Saturday, May 7, 2011

Crafts of Guatemala

We spent a short week during Easter in Guatemala and I fell instantly in love with the country, its people, culture and of course, their crafts.

Guatemala is a country of endless colors.
Mayan women wearing their traditional huipils (traditional tunic) is not meant to be for tourists' cameras, but for daily use. Every village, every area of the country prides itself with patterns unique to their area.
As I learnt, weaving has a long history in Mayan culture. According to legend, the goddess of medicine and childbirth, Ixchel invented weaving. In traditional backstrap weaving, the loom is tied to a body and a tree or a pole thus the weaver becoming integral part of the loom. Young girls learn to weave around the age of 7 and carry on the tradition, which becomes an important part of their entire life. It may take two to three months to finish a traditional "huipil" with intricate details.

Below are the photos I took in Antigua and the highlands of Chichicastenango, the place of the largest Central American outdoor market. Enjoy ...

At the market 

Backstrap weaving

On steps of the church

Notice the detail on the clothing ... 

Other crafts ... antique shoe forms 

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