Escaramuza is a competitive sport performed by women riding sidesaddle in elaborate traditional dresses in homage to the Adelitas, the female soldiers who fought in the Mexican Revolution. It’s a drill team event, part of charrería (Mexican rodeo) culture, judged on horsemanship and timing that come together in an impressive performance.
Because escaramuza costumes are based on historical uniforms worn during the revolution, there are strict guidelines for all costumes. Adelita dresses must be cotton or cotton-based, and always in traditional colors. Embroidered details must be sewn by hand, and accessories, like the pins the women wear near their necks, must be sterling silver and pinned in one particular place. Sombreros worn with both charra and Adelita costumes are also highly embellished, and secured by leather straps that sit on the chin just so. Dressing for a competition can take more than two hours.