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Maggie's Portfolio

China Poblana Dress Essay

            The China Poblana dress is worn while dancing Jarabe Tapatio, the national dance representing all of Mexico. The dress is covered with colorful sequence. On the front is an eagle on a cactus eating a snake, and on the back there is an Aztec Calendar. Bordering all around the dress or colorful butterflies. All of these symbols represent Mexican culture and tradition.


            The sequence represents the women of Mexico and how they kept the house ‘sparkling clean’. The sequence also serves to draw attention to the skirts symbols. The first thing noticed is the eagle. This is found on the Mexican flag, thus clearly representing Mexico. The legend and purpose of the eagle on the flag is of great significance. The Aztec Indians, who resided in the area of present day Mexico, were supposedly told by their god that they were to start a great city in the place where they found an eagle, balanced on a cactus, devouring a snake. For hundreds of years the Aztec were nomads, wandering across North America in search of the legend. One day they found the incredible sight. They named the place Tenochitlan, which was later named Mexico City. The Eagle on the China Poblana dress is a reminder of all Mexican’s culture. It is the sign that founded their capital city, and it is a reminder of their

Aztec ancestors. 


            The Aztec Calendar is considered by some to be a wonder of the ancient world. It is also from the Aztec Indians. The calendar itself was discovered in the ruins of many ancient cities. When studied, archeologists and scientists were shocked to discover that it demonstrated precise knowledge of the year. They divided the year into 18 months, each holding 20 days. At the end of each year there was a five-day rest period, meant for feasting and to keep up with the five extra days of the year. The calendar also showed knowledge of the distance between earth and several planets. There are legends of the Aztec calendar that claim the calendar holds the secrets to the future – that it has the precise day that the world will end. So many secrets are left unrevealed as archeologists struggle to translate the complicated calendar. How could such an ancient people have so much advanced knowledge that has only recently been discovered? For all Mexicans, the calendar represents the ancient knowledge of their ancestors, and is proudly presented on the back of the dress.

            The butterflies that border the beautiful dress can symbolize many things. First and foremost it can represent the environment. Mexico City shares a border with Michoacan, a state that is famous for its Monarch butterflies. Every year they fly south from the United States and reside in Michoacan. The Monarch butterflies are extremely beautiful and are a source of pride and happiness for Mexico. Butterflies can also represent freedom. Mexicans have struggled for centuries to be a free and independent country from Spain. When at last they succeeded, it became and even greater source of pride and is represented by the butterflies being able to fly to and from Michoacan freely. The creative dress for Jarabe Tapatio was extremely well made to represent all of Mexico – its pride, its past and its freedom.

Copyright (C). 2005. Maggie Escobedo. All Rights Reserved.