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Collection Artifact Details

Blouse

Type: Clothing - Garment
Object Name: Blouse
Local Name: huipil
Place Made: North America: Central America, Guatemala, Guatemala Department, San Juan Sacatepéquez
People: Cakchiquel Maya
Period: Mid 20th century
Date: 1935 - 1945
Dimensions: L 71 cm x W 63 cm
Materials: Cotton
Techniques: Supplementary weft; woven
ID Number: T94.0966
Credit: From the Opekar / Webster Collection

The woman’s huipil has a long and ancient tradition in Guatemala and is still worn in parts of the country today. Indigenous garments such as the huipil have roots in pre-Spanish Maya costume, and are often depicted on ceramics and sculpture. A huipil consists of one, two, or three lengths of cotton woven on a back-strap loom and sewn together with an opening for the head. Supplementary weft threads in cotton, silk, rayon and more recently acrylic, are used to float a raised pattern during weaving. Although these rich and varied designs have evolved over time, since the Spanish Conquest, huipil styles have been part of a woman’s distinctive costume (traje) and associated with her community.