Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
It's National Hispanic Heritage Month here in the United States! Hispanic Heritage month starts September 15 and ends October 15. It's a time where we celebrate the history, culture, and successes of Americans with Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean, Central and South American ancestry.
To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we're releasing a special avatar pack highlighting various aspects of hispanic culture.
Hispanic Heritage Avatar Pack
The Huipil is a traditional tunic worn by indigenous women throughout southeast Mexico and Guatemala. It is a common everyday garment, though there are more decorative and intricate styles that are reserved for special and ceremonial events. Women traditionally make them with hand woven cloth on a back-strap loom (mayancopal.com).
The design of the huipil, including the symbols and colors used, represent a visual narrative that conveys "good, evil, agriculture, fertility, personal narratives, and mythology" (phalarope.org). Depending on the styling of the huipil, you can tell which ethnicity and community the wearer comes from.
The charro suit originated in Mexico back in the 17th century. They were worn by highly skilled horse riders that represented familial values, heritage, and honor. The word "charro" can be likened to the English word "cowboy," however they "symbolize a particular culture, etiquette, mannerism, clothing style and social status" (tropicasa.com).
Before the Mexican War of Independence, charro outfits were only worn by the Spanish and Mexicans were not permitted to wear them, so Mexican charros created their own style instead. Charros played such a huge role during the war, that President Manuel Ávila declared La Charrería to be a national sport instituted on September 14th, Día Nacional del Charro or National Charro Day. The sporting event consists of various rodeo skills and dressage (mexico.as.com).
Alpacas were one of the most significant animals during the Incan civilization. They were bred for their meat as well as their wool which was used to create clothing and textiles that signaled social status. Only royalty and the highest officials wore clothing made from alpaca wool. Because the alpaca played such an important role in the Incan empire, they were often used as sacrifices to appease the gods (perurail.com).
Today, the alpaca textile industry is still a huge source of work for thousands of Peruvian families. Alpaca fiber is considered to be extremely luxurious in the textile market (alpacadelperu.com).
el Día de los Muertos aka The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated from midnight of October 31 to November 2 each year. It's believed that during these days, the "border between the spirit world and real world dissolve" and spirits of the dead are able to be reunited with their families (History.com). Families will welcome back the souls of their ancestors by creating ofrendas (offerings) of food, water, and tools to the departed's altar.
The Calavera, or sugar skull, is the most well recognized symbol related to the Day of the Dead. Skull imagery dates back to the days of the Aztecs who would represent the goddess of the afterlife, Mictecacihuatl, as a skeleton "adorned with a crown of flowers and skulls" (dayoftheday.holiday). In pop culture, the skull motif was made popular by satirists like José Guadalupe Posada who used skeletal figures to make fun of political figures and the super wealthy.
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