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. Limited edition silk screen on paper
Published by Pocohontas Press, Chicago
1941, 16"h. x 13"w. 
Six separately printed colors
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  Huastecs of the State of San Luis Potosí
     
  The Huastecs are generally regarded as members of the Maya-Quiche group, speaking a soft, musical language similar to theirs. Huaxtocapan, meaning «land of the Huastecs» takes in the northern part of Veracruz, the eastern part of San Luis Potosí and a little of the south of Tamaulipas. The climate is in general hot and humid so it is logical to expect the clothing of the natives to be light both in its color and in its weight.

An inhabitant of Tancanhuitz, an important Huastecan center, is shown in Plate 3. Men and women alike are very clean. The women present a tidy appearance in their costumes made up of plain white blouse and skirt, either the lakop worn with a ceñidor or the enredo wrapped about the waist with the fullness in front. The skirt too is usually white though some tribes use red striped with yellow. Cotton cloth woven either on the otate or the vertical foot-power loom is used. The distinctive item of dress, peculiar to the region, is the keshkemel or quexquemetl which seems to have originated here rather than in the Otomí country as has often been supposed. This sleeveless cape-like article of dress is made of two rectangular pieces of cloth joined at right angles into an L shaped garment. It is worn draped about the shoulders with the two arms of the overlapped in front and fastened. This explains the front and back triangles seen in Plate 3. The keshkemel is always richly ornamented with beautiful floral designs and geometric stylizations of birds and animals realized in punto de cruz (cross-stitch). The colors range from red to purple, rose, violet, black and yellow, but red predominates.

I t is characteristic of the Huastecan woman to carry under her arm a bag, also cross-stitched, called talego or morral. She ties her hair around her head with two bands wound in a yagual, a kind of turban. Generally she walks barefooted.

Carlos Merida

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