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.

Date Made: ca 1963

Subject: Latino


See more items in: Work, Agriculture, Artifact Walls exhibit

Exhibition: Artifact Walls

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: Gift of Isaias Sanchez

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2007.0107.01Accession Number: 2007.0107Catalog Number: 2007.0107.01

Object Name: knife

Physical Description: wood (handle material)metal (knife material)leather (sheath material)Measurements: 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


Record Id: nmah_1326221

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.