photo banner
photo banner
Top photo (from left): Raul Gaona (Charro Association), UTSA
President Ricardo Romo and Eric Foultz (Charro Association)
with photo banner. Bottom photo: Romo with second photo banner.

ITC sponsors photo banners for Charro Association

By Tim Brownlee
Assistant Director of Public Affairs

(Sept. 21, 2007)--UTSA President Ricardo Romo recently unveiled two banners at the San Antonio Charro Association. Sponsored by UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures, the banners are enlarged photos of Mexican-style rodeo (charreada) taken by Romo.

Association representatives invited UTSA art specialist Arturo Almeida to curate a show at their facility, and it was determined that giant photographic banners were an excellent format for the area outside the building.

The tradition of charreada is centuries old and is performed for the love of horsemanship with no competition for winnings. Taken on a trip to Mexico, Romo's photographs capture events such as Cala de Caballo (horse roping), Escaramuza (formation riding) and Paso de Muerte (pass of death).

The tradition of charrería has been the focus of the San Antonio Charro Association since its founding in 1947. The organization provides presentations and hands-on workshops to uphold the deep-rooted customs and traditions of charrería.

Charrería was born in the 16th century when Spanish conquistadors came to the Americas, bringing with them horses, cattle and their way of life. It is a culture, tradition, sport and art practiced in Mexico and the United States.

A central component of charrería is the charreada, a festive event that incorporates equestrian competitions and demonstrations, traditional attire, specialized saddles, tack and horse trappings. Distinctive works of art, horsemanship and costume are the hallmark of the charro. Custom-fitted charro attire, Escaramuza Adelitas (formation riding of the Adelitas, named after a legendary woman who participated in the Mexican Revolution of 1910), mariachi music, dancing and great food are an integral part of the festivities and enhance the fun.

After the Mexican Revolution, many of Mexico's large haciendas (estates) were divided under Spanish control. The Spanish were quick to colonize the land following the conquest of Mexico, and horses soon became an everyday necessity. In the big fields of the haciendas, agriculture and cattle raising developed and evolved into the culture of the Mexican charro. By the 19th century, people living on large haciendas across the country organized celebrations as a form of entertainment in which charros showed their skills and competed with each other.

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