lasts for about a week. In the past, DMCers would drive to their destination. Today, DMCers usually fly as a group.

Associated File:



Lore: Each year during the annual spring break trip taken by members of the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club, students steal signs from roads and national parks. These signs are then brought back to Dartmouth and signed by members of the trip.

Informant’s Comments: Stealing and signing signs is a way to commemorate your trip with you friends. The members sign with their nicknames which are usually earned during the trip. Every trip brings back their sign and hangs it in a special room in the climbing gym. The signs are a cool way to cement your trip’s legacy.

Collector’s Comments: The stealing of spring break signs is another example of a ritual marking the end of something, this time the end of a trip. It is also a way for the trip members to commemorate their time together. In addition, by means of this tradition, trip members create their own legacy — future DMCers will see signs from previous years and remember or imagine the people whose names are written on the signs. The act of stealing and personalizing each sign is a way for trips to celebrate their time together engage in a final, team-building exercise.

Tags/Keywords: spring break, material, sign, names, legacy