Rabona (skirt) with holán (lace flounce), part of Tehuana gala ensemble - ROM2015_14490_4


Rabona (skirt) with holán (lace flounce), part of Tehuana gala ensemble

Maker: Tehuana culture
Medium:Polyester and cotton machine lace
Geography: Juchitán de Zaragoza, State of Oaxaca, Mexico
Date: 2014
Object number: 2014.36.25.2
Credit Line: This acquisition was made possible with the generous support of the Kircheis Family Endowment Fund
Not on view
Description This modern gala ensemble of an embroidered velvet bustier contrasting with a solid colour skirt is often worn by young women who prefer a tailored bustier to the traditional huipil. Zapotec women on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec are known as Tehuanas. Their elaborate and flamboyant fashions became a symbol of national pride after 1920, when post-revolutionary leaders rejected European values and promoted ethnic diversity. Tehuanas wear a short huipil (tunic) and matching enagua (skirt), both embroidered with floral or geometric designs, and many gold ornaments. Ceremonial wear features a headdress of starched lace, known locally as a huipil grande. During the 1930s and 1940s, artist Frida Kahlo and other cultural figures adopted Tehuana dress to proclaim their allegiance to Mexican values and popular traditions. Tehuana gala ensembles show evolving styles over 60 years on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Factory-made lace has largely replaced hand-made lace for the starched holán (lace flounce).

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