Handed-Down Dress

In Attire

The story of my family artifact is something that, while fairly recent to me, is something I will remember for years to come. My great-great-grandmother in the town of Baní, in the south of Dominican Republic, had a knit dress made for my then eleven year old great-grandmother to wear. The year was 1941, and the dress, while simple, was worn to family parties and events by my great-grandmother. Later, in the early ‘60s, the dress was handed down to my then twelve year old grandmother, and was used for the same purpose. When my grandmother immigrated to the United States in 1970, the dress was one of the many items she brought to this country. She originally immigrated to Beacon, Massachusetts, and came to New York in 1974, where she resided in the neighborhood of Inwood in Manhattan. She specifically brought this dress to America to make sure that one day, someone in her future generation could wear it, or at least have it for safe-keeping. In the ‘80s, the dress was given to my mother to wear to events in both the United States and Dominican Republic. Eventually, it was her job to pass down the dress. I actually did not know about the dress until this year, and while I didn’t get a chance to wear it, now it’s my responsibility to make sure I keep the dress in good condition and that I will pass it down for future generations to come.

Place(s): Dominican Republic, New York
Year: 1970

– Jade

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