Updated Huarache Blog Tumblr Page – Huarache Blog en Tumblr

Huarache Blog Tumblr is a page of other Huaraches images collected during travels and the web. Click HERE to visit Huarache Blog Tumblr.

Huarache Blog Tumblr es una página de otras fotos de Huaraches tomadas durante viajes y el internet. Hagan clic AQUI para visitar Huarache Blog Tumblr.

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Huarache Blog Tumblr Page

Because sometimes Huaraches can also be for scrolling.

A new Huarache Blog Tumblr page for old and new images of traditional Mexican Footwear, from Huarache Blog and from the web.

Check out http://huaracheblog.tumblr.com/

Huichol Huaraches at the Mercado La Ciudadela in Mexico City.

One of the Huichol crafts  booths in the far corner of the crafts market called Mercado La Ciudadela in Mexico City sells 2 styles of chrome leather Huaraches as worn by the Huichols.

A ‘Cruzado’ design.

And this ‘Colores Patrios’ design.

The missing links.

So how did Huaraches evolve? And what about all the pre-hispanic footwear we see illustrated in museums, how are huaraches related to those decorated sandals with the heel pieces?

Why are there no physical examples of the pre-hispanic footwear with the heel piece in any Mexican museum? After all we know that Moctezuma II the Aztec Emperor had a ceremonial pair with a sole of gold, that wouldn’t have decomposed, so where is it?

I believe that the Spanish conquistadors did an effective job at eliminating all symbols of Aztec hierarchy and authority, this included the footwear that had different symbolic designs on the heel to represent the status, rank and profession of the wearer. For example warriors would often have the heel made from leopard skin. The Pata de Gallo, was the sandal of the peasants and workforce and as it lacked any symbolism was spared.

So how did we get from the Pata de Gallo

to the Pachuco?

I think this is one of the missing links.

I found this old photo in a book of Huichol culture at Tepic city library and replicated the design as best as I could with my Pata de Gallo huaraches.

The Pata de Gallo as I explained in my earlier post is made using a long strip of leather. The strip is knotted and passed through a hole between big toe and second toe. Over time this knot which is always in direct contact with the ground will wear down and break, so a new knot is tied and every time this happens. Consequently the strip of leather shortens by an inch or two every so often. To accommodate such a long strip of leather, it is wrapped many times around the leg. I think that at some point someone decided to weave the leather strip into a new design instead of wrapping it.

Thats when I believe at least one tradition of weaving huaraches began.

Back to the roots of Huarache making – The Pata de Gallo Huarache

The Pata de Gallo was just one of many Huaraches still missing from my study and arguably the most important one. Because the Pata de Gallo is the original Huarache, the original style that arguably all other Huaraches developed from.

What’s more because of its simplicity its very hard to find for sale because people make their own. This for me is a very interesting because it shows that footwear can also be home made..rather like cooking.

So with the help of Pancho my Huichol friend, thats what I did last Saturday morning…cooked up a “Pata de Gallo” huarache.

I cut up a car tyre, I was told to lubricate the blade with water or saliva to make the cutting easier, basically so that the rubber does not grip to the blade as you cut.

I chose a minimal rectangle design that I had seen on a Huichol woman a few days ago.

3  holes are burnt through each huarache with a hot iron. The holes are usually burnt, not only because power tools, or drills is not typically owned, but also because if you drill the hole it usually closes up again as soon as you remove the drill.

Then the strip of leather is knotted on one end and passed through the hole between big toe and the second toe. When the knot that is on the underside of the sole wears down over time, a new knot is tied and the process repeats itself until the strip of leather becomes too short to wrap around the leg and the strip is then replaced with a new one.


Below is a photo of Pancho and I with my finished huaraches.

And that’s Pancho’s mother who had just been weaving, during the time we made the Huaraches.

For information on the Puebla variant of the” Pata de Gallo” check out my other post HERE