Lace-making and sewing were more than utilitarian projects. They allowed young girls to express themselves artistically while learning discipline and attention to detail. This embroidered linen and lace pillow sham belonged to Miguel Roses at the turn of the 20th century. Bird and flower designs
The yo-yo maraca is a Puerto Rican novelty that unites both a spinning top and a musical instrument of native origin called a maraca. The name "yo-yo" is a misnomer, since the toy functions like a spinning top.
This engraving shows Hernán Cortés (1485 1547), the Spanish captain who headed the conquest of the Aztec Empire. He became a part of popular mythology the moment he arrived in Mexico in 1521. Cortés had spent time in Cuba killing and enslaving its indigenous inhabitants and administering the n
This intricate handmade lace baby cap dates from the turn of the 20th century and was probably worn for a baby's christening. The baptism of newborns is both a religious and a social ceremony, strengthening ties among members of a community. Compadrazgo, the special relationship between
The civilizations of pre-Hispanic Mexico recorded their histories, religious beliefs, and scientific knowledge in books called codices. Codices are folded pieces of hide or bark that depict both mundane and spiritual scenes with images, symbols, and numbers. Scribes and painters busily recorded d
La Malinche, the title of this lithograph, was the indigenous woman who translated for Cortés between Maya, Náhuatl, and Spanish during his first years in Mexico. Considered either as a traitor or a founding mother by some Mexicans, La Malinche was Cortés' lover and the mother of his
This large, hand-held drum, known in Puerto Rico as a pandereta, is an essential instrument in the musical genre known as plena. The plena was developed by agricultural workers at the end of the 19th century on the southern coast of the island, around the city of Ponce. Consider
The image shown here represents El Santo Niño de Atoche, a depiction of the Christ child common throughout Mexico and the American Southwest. Made by Rafael Aragón in Santa Fe, this particular image is from a retablo, a kind of Catholic devotional art. Aragón came from a family of santeros
The Spaniards who invaded Mexico brought to North America a well-developed equestrian tradition. Over the centuries, horses, saddles, and other riding paraphernalia were altered by the landscape and the lifestyles of both Spanish and indigenous riders. Accompanied by mariachi music, la charrería
This tile is from La Fortaleza, a military and government complex in San Juan built to defend the city from naval attacks. Construction began in 1533 and was finished in 1540. This tile resembles the Spanish ceramic style of Talavera, a tile factory established in the 16th century near the city o
A picture book about the life of Florence Nightingale, a nurse who was dedicated to making hospitals clean and efficient. Through her life's work, she helped to make nursing an important and respected profession.
A traveling book about an adventurous young woman, Alice Ramsay, who drives across the country in 1909. Despite facing natural and manmade obstacles - including poor roads and a lack of traffic signs - Alice's westward voyage ends triumphantly in San Francisco, making this a charming tale of a gi
Explores five Puerto Rican festivals: The Calle San Sebastian Festival, the fiesta for Santiago Apostol, the celebrations during the Las Navidades, the patriotic festivals of Grito de Lares, and Puerto Rican Day in the United States.