This morning Inge, Dianne and I went to the IMAX showing of "Born to be Wild" at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. It documents the rescue of orphaned baby animals and the process of getting them ready to return to the wild. One group worked with elephants whose mothers had been killed by poachers for their tusks. The other group cared for baby gorillas. It was very interesting and heart-warming.
After lunch in the Star of Texas Café, we visited the special exhibition, "Arte en la Charrería: The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture." There were more than 120 examples of the excellent craftsmanship and design distinctive to the Mexican cowboy, including leather items, costumes, textiles, silver and iron works.
The leather saddles were especially impressive. There are four classifications of saddles according to function and decoration: Work, Semi-Formal, Formal and Grand Formal. Grand Formal saddles are elaborately ornamented with silver, ornate stitching, embroidery and leather tooling. The ropes of Charrería are made from maguey (an agave plant also called century plant or American aloe), as well as agave, cotton or henequen (another member of the agave family). Spurs are made of steel and may be embossed, carved, decorated with stylish openwork and inlaid with incrustations and fine silver damascene.
Charrería motifs most commonly used are roses to symbolize the Virgin of Guadalupe; snakes and eagles symbolizing Mexico's coat of arms; and pre-Hispanic border designs.