Posts Tagged ‘traditional dress’

Traditional Dress Still Worn

November 7, 2012

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.

We hope you have enjoyed a look at the women of Guatemala and their beautiful clothing!

Artesanas Ixkoq’a and Weaving on a Backstrap Loom

January 25, 2011

We went up the mountain to visit with the group, Artesanas Ixkoq’a and review our order with them for the next shipment. They are absolutely fabulous backstrap weavers!

Fair Trade Artisan Group - Mujeres Ixkoq'a

Handwoven on a backstrap loom by Ixkoq'a Mayan women

On our weaving tour in May they will be giving a demonstration on how they hand dye cotton thread to make the traditional Ikat / Jaspe designed yarn that is so prevalent in Mayan textiles.  For more information on the tour see our webpage.

Colorful Ikat / Jaspe in a handwoven table runner

We have been working with this group for several years and have had a great relationship with them.  They love the fact that they receive Fair Trade wages for every hour they work on our designs because it gives them more money for their families and especially to help educate their children.

Beautiful blues and purple weaving

Heavily embroidered and backstrap woven

Beauty of Guatemala

February 8, 2009

In the next few days we will be posting some of the beauty we see in Guatemala on each visit.  We hope you enjoy our photos!

Lake Atitlan

is  really beautiful and is surrounded by many small villages and also the larger touristy town of Panajachel.

Traditional fishing on Lake Atitlan

Young girls are usually in the traditional dress of a corte and huipil — a skirt and blouse.  Each village has their own unique design and colors in the fabric.

Much of the work done in the ruralareas of Guatemala are done by hand — including hauling the coffee beans to the cooperative to be weighed and processed!

Colorful rebozos (shawls) are folded and placed on the head until it gets cooler — an easy way to carry your garment!  In the mountains around Lake Atitlan it generally clouds up and get cooler by about 4pm so this woman will have her shawl ready.

The Cross of Christ overlooking San Juan La Laguna.

More photos to come!

Solola Market Day

January 19, 2009

Today we took time to visit the local market in Solola — a true contradiction to the high rises and modern stores in Guatemala City.  The local Mayans from the rural areas around Solola come to market  either to buy or sell goods– everything from tables of fresh meat, veggies and fruit to all types of housewares and clothes to new baby chickens, pigs and more.  Everything is set up in the streets around the central plaza and is a scene of mass confusion to visitors.  To make your way through the throngs of people it is best to follow close behind a local, hang tight to your purse or bags and keep moving.  The Solola market is similar to markets around the world and  I think of it as a large mall where you go to buy your weekly goods and meet and visit with friends and neighbors. Like years ago when farmers all came into town on Saturday to do their shopping.

Most women dress in the traditional Mayan clothes of a corte and huipil — beautifully woven and bright and colorful. Typically, older men still wear traditional dress of heavily embroidered white pants and a colorfully patterned woven shirt.  Many younger men wear jeans and tshirts. The very poor men don’t wear the traditional Mayan dress because of the cost.  They usually obtain used clothing which often comes from relief organizations.

We’ll have many photos on the blog soon.  This was such a fascinating display of sight, sounds and smells and had more people than many markets I have visited!