Machete as a Fashion Statement

Machete as a Fashion Statement
Machete, more than a tool for the peasantry, it used to be a fashion accessory.

When I was little, we used to get a lot of visitors from Guatemala’s Eastern provinces. A lot of these provinces had the reputation of having very violent people and visitors would often come wearing a machete on their side. But it wasn’t just a weapon or a tool. I remember a relative who would carry a fire arm on his side, but he would also carry a machete on the other side.
The sleeves were very decorated and colorful, so it wasn’t just a weapon but a fashion accessory, sort of -but not as elegant- like the Japanese Katana.

I still remember when walking these streets as a little boy, often you’ll see people wearing a machete. No, not as a working tool; you’ll see them wearing nice cloths and shoes and the machete on their side, clipped to their belt.
This sight is rare now days. I might be one of the last middle classer* who still comes out wearing one.

© 2015, Eli Orozco. All rights reserved.

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  • NYChapin

    Nice shot Eli. As a kid, the machete was more than a tool or protection. It was a statement about being a man or becoming a man. If you had one, you needed to know how to use it and do something productive with it. Having a machete hanging from your waist was not enough. It implied knowledge and love for the land, as well as respect for your elders. I never felt that I was worthy of one and admired those who wore one with pride ( mi abuelo)
    Maybe you can start a new trend !

    • Elí Orozco

      See, there is so much about machetes.
      I love the history of Los Machetes Levantados, an historical account of a campesino protest on the years prior to the beginning of the civil war. All campesinos were wearing machetes and when the army threatened them, they all raised their machetes and chanted : “A vos se te vlasa acabar las balas pero a mi machete no se le va a ir el filo.” The army was so scared, they had to pull back.

      I wear one often, in fact the time I saw you at the sushi place, I had one on me.
      Maybe we can get one for Rudy to wear too.