The typical costume of Veracruz responds, on the one hand, to the autochthonous substrate of this Mexican state and, on the other, to the influence of the Spanish colonizers. It is true that every town in the Veracruz area and even all of the country they have their own typical clothing, but there is a suit that defines both the entire state and its capital.
Since Veracruz is on the east coast of Mexico and it has a warm tropical climate, its typical clothing must be, by force, light and not very warm. Average temperatures that exceed twenty degrees cannot be tolerated all year round with warm clothing. But there are many other elements that have determined the typical costume of Veracruz. If you want to know them, we invite you to continue reading.
History of the typical costume of Veracruz
The first thing we should point out to you is that the state of Veracruz also uses the charro suit and Tehuano wardrobe. The latter was used by the Zapotec women of the state of Oaxaca and was immortalized by the painter Frida Kahlo in many of his paintings. But both this and the first have become world symbols of Mexico. Therefore, it will not surprise you that they are also typical of Veracruz.
Despite everything that we have just explained to you, the typical costume of Veracruz par excellence is called jarocho suit, which comes from the so-called Sotavento Veracruzano, that is to say, of the region of the state thus named that extends by the south of the same. Also, this outfit has a very interesting history.
It is said that the first women arrived with the Spaniards to the Papaloapan basin they used to wear the clothes brought from the Iberian Peninsula. They were Andalusian or Levantine style costumes made with dark and heavy fabrics. But in this area of Veracruz, as we told you, it is very hot and, in addition, humidity prevails. Therefore, the clothing brought from Spain was not appropriate, since it had been made for colder climates.
These women's suits consisted of colorful skirts, an embroidered apron, a lace shawl, cotton stockings, and velvet shoes. In addition, they were adorned with medals attached to the neck by ribbons of silk or velvet itself.
However, native women wore flowery skirts and blouses with bobbin lace and dropped shoulders, as well as footwear in the shape of clogs. The Spanish understood how more appropriate this clothing for the Veracruz climate and they began to abandon the dresses they had brought from Spain.
As a mixture of local costume with some Hispanic influences, the jarocho suit, which also adopted similar forms for men. It was, therefore, a synthesis process between peninsular fashion and that of the Sotavento Veracruzano. In addition, accessories and ornaments were added to it.
Once we have done a bit of history, it is time to explain concretely and in detail what the typical costume of Veracruz is like.
How is the jarocho suit
Logically, to describe the typical costume of Veracruz, we must differentiate between clothing for women and those for men. However, both have two common denominators: white color and light fabrics appropriate for heat.
The typical Veracruz costume for women
Jarocha clothing for women is even prettier than that intended for men, since it has more lace, embroidery and ornaments. The basic elements of this costume are the following:
- A blouse of sorts nightgown white made of cotton and "mesh" on the shoulders and chest. This means that, in those parts, they have an embroidery in the form of a grid. In addition, it is finished off at the neck with a barrette made with a silk ribbon.
- Petticoat also white and also gridded at the bottom that is used as a background.
- A skirt very long and wide flying over the petticoat that covers the ankles and which is also usually white. Likewise, it is adorned with embroidery and usually have a bit of glue.
- Apron shorter in black velvet and embroidered with reddish-tone flowers and also a curly lace. It is tied to the waist by means of a silk ribbon and on his waistband there is a bandana made of cotton, that is, a large handkerchief made of two-color printed fabric.
- A mantilla or shawl that can be made of lace or embroidered tulle. It is placed on the shoulders attached to the chest by means of a locket or cameo to highlight the mesh of the nightgown underneath.
- Un rebozo or second shawl elaborately made with silk thread and that is combined with the ribbon that adorns the hair.
Along with all the above, the typical costume of Veracruz for women includes different accessories y a specific hairstyle. Regarding the latter, it consists of a bun and two braids that are adorned with a headdress as a comb, also called cachirulo. Finally, the hair is decorated with gardenias or roses that are placed on one side or the other of the head depending on the person's marital status. If she is single, they go to the left, while if she is married, they go to the right.
As for the accessories of the typical Veracruz costume for women, a fan hung from the neck by means of a collar. This is usually a family jewel. It can be made of gold or pearls, but also coral or filigree. Finally, in some cases a crucifix is also worn around the neck by a velvet ribbon.
The typical costume of Veracruz for men
Much more easy that the above is the typical Veracruz attire for men. However, it is also very beautiful and, as we told you, stands out for the white color of all the garments. In this case, the most important are the following:
- Un pants of fresh fabric that reaches to the feet, that is, unlike other typical costumes, it is not baggy or knee-length.
- A guayabera or shirt with long sleeves, loose and also made of light fabric with bags on the front. It also usually has pleats to give it a touch of elegance.
- Shoes type booty and black or white color.
- Palm hat with four slits in its upper area (what is called "stones").
- Palliate or large handkerchief in bright colors, preferably red and black, around the neck.
As we explained to you and you can deduce from our description, the typical Veracruz costume for men is much less elaborate than that for women. However, combines perfectly with this.
When is the typical jarocho costume used
In general, the jarocho costume is used in any folkloric event or holiday that is celebrated in the state of Veracruz. Many traditional dance groups use it, precisely, to interpret the They are jarocho or zapateado. There are two types of dances: couple sounds and the so-called "From the heap" for dancing in a group.
The accompanying music is played with equally traditional instruments like the jarana, a small guitar; the requinto, from the same family as the previous one; the harp, the tambourine and the jaw of a donkey, the latter for percussion. Through all of them are interpreted melodies of peasant origin, some of which have become famous around the world. For example, La bamba, The hustler o The crazy syrup.
They are also interpreted huapangos, melodies in ternary time signature originating in the region, and even rhythms of Afro-Caribbean origin such as the famous Cuban danzón.
On the other hand, you will also be interested in knowing when these celebrations take place. Thus, in case you plan to visit Veracruz, you can make your trip coincide with them. One of the dates indicated is the carnival from the city of Veracruz itself, described as "the happiest in the world."
But the Jarocho world has found accommodation in the city of Jaltipan, from the state of Veracruz itself. At the end of the year this town organizes the Fandango Festival, which brings together popular music artists from all over the country and even abroad. Therefore, the jarocho sounds and dances cannot be absent in this event.
Likewise, the Jarocha tradition has deep roots in the city of Córdoba, also called Lomas de Huilango, to the point that it organizes a Son Jarocho Encounter which includes shows with the typical costume of Veracruz. But also other activities such as workshops, meetings, conferences and even gala functions to preserve this traditional culture of the Veracruz state.
Finally, we will tell you about the city of Tlacotalpan, which is located precisely on the limits of the Papaloapan basin, where, as we have told you, the jarocho costume was born. In this beautiful town, whose historic center has been declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the Meeting of Jaraneros and Decimistas. It is a festival dedicated to preserving all the musical expressions that are grouped in the son jarocho and it is among the most important folkloric events in all of Mexico.
In conclusion, we have explained to you what are the origins of typical costume of Veracruz, as well as the garments that make it up for both women and men. And, likewise, what are the best known festivities to wear it. In any case, it is one of the traditional clothing with more rooted and more appreciated throughout the Mexican country.