Ceramic Tea Set


This ceramic tea set is a set that belonged to my great-grandmother Angela Rivera, and was gifted to her in the 1950s after moving to New York City from Puerto Rico. The migration of my great-grandmother and her children was due in part to the lack of employment opportunities at this time, post World War II. As the sole supporter of her family, my great-grandmother Angela was responsible for having a steady income in order to be able to provide for her children, and she believed that New York City was the place where she could do so. This tea set includes a teapot, a sugar and creamer dispenser, teacups, and saucers. In the 1900s, it was considered a common Puerto Rican tradition to drink coffee at the start of one's day and after meals. This was because not only was this tradition considered a social activity, but also was believed to help with the digestion of these meals. One mother's day, my grandmother's eldest sister gifted my great-grandmother Angela this tea set to use when she entertained house guests, for dinners and other social gatherings. Although she and her family were no longer residing in Puerto Rico, the traditions of their community and my culture stayed with them. This set has now been passed on to my aunt, who does not use it due to its delicacy and history, but displays it in her house to represent her close relationship with her grandmother (my great-grandmother) and showcase my her independence and sociability as a migrant and individual at that time. 

Place(s): Manhattan, New York City, Puerto Rico
Year: 1947

– Tais Torres

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more