Mexican Culture Research Paper

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BASTING OF CULTURES

There are many elements that make up the Mexican costumes: on one hand, the heritage of indigenous groups, which are 62 different2, most of them living in the centre and south of the country, on the other hand, the influence of the Spaniards.

Before the Colony, the female clothing consisted of a huipil, a girdle and an enredo (or “skirt waistband”). The arrival of the Spanish in America brought the blouses, skirts and hoods.

The huipil is a garment used by the indigenous people of several Mexican regions, including the states of Chiapas, Puebla and Jalisco. Its name comes from the Nahuatl huipilli (blouse or embellished dress), and usually consists of one or more canvases of cloth layers that give rise to a rectangular
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Some are specially created for important ritual and religious use, as the huipiles used by the Mazatecos ethnic group. These consist of three pieces of white linen cloth, decorated with drawings that are full of symbolism: the eagle with two heads and the xicalcoliuhqui (snake), both prehispanic motifs.

A piece subsequent to the arrival of the Spaniards and representative of México is the rebozo, which is manufactured using wool, cotton or silk, and it has multiple uses: it serves as a shawl and scarf, and is used to carry the children. This garment is deeply rooted in the culture: they were part of the traditional dress of the Adelitas of the Mexican Revolution (women who participated as nurses, soldiers or cookers). It also appears in the self-portraits of the famous painter and muse Frida Kahlo3.

The cities of Santa Maria del Río and Tenancingo, in the state of México, are vying for supremacy in the manufacture of rebozos. Thus, Santa Maria Del Rio in San Luis Potosí is known as “the birthplace and world capital of the
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Lots of artisans –like the women from the cooperative of artisans of San Pedro Cajonos in Oaxaca- continue with the traditional use of natural dyes.

The dyes include sources that may seem unusual. The colour red used in the zone Mixtec-Zapotec comes from the cochineal, the insect, which is referred to by the friar Bernardino de Sahagún in the sixteenth century. The colour that this gives is a scarlet tone called Nocheztli, that means “the blood of tunas”, because in a certain genre of this fruit will raise a few worms that are called scale insects, attached to the leaves, and those worms have a very red blood.

Other dyes that are used even today can be found out in the Mexican kitchen, like the achiote, or well, form part of the garden, as the plant of indigo. So that the tones are expected to adhere should be used onto natural fibres that are immersed repeatedly in hot dye. In the case of indigo, the dyeing can take up to 21 days if wanted an intense tone of this blue.

The intricacy of the process of realization and the cost of the materials cause that the woven handicrafts are becoming less and less

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