By Joe S. Graham
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Additional resources for Hecho En Tejas: Texas-Mexican Folk Arts and Crafts (Publications of the Texas Folklore Society)
Rare indeed are examples of the weaver's craft, such as morrales (small flat bags with rope handles; may be used as a nosebag for a horse or a game bag) or jorongos (lap robes used in the horse-and-buggy days). However, one weaving tradition has continued to the present: saddle-blanket weaving on the King Ranch. As essential to the cowboy as his saddle is the saddle blanket, which absorbs the perspiration from the horse's back and keeps the saddle from rubbing sores on it. Modern tack shops offer a wide variety of saddle blankets and pads, some handmade in Mexico (or elsewhere) but most mass produced in factories.
Other master instrument makers like Miguel Acosta of San Antonio have well-established reputations among Tejano musicians and instrument makers (see the McNutt article in this volume). While looks are important, the sound of the instruments is the paramount concern. Knowing which woods to use for the various parts of Page 33 Figure 21 Zulema Garza surrounds her favorite saints with photos of family members. (Photo by Rosa Nelia Treviño) instruments is crucial, and while the beautifully inlaid abalone shell and wood pieces make the instrument attractive, the basic construction is what produces the desired sound.
They may still be seen on historic buildings along both sides of the river from Brownsville to Laredo. The tripitas are cooked over an open fire or coals. Early blacksmiths made most of their own equipment. items: knives of various kinds, belt buckles, fajita turners, and such decorative items as brass snakes, door knockers, etc. However, they may still be called upon to make such traditional items as wrought iron rejas (burglar bars). Rejas for doors and windows have been a part of the architecture of the region since the coming of the first settlers.