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date: 26 June 2022

The Charro as a Humorous Rural Stereotype in Mexico in the 1920slocked

The Charro as a Humorous Rural Stereotype in Mexico in the 1920slocked

  • Daniel Efraín Navarro GranadosDaniel Efraín Navarro GranadosEl Colegio de México AC

Summary

At the beginning of the 20th century, the charro, a traditional figure from the rural world, emerged on the Mexican cultural scene as a relevant stereotype. In the following years, the charro transformed into a national personification of Mexico, especially once it became a key figure of Mexican cinema and mariachi music. Notwithstanding this fact, its trajectory was more convoluted than it seems, and different versions of the character coexisted at least until the 1920s. Whereas the charro was usually represented as an attractive and seductive man, there was also a comic version, portrayed as an overweight or unkempt man with a provincial mentality. The characters played by the comic performer Leopoldo Beristáin and the protagonists of Sunday comic strips, such as Don Catarino and Mamerto Albondiguilla, were some examples of the latter. While the positive interpretation of the charro ended up prevailing as the main iteration of the character, the comic depictions of this stereotype show the rejection and contempt that the urban population felt for a rural world that had invaded the Mexican capital as a result of the revolution—a world perceived as provincial, backward, and laughable, an idea that would dominate foreign and national imageries of Mexico.

Subjects

  • History of Mexico
  • 1910–1945
  • Cultural History

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