#5 Dean Porter Park-Mitte Cultural District-Brownsville, Texas

Costumes of the Americas Museum

*Rotating displays of over 600 indigenous costumes of the Western Hemisphere

*Guided tours for students & educators, clubs, organizations or interested parties

*Costume revues

*Educational opportunities

Mexico

 The Charros stand for the finest male element in México  with their horseman-ship, rope work and code of honor. At the Fiesta of  San Pasqual in Guadalajara, Jalisco you can see many exciting Charro  events at Jaripeos (Mexican rodeos). Charro suits are adapted from the  style of Spanish Colonial riders and are trimmed in Soutache Braid, or  on more formal versions, with silver of gold emblems called botonaduras. 

Central America

 The Maya Quiché Indians of Chichicastenango are the largest indigenous group in Guatemala.  The traditional men’s costumes are really quite unusual. They wear  short, knee-length pants and hip-long tunics made of hand-woven, black  wool embroidered in designs that indicate their social rank. They do not  wear hats but cover their heads with a woven, brocaded cloth trimmed  with tassels, worn swathed around in a regal manner. They carry shoulder bags as their suits have no  pockets. 

South America

 The making of lace was introduced to Paraguay  in the 1600s by the Spaniards. The indigenous Guarani women  incorporated their own geometric and floral designs into the pattern of  their exquisite handwork, Ñanduti Lace, which means “spider web”. A  Guarani legend tells of a girl whose lover failed to appear for their  wedding. She searches for him through the woods, and at nightfall comes  upon his body. She kneels beside him, and keeps a vigil until morning.  At dawn, she sees that his body has been covered with spider webs. She  vows to copy the work of the spiders, and, with a needle and thread, she  works for hours on a piece of Ñandutí Lace, a shroud for her lover. 

North America

 This Iroquois  deerskin dress was acquired for Pan American Round Table I  by a Winter  Texan from Canada who lived near the Six Nations Indian Reservation. She arranged to have a traditional dress made by an Iroquois woman. It took the hides of 4 deer to make the dress.  The bullet holes in the skins were hidden under the fringe. The dress is  fringed and beaded using porcupine quills. On their backs, Iroquois  women carried their babies in a cradleboard, or Tikinagan. This  Tikinagan is laced with deer hide straps, and the headboard strap is  made of moose hide. The headboard’s curved strip is made of Birch wood  tied and set to shape.  It's purpose is to prevent injury to the baby  should the mother fall. Lace found on the hand-pieced baby’s blanket is a  status symbol, and the bead pendants are there to amuse the baby.