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Casa del Rebozo Cooperativa
(Roots & Traditions)/Armandina Cruz
Rebozos (Shawls)

The Mexican rebozo (shawl) is a typical Mexican garment related to all social classes and part of the history of Mexico. From the Adelitas, traditional women of the Mexican Revolution who carried their children by wrapping them in rebozos, to grandmothers who still continue to wear their rebozos calle bolitas, the rebozo has existed for centuries.

Seeking to preserve tradition and to show future generations the beauty and importance of the rebozo to a woman's wardrobe, Casa del Rebozo (House of the Shawl) was conceived in Guadalajara by the current director, Armandina Cruz. They have a museum where you can admire over 100 of Armandina's collection of rebozos. Armandina is pictured to the left with Marianne Carlson, founder of Feria Maestros del Arte.

After Armandina obtained her university degree, she realized that there was much history yet to uncover about this special garment, especially in the state of Jalisco. Her investigation dealt with the causes of the disappearance of the rebozo in Jalisco and why artisans failed to continue making Jalisco rebozos. Zapopan (next to Guadalajara) had colonial looms and used to make shawls and blankets.

She discovered a group of women in southern Jalisco who are the last masters of looming the Jalisco rebozo. Among them was a woman of 70 who lived in Sayula and has dedicated her life to developing the rebozo and teaching how it is woven. She joined Armandina at the first loom workshop called Tachihual.

An offshoot of opening the workshop resulted in organizing a "Rebozo Spectacle" - a show that has become her most effective promotion of the rebozo through music, poetry, dance, painting and modeling. "It includes all the creative ways that a rebozo can be used, worn or admired. Did you know songs have been written about the rebozo?" said Armandina. The Rebozo Spectacle pays homage to Frida Kahlo, the Adelitas, and women who have taken the rebozo around the world. Few people are aware that Frida Kahlo, the famous female Mexican artist, posed in Paris for Vogue Magazine wearing a Mexican rebozo, showing it as a symbol of her national identity.

There are three types of rebozos:

  • The traditional, which is identified by cotton balls which hang from the ends
  • The regional, which is more lively and colorful with elements of the states where it developed, such as Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guerrero. The rebozos de seda (silk) are considered the best in the world and, according to tradition, their quality and purity is checked by passing the entire rebozo through a wedding ring, indicating how finally woven they are.
  • The contemporary, with more modern designs, synthetic yarns, embroidery and techniques borrowed from other countries such as gold and silver filigree.

Contact Information:
La Casa del Rebozo
Lopez Cotilla 1973-
Colonia Arcos Vallarta
Guadalajara
(333) 827-3219
casadelrebozo1@hotmail.com
casadelrebozo@prodigy.net.mx

Or contact Marianne Carlson at (from the US) 01152 376 765 7485 or email mariannecarlson@gmail.com.

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