The ‘Edgar’ haircut San Antonio makes fun of might be rooted in indigenous culture

Megan Armstrong San Antonio News Leave a Comment

As a millennial, I usually don’t share memes or internet shenanigans with my parents. But while scrolling Facebook recently, I saw a post I knew would amuse my dad. It was a picture of a young man with incredibly short bangs, barely past his hairline, trimmed straight across his forehead. My dad immediately wheezed, recognizing the “ridiculous” (his words) hairstyle associated with San Antonio’s Marbach area.

I don’t remember the exact caption, but the post was essentially poking fun at just that: men who have a certain reputation and are known to hold stakes along the busy Far Westside road. Anyone with enough San Antonio connections on their social media accounts have no doubt seen similar memes and posts on their own feeds. If Marbach isn’t specifically named, then there’s probably some mention of “Edgar” or “takuache,” the agreed-upon names for men with the style.

In actuality, there’s a good chance that “the Edgar” is actually rooted in indigenous culture.

San Antonio locals usually assume that anyone with this cut is, to put it nicely, tacky, hence all the low blows. The Indian Problem, a Facebook page dedicated to educating people about indigenous cultures, points out that the “Edgar” style is actually similar to that of Native males centuries ago.

Men of the Jumano tribe, which was most dominant in Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico between 1500 and 1700, wore their hair in a way almost identical to the “Edgar.” As is the case for many indigenous cultures, many Jumano men also decorated their sleek, straight hair with paint or left one section long so they could attach bird feathers.

Within Texas, the Jumanos primarily lived between El Paso, Austin, and the Rio Grande. The tribe changed over time in the face of technological advancement and colonization, especially since the Jumanos played an active role as mediators between the Spanish and other tribes, including the Apaches, which largely absorbed the Jumanos in the 18th century. Other members of the Jumanos are said to have eventually assimilated into Mexican culture.

Despite the jokes, the “Edgar” remains a popular style for many San Antonio men.

Despite the jokes, the “Edgar” remains a popular style for many San Antonio men.

Sunny Miller Creative/Getty Images

The Jumanos’ wide footprint, both physically and historically, means its influence is still felt today, especially in South Texas. While the San Antonio men who have the “Edgar” style may not be able to directly trace their roots to the tribe, indigenous cultures are no doubt part of San Antonio’s diverse culture. Other aspects of the city’s colorful background are respected and even celebrated, but the “Edgar” has so often been made a punch line.

Despite our collective agreement to make the haircut – and Marbach in general – the butt of many San Antonio-specific jokes, the “Edgar” has gained immeasurable recognition outside the Alamo City limits. A YouTube tutorial shows how technical it is to achieve the distinct style, one that the barber behind the video describes as “extremely difficult” to get right. Buzzfeed took the time to round up memes about the style, tied to the term “takuache” in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking communities. There’s even a blogger in Ohio who shared 10 “edgy” ways to sport the “Edgar.”

Now, if the Marbach style is good enough to be culturally appropriated by a Midwestern fashion writer dishing on the latest trends, perhaps San Antonio should recognize that men with the “Edgar” are simply honoring their roots.

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