That Mexican festivity
La Charreada (The Mexican style Rodeo)
The Arabian horses that helped the Spanish conquer the American continent were strong, tireless in battle, and agile for saddling up for the escaramuza (ballet on horseback), and for the retreat. With out this competition, the conquest of these enormous territories would have been delayed for a long time. That is why when the Hispanic domain was consolidated; men born in America were prohibited to ride them on a death threat.
However, necessity forced viceroyalty authority to grant permission to indigenous, mestizos (mixed raced) and criollos (Creoles) to ride on horseback so they could perform field work at the properties and ranches. These men on horseback would eventually turn with time into “cowboys”, that would once watch over and look after the great herds of northern Mexico and Texas, and later they would turn into “charros”, (name which is designated to the villagers in the Spanish province of Salamanca) men on horseback from the center and western part of the country.
Expert farm managers, carried out admirable maneuvers as a daily work routine where they proved their skills and bravery, and even though these maneuvers were perfected on the job, they were also executed for fun.
La Charreada is today a two and a half hour long ceremony and sporting event. At a Lienzo Charro (similar to a bullring) three horseman teams congregate (each team is composed of seven or eight charros) and compete among themselves in the “Jaripeo” (a series of combined performances), which consist in the execution of many performances known as “suertes” (maneuvers) such as: horse reining (training); hobbling (the lassoing on a quadruped’s legs while galloping); tail pulling (the knocking down of a bull trapping him on the run on horseback); the lassoing of the front legs of a beast on the run, called manganas; mare and young bull riding. A woman participates in the escaramuza: a group of young women traditionally dressed as “adelita” or “china poblana”. Women do not execute maneuvers as the men, but they gallop at great speeds and accomplish a risky horse ballet full of color and adrenaline.
Even when the northern cowboy tradition is maintained here with very little changes, and the labor at the ranches are carried out by leather lined horsemen on a Texan style saddle, the charreria (Mexican rodeo) has taken root already in this land’s end whose symbol is the Arc of rock.
From Lands End Magazine, all rights reserved