Wednesday, April 3, 2013

souvenir shop

In response to the extra credit assignment about how to make out the meaning of life from items purchased from a souvenir shop, I took advantage of my weekend traveling through the airport to find some items.

I ran into a bit of trouble with this assignment, so I had to improvise with pictures, but I am still able to portray the same message. While I was in the airport looking for items to help me "find the meaning of life," I rummaged through the mass amounts of collectors items in the Albuquerque Sunport (airport) looking for interesting items. Once I found an item that I felt "defined life"for me, I arranged the objects to take a picture (running low on cash! HA) and immediately the airport security swarmed around me.

Apparently there is a no picture rule in the Albuquerque airport.....? Whoops! But hey, that's okay! I was able to remember what objects I selected and downloaded images to use so that I could describe my objects clearly.

The first object is a ristra:

The ristra serves as a firm definition of home to me. Since I am from New Mexico, this is a object that is seen all over the state. In fact, we have about three in our house. Since chili, red or green, is such a dominant aspect of our food and culture, we hang ristras throughout our house. The formation of the chilies is to preserve them to consume later, but nowadays they are mostly used for decoration. When I see a ristra, or even just a picture of one, it instantly reminds me of home and my upbringing, which I believe helps define the meaning of life to me.


The kokopelli is an image seen all around New Mexico, whether you travel to Indian ruins, or on the walls of the best mexican diner in Albuquerque. The kokopelli serves as a fertility diety, and is a widely used Native American symbol. With such a large dominance in New Mexican culture, it is an image to me that is easily recognizable. When I travel away from home and see the symbol of the kokopelli, I am quickly reminded of my family adventures to the Indian ruins, or the taste of the fluffy sopapilla at my favorite restaurant.  


Not only is turquoise a gorgeous color in itself, the jewelry created by the artists at the Indian Market in Santa Fe is phenonmenal. The impeccable work of the Indian artists is another great definition of home to me. Turquoise can be seen all over the state of New Mexico and is used in many home furnishing, decorations, and jewelry. 

Despite my rule breaking tendencies at the airport, I hope this blog served its purpose in describing my objects that I would define life with from a giftshop. These objects serve as a strong resemblance of home and the welcoming feeling of my family. It is often difficult to be away from home for long periods of time, but little reminders like turqoiuse or a chili ristra help me remember my childhood and family memories. 

until our next laugh, 



  1. Amanda, I loved reading this post about souvenirs! I love seeing all of the different items that define home for you. It's really interesting to see and read about these items that I've never heard of or seen before (except turquoise, I have seen that). It's really great that you have so many items that define the culture of New Mexico for you, and that these items establish the meaning of life for you! I feel like I know you a little better after reading this post, if that is possible! :)

  2. I can just imagine the airport security swarming around you while you tried to take pictures. Like Lauren, I wasn't familiar with a couple of your souvenirs, or at least didn't know what they were called. I'm glad I was able to learn their names and meaning to you. Great job selecting souvenirs. Each item seemed to have special meaning.