Breaking News Bar
posted: 2/13/2014 5:45 AM

N.M. museum highlights culture of Mexican horsemen

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • An ornate saddle is on display at the Albuquerque Museum as part of the exhibition "Arte en la Charreria: The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture." The artifacts, some dating to the 1800s, were culled from prestigious collections throughout Mexico.

      An ornate saddle is on display at the Albuquerque Museum as part of the exhibition "Arte en la Charreria: The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture." The artifacts, some dating to the 1800s, were culled from prestigious collections throughout Mexico.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS/ARTE EN LA CHARRERIA

  • A silver inlaid spur is on display at the Albuquerque Museum as part of the exhibition "Arte en la Charreria: The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture." Each item reflects different elements of the culture of the legendary charro, the Mexican horseman.

      A silver inlaid spur is on display at the Albuquerque Museum as part of the exhibition "Arte en la Charreria: The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture." Each item reflects different elements of the culture of the legendary charro, the Mexican horseman.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS/ARTE EN LA CHARRERIA

 
By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- There's no mass production here, just evidence of the slow and patient work that went into handcrafting the costumes and tools behind one of Mexico's most important traditions.

From fine embroidery to ornate saddles and silver inlaid spurs, more than 150 pieces are on display at the Albuquerque Museum as part of the exhibition "Arte en la Charreria: The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture," which is on display through March 30.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

The artifacts, some dating to the 1800s, were culled from prestigious collections throughout Mexico. Each item reflects different elements of the culture of the legendary charro -- the Mexican horseman.

"Too often, we in the West get lost in the stories of cowboy culture, unwary of its foundation," said museum director Cathy Wright. "'Arte en la Charreria' gives our visitors a chance to experience the beauty, color and expressiveness of this wonderful Mexican tradition, which continues to inform Southwestern fashion and material culture today."

The roots of the charreria culture first emerged centuries ago with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors and their horses. By the 19th century, celebrations similar to rodeos were being organized around Mexico in which charros would compete, showing off their skills. In the early 1930s, the colorful equestrian style was declared the national sport of Mexico.

Museum curators say there's meaning behind every component of the costumes worn by charros and charras. In some cases, layers of leather are applied to fabric and then adorned with intricate silver buttons. Embroidery, sequins and beading often provide another layer. Even the sculptural iron spurs are decorated with tooled and stamped silver.

All the leather, velvet and suede make for an exploration of texture and detail, not just a history lesson.

It would be impossible to pick a favorite from the items in the exhibition, said Deb Slaney, the museum's curator of history.

"There is no best example. They're all fabulous," she said.

If you go ...

Albuquerque Museum

Where: 2000 Mountain Road, Albuquerque, N.M.

Info: albuquerquemuseum.org or (505) 243-7255

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday

Admission: Adults $4; teens $3; seniors $2; and children 4-12 $1

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.