Who were the Pachucos?
Pachucos were Mexican American youth who developed their own subculture during the 1930s and 1940s in the Southwestern United States. They wore distinctive clothes (such as Zoot Suits) and spoke their own dialect (Cal$). Due to their double-marginalization stemming from their youth and ethnicity, there has always been a close association and cultural cross-pollination between the Pachuco subculture and the gang subculture. For this reason, many members of the dominant (Anglo) culture assumed that anyone dressed in Pachuco style was a gang member. The Pachuco style originated in El Paso, Texas and moved westward, following the line of migration of Mexican railroad workers ("traqueros") into Los Angeles, where it developed further. The Mexican Nobel laureate Octavio Paz writes in the essay, "The Pachuco and Other Extremes" that the Pachuco phenomenon paralleled the zazou subculture in World War II-era Paris in style of clothing, music favored (jazz, swing, and jump blues), and attitudes, although there was no known link between the two subcultures. The word "pachuco" originated as the local Mexican Spanish slang term for a resident of the city of El Paso, probably early in the 20th century. Even today, El Paso is still called "el chuco" by some. According to another theory, the word "pachuco" is a derivation of Pachuca, the name of the city in the Mexican state of Hidalgo where Mickey Garcia, thought by some to be the originator of the Zoot Suit, is supposed to have come before arriving in El Paso. Another theory says that the word derives from pocho, a derogatory term for a Mexican born in the United States who has lost touch with the Mexican culture. The Mexican comedian and film actor Germ$n Vald$s, better-known by his artistic name "Tin-Tan" introduced Pachuco dress and slang to the Mexican population through his Golden age-era films. The influence of Vald$s is responsible for the assimilation of several Cal$ terms into Mexican slang. The pachuco subculture declined in the 1960s, evolving into the Chicano style which preserved some of the pachuco slang while adding a strong political element characteristic of the late 1960s in American life. In the early 1970s, due to recession and the increasingly violent nature of gang life resulting in an abandonment of anything that suggested dandyism, Mexican-American gangs adopted a uniform of T-shirts and khakis derived from prison uniforms, and the pachuco was truly dead. However, the Zoot Suit remains a popular choice of formal wear for urban and rural Latino youths in heavily ethnic neighborhoods. It is typically worn at a prom or in some cases, at informal Latino university commencement ceremonies. Pachucos called their slang cal$ (sometimes called "pachuquismo"), a unique argot that drew on the original Spanish Gypsy Cal$, Mexican Spanish, the New Mexican dialect of Spanish, and American English, employing words and phrases creatively applied. To a large extent, cal$ went mainstream and is the last surviving vestige of the Pachuco, often used in the lexicon of urban Latinos to this day. The "Pachuca", the female counterpart of the Pachuco, had just as strong aesthetic sensibility as the male zootsuiter. The Pachuca's hairstyle tended to be a high "coif" (a more pronounced version of the typical hair style of the time), sometimes using hair grease. Her makeup was heavy, particularly the lipstick. The preferred color of clothing was black. One very loud version of the Pachuca look entailed wearing the masculine zoot suit, albeit with modifications to fit the female form. This was very subversive at the time because of the long-held gender roles that dictated how a person should dress. Another variation included full, knee-length skirts with the standard zoot suit finger-tip jacket. Sometimes, she donned the standard heavy gold pocket chain. This style was associated with gang membership, gang activity, violence, "unpatriotic behavior", and promiscuity. The idea of gang membership and gang activity came from the Zoot Suit Riots that took place mainly in Southern California. The negative image of the male zoot suiter as a "violent gangster" naturally extended to the Pachuca as well. The promiscuous image came from contravening the traditional "see and be seen" fashion aesthetic $ the Pachuca's high public visibility during a time when the 'good' [minority] woman belonged in the home was seen in a scandalous light. The Pachuca's challenge to the dominant perception of femininity came during the period between the granting of the right to vote to women in 1920 and the upsurge in feminist activism of the 1960s and 1970s.
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no, just because someone dresses a certain way does not make them a gangbanger, many people who dress in the pachuco style just like the style
Zoot suit, dress baggy pant with the pleat, large dress long sleeve shirt with the sleeve roll in the inside, along with Stacy Adams shoe, and the brim.
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