✎✎✎ Clothing In Guatemala

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Clothing In Guatemala

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Bak'tun 13 Festival: Timeline of Guatemalan Fashion

In each community in Guatemala, Indigenous Maya wear a different style of traje tipico traditional indigenous clothing. During the Guatemalan Civil War this system was used to target Indigenous communities. The color, style, or symbols used in the huipil allowed soldiers to know the age, wealth, ethnicity, and the community of the wearer, allowing them to carry out targeted attacks. More than , Guatemalans were killed or forcibly disappeared during the Civil War. Despite this dark history, Indigenous Maya continue to wear their traje proudly, passing their weaving techniques to the younger generations to keep their culture alive.

Maya women have used the backstrap loom to weave their clothing for centuries. The backstrap refers to the strap the weaver wears around their waist. The looms are often made by the weavers themselves and are highly portable. They can be hooked up to a tree or a sturdy post just about anywhere. To preserve the Maya culture, girls are taught by their elders to weave using the backstrap loom from a young age. The textiles are woven from cotton yarn which weavers dye naturally using flowers, vegetables, herbs, and bark to create the vivid colors. Currently, traje is most commonly worn by women, but there are a handful of communities where you can see men wearing their own traje consisting of embroidered shirts and pants. In certain communities, the color and size of the faja can signify if a woman is married or single.

Depending on the region, you may see other accessories such as the cinta a type of headband , the tocoyal a ribbon that is wound around the head , and the tzute , which can be worn on the head, or as a cloth that can be tied to carry infants on the back. Maya textiles are famous for their vibrant colors and feature various motifs: geometrical shapes, including diamonds, stars, and zig zags; natural motifs, like plants, flowers, insects, and animals; even human figures, such as saints. Each of the symbols, of which there are many, has their own meaning in Mayan culture.

Zig zags can represent volcanoes or mountains, or the feathered serpent god, Gucumatz, who the Maya believe created humanity. The serpent is also believed to be a guide that will protect us on our life journey. The interpretation of diamonds can vary depending on what symbols or designs are woven around it. It can represent the four corners of the universe, town squares, plates, or even the weaver herself. The quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala. The quetzal is viewed as a symbol of goodness and light and can be seen in many traditional designs. Women buy the fabric of the cut by meters and then join their ends and decorate the seams according to their needs. The fabric with which the cut is made depends on the particular style of the region.

Sometimes the fabric is tied and dyed to achieve unique patterns. The skirts resulting from this technique are known to have an Ikat design. In other regions, the skirts have rows of flowers or animla designs along the fabric. The seam used to join the cut is called randa. The randa can be decorative and elaborated by hand or in sewing machine. Depending on the region, the cut can be long to the knee or to the ankles, with many meters of cloth wrapped around the person wearing it. To maintain the cut it is necessary to wear a sash.

This garment is usually long between two and three meters and is woven and decorated by hand. Sometimes the girdles are thin and can have simple designs, sometimes they are a bit wider and elaborately decorated with intricate details and tassels at the ends. In many areas of Guatemala, the girdle has decorations similar to those found in huipiles in the same region. Although in some towns women prefer the embroidered belts with machines. Most machine embroidery work is done by men who use pedal sewing machines. The tzute is a multipurpose garment made of fabric that comes in various sizes. Women can be seen wearing these functional garments suitable for heavy duty, which serve to carry babies, cover food baskets, cover their heads to enter the church, or cover the brightness of the sun.

Les tzutes are generally made of looms and are made of one or two slabs which are sewn together to be joined by means of randas. Sometimes, this sewing process is decorative with handmade flourishes or machine. Other times, sewing is simple and only functional. Men also wear tzutes for formal and religious occasions. There are small differences in the design of the tzutes of men and women. Frequently, men's tzutes have tassels and ribbons at the corners. However, tzutes generally have geomorphic decorations similar to those found in huipiles. Nowadays, many women of Mayan tradition in Guatemala have begun to incorporate huipiles from different regions as costumes of daily use.

The tapes are long, measuring more than two meters. Some are narrow and measure less than three centimeters, and others are wider, reaching 10 centimeters in thickness. Usually, the tapes are made in intricate fabrics and tell a story in their patterns and designs. In the same village, the way a woman wraps a ribbon around her head indicates whether she is single, married, if she has children or is a matriarch.

Although the tradition of men wearing traditional garments has been lost over time, in many parts of Guatemala men can still be seen wearing traditional costumes from each region of the country. Many of the men's trousers are hand woven by women on looms, and are designed much like huipiles. Some of the pants are short and reach only the bottom of the knee. This type of trousers is usually ornamented with embroidery of birds and flowers. Elsewhere in the country, you can find long, less ornate trousers, covered with knee pads.

The knee pad is a woolen cloth that is wrapped around the men's pants. Some older men can be seen wearing their knee pads without wearing pants during the hottest days of the year. The fabric of the knee pads is thick and suitable for heavy work. It is made of unrefined wool, so it is a rigid, starchy and sturdy garment. Sometimes these knee pads have small decorations that represent the local area. In Guatemala, each costume represents a village or region and is related to a group and language descended from the Maya. There are dozens of Mayan villages and 21 groups with different ethnolinguistic characteristics, each representing particular indigenous traditions. Many Guatemalan men wear Western-style clothing, as it is much more economical than traditional clothing.

Women are more faithful to the traditions and wear their traditional clothes to show their attributes at the time they are looking for a husband. The women of Nebaj wear a red cut with yellow stripes, supported by a sash. They also carry a huipil profusely decorated with embroideries and striking designs. On the shoulder carry a tzute and on the head a skillfully decorated ribbon. The men are wearing an open jacket and a hat made of palm. They also wear western-style trousers and sweaters. The men in Santiago wear shorts, as they spend a lot of time fishing, sailing their boats, gathering nets and doing activities related to the lake.

Women, on the other hand, wear purple huipiles with white stripes, embroidered with elegant figures of animals, birds and flowers. The most striking feature of these costumes is their long ribbon that wraps the women's head like a disk. In the Department of Huehuetenango the tape is very important for women. This one is manufactured by hand, of five to seven centimeters of width and highly decorated with brocades and great tassels. This region is characterized because its garments have acquired a modern touch in its design, adding more and more geometric details. The costumes in this region are industrially manufactured. In this way, it is common to see in the square of San Pedro la Laguna women selling fabrics produced on a large scale for commercial purposes.

The huipiles and fabrics found here are distributed all over the country.

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