by José Luis Ovalle

en Español⇒

Que Chula es Puebla

The Company's repertoire of Puebla includes sones and jarabes and la Danza de los Quetzales from the Sierra. This state is Mexico's colonial reliquary and is the site of the famous battle of "El Cinco de Mayo". The female costume of Puebla is the precursor of the national outfit "La China Poblano".

La China Poblana

The origin of this costume is full of fantastic legends, yet it is the first true mestizo outfit and remained en vogue in Mexico up to the mid 1800's.

During the Viceregency a cargo ship from the Philippines known as "Nao de China" (Spanish for "ship from China"), carrying goods from Asia anchored at the port of Acapulco. One of the most sought-after items was a textile called "castor" similar to felt. It was popular among rich women who purchased it for their servants called "chinitas" (a name reference not related to their ethnic origin). The fabric was not long enough to reach to the floor so an addition of silk fabric was sewn onto the top and bottom to complete the length.

Perhaps this simplistic reality gave way to the much more romantic legend of the Oriental princess sold as a slave, in Puebla, who married her master and created her wedding gown based on local fashions but ebmroidered with Asian motifs.

La Danza de los Quetzales

The origin of la Danza de los Quetzales comes from pre-Columbian times. This ancient ritual is still done and it is believed to be a ritual dedicated to the sun, thunder and rain. One of the modern theories of its creation says that after an exotic bird called the Q'a (pronounced qhua) became extinct the locals decided to create the spectacular multi-colored headdress to emulate its plumage. The dance was created to ask the gods to return the bird to nature once again.
The choreography of this dance incudes the typical salute to the four directions, found in all pre-Columbian dancing and remains as part of religious celebrations in Puebla and Veracruz' indigenous communities of today.

© Copyright José Luis Ovalle, 2007 - 2017. All Rights Reserved. Derechos reservados.

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