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Typical Oaxacan costume | Travel News

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The typical costumes They interpret customs, traditions, everything related to the land and its inhabitants, its culture, its religion, its gastronomy, its music. We can go forward in time, add progress, inventions, that the years weigh on the backs of nations, but the typical costume will always be there to remind us of the past, the origin, the history. Who are we and where do we come from.

This is why there is usually not a single typical costume and again, in today’s case, we come across several versions of the typical Oaxacan costume.


In the southwestern region of Mexico is the state of Oaxaca, a place with a large indigenous population. In fact, there are 16 ethnic groups and it is amazing that so many of their customs have survived.

Mountain ranges, rivers, caves, caverns, all characterize its geography. It is a land with a varied climate and with a great biodiversity. Due to its huge indigenous population and Spanish colonization, it is land of religious syncretism.

Oaxaca celebrates all saints, but the best holiday of all is December 18, patron saint of the Virgen de la Soledad. Obviously, there are other virgins who are also highly celebrated.

Typical Oaxacan costume

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One of the most popular typical costumes of Oaxaca is the Tehuanathis style that made the artist famous Frida Kahlo. It is the female costume of the Zapotec ethnic group, a city that inhabited the isthmus of Tehuanpetec. Here was born the costume that later expanded its use and is found today in many celebrations, despite the passage of time and the constant modifications it has undergone.

There’s a suit for every day: It consists of a rabona, a long skirt, with embroidery and made with any fabric. There is a slightly more elegant version in which a white flounce of another fabric is added. How is a half dress hairstyle becomes important. If the woman is married, the flower guide lace is used on the right and if she is single but looking for a husband, on the left.

The gala version clean already has earrings, a petticoat and the classic huipil that we see in several Latin American countries. The hair is worn in braids with knots and a coin on the head. The huipil is huge and can be worn in two ways: a smaller side is used for celebrations and a larger side is used for a walk or for dancing. There is another even more refined version known as patron saint of stewardship where a fringe of a gold worm appears and which appears in the time of Porfirio Díaz.

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Later, in the southern part of the central valleys of the state, the so-called chentean costume. Mixing native and colonial, here we have a brightly colored handmade cotton skirt, with a heavily embroidered cotton blouse on the front, worse with a black rebozo.

In the city of Coyopetec, in the valley of Oaxaca, appears the Coyotepec costumeStyle: the fabric is checkered and the huipil, the common denominator throughout, is embroidered on the neckline and made of white cotton. The shawl is black and wraps around the head like a turban.

For its part, in the Sierra Mazateca, the huipil has a front cross-stitch embroidery in very bright colors. The embroideries are usually flowers of the region and birds. There are also pink and turquoise blue ribbons. In the lower part of the huipil is the petticoat decorated with reddish embroidery. The women comb their hair with two braids and when they dance they do so with a gourd in their hands full of flower petals which they throw.

Another beautiful typical costume is the Jamiltepec Malacatera Costume. It is so called because the person who makes it uses coils to spin the cotton. It is dyed lilac and red and the girls wear buns in the head where the winch needles are recessed.

In the coast of the Isthmus of Tehuanteepec lives the Huave ethnic group. It’s very hot here so the classic huipil is light, the skirt is long and printed with flowers and they have a red tangle. far from the sea, in the mixed mountains, there is the following tri. Here the huipil is long and red and has many embroideries. The women braid their hair in a single braid adorned with combs and hang many colorful necklaces around their necks.

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So far we have named a few of the many typical costumes of Oaxaca, but they have all been feminine. What about the typical Oaxacan male costume? Well, there are also several, but obviously they are outfits more simple. It is usually composed of shorts, a shirt, sandals, sometimes hats made of wool or palm.

The truth is that despite the many costumes, in general the common denominator is preserved: the huipil. Shorter, longer, more embroidery, less embroidery, and it has multiple uses whether it’s for everyday use or for more serious events like weddings or funerals. yes, it becomes more colorful during the evenings when there are dances.

I think each of these outfits is an ode to color and joy. They are wonderful and to see them on stage, at dances and parties, is a pleasure for the eyes. Obviously, if you decide to go on a trip to Mexico, buying a huipil is always a good memory of your adventures. A good souvenir and a piece of clothing that will steal all eyes on the way home.

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