As stated earlier, The story
Uncle Nachos Hat
would be a good place to introduce traditional Mexican clothing. Since the sombrero is the most well known, students may begin by creating their own. A variety of materials should be used and can be brought in by students.
The huipil will also be included. This garment is sack like with holes for the head and arms. It is made from rectangular strips of cloth and may be long, short, narrow, or wide. Heavy wool is sometimes used, however, cotton is most common. Huipils are made from one, two, or three pieces of garment sewn together lengthwise. Small holes can be cut for the arms or the sides can remain open for more comfort. In Mexico, the huipil is worn only by the women. This garment can be a project that the girls of the class create.
Another garment of interest is called the quechquemitl. This garment is also worn by women and is described as “cape like.” A typical construction would be for a rectangular piece of cloth to be folded in half. However, when the garment is draped over the body, the head goes through one of the corners and the bottom corners are left hanging in the front and the back.
The skirt is usually a long woven rectangular cloth and is worn by wrapping it around the body and tucking in one corner. There are many different weaves, colors, and sizes for these skirts. Some of the Spanish names for these skirts include manta, lia, costal, sabana, and enredo.
Belts are worn by both men and women. These belts are made of cloth and are decorated with patterns or stripes. The men’s belts can be wider than women’s belts, almost scarf like, but this is not always the case. The belt is usually a decorative feature but may be covered by long huipils or skirts.
Sandals have a traditional Mexican character but may be harder to produce. It may make more sense for students to wear sandals brought from home with an understanding that the traditional Mexican design would be a little different.
These traditional Mexican costumes are not hard to reproduce. Your greatest need is enough fabric for a class. The designs are simple geometric shapes and stripes and can be added with extra fabric and glue. There is nothing complicated and students will feel successful when they are finished. Clothing can be taken out and put on anytime your class begins work on the unit. This will set the mood to learn more about Mexico.