Outfit of the China Poblana
Ethnic Group: Mestiza / National symbol
Donated by Angeles López-Portillo de Stiteler
White satin bodice with a machine-sewn motif and hand-embroidered on the neck with
synthetic silk thread with floral motifs.
Skirt, ca. 1970-1980
One-piece skirt in red flannel “el castor”, fully embroidered with sequins and beads, and
finished at the top and bottom with machine-sewn green satin knit fabric.
Rebozo ́Bolita ̈
Shawl of black and white cotton yarns, woven by hand loom and finished at the ends with a
macrame and fringe at the edge.
Industrial green satin ribbon.
The origins of the China Poblana, considered as one of the national symbols of Mexico, and
her sequined costume are rooted in the country's colonial past. Legend tells us that in the
early 1600s, an Indian noblewoman, “Mirra”, was kidnapped by Portuguese pirates, crossed
the Pacific trade route between Spain and China (Nao de China), and was sold as a slave to
the Sosa family of Puebla, Mexico. Mirra continued to wear her Indian saris, adjusting them
over time to local styles, and influencing a fashion which was popular throughout central
Mexico until the mid-19th century. The costume exemplified the uniqueness of Mexican
culture and included a white open-neck blouse accented with embroidery or beads, a red
flannel skirt, called a ̈castor, ̈ decorated with sequins, and shawl.
In Mexico, the word "China" came to mean all people of Asian descent, and while "Poblana"
could mean that a person comes from Puebla, it also means a person who lives in a small
city in the country.