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Charro is a term referring to a traditional horseman from Mexico, originating in the central-western regions primarily in the states of Jalisco, Michoacan, Zacatecas, Durango, Chihuahua, Aguascalientes, and Guanajuato. The Mexican terms vaquero and ranchero (cowboy and rancher) are similar to the charro but different in culture, etiquette, mannerism, clothing, tradition and social status.
Use of term
The traditional Mexican charro is known for colorful clothing and participating in coleadero y charreada, a specific type of Mexican rodeo. The charreada is the national sport in Mexico, and is regulated by the Federación Mexicana de Charrería.
Prior to the Mexican Revolution of 1910 the distinctive charro suit, with its sombrero, heavily embroidered jacket and tightly cut trousers, was widely worn by men of the affluent upper classes on social occasions, especially when on horseback. A light grey version with silver embroidery served as the uniform of the rurales (mounted rural police).
In Spain, a charro is a native of the province of Salamanca, especially in the area of Alba de Tormes, Vitigudino, Ciudad Rodrigo and Ledesma. It's likely that the Mexican charro tradition derived from Spanish horsemen who came from Salamanca and settled in Jalisco.
The "charro film" was a genre of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema between 1935 and 1959, and probably played a large role in popularizing the charro, akin to what occurred with the advent of the American Western. The most notable charro stars were José Alfredo Jiménez, Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, Antonio Aguilar, and Tito Guizar.
In both Mexican and US states such as California, Texas, Illinois, Zacatecas, Durango, Jalisco, charros participate in tournaments to show off their skill either in team competition charreada, or in individual competition such as el coleadero. These events are practiced in a Lienzo charro.
Some decades ago charros in Mexico were permitted to carry guns. In conformity with current law, the charro must be fully suited and be a full pledged member of Mexico's Federación Mexicana de Charrería.
- charro in the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española.
- Camara de Diputados. "Ley Federal de Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (Articulo 10 Seccion VII)" (PDF). Secretaria de Gobernacion. Retrieved May 5, 2015.]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charro.|
- Arte en la Charerria: The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City
- Art of the Charrería at the Museum of the American West
- Charrería from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Charro Days from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Charreria, the symbol of Mexico
- Federación Mexicana de Charrería (Spanish)
- Nacional de Charros (Spanish)
- Official Rulebook (Spanish)
- "CHARRO USA" U.S. Radio, Magazine and Media News off Charreria (Mexican Rodeo)