The colonial town of Valladolid has a new museum to visit if you are interested in Mexican culture. El Museo de Ropa Etnica de Mexico or MUREM is a museum showcasing traditional clothing worn by Mexico’s indigenous groups in 12 different regions of the country.

Embroidered cotton huipiles or dresses for everyday wear share space with splendid ribbon bedecked ceremonial dresses. Whatever their use, they are works of art full of color and creativity, decorated with designs featuring flowers, birds and animals or stripes, crosses and geometric shapes, symbols of the natural world and their ancient beliefs.

There are brocaded blouses from Mayan communities in the highlands of Chiapas – each village has its own design – worn over black woolen skirts and tied with woven sashes. Other huipiles from Oaxaca, Yucatan and the central Mexican highlands still resemble the garments worn by women in pre-Hispanic times.

After the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century and the arrival of settlers from Spain, European fashions began to appear in Mexico, such as frills, lace, ribbons, shawls and fans. Many of Mexico’s most famous dresses show Spanish influence. They include lacy white dresses from Veracruz and colorful dresses worn in Campeche, Puebla and Jalisco.

Hats and headdresses, ribbons, traditional belts, shawls and jewelry complete the outfits and there is a collection of men’s clothing too. Other exhibits show contemporary items such as the masks worn by lucha libre wrestlers.

MUREM is located in the center of town on Calle 41, No. 195, between Calle 38 and Calle 40. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and there is a shop selling Mexican crafts.

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