Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 28, 1902)
Glimpses of Life in Mexico's Metropolis
w, - ', ft.
5" - ,
1 ? J!
I'KErAUINO THE DAILY TORTILLA.
CAUGADOUS MOViNC HOISEIIOLI) GOODS.
I llTY Oh' MKXICO, I Hi. (St'c!al
I I ((irrt'HiMiiiilciirc.) Tho City of
(m l her kiiiiIi I tin n Omalia. II
In it t xi 1 1 1 f ii r liini'H a h I u rn iin.l
bcvcii llnii'd m IiIkIi. Ih'Iiik nearly S.ikmi fret
above I he Hru Irvrl. It Iiiih siM'ii luuiilrc'ls
of ycurH of lilKtory to Omaliii'H t Yet
In initny wuyH Oinulia excels. Whlli' Mox
li'6 Iiuh many larKi-, Ann Hton-H, they aro
not an up-to-ilato hh thoau of Omaha.
After t lit in i I n k arounil for half a day
In march of some Hilch simple urtlcleM u.i
a rulliiK pen or 10-cent erawh for klteh -n
toweln, It wc.ulil be a ureut eomfort to step
into Home of the HtoreH at home ami flii'l
Jimt what you want.
The City. of Mexico, however, in lmlcel
a city. With a population of over 40(l,Oiio,
many mllea of electric car line, ItH bril
liantly IlKhted HtreetH, It woulil compare
favorably with any city of its Hl.e In the
I'niled StatcH. Vleweil from an aestheite
8taiiilKitnt, there 1h but one thing Unking
o niakii It a very beautiful city. Indeed,
one cannot nay that It la not beautiful,
with Its bread, clean, asphalt streets, Its
beautiful buildings, many of adobe, white
or tinted In varloiu shades; Its hundreds
of church spires that point upward toward
the blue, blue sky. And on every Hide the
towering mountains, some snow-capped,
keeping guard over the city.
Yet the first thing one misses 1b the
beautiful expanse of God's green and the
lovely flowers the. "messengers of God"
that are so common in the home land and
which one expects to find In abundauc
here in the tropica. Aside from a few
very small parks, where one Is never al
lowed on the grass, one never sees a grerji
thing from the streets of Mexico.
Houses, which are ncvr more than three
stories high, are built straight up from the
street, with never a porch or a foot of
lawn. Tho nearest approach to a porch
Is a balcony on the necond Moor, which Ih
built out a foot or two over the street.
The windows on the tlrst floor of the old
houses are always protected by Iron grat
ings, like a pilsoii. which U a relic of the
necessity of early days.
The family very seldom lives on the firt
floor, that l reserved for the servants and
animalH. One enters the house from the
Htr'et through a great door onto the
"patio," or court. This Is paved and often
made very pretty with potted palms, etc.
The carriages drive right Into this part
of the house. To the buck of the patio
are the tttahhs and servants' quarters.
From the pat In a broad stuirway leads to
the second floor, where are all the living
roius. These are all arranged around tho
- . : - ; . -i
MEXICAN MOTHER WITH HER BABY, READY TO GO
'THEY OFTEN CARRY GREAT LOADS
open patio and in the best houses are very
pleasant. Sometimes there will be a beau
tiful garden back of the house inclosed
by a high stone wall.
The com moil people, or "peons" of which
class there Bre so many live In very differ
ent homes from the ones described. Their
homes are dark, damp and cheerless, with
many In one tuna II room. They sleep
there, but spend but little time there dur
ing the day. The fath-r goes to his work
very early In the morning. Mexico is
known as a country cf no breakfasts. They
never eat more than a piece of bread and a
cup of coffee. The mother straps the little
one on her back .with her "rebozo" and
goes to her work, too. Often fhe has a
little stand in the plaza where she sella
ery uninviting lookiug cakeB, tarts an.l
pies. The baby Is stowed away in a box
under the stand, where he seems to be very
contented. At noon the woman takes the
dinner to her husband. She, with the
children and her husband, sit down wher
ever they baiipen to be and spread out their
dinner. Often It Is on the pavement. The
meal will consist of frljoles (kidney beans)
cooked with an abundance of chill (red
peppers), tortillas (a thin pancake of na
tive cornmeal which the women grind them
selves with two stones), and a pitcher (f
puliiie, the common liquor. It is the fer
mented Juice of the cactus and Is the uni
versal drink. They give It to their children
from the baby to the oldest. The pulque
shops are numeii i..
Living in such a manner as this, with
such poor, cheerless homes, it is little
wonder that one sees the plazas always
thronged by the peons. It is a picturesque
sight that one sees in the Alameda (plaza).
The men. In huge sombren s, wear a sort
of blouse, hanging loose In the back and
drawn around to the front and tied In a
knot; trousers which are made very tight
down to the ankle, and from there flare
out Into a bell-shaped piece which is long
enough to drag on the ground. These
trouisers are iften made of two kinds of
cluth and tucked in clusters of small tucks
down each side. On their feet are sandals
that Is, If they are not barefooted, which U
often the case. In the morning and even
ing, when it U cold, they always have
their bright colored blankets around them.
The women of this class never wear hats.
They have their "rebozo." or Bhawi, around
them always, and If It U cold they draw
It over their heads. They are usually
Often several women will sit in a group
gossiping and enjoying their cigarettes with
their babies in their arms. It is common
to see a man and woman walking together,
either or both smoking. Often the woman
and not the man. Men, women and children
There are dozens of little stands In the
Alameda and along the streets where one
can buy fruit, caked and candies. Other
more ambitious venders carry trays around
on their heads, crying out their various
wares. It is as common to see women and
little girls selling newspapers as to see
men and boys. There are hundreds of
persons of all sizes and sexes that peddle
lottery tickets on the streets. The Mexi
cans are a great people to be always eat
ing some little trirle, and no matter If
tho person has no shues and the clothes
are more patches than whole cloth, they
stop at a stand and buy "un ceatavos" of
From childhood fhr nen are trained for
strength In thtir necks and backs by hav
ing stones strapped on Lhem. When grown
it is amazing to see tire-rtrongth they pos
sess. One man will carry enough for a
wagon load. The "cargador" of a furniture
house will carry a large-sized refrigerator,
a mattress and several other things on hi.)
back at one time, and seem to enjoy It.
They support these immense loads by means
of a strap which passes over their fore
heads and practically all the weight hangs
from the head.
On Sundays and Thursday?, the band playa
In the Alameda. On Sundays the peons
are not allowed there between the hours cf
II) and 1 o'clock. Then it is that canvas
U stretched for a long promenade, with
awnings over it, and rows of chairs at each
side. Crowds don their best attire, the
women often dressed elaborately In silkii
and satins some as for evening and prom
enade in the Alameda. This is the only
time when the plaza is not thronged with
peons, and consequently the only time when
one sees the better class of Mexicans. Some
of the women are very beautiful. They
are very fond of bright colors. Even tiny
babies will be dressed in red and yellow.
Children of 2 or 3 will wear dresses of
bright colored silks made after the fashion
of women. Thus the scene presented on
Sundays Is in marked contrast to that seen
on a week day.
CORA CHAFFEE BABCOCK.
... i J v ',' '
k 0 'fr
r lis n h
f VW If u
' F f
Kmiii Left lu Right Vice President
UV.11:i.h" niin.hi: l'resldeiit James Coukling. Frank
lin; Vice J'rehident Lew Tlbbetts. HaliiiKs; Vice l'resldeiit J. A. Slater. .Mliuleli: Vice President Wil
lis Caldwell, Broken How; Secretary J. F. Hanson. Fremont ; Stenographer t. K. Anderson, r rnnunt.
OFFICERS NEBRASKA REAL ESTATE DEALEKS ASStM i.m I noio uy diuu .-n.i.
DELEGATES TO THE CONVENTION OK THE NEBRASKA REAL ESTATE DEXLEUS" ASSOCIX
TION. ASSEMBLED ON THE FRONT STEPS OF THE OMAHA CITY HALL Photo by a Staff
Powered by Open ONI