Guatemalan Mayan Huipil Nebaj Handwoven Vintage
Handwoven Guatemala Mayan Huipil from Santa Maria Nebaj. This one is on a black background. A Huipil is a hand loomed, woven and embroidered top that the indigenous women wear. It made from usually 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. Sometimes it is sewn up on the sides 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 Hupile 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 birds and animals.
The piece is 52 long x 33. The neck hole is 5 across but diagonally it is 7. 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.
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 these amazing pure Mayans with an income.