fall 2013 coverSince the first four-pocket peasant shirt, place, time, function, and mean­ing have transformed the guayabera.

By the nineteenth century, the Spanish and Cuban military adapted the shirt for mili­tary use, and by the twentieth century it had only two pockets and was worn by the Mexican president.

In the twenty-first century men from every ethnicity sport guayaberas intricately embroidered and made of fabrics such as silk and linen.

To many people who wear the shirt, it holds a meaning of heritage, customs, and fam­ily. It says where they come from and who they are.

HistoryMiami created an exhibit that told the story of the guayabera and transformed a shirt into a piece of history and cultural heritage.

Takeaway Messages
The multiethnic identity of the United States enables its people to enjoy elements of culture from countries around the world. As shown by the popularity of the guayabera, the significance of clothing, food, or traditions can be lost unless efforts are made to preserve and interpret their story.

Questions from the Author
In the beginning of the article, I explain how the sight of the guayabera brought back a flood of memories for me.

Have you experienced the same reaction at the sight, sound, smell, or taste of something long ago forgotten?

How might you make sure that memory endures for others?