Threads of Time: Tradition and Change in Indigenous American Textiles

Ceremonial Huipíl (Woman’s Blouse)

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Ceremonial Huipíl (Woman’s Blouse)


This blouse dates from around 1945 and maintains the purple and pink palette and the radiating neck embroidery seen in earlier examples. However, it also shows the beginning of the later Chichicastenango design trajectory in the adoption of large flowers in the brocaded sections.

Semi-realistic and yet abstract, these floral motifs may reflect that the country of Guatemala has been called “The Land of a Thousand Flowers” for its verdant, colorful plant life. Europeans had brought floral-patterned cloth to Guatemala centuries before; however, the Maya did not adopt this subject matter into their garments until they chose to, signaling their artistic independence.

Geographic Area

Central America, Guatemala, Chichicastenango


K’iche’ Maya


Ca. 1945


Cotton, acrylic fiber

Credit Line

Bright Collection of Guatemalan Textiles

Accession Number


Photo Credit

Photos by Michael McKelvey, 2017

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