Woman's rebozo raton (shawl) - 2014.36.42_1


Woman's rebozo raton (shawl)

Medium:Cotton tabby with warp-ikat patterning and hand-knotted fringe
Geography: Tenancingo de Degollado, State of Mexico, Mexico
Date: 2014
171 x 48 cm
Object number: 2014.36.42
Credit Line: This acquisition was made possible with the generous support of the Kircheis Family Endowment Fund
Not on view

The Mexican rebozo has become a symbol of femininity and nationhood. Its origins probably lie with the spread of Christianity, which required women to cover their heads in church. Art from the 19th century shows Mexican women of all classes wearing rebozos. For some, rebozos were costly works of art. But for the majority, they were practical as well, sheltering the wearer from sun or cold, and enabling her to nurse a baby or transport heavy loads.


Knotted end-fringes are the work of empuntadoras (professional female fringe-knotters). It is a separate skill from weaving and is the final stage in rebozo production. Knotted patterns are passed on through generations and evolve with fashion. Today, fringes are longer and more decorative than they were in the past.

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