Maker: unknown persons of the Red ‘X’
X.21 c.1740, X.34 c. early medieval, X.67 c. Roman period
Museum no: X. 21,34,67

The Museum collection does not always contain items that are complete stories but fragments of assemblage. Here are such objects made by the underground network, known as the people of the Red ‘X’. The pieces range from embroidered bodice parts displayed alongside the remains of pottery. As they are only whispers of objects, the nature of their purpose is unclear.

The people of the Red ‘X’

The people of the Red ‘X’ felt it was vital to preserve accounts of their sexual practices. They believed the struggle for sexual freedom was a battle against oppressive controlling forces, and that pleasure was a privilege enjoyed only by the rich, while interfering with the productivity of the poor.

Over time, the people known by the Red ‘X’ began to read and write and were awarded certain freedoms but still they maintained their tradition of making finely crafted objects to tell the stories of sexual heroes, moments and places.

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