Escaramuza: Preserving Tradition and Identity
Charros, horsemen adorned in ornate costumes and oversized sombreros, are synonymous with Mexican culture the world over. And yet, the national pastime of charrería, categorized by UNESCO as “intangible cultural heritage,” grossly underrepresented women.
But it wasn’t long before las chingonas de Mexico saddled up to the boys forming teams of 8 female equestrians known as escaramuzas to compete in their own faction of the competitive sport. Escaramuzas expertly perform on horseback in a synchronized event described as a “horse ballet.” The event, executed by an expertly trained all-femme cast in required regalia, is inspired by the Adelitas, the female soldiers who fought in the Mexican Revolution.
This time-honored tradition recently picked up steam in the states with a record number of teen girls from the U.S. signing up. Refinery29’s Connie Wang followed two escaramuza teams on their journey to combat their fears surrounding cultural stigmas and firmly lasso their Latinx pride.