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Dress worn by Celia Cruz in many of her performances

Celia Cruz's Shoes

The "Queen of Salsa"
These custom-made, gold vinyl platform shoes designed by Mexican shoemaker Mr. Nieto, were worn by the legendary Cuban singer Celia Cruz, who died on July 16, 2003. Known internationally as the "Queen of Salsa," and "La Guarachera de Cuba," these shoes were one of her trademarks. Born the second of four children in the barrio Santo Suarez of Havana, Cuba, Celia Cruz moved to the U.S. in 1960 and became one of the most important singers of the 20th century. In 1997, Celia Cruz donated one of her stage costumes, a bata cubana--which includes these shoes--to the Smithsonian. In 2001 she was awarded one of the Smithsonian's highest honors, the Smithson Medal, in recognition of her contributions to the increase and diffusion of knowledge.

8-3/4" long x 3-1/2" wide x 6-3/4" high (each shoe)
Celia Cruz, born October 21, 1924, Havana, Cuba
On temporary public display in NMAH

Learn more!
· "Americanos: Latino Life," "Smithsonian" magazine, June 1999

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