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Interpreting the Evidence

Paraguayan Bottle Dancers at a Park

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Contemporary United States (1965 - present)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:


  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:

    New York City

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Paraguayan Bottle Dancers at a Park in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Photograph of bottle dancers from Paraguay performing at a park, n.d.
Historical Context
New York City is home to hundreds of different cultures. A popular way to celebrate this rich cultural diversity is by hosting a parade. There are several parades that highlight Latino culture. The Latinos Unidos Club hosts its parade in different boroughs to celebrate history and culture. Also, the Hispanic Day Parade in October concludes Hispanic Heritage Month. The West Indian American Day Carnival Parade dates back to underground costume parties in 1920s Harlem.

These Paraguayan dancers are celebrating their national heritage through one of the many parades. These women are doing a traditional dance known as the bottle dance. During this dance, women compete against each other by completing the dance with wine bottles stacked atop their heads.

Essential Question
How does immigrant culture impact a local community?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain how this activity would influence the local community.
Historical Challenges
What is the history and purpose of the Paraguayan bottle dance?
Locate Paraguay on a map. Research why people from Paraguay came to the United States.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Art: Create a brochure or a poster that outlines plans for a Latino cultural parade in your area. Include at least three different cultural groups and what they would present as a traditional performance.
Music: Learn a traditional Latino dance to perform in a group.
Home and Careers: Create a traditional Latino costume and create a poster explaining how to make it using only traditional methods.