Guatemalan Women Celebrating Holy Week, or ‘Semana Santa’

Women celebrating Semana Santa in Guatemala.

These women are celebrating ‘Semana Santa,’ or Holy Week in Antigua, Guatemala. Semana Santa is a Catholic celebration of the passion, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The entire city participates in the event. These women are dressed in traditional Mayan clothing called ‘traje.’ They are wearing ceremonial huipils (blouses) and they have ‘tzutes’ folded up on their heads.

Guatemalan Women Wearing ‘Tzutes’ and Holding Candles

Guatemalan Women With Tzutes

Tzutes are an important part of Mayan traditional dress. They are worn by both women and men and serve many purposes. They can be used as a shawl, for carrying babies or goods, covering food, or even for ceremonial purposes. Often you will see them folded up and worn on the head as to protect the wearer from the sun and so it is readily available to use if needed. Just like huipils, the tzute can help identify the user’s village by the bright colors and patterns. They are hand woven and vary in size and length.