Nowadays women all around the world follow the trend of wearing Mexican style clothes. A fine example of this is found in coarse cloth frayed dresses with colorful accents that favor the ladies’ silhouettes. Their popularity comes from the fact that the artisan work needed to elaborate them is perfectly reflected in how elegant the person who wears them looks. Today, DINKtravelers introduces the rebozo, a very fashionable women’s accessory that you can purchase as a souvenir on your next trip to Mexico. We’ll tell you how to wear it and at the same time you’ll discover its cultural relevance.
The Rebozo in Colonial Latin America
There’s no specific information about its origin; however, Mexican women have worn it since before the Spanish conquest (1521) and even after it. Its main function was to protect them from the harsh sunrays during their long workdays on the fields. On the other hand, following the arrival of Christianity they wore them as a symbol of respect when visiting a church. What’s more, it was a useful tool to carry newborns either on the back or at the bosom.
How to Make a Mexican Rebozo
Its elaboration requires a lot of hard work and patience in order to create intricate and colorful patterns. First the artisans dye the threads they’ll use to design this garment. In order to do this they use natural dyes they obtain, for example, from the cempasúchil flower –an orange or yellow flower usually used to decorate graves when making offerings for the deceased– or from the cochineal, an insect that produces a red dye.
After this first step, threads are placed on a loom and the artisans thread the strands to create a long cloth. Finally, they finish the work by leaving some strands loose and using them to tie a knot at the end of the thread.
Because making a rebozo requires many days work (approximately twenty days), the dedication they demand and their authenticity justify their prices. For this reason, don’t be surprised if the ones you find in prestigious boutiques are quite expensive. The bonus is that you’ll get the chance to choose among many fine designs and different colors including turquoise, bright pink and yellow. Hurry up and get yourself one! You’ll look like the models at elite fashion shows.
Three ways to wear a rebozo:
Casual: Fold it in two lengthwise and place it around your neck as you would a loose scarf.
Elegant: Extend it across your back and pull the right end across your body towards your left shoulder. Then, take the other end and pull it across your body towards the right shoulder.
Bow: Extend it across your back and hold both ends in your hands. Tie a knot at chest height. This way the rebozo will look like a bow.