Threads of Time: Tradition and Change in Indigenous American Textiles

Ceremonial Huipíl (Blouse) with Cuyuscate (Natural Brown Cotton)

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Ceremonial Huipíl (Blouse) with Cuyuscate (Natural Brown Cotton)


This blouse, woven in the 1920s, ranks as the finest Maya textile in the Carlos collection, with its expanse of the natural brown cotton, the darker shade known as cuyuscate and the slightly lighter one ixcaco. Its deep purple-maroon-pink brocading is highly prestigious above and beyond the expanse of natural brown cotton it covers. The complex brocade patterns, plus the subtle variations in the brown cotton creating background stripes, make this example an extraordinary work of fiber art. This same naturally colored cotton was identified in a man’s shirt from the ancient Andes, showing that this material has held high status for centuries. 

Geographic Area

Central America, Guatemala, Chichicastenango


K’iche’ Maya


Ca. 1925



Credit Line

Bright Collection of Guatemalan Textiles

Accession Number


Photo Credit

Photo by Bruce M. White, 2011

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