Wooden Jewelry Box

Front of jewelry box.
Front of jewelry box.

On my 16th birthday, I pulled out a wooden jewelry box from a gift bag my nana had given me. Glancing at the box I was delighted because I love jewelry and the gift seemed vintage, which was ideal for me. My nana began to explain to me that the box was a family heirloom passed down from her mother. The burnt caramel-colored slightly tattered wooden box was a sign of maturity and femininity, and resembled the timing of me becoming a woman. Becoming 16 years old, I was unsure how to manage slowly becoming an adult, but it was like the box had easied all my worries. I was being seen as a woman, and being treated like an adult. My great grandmother immigrated to Eagle Pass, Texas from Mexico seeking a better life and for her husband to find better job opportunities. My nana told me the jewelry box was bought for my great grandmother by her husband as a gift, and it was valuable because they did not have the money to buy expensive objects. When I look at the jewelry box it drives my imagination to wonder how sentimental this gift was for her, and that feeling is now meaningful to me. The box not only resembles womanhood, but holds the story of how my family came here, and the hard work they dedicated to themselves. Everyday when I put my jewelry on, I am hit with a sense of home when I glance at the box. The jewelry box prompts me to remember where I came from, and this box is a physical memory of my family’s past. 

Place(s): Las Vegas
Year: 1947

– Ava Julian

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