Leather Satchel

In Attire

My object is a satchel or in Spanish it is called a carriel. It is from and was made in Colombia. It is made of leather and cow hair and has yellow and red strip at the top.  A carriel is used to hold your special belongings when you go on trips. The history of it that makes it special was that my Grandfather’s brother brought it with him from Colombia and gave it to my Grandmother in 1980. My Grandmother immigrated from Colombia in 1962 and has stayed here ever since. It is very important to my Grandmother because it reminds her of her father (my Great-Grandfather). This satchel looks almost identical to the my Great Grandfather’s satchel that he carried with him everywhere.  My Grandmother has no other reminders of her father or her family, other than this satchel. The satchel has been with my Grandmother for 37 years, and one day it will be mine. Eventually, I will also pass it on to my children, hoping to instill in them the same sense of pride of what it means to be Colombian.  The satchel makes me want to visit Colombia more than ever before so that I can see and hear more about my family. I want to see where my Grandparents lived, the food they eat, and experience their culture. For all of these reasons, the satchel is important to me and my family. It is a reminder of my Colombian heritage, my family, and my identity.

Place(s): Colombia
Year: 1962

– Hayden Purcell

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