Zippered Llama Pouch

United States - Taiwan

Zippered Llama Pouch

As our class has studied the movement of people and the objects they sometimes transport, I was reminded of my own international journey and objects associated with it.

I was 17 when I studied abroad in Taiwan. 

There I purchased this small, tan llama pouch from a school supply store. It’s likely it was originally meant to be a pencil case. However, it’s simple yet playful design and pocket capabilities lent itself to serve a different purpose: a sanitary pouch. 

 

Taiwan’s assigned cultural and social expectations of femininity and masculinity were visibly different than those of my home country, the United States. Despite blurred gender roles, one thing remained the same: open discussions or displays of feminine hygiene were socially discouraged and kept hidden. 


Thus the pouch, now my secret sanitary survival kit, allowed me to navigate Taiwanese school hallways and social outings, its appearance drawing attention but diverting questions away from “Where are you going?” to “Where did you buy such a cute llama?”

 

I’ve continued carrying the pouch with me throughout my four years at college, residing in my purse or backpack until I require its assistance in deflecting negative attention once more.

By Gabrielle Watson

Student Objects