This is a curved metal knife used by Isaias Sanchez to cut palm fronds and dates from date trees. Isaias Sanchez used this knife in California when he was brought in from Mexico under a Federal temporary guest worker program commonly known as the Bracero Program. More then 2 million guest workers were brought in between 1942 and 1964 under this program. Workers were used mainly in agricultural fields, orchards, and cotton fields. U.S. growers wanted a source of cheap, efficient, and temporary labor. American farm workers and union officials were worried about loss of jobs, lower wages, poor working conditions, and lack of representation. Communities on both sides of the border experienced periods of economic prosperity as workers spent money or sent money home. This program had a direct impact on immigration and labor policy but more importantly on the formation of thriving Mexican American communities here in the U.S.
Object Name
date made
ca 1963
Physical Description
wood (handle material)
metal (knife material)
leather (sheath material)
overall: 20 7/16 in x 5 5/8 in x 2 1/2 in; 51.91125 cm x 14.2875 cm x 6.35 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Artifact Walls exhibit
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ethnic
Artifact Walls exhibit
Artifact Walls
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Isaias Sanchez

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.