Faja de la cultura Maya.

Belt of the Mayan culture. Kaqchikel ethnic group. San Antonio Nejapa. Chimaltenango. Guatemala. Mid 20th century.

Woven in cotton with silk thread brocade, on a backstrap loom, warp face, with an ornamental design using the brocade technique with colored threads in the burgundy range of the base, traditional in this Kaqchikel section. Measures. Length: 260 cm / 102.36 in. Width: 7 cm / 2.75 in. Toecaps: 16 cm / 6.3 in.

Beautiful strip from San Antonio Nejapa is a village in the municipality of Acatenango, inhabited by simple and industrious people, with their bells that ring in the dome of the church since 1671, famous for being heard from great distances. “(…) The hands of many indigenous women still manifest their manual skills when putting into practice ancestral techniques, such as the“ supplementary weft brocade ”in the backstrap loom. This superstructural ornament consists of adding additional threads, generally weft, as the fabric is being woven on the backstrap loom” (1). This technique allows an ornamental figure to be displayed on the front of the piece that is not reproduced on the back, which -in the case of sashes- reduces the thickness of the resulting fabric and allows it to be used with or without a drawing, depending on the pattern. chosen visible face.

The culmination of the ends has the particularity of preserving all the warp threads imprisoned by the narrowing of the weft, which gives the effect of a viper's tail, common in the traditional Mayan belts of Guatemala.


1. Bárbara Knoke de Arathoon: Iconografía textil. In "Galería Guatemala". Guatemala, Ed. Galería Guatemala, 2009, Year 12 - N ° 36, p. 24.


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