When I was a kid, my parents brought me back a souvenir from their vacation in Mexico—a stiff velvet sombrero bristling with sequins and gold braids. It was awesome. What I’m saying is: I’ve seen some fancy hats in my day. But until now I didn’t know just what mine was aiming to imitate in its own tacky, tourist-baity way. Charros and charras are specialized horsemen and women of Mexico; the sarapes, Adelita dresses, saddles and other 150 objects of Arte en la Charrería: The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture feel familiar because we’ve seen them (or something kinda vaguely like them) all our lives in movies and ads. The real deal turns out to be rather extraordinary, though, and a true insight into Mexican folk traditions. These are round-brimmed sombreros whose soft felt surfaces are veined with intricately embroidered roses, fronds and snaking geometric motifs; spurs worked in iron and inlaid with silver so they glint with subtle textures; silver buttons running from hip to ankle and encircled with abstract suede appliqué. Now at the Albuquerque Museum (2000 Mountain NW), the exhibit runs through March 28. The free opening reception on Saturday, Jan. 4, from 2 to 5pm includes a 2:30pm lecture on charrería and 3:30pm presentation on the legend of China Poblana. More info’s at 243-7255 or bit.ly/1emKHqH.