The Lagarteran costume surprises those who come to the pueblo because it is complex with striking colours. Here we see it in black and white. First there are two photos from 1934, then some that I took in about 1980, and, at the end, another one from 1934.
The first two photos are by an unknown visitor who took the photos, and sent copies to the family. The first one is of Julia, Aurita Iglesias’ mother, and the second one is of her aunt Isabel.
Next, some young women dressed up because two visitors were coming to the village. Aunt Leoncia and Aunt Petra, the older women here, wore the Lagarteran costume every day. Though people refer to ‘the costume’ there are actually several versions of the costume, and the one that an old ladies wore every day was much less complicated.
They were going to Pepa Alía’s house. On their way to her house, they danced in the street with the neighbours.
Aunt Piedad and Aunt Leoncia liked to dance.
Now they are in Pepa’s courtyard.
And here the visitors are posing, dressed in the Lagarteran costume.
The costume has long been used for marketing, when Lagarteran women went to the cities and tourist areas to sell embroideries. If you buy an embroidery from someone wearing this remarkable costume, you know it’s authentic!
And every year Lagarterans take part in the parade of villages of Las Mondas in Talavera. Here are Magdalena and Esperanza, and, in the second photo, Carmen.
Boys and men also take part. The boy is Alejandro. In the photo next to him is his uncle José with his friend Miguel Ángel.
It takes a team to dress a girl. Milagros with her aunt Carmen.
Carmen puts up Milagros’ hair, and puts the big earrings on her.
Another skirt, and a bodice.
Grandma Pilar puts the apron on Milagros, and Grandma Petra adds the headscarf.
Milagros is now out in the street with her team.
And she and a friend pose for the obligatory photo with the church in the background. Two beauties!
The children get together.
Some serious, some cheerful.
The youngest child, Manuel, wants to escape. The boys say that the costume itches a bit, especially in summer, so not all the small boys are keen on wearing it. In the past, men wore a version of the costume every day, and it was washed once a week. Wearing it softened the fabric. Now a super-clean decorative version is kept in a chest. It’s not the same in terms of comfort.
He’s been brought back!
The girls carry a tray for an offering.
Milagros’ grandmother Petra in 1934. Photo: Francisco Andrada Escribano (1874-1977), in Oasis (Madrid) 11/1934, no 1, p35.
Alison Lever, Lagartera, Toledo, January 2024
Interesting article (in Spanish) on the costume, with a photo of Petra, grandma of Milagros. You can change the page of the article by using the menu on the left.