What does "sombrero" mean? If we were to translate this word literally, we could say that sombrero means "shadow thrower" or "a thing that creates a 'gloomy' - shadow". Sombreros are older wide-brimmed hats than cowboy hats, but certainly no older than some other varieties. All populations that lived in very sunny areas and spent many hours in the sun wore similar wide-brimmed hats. Older examples of this type of hat are those worn by Chinese working in rice fields or by Mongolian horsemen.
The origin of the sombrero
Still, no one knows exactly where Mexican sombreros originated. Some think that "mestizos" - Mexican farm workers - invented them, others think that it came to Mexico with the horsemen from Guadalajara. All of these men needed to protect themselves from the sun.
Regardless of where this hat actually came from, later mariachi musicians and Mexican horsemen (called "charros") wore a sombrero hat as we know it today. Sombreros were not only part of their uniform, but a long sunny ride or entertaining an audience could be very tiring if you didn't have protection from the sun. That's why sombreros are specifically designed to provide shade.
How it is made
Since it is made from lightweight materials, it is a light and suitable hat for warm climates. Originally, sombreros were made from straw, some are made from white palm leaves that have been soaked to make them softer, and others are made from velvet. Depending on the material used, sombreros vary in price. The materials and decorations can represent the status and wealth of the wearer.
Sombreros made for tourists are made of different materials. It is said that 30 to 40 thousand sombreros are made each year.
The essential part of the mariachi musicians
The sombrero dance or the Mexican hat dance is a traditional Mexican dance that depicts a man's courtship of a woman. The folk song that is played to accompany the dance is played either by mariachi bands or by bands that play only string instruments. By throwing a sombrero on the ground, a man in love shows the chosen woman that he is willing to give her all his possessions in return for her love.
Where to buy a sombrero hat
The best advice we can give you is to hit the streets and look for markets with traditional Mexican Clothing. The best markets in Mexico City are:
- La Central de Abasto
- El Bazar Sabado
- Mercado de la Merced
- La Ciudadela
Sombrero for children
Let's be real, the chances of you coming to work from vacation with a sombrero are slim to none. But your child will be super excited to parade around in a sombrero hat. Your child can wear their brand new sombrero hat to Halloween or a birthday party. Sombrero hats for kids are pretty much the same as the regular ones, they come in different colours, they are just a little smaller.
Mexican street vendors are full of mini sombreros because mini sombreros are perfect and unique souvenirs. And this perfect souvenir comes in many shapes and colours. You can buy one Mini Sombrero Straw Hat, Mini Sombrero for your dog, Mini Sombrero Hat Headband or even one Mini Sombrero Doll. There are many options.