Ramiro Avila, Contributor

A charro is a traditional horseman from Mexico, which is organized from Hidalgo, Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan, Zacatecas, Durango, Chihuahua, Aguascalientes, Querétaro, Guanajuato, and Mexico State. The Viceroyalty of New Spain had prohibited Native Americans from riding or owning horses, with the exception of the Tlaxcaltec nobility. However, cattle raising requires to use of horses and cowboys who were preferably mestizo. Some of the requirements for riding a horse were that one had to be employed by a plantation, had to use saddles, and had to wear leather clothes.

The landowners and their employees adapted their cowboy style for a way to show the Spanish style of cattle raising. After the Mexican War of Independence, horse riding became very popular. Originally people were known as Chinacos, these horsemen later became named “vaqueros”. Wealthy people would often wear decorated versions of charro clothing and horse harness to display their status. Poorer riders would also use their horses with a harness made from agave. In both Mexican and US states such as California, Texas, Illinois, Zacatecas, Durango, and Jalisco, charros participate in tournaments to show off their skills or have competitions of charreada.

Information from: History

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