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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
lamp, oil
Date made
ca 1959
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
Place Made
Puerto Rico: Ponce, Lares
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Daily Life
Cultures & Communities
Puerto Rico
Family & Social Life
Household Tools and Equipment
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ethnic
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Title (Spanish)
Lámpara de Aceite; "Chismosa"
Credit Line
Gift of Teodoro Vidal

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