10 julio, 2024

Guanajuato typical costume: history and description

The typical costume of Guanajuato is closely related to the mining activity so characteristic of the area. The one for women is called galereña and originally consisted of two different versions, but based on the same garments.

One of these two ways of dressing it was for use at home, while when they went out they slightly modified their clothing.

The mining tradition of Guanajuato, one of the states that make up the United Mexican States, dates back to the viceregal era. Today it is trying to modernize, being the largest supplier of gold and silver in the entire country.

Its capital bears the same name as the state and has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

main features

History of the gallery

The clothing, today considered the most typical of the state, originates from the time when men worked in the mines scattered throughout its territory.

Unlike what happens in other mining areas, in Guanajuato women used to accompany their husbands and children to work.

There they carried out work outside the mine, taking charge of breaking the ore into small pieces to make the process more comfortable.

These women were known as galereños, since they worked in the galleys. The dress they wore is the one that has become typical of the state.


The gallery is made up of several pieces. They wore a blanket skirt called a zagalejo. On top they put another skirt, this time flannel with green triangles at the waist.

When they went out into the street, they covered themselves with a third skirt, made of flowered organdy and with a train at the back reminiscent of that of Spanish flamenco dresses. Sometimes they also wore knee-length breeches.

A white blouse with a square neckline and embroidery was worn on top. The sleeves are short and also have embroidery to adorn them.

On top of that blouse, the women put on various colorful necklaces, as well as a ball shawl.

Finally, the galerenas covered their necks using a handkerchief and covered their arms with sleeve covers. To avoid burns caused by the sun during work days, they wore a hat made of palm.


The costume of the galerenas could not be understood without the multiple accessories they carry with combs, necklaces, bracelets and other decorations for the hair, wrist or arms such as flowers.

However, the more contemporary woman has gradually stopped using so many beads, making the costume a simpler representation with necklaces and a headband.

male suit

Curiously, the typical male costume is not influenced by the mining activity in the area. Perhaps because the boots and hard materials they used during that job were not comfortable enough to wear more often.

The men of the region have as a traditional dress a simple set of pants and a long-sleeved shirt. They are made of cotton, linen or silk and are adorned with vertical tucks.

This traditional clothing is sometimes embellished with embroidery. It is completed with a hat in the same color as the suit and a scarf around the neck.


de la Luz Bustos, Irma. The typical costume of Guanajuato: The one of the «Galereña». Recovered from guanajuato.gob.mx
Traditional costumes. Typical Mexican costumes. Retrieved from trajestipicosregionales.blogspot.com.es
Don Quixote. Guanajuato Travel Guide. Retrieved from donquijote.org
Wikitravel. Guanajuato. Retrieved from wikitravel.org
First Majestic. Mining History of Mexico. Retrieved from firstmajestic.com

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