Music Video

Who was Celia Cruz?

June 2016

Marvett Perez (1961-2013) discusses who was Celia Cruz and presents objects held in our collections.

Smithsonian Artifact Featured in this Video

Smithsonian Museum
National Museum of American History
Location
Currently not on view
Credit Line
Gift of Celia Cruz
Object Type
shoes, pair of
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Smithsonian Museum
National Museum of American History
Description
This is a Bata Cubana, or Cuban Rumba dress, donated to the Smithsonian by Celia Cruz, the great Cuban salsa singer in 1997. An adaptation of the traditional Cuban rumba dress, it was made in the United States by Cuban-born designer José Arteaga. The Bata Cubana has its roots in the 19th century, with origins as diverse as the multicultural makeup of the people of Cuba. It brings together influences from Spanish, French, and African culture and dress, combining theater, fiesta, and the spectacle of carnival with slave and gypsy dress. The Bata Cubana is a garment worn for performance on stage or cabaret. Celia Cruz's Bata Cubana is made of orange polyester satin, trimmed with white nylon eyelet along ruffle-edges and eyelet beading along seams with inserted orange ribbon. The Bata Cubana was Celia's preferred performance costume.
Credit Line
Gift of Celia Cruz
Object Type
dress
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Smithsonian Museum
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Description
Red, gold, and blue sequin dress designed with horizontal, varied stripes and large open sleeves.
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Celia Cruz Knight Estate
Type
dresses
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