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Puerto Rican Sampler

"Clara Rivera, Ponce, Julio, 1934"
A girl named Clara Rivera spent hours working on the multicolored designs and upper- and lower-case alphabets of this sampler. It also bears the girl's hometown of Ponce, Puerto Rico, and the year in which the sampler was made. Needlework of all kinds--knitting, crocheting, and embroidery--was a practical way for many young Puerto Rican women to help support their families. Working from home, some produced handmade garments that only the wealthy could afford to buy. As this sampler shows, however, sewing was not just a utilitarian project. It allowed girls to express themselves artistically while at the same time teaching the importance of concentration, attention to detail, and self-discipline.

Web display only

Learn more!
· Sewing and Education in Puerto Rico
· Women in Puerto Rico (1880-1930)
· A Collector's Vision of Puerto Rico, an NMAH Virtual Exhibition

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