WEEKLY VISIT TO THE MUSEUM
January 20, 2021
Testaments of Belonging
Lithuanian society badges
From the Irene Balzekas Memorial Map Collection
By 1900, there were 500 societies, clubs, and organizations in the Lithuanian communities within the US. Most were founded to provide welfare and a sense of belonging to the newly arrived immigrants. These societies, often named for saints important to the parishes from which the immigrants came, also emphasized national, religious, and cultural issues.
Though most were solely male, others focused on performing arts (for example, drama, music, song) and had a female membership. Colorful badges, such as these, indicated the society to which the wearer belonged and often included images of a patron saint, flags, and other patriotic symbols.
This virtual exhibit is supported in part by grants from the following:
The Balzekas Museum gratefully acknowledges these grantors as well as the members and private donors whose contributions support museum programs and activities.