In Attire

There is a special pair of earrings passed on to the women in my family for 6 generations. My family came to America around the early 1870s illegally. The earrings were split when my grandmother had twins. Both girls got one earring. The mother who holds the earring must pass it on to the most worthy and successful daughter in the family. Since my mother had a twin sister, and they were both equally successful, the earrings were split and polished, then put on 2 necklaces. The custom of passing on jewelry is a part of African-Japanese culture from the island that is now called Madagascar. These earrings are one of the only objects that represent my Afro-Asian culture from the early 1830s. I don’t know exactly where my object came from, but eventually it landed in Madagascar. My sister and my older cousin are the proud holders of the earrings-necklaces. They are important to my family because they show that the women in my family are valued and they were and still are successful. I feel like this object represents more of my family than me personally because it is passed on to the women and I’m a male. Overall it makes me happy knowing people before me in my family lived good lives and I’m in good hands with a wise mother and sister.

Place(s): Madagascar, Japan

– JM

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