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Typical costume of Chiapas | Travel News

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Mexico is a multicultural country with centuries-old traditions. One of its most beautiful regions is Chiapas, southwest of the nation. It has half of its rural population and is the leading national producer of coffee and bananas. The Olmec, Maya and Chiapas culture were around here so their culture is wonderful.

And as we always say, the typical costumes tell us precisely about this culture, its history, its customs, its traditions, its dances, its languages… Today, therefore, in Actualidad Viajas, the Typical costume of Chiapas.


It is one of the states that make up Mexico and its capital is the city of Tuxla Gutierrez. During colonial times, it was part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala and maintained ties with that territory until 1824.

He did not have a quiet life. Due to central government economic oversight and misunderstandings, a uprising in the 90s of the 20th centuryfrom the hand of Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Unfortunately, the fundamental issues that produced this conflict at the time are far from resolved, even today.

In Chiapas is one of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico, Palenque, world heritage of humanity. Mountains also abound and thus, it has a great biological and climatic diversity who tints his landscapes with the most beautiful colors. And yes, these colors seem to me to manifest very well in their typical costume.

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Typical costume of Chiapas

As is often the case when an area is so ancient and so rich in culture there is not just one typical costume but severalbut it is still possible to identify the most famous and the most popular: the costume of Chiapa de Corzo known as “Chiapas”. Chiapa de Corzo is a small town founded by the Spaniards in 1528 on pre-Hispanic settlements. It lies on the banks of the Rio Grande de Chiapa, just 15 kilometers from the state capital.

Many festivals take place there throughout the year. although the first begins with the year as it takes place in January with the so-called big fair. Then come the Fair of San Miguel, the Fair of San Sebastián, the Fair of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Fair of Santo Domingo, the Marimba Festival, the Topada de la Flor, the Fair Señor del Calvario, the day of Corpus Christi …

The Chiapas woman dresses happily: she wears a very loose skirt that reaches the ankles and a tight blouse which marks her breasts. Both pieces are in black satin, a fabric that has movement and softness and ultimately gives the whole garment a fluid movement. In addition, it is the perfect background for the colors that are added by the hand of the veils.

The colorful veils they are made with transparent tulle, in turn embroidered with flowers of many colors and large sizes, both in the blouse and in the skirt, generating a kind of multicolored tapestry. And the men?

The men of Chiapas wear a costume called “parachico”, consisting of black pants and a shirt of the same color. At the waist they wear a red sash and a handkerchief tied around their necks. To the last is added a serape also of several colors.

It seems that the origin of the typical costume of Chiapas is linked to the short distance between Chiapa de Corzo and the state capital, Tuxla Guiterierez. The patronal feasts have always been held in the city, so the clothes used for them have spread throughout the country and therefore this costume has been interpreted as typical of Chiapas.

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It is precisely during religious festivals that the male costume, we have seen it much simpler than that of the women, is added colored embroidery on the legs, a round hat in fiberglass ixtle, a montera, a wooden mask and a chinchín, a metal rattle also adorned with many colorful ribbons. For their part, on these occasions, women have a hand-lacquered jícara called jicalpextle.

Handmade lacquerware is one of the most popular local crafts because it has pre-Hispanic origins, but also a European influence. Indigenous peoples used the rind of the fruits as domestic or religious utensils and some of them were painted with a technique called maque or lacquer. In contact with the Spaniards, this technique knew some variations and thus, already in the 20th century, this decoration technique ended up being the union between two cultures.

The embroidery of the typical costume of Chiapas is also a regional craft. It is handmade with silk threads and over time it has evolved from dresses and blouses to other pieces of fabric such as scarves, tablecloths, mantillas, rugs, etc. In the case of the regional costume, the tulle is cut, which is the fabric where it is embroidered, the design is designed, the tulle is nailed to the sample that has been designed and the hard work begins, design by design, flower by flower, ball by ball until you are done with the leaves and seeds.

What does the typical costume of Chiapas mean? In the case of the female ensemble, the costume is so colorful and vivid that it is said to represent on one side to all the ethnic groups that coexist in the territory (among others the Tojolobals, the Lacandons, the Tzeltals), and on the other hand to the great botanical diversity which give all the ecosystems that the state has. For its part, the men’s suit refers to the rain and sunfundamental elements for the fertility of the earth, and also remember the white conquerorswith the blond headdress they wear on their heads.

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Legend has it that the regional costume of Chiapas was created at the beginning of the 20th century, in the 1920s, by the hand of a theater group from Central America who came on tour. The singer, in front of a large audience, sang a song which she named Chiapas, in honor of the public. From then on, the costume developed and gained popularity at parties and fairs, being worn by women and girls.

If you plan to visit Mexico, you can see the typical costume of Chiapas live and live by attending the Fiesta Grande de Chiapa de Corzo which takes place every year from January 8 to 23. In this festival, men and women dance in honor of the lord of Esquipulas, San Antonio Abad and San Sebastián Mártir, the last patron saint of the parachicos (men).

We said at the beginning that there is not a single typical Chiapas costume and it is so. To the most popular that we have just reviewed is added the typical dress of San Juan Chamula worn by men: trousers and a blanket shirt with a white or black woolen poncho over a tied shirt with a red belt. On their heads they wear a straw hat with many colorful ribbons hanging from the brim and in their hands a similarly decorated leather bag.

For their part, the women wear a long woolen skirt, sometimes tight sometimes not, with white embroidery, colored huipiles and a blouse generally also colored, blue, white, green or gold, embroidered on the front. There are also the typical costumes of San Andrés Larráinzar and the costume of Venustiano Carranzawith embroidered images that can take months.

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