According to the reminiscences of José Maria Amador, as translated by Gregorio Mora-Torres in "Californio Voices", around 1820 recruits at the Monterey Presidio received an unusual haircut:
After being enlisted, the recruits were given a toupee [tupé] and a valcarra. The toupee was when the entire front half of the head was shaved, leaving only the valcarra on the sides. The valcarra would drop on the sides of the face and would serve as sideburns [patilla]. The hair behind the head [coleta] was braided into a pigtail [entrenzado]. This haircut was so ridiculous that no one would voluntarily accept it. Those who suffered this shearing were forced to have it. This ridiculous invention was the work of Governor Solá and Captain de la Guerra.
Can any Spanish tradition, such as a priestly tonsure, explain the valcarra haircut? Does any other source corroborate this story? Was the valcarra ever illustrated?