Materials: metal, paint
From 1935 until 1975 Texas license plates were only valid for one year at a time and the date was stamped into the plate itself, rather than a yearly registration sticker or seal. The color of the plate and the date stamp changed each year to help officials more easily recognize un-registered vehicles. However, exceptions were made during the Great Depression and WWII due to financial hardships and the desire to conserve metal. The 1968 Texas license plates were each stamped with the word “HemisFair” at the bottom to help promote the exposition being held that year in San Antonio.
The 1968 HemisFair exposition, also recognized as a “World’s Fair,” was the first international exposition in the Southwestern United States, and was held in conjunction with the 250th anniversary of the founding of San Antonio. Endorsed by congressman Henry B. Gonzales and many local businesses in San Antonio, the fair was a celebration of Latin American culture and was designed to promote the city of San Antonio as a center for international trade between the US and the world. The theme of HemisFair ’68 was the “Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas,” and more than thirty nations were featured during the fair. Many of those nations hosted exhibit pavilions in an area of the HemisFair park complex called “Las Plazas del Mundo.” To help highlight San Antonio and Texas’ strong ties to Latin America and the world, the Institute of Texan Cultures first opened as the Texas State Exhibits Pavilion at the 1968 HemisFair. Today, the museum continues to pursue a mandate as the state’s center for multicultural education by investigating the varied experiences of people from across the world who call Texas home. [Kathryn S. McCloud]
The following video describes the 1968 HemisFair in more detail.
San Ildefonso/San Juan Pueblos
This small ceramic bowl is in the style of the Po-woh-ge-oweenge pueblo tribe (aka. San Ildefonso Pueblo), and Ohkay Owingeh pueblo tribe (aka. San Juan Pueblo). Po-woh-go-oweenge means “Where the water cuts through,” and Ohkay Owingeh means “Place of the strong people” in the tribes’ native Tewa language. The bottom of the bowl is signed “Rose,” and likely indicates that the bowl was made by Rose Gonzales. Rose Gonzales was born into the Ohkay Owingeh pueblo but was later married to a man from the Po-woh-ge-oweenge pueblo. She is thought to have learned pottery making from her mother-in-law, Ramona Sanchez Gonzales, which influenced the style of her pottery to reflect both San Ildefonso and San Juan designs. Today both tribes are known for their polished red and black pottery. However, the San Ildefonso style has become famous for the black-on-black designs pioneered by Maria Martinez.
Traditional pueblo pottery is not made using a wheel, but is formed using a coil technique. This style of pottery is made by forming long rope-like pieces of clay. These ropes are then coiled around on top of one another to form the basic shape of the vessel. The artist then uses their hands, or various scraping tools, to join the coils together and smooth the surface of the vessel. After the vessel is shaped it can be decorated in a number of different styles, depending on the artist’s preferences or tribal background. Some of the more popular pueblo pottery decorations include painted slip designs, carved designs, and burnishing. After decorating, the pottery vessels were traditionally fired in an outdoor bonfire-style kiln. [Kathryn S. McCloud]
The following video discusses pueblo pottery in greater detail.
Peaster, Lillian, and Guy Berger. Pueblo Pottery Families: Acoma, Cochiti, Hopi, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Picuris, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, San Juan, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Taos, Tesuque, Zia, Zuni. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Pub. Ltd, 2008.
Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Paper
This is a children’s text book, written in German entitled “Arbeitsbuch fur de Interricht in der deutsche Sprache,” which translates roughly to “Workbook for Teaching in the German language.” Under the title of the book there is a secondary title of, “.5/.6 Schuljahr,” which translates to “5/6 School Year.” Based on the translation it is inferred that this book was used by those in their 5th or 6th school year. The book was published in 1943 and was used in the school at Crystal City Family Internment Camp in Crystal City, Texas which housed German Americans, Japanese Americans, Latin American Germans, Latin American Italians, and Latin American Japanese.
Internment Camps were set up throughout the United States after the attack on Pearl Harbor to house those who were of Japanese, German, and Italian descent and nationality. It was believed that by placing these groups in secured areas possible sabotage from the Axis powers would be avoided. Most of those interred in camps throughout the United States were of Japanese descent, but many of German and Italian descent were held as well. About 3,000 Japanese, Germans, and Italians from Latin America were deported to the United States, and most of them were placed in the Texas internment camps.
The Crystal City Family Internment Camp was opened in the Fall of 1942 with its first internees to arrive being a mix of German Americans and German Enemy Aliens. In March of 1943 the first Japanese American internees arrived. The Germans and Japanese were given separate living areas and facilities, such as separate schools, grocery stores, canteens, etc. There were no fences separate them, however the internees mainly kept to their own areas. There was a German School, a Japanese School, a Federal American Elementary, and a Federal American High School. If the internees desired repatriation to their country of origin then the children were sent to their respected school; otherwise the children attended the American Schools.
The living conditions at the Crystal City camp were better than some of the other internment camps in use throughout the United States. There were different accommodations for families, which were based on the size of the family. There were one room shelters that were for couples and those with small children. Other buildings were divided into various sized apartments, for larger families. Twenty used Victory Huts (prefabricated buildings that were easy and quick to assemble, these were primarily used to house soldiers) were also moved onto the site. There were a few cottages that had an inside bath and toilet, designed to house families with special needs. Since most shelters did not have private baths and toilets, most internees used centrally located facilities.
Security for the camp was provided by two types of guards. There was a Surveillance Division which patrolled the fence line and provided the armed guards for the towers. There was also an Internal Security Division which operated as a small police force inside the compound twenty-four hours a day. The Internal Security Division was responsible for ensuring that all internees were accounted for and that if there was a violent encounter between internees that it was brought under control quickly, these were very rare occurrences.
As the war was drawing to a close the United States government faced a problem of what to do with the internees that were still being held across the country. Those internees who were willing to be repatriated to their country of origin were able to be reconsidered for return to the United States at a later date. Also those children who were born in the United States, but were sent back with their parents to their parent’s home country, could return as well. Those internees who would not voluntarily return to their country of origin or who were considered dangerous were classified as deportees and could not return to the Unites States at any time. The Crystal City Family Internment Camp finally closed on February 27, 1948. [Jennifer McPhail, edited by Kathryn S. McCloud]
A video made from a public domain film produced by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1945 of the Family Internment Camp at Crystal City, Texas.
Published by Thomas Goggan and Brothers
This sheet music entitled “Choicest Mexican Music: Worship to the Beautiful” was published in 1892 by the Thomas Goggans and Brothers Company, a music and instrument company from Galveston, Texas. The company was best known for selling top-quality pianos during the late 19th century, and was one of the first two music publishers in the state of Texas. At the time, the Hauschild Music Company was the forerunner for music publishing in Texas, especially music composed by Texan composers. The owners of the Goggan Company, Thomas and brother Mike Goggan, were Irish immigrants who came to Texas. By 1866, they established their company in Galveston, Texas selling pianos, organs, and other instruments.
The music sheet itself features the song “Worship to the Beautiful (Culto a Lo Bello)” by Genaro Codina. This song was a part of a larger compilation of music entitled “Choicest Mexican Music,” and was part of the third series of this compilation. The Thomas and Brothers Company seems to have published all three, from 1891 to 1892. The composer, Genaro Codina, was from Zacatecas, Mexico. He is better known for composing the March of Zacatecas, the anthem of the state of Zacatecas and often referred to as the second national anthem of Mexico. [Caitlin VanWie, edited by Jennifer McPhail]
The following video is a performance of the March of Zacatecas by the United States Navy Band.
Fort Worth, Texas
In the Jewish tradition, baby boys are circumcised on the eighth day after their birth, where the foreskin of the penis is cut. This baby blanket was used for the donor’s circumcision. It was donated as part of a set of clothing made for his circumcision ceremony, or Bris service. His Bris service was performed on September 10, 1927, in Fort Worth, Texas, followed by a celebration held at his maternal grandparent’s home.
In the Jewish faith, circumcision is considered to be an active way for male Jews to participate in worshiping God. Typically this ritual is performed eight days after the birth of the child. Though in modern days, if circumcision is considered too dangerous for health reasons, the circumcision ritual will be postponed until a doctor gives their consent, with the ritual performed 7 days later.
Jewish immigrants have lived in Texas since Spanish colonial times, though these groups did not openly practice their Jewish faith. Jews were discriminated against by Spanish Catholic colonials, so most Jews who came to Texas before the 19th century had converted to Catholicism beforehand in order to be allowed to settle in the region. After the American Civil War, mass groups of Jewish immigrants came to the United States and Texas from Germany and other countries in Eastern Europe. Most Jewish groups who came to Texas though did not settle in one large community with each other, unlike many other European immigrant groups. Other European immigrants were farmers and created settlements together, however the majority of early Jewish-immigrants were merchants. As a result they scattered throughout the state, selling products in their own shops in towns and cities around the state. As these businesses grew chain stores were created, such as the Zales Jewelry Corporation. Founded by Russian-Jew immigrant Morris B. Zale, this now thriving business was established as a single store in Wichita Falls in 1924.
By the 1850s, organized communities were formed for Jews in cities, with their religion bringing their communities together. These new communities centered around a local synagogue, the Jewish house of worship and prayer. The first synagogue built in Texas was Congregation Beth Israel in Houston, Texas in 1859. [Caitlin VanWie, edited by Jennifer McPhail]
The following video clip shows a Jewish Shabbat Service, a day for Jews to spend the day worshiping and praying to God, and will do no form of labor or work in order to focus on prayer this holy day.
Materials: paper, leather
This is a book of religious stories written in the Norwegian language. Norway is predominantly a Christian nation, with its established Church of Norway. This book was printed in 1893, and is titled Fra Betlehem till Golgata, which translates to “From Bethlehem to Golgotha”, the sites where Jesus Christ is believed to have been born and crucified. The cover of the book depicts Joseph leading the donkey that carried the Virgin Mary while she was pregnant, on their journey to Bethlehem where Jesus Christ was born.
Christianity went through several phases in Norway, originally starting as a Roman Catholic organization. Norwegian Christianity changed along with the rest of organized Christianity in mainland Europe. During the Reformation, Christian communities broke off from the Roman Catholic Church and became Protestant. Norway went through this phase as well, becoming Lutheran Christian. By the 1850s, church sites went through democratic reforms, as the formal structure was arranged in a democratic manner.
Similar to other European immigrants that came to Texas, Norwegian immigrants came to the state and settled as farmers as they were rural farmers back in Norway. They came looking for economic opportunities in Texas as there was still large amounts of farm land available. Johannes Nordboe was one of the first known Norwegian to settle in Texas. Norwegian immigration and settlement continued from the 1840s until 1872, with one of the most important Norwegians settlements in Bosque County. But the first real Norwegian settlement was Brownsboro in Henderson County, established in 1845.
From the late 19th century through the early 20th century, Norwegian-Texans continued their traditional culture and way of life of their ancestors. However, the Norwegian language has since died out amongst most Norwegian-Texans, as their descendants integrated into Texas life and culture. However, this book is written in Norwegian, and was published in 1893. Demonstrating how Norwegian-Texan communities still followed their traditional culture, including speaking Norwegian language rather than English even after immigrating to the United States. [Caitlin VanWie, edited by Jennifer McPhail]
Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co.
Date: early 20th century
Materials: Wood, Metal, Plastic, Cloth
Gibson Mandolin-guitar Mfg. Co.,Ltd was formed in October 10, 1902. The earliest known Gibson designed guitar was made by Orville Gibson a restaurant clerk in Kalamazoo, MI. While working in his home workshop he took a carved arched top design from a violin and applied it to mandolins and guitars. He then designed two new mandolin shapes the scroll body F style and the teardrop-shaped A which are the standard mandolin styles of today. Gibson guitars soon grew in popularity with the help of aggressive marketing campaigns and by developing innovative new design features for their guitars and mandolins. In 1921 a woodworker employee from Gibson, Ted McHugh, invented two of the most important innovations in Gibson history: the adjustable truss rod and the height-adjustable bridge. All Gibson instruments are still equipped with McHugh’s truss rod and traditional jazz guitars are still using the bridge he designed.
The following video shows the making of Gibson guitars
Gibson Guitars have been used by many famous musicians around the world, in many different musical genres, including a number of Texas bands. Gibson Guitars’ Custom division even made a Billy Gibbons Pearly Gates Limited Edition Les Paul Standard guitar as a replica of the the ZZ Top guitarist’s signature instrument. Gibson guitars have also been featured in video games such as Guitar Hero where the player can select from a number of different types of Gibson guitars. [Brian Foor, edited by Kathryn S. McCloud]
Figure, Religious, Rosary
Materials: chain, gold
In the Roman Catholic Church, a prayer rosary is used to venerate and worship in services. Prayer rosaries are also used in the Christian Orthodox Church. This rosary is Lebanese, and was donated by a family member of Father Nicholas Nahas from St. Michaels Antiochian Orthodox Church in Beaumont, Texas. It was used for services by Father Nahas, an Orthodox priest.
Orthodox Christians believe that their denomination has faithfully followed traditional doctrines of original Christianity, compared to Catholicism or Protestant denominations. Orthodox Christian communities were usually located in Eastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean sea areas such as Russia and Greece. Many Orthodox ceremonies are spoken in Greek.
Video clip of Orthodox Christian Easter celebration:
A slideshow from Saint Michael Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church showing different images of the altars and symbols used:
The Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches split due to cultural and theological differences. The organization of the Roman Catholic Church and that of the Orthodox Church differ, with the Roman Catholic Church electing a Pope, who is then followed by a series of bishops and cardinals. Instead, in the Orthodox Church an Ecumenical Council with representatives for each “sister church”, fellow churches and religious establishments of the same denomination, would have the decision making authority in the church. The center of the Catholic Church is in Rome, Italy, while for the Orthodox Church was headquartered out of the city of Constantinople in the Byzantine Empire, today known as Istanbul, Turkey. With this geographic distance, leadership between the two churches became fractured and lead to a split between these two branches of Christianity.
Orthodox Christianity came to Texas through Lebanese, Syrian, and Greek immigrants who arrived in Texas during the 19th century. Lebanese immigrants settled in Beaumont, Texas and established a cultural and religious community similar to their home in Lebanon. Until the late 19th century, Orthodox Christians worshiped in their own homes, as an official church was not established until the early 20th century. By 1920, the Orthodox community assimilated into American culture and language, translating the traditional Greek liturgy into English. Father Nicholas Nahas, who served as a priest during the mid-20th century, was one of the central figures in the translation of religious text to English.
The original St. Michael’s Antiochian Orthodox cathedral burned down in 1952, with a new church built in 1953 for the Orthodox community. This rosary was salvaged from the fire, and was used in future services at the newly constructed cathedral, until it was donated to the Institute of Texas Cultures. [Caitlin VanWie, edited by Jennifer McPhail]
Date unknown, likely 20th century
This miniature black ceramic cathedral is a home altarpiece used for personal prayer in a family’s home. Typical altarpieces are found in Mexican homes, handcrafted by an elder woman of a family. Altars are handcrafted in order for the family to have a family altar to pray or give offerings to as part of their Catholic faith. Younger women in Mexican families can also make them as they learn the art from their mothers and grandmothers. This object was purchased in Puebla, Mexico and may be loosely modeled after the Puebla cathedral. Altarpieces are usually dedicated to animage of the Virgin Mary or a particular saint; altarpieces such as these are placed in the center of the home altar, which can include photographs of family members, images of other saints, and other gifts. Altarpieces are used by family members to present votive offerings.
The city of Puebla, Mexico was founded in 1531 during Spanish Colonial rule of Mexico. It was founded at the foot of the Popocatepetl volcano, with the city and volcano located in the Valley of Cuetlaxcoapan. The city was a strategic point for commercial and cultural trade as it was the mid-way point for the trade route between the Port of Veracruz and Mexico City. This trade route brought goods in from Europe to the mainland of Mexico. In the city, the Puebla cathedral is one of the main religious buildings in the Historic Center, with construction of the cathedral starting in 1535, several years after the initial founding of the city. Construction of the cathedral officially ended in 1768, taking a little over 200 years to complete the cathedral. Some of the reasons the construction took so long are due to the amount of labor available, and inconsistent funding.
As the Puebla cathedral is dedicated to the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, this altarpiece may have served the same function. This doctrine states that Mary was conceived without the “stain” of original sin. Original sin is a religious concept that states that all human-beings are born with an innate desire to disobey the will of God (behave sinfully) and therefore all people must be saved from this sin by God. As part of the Immaculate Conception, through the influence of God, Mary is believed to have been created without original sin. The altar piece having a possible connection to Mary would be beneficial to have in the home for personal worship because many Catholics believe she can influence the grace of God. [Caitlin VanWie, edited by Kathryn S. McCloud]