Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Juarez: Fourth Date: Adelita!

Adelita, Museum of the Revolution on the Border, Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. February 2017.

On my 4th date with Juarez, I visited the El Museo de la Revolucion en La Frontera aka the Museum of the Revolution on the Border.

That's where I met Adelita.

Adelita is armed and can jump on a horse while wearing stilettos and a very tight dress.

Adelita is a blend of real life, fantasy, and the romanticized archetype of hundreds (thousands?) of women who fought in the Mexican Revolution.

There are stories and songs of Adelita. A movie. Art.

The video below, Adelitas: The Unknown Heroes of the Mexican Revolution, is a quirky, yet informative telling of history, produced by students in El Paso:

Here's the famous song about Adelita, performed in Spanish but with English subtitles:

But below are two soldaderas of the Mexican Revolution, more tied to reality, photographed by Agustin Victor Casasola.

Soldaderas, Mexican Revolution. Photo by: Agustin Victor Casasola.

Shep Lenchek wrote an instructive piece about women soldiers in Mexico, not only during the Mexican Revolution, but during the Spanish Conquest, in Soldaderas - Mexican Women at War. An excerpt: 
While there may be some lingering doubt about the exact role of women in the Conquest, their participation in the Mexican revolution is well documented. However, now they were oft times classified simply as camp followers or prostitutes. Perhaps here too male chauvinism played a part in denying or minimizing the truth that female Soldaderas often stood shoulder to shoulder with male soldiers and fought to the death. ....
.... While it is true that the vast majority of the Mexican women who were involved with the military were non-combatants, it is also factual that thousands of these women lost their lives while performing their very necessary tasks [in the front lines]. Because many of them did become involved sexually with the soldiers they served, either for love or for money, it has become too easy to dismiss all of them as simply prostitutes or else simply ignore their existence.

Mr. Lenchek introduces his readers to a book that examine the real soldaderas in Mexico:Soldaderas in the Mexican Military, by Elizabeth Salas.

Movie poster of 1958 movie Si Adelita se fuera con otro. Source: Stanford University.

This article gives me an excuse to post - again - this painting by Carlos Flores:

Carlos Flores painting, El Paso, Texas.

Viva la RevoluciĆ³n, hermanas Adelitas.

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