Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mexican Sarapes of the 19th & 20th Centuries

Last night I attended an exhibition of exquisite vintage Mexican sarapes (also spelled serape or zarape) curated by collector Mayer Shacter of Galeria Atotonilco. In August, the sarapes will be permanently housed at the Museum of the Sarape in Saltillo, Mexico.

What is a sarape?

According to the The Textile Museum, "Sarapes were an essential item for the vaqueros, or cowboys, of the ranches of northern Mexico in the 18th and 19th centuries, serving as cloak, sleeping blanket and saddle padding as needed. During the Mexican War of Independence from Spain from 1810 to 1821, the vaquero was idealized into a national hero and his sarape became an icon of the new Mexican national identity. The finest sarapes, such as this classic example, were extremely expensive and were probably worn by hacienda owners and other gentlemen as part of their riding costume, along with elaborately wrought silver spurs and embroidered chaps" (The Textile Museum).

Enjoy the following slide show of my photos of the exhibition.

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