Guatemala Mayan Huipil from Chichicastenango
Chichicastenango which is normally a sleepy highland town but springs to life and color on market days. It in the region known as Quiche. The indigenous pure Mayan population of the area are known as Quiche where they have their own distinct language.
The weaving was done by the women on a back strap loom. The colorful flowers, symbols the figures all have a special meaning that is unique to there region and culture.
A Huipil is a hand loomed, woven and embroidered blouse or top that the indigenous women wear. It will take 2 to 3 month to finish. It made from usually 2 or 3 long pieces put together. ( the pieces are limited by the size of the back strap looms they use. That is why they need to use more that one piece). A hole is made for the head. The neckline will indicate the marital status of the women. Frequently there head hole is decorated with the sign of the Sun or other and. The edges are finished by some type trim. Some huipils have a snap as does this one.
Sometimes the piece is sewn up on the sides with room left for the armhole but more traditionally it is left open on the sides like a poncho but then worn wrapped around and tucked into their skirts held in place by long hand woven belts.
The art of the traditional weaving is past down from mother to daughter. Each region and village has their own distinct design and colors. Unfortunately more of the traditional weaving and other cultural ways are being influence and replaced by modernization of the U.S.A. & Europe.
This Huipil is about vintage and has been worn. It does show some very modest signs of wear. However the fabric is study and the weave is strong. It is brilliant & detailed. I purchased this and many other similar huipils from the family that made them.
I encourage you to invest in piece of Mayan culture and history while such treasures are available. Many people will buy these to hang on a wall rather than to wear.
Here is some information about this specific huipil: The width is 33" , length on the front side is approx 29". (48" to 50" spread is opened up) The bottom is unfinished & uneven as seen often on these hand woven pieces. The neck hole 6" across and the slit with snap closure is 3" . The arm hole 7 1/2 however that can be made larger by undoing the seam or smaller by stitching it up.