In Indian Mexico (1908) eBook

Frederick Starr
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 409 pages of information about In Indian Mexico (1908).
visit, and we found that it had in no wise abated.  Personally, we saw no comparison between the two sets of women, the Tehuantepecanas being far superior.  Eustasio, however, ungallantly and unpatriotically declared that he thought the women of Tuxtla the handsomer; however, we suspect that Eustasio would find the women of any town he might be in, the champions in beauty for the time being.  Their dress is picturesque.  The enagua is made of two strips of dark blue cloth, sewed together, side by side, with a fancy stitching of colored silks.  The free borders are also decorated with similar stitching, and the ends of the strip, which is usually more than two yards in length, sewn together with similarly decorative needlework.  In fastening this garment about the body, no belt is used.  The open bag is gathered in about the waist, the surplus is folded into pleats in front and the overlap, at the upper edge, is so tucked in as to hold the garment tightly in place, and at the same time form a pouch, or pocket, in which small articles are carried.  The little huipil, worn upon the upper body, is of thin, white cotton cloth, native-woven, but a neat and pretty stuff; there are no sleeves, and the neck-opening and arm-slits are bordered with pleated strips of cotton, worked with black embroidery.  A larger huipil is regularly carried, but we never saw it in use; practically, it never is worn.  If put in place, it would form a garment for the body, with the neck-opening and sleeves bordered with lace, and the lower edge reaching to the knees.  The woman carries this garment with her, folding it into a sort of pad, which she places on her head, letting it hang down upon the back and shoulders.  Upon this cushion, the woman carries a great bowl, made from the rind of a sort of squash or pumpkin, in which she brings her stuff to market.  These vessels are a specialty of the neighborhood, being made at Chiapa; they are richly decorated with a lacquer finish, of bright color.  In carrying a baby, the child is placed against one side of the body, with its little legs astride, one in front and one behind, and then lashed in place by a strip of cloth, which is knotted over the woman’s opposite shoulder.  Almost every Zoque woman is asymmetrical, from this mode of carrying babies, one shoulder being much higher than the other.  Among the subjects measured, was a woman notable in several ways.  She was the fattest indian woman we had ever seen; she was the richest of her kind, and not only were her garments beautiful in work and decoration, but she was gorgeous with necklaces, bristling with gold coins and crosses; more than this, she was a capital case of purple pinta.  The disease is common among the indians of the town, and, while both the red and white forms are found, purple seems to be the common type.  Sometimes the face looks as if powder-burned, the purple blotch appearing as if in scattered specks; at other times, the purple spots are continuous, and the skin seems raised and pitted.

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In Indian Mexico (1908) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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