Guatemalan Women Dressed in Traditional Mayan ‘Traje’

Traditional Maya Clothing in Guatemala Called 'Traje'

Woman in Guatemala have passed down their traditional dress called ‘traje’ for centuries. The tops are called ‘huipils’ and the skirts are ‘cortes’. The Mayan culture has used the same techniques of weaving textiles for generations and continue to do so today. The intricate brocade decor on the huipils varies slightly from village to village, but the patterns and their meanings have not changed since the classic Maya period. Not only is traje an important component of the Guatemalan culture, the tradition of weaving provides a viable income for the weavers and artisans who make these textiles to provide for their families.

Guatemalan Woman Weaving on a Backstrap Loom

Guatemalan Woman Weaving on a Backstrap Loom

The art of weaving on a backstrap loom dates back to ancient Maya and has been passed down through the many generations of Guatemalan Women. It is the process in which they create beautiful vibrant colored textiles and Huipils. The weaver starts with raw cotton, which they clean, dye, and spin into thread. The thread is made into a warp and placed on the loom where she can then begin weaving. Many times intricate brocade and embroidery patterns are incorporated into the cloth. The process of weaving has changed very little over time and the techniques used today are virtually the same as they have been for hundreds of years.