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Membership badge for Liga Protectora Latina organization

Object Name: Pin
Date: March 26, 1915
8 x 2 in. (20.3 x 5.1 cm)
Medium: Metal, Satin
Catalog number: 1999.28.208
DescriptionMembership badge for Liga Protectora Latina - this was a benevolent / protective organization founded in the early 1910s to provide support, legal aid, etc. for Mexican-Americans in the Southwestern United States. This badge is made of metal and has a long ribbon attached that forms a backing.

The uppermost metal portion of this badge is gold and ornate with ivory inset "PORTA ESTANDARTE". Along the bottom edge of this top piece are two small chains that attach to a medallion with a gold Mexican national eagle on top (the eagle is perched on prickly pear cactus with a snake in its beak). The Medallion's ivory inset has "LIGA - PROTECTORA - LATINA" at the top and "PHOENIX + ARIZONA" below. Middle shows set of scales labeled "CENTRAL SUPREMA".

The ribbon is green, white, and red in vertical stripes with metallic fringe at the bottom. The portion of the ribbon below the medallion and above the metallic fringe is marked in gold letters "LIGA PROTECTORA LATINA/ SUCURSAL No.1/ 3-26-15/ TEMPE, ARIZ."
ProvenanceCresensio "Chris" Sigala was born in Sonora, Mexico. In 1874, and was brought to Tempe as a child. He grew up in a house on Creamery road (Now known as Old 8th Street). His stepfather, Miguel Oviedo, owned a grocery store across the street from Pacific Creamery.
Chris Sigala was actively involved in the business and civic affairs of Tempe around the turn of the century. He attended the Territorial Normal School (now Arizona State University) and played on the school's football team when it won its first victory over the University of Arizona in 1899. He worked as a typesetter for the Tempe Daily News for nearly twenty years. Then, in 1917, he opened a grocery store on Dewey Street, where the ASU Palo Verde dormitories are now located.
Through much of his life, Mr. Sigala also worked in law enforcement. He was elected constable of Tempe in 1904 and later served as both a deputy sheriff and an assistant fire chief. He also enlisted in the Arizona National Guard and served for more than twenty years. He eventually became a commander of Tempe's Company C, which was called upon to help maintain order during the Morenci copper mine strike in 1915.
Chris Sigala was also involved in early civil rights activities in Arizona. He was one of the founders of the Tempe lodge of the Liga Protectora Latina (Latin Protection League). This mutual aid society provided insurance benefits to its members, but also led rallies to protest the segregation of public schools and discrimination in employment. Sigala was president of the Tempe lodge from 1915-1917, and served a year as vice president of the organization's Supreme (national) Council. This collection documents the life of Chris Sigala and offers a glimpse into Tempe daily life in the early 1900s. The collection was donated by his son, Charles Sigala, in 1994.

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