The story behind that most potent of Welsh icons - the Salem picture, painted in 1908 by English artist Sidney Curnow Vosper and its links to a soap advert. But there's something not quite right about the picture - Welsh women in 1908 did not dress like this. Even the Welsh hats in the picture, another Welsh icon, had to be borrowed for the painting. Furthermore, they could only find one hat. But inspired by the success of the picture as a Welsh icon, the hat grew quickly to become a reflection of Welsh national identity with links to St David's Day which still persist in contemporary Wales.

This clip is from:
Welsh Icons
First broadcast:
1 March 2011

Watch this clip together with the clip 'The Welsh hat in history', and ask students to comment on what they have learned from viewing them. Ask them to write about their recollections of dressing up for St David’s Day. What did they wear? Did it give them a feeling of being Welsh? What might people from outside Wales think of them wearing the costume? Students could bring Welsh costume items to class and pose for each other to make observational drawings. Experiment with black, white and coloured pastels, pen and ink, biros and fineline pens, emphasising the line and pattern of the costume. Collect a variety of souvenir items, eg tea towels, placemats, trays and postcards which feature people in Welsh costume. Students choose how they might develop possible outcomes from their primary and secondary references. These could range from graphic and textile designs to an original composition inspired by Salem.