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Charreada, Mexican roping and riding contest. The precursor of the American rodeo, a charreada is a contest consisting of the suertes (events) of charrería, the national sport of Mexico. Such suertes as coleadero (downing a bull by twisting its tail) and jaripeo (bull riding) originated in sixteenth-century corridas. Others developed from cattle ranching: jineteo (riding wild mares and young bulls), paso de la muerte (death pass: jumping from a tame horse to the back of a wild horse), piales (roping the hind legs of a running mare), manganas (roping the forelegs of a running mare), and terna en el ruedo (team roping: one charro ropes the bull's head and the other, the hind legs). Charreadas reached their greatest popularity as part of nineteenth-century hacienda fiestas during roundups and branding. This popularity was enhanced by Ponciano Díaz, an exceptionally skilled charro and bullfighter who organized the first professional shows and made several international tours.

The Mexican Revolution and the breakup of the haciendas ended the heyday of the charro. To preserve the cultural heritage, a group of former charros in 1921 wrote standard rules, making charreadas team contests among members of amateur charro clubs. Held in special arenas known as lienzos, contemporary charreadas include the events of the past four centuries, as well as the cala de caballo, a form of dressage, and escaramuza charra, precision sidesaddle riding by women's teams. As in the nineteenth century, charreadas end with the jarabe tapitío (Mexican hat dance). Since 1933 charrería has been regulated by the Federacíon Nacional de Charros. In 1991 fifty U.S. clubs broke away and formed the rival Federacíon de Charros, U.S., Inc. Mexican-Americans have long held charreadas and are important to the Mexican-American community in the United States.

See alsoSports .


Higinio Vázquez Santa Ana, La charrería mexicana (1950).

Enrique Guarner, Historia del toreo en México (1979).

Mary Lou Le Compte, "The Hispanic Influence on the History of Rodeo, 1823–1922," in Journal of Sport History 23 (1983): 21-38.

José Alvarez Del Villar, La charrería mexicana (1987).

Kathleen Sands, Charrería Mexicana: An Equestrian Folk Tradition (1993).

Additional Bibliography

Arbena, Joseph, and David G. LaFrance. Sport in Latin America and the Caribbean. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2002.

Rendon, Al, et al. Charreada: Mexican Rodeo in Texas. Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2002.

Vélez-Ibañez, Carlos G., Anna Sampaio, and Manolo Gonzá-lez-Estay. Transnational Latina/o communities: Politics, Processes, and Cultures. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.

                                  Mary Lou LeCompte

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