Sombrero comes from the word “sombra”. In Spanish, it means “shade” or “shadow” and is used for protection against the sun. Just like cowboy hats, they were used to represent social or economic status. The higher class men wore expensive sombreros made out of white, grey or tan felt with different designs and peasants wore cheaper sombreros made from straw.
It was believed, the first sombrero was discovered in the 15th century. The first people to wear the sombrero hat were the Mestizo workers in Mexico and southern U.S. It was used as a practical hat to keep the sun away from their face. However, others believe it was the Guadalajara (horseback riders) who designed the hat as part of their uniform to represent “strength and power”.
In current centuries the sombrero was associated with the cartoon character Speedy Gonzales, a Mexican mouse who wore a yellow sombrero.
The sombrero today is worn by mariachi band members, folk dancers and for traditional costumes. The beautiful colours and designs also make sombreros an ideal ornament as a symbol of Mexican historical culture simply placed on a decorative wall within the home.