La Jarocha

IMG_7598One of the most representative aspects of the culture of Veracruz, is the beautiful Jarocha dress.; beautiful outfit that fills an entire state with pride. This outfit is worn to dance the “Son Jaroho,” during which it shows off its ultimate beauty in the flow of its skirt.

It´s story lies in the Papaloapan River basin, where Spanish influence brought the Andaluz and Valencia dresses to the streets of Tlacotalpan. Yet, like with many aspects of our culture the Spanish influence is only a part of what is today a Jarocha dress. The material used to make the spanish dresses were too dark and heavy for the tropical climate in the región. As time went on, the dress became a beautiful tropical outfit, leaving the stuffy spanish dress as a vague memoty.  Little by Little the material used to make the spanish outfit were traded in for lighter more breathable fabrics that were more suitable for dancing, like cotton, organdy and muslin. The crinoline of the Andaluz dress became a petticoat. And just like that a part of our identity was created. During the XVIIIth century this was a simple white dress, but as times changed and the revolution became a victory, the economy and the culture of Tlacotalpan flourished. This change was reflected in the dress, ruffles and lace start to appear on the dress, and so it stops being a simple white dress. Jewelry, cameos, flowers and more are added to the outfit.  As people move around the state many variations of the dress emerged but one is considered to be officially representative of our state, with Spanish, African and Indigenous influences, this outfit is truly representative of our great state.





From head to toe:

The flowers:

A small posy of natural roses is placed in her hair, on the right side if she is married and on the left if she is single.

A comb is places on the back of her head for a touch of elegance.

A ribbon is braided into her hair colored to match her shawl. (The placement of a ribbon in the hair is considered to be from African Influence.)

Long gold ear rings are worn.

The white sleeveless blouse is embroidered at the top.

A white shawl is worn over the shirt and pinned down in front and in the back by cameos.

Gold necklaces are sometimes worn.

The white skirt is long and usually made of organza; it is decorated by two or three ruffles at the bottom which are lined by lace. The skirts also sometimes embroidered.  Under the skirt is a usually muslin petticoat.

A black velvet apron is placed over the skirt, with colorful flowers are en embroidered on to it, and black lace is placed around it.

An artisan made hand fan is places in her hand, it is sometimes are used in certain dances.

Finally, white dance shoes are worn, so that her every step is heard during the beautiful “zapateo Jarocho”




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