Forged Iron Pot and Utensils

This pot and cooking utensils were brought over by my grandmother, who immigrated through Ellis Island in 1952 when she was 18 years old. I was destined to be a heavy packer. My grandmother came from a small village called Los Giles in Almería, Spain. She always said that Los Giles was decades behind. The village did not have electricity, and the homes did not have plumbing until the mid-1970s. Even today, Los Giles only has a population of 28, according to, and I’m related to a lot of the people who live there. 

My grandmother used this pot and utensils to cook over a fire when she was living in Los Giles. She had never used a stove until she moved to Paterson, NJ in 1952. She ended up in Paterson because her father immigrated here first. He started a life here, and my grandmother, her younger sister, and her mother came to meet him. He was living in Paterson in a Spanish ethnic enclave composed of people from Los Giles and the surrounding villages. This pot sits in my basement in New Jersey as decor, and reminds me of my grandmother, who passed away this past December. The pot evokes memories of our trip together to Los Giles in 2008, and her delicious migas (a traditional Spanish dish made of old bread soaked in water, and then fried in olive oil with garlic and paprika). 

Place(s): Los Giles, Almería, Spain & Paterson, NJ
Year: 1952

– Ana DeVito

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant