Culture and traditions

Typical costumes of America

To talk about typical costumes of the American continent it is necessary to make a distinction between the 3 subcontinents that compose it: South America, Central America and North America. As we will see in the following list, there are numerous differences between the typical dress of each country.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Central America

The typical clothes of Guatemala It is probably the most colorful of all and attracts attention because the use of prints of diverse animals (including exotic birds), stars, flowers is frequent … Strong colors such as red, fuchsia or yellow predominate.

In the Guatemalan department of Chimaltenango, women wear a garment called güipil, characterized by its V-neck or square neckline with a black velvet trim on the edge of the neck. The skirt is wrapped around the waist and reaches the ankles. Both parts stand out for their vivid colors and characteristic embroidery.

Drawings of typical costumes of Central America and insular America

In Honduras You can find numerous costumes for women. For example, peasant dress is used in virtually all Honduran regions. Also the famous floral costume, made with very colorful flower fabrics and used for dances such as the gangs or the Warsaw.

As in many other Latin American countries, traditional Nicaraguan clothing is intrinsically linked to its typical dances. Thus, the buzzard dance is a very representative example. For their interpretation, women wear an orange suit with black borders and a flower is placed in the hair to match the dress.

As for El Salvador, we can say that their national costumes go hand in hand with their popular festivities, so most are used in folk dances. Some are: volcaneña, poblana, izalqueña, panchas costume… The famous “blue and white” women's suit represents the colors of the Salvadoran flag.

El Salvador typical costume

Insular central america

The area of ​​the Antilles, better known as insular America, is made up of several archipelagos whose location is between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The variety of Central American countries and territorial divisions located in this part of America explains the long and varied cultural tradition of each of these nations.

The typical Cuban costumes are made mostly with natural cotton and comfort is sought in order to withstand high temperatures. Men usually wear jeans or cotton, and at the top a shirt known as guayabera, traditional garment of Cuba that is characterized by being a shirt with pockets and, sometimes, embroidered.

The feminine dress of Cuba par excellence is the Cuban robe, which is used in parties, celebrations and other special events. It is famous worldwide for its colors and numerous flyers. Its history is related to the style of 19th century Spanish dancers and singers, as well as the clothes of the wealthy Creole ladies of the time.

Women's dress in Havana, Cuba

Puerto Rico, although it belongs to the United States, it keeps its Caribbean roots alive, something that is reflected in its traditional dress. Most garments are made with cotton, a tradition inherited from the natives, who used this material to make petticoats. The basic color of the female costume is white, although it is adorned with petticoats and passages.

Puerto Rico and its traditional costumes

In the regional costume of the Dominican Republic you can see the colors of its flag, that is, blue, white and red. The origin of this female costume dates back to 1969, when it was chosen through a contest organized by the Ministry of Tourism. It is a suit based on the clothes used by the peasantry.

South America

In the South American zone, a characteristic that virtually all countries share is the use of multicolored fabrics. Typical costumes for women are similar too, with the use of long skirts and with flight, ornaments on the head and various beads.

Chile It is one of the most developed South American countries in which, nevertheless, folklore inherited from antiquity continues to be crucial for its inhabitants and represents the set of customs and traditions of the country. Their regional costumes differ by the materials used in each region.

The variety of inhabitants of the north of Chile makes them stand out costumes such as the Aymara woman, who uses a kind of blanket that covers the chest called awayo and a cloth hat. In the central and southern area, above all, comfort.

Drawing of the typical costumes of Chile

Various Chilean female costumes They have been represented in the «Dolls of The World» ranking, where the famous Barbie doll has been dressed in the most important costumes of the world countries. The typical Chilean costume is currently in the top positions of the classification.

Peru It is one of the emerging American countries that most alive maintains its ancestral customs. This is something that can be seen in the typical clothing of the Peruvian Andes area, where the way people dress responds to the need to protect themselves from the cold. A very typical garment is chullo, a type of wool cap that covers the head, including the ears.

On the other hand, the inhabitants of the Peruvian coast wear ponchos and skirts made of cotton or silk in the case of women, while men usually wear a straw hat to protect themselves from the Sun. In the Peruvian jungle, both men and women they wear the famous tunic called cushma, adorned with geometric figures and colors of the region.

In Colombia we highlight especially the typical costumes of the Caribbean Region, especially that of San Basilio de Palenque, where a large part of the population is of African origin. Draws attention to the attire of the palenqueras, which consists of a dress of different colors. In addition, they usually go with a basin on the head full of fruits.

Palenqueras of Colombia with typical costume

Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador They are examples of South American countries where the typical costumes are related to the typical dances of the country. Thus, in Venezuela stands out the Llanos, known as liquiliqui, while in Ecuador the most famous folk dress is that of Quito (its capital) or Otavalo, where men wear a poncho.

North America

In Anglo-Saxon America, it is worth noting the typical costumes of the United States, currently used for special occasions, such as costume parties or national holiday periods. An example of this is the Independence Day attire, held every July 4, where Americans dress in the colors red, blue and white representing their flag. Uncle Sam's costume or Uncle Sam It is the most popular.

On the other hand, the legacy of indigenous communities in the US It is indisputable, especially that of american indians. The dress with which these human groups are usually represented includes the well-known feather headdress, called in English warbonnet, used in ancient times by warriors as a symbol of heoroicity and courage. Actually, the costumes of the native Indians have elements similar to those of the Andean Region.

American Indian on Appaloosa horse

The traditional clothing of Canada that stands out most is that of the different indigenous groups that inhabited the country in the past. The people of the Naskapi Indians lived in northeastern Quebec and were engaged in the manufacture of clothing that was characterized by their drawings made with reindeer skin and painted with natural plant pigments. The uniform of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is also very representative.

The typical costumes of Mexico are a symbol of the great cultural tradition existing in this North American country. From him we highlight the folk clothes of Veracruz for women, which is composed of a wide white skirt decorated with embroideries and varied lace. A black velvet apron decorated with flowers is placed over the blouse, the same color and sleeveless.

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