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By the 1930's Mariachi musicians had begun wearing the same traje de charro, consisting of a waist-length jacket and tightly fitted wool pants which open slightly at the ankle to fit over a short riding boot.
Prior to the 1930's, photographs show early Mariachis dressed in calzones de manta, and huaraches, homespun white cotton pants and shirts and leather sandals, the clothes worn by most peasants in Jalisco.
Musicologists and folklorists have argued for years over the origin of mariachi.
Standard Spanish dictionaries and encyclopedias name the French word mariage (meaning wedding or marriage) as a possible origin, and date it back to the 1860s, when Maximillian of Habsburg was Emperor of Mexico.
The male wears the classic outfit the Jalisco horsemen or charro, while the female the China, wears a hand-woven shawl and a bright sequined skirt.
The traditional dance technique associated with both the son jalisciense and son jarocho is the zapateado, a distinctive type of footwork that originated in Spain.
If true, this may be the source of traditional dress for mariachi bands.
The mariachi tradition was further extended to a widespread mainstream audience in the United States when popular American folk rock singer Linda Ronstadt realized her dream of making a record of Mexican Canciones in 1987.
No discussion of Mariachi dance would be complete without mentioning the famous Jarabe Tapatio - the Mexican Hat Dance.
The typical Spanish theatrical orchestra of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries was comprised of violins (usually two), harp and guitars (or guitar variants).
It was from this group that several of the most distinctive regional ensembles of Mexico developed, including the Mariachi.
During the 1930s, however, many mariachi took to wearing the traje de charro, consisting of a waist-length jacket and tightly fitted wool pants which open slightly at the ankle to fit over a short riding boot.
Both pants and jacket are often ornamented with embroidery, intricately cut leather designs, or silver buttons in a variety of shapes.Mariachi music as we know it today results from the confluence of several different influences: European styled concert ensembles on haciendas composed of violins, harp, guitars, jawharps and other instruments, simpler coastal folk ensembles whose African influence gives mariachi some of its key rhythmic elements, and the harp and violin ensembles of the tierra caliente.