Quinceañera Archives: A look at the ancient celebration into womanhood

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The 15th birthday is a milestone in the Latino household, marking a girl's transition to womanhood.

Quinceañeras feature extravagant dresses, lots of food and family. Many of these proud moments have been captured by photographer and writer, Samantha Cabrera Friend.

Friend has photographed quinceañeras all over the world through her project Quinceañera Archives.

"For me, I align myself with the indigenous history that it's an indigenous rite of passage from the 1400's in Mexico that began with a patriarchal root to it," said Cabrera- Friend.

Every picture featured in her project was personally sent to her by friends or family.

She was first inspired by long time Quinceañera shop owner Maria Cervantes, who has kept albums of quinceañeras through the years.

Her aim is to capture and analyze how traditions within the celebration have changed or shifted throughout the years.

Friend particularly focused on the changes of dress style, which has led to more vibrant colors being used than softer tones over the past decade.

"This movement needs to be accessible and very much places the dissemination of information, the accessibility of this information, the open sourcing of this information," said Cabrera- Friend.

Friend uses Instagram as a platform for her archive to make her project virtually accessible.

Cabrera- Friend works out of Latitude Chicago. For more information on Samantha Cabrera Friend's project visit her website here.

Yukare Nakayama is a Community Journalist at ABC 7 Chicago. She tells stories on the West Side of the city in neighborhoods like Pilsen, Little Village, North Lawndale and Austin. Nakayama also covers the north shore suburbs such as Highland Park and Highwood. If you have a story to share in these neighborhoods, send an email to Yukare.X.Nakayama@abc.com.
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