Threads of Time: Tradition and Change in Indigenous American Textiles

Woman's Huipíl (Blouse) with Pink Background

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Woman's Huipíl (Blouse) with Pink Background


This pink blouse dates to the 1960s, as the bright coloration attests, mirroring a worldwide trend at the time. Yet the flowers remain much like those from 1945, showing how one element of a tradition may shift while others remain the same.

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. 1960


Cotton, acrylic fiber

Credit Line

Bright Collection of Guatemalan Textiles

Accession Number


Photo Credit

Photos by Michael McKelvey, 2017

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