Huipil Purple background very detailed birds
27” x 27”
Ancient Maya religion included a goddess of weaving, Ix Chel. She is often shown wearing a backstrap loom, which is the traditional Maya loom. Throughout contemporary Maya culture, weaving and embroidery remain widespread. The huipil, a loose fitting tunic, is still by far the most common apparel among Maya women. Each garment is unique and may require two or three months to complete, and each village has developed a distinctive design. Textiles are an integral part of Maya identity and of both everyday and ceremonial life.
This huipil is from Santiago Atitlán, on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala, the town known for huipiles with colorful, richly detailed embroidered birds. This one is an example of the highest quality embroidery, with many birds filling the entire area leaving no negative space. The fabric is “aleman,” a combination of silk and cotton spun together. A huipil like this is the epitome of Maya high fashion.
The last photo is an inside embroidery detail.