Sunday, October 21, 2007


Last week we went to a party in the countryside where they had a Charreada for us...a kind of Mexican rodeo. Mexico inherited the traditions of the Charros or Spanish horseman from the province of Salamanca in Spain who settled in the State of Jalisco. In some places the Mexican cowboy is called a vaquero.

The Charros or Charras are skilled in horsemanship and wear very elaborate costumes sometimes trimmed in silver. A man's outfit consists of a high-crowned, wide-brimmed hat, tight trousers, a white shirt, waistcoat and a long jacket. A woman's outfit is similar but with a long wide skirt.

The horses are well trained and the rider and horse seem to move as one almost without direction from the rider. The Charros are very skilled with lariats and competitions for handling the lariat is always a part of every competition. It was really quite amazing to see them twirling the lariat over their heads, around the horse in a graceful never ending movement. The old westerns that I saw as a little girl had lots of this accomplished lariat twirling in them but you seldom see anything like this in movies now or even in rodeos in the USA.

Our rodeo was to include some bull riding but the bull decided he didn't want to have any part of it and jumped two fences to take off for the wild blue yonder. Now we really had a demonstration of the Charro's cowboy skill and all of them took off after the bull. Before too long they had him back in the trailer.

I have never seen a Charreada before this party but I think the next time we have one in San Miguel, I'll go.

This is another Holga image. Wish I would have had a lower ISO film for the camera because it was bright and sunny but I'm still getting back into the Holga's idiosyncrasies.


Babs said...

Great shot! Another blogger just wrote about the charreada too. Read

wayne said...

Be careful what you wish for. I'm an old horseman myself and have gone to a couple of Mexican rodeos. Never again. They are extremely cruel to the animals here and I just can't support that. That said, you are right about the costumes and the lariat work. Some of the finest around.