. Mayan Textiles of Lake Atitlán
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. Up ] Books ] Panajachel ] San Andres Semetabaj ] San Antonio Palopó ] San Juan la Laguna ] San Lucas Tolimán ] San Pedro la Laguna ] Santa Catarina Palopó ] [ Santiago Atitlán ] Solola ] Sources ]
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"Santiago Atitlán is a Tzutujil Maya speaking community located on the south shore of Lake Atitlán. Over ninety-five percent of the town's population are indigenous Maya. The town presents a complex mix of the traditional and the modern, a collision of old with new."

"With convenient boat service from the popular Lake Atitlán resort of Panajachel, many tourists have the opportunity to visit. Both men and women wearDetail of embroidery on men's pants from Santiago Atitlan traje in Santiago as in many other lake communities. In front of the Assembly of God mission, an aged and serene Tzutujil woman who daily spins cotton using a drop spindle attracts the tourists. For a few pesos, a woman will wrap her head with the long headribbon or cinta that resembles a halo when in place. One can buy traditional textiles in a wide range of colors. Women backstrap-loom and embroider their lovely huipiles, as well as the pants worn by men. Children dress as their parents do."

"Atitecos believe that wearing the proper costume puts one in the form of the ancestors, a factor of vital importance. At the present time the art of weaving in Santiago Atitlán is in the midst of a renaissance."

Robert S. Carlsen has written extensively about Santiago Atitlán in many publications.

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77-1_s.gif (20763 bytes)The embroidery on the bottom of the leg of a man's purple and white striped pants. This particular fabric was woven and worn before being discarded in 1977. A detail is shown at the top of this page. There is a  large image ( 230KB) of this pant leg.
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The present day pants from Santiago Atitlán are white with thin purple strips. They are heavily embroidered on the bottom.
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Girls huipil, Santiago AtitlánGirls huipil from Santiago Atitlán. There are also larger detailed images of the front (173K) and the back (180K) embroidery, the main difference being the color of the embroidery around the neck opening.
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. santi_lp.gif (19812 bytes)This woman's huipil was woven before 1960. In it you see the same purple and white stripes as are in the older pants pictured above. The present day huipiles have a grid pattern for the embroider similar to the girl's huipil above. The huipiles are worn with red cortes [skirts].
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. The rebozo on the right is typical of Santiago Atitlan, the one on the left is from San Pedro la Laguna. In the rebozo from Santiago, the ikat forms verticle rows of black and white squares; in San Pedro, the rows of black and white squares are alternated with rows of black and colored squares.
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Up ] Books ] Panajachel ] San Andres Semetabaj ] San Antonio Palopó ] San Juan la Laguna ] San Lucas Tolimán ] San Pedro la Laguna ] Santa Catarina Palopó ] [ Santiago Atitlán ] Solola ] Sources ]
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