top of page

Backpack with Enamel Pins

Southwest United States - Midwest United States


Backpack with Enamel Pins

This object is a small, dark green drawstring backpack made out of canvas. It has a brown leather flap over the top and a small zipper pouch on the front with a band of embroidery across it. There are several small enamel pins across the front pouch, and a small charm attached to the zipper with a turtle made of turquoise stone. 


I bought this backpack in 2016 in a thrift store in Austin, Texas while on a cross country road trip. Each of the enamel pins was bought at a different stop in the Southwestern United States. A few of them are specific to the states - a Colorado state flag, a Texas-shaped pin wearing a cowboy hat, and a pin from Roswell, New Mexico with an alien face on it. Others are less specific - a cactus from another thrift shop we stopped at, a typewriter, an an Edgar Allen Poe portrait from my grandma’s favorite museum on the University of Texas campus, and a rainbow and coffee mug from some café in Arizona. 


Since moving to the Midwest, this bag represents more than just a reminder of a fun road trip, but also my ties to the part of the country I grew up in. The bag is very small so I can only carry a few things in it at a time, meaning its use is always very intentional. Rather than being an object I would use for migration, this is an object that serves as a reminder of my own experience travelling and being uprooted from my childhood home.

By Evangeline McFarlin

Student Objects

bottom of page