Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS)



First Advisor

Dr. Katherine McAllen

Second Advisor

Dr. Cathryn Merla-Watson

Third Advisor

Mayela Flores Enríquez


Mexican dechados consisted of pieces of cloth were women and girls would practice and record needlework. It was a practice rooted in western tradition where they were known as samplers. Given that dechados were objects that were made within feminine spaces they illuminate how gender is constructed through space, and how those gendered spaces generate different ways of knowing.

As the majority of Mexican dechados correspond to the nineteenth century, a period of national construction, this study questions the role that the domestic space played in the establishment of the Mexican nation. It proposes that although displaced and subservient to the national space, women contributed to this effort and that dechados functioned as a personal space from which to craft the nation and a sense of identity. Ultimately, it highlights the racial dimension of the practice and considers the connection it maintains with the textiles of indigenous communities in Mexico.


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