Red String Bracelet

In Attire
The Bracelet
The Bracelet

My Nana, Agnes Carrión, was from Colón, Panama, and in 1956 immigrated to Crown Heights, Brooklyn, with her one-year-old daughter, my aunt. Years later, she had two more children, my dad, and his sister. Included with her belongings on her journey to New York, she brought a Red String Bracelet from her native country. My Nana gifted this bracelet to my mother for my brother later passed it on to me. In Latin America, red string bracelets are often put on newborns to protect them from harm and believed to keep away evil spirits. The red string symbolizes protection, faith, good luck, strength, and connection to whoever gifted you the bracelet. I don’t remember wearing the bracelet since I was a baby, but I’m grateful my Nana got this for me. I believe Nana gifted my brother and me this bracelet so we could always feel connected to her even if she wasn’t in our presence, and her desire was for us to feel safe and protected. Knowing this makes me embrace and love my Panamanian culture even more than I already did. She passed away when I was a toddler, and I don’t have many memories of her. Yet, to come across this bracelet years later, I’m happy to have a reminder that she thought of me and cared about me. Thanks to Nana, I am so proud to be a Panamanian. I will cherish the Red String bracelet forever and will pass it down to my kids and grandchildren in the future to continue the Panamanian tradition and legacy.

Place(s): Panama
Year: 1956

– Cayla Carrión

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