Oil lamp

This red painted tinware oil lamp was acquired in the town of Lares in 1959. Popular lore says that small oil lamps like this were used by women to meet at night and gossip. Chisme, means gossip, therefore the lamp was named a chismosa, or gossiper.
Description (Spanish)
Esta lámpara de aceite de latón fue adquirida en la ciudad de Lares en 1959. Es la creencia popular que lámparas pequeñas como estas eran usadas por mujeres que se reunían por la noche a chismear. Por esta razón este tipo de lámparas se llaman chismosas.
Currently not on view
Date made
ca 1959
Place Made
Puerto Rico: Ponce, Lares
Physical Description
tin (overall material)
paint (overall material)
overall: 10 cm x 9.9 cm x 9 cm; 3 15/16 in x 3 7/8 in x 3 9/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Teodoro Vidal
Daily Life
Puerto Rico
Household Tools and Equipment
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ethnic
Cultures & Communities
Family & Social Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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