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by Halley Sanford April 11, 2021 2 min read 1 Comment

More than anything, the Cowgirls Closets collections are interpretations. The designs aren’t literal replicas of what might have been in the wardrobe of the women who inspired them, but more a representation of what they mean to us, what we learned and loved about them as a whole; each collection is meant to paint a picture of how these characters – some historical, some fictional – impacted and influenced us.

“Maria was a story of style,” explained Cheryl. “That’s what stuck with me about that character and that whole movie, the aesthetic and the costumes. And their sass. Cynthia, on the other hand, for me, is more a story of strength; a story of survival, and of steadfast devotion against extreme adversity. Cynthia’s story paints an important piece of the portrait of Texas history, one that I still remember learning about for the very first time, and one I continue to learn about to this day.”

Determined not to represent Cynthia in an aura of sadness, as a tragic figure rather than the heroine she was, we made sure to incorporate some of the beautiful hues that would’ve surrounded her on the plains and in the artwork and creations of her assimilated community.

Other pieces are more sentimental tributes to who she was as a person and what she cherished. The Family Scrapbook Top was designed as an homage to Cynthia and her story, including one of the only two known photos of her in existence, as well as handwritten letters from her relatives and descendants and photos of her renowned son, Quanah, his wives, and his children.  

“Nothing was more significant to Cynthia than family,” Cheryl said. “She was endlessly devoted to her husband and children. Ultimately, it was the loss of her daughter, compounded by her belief that her husband had been killed and the realization that she’d likely never see her sons again, that led her to stop eating and drinking and accepting any sort of medical help. Even though she had been reunited with her birth family – against her will – it was the loss of the family she created; it essentially devastated her to death. Paying tribute to that within this collection was paramount.”


1 Response

LaWanda  Pennington
LaWanda Pennington

April 16, 2021

As a member of the Parker Family Association I was thrilled to see the Cynthia designs. Cynthia and my great great grandmother, Sarah (Sallie) Parker were first cousins. Also I loved the keepsake catalog that came with my order of the Cynthia clothes. Thank you for helping keep her memory alive. We have a family reunion every summer at Fort Parker where the massacre and her abduction took place.
LaWanda Pennington

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