Mayan fabric, weaving

The exceptional art of weaving in Guatemala

The practice of backstrap loom weaving of Mayan women in the highlands of Guatemala, is an exceptional art and a distinctive part of Mayan culture long before the conquest of the Spaniards. Through weaving, the Mayans communicate their personal identity, their heritage and their ideological beliefs.  Every design, colors and patterns convey a story of ancient.  One of the most important associations of weaving is to the supernatural of the deities, primarily the moon goddess Ixchel. Believed to have invented weaving, Ixhel was the patron of conception, childbirth, medicine, and reproduction.

Mayan women keep the art of weaving, who has an advance knowledge in weaving and struggles to keep the art. This is why Guatemalan women n is considered to be an artist. A weaver’s product reflects their inspiration, their ancestors, and the strength of a great culture.

Photo Credit: Jette Møller Moller

The art and tradition of weaving is passed from one generation to another. Many afternoons, the girls in the community gather together under the shade of a huge tree, exchanging stories and weaving. They talk and weave, and grandmothers sometimes participate and share ancient stories.

Today, weaving has become a great source of income for many Mayan households and villages. Oftentimes, young girls learn to weave before going to school. Even though cultural contact has influenced many of the techniques and materials used in weaving, it has not eliminated the ancestral cosmology and symbolism still found in weaving throughout Guatemala. Weaving, an exceptional art that conveys the strength of a great culture.

weaving1The finest clothing made is a person’s own skin, but, of course, society demands more than this. – Mark Twain

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Con mucho amor,

Imelda ❤


2 thoughts on “The exceptional art of weaving in Guatemala

  1. love this post! Guatemalan Mayan weaving is really so beautiful. I had the privileged of visiting a women’s weaving collective in the highlands, we spent a day visiting, they showed us how they do their weaving, and they taught us to make corn tortillas. I felt as though I was in the bosom of Ixchel. 🙂 Thanks for sharing these photos.

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