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2010-2011 Collection Highlights

February 2012 Collection Highlight – Script for a nativity play or pastorela Gift of Teresa Leal de la Rosa Castillo

This worn notebook contains a script for a play dating back centuries in its roots. Nativity plays or pastorelas began as a type of medieval drama developed by the Roman Catholic Church to teach religious subjects. Plots derived from the Bible, but over time additional characters and events were added to the popular plays.

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April 2011 Collection Highlight- Quinceañera bouquet 1979

San Juana (Janie)Treviño carried this bouquet of artificial flowers and streamers at herquinceañeramass and celebration in Edinburg, Texas, in 1979. The bouquet was part of a wardrobe, purchased in Mexico, of pink clothing and accessories that included a ball gown, headpiece with veil, gloves, handkerchief, folding fan, and cushion for kneeling.

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March 2011 Collection Highlight- Statue of the Virgin Mary

This weathered statue came from a family cemetery in Relámpago, Texas. It may have been part of a bóveda, or above-ground vault. The triangular cape with traces of blue identify the statue asLaVirgen de San Juan, a particular image of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.

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January 2011 Collection Highlight- Untitled market scene, Matamoros Oil on canvas

Calla Magill painted this scene of an outdoor market in Matamoros, Mexico, about 1940. Magill was one of the founding members of the Brownsville Art League, now the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts.

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December 2010 Collection Highlight- Branding Irons

The practice of branding livestock with a hot iron dates to ancient times. Over the centuries, different styles of brands developed in different regions.

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November 2010 Collection Highlight- Matamoros Point

Native Americans used this stone point on a throwing dart somewhere along the lower Rio Grande one to three thousand years ago. This point, called a Matamoros point, does not have a stem or projection of stone at its base.

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October 2010 Collection Highlight- Produce Box

The Val Verde Vegetable Company in McAllen, Texas, used this cardboard box for limes imported from Mexico. Frank Schuster, Sr., a native of Austria who moved to South Texas in 1935, founded the company based on farming and ranching.

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September 2010 Collection Highlight- Miniature Cotton Bale

A farmer near McAllen, Texas, made this miniature bale of cotton. Although many people associate cotton with the Deep South in the United States, the plant has played important roles in South Texas and northeastern Mexico, too.

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August 2010 Collection Highlight- Mussell Shell Buttons

In 1929, the Continental Button Company opened a factory near Mercedes, Texas, that operated until after World War II.

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July 2010 Collection Highlight- El Borrego Salvaje (The Wild Ram)

El Borrego Salvaje, or the Wild Ram, is the mascot for the sports team of the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, a Mexican university known informally as Monterrey Tec.

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June 2010 Collection Highlight- Screwworm Medication

Before their eradication, screwworms created devastating losses in livestock and wildlife in the United States and Mexico. Screwworm flies laid eggs in open wounds on animals.

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May 2010 Collection Highlight- Stormgraph

This scientific instrument combines features of a barograph and a thermograph. A barograph measures and records barometric (atmospheric) pressure. A thermograph measures and records temperature.

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April 2010 Collection Highlight- Metate and Mano

This metate, or grinding stone, and its smaller, hand-held mano, were given in 1857 to the donor’s grandmother, Mercedes Chapa Cantu, when she married Macedonio Vela in Reynosa Díaz, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

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March 2010 Collection Highlight- Sheep Shears

A tasinque ortrasquilador or esquilador— a sheep shearer—used these shears, probably before the introduction of motor-powered clippers in the 1920s.

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February 2010 Collection Highlight- Pharmaceutical Box

Toribio P. Alamia managed the Botica Alamia, a pharmacy in Edinburg, Texas, that sold this box containing dried parts of the shrub, Palo Amargoso.

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January 2010 Collection Highlight- Cornhusk Headdress

Virginia Clark Smith modeled this headdress at the 1938 Texas Citrus Fiesta in Mission, Texas, as well as in other style shows around the state. It was part of a costume that included a dress, collar, and dried bouquet.

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