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Explore the diversity in the traditional garments of Oaxaca

The culture of Oaxaca is reflected in the typical costumes of the state. Traditional garments are a good example of the state’s diversity. As part of this article, we give you information about the traditional clothing of the men and women of the different regions of Oaxaca. Discover more here.

The culture of Oaxaca is reflected in the typical costumes of the state. Traditional garments are a good example of the state’s diversity. As part of this article, we give you information about the traditional clothing of the men and women of the different regions of Oaxaca.

In many parts of the world, traditional arts and cultures are at a crossroads at this point in history. In the last sixty years, over the space of one lifetime, accelerating changes have resulted in cheap, manufactured goods and traditional garments becoming more readily available, as well as the influence of commercial media extending into most corners of the globe. 

As a consequence of the aging population, there exists a generation of people who have been born into unique traditional ways and watched their children abandon them in favor of commercial products. The vast majority of human creativity and genius developed over the millennia still exists today, but as the grandmothers and mothers are slowly passing on, so too is their cultural heritage. Let’s enter this wonderful world full of culture.

Let’s enter this wonderful world full of culture in Oaxaca


Typical attire for women in Loma Bonita, Oaxaca, consists of a crocheted blouse, a floral black skirt, a petticoat, and high-heeled shoes. They wear a collection of gardenias on top of their heads.

A huipil is one of several types of traditional garments used in the Tuxtepec region, which depends on the occasion. Among the varieties are:

  • Luto
  • Half mourning
  • Diary
  • Wedding
  • Half gala
  • Gala

Among the drawings that adorn the huipil are birds and flowers native to the region. As part of traditional dance in the area, they carry a pineapple on their shoulders as part of the Pineapple Flower dance.

Guelaguetza Oaxacan traditional garments


Among Zapotecs, there are one women’s traditional garments that are known as Tehuana. They are ethnic groups from the isthmus of Tehuantepec. They usually wear long skirts called rabona to wear on a daily basis. Juchitán de Zaragoza is one of the towns where it can be found.

As for evening traditional garments, dresses are used during the main celebrations of the population. This is made up of a huipil or hand-embroidered tee, a long skirt with floral embroidery, and a ruffle at the bottom to form a whole. On the head are placed a headdress and large golden jewels.

Another indigenous group is that of the mixes. This town is populated predominantly by women who are dressed in a wide black or white skirt, complete with a huipil and large handkerchief or rebozo. Men, on the other hand, wear a simple white blanket, a camisole, and a black wool hat with a pair of pants or shorts on top.

In addition to its beauty in embroidery, these traditional garments of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, illustrate how a cross-cultural blending has occurred in Mexico over the years, as it gets its inspiration from the Manila shawl and its ruffles come from Holland.

The Tehuana consists of three elements: the blouse, the skirt, and the huipil, the handmade blouse. Both elements are black velvet or silk embroidered satin. Also, white ruffles are worn on heads for formal events and special occasions.

As part of Istmo culture, matriarchy is considered an important feature of society; thus, Frida Kahlo wore this costume frequently, even in a self-portrait. Because of this, the costume attracts attention and accentuates female leadership.


Traditional garments in Oaxaca

Image by DianaFacio

As far as clothing goes, the Santiago Pinotepa Nacional brand has an interesting heritage, it is mestizo. The outfit consists of a wide and long colored skirt with white ribbons and a white shirt with embroidered flowers. It is commonly referred to as “chaquira” for its decoration.

A woman’s skirt in Santa Catarina Juquila bears a striking color, while a flower embroidered blouse is worn on top. A man wears shorts and a shirt or blanket made out of cotton.

As part of their traditional dress, the traditional garments, Puerto Escondido women wear a skirt and blouse decorated with flowers, a rebozo rose and black shoes and bracelets, as well as seashell necklaces. Furthermore, the gala dress consists of a white skirt with a sailfish on each side, representing a particular species of fish in the area, and a blue blouse with two dolphins on the front.

Huatla de Jiménez

These traditional garments of female clothing in Huatla de Jiménez, Oaxaca, is a huipil made of white cotton and embroidered in cross-stitch. Most of the embroidery features birds and flowers. Pink and blue ribbons are also featured on the blouse. There is also a skirt at the bottom. Two braids are combed through their hair as they dance.

Their heads are topped with hats, and they wear white shirts and trousers. Below is a video of them wearing this attire:

Central Valleys

White blanket shorts are a characteristic fashion element of the Central Valleys, like in other regions. This is especially true for the region of Oaxaca de Juárez where each year the Guelaguetza is held, a celebration in honor of the Virgen del Carmen during which Mexicans from all areas of Oaxaca don traditional garments.


This region of Oaxaca is home to each tribe of trquis people. Usually, women wear a huipil sleeveless and braid their hair. A huipil carries drawings on the chest and back. Those who are wearing white breeches and bright shirts with buttons and pleats, or wearing colored saddlebags, would have on white breeches and bright shirts.

traditional garments in Oaxaca

Sierra Norte

For dancing the Betaza Sones call in San Melchor Betaza, Oaxaca, women wear long white skirts with red sashes at the waist and a huipil on the top of their heads. They also wear a medal around their neck as a symbol of their achievements. They wear all white and wear a black hat for their appearance.

Sierra Sur

Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz is a town where the men dress in white and wear red sashes. On the female side, they wear a huipil and rebozo as traditional garments, which is a colorful cloak. Huaraches are the sandals that they wear.

Did you like knowing more about the typical costumes in Oaxaca? You can read more about this wonderful culture with us. Keep informing here:

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