Written by Suleth Villeda on September 12th, 2020
Few accessories have had such an enduring legacy and cultural definition as the flower crown. These have prevailed throughout different cultures of the world. It has been transformed by artists, designers, brides, music festival attendance, etc.; not changing its prehistoric essence. Nonetheless, flower crowns have formed part of the Mexican culture; adding natural and beautiful pride to the Mexican women of the nation.
Flower crowns’ mythological history can be traced back to ancient civilizations. In agrarian societies,as they were tied to the land and the seasons, flower crowns had great symbolic meaning. Worn for practical and ceremonial reasons, they could illustrate status and accomplishment. The Ancient Greeks would wear flower crowns on special occasions to honor the gods and ,as the Olympic Championships began, the victors would receive an olive wreath. The ancient Romans maintained the idea of the crown as a reward for a victory. Leaders and military personnel wore crowns made of oak, laurel, or myrtle. The grass crown was the greatest military honor. As industrialization continued to rise, the flower crown romanticized the longing of a simple “country” life; Marie Antoinette was one of these women who greatly appreciated them for its decorative value. Brides continued to popularize the ceremonial traditions of flower-wearing. Nonetheless, it was the hippies who have most influenced the accessory’s current epitome. These flower children would dress their hair with wildflowers to signify their connection to nature. As popular as they have been throughout the world, flower crowns have not become such a cultural staple as they have in Mexico.
Mexico’s CultureFor one of Mexico’s most iconic artists, Frida Khalo, the flower crown became a vivid symbol of naturalism in Mexico. Her dark and brutally honest self portraits would be beautifully contrasted with her signature floral look creating the beautiful pieces of art; without a doubt, making her an enduring symbol of Mexican heritage and feminism. Frida Khalo helped popularize the flower crown throughout Mexico, eventually helping it become part of Mexico’s cultural identity. Flower crowns complete the beautiful folklore dresses and skirts worn by Mexican women. Especially on days like El Dia de los Muertos, one of the nations most traditional and signifying holidays honoring those who have passed away, flower crowns are worn or simply used as decorations; Catrinas would not be complete without them. Mexican women wear these bright flower crowns to celebrate national holidays or to simply give their wardrobe a touch of cultural identity. Flower crowns are symbolic in Mexican culture not only portraying the beauty of the country’s biodiversity and ecosystems, but honoring its ancient culture.