Guatemala Mayan Huipil - Santa Maria Nebaj
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Handwoven Guatemala Mayan Huipil from Santa Maria Nebaj. A Huipil is a hand loomed, woven and embroidered blouse or top that the indigenous women wear. It made from usually 2 or 3 long pieces put together. A hole is made for the head. The type of neckline indicates marital status. Sometimes side of the garment are sewn up with room left for the armhole but more traditionally it is left open on the sides but then wrapped around and tucked into their skirts held in place by long hand woven belts.
Nabaj is an isolated mountain town in the region known as Quiche. The indigenous population of this area are known as Ixil where they have their own distinct language that is different then other part of the Mayan world. Nebaj suffered horrible atrocities and massacres during Guatemala 36 yr civil war. For the past 10 years this region has been slowing recovering.
The weaving was done by the women on a back strap loom. The color and the figures all have a special meaning that is unique to there region and culture.
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.
I purchased this Huipil and many others directly from the family who made them. It is completely done by hand and takes over 3 months to finish. The fabric is study and the weave is strong. It is brilliant & detailed. The neck symbolized the 4 compass directions. It is heavily embroidered with symbols of bird and/or animals.
The one that is listed here has a square neck. It is a bit smaller that the higher priced one I sell. The women are so careful so that the embroidered stitches do not show through the thick back cloth. The piece is 43 long x 29. The neck hole is 6 across but diagonally it is 8. But there is a 2 ½ slit to allow more room for your head to go through. It is open on the sides as are the many of the traditional Hupiles. The Mayan women wrap the sides around them and it is held in place by love brightly colored woven and embroidered belts known as cintas. It is easy enough to stitch up the sides and I am willing to do this for you upon purchase and payment. The design is a bit longer on one side. The Mayans don't consider this an issue since it gets tucked in so that the back cloth is not seen.
Many intricate ornate hupiles such as this one are purchased to hang on the wall framed or unframed.
I encourage you to invest in piece of Mayan culture and history while such treasures are still available. Buy purchasing items like these you are helping keep the ancient tradition alive while providing the amazing Mayan people with an income.
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- Seattle, Washington
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- Textiles, Clothing & Accessories
- Type / Pattern
- hand loomed
- 1970's to present
- Width: 29 inches
- Height: 43 inches
- Depth: 0 inch
- Weight: 0 pound
- VERY GOOD
- Mayan Huipil
- 100 % Cotton