Don’t Call Me María part 2

Indigenous women

Indigenous women are fighting back to receive recognition of their textiles’ artistic value and a fair market share in the sales. A cloth huipil, open like a book, lay on Natalia and Flavio Otzin’s wooden table, sunshine bouncing off its bright red, purple and blue designs. Otzin swept her hand across the shapes as she explained each one, reading the […]

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Don’t Call Me María

Indigenous women

AFEDES is fighting through the Guatemalan constitutional courts to have Mayan cloth recognized as intellectual property of the Maya people and receive fair market compensation. For indigenous Maya women in Guatemala the clothes on their backs are sacred texts of their way of life. They tell a story of spirit and war, the heritage of an ancient people invaded by […]

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Textiles Handwoven in San Juan La Laguna

textiles Guatemala

Cooperative Keiji Chiij is teaching others to conserve Guatemala’s cultural textile traditions of growing cotton, natural dyes and weaving. If you are looking for quality handwoven goods that support local weavers, preserve Mayan tradition and are environmentally sustainable, San Juan La Laguna, with its numerous shops boasting natural dyes and superb local woven cotton products, offers an array of unique merchandise. […]

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Traje Tradition Meets Trade in Guatemala

Guatemala traje

Herlinda can’t remember a time when her family wasn’t wearing traje. Traje, the traditional clothing worn by many indigenous Guatemalans, is a cultural cornerstone. Its brightly colored hues and intricately woven thread are commonplace in many areas of Guatemala, especially in the rural highlands around Lake Atitlán. While traje’s gorgeous colors and craftsmanship help it stand out in a crowd, […]

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BOOK ALERT Traditional Weavers of Guatemala

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Their Stories, Their Lives. by Deborah Chandler and Teresa Cordon, photography Joe Coca. And what stories. What lives. Twenty weavers, dyers, spinners and basketmakers, between the ages of 33 and 89. In each of their lives, adversity was not only survived, but overcome, to produce beauty reflecting the traditions of the Kaqchikel, Tz’utujil, K’iche’, Ladino, Ixil, Q’eqchi, Poqomchi’ and Achi of Guatemala. […]

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Weaving a History

The weaving tradition expresses that past and the world view, full of symbolism which connects the Maya to all of creation. (photo by Rudy A. Girón)

At the beginning of time, according to ancient Mayan legend, the gods from their center spun out the cosmos, setting in place the universe. The corn god laid out the four corners and erected the World Tree in the center, from whose branches grew one of everything to come. When they became too full, the ‘fruit’ fell, scattering seeds. The […]

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