Tales of Lienzos

Virtual Exhibition

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Tales of Lienzos

The exhibition tells the story of the Charreria tradition in Mexico and the United States, through the personal narratives of Charras and Charros (cowboys). The stories are based on fieldwork conducted in Mexico and the United States. Aside from these personal perspectives, this exhibition presents contemporary and historical photographs, museum collections, and published research.

Interviews were conducted in 5 lienzos (arenas) in Mexico City and The state of Hidalgo, Mexico; San Antonio Charro Association Ranch; and the Corona Ranch and Rodeo Grounds in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to this original research, the exhibition provides essays on several themes specific to Charreria. For example, the history of the Charreria tradition, charro/charra regalia, a glossary of terms, a bibliography, and a selection of other articles pertaining to craft and cultural identity. At the core of the exhibit is a section showcasing educational activities.

You can navigate this exhibition by choosing an area, within the main menu, that is interactively linked to a particular story of a featured charra or charro. You can also navigate into sections, pertaining specifically to educational activities, or select to read essays under research section, to learn more about this tradition and how it is central to Mexican and Mexican-American identity. As it is the case, for example, of a family that for generations has been practicing Mexico's National sport (Deporte Nacional de Mexico) in comparision to a family from Arizona who continues to keep the sport and cultural practice alive in the U.S.

Exhibition team: Nayeli Garcia, editor of Lienzo Charro, Tehani Collazo, educator and staff of Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies; Laura Ortiz Hobza, founder and director, Los Quetzales Mexican Dance Ensemble, and LVG production team Melissa Carrillo and Magdalena Mieri.

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