Since the beginning of time, humans had a temptation to be an outstanding character among their peers. To achieve this, they have tried several things differently starting from lowriders physical appearance, clothing to their rides.
From the horse carriage to the modern-day high-tech cars became one main thing that people always tried to put an impression on their peers, to the society about the standard they live their lives. Among the long line of automobiles throughout the history, Lowriders earned a quiet popularity when it comes to making an impression, voicing a personality.
Putting both the vehicle and their riders on show, expressing communal, cultural and artistic identities with their low to the road, stretched bodies, Lowriders have been a vehicle for voyaging in many American societies from the mid-twentieth century.
From becoming statements of lowriders communities, a popular feature among West-coast hip-hop music videos to replacing the horses of celebrated annual Crow Fair and Rodeo by being decorated intricately, today’s article is about to unfold an interesting story of one interesting category in the world of automobiles.
So, starting our story today let’s find out how lowriders came into the scenario initially.
Lowriders started stepping into the American roads from the early 1950s when most Latino men from Texas, southern California and Southwest started transforming cars to express their cultures. Making a huge impact from its early days, many people started loving the idea and established car clubs and some even dedicated their families to this that they still make a living by converting cars for auto shows, competitions and for personal interests of high-end individuals.
“Bajito y despacito; limpio y lindo”
“Low and slow, clean and mean”
Living according to their motto which the lacquered bodies glowing with spiritual signs, symmetrical designs and bright colours and trimmed with velvet embracing art, family and religion, these masterpieces are made to march slowly while showcasing their elegance, unlike their other peers on the road, hot-rods and racing cars.
Considered a renowned piece of art among the lowriding community, “Dave’s Dream” is a 1969 Ford LTD transformed by David Jaramillo in the 1970s. Post a tragic death of David due to an accident in a different vehicle, family and the club members completed David’s project by adding a hydraulic hopping mechanism which gave the car it’s dancing ability by making it more alive. By the time of 1990 – 1992 Smithsonian National Museum of American History was able to contact the owners of this beautiful vehicle and brought the car to the museum where it has been able to imbue the thought of lowriders where they treat their cars more than an equipment providing them transportation.
Coming down from Chimayó, New Mexico to West Coast, California, Lowriders have been able to claim much more popularity due its appearances in the west coast hip hop music videos.
While Latino’s intention of making lowriders to portrait art and religion, African American community established their own type of lowriders which bounces rhythmically with their bass-driven music of “gangsta rap”. Los Angeles becoming the hub for hip hop music culture in the 1990s, lowriders gained media spotlight featuring in many popular scenes which aided in illuminating L.A. based hip hop more and more where these cars become icon of west coast urban hip hop culture voicing a different personality rather than being a simple ride.
Expressing a social and cultural identity is the main reason why the native Indian Crow tribe celebrate their annual Crow Fair and Rodeo in Crow (Apsaalooké) reservation in Montana which is also called “The Teepee Capital of the World,”.
Dressed up in their traditional clothing and riding on horseback which they ornamented with decorative gear, crow people parade through the campsite each morning displaying their cultural values, art and beliefs. Coming from a rich horse culture, it is customary that they bring their finest horses to the fair which they make sure they decorate these beautiful beasts with their best beadworks, martingales, cruppers, cradleboards and saddle blankets illustrating their colourful artistry.
Syncing with modernity, these parades are lately included even with automobiles which are also being covered with beadwork and other decorative gears. Since it is a usual scenario where a ceremony held with a finest of their horse decorated elegantly with saddles, beadwork and other traditional items brought into the dance arena and gifted to an honoured guest, during one occasion they have given away a decorated car to a young crow woman who was nominated as Princess, on behalf of her community.
Though it does not completely represent the lowriding culture, the meaning is somewhat similar where the Crow people tend to treat their rides much more than something they use for transportation and riding.
Maybe it might be the inspiration which Latinos adopted initially when they started transforming their vehicles to portrait their cultural values.
It is always interesting to dig deep into the history and find out much more hidden inside. But today we left the further excavation for you and called off a day for us.
Until we meet again with another interesting topic, Adiós !!!