Photo Friday– Zoot Suiters from the 1940s

26 Sep

As we prepared to have a tour for a class that is learning about Zoot Suit women or Pachucas in the 1940s, we were lucky enough to find this gem of an unidentified Zoot Suit Woman or Pachuca from the 1940s, in our vast collections of photographs.

Unidentified Zoot Suit Woman or Pachuca from the 1940s -- Photo #64674

Unidentified Zoot Suit Woman or Pachuca from the 1940s — Photo #64674

Zoot Suiters (also known as Pachucos or Pachucas) were Mexican Americans located in various parts of the Southwest, including Tucson, Arizona in the WWII era. They dressed distinctively, and they rebelled against total assimilation in the the mainstream culture. Their Zoot Suits, (or something like it for women, although some women wore Zoot Suits) included long coats with padded shoulders or tacuches, dress pants with a wide leg and tight at the bottom, as shown in the photograph below of the unidentified Zoot Suiter. They also spoke in Pachuco slang or what they called Caló.


Unidentified Pachuco from the 1940s — Photo #64673

Zoot Suits were also popular in the African American and Italian American communities. If you want to see more photos like this, check out the Mexican Heritage Project online exhibit or come to the archives!

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