Escaramuza Dress

September 17, 2021 – January 4, 2022
National Museum of American History
1300 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC
Second Floor, East

A new case outside of Girlhood (It’s complicated) showcases additional collections. An escaramuza charra dress worn by Veronica Davila is on view, representing the only female event in the Mexican charrería. Escaramuzas consist of teams of 8 riding horses in synchronized maneuvers. Davila wore this colorful dress in the early 2000s as captain of the escaramuza team “Las Valentinas” in San Antonio, Tex. As escaramuza charras, girls reclaim their Mexican cultural heritage and affirm their Mexican American identity. Riders wear stunning traditional outfits inspired by the fearless adelitas, women fighters in the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920). Ensembles follow strict guidelines to preserve historical and cultural authenticity. Skirts must cover the horse’s haunches and allow the team to perform dangerous maneuverers at high speeds while riding sidesaddle. Girls also don the emblematic sombrero charro, a broad-brimmed hat designed to provide relief from the blistering heat of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.