Mexican Rurales?

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Mexican Rurales?

Post  sepid on Sat 01 Feb 2014, 6:14 am


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Re: Mexican Rurales?

Post  buistR on Mon 10 Feb 2014, 12:00 pm

Hi Sepid. Interesting pictures. Thanks for posting them.

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the uniform of the Rurales from the civilian charro dress, widely worn on gala occasions by the sons of the well-to-do in Mexico prior to the Revolution of 1910. The full dress of senior officers of the Rurales Corps was closely modeled on the charro style, including profuse silver braiding on sombrero, jacket, waistcoat and breeches. The most obvious distinction visible in photographs was probably the so-called "Austrian Knot" worn by the police officers, which come almost to the shoulder. A young rancher of good family would not have rank insignia of this kind on his charro jacket.

The (unfortunately rather faint) sketch attached show the pattern of braiding peculiar to an Inspector of Rurales c1910 and this closely matches that in the photographs you have provided. The brown suede is a little puzzling since the Rurales of whatever rank wore a medium grey uniform with silver braid. However there are a number of references to brown uniforms as well - possibly worn by the Rural mounted police corps maintained by separate states, as opposed to the central Federal corps. Or alternatively some senior officers may simply have decided on their own colour and material regardless of regulation.
 
At any rate the two pictures provided appear to be either genuine officer's uniforms in remarkable condition, or of good replicas. The actual rank is indicated by the number of separate bands making up the knot - so three would be the equivalent of a captain in the army. Of the two uniforms shown, the first is much plainer, with reduced braiding. If in fact they did belong to the same officer then the first would presumably be a service uniform for ordinary duties and the second, with its elaborate embroidery, a full dress for special occasions.


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Re: Mexican Rurales?

Post  sepid on Mon 10 Feb 2014, 10:46 pm

Hi buistR, than you for your reply.

I assume, that both uniforms did not belong to the same officer (as for the text of both advertisment does not provide such informations). In meantime I do some further resesarch. If I compare both uniforms with your sketch and with pictures, which I found, it seems to me, that you are right in that, that the first uniform belonged to Inspector General of Rurales. It seems to me, that the braid on the first uniform matches with the braid on this fotograph: http://eliasjorge4.blogspot.cz/2012/12/los-rurales-de-mexico-47.html and particularly with the braid for generals of Mexican army (see here http://www.google.cz/imgres?biw=1920&bih=973&tbm=isch&tbnid=aCL3GA-yRSHUqM%3A&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Farticulo.mercadolibre.com.uy%2FMLU-413723388-reglamento-uniformes-generales-oficiales-tropa-mexico-1898-_JM&docid=-R98FZDYj_6bLM&itg=1&imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fimg1.mlstatic.com%2Freglamento-uniformes-generales-oficiales-tropa-mexico-1898_MLU-O-3242415226_102012.jpg&w=416&h=500&ei=bqf4UqqdE8nasgaMhIHwDA&zoom=1&ved=0CF0QhBwwAw&iact=rc&dur=2606&page=1&start=0&ndsp=48 ). I think, that the braid on the first uniform is probably incomplete (see left cuff from the rear) and thus in place of rank insignia remain only slighty lighter suede.
As for the second uniform, it seems to me, that largely matched with the uniform of captain Francisco Cardenas (who is known for killer of mexican president Madero) - see here: http://www.fgmontes.com/?p=177 and http://www.inehrm.gob.mx/imagenes/madero_muerte/05.jpg .

Whats your opinion?

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Re: Mexican Rurales?

Post  buistR on Tue 11 Feb 2014, 6:15 pm

Hello again sepid. You might be interested in the attached colour plate which appears accurate in detail and is dated 1890 - the same period credited to the first of the photographs which you have posted. It is clear that while the ordinary guardia rurale wore much the same uniform for both field service and parade (except for details such as the protective leather leggings shown), the senior officer had much more elaborate dress for gala occasions. Note the red scarf/tie which was one of the distinctive features of the rurale - one visitor to Mexico likened the shade to that of a vivid tropical flower; another thought that it would make them particularly good targets in the revolution that was gathering momentum. She also recorded that they wore water-proof covers over their felt sombreros.

The "Austrian knot" sleeve insignia was clearly recognized as making rurale officers too conspicuous and photographs of them in the final months of the Huerta regime show relatively plain cuff stripes substituted for ordinary duties. Judging by the figure at right in the colour plate this was the case as early as 1890. The second photograph that you have put on site is therefore clearly an expensive and seldom worn ceremonial uniform - which would account for its survival in such good condition. According to an extract from the Guardia Rurale service regulations of 1880, rank insignia consisted of silver lace 10mm wide, spaced 2mm apart on the jacket sleeves. Commandant's had 4 rows of braid, captains and quartermasters 3 rows, more junior officers 2 and 1 rows. Paymasters and sergeants had 3 rows, 1st corporals 2 rows, 2nd corporals 1 row, all in the form of diagonal stripes of a narrower braid.

The American historian Paul J. Vanderwood in his history of the rurales "Disorder and Progress - Bandits, Police and Mexican Development" devotes a couple of pages to their uniforms. In this he notes that the "dove-grey bolero jackets and suede leather tight fitting trousers embroidered with ornate braiding and silver buttons" served not only to emphasize the macho image of the Rural Police Corps but also to clearly separate them from the much less prestigious Federal Army in sombre dark blue. Perhaps a contrast with Canada's mounties who broadly performed the same functions as the rurales but who chose to copy the red tunics of the British Army.




Last edited by buistR on Tue 11 Feb 2014, 7:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Mexican Rurales?

Post  sepid on Tue 11 Feb 2014, 6:56 pm

Hello again,

thank you very much for clarifying informations and for interesting plate!

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history of rurales, with pictures, link

Post  witko on Thu 20 Feb 2014, 3:30 am

http://eliasjorge4.blogspot.it/search/label/Rurales

In seven parts, a history of rurales, with pictures.

Best regards,
Witko

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Re: Mexican Rurales?

Post  sepid on Fri 21 Feb 2014, 5:56 am

Many thanks.

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