Non-existence of the national religion in the Mexican constitution has not completely eradicated the influences of the denomination and beliefs from the typical Mexican culture. But on the other side, this is also true that the Mexican people have gone through exceptional change-over in their customs, traditions and life-style over the last century. After the Spanish arrival, Christianity was spread rapidly and today, almost ninety per cent of the Mexicans have Roman Catholic beliefs. But one should not forget that the reflection of the indigenous and pre-Hispanic Maya civilization is still prominent on the Mexican culture. All these factors developed a pure multi-ethnic and multi-continental society in Mexico.
According to the numbers, the population of the indigenous people of Mexico is more than 15 million who mainly live in the central and the southern states. And it will not be wrongly said that the Mexican heritage is colored with the indigenous sounds and holdings.
Traditional dress of Mexico is a blend of indigenous and imported cultures. Mexico is not a small country. It has a wide and diversified geography coupled with the variation in the climate. So there is tremendous variety in the clothing of the Mexican population that varies from region to region.
The people of the state of Oaxaca in Mexico who can be sub-divided in different indigenous groups, still love to wear the hand-woven garments made with crafted textiles. There is distinction in the textile features of different indigenous groups but most of the fibers are hand-spun from cotton or locally cultivated silk. Butterfly and floral patterns are common and flashy in these regional motifs.
Typical Yucatecan women normally wear white cotton long blouses what’re decorated in cross-stitch with brilliant colors and magnificent designs. The guayabera is usually worn by the Yucatecan men which is also known as “Wedding Shirt“. Originally, this outfit was white in color and it was made with linen and cotton but today, it is available in many different colors.
Maya culture and civilization is reflected with the clothing of the people of Quintana Roo state which is located in the southeastern Mexico, particularly in their ritual celebrations and festivities. For many centuries, the Maya women are wearing the rectangular-shaped huipil having a hole in the middle which is typically worn as a blouse. The garment is sometimes embellished around the neck, in the shape of a cross.
Maya men wear shirt along with wide-woven belts called mecapal, hats and cloths known as tzute, decorated with embroidery and worn over their shoulders. The same trend can be seen in the indigenous population of the Campeche state in the Yucatan Peninsula. The Campeche women wear ankle-long skirts with embroidery designed like onions and pumpkin flowers. They also use the typical rebozo or headscarf.
Rebozo was traditionally used by the indigenous Mexican women to carry babies and other house-hold goods and it is a long and flat garment. Normally, it is worn folded around the head or upper body to shade from the sun, provide warmth and as an accessory to an outfit. Rebozo is traditionally hand woven, distinguished by complicated finger woven fringes called rapacejos.
The Chiapas women have some sort of distinctive hand-made outfits consisting of wide colorful skirts with decorated flowery stripes embroidered in silk or similar thread (articela). Nowadays, the dancers amuse the tourists wearing these long dresses in cheerful manners.
Michoacán women have more descent approach in clothing. They normally prefer long blouses with embroidered bottoms and collars. They also use a belt strapped on the back along with a rebozo. Nicely stitched apron is another article which is worn by them in their clothing.
Like many other Spanish-speaking countries, the Mexican people also use poncho as traditional clothing. Poncho is a large blanket type fabric with an opening in the center for the head and often it has an extra piece of fabric serving as a hood. The main purpose is to avoid rain and to keep the body warm. Similarly, Baja jackets are also popular traditional wear made with a variety of different materials, like cotton, acrylic and polyester.
One of the favorite traditional attires worn by the Mexican men is a blanket-like shawl which is known as Serape or Sarape. Although Serape is nowadays available in various colors and design patterns, however the typical colors of serapes are black, grey or brown.
Originally came from Spain, the White-brimmed hat known as Sombrero is very common in Mexico. The cattle herders of Mexico promoted the hat in order to avoid the harsh sun-burns having wide brims that provided shades.
The simply designed and hand-woven traditional Mexican sandal “Huaraches” has also cultural significance in Mexico. It is worn as casual foot-wear.
On the other side, the Mexicans often prefer to wear the traditional pointy boots and winkle pickers as the formal foot-wear. The feature that gives both the boot and shoes their name is the very sharp and long pointed toe.
There are many other traditional dresses that were flourished among the Mexicans in the most recent era. These dresses are commonly worn by the Mexicans, particularly women in different dances, cultural events and national ceremonies. Charreria which is a popular sport in Mexico, the women wear a very wide skirt that makes waves with stripes in the middle that forms a star, and more stripes at the bottom end. This is usually called Jalisco style dress.
Another dress is known as Tabasco, which is usually a skirt made with floral prints fabric along with a white blouse, and embroidery figures in the collar and sleeves. Similarly the hand-stitched and classically embroidered Veracruz and Tehuana dresses are also popular among the Mexican women as their traditional outfits.
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