Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Charrería is the Mexican style of traditional Spanish horsemanship that developed in central and northern Mexico under the hacienda system. Both the Mexican charreada type of rodeo and American type of rodeo grew out of this tradition. Prior to the Mexican Revolution in 1910, Mexican vaqueros and American and Canadian cowboys participated in similar events throughout all three countries.
Following the breakup of the haciendas by the Mexican revolutionaries, the charros saw their traditions slipping away. They met in 1921 and formed the Asociación Nacional de Charros to keep the charrería tradition alive. The most visible of these efforts was the establishment of the charreada style of rodeo.
Mexican Americans in the United States also held various charreadas during the same period, but in the 1970s, the Federación Mexicana de Charrería began assisting them in establishing official charreadas north of the border. They are now quite common.
A charreada is held within a marked-off area of an arena consisting of a lane 12 meters (13 yards) wide by 60 meters (66 yards) long leading into a circle 40 meters (44 yards) in diameter. The participants must wear traditional charro clothing while performing. Preceding the events is an opening ceremony in which the organizations and participants parade into the arena on horseback, usually accompanied by a mariachi band playing The Zacatecas March .
The charreada itself consists of a number of scoring events staged in a particular order—nine for the men and one for the women. The competitors are judged by both style and execution. Unlike rodeos, most charreadas do not award money to the winners. The only prize is prestige.
- Cala de Caballo (Test of the horse); the charro puts his horse though various commands to demonstrate his ability and the horse's training.
- Piales en Lienzo or Piales (Arena roping); a horseman must throw a lariat out, let a wild horse (or bull, or steer) run through the loop catching it by the hind legs, in three tries; all without watching the animal as it comes up behind him.
- Colas en Lienzo, or Coleandera, (Arena bull tailing) ; similar to bull dogging except that the rider does not dismount; the charro rides alongside the bull, wraps its tail around his boot, and tries to upset the bull.
- Jineto de Torro (Bull riding); similar to the rodeo event.
- Terna (Trial); a team roping event in which three charros attempt to rope a bull; one by its neck, one by its hind legs, and the last then ties its feet together; all within 10 minutes.
- Jineteo de Yegua (Bareback riding); similar to Bareback bronc riding.
- Mangana (a pie) or Piales (Roping on foot); a charro on foot attempts to rope a bronco by its front legs, bringing it down.
- Mangana (a coballo) or Mangana (Roping from horseback); a charro on horseback attempts to rope a bronco by its front legs, bringing it down.
- Paso de Muerte (Passage of death); each of three mounted horsemen attempts to leap from his own horse to the bare back of a wild horse and ride until it stops bucking.
- Escaramuza (Skirmish): During this event a team of eight women dressed in charra clothing perform a variety of precision riding techniques. It is usually held between the Coleandera and the Jineto de Torro.
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