The traditional Mayan woman’s dress is still being worn in Guatemala — especially in the rural areas even though the younger women, especially in the larger towns, are sporting western wear of jeans and shirt.
The Mayan clothing for the women – a huipil and corte – is both colorful and meaningful. The pattern on the huipil (blouse) signifies which village the wearer is from and she usually wears it when she is away from home. The corte (skirt) also can indicate the village but it is not as distinct today in its meaning because many of the cortes are simply fabric that is purchased and cut into the length needed for a skirt. The lady above is living in San Juan La Laguna but the huipil she is wearing is not typical of San Juan La Laguna – so perhaps she was born in another village.
These ladies were in a parade and in their finest traje (dress/outfit)
This little lady also wears the traditional dress.
Grandma’s skirt and blouse are thread bare and has probably been worn everyday for years.
Even the tiniest little girls get their own huipil — woven by Mom.
This huipil is a heavily brocaded with distinct patterns that is typical of Santa Catarina. The brocading is done while weaving the piece.
Every week a ‘yard sale’ takes place in Panajachel where they sell used huipils and cortes. Tourists buy them as a souvenir and some locals buy them to recycle them into purses or other handcrafts to sell to the tourists.
The traditional huipil is giving way to the modern rayon fabric of a purchased huipil. They are very inexpensive in comparison to the yarn and time needed to weave the fabric for a huipil on a backstrap loom.
This huipil has birds embroidered all over it and was a gorgeous example of Mayan huipil!
Some huipils are just a plain weaving with a strip of embroidery to join woven pieces together.
This huipil is from San Juan La Laguna but is an older design style. The newer style is a burgundy with small white stripes but still sports the heavily embroidered neckline.