The rebozo: Symbol of Mexican clothing

This accessory has become a symbol of Mexican culture since it is a garment that has remained in the taste of women for many years. It is characterized by its rectangular shape, elongated and narrow, whose ends end in fringes, although there are finer which include finishes with attractive designs and rhinestones. In mexican holidays, the rebozo is a very versatile accessory that you can combine with contemporary garments.

Rebozo is the shoulder cloth to wrap the heart of the woman and prolong the tenderness of her arms. – Anonymus

The origin of the rebozo is not known, but there are several theories: it is said that it could have been a garment from India and arrived in Mexico by the Galleon of Manila; another version indicates that it could be a derivation of the famous Spanish mantillas, although there are also some who say that it arises from the combination of the indigenous ayate (which was made of two canvases) or of the mamatl (a rectangular canvas with edges of a material different), both used by men and women to load and transport diverse merchandise, with the materials, colors and shapes of Spanish garments.

Rebozo las rosas


  1. There is a theory that the rebozo comes from India and arrived in Mexico by the Manila Galleon. Another theory indicates that it is a derivation of the famous Spanish mantillas, while a third version indicates that it comes from the combination of the indigenous ayate (which was made of two canvases) or of the mamatl (a rectangular canvas with borders of a different material).
  2. The first mention of the rebozo dates from 1572 by the Dominican friar Diego Durán, who in his work “Historia de las Indias” mentions as a mestizo garment par excellence, born of the need that mestizo women had to cover themselves to enter the temples. They made him his first mestizas and, shortly before the end of the sixteenth century, blacks, mulattoes and natives.
  3. The natives called it “ciua nequeatlapacholoni”, which means “like a woman’s or similar thing” according to the Molina Vocabulary, of 1555. Among the Otomies, shawl or rebozo, it is called mini-mahue. Those of Huayapan. Morelos call it cenzotl, word náhualt derived perhaps from centzontilmantli or “blanket of a thousand colors”, according to Cesar Macazaga’s dictionary.
  4. The Otomi woman had the habit of dipping the tip of a rebozo in the water of the fountain when she remembered her boyfriend. And some indigenous communities women use the rebozos to carry bundles as well as their children in the back.
  5. Although this garment was used by all classes, the material differentiated the social level of the carrier, since the upper class used silk or embroidery with threads of gold, silver and other metals with landscapes and costumbristas scenes.Rebozo guía de flores 3
  6. The women from the best houses in San Luis Potosí sent out very fine rebozos, some of them colorful because of their special decorations, different from the traditional ones, with the motives that they wanted according to the occasion, or they bought them already made and of the best quality. . The latter were of the fabrics according to the designs of the craftsmen themselves, such as the chin, the open pinto or the pigeon that was in great demand and were among the most made. We can mention several of these shawls, such as that of Andrea Bustamante de Verástegui, those of the Díaz de León family and those of Dona Francisca Navarrete, which are still preserved.
  7. A distinguished lotosina lady, ordered a rebozo in Santa Maria to give it to Victoria Eugenia de Battenberg, Queen of Spain (1906 – 1931) for her marriage to King Alfonso XIII.
  8. One of its main exponents of the twentieth century was the painter Frida Kahlo, who is portrayed in his works and photographs of the time with this unique garment.
  9. In the musical field, the rebozo also preserves the songs “Aires del mayab” by Carlos Duarte Moreno and Pepe Domínguez, and “La del rebozo blanco” by Rubén Fuentes and Rafael Cárdenas, among others, which were also performed in the movies of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. How to forget “El son de la Negra” and its lyrics “When do you bring me my black? That I want to see her here, with her silk shawl that I brought her from Tepic, “or the famous cri-crí nursery rhyme:” La Patita “:” La patita, with a basket and with a rebozo de pelita, goes to the market … “
  10. A test to find out if the rebozo is made of natural silk and not synthetic fibers is to pass the rebozo through a ring. Only natural silk can pass the test

Today, the use of the rebozo has spread throughout the country and women can be observed to use them to protect themselves from the elements, such as scarves, shawls and as part of the typical Mexican costumes. We can even find some brands that try to rescue this beautiful garment in modern society, such as ROZA MEXICANO, a Mexican brand that also incorporates into its designs details in fine rhinestones and wood. To see his designs click here.

Rebozo Faroles

More information in:

El rebozo, una prenda e identidad mexicana

El rebozo | La historia

El origen del rebozo

Símbolo mexicano. El rebozo

La prenda de México. el rebozo

El rebozo, accesorio potosino elegante y único.



Post Author: TF

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