[chahr-oh; Sp. chahr-raw]

In Mexico, charro is a term referring to a traditional horseman or cowboy of Mexico, originating in the State of Jalisco. In the rest of Mexico the equivalent term was "vaquero". In Texas, which defeated Mexico, and won it's independence in 1836, "vaquero" was the term used by the Spanish speaking citizens of of the new Republic. The term was also prevalent in what are now the U.S. states of California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico.

In Spain, a charro is a native of the province of Salamanca, especially in the area of Alba de Tormes, Vitigudino, Ciudad Rodrigo and Ledesma. It is likely that the Mexican charro tradition derived from Spanish horsemen who came from Salamanca and settled in Jalisco.

The traditional Mexican charro is known for colorful clothing and participating in charreadas, a type of rodeo. The charreada, or corrida, is the national sport in Mexico. and is regulated by the Federación Mexicana de Charrería. There are more charros in the state of Jalisco than any other state in Mexico. Jalisco has also won more national championships than any other state.

Other uses

The "charro film" was a genre of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, and probably played a large role in popularizing the charro, akin to what occurred with the advent of the Hollywood Western. Its stars were Jorge Negrete ("the singing charro") and Pedro Infante.

In Mexican politics, a charro or líder charro ("charro leader") is a government-appointed union boss.

Elvis Presley starred in a movie called Charro!, in which he portrayed a reformed outlaw.

A "charro suit" or traje de charro is the folkloric costume of the state of Jalisco, and is worn, in a more colorful version by mariachis since the 1930's, folklórico dancers, and for Charreadas. It is also the name for the folkloric costume of the province of Salamanca in Spain, which inspired the Mexican version.


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