Rebozo Revival Brings Life To Hispanic Heritage Month

Photo by: Marco Rosas

A handmade rebozo from Chiapas, Mexico on display at during the first day of the Rebozo Revival Festival on Monday, September 25, 2017

The first event of a week-long celebration called the Rebozo Revival was held on Monday Sept. 25 at in downtown Fresno.

A rebozo is a sort of Mexican shawl made by hand in many different parts of Mexico.

The Rebozo is also something that event coordinator Lourdes Sevilla holds near and dear to her heart.

“My grandfather was a weaver,” Sevilla said, “to me it was always mesmerizing how other weavers would make pieces like this with all those threads.”

Sevilla would often wear the rebozos out with a sense of pride, she said. “Nobody was wearing them but I would take them, make a little v-neck or something and go out dancing,” Sevilla said.

Her love of the rebozo, both as an article of fashion and a symbol of Mexican femininity drove her to start an event recognizing the rebozo.  

“I’ve been doing it for almost 13 years, this event was a fundraiser for Arte Americas” Sevilla said.

The the rebozo festival as a fundraiser was put on hold for three years after no longer being held at Arte Americas.

This year, Fresno State helped organize a week of events to recognize the Rebozo for Hispanic Heritage Month.

“I always envisioned having this event with Fresno State,” Sevilla said. “I envisioned all the Latina students and everybody from all groups embracing the rebozo to rescue and revive it by wearing it.”

Through the collaborative efforts of Sevilla and all the people from Fresno State, the Rebozo Revival event went from one day to a week-long celebration with a variety of exhibits.

Other events taking place this year include a rebozo making how-to film Tuesday, Sept. 26 held at the Holistic Cultural and Education Wellness Center from 6 to 8 p.m., a Rebozo fashion show Wednesday, Sept. 27 in Fresno State’s North Gym in Room 118 at 6 p.m., educational workshops with the weavers Thursday, Sept. 28 in the Henry Madden Library in room 3212 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a closing ceremony Friday, Sept. 29 at the Mexican Consulate from 6 to 8 p.m.  

During the first event on Monday, attendees walked around looking at several rebozo displays as well as Mexican and Chicano inspired artwork.

There were also four expert weavers from Zinacantan, Chiapas, who had Rebozos they made for sale in the venue.

The weavers informed people that the process of making a rebozo takes up to two months. “It’s not a hard process but it takes a lot of work,” weaver Luisa Govea Cruz said.

Sevilla and the weavers also told event attendees that some of the proceeds from the sale of the Rebozos that night would go to a family in Chiapas affected by the recent earthquake in Mexico City.

Tony Carranza with was happy to host the Rebozo Revival in the recently opened venue.

“We’re a new and small space so we like getting as many people as we can to come out,” Carranza said. “We were happy to get on board and pick up the event.”