Threads of Time: Tradition and Change in Indigenous American Textiles

Woman's Huipíl (Blouse) with Black Background

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Woman's Huipíl (Blouse) with Black Background


Contemporary Chichicastenango examples feature an almost neon palette and may combine a traditional love of geometry with a new emphasis on flowers. A type of imagery that is often seen on traditional Chichicastenango huipiles is lines of zigzags that represent mountains. The town is located in the highlands where jagged mountains rise all around and the climate is pleasant, often cool. This 2010 example shows that mountain patterns are still employed, exemplifying how the traditions of this town persist over a full century of change.

To this day, Chichicastenango weavers still hold to a very high standard of quality. Proud weavers still want to display their weaving prowess by wearing the best blouses in the famous market and for their blended ceremonial life as Catholics and as shamanic peoples.

Geographic Area

Central America, Guatemala, Chichicastenango


K’iche’ Maya


Ca. 2010


Cotton, acrylic fiber

Credit Line

Gift of Anne Sayre

Accession Number


Photo Credit

Photos by Michael McKelvey, 2017

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